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Pope Francis advocates for civil union laws


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1 hour ago, Storm Rider said:

I think this confuses the situation. We have a responsibility to be merciful with others if we want and enjoy mercy from our Father in Heaven. However, that has nothing to do with what the Law is. It seems too easily forgotten that Jesus' often declaration and invitation was "repent and come follow me". This simple directive was meant for all because we were all sinners and all needed to evolve into beings capable of forfeiting our own desires and accepting his will for our lives.

I'm not forgetting the law.  I'm suggesting that perhaps there is a way to include our gay brothers and sisters in the church while still recognizing and adhering to the law.   It would take a revelation to clarify how it could be done, because as we understand things now there isn't really space for it "practicing homosexuals".

That is the mercy that I'm talking about--the mercy of being open to their getting some kind of seat at the table instead of always exclaiming how they can never have one.

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For me, this statement by Pope Francis is really what it all boils down to.

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“Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it,” Pope Francis

 

Does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that homosexuals have a right to be a part of a family?  Or is that condition only if you are straight?  Does the  Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that homosexuals are children of God and have a right to a family?  Currently, the answer to those questions that Pope Francis asks is NO in the  Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It brings up some interesting questions for me.  Is it better for those homosexual families to be separated from a Church that claims to have the gospel of Jesus Christ?  Does that gospel of Jesus Christ encourage the breaking up of those families?  Of keeping those families separated from the Church?  Should the doors be sealed to those families?  Should those families be prohibited from participating in the Church?  Holding positions that enrich other members lives?  

From what I am hearing, the answer for many in the Church is a resounding yes to all of those questions.  For some, that yes is a troubling answer that should require further revelation from God.  Locking the doors of Church membership and participation from those families just doesn't seem like the Church is a church for everyone, just those that are straight.

I should also disclose that I am not pushing the Church to do anything.  It is no longer my church.  But to say the current position of the Church is not without problems that should be considered is denying the feelings of a great many members.

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19 minutes ago, Calm said:

In the sense of finding roles, I would agree.  There is not anything defined for them that I can think of, even more so than a nonmember spouse because we are comfortable with those filling parental and spousal roles if not member ones.  Some members don’t even view the relationship as a family one, so they are more or less all just temporary roommates in theory, which teaching would amount to be kind to each other as you go on in your separate lives.

I believe we don’t have a decent way of describing the family structure of a same sex marriage and a way to feel comfortable about teaching parenting and couple roles....especially couple roles once moving out of the friendship territory into the becoming one territory of male-female marriage (I don’t mean just physical interaction, but mental and spiritual as well).
 

I don’t think it is logical to talk of who has it harder or easier in the church in general because it depends on what comes easy or hard to people. Someone who is gay but outgoing and easy going might find it easier to be at church than someone who is straight, but very introverted and a perfectionist.  

What I mean by it being harder is that for most people, a purely celibate life, without any romantic physical touch of any kind, and no hope of it for their entire lives, while being surrounded by people who would be very willing to be in a physical and loving committed relationship with them, would be an incredibly difficult cross to bear.  It's a cross that is unique to lgbtq members and not one that heterosexuals are asked to carry. 

Even for those heterosexuals that must live a celibate life against their will, the hope of it remains, and they are not surrounded by people willing to have such a relationship with them and having to consistently and repeatedly say no.  

Church doctrine allows for hope for heterosexual members and opportunities to gain that kind of fulfillment while there is no hope for or fulfillment of that basic human desire for lgbtq members.  Church rules allow heterosexual members to act on their desire for romantic physical touch (even before marriage as long as you keep it in the bounds the Lord has set) while denying lgbtq members the ability to act on any desire for romantic physical touch, not even holding hands. 

I'm not suggesting that that is in itself a sign that the doctrine is wrong.  I'm saying that the cross that lgbtq members have to bear is unique and heavier than the one heterosexuals are asked to bear.   

I think you are right in that there is little use in trying to decide who's trials are harder.  But in general I don't think church members have really contemplated what is being asked of lgbtq members or the unique sacrifices that are required of gay members that are not required of them.  For me, mercy means acknowledging and validating those differences.

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22 minutes ago, california boy said:

Currently, the answer to those questions that Pope Francis asks is NO in the  Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In terms of being parents, I sort of agree. Think there are nuances, but basically the marriage is against the law of God and saying there is no right could be another way of saying that. 
 

However, there is much more to being family than being a parent or spouse; there is being a child, sibling, aunt, uncle, cousins, etc.  There is no parent without a child.

My current relationship with my mother would be equally acceptable in the Church if I was actively gay, I believe.  My sister would be seen as just as much my kids’ aunt if she was bisexual.

Edited by Calm
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13 minutes ago, Peacefully said:

I’ve never thought of my role in the next world that way. I’ve always assumed that my husband and I would create and manage worlds together as equals. Please don’t burst my bubble:)

I think it is much more too.  I assume there will be much exploring and expanding beyond simply babies.  I just know of many who have interpreted it that way and a few who even look forward to such. 

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40 minutes ago, bluebell said:

It's a cross that is unique to lgbtq members and not one that heterosexuals are asked to carry. 

In the sense of the group yes, but there are individuals that are straight who have viewed and lived their life the same way, my great aunt being one.  As far as I can tell, she just assumed that side of her life was closed...though I haven’t heard of offerings to be in a relationship with her, which would be different. Her role was to take care of her parents’ family (I am guessing specifically her mother as there were some mental issues when she got older, I need to studied up more on the family now I understand nuances more), not have one of her own though she expanded her family to include many youth as she became active in education.
 

I do believe there is a huge difference in that there isn’t the promise of the next life solving all those issues in the way one currently desires.  I assume having a hope of a future life to fulfill one’s dreams is as meaningful to many others as it is to me with my dreams that won’t be coming true during this round of life. 
 

How can we tell one cross is heavier than another unless we can carry them both ourselves?

A different cross, yes, I agree with that. Heavier...I don’t. 
 

When people find out about my life they often say they could never endure it and wonder how I manage while I look at theirs as more difficult. And others I see as easy I later learn were very difficult. 

I don’t see how someone could say gay people’s crosses are harder to bear than a child with abusive parents (surely having loving parents even if one doesn’t have one own love is better than having no one love you at all) or someone living in a country constantly at war or someone fully paralyzed and fully functioning intelligence or what I view as the worst cross someone could bear...watching their child suffer without being able to do anything about it.  One can live well without romance, can one live well while watching one’s children starve to death or living in pain every day of their lives?  
 

This does not give us a right to dismiss anyone else’s cross, we do need to make effort to understand people’s burdens if we are to have true charity and act in such instead of just doing things for people we think are important or that make us feel good.  Charity without understanding is generally pretty superficial and is taking the easy path imo. 

Edited by Calm
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1 minute ago, Calm said:

In terms of being parents, I sort of agree. Think there are nuances, but basically the marriage is against the law of God and saying there is no right could be another way of saying that. 
 

However, there is much more to being family than being a parent or spouse; there is being a child, sibling, aunt, uncle, cousins, etc.  There is no parent without a child.

My current relationship with my mother would be equally acceptable in the Church if I was actively gay, I believe.  My sister would be seen as just as much my kids’ aunt if she was bisexual.

Yes, but there is a huge difference between being the child of a parent and being the parent of a child.  I think Pope Francis recognized and acknowledges the difference.  The Church? not so much.  They want to keep a gay person as a child their whole life. His statement

Quote

"Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it"

I think addresses that.  Not allowing someone to have a spouse, marry or have children simply because they are gay, someone to share life with in such an intimate way is imo a life made miserable.  At least the Pope sees value in those relationships.  Evidently the Church does not.

Maybe I just find way too much joy in my life for having a partner that I share so much with and love so deeply.  Certainly my love for him is in no way comparable for the feelings I have for my father and my siblings.  In fact, as you know, I had to decide between those two types of relationships.  I choose him, and have never regretted that decision for one second.  Of course it also met leaving the Church.  I have found that I didn't need the Church to have a relationship with God.  I hope that all those other gay members that left the Church find that eternal truth as well.  

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23 minutes ago, bluebell said:

What I mean by it being harder is that for most people, a purely celibate life, without any romantic physical touch of any kind, and no hope of it for their entire lives, while being surrounded by people who would be very willing to be in a physical and loving committed relationship with them, would be an incredibly difficult cross to bear.  It's a cross that is unique to lgbtq members and not one that heterosexuals are asked to carry. 

Even for those heterosexuals that must live a celibate life against their will, the hope of it remains, and they are not surrounded by people willing to have such a relationship with them and having to consistently and repeatedly say no.  

Church doctrine allows for hope for heterosexual members and opportunities to gain that kind of fulfillment while there is no hope for or fulfillment of that basic human desire for lgbtq members.  Church rules allow heterosexual members to act on their desire for romantic physical touch (even before marriage as long as you keep it in the bounds the Lord has set) while denying lgbtq members the ability to act on any desire for romantic physical touch, not even holding hands. 

I'm not suggesting that that is in itself a sign that the doctrine is wrong.  I'm saying that the cross that lgbtq members have to bear is unique and heavier than the one heterosexuals are asked to bear.   

I think you are right in that there is little use in trying to decide who's trials are harder.  But in general I don't think church members have really contemplated what is being asked of lgbtq members or the unique sacrifices that are required of gay members that are not required of them.  For me, mercy means acknowledging and validating those differences.

You know this is only half of the equation.  Not only are gay people prohibited from having any kind of partner in this life, but there is also no hope of being with someone we can truly love in the next.  Personally that is why the idea of being celibate in this life just didn't make sense.  What do I get for going through all that pain and loneliness while on earth?  Only to die and find out that I now have to marry a woman and spend eternity with her?  Something I just was unwilling or wanted to do while on earth?

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is no end to misery inflicted upon you if you are gay.  Kinda hard to buy into the hand of God involved in that whole "Plan of Salvation" if you are gay.

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57 minutes ago, california boy said:

For me, this statement by Pope Francis is really what it all boils down to.

Does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that homosexuals have a right to be a part of a family?  Or is that condition only if you are straight?  Does the  Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that homosexuals are children of God and have a right to a family?  Currently, the answer to those questions that Pope Francis asks is NO in the  Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It brings up some interesting questions for me.  Is it better for those homosexual families to be separated from a Church that claims to have the gospel of Jesus Christ?  Does that gospel of Jesus Christ encourage the breaking up of those families?  Of keeping those families separated from the Church?  Should the doors be sealed to those families?  Should those families be prohibited from participating in the Church?  Holding positions that enrich other members lives?  

From what I am hearing, the answer for many in the Church is a resounding yes to all of those questions.  For some, that yes is a troubling answer that should require further revelation from God.  Locking the doors of Church membership and participation from those families just doesn't seem like the Church is a church for everyone, just those that are straight.

I should also disclose that I am not pushing the Church to do anything.  It is no longer my church.  But to say the current position of the Church is not without problems that should be considered is denying the feelings of a great many members.

Does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that homosexuals have a right to be a part of a family? Of course, every person does. Children especially, and adults who carry out attendant responsibilities, with a distinction between the secular and religious. Since we are talking about the Church, the rest of my comments have to do with religious obligations.

 Does the  Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that homosexuals are children of God and have a right to a family?  Yes, children especially, and adult members with attendant religious responsibilities, including their family role that is other than spouse or parent with a same-sex spouse.

Is it better for those homosexual families to be separated from a Church that claims to have the gospel of Jesus Christ?  I prefer the more accurate term, "families with same-sex parents" whether the parents are in a ssm, civil union, or otherwise living together. These adults cannot be baptized but they are welcome to attend with their families -- however defined -- and participate responsibly as practicable.

Does that gospel of Jesus Christ encourage the breaking up of those families? No, but individual faith in Christ and repentance must come first if one believes "that gospel of Jesus Christ."  Of keeping those families separated from the Church? Should the doors be sealed to those families? Not for meeting attendance and  non-covenantal participation.  Should those families be prohibited from participating in the Church?  No. Holding positions that enrich other members lives? No, but these are assignments, not callings due to membership obligations.

Edited by CV75
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5 minutes ago, california boy said:

You know this is only half of the equation.  Not only are gay people prohibited from having any kind of partner in this life, but there is also no hope of being with someone we can truly love in the next.  Personally that is why the idea of being celibate in this life just didn't make sense.  What do I get for going through all that pain and loneliness while on earth?  Only to die and find out that I now have to marry a woman and spend eternity with her?  Something I just was unwilling or wanted to do while on earth?

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is no end to misery inflicted upon you if you are gay.  Kinda hard to buy into the hand of God involved in that whole "Plan of Salvation" if you are gay.

Some think it is perfectly worth it to live a celebrate life. You know yours is only half of two opposing perspectives a person might have.

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

I'm not forgetting the law.  I'm suggesting that perhaps there is a way to include our gay brothers and sisters in the church while still recognizing and adhering to the law.   It would take a revelation to clarify how it could be done, because as we understand things now there isn't really space for it "practicing homosexuals".

That is the mercy that I'm talking about--the mercy of being open to their getting some kind of seat at the table instead of always exclaiming how they can never have one.

To the bold, I know this would be helpful for parents of a gay child as well. And I know that in the beginning the things said about the homosexuals in talks etc. injured many and some parents turned their own children out. So we definitely need to keep having talks in conference about including our gay brothers and sisters. There's no need to change doctrine to do this. The days of inclusion means condoning, are over. And if the church doesn't continue on a path of inclusion, the parents of these children, will and are leaving the church in droves. 

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25 minutes ago, california boy said:

They want to keep a gay person as a child their whole life.

Family is not binary, only parent or child. Sister and brotherhood are a massive part of the gospel family life and one we can excel at when extending it beyond the immediate family unit.  Not being a parent does not exclude all other family roles save “child”.

Edited by Calm
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15 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

To the bold, I know this would be helpful for parents of a gay child as well. And I know that in the beginning the things said about the homosexuals in talks etc. injured many and some parents turned their own children out. So we definitely need to keep having talks in conference about including our gay brothers and sisters. There's no need to change doctrine to do this. The days of inclusion means condoning, are over. And if the church doesn't continue on a path of inclusion, the parents of these children, will and are leaving the church in droves. 

I agree.

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44 minutes ago, Calm said:

In the sense of the group yes, but there are individuals that are straight who have viewed and lived their life the same way, my great aunt being one.  As far as I can tell, she just assumed that side of her life was closed...though I haven’t heard of offerings to be in a relationship with her, which would be different. Her role was to take care of her parents’ family (I am guessing specifically her mother as there were some mental issues when she got older, I need to studied up more on the family now I understand nuances more), not have one of her own though she expanded her family to include many youth as she became active in education.
 

I do believe there is a huge difference in that there isn’t the promise of the next life solving all those issues in the way one currently desires.  I assume having a hope of a future life to fulfill one’s dreams is as meaningful to many others as it is to me with my dreams that won’t be coming true during this round of life. 
 

How can we tell one cross is heavier than another unless we can carry them both ourselves?

A different cross, yes, I agree with that. Heavier...I don’t. 
 

When people find out about my life they often say they could never endure it and wonder how I manage while I look at theirs as more difficult. And others I see as easy I later learn were very difficult. 

I don’t see how someone could say gay people’s crosses are harder to bear than a child with abusive parents (surely having loving parents even if one doesn’t have one own love is better than having no one love you at all) or someone living in a country constantly at war or someone fully paralyzed and fully functioning intelligence or what I view as the worst cross someone could bear...watching their child suffer without being able to do anything about it.  One can live well without romance, can one live well while watching one’s children starve to death or living in pain every day of their lives?  
 

This does not give us a right to dismiss anyone else’s cross, we do need to make effort to understand people’s burdens if we are to have true charity and act in such instead of just doing things for people we think are important or that make us feel good.  Charity without understanding is generally pretty superficial and is taking the easy path imo. 

We can agree to disagree on my main point, but to clarify, i'm only comparing heterosexuality and the teachings of the church and homosexuality and the teachings of the church.  I'm not comparing all possible trials and homosexuality.  And I'm not saying that in any way dismisses anyone else's cross.  :) 

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37 minutes ago, california boy said:

You know this is only half of the equation.  Not only are gay people prohibited from having any kind of partner in this life, but there is also no hope of being with someone we can truly love in the next.  Personally that is why the idea of being celibate in this life just didn't make sense.  What do I get for going through all that pain and loneliness while on earth?  Only to die and find out that I now have to marry a woman and spend eternity with her?  Something I just was unwilling or wanted to do while on earth?

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is no end to misery inflicted upon you if you are gay.  Kinda hard to buy into the hand of God involved in that whole "Plan of Salvation" if you are gay.

Good point.  I know that for me, and afterlife where I would have to marry a woman sounds truly awful.

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

Better explained, I am thinking. I would love to see more revelation on the celestial relationship of men and women and what roles are for exalted individuals and couples.  It is all rather vague now leading many to assume the men are off creating worlds and helping their posterity become adults while the women pretty much just do the celestial equivalent of being pregnant, changing diapers, feeding hungry mouths, and taking care of skinned knees until the children are ready to head off to mortality at which point Mom drops out of sight. 

That may all have been the case when James Brown sang his song in 1966, but things have changed a bit since then.  So, while we all find fascination with the mysteries of heaven, the reality here and now is far more complex that the hue and cry might lead us to believe.

 

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7 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Good point.  I know that for me, and afterlife where I would have to marry a woman sounds truly awful.

Just sounds weird to me, but maybe that is a result of growing up in San Fran area. :P 
 

I can’t imagine what eternal marriage is going to be  like anyway besides a level of teamwork and communication way beyond what I manage now, so saying it would be awful with a woman doesn’t really make sense; though if you named particular women (or men for that matter) you could have me recoiling in horror.

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2 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

That may all have been the case

I am not sure what you mean...

Are you suggesting we have more revelation about celestial marriage and exaltation than in the 60s?

Edited by Calm
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19 minutes ago, Calm said:

Just sounds weird to me, but maybe that is a result of growing up in San Fran area. :P 
 

I can’t imagine what eternal marriage is going to be  like anyway besides a level of teamwork and communication way beyond what I manage now, so saying it would be awful with a woman doesn’t really make sense; though if you named particular women (or men for that matter) you could have me recoiling in horror.

I'm coming from the perspective that physical attraction/physical affection is an eternal part of who we are, because for me, marriage is way more than a good level of teamwork and communication.  And there is not one cell in body that is physically attracted to women.   

 

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

Family is not binary, only parent or child. Sister and brotherhood are a massive part of the gospel family life and one we can excel at when extending it beyond the immediate family unit.  Not being a parent does not exclude all other family roles save “child”.

And I never made that claim.  I am disappointed you cut the rest of my response and decided to address just this one line.  It seems like a dodge to the REAL point I was making.

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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

Does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that homosexuals have a right to be a part of a family? Of course, every person does. Children especially, and adults who carry out attendant responsibilities, with a distinction between the secular and religious. Since we are talking about the Church, the rest of my comments have to do with religious obligations.

 Does the  Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that homosexuals are children of God and have a right to a family?  Yes, children especially, and adult members with attendant religious responsibilities, including their family role that is other than spouse or parent with a same-sex spouse.

Is it better for those homosexual families to be separated from a Church that claims to have the gospel of Jesus Christ?  I prefer the more accurate term, "families with same-sex parents" whether the parents are in a ssm, civil union, or otherwise living together. These adults cannot be baptized but they are welcome to attend with their families -- however defined -- and participate responsibly as practicable.

Does that gospel of Jesus Christ encourage the breaking up of those families? No, but individual faith in Christ and repentance must come first if one believes "that gospel of Jesus Christ."  Of keeping those families separated from the Church? Should the doors be sealed to those families? Not for meeting attendance and  non-covenantal participation.  Should those families be prohibited from participating in the Church?  No. Holding positions that enrich other members lives? No, but these are assignments, not callings due to membership obligations.

I guess everyone wants to dodge the real point the Pope and I was making about a right to a family.  I doubt very much that the Pope was addressing being a brother/son/uncle.  And either was I.  But. you knew that, and you still decided to lob this as some kind of answer to what the Pope was stating.  Anything to not confront the realities of a gay couple.  Yeah I get it.  The Church does this all the time.  They have taught the members well. 

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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

Some think it is perfectly worth it to live a celebrate life. You know yours is only half of two opposing perspectives a person might have.

So tell me, what is the other half of that perspective?

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28 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I'm coming from the perspective that physical attraction/physical affection is an eternal part of who we are, because for me, marriage is way more than a good level of teamwork and communication.  And there is not one cell in body that is physically attracted to women.   

 

If we are perfected in Christ and become like him, does a lame person stay lame? Does a mentally ill person remain ill? Does a person filled with mortal passions retain their passions? Does an alcoholic remain an alcoholic? Where does perfection begin and end?  

I have heard a few of our brothers on this Board say they would just not like heaven if they could not remain gay. How can a mortal make such a statement when we have no understanding or comprehension of being an eternal being at present? 

My grandfather was an alcoholic and died one. I am sure his mortal mind would not like to think of a heaven where he could not drink. For him alcohol was enjoyed heavily the last thirty years of his life.

I believe that none of us has any understanding, nor will we ever gain in this life an understanding of what it means to be perfected in and through Christ. What I believe is that if we honestly strive with an eye single to his glory and remain sinful - which we will - we will be perfected through our Savior. Nothing is more important than that relationship with God - not our relationship with our spouse, our children, or anyone else. The question will remain throughout this mortal life, will you follow me?  

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21 minutes ago, california boy said:

 It seems like a dodge to the REAL point I was making.

Have I ever disagreed with that point either in this thread or the past?

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