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The ‘Gender Equality Law’ Hysteria in Armenia

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(Special to the Armenian Weekly)

YEREVAN (A.W.)—In May 2013, Armenia’s Parliament adopted the law on “Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities for Men and Women.” For the past two months, adoption of this piece of legislation has been the topic of an extremely frenzied debate. The discussion became even more heated during the last two weeks of August, when it drew in voices from almost all segments of Armenian society, including civil society groups, the church, nationalists, traditionalists, state representatives, various NGOs, human rights advocates, bloggers, the mass media, pop stars, and political parties.

Women's Resource Center participating in a demonstration for increased equality Yerevan. (Photo by Svetlana Antonyan)

Women’s Resource Center participating in a demonstration for increased equality Yerevan. (Photo by Svetlana Antonyan)

The main focus, at least in the beginning of this hysteria, was Article 3 of the legislation, wherein gender is defined as the “acquired, socially fixed behavior of persons of different sexes.” Essentially, this definition of gender was either ill understood, not understood at all, or deliberately distorted by many, making gender related issues—LGBT among them—the most discussed topic in Armenia.

The law

Although many believe that the law was orchestrated to destroy traditional Armenian values, it is in fact the over-reaction to its adoption that was orchestrated.

If we look at the process of the draft law’s preparation, it becomes clear why it was the logical continuation of the gender equality policy. Back in 2009, then-MPs Heghine Bisharyan and Hovhannes Margaryan from Orinats Erkir (Rule of Law Party) proposed the bill. Until 2011, hearings regarding this bill proposal were delayed in parliament several times until the government of Armenia proposed a similar bill. Since the proposed bills were almost identical, a decision was made to combine the two. As a result, the draft of what was adopted this May as law was created.

Hearings on this new draft bill were once again delayed in parliament. In May 2012, parliamentary elections were held, and the expected hearings in the newly elected parliament were delayed twice, as there was a need to reexamine the proposed drafts. Eventually, parliament held the long awaited hearings this past May, and the draft became law No. 57 on “Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities for Men and Women.”

Here, it is worth mentioning that unlike this law, other official state decisions pertaining to gender equality had never attracted the ire of Armenian society. Armenia had developed its gender equality policy long ago; the adoption of law No. 57 was nothing new.

In 2010, the government adopted a protocol decision on gender equality, which clearly indicates priority areas, main goals, and strategies for the implementation of gender policy. “Gender equality fosters sustainable development, intensifies democratic processes, and contributes to vital activity and organization of public life for the real equality of all social groups, for solidarity, cooperation and tolerance, for the effective utilization of human potential, and for better quality of life.” These words, written in the protocol decision, never caused exasperation, and there was not a single person, let alone an organized mob, that publicly attacked this decision or blamed women’s groups for sabotaging the image of the traditional Armenian family. Everyone seemed to agree with the concepts of gender and gender equality.

There was also another protocol decision that established strategies and action plans of a gender equality policy for the years 2011-15. Again, no one’s rights were violated by this decision, no one’s traditional Armenian family was perverted, no one seemed to even care that the government defined a task of “including gender component in state policy of education and science”(No. 28) in this decision, and no one suggested gender equality would jeopardize the future of their children.

In 2004, the government adopted decision No. 645 on establishing a “National Project for Improving the Status of Women and Enhancing Their Role in Public” for the years 2004-10. The decision had many components, including the task of enhancing knowledge of gender equality-related issues in educational and state institutions. Why didn’t the same individuals, who now attack those working towards gender equality in Armenia, speak against this 2004 decision? Where were they then?

In 2012, a methodology guidebook titled “Gender Sensitive Indicators” was published by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. Apart from national legislature, Armenia also signed several international treaties. In 1993, Armenia signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and in 1995 joined the Fourth World Conference on Women’s Beijing Declaration. Armenia also signed the UN Millennium Declaration and agreed to the Millennium Development Goals, the third goal of which aims at promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.

None of these decisions, treaties, or documents engendered a fraction of the anger that the bill on “Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities for Men and Women” seems to face.

Despite the fact that the above-mentioned decisions are aimed at promoting gender equality, and consequently improving the general notion of what gender is, none of these steps have resulted in a tangible shift in women’s role in society.

On paper, the state policy of pushing forward gender equality was a good process, and showed that at least on an institutional level concrete actions were being taken. Unfortunately, the implementation of these actions remained solely on a formal level. The 2013 law, too, was a routine gender equality-related law that likely would have remained on paper, and not become a robust working piece of legislation or bring about palpable changes. What is extremely vexing is that reaction to the adoption of this law was overwhelming, and people who were unaware of Armenia’s gender equality path felt that gender equality was an extremely exotic and alien phenomenon, something that contradicted everything Armenian.

 

Reaction

Reaction to the law was a clear indicator that there is little to absolutely no concept of what gender equality really is, and why it is vital for women in any society.

The word “gender” quickly became an adjective. Ardent opponents of this law used the word to describe anything perverted and sinful, which aimed to undermine traditional Armenian values, families, and even history. Some opponents went further, and equated gender equality with homosexuality, mindful of the high levels of homophobia in Armenia. According to a survey conducted by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), 96 percent of Armenian respondents—representing the highest percentage in the South Caucasus—said homosexuality could never be justified (see also CivilNet’s video segment about the overall level of intolerance in Armenia). Some now view the debate as a strategic move to unite the homophobic masses against gender equality.

Amnesty International’s latest report presents hate crimes, discrimination, and harassment cases against LGBTI individuals in Armenia—another indicator of homophobia. The same persons who endorsed the firebombing  of the gay-friendly DIY bar in Yerevan and the events that followed are  the same persons who supported those who attacked and hijacked the International Diversity Day March last year. They are also the same individuals who were part of a protest movement against screening the film “Prada,” which deals with LGBT issues and which was organized by the German Embassy and the European Union (E.U.).

The so-called “Pan-Armenian Parental Committee” joined the smear campaign against the gender equality law, fueling the anger. The main platform they used for disseminating hate speech and disinformation was their Facebook page, where they posted articles and videos (many in Russian) of suspicious origin and content. This page quickly garnered 7,000 “Likes.” The creators used it actively and did not stop with only hate speech; they also started labeling specific individuals—who had publicly expressed their concerns regarding the growing hysteria and manipulation surrounding the issue—and posting their pictures, and granting them a made-up “Prominent Gender of Armenia” award. One of their prominent members, Arman Boshyan, along with many provocations and vague definitions, said during a press conference that “the Armenian government gives money from state budget for gender propaganda,” adding, “I assure you, 99 percent of Armenia’s population is against [gender propaganda].”

The name of another Facebook group tells all—“No to ‘Gender’ Law! No to National Treason.” The only difference between the page of the “Pan-Armenian Parental Committee” and this group is that it is not a page but a group, which means that all members (and not just one person) can contribute to it. In terms of content, the two are almost identical, except with the latter, the discourse is more aggressive.

A quick glance at the content of this group is more than enough to understand the level of hatred and aggressiveness espoused by its members: “Gender is perversion. We won’t let it be. Gender = transvestite,” “Gender = homosexuality,” “Stay human or become gender? This is the question,” are but a few of the posted comments. The group is also pushing a petition against the “legalization of sexual perversion” and have a message to all Armenians, where they claim that the definition of gender in the law is “ambiguous and is beyond traditional legal perception of equality of men and women.” Members of this campaign will soon hold a demonstration.

Various mass media organizations have also joined this big game. Numerous articles have appeared both in printed and online newspapers. TV reports didn’t lag behind, and very ably manipulated the issue. Armenia TV produced a report that claimed that “parliamentarians decided that [biological] sex is not a gift of nature but a gender.” The author of the report also highlighted the section of the draft law that mentions the state should have supervision over gender equality, and commented, “this means that new monuments of women according to gender will soon be installed in the city, or some artists will write articles saying that Mother Armenia is a male and a Roman Soldier in the Cascade is a female. The state will do anything to have women priests, women generals, and women criminals in law…we will start celebrating Day of Fathers and Unshaved Faces.”

Another completely distorted report, which took the words of Women’s Resource Center founder Lara Aharonian out of context, was disseminated by the TV station A1+ and broadcasted by ArmNews. The report made it seem as though Aharonian’s response, during a press conference, to the question, “Could a person be taught how to become a homosexual” was, “If society teaches so, then [they] should learn so.” In reality, such a question was never posed and Aharonian’s response was to a completely different question. Later, the real unedited short version footage of the press conference  revealed the truth.

Not only were TV stations, newspapers, and Facebook groups part of this hysteria, but also public figures. “From Sept. 14-21 a meeting of homosexuals will soon be organized in Armenia that is financed by some European organization. The meeting will have 23 homosexuals. Their hotel expenses will be covered, as well as 70 percent of their travel expenses. It is homosexuality propaganda,” said former MP Khatchig Stambolcyan, commenting on recent developments. As it turned out later, Stambolcyan was referring to the youth project of the Armenian Progressive Youth NGO, called “Gender Perspectives in Europe.” The Armenian Progressive Youth NGO refuted Stambolcyan’s comments, and clarified that the project was organized in the framework of the EU-funded “Youth in Action” program. It demanded that Stambolcyan publicly apologize or face slander charges. Stambolcyan hasn’t yet apologized, and is still determined to “fight against foreign forces.”

Famous pop culture personalities Lusine Badalyan (aka Lulu) and Nazeni Hovhannisyan, too, joined the anti-gender-equality mainstream. Both were active on social media sites, expressing their concerns and essentially endorsing the hateful and aggressive mob mentality with their posts and comments.

Bishop Bagrat Galstyan, the head of the Social Doctrine Department of the Holy See, posted an article on his personal Facebook page that was later disseminated by online media. In his article, he too criticized the definition of gender in the law, saying, “this perception bears absolutely no relationship to the equality of rights between men and women,” later suggesting that the word gender be replaced with “men and women,” which, according to him, would resolve all the existing problems.

Another priest, Shmavon Ghevodyan, said in an interview, “I think last year the gay parade was prevented due to social networks,” in a reference to the aforementioned International Diversity Day March. “Why cannot we tell Europe that our national identity does not let us legalize homosexuality,” he asked, despite the fact that homosexual acts have not been illegal in Armenia since 2003, and Armenia is one of 94 states that supported the UN declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity in 2008. Not a single priest was against this UN declaration back then. “It is wrong that we have gotten used to the idea that there must be homosexuals near us,” he added.

The Armenian police were also quick to react. A draft of an amendment to the Administrative Code was posted on the official website of the police department. The proposal suggested placing high fines on individuals and organizations if they were found to be spreading “propaganda on non-traditional sexual relationships.” (There was no definition provided of what a non-traditional sexual relationship might be.) Overall, the proposal was too vague to become a piece of legislation. Despite the fact that it was later withdrawn due to “shortcomings,” it greatly contributed to the gender hysteria.

The actions of these groups, mass media representatives, and individuals cumulatively caused tremendous harm to many human rights organizations, women’s groups, and individuals, whose positive image in Armenian society was deliberately spoiled. The Women’s Resource Center received many threats and was accused of promoting sexual perversion, leading its members to take additional measures for their personal safety. Thirty-six organizations issued a joint statement regarding threats against the Women’s Resource Center.

 

Result

The government shortly after replaced the word “gender” with “men and women” in law No. 57, which had been almost unanimously adopted—108 for, and not a single against. The change in the law was the result of great pressure by the above-mentioned groups and individuals. Heghine Bisharyan, who had co-authored the law, quickly stepped back after witnessing the hysteria, and noted that “previously their draft bill didn’t contain the definition of gender.”

The government too bears fault here. The anti-gender campaign included a large portion of anti-government rhetoric.

And, not only was its response inadequate in stopping the dissemination of misinformation and hatred, but its decision also created a precedent. This precedent proved that by using misinformation, slander, and egregiously hostile extremist groups, and uniting them against any issue (experience shows that the easiest way to unite them is to use anti-gay and anti-gender equality rhetoric), it will be possible to force change. No one has guarantees that these easily controlled and easily manipulated groups will not be used later to stifle other civil movements by the ruling regime itself, by different oligarchs, or by third parties that have leverage on the mass media and those orchestrating such hysteria.

An overpowering wave of misogynistic, homophobic, and unjustified hatred covered Armenian society for two months. And it was a hard blow to the sustainable development of Armenian society. It will take a great deal of time for civil society to overcome its repercussions, and move towards efforts to refrain from reacting similarly in the future.

Samson Martisosyan is The Armenian Weekly correspondent in Yerevan.

39 Comments on The ‘Gender Equality Law’ Hysteria in Armenia

  1. Everyone, we assume, already has equal rights by the Armenian Constitution without having to start these special categories of gender, transgender, race, religion etc. which can only lead to the absurd situation you see in the “politically correct” U.S., where these things lead to affirmative actions programs, quotas, forced busing, young girls getting knocked around on boys’ sports teams, and, of course, same sex marriage.

    Do we need same sex marriage in Armenia where the birth rate is plunging and abortion, used as birth control, is rising?

    No. Does Armenia need the confusion that transgenderism and unisexism will introduce? No.

    Imitating the U.S. and Europe with all these new categories of humans will actually lead to the splintering of society and the destruction of Armenian traditions.

    Such movements in the West are also outright anti-religious. Our church has enough problems without weakening it further with outright hostility to Christianity, which is what you see in the U.S. and Europe.

    There are good things to import from the West, but rampant “political correctness” and feminism run amuck are not among them.

    Let us be careful with our millenia old Armenian culture before we ruin it completely with alien ideas.

    • Yes, how dare Armenia adopt alien ideas from other cultures. Now let’s get back to following that Israeli religion we adopted in 301 after dismissing our native religion.

  2. Completely agree with the previous coment, but … also afree with the follwing statement in the article “Although many believe that the law was orchestrated to destroy traditional Armenian values, it is in fact the over-reaction to its adoption that was orchestrated.” And I think now I know why exactly such reaction was orchestrated at this particular time: to condition the population of Armenia into choosing Russia’s Custom Union over EU. Whoever was behind that tactics has clearly attained the goal.

  3. avatar Simon Beugekian // September 20, 2013 at 3:09 pm // Reply

    What vexes me more than anything else is this stagnant understanding of “Armenian culture,” as understood by the above comments and by millions of Armenians. It is as if “culture” is a concrete, non-dynamic entity, handed down from previous generations, a rare, fragile vase that currents generations are supposed to revere and dote over. That is not culture. Culture is a constant process of creation. And culture is NOT meant to stifle individuals. Clearly, even if tomorrow Armenia decided to legalize same-sex marriage, Armenian culture would be unharmed, otherwise, it sure is a fragile, weak institution. You could certainly not argue, for example, that somehow the fact that the Netherlands recognizes same-sex marriages has any effect on Dutch culture. Because, simply, it doesn’t. Those are afraid that Armenian culture is under threat should reflect that if the culture they’re defending does not need their protection. It is milennia old, and it will survive new understandings of sexuality.

    Gender IS the social expression of sex. And one whose sex is male may be female by gender. The entire world of academia and psychology accept this. But now we’re supposed to reject this fact because we think our culture is threatened by it? I, for one, have better things to do with my time.

  4. Based on media reports over the last decade, Armenia appears to have become full of crazy, fascistic, racist, extremist organisations. A lot are, typically, one-man operations formed so that some nutcase can pontificate about how un-Armenian every other Armenian is compared to his wonderful self, and how the entire Armenian nation is rapidly heading towards extinction because of this. However, many others are front organisations for political parties, for the criminal oligarchs, or for the increasingly extremist Armenian Church, a body that appears to consider itself the “owner” of every Armenian. And individuals from the nutcase category of organisation seem to easily progress into the front-organisation category. Let us recall that Lia Avetisyan, head of that “Pan-Armenian Parental Committee” (and also assistant professor at the Department of Divinity, Yerevan State University), has previously given us her wisdom on Valentine day cards (she thinks buying them is like buying sex dolls) and on Armenian cuisine (she thinks we would all still be cannibals if it were not for Armenian cooking being much tastier than eating humans). Armenia cannot afford to allow these idiots to replace legitimate public discourse and make the country and its people into a laughing stock.

  5. 1 Corinthians 6:9
    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals.

  6. whatever, lol, waisting time to write this nonsense, Armenia is the first Christian country, no gender laws will survive here, homosexuality and blah blah are sins, period, whether you like it or not

  7. Whatever one’s position on these social issues, threats of physical violence against staff at the Women’s Center, as well as actual physical assaults on environmental and other civil society activists, shame Armenia in the eyes of the world.

  8. avatar Simon Beugekian // September 21, 2013 at 12:35 pm // Reply

    Rubin, you are an ignoramus, and a relic of the 15th century.

    Whether you like it or not.

  9. avatar Marat Akopian, PhD // September 22, 2013 at 10:30 am // Reply

    This is a tendentious article that is full of half-truths or outright lies. “Gender” is a theory peddled by feminists, homosexual activists, and in general by the “progressive,” Marxist Left. You do not write your laws on the basis of social theories.

    And please stop lying that promotion of the concepts of “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” in law and education has no social and cultural consequences. Just examine how quickly their aggressive state-sponsored promotion has destroyed the fabric of societies in practically all Western countries with the exception of the ever-shrinking pockets in the United States.

    What Armenia needs now is two laws – one that will criminalize propaganda of homosexuality, transgenderism, and sexually deviant behavior in general among the youth; second, a law that will require all non-governmental organizations and institutions (such as the European Youth Parliament) to publish once a year an audited statement of their sources of funding. People have the right to know who the puppeteers behind these puppets are.

    • avatar Patvakanian // September 22, 2013 at 2:59 pm //

      With due respect to all points brought forward, and not speaking on behalf of other institutions but solely European Youth Parliament (EYP) – Armenia in the projects of which I have been involved several times, I would like to highlight some points that might have been left out of your consideration while giving out the statement and labeling the activities of an organization as a propaganda. EYP Armenia is one of the best independent educational projects currently operating in Armenia, which, by the way, has never ever undertaken projects targeted at the propaganda of the homosexuality or things of similar content but rather gave a platform to the Armenian youth to debate. This can easily be traced through their official linkedin page (http://www.linkedin.com/in/eyparmenia). Furthermore, information on the funding sources of the European Youth Parliament is compiled on their official web-page, where you could have found out the main scope of their activities before giving out a statement (http://www.eyp.org/).

      As mentioned in the given sources, the main activities of the organization cover conferences and sessions on the issues persistent in Armenia and Europe, with the recent topics being the euro crisis and the EU & EaP prospects of cooperation. As a result of the sessions and conferences in Armenia, 4 times a year, 5 outstanding Armenian students are chosen to represent the country and its perspective on a range of issues at the International EYP Session that gathers around 300 students from all over Europe. And I strongly believe that calling those Armenian students who represent the country’s interests and are given an opportunity to express their opinion on such events “puppets” is at least disrespectful.

      Summing up all points that have been put forward, as a researcher to researcher, whenever you make a statement do not let it be undermined by the absence of the facts and firm grounds. However tempting it is to label an organization containing the word “European”, in the long run, we are researchers and not high school students.

  10. There is no PC (Political Correctness) issue here that the West seeks to enforce on the rest of the globe. It is that we as a species have figured out that human sexuality and gender are not black and white as we have thought before. There are levels of femininity and masculinity as there are level of sexuality, not to mention sexual orientation. Behavioral psychology and neuroscience reveals this intricate diversity. So as a society, trying to be as enlightened as possible, want to adopt social policies and laws which seek to recognize and foster understanding of people who may not necessarily be like us. Whether this results in cultural change or not is a different issue all together.

    If we want to be progressive and embrace the 21st century and join the rest of the world on these matters, then we really have no choice but to adapt and accept these norms. It is not being forced down our throats, just that not accepting these findings makes us look silly and in danger of being left behind in the Victorian Era or further back in antiquity. Perfect examples are the groups who belong to one fundamental religious group or another. Such groups are becoming less and less influential as far as progress is concerned; they really are not contributing to our understanding as a species much less to our existences in the Universe. Sorry but progress always wins and 4.5 billion years of Earth’s existence, not to mention the eons of human evolution, should be ample evidence of this. Furthermore, religion is very much irrelevant and people should really wake up to the elegant notion that religion is slowly becoming less and less relevant in modern society, in part due to discoveries in the sciences. It seems like religion is being dragged into the 21st century, albeit kicking and screaming, but that is how the world works; the only constant is change, so you either change or perish.
    The rest of the comments about this idea of homogenous Armenian Identity and the threat of loss to our culture and traditions is simple fear arising out of ignorance. There is no such thing as a model Armenian… I would challenge those commentators who peddle such moronic notions to give some empirical evidence as to what the Armenian Identity means much less what types of behavior strays us away from it or the Armenian traditions. Please provide some credible sources that make rational arguments for your proposition.

  11. Bishop Ghevodyan says:
    “It is wrong that we have gotten used to the idea that there must be homosexuals near us,”

    It is wrong to shun our brothers and sisters because of who they choose to love. Like it or not, they ARE among us. We have a simple choice: to live and let live. We don’t have to like their choice, but as Christians, we are not their judge. That is left to God. Rather than teaching intolerance, our clergy should be demonstrating Christ’s love. As the first Christian nation, we should be first in following the teachings of Christ: (John 13 34-36)”A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35″By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

    I fear homosexuals and empowered females much less than I do the hypocrits in positions of authority who boast about our Christian nation and ‘cherry pick’ biblical teachings to support un-Christian attitudes.

  12. To change the culture and traditions of a society in major ways without good reason is highly suspect. It is not “hysteria” to be be cautious. We are all for change for the better, but we must first ask whether the change is truly better. It is up to those who wish to see a particular change to prove their point, but often they do not and cannot do so. The status quo does not have to do as much explainging. Ridding ourselves of corruption is self-obviously good. Endorsing an institution such as same-sex marriage or polygamy is not. Some of you are impetuous and think that just because someone says that he or she wants “equal rights” that this means we should change, in a very, very fundamental way, an institution that has been around since time immemorial, as if somehow the institution has come down to us as some sort of accident.
    You know, we can throw out marriage, religion, and all sorts of things, but do you have evidence that this will bring us as individuals and as a society a better life? The answer is probably no. You can form special interest groups to perhaps intimidate others, and imitate more “advanced” countries, but you probably cannot make a compelling case. Tradition and culture have been passed down to us over thousands of years. We must be careful when we decide to make fundamental changes. Frankly, younger people without the necessary experience and respect often are the ones pushing these ideas. I wonder if they have been brainwashed by the media into accepting certain popular ideas of the day.

    • That “respect” you talk of in Armenia nowadays is often just used as a front for the protection of the failed, the incompetent, the corrupt, and the criminal. Proper respect should be earned – it is not something attained automatically with age, like gray hair. If Armenia wants to live in the modern world, with its citizens protected by the security and certainty of international laws and human rights, you can’t start to cherrypick which of those laws and rights you want for Armenia, or be selective about who gets those rights and who is denied them. And the law had nothing remotely to do with “same-sex marriage or polygamy”!

  13. Every citizen has equal rights under the Armenian Constitution regardless “levels” of femininity and masculinity, sexuality or sexual orientation. I guess the point of discord in the society at large is whether there really is a need to emphasize the rights of selected individuals who are not like the prevailing majority of people. Is this the issue of monumental societal importance to elevate it to the level of national parliament and adopt a specific law? I strongly doubt it. In my mind, it is this artificial exclusivity that’s being attached to one group among many other in the country that triggers societal discontent and criticism.

    Nomad: not everything that the rest of the world does maybe “progressive and embracing of the 21st century” for an individual nation. You exhibit the traits of that appalling globalist thinking which attempts to undermine individuality, national uniqueness, religion, citizenship, etc. There are certain things that a given nation can adopt and certain things that it won’t, given, yes, its cultural traditions, historical evolution, system of values, postulates of faith, etc.

    Boyajian: to judge is surely an unChrist-like behavior, however, to give what is holy to dogs and to throw pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6) is similarly unChrist-like. If judging is left to God—and it is—then leave the issue in peace without adopting mundane laws.

    Bible is one, indivisible Word of God. It is ungodly not to love one another, however, our brotherly love does not lessen nor is it a panacea in the eyes of God for the sin that each of us commits. One group of sinners may be adulterers, another may be idolaters, yet another may be homosexual,s for it is written: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination (Leviticus 18:22). But a national parliament does not adopt laws with regard to adulterers or idolaters, does it?

  14. Nomad said this:

    “There is no such thing as a model Armenian… I would challenge those commentators who peddle such moronic notions to give some empirical evidence as to what the Armenian Identity means much less what types
    of behavior strays us away from it or the Armenian traditions. Please provide some credible sources that make rational arguments for your proposition.”

    Sireli Nomad:
    No one here has even remotely suggested that there is a “model Armenian.” You made that term up. Don’t put words in people’s mouths. As I said before, the status quo does not have to explain much of anything. It is those who wish to change things that must make compelling arguments. If you can’t do it, that is the end of it.
    In other words, you can go ahead and question everything if you like, but it’s not up to society to answer your questions and prove themselves to you. Instead, it is up to you to tell us what is wrong, why it is wrong, what the negative effects are, and why changing things would necessarily be better. Society does not exist for you to change or manipulate.

  15. This type of law has been opposed by citizens of the United States of America all along, but to no avail: The Government of the USA, includes the Judicial Branch, including the Supreme Court, the Legislative Branch, which includes both houses of Congress and the Executive Branch which includes the man who has steadfastly lied to Armenian Americans regarding his promise to correctly characterize the Armenian Genocide. The U.S. Government has paid no attention to the will of the American voters regarding abortion, same-sex marriage, and gender equality: We vote the issues down, and the government over-rides us. Armenia is a nation with strong traditional values that have been successfully fought-for over millennia, and has experienced the attempted destruction of those values during the Soviet era. Gender equality laws are not needed nor wanted in the USA but are being forced upon us by a rogue government full of atheists. The Republic of Armenia doesn’t need laws like this either, unless of course the push is for a return to the ways of communism. Don’t allow it, my brothers and sisters.

  16. A country should never be guided by what Bible or any other religious book says on ethics when making laws. And identifying homophobia or hatred of freedom of sexual orientation to “national uniqueness or identity” is the most nonsesical thing to assert. Progressive societies today are not progressing because of following the teachings of their traditional religions, but because of adopting universally accepted and historically tested ethical, moral norms and values in theri legislations, which in many cases are strongly opposed to religious dogma. It is a pity to see how our society is shooting itself in the foot clinging to oudated norms and values through mob tactics and demagogy. It is no surprise that macho culture goes well hand in hand with the “culture” of oligarchs who determine eventually everything in Armenia.

    • “A country should never be guided by what Bible or any other religious book says on ethics when making laws.”

      Arshag, ethics, as we all know, is moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior. These moral principles are being evolved throughout a group’s historical course, peculiarities of its development, traditions, system of values, conventional wisdom, and, whether you like it or not, its formed pious viewpoints. No one is suggesting that a country be guided by what a religious book says. Theocracy is as untenable system of government as any other form of government, including so-called democracy. But to disregard the factor of faith in the public conscience is outrightly iconoclastic or myopic at best. Besides, if it is true that a country should not be guided by what the Word of God says on ethics, then by what should it be guided? Resolutions of the European Union?

      “And identifying homophobia or hatred of freedom of sexual orientation to “national uniqueness or identity” is the most nonsesical thing to assert.”

      Several commentators here asserted that Armenia’s Constitution guarantees equal rights to all citizens. If a person shows homophobia that resulted in his or her violation of law, a person will face a trial. Whay is there a need to adopt specific laws on “gender equality”?

      What are the historically tested ethical, moral norms and values in the legislations of “progressive societies”? These societies can be progressive until they turn blue in face, but is it so hard to accept that other societies can have their historically tested ethical, moral norms and values? Has anyone the right to determine which historically tested ethical, moral norms and values are more progressive or less progressive?

      “Universally accepted” norms? Another showing of a globalist thinking. You mean to say that these “universally accepted” norms are also accepted in the countries like China, rest of Asia, the Muslim world, Latin America, Africa? I strongly doubt that they are or will ever be.

    • The Armenian Constitution guarantees democracy as well, yet Armenia is a pathetic little authoritarian state that not even Armenians want to live in. The Armenian Constitution is a ridiculously drafted document full of contradictions. Just because it “guarantees” something does not mean it’s enforceable. Sometimes the people need specific laws that have more teeth. Real, developed countries understand this.

      A country should be guided by the rule of law and democracy, not someone’s version of a book written 2000 years ago. You let people live in a democratic state, and each will decide how best to live his or her life. You try to force your Biblical values on them, and they will spit on the country and leave, just as they are doing now. The separation of Church and State is for the benefit of the Church. There is a reason why the Armenian Catholicos, who is basically government’s agent, is disrespected by so many Armenians.

      China, the rest of Asia, the Muslim world, and Africa are filled with pathetic dictatorships that people flee from, and they go to live in the developed democracies. Why would we want to be like the losers of this world instead of its winners?

    • Vahagn,

      I could lambast your pathetic argument that “just because the Armenian Constitution guarantees something does not mean it’s enforceable” by bringing in several articles in the U.S. Constitution that are guaranteed but not enforceable. Your beloved U.S. Constitution is full of contradictions, too, in case you didn’t know. Electoral college and the right to print money are just a couple of many, many more.

      No one here argues that a country should be guided by the rule of law. In case you couldn’t read carefully, the issue was the ethical norms, not the laws. No law, even if it is super- extra- hyper-democratic, can offer ethical norms for a nation to follow, because ethics, as moral principles that govern a nation’s behavior, are the result of historical, cultural, traditional, and religious evolution of a nation.

      There is only ONE version of a holy book given to us by God. I strongly doubt that you ever read it. Or you can only read Constitutions? Had you read it, you wouldn’t write balderdash that the Bible ”was written 2000 years ago”. 2000 years ago Jesus Christ was born to the world, but the Old Testament predates this and, by the way, whether 2000 years ago or 6000 years ago, the Word of God, by definition, has no statute of limitation.

      The Armenian Catholicos may be disrespected, but his persona has nothing to do with the notion of faith and our relationship with God. He is just another fallible human being. Nowhere is it written that you must have an intermediary in your communications with God.

      Losers-winner nations, huh? When the Armenians, having lived on their ancestral lands for several millennia, were being exterminated by Turkish barbarians, your all-time winner Western democracies not only did nothing to stop them, but even encouraged them directly or indirectly (Germans, Brits) to continue wiping out an indigenous Christian nation. Some “winners”, indeed…

    • John, my dear Lebanese-Armenian anti-American compatriot. If you think someone’s arguments are pathetic, I suggest that you show it instead of labeling. Using labels only exposes your desperation and weakness, which is typical of conspiracy theorists.

      Every article of the U.S. constitution is enforceable. There is a reason that it has persisted for 200+ years with relatively few changes. Nor there are any contradictions in it. Electoral college is not a contradiction, it’s just the way presidents are elected. It has worked for 200 years, including when Bush was elected. Armenians would dream to have such a system. Nor is printing money a contradiction. The U.S. constitution allows the Congress to coin money. Contrary to what you conspiracists claim, there is nothing there that prohibits the Federal Reserve from setting reserve limits in banks and thus increasing the money supply.

      Just as any other book (be it the Illiad or the Qoran), the bible is merely a book with written text which can be used as a toilet paper (I don’t think God would mind, as all his children have the right to be clean). You say the bible is one and unchangeable. God never told me that. Sorry for not taking your word as infallible. Nor did God ever tell me that you or anyone else has the right to impose his version of the bible on the rest of the people. It’s the surest way to piss people off and make them flee the country (kind of what’s happening in Armenia now).

      Just because the West encouraged genocides does not make these countries losers, it just makes them unethical. I would rather be a member of a winner nation that acts unethically than an ethical nation that is a perennial loser. Plus, we Armenians are not above being unethical, so we might as well learn (from winners) to act as winners. For instance, we drove our Azeri brothers out of the country. Some might find it unethical, but it felt good, and in the end it worked out fine for both peoples (by avoiding the Israeli-Palestinian mess).

      I hope you will not whine that I did not address all your points. I usually try to address your least unreasonable arguments. Curing your full-blowing conspiracism is beyond my agenda, which is spreading the idea that our salvation is not “unity,” “God,” or other bs slogans, but democracy, so we can finally stop begging and start controlling our destiny.

      PS: why do you keep changing your avatar, by the way. Are you switching from one email to another? What are you doing, trying to hide from the New World Order?

    • Vahagn,

      AW’s own, inimitable propagandist-democramaniac, I strongly doubt you’re my compatriot, frankly. Therefore, please no more ‘compatriot’, ‘dear’, or other bs. As for ‘anti-American’, I, God as my witness, attempted several times to drub into your head that being critical of a government (isn’t this supposed to be a constitutional right, by the way?) is far from being anti-national. Yet, you still repeat the same label. But, of course, if you get a charge out of sadomasochism, I can somehow understand.

      Haven’t I offered you to show that you argument re: “Every article of the U.S. constitution is enforceable” is pathetic? Haven’t I written “I could lambast it”? Well, you asked and it’ll be given to you based on facts, not ‘conspiracy theory’ bs to which you love to resort when counterarguments dry out.

      According to the original plan, as laid out in the constitution, the candidate who receives BOTH the most votes and votes from more than half of the electors would become president. Yet, in the elections of 1876, 1888, and as recently as in 2000, when the worst president in the history of the United States was “elected”, an Electoral college gave a winner who didn’t receive the plurality of the nationwide vote. If this is not an example of a constitutional article guaranteed but not enforced, then what is it? Since the election of a president is not decided by the principle “one-person one-vote”, does it not violate the democratic principle of political equality?

      The constitution does allow the Congress to coin money and, in case you didn’t know, regulate the value thereof, too. That is, the constitution guarantees this right, but is it enforceable? Sorry to disappoint. The Federal Reserve system, a privately owned banking cartel, regulates the value of money. If this is not a sheer contradiction with the constitution, then what is it? And, mind you, these are not fantasies of “conspiracists” as opposed to government-brainwashed democracists. According to the Federal Reserve own website, “the twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks […] are organized much like private corporations”.

      I’m trying not to waste much of my time belaboring the obvious, but should you need other examples, in which US constitutional articles are guaranteed but not enforced, just let me know.

      To a person who can descend so low as to say that “bible is merely a book with written text which can be used as a toilet paper”, I’ll just save my breath. You didn’t denigrate the feelings of the faithful; you just showed your abysmal ignorance and incivility.

      And no, it is not just unethical of the West to have encouraged genocides that made those nations losers. It made them losers because these “democratic” nations did so from political, first and foremost, and not just unethical considerations. I would rather be a member of a nation of which I am a member. Period. And pride myself with the historical fact that hardly ever had my nation been barbaric towards other nations or showed culpable negligence, if it was able to help, when a whole fellow-Christian nation was being wiped out. Azeri “brothers”? Since when Azeris have become “brothers” to the Armenians? Since their barbarism in Sumgait, Kirovobad, Maragha, and Baku, where Armenians were being thrown out of their houses and burnt alive? Driving Azeris out of the country was retaliation to their savagery. At least, Christian Armenians did not descent to barbarity. Or you seriously expect the Armenians to show brotherly love towards murderers, rapists, and looters? The question is not whether or not population relocations “worked out fine for both peoples”. The question is which side was first to resort to violence thus showing the level of its “civility”.

      When I read most of your points, I don’t whine. I pity. Especially when from one post to another, from one thread to another, a neverending, monotonous, and unsubstantiated propaganda for democracy, which could make one’s mouth sore already, is being repeated as mantra. As if democracy is a panacea for all woes. As if democracies never collapsed. As if historically only democracy—and only its American paradigm—worked efficiently for the people.

      PS: “why do you keep changing your avatar?” PPS: You don’t address all my points (not that I care), but choose to focus your attention on why I change my avatar or if switch from one email to another? Cheap, man. No. I’d do a favor to the sick globalists and their cabals, obsessed with the idea of total control, if I hide from the New World Order. Whenever possible, I meet these evil men head-on.

      May God have mercy on you.

    • Dear “john,” like it or not, we are compatriots, as we both are Armenians. Armenians are regular humans and, as such, are capable of thinking independently and expressing diverse ideas.

      Democracy may not solve every problem, but it puts a nation at a better position to solve its problems. Those democracies that have failed were defective. The American democracy, which is the longest lasting current republic, has proven to be the most optimal form, and it would be foolish for the republic of Armenia, a failing state, to not try that spectacularly successful system, which attracts one million immigrants every year, including thousands of our compatriots.

      You have not shown that the U.S. constitution is unenforceable. Nothing in the constitution says that a president has to be elected by the majority of the people. As for valuing the money, Congress can delegate that and other powers to other entities, in this case the Federal Reserve System, which was created by the Congress and is governed by people appointed by the President. The system has never been found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Our brothers in Armenia would dream to have that system than what they have now.

      The Azeris whom we drove away had not done anything to Armenians. Plus, we are all children of God and Homo Erectus, which means we are brothers. If you deny that while calling yourself a God-lover, that is hypocrisy. Being brothers does not mean loving each other. Some of the worst crimes have been committed between siblings.

    • Keep “dear” to your grandma next time, OK? And, again, I personally do not consider you a compatriot, there is more to your thoughts than just being “independent” and “diverse”. Let me refute them again. For all democracies: failed, defective, longer- or shorter-lasting. No democracy is permanent. No other form of government is permanent.

      “Remember, democracy never lasts long.” –John Adams

      “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.” –Alexander Tyler

      I think I’ve clearly shown that even though the constitution states that the candidate who receives both the most votes and votes from more than half of the electors would become president, in 1876, 1888, and 2000 an Electoral college produced a winner who didn’t receive the plurality of the nationwide vote. Thus, a constitutional article wasn’t enforced. By the way, doesn’t it bother you that the US is the only country in the world where a candidate can become president without having obtained the highest number of votes in a popular voting? However fraudulent the Armenian elections might or might not be, at least the voting mechanism, where the results of a general popular voting produce a president, seems to be more democratic than in the “spectacularly successful” American system. No wonder this system produces presidential candidates both of whom are puppets of the behind-the-scene societies.

      As for valuing the money, nothing in the US Constitution states that Congress can “delegate” the power of regulating the value of money to a private agency. In fact, it states exactly the opposite. There you have another unenforced constitutional article.

      I have many more such constitutional violations and contradictions for you. Just let me know.

      P.S. I call “brothers” only brothers-in-Christ. Also, nowhere in the Bible are other people “brothers”. Neighbors – yes.

    • Dear johnnie, as always, your quotes are out of context. Alexander Tyler made that statement before the establishment of the American democracy, the most robust and successful democracy in the world. Therefore, it’s irrelevant. John Adams was not talking about the American democracy, he was talking about the Greek-style direct democracy, which was doomed from the beginning.

      Contrary to your desire, not all democracies fail. Many are going on strong. The American democracy, the longest surviving one, continues its successful existence with no end in sight, thanks to its proven system and the fresh blood supplied by millions of newcomers, including thousands of Armenians leaving their doomed country. It only makes sense to adopt that system for Armenia so Armenians will want to live there.

      You have failed to show that the U.S. constitution requires majority in both the popular vote and the electoral vote for presidency. There is nothing undemocratic with a president occasionally being elected without popular majority, as long as he is elected with electoral majority. It gives smaller states slightly more power, which is fair and has worked just fine. More democratic does not mean better–America has managed to achieve the optimal degree of democracy, without going to extremes. Again, Armenians would dream of having that system in their country.

      The U.S. Constitution does not bar the Congress to delegate powers to other entities. Again, your arguments have failed. And finally, if you have any grandmother issues, I suggest you deal with them instead of embarrassing yourself publicly.

  17. As an example of how supposedly “progressive” the EU is: it is still continuing the membership process of that most “enlightened” of countries, Turkey. The majority in every EU country does not want Turkey to join, yet the membership process continues. This is progressivism? Germany and the rest of Europe has millions of Turks. This is progress?
    We should be very hesitant in following Europe into this pit of progressivism.
    This is not to approve of oligarchy and corruption in Armenia, but let us find our own way. We do not have to copy supposedly progressive countries.

  18. Vahe
    Firstly, no country can be blamed for having millions of Turks or other ehnic group in its territory. Secondly, the question of membership of Turkey in EU lingers on already for 40 years and it is as yet not certain at all how it will develop further. Thirdly, that is a foreign policy issue for Europe and not one which touches its own citizens, their rights and welfare. Without wanting to idealize Europe or advocating copying it blindly, it is a fact that what has made Europe what it is now is what attracts not only Turks and kurds, but also Armenians and East-Europeans.

  19. Yes, I agree that as a general principal, someone proposing change to the status quo has the burden to show good reasons for doing so; however this is not an absolute rule. In any case, as the article suggests, there are good reason to do so. In light of attacks against the LGBT community or even the centuries of patriarchal misogyny resulting in trampling of women’s rights, this a cause for concern; especially when we are representing to the global community that we are an enduring and collaborative society.

    Apparently a group is speaking up and asking for societal awareness of such issues surrounding gender equality which also encompasses other facets of socio-economic norms such as domestic and family issues. These concepts are not isolated but very much linked to one another. We know from history and social psychology that more gender and neutral laws lead to a more cohesive and collaborative society whereas a patriarchal or misogynistic societies give rise to social ills. Don’t tell me that our culture is not patriarchal, chauvinistic, misogynistic or macho. All we have to do is to take a look at our social (e.g. church/school/family units), governmental (parliament) and economic institutions (business) which are predominantly controlled by men. Guess what, the effect of such populated institutions is enormous; we don’t live in a vacuum and an atmosphere of patriarchal behavior gives rise to prejudicial and hateful society. Case in point, the high domestic violence or sex trade issues in Armenia.
    So there are rational reasons for proposing that gender neutral or gender protective laws be enacted because there are actual people who suffer under oppressed cultural/social and legal norms.
    Again I would ask you to define what you mean by tradition and culture that have been passed down to us, as you put it. I called it a “model Armenian” mainly because some critiques comments impied that gender issues or LGBT issues are non Armenian or not in compliance with the Armenian tradition and thus, those who do not fall in line with the Armenian tradition or culture can’t really be Armenian. Sort of a “no true Scotsman” type of problem. What is Armenian tradition, what is Armenian identity or even Armenian culture? This is essentially the crux of the issue because some people think these concepts are some sort of an immutable obelisk that any deviation to conform to those ideals makes us less Armenian. What characteristics or types of behavior can you list and provide support for in defining these concepts I just put forth? Because it seems to me that it is a grand delusion to have an all encompassing definition of what those things mean. Such understanding gives rise to in-group and out-group hostilities, fundamentally a tribalistic mentality. We as human beings have not yet overcome this rudimentary evolutionary program of discriminating one another. Sorry but I am not for it. This is not a very good way to form a collaborative and empathic society. There are all kinds of Armenians: blue, red, purple, Christian, Moslem, Jew, Gay, Straight, Transsexual, Feminist and Atheist.
    Aside from the substantive reply to your rejoinder; you and many commentators are using fallacious logic to support their premises. Namely, the appeal to popularity, appeal to antiquity and appeal to authority (even though the authority is not provided but is implied in the reasoning and alluded to very obscurely). Furthermore, this thread is replete with confusion of issues (i.e. same sex marriage, vs. polygamy, vs. gender equality). Each of these ideas is a separate and distinct topic. To illustrate this point, someone mentioned that gay marriage in Armenia will drive down the population or something silly like that. Well, I can tell you that at least as procreation is concerned, gay marriage is NOT a hindrance in bringing about offspring. People still, and will continue for a long time, to have the innate drive to procreate even if they cannot. There is such a thing as sperm and egg donors and in vitro fertilization, not to mention adoption. Homosexual couples have been adopting and having kids for decades now and every credible social study shows that they are just as loving and caring parents as heterosexual parents. At least that is the case in the US and other “Westernized” nations. If you want to look some of this stuff up I would suggest reading the arguments and evidence put forth in the Prop 8 cases that came out of California.
    Another confusion is this homosexuality versus gender equality which is insane really. One has nothing to do with the other but is wrapped up in the context of homophobia. Basically, this disapproval of a very normal/natural and observable human behavior, that a lot of Armenians are not very familiar with or frown upon. There really is no justifiable reason why homosexuality is wrong or immoral except some vague appeal to Christian doctrine, which is not a good reason in and of itself, and also a general fear arising out of icky activity in the bedroom. None of these reasons are very persuasive. Again, this is in-group and out-group hostility; because someone is different than me then I should fear him/her and treat him/her with suspicion and discriminate against him/her. Really, that is all it is and is perfectly illustrated by this very same article. No scientific or rational reason is provided by the pro homophobia camp as to why it’s bad or immoral, full stop.
    Aside from your condescending and misinformed comment, yes, young people are always the vanguards of change and therefore an easy target for escapgoating and perpetuating fear about their ideas and concerns. Maybe one day you were once feared in your earlier years, I suspect that was the case if you think about your early years. Generational change always happens and will continue to happen, to me as well, when I see a generation or two roll by in my life time. But again you seem to be operating on emotional reasons, mainly based on fear. Fear of the unknown, because it is changing and the world is becoming less and less predictable or certain for you and for your future. I suggest you try to understand it and embrace it; in other words adapt otherwise you will live off the rest of your life in obscurity and not appreciate the changes that are going on right around you.

  20. By “sustainable” do you mean sick dying Europe with its negative birth rate even in Catholic Italy? What exactly are these purported “European ” and “Western” values? Like the WMDs in Iraq, and alleged chemical weapons use by the Syrian government, I’m starting to think they are non-existent because the west has finally succumb to a slow insidious takeover highlighted by the John Birch Society decades ago. The Orwellian “West” is a place where war is “kinetic action”, and the sons, daughters, and grand children of Trotskyite communists prants about as “Neo Cons,” and where what began as “Sex education” has evolved into teaching 5 year olds about anal sex. Or do you mean “Europeans” like the Huns who released their ethnic kin ax killer azerbajani national hero safarov, who’s bravery was limited to killing a man in his sleep? When I look at “Europe” I see a wonderful façade with many cracks, a possessed, disgusting zombie with negative birth rates, and one foot in the grave. To be laughed at by them would be an honor!

    It’s time for Armenians to quit their monkey-see-monkey do approach to life and quit following Europe down the path of self destruction. This perverted world order doesn’t favor you, it sought to destroy you once before and it will do so once again, through as efficient a path as possible, mainly suicide as they have done slowly to Europe, if that fails they’ll try and use the mongrels of the past, whom they have nurtured and encouraged always. The purpose of “gender equality laws” has always been to get more women into the work force where they can dilute the pay of the men and destroy the family. It’s a simply way for those who already own everything to own and control what little remains.

    What you term “hysteria” is nothing more than the consciousness of the nation, as perverted as it has become through decades of communism , more through it’s instinct for survival than anything, awakening to the larger context of “social engineering” by corrupt globalist forces, whose modus operandi is slow insidious progress.

    What I hear from the comments I’ve seen so far by the “homophiles” if we can call them that for expediancy is an embesilic appeal to authority with references to “what all of academia” allegedly agrees to.” It’s no small secret that most psychologists got into the field to figure out why they’re so f***d up. Of course until recently all of academia was espousing the falsified science of man made global warming. But such appeals to turn off critical thinking on behalf of anyone who has gone through the public education system at least in the US does not surprise me, considering the well documented efforts to replace critical thinking with consensus based thinking, and turning education into work force training as covered in the book “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America” by Charlotte Iserbyt.

    No thanks, unsustainable dying “Europe” with its negative birth rate knows where to put it’s unsustainable “values” and so do you bought and paid for trolls pursuing a globalist agenda. What I see in the reaction of the Armenian public is the same spirit that forced the government to retract the increases in public transportation fees. That spirit should be cultivated, and encourage, not stifled by a bunch despots and tyrants who would shut down all forms of free speech not to their liking by labeling it either as “hate speech” or “homophobia” or by calling anyone with a different take on things a facist.

    As far as the decision on the part of the Armenian government to joint the Russian led customs union, I can’t see it being any worse considering that at least Putin pays his people to have children as opposed to the US where the sickest population on the planet gets lobotomized through fluoridation even in the face of newer study upon study showing the drop in IQ and the associated increased cancer risk. From an economic standpoint the West is practically bankrupt, and this is no accident, and those in the John Birch Society who also got labeled as “nut jobs” apparently weren’t so nuts after all.

    • cool story bro.

    • yeaaah, that post was all over the place. I kinda got hung up on what Artziv had to say about global warming… I’m not sure if you are aligned with climate change denialist camp or not, a non issue and completely off topic but I am just curious…

  21. First the topic of climate change being a part of a larger globalist agenda is very much on topic as I will demonstrate.   Because you and many others of your ilk like to point to those objective and brilliant, sacred priestly, types in “academia” who are incorruptible and never wrong I brought up the gigantic hoax of man made global warming ( have another look at my post) as the most recent example.   Having been caught in a series of lies and utter fabrications, they have since changed the terminology to “Climate change.”  So to answer your question, I believe unlike those who stand to make billions off carbon exchanges and taxes and who buy and sell your holly academics, climate change is a natural phenomenon, and the carbon dioxide you breath out and which plants take in has little or nothing to do with global warming, especially when taking into account sun spots and over all higher temperatures on the surface of the sun.  In fact NASA has observed that the ice caps on Mars are melting, and last I heard there weren’t any little green men farting methane or breathing out carbon dioxide on Mars.  But what is interesting is the way you posed the question yourself…”I’m not sure if your aligned with climate change denialist camp”….typical of most globalist or those who have been lapping up the crap they’ve been putting out, distort what people actually say and give it a negative spin; more labeling for what you assume are the dumb down public who can’t think critically to lap up, and direct evidence of how you operate; turning the very precise language I used “man made global warming” which is the globalist argument for why everyone should pay them taxes for breathing and farting to the natural phenomenon of “climate change.”  So not so far off topic.   Secondly, patriarchal and misogynistic don’t necessarily go hand in hand any more than matriarchal goes hand in hand with misandry and repeating it over and over again doesn’t make it so. However, I would challenge you to bring one example of a modern matriarchal advanced nation, other than possibly a few bare bottomed natives in the Amazon.  So do you think, just possibly that thousands of years of social and biological evolution have selected the best possible arrangement and understanding of men and women,  that most naturally fits the nature of each and allows that society to withstand the test of time?   But who knows maybe your much wiser than evolution.   Globalism fundamentally seeks to destroy national sovereignty, and the route to that destruction begins first with the destruction of the family and war on patriarchy precisely because these are institutions that garner national identity and produce men who take to the battlefields to protect their nations and families and territory, and where nationalism exists it poses a road block to globalists who seek to be world tyrants.  As an example, look at television programs in the US. The dumbest character is always the man. The woman, the gay guy and the kid are always smarter and better than the man in general, and especially the white man, because he has the political heritage to oppose globalism, so in everyway he has to be undermined.   Thirdly why should any law selectively apply to any particular segment of society giving them more rights and protections than any other? Creating divisions where there were none, or by  accentuating phenomenon to create artificial interest groups in fact destroy cohesiveness.  So if a nation is particularly homogeneous then they’ll play the divide and conquer game by playing men and women off against each other, and by creating fake interest groups.  In this context what you like to neatly separate out as different issues aren’t really all that different. The absurdity of these types of laws is handily demonstrated by AB1266, proposed legislation to have gender neutral bathrooms in public schools in California, so if a boy feels more like a girl he can go to the girls room.  This is exactly the type of absurdity that these types of idiotic laws lead to.  Where the vast majority have to live according to the dictates of a small minority,  soviet style with subtlety.

  22. Artziv,

    I wrote a lengthy rejoinder to your comments and submitted for posting but it either did not get through or it was not approved for posting. Either way I am not going to recap what I wrote because the AW’s backend system is terrible and needs to be updated and it’s a waste of my time. It is too bad that this system is not very conducive for having a fluid discourse. All I can say is take a look here in regards to Anthropocentric Global Warming: http://www.skepticalscience.com/

    And on a general note, consider who is either funding the source you are using to bolster your position or what entities have a financial stake in the arguments they are putting forth.

    John,

    Your religious book does not supply a foundation upon which modern day laws are based on. I think you should re-read the bible which is replete with internal contradictions not to mention it is completely an anachronistic narrative and there is no contemporary account of Jesus Christ as he is described in the book. Earliest account of him is believed to be 30 some years after his death and the Bible was not finalized until 300-400 AD. Don’t believe me, pick up any book discussing the historicity of Jesus Christ. On another note, the bible is considered by some as the big book of multiple choice because you can pick and choose the good parts, as you interpret them, and toss out the bad stuff that you don’t like. That’s probably why there are over 41,000 Christian denominations in the world because apparently they don’t all agree on how to interpret each passage. Not to mention, there are over 2000 separate religions in the world and therefore nobody should be burdened to reading each of these books in order to see if they have some merit or not. By the time you are done with one, assuming you were able to decipher some coherent meaning from the archaic language, there would have already been another religion created from whole cloth and yet another set of tenets to consider. You made the claim that there is a God, that there is One word of God and thus you have the burden to justify the claim. Furthermore, we do have a mechanism by which morality or laws are structured. We look at fields such as science, philosophy, psychology and sociology to determine if an action is right or wrong and to what degree it is right or wrong. In other words, modern societies use Secular Morality to govern people because it is based on objective reality and not wishful thinking. Finally, this model is superior because it has an inherently self correcting mechanism because it depends on observation and empiricism where as a religious text is based on dogmatic blind adherence. Your religious book is probably one of the worst sources of morality anyone can reference because it condones rape, slavery, genocide, murder, infanticide and host of other types of behavior we modern humans hold to be morally reprehensible and to use a word from your book, just plain evil. Here is what Richard Dawkins had to say about your god Yahwe “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

    Before you get all worked up about my comments John, I suggest you consider two things: 1)why there are 4 sets of 10 commandments which are not identical and which is frequently cited by Christian apologists as a basis upon which some current laws were based on, and 2) how you can overcome the Euthyphro dillemma with regard to morality.

    • Nomad,

      I’m far from thinking that your penname is concordant with your way of thinking, but I never said that Holy Bible “supplies a foundation upon which modern day laws are based on”. Do you have a reading comprehension predicament? By the way, Bible is not “my religious book”. It’s a Word of God given to anyone who wishes to get closer to Him. Do you? Apparently not.

      Also, did you know from the books on English grammar that proper names, such as ‘Bible’, are written with capital letters? No? Do please re-read them.

      I re-read the Bible every day, but thanks for your kind, yet unnecessary, reminder. How many times have you read it? Or you only read books discussing the historicity of Jesus Christ? The difference between the Bible and all other books, and I feel embarrassed to state this trivial truth, is that the Scripture gives you the spiritual food. Only those who are eager to find blemishes in it bring up old, primitive, and boring argument about “internal contradictions”. It must be understood that since the Book was compiled at different times and by different visionaries and prophets, some textual contradictions are inevitable. Do they change or otherwise affect the essence? Not a bit.

      If all you could get from my post was about many denominations, religions, and text versions, I truly pity you. I could care less about how many denominations, religions, or 10 Commandments’ versions there are in the world. The sum and substance of my argument is about having Faith in God and be guided by ethical norms that He wants us to follow.

      And no, there is no effective mundane mechanism by which morality and ethics are structured. What you get from science, philosophy, psychology and sociology to determine if an action is right or wrong only form your world outlook, your mindset in a peculiar way. They don’t actually form laws. You’re not criminally liable for, let’s say, committing adultery or disrespecting your father and mother or for not forgiving your enemies or for lying with mankind as with womankind. You may say: ‘why should I?’. To which I will say: ‘why should I follow your morality that you get from philosophy, psychology and sociology to determine if an action is right or wrong’?

      Why should I rely on what some inglorious, as-yet unheard Richard Dunkins says and not what I myself get from my communications with God? Ever thought of that?

      Great philosophical minds attempted but failed to explain Euthyphro dilemma. Many consider it a false dilemma, as far as I know. I’m not a philosopher to make a judgment. Are you?

      Let me, in turn, offer you to consider a simpler thing: Are you a human being having a spiritual experience or you are a spiritual being having a human experience? And if, judging from your inimitable posts, you choose to answer that you are a human being without a spiritual experience, than how are you different from other living things, such as, for example and only for example, rats?

  23. I think Armenian male insecurities have truly run out of control. “Do we need same sex marriage in Armenia where the birth rate is plunging and abortion, used as birth control, is rising?” — why don’t you address the actual issue at hand, which is why exactly the birth rate in Armenia is plunging? Would your suggestion be forced marriages?

    I’m also embarrassed that these hardline conservative-traditionalists couldn’t simply look up the word “gender” and find its correct definition, before spewing their filth. Just because Western values entitle and empower women, the men go up in arms. Why not cover your women in sheets and join the rest of the Middle East in your hetamnats “culture”?

    Why is it that almost everywhere Armenians go, they assimilate and prosper, and yet we must keep our motherland a dark, corrupt, conservative entity where personal freedoms are the business of society as a whole?

  24. John,
    You just walked into a puddle of mud you can’t dig yourself out of. Word of God, spiritual, or its basic denominator which is spirit needs to be defined. You would have to justify those claims by evidence and NOT by wishful thinking. Please unpack these things and tell me how do you know there is a God, there is spirit or spirituality and how is God a he and not a it or she or the Universe. Then tell me how you figured out any characteristic or personality traits attributed to that deity.
    I don’t care if the Bible is capitalized because it is a worthless book for me to consider a source of authority much less give it so much a reverence as to capitalize it. As I stated earlier it is a narrative of compiled stories translated, reinterpreted and retranslated from archaic languages. A book which has anachronistic timeline and dubious claims which run in contradiction with some basic understandings of the universe not to mention how society works. Regardless how grammatically correct it is, you seem to be stuck on form rather than substance. If the concept is conveyed to the reader then it is of no importance if I spelled the book as bible or Bible. The reader gets it.
    Yes I am sure you can cherry pick the feel-good parts of the bible and provide enough context to justify it to yourself, but there are horrid parts that can’t be saved no matter how hard you try. The problem with any such religious scripture is that the message is so discombobulated and unclear that one wonders why a supreme being of infinite power, wisdom, and benevolence could not convey his message clearly, whatever it is.
    I’ve read the children’s version of the bible once when I was a kid and that is it. I am not going to waste my time now in reading a book that has little or no credibility in the face of what we know today much less try to construct my worldview or moral compass based on its teachings. This is an absurd proposition and besides, there are much more interesting books out there to read. Should I convince you to read the koran, bagavat ghita or tora or any other religious book in circulation because I subjectively and fervently believe it is passed down by non other than my favorite deity (skydaddy is more appropriate term I think though)?
    “Scripture gives you spiritual food..” are you insane? Really, how exactly are you going to justify that claim? Even if I were to agree with you that the bible is taken as a whole work to be judged in the context that it is in, there no context in which condoning slavery is or was morally acceptable norm. It was not objectively moral then and it isn’t now, no matter how messed up the people of the antiquity were. God seems to enjoy killing animals and humans based on some narcissistic and sadomasochistic feelings. What are you, a sycophant of such a bumbling failure?
    Yes there are denominations because people disagree with what HE said. That is precisely the point you are missing. The ethical or moral norms are part of this equation if you glean those things from the book and therefore there are multiple interpretations of how to behave just based on one book. But when you investigate how they comport with reality, you quickly figure out that each group says this is the way to happiness, virtue and justice because this is how I interpreted this passage. Nothing more than dogma, blind obedience which a lot of religious people call the nonsensical term, faith.
    Criminally liable for adultery and disrespecting parents. Wow, you have just lost all your humanity. Exactly how would you justify criminalizing such behavior? No, laws are based on the perceived actions and it’s effect on society. So we measure what consequences result in doing action A or refraining from doing action A. If doing action A results in harm that is equal or greater than the benefit received then we come up with a scheme of disincentivising that action. This is a crude way of looking at it but this is essentially how laws, norms and morality works and not because it says so in a book. It wouldn’t work in any other way because if strict adherence to scriptural laws and moral tenets were followed, we would have a world of hurt because the bible says idiotic things such as you should stone your insubordinate child and beat your wife, etc. In other words it would be entirely whimsical or in the alternative, it would be based on some outside concept of right and wrong which requires us to further examine where those claims came from. This is the Euthephro dilemma at its best.
    And not this is not MY morality this is a collective morality that we as a society have come to agree works for the benefit of human kind. Maybe you are referring to moral relativism but this is wrong too. I am talking about basing morality on objective forms of measuring how people are affected by some action which then could be codified into law or social norms.
    Communication with God huh; so do you speak to him/her/it and does him/her/it speak back to you? If it’s the former then you are suffering from some sort of delusion and if it is the latter, then you are in serious need of some professional help.
    I’m not a philosopher but I am applying your process of thinking, if the bible, which is as you say God’s word, is the collection of moral laws that is is superior, then you take it to be authoritative in matters of morality. My question to you is how do you know? How can you justify passage X even granting you all the context and with all the charitable interpretation, is a moral action?
    Yes I am a human being and I have no idea what you mean when you say experiencing spirituality. Well since you have correctly guessed that I am a human being w/o spiritual experiences, whatever that means, then I can say at least how homo-sapiens are similar in one respect. We are not that different from rats, we share over 90% of the genetic makeup with them and can trace a common ancestor to them; in fact, we can trace a common ancestor to all living things on this planet!

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