9.16.2011

The NC Gay Marriage Amendment Post: Feedback

Wednesday night, when I typed out my thoughts on the NC anti-LGBT amendment, I only set out to collect some of my arguments against the amendment, and in favor of LGBT rights. Since I'm unfortunately one of those people who finds himself in arguments on the internet, I thought it would make sense to put it all down so that when I felt I needed to explain my views, maybe I could steer people there and avoid carpal tunnel syndrome. And sure, if friends and relatives read the post and wanted to share it, that would be great.

I didn't quite expect to see the piece go viral. If I had known that would happen, I would have spent more time on it, and it would have been a better piece of writing (much of it, as I re-read it, I'm sure would elicit red marks from my former English professors). I am sure I would have chosen to write it a bit differently, with the goal of speaking to a larger audience. I stand 100% behind the sentiment of it, so I am thankful that people are somewhat forgiving, and that so many felt that it was worth sharing.

Anyway, what I kept saying yesterday is this was not about me. If I had been alive during the civil rights movement, I would be speaking up just the same. I can't help how I am, and I have always been concerned when others are mistreated. This is about prejudice, discrimination, and ignorance. It's about reducing harm and increasing well-being. It's about religion at times clouding our innate sense of morality. It's about people with feelings, and hopes, and dreams, who are being denied and maligned.

The blog post received so many great comments from so many different walks of life that I felt that they shouldn't all be confined to the comments section.  I'd like to highlight some here. There are many other great comments (and some very negative and misguided ones) that I am not including below (some would be out of context if removed from the stream). All comments, of course, remain on the original post. And more continue to come in.  For the sake of privacy, I will address them anonymously (even though many posted anonymously, whether intentionally or because they didn't have an ID or didn't wish to create one).

Here are just a few:

Thank you for this post. I doubt it will change the minds of the bigots, but I hope it calls others into action. As far as the economic situation is concerned, yes - the research triangle should be very afraid that this will keep the best and the brightest from moving to NC. And I'm not just talking about LGBT folks - straight people who care about the kind of environment they will be living in will now stop to wonder whether they want to live in a bigoted, Southern, religiously oppressive region. All the negative stereotypes about the south will be reinforced with what I suspect will be a lopsided vote passing the amendment. And, if the amendment passes, I will not vacation in NC ever again.

* * *

I was raised in Durham and when I left I had to explain that we are not nearly as racist a state as many on the outside perceive us to be. These days unfortunately many GLBTs outside of NC dismiss our state as a homophobic black hole. I try to explain that it is not but when our legislature behave so horrifically I have no comeback. Well, you just made me understand why as a gay man I have never felt threatened in my home state. With no gay ghettos in NC, gay people have to live alongside their straight neighbors. But with straight neighbors like you who needs gay ghettos? While NC has a history of fundamentalists citizens who make a lot of noise, it also has a well organized progressive coalition of straights, gays, and minorities ready to fight back. Now more than ever the GLBTs in NC needs their help. Thank you ever so much for getting this ball rolling.

* * *

This could not have been stated better. It literally brought tears to my eyes that remain. LBGT rights ARE Civil Rights.
I lived through the desegregation Civil Rights era, hearing kids in my elementary school chant "2, 4, 6, 8, we don't want to integrate," something I knew at age 8 was them mouthing their parents' prejudices, spewing hatred. I heard the same Chapter and Verse quotations used by people who claim to be Christians, but who would make Jesus weep, people who parse the Bible to support their bigotries.
I worked with a woman in 1968 in my first full time job. She was Southern through and through, an intelligent woman but not well educated. I was working there when Martin Luther King Jr. was killed. She talked about her own prejudices and how she was raised to have them and believe them. She had a daughter. She said she was trying the best she could to not pass her bigotries on to her daughter because her daughter's world was a different one than the one mom had grown up in and she didn't want to handicap her daughter.
Elie Wiesel said, "I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."
SPEAK UP!

* * *

My partner and I really appreciate your well-spoken and just allied support of our LGBTQ friends who simply would like the same basic, legal rights in marriage that our heterosexual friends enjoy here in NC.

Regardless of what anyone believes about nature, homosexuality, marriage or parenting, this issue is about offering the same legal rights and protections from our government no matter one's race, religion, gender, ability, age, sexual orientation, hair color, tax bracket, or shoe size.

* * *

This article brought tears to my eyes for so many reasons! I am so blessed to have an amazing partner, loving and supportive family and friends, a fantastic/ beautiful/smart/healthy daughter, a wonderful job, and so many more blessings! It saddens me to see this backward movement in NC; however, it is people like yourself, and the others that have posted here, that will help to make the equality we declare we offer as a nation a true reality. The more the opposition insists that "gay marriage" is wrong the more they highlight the inequity of their position. A part of the foundation of this country was born from the desire to escape persecution. I would like to continue to be a part of the movement to remove the obstacles to equality that we still have in place today. This is not an issue "just" about gay marriage.

I live in the neighboring state of TN and I know our fight for equality here will also be long and hard. I would implore the residents of any state not only to vote on the issue, but to become involved in local organizations that will help lobby for our rights (locally we have the TN Equality Project).

In addition, please see this video about the work of a NY artist iO Tillett Wright who is doing an amazing project "Self Evident Truths". This project is a "photographic record of LGBTQ America" and is being done as her fight for what she also acknowledges is the civil rights movement of her generation.

I hope that one day my daughter will look back and think how ridiculous it was that her parents could not get married, just as it was so ridiculous that we would force a person of color to the back of a bus, another school, a lesser paying job, or deny them the right to vote.

I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes: "Morality is simply the attitude we adopt toward people we personally dislike"- Oscar Wilde

* * *

From the mother of a gay son in australia, I love your article. It is well written and thoughtful. I was in NC during the lead up to the vote on Prop 8. It was before my son was out and it was also the first time I experienced the level of hateful christian protesters. I am a Christian and was horrified that these people would picket school and harass people taking their kids to school. My niece that I walked to school every day and had a friend with two mothers was so upset for her friend. We are fighting for the right for marriage equality here in australia, and for what it is worth, we are cheering for you over there and I will be watching with interest.

* * *

I thank you for so well written outloud what I among other's feel. I am a straight ally and mother of a beautiful biracial lesbian daughter. I was at the vigil and the rally where Alex of Equality NC read a email I sent to him which he read at the rally. Thank you so much for giving a voice of love to those who need it and to those who hate, because they need to hear this.

* * *

Thank you so much. I would like to add something about the myth that being gay automatically makes someone more susceptible to disease. It may be true that gay people have higher rates of HIV and other STDs, but you have to understand how hard it is to maintain a lasting relationship with someone when society condemns it. It's hard even for straight people to make a relationship work. Think about how much harder it would be if you couldn't get legal recognition of your relationship and everyone around you condemned you for your relationship. It is to hard for most gay people to deal with, which is why it is easier to have short term or anonymous relationships. The more sexual partners a person has, the higher the risk for STDs. Legalizing same-gender marriage, will encourage more long-term lasting relationships. Which will decrease the rates of STDs. When I was younger, I didn't think it would ever be possible for me to get married. I didn't have any hope for a lasting relationship and settled for the fleet short-term one. I'm lucky that I never got any STDs, but I was at high risk. Now that some states and other countries have legalized marriage, I have hope for a better future. I have real dates now, instead of sexual "hook ups". The younger generation are not as promiscuous as mine was. I see young gay people dating in high school, just like straights now. I think that as marriage equality is realized, the discrepancy in STD rates among gay and straights will start to even out more. Think about it.

* * *

The truth: if we let gays marry, then we have to acknowledge that they are human, like "us." We have to validate there existence as legitimate, and that scares the hell out of people who just don't know any better. Look at history: we fear what we don't know. We'd rather allow straight, good Christian people to, perhaps, have serial marriages, withstand abusive relationships, give birth out of wedlock, transmit STDs through unfaithful relationships, and then go pray for the souls of the damned on Sunday. Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.

* * *

My son just got engaged... he is with a great guy and they are heading down a path we all know and appreciate. Friendship, courtship, engagement and marriage... yes, marriage for my wonderful gay son. Gay marriage protects the children of gay parents, it creates a pathway to stable longer lasting relationships and it provides gay couple with all the same challenges and joys heterosexual couples face in marriage. I am Christian, female and heterosexual and a whole hearted supporter of gay marriage. Thanks for this great article.

* * *

To all of the people out there upset by the "I reject your religious reasoning", you need to pay more attention. There is no judgement here, only a statement that religious reasoning has no place in the legislative process. And our government was specifically designed that way. If you want to use your God as the reason for your laws, you're going to have to change that part of the constitution first. (incidentally - though I do believe it to be completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand, I know anyone who disagrees will automatically go there - I would just like to add that I am a Christian. Roman Catholic, in fact, and I believe in God, and that He loves His children, and that IF homosexuality IS wrong, then it is His place to judge. not yours)

If you are concerned about homosexual parents raising children, clearly you have not been paying attention to the people in our country who ARE raising children. You say that children benefit from a 2-parent household, and in general I would agree. However, there are a lot of great single parents and a lot of really miserable heterosexual married parents. Whether a person is or is not a good parent depends on that person. His or her sexual orientation is only a minor factor in that equation. Would you rather a child grow up in a "traditional" family where he is being emotionally or physically abused by one or both of his parents, or in a household with one or two healthy, happy parents who just happen to be homosexual?

* * *

The one concern I have with your article is that it automatically takes the "religion as the enemy" approach. Actually, it is my Christian faith that makes me such a strong advocate for LGBT rights, as a straight, mother of three, who is married to a pastor. Just because opponents of LGBT rights have used religion as a weapon, doesn't mean they have the only, or correct, interpretation of what the Bible teaches on this matter. Large numbers of pastors and theologians have signed petitions against Amendment One and DOMA, and both attend (and frequently organize) rallies to support gay rights. They write letters to the editor and produce articles that apparently only theological magazines are willing to publish because other sources don't believe it fits the current media narrative for Christian and Religious Leaders to be loving and inclusive. I encourage you to check out groups like Christians Tired of Being Misrepresented on Facebook. There are religious and Biblical sound arguments to support gay marriage, and people of faith out there making them. We just have been denied the megaphone and spotlight, but things are about to change.

* * *

I am a married, heterosexual Christian woman, I am expecting our first child in March, and I am embarrassed and heartbroken that my state is moving in this direction. I have a number of gay and lesbian family members and dear friends, and they are wonderful, talented people who are leaving NC at their earliest opportunity with no plans to EVER return. Their loss is a huge one for our state's economic potential.

Although I am generally politically conservative, the supporters of this legislation will not be getting my vote in May or ever again. I am disgusted by their actions and by the self-congratultory tone with ehich they explained that they were doing our state some great service by allowing the people to put to a majority vote the rights and a minority group.

* * *
Vote no on Amendment 1 in May.




9.15.2011

Why A Heterosexual, Married, North Carolinian Father Of Three Cares About LGBT Equality

I am a heterosexual, married, father of three, who has lived in North Carolina for most of my life. There have been a few ugly North Carolina moments during the time I have lived here (mostly related to one particular senator who has been in our rear view mirror for quite some time). But the ugliness that took place in North Carolina General Assembly this week was a stark reminder that, while we have made great strides in this state, there are a lot of people who still wish to deny rights to other citizens based on religious beliefs and misconceptions about sexuality and gender.

Unless you were living under a rock the past few days, you know that the NC Senate voted 30-16 to approve a proposed constitutional amendment banning any legal relationship recognition for same-sex couples. The amendment will be on the ballot in May during the Republican presidential primary.

Same-sex marriage, it should be noted, is already illegal in North Carolina. The amendment is simply a push to put the nail in the coffin, making it extremely difficult for same-sex marriages to be legalized in the future.

The issue of same-sex marriage is complicated in North Carolina, as it is in any state. According to recent survey conducted by Public Policy Polling, while most North Carolinians strongly believe that same-sex marriage should be illegal, they also strongly believe that there should not be a constitutional amendment to write that into the constitution. As conflicted as that message may be, it is clear: people may disagree on an issue, but that doesn't mean we should play political football with our constitution.

I've had people ask why I am so vocal about the issue of LGBT equality. Why is a heterosexual, married father so concerned with what gay people can or can't do? I don't have a dog in this fight, do I?

I find those kinds of questions to be puzzling (and telling), as if we should value the rights of one group of humans over any other group, or only be concerned with the welfare of a group to which we belong. As Elie Wiesel said, "I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."

So, anyway, this is why I care (and why you should too):

LGBT people are citizens. I have friends (some of whom were married in other states years ago) who love each other as dearly as I love my own wife (and who have been committed to each other for just as long). It pains me to know that there are people who reject the validity of these relationships, and who wish to deny these couples the same benefits that other married couples are afforded. These committed, same-sex couples are North Carolinians. They contribute to the economy, they pay taxes, and they certainly do not deserve to be treated as second-class citizens by anyone. Just as it is hard to believe that we once denied marriage rights to interracial couples, or voting rights to women and African-Americans, we will look back upon this time with the same disbelief and shame.

Homosexuality is not a choice. Although science has not zeroed in on any one single cause, the growing body of research suggests that sexual orientation is caused by a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences. The biological factors related to sexual orientation involve a constellation of genetic factors, as well as brain structure and early uterine environment. Homosexuality is so natural, in fact, that it occurs in nature. Still not sold? The following major medical and professional organizations have also concluded that sexual orientation (and gender identity) is not a choice: American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, National Association of Social Workers, Royal College of Psychiatrists, and American Academy of Pediatrics. If you think that all these scientists, doctors, and experts are all part of a conspiracy to advance the homosexual agenda, ask yourself this: at what point in your life did you make the choice to be heterosexual?

Kids do just fine in families with same-sex parents. "All of the major professional organizations with expertise in child welfare have issued reports and resolutions in support of gay and lesbian parental rights" (Professor Judith Stacey, New York University). These organizations include the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the Child Welfare League of America, the North American Council on Adoptable Children, and Canadian Psychological Association. A recent study indicates that kids with lesbian parents may actually do better than their peers. If you are convinced that kids absolutely need one mom and one dad, you're a) forgetting about the many single-parent families in existence, b) equating 'gut feelings' with facts, c) depriving a lot of children a wonderful life with a family, a stable, loving home, and the best opportunities possible.

Religious arguments against same-sex marriage do not pass the Lemon Test, a three-pronged legal requirement which stipulates that a) the government's action must have a secular legislative purpose, b) the government's action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion, and c) the government's action must not result in an "excessive government entanglement" with religion. I am not sure I have heard anyone make a case against same-sex marriage that did not invoke religion. The second that your argument mentions God, or references a biblical passage, I cannot entertain your argument. As a Humanist, I reject supernaturalism, pseudoscience, and superstition. Your religious arguments against same-sex marriage belong on that heap of nonsense. They have no basis in reality, are not supported by the science, and have no place in legislation. Unfortunately, anti-LGBT legislators cynically take great care to ensure that the language in their legislation is not based on a religious ground -- even though we all know it is rooted in religious dogma. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

Happiness is contagious. Really. It's true. And guess what else? Acceptance of LGBT folks helps protect against depression, substance abuse, and suicide. Why in the world would anyone want to cause suffering in others? If the answer lies in your religion, then you need to re-evaluate your religion. Its ancient morality is flawed at best. Societies which embrace human reason, ethics, justice, and the search for human fulfillment are statistically happier societies. According to Gallup data, the happiest nations were Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands. These countries are among the least religious in the world. Coincidence? I'm not asking you to discard your religion. Just keep it to yourself, your family, and your congregation. We'll all be happier if you do.

Definitions change. Society evolves. I keep hearing over and over that "we can't redefine marriage." Well, why not? We have been redefining marriage throughout history. In fact, marriage pre-dates recorded history. The Bible (which is often used to defend the 'one man'/'one woman' definition) is full of polygamous marriages. There is also a long history of recognized same-sex marriages all over the world (including, but not limited to: Egypt, Greece, Rome, Japan, India, England, Italy, and North America). Over the course of history, marriage has meant different things: Love, the granting of property rights, or the protection of bloodlines. In some cultures two men and two women have been allowed to marry. People have historically married for many different reasons: legal, social, economic, spiritual, libidinal, and religious. So stop it with your 'sacred institution' argument and open up some history books. When you say that the Bible is clear about homosexuality, you must also admit that it was also very clear about how to treat your slaves, and the uncleanliness of women during their menstrual period. Listen. Society evolves. Sometimes we leave behind the Bronze Age mentality of the men who wrote the Bible. You want your marriage to be a religious, strictly bible-based marriage? That's fine. Nobody is stopping you from having one.

Don't we want less government intrusion in our lives? It's interesting that most of the people who support the ban on same-sex marriage also seem to be interested in less government intrusion. They want the government out of their health care. They want the TSA to keep their hands off their junk. They want less regulations on corporations. They worry the government is going to take away their rights: to bear arms, to speak freely, to practice their religion, to say 'Merry Christmas,' and to choose what kind of light bulb they use in their houses. They are furious when the government tries to tell them what they shouldn't eat, where they can or cannot smoke, or how much gas their car can guzzle. And these same people want the government to restrict the rights of someone else. They want the government to tell them what they can or can't do with another consenting adult. How do you reconcile your belief in a small, less intrusive government with your approval of legislation intended to restrict the rights of taxpaying citizens and to control who they should and shouldn't love? It's absurd. You want deregulation? Let's deregulate marriage.

I am a father of three beautiful boys. They are all young enough that they have not shown any definitive signs of sexual orientation one way or the other. Chances are, they will be heterosexual. Of course, there are studies indicating that the more older brothers a boy has, the greater the probability is that he will have a homosexual orientation. This is related to the in-utero maternal immune response, which increases with subsequent sons. Of course this is only one of many studies dealing with the hormonal factors associated with sexual orientation, but my point is, if any of my sons were gay, that's perfectly okay. We would accept him for who he is, and love him just the same. I don't worry about that. What I do worry about is this: if I did have a gay son, how could I explain to him that people don't want him to have the same rights as everyone else? How can I explain to him that if he wants to grow up, buy a home, and start a family, he might need to move to a state that doesn't reject him? How can I explain that people believe he is an abomination whose perverted lifestyle will lead him to an eternity in hell? How would I feel if my son killed himself because he was bullied, maligned, ridiculed, and made to feel as if he had no place in society? The only way to avoid any of our children going through this is to send a clear message that people are different and that's okay. Some families just have one mom, or one dad. Some have a mom and a dad. And some have two moms or two dads. And maybe if our state's leaders stop sending the message to our children that they are unwanted, maybe we can save the life of a child. Isn't that worth it?

At the end of the day, it just makes sense. Ask yourself what you are worried about if same-sex marriage is legalized. Whatever your answer is, ask yourself if you really believe what you just came up with. Homosexuality is not going to spread. It is not communicable. Society is not going to turn into a Lady Gaga video. Most gay couples I know are just as boring as you and I. They sit on the couch and watch television. They work at the post office, the hospital, the grocery store, and at real estate agencies, just like heterosexuals do. They eat out at restaurants and shop at Target. Many have pot bellies and don't have much fashion sense, just like me. They own pets, and go to church. They volunteer, sing Christmas carols, and buy Girl Scout cookies. What are you afraid of? What is going to change by allowing these people to commit to one another and enjoy the benefits that you and I enjoy: tax breaks, insurance breaks, bereavement leave, medical leave to care for a sick partner, domestic violence protection, visitation of partner in the hospital, burial determination, medical decisions on behalf of partner. Really sexy stuff. You and I take these things for granted. Nobody wants to go through life not knowing how they will deal with some of these difficult moments in life. Imagine if you were denied any of the above rights when the time came for you and your spouse to exercise that right? I'll tell you what it would feel like. It would feel like you were a second-class citizen.

So, if you're a North Carolina citizen, and you care about equality, please make yourself heard. Whether you're straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer, speak up. Educate yourself about the May amendment vote. Donate, volunteer, tweet, post Facebook statuses, blog, talk to your churches, your neighbors, your friends and relatives. Help them understand the science behind sexual orientation, and help them understand the importance of voting on May 8. 'Like' the organizations that are working to fight this amendment, and stay informed (EqualityNC, HRC). Repost articles and blog posts to keep friends aware.

There is a lot of work to be done. There are many things each of us can do. But we can't be indifferent.

"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." - Elie Wiesel





9.14.2011

Michio Kaku: What Physics Can Do For You

"If [your great-grandparents of the year 1900] could see you now, with iPads and iPods and satellites and GPS and laser beams, how would they view you?," asks Michio Kaku. "They would view you as a wizard or a sorcerer. However, if we could now meet our grandkids of the year 2100, how would we view them? We would view them as gods."

Via The Big Think:
From the standpoint of our agrarian ancestors, the marvels of the post-Industrial world would appear to be sorcery. (What would a Renaissance man make of a vending machine, let alone an Ipad?) Kaku predicts that likewise, the people of 2100 will have harnessed "the power of the gods" by present day standards, defeating barriers like age and distance. "We will have that flying car that we’ve always wanted to have in our garage," he says.

But the most interesting places in the universe are beyond the reach of Einstein's equations, says Kaku. He's searching for "An equation like E=mc². That equation is half an inch long and unlocks the secret of the stars. Why do the stars shine? Why does the galaxy light up? Why do we have energy on the earth?" These are the questions we can still only dream of answering.
Michio Kaku is a smart guy. He's a theoretical physicist, a professor, an author, a speaker, and happens to be the co-founder of string field theory.

He's also very good at explaining science to people who aren't quite as smart, like myself.

In the latest online course offered by The Floating University (a new media venture with the aim of democratizing education), Kaku serves up a lecture called "The Universe in a Nutshell: The Physics of Everything."

The course description:
What if we could find one single equation that explains every force in the universe? Professor Michio Kaku explores how physics could potentially shrink the science of the big bang into an equation as small as e=mc2. Physics powers every electronic device in your living room, underwrites every technological breakthrough, and thanks to advances in string theory, could allow us to escape the heat death of the universe, explore the multiverse, and unlock the secrets of existence.

In a profoundly informative and deeply optimistic discussion, Professor Kaku delivers a glimpse of where science will take us in the next hundred years, as warp drives, teleportation, inter-dimensional wormholes, and even time travel converge with our scientific understanding of physical reality. While firing up our imaginations about the future, he also presents a succinct history of physics to the present.

How did Halley's Comet manage to start the British Empire in 1066 and lead to the most important publication in human history in 1682? What are the four ultra-powerful forces that dictate all observable phenomena in the universe and how did we find them? How is 96% of matter in the universe undetectable? And why is the emergent field of string theory turning everything we thought we knew about physics upside down? In under an hour, Professor Kaku makes a compelling case that physics is the key to pretty much everything.

See below for an excerpt of his lecture. Visit The Floating University to subscribe and view it in its entirety.





9.12.2011

Are You A Young Earth Creationist? Take The Quiz!

Are you a Young Earth Creationist? In case you're unsure, you may want to answer the 9 questions below, which Creation Ministries International put together to help "ascertain whether your future pastor, youth group leader or Bible College principal takes a straightforward view of Genesis."

You wouldn't want your child to learn actual facts would you? Heavens, no.

From the introduction to the quiz:
CMI periodically receives requests for us to identify Bible colleges/seminaries that believe/teach a straightforward reading of Genesis. We also know of pastoral search committees lamenting that they would not have selected certain candidates if only they had known in advance of their compromise (long-age, or theistic evolutionary) stance on Genesis.

For a number of reasons, CMI does not provide a list of ‘young-earth’ theological colleges, nor do we get involved in church staffing matters. However, in response to such enquiries we have prepared the following questionnaire to meet an evident need.

Please feel free to reference CMI's explanatory notes for each question.

Good luck!


1. SIX DAYS 
Do you believe that God created the earth and universe in six ordinary-length (earth-rotation) days?
☐  Yes
☐  No
_____________________________________________________________________


2. AGE OF THE WORLD 
Do you believe that the earth and universe are only thousands (not millions or billions) of years old, as measured by Earth time?
☐  Yes
☐  No
___________________________________________________________________


3. THE FIRST HUMANS 

Do you believe that Adam and his wife Eve were the literal, historic ancestors of all (other) people who have ever lived?
☐  Yes
☐  No
_____________________________________________________________________

4. ADAM AND EVE’S ORIGINS 
Do you believe that Adam and Eve had no physical parents, but were created directly by God; Adam from the actual dust, and Eve from the actual flesh and bone of Adam’s side?
☐  Yes
☐  No
_____________________________________________________________________

5. HUMAN DEATH 
Do you believe that human physical death began only after Adam sinned?
☐  Yes
☐  No
_____________________________________________________________________

6. CARNIVORY 
Do you believe that all animals were originally created vegetarian?
☐  Yes
☐  No
_____________________________________________________________________

7. SUFFERING IN THE FOSSIL RECORD 
Do you believe that fossils showing evidence of bloodshed and suffering (e.g. half-eaten prey, dinosaur cancers,) could not have been formed before Adam’s Fall led to the Curse?
☐  Yes
☐  No
_____________________________________________________________________

8. GLOBAL FLOOD
Do you believe that the Flood of Noah covered the whole globe? 
☐  Yes
☐  No
_____________________________________________________________________

9. THE SUPERNATURAL POWER OF JESUS
Do you believe that after Lazarus was physically dead for days, Jesus miraculously caused him to regain physical life? 
☐  Yes
☐  No


If you answered 'No' to any of the above questions, you have nothing to worry about. Wait -- I mean, you failed.