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April 25, 2014

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Odd.

I brought up such a possibility once. Shouted down as a homophobic slippery slope argument.

Does this mean that prosecutions against polygamous Mormon fundamentalists will be dropped?

So, is it time yet for us to say, "We told you so?" Shouldn't this be illegal?

This just goes to show that the whole idea of "homosexuality" is just a modern social construct. There is not such thing as "sexual orientation". It's all discourse that is useful to people who want complete and total destruction of moral restraint in the sexual arena. This incident proves that.

And it doesn't stop at throuples. You can marry your dog and you can marry a bridge.

"‘He makes me feel connected to the earth and draws me to rest from my endless nomadic wanderings. He is fixed, stable, rooted to the ground, while I am nomadic, transient, ever on the road.

‘He gives me a safe haven, brings me back to ground myself, and then lets me go again to follow my own path, without trying to keep me tied down or in thrall to his needs or desires. I am devoted to him." declares the doting bride.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/woman-marries-dog-totally-b-h-article-1.1717772

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2356774/Australian-woman-Jodi-Rose-marries-bridge-France--gets-mayors-blessing.html

There is a perfectly rational reason why societies and states especially in the modern liberal context discourage polygamous relationships: historically speaking, the possibility of marrying multiple spouses has meant that a few elite of men will take multitude of marriageable wife candidates, which has skewed the "relationship market" and meant that thousands of marriage-age men finding their place in society are left without spouses, resulting in alienation, militarization of society, and other types of violence. We can already see the damaging aspects of this in North African/ Sub-Saharan and some Asian states where society is destabilizing among other reasons because of millions of alienated young men with no jobs and no spouses.

One might object that if it's possible for women to also take multiple spouses then that should make more women available in the marriage market, but in practice and especially because pregnancy takes at least 9 months (and in modern situations, the span between kids is usually least couple of years) this is not practical or likely to happen. In practice polygamy usually means patriarchy. Because the number of active gay people is generally speaking very low and because there is roughly speaking equally large gay and lesbian population, there is no large effect on society or affect on the spousal "market", which means the decision to grant same privileges as to other two-partner married couples can be made simply as a matter of principle.

These three women are probably happy with each other and obviously they should be allowed to live with each other as a family, but I don't see any reason this should give us cause to change marriage culture.

Considering the slippery-slope argument, we have had SSM in several states as in Netherlands and Spain over a decade, and there has not been a great demand or movement to alter the laws for polygamy. So assuming the slippery-slope believers are correct, in how many decades should we see polygamy become legal? It may be possible in some limited context in some places, but I doubt not in most SSM countries.

Erkki,

Where is your evidence that this has been the case historically and where is the evidence that polygamy is the cause of the damaging aspects you mention in North Africa?

Here's an article pointing out some social benefits of polygamy: http://allafrica.com/stories/201207060495.html

For the record, I don't support polygamy. But I'm skeptical of your alleged history, Erkki. Besides, if the problem is elites scooping up all the women, then why not limit it to 3? This way we can be fair to bisexuals. Otherwise you're a bigot.

Sorry, Erkki, but we can see past the reasons you're giving into your heart, and the real reason you're against poly relationships is that you're a bigoted polyphobe. Therefore we don't have to listen to or respond to your "reasons." And since there's no rational reason to be against it, and your opposition is based on animus, your attempts to ban it are unconstitutional.

Satire aside, my post isn't about a slippery slope argument as much as it is about the poor, uncharitable, and arbitrary nature of the arguments from those who oppose a man/woman definition of marriage, and their unwillingness to consistently apply those principles they're arguing to everybody.

If the arguments given above (love is love, marriage equality, equal rights, etc.) trump the rational, objective, non-arbitrary reasons for man/woman marriage, then they certainly trump your reasons against polygamy. Your preferences for how a society best operates can't trump equal rights for all. Everyone has the right to marry whom they love, and any reasons that curtail that are based on bigotry and hate. Period. That's what we're told. If that doesn't seem true to you in the case of polygamy, then perhaps it's not true in the case of same-sex marriage either.

These three women are probably happy with each other and obviously they should be allowed to live with each other as a family, but I don't see any reason this should give us cause to change marriage culture.

That sounds so familiar. So once again, I'll give the response I've been taught is proper: Bigoted polyphobe!

Amy, it takes quite a bit of skill to avoid a red herring and bring things back to the original point. That was impressive. I was just about to try to respond to Erkki point by point, but that would've taken us away from the original intent of your post.

How do fundamentalist Christians make a Biblical case against polygamy when polygamy is never explicitly condemned in Scripture and given the fact that the tradition's patriarchs who participated in it clearly never repented of the practice? Kings David and Solomon had a multitude of wives. Abraham may have had three (Sarah, Hagar, Keturah).

In any rate, just because you favor expanding the definition of marriage to include two men doesn't mean you must necessarily have to be in favor of expanding it to include threesomes (or foursomes). Polygamy generally only benefits affluent males, and allowing one person to have a multitude of spouses could be said to deprive another the ability to have even one.

    Erkki, Where is your evidence that this has been the case historically and where is the evidence that polygamy is the cause of the damaging aspects you mention in North Africa?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120124093142.htm

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/01/23/more-rape-and-violence-among-polygamists-study

Google "polygamy and violence" for more links.

    Everyone has the right to marry whom they love, and any reasons that curtail that are based on bigotry and hate.

Everyone has the right (or should have) to marry whom they love, within reasonable assumption of consent. You are also completely free to "marry" multiple people. If you have two or more women or men living in your house, the law enforcement does not drag one of them away.

What you don't have the right is to expect legal privileges meant for monogamous relationships to accommodate multiple spouses. This is all very well within equal rights, sort of like you have to right to buy alcohol at age 18 (21 in the USA if I have understood correctly) whether you are male, female, gay or transsexual but no right to sell alcohol at private establishment.

That's not the question, James. (Though monogamy has always been the norm in Christianity, primarily because of the reasoning we use today--that is, that one man and one woman make one flesh, completing the one bodily system that requires a male and a female. That's the non-arbitrary reason for monogamy (see the link I posted under "two"). There's also the fact that marriage was created by God to represent the joining of Christ and the church, and again, this is monogamy. Also, the requirements for leaders included having only one wife, polygamy was a disaster in the OT, etc.)

The question is, why are those who argue for same-sex marriage using arguments not as reasoned principles to be equally applied to all, but as emotional weapons to push through their agenda and their agenda only? It's intellectually dishonest. Public discourse is impossible when words are used as ideological tools rather than as representations of truth in order to logically develop principles.

This article discusses the problem, as well.

You are also completely free to "marry" multiple people. If you have two or more women or men living in your house, the law enforcement does not drag one of them away.

What you don't have the right is to expect legal privileges meant for monogamous relationships to accommodate multiple spouses.

Exactly what we've been arguing in the case of same-sex marriage. I'm sorry to tell you, Erkki, that your approach to this situation has been deemed unacceptable, hateful, and an affront to equal rights. No "reason" need be considered when rights are involved, and offering a "separate but equal" solution is out of the question.

Amy asks: "The question is, why are those who argue for same-sex marriage using arguments not as reasoned principles to be equally applied to all, but as emotional weapons to push through their agenda and their agenda only?"

I never used emotional arguments in arguing for gay marriage. I have said that:
a) monogamy and commitment are better than the alternative in demonstrable and quantifiable ways
b) most heterosexuals are not knowingly going to marry a homosexual, and I don't think predominantly gay men and women should try it anyhow
c) there are very few legal complexities in expanding the definition of marriage to two men or two men


Those are my basic principles. How do you gather these to imply that I should necessarily argue that one person should be able to marry as many people as they wish? On what grounds? None of these principles imply any such thing.

I'm unfamiliar with the arguments for polygamy, to be honest, but most of those clamoring for it are Mormon fundamentalists seeking polygamy on the basis of religious freedom (which I was under the impression you folks believed should be an unlimited right).

The question is really why Christians who believe in the absolute right of religious freedom don't think this should include the rights of Mormon fundamentalists.

This goes both ways, you know.

    Exactly what we've been arguing in the case of same-sex marriage.

Except they are not the same argument at all except at a very superficial point of view. The case against same-sex marriage is that allowing gay people the legal rights of marriage devalues marriage and forces society to accept homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle.

The case against polygamy is that it creates unstable social market of spouses and possibilities of marriage, and general problems associated with strong patriarchy.

Yes, in some ways both cases are "bigotry". The latter, however is much more justifiable case of "bigotry" because whereas there is little reason to fear the socioeconomic changes of gay marriage, there is plenty to fear from the socioeconomic changes of polygamy.

You no doubt disagree with the former and its effects on society, and you have the complete right to do so. But they are not the "same argument."

"What you don't have the right is to expect legal privileges meant for monogamous relationships to accommodate multiple spouses"

It's not a matter of what people want. The law is simply not capable of extending marital privileges to multiple spouses in any coherent way.

If a man with ten wives dies, who gets his assets? All of them? Is it divided equally or does the wife of the longest duration get it all? If the man becomes incapacitated, who gets to make medical decisions for him? What about custody issues if there are children?

Marriage laws cannot resolve these contractual legal issues as they exist. For the law to be able to do so, it would have to distinguish a "hierarchy" of spouses in some fashion, and this would result in endless litigation and legal wranglings that would never be resolved to the satisfaction of anyone.

Except they are not the same argument at all except at a very superficial point of view.

All right, let’s look at the arguments you give for why offering reasons against polygamy is not automatically bigotry and a denial of equal rights:

You are also completely free to "marry" multiple people. If you have two or more women or men living in your house, the law enforcement does not drag one of them away.

What you don't have the right is to expect legal privileges meant for monogamous relationships to accommodate multiple spouses.

Vs. our argument:

You are also completely free to "marry" people of the same sex. If you have two people of the same sex living in your house, the law enforcement does not drag one of them away.

What you don't have the right is to expect legal privileges meant for heterosexual relationships to accommodate same-sex spouses.

The principles you espouse in your argument:

1) No one is preventing people from living the way they want.

2) Defining marriage does not mean that those who wish to live outside that definition are being denied rights.

3) The government is not required to endorse every living arrangement (even those made out of love) that people choose. .

The principles we espouse in our argument:

1) No one is preventing people from living the way they want.

2) Defining marriage does not mean that those who wish to live outside that definition are being denied rights.

3) The government is not required to endorse every living arrangement (even those made out of love) that people choose. .

Exactly the same.

The question of whether or not you agree with the arguments against same-sex marriage is irrelevant to this post. The point is that your position is not bigotry and a denial of equal rights, and neither is ours.

James, the same goes for you. Arguments against polygamy are irrelevant here. Either it’s proper to discuss and debate the merits of same-sex marriage and polygamy, or anyone who limits the definition of marriage in either the case of polygamy or same-sex marriage is a bigoted poly/homophobe denying people the right to love the ones they love and have the government endorse it as marriage.

Proponents of same-sex marriage can’t have it both ways. If they want the courtesy of being allowed to debate the merits of polygamy while asserting that government endorsement of it is not a right and that their position is not motivated by hate, then they must extend the same courtesy to others.

(Erkki, also, you have not characterized our argument correctly. I invite you to go back and read previous posts on this subject--or this article--if you want to understand the argument.)

Amy - well done. You do the cause for clear thinking proud.

Erkki,

The two links you directed me to are summaries of the same study. I wonder if you read the links yourself or just quickly found something on google, since it's a bit odd to provide links which only summarize the same source.

So you've provided one study and neither source shows that the link between polygamy and violence is one of causation. Google the harmful effects of homosexuality and you'll find a lot of links. Yet I have my suspicions that you don't put much stock in those.

You said: "The case against polygamy is that it creates unstable social market of spouses and possibilities of marriage, and general problems associated with strong patriarchy."

But so far you haven't given any evidence that polygamy creates unstable social markets. You provided one source which only shows a correlation. If the study you cite does prove causation, it's not evident in either of the links you give.

Furthermore, it's bigoted of you to assume that polygamy = patriarchy. There can be multiple men sharing a woman. Many polygamous couples exist in the US just fine and I would argue that any sexually active non-married person is essentially living as a polygamist. Why would it suddenly be chaos if the sexually promiscuous single people started making commitments to multiple sexual partners??

James,

You said: "It's not a matter of what people want. The law is simply not capable of extending marital privileges to multiple spouses in any coherent way. If a man with ten wives dies, who gets his assets? All of them? If the man becomes incapacitated, who gets to make medical decisions for him? What about custody issues if there are children?"

Oh boy! An impossible conundrum! Oh wait, we already deal with that sort of thing all the time with children who outlive a single parent...

Nice trail, but that's a fail. It's very amusing to see people who support same-sex marriage try to come up with excuses for polygamy.

I want to marry my dad, my mom, and my sister. We love one another. We don't want kids, only sex and emotional commitment. Ah, love.

    The question of whether or not you agree with the arguments against same-sex marriage is irrelevant to this post. The point is that your position is not bigotry and a denial of equal rights, and neither is ours.

Except there is the rather fundamental difference in that no one, absolutely no one, hetero, gay, transsexual etc. is allowed to marry multiple spouses, so no one is in position to demand equal rights for marrying multiple spouses. Polygamy simply does not exist as legal construct in our society. Polygamists of course have to right to demand that it should exist. This, however has nothing to do in itself with the idea of same-sex marriage.

    Proponents of same-sex marriage can’t have it both ways. If they want the courtesy of being allowed to debate the merits of polygamy while asserting that government endorsement of it is not a right and that their position is not motivated by hate, then they must extend the same courtesy to others.

There is a difference between hate and prejudice. I don't personally think that all people who oppose SSM are motivated by hate. However they are motivated by a political ideology that idealizes to marginalize gay people in society. Calling them out on this is not demanding to end debate.

You might now object to this by saying I am also prejudiced against polygamists. To which I would say yes I am, especially the patriarchal forms of polygamy, that is, multiple wives. The difference is that I consider it to very reasonable to be wary against strong patriarchy, whereas gay marriage is more or less trivial concern.

"Except there is the rather fundamental difference in that no one, absolutely no one, hetero, gay, transsexual etc. is allowed to marry multiple spouses, so no one is in position to demand equal rights for marrying multiple spouses. Polygamy simply does not exist as legal construct in our society. Polygamists of course have to right to demand that it should exist."

Until just a few years and decades ago, the following could have been said about SSM:

"Except there is the rather fundamental difference in that no one, absolutely no one, hetero, gay, transsexual etc. is allowed to marry someone of the same sex, so no one is in position to demand equal rights for marrying someone of the same sex. SSM simply does not exist as legal construct in our society."

Fast forward 100 or even 50 years and it is very possible that polygamy could be an accepted practice and then the reasons for your arguments go away completely, which is part of the point that Amy is making in saying the SSM proponents can't have it both ways.

Darth Dutch

I should clarify in my point above that I don't actually think it's "very possible" that polygamy will be accepted in the near future. I should have phrased that as an "imagine the following scenario" type of thing.

The point is that the same arguments in support of SSM can be used for other marital relationships (like in the article) and those who support SSM and not other relationships using the same arguments are, as Amy satirically (but accurately) pointed out, bigoted, polyphobic, hateful and everything else that is leveled at those who are against SSM.

Darth Dutch

Erkki S, all bigots consider their views reasonable, otherwise they would not hold them.

Erkki,

You said: "Except there is the rather fundamental difference in that no one, absolutely no one, hetero, gay, transsexual etc. is allowed to marry multiple spouses, so no one is in position to demand equal rights for marrying multiple spouses."

That makes no sense. 10 years ago no one, absolutely no one, homosexual, transsexual, heterosexual, etc. was allowed to marry someone of the same sex. So they were never in a position to demand equal rights for marrying someone of the same sex.

You said: "Polygamy simply does not exist as legal construct in our society."

Just like same-sex marriage simply did not exist as a legal construct in our society a decade ago. In fact, there were specific laws against it.

You said: "This, however has nothing to do in itself with the idea of same-sex marriage."

Yes it does, since the same arguments same-sex marriage advocates use to argue that they should be allowed to marry work for polygamy and incest too.

You said: "However they are motivated by a political ideology that idealizes to marginalize gay people in society."

Idealizes to marginalize gay people? I'm not even sure what that means. But any sense in which it is coherent would just turn out to be question begging rhetoric.

You said: "The difference is that I consider it to very reasonable to be wary against strong patriarchy, whereas gay marriage is more or less trivial concern."

In other words, if you're right then we are prejudiced. Wow, impressive. *If* Hitler was right the Jews were animals. The problem is that in a dialectical context in which people don't agree that you're right, your language becomes unhelpful rhetoric which commits the fallacy of begging the question.

Erkki, first, if it's your contention that having the legal constructs in place for two people is enough to create rights for any two people to marry, then what follows from that reasoning is that two siblings of whatever sex have the right to marry. If you agree that is false--that there are reasons to ban incestuous marriage, then the principle you're advocating here is faulty. Being part of a couple does not necessarily give you the right to demand marriage--not if the union you're demanding be recognized does not fit the restrictions our society has placed on marriage.

Second, Darth is correct. Under your stipulation, nobody had the right to demand equal rights for marrying same-sex spouses. Nobody, no matter what their orientation, was allowed to do that, because that wasn't marriage. Following your logic, same-sex couples never had the right to demand that a new definition of marriage that includes same-sex couples should exist. This is your own reasoning.

And again, according to your reasoning, since you're against polygamy, you're part of a political ideology that works to marginalize poly people in society.

Or maybe that kind of language shouldn't be applied to either of us.

Can you see how all of this comes back to the definition of marriage, and not rights or equality? The problem you're having understanding this is that you're assuming a controversial definition of marriage without realizing it. You think that marriage is fundamentally "two people who love and commit to each other." Because you assume this, you think same-sex marriage and man/woman marriage are fundamentally the same.

But I don't grant that definition to you. In fact, that's the whole matter of the debate. So assuming that is just circular reasoning. You can't assume the conclusion of your argument in order to prove it.

Rather, our argument is that marriage is something in particular--the union of a man and a woman. And we give many reasons for why this is what marriage is. It's the unique aspects of the man/woman union that brought about the need for marriage in the first place. (Reminder: we're not in an argument right now about whether or not this definition is correct.)

Under that reasonable, argued for, based on unchangeable facts about the human body definition, same-sex couples were not in a position to demand the right to marriage because their union is fundamentally different from marriage. They weren't demanding the right to marry, they were demanding the right to change the very institution of marriage to mean "people who love each other." That change has huge legal implications--implications which will continue to expand as the principles put in place by this change are more consistently applied.

This is what you need to grasp: There was no legal construct for same-sex marriage, because marriage has always been something more than just two people who love each other. It's been the man/woman union.

So again, you are asking for special treatment for your own view about polygamy and reserving the right for yourself to label us "marginalizers." If we ought not call you a person who is motivated by a political ideology to marginalize poly people, then you ought not label us that way.

And please, calling people names and putting the worst possible spin on their motivations is a way of shutting down debate and shaming people into taking your position. It's using shame and emotion instead of reason.

The difference is that I consider it to very reasonable to be wary against strong patriarchy, whereas gay marriage is more or less trivial concern.

Ah, yes, but you see, we don't consider the differences between men and women to be a trivial concern when it comes to the institution of marriage which depends on the differences between men and women. So since we don't consider it to be trivial, then our arguments aren't about bigotry, hatred, or marginalization anymore, right? It's okay for you when the difference in definition is not trivial, so it's okay for us when the difference is not trivial.

This doesn't mean you have to agree with us, it just means that thinking you're right about the restrictive definition of marriage you would like to impose has nothing to do with the particular issue at hand. The question of whether or not you're right about the restrictions you prefer has nothing to do with whether or not restrictions in themselves are necessarily, by nature, marginalizing efforts to take away people's rights. All I'm asking for is self-awareness and consistency. If they're not these things for you, they're not these things for us.

Only after recognition of this can the question of which restrictions are appropriate be tackled.

That will likely be my last word on this, since I need to move on. I hope you will see the point I'm making and encourage people to be more charitable and consistent in their rhetoric and reasoning in the future when it comes to this topic.

So what is the proposal for gay men and women, then?

Marry a heterosexual? How many straight people here are up for participating in such a union? Men? Looking to marry a woman who you know finds you physically repulsive? Ladies? Looking for a man who's thinking of someone else while he performs his obligatory marital obligations?

How about lifelong celibacy. I know there are as many Christians opting for that as there are Christians opting for lifelong poverty as recommended by Christ Himself.

It's fine to talk about ideals. How about dealing with reality as it is?

James,

It's not clear what the significance of your question is supposed to be. Maybe you find celibacy outrageous and, therefore, think the only "real" option for the homosexual is to allow them to marry. But again, pull yourself out of the homosexual bubble and ask yourself the same question about other sexual orientations:

What about men who only find themselves attracted to their mothers? What's your proposal for these men, James? Marry a non-family member? How many people here are up for participating in marriage with incestuous desires?

It's fine to talk about ideals, James. How about dealing with the reality of incestuous love?

It's amazing that so many people have become so myopic on this one issue of homosexuality. They can only see their own narrow side of the issue and that is evidenced in the question begging nature of their arguments.

Errki's comments are bizarre. So, it's wrong for powerful men to have many wives, but perfectly okay for powerful lobbying groups to claim that same-sex couple ought to have the cooperation of the state to intentionally deny children a mother or a father by permitting such couples to pay surrogates, use reproductive technologies, and so forth?


Lot of counterpoints here, so I'm gonna respond in general:

Let's put it this way: here are two guys with an argument about what marriage should be.

Guy 1 thinks no Jews should be allowed to marry, and if they are to be allowed then only to non-Jews. This is in his mind completely reasonable since no one is being denied of rights: Jewish people can always marry a Gentile person, or live without a spouse. This should be the definition of marriage.

Guy 2 thinks no one should be allowed to have multiple wives. People who want to have multiple wives should marry only one person legally. This is in his mind reasonable since no one is being denied of rights: polygamist has the same right to marry one person as everybody else.

Are these two guys in your opinion equally prejudiced? Is the other guys "prejudice" much less reasonable then the others?

The point is, you can't just focus on the superficial aspects of the marriage argument by saying "well we all just want a debate on what marriage is; were all equally prejudiced on who people should marry". You can not separate the debate from the people by assuming the definition of marriage does not have anything to do with rights: if we were to debate whether or not Jewish people should have the right to marry, everyone here would obviously agree that this is about the rights of Jewish people.

You should note that I'm not accusing people arguing here of being anti-semitists or racists. I am merely illustrating here why playing this "well you guys oppose polygamy" thing here does not make a for a good analogy or argument. It is not the "exact same" argument against polygamy and opposition to same-sex marriage.

1- Sexual orientation is not an ethnicity.

2- Apparently Polys have a sexual orientation. And the movement has been to not discriminate based on sexual orientation,to the point that in places it is a legal obligation not to such as Canada where it is in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, so you should not be allowed to legally discriminate against polys.

What I am seeing is that you are saying you should not be called a bigot because your bigotry is narrow and justified, while others are wider and have no merit.

This is exactly what I would expect from a bigot.

Erkki,

The problem in your analogy is that it ignores the dialectical context. Everyone here agrees that polygamy should not be considered marriage and that ethnicity is not relevant to marriage. So of course we will think that someone who has an illegitimate condition on marriage is more prejudiced than someone who has a correct condition on marriage!

The problem is that same-sex marriage advocates have used logic that justifies polygamous marriage, but many of them (at least in the past) have wanted to resist that conclusion.

Whether or not condition of marriage is superficial is part of the debate. If you were talking to a racist who thought Jews shouldn't be allowed to marry, then you don't get to just *assume* that his condition is superficial. You have to argue for it.

You said: "I am merely illustrating here why playing this "well you guys oppose polygamy" thing here does not make a for a good analogy or argument. It is not the "exact same" argument against polygamy and opposition to same-sex marriage."

But you didn't illustrate that at all. All you illustrated is that you can't keep track of a dialectical context. You assume that if something is superficial in one dialectical context where everyone agrees, then you can just assume another superficiality in a different dialectical context where everyone does not agree.

Remington writes: "Maybe you find celibacy outrageous"

Yes, I do, and so do you. If you didn't, you and most other Christians would have taken Paul's advice and remained single and celibate (as he was).


"What about men who only find themselves attracted to their mothers?"

Let's come out of La-La Land for a moment, yeah? How many people are we even talking about? The problem with your analogy is that should such a group even exist, these men still have the option of marrying any one of 100 million other women. The only option you're suggesting gays have is to marry heterosexuals.

So again I ask: would YOU marry a lesbian?

James,

Again, when you just *assume* that I and everyone else finds celibacy outrageous you evidenced how much you're in your own little bubble.

It doesn't logically follow that if most Christians aren't celibate it's because they find it outrageous.

You said: "Let's come out of La-La Land for a moment, yeah?"

You seem to me to be the one in la la land. You impute your own views onto everyone else, and can't comprehend that other people would have a different view on things like celibacy. If James Bradshaw thinks celibacy is outrageous, everyone else must too, because James can't fathom that others don't think like him. Who is in la la land here?

You said: "How many people are we even talking about?"

Why would the numbers make a difference? If your argument is that it's outrageous to expect a person to be celibate, that argument should work no matter if we are talking about 1 person or 1 million. Focusing on the numbers is a red herring.

You said: "The problem with your analogy is that should such a group even exist, these men still have the option of marrying any one of 100 million other women."

Be serious, James. Try to argue in good faith. Can you really not see this is false? Since you can't grasp that other people's views of celibacy are different than your own, maybe you can't. But if a man is only attracted to his mother, he doesn't have the option of marrying the type of person he loves. Sure, he could marry a woman he isn't attracted to. So could the homosexual! The analogy is perfectly parallel at that point.

And it would be terribly easy to come up with other examples: pedophiles who are only attracted to children. Are you outrageously suggesting they marry an adult or remain celibate?!

Bisexuals who are attracted to more than one gender. Are you outrageously suggesting they only get to have one?!

You said: "So again I ask: would YOU marry a lesbian?"

No, I wouldn't marry a lesbian. It's a bit amusing that you think this is a gotcha question though. It's not the idea that heterosexuals should marry homosexuals that I reject. It's the idea that it's outrageous for someone to remain celibate.

"It doesn't logically follow that if most Christians aren't celibate it's because they find it outrageous."

Pardon me. They aren't interested in taking Paul's advice and remaining "eunuchs for the Kingdom" (so to speak), then. What difference does it make?

You're asking gay men and women (who may not even share your variety of fundamentalism) to abide by a set of values that you are unwilling to uphold yourself.

How many Christians do you know of that have voluntarily chosen a life of celibacy (aside from clerics within the Catholic Church)? I'm not talking about those who are celibate because they haven't found a mate or those who have chosen *temporarily* to live chastely and celibate.

I'm referring to Christians who have declared that they will remain single and celibate until the day the die (by choice!) and have succeeded in living that out ... how many do you know personally?

Be honest.

James,

Do you honestly think that Paul was commanding everyone to be celibate? Even if you do think this is what Paul was commanding, do you think Christians think this is what Paul was commanding? Do you think I believe "Paul commands me to be celibate."?

Please answer that question. The truth is, Christians don't think Paul was commanding anyone to be celibate. He recommends it for certain people, especially under certain contexts, but he doesn't say that everyone should be celibate. And given that the Bible as a whole speaks very highly of marriage, why wouldn't most people who want to marry get married?

Your entire line of reasoning here makes no sense, James.

You said: "You're asking gay men and women (who may not even share your variety of fundamentalism) to abide by a set of values that you are unwilling to uphold yourself."

Again, James, it's amazing that you can't take yourself out of the bubble. If I was homosexual, I would remain celibate. So you're wrong again and simply impute your own mindset onto me. Currently, I'm not married. Nor have I ever been married. So I've lived my life celibate. And that's been voluntary. Stop imputing James Bradshaw's mindset onto me, please. It's quite ridiculous when you're entire argument rests upon what "James Bradshaw Would Do and Thinks You Probably Do To"... not very rational.

You said: "I'm referring to Christians who have declared that they will remain single and celibate until the day the die (by choice!) and have succeeded in living that out ... how many do you know personally?"

lol, I don't know any, James. And that proves what exactly?

Here is your argument stated more clearly and formally:

1. We should never ask a person to live outrageously.

2. Asking a homosexual to not engage in same-sex sex is asking them to live outrageously.

3. Therefore, We should never ask a homosexual to not engage in same-sex sex.

You see, James, whether I know people who are celibate or not is entirely irrelevant to the argument you're trying to make. It's a red herring and I'm not sure why you're chasing it and trying to get me to follow.

The problem is no Christian thinks premise 2 is true.

Remington writes: "He recommends it for certain people, especially under certain contexts"

Sort of like Christ's recommendation to give away everything to the poor, right? Like Paul's recommendation to be celibate, this call to monasticism is always referring to "someone else" and in another context, isn't it?

"Asking a homosexual to not engage in same-sex sex is asking them to live outrageously[?]"

It is outrageous to *require* that they live without what most consider the most profoundly important relationship of their lives, yes. Marriage may not be less than sex, but it is certainly more than that. Gays aren't seeking legal recognition of someone who is acting as a mere "sex partner". If marital relationships are defined simply by what happens in the bedroom, I am inclined to pity your wife.

Those of us supporting M/F marriage and opposing the "marriage is anything you want it to be" movement have been saying these types of things would happen.

We were constantly told, "It'll never happen!" And when I have asked the question, "When we open up marriage to mean 'anything you want' and when people claim it as a 'right', upon what basis can we then deny that supposed right to any other combination of persons that demands it?", I have never received an an answer.

I have no problem saying, "I told you so", because I HAVE told them so, over and over and over again.

James,

You said: "Sort of like Christ's recommendation to give away everything to the poor, right? Like Paul's recommendation to be celibate, this call to monasticism is always referring to "someone else" and in another context, isn't it?"

Is that supposed to be an argument, James?

You said: "It is outrageous to *require* that they live without what most consider the most profoundly important relationship of their lives, yes."

The debate here is about *marriage* not relationships per se. No one is saying same-sex people can't be in a relationship. But being in a relationship doesn't just as such constitute or require marriage.

For some reason you think that if the gov't doesn't recognize it as marriage that they are somehow prevented from having a deep relationships? Strange.

You said: "Marriage may not be less than sex, but it is certainly more than that. Gays aren't seeking legal recognition of someone who is acting as a mere "sex partner". If marital relationships are defined simply by what happens in the bedroom, I am inclined to pity your wife."

And I'm inclined to pity your wife, if you think your intimacy with her depends upon legal status by the gov't.

"The problem with your analogy is that should such a group even exist, these men still have the option of marrying any one of 100 million other women "

It is a good analogy because a gay man has 100 million women he could marry. He simply has no sexual attraction to any of them, as in the cited example. Offering a large array of choices a person will not choose, and denying the one choice that they will choose, is still denying them the object of their desire regardless of the number of other options.

What legal or moral objection would you have to a formal recognition of oedipal relationships?

Remington writes: "No one is saying same-sex people can't be in a relationship"

You were just recommending lifelong celibacy as a completely reasonable option, weren't you?

"For some reason you think that if the gov't doesn't recognize it as marriage that they are somehow prevented from having a deep relationships?"

So why do heterosexuals marry instead of just shacking up? Why do they need civil recognition, especially if they don't have children?


Trent asks: "What legal or moral objection would you have to a formal recognition of oedipal relationships?"

I assume you're referring to people of adult age and that I do not have to explain the difference between that and child molestation, right?

Biological kin already have a number of legal protections by default that gay couples do not. What would be the point?

In terms of morality, yes, I think to have a sexual relationship with one's children (as the supposedly "righteous" Lot did when he got drunk and impregnated his own daughters - Genesis 19:36) is unethical.

What's your point? Do you assume that because I support gay marriage that I must necessarily support abortion, rape, murder and cannibalism?

James,

You said: "You were just recommending lifelong celibacy as a completely reasonable option, weren't you?

Because you sidetracked the discussion. The original post and following debate is about same-sex *marriage*. No Christian is saying the gov't should outlaw same-sex relationships. Now besides the debate about marriage, it's also true that Christians believe same-sex relationships are immoral. People should not be in same-sex relationships, just like people should not lie.

Now apparently you want to argue about Christian beliefs about the moral status of same-sex relationships. But that's (1) a pointless debate to have with an unbeliever and (2) irrelevant to the issue of same-sex marriage, which is the main point here.

Let me expand a bit on (1): trying to convince an atheist that same-sex relationships are wrong is about as fruitful as trying to convince an atheist that it's wrong for him to neglect prayer. In both cases, the view that the thing in question is wrong depends upon prior beliefs that the atheist lacks. Likewise, it's a complete waste of time for *you* to try and convince Christians that it's outrageous to think homosexuals should remain celibate. That requires a prior set of beliefs that Christians reject.

You said: "So why do heterosexuals marry instead of just shacking up? Why do they need civil recognition, especially if they don't have children?"

This is another red-herring. Let's say, for sake of argument, that Christians don't *need* civil recognition of marriage. It still doesn't logically follow that the gov't should redefine marriage to include same-sex unions.

You said: "Biological kin already have a number of legal protections by default that gay couples do not. What would be the point?

Wrong. They lack the legal protections and benefits that married couples have. In states where same-sex marriage is legal, they have less protections and benefits than gay people.

You said: "What's your point? Do you assume that because I support gay marriage that I must necessarily support abortion, rape, murder and cannibalism?"

Are dishonest caricatures an intellectual virtue in your view, James? Has anyone ever said that if you support same-sex marriage then you necessarily support any of the things you list? If so, prove it.

When you're not trying to win an argument on the internet, does it bother you that you have to caricature your opponents like this?

"Trent asks: "What legal or moral objection would you have to a formal recognition of oedipal relationships?"

I assume you're referring to people of adult age and that I do not have to explain the difference between that and child molestation, right?

Biological kin already have a number of legal protections by default that gay couples do not. What would be the point?"


The molestation thing seems a red herring.

Wives have rights that daughters don't. Otherwise a same sex couple could have one member adopt the other to get the rights that are supposedly the goal and need no legal changes as all.

It is quite clear to everyone the actual issue is that any people who love each other and want their sexual union formally recognized. The current marriage definition has been nullified. Now that the gender component has been accepted by law, the activists seem to want to solidify it so that no one else can change it to fit their wants.

I find the rhetoric of many same sex marriage advocates is a bit misleading, like abortion advocates.

Abortion - A woman needs to have total control over her reproductive health. But... although abortion must be free and easy and have no stigma, IVR to get pregnant is not important and need not be free and easy. The ability to get pregnant is not a reproductive health issue because you have access to that service if you have enough money.

Same sex marriage - Western society is too restrictive and is limiting the definition of marriage to a misunderstanding that loving relationships are restricted to only one model : 1 male + 1 female. But.... marriage can ONLY be between TWO Humans who have no familial relation. That would not be acceptable. You just can't marry anyone or anything. There needs to be restrictions, just restrictions that don't include me.

The problem with arguing that the definition of marriage is just a bit of legal wording, when it gets what you want, is it is not very convincing to turn around and claim that it isn't when someone else wants to change the wording. The fact that there has been great support for judicial activism to overturn public opinion to get the changes made, makes it much less convincing that opinions against these other alternate models should be listened to. The precedent has been set, there is no going back. Regardless of whether it is publicly accepted, if a judge decides to allow it it is legal, and there is a bit of hypocrisy if there is a claim that the definition of marriage cannot be decided by an individual judge. All it will take is a single judge to rule that the laws against polyamory (in this case same-sex) are unconstitutional and there is legal precedent, which if you follow the same-sex marriage rhetoric cannot be overturned by public opinion and to try would be bigotry.

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