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June 08, 2006

Comments

Yep. I have no problem with gay marriage. If a gay man and a gay woman want to marry each other, that's okay in my book.

Red Loser,

Your comment is hilarious!! I'm still laughing!!


Found a couple of interesting links today, as usual Jon Stewart says it best:

http://markschmitt.typepad.com/decembrist/

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/06/07.html#a8614

I posted these down below last night when I found them but it fits this thread.

I found myself smiling at the levity of the first two posts - took me back to the late fifties/early sixties when the early response to the civil rights movement was often humor (fear not examples will not be provided). You see, in reality equal access to accomodations wasn't all that important to the folks telling the jokes; their ideology crumbled and their lives went on. So it will be with gay marriage as folks get used to it and discover the sky is still up there.

However this should be an example to you all how you are being played by the "good,Christian" folks you elect to high office. If you only knew the contempt they held you in and how they laugh when they talk about you. BTW this is a perfect example how ideologies are used to support ruling interests and impel people to vote against their real interests.

if I seem a little cranky it is only because I still have hopes of the Republic being restored and I would hate to see our Constitution cluttered up with anti-federalist nonsense.

First the marriage ammendment and today the estate tax. The Senate is doing the Lord's work this week.


Alan,

Here you go, if you are serious about learning the opposing view. Some positions concerning the nature of homosexuality, marriage and the movement to redefine it. When you have finished working your way through all this, you will be well informed about the case rejecting the redefinition of marriage.

If anybody else has links that would be profitable I would be happy to receive them.

http://www.theweeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/285fhdqe.asp

http://patriotpost.us/papers/03-32.asp

http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5691

http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5594

http://profam.org/pub/fia/fia_1708.htm

http://www.princetonprinciples.org/

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZmViZGQ2NjVhMGUxNTgwZGYxNjBhMDkxNDBkMjVkOWY=

http://www.profam.org/pub/fia/fia_1812.htm

http://www.theweeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/191kgwgh.asp

http://www.theweeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/002/939pxiqa.asp

http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0310/editorial.html

http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft9403/articles/homo.html

http://touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=18-10-036-f

http://touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=18-01-038-f

http://touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=18-06-022-f

http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=2384

http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=2342

http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=2329

http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=15322


Articles from an anthropological and primarily secular viewpoint: Stanley Kurtz:

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=OWVmMDgyYWRmOTNjOTM2M2JlNGZhZTI5YTlmYjY4ZWY=

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MTU4NDEzNTY5ODNmOWU4M2Y1MGIwMTcyODdjZGQxOTk=

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NmNlNWYxNmZjMjVjNjEzYjdhODAwYmFiYTUwMWQyMTM=

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YTVjMzA5NzNkZmU0YWMxMjQ4NDk1YjFkZGQ4YjQ5NzQ=

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=M2FjZjBkMTM2YTk4ZDhlZjJhNWIzNzE5YThhNGZkMDc=

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NGFlMWEwMzkwOTc5Mjk3Y2E2NmM2NzMxZjdmMmQ3MTQ=


Talks that come from a Christian perspective:

http://www.veritas.org/3.0_media/talks/162

http://www.kfuo.org/Issues_ETC/ie_02_08_05.htm


Websites of interest:

http://www.frc.org/

http://www.narth.com/

http://www.familyscholars.org/

http://www.inqueery.com/\

http://www.robgagnon.net/

http://www.marriagedebate.com/

http://www.drjudithreisman.com/
Book Reviews:

http://www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9703/opinion/moberly.html

“The way to abolish marriage, without seeming to abolish it, is to redefine the institution out of existence,” wrote National Review Online’s contributing editor Stanley Kurtz in February. “If everything can be marriage, pretty soon nothing will be marriage.”

I'm still reading but this seems to be the theme and I just don't see it from any of the evidence presented so far.

I have yet to see any case for a Constitutional ammendment but I'll keep reading.

I checked Alan's links. I must admit that I found Jon Stewart's performance disrespectful. I feel this kind of "debate" is not condusive to finding truth. In the Mark Schmitt post Bill Bennett is labeled as a bigot. This is very easy to do to anyone when you don't hear out the arguments for what a person believes.

In watching the four minute video clip of Jon Stewart and Bill Bennett found here:

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/06/07.html#a8614

I couldn't help but think how Greg Koukl might have responded to Stewart. I think it would be an interesting experiment for anyone to view the video and apply STR methods to form responses to Stewart.

The analogy of the rights of gays to the civil rights movement is a convenient one, but it's apples & oranges.
The Civil rights cause was centered on one's color, a benign physical characteristic that's not morally relevant. People should have the same protection & opportunities under the law regardless of race or color-it took us awhile, but we finally got that right.
Same Sex marriage is based on same sex intimate relations, which is a behaviour or lifestyle, and really has no meaning outside of sex. As with most human behaviours, there is a moral realm or quality to the activity or behavior. So, unlike race, which has no moral quality, the gay lifestyle has moral significance and related ramifications in society that most human interpersonal relationships have.

My point on the civil rights movement is that white southerners were victims of ideology. They saw blacks being able to enjoy the same things they did as threatning to all they held dear. A few laws, court decisions and bayonets later most found otherwise. The same thing will happen with gay marriage should it happen. Life will go on, the sky won't fall and in a few years everyone will wonder what the fuss was all about.

Now if I allow my cynical side to make an observation I would point out that if one looks at the map one does have to wonder if "values" hasn't replaced "race" as the motivating ideology. Put another way, ask yourselves who has profited (I mean $) the most from your vote? This is the question that keeps popping up as i read on this topic.

Greg should try to get on things like Stewart's show. Bennett is an empty suit and Coulter is just vile; it would be nice to upgrade things.

This is an example of what I mean in refering to the Civil Rights movement. It is from National Review

" The central question that emerges . . . is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not prevail numerically? The sobering answer is Yes – the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race. It is not easy, and it is unpleasant, to adduce statistics evidencing the cultural superiority of White over Negro: but it is a fact that obtrudes, one that cannot be hidden by ever-so-busy egalitarians and anthropologists.

National Review believes that the South's premises are correct. . . . It is more important for the community, anywhere in the world, to affirm and live by civilized standards, than to bow to the demands of the numerical majority."

http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/2005-3_archives/000102.html

Think about this intellectual exercise when you read the high faluting arguments against gay marriage we now encounter. This is also why many of us exhibit a certain cynicism about conservative argumentation. I'll leave you with a NR meditation on MLK:
"

The soberly-dressed "clerky" little man... seemed oddly unsuited to his unmentioned but implicit role of propagandist.... Let me say at once, for the benefit of the wicked, fearful South, that Martin Luther King wil never rouse a rabble; in fact, I doubt very much if he could keep a rabble awake... past its bedtime... lecture... delivered with all the force and fervor of the five-year-old who nightly recites: "Our Father, Who art in New Haven, Harold be Thy name."...

The history of Negro freedom in the United States... according to Dr. King, is actually a history of Supreme Court decisions... in each of these decisions "the Supreme Court gave validity to the prevailing mores of the times." (That's how they decide, you see? They look up the prevailing mores--probably in the Sunday New York Times.)...

In the future, [according to King] the reactionary white south will try.... Nevertheless, victory is inevitable for the Good Guys.... The Negro must... expect suffering and sacrifice, which he must resist without sacrifice, for this kind of resistance will leqve the violent segregationist "glutted with his own barbarity. Forced to stand before the world and his God splattered with the blood and reeking with the stench of his Negro brother, he will call an end to his self-defeating massacre." (I don't think [King had] really examined that one, do you?)...

In the words of an editorial from next morning's Yale Daily News, "a bearded white listener rose, then a whole row, and then a standing ovation." Did you ever see a standing ovation rise? It's most interesting! Anyway, I rose and applauded heartily. I was applauding Dr. King for not saying "the trusth shall make you free," because actually it took the Supreme Court, in this case, didn't it?...

[A] discussion period for undergraduates followed the lecture.... Here was no trace of the sing-song "culluh'd preachuh" chant, the incongruously gaudy phrases.... Martin Luther King... relies almost entirely on force of one kind or another to accomplish integration.... [I]t seems curiously inconsistent to hear him, time after time, suggest power, or force--the force of labor, of legislation, of federal strength--as the solution....
"
http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2005/12/more_highqualit.html

Actually, Alan, the "levity" was simply intended as a way we could respond to those who unfairly say we are bigots denying gays their right to marry. The humor (hopefully) lightens the mood somewhat, and it shifts the attention to the real question: what constitutes marriage?

Now, I'd agree with you that gay marriage wouldn't have an enormous impact on society. It's merely a symptom of society's degradation of marriage. Because sex and childbearing have been disassociated with marriage, it's is now viewed as merely an outward expression of emotional attachment. So it's a common belief that anyone who feels those emotions should be able to get married. Gay marriage is a natural consequence of that belief.

Now is gay marriage an important issue? Yes. By legalizing gay marriage, the government places a stamp of approval on gay relationships. In doing so, it establishes a value judgment: homosexual activity is to be praised and encouraged. Unless a person agrees with that statement, he or she should oppose gay marriage. Opposition should also come from those who believe that marriage is an institution that comes from a higher source than the government and the will of the people.

An article from the Telegraph on how gay marriage is affecting and may affect Churches in England.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/
main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/06/10/
nbless10.xml

"Because sex and childbearing have been disassociated with marriage, it's is now viewed as merely an outward expression of emotional attachment."

And this is bad...why? That is the beginnings of an argument against contraception and, like with Terri Schaivo, Toto pulls the curtain aside.

On the one hand, "Now, I'd agree with you that gay marriage wouldn't have an enormous impact on society" and on the other hand "Now is gay marriage an important issue? Yes". I'm a little confused, it would seem to me that if it isn't going to have much of an impact then it isn't an important issue.

" In doing so, it establishes a value judgment: homosexual activity is to be praised and encouraged." It's not our governments place to praise and encourage or criticize and discourage any kind of sexual activity between competent and consenting parties. The state's interest in marriage or civil unions is to provide order on property issues and protect the interests of minor children.

Read the articles and it seems to me to be no big deal. After all Henry's splitting things up seems to have been a bigger deal and things turned out ok.

If the Anglican communion fractures a bit - so what? I wish both sides well - these things always work out one way or another.

Another view of the ammendments: http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2006/06/saving-democracy-from-independent.html#links

This thread seems to have gone "south" :) and time travelled back to unattributed 1957 articles of no particular relevance, that I can see, to the original post.

At the very least I think it should be apparent that it is possible to hold that the redefinition of marriage and the normalization of homosexual behavior is harmful to society, and can be argued reasonably. The argument could be wrong but it is not bigotry.

I think that the impact of redefinition of marriage will have a wide ranging impact on society and its institutions as suggested in many of the links I listed.

William, the posts are from National Review and have a link. They are on point. My point isn't that folks who oppose gay marriage are bigots but that the anti arguments smack of ideology. One can believe anything one wishes but the evidence isn't there if one looks at the places where GM or civil unions are allowed. All I see is speculation based on some tenuous connections.

The purpose of racial theories was to distract poor whites and maintain a power structure that was to their disadvantage.

The purpose of things like the marriage ammendment is to fire up the base and distract them from real issues.

When a proposition is advanced it is not enough to look at the arguments advanced. This is especially true where broad cultural topics are involved and religious injunctions are invoked. We don't live in a vacuum and it never hurts to do a cui bono as part of ones analysis.

One can also do a thought experiment. For example I can imagine I'm on Medicare and i can go throught he steps involved in trying to figure out what drug coverage to choose and can get a feeling what it must be like for someone actually on Medicare. Likewise if I am married and then a couple of guys or gals can get married too, what is going to change for me? Is my marriage devalued? Do I think less of my wife; do I divorce her?

All I am saying is that when the same folks who want you to focus on "protecting marriage" also have neglected our national security, run up a mountain of debt while giving their friends tax cuts, ignored a crumbling health care system and diced the Constitution, you might want to take a closer look.

Alan wrote:" run up a mountain of debt while giving their friends tax cuts,"

Despite out oft disagreements Alan, I agree with you that for the most part, the President has failed in a number of ways, as has the congress. This will not change under any liberal or conservative group, just by virtue of being said group. Nothing will improve until term limits are a reality. The American Idea is in peril. Elites in both parties care nothing for principle, only power. And the people who vote for them have also abandoned pronciple in favor of icons that best represent thier own personal rage at being powerless. Things are ugly. We must have TERM LIMITS!

By the way, I am one of the friends receiving tax cuts! I make under 60K, have a wife and three kids and sometimes wonder how we will make it! Not a complaint - just letting you know the tax cuts have been one of only a few huge successes for Bush. I would not change a thing about that. However, I would never vote for him or anyone like him ever again. And I will NEVER vote for a liberal!

Would to God a candidate would come along that knew what it was like to look up at the nearest Exxon sign and say, "dang it. up another four cents. When will this stop"? But that will never happen under the present two party system.

Alan,

I believe that if an argument is a good one, if it is true, if it is supported by facts and careful reasoning, it is appropriate to make a decision on the rightness or wrongness of the argument.

If the argument that redefining marriage results in adverse effects on society and its institutions is well supported, it is appropriate for a politician to use the issue to "fire up the base" to the extent that the people consider the health of the marriage institution at least as important as Medicare. It is clear from State legislation that this issue is very important to many.

Everyone walking the planet has a worldview, or ideology if you prefer. You show evidence of yours in all your posts. For example:

"All I am saying is that when the same folks who want you to focus on "protecting marriage" also have neglected our national security, run up a mountain of debt while giving their friends tax cuts, ignored a crumbling health care system and diced the Constitution, you might want to take a closer look."

The point of the links I posted was to demonstrate that there are good reasons for the positions taken opposing the redefinition of marriage. You can disagree with these reasons by providing better arguments not by making allegations of bigotry as Mark Schmitt does about Bill Bennett.

You say "The purpose of things like the marriage ammendment is to fire up the base and distract them from real issues."

I believe that one should not say that an individual is using ideology to dupe the uninformed unless you know their mind.

In my mind, one of the major failures of contemporary political debate, at least since Robert Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court is a lack of respect. Respect is shown by dealing with your opponent's argument. I consider Jon Stewart's approach to Bill Bennett disrespectful because he did not allow Bennett to develop reasoned points uninterrupted. This often leads, not to debate, but to a shouting match where the truth is not heard.

Another problem is that judgment is often first made on the individual's character and therefore not only is the person a lying, greedy, deceiver but their argument is only to serve their selfish vices! Deal with the substance of the argument first to avoid the ad hominem mistake. I think character is a separate debate but also very important.

I suggest that the purpose of most social theories is to explain the way the world works. Certainly some will always latch on to things like this to advance their own selfish agenda regardless of whether they believe it or not. This would not surprise any Christian because we recognize sin from personal experience. We understand its nature and extent from a Christian worldview. A utopian worldview suggests that this is not the condition of humanity. Which one more accurately describes the way the world works?

I suggest that looking to a particular political party for salvation is futile.

Concerning this: "Likewise if I am married and then a couple of guys or gals can get married too, what is going to change for me? Is my marriage devalued? Do I think less of my wife; do I divorce her?"

Yes, all this is possible. That is the point of the debate! Certainly someone with a Christian worldview would or should resist these pressures. A secularist who does not see any problem with divorce or with exotic forms of sexual relationships should, as a responsible citizen, be very sure they know the consequences of their view.


Thanks for your comments William.

"A secularist who does not see any problem with divorce or with exotic forms of sexual relationships should, as a responsible citizen, be very sure they know the consequences of their view."

It seems the best argument some give is only that they do not know what the consequences will be, therefore let's find out!

Not very wise.

"A secularist who does not see any problem with divorce or with exotic forms of sexual relationships should, as a responsible citizen, be very sure they know the consequences of their view."

Thanks for the reply William, I can't imagine that, if I had a solid relationship with my wife, two guys down the street getting married would change anything. An earlier poster mentioned breaking the link between children and marriage and now divorce is mentioned. Problem with that part of the argument is that, without gay marriage or gays at all for that matter, those horses are not only out of the barn but are over the hill and through the dale. Techno-economic and techno social changes are responsible for both. We are dealing, that is what robust cultures do. It is unfair to arbitrarily assign whatever problems the changes in our culture since the Depression has inflicted upon marriage to gay marriage or civil unions.

I agree that we should avoid social engineering but passive changes dispersed through a federal system are not that. We are a strong society and we can observe Massachusetts, California and Vermont and Connecticut on the one hand and Virginia on the other and figure out if there are any problems. Interesting post on Sullivan: http://time.blogs.com/daily_dish/2006/06/quote_for_the_d_11.html and http://www.heraldsun.com/features/religion/61-742858.html

Public policy arguments need to be taken in some sort of context. It is just too easy to be misled; an argument can be internally consistent and yet totally wrong in the real world. Any argument that asserts if x then the deluge is likely to be wrong - there is a very good track record with those sorts of arguments. Likewise any argument involving social phenomena that depends on a linear extrapolation is likely to be wrong. All the arguments against GM fall into this category. An analogy would be the speech codes some colleges have enacted - the intentions are good and if you follow their reasoning they make sense but if one has real world experience and understands the value of broadly unrestricted speech the hate-speech codes just look silly.

Patrick, I have a couple of observations. You are solidly in the middle class and among those most harmed by the Bush agenda. I understand that every little bit helps and I don't know your specific situation and it is none of my business but the general distribution of the tax cuts are in the links below. The numbers don't lie. Also you are a victim of our pathetic news media. You rail against them liberal democrats and praise the Bush tax cuts yet it was the liberal dems who insisted on front loading middle class tax cuts (a responsible move in the light of the recession). You should research the legislative history of the cuts.

http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2005/06/why_oh_why_are__1.html

http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2006/06/morning_coffee_.html

http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2006/05/tax_incidence.html

Term limits simply shift the balance of power to staff, it takes years to become competent in things like tax and defense policy. The past twelve years have clearly demonstrated that conservatives can't do policy and conservatism has some sort of internal trajectory that leaves its proponents in public office concerned only with acquiring and holding power. Because liberals actually believe that government can be used for the common good, liberals can at least do policy; compare the Clinton and Bush Treasury Departments. This is also why my list of issues isn't based on ideology. These are legitimate public policy concerns. An analogy would be gay marriage as opposed to abortion. The former is a concept that is new and seems weird at first but is actually no big deal except for the individuals availing themselves of it. The latter is an issue that involves real public policy concerns however strongly we may disagree about it.

Alan,

You say "I can't imagine that, if I had a solid relationship with my wife, two guys down the street getting married would change anything." So what do you mean by solid relationship? Part of this whole debate is about changing the definitions and nature of this relationship.

Remember that this debate is not primarily about homosexuality. The proponents of same sex marriage just happen to be the most numerous, organized and well funded of a variety of people interested in redefining marriage.

You say "An earlier poster mentioned breaking the link between children and marriage and now divorce is mentioned. Problem with that part of the argument is that, without gay marriage or gays at all for that matter, those horses are not only out of the barn but are over the hill and through the dale." Yes, and what have we learned about the social impact of no fault divorce? On the whole,I believe it has been a disaster. It was sold as "progressive" and a benefitial social adjustment. Too late now!

You say "any argument involving social phenomena that depends on a linear extrapolation is likely to be wrong. All the arguments against GM fall into this category." You assert this with no evidence. Of course it is sometimes necessesary to extrapolate when discussing GM because historically it has not been tried. Once again, what happended with no fault divorce should be a warning.

Concerning your links: Steve Chapman via A. Sullivan says that "contrary to the hopes of supporters (of the FMA) last weeks vote is about as good as things will get." What crystal ball is he using? Even the supporting data don't necessarily mean that marriage will be redefined.
He says if states can limit marriage there is no need to fiddle with the work of the founders. Well if the courts overrule the states, as they have and could further, this argument fails. Remember also that the FMA must follow constitutional procedures set by the founders so its not as though the procedure is constitutionally inappropriate.

Lastly, Chapman says that the Supreme Court issued a decision overturning sodomy laws (Lawrence decision)and the public barely blinked. Of course sodomy laws are not marriage laws. It should be noted that 45 states have laws defining marriage traditionally and many states are in the process of writing this definition into their constitutions (with overwhelming public support) to protect marriage from judicial redefinition. You may know that the reasoning in the Lawrence decision actually opens up the possibility that many behaviors not currently popular may become "constitutionally" protected. Sen. Rick Santorum was right!

The item from Tom Ehrick did not impress me.

He says the Marriage protection amendment is also known as the gay marriage ban. Maybe so for some, but this is a misrepresentation, as I mentioned above. The issue is about preventing the redifinition of marriage.

He says the constitution needs to be preserved from religious squabbling and moralizing. It should be clear that it is not necessary to be religious to oppose the redefinition of marriage if such redefinition is destructive to social relationships or institutions.

He says the amendment targets a subset of citizens for discrimination. This is simply untrue. This amendment defines a social relationship between a man and a woman that applies equally to all citizens of the U.S.

Similarly he says that one branch of christianity doesn't believe that gays and lesbians should have the same rights as other citizens. On the contrary, they insist that they have the same right to marry as everyone else.

"We are a strong society and we can observe Massachusetts, California and Vermont and Connecticut on the one hand and Virginia on the other and figure out if there are any problems."

Here in California the will of the people was overturned by radical judges who feel the state should endorse behavior contrary to human sexual nature. Why?

All those who care about marriage want it left alone, whereas it's all those who think fornication is okay and therefore do not care about marriage who insist it's no big deal if marriage is redifined to the point where it really means nothing and ends up nullifying the purpose of marriage.

Gay "marriage" advocates even say it's about love, not sex, but then they refuse to logically extend their arguments to brothers or sister or a brother and a sister who love and care for one another but aren't sexually involved. That they say is crossing the line.

Hi William, this is just a short acknowledgement as we are about to lose this thread. A solid relationship is one in which the two people are committed to each other to the extent that they are willing to work together to keep the relationship alive to the exclusion of other possibilities..

I don't know if you are old enough to remember what divorce was like before no fault but it wasn't pretty. No fault didn't cause any weakning of marriage, it was a response to the changes that WW II caused in the economic status of women. It is simply impossible to maintain what I believe you to mean by traditional marriage in neo-local urban situations.

BTW, your criticism of MS re: Bennett. They move in the same public policy circles so mark's view of Bill may be informed by knowledge beyond that which he shared. Bill has always struck me a bit too pompus. I also have a problem with addicts lecturing me on virtue. Someone with his problem should have the decency to find another line of work (as a subset of a gambling addiction, slots show a real personality disorder). As for his appearance on Stewart's show, Bill has been around long enough to know how to communicate in a short format which is what Jon did to good effect. It is a weakness that opponents of GM need to "develop" the concept - too many tenuous connections for a Constitutional ammendment.

Alan said: "I also have a problem with addicts lecturing me on virtue. Someone with his problem should have the decency to find another line of work"

It could be argued that some people who have experienced addiction problems may have a keen sense of the value and nature of virtue.

If you are looking for someone who has a clean personality to explain virtue to you, as a Christian I can only recommend Jesus, perhaps starting with Matthew 5-7. There is no other human that can make the claim of freedom from sin.

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