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« More Resources for Understanding and Discussing the Marriage Decision | Main | Justice Kennedy’s Arguments for Polygamy and Polyamory »

June 27, 2015

Comments

The first thing I thought after hearing this news was, "I wonder when marrying an animal will be deemed ok?" A study of the final days of ancient Rome is in order.

I encourage y'all not to get too wound up.

For example, if you find yourself tempted to use words like 'totalitarian', take a breath.

Really.

I wonder if the Church is looking at this all wrong?

God is Good, He is in total control, He is sovereign, He has a plan and we all recognize His divine providence.
He has permitted this to occur for reasons that might be beyond our current understanding. What we have is His perfect Word. In His perfect Word we have always been commanded to be set apart, we are to rejoice in our troubles. I don't pretend to know His plan but it is absolute truth that this IS part of His plan. Perhaps we might have a peek inside the possibilities? Perhaps the American churches have never felt the real sting of persecution that is like a refining fire, galvanizing faith? Perhaps this is the impetus for the American churches to come together in a way that no one could have foreseen? Perhaps this could even lead to the end of racism, with people of all races standing beside their brothers and sisters in Christ, fully together? Black and white churches, as far as I have seen, seem to be apart, and yet they have far more in common with each other than with anyone else walking down the street. And particularly to the white churches, it would be God's grace that we might go humbly to our fellow believers and truly understand their plight and the plight that they have faced for centuries. Perhaps this is the beginning of something truly magnificent in the church!
But today we should rejoice! God is good! He has divine providence and nothing is outside of his control. Reach across the pews Christians, find a church filled with strangers and bring your churches together and then go do the same again. What a wonderful revival and amazing social movement this could be.

"Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make five." - 1984

Oops, looks like the thought police got to me; I meant to say "two plus two make four." :P

Ron, the government is already borderline totalitarian. This is just a painful reminder to us of what has already occurred. The U.S. government is a massive government that has used its power to hurt and (indirectly) enslave millions over the past 30 or 40 years. Iraq? Afghanistan? All so a few friends of the state could get rich. The U.S. for the past 30 or 40 years has been a Roman style mob-rule democracy where the rights of the of the individual get crushed, and most of the freedoms granted under the original constitution are ignored. There is this huge military industrial complex, which only benefits a few individuals, totalitarian torture or censership of those who try to stand up against the NSA (like Edward Snowden) or government agencies. Things are only going to get worse and spiral out of control. Just watch and see that we are right.

What all the psychos who are "anti-gay marriage rights" fail to realize is that church and state are separate. Why would we NOT pass a rights act, just because a religion says no? No one cares what one religion says. Christianity does not rule this country. The bible does not define our laws. Also, stop worrying about other people and worry about yourselves. This rights act doesn't mean you have to become gay. Anyone opposing this act is just too narcissistic to recognize that it literally has NOTHING to do with them. So get over yourself. Check your own life and make sure you're the shining picture of perfection before you start criticising others. This is America, land of the free. Get used to it, or go live in another country where your freedoms are nonexistent.

The nature of all philosophical reasoning is ultimately speculative and arbitrary. The Austrian Philosopher Wittgenstein called human reasoning mere "word games." It was his funeral oratory for Modernism's quest for rational certainty. With its death came post-modernism abandonment of rational certainty and elevation of reason to pure subjectivity, essentially, "Who are you to say?" Reasoning is now mere human whim with no absolute framework to judge its value. Whims now become imperatives; and imperatives without the discoursive framework of absolutes are applied to those who dare disagree by force, which is the functional definition of Totalitarianism. The answer to the question "Who is to say what the highest good is , ie. What harm is in this?" is now answered by "Whoever shouts the loudest and longest." So you shout down your opponent by name calling. You persuade by sophistry. You divide and conquer by class. You maim and injure. You declare a culutral war. It's just the unremarkable and unredeemed history of the human race that rages against its own dying light of speculative reasoning. The ultimate question isn't "How should we then live?" but who will save us from ourselves?"

Rachel, you don't need a Bible to recognize the nature of marriage. In fact, we usually use non-biblical argumentation for man/woman marriage here. I encourage you to look into some of those reasons so you can understand this issue and why people disagree. See here.

Marriage and the marriage culture in this country have very much to do with everybody, so it's important to understand what it is before you change it. From G.K. Chesterton:

In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”

This paradox rests on the most elementary common sense. The gate or fence did not grow there. It was not set up by somnambulists who built it in their sleep. It is highly improbable that it was put there by escaped lunatics who were for some reason loose in the street. Some person had some reason for thinking it would be a good thing for somebody. And until we know what the reason was, we really cannot judge whether the reason was reasonable. It is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question, if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious. There are reformers who get over this difficulty by assuming that all their fathers were fools; but if that be so, we can only say that folly appears to be a hereditary disease. But the truth is that nobody has any business to destroy a social institution until he has really seen it as an historical institution. If he knows how it arose, and what purposes it was supposed to serve, he may really be able to say that they were bad purposes, or that they have since become bad purposes, or that they are purposes which are no longer served. But if he simply stares at the thing as a senseless monstrosity that has somehow sprung up in his path, it is he and not the traditionalist who is suffering from an illusion.

Again, start here. I think I'll post that quote on the main blog next week.

DK, you're exactly right. I actually started a post about that yesterday that I hope to have up early next week.

Thanks Amy. I love Chesterton! I've been re-reading his Everlasting Man. Unfortunately, the earlier post by Racheal is what passes off now as discourse: anger, name calling and contempt. I normally don't post becaue the online mask of anominity allows some people the unrestrained pleasure of spewing their reckless speech (psychos and narcissists) on anyone who might dare disagree with them. Sadly, it proves the point of your post. However, I look forward to your next one.

Ron, the government is already borderline totalitarian.

I think that’s groundless, emotional hyperbole.

The gate or fence did not grow there.
You want to know how marriage got established.

OK, I'll take a shot at that.

I wasn't there so all I can do is say why marriage was an attractive idea and to whom.

Start with a man in a pre-marriage society.

He helps taking care of his kids. Hunting, maybe.

Anyway, he works and spends the fruits of his labor on his kids.

He prefers taking care of his kids to taking care of kids fathered by others.

But how to know if his kids are really his?

Chastity belt?

Another way is to get together with the other guys in the neighborhood and make a deal: this woman is mine and that one is yours.

There's cheating, for sure but this works pretty good!

There's reason for developing marriage if you don't have it already.

More on this to come.

If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away.
So what about other uses of marriage?

Well, the man in my previous comment raises up some girls.

The grow to child bearing age and the young men raised by his buds in the neighborhood begin to notice.

Incest is already understood to result in kids with problems.

But our friend wants grandchildren; he wants them.

So he makes a deal with a neighbor kid: she is yours if you take care of here kids.

Another reason marriage looks like a cool idea.

A would-be grandpa can motivate another guy to help take care of his grandkids.

But wait, there's more.

@ Ron H

"I encourage y'all not to get too wound up.

For example, if you find yourself tempted to use words like 'totalitarian', take a breath.

Really."

Why? That's what it is. But you're okay with that, right?

If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away.
After this marriage custom has been running for a while, people begin to notice other benefits to it.

Property sometimes accumulates.

Couples sometimes break up.

What happens to the property?

If the couple was married, the marriage custom can settle it or help settle it.

This is attractive to the guy that settles disputes in the area as these situations can get quite ugly.

There you go: another reason we humans love marriage!

Mo,

This SCOTUS decision is totalitarian? That's what you mean?

@ RonH

It's tiresome to see this issue being made light of by people like you. It's a serious issue. I think it deserves to be dealt with seriously.

You cannot expect me to believe that you've not heard anything at all about the people who've been pushed out of their jobs, had their businesses sued and even lost their businesses due to the relentless bullying of the pro-SSM side.

Please do not treat me like I'm stupid. I know you must have heard about these things. Now with this ruling, this type of thing will only INCREASE.

And apparently, you're okay with that.

Ron, just stated some facts. That wasn't emotionality. All the signs of a totalitarian state are there. This SCOTUS decision is just another sign. You may agree with that decision, but the fact remain that in so many ways the United States government has been totalitarian outside of its borders for many years. In S. America, for example, the CIA in the eighties kidnapped 30,000 people in Chile and dropped them in to the ocean. Or supported a right-wing dictatorship in Argentina that killed people left and right (around 10,000). Or supported right-wing dictatorships in just about every country in Latin America. Caused and stoked civil war in Central America. Our government has done remarkably evil things over the past 30 years.

It is only a matter of time before the government turns against its own people with the same sort of behavior. I am stating this as cold fact. This isn't emotionality and these events were not made up. They happened, and the U.S. government did it. If we as a country have allowed our government to do these disgusting things abroad, why should we be surprised if they start to do it at home?

Hi Mo,

I don't see an answer to my question there.

This SCOTUS decision is totalitarian? That's what you mean?

While your at it, I'm not sure if I've heard of the things you are talking about. So, tell me about some of the people you're referring to, tell me about their being pushed out of their job, and tell me how that was totalitarianism.

It seems like it might be a good idea for us to talk about a definition of totalitarianism, too.

So, if you don't mind, please propose one.

RonH

JBerr,

It seems like it might be a good idea for us to talk about a definition of totalitarianism, too.

So, if you don't mind, please propose one.

It occurs to me that maybe not everyone knows about Godwin's Law which the very title of this post brings to mind.

True, there's been no explicit mention of Hitler, but Nazi Germany is so frequently given as example of a totalitarian state that I think Godwin's law is satisfied.

Ron, this post is explicit about what specifically reflects a totalitarian impulse in the court decision—the redefinition of a pre-political institution. It's not just a word being thrown about. It means something, and it applies to this. Plus, of course, no one mentioned Hitler except you, so...

if you find yourself tempted to use words like 'totalitarian', take a breath.

Predictable comment from the person who benefits from the decision. Short-sighted at best.

What all the psychos who are "anti-gay marriage rights" fail to realize is...

Aren't liberals tolerant? And so well informed?

Amy points out that she posted about a 'totalitarian>impulse and says such talk wasn't just 'a word being thrown about.

Impulse is a wiggle word here. What does it mean? Motivation?

And how do you know the motivation of The Five?

If the decision had happened entirely in legislatures and referenda would that have a 'totalitarian impulse' too?

Does it matter that The Five gave reasons and did not mention totalitarian desires?

A few short comments after a 'totalitarian' impulse we have Ron, the government is already borderline totalitarian.

That seems beyond an impulse or (supposed) motivation.

And then later we have

Reasoning is now mere human whim with no absolute framework to judge its value. Whims now become imperatives; and imperatives without the discoursive framework of absolutes are applied to those who dare disagree by force, which is the functional definition of Totalitarianism.

See what happens when a word is thrown around?

And if you want to calim it's not a word being thrown around, you have a long a way to go yet.

What does all that stuff about 'redefining pre-political institutions' actually mean?

Why should we think it's true rather than just another religious claim?

And if it is true, then isn't it just an fancy-sounding argument from antiquity?

Lumbergh

Predictable comment from the person who benefits from the decision. Short-sighted at best.
How do I get my benefit? What is it? I want to collect.

Ron, the adjective "totalitarian" in this post is not a description of their intention, it's a description of the action. And yes, any government that takes on the authority to change a pre-political institution (i.e., one that's so fundamental to the creation of society that it exists logically (and actually) prior to government) is doing something totalitarian. That doesn't mean the government is totalitarian, that means the action is a totalitarian action. It's the government usurping authority it doesn't have

the adjective "totalitarian" in this post is not a description of their intention, it's a description of the action.

'Totalitarian' modifies 'impulse' which seems to mean 'motivation' here.

"How do I get my benefit? What is it? I want to collect."

RonH if you are going to be that obtuse, there is no hope of an intelligent dialog. Good luck with the untintended long-term effects of your short-term win.

"It is not necessarily an indefensible thing that the state grew more despotic as it grew more civilized; it is arguable that it had to grow more despotic in order to grow more civilized. That is the argument for autocracy in every age; and the interest lies in seeing it illustrated the earliest age. But it is emphatically not true that it was most despotic in the earliest age and grew more liberal in the later age; the practical process of history is exactly the reverse." G.K. Chesterton "The Everlasting Man"

As always, quoting Chesterton is like eating potato chips, one never suffices. But it suffices to say that we are now in the age of whimsical morality. The foundation of the new moral reasoning is mere whimsy, a fanciful behavior dressed in fashionable attire. I say whimsy because the foundations of its reasoning is speculative, and being speculative it leaves imaginative desire as its only propellant. It pushes itself into the legislative market place solely on the force of emotive personality- the more outrageous the better. It shouts instead of whispers. It pounds instead of proposes. It is hysterical instead of historic.

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