Thursday, March 21, 2013

We Just Disagree (Marriage Equality)

I recently had a conversation in the comment section of a youtube video: Adam Carolla on Gay Parents vs Straight Parents (I'll link to it, but I refuse to embed the thing, both because I disagree with Carolla's take on the subject and because it's altogether a pretty obnoxious video.)

While the conversation started out kinda rocky--in part because I thought something the guy had said was kind of bigoted, and lashed out in reply in a way I wish I hadn't--it was generally not too bad a discussion. (In fact, I'll likely append it to the end of this post, in case anyone's interested.) The gentleman also sent me three e-mails to my youtube account containing links to posts with which he agreed, and which, surprisingly enough, agreed with him, too. What follows is my response to all three posts, as well as the discussion we had. When I stared writing, I initially intended it to be an e-mail reply but given the length, I decided to send him a link to this, instead. The title of this post is taken from the last of his three e-mails.

"homosexual marriage
Not to get all evangelical but the author below has written extensively on the issue of homosexual marriage and politics. His street cred is total and you will find his various articles insightful and even surprising.
I did.
R.O. Lopez writes from the heart and I feel you will benefit from his thoughts. The link below is not the only article and you can go to the archives and find his literary works and they are all valuable insights into this issue most people never even know they don't know.
Enjoy.
American Thinker: The Soul-Crushing Scorched-Earth Battle for Gay Marriage

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I just stumbled over this...
American Thinker: The Annulment of Same-sex Marriage

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We just disagree
So you see, there IS another side of the debate than yours. Remember: I am one of THOSE people.
American Thinker: The Price of Gay Marriage: The Galvanic Corrosion of Language
"
My reply:

Of course there are more sides to the marriage equality debate than mine. In fact, I believe there are more than just two, although the question of equal marriage rights has only two possible answers; equality before the law or inequality.

Everyone has a right to believe as they will, for religious, ethical, or societal reasons. But only one side of this debate is advocating that the other be prohibited by law from acting in accord with their beliefs.

I've read through all 3 of the "American Thinker" articles you offered links to, and trust me when I say I've read many other articles and posts at similar sites by those authors and others with similar views. The fact that you (and they) believe the primary purpose of laws and statutes governing civil marriage is procreation and parenthood simply does not make it so. The laws pertaining to the birth and care of children are the ones that say so. To read more into the rest of the laws pertaining to marriage--the ones that are about tax rates, hospital visitation, survivor benefits, wills, and the rest of the over 1000 federal, state, and local rights and benefits automatically granted to traditional couples at the moment they say "I do"--and that DON'T specifically mention children--is seeing what you wish to see, rather than what's really there. Only a fraction of those same 1000+ rights and benefits are offered to same-sex couples, even in states that allow civil unions or have marriage equality.

Procreation is a natural phenomenon. Marriage is a human creation. It has probably always had a religious component, a legal one, and one based strictly in nature, involving procreation and sexual desire (both to continue the species, and for pleasure, as well). Sometimes those components are in synch, and sometimes they're not.

I understand the natural argument, but given that so few animals choose and stick with one mate for the majority of their lives, I don't see why anyone arguing in favor of marriage, traditional or otherwise, should or would offer nature as an argument. Were we to use nature as our guide, we'd be doing much better at propagating the species, but we'd be screwing like...well, bunnies, with little if any regard for the man or woman we were with the night before.

Once we get past nature, the religious and legal definitions and purposes of marriage have never been set in stone. I can appreciate that the Judeo-Christian God defined marriage in a way that is largely accepted in these parts (especially by the jews and christians who live in these parts), but there are other religions with other beliefs that define marriage in different ways. (Even different denominations within christianity define marriage in slightly different ways.)

A 10 minute google search suggests that a relatively small but still significant number of same-sex marriages and unions have occurred throughout all of recorded history. (Some were legal (that is, civil) marriages accepted by law and the cultures in which they took place, while others were religiously recognized--including by the Christian church. (St. Serge and St. Bacchus, Emperor Basil I (867-886) and his companion John). One of the first laws against same sex marriage was in ancient Rome. Presumably they passed the law to stop same-sex marriages that were taking place at the time.

Even aside that, the religious, legal, and socially recognized and accepted rules regarding marriage have changed in all sorts of ways throughout history, from the ages of the participants, the number of participants, whether people of different religions could marry, whether people of different races could marry, the rules regarding divorce, the rules regarding remarriage after divorce, the practice of marrying the widow of one's deceased brother, even if you were already married, dowries, the role of husbands and wives in the home and out, the necessity of love (or any prior relationship at all) between the participants, ..., ... There is very little about legal marriage, the rite of marriage, or the social definitions of marriage that has NOT changed since each of these institutions began.

It's up to one's church and scripture to decide which changes to accept and which to reject and refuse; I would never want government law to determine religious doctrine, though I do believe change is possible, in that there are already faiths and denominations that allow gay folks to serve and to marry, and because of the extent to which an actual threat to traditional marriage--divorce--has already been accepted by so much of the mainstream religious community throughout the world.

Legally though, appeals to nature, to church, or even to tradition and "the way it's always been" just don't hold up under scrutiny. Marriage law is not primarily about continuing the species or the optimal raising of children, especially to the detriment of any family situation other than the supposed optimal one for raising children. If it were, we would hear all of the results of these studies that say "mommy and daddy in committed marriage is best," and perhaps outlaw more of what is less than optimal... poverty, single parenthood, divorce, ...

I do believe children should have male and female solid long-term role models in their lives, but I don't believe US law should prevent couples from marrying or raising children in an effort to encourage (or really, enforce) those standards.

Legal marriage can and often does include children, but it isn't--and shouldn't be--defined by children or the possibility of creating them. To my knowledge, it never has been--except of course, as an argument against marriage equality.... (Women were (and in a few cases, still are) tested for virginity, and blood tests were done to prevent certain diseases (chiefly syphilis, but TB and german measles were also mentioned), but I know of no tests for fertility, or laws or church doctrine that require children or the possibility of them to start or maintain a legal (or religiously recognized) marriage. We don't even require couples to sign an affidavit affirming that they are able to procreate prior to allowing them to marry, which would require no testing.

It's not that I don't understand the arguments those opposed to legal marriage equality are making... I just don't think they hold all that much water.
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The rest of the conversation(s) with which I was involved. (I think it'll quickly become obvious which one was with the guy who sent the links.)
I [will, at some point] put the comment links in, but they don't seem to work for me... All of 'em just start the obnoxious video, but don't connect to the comment they're supposed to "link" to. Go figure... (I'll add them anyway, in case it's a browser thing or something, and they work for others.)
And finally, I tried to keep the threads together and in order, so I marked where threads ended and repeated comments that got more than one reply. As a result, not every comment is in strict "time posted" order, but each thread is complete and in conversational order.:

buffalowingmediabias: As I said in my video description, go to the FCKH8 youtube channel. You can see what the Gaystapo is championing. Look at the whole "anti-bullying" campaign. They are trying to give people who dare to oppose the gay agenda the stigma that they are bullies. They throw around the word "hate" like there's no tomorrow, promoting the stigma that if you oppose the gay agenda, it must be out of hate. They also make generalizations about religious people all the time.
repsac3: People against gay marriage shouldn't get gay married. But when they insist that NO ONE can get gay married because they're against it, they're behaving like bullies.
buffalowingmediabias: If you don't like religious people, then don't be religious. See how lame that sounds?
repsac3: I don't know whether or not that's some kinda canned response, but it isn't in any way analogous to what I actually said...
A more fitting analogy would be "if you're opposed to religious services, don't attend church," which, like what I said about not being a part of a gay marriage if you're against gay marriages, makes perfect sense to me.
(What you said instead WAS kinda lame... Although, if a person really didn't like religious people, I could see his/her being reluctant to become one.)

+++++++++++


repsac3: People against gay marriage shouldn't get gay married. But when they insist that NO ONE can get gay married because they're against it, they're behaving like bullies.
1776stubborn: Don't be dense. Toleration is not acceptance. You want acceptance, but you pretend that you want toleration.
I should tell you that more and more of my friends are getting wise to this little detail. And that is not all: they are getting more and more intolerant of militant homosexuals. Remember, the pendulum swings both ways. Get it? Both ways? Never mind.
Few "movements" end the way they began. The 2% of the pop that wants to force acceptance of homo-hood might just be surprised.
repsac3: I'm kinda live and let live. What I don't want is for people to use the law to force other people to do (or not do) the things they want to do. Folks should control their own behavior, not the behavior of other people. Atheists shouldn't pass laws to keep religious folks from attending church, and folks opposed to being gay shouldn't dictate whether or not folks who are gay should be able to civilly "marry."
1776stubborn: I can respect what you say, but this is what I have learned in my 62 years on Earth. I was in college when the great sexual revo kicked off. We were promised that nothing bad would come of the NEW sexual mores.
I had never seen a teen mom or public school inhouse baby sitter room. That was in 1969. The worst thing you could catch was the clap. Crosby, Stills and Young sang "Love the one you're with".
They were wrong. Why do you think you're not?
repsac3: It's naive to think that the mores of the 1960's were "new," or that just because teen mothers and their babies were more hidden from polite society in earlier years they didn't exist. Many societies have adjusted the definitions of "marriage" and "family," both legally and religiously. There was a time when marriages were arranged, and treated more like property agreements or ways to secure treaties between governments. Concubines were common. Times change, both for ill and for good.
1776stubborn: No, it is not "naive". I didn't say anything was "new", merely unknown to me and my world. I didn't live in a bubble either.
And we are talking about degrees, not absolutes.
I know of no homosexual nations or cultures that had "arranged" homosexual marriages.
Concubines were of cultures that treated women like cattle. Surely you aren't defending this?
repsac3: While I don't know the history of gay folks and marriage (and concede there may be no history), I don't find the lack of history a compelling reason to dictate the future, especially given some of the things that are in the history of marriage. And no, I'm not defending concubinage or arranged marriages... I'm defending the fact that things--including the definition of marriage--has and will continue to change as time went/goes on.
1776stubborn: And the notion that progress always goes to the left is specious and unfounded wishful thinking. What will you and the rest of society do if and when this dream of gay marriage/unions etc ends up producing a miserable and unhappy subculture? How will you get the toothpaste back in the tube?
Radical change is exciting, but it seldom ends happily. Live long enough and you will see. Life will teach you what you didn't learn in the student union.
repsac3: While I cannot see the future, I don't accept that "something terrible may happen" is a sufficient reason to keep gay folks from uniting under law. (Ditto "man-dog" marriage, polygamous marriage, or any of the other supposed slippery slopes.) Scientific discovery sometimes results in bad acts, too. Hell, you or I could step on a slug and slip on his guts and break your/my neck. But I'm not going to stop walking (or argue for a law against it) because it may turn out tragic for one of us.
1776stubborn: No, you can't see the future, but you can see the past and you can see the present. Traditional rules of societal behavior are not usually arbitrary and pointless. Most have be through the grind of human cultures and the Darwinian (if you will) notion of natural selection has decreed that homo behavior, while apeing hetero behavior has no survival value.
Thus the behavior is aberrant for reasons ordinary folks in the past and the present and hopefully the future would understand.
repsac3: Neither marriage or sex is limited to survival... Not among most humans, anyway... (There may have been a time when that was true, but even devout Catholics have sex for pleasure, these days... They use birth control, and everything... Not only that, I hear tell that science has discovered that some animals have sex just for fun, as well...) The times, they are a-changin'
1776stubborn: "Well, you or I could step on a slug and slip on his guts and break your/my neck. But I'm not going to stop walking (or argue for a law against it) because it may turn out tragic for one of us."
Anecdotal "evidence" is hardly dispositive and one cannot successfully measure the set by a subset.
Again, I must go. Netflix calls. Be well, but this topic is done. Stick a fork in it.
repsac3: I offered no anecdotal evidence. I argued that it is folly to make or support law based on "the terrible things that might happen, maybe," whether it's speculation about "the miserable and unhappy subculture" that might maybe be produced by marriage equality, or about the potential dangers of slug guts (or wet grass, or the Metropolitan bus system) to the pedestrian public. Both are ridiculous, as a reason to pass or maintain restrictive laws, anyway...
1776stubborn: "I don't find the lack of history a compelling reason to dictate the future,"
You should. Traditional societal norms "evolve" over time and EXPERIENCE. In other words, what works survives, what doesn't doesn't.
If nature and humankind, after tens of millenia, hasn't found the same sex phenom to be a successful model for procreation (the Ultimate Prime Directive), why should some San Fran types get to pout and shout and demand such a serious change in Western mores?
repsac3: If you really believed in this prime directive, the laws of man would not be necessary. Homosexuality would already be doomed. So why do you insist that there be laws against their doomed existence? Why not let them be united under law (which may actually help their inescapable fate come sooner)?
1776stubborn: I don't believe in "the laws of man." I believe in the laws of God.  Big diff.
Homosexuality IS already doomed.
I had many homosexual friends as a young man. Married and older, I have few friends period. LOL.....you will learn this.
I have no issue with one human loving another human. The form and practice has immediate and long range effects you seem blind too. It must be your youth.
Anyway, I left you a link on your youtube account. I have to go now.
Be well.
repsac3: I take no issue with the laws of God...except when His dictates are written into secular law that governs believer and non-believer alike. You absolutely should follow the laws of your God...but you should not expect that those of other faiths, or of no faith, do so as well...at least not in this country... (And the condescending "youth" thing is a non-starter...and more'n a little silly, besides...)

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1776stubborn: Don't be dense. Toleration is not acceptance. You want acceptance, but you pretend that you want toleration.
I should tell you that more and more of my friends are getting wise to this little detail. And that is not all: they are getting more and more intolerant of militant homosexuals. Remember, the pendulum swings both ways. Get it? Both ways? Never mind.
Few "movements" end the way they began. The 2% of the pop that wants to force acceptance of homo-hood might just be surprised.
repsac3: That said, I do think the church should marry folks, and the state should regulate civil unions--meaning all laws delete the word "marriage" and substitute "civil union." (The state can recognize religious marriages AS civil unions, but they should not dictate what is or isn't a religious marriage, just as the church should have no say over civil unions.) That'd go a long way to ending the semantic war over "marriage," and let wethepeople determine who is/isn't covered under fed/state/local law.
1776stubborn: marriage vs civil unions.
At first blush, one could easily agree with your approach, but as in the phony claims of gun control advocates who draw a line in the sand promising to never cross it and go for a total ban, we don't trust them and we don't trust the "civil unions" crowd.
incremental destruction of the family unit is what you REALLY desire.
repsac3: You misunderstand... There would be no "further" to go. If every law that currently uses the word "marriage" is amended to use "civil union" instead, God and one's church defines the sacrament of marriage for all (or their) believers, and the state defines the laws concerning unions for all citizens. (Sure, there may be some gay folks who will try to force churches to marry them, as well as some religious folks who want America to make civil law based on their holy text... Some people are nuts.)
1776stubborn: Actually, I find this offering of yours more compelling, however, as much as I wish to be fair...we are forgetting the main reason for "marriage" and that is children.
Semantics aside, I agree totally with Carolla re the mommy/daddy model vs the daddy/daddy or mommy/mommy models.
There is more to this then what a bunch of self-absorbed grownups want.
repsac3: I dispute both the assertion and (assuming the assertion were true) the haphazard response to it. Many people marry for reasons having nothing to do with children. Others intend to have children, but can't. If marriage--or the laws governing marriage--were about children they would (or could) so specify. For the most part, they don't. No one tests for the ability to make babies in the course of getting a marriage license...not even the church.
1776stubborn: "Many people marry for reasons having nothing to do with children. Others intend to have children, but can't."
Don't be obtuse. I am talking about what nature has decreed the optimal condition for the raising and care of human children.
You can dispute all you want. The facts are still the same: Nature (the Prime Directive) hasn't created a human strain that can self-reproduce or at least reproduce homosexually, as much as you wish it so.
No marriage is perfect. Carolla has your number.
repsac3: There is no marriage in nature, my friend. That is a human invention. Some animals do mate for life, but the number who do is tiny. Most mate at will with whoever is handy. And I'm fairly certain you wouldn't advocate that we humans follow in THOSE "natural" footsteps. And yes, there is some homosexuality and bisexuality among the animals, as well... Though you are correct that it doesn't increase their numbers, either.

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1776stubborn: Actually, I find this offering of yours more compelling, however, as much as I wish to be fair...we are forgetting the main reason for "marriage" and that is children.
Semantics aside, I agree totally with Carolla re the mommy/daddy model vs the daddy/daddy or mommy/mommy models.
There is more to this then what a bunch of self-absorbed grownups want.
repsac3: And if it were true... Why is divorce legal? Even if mom and dad ARE what's best for children (and it may be), what is second best? Third? Are children better off with single parents or with two gay parents? What about group homes or fostercare vs two gay parents? What is THE REST of the science say, and if the children of single parents score lower than children in gay homes, should we make single parenthood or divorce illegal? (I say no, just so we're clear.)
1776stubborn: "Why is divorce legal? Even if mom and dad ARE what's best for children (and it may be), what is second best? Third? Are children better off with single parents or with two gay parents? What about group homes or fostercare vs two gay parents?"
At one time divorce wasn't easily gotten. Rare was it in olden times. And it had it's uses. Not all hetero marriages are good. There. Happy?
Mom and Dad are what's best. The rest are by def what you do when you can't get the best.
repsac3: Even if you're correct that a biological mother and father in a successful marriage is what's best for raising children--and I suspect it may be--your response is, well, non-responsive. Children are conceived outside of wedlock. Marriages end due to divorce or death. Some children are orphaned. Now what? Not every child will grow up in your ideal "best" situation. What are the rest of the "best to worst" rankings, and at what rank should a family situation become illegal?
1776stubborn: "and if the children of single parents score lower than children in gay homes, should we make single parenthood or divorce illegal?"
I'm unsure what you are driving at. At the very least we should make single parenthood rare and divorce difficult. Children are the ones who pay for mistakes grown-ups make, but have no voice. Stability is key for kids.
Sometimes parents should shut up, suck it up and soldier on.
FOR THE KIDS. Does that make it easier to swallow? You disagree?
repsac3: Yes, I disagree. I think some people give up on their marriages far too easily...but others should get out a lot sooner than they do... No one should put up with physical abuse more'n once (or twice, at most), kids or no kids. Sure, work through infidelity a time or two or three...but once it's a pattern, it does the children very little good to have that as a parental model of behavior... Yes, I disagree...sometimes, anyway... (I wouldn't make "soldiering on" the law, for certain.)
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Added 3/26/13: The internet rantings of my crazy stalker, Dishonest Donald Douglas, after having read (or at least selectively quoting from) this post: American Power: Anti-Marriage Extremist Walter James Casper III and the Unitarian Push for Polyamorous Sexual Licentiousness Read his ravings, and decide for yourself whether he accurately portrays my position. (I may reply, I may not... As someone once said about Dr. Douglas and his blog, "his rantings are self-refuting.")

3 comments:

Byron Massey said...

neat blog bucko but you're wrong on everything.

there are no great and lasting civilizations comprised of total or even majority homosexuals or women or just men.

God made the man/woman unit. All the window dressings came later.

We, the majority, are being bullied by the minority.

I understand your frustration and your despair.

New and revo is never in the end what we dreamed.

Take note that more and more Americans are rejecting the public school system pc propaganda and gun sales are out of sight.

Backlash can be painful.

I sent you material from Robert Lopez, a bisexual. He laid the truth out and you regurgitate post modern nonsense.

I read the Bible. You should too.

We win in the end.

W James Casper said...

"there are no great and lasting civilizations comprised of total or even majority homosexuals or women or just men."

Where did I ever say there was... and why does this fact even matter?

"God made the man/woman unit. All the window dressings came later."

But we don't resemble the original models in so many ways. Things change.

"We, the majority, are being bullied by the minority."

In what way? Because I'm in the majority in a whole lotta ways, and I don't feel bullied...

"I understand your frustration and your despair."

If you read frustration or despair in or into anything I've written, you don't even understand this post.

"New and revo is never in the end what we dreamed."

Sometimes that's true, and sometimes it isn't. But so what? People argue and fight for what they believe to be right, generally against other people doing the same thing, but holding onto a different definition of what's right. Life is seldom what it seems in dreams. Life is what it is in reality as lived day by day. Dreams are a good start, and get us going, but that the reality seldom matches the dream doesn't really matter much.

"Take note that more and more Americans are rejecting the public school system pc propaganda and gun sales are out of sight."

Believe as you will. (Education-wise, I suspect the numbers don't, well, match your dream. And as for guns, I'm ok with that. I've seen some data suggesting that fewer people than ever own guns in this country, and that it's largely those fewer people buying more and more guns, but whatever... I'm not opposed to gun ownership... I do support regulation, but I'm not sweating that much, either.)

But what does this have to do with marriage equality?

"I sent you material from Robert Lopez, a bisexual. He laid the truth out and you regurgitate post modern nonsense."

Calling what I wrote "post modern nonsense" is hardly a refutation.

You said in one of your comments at youtube that "Anecdotal "evidence" is hardly dispositive..." You probably ought to apply that to Robert Lopez. The fact that he seems to've had an unhappy relationship with the LGBT community while also claiming to be a part of that community should not be dismissed out of hand...but his experiences don't speak for the whole.

"I read the Bible. You should too."

In fact, I do. But that doesn't mean that I believe US federal, state, or local law ought to be based on what's contained within its pages, especially since there are so many Americans who adhere to other scriptures, or to none.

"We win in the end."

I'm not sure what you mean...

The sinners will ultimately be damned, and learn the error of their ways? Perhaps.

The tide will turn here on Earth (or here in America) and marriage equality will not come to pass? Maybe, but I doubt it.

That said, hold tight to your win.

W James Casper said...

I don't know whether or not Byron intends to come back--barring his making the next move I doubt I'll go looking for him--but if he does, I think it'd be helpful if he would state, in his own words, why he believes the government ought to prohibit same sex couples from entering legally binding relationships by force of law.

I know what the Bible says, and I know about the continuation of the species and the natural order of things... But unless he's saying that either should be enforced by the government, I'm not interested... All I want to know is why a state (or the federal government) should prohibit these couples from being civilly "married." (While he offered a whole slew of reasons why he's opposed to marriage equality personally, he's been a little vague as to why the government ought to enforce what he believes...)

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