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It’s time for Marriage Equality! Support this man’s desire to marry his computer

Have you heard about this case where a man has been filing petition after petition demanding the right to marry his computer?

The article cites other precedents, such as people being able to marry dolphins and cardboard cutouts of themselves.   On this blog, I gave the example of the person who married a pillow–although I did issue some probing and important questions that all pillow-rights activists should be prepared to answer.

I find the man’s problem with the courts perplexing.  After all, state after state has voted to forbid gay marriage, with referendums, through legislation passed by majority-elected representatives, and even constitutional amendments, and US courts have trampled all over all of these efforts–I mean, we may be closing in on a dozen or more examples now.  Yet, here we have courts refusing to affirm this man’s love and devotion for his computer.

This bigotry should not be allowed to stand.

And just so we are clear, if you do not think that people should be allowed to marry their computers, or pillows, or cardboard cutouts of themselves, or their dog, or their two year old daughter, YOU ARE A BIGOT.

Marriage equality means marriage equality.  You don’t get to pick and choose;  if you believe otherwise, you are a BIGOT.

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38 Responses to It’s time for Marriage Equality! Support this man’s desire to marry his computer

  1. It’s a pity that after a number of weeks of being very busy and unable to respond to discussions going on here, that I return to find something that is simply not worth responding to.

  2. cuz ur a bigot?

    😉

  3. I think he should be allowed to marry his computer. As long as the computer is female.

    But I predict it would all end in divorce anyway, as only one party can turn the other on.

  4. I get that the reflexive accusation of bigotry against anyone opposing same sex marriage must be pretty tiring, frustrating and upsetting for those it is directed against. I don’t think it is either courteous or correct for people on my side of the debate to make that accusation automatically (opponents of gay marriage can, after all, be extremely decent – if fundamentally misguided – people. Although, let’s face it, some of them are also clearly bigots). See – I’m not calling YOU a bigot! Doesn’t that make you feel just a little bit better about everything, and might it make you less likely to write silly things like this in future?

    I sure hope so! 😉

  5. Ah, that was very kind of you, DB, but alas, all you did was swap out the word ‘bigot’ and replaced it with ‘silly.’

    The ‘tiring, frustrating and upsetting’ thing as far as the knee-jerk ‘bigotry’ label slinging is of course the refusal to address the merits of the opponents arguments in a consistent manner.

    If their arguments are valid, they should be entirely open to just about any kind of ‘marital’ arrangement, but here we have you dismissing it without engaging the idea even slightly on its merits with the single word, ‘silly.’

    Moreover, as alluded to in my own blog posts, the linked article, and a survey of news articles in general, people are already out there marrying animals and inanimate objects, etc, so it isn’t like we are talking about something that never happens. It isn’t hyperbole. People really are marrying strange things; what is ‘silly’ is insisting that gays should be allowed to marry but not extending that same freedom (marriage equality!) to others.

    The easy employment of the word ‘bigot’ as a discussion ender was only one component of the OP, and is probably the least important one. The real issue is all these gay marriage proponents objecting to other creative marital arrangements, when all they are doing is using the rationales carrying the day in the gay ‘marriage’ debate.

    Which can only mean a couple of things, none of them very flattering to the merits of the gay ‘marriage’ rationale itself.

  6. It’s about proportion, man. Far fewer people want to marry their computers than want to marry their same-sex partner.

  7. *snort* No, it’s clearly about principle, Timmy. That, and a shown inconsistency among the main liberal crowed to abandon their reasoning that allowed the inclusion for one group, but not including others that can be justified for that same reasoning.

    “Marriage equality” means EQUALITY, and all that entails. Doesn’t matter if it’s one or one million. It just means you’re discriminating against a minority.

  8. Just by the by… do either of you have a link to “all these gay marriage proponents objecting to other creative marital arrangements”? Lest my words be misinterpreted, I’m not suggesting such evidence doesn’t exist, or that you’re making anything up, or conceding that it occurs… I’m just asking for a few links to confirm your statements. No more, no less. 🙂

  9. Also, EB… you snort too much. This probably isn’t healthy you for, and is almost certainly adversely affecting your debating abilities.

  10. * for you

  11. We certainly don’t see any great effort by the main liberal movement to champion this oh-so-worthy cause. Between that, the lack of approval by the courts, and yours and DB’s dismissal, I think the statement reasonably stands.

    Can you show links where it’s being seriously supported by majority of liberals? One would expect to see more reaction if it’s the other way around.

    “Also, EB… you snort too much.”

    Probably comes from all the crack you’re giving out. 😉

  12. So the short answer to my question is “No”…?

    The question is important, since a lack of support is very different to an active objection. There are many reasons why a liberal such as myself may agree with something in principle, but not actively support it. (and, again, don’t read too much into that statement)

    Did you want to revise your statement? (I realise I quoted SJ above, but I assume that, as always, you agree with him)

  13. Between that, the lack of approval by the courts…

    Did you really just use lack of court approval as a point in your favour, while commenting on a post that bemoans the influence of the courts?

  14. I’m actually interested in discussing this topic, because I haven’t really thought about it in any great detail. That is, my initial gut reaction is that it is silly to allow someone to marry their computer, but, as Carl Sagan said, I prefer not to think with my gut. Put another way, I want to examine my initial belief critically, and challenge it with a mind open to either confirmation or change. Am I a bigot towards computer-lovers? Am I being inconsistent? I don’t want to be, so I want to get to the bottom of it.

    First, though, and apologies for all this talk of bottoms, I would like to get to the bottom of exactly why you think we are being inconsistent.

    You want to know why the great homogenous group of people known as ‘liberals’ champion marriage equality for same-sex couples, but actively oppose marriage to computers. Leaving aside the apparent lack of explicit evidence for this, and the difference between active opposition and a passive lack of support, what pro-marriage equality arguments have you encountered that are inconsistent with an opposition to computer marriage? For example, have you ever seen a liberal argue for same-sex marriage by saying “People should be allowed to marry whatever earthly object they want”?

    Or, if you prefer, why don’t you explain back to Danny and I our own arguments in favour of marriage equality. You should have read enough of our views on this topic to be able to do that.

  15. “There are many reasons why a liberal such as myself may agree with something in principle, but not actively support it.”

    Not really, since the thrust of the post’s criticism is that liberals don’t support one form of ‘marriage’ along with another, when both are justified under the SAME reasoning of “equality”.

    “Did you want to revise your statement?”

    As you note, I wasn’t the one making the statement, and think it’s a distinction without much difference, since either way it shows liberals being fundamentally inconsistent.

    “Did you really just use lack of court approval as a point in your favour, while commenting on a post that bemoans the influence of the courts?”

    Rereading the post, I think ‘bemoans’ is rather inaccurate. The post just notes how the courts are frequently used to over-rule people’s efforts to follow the legal process on issues, and wonders why it’s not being done for this one.

    “I’m actually interested in discussing this topic…”

    Clearly, what with your inability to refrain from posting-diarrhea. The is the second time you’ve posted 3 times in a row on this discussion.

    “…what pro-marriage equality arguments have you encountered that are inconsistent with an opposition to computer marriage?”

    ‘If they love each other, why shouldn’t it be alright? No one’s getting hurt. Who are you to judge and deny their happiness?’

    If it’s not an explicit argument it’s indeed a general attitude and rationale, as mostly the liberal mindset seems to think if something is done out of “love” that automatically makes it ok, and discrimination of any form is bad.

    And with the whole argument/notion that “marriage” is defined by society, and is thus open to be REdefined and is what allowed for liberals to insert ‘same-sex’ into ‘marriage’ in the first place, it means any current definition of “marriage” that even liberals are using at this moment is just so much tissue paper, and can be changed again and again.

    Thus limiting the definition/criteria of ‘marriage’ as ‘consent between two adults’ is just a sign of discrimination against the ‘inter-species/object sex’ crowed.

  16. 1
    After re-reading the post myself, I think you’re right. Using ‘bemoans’ was probably reading too much into it. Retracted, with apologies.

    2
    Apologies also for not correcting my typo in the same post in which it was made, and for posting questions in three shorter comments, rather than one much longer comment.

    3
    As I identify as an actual liberal, I feel I am probably more qualified than you to comment on whether it is possible for me to agree with something in principle, but not actively support it. Unspecified gender is a perfect example. I don’t have any in-principle objections to someone wanting to be recorded by the state as having an unspecified gender. But I’m not running around writing blog posts and arguing with people on the internet and writing to my local MP and participating in protests over it, since, for the time being, I think marriage equality is a more important issue. And even though you’re not a liberal, I’m sure you have an equivalent issue.

    So the lack of active, vocal support for computer lovers doesn’t mean much at all. Which is why I asked for evidence of active objection. And note that, as before, don’t interpret this as me agreeing or disagreeing with computer marriage, or suggesting that such evidence doesn’t exist.

    4
    The only argument I could see you put forward in answer to my question was ‘If they love each other, why shouldn’t it be all right?’. While this is slightly simplistic, it does emphasise my point rather nicely.

    If that is indeed a liberal rationale for same-sex marriage, how on earth does it justify computer marriage? If we say that excluding same-sex couples from marriage is wrong, since marriage is about mutual love, how does that justify a marriage where one of the parties isn’t capable of love?

    So, once again, where is the inconsistency?

  17. “But I’m not running around writing blog posts and arguing with people on the internet and writing to my local MP and participating in protests over it…”

    Does this mean you’ve come to understand why pro-lifer’s can think abortion is basically murder, but don’t instantly resort to violence in order to stop it?

    “So the lack of active, vocal support for computer lovers doesn’t mean much at all. Which is why I asked for evidence of active objection.”

    Like I said, it’s a distinction without much difference. We have instances where the courts deny one practice of “marriage” that’s justified for the same reasons that get ‘same-sex marriage’ approved of constantly these days. We have organizations like the LGBT that exist to actively champion other forms of sexual behavior, so what stops them from taking up more? That it’ll add too many more initials to their name?

    No matter how you slice it as “active objection,” “passive objection”, etc. it’s still an inconsistency for the liberal crowed not to give those who want to marry an animal, object, or even just another part of their own body, the same support as has been given the same-sex crowed in the name of “equality.”

    “If that is indeed a liberal rationale for same-sex marriage, how on earth does it justify computer marriage? If we say that excluding same-sex couples from marriage is wrong, since marriage is about mutual love, how does that justify a marriage where one of the parties isn’t capable of love?”

    One side clearly has “love”, and the other… well you can’t say the computer is really AGAINST the idea, now can you? I note, you don’t address bestiality, since and animal’s feelings can at least be discerned.

    These are the issues liberals need to answer, Timmy. Not conservatives. Liberals are the ones that opened the door to this kind of nonsense in their rush to push homosexual behavior as moral down everyone else’s throats for the sake of “equality.” We HAD a non-arbitrary, exclusive description for “marriage” at one point, but liberals didn’t like it so they decided to change it (and they decided it’s something that CAN be changed), and thus opened the door for ANY sexual behavior to be legally recognized and accepted. And now everyone else has to deal with the resulting mess.

  18. The childish-tantrum-disguised-as-a-political-position stance that you and SJ are effectively taking here is “If the meaning of marriage no longer fits my preferred definition then it necessarily must be completely arbitrary”. Marriage has been redefined quite a lot of times without society at large following through on the reductio ad absurdum which you appear to think qualifies as a reliable guide to the future. The anti-miscegenation crowd fifty years ago were fond of suggesting that legalisation of “interracial” marriage would lead to people marrying animals. It isn’t necessary to wait for time to prove you as wrong as it has proved them to have been. The battle you are fighting was already fought and lost half a century ago.

    And exactly what “resulting mess”? What terrible consequences are counties that have legalised same sex marriage, some of them a decade ago, currently suffering from that backs up your overwrought prophecies of doom? I suspect that you wouldn’t very much like to live in the countries that have followed the Biblical injunction to criminalise and punish (sometimes by death) homosexual relationships – they are some of the most brutal and backward places on the planet. THAT is the legacy and ultimate outcome of YOUR belief system being put into practice – oppression, barbarism and suffering – so it’s pretty ironic that you feel justified in discoursing on the inevitable consequences (which you have yet to give examples for) of secular humanism on this issue.

    “Consent” as a concept is somewhat lacking from the biblical perspective on marriage, certainly on the part of the woman in question, and perhaps that is why these analogies of animal, object and child marriages dont immediately strike you and SJ as being as moronic as they appear to Tim and I. However, just to bring you up to speed, we generally think of consent as being quite a central tenet of marriage these days, which is one of the reasons why I didn’t consider the OP to be especially worth responding to.

    Consent does not, incidentally, necessarily rule out polygamy and polyandry, so I think that would be a much stronger example for you to use in your relentless desire to discredit the moral progress made by recent generations on the subject of homosexuality. I would be prepared to agree with you that someone who is for gay marriage but against consensual adult polygamy has some explaining to do on why one is ok and the other isn’t. However, that apparent inconsistency still would not (as you seem to think) discredit support for gay marriage, anymore than someone who supported interracial marriage but not gay marriage undermined the former civil rights struggle in any way.

    Very libertarian of you to decry the legalisation of private sexual behaviours, incidentally. Get the government out of my home and into other peoples, eh?

  19. I haven’t been following this conversation, or any conversation, for awhile. All I have in front of me is your last comment, DB. So, forgive me if I have missed important context.

    “If the meaning of marriage no longer fits my preferred definition then it necessarily must be completely arbitrary”.

    This really proves my point, and illustrates your hypocrisy. It is obvious, patently obvious, that people who want to ‘marry’ a computer, a pillow, or a dolphin, could make the exact same argument.

    If you were concerned about a non-arbitrary definition, you’d go with the one that has the accepted meaning of the term and concept since time immemorial, that between a man and a woman. And the reason why it is non-arbitrary is because there are biological and reproductive boundaries around it. By unhinging yourself from these non-arbitrary limitations, I’m afraid that yes, it does mean your definition is completely arbitrary.

    If I was a pro-pillow marriage advocate at this point, I would simply repeat what pro-gay marriage advocates have been saying, which is that definitions can change, and who are you to stop them from having their own understanding of the term?

    Wait! You yourself just did:

    “Marriage has been redefined quite a lot of times”

    The bottom line is that your position is inherently logically incoherent, which is why any repudiation of any other ‘marriage definitions’ is nothing less than pure hypocrisy. But of course you are wrong in your contention. Marriage has not actually been redefined ‘quite a lot of times.’ That’s a self-serving myth if ever there was one.

    “The anti-miscegenation crowd fifty years ago were fond of suggesting that legalisation of “interracial” marriage would lead to people marrying animals. It isn’t necessary to wait for time to prove you as wrong as it has proved them to have been.”

    Yes, you often bring this up, failing to note a number of important distinctions. Let’s start with the obvious–blacks and whites of opposite sexes can procreate together. Second of all, you dismiss out of hand all of the documentary evidence that shows that the anti-miscegenation laws were widely supported and promoted by liberals and progressives who fully believed that the best science told them blacks actually were a sub-species.

    By the way, I thought humans were animals? What else would they be marrying? 😉

    “The battle you are fighting was already fought and lost half a century ago.”

    I agree with the first half of that sentence, but not the second. I don’t think this has anything to do with ‘miscegenation’ or civil rights. If it did, you wouldn’t have any objections to people marrying literally whomever, and whatever they pleased. But the battle was already fought and lost–150 years ago. So I agree that the battle is lost.

    ““Consent” as a concept is somewhat lacking from the biblical perspective on marriage, certainly on the part of the woman in question,”

    That’s interesting; I wonder then how it has been for two thousand years that the Church has considered consent to be an essential element? For example, the Catholics, even today, consider a marriage that is not composed of two consenting individuals is one that can legitimately be annulled. And this is the Catholics, who are and have been the greatest foes of gay marriage.

    I’m sure you can find a better source, but this will do for now:
    http://www.ehow.com/list_7380927_common-grounds-catholic-annulment.html

    “we generally think of consent as being quite a central tenet of marriage these days,”

    Good job! You finally caught up to the Christians who have had that as a central tenet of marriage for 2,000 years! Congratulations on your moral progress! Dear me, where would we be without the Progressives?

    😉

    “Consent does not, incidentally, necessarily rule out polygamy and polyandry,”

    Or bestiality.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20080316030814/http://www.nerve.com/Opinions/Singer/heavyPetting/main.asp

    Poor Dannyboy: a bigot who does not know he is a bigot. The worst sort. 😉 Soon, you too will embrace moral progress and recognize that sex (and marriage?) with animals is not “an offence to our status and dignity as human beings.”

    Ironically, I noticed your arbitrary distinction between ‘humans’ and ‘animals’ above; you somehow managed to forget that on your worldview, humans are nothing but animals. This can probably best be explained by more capital you have inherited from Christians without even knowing it. Let Singer once again put you in your proper place:

    “The existence of sexual contact between humans and animals, and the potency of the taboo against it, displays the ambivalence of our relationship with animals. On the one hand, especially in the Judeo-Christian tradition — less so in the East — we have always seen ourselves as distinct from animals, and imagined that a wide, unbridgeable gulf separates us from them. Humans alone are made in the image of God.”

    BUT!

    “… we are animals, indeed more specifically, we are great apes.”

    Oh yes, yes. EB and I are just being irrational children. Nobody believes this stuff. (I don’t actually know what EB has been saying, but judging from your comment, it must not be far from what I’ve just said.)

    “Very libertarian of you to decry the legalisation of private sexual behaviours, incidentally. Get the government out of my home and into other peoples, eh?”

    Why do you say that when you are already perfectly aware of my opinion on that?

    You commented on this post:
    http://sntjohnny.com/front/gay-marriage-one-more-piece-of-the-progressives-social-engineered-rube-goldberg-machine/2236.html

    Where I said in numerous, repeated places, that if protecting the interest of the children is no longer the rationale for government involvement in ‘marriage’ then it should simply withdraw from the subject altogether. I plainly state that I see no other reasonable basis for the government to be involved in “private sexual behaviors.”

    Why did you ignore this, when you knew exactly what my position was?

  20. I would like to amend my comment reacting to:

    “The battle you are fighting was already fought and lost half a century ago.”

    I still standby my 150 year-ago timeframe; there was certainly a monumental battle fought and lost at that time. But I think there was a battle that was fought and lost a half century ago that pertains to this issue, but not the battle you think.

    You see this as a Civil Rights issue, which I think to be completely absurd and baseless. It does not at all comport with the historical record. The relevant battle was not ‘marriage’ but rather ‘sex.’ The battle that was fought and lost was the sexual revolution. In this revolution, sex was radically and drastically cheapened. It became, essentially, a toy. It was a toy that people wanted to play with, come hell or high water. They didn’t want people to tell them that they couldn’t play with it, that it was something serious, that had significant consequences, that it shouldn’t be played with, but like fire, needed to be handled responsibly. And, dear God, if you are going to refrain from telling them ANYTHING, please, please, please don’t tell them that playing with their toy is wrong. Anything but that.

    A generation of broken people has been the result of this laissez-faire attitude towards sexuality. People, of course, being the direct consequence of sexual activity.

    The attempt to normalize homosexuality is just an extension of the sexual revolution. ‘Gay marriage’ is a manifestation of the overall mission to win societal acceptance of any and all kinds of sexual behaviors. Not content to keep ‘private sexual behaviors’ private, proponents insist that we–ALL OF US–must also condone and affirm all ‘private sexual behaviors.’ What the ‘gay marriage’ issue is teaching us is that it isn’t about what we do in private, it is about quashing anyone who dissents from laissez-faire sexual expression.

    The recent case of Michael Sam, who I had not previously even heard of, proves that this is not about what happens in ‘private.’ He clearly wants the whole world to know that he has sex with other men, and demands that society approves of his preferences, putting the stamp of approval on this behavior with a marriage certificate.

    But it doesn’t matter, really, because, as I said, this is a battle that was fought and lost. We live in a hyper-sexual civilization where everyone wants everyone else to endorse their sexual activity; this activity of course as often and as diverse as they can have it.

  21. “The anti-miscegenation crowd fifty years ago were fond of suggesting that legalisation of “interracial” marriage would lead to people marrying animals. It isn’t necessary to wait for time to prove you as wrong as it has proved them to have been.”

    I find this statement highly ironic.

    http://thewashingtonfancy.com/2011/08/05/ny-man-marries-his-dog-traditonal-marriage-advocates-vindicated/4137

    Funny enough it’s liberals like you, DB, who apparently proved the anti-miscegenation crowed right, given you so often argue interracial marriage is fundamentally no different to ‘same-sex marriage’ and now that liberal attitude paves the way for society’s acceptance of bestiality that’s likely right around the corner in a few decades.

    Pick up your phone, DB. The anti-miscegenation crowed appears to have called it.

  22. SJ,

    What FUN!  🙂

    “It is obvious, patently obvious, that people who want to ‘marry’ a computer, a pillow, or a dolphin, could make the exact same argument.”

    Well, sure – if the sum total of my argument was “marriage has been changed before so no biggie!”.  Congratulations on receiving the award for Number One advocate for the status quo, by the way.  Opponents of these newfangled child labour laws say thanks, and your children will be taken down the mines tomorrow.

    “If you were concerned about a non-arbitrary definition, you’d go with the one that has the accepted meaning of the term and concept since time immemorial,….”

    Exactly!  Tradition is really the ONLY important standard here – darn those rotten meddling progressives for subverting the proper order of things.  I assume you’ll explain all this to the boys when you tuck them in tonight. 😉

    “And the reason why it is non-arbitrary is because there are biological and reproductive boundaries around it.”

    Gay people can have children.  Sheesh, where’ve you been?  It only requires the application of the same technology used by heterosexual couples who, whether through age or biological dysfunction, cannot otherwise conceive.  Somehow I must have missed your logically consistent denunciation of these similarly “unnatural” marriages.

    “But of course you are wrong in your contention. Marriage has not actually been redefined ‘quite a lot of times.’ That’s a self-serving myth if ever there was one.”

    I just experienced multiple lols.  You personally advocate the divine authorship of a book which entirely, ENTIRELY, negates the relevance of any female agency in choosing a marriage partner.  Under Old Testament law if an un-betrothed woman is raped then her rapist is ordered to marry her, very much on the “you broke it, you bought it” retail principle.  Marriage has often historically been a financial transaction between a woman’s future husband and current father.  Marriage in most of the USA was for hundreds of years something which could only occur between people of the same superficial ethnicity.  In some parts of the world a woman’s family have to pay a bride price, in others the man is required to do so.  Are you serious, or are you just very very sheltered?

    “…you dismiss out of hand all of the documentary evidence that shows that the anti-miscegenation laws were widely supported and promoted by liberals and progressives who fully believed that the best science told them blacks actually were a sub-species.”

    Some did.  Unfortunately your research, being highly motivated, is also rather incomplete.  There have been many theological strands throughout Christian history which maintained that Native Americans and/or Africans were not of the same original creation as whites, and the debate has not by any means always been slanted towards what we would now consider the winning side.  Pope Julius II was forced to issue a decree in 1512 stating that the “Indians” WERE descended from Adam, over the objections of the many priests of especially the Dominican order who felt that they were merely beasts.  Later, the “Polygenism” doctrine (or Pre-Adamism) was a useful tool for believers to overcome inconsistencies between literalism and emerging science, yet those who took the racist polygenic position generally decried Darwinism because it provided a plausible account of common human descent.  Some useful American religious figures for you to include in future research on this topic would be Samuel Cartwright (1793-1862), Buckner H. Payne (1799-1883), G. C. H. Hasskarl (1885-1929), William H. Campbell (author of “Anthropology for the People”) and Charles Carroll (author of “The Negro a Beast”).  Plenty of fine Southern Christian gentlemen once sincerely believed that “Nachesh”, the tempter of Eve in the Garden, was a Black Pre-Adamite man, and a small minority still do today (mostly members of the white supremacist Christian Identity sect).  The supposed Curse of Ham was also pressed into good use by literalists in order to justify slavery and anti-miscegenation laws.

    “By the way, I thought humans were animals? What else would they be marrying?”

    Riiiiiiiight.  Humans are a type of animal therefore they share all the characteristics and qualities of every other animal.  How silly of me.

    “I wonder then how it has been for two thousand years that the Church has considered consent to be an essential element?”

    In support of this assertion you give me a website giving the current Catholic position on consent within marriage.  Seriously dude, that’s like Donald Sterling saying that he’s never said anything racist and citing his most recent press release as evidence of this (Hey, American sports reference!).  I would expect something a little bit better than that if your aim is to counter, or even balance out the numerous biblical verses that you know I can call on to support my claim here.

    “”Consent does not, incidentally, necessarily rule out polygamy and polyandry,”

    Or bestiality.”

    You may be Peter Singer’s most dedicated subscriber.  It’s like he’s your RightWingWatch.org  

    I’d be happy to get into that discussion if you like, but it seems like a separate one to me.  What you have successfully done here is to demonstrate that one guy disagrees with what I just said.  I find myself considerably less crushed and humbled by that fact than you might imagine.

    It’s actually a little weird that you even think that’s worth mentioning.  Are individual differences of opinion on your side of the fence particularly salient to you on a moment-to-moment basis?  Does being reminded of the existence of the many Premillennialists who would dispute your Amillennialist stance instantly suggest to you that you might be wrong about that aspect of your theology?  It seems pretty irrelevant to me.

    “Why do you say that when you are already perfectly aware of my opinion on that?”

    That quote is from a response I wrote to EB, so that alone should make it fairly clear that I wasn’t talking to you.

    “…if protecting the interest of the children is no longer the rationale for government involvement in ‘marriage’ then it should simply withdraw from the subject altogether.”

    That would be fine.  However, so long as it is in the business of legitimising marriages, there is no secular reason for it to discriminate.

    “A generation of broken people has been the result of this laissez-faire attitude towards sexuality. People, of course, being the direct consequence of sexual activity.”

    I know, right – kids today!  This generation really are “disrespectful and impatient” (Hesiod, 8th century BCE), they “ignore the law” and have “decayed morals” (Plato, 4th Century BCE).  They “think of nothing but themselves”, “have no reverence for parents or old age”, and as for the girls, they are “immodest and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress” (Peter the Hermit, 11th Century CE).  I really couldn’t agree with you and every other person throughout history who has recently turned forty more.  Heheheh

    “The recent case of Michael Sam, who I had not previously even heard of, proves that this is not about what happens in ‘private.’ He clearly wants the whole world to know that he has sex with other men, and demands that society approves of his preferences, putting the stamp of approval on this behavior with a marriage certificate.”

    See that’s a really bad example for you to choose.  I also was aware of neither the player nor the team (heck, I’m barely aware of the sport) before all this kicked off.  However, the fact that it became a big thing is precisely because it’s the first instance of someone being able to be open about who they love (unless they are a member of the privileged majority) and play in the NFL.  The fact that you, as a member of that majority, feel somehow personally intruded upon is entirely typical of what happens when minority groups assert their right not just to exist but to exist without having to hide their divergence from the accepted norm.  If you could for one moment put yourself in the position of a gay person and see how much of the media is effectively shoving heterosexuality down people’s throats I think it would be a genuine revelation for you.

    There are also just a metric crap-ton of crazy and bigoted quotes from people just as ideologically close to you as Peter Singer is to me denouncing this guy as “evil sewer-filth” who will “emasculate black men”, who is being controlled by “homosexual demons released by Obama”, and is ultimately paving the way for the “gay Antichrist”.  More pertinently, a lot of these Right Wing Christian (mostly) talk radio hosts really do want homosexuality – that is, private sexual behaviour – to be made illegal, and are outspoken in their support for the African governments, mostly recently Uganda and Nigeria, who have made that oppressive biblical dream a horrible reality.  If you continue to insist that Singer’s views have relevance to my position then I may have to start returning the favour.

  23. Are you aware that is a satirical website EB, not a real news story?

  24. Sure, though it’s been reported in places like Australia and India as actually happening. So just get ready to start seeing such news stories for real.

    If we’re going to have people seriously trying to marry pillows, computers, etc. then it seems bestiality is only that more likely to follow. And it’s all thanks to liberals like you who pushed for “marriage” meaning anything society wants at any given moment, rather than being a non-arbitrary description of a wholly unique union between two differing sexes (and STILL remains wholly unique as biological reality hasn’t changed in 6000 years, even under an evolutionary paradigm), and used the black Civil Rights movement in order to justify it.

    So again, it seems the anti-miscegenation crowed got it right, with a little help from the progressives of today.

    “That quote is from a response I wrote to EB, so that alone should make it fairly clear that I wasn’t talking to you.”

    The response would still be the same as, like SJ, I’ve said I’m all for the government getting out of everyone’s house, regardless of belief or sexual practice. So like SJ said, why would you say such a thing when you should know good and well what my view is on the matter? Or is this just another case of your deliberate straw-mans like most of your follow up post to SJ above?

    But the ‘same-sex marriage’ issue is clearly not about people being free to engage in such behavior in private when they were already free to do so from the start. ‘Same-sex marriage’ is about a group coming into everyone’s house and demanding people accept only THEY’RE view of sexual behavior and nothing else.

  25. EB,

    Just to summarise your remarks slightly, isolated global reports (and fictional accounts) of individuals marrying objects and animals are clear evidence to you of the liabilities of the liberal secular humanist stance on legalising gay marriage.  This “inevitable” slippery slope was first identified by anti-miscegenation activists (who you seem to think were at least right on this point), and the fact that you would struggle to find anyone on our side of the debate who advocates for bestiality or object-marriage is considered irrelevant.

    “So just get ready to start seeing such news stories for real.”

    Ok.  How long do you think I should wait?

    Conversely, the fact that 2.7 billion people worldwide currently live in countries where homosexuality is illegal for religious reasons does not in any way alert you to the liabilities of YOUR belief system.  This is an ACTUAL slippery slope based not upon speculation and an infinitesimally minute number of real-life cases, but numerous clear and unambiguous demonstrations of what happens when religious fundamentalists take power in a nation, and (as I said to Johnny) many of your fellow believers really do advocate for homosexuality to be made illegal in the US.  It’s interesting that you don’t see these unequivocal facts being as salient as the unverifiable future consequences which you predict will occur (as reactionaries have been predicting for donkeys years) as a result of liberal/secular beliefs being put into practice.

    “I’ve said I’m all for the government getting out of everyone’s house, regardless of belief or sexual practice. So like SJ said, why would you say such a thing when you should know good and well what my view is on the matter? Or is this just another case of your deliberate straw-mans like most of your follow up post to SJ above?”

    I am happy to accept your clarification on this point while noting (as mentioned above) the way that the application of belief systems like yours lead.  And that’s not “hypothetically” lead, not “speculatively, at-some-point-in-the-future” lead, but demonstrably lead, and have actually led in many countries around the world in a way that is currently affecting the lives of millions of people.

    I think that the slippery slope attached to your position is a good bit better evidenced than the one which you and the anti-miscegenation crowd think is attached to mine.

    “‘Same-sex marriage’ is about a group coming into everyone’s house and demanding people accept only THEY’RE view of sexual behavior and nothing else.”

    Ridiculous, paranoid and objectively incorrect.  As I said to SJ, this feeling of being intruded upon is typical of how members of the privileged majority feel when minority groups are empowered to come out of hiding and access some of the benefits which the majority has previously laid sole claim to.  I don’t even really sympathise, although I’m sure it’s not a pleasant feeling.  Man up and get over it.

  26. “Exactly! Tradition is really the ONLY important standard here”

    Hmmmmm. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t ‘tradition’ I was invoking.

    I was referencing the pretty straightforward and undeniable fact that boys have penises, girls have vaginas, and new life is the result of just ONE penis interacting with just ONE vagina. You need not interpret this theologically; from time immemorial

    “And the reason why it is non-arbitrary is because there are biological and reproductive boundaries around it.”

    “Gay people can have children.”

    But not using only the equipment they bring to the table. A third party is always required.

    My purpose here is only to explain that there are non-arbitrary reasons for why marriage has always and in all places tended to refer specifically to the union of one man and one woman and the appropriate context for raising up the next generation. If you want to re-define ‘marriage’ so as to include other things, it would still not change the fact that the previous facts remain. We will have to coin a new word, when there had all along been a perfectly suitable word.

    It will mean: “the social arrangement that consists solely of one man and one woman” and, God willing, the state will stay out of it completely. However, I have every expectation that the gays would still demand to be included in this and every expectation that you insist they should be, as well.

    “Under Old Testament law if an un-betrothed woman is raped then her rapist is ordered to marry her, very much on the “you broke it, you bought it” retail principle.”

    You should not speak on things you do not understand.

    “Marriage has often historically been a financial transaction between a woman’s future husband and current father.”

    A key word being ‘often.’

    I did not and am not saying that this has manifested in pure forms over the course of history. That would be nonsense. Nothing has, not just marriage. That doesn’t mean certain generalizations can’t be made and are without merit.

    “Some did.”

    This is the very first time you have conceded this at all. Was that so hard?

    “Unfortunately your research, being highly motivated, is also rather incomplete.”

    Not really. I know much more than I’ve ever shared with you, but since you’ve been so stubborn as to ignore or dismiss even simple examples, we’ve never been able to get any further. That’s on your head.

    “Later, the “Polygenism” doctrine (or Pre-Adamism)”

    Someone’s been reading a recommended book. 😉

    “Riiiiiiiight. Humans are a type of animal therefore they share all the characteristics and qualities of every other animal. How silly of me.”

    Yes, very silly of you.

    “In support of this assertion you give me a website giving the current Catholic position on consent within marriage.”

    I thought it better to give you something rather than nothing. I’ve actually taught a course on marriage. I know much more than I am letting on. However, since you have great difficulty conceding even simple things, I fail to see how producing this material would do any good. In this, I’m not only referring to your cavalier dismissal of every quote justifying my contentions that there are eugenic/population control rationales for a great many more things then people realize, but also your stunning refusal to acknowledge that the biological basis for marriage is a real, clearly distinguishable, non-arbitrary concept, rooted, I emphasize again, IN BIOLOGY.

    Please take this the right way, Dannyboy, but I don’t think you should be in the line of work that you are heading into if you won’t even incorporate the basics of the birds and the bees into your worldview. 😉

    Anyway, its often better for people to learn things on their own.

    Bottom line: consent has been an element of Christian thinking on marriage for thousands of years, and there are Biblical reasons for it. This is true, even if you are ignorant about it.

    “What you have successfully done here is to demonstrate that one guy disagrees with what I just said.”

    There you go again, cavalierly dismissing supporting evidence for my view. You know how sensitive I am about the use of my time. What’s the point if you’re just going to brush it aside? Singer is a well-respected ‘ethicist’ that is often consulted on a wide range of issues; that is, he is INFLUENTIAL. I believe he is even now a professor, imparting his viewpoints to hundreds and thousands of young skulls full of mush each year. All Singer is doing is being consistent. Since your inconsistency is a target of the thread (by ‘your’ I mean all gay marriage advocates), it is appropriate, I think, to show that there are prominent people who agree with me that if YOU were being consistent, YOU would also allow for animal-marriage.

    “That quote is from a response I wrote to EB, so that alone should make it fairly clear that I wasn’t talking to you.”

    Sorry, not having read the previous material, and nothing in the comment indicating you were responding to EB’s words, and the invoking of my name, all suggested to me that I was the target of your comment. My apologies.

    “That would be fine. However, so long as it is in the business of legitimising marriages, there is no secular reason for it to discriminate.”

    True only to a point. One good ‘secular’ reason is the will of the people and the democratic process. There are perhaps what, 5% of the population that claim to be gay. There is perhaps 1% that would like to marry computers, dolphins, pillows, card board cutouts of themselves, their shoe, their sock, ten hot women, their daughter, their son, etc, etc. [Note to Tim: note the word ‘etc’, which implies the list of explicitly stated objects of marriage is not to be construed as exhaustive] In state after state, a majority has said, definitively, that they want ‘marriage’ to mean a specific thing; and this did not comport with what a scant 5% of the population agreed with.

    States where this has been the case include the uber-liberal California, where there were multiple successful efforts to codify the ‘traditional’ definition of marriage, including a constitutional amendment; do you know how hard it is to get constitutions amended? Yet uber-liberal California did it.

    And then, in state after state after state, courts– that is, a very tiny handful of people, in some cases just 1 person, in others 3, or 7–threw out the will of millions and millions of people, and these were not in the minority. They were in each case the majority, playing by the rules.

    I find this to be immoral and reprehensible, and of all the things in the ‘gay marriage’ movement that disturbs me most, it is this. It is the obliteration of all the principles of our government so a teensy-weensy proportion of the population can be patted on the back, “There, there. We approve of your sexual preferences.”

    However, as I said, I don’t take this to be a civil rights thing. This desire to have people approve of their sexual behaviors is definitely a hetereosexual thing, too. I suspect that one reason why we are finding non-gay support for gays is because the argument against gay marriage, if it were going to be robust and coherent, would require them to take sex much more seriously than they are willing to do so. They want to have sex with as many people as they want without consequence, and this requires them to extend the same courtesy to others.

    “I really couldn’t agree with you and every other person throughout history who has recently turned forty more.”

    I believe Augustine also made a comment about that. You totally missed the point. Congratulations.

    “The fact that you, as a member of that majority,”

    So you admit that it is a majority. To hell with the democratic process! Men want to have sex with other men and women with other women, so the majority can go themselves!

    “feel somehow personally intruded upon is entirely typical of what happens when minority groups assert their right not just to exist but to exist without having to hide their divergence from the accepted norm.”

    Intruded? No, to me it shows how childish and irresponsible this minority is. They want all the privileges but none of the responsibilities, that’s one thing. The other is very simple to understand, and you should pay attention here, because this is important:

    In a free society such as we have (theoretically) in the US, then everyone should have the right to the viewpoint that they have, AND be able to express that viewpoint. If Michael Sam wants to have sex with other men, I don’t really care. I don’t really care about who ANY of the NFLers have sex with. They aren’t a group of people I tend to look up to in any respect. Now, if Michael Sam wants everyone to KNOW that he wants to have sex with other men, that is still within his rights. However, the rest of the country should still have the right to say, “Man, that’s messed up. I don’t condone that at all.”

    The real hideous thing about this incident, the truly scary part, is the NFL player that was forced to go to a re-education camp for his comment on Twitter. http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/jeffcrouere/2014/05/18/welcome-to-the-gay-agenda-reeducation-camp-n1839727

    “If you could for one moment put yourself in the position of a gay person”

    What, as a YECcer, you don’t think I take a lot of grief?

    Anyway, incidents like this one, and with Sterling, and with many others, make it very clear that the ‘minorities’ intend to inflict real tangible harm on dissenters. They are not content to be able to flaunt their sexual preferences. The rest of us must also express approval–or shut up.

    Clearly, there is not going to be any middle ground between us on this. I will only caution you that “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” (I know liberals don’t agree, but still.) You all could very well find yourself on the receiving end of some of your own medicine what with the precedent you’re setting; you’re essentially burning down the whole infrastructure of a free society unless we acquiesce to your petty demands to endorse your position. That can’t end well, my friend.

    “and see how much of the media is effectively shoving heterosexuality down people’s throats”

    Dude, you need to grow up. No one is shoving heterosexuality down anyone’s throats. Heterosexuality is represented the way it is is for the same non-arbitrary reasons that ‘marriage’ has always been non-arbitrary.

    Is it any wonder that a vast majority of American citizens find your position absolutely ridiculous and without merit? If you didn’t have a couple of guys and gals with cloaks and gavels, you’d have nothing.

    “There are also just a metric crap-ton of crazy and bigoted quotes from people just as ideologically close to you as Peter Singer”

    Since I consider you and Tim a bigot for rejecting computer/dolphin/fill in the blank marriage, I don’t know what providing me quotes from other people you consider to be bigots to achieve.

    BIGOTS!

  27. SJ,

    Seems like there’s a couple of issues here.

    1) You have previously expressed your frustration about having your time, as you perceived it, wasted.  Let me share with you a frustration of my own.  This recently-developed “I know a huge amount about this subject, therefore I win” line of yours is really pretty annoying.  If you don’t want to address the point, don’t address it.  If you have access to knowledge denied to the rest of us, please share it.  But don’t assert your expertise, decline to demonstrate it, and then act like I am to blame for the patronising jerk move you just pulled.

    Another example of this kind of “debating” in response to a point about Old Testament law regarding rape victims:

    “You should not speak on things you do not understand.”

    That is a content-free assertion.  Aside from your own stellar reviews of your erudition and knowledge on this and numerous other subjects, I have been given zero reason to think that my reading of the relevant text is in error.  The ball is in your court to enlighten me about what a positive and non-oppressive experience it was to be a young woman in ancient Israel.

    By taking this tack so often you are in some danger of making yourself difficult, if not impossible, to have a genuine debate with.  Now that would be sad for me, because I generally enjoy our little squabbles, and sometimes I even learn something, which is always to be valued.  Still, this rhetorical forcefield of impenetrable self-asserted expertise has the potential to dramatically alter the cost-benefit analysis for me.  You are not the only one here who has other calls on his time, just the only one making quite such a big deal about it.  😉

    2) The “birds and the bees” argument against same-sex marriage is so very weak that it can hardly stand up on its own.  Marriage and procreation are overlapping spheres on a venn diagram with only the central heavily-shaded area representing marriage as you stubbornly insist on exclusively defining it.  Many married couples do not have children and many couples have children without being married.  Your standard makes as much sense as insisting that only people with a driving licence be allowed to get married, because most married couples go on to jointly own a vehicle.

    I mentioned that gay people can have children, and you responded:

    “But not using only the equipment they bring to the table. A third party is always required.”

    So?  So what?  You are accusing us of inconsistency despite NOT apparently wanting to bar infertile heterosexual couples from getting married as your stated standard demands.  That’s the plank accusing the mote of causing unnecessary corneal abrasions right there.

    Also, what’s your rational objection to polygamy on these grounds?  Polygamy is the optimal system for ensuring the survival of the next generation.  We’re talking turbo-charged procreation!  Never mind.

    3) This business of the democratic process.  I regret to say it, but you have lost some credibility to make this kind of argument with me recently.  You are a big fan of the democratic process until it returns a result which you do not like, at which point you cry foul play.  Your total endorsement of votes which go the way you want them to does not seemingly allow for any consideration of the relative impact of big donors’ money to sway things one way or another – so long as it produces the result you want you seem happy to consider it “the will of the people”.  Your position on judicial involvement in lawmaking is pretty similar although somewhat more muted.  You have been entirely silent as far as I can tell about conservative-friendly judgements (not too unusual from the Roberts court), and vocally unhappy about more liberal ones.

    In essence, by playing the democratic card you create a hostage to fortune which is even now in grave danger of having an ear cut off by its captors and mailed to its rich uncle.  Recent polling puts support for same-sex marriage in the US at 59%.

    “So you admit that it is a majority. To hell with the democratic process!”

    Heterosexuals are a majority.  Fortunately the majority of heterosexuals in the US can see the justice of allowing gay people to marry.

    4) How different sections of society express and/or enforce their opinions.

    This seems like something worth pursuing further.  I agree with you that people have a right to express their responses and opinions about a gay football player (shock horror!) being allowed into the NFL.  However, free speech does not guarantee a complete absence of consequences if someone expresses a view which is considered repugnant by a significant section of society.

    I think it’s entirely fair to worry about the extent to which people are penalised or censured for expressing their opinions, but please, let’s not pretend that this is something that doesn’t also happen when the Concerned Family Patriot Mothers of America (or whatever) get steamed up about something.  Boycotts, pressured cancellations of contract, forced sackings and social exclusion are all tools that political groups use to manifest their disapproval, and conservative groups use them just as much as liberal ones.

    I’m all for having a conversation about how such pressure should and should not be applied, but I would prefer for it to be conducted honestly.

    “What, as a YECcer, you don’t think I take a lot of grief?”

    Yeah, recently even from Pat Robertson.  It’s got to smart a bit when THAT guy calls you crazy!

    “Anyway, incidents like this one, and with Sterling, and with many others, make it very clear that the ‘minorities’ intend to inflict real tangible harm on dissenters. They are not content to be able to flaunt their sexual preferences. The rest of us must also express approval–or shut up.”

    You see, that’s just dishonest.  A coalition of conservative groups threatened a boycott of any team that drafted Michael Sam.  That is, a whole bunch of people on YOUR side of this debate mobilised a political campaign to prevent a young man from being allowed to play in the NFL simply because he was open about his minority sexual orientation.  I get that it’s easier for you to notice the stuff that is coming back the other way, but there’s no point having the conversation if your rational assessment of the situation is so very partisan as that.

    “Dude, you need to grow up. No one is shoving heterosexuality down anyone’s throats.”

    Sure, black people aren’t discriminated against, sexual harassment of women is a myth, disabled rights groups complain way too much about steps and the media is not at all slanted in its portrayal of romantic relationships as being almost exclusively heterosexual.  Seems like you and I as straight white able-bodied males have all the information we need to make those sort of judgements, don’t you think?

    More seriously, I recently started following @everydaysexism on twitter, which documents the stories sent in by often distressingly young women and girls about their frightening day to day experiences of sexual harassment and assault by men.  I had virtually no idea.  And that of course is the point – it is very difficult for members of a privileged group to understand the reality of someone from outside it.  We have to ask them, rather than just assuming that we know best, what their experience is.

    “Is it any wonder that a vast majority of American citizens find your position absolutely ridiculous and without merit? If you didn’t have a couple of guys and gals with cloaks and gavels, you’d have nothing.”

    That assertion is dramatically at odds with the polling data.  Perhaps you should review it.

  28. “Just to summarise your remarks slightly, isolated global reports (and fictional accounts) of individuals marrying objects and animals are clear evidence to you of the liabilities of the liberal secular humanist stance on legalising gay marriage.”

    No, the logical implications of thinking “marriage” is an arbitrary societal construct like liberals claim, rather than a non-arbitrary descriptor as held by conservatives, is evidence of the liabilities. Such reports is just evidence of people taking said liberal argument to it’s logical conclusion, and a sign of where things are heading.

    “This “inevitable” slippery slope was first identified by anti-miscegenation activists (who you seem to think were at least right on this point)…”

    You completely misunderstand my view on this matter. I DON’T think inter-racial marriage is an “inevitable” slippery-slope to bestiality. Such a stance necessitates a logical connection, and in regards to the inter-racial marriage issue, the debate wasn’t about the definition of “marriage” as liberals and yourself have claimed, but about whether blacks were just as human as any other person, and thus could fit the already existing marriage paradigm.

    I’m not saying they were right on the merits of their argument. I’m saying they were right because progressives like you pointedly ignored the fact that there isn’t a logical connection between inter-racial marriage and ‘same-sex marriage’, and used it as an argument to further your cause.

    They originally weren’t right, but you proved they were anyway. 😉

    “…and the fact that you would struggle to find anyone on our side of the debate who advocates for bestiality or object-marriage is considered irrelevant.”

    I’m not sure what this means, given I’d bet money those in pursuit of bestiality and object-marriage is just as supportive of ‘same-sex marriage,’ and thus on your side of the debate. They just go a step more towards “progress and equality” than you do.

    “I think that the slippery slope attached to your position is a good bit better evidenced than the one which you and the anti-miscegenation crowd think is attached to mine.”

    And of course you’d be wrong, given your above diatribe operates under the typical assumption of liberals that just because something is claimed to be supported, or is only supported by cut-and-paste arguments, it MUST be so.

    For yours, we have the last century of the world with dozens of written essays and articles of people connecting the dots between the beliefs you advocate and the actions that horrify you.

    I don’t claim ANY belief system can be followed without mistakes. I simply note that wrong-doings under mine were more often than not carried out because people DIDN’T follow the principles in entirety, while for yours they occurred because they DID logically follow the principles they operated under.

    “Ridiculous, paranoid and objectively incorrect.”

    Hah! Objectively proven facts! I mean who are you trying to fool here?

    SJ pointed out Don Jones going to be “re-educated” and the enormous lengths being taken with Sterling, which is all concerning enough on it’s own, but don’t forget those like Phil Robertson who the liberal crowed demanded be fired for stating his beliefs, Brendan Eich forced to resign from his position as CEO of Mozilla for supporting a bill as is his Constitutional right, nor the uproar the liberal side had over the mild and soft-spoken Tebow Super Bowl commercial. Conservatives in general and Christians in particular may not be arrested off the streets for expressing their views openly, like they do in the UK as Shawn Holes can attest, but it’s easy to see how even that method of punishment is just a matter of time.

    It’s become patently obvious that the liberal message isn’t “tolerance,” but rather ‘toe the liberal line…or else.’ And it’s rather useless to even pretend otherwise.

    “…this feeling of being intruded upon is typical of how members of the privileged majority feel when minority groups are empowered…”

    Yeah, it’s called tyranny. It tends to happen when a select few trample the wishes and legally followed efforts of the majority, and is the exact opposite of how a true democracy works.

  29. For some reason, I’m not getting notifications of DB’s comments.

    “This recently-developed “I know a huge amount about this subject, therefore I win” line of yours is really pretty annoying.”

    Yea, well, you know as well as I do that I don’t tack on the “therefore I win” thing.

    “But don’t assert your expertise, decline to demonstrate it”

    But that’s not my view at all. I have asserted my expertise AND demonstrated it, and you have completely dismissed it. Almost each and every time.

    I consider this to be a problem pretty much of your own making. I’ve got corroborated and substantiated posts spread throughout this blog. Some people give that substantiation weight. Not you; you summarily dismiss it.

    “By taking this tack so often you are in some danger of making yourself difficult, if not impossible, to have a genuine debate with.”

    See above. I believe this is your fault, and I would issue the same warning.

    “and sometimes I even learn something, which is always to be valued.”

    Maybe sometime you would like to throw me a bone and let me in on when this happens, because I can’t remember the last time you conceded anything that I’ve said. I do remember dozens of times when you dismissed my corroboration with elaborate hand waving.

    “Many married couples do not have children and many couples have children without being married.”

    I have addressed this in the past with you. Asked and answered.

    “So? So what? You are accusing us of inconsistency despite NOT apparently wanting to bar infertile heterosexual couples from getting married as your stated standard demands.”

    No, the questions is why the state is involved in the topic at all. As I have previously shown you, it has always had the children as one of the core rationales. I noticed in the article of mine I linked for you above, I have a comment that elaborated on it further. It’s the last comment in the thread. You never responded.

    As I have said frequently, if this rationale is removed, the state shouldn’t be involved at all.

    “Also, what’s your rational objection to polygamy on these grounds?”

    You must have missed the “one penis” and “one vagina” part. Unless I have been horribly informed, a penis can only be in one vagina at a time.

    “You are a big fan of the democratic process until it returns a result which you do not like, at which point you cry foul play.”

    Example?

    “does not seemingly allow for any consideration of the relative impact of big donors’ money to sway things one way or another”

    I hope that this isn’t your example.

    “You have been entirely silent as far as I can tell about conservative-friendly judgements (not too unusual from the Roberts court), and vocally unhappy about more liberal ones.”

    I don’t know about that. I wasn’t happy with Roberts ad hoc abuse of the Constitution re: the individual mandate. I don’t know if my feelings overflowed to this blog on that one. Some of my earliest blog entries here has been my complete dissatisfaction with the collapse of the rule of law as manifested in the courts. I feel like I have said something recently here about my pretty much near-disdain for the judicial system, and feel it has gone completely and irrevocably off the rails in respect to the Constitution. I believe I said something regarding ‘conservative victories’ to the effect of ‘taking what you can get, I suppose, even though it is still pointless, meaningless, and just one more gasp of a dying republic.’ If anyone can remember where I said that, I’d be thankful.

    I may have said it in another forum. Maybe I even said it to you in one of our FB conversations. If so, its probably one of the things you brushed aside. 😉

    I have ceased to have any respect for our judicial system and consider any ‘victory’ to be a matter of chance, a fleeting thing indeed. I would take the overthrow of Roe vs Wade, of course, because it would save millions of lives, but since it no doubt would be overthrown for completely arbitrary reasons, nothing permanent would be gained.

    “Recent polling puts support for same-sex marriage in the US at 59%.”

    Do you think that has anything to do with “Big Money” being spent advocating it?

    “I’m all for having a conversation about how such pressure should and should not be applied, but I would prefer for it to be conducted honestly.”

    I have no opposition to conducting it honestly, but I would insist that it also be conducted intelligently. Your examples are in a different category than what we are seeing. For example, in Canada, you can actually go to jail for expressing your opposition to homosexuality, even if (and maybe especially if) it is for religious reasons. Can actually–and has actually happen. I don’t see any reason to think we are not on the same trajectory here in the US.

    “Yeah, recently even from Pat Robertson. It’s got to smart a bit when THAT guy calls you crazy!”

    lol

    “You see, that’s just dishonest.”

    No, it isn’t. I will grant that it is possibly true what you are saying about this ‘coalition of conservative groups.’ As I said, I didn’t even know about all this stuff, and personally I really don’t care. But it is still in a different category. You see, Dannyboy, just because things seem similar, doesn’t mean they are the same. An apple is round, but so is an orange. Still, there is a phrase you may be aware of “comparing apples to oranges.”

    It has been a long time since gay people have had to be concerned about going to jail for their behavior here in the US, but the way the ‘hate crimes’ laws are written, it is possible for someone to go hurt Michael Sam, say he had read my blog, and have ME sent to jail for ‘hate speech.’ As I understand it, I am theoretically protected from this only because SCOTUS has balanced against it first amendment protections.

    But I just told you how confident I am in the ‘victories’ achieved via SCOTUS.

    Anyway, I get your point about other forms of social coercion happening on ‘my’ side but I don’t believe compelling people to get ‘re-educated’ is in the same category.

    “Seems like you and I as straight white able-bodied males have all the information we need to make those sort of judgements, don’t you think?”

    Sure. As if I didn’t grow up near the predominantly black city of Detroit where also an awful lot of Arabs lived, or have a disabled daughter, or married to–a woman (you have to clarify that last bit, these days). I wouldn’t have any real life experience of my own that suggests the whole ‘white privilege’ thing is mostly self-serving liberal myth. What I have observed are people and organizations bending over every which way they can to try to immunize themselves from charges of discrimination; oddly, they can never do enough.

    Methinks that is part of the plan.

    “I had virtually no idea. And that of course is the point – it is very difficult for members of a privileged group to understand the reality of someone from outside it.”

    See, that’s interesting to me, because I, on the other hand, do have a good idea. This might be a problem YOU have. Don’t assume everyone suffers from your prejudices. Bigot. 😉 (I became aware of this data many years ago in the course of researching gun violence.)

    “That assertion is dramatically at odds with the polling data. Perhaps you should review it.”

    No, my assertion is demonstrably correct. State after state after state, over the course of 20 years, unanimously rejected attempts to redefine marriage. It was not very long ago that CALIFORNIA passed its constitutional amendment. These were ALL overruled by people with gavels, NOT by majority votes, either legislatively or via state level referendums. These are not assertions, these are FACTS.

    This would be a very good time for you to concede something for once, because if you cannot admit that what I’m saying here is more than mere assertion, its YOUR credibility we need to be looking at.

    If you can concede these FACTS we can then go on to the other issue of the alleged polling data results. My money is on Big Money manipulation of public opinion… something tells me that in this case, you don’t have any objections to the role Big Money can play in American politics.

    To EB:

    “the debate wasn’t about the definition of “marriage” as liberals and yourself have claimed, but about whether blacks were just as human as any other person, and thus could fit the already existing marriage paradigm.”

    BINGO.

  30. In CORROBORATION of what EB said, and I affirmed, I submit this bit from progressive and prominent evolutionist and eugenicist, Madison Grant (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madison_Grant), from The Passing of the Great Race, pg 60:

    … with an increased knowledge of the correct definition of true human species and types, and with a recognition of the immutability of fundamental racial characters, and of the results of mixed breeding, far more value will be attached to racial in contrast to national or linguistic affinities. In marital relations the consciousness of race will also play a much larger part than at present, although in the social sphere we shall have to contend with a certain strange attraction for contrasted types. When it becomes thoroughly understood that the children of mixed marriages between contrasted races belong to the lower type, the importance of transmitting in unimpaired purity the blood inheritance of ages will be appreciated at its full value, and to bring half breeds into the world will be regarded as a social and racial crime of the first magnitude. The laws against miscegenation must be greatly extended if the higher races are to be maintained.

    More background:
    http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/11e.htm

    Madison Grant’s work, and his opinions on race and evolution and miscegenation are just one of the hundreds of examples I have collected en route to arguing for my thesis in my doctorate. It is funny what immersion in primary sources will do to correct the numerous prevailing myths of the present day. Alas, there just isn’t time in the day to recapitulate all of them on demand for my insisting readership. 😉

  31. Dear me, where would we be without the Progressives?

    Up a tree, eating bananas.

    🙂

  32. I think Madison Grant would have agreed. See quote above, and consider what he might be meaning by “lower types” and “correct definition of the true human species and types.”

    😉

  33. Does this mean you’ve come to understand why pro-lifer’s [sic] can think abortion is basically murder, but don’t instantly resort to violence in order to stop it?

    No, quite the opposite. There’s a slight difference between a small number of people not being able to identify themselves by their preferred gender, and the alleged murder of billions of humans.

    I assume you knew that already. Then again, I guess not.

    No matter how you slice it as “active objection,” “passive objection” [I think you mean passive acceptance, since that what we were actually talking about], etc. it’s still an inconsistency for the liberal crowed [sic]

    No, it really isn’t. Your and SJ’s whole point is essentially “The same arguments liberals use to justify same-sex marriage can also be used to justify bestiality (for example), but liberals are inconsistent because they won’t allow it”.

    There are two parts to that statement. The first, which I have set aside for the time being, is that the arguments we use to promote same-sex marriage can be automatically extended to bestiality. They second is that liberals are running around flaunting this automatic extension by actively objecting to it. The inconsistency doesn’t exist otherwise. How do you know any given liberal is opposed to bestiality if you can’t find any who have actually said so? Until you do, the first part of your argument is irrelevant, and your whole point falls in a heap.

    One side clearly has “love”, and the other… well you can’t say the computer is really AGAINST the idea, now can you?

    For someone who seems unable to grasp the difference between passive acceptance and active objection, this is a supremely stupid thing to say.

    We HAD a non-arbitrary, exclusive description for “marriage” at one point, but liberals didn’t like it

    Correction. The definition is extremely arbitrary, and it was gay, transgendered and intersex people that didn’t like it. I don’t think any liberals were campaigning for marriage equality before the LGBTIQ community put their hands up and asked for it, but were shot down by conservatives.

    Tell me this. The two of you obviously agree that consent is a fundamental prerequisite for the legal institution of marriage. Do you agree that liberals also hold that view?

    And if so, can you brings yourselves to retract the claim of inconsistency with regards to computer marriage?

  34. They didn’t want people to tell them that they couldn’t play with it, that it was something serious, that had significant consequences, that it shouldn’t be played with, but like fire, needed to be handled responsibly.

    Would you mind not talking about me like I’m not here?

  35. “Tell me this. The two of you obviously agree that consent is a fundamental prerequisite for the legal institution of marriage. Do you agree that liberals also hold that view?”

    The difficulty in answering this question multi-faceted. First of all, bear in mind what should be obvious–my posts on this topic are not (usually) directed at you and DB, even if you are the ones who typically answer. I interact with and encounter many other liberals, both in the present day and through reading past primary sources. You and DB and perhaps most liberals TODAY may hold that consent is a fundamental aspect of marriage (and let’s not be narrow–it is all that is necessary for ALL sexual activities, except with consenting children, at which point ‘consent’ becomes less fundamental) but I have a pile of books and other documents, written BY liberals, from say 1890 to 1930, where ‘consent’ was only belatedly given weight. That is to say, many of them sorely wished that they could arrange marriages, and were very sad that they couldn’t. Darwin himself expressed this sentiment in his Descent of Man:

    Man scans with scrupulous care the character and pedigree of his horses, cattle, and dogs before he matches them; but when he comes to his own marriage he rarely, or never, takes any such care. He is impelled by nearly the same motives as are the lower animals when left to their own free choice, though he is in so far superior to them that he highly values mental charms and virtues. On the other hand he is strongly attracted by mere wealth or rank. Yet he might by selection do something not only for the bodily constitution and frame of his offspring, but for their intellectual and moral qualities. Both sexes ought to refrain from marriage if in any marked degree inferior in body or mind; but such hopes are Utopian and will never be even partially realised until the laws of inheritance are thoroughly known. All do good service who aid towards this end. When the principles of breeding and of inheritance are better understood, we shall not hear ignorant members of our legislature rejecting with scorn a plan for ascertaining by an easy method whether or not consanguineous marriages are injurious to man.

    The views of Darwin and fifty years of eugenicists (most of whom were liberal progressives) were specifically the subject of my dissertation; bear in mind that the eugenicists had very little tools to work with prior to effective sterilization techniques, so state involvement in the question of marriage was high on their list. ‘Consent’ was seen as a hindrance and an obstacle to their program, and feared what would happen if they really tried to implement their ideas. Google ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ eugenics, and Francis Galton.

    So, the problem is this: it isn’t just enough to say that you and perhaps all liberals today have ‘consent’ as an important element. This element has to be rooted in some kind of foundational bedrock, so that ‘consent’ emerges as a non-arbitrary logical extension. But today’s liberals have basically the same ‘bedrock’ as yesterday’s liberals, and the liberals that came before them, and the liberals that came before them. And there was a day when liberals thought ‘consent’ was a problem and dreamed of what they could do in society if they didn’t have to deal with it.

    Personally, I have no reason to think that liberals still feel this way, broadly speaking, because the shared ‘bedrock’ remains the same. ‘Consent’ is incidental, not fundamental.

    After all, weren’t you the one that proposed state-level coercion forbidding procreation through intercourse? Where did ‘consent’ go in that proposal? Out the window, it seems to me.

    “And if so, can you brings yourselves to retract the claim of inconsistency with regards to computer marriage?”

    This is incoherent. Your definition of ‘marriage’ is arbitrarily being construed as being between consenting individuals, and as DB said, and I’m pretty sure you have, iirc, that definitions can change over time. Why we should use your definition now as opposed to some other I think is the real issue, and the target of the opening post. How dare you marginalize other people’s conception of ‘marriage’? If 5% of the population demands that it be changed to meet their sexual preferences, over against what the rest of the population believes–and has codified over and over through state level referendums and their legislative bodies–and this is upheld by the courts, what kind of gall must you have to support the efforts of the 5% but oppose the efforts of the 1% with sexual preferences that vary even from the 5%.

    Man, you really ARE a bigot. 😉

    If ‘consent’ is important to you, then surely you should have no objection here to the computer thing. With an animal I suppose you have to wonder about whether it consents or not (Singer would disagree for many cases) but not with a computer. There is no conceivable victim, therefore you can have no conceivable objection based on concerns related to consent. The consent element is totally not operative in this question. The NUMBER and NATURE of the entities involved, NOT whether they are consenting or not, is what is at issue.

    Bigot. 😉

    “Would you mind not talking about me like I’m not here?”

    Was that a joke? Cuz I think you know I wasn’t. 🙂

  36. By way of continued emphasis on this latter point about just how fundamental ‘consent’ is to liberals, here are some words from Francis Galton, from his “Hereditary Talent.” Galton, by the by, was related to Darwin, and is often credited as the father of eugenics. His viewpoints continued to be explicitly affirmed and promoted all the way up through the 1930s, when, for some reason no one can fathom (*cough*the Nazis*cough*) they fell out of favor; after which they were only implicitly affirmed and promoted.

    Bear in mind, once again, that ‘birth control’ technologies such as sterilization were not yet reliably available, so tampering with marriage was just about all that the eugenicist could do, short of actual ‘culling.’

    Let us, then, give reins to our fancy, and imagine a Utopia—or a Laputa, if you will—in which a system of competitive examination for girls, as well as for youths, had been so developed as to embrace every important quality of mind and body, and where a considerable sum was yearly allotted to the endowment of such marriages as promised to yield children who would grow into eminent servants of the State. We may picture to ourselves an annual ceremony in that Utopia or Laputa, in which the Senior Trustee of the Endowment Fund would address ten deeply-blushing young men, all of twenty-five years old, in the following terms:—”Gentlemen, I have to announce the results of a public examination, conducted on established principles; which show that you occupy the foremost places in your year, in respect to those qualities of talent, character, and bodily vigour which are proved, on the whole, to do most honour and best service to our race. An examination has also been conducted on established principles among all the young ladies of this country who are now of the age of twenty-one, and I need hardly remind you, that this examination takes note of grace, beauty, health, good temper, accomplished housewifery, and disengaged affections, in addition to noble qualities of heart and brain. By a careful investigation of the marks you have severally obtained, and a comparison of them, always on established principles, with those obtained by the most distinguished among the young ladies, we have been enabled to select ten of their names with especial reference to your individual qualities. It appears that marriages between you and these ten ladies, according to the list I hold in my hand, would offer the probability of unusual happiness to yourselves, and, what is of paramount interest to the State, would probably result in an extraordinarily talented issue. Under these circumstances, if any or all of these marriages should be agreed upon, the Sovereign herself will give away the brides, at a high and solemn festival, six months hence, in Westmister Abbey. We, on our part, are prepared, in each case, to assign 5000£ as a wedding-present, and to defray the cost of maintaining and educating your children, out of the ample funds entrusted to our disposal by the State.”

    If a twentieth part of the cost and pains were spent in measures for the improvement of the human race that is spent on the improvement of the breed of horses and cattle, what a galaxy of genius might we not create! We might introduce prophets and high priests of civilization into the world, as surely as we can propagate idiots by mating crétins. Men and women of the present day are, to those we might hope to bring into existence, what the pariah dogs of the streets of an Eastern town are to our own highly-bred varieties.

    The feeble nations of the world are necessarily giving way before the nobler varieties of mankind; and even the best of these, so far as we know them, seem unequal to their work. The average culture of mankind is become so much higher than it was, and the branches of knowledge and history so various and extended, that few are capable even of comprehending the exigencies of our modern civilization; much less of fulfilling them. We are living in a sort of intellectual anarchy, for the want of master minds. The general intellectual capacity of our leaders requires to be raised, and also to be differentiated. We want abler commanders, statesmen, thinkers, inventors, and artists. The natural qualifications of our race are no greater than they used to be in semi-barbarous times, though the conditions amid which we are born are vastly more complex than of old. The foremost minds of the present day seem to stagger and half under an intellectual load too heavy for their powers.

    The customs that affect the direction and date of marriages are already numerous. In many families, marriages between cousins are discouraged and checked. Marriages, in other respects appropriate, are very commonly deferred, through prudential considerations. If it was generally felt that intermarriages between A and B were as unadvisable as they are supposed to be between cousins, and that marriages in A ought to be hastened, on the ground of prudential considerations, while those in B ought to be discouraged and retarded, then, I believe, we should have agencies amply sufficient to eliminate B in a few generations.

    I hence conclude that the improvement of the breed of mankind is no insuperable difficulty. If everybody were to agree on the improvement of the race of man being a matter of the very utmost importance, and if the theory of the hereditary transmission of qualities in men was as thoroughly understood as it is in the case of our domestic animals, I see no absurdity in supposing that, in some way or other, the improvement would be carried into effect.

    Galton’s discussion here turns this way and that as far as ‘consent’ goes, implicitly allowing it, but ready to involve the state to arrange marriages and spend just 1/20th of the cost “spent on the improvement of the breed of horses and cattle” to improve the human race. And horses and cattle are frequently not asked to give their consent in breeding programs.

    Elsewhere he addresses the ‘consent’ element more directly:

    I think that stern compulsion ought to be exerted to prevent the free propagation of the stock of those who are seriously afflicted by lunacy, feeble-mindedness, habitual criminality, and pauperism, but that is quite different from compulsory marriage. How to restrain ill-omened marriages is a question by itself, whether it should be effected by seclusion, or in other ways yet to be devised that are consistent with a humane and well-informed public opinion. I cannot doubt that our democracy will ultimately refuse consent to that liberty of propagating children which is now allowed to the undesirable classes, but the populace has yet to be taught the true state of these things. A democracy cannot endure unless it be composed of able citizens; therefore it must in self-defense withstand the free introduction of generate stock.

    If sterilization technologies were available when Galton were around, I have no doubt that he would have “allowed [] the undesirable classes” to marry, provided they did not ‘propagate children.’ This was precisely one of the things the Nazis did in their hereditary courts, allowing marriage of inferior classes, but only if both parties agreed to get sterilized.

    Darwin thought Galton’s arguments to be fabulous, and referred to them in his own work. This famous remark essentially referring back specifically to Galton’s own eugenic argument:

    With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of everyone to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

    The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, if so urged by hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature.

    You can see from these quotes that ‘consent’ is far from their consideration, and they wish very much to be able to get around it. In various places these men and those who would more explicitly take the labels ‘progressive’ and ‘liberal’ (remembering that ‘progressives’ didn’t formally exist until the 1900s, long after Darwin had died, and only after Spencer and Galton had become very old men) conceded that, barring a great totalitarian system to enforce the will of the state (for the common good), regrettably, implementation of their proposals would lead to widespread rioting, and their own slit throats.

    The eugenicists of the 1930s positively coveted the Nazi’s ability to enforce their policies and were terribly jealous. They had to confine themselves to end runs around the Constitution, passing state level model sterilization laws, public relations campaigns, and the like. Buck vs. Bell was a huge victory for them; if only it had taken place in, say, 1905, instead of right before the rise of Nazi Germany, we may now be talking about concentration camps and the elimination of the unfit and defectives here in America and other ‘democratic’ countries, as well as referring to Germany.

    I bolded ‘hard reason’ above because many Darwinists seek to vindicate Darwin’s comment by saying that Darwin saw a debasement of the noblest part of our nature if we bred humans like we bred animals, and this, they suppose, proves that Darwinism does not logically entail such measures. But it does not. Darwin is here admitting that “hard reason” based on the acceptance of his theory does “so urge” such conclusions. Darwin is admitting that his theory logically warrants and justifies such thinking, and if one stuck to logic alone, they’d carry out such things. Over against the conclusions of “hard reason” we have Darwin’s soft-heartedness; looking back, we can only say that he was better than his theory.

    A thousand and ten thousand more would come who would see this as cowardice and be quite prepared to follow through with the logical implications, and they would ridicule those bound up by their ‘sentimentality.’

    Darwin opened himself up for this by arguing forcefully that sentimentality itself was a result of evolutionary processes. It was an adaptation, nothing more.

    Anyway, you ask me if all liberals agree that consent is fundamental. I would say it would depend on the basis that they give for it, and I think most liberals have a basis which would logically demand, according to ‘hard reason’ the willingness to dispense with consent at the drop of a hat to make way for REALLY fundamental issues. Besides, most liberals would say that morality is relative; surely, then, we should not put too much weight on the sanctity of consent, when their foundational starting points leave no room for the holy.

  37. EB,

    “I simply note that wrong-doings under mine were more often than not carried out because people DIDN’T follow the principles in entirety, while for yours they occurred because they DID logically follow the principles they operated under.”

    People are always on the look out for justifications of the horrible things that they do to each other.  Sometimes they find those justifications in the realm of the spiritual or scriptural, and sometimes they find them in the errant human study of the naturalistic world.  Perhaps it is only to be expected that given our respective worldviews we should differ so sharply on which of those two groups has historically been more objectively correct in their interpretation of their source material.  Obviously I disagree with what you said above, but then I would, wouldn’t I.  I’m not particularly interested in having that argument all over again, I would simply note that the existence (and persistence) of morally repulsive interpretations is not a challenge to the credibility of fallible scientific or philosophical human endeavour in the same way as it is to the allegedly infallible and perfect word of an omnicogniscent god.

    “SJ pointed out Don Jones going to be “re-educated” and the enormous lengths being taken with Sterling”

    Is it odd that you are mentioning the public treatment given to someone who had to engage in a PR exercise following comments perceived as being homophobic in the same breath as a guy who got the boot for egregious and explicitly racist behaviour?  I presume that you don’t endorse Mr Sterling’s stated views, but just think that he has the right to express them without any consequences?

    That’s fine, by the way.  It’s even borderline consistent of you, but it just seems to not sit entirely comfortably with your expressed belief that white christian conservative men are a heavily maligned and discriminated-against group.  What’s your solution to this alleged problem if not to mobilise the imposition of some sort of social consequences when people say mean things about you and your fellow massively-over-represented-in-positions-of-power, melanin-deficient, Y-chromosome reactionaries?  Or are you just complaining for the sake of it?

    “Conservatives in general and Christians in particular may not be arrested off the streets for expressing their views openly, like they do in the UK as Shawn Holes can attest, but it’s easy to see how even that method of punishment is just a matter of time.”

    Well, I will give you a highly qualified and partial agreement – we don’t have a constitution in the UK, and nor do we have quite as high a standard of free speech as the US does.  I think that is a failing, and that people should certainly be able to express views which I personally find repugnant without being menaced or arrested.  The practical limits of free speech in the UK are often affected by public opinion and/or outrage.  That’s not a good thing.

    That said, I think the Conservative/Christian victimisation complex that you and SJ have going on is largely a whiny & masochistic (but politically-useful) fantasy.  I might not previously have phrased that quite so bluntly, but from my most recent discussion with SJ I have learned that having merely grown up in the Christian church and married into a conservative African Christian family I am actually fully qualified to discourse on the life experiences of people like yourselves, and on the correct interpretation of those experiences.  Fun eh?

    By the way, here’s a statement by Peter Tatchell, one of the UK’s most courageous and principled (in my opinion) human rights activists, regarding the arrest of the charming Mr Holes.  Peter Tatchell also happens to be gay.  I’d be interested to know what you think of it:

    http://hurryupharry.org/2010/03/30/freedom-of-speech-must-be-defended-even-for-homophobes/

    “Yeah, it’s called tyranny.”

    Your hurt feelings, and the lack of public approval which currently attaches to your beliefs, do not equate to tyranny.  I understand that there are still some US states where you can legally be fired from your job for being gay.  The fact that people have also been forced out of publicly-visible jobs as a result of expressing anti-gay or racist views is another kind of example of that sort of moralistic mob-rule.  I’m not in favour of that, as I think I have made clear, but you appear to only have a problem with it when people who think like you encounter social or professional consequences for being real about what they believe and/or who they are.

    I think that this is yet another example of the way that your perception of reality is extremely vulnerable to influence by your partisan ideology.

    ….

    Tony,

    “Maybe sometime you would like to throw me a bone and let me in on when this happens, because I can’t remember the last time you conceded anything that I’ve said.”

    Oh well, please excuse me if I have neglected to boost your self-esteem on this point.  I thought that I had said to you that through our discussions, and often directly from you, I have learned a lot about early twentieth century eugenics, especially in the context of the potential liabilities of progressive worldviews.  Before that I learned a great deal about creationism, and as part of arguing with you about it was forced to educate myself to a higher level than high school had managed about biology and evolutionary science.  You have also taught me a good deal about Libertarianism, Cheese Curds, the US Constitution, Crab Rangoons and christian apologetics.  Sorry if I hadn’t made that clear.

    Doesn’t mean that you can’t also be a dumbass sometimes.  🙂

    “As I have said frequently, if this rationale is removed, the state shouldn’t be involved at all.”

    So look, here’s some common ground – we can both agree that the state doesn’t particularly need to be involved in regulating marriage (except for prosecuting those who force others into marital arrangements which they either do not, or cannot, consent to).  Perhaps it would be better if it wasn’t at all involved.  People could then have whatever religious or secular ceremonies they wished in order to manifest and celebrate their commitment to a partner (or partners) of their choice.  I’m sure that you would continue to view some people’s desire to form life partnerships with people of the same gender as a symptom of the inevitable degeneration and collapse of human civilisation, but apparently everything is, so that’s just a given.  You would no longer have any practical objection to make against people having whatever kind of weddings they want, right?

    On the issue of the democratic process, once again you appear to only be able to focus on critiques or caveats to the outcomes of popular votes when they go a certain way.  When I mention polling data on American attitudes towards gay marriage, you say:

    “My money is on Big Money manipulation of public opinion… something tells me that in this case, you don’t have any objections to the role Big Money can play in American politics.”

    Objecting to something is contingent upon recognising it, and you don’t appear to even do that in the case of non-conservative democratic outcomes and indicators.  Case in point:

    “State after state after state, over the course of 20 years, unanimously rejected attempts to redefine marriage. It was not very long ago that CALIFORNIA passed its constitutional amendment. These were ALL overruled by people with gavels, NOT by majority votes, either legislatively or via state level referendums. These are not assertions, these are FACTS.”

    Just to be clear, your contention is that Big Liberal Money has either manipulated people into answering random telephone surveys in a way which is contrary to their actual views, or has gone to the trouble of fixing the results of such opinion polls, which have no actual effect on the democratic process.  On the other hand, at the actual ballot boxes, where the massive spending and effort by conservative and religious groups to get the vote out in their favour has been well documented, the results (which are a testament of increasing investment for decreasing returns by groups such as the LDS church), well, those heavily and plainly influenced outcomes are unequivocal FACTS of untainted democratic purity?  Please.

    Anyway, in response to your question, I don’t really have any objection to the results of (for the sake of argument) democratic votes being overturned by the courts when what I consider to be fundamental rights are at stake.  Didn’t mind it in Loving vs Virginia.  Don’t mind it now.

    You are both welcome to say that you think Loving vs Virginia should not have been allowed to overturn the unquestionable majority opposition to “interracial marriage” at the time of that trial. I think you would both have to say that to be consistent. I’m quite content about who that puts me on the same side as, but wonder how you feel about who you are making common cause with there.

    “I will grant that it is possibly true what you are saying about this ‘coalition of conservative groups.'”

    Thank you.

    “I get your point about other forms of social coercion happening on ‘my’ side”

    Thank you.

    “…but I don’t believe compelling people to get ‘re-educated’ is in the same category.”

    As what?  Gays being fired for being gay?  Atheists being fired for being atheists?  The re-education thing is a meaningless PR exercise.  I’m sure it’s humiliating, and I’m not at all in favour of it, but it seems to me that the only reason it’s “not in the same category” as those kind of things for you and EB is that it’s directed at people in your ideological demographic.  

    In contrast, I am doing my best to not allow identity politics to limit my criticisms of injustice.

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