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The Death of the Republic and Gay Marriage

I have spoken out against gay ‘marriage’ from a number of different viewpoints on this blog but there is one angle that I feel reflects the real danger that gay ‘marriage’ presently poses, and that, in the United States, is the death of the Republic altogether.

There are of course all the other arguments, but ironically, pro-gay ‘marriage’ advocates like to brush those aside as being ‘religious’ in nature, and demand that you only bring ‘secular’ arguments, but this argument actually is secular.  Irony on top of irony, their arguments are the ones religious in nature.   I should mention this very important thing:  gay ‘marriage’ is only the latest manifestation of an acid that has been eating away at American society for decades, if not even more than a century.  In a nutshell, we are witnessing the near collapse of the rule of law and the effective disenfranchisement of a huge majority of the American people, all brought about by relentless manipulation and propaganda coming from our schools, our media, and the government itself.

I would like you to consider how it is that we are on the verge of having gay ‘marriage’ codified as the law of the land right now, considering that over the last ten years or so, state after state, referendum after referendum, constitutional amendment after constitutional amendment, has gone against gay ‘marriage’ and explicitly affirmed a ‘traditional’ understanding of the term as denoting a lifelong relationship between one man and one woman.  To achieve this, gay ‘marriage’ proponents have essentially burned down the country to get what they want.  Perhaps they deem that this is worth it.  Obviously, they must.  However, and I am totally sincere in this warning, with no malevolence implied or intended, this kind of precedent can come back to haunt them in some serious ways.   There is such a thing as cutting off your nose to spite your face.  Some may see some poetic justice to such a thing happening but again, there is such a thing as cutting off your nose to spite your face!

To put it another way, if only the gay ‘marriage’ proponents had worked patiently and persistently within the system, respecting the wishes and will of their countrymen, I would have been thoroughly against their position and terribly displeased by it, but hey, in our system of government, if you can play by the rules and garner up the necessary legislative support for you position, I say more power to you.  This is precisely the courtesy that has been denied to those with my position, with the added insult that we already played by the rules and garnered up the necessary legislative support for our position!  And how has this been done?

By the whimsical judgement of a handful of men and women–probably not more than 30 people, out of a population of 300,000,000 plus–who have seen fit to override the will, as expressed explicitly at ballot box after ballot box for fifteen years, that’s how.

Yea, that can’t end well.

But perhaps you cannot grasp the full scope of what has happened and just how quickly it has.  Allow me to produce some documentation.

First of all, we clearly knew where things were going for awhile.  In 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), was passed by Congress.  Consider these stats:

In the House, the ‘yeas’ were 342 and the ‘nays’ 67.  In the Senate, the ‘yeas’ were 85, and the ‘nays’ 14.  It was signed by the lusty Bill Clinton, a Democrat.

While 224 of the ‘yeas’ on the House were Republicans, 118 Democrats voted against their comrades to support the bill (118-65).

In 2013, SCOTUS struck down DOMA as unconstitutional;  so much for SCOTUS not wanting to intervene in matters best decided by the people through their elected representatives.

I know what you are saying.  Why are we talking about a piece of legislation that is 150  years old?!?!?  How can this be relevant today?!!?  People’s attitudes can change after 150 years.  We’re talking about a bill that was passed years and years and years ago–not only are the people who passed it dead, but the children of those who passed it are dead!

Oh, wait.  What is 2014-1996 again?  Quick, can a recent graduate from a New York public school get out a calculator and figure this out?  Is it 150?  I apologize.  I’m sure its closer to 100;  ages ago, at any rate.

Oh, wait.

The writing was clearly on the wall, and of course everyone knows you can’t very well trust the Feds, so now the states get involved.  Wikipedia has very helpfully helped organize the sequence of what came next.

These are all amendments to state constitutions rejecting gay ‘marriage.’ Do you know how hard it is to get constitutions amended?  It’s hard work, Jim.  Nonetheless:

  1. In 1998, Alaska ratified its ban on same-sex marriage with 68% of the vote.
  2. In 2000 AND in 2002, Nevada did the same, with 69.6% and 67.1% of the vote, respectively.
  3. In 2000, Nebraska did, with 70% of the vote.
  4. In 2004, Mississippi passed its with 86% of the vote.
  5. In 2004, Missouri did, with 72%.
  6. In 2004, Montana did with 67%.
  7. In 2004, Georgia did, with 76%.
  8. In 2004, Kentucky did, with 75%.
  9. In 2004, Louisiana, did, with 78%.
  10. In 2004, North Dakota followed suit, with 73%.
  11. In 2004, Ohio concurred with 62% support.
  12. In 2004, Oregon did, with 57%.
  13. In 2004, Utah did with 66%.
  14. In 2004, Oklahoma did with 76%.
  15. In 2004, Michigan did, with 59%.
  16. In 2004, Arkansas did, with 75%.
  17. In 2005, Kansas passed theirs with 70% of the vote.
  18. In 2005, Texas did with 76%.
  19. In 2006, Colorado did, with 56%
  20. In 2006, Tennessee did with 81%.
  21. In 2006, Alabama did, with 81%.
  22. In 2006, South Carolina did with 78%.
  23. In 2006, South Dakota ratified theirs with 52% of the vote.
  24. In 2006, Wisconsin did with 59%.
  25. In 2006, Virginia did, with 57%.
  26. In 2006, Idaho did, with 63%.
  27. In 2008, Arizona did, with 56%.
  28. In 2008, Florida did with 62%.
  29. In 2008, California did with 52%.
  30. In 2012 — CENTURIES AGO! — North Carolina did theirs with 61%.

Only in one state did an amendment to ‘clarify’ what the human race has heretofore considered ‘marriage’ fail, and that was in Minnesota, in 2012.

Let’s count.

30-1.

Setting aside for now how ancient these efforts were, let us observe first of all how in the vast majority of the cases, the ‘traditional’ definition won out by margins that would be considered a landslide in any other context.

Second of all, these were just the constitutional amendments.   If we add state statutes, the numbers run even higher, although in order to make a point, I want to highlight just one of them, California.

California has been voting overwhelmingly liberal and Democrat for quite a long time.   Despite being a bastion of the left, there was still widespread desire to ensure that when native English speakers use the word ‘marriage’ they mean what native English speakers have always meant.  Being a bastion of the left, the citizens could not get their representatives to follow through, so they went straight to the people;  Proposition 22, defining marriage as between one man and one woman, was passed by referendum in 2000 with 61.4% of the vote (4,618,673 people.)

IN CALIFORNIA.

Surely this was just a fluke.  They couldn’t possibly believe all that jazz there on the Left Coast, could they? A handful of judges decided it must be so, and tossed it out.  This forced Californians to really get serious if they wanted their will represented, so they went for the whole kit and kaboodle, by way of a constitutional amendment.  Even after nearly ten years of some of the best propaganda you’ve ever seen, Proposition 8 still passed, IN CALIFORNIA.  This time it was ‘only’ 52.24% of the vote, but look at the raw numbers!  In that election the ‘yeas’ numbered 7,001,084 votes.

That is more than the population of many states, and is in CALIFORNIA.  When did this happen?  145 years ago, you say?  Oh.  In 2008.  Quick, someone give me a calculator… 6  years ago…

Do you know how many people voted for Obama in California in 2012? 7,800,000.

So basically, about the same number in California that did NOT want gay marriage DID want Obama.  I did say it was a liberal state.

And even in a liberal state, when the people were allowed to speak, they were quite clear on what they had to say.

California wasn’t the only leftist utopia where even leftists wanted to affirm a ‘traditional’ definition of marriage.  Massachusetts comes to mind, and we find a similar story, where the people tried to state their mind, but were overruled by a tiny handful of individuals.  The people of Massachusetts did not have the same success as those in California, though, and I’d be willing to bet that if that state had the same ability for citizens to create referendums on the fly that California did, that would have ended differently.

Now, there is no question, of course, that there has been strong support in some areas for gay ‘marriage.’  Still, we are told that there is massive support for it, but the above litany tells a different tale altogether.  Within the last two, three, five, and ten years, going back to DOMA itself, there has been huge opposition to gay ‘marriage’ that has dwarfed the public support that the gay ‘marriage’ proponents could muster.

What to do… what to do… ah, right.  Judicial activism.  The go-to mechanism for liberals for decades.  What could go wrong?

Bam Bam Bam… in 2013, California and Utah’s CONSTITUTIONAL amendments were overthrown and in 2014 (that is this year, fyi) Oregon,  Okalahoma, Virginia, Texas, Michigan, Arkansas and Idaho had theirs reversed too.

And were they reversed via that time honored tradition or repealing it, like Prohibition was repealed!  Why yes… wait, no!  All fell victim to a tiny sliver of men and women in black robes.  Millions and millions and millions of people, working hard to follow the rules and govern themselves thwarted by a tiny handful of people.

What could possibly go wrong?

In the meantime, of course, public sentiment seems to be bending towards gay ‘marriage.’  In my estimation, if similar votes were held today, many of these amendments wouldn’t have passed, or they wouldn’t have passed with the high margins that they did.  A friend wags his finger at me, “Why, Johnnyboy, don’t you know that according to the latest polling, like 52% of the American public is in favor of gay ‘marriage’ today!  How dare you insinuate that the will of the people is being thwarted!”

This raises a couple of issues, but the first has to do with the categorical difference between THIRTY constitutional amendments and polling with sample sizes of a couple of thousand or so.  It’s as if the whole world has gone clean out of their mind–it is hard work to get a constitution amended, and you can’t do it without a huge amount of public support.

Of course, all those people wasted their time, because as various courts have made plain at this point, it doesn’t matter what they believe.  Even so, the fact that they played by the rules whilst the gay ‘marriage’ proponents violated the law left and right and pursued in the courts what they couldn’t dream of accomplishing in the ballot box sets these far apart from the latest Newsweek polling.  I should like to have seen some of the gay ‘marriage’ proponents try their hands at a constitutional amendment.  Ha!  I know.  Fat chance.  But my contempt for their cause would be far less then it is at present, because they would have at least made a good faith effort to engage their fellow citizens in the marketplace of ideas where it all comes (theoretically) to a head, the ballot box.

The second issue, though, is probably far more serious, and pregnant with much more cause for deep concern.  Let us imagine for a moment that in the course of a single presidential cycle, the entire country has moved from one side of the equation where they exerted themselves strenuously, even going so far as to pass amendments in state after state, but now has genuinely come to a point where a shade over 50% will collectively shrug their shoulders over the prospect of a scant 5% of the population redefining ‘marriage’ come hell or high water.

To what do we owe this huge swing in a matter of four or five years, tops?

My friend bemoans the influence of ‘big money’ on elections and in the Prop 8 fiasco, described above.

Isn’t it as plain as the nose on your face that if there is ‘big money’ propaganda involved here, it has got to be from the side of the homosexual activists?  Or do we really want to believe that  hundreds of millions of Americans, between the time it takes their eyes to blink, genuinely changed their mind without any kind of coercion or manipulation?

I think not.

In my opinion, the opposition to gay ‘marriage’ is still quite strong, so what we’re going to continue to see is judicial oppression in order to make it ‘stick.’  (What could possibly go wrong?)

However, I will concede that to some extent there has been a real shift of attitudes, but I do not at all believe these gains by the homosexual lobby have been gained honestly.  I don’t know who you are, but I know you are out there, oh ye manipulators of public opinion, oh ye proteges of Bernays and what not.  I can’t see you, I don’t know your name, but millions of people simply don’t change their minds on such a fundamental issue unless someone like you is at work.  I know you’re out there, I can hear you breathing.

And just remember, two can play that game.  Don’t whine when the shoe is on the other foot.

In the meantime, as far as I’m concerned, this whole burning down the Republic in order to get your way thing cannot end well, not for you, and not for me.  I do hope you change your tune before something really dire happens.  After all, you didn’t think you could destroy democracy without it having some kind of negative effect, did you?

I know, I know.  I can see you sitting their all smug, cigar in hand.  You think its cute that I still think we have anything that passes as a democracy.  Consider it the last splinter of idealism I have left.

 

 

 

 

 

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57 Responses to The Death of the Republic and Gay Marriage

  1. This reminded me of your past article about Progressivism being the death of the Republic not but a year ago. I assume that’s more or less the “acid” that’s eating away at the nation, with ‘gay marriage’ just being the cause-of-the-day till they find the next “injustice” to set right no matter the cost.

  2. Yes, definitely related and connected. That is a great point about the next “injustice.” We should try to guess what that might be. I would like to think they’re running out of things but they are a creative lot. Still, I wouldn’t identify Progressivism as being identical with that ‘acid.’ I think we draw pretty close, though. There seems to be an underlying current to all the ‘isms’ which all tend to make the same proposals, implement the same programs, and have the same goals; they differ not in their worldview so much as in their practical methods. Don’t ask me what I think precisely that ‘acid’ is. I don’t think I can distill it into a sentence or two.

  3. Well as Christians we know what the REAL underlining problem is behind the irrationality that grips people, but to put it in a more specific category would probably take it’s own paper.

    Also, “plain as the nose on your face?” SJ! They just cut off their noses to spite their face!

    Be more sensitive.

  4. LOL

    That’s beautiful.

  5. Hi Tony, a couple of things…

    1
    A fundamental problem with your argument is that, if you left it to a vote, marriage equality requires a vast majority (heterosexuals) to grant rights to a very small minority (the LGBTIQ community). A right, mind you, which affects the majority not in the slightest.

    I’m not sure what state you’re in these days (WI?), but how would you like to have your right to, oh I don’t know, drink beer on a Tuesday, decided by the voters in the other 49 states?

    2
    You mentioned “following the rules” a few times.

    Isn’t the exercise of judicial power included in the rules?

    3
    Would you reeeeeeally be complaining if state after state amended their constitutions to enable same-sex marriage, but court after court struck the amendments down?

  6. 1a.

    And allowing people to marry their computers, pillows, and donkeys does not affect the majority in the slightest.

    1b.

    First let me address your comment (re: WI) in the way that I think you intended:

    That’s not the right question. The right question is, “Why did tens of millions of Americans suddenly feel it necessary to go beyond legislation and codify a particular position through the very arduous process of obtaining a constitutional amendment?”

    Now let me address your comment according to how you actually wrote it:

    Perhaps you don’t understand how the American system works, Tim. When a state passes a law, and even a constitutional amendment, it only applies to that particular state. Even if 49 states passed laws forbidding drinking beer on Tuesday, their laws would not apply to that last remaining state.

    Federal laws, on the other hand, would. But apart from DOMA, none of the above were Federal.

    In short, if a state wanted to have gay marriage, they certainly could have. Ironically, what you are asking me is actually happening to me, is it not? With the exception that instead of it being the voters in other states dictating terms to me, we have a handful of folks in black cloaks doing so. How would I like that? Not very much. See this blog post as evidence!

    2. I have answered this in various ways already. You either haven’t noticed, or you did notice, and you don’t see how it relates. The US Constitution clearly proscribes what the Federal government (and that includes the Federal courts) is allowed to do and then explicitly states in the 10th Amendment:

    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    Now, what follows is a very, very, very simple line of reasoning.

    1. Are there any powers in the Constitution relating to the idea of marriage in any conceivable fashion?

    Let me save you some work: NO.

    Then what? It isn’t even an inference. It is just an application of the next line–if 1., is answered in the negative, then 2. necessarily and self-evidently follows:

    2. Then any kind of legislation regarding ‘marriage’ belongs strictly to the states, and the Federal government, including SCOTUS, has absolutely no basis for being involved whatsoever.

    I am fully aware of the fact that the United States has abandoned this plain piece of logic, largely by way of extreme contortions wrought by application of the 14th amendment. Nonetheless, the wording of the 10th amd is very clear, and deviating from it is plainly NOT included in the rules.

    3. Uh, yea, I would. I have no desire to live in an oligarchy.

    I want you to think long and hard about the this. Imagine 70% of tens of millions of people taking a particular viewpoint, going through the rigorous process of codifying that viewpoint in no uncertain terms, only to be overruled by .0000000001 of that population (the judges and the attorneys overriding that viewpoint). Strip away the issue and think about the principle. Do you want to live in a world where this is even possible? How long, do you think, could such an arrangement last, without it turning into an all out bloody civil war?

    Now, the only reason why there hasn’t been blood on the street as a response to the judicial activism of the last 40 years is because in America, there are still a lot of Christians, and the Christian moral ethic, while clearly under siege and rapidly declining, still holds some currency. Christians play by the rules. If this were a Muslim country and a tiny handful of judicial activists went against Islam, and the popular support of its population, admit it, those judges would all be dead already.

    Similarly, if the American population were chock full of leftists, I mean the sort that composes the 10% of the population at present–if these number 70% of the population–and their will was overthrown by 9 folks in cloaks, we’d see massive, widespread rioting, and probably the razing of DC to the ground.

    And I wouldn’t blame them.

    You see, the beauty of this Constitutional Republic (in principle, anyway) is that if you don’t like something enough, there are mechanisms for making changes. There are protections of minorities built right into the document (“nor prohibited by [the Constitution] to the States” eg, the States could not eliminate free speech, the right to assembly, etc<—ETC) that prevent those changes from getting too far out of hand. But within that context, you have the ability to govern yourself in your local community, and then after that, in your state house. There is Federal recourse in some respects (most of it, at present, illegitimate, but in theory some would be permitted). If you really, really, really, didn’t like something, you could get your own state’s constitution changed–if you could get enough people and follow the process. A very difficult process, by design. We don’t want people changing constitutions willy-nilly, so it is intentionally difficult, and intentionally requires, in many cases (varies by state), SUPERmajorities. Now, let’s pretend for a moment that none of these outlets were allowed anymore. Pretend for a moment that what you decide in your own town is pointless, because the state has unlimited power to overrule it. Now pretend that what you decide via legislation at the state is pointless, because the state judges have unlimited power to overrule it, saying it violates the state constitution–regardless of whether or not it actually does. Now pretend that you go so far even to alter your constitution, only to find out that THIS is pointless, too, because SCOTUS can overturn it, and will, and does. It is the effective disenfranchisement of a supermajority of the populations of some 2 dozen+ states. If the population was composed of different kinds of people, we’d be seeing a second Civil War already. What’s left? Only an actual outright amendment of the US Constitution… right? But we live in this era where it would be completely possible for SCOTUS to declare even an amendment of the US Constitution, unconstitutional. I don’t see the ‘traditional’ marriage people having the support today to get a Constitutional amendment passed (if folks knew just how lawless the gay marriage proponents were going to be, I’m sure they would have skipped all the state constitutional amendments and gone right for the US Constitution), but I am confident that if they did, SCOTUS would strike it down, and leftist yahoos would refuse to obey the law in the meantime. But there will come a day when a small minority goes too far, and the supermajority goes through the steps required to get their will ensconced definitively beyond the reach of that minority, and all the precedent for overruling that supermajority will be in place. I know you don’t live in America, or Dannyboy, so you won’t be affected. But there will be many, many ‘liberals’ who will make up this supermajority, probably, just as it was many, many, liberals who in California drew a definitive line, and got trounced. But I’m talking about DEFINITIVELY, via the US Constitution. Yes, I see no reason why SCOTUS would not nonetheless defy the plain reading of a new amendment–after all, they have been defying the plain reading of the Constitutional text for decades and decades. What would YOU do if you found yourself in this situation? Would you really want to live in a country where there was literally no way in which you could meaningfully shape the society, because even if you changed the constitutions, state and Federal, men with robes can just wave it away? Well, I don’t want to live in that world, and we are drawing nearer and nearer to it every day.

  7. BTW, from the above you should see that I would be against DOMA; it is clearly unconstitutional. However, the reasons why SCOTUS declared it unconstitutional are not the reasons why I would, and my understanding of the rationale of the dissent in that case is that they did not support DOMA on reasons I would approve, either. We’ve clearly been off the rails as far as the Constitution goes for a long time, and all of the above, and the inexorable progression towards a massive defiance of the will of a supermajority of Americans, is a direct result.

    The irony will be that it will be largely because of the liberals themselves, what with their “living document” approach to the Constitution, that leads to this. The irony of the wishes of California liberals to define marriage a particular way only to have it thrown out by liberal judges does not escape me.

    What will the issue be that finally brings everything to a head?

    I don’t know. I just know that liberals will be standing next to me, just as ticked at where things are; the difference will be that THEY helped bring about the situation in the first place.

  8. I just want to point out that “marriage equality” is a bit of a misnomer. The argument is that gays somehow are being deprived of some right, that others are allowed to enjoy, but the fact of the matter is that gays and straights share exactly the same rights and restrictions. They argue that they can’t marry whoever they want, but the same holds true for straight people. Straight people can’t marry people of the same sex, parents, siblings, or multiple spouses. The only difference is that straight people have chosen within the confines of the definition of marriage, and gays have not. Like I said, that’s not an equal rights or civil rights issue. It’s strictly redefinition and that’s what is being forced.

  9. It’s not a misnomer at all.

    Heterosexual people are able to marry their partner. Homosexual people are not. That’s not equality.

    End of.

    Anyone who says differently is being lazy.

  10. It is a misnomer.

    What if your partner is your sibling of the opposite sex?
    What if your partner is your parent of the opposite sex?
    What if your partner is your dog of the opposite sex?
    What if your partner is a second, third, or fourth individual of the opposite sex?
    What if your partner is a computer of the opposite sex? Whatever that means!

    Heterosexual people can engage in whatever sexual relationship they want, with whatever partner they choose. There are restrictions on the partner they are allow to marry. They can only marry a partner of the opposite sex, that is not related to them.

    Homosexual people can engage in whatever sexual relationship they want, with whatever partner they choose. There are restrictions on the partner they are allow to marry. They can only marry a partner of the opposite sex, that is not related to them.

    The restriction/rights are exactly the same regardless of your orientation. This is equality.

    End of.

    Anyone who says differently is being simple.

  11. That is fucking stupid.

  12. Loving v Virginia.

    Do I need to say anything else? At a time when a majority in most Southern States, and some Northern ones, opposed interracial marriage, “activist judges” overrode the democratic will of the people and changed what most people thought of as the “traditional” concept of marriage. As you mention, this kind of unjustifiable meddling by the judiciary can have the effect of slowly changing public attitudes, so much so that in Alabama – that stronghold of Christian morality – majority support for interracial marriage became a reality sometime in the early 2000s. Well, that’s polling data of course. I think it might still be dangerous to put it to a vote.

    And why would that be? Probably outside the context of gay marriage you can see why straight away. Polling, if done properly, captures a representative sample of the population – voting does not. Voting brings out the people who really feel strongly about an issue, and in a vote over whether a majority privilege should be extended to a minority, the people who don’t mind either way – and are therefore effectively in favour – are not especially motivated to get out and vote. Votes on changing the status quo are therefore biased in favour of keeping the status quo, and yet religious organisations have still had to spend millions upon millions of dollars to ensure that those votes went the way they wanted them to. If nothing else it allows them to artificially bolster their arguments against gay marriage with the sort of “will of the people” flavour that you are currently making such heavy use of.

    I guess you must think that Loving v Virginia was part of the earlier damage done by the “acid” that is dissolving the constitutional fabric of America around your ears. If you were to acknowledge that, as I think you once did to me regarding Brown v Board of Education, then perhaps you might consider what the laws of certain states would probably still be to this day without the paradigm-shifting effect of those legislative changes on public opinion. Majority rule and states rights all the way would give you a good chance of Jim Crow and anti-miscegenation laws still being in effect in parts of the South. Ergo, from my point of view, judicial activism on behalf of minority groups is sometimes a good thing.

    If you disagree, I would be interested to know on what terms, because the strict constitutionality/democracy argument that you made above could just as easily be mustered in favour of Jim Crow & anti-miscegenation laws. And by the terms you have laid out above, they’d be right.

  13. Come now, Tim. How is that not EXACTLY like invoking the word ‘BIGOT!” and leaving it just at that?

    He just gave you a little bit of your own medicine, and then tested the logic of your (mere) assertion.

    We are back to the fact that, on your reasoning, any number of variety of sexual arrangements could and should be justified. For some reason, you think it a fine thing that the will of the vast majority of Americans have their legislative voices stifled in order to please a scant 5% of the population, but you see fit to stop short from giving the same liberties to those who wish to marry animals or young boys (see: http://nambla.org/)

    In the face of this hypocrisy, your response is to issue expletives. This is exactly what I’m talking about when I complain about the FACT that when you get right to the bottom of it, gay marriage advocates have to advance their position by being BULLIES.

    I would like to think that you’re better than that. Would you like to try again?

  14. “Loving v Virginia.

    Do I need to say anything else?”

    Yea, you really do.

    While I personally believe that this again was in violation of what should be ‘best practice’ when it comes to the use of the judiciary, you ignore, once again, a very important point that I know for a fact that I have previously mentioned to you. I could sum up that point by saying, The Civil Rights Act of 1957; Do I need to say anything else?

    Clearly I do, since you have disregarded this again. :)

    http://eisenhower.archives.gov/research/online_documents/civil_rights_act.html

    It also established a federal Civil Rights Commission with authority to investigate discriminatory conditions and recommend corrective measures. The final act was weakened by Congress due to lack of support among the Democrats.

    As an aside, Eisenhower was a Republican, and it was Democrats that weakened the bill. But this is an aside, needed only because of your confirmation bias. :)

    The real point is this: yes, these court decisions definitely were outside the scope of what they should have been doing, but in this case, there was not nearly the same kind of harm wrought as with what I have described above, and as in Roe vs Wade. Let’s look at the year again:

    The Civil Rights Act of 1957

    What year was that? 1957.

    When was Loving v Virginia? 1967. 10 Years later. Now for a quick primer on the American system of governance:

    Loving versus Virginia is a Supreme Court decision. The Civil Rights Act was passed by Congress and signed by the (Republican) president. The former has the power to defy the will of the people through their elected representatives, and usually to their shame, have done so often. But in the case of Loving v. Virginia, we had one of those rare cases where SCOTUS was actually acting within the spirit of what the majority of Americans wanted.

    Importantly, what the majority of Americans wanted was not defined by CNN polling, but through the actual legislative process.

    In this case, the END was consistent with the Republic, but the MEANS put stress on the Republic. So, we dodged a bullet, as it were.

    You say that they overrode the democratic will of the people, but that’s not actually true. There were some people, mostly Democrats, that still bought into the line that black people were an inferior race (as proved by the best science–Darwinism), but it couldn’t really be the case that the majority felt that way, because if it was, there would not have been the Civil Rights Act and many other pieces of legislation that came out of the same period.

    Importantly, I note that you omit some other Supreme Court decisions that I don’t think you feel so warmly about. Buck vs. Bell and Dred Scott v. Sandford. In the first, it became the law of the land that states could legally obtain compulsory sterilizations and in the latter, it was determined that blacks were inferior and could not be considered American citizens.

    It is ironic that these cases escape your analysis as you try to appropriate the genuine civil rights movement to gay ‘marriage,’ as if they are anything similar. Just because the ‘marriage’ is a shared component, doesn’t mean they are really extensions of the same thing.

    But let’s pretend for a moment that they are extensions of the same thing, and think about the impact of these cases. In Buck vs. Bell, the progressive dream came to life; it was just part of the same ideological package of anti-miscegenation. Compulsory sterilization and anti-miscegenation were part of the same family of ideas trying to prevent “race suicide.” Buck vs. Bell certainly helped advance and legitimize the idea that blacks and whites should not marry. If you want to use the judiciary to normalize perspectives, I guess you just have to be comfortable with such decisions, no?

    In Dred Scot, we had a decision that plainly violated the plain reading of the Constitution, but certainly had its share of supporters, especially in the south. I suppose if SCOTUS says that blacks are not really people, you should be ok with that, right?

    Live by Supreme Court decisions, die by Supreme Court decisions.

    But that’s a bit of YOUR hypocrisy. You want your judicial activism when it goes your way, and then ignore it or decry it when it doesn’t. I am being consistent in hating it in all times and in all places.

    One little thing about the Dred Scott decision–it was a huge catalyst for the Civil War. Thanks in part to that decision, which demonstrably overrode the will of a huge portion of the American people, a conflict emerged where 500,000+ Americans died in combat.

    Cause, meet effect.

    You just don’t go about obliterating the will of huge portions of a population without there being negative consequences.

    Now, what this means is that you have to get comfortable with people doing things you don’t agree with to some degree. The Constitution strikes a pretty good balance, in my opinion. You cannot deprive people of their life or liberty or their ability to pursue happiness, so things like murder and slavery are fair game for taking aim at, but other than that, if individuals in a particular state want to do something and they can persuade the rest of the states to go along with it, then that’s the price of democracy–the alternative, 500,000+ dead in a war.

    But that doesn’t mean the people in the other states have to go along with it, does it?

    Whenever you Federalize, you disenfranchise. If you disenfranchise too many people, you run a real risk of causing very bad things to happen, but not merely because of whatever the incipient cause of the disenfranchisement was, but because of the disenfranchisement itself.

    Live by SCOTUS, die by SCOTUS. Just because these court decisions are going your way today, doesn’t mean that in fifty years it will stay that way. But who are you to complain if in fifty years SCOTUS is merely acting on precedent and does something truly horrible again? What are you going to say? It’s UNCONSTITUTIONAL!?!?! Nope. Since Marbury vs. Madison, whatever SCOTUS says, the Constitution means. Great idea! While it goes your way, I reckon.

    I know you live in England so perhaps you don’t care if your advocacy sends the US into a spiral that culminates in bloodshed, but I’ve got to live here, ya know?

  15. And to further disprove DB’s piece of progressive propaganda, it needs to be stated that the issue was not even about the definition of “marriage” in itself, but rather about whether blacks were just as human as whites and could thus qualify under the TRADITIONAL definition, as it was then understood.

    That’s what the Civil Rights movement in entirety was about – that blacks were human beings too, rather than the idea as evolutionary thinking asserted that they were less developed animals.

    This is best exemplified by the fact that legal measures were also enacted to address segregation issues over public schools and public facilities like restrooms and transportation, not simply the matter of “marriage.” No efforts were made or needed to fundamentally change the definition of terms like “buses,” “sidewalks,” “restaurants,” etc. etc. in order for blacks to be included. All that was required was to affirm that blacks qualified for the same status and rights as ALREADY granted under the law. It was an issue of ultimately being consistent to the rule of law, not meddling with time-honored concepts for the sake of “fairness.”

    That piece of liberal fiction about anti-miscegenation you consistently tout, may seem like a compelling parallel to the issue of “gay marriage” DB, but anyone who gives even a cursory look at the Civil Rights movement as a whole can tell it’s just a construct of liberal proponents to take advantage of those ignorant to the true facts of history.

  16. Tony,

    So although you personally consider Loving vs. Virginia to be in violation of legislative “best practice” and “outside the scope of what the courts should be doing”, you wish to draw a distinction based on the fact that it followed up on the precepts laid out in the “Civil Rights Act of 1957”?

    Is it necessary to mention that the Civil Rights Act of 1957 was passed for the most part in support of the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education SCOTUS decision in the wake of Little Rock & the “massive resistance” of the White Christian South?  So really your foundational example of proper representational legislative process was undertaken explicitly against a popular demonstration of disapproval by an ethnic & religious majority for a judicial decision which you have already indicated that you are not really in favour of.  I do feel that weakens your argument from the outset.

    “As an aside, Eisenhower was a Republican, and it was Democrats that weakened the bill. But this is an aside, needed only because of your confirmation bias.”

    This persistent tendency of yours to pretend that the US political parties have not significantly changed in the last fifty odd years is getting so silly.  I don’t know whether it is offensive or defensive in origin, but it is glaringly ahistorical either way.  Ignore Nixon and the Southern Strategy, ignore the migration of the Dixiecrats and the takeover of the ex-confederate vote by the Republicans.  Ignore the fact that Strom Thurmond, so bitterly opposed to the both Civil Rights Acts left the Democratic party shortly after the ’64 CRA and joined the Republicans.  Ignore the fact that, if you control for location (that is, ex-confederate vs. ex-union states) MORE democrats than republicans voted for the CRA.  Ignore the vocal opposition of moral majority televangelist Jerry Falwell (that well-known secular liberal *Ahem*prominent conservative christian segregationist*) to the CRA – describing it as the “Civil Wrongs Act”.  Ignore Barry Goldwater.  Ignore, if you like, the fact that modern conservative and/or libertarian Republicans, from Ron Paul to the editorial staff of National Review, are the only people who still seem to think that the CRA was a bad idea, and that it should either be gutted or repealed entirely.

    Then your partisan pot-shots might appear a little closer to the mark. But that’s a lot of ignoring to do just to make a fairly irrelevant point stick.

    “But in the case of Loving v. Virginia, we had one of those rare cases where SCOTUS was actually acting within the spirit of what the majority of Americans wanted.”

    Demonstrably incorrect.  Gallup polling in 1968 showed only 20% approved of “interracial” marriage.  That opinion only became a majority view sometime in the 1990s:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/28417/most-americans-approve-interracial-marriages.aspx

    “Importantly, what the majority of Americans wanted was not defined by CNN polling, but through the actual legislative process.”

    Which, as you just observed, does not always reflect the will of the majority.  Except when it is rhetorically useful for it to be assumed to do so, perhaps.  

    Maybe it’s slightly more likely that laws will truly represent public opinion in cases where laws are made by elected representatives, rather than by politically-appointed justices (although there are still a whole heap of obstacles to a truly representative democracy, often exacerbated by the sort of big money involvement that conservative politicians – and justices – seem hellbent on entrenching).  However, it seems like the courts ARE currently fulfilling the criteria that you have laid down (incorrectly, in the case of Loving vs. Virginia) in order for them to be acting within the spirit of the law – namely that the majority of Americans DO support same-sex marriage.  I have already pointed out to you the skewing effects which apply in popular votes which amount to status quo referendums that offend religious sensibilities.  Churches have an awful lot of money to spend – something to do with not paying any taxes I think.

    “…it couldn’t really be the case that the majority felt that way, because if it was, there would not have been the Civil Rights Act and many other pieces of legislation that came out of the same period.”

    Again with this deliberate naïveté about representative democracy!  You might as well say “It couldn’t be the case that the majority oppose the policies of Barack Obama, because then he wouldn’t have been elected in 2008 & 2012”.  I KNOW you’re not likely to say that, which further demonstrates your extremely selective credulity on this point.

    And that’s hands-on count-the-ballots voting, by the way.  Legislation passed by a semi-representative body whose members are only fully accountable to their constituents once every couple of years is much less likely to be indicative of the majority opinion.  I really feel like you’re cherry-picking ideologically-convenient data points when it comes to assessing the balance of public opinion.  Especially since you completely dismiss high-quality polling data – the most reliable indicator.

    “Live by Supreme Court decisions, die by Supreme Court decisions.”

    Nope, totally false dichotomy.  I find that I actually have the freedom to approve or disapprove of ideas regardless of whether or not they are popular, and to support the introduction of legislation that redresses social injustices regardless of whether it comes via a court ruling, a ballot or an executive order. You have already said that you would “take” a SCOTUS repeal of Roe v Wade because of the moral good it would do, and presumably regardless of whether or not a majority of Americans still supported it (which, according to polling data, they do).  I really don’t see how that’s a morally superior standpoint to the one that I am taking.

    “You want your judicial activism when it goes your way, and then ignore it or decry it when it doesn’t. I am being consistent in hating it in all times and in all places.”

    Sure, ostentatiously hating it but not actually to the extent that you would prefer what you consider to be a morally positive change in the law to NOT happen if the only way it could was via SCOTUS.  I think you’re projecting your own hypocrisy onto someone who is actually far less dogmatic (and therefore open to the charge of hypocrisy) than you are about where justice originates from.  I’ll take justice in favour of injustice as my primary consideration.  

    And before I get told that “that way tyranny lies” I will again remind you that you have already admitted to precisely the same inclination.

    “You just don’t go about obliterating the will of huge portions of a population without there being negative consequences.”

    That may often be true.  However, it seemed to work out okay in the case of Loving vs. Virginia and it doesn’t actually apply in this case, because – your selective skepticism notwithstanding – the majority of Americans support same-sex marriage.

    “…if individuals in a particular state want to do something and they can persuade the rest of the states to go along with it, then that’s the price of democracy–the alternative, 500,000+ dead in a war.”

    That definitely wins today’s Epic False Dichotomy award. 

    “I know you live in England so perhaps you don’t care if your advocacy sends the US into a spiral that culminates in bloodshed, but I’ve got to live here, ya know?”

    I take this to be an updated version of the Talmudic suggestion that homosexuality causes earthquakes (to which my friend Steve responded, “Sure, if you do it right!”).  :-)

    I suspect, despite your very flattering opinion of my international political influence, that I can continue to express my beliefs on minor internet forums without plunging ANY countries into brutal civil wars.  But maybe I’m just fooling myself!

    EB helpfully chipped in:

    “That piece of liberal fiction about anti-miscegenation you consistently tout, may seem like a compelling parallel to the issue of “gay marriage” DB, but anyone who gives even a cursory look at the Civil Rights movement as a whole can tell it’s just a construct of liberal proponents to take advantage of those ignorant to the true facts of history.”

    I’m a little spoilt for choice here, but I think I’ll quote the first judge that the ACLU (yes, that well-known conservative Christian organisation) unsuccessfully appealed to in their pro bono defence of Mildred & Richard Loving:

    “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races show that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

    Yes, that gentleman is clearly being influenced by liberal evolutionary thinking!

    Also, I’ll mention attitude surveys showing that White Evangelicals are STILL the demographic group most likely to oppose interracial marriage:

    http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctpolitics/2011/06/opposition_to_i.html

    Yeah, there are no parallels between the civil rights movement and same-sex marriage AT ALL!  Now tell all those poor saps who are ignorant of the true facts of history what white fundamentalist Christian leaders said about Martin Luther King while he was still alive.  It’s stored on the internets, in case you want to look it up – just search for “communist”.

    Thanks for participating.

  17. Would you like to try again?

    Sure.

    Firstly, let me reiterate that Mr Doak’s argument is, as I said, fucking stupid. I make no apology for the forceful nature of this statement, because it is a fact. If I came to you and tried to argue that Jesus was a lesbian penguin and entered Jerusalem in a cerise Winnebago, would you calmly refute my assertion on the basis that it is an ostensibly valid point of view, or would you dismiss it as stupid? I hope it’s the latter. Because that is what that argument is – stupid. Not all viewpoints are deserving of a respectful consideration. Mr Doak’s argument is one of them, whether he likes to admit it or not.

    If, however, I am to be corralled into calmly refuting such stupidity, I am perfectly able to.

    The argument fails for two reasons.

    1
    Any human can vote, as long as they are male. The same rule applies to all humans. Therefore, equality.

    How’s that sit with you?

    2
    The conditions Mr Doak mentions, under which heterosexual couples are not able to marry, generally have to do with the increased likelihood of deformities in the children produced.

    That is obviously not an issue with gay couples, so the argument is self-defeating.
    ___

    Do I need to say any more?

  18. Mr. Doak can defend his position for himself. As for me, I am unconvinced. There is a huge blind spot in your argument, a healthy dose of liberal, self-serving hypocrisy. You evidently have no problem bring the power of the state to bear on certain kinds of relationships, but only as it suits you. When it doesn’t suit you–you have no reasoning, just bullying and, as it seems to me, bigotry.

    Wouldn’t consenting incestuous relations still have the option to adopt, just as the gays do? Where do you get off suddenly implying that marriage has something to do with procreation?

    Your argument is a mess.

    No wonder your first move is to invective.

  19. Wouldn’t consenting incestuous relations still have the option to adopt, just as the gays do?

    Perhaps the situation is different in the US, but in Australia, marriage rights and adoption rights are two completely separate issues. This is reflected in the law, and anyone with a reasonable capacity for common sense.

    If you want to have a discussion on incestual adoption rights, feel free to start a thread over in the forum.

    here do you get off suddenly implying that marriage has something to do with procreation? Your argument is a mess.

    Ah, well… I am very glad it looks like a mess, because that was exactly my intention, arguing as I was from within Mr Doak’s worldview.

    It is under his worldview that marriage is all about children. Under that view, he wants to prevent incestual couples from marrying because of the perceived genetic dangers. Mr Doak’s worldview also says that these genetic dangers aren’t as issue for same sex couples (they can’t have children, didn’t you know?). So the only thing that’s hypocritical here his his idiotic chanting of “Look! Look! The same rules apply to all couples! Equality!”.

    It’s utterly ridiculous.

    Also, I notice you ignored the first part of my argument.

  20. Also, for the record, I really don’t care if judges subvert a bigoted populace.

  21. That much is obvious. That you don’t see how that viewpoint is intrinsically dangerous and the fuel for extreme violence, is a serious problem. The beauty of a Republic is that it allows for differences of opinion to be sorted out amongst the populace according to set rules; the pattern in most of history was that differences of opinions were sorted out by killing the other people. If you take away one group’s right to participate on that playing field, and they were playing by the rules, it is not hard to see where that is going to go.

    The other thing you fail to consider is that it is the judges that are the bigots, not the populace. ‘Bigotry’ is very much in the eye of the beholder. If we took your posts and my posts and laid them side by side, but removed the words that specified the topics in question and replaced them with placeholders, such as “X”, most people, including people on YOUR side, would come away with thinking that YOU are the bigot.

    And no offense, but having read your blog, it has just the same kind of tone and derisiveness that I’ve seen on the sites of white supremacists.

    I’m sure you think you’re a very nice guy. But then, most bigots do think that about themselves.

  22. “Bigotry” is very much in the eye of the beholder.

    Indeed.

    Famously, beauty is also in the eye of the beholder. And I think one of the beauties of modern democracies is that there is a mechanism for protecting a persecuted minority from the misguided will of the majority.

    Also, my own personal spin on bigotry adds something extra to the textbook definition – a bigot in my book is someone who not only has a bigoted mind, but also lacks the ability to change it.

    Case in point – marriage equality. The Regnerus study was a great “I TOLD YOU SO” moment for conservatives… until it turned out to be utter rubbish. On the other hand, if we were to present a conservative with 1,000 studies showing that same-sex couples are ten times better parents than heterosexual couples, it wouldn’t make a lick of difference.

    That’s the big difference between our respective bigotry (if you feel like labeling me as such). I would change my mind on same-sex parenting if the evidence warranted it.

    it has just the same kind of tone and derisiveness that I’ve seen on the sites of white supremacists.

    So did Dickens and Swift.

    Any posts in particular that give you that impression?

    I’m sure you think you’re a very nice guy.

    I try to be. Perhaps I can prove it to you when I come to the US in October. :-)

  23. “And I think one of the beauties of modern democracies is that there is a mechanism for protecting a persecuted minority from the misguided will of the majority.”

    Oh well, that’s wonderful! Now if only modern democracies had a way to protect the majority from the tyrannical demands of ‘persecuted minorities’–those who demand not merely a place in society, but the groveling, subservient condoning of their every sexual proclivity.

    I think you really miss the point, but perhaps it is an Australian thing. There are mechanisms in the United States for “protecting a persecuted minority from the misguided will of the majority.” It is called the U.S. Constitution. Ever hear of the bill of rights? What about the first amendment? What about the tenth? You throw these out the window–as you are explicitly advocating for–and I assure you, it is only a matter of time before the ‘persecuted minorities’ wish they had followed the law, rather than subverted it.

    And I don’t here mean that the vast majority of Americans, liberal and conservative, who will never agree to the hostage-terms set before, it, “You WILL say that you approve of my behavior, or ELSE.” I think of things like the night of the long knives, when Hitler slaughtered a vast number of the very people who put him in power in the first place (incidentally, many of them were homosexuals, if I remember correctly). Oops! Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas. Live by SCOTUS, die by SCOTUS. Act in flat violation of the rule of law as it suits your purpose one day, don’t act surprised when the next day, some other ‘persecuted minority’ decides to demand conformity. Unfortunately, as in the case of Hitler, with the precedent well set, there isn’t a thing you can do about it, except endeavor always to make sure that YOU are the one on top. And good luck with that!

    You seem to be suffering under the delusion that I am chiefly worried about my own situation with the way things are proceeding. Certainly, there is a hefty element of that. Personally, however, I think it far more likely that the ‘persecuted minority’ will end up on the receiving end of their own methods, like Haman, hung on his own gallows.

    “Also, my own personal spin on bigotry adds something extra to the textbook definition – a bigot in my book is someone who not only has a bigoted mind, but also lacks the ability to change it.”

    Hmmm… there is a textbook definition? I was under the distinct impression it always meant whatever any random liberal said it meant.

    “I would change my mind on same-sex parenting if the evidence warranted it.”

    Don’t lie to yourself. It doesn’t become you.

    “Any posts in particular that give you that impression?”

    Hmmmm, most of them? 😉 We need not go further than your comments on this thread, which I think provide all the illustration we need.

    “I try to be. Perhaps I can prove it to you when I come to the US in October. :-)”

    I’m happy to be able to finally say that I have a bigot as a personal friend. 😉

  24. Just out of curiosity, had the pro-gays produced any studies before deciding that they would get what they wanted, no matter what the cost? I don’t recall any of them ever showing interest in producing anything we might call ‘evidence.’ It was, and is, their way or the highway.

    You may wish to check out these two posts of mine from several years ago where I complained about something very similar:

    http://sntjohnny.com/front/two-kingdom-talk-about-homosexuality-and-christianity-part-one/314.html

    (the second is linked off of that one)

    Having re-skimmed those pots and noticing similarities to my present arguments, I feel again the angst: honestly, the immaturity and irresponsibility of gay marriage proponents just astounds me. It’s like we’re dealing with children, who have no sense that ‘fun’ things can nonetheless ultimately lead to great harm.

    Where is your study?

    Oh, that’s right. You didn’t think it was important enough to do BEFORE YOU RADICALLY TRANSFORMED SOCIETY. Well done! Bravo!-oh-you-open-minded-man-ready-to-change-his-mind-based-on-evidence-Bravo!

    It would be sooooo funny, of course, in twenty years, to see tens of thousands of children raised by gay parents committing suicide, getting STDs by the dozen, moving aimlessly from one sexual relationship to another, or finding themselves just generally miserable without knowing why, and say, “Oh, well! I guess we were wrong about that whole gay parenting thing! The price of a hundred thousand or a million or so children on the altar of sexual expression, come hell or high water? Totally worth it.

    Of course, we don’t know that this will be the case. We sure as hell didn’t know it wouldn’t be the case before entering into this radical social experiment.

    I also found this one while getting that link, which seems to describe your response to the other commenter to a T.

    http://sntjohnny.com/front/ridicule-weapon-of-choice-for-an-easy-victory/529.html

  25. …but the groveling, subservient condoning of their every sexual proclivity.

    Hahaaa… I know a lot of gay people, and they don’t want us to condone anything. They are generally happy to just not be condemned. Condemned, mind you, for exercising the same rights that you and I enjoy.

    Serious question – do you think homosexuality should be illegal?

    You throw these out the window–as you are explicitly advocating for–and I assure you, it is only a matter of time before the ‘persecuted minorities’ wish they had followed the law, rather than subverted it.

    I don’t deny that in a different time, a different set of judges could act in a very different way – to the detriment of liberal values. I haven’t thought about that possibility a great deal, nor whether it would affect my support of the judiciary’s current actions. Perhaps I should. But I can’t help feeling a little joyous that the rights of the most vulnerable are being protected… that’s on me, I guess.

    Hmmm… there is a textbook definition? I was under the distinct impression it always meant whatever any random liberal said it meant.

    What’s your definition?

    Don’t lie to yourself. It doesn’t become you.

    I’m not. Although perhaps I should expand on that a little.

    The perceived dangers of same-sex parenting already exist in a wide variety of heterosexual relationships. Any drug-addled Neo Nazi can run off and have a child if they want to, and we do nothing to stop them.

    So, if the evidence came in, and same-sex couples don’t make good parents, then sure, I’d change my mind about gay parenting. But, just to be fair, I’d have to set about preventing fckwit heterosexuals from having children, too.

    Hmmmm… most of the them?

    My tone can come across as fairly sarcastic, I admit. But I am hardly ever angry when I write, and I mostly try to be satirical / funny. I guess it’s not funny if it’s your view being ridiculed.

    Also note that not all the posts are mine.

    I’m happy to be able to finally say that I have a bigot as a personal friend.

    Haha, OK… but first you’ll have to tell me what you think that word means. :-)

    Just out of curiosity, had the pro-gays produced any studies before deciding that they would get what they wanted, no matter what the cost?

    How do you propose they could have done that?

    Did the framers of the constitution have any studies showing that the 2nd amendment wasn’t going to end in school massacres?

    tens of thousands of children raised by gay parents committing suicide, getting STDs by the dozen, moving aimlessly from one sexual relationship to another

    Do you honestly think this is a possibility? And if so, on what basis? Also, if the suicide of children is such a concern, you should perhaps consider the impact conservative views of homosexuality have on the mental health of gay teenagers.

    Re: the whole ridicule thing… I’m sure you’ve heard the Jefferson quote… “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.” Sometimes, it is all you are left with when faced with unbridled stupidity.

    The difference, of course, is in what you and I view as “stupid”. I cannot help thinking that Mr Doak’s argument is dripping in asinine buffoonery. Mr Doak clearly thinks otherwise. To me, it is as if he is making a case that the moon is made of cheese, while he thinks he’s just discovered the Higgs Boson.

    Some people don’t like being ridiculed, and, now that I think about it, it seems that such people more often than not come from the right side of the political spectrum. Ridicule does seem to be a weapon used more by the left, and people on the right do seem to be the people least able to deal with it. I’m not sure why that is. All I know is that Stalin didn’t find Animal Farm very funny.

    But it’s still an awesome book.

  26. “Serious question – do you think homosexuality should be illegal?”

    Serious answer: See the opening post; It obviously doesn’t matter what I think. Working within the law on the subject is clearly a waste of time, so why should I waste further time pondering hypotheticals?

    “I haven’t thought about that possibility a great deal, nor whether it would affect my support of the judiciary’s current actions. Perhaps I should.”

    If this conversation has brought you to that thought, then I have achieved my purpose.

    “So, if the evidence came in, and same-sex couples don’t make good parents, then sure,”

    What is your definition of a ‘good parent’? What would have to happen to the kids to change your mind? For me, I see in this gay ‘marriage’ movement the same kind of wanton recklessness that brought us no-fault divorce. As the product of a divorce, and knowing personally how it feels to live through the breaking up of a family, and having interacted with a very large numbers of others (eg, my students when I was teaching), and looking at the staggering high failure rate of marriages, in my opinion, the verdict is ‘in’ on no-fault divorce. It isn’t going to go anywhere, of course, because it is a great boon for sexual promiscuity, and when the chips are down–as we are seeing–no one wants to give that up, no matter WHAT happens to the kids.

    “I guess it’s not funny if it’s your view being ridiculed.”

    Well, perhaps not, but that’s not really what I’m getting at. I find your posts funny and entertaining, even when it is my view being ridiculed. Even so, one gets the distinct impression that you have no interest whatsoever in having a ‘good faith’ discussion on the topic.

    Oh yea, and that would be a component of ‘my’ definition of a bigot: unwilling to have a ‘good faith’ discussion on at topic. 😉

    “How do you propose they could have done that?”

    A., This admits a great deal. The clear implication is that gays were in such a minority that they could not have generated a sample size. Even now, of course, they are a minority. Of course, now they are joining the side of the oppressors, dictating to others with minority sexual preferences who can enjoy ‘marriage’ ‘equality’ but I digress. B., more to the point, there has been ample opportunity for gays to live together and raise children, irrespective of having state approval. You may not realize this, but in the United States, there has been very little policing of bedrooms since the 1960s–that takes us back 50 years. It is frequently the case (and has been for decades) where a mother will live with her boyfriend, and vice versa, such that the other adult in the house is not ‘officially’ a parent. The state rarely gets involved.

    There has been nothing stopping gays, for decades from doing the same.

    And before you bring it up, please note that in my example above of the live-in boy/girlfriend, the evidence is clear that these are UNHEALTHY arrangements, resulting very often in broken children. I do not in anyway think that’s a good thing to do to kids. As I have said frequently, the primary basis for state interest in marriage historically has been the welfare of the children. Since that is no longer the case, the state should get out of the ‘marriage’ business altogether.

    “Did the framers of the constitution have any studies showing that the 2nd amendment wasn’t going to end in school massacres?”

    You’re too funny. They did have many ‘studies’ showing what happened to a citizenry if it was disarmed. That’s why they had the second amendment in the first place.

    Since the first school massacre did not occur for 150 years after the Constitution was approved, and did not even involve guns, I think most educated and informed people recognize that the issue is not the guns. They’ve had automatic and semi-automatic weapons (in the United States) for almost a hundred years, but it has only been the last thirty years that we’ve seen the school massacres (involving guns). Perhaps you should be directing your attention to what happened, say, about 40-50 years ago, to explain WHY all these kids are suddenly going on a rampage, rather than the METHOD of their attack.

    Can you think of anything that may have begun, say, in the 1960s, that was fundamentally different than what preceded it? (I realize you are an Australian and US history may not be your strong suit, but I bet even you have some idea)

    “Do you honestly think this is a possibility? And if so, on what basis?”

    On the basis that what I said has proven to already be true–every word I said can be applied to the heterosexual population, no?

    STDs are a significant health challenge facing the United States. CDC estimates that nearly 20 million new sexually
    transmitted infections
    occur every year in this country, half among young people ages 15–24.

    TWENTY MILLION! Care to research what it was in 1950? Half are “among young people ages 15-24.” What about the other half?

    More:

    Trend data available for the first time show that men who have sex with men (MSM)* now account for nearly three quarters 72 percent) of all primary and secondary syphilis cases.

    And there are your gays. The men, anyway.

    http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats11/trends-2011.pdf

    We could repeat the analysis for all the other issues.

  27. “Re: the whole ridicule thing… I’m sure you’ve heard the Jefferson quote… “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.” Sometimes, it is all you are left with when faced with unbridled stupidity.”

    NOW what Jefferson says matters? Not his stuff about the second amendment, the constitution, etc? 😉

    I already stated what I think the difference is and why I think it matters. Certainly, you aren’t the only one who turns to ridicule. And let’s face it, as a tactic, advocates for gay ‘marriage’ have found much success with it. Some of us, however, will not be so bullied. Moreover, in the spirit of the opening post, remember that the ones you are ridiculing number in the millions and millions, are, indeed, the majority, and, by necessity, include many of your own fellow travelers–one simply does not get traditional marriage affirmed in a constitutional amendment IN CALIFORNIA without huge support of liberals. Except for a few recent examples, nearly all of the ‘victories’ your side has experienced have been because a very small number of people in black robes, probably not more than a hundred or so, have gone against the definitive will of this vast majority; that will is no speculative thing, the subject of polls which can be bought and paid for and manipulated. People went through arduous legal processes in order to change their state constitutions. That is huge.

    From a pragmatic point of view, I would caution you to be wary. Bullies operate when they think they are in safe territory. Granted, gay ‘marriage’ advocates have been working hard to change the terrain so that they can be both safe AND bullies, and granted, those they are up against tend to be those like myself, who play by the rules, but you should not confuse that with popular support.

    Since the gay ‘marriage’ advocates have now produced a situation where the majority has absolutely no legislative mechanisms open to it for it, people who normally ‘play by the rules’ will no longer be looking for ways within the rules to play. That is on your head. So, just be careful. Not everyone plays as nice as I do; certainly not those liberals in California. 😉

  28. “Re: the whole ridicule thing… I’m sure you’ve heard the Jefferson quote… “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.” Sometimes, it is all you are left with when faced with unbridled stupidity.”

    Final point on this.

    There are certainly propositions and positions that I have ridiculed. I certainly have not pulled punches on certain things on this blog. There are certainly some things that I do not at all believe should be given the dignity of a debate–such as those who wish to have a cordial discussion about whether or not we should imprison people who deny climate change. I note with interest that Danny thought that was a fine thing to have a measured, dispassionate conversation about, weighing pros and cons, and the like.

    There have been certain positions that I have nothing but the greatest contempt for: the idea that we should have a market for the body parts of unborn babies, the idea that the whole human race ought to get sterilized, the idea that parents should be able to ‘abort’ their born children up to a certain, presently undefined age, that the state should be able to trump the parent altogether and KILL the parent’s child, should the STATE decide that is a life worth not living…

    I have nothing but unspeakable hatred for such viewpoints, made truly visceral by the fact that if these people actually had their ideas implemented, they are speaking about people much like my own daughter. On the one hand, of course, they would ‘allow’ us to ‘abort’ her even now, when she is seven years old but on the other hand, they are increasingly beginning to talk about whether or not the STATE should step in in such cases and do what the parents would not do–for the child’s best interest, of course.

    You will note that my contempt for these positions has been sustained and transparent. Nonetheless, I have taken them seriously. Over the last few years I have engaged these ideas with no holds barred, and attempted to highlight the ideological components that serve as the basis for such ideas, in the (vain?) hope that people who share those components (people like yourself) would understand where those ideas logically lead, and re-consider… while there is still time.

    However, if some agent came to my door to take my daughter with the idea of putting her down to ‘end her suffering’ I would not dream of having a nice, thoughtful conversation with the agent, weighing the pros and cons of the matter as if we were talking about different ways we might finance the building of a bridge.

    There would be no conversation, only the exercising of my second amendment right.

    So, there is a time and a place for discussion, and even a place for ridicule. On the other hand, if you wish to be taken seriously, then (I feel) you have to also show that you CAN be taken seriously.

  29. DB:

    I notice in your highly selective argument that if “God” is invoked religion MUST be at the root of an issue, you leave out that the particular ruling was in upholding the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 in Virginia, that was originally passed by progressive elites acting under scientific arguments and eugenic reasoning at the time. Namely those like John Powell, Earnest Cox, and Walter Pleckler who consulted heavily with leading eugenicist at the period Madison Grant.

    Once again your confirmation bias shows threw on these issues.

  30. Oh EB, you do brighten my day sometimes.

    “In your highly selective argument, the specifics of which I am choosing to entirely ignore because they are unfavourable to my preferred conclusion, you leave out the following facts which I have selected as being more salient because they support my preferred conclusion. Once again your confirmation bias shows threw [sic] on these issues.”

    Seriously, lol

  31. While such obvious hypocrisy from an otherwise intelligent guy just depresses me.

  32. Could you point out the exact nature of my hypocrisy for me? It would really help me to understand where I am going wrong.

    Yes, progressivism in the early Twentieth Century was heavily infected by eugenical thinking, and was responsible for a great deal of “scientific” racism. Yes, of course – like everyone else – I am prone to confirmation bias. However, the notion that the Civil Rights movement of the late Twentieth Century was primarily a conservative rather than a progressive cause is wilfully ahistorical, as is the pretence that a good deal of the resistance against it was not spawned from the contemporary equivalent of today’s Religious Right. The demographics and stated attitudes of modern white evangelical congregations (when compared to those of the general population) as well as the statements and policies of conservative politicians bear out this association. I can understand that these facts are unpalatable to you, and that you therefore feel a strong compulsion to push back against them, but just to be clear, this doesn’t necessarily imply that you are any more racist than the national average (just as a randomly selected progressive in the 1920s wasn’t necessarily a eugenicist).

    So hopefully that’s cleared that up? :-)

  33. So Tony, how much are you hating judicial activism today? :-)

  34. “Could you point out the exact nature of my hypocrisy for me? It would really help me to understand where I am going wrong.”

    I could point to a number of things actually.

    Your past argument of everyone being racist, but in practice only seeming to a apply it in a derogatory manner to conservatives/white evangelicals being a prominent one. Not that I care much what polling data shows, as I would hazard the guess that many such data collecting methods pointedly avoid certain ethnic heavy areas and neighborhoods or that the standard has been broadened, and the way we often see “racist” being thrown about by black liberals has somewhat inured me to the accusation.

    Or more blatantly your more recent statement of “I guess we see what we want to see.” and apparently believing yourself to be immune to the tendency of “highly selective argument” if you seriously think a throw away line from one judge measures up to the effort and support needed for a law being passed that was clearly and explicitly proposed on the basis of secular eugenic reasoning. I know that liberals tend to get hung up by superficial comparisons, but I’m just not as impressed by the argument that being round makes an apple and orange the same thing as you seem to be.

    You don’t really understand the fact I’m not being “ahistorical” at all. I fully admit racism was justified by conservatives on religious grounds, as much it was justified by liberals on secular scientific ones. Just as the fight against racism was done by both conservatives on religious grounds as well as liberals. You can contest which side the trend may have been strongest if you like, but the truth is both sides are guilty and in the end the issue is irrelevant.

    Because the difference isn’t whether or not both sides are guilty or innocent of the behaviour. The difference is on what basis is it truly and logically justified under.

    Which is why you may find many quotes from people who throw the word “God” about like it was going out of fashion, but very few instances of where such reasoning is justified by quoting Scripture, aside from cut-and-paste methods and logical gymnastics that clearly ignores very explicit quotes that indicate the opposite. On the secular evolutionary side the train of logic is very clearly laid out, and is only rejected these days by the pure subjective emotions of those who agree with the premises but just don’t like the conclusion.

    “So Tony, how much are you hating judicial activism today? :-)”

    I don’t know about SJ, but as he’s often observed – that SCOTUS goes one way today, doesn’t mean it won’t go the opposite way tomorrow. That a tsunami may water your garden doesn’t negate all the damage it does as well. So it’s nothing particularly invalidating or noteworthy.

  35. Unless the decision was 9-0 and the opinion amounted to three sentences… :

    “In order for something to be justified under the Constitution, it needs to be explicitly addressed, since the 10th amendment specifically gives to the states–and the people–all other matters not explicitly addressed in the Constitution. This matter is not explicitly addressed in the Constitution; ergo, why are you wasting our time? Case dismissed with extreme prejudice.”

    … I see little to get excited about.

    I haven’t read the decisions, personally, but I’m guessing they don’t follow that formula. How EB characterized my reaction is about right. There was a pull of the lever, and this time, by happy chance, it turned up roses for people on my side of the aisle. Whoopdeedo.

    Take it while it lasts, I guess. It is far better than nothing, and worth fighting for (I guess) but I fail to see any reason to be happy. I mean, its not like I can now say, “Ah! My interpretation of the Constitution is now vindicated! There was doubt before, but now 9 smarties have come down on my side definitively!” No, third graders would have vindicated ‘my’ interpretation, if asked only to look to the plain meaning of the text, so you’ll forgive me if I remain enthusiastically unenthusiastic.

    Besides, this lawless president is just going to send it down into the bowels of some bureaucracy and do exactly what he wanted anyway. Yippee, I love living in an oligarchy.

  36. EB,

    “Your past argument of everyone being racist, but in practice only seeming to a apply it in a derogatory manner to conservatives/white evangelicals…”

    Oh yay, this deliberate misunderstanding again!

    Maybe it would help if you substituted a different word instead of “racist”.  How about “selfish” – would that push your auto-reject buttons a bit less?  Or, even better – “sinful”.  Would you agree that everyone is to some extent sinful but that it is also consistent to criticise certain people for their sinfulness because some of us clearly are more sinful, or perhaps manage and/or negate their inherent sinfulness better than others?  That seems like a proposition that you might subscribe to.

    In any case, my alleged hypocrisy in this area is entirely the result of your inability to process nuance if a more simplistic interpretation will enable you to accuse me of having double standards.  In response to the provision of actual evidence that contemporary white evangelicals hold more racist attitudes than is the norm you said this:

    “Not that I care much what polling data shows, as I would hazard the guess that many such data collecting methods pointedly avoid certain ethnic heavy areas and neighborhoods or that the standard has been broadened, and the way we often see “racist” being thrown about by black liberals has somewhat inured me to the accusation.”

    You dismiss polling data by “hazarding a guess” that it has not been rigorously collected.  You dismiss it because it doesn’t fit with what you already believe, without even superficially investigating whether or not it might be accurate, and then you wonder why I accuse you of being driven primarily by partisanship and confirmation bias.

    “Or more blatantly your more recent statement of “I guess we see what we want to see.” and apparently believing yourself to be immune to the tendency of “highly selective argument””

    When did I say that I was immune?  I think I even recently remarked something along the lines of “But then I would think that, wouldn’t I” in one of our debates!  No one is immune to the confabulations and ideological biases that our minds engage in to minimise unpleasant cognitive dissonance.  But (and bear with the nuance here if possible) there are degrees of resistance against those mental processes – some people fight against them and some actively embrace them.  I am always acutely aware of the possibility that I might be entirely wrong about things that I am pretty certain about, and I do my best to enter discussions with people such as yourself with an open mind.  I can honestly say that my debates with SJ have taught me a great deal including some rather unsavoury things that I didn’t know – and probably never would have known without his input – about the history of some progressive and atheistic movements.  We tend to get trapped into an ideological rut by the habit of paying attention to confirmatory sources and discounting or discrediting contrary ones.  This is something that I try not to do, although I may often fail.  Your statement about polling data practically exemplifies the phenomenon of confirmation bias, and so I do not feel that it is any more hypocritical for me to call you out on that than it would be for you to accuse a very selfish person of selfishness despite knowing that you yourself also act selfishly from time to time.

    “I fully admit racism was justified by conservatives on religious grounds, as much it was justified by liberals on secular scientific ones.”

    Now that’s not half bad.  That even seems like a useful point of agreement.

    “Because the difference isn’t whether or not both sides are guilty or innocent of the behaviour. The difference is on what basis is it truly and logically justified under.”

    But therein lies the problem because of the way that you automatically (and apparently unashamedly) dismiss data that doesn’t agree with what you already believe, and justify your dismissal (to yourself at least) with an entirely unsubstantiated “guess” about hypothetical methodological flaws.  Your selection and interpretation of the relevant evidence here is fatally compromised by your uncritical acceptance of your own ideology, and so it is neither surprising nor remotely compelling that you conclude your own belief system to be entirely blameless in this matter, and find a belief system that you emotively dislike to be wholly responsible.  It’s like asking a cheerleader for an objective analysis of the relative strengths and weaknesses of each team.

    And maybe I’m no better.  But at least I try to be.

  37. In order for something to be justified under the Constitution, it needs to be explicitly addressed, since the 10th amendment specifically gives to the states–and the people–all other matters not explicitly addressed in the Constitution. This matter is not explicitly addressed in the Constitution; ergo, why are you wasting our time? Case dismissed with extreme prejudice.

    I’m probably missing something here… but if the situation is as you say, then why does any state care what the Supreme Court says on marriage equality? Who actually enforces these decisions?

  38. To Danny–I think EB and I both thought that some of your remarks like, “But then I would think that, wouldn’t I” were meant as jokes. It helps to have that clarification.

    But then you screw it up when you go on to say,

    “Your selection and interpretation of the relevant evidence here is fatally compromised by your uncritical acceptance of your own ideology, and so it is neither surprising nor remotely compelling that you conclude your own belief system to be entirely blameless in this matter,”

    I bolded the last, because obviously EB just stated just the opposite, and strangely enough, you acknowledged it, say, “Now that’s not half bad. That even seems like a useful point of agreement.”

    You’re giving me whiplash, man. 😉

  39. To Tim: That is a great question. You might even say that we fought a civil war over it.

    There are many dimensions to the answer. Let me try to bottom-line it.

    1., the individual states have to be willing to assert their authority over against Federal intrusion. There has to be a certain measure of courage; we’ve seen this in a few states where they have worked to ‘nullify’ Federal gun regulations, even going so far as to threaten arrest of Federal agents who attempt to prosecute their gun laws in their states. Of course, many states welcome the Federal involvement, and have a population that supports those measures. For example, California, New York, and Illinois have never seen a Federal intrusion they didn’t like. However, they still like to wait to have the ‘political cover’ that a SCOTUS decision provides, because it turns out political cowardice is a bi-partisan phenomenon.

    2. The 14th amendment was specifically crafted after the American civil war to head off the constitutional arguments made by the south in the lead up to the war. This amendment seemingly served its purpose at the time, but has since been used to provide a ‘constitutional’ basis for any number of innovations. In this way, things that are clearly and plainly not constitutional have been given the aura of constitutional authority; that is, more and more ideology, policies, and interpretations get packed into the 14th amd, leaving the 10th amd an increasingly small region for it to apply to. If the 10th amd says that anything not explicitly stated by the constitution is reserved to the states or the people, the 14th amd has been utilized to have the constitution ‘explicitly’ bring those things into the constitution.

    We are already well on our way towards a society which is precisely the opposite of the one the constitution was supposed to build, but when we are done, the ones doing that will declare that they were acting in accordance to the constitution. Which leads to,

    3. For many years, regardless of the actual written text, SCOTUS has been deemed the final word and authority on what that written text means. So, for example–and I am not exaggerating in the slightest, here–if I write:

    “The dog is allowed to eat cheese in the kitchen, but no other animals.”

    If SCOTUS were to come along and say that what this really means is that all animals can eat anything they want in any room that they want, that becomes the final word, despite the explicit nature of the sentence. Worse than that, if SCOTUS were to say, “From this we see that children should be allowed to have balloons” then that would be the final word.

    Lest you think I’m exaggerating, this is why there are extremely contentious arguments about having ‘originalist’ judges, that is, judges who try to act according to the plain meaning of the text, as it was originally intended to mean.

    So, we have a situation where A., SCOTUS is regarded as the final word and B., SCOTUS does not need to actually make their decisions correspond to what the texts actually say when they say what the texts really say.

    Two cases in point.

    First, look at Roe vs. Wade, where a constitutional ‘right to privacy’ was seemingly invented for the sole purpose of justifying abortion on demand. I believe that this ad hoc, arbitrary mangling of the text was one of the reasons why Christians were frightened away from the Democrat party. Not that the Republicans don’t play the SCOTUS-Slot Machine game, either, but at least at the time it seemed that one party more enthusiastically embraced creative interpretation more than another.

    As a case where there is even more vivid interpretational contortions, consider the application of the first amendment to effectively rule out public’s ability to express their religious freedoms in public.

    The first amendment reads:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

    There are three branches of the Federal government, and the framers specifically only mentioned one of them: Congress. This one word has since been inflated to cover every single branch of government, state, local, and Federal. Even though your local municipality plainly is NOT ‘Congress’ it has been held that the 1st Amd precludes them from having religion represented in their public spheres. I’m afraid to say, even a 1st grader knows that ‘Congress’ does not mean ‘city mayor’ or even ‘US President.’

    As the Constitution continues to be used to justify literally everything and anything, it will continue to become irrelevant and meaningless. A law that can be used to justify anything is no law at all, since the point of the law is to provide boundaries and limits to some entity’s activities or influence. If the people do not believe that working through the legal system has any point to it, what kinds of measures do you suppose they’ll begin considering?

  40. Tony,

    “I think EB and I both thought that some of your remarks like, “But then I would think that, wouldn’t I” were meant as jokes. It helps to have that clarification.”

    Glad to have things clearer in that regard. I am constantly aware of the possibility that I could be wrong about things, especially some of the less closely examined beliefs that (as it were) come as part of the ideological package. We all have them, and – as mentioned – you are one of the people to whom I am grateful for beating me about the head with inconvenient facts until I noticed that some of my lazy standard assumptions were incorrect. I am eternally in your debt. :)

    That doesn’t mean that you can’t also be a howling chump sometimes as well. For example:

    “I bolded the last, because obviously EB just stated just the opposite, and strangely enough, you acknowledged it,…”

    Nope. EB acknowledged that racism has been justified by conservatives on religious grounds quite as much as it has been justified by liberals on scientific grounds. He then went on to say that this is basically irrelevant, because what really matters is which ideology such racism & discrimination can truly be justified under. Needless to say, he thinks that he has the conclusive answer to that question, and also needless to say his own belief system is completely exonerated by his wholly objective analysis of the data! What are the odds!?

    In other words, he throws a few of his co-thinkers (past and present) to the wolves as being “not true Christians”, or even perhaps “a few bad apples”, as a way of preventing any guilt falling upon any element of his cherished belief system. Anyone ever seen that trick pulled before? Enron? Abu Ghraib?

    Hope you’re well,
    Dan

  41. I was saying ‘under which world view does the attitude make the most sense under?’ And given how the very premise of evolution that the then secular liberals appealed to fundamentally rests on inequality (“fittest” inherently entails as such) I’m not at all ashamed to say that I think the evolutionary view takes the cake. Of course people have claimed “God” to justify racism, but then people can claim “God” to justify anything. That’s not dismissal of the evidence, DB. That’s seeing the evidence for what it is – people who made excuses.

    Naturally you would immediate conclude I’m being biased towards my ideology, DB. Though why you again make sweeping statements of ‘everyone’s bias’ in one breathe and then turn around and give yourself immunity of ‘but I try to fight it and am open minded’ in the next and then proceed to dismiss my statement as bias, leaves me with the same issue of whiplash that SJ has.

    And the sad part is you’re simply kidding yourself. And this is proven by the simple fact that your automatic dismissal shows that in your mind the possibility that my ideological view DOESN’T justify the racist behavior people indulge in is non-existent. A fact that is easily checked by reading the source material itself – the Bible. THAT is a much more definitive evidence of what the ideology itself stands for. But you’d rather have your lone judge saying the ‘G-word’ as proof, right?

    So all I can say is keep on trying DB.

  42. Ah, well, you would think that, wouldn’t you? 😉

    I think the problem is you are not following the argument. The question is, is it willful, or is it just because of the chasm in worldviews?

    Of course, it is probably a combination of both.

    Consider two viewpoints:

    Group 1., Yellow flowers ought to be smelled daily.
    Group 2., Yellow flowers ought never be smelled, but blue ones are ok.

    Now, life goes on for awhile with these two viewpoints having currency in society. To no one’s surprise, the people in group 1 are constantly smelling yellow flowers. No one is shocked by this.

    But there is something curious that happens. There are people who belong to group 2, or say they belong to group 2, who on the other hand are observed to smell yellow flowers, sometimes as often as those in group 1. And sometimes, you won’t even find a blue flower in their home at all.

    Let us now imagine a very strange thing happening, whereby a whole society begins to act as though group 1 were correct. So, whether they were group 1 or group 2, they dispense with blue flowers altogether and only have yellow ones, which they smell daily.

    Now, in this situation, several things are clear. First of all, regardless of the correctness of the viewpoint of the yellow-flowered group, the folks in group 1 can at least be commended for their consistency. But what shall we say of group 2? They may be yellow flower sniffers, but they believe they shouldn’t. They are not acting consistently, and in this they should be faulted. It either means that they are lying about what group they adhere to or they are cowards.

    Now let us imagine that something happens in society, where all the sniffing of yellow flowers is revealed suddenly to have been foolish all around. Perhaps, it is making the people who sniff yellow flowers the most turn into homicidal maniacs. The unanimous ‘politically correct’ viewpoint is that yellow flowers should NOT be sniffed daily, and, why there may have been something to group 2’s position, which was to NEVER sniff them, and if you’re going to sniff anything, sniff blue ones.

    Several decades go by, and people start saying that people were really right about sniffing yellow flowers, although, there might perhaps be a way to do it without turning homicidal, and, at any rate, one can BELIEVE that you should sniff yellow flowers each day, without actually doing so. When people in group 2 point out that in the past, this belief led to homicidal tendencies, those in group 1 remind those in group 2 that just because they believe that people should sniff yellow flowers, no sane, reasonable, moral person actually does so. And besides, during the hey-day of the yellow-sniffers, there were frequently found blue-sniffers that sniffed the yellow flowers, too, so, really, neither ideology is at fault more than the other…

    Except, of course, for the fact that the yellow-sniffers were acting consistently, and the blue-sniffers were not. But the point here is not to lay guilt at the yellow-sniffer’s feet, but to highlight the fact that sniffing yellow flowers is a dangerous affair, regardless of whether or not one came by yellow flower sniffing consistently or not. The bottom line is that, whether or not it was consistent with the worldview, people WERE smelling yellow flowers and they DID turn homicidal.

    Which brings us around to the present day, when the yellow flower sniffers have returned, but only from a philosophical point of view. That is to say, they say that we should sniff yellow flowers daily, but no one should actually do it.

    In a sane universe, we would say that those in group 1 could be commended for having the courage of their convictions, but, well, they were wrong, and those who went along with it in group 2, well, they were wrong, too, but for other reasons, not the least of which was in their failure to act on their own ideological principles in a consistent way.

    In a sane universe, when the yellow-sniffers once again begin talking openly about smelling yellow flowers daily, the blue-sniffers are perfectly in their right to draw the distinction between A., those who did terrible things, but did them because their belief system logically entailed it and B., those who did terrible things, but really never should have, because their belief system logically entailed NOT SNIFFING YELLOW FLOWERS.

    After its all swept away, the only thing that remains important is whether or not yellow flower sniffing makes people homicidal. Then, it becomes a piece of silly academic exercises arguing about whether or not BELIEVING you should sniff yellow flowers ought logically to have you ACTUALLY sniff yellow flowers. Certainly, the blue-sniffers will not be comforted by a pack of yellow-sniffers insisting that they don’t REALLY sniff yellow flowers, even though they say they ought to. Nor will the blue-sniffers fail to recognize that if ever there was a blue-sniffer who smelled yellow flowers, it was NOT because the blue-sniffing ideology called for it–it explicitly rejected it. It was a failure of integrity, not logic.

    From this, it follows that the blue-sniffers will continue to issue warnings about sniffing yellow flowers, and those who advocate for it. Previous blue-sniffers were not consistent, which makes them very sad, and they hope that they will have the fortitude not to repeat that mistake. But yellow sniffers have an entirely different problem–having their view, but denying the logical implications should anyone act on it.

    That is the breakdown of what is transpiring in this conversation.

  43. Thanks Tony, appreciate your time in answering. I’ll need to read it a few times I think! I really don’t get the whole state vs federal thing over there. No offense, but it seems a little silly from an outsider’s point of view. No one reeeeeally gives a crap about state rights over here… but then again, maybe that’s because our Federal government is generally less intrusive, and nothing ever happens in Australia.

    Although…

    You may have heard about our current Liberal government, which, in the great tradition of all conservative groups, is actually the opposite of Liberal. They have a bee in their bonnet about asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat. Indeed, one of the reasons Tony Abbott (our current prime minister, who actually just travelled to the US and “Canadia” – he’s not the brightest) was elected was his stance on stopping the boats. Although it may have also had a lot to do with his imaginative slogan – “Stop the boats!”

    Anywho… our navy recently intercepted a boatfull of refugees from Sri Lanka. The government decided to transfer them to a Sri Lankan naval vessel at sea. They would then be taken back to Sri Lanka, the country they risked death at sea to flee from. But that’s OK, because the government thinks Sri Lanka is a fine place:

    [Sri Lanka needs to] take action to reduce and eliminate all cases of abductions and disappearances; take action to reduce and eliminate all cases of abuse, torture or mistreatment by police and security forces; and take action to facilitate greater participation by citizens and civil society in helping to implement human rights action plans.

    That’s from our latest assessment of Sri Lanka’s human rights record.

    So our government, with a fairly good mandate from the people, are sending Sri Lankans back to Sri Lanka to be tortured.

    Or at least they would have, if our High Court hadn’t stepped in.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/high-court-grants-injunction-over-asylum-seeker-boat-20140707-zszfk.html

    Sometimes the courts will get it right (depending on your point of view). Sometimes they’ll get it wrong. I don’t know what the solution is. But in the meantime, I feel happier knowing that, in Australia at least, we have some sensible, educated judges willing to override the wishes of the callous, idiotic, allegedly-Christian prime minister elected by my weak-minded and xenophobic fellow citizens.

  44. EB,

    “I was saying ‘under which world view does the attitude make the most sense under?’ And given how the very premise of evolution that the then secular liberals appealed to fundamentally rests on inequality (“fittest” inherently entails as such) I’m not at all ashamed to say that I think the evolutionary view takes the cake.”

    You are adding prescriptive meaning to a descriptive theory.  I’ve pointed out this basic error to you and Tony so many times that it is becoming positively boring. You’re not the first person to have this confusion, but that doesn’t make a prescriptive element any more a necessary part of the belief system.  You want it to be necessary, because you want to discredit that belief system, so you pretend (and probably believe) that it is necessary.  The effect of your ideological bias is very easy to detect in that stance.

    It would be equally as sensible to say that because you subscribe to a historical narrative of the United States in which native populations were massacred and African slaves were worked to death on plantations, you therefore must approve of such behaviour and think it should continue.  If you think it is TRUE then you must also think it is RIGHT.  That is obvious foolishness (perhaps you even agree), but is precisely what you are doing with evolutionary theory – taking a descriptive account of where we came from and acting like anyone who accepts that account is committed to advocating the same behaviour in the future.  It’s a deliberate confusion of categories, and I’ve pointed it out to you before.

    “Naturally you would immediate conclude I’m being biased towards my ideology, DB. Though why you again make sweeping statements of ‘everyone’s bias’ in one breathe and then turn around and give yourself immunity of ‘but I try to fight it and am open minded’ in the next and then proceed to dismiss my statement as bias, leaves me with the same issue of whiplash that SJ has.”

    It’s a straightforward clinical misdiagnosis – you don’t have whiplash, you’re just so incurably stiff-necked that you struggle to alter your field of vision sufficiently to take in any new information.  You already suggested that I considered myself immune from confirmation bias in your previous post.  I clarified that I certainly do not consider myself immune, pointed out several statements of mine demonstrating an awareness of the fallibility of my own truth-detecting apparatus, and said that it is a tendency which I try my best to be aware of and to combat within myself.  In response to all this you accuse me of…. giving myself immunity from confirmation bias.

    *sigh*

    There may actually be no point in conversing with you.

    “A fact that is easily checked by reading the source material itself – the Bible. THAT is a much more definitive evidence of what the ideology itself stands for.”

    You mean the book that advocates slavery and the treatment of women as chattel?  Yeah I read that.  That’s the best and most enlightened text on human equality the world has ever seen is it?

    …….

    Tony,

    Good point!  

    Sorry, did I say “good” point?  I meant “long” point.  :-)

    “I think the problem is you are not following the argument.”

    Really?  I think you may not be paying close enough attention.  You chided me for criticising EB’s biased exoneration of his own belief system (completely ignoring his textbook confirmation bias dismissal of evidence against his position, btw), remarking that he had “stated the opposite” earlier, when all he had actually done was given the “bad apples” defence as part of the process of trying to exonerate his own belief system.  I pointed out that there is no inconsistency in criticising someone for only citing human fallibility as an excuse for bad behaviour carried out in the name of their own ideology, or for playing the No True Scotsman game while invoking bogus and subjective interpretations of belief systems that they wish to discredit as if they were absolute truth.  In response to this you claimed that I am not following the argument, and launched into a book-length analogy calibrated to support EB’s infinitely-flexible dance of Christian innocence.

    That last is something that you are quite welcome (and, in fact, fully expected) to do, but don’t make out that I’m the one not paying attention after you began by critiquing me for a non-existent inconsistency, levelled accusations of medico-legal responsibility for your alleged neck strain (parroted, needless to say, by EB – that’s how precedent works in this sort of frivolous lawsuit!), and then dived straight into an argument from analogy which proved only one thing – that you had way too much coffee today!

    Up with that I will not put.

  45. lol, you ARE a funny man.

    Well, we may have been able to gauge whether or not you were following the argument if you had responded to the line of reasoning presented in my book-length calibration. 😉

    He, and I, are saying something that is different than what you think we are saying, and it happens to be important, since one of the two of us is a yellow flower sniffer. 😉

  46. “You are adding prescriptive meaning to a descriptive theory.”

    This is why modern education is an abject failure. Apparently, they don’t teach anything important in school.

    Not that your principle is wrong–certainly, one should not confuse prescription with description–but evolutionary theory is NOT merely descriptive.

    Read Daniel Dennett’s Darwin’s Dangerous Idea or any number of Michael Ruse’s works on evolutionary ethics if you want a contemporary refutation of your assertion.

    All you did just now is as I predicted: the yellow-sniffer BELIEVES it but insists that does not mean one should ACT on it.

    Question for you, Dannyboy.

    Let us presume that it was known definitively that a serious disability–say, anencephaly, since that is one you have mentioned to me before–was caused by a single gene, and that a test existed to detect that gene. You know that according to evolutionary theory, which has been proved over and over again by reference to antibiotics and bacteria (and mentioned over and over again, because its about the only truly scientific evidence for the theory) that if people with that gene ceased reproducing, in one generation, anencephaly would no longer occur.

    Now lets say you have absolute power so as to prohibit people with that gene from reproducing. Would you? Why not?

    If you want to change it up, you could switch to a more plausible scenario that already exists, say, two Ashkenazi Jews who are known carriers of the gene leading to Tay-Sachs disease. If you had absolute power, you could significantly reduce the number of children born with this condition, and prevent the suffering of countless individuals. Why not prevent such people from reproducing?

  47. Oh right. I forgot I was talking to the guy who thought the Commandment against lusting after another married woman was clear evidence of the Bible being sexist.

    Clearly you are fully aware of and constantly struggle against your confirmation bias, DB. *rolls eyes*

  48. evolutionary theory is NOT merely descriptive

    I’m sorry, Tony, but it is. Because it’s a theory, and that’s what theories are – descriptive. The understanding of how something works, and the use of that understanding to inform conscious human decisions, are two very different things.

    “Gravity exists, therefore man shouldn’t fly.”

    Discuss.

  49. “He, and I, are saying something that is different than what you think we are saying, and it happens to be important, since one of the two of us is a yellow flower sniffer. ;)”

    Are you calling me a gold noser?

    DB:

    “You are adding prescriptive meaning to a descriptive theory.”

    And you are being bias in your insistence that it is JUST a descriptive theory (HA!), hypocritical in your criticizing ME for trying to exonerate their proscribed belief system, and ahistorical to all the original evolutionists who immediately jumped on the prescriptive wagon and thus could see it in it’s pure form without the lesson of a centuries worth of atrocities directly caused by those prescriptions to make them shift their tune.

    You hit the trifecta there, DB! Quick we need to hit the tracks! 😉

    “In response to all this you accuse me of…. giving myself immunity from confirmation bias.”

    Interesting enough being ‘biased’ is not the same as being ‘wrong.’ I think you yourself are aware of this fact, given you admit you’re biased, but obviously don’t think you are always wrong. However, it’s that sense that you believe you’re justified in dismissing someone else solely for the same behavior you admit to being guilty of, that I say you give yourself immunity.

    You’re basically saying ‘You’re biased therefore you’re wrong. I’m biased too, but because I’m aware of this that in itself makes me right, and justified in dismissing your argument.’

    Color me unimpressed.

    “You mean the book that advocates slavery and the treatment of women as chattel? Yeah I read that. That’s the best and most enlightened text on human equality the world has ever seen is it?”

    Even if I granted your contentious summary, that’s not evidence of the Bible advocating ‘racism.’

    But as I noted above, your frequently pointed habit of inflating meaning in Bible verses totally devoid of the actual point that was intended, leaves me with little confidence that you are as aware of your confirmation bias as you openly claim.

    So again, keep on trying DB.

  50. ““Gravity exists, therefore man shouldn’t fly.””

    Yes, if only evolution was scientific in the same sense that gravity was, that might be an apt comparison. But the theory of evolution does not actually describe anything that we can actually observe; at least, none of the interesting and controversial aspects of the theory can actually be described.

    This is profoundly important, and especially so in the context that we are speaking.

    You are essentially referencing the ‘ought from an is’ observation, made famous first by David Hume and then by GE Moore.

    Citing Daniel Dennett, whom I just mentioned:

    “From what can “ought” be derived? The most compelling answer is this: ethics must be somehow based on an appreciation of human nature–on a sense of what a human being is or might be, and on what a human being might want to have or want to be. If that is naturalism, then naturalism is no fallacy.” (emphasis his, page 468, Dangerous Idea).

    This is the fatal difference–that which Darwinism is supposed to have ‘described’ is ALSO supposed to have explained and accounted for WHAT and WHY we PRESCRIBE.

    For the record, I agree with Dennett, here. Just what you perceive a human to be has significant implications on your ethical system.

    Darwinism represents a ‘theory of everything’ in regards to the biological realm, and Darwin, like the rest of them, took great pains to make sure that humans were included FULLY in that realm. When Wallace took the view that you are on the precipice of seconding (that a purely materialistic process of natural selection could not justify ‘oughts’), Darwin whined that Wallace was murdering their child.

    To put it bluntly, evolutionary theory is a description of the entirety of every aspect of the biosphere, including how organisms go about making prescriptions in the first place. Tweak the description, and the account and basis for the prescription must be made to agree. No one says that gravity also explains why we would want to fly in the first place. If it did, if gravitational theory actually entailed some description of why we want to fly along with why we can’t, you can be sure that tweaking the rationale for the latter would have impacts on the former.

    Darwin agrees with me on this, by the way.

  51. From philosopher James Rachels, in his “Created from Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism” we read:

    Can it really be true that Darwinism, which overturns all our former ideas about man and nature, has no unsettling consequences? Traditional morality is based, in part, on the idea that human life has a special value and worth. If we must give up our inflated conception of ourselves, and our picture of the world as made exclusively for our habitation, will we not have to give up, at the same time, those elements of our morality which depend on such conceptions? … There is a connection between Darwin’s theory and these larger matters, although the connection is more complicated than simple logical entailment.

    I shall argue that Darwin’s theory does undermine traditional values. In particular, it undermines the traditional idea that human life has a special, unique worth.

    pg 3-4.

    More from Rachels:

    There is an idea about how Darwinism might be related to ethics that is older and deeper than either ‘evolutionary ethics’ or sociobiology. Darwin’s earliest readers realized that an evolutionary outlook might undermine the traditional doctrine of human dignity, a doctrine which is at the core of Western morals. Darwin himself seems to suggest this when he says that the conception of man as ‘created from animals’ contradicts the arrogant notion that we are a ‘great work’. It is a disturbing idea, and Darwin’s friends as well as his enemies were troubled by it.

    … Surprisingly, philosophers have not taken this thought very seriously. I shall argue, however, that discrediting ‘human dignity’ is one of the most important implications of Darwinism, and that it has consequences that people have barely begun to appreciated.

    pg 79-80.

    And I guess I should add that Rachels is firmly in Darwin’s camp. I did not just quote a critic of Darwinism, but an adherent, and not a dead one who wrote in the 1920s, but a contemporary.

  52. For the record, my last comments about DB not understanding what EB and I are trying to say came before I read DB’s latest response to EB. I had only read the part to me.

    DB is closer than my last remarks would have indicated. Not all the way there yet, but closer. :)

  53. 1
    Oooh three comments in a row, SJ. EB will be along shortly to chastise you.

    2

    Yes, if only evolution was scientific in the same sense that gravity was, that might be an apt comparison.

    Aaaaaaaaand we’re done.

    3
    But the theory of evolution does not actually describe anything that we can actually observe

    and

    You know that according to evolutionary theory, which has been proved over and over again by reference to antibiotics and bacteria…

    ?

  54. You forgot:

    (and mentioned over and over again, because its about the only truly scientific evidence for the theory)

    But I don’t really have anything else to add. I cited Ruse, Dennett and Rachels, and could also cite EO Wilson and Antony Flew and scores of others, including Darwin himself, to support my contention that evolutionary theory is a different animal (baddabing!) than the theory of gravity, and also WHY/HOW it is different. I am merely agreeing with them.

    I am referring specifically to the fact that Darwinism is also supposed to account for the existence of our ethical code, but it so happens that Darwin himself recognized how his theory was categorically different than the experimental science of the day, and was worried about how his theory would be accepted precisely for that reason. Even the bulldog, Huxley, even though he knew Darwinism to be true (just ‘because’, I guess) had felt that they should actually do some experiments to support the theory.

    But anyway, I’ve supported my contention by citing evolutionists who concur with my assessment, so I don’t feel like I need to say anything further. Take it up with them.

  55. It is unfortunate that men and women created in the image of GOD should deliberately ignore GOD’S commandment by doing things GOD Almighty condemn. In Leviticus 18 verses 22 ‘You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.’ Here called actions of gay an abomination.

    In Leviticus chapter 20 verses 13 “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them” That is to say the Almighty GOD instruct that gay should be put to death.

    In view of the above, when GOD’S judgments start coming on gay, the practice of gay and supporters of gay would soon die a natural death.

  56. Someone appears to have put Rick Santorum through an Internet translation machine.

    Are you sure it wouldn’t be better for them to get the death penalty princevinco? Just in case it takes longer than expected before GOD’S judgements start coming on gay, and actions of gay, so that they die a natural death.

  57. Yes but Leviticus also says this:

    “33 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 34 “When you enter the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your possession, and I put a spreading mold in a house in that land, 35 the owner of the house must go and tell the priest, ‘I have seen something that looks like a defiling mold in my house.’ 36 The priest is to order the house to be emptied before he goes in to examine the mold, so that nothing in the house will be pronounced unclean. After this the priest is to go in and inspect the house. 37 He is to examine the mold on the walls, and if it has greenish or reddish depressions that appear to be deeper than the surface of the wall, 38 the priest shall go out the doorway of the house and close it up for seven days. 39 On the seventh day the priest shall return to inspect the house. If the mold has spread on the walls, 40 he is to order that the contaminated stones be torn out and thrown into an unclean place outside the town. 41 He must have all the inside walls of the house scraped and the material that is scraped off dumped into an unclean place outside the town. 42 Then they are to take other stones to replace these and take new clay and plaster the house.

    43 “If the defiling mold reappears in the house after the stones have been torn out and the house scraped and plastered, 44 the priest is to go and examine it and, if the mold has spread in the house, it is a persistent defiling mold; the house is unclean. 45 It must be torn down—its stones, timbers and all the plaster—and taken out of the town to an unclean place.

    46 “Anyone who goes into the house while it is closed up will be unclean till evening. 47 Anyone who sleeps or eats in the house must wash their clothes.

    48 “But if the priest comes to examine it and the mold has not spread after the house has been plastered, he shall pronounce the house clean, because the defiling mold is gone. 49 To purify the house he is to take two birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop. 50 He shall kill one of the birds over fresh water in a clay pot. 51 Then he is to take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the scarlet yarn and the live bird, dip them into the blood of the dead bird and the fresh water, and sprinkle the house seven times. 52 He shall purify the house with the bird’s blood, the fresh water, the live bird, the cedar wood, the hyssop and the scarlet yarn. 53 Then he is to release the live bird in the open fields outside the town. In this way he will make atonement for the house, and it will be clean.”

    54 These are the regulations for any defiling skin disease, for a sore, 55 for defiling molds in fabric or in a house, 56 and for a swelling, a rash or a shiny spot, 57 to determine when something is clean or unclean.

    These are the regulations for defiling skin diseases and defiling molds.”

    So… you know… I wouldn’t take anything in there too seriously.

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