Proposition 8: The Same-Sex Marriage Debate

Culture, Family Issues, Other Religions, Politics — By on October 30, 2008 at 7:24 pm

Recently, I posted a number of posts about California Proposition 8. This is an emotionally charged issue with good thoughts on both sides.  Not surprisingly, my posts sparked debate in the comment sections where a number of excellent questions were raised. Richard Hollis is one commentator who raised especially thoughtful questions. As a result of the questions raised, especially by Richard, I have decided to write my thoughts on Same-Sex Marriage from the ground up and have asked Richard to respond. Below is my essay followed by Richard’s response. Please note, when I sent Richard my essay, I had not yet added links to my sources. Richard and readers of Evangelical Outpost – thank you for your thoughtful read and consideration of this post. – Dustin Steeve.

The upcoming proposition amending the constitution in the state of California to affirm marriage gives us opportunity to pause and reflect. Since 1970, marriage has endured a series of devastating attacks. In January 1970 the Family Law Act was signed by California Governor Ronald Reagan and “no-fault divorce” was written into law. Reagan would later cite this as one of his greatest regrets. The intent of the law was to help Californians separate amicably without having to contrive reasons for obtaining a divorce. As the explosive increase in divorces since 1970 attests, the effect of the law was that it hurt marriage.

Presently, proposition 8 is giving Californians a rare opportunity to stop further tampering of marriage through law.  As we consider the proposition, reason, empirical evidence, and morality ought to inform us. Each of these has led me to the decision to affirm marriage by voting yes on proposition 8.

Marriage is a fundamental building block of society. That phrase is often used but seldom explained. When I say “fundamental building block of society” I am referring to marriage’s natural creation of families. Families build societies through the natural birthing and rearing of children. Without children, societies cease to exist. Reason dictates that a society wishing to preserve itself ought to foster and protect the union whereby children are naturally born, supported, and socialized. For marriages where child birth is not possible, married couples have the option to adopt children who do not have the protection and support of their biological parents. Current laws support this natural and healthy system. Allowing same-sex couples to become a normal part of this system is unhealthy and unwise for the following reasons.

According to A. Dean Byrd, Ph.D, “There is no fact that has been established by social science literature more convincingly than the following: all variables considered, children are best served when reared in a home with a married mother and father.” Psychological evidence shows that children have needs which are met uniquely by parents of opposite gender. From the way mothers and fathers uniquely hold children, to the way they uniquely play with children or discipline children, a child’s need for love, support, and personal well-being are met uniquely by parents of the opposite gender. By definition, same-sex couples cannot meet these unique needs. Furthermore, no reputable psychological theory or empirical study denies the importance of mothers in a child’s development. Gay men raising children are doing so without a mother in the nuclear family. Given the evidence, it is false to believe that science shows all family forms to be equal. Out of love for our children and for our fellow citizen, we ought not to solidify this false belief by writing into law and teaching it to our children.

If we chose to ignore the number of needs a same-sex couple by definition cannot provide to the state or to the life of children, the same-sex culture still has elements of great concern which we ought to consider before we introduce these elements into marriage. Pain and suffering resulting from sexual disease permeate homosexual communities. According to ex-gay speaker Mike Haley, the odds of a straight man contracting AIDS after one heterosexual encounter are 1 in 165,000 as opposed to 1 in 175 for gay men after one homosexual encounter. These tragic statistics on HIV/AIDS seem to be confirmed by the Center for Disease Control estimates on HIV prevalence. Multiple differences in lifestyles account for this including the greater likelihood of drug use among gay men as well as a higher average sexual partner rate. Domestic abuse occurs much more frequently within the homosexual community more than within heterosexual relationships. 78% of lesbians have reported domestic abuse related problems. Gay and bisexual men experience violence at a rate of 2 to 5. In addition to the problems of disease and violence, the homosexual community has a concept of “commitment” that is very different from marital commitment. Currently, monogamy is the norm and is socially expected among married couples. Only 25% of heterosexual men and 15% of heterosexual women report sexual infidelity; 17% of marriages end in divorce as a result of infidelity. However, within the homosexual community, infidelity is the norm.  Recent studies show that 95.6% of gay men report infidelity in their current relationship.  Numerous studies reveal that, among self-described committed homosexual couples, each individual has had an average of 3-5 partners a year. Apparently, marriage can get worse.

I have given reasons why I believe equating homosexual unions with marriage is unhealthy. Upon these grounds, I believe a rational decision can be made. However, before I go further in the argument, I want to be clear on the following point: anyone who suggests you keep your morality out of the marriage question is making a dangerous proposition. Laws are filled with moral presuppositions and prescriptions. Though law and morality are not the same, laws are written by people and every person follows a moral compass. At its core, the decision to affirm marriage is a moral matter.

The decision to allow homosexuals to marry is a moral matter because at the core of homosexual marriage is homosexuality. Your answer to the question of whether homosexuality is moral is going to determine your view of whether homosexual marriage should be accepted. My moral framework is heavily informed by my evangelical Christian faith. I believe the Lord clearly speaks against homosexuality through scripture. I recognize that the claim is controversial and worthy of its own post, but for the sake of brevity, I cite I Corinthians 6: 9-11 as evidence. I believe an appropriate Christian response to homosexuality is one which recognizes that the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality, its holiness. Christians ought to respond to homosexuality as they ought to respond to all other sins: pursuing holiness and lovingly calling others to pursue holiness likewise.

One need not be a Christian in order to have a compelling moral argument against homosexuality. For example, you might be Aristotelian. If so, you might consider the anatomical design of men and women and conclude that homosexual sex is against the proper function of humans. Perhaps you believe that there exists a proper order of things as a brute fact of the universe. Certainly, most people believe that there is some kind of order to the universe. If you hold the universe to be ordered, then you might look at the numerous physiological complications resulting from gay sex, such as the need for colostomies, and conclude that the activity is disordered and therefore not good. These are just a few of the many moral frameworks from which arguments against homosexuality can be levied. Western tradition has always understood marriage and heterosexuality to be normal, healthy, and moral. Advocates for homosexual marriage claim that homosexual marriage is equally normal, healthy, and moral. Just as in formal debate the burden of proof rests on those presenting challenge to the status quo, so the burden of proof rests on the advocates of homosexual marriage to prove its morality.

Marriage is a fundamental building block of our society. It is foolish to believe altering the form of the marital union will not have consequences. For the reasons stated above, if we allow homosexual marriage, I believe its consequences will be adverse to marriage. Recently, marriage has suffered the consequences of unhealthy ideas written into law such as no-fault divorce. Now we can put a stop to that trend. I hope that you will apply reason to an examination of the evidence, that you will allow your moral framework to play a role in your decision. I believe that I have done so and have come to the conclusion that it is my responsibility, morally and for reasons pertaining to the health of my society, to vote yes on proposition 8 and affirm marriage.

by Dustin Steeve

——————————————————————————————–

Your essay begins by talking about the ‘devastating attacks’ that have been waged against marriage since 1970, citing no-fault divorce as an example. The impression it seems to convey is that marriage is a sacred institution that has stood immovable and implacable for eons, but now recently faces threat. This is something of a fallacy.

The Bible itself (a popular reference point for those who traditionally oppose same-sex marriage) shows us that different attitudes to marriage have been in vogue in different times. The Israelite patriarch Jacob, for example, married both Rachel and Leah, daughters of Laban.

“And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.” -Genesis 29:28

Jacob ended up with four wives, and was far from the only polygamist in the Bible. Others include Gideon (Judges 8:30), Elkanah, father of the prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 1:2), and kings such as Abijah (2 Chronicles 13:21), Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 11:21), and Jehoiada (2 Chronicles 24:3). Most famously, Solomon himself had “seven hundred wives… and three hundred concubines” (2 Kings 11:3). None of these royal polygamists were chastised or punished by God for this – except for Solomon, but even here the exception proves the rule. According to the Bible, Solomon’s sin was not that he married many wives, but that he married foreign wives who turned him away from worshipping Yahweh (11:4).

Of course, these were times when women were considered merely property, and the New Testament moves much closer to our traditional ‘one-man-one-woman’ view of marriage (though it never actually condemns the polygamists of the Old Testament). But it does show that the concept of marriage has changed, and is culturally specific, rather than an institution with clear rules handed down by God and thriving unchanged throughout human history since Creation.

For an example closer to our time, consider interracial marriage. In 1967, Mildred Loving and her husband Richard, an interracial couple, were arrested at their Virginia home for violating that state’s anti-miscegenation law. The couple pleaded guilty, and were sentenced to a year in prison. The appeal went all the way up to the Supreme Court, which lead to an end to bans on interracial marriage. Today the fight to end the ban on same-sex marriage mirrors the one to end the ban on interracial marriage. Gay couples, just like mixed race couples, seek exactly the same thing: to be allowed to marry the ones they love. It is a parallel which many supporters of the ban find uncomfortable, since racism these days is so widely regarded as bigoted and unacceptable. Homophobia, unfortunately, is less so.

Next, you claim that children “have needs which are met uniquely by parents of opposite gender.” I am sorry that, being a draft essay, there is no link for me to follow, but let me cite the following for examples of many, many studies which show insignificant or no detrimental affects on children having been raised by same-sex couples. If the sources you cite turn out to be valid, we can only conclude that the results from research and studies are, at best, mixed.

It is also worth considering the sort of people that society does allow to marry and procreate. Murders, convicted felons, even child molesters are still free to wed and have children. They do not lose these rights through their actions. In the eyes of the law, they are still considered capable of loving another person and their own children, while homosexuals are not. This should be obviously ridiculous to anyone who has ever met a single homosexual. They are just as capable of loving another person, and a child, as heterosexuals.

But that is rather beside the point, because when discussing whether a same-sex marriage is a healthy environment in which to raise a child, you are really talking about gay adoption and parenting. This is an entirely new argument (though one in which I’d be happy to participate). Even if it were shown that a same-sex household was not a suitable environment in which to raise a child (and I am not agreeing with that statement at all), then that would still not be have any relevance on whether we should allow gay people the right to be joined in matrimony to their partner. Unlike the case of interracial marriage where children are generally an inevitable consequence of marriage, for same-sex couples they obviously are not.

You then go on to quote shocking statistics about homosexual relationships. I have to be honest, but when I read them I laughed. This is exactly the kind of homophobic nonsense which simply does not stand up to real-world experience of homosexuals. “78% of lesbian relationships are riddled with domestic abuse… Only 25% of heterosexual men and 15% of heterosexual women report sexual infidelity… 95.6% of gay men report infidelity in their current relationship.” Again, I only wish I had the links available to me to read up on these studies, but as it is I simply do not believe they are accurate or reliable. The implications are clear: homosexuals are dirty and diseased, totally unable to control their lusts and their relationships are all dysfunctional. In actual fact, you only need to spend a little time on the gay scene to realise that homosexuals are people, just like heterosexuals. Relationships are just as complicated and complex as they are for heterosexuals. Perhaps homosexuals are a little more inclined to promiscuity (though I find the statistics you quote grossly exaggerated), but -and this is the point- you still find love between homosexuals. Plutonic love, fraternal love, but also deep, caring, romantic love. And the fact is that these couples cannot marry.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in several countries for years, so we can, to a limited degree, measure the effects of same-sex marriage. Denmark, for example, legalised it in 1989. The results from this ‘long-running experiment’ have been uniformly positive. Opposition to the Danish law was led by the clergy (much the same as in the States). A survey conducted at the time revealed that 72 percent of Danish clergy were opposed to the law. It was passed anyway, and the change in the attitude of the clergy there has been dramatic – a survey conducted in 1995 indicated that 89 percent of the Danish clergy now admit that the law is a good one and has had many beneficial effects, including a reduction in suicide, a reduction in the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and in promiscuity and infidelity among gays.

But again, this rather misses the point. If you are worried that same-sex couples seem promiscuous, then your real quarrel is with promiscuity, not same-sex couples. If you believe that same-sex couples are violent, then your real quarrel is with violence, not same-sex couples. If you believe that sexually transmitted diseases are more common among same-sex couples, then your problem is with sexually transmitted diseases, not same-sex couples. To refuse marriage to all same-sex couples on these grounds is simply to be a bigot and tar all homosexuals with the same brush.

You then go on to talk about laws being rooted in morality. This I do agree with. Laws are entirely human constructs, and we make and revise them as we see fit. We do look to our own moral compasses to guide us in deciding what activities should be criminalised in our societies, and which should not.

However, you then state that your own morality is rooted in your religion, and that you object to homosexuality itself for religious reasons. This, of course, is your choice. You may base your beliefs on whatever you wish, and I don’t doubt that religion is a popular choice for many people. But when your religious beliefs lead you to actively support a ban which has deep and fundamental consequences on other people, you are effectively enforcing your own religious beliefs onto other people. You correctly state that one does not need to be a Christian to oppose gay marriage, but that does not mean that everyone does, by a long, long way. Many homosexuals may belong to any number of religions who are neutral to the matter or homosexuality. Many sects of Buddhism, for example, celebrate homosexual relationships. In reality it is their religious freedom which is being infringed. The state should not be trying to enforce a religion on its citizens, which is essentially what is happening if same-sex couples are forbidden to marry for religious reasons. Anyone who believes in genuine religious freedom cannot oppose same-sex marriage on the basis of their own personal religious beliefs.

“Just as in formal debate the burden of proof rests on those presenting challenge to the status quo, so the burden of proof rests on the advocates of homosexual marriage to prove its morality.”

This, I am afraid is simply not true. The burden of proof is not on anyone challenging the status quo. Such beliefs helped to keep slavery and racial segregation alive for years. To quote from Wikipedia: “Under the Latin maxim necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit, the ordinary rule is that “the necessity of proof lies with he who complains.” For example, a person has to prove that someone is guilty (in a criminal case) or liable (in a civil case) depending on the allegations; a person is not required to prove his or her own innocence, it is rebuttably presumed.” In the case of homosexuality, the burden is on ‘they who complain’, i.e., the people who object to it. Just as we should assume arrested men are innocent until shown guilty. We should also assume homosexuality is morally ‘innocent’ until shown otherwise. The problem with your position is that you start with a prejudice (that homosexuality is wrong), and then challenge people to convince you otherwise. This is back to front. Can you see the problem if I stated that I think all black people are immoral and then challenged people to prove me wrong (just to be clear, I don’t actually think that)?

To conclude, allowing same-sex couples to marry will not bring about the destruction of marriage, families and society in general. All homosexuals are asking for is the right to be united with their loved ones, and to have that union recognised for what it is: in every aspect, just as moral, loving, legitimate and worthy of respect as those undertaken by heterosexuals. By what right do we deny them this?

By Richard Hollis


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  • jasper

    You state that “at the core of homosexual marriage is homosexuality…[and] whether homosexuality is moral”
    If this is really the core issue, then why all the subterfuge over marriage? Why not criminalize homosexuality?
    For if you cannot justify criminalizing homosexuality, its seems to me that you cannot make a good argument against banning gay marriage.
    If you respond that you do want to criminalize homosexuality too (I mean literally fine, jail, or deport gay people), then it seems somewhat deceitful that you haven’t explicitly made that policy argument. It prompts questions about a “secret agenda” or “slippery slope”….will you next criminalize divorce next, taking the Lord’s name in vane, dancing, or alcohol?
    We are all sinners. After the “pure Christians” finish with the gays, will they come for me next?

  • http://www.daylightatheism.org/ Ebonmuse

    Recent studies show that 95.6% of gay men report infidelity in their current relationship. Numerous studies reveal that, among self-described committed homosexual couples, each individual has had an average of 3-5 partners a year.
    Dustin,
    If you are morally opposed to the idea of gay people being promiscuous, why do you not support proposals to give them a legal incentive toward monogamy?

  • Godbot

    “. . . the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality, its holiness.”
    So what’s the opposite of heterosexuality?

  • Godbot

    And again, if “the core of homosexual marriage is homosexuality,” what is at “the core” of heterosexual marriage?

  • ucfengr

    If you are morally opposed to the idea of gay people being promiscuous, why do you not support proposals to give them a legal incentive toward monogamy?
    Are saying gays need to be bribed to be monogamous? Loving each other and being in a committed relationship isn’t enough? You’ve got to get goodies from the state? Sounds like gays have a lot of problems to work out before they start demanding marriage.

  • http://tomgrey.motime.com Tom Grey

    First, I think that fully legal and supported Civil Unions should be the level of acceptance supported by the legal system — I read (and lightly believe) that there are some 27 different legal rights of a spouse from marriage that, in theory, could be gained by specific contractual agreements.
    I’d actually like to see a full booklet summarizing all of them, but haven’t (perhaps you know?).
    Marriage is for children. In a very real, genetic based way, every child is a marriage of half of each parent’s DNA — the mother’s ovum DNA is married to the father’s sperm DNA.
    (a bond no one can sunder.)
    How many gov’t benefits / lower taxes or credits, etc., should be granted to parents is one of the particular issues somewhat outside of ‘gay marriage’. I think the non-gov’t benefits of marriage are so great that no additional benefits are needed, until very expensive children are born — and it is in the raising of children that gov’t cash benefits should be focused.
    All homosexuals are asking for is the right to be united with their loved ones, and to have that union recognised for what it is: in every aspect, just as moral, loving, legitimate and worthy of respect as those undertaken by heterosexuals. By what right do we deny them this?
    Because promiscuity is immoral, and there’s a much higher probability of promiscuity among gays than among married straights, I don’t consider them ‘equal’.
    Drunk driving is a better comparison than inter-racial marriage. Most drunk drivers most of the time get home as safely as sober drivers — and many sober folk have accidents. Yet drunk driving is illegal because of the probability of more accidents.
    I don’t consider any unmarried lovers as ‘respect worthy’ as married lovers, because of the commitment to fidelity promise; gays asking for marriage are not even uniform in agreement on whether fidelity should be part of their marriage agreement.
    Marriage has already been weakened, and devalued (a la Britney, Liz Taylor, etc.); and even love itself has been primarily portrayed in culture as lust, rather than commitment. Gay marriage rather than civil unions weakens it further.
    Finally, homosexual behavior is sinful in Christian theology. Part of the gay marriage push to ‘equal morality’ is to make it illegal to claim that gay sex is sinful. (See Europe)
    I’m a sinner, too. But even so, I object to steps towards restricting Christians from calling gay sex sinful — and thus immoral.
    Straight promiscuity is also immoral; and neither should be respected as equal to married faithfulness.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Marriage is a fundamental building block of society. That phrase is often used but seldom explained. When I say “fundamental building block of society” I am referring to marriage’s natural creation of families.
    Agreed but I think you would then also agree that it is all the more important not to exclude members of society from marriage unless there is a very good reason. In addition, you miss the trees from the forest. A family is not just a baby or child but many people. Marriage, when it works well, provides for stability for all family members. This is good for a baby but it is also good for everyone else, such as the elderly or even the single person who is alone.
    According to A. Dean Byrd, Ph.D, “There is no fact that has been established by social science literature more convincingly than the following: all variables considered, children are best served when reared in a home with a married mother and father.”
    OK but what does this have to do with gay marriage? By definition the only way for a gay couple to be raising a kid is if this above ideal has broken down somehow.
    According to ex-gay speaker Mike Haley, the odds of a straight man contracting AIDS after one heterosexual encounter are 1 in 165,000 as opposed to 1 in 175 for gay men after one homosexual encounter.
    That’s a good point in favor for gay marriage, as for the other statistics:
    I have given reasons why I believe equating homosexual unions with marriage is unhealthy. Upon these grounds, I believe a rational decision can be made.
    Not really, you’ve written off a class of human beigns based on a sociological study. Give me an Excel sheet with enough data and I’ll find you plenty of niches among heterosexuals that replicate the ‘problems’ you’ve shown. For example, if I demonstrated that marriages of 35+ yr old women to men between 19-24 have incidents of cheating and STDs equal or greater than the ones you cited for gays would you prohibit the recognition of such marriages? How many other members of your cohort would it take to screw up marriage so much that you’d give up your wife? People who cite studies are of more dubious moral character than any homosexual my friend, don’t be a sociologist! Tread very carefully!
    The decision to allow homosexuals to marry is a moral matter because at the core of homosexual marriage is homosexuality. Your answer to the question of whether homosexuality is moral is going to determine your view of whether homosexual marriage should be accepted. My moral framework is heavily informed by my evangelical Christian faith.
    1. Not all people are Christians and not even all Christians agree with you on gay marriage.
    2. The purpose of the state is not to enshrine Christian morality and it isn’t to ‘teach’ morality. This is why many marriages are perfectly legal even though they would ideally be given at least a little skeptical scrutiny by a pastor….more about that below…
    Recently, marriage has suffered the consequences of unhealthy ideas written into law such as no-fault divorce. Now we can put a stop to that trend.
    Why don’t you show us how keeping the gay couple down the street from being able to have a legal marriage stops you from being a good father to your children or a good husband to your wife…or at least would facilitate you becoming a better one? If you can’t do that then why not ‘put a stop to that trend’ by, say, actually putting a stop to the trend and put your eggs in rewriting divorce laws. A cynic might say here you are rallying the troops behind feeling good by attacking a minority group you people do not like, do not associate with and would like to scapegoat for your own miserable failings.
    As a matter of fact, why not go only as far as the Catholic Church and refuse to recognize divorced people who have remarried except under circumstances where an application for annullment has been vetted and granted? Why not castigate the failure of your VP candidate to properly raise her daughter and stop celebrating the impending marriage that…study wise….is likely to be yet another failed marriage? Timber in thine own eye indeed.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    ucfengr
    Are saying gays need to be bribed to be monogamous? Loving each other and being in a committed relationship isn’t enough?
    Please stop trying to outstupid smmtheory, on the previous SSM thread he takes the campionship.
    On the off chance you’re serious I wouldn’t say marriage is a ‘bribe’ to be monogamous but more of a challenge that has both positive and negative reinforcement. Even with no-fault divorce and adultry no longer being a major cause for ‘punishment’ in divorce hearings you’re playing with fire if you get married without an intention to at least try to be monogamous. Your partner can screw you over (pardon the pun) in lots of ways both legal and emotional. (For an interesting take on how marriage has a dark side that can, in some ways, be good see the response this advice columnist gave here:http://www.salon.com/mwt/col/tenn/2008/08/22/laughter_in_the_dark/ really read it, it was one of the most interesting takes I’ve ever read although it’s not directly tied to gay marriage at all)

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    ucfengr
    Loving each other and being in a committed relationship isn’t enough?
    NOTE: All the moms and dads with teen kids thinking of moving in with their girlfriends or boyfriends might want to take note of this phrase from ucfengr. Take the internet filter off the p orn & block out ucfengr’s writing least you want some of his words thrown at you!

  • ucfengr

    Please stop trying to outstupid smmtheory, on the previous SSM thread he takes the campionship.
    Perhaps you should get over yourself, Boonton. You’re really not smart enough to call other people stupid so freely.
    On the off chance you’re serious I wouldn’t say marriage is a ‘bribe
    That’s great, but you weren’t the one I was responding to. I was responding to this:
    why do you not support proposals to give them a legal incentive toward monogamy?
    Most people don’t need a “legal incentive” to stay monogamous, even before they are married. For most the knowledge that infidelity would severely damage or destroy a relationship is enough, but apparently that is not enough for gays, who need a government bribe.

  • JustMakingItUp

    Richard Hollis wrote:
    Again, I only wish I had the links available to me to read up on these studies, but as it is I simply do not believe they are accurate or reliable.
    I’m not sure I understand this objection, since there were ample links to the statistic sources and the studies to which Dustin referred. Perhaps you object to the fact that some of these sources are not downloadable for free? Or is it that they are hosted on sites like Family Research Council (www.frc.org) to which you do not wish to contribute? Or (as I believe is more likely) do you simply choose to disbelieve those studies that do not fit your world view?
    Don’t misunderstand me: I frankly think Prop 8 is the wrong solution to the “problem”, if “gay marriage” is a problem. I would rather that government, at all levels, have nothing to say at all about marriage. That which government controls will likely be controlled in a manner I do not approve.
    Marriage is a great example of this principle. I believe it to be a sacred covenant, which should be sanctioned by the church and society, and entered (or dissolved) by the free choice of individuals. As such, the coercive power of government at any level is not only unnecessary, it distorts the societal benefit and religious meaning of the relationship. Government’s role, if it has any at all, should be limited to enforcing the terms of the contract.
    Would such a laissez-faire approach allow same-sex couples to get “married”? Of course. Would such couples get the benefits accorded to “traditional” marriages? No more or less than they do now; such benefits are under the control of the institution doing the providing, whether a charity, employer, or government.
    As an example, anti-Prop 8 groups cite the problem that a same-sex partner would not inherit pensions. The truth is, pensions are not inheritable, unless it is stipulated in the contract(s) that create the pension. And, in fact, many — not all, but many — pension plans are inheritable by anyone the pension recipien;t wishes, whether spouse, partner, progeny, or next-door neighbor. That some, and maybe most pensions are not so designable is not a problem with the law, it is a problem with the contract signed to create the pension.
    The heritability of some government benefits is a whole ‘nother subject, but this, too, could be solved simply by removing the concept of “marriage” from the law altogether.
    All of this said, I will probably vote in favor of Proposition 8. If we can’t get government out of the marriage business altogether, we can at least get them to define it in a manner that most Californians can stomach.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    ucfengr
    Perhaps you should get over yourself, Boonton. You’re really not smart enough to call other people stupid so freely.
    I’ve only called 3 people here stupid. Try to think of it in a positive way….you’re like a member of an elite force here….
    Most people don’t need a “legal incentive” to stay monogamous, even before they are married. …
    Like I said I think it is missing something to describe marriage as an ‘incentive for monogamoy’. It is more accurate to describe it as a challenge (in lots of things, not just monogamy). A challenge has positives but it also has difficulties.
    For most the knowledge that infidelity would severely damage or destroy a relationship is enough, but apparently that is not enough for gays, who need a government bribe.
    You don’t get a gov’t bribe for being monogamous in a marriage. Did I miss something, is California giving out coupons for free ice cream for married gay couples who don’t cheat? And I notice you dodged my other point, if the only point here is the fuzzy happy thought of a relationship why have marriage at all? Why don’t people just live with each other as they please and if that turns out to be a life long relationship great if not ahhh well? Your view of marriage seems to not only make it unneeded for gays but for everyone. Channelling a bit of Hugh Hefner today are we?

  • http://thundersounds.blogspot.com/ slw

    @Justmakingitup
    I agree wholeheartedly with you that getting government altogether out of the issue is the preferable course (as I argued in the thread on the former post on the subject). Christians err when they want representative government to make it safe to believe in Christianity. The only danger that concerns me as an American is the loss of freedom of speech under hate crime regimens.

  • Richie

    JustMakingItUp: Hi, I’m Richard Hollis.
    Actually I meant that I literally couldn’t follow the links, as I had only received a draft version of Dustin’s original essay by e-mail, and the links were not attached.
    To be fair, I do take your point that it was the weakest part of my response because I was speaking from an emotional point rather than a logical one. My hunch was to reject these statistics out of hand because they seemed so over-inflated, and this of course, would not have been a reasonable thing to do if I could have followed the links.
    However, I still think my hunch was justified. Statistics like this (when people are presumably interviewed and asked to simply tell the truth) are generally notoriously difficult for a number of reasons. For one thing, people lie. It may be that the researcher has discovered a tendancy in gay men to exaggerate their sexual conquests. It may be that the research involved heterosexual people who were still in relationships (and therefore more likely to lie about their infidelities). It may even be that the researchers were not impartial, and actively wanted to find that gay men were promiscuous, and so deliberately asked heterosexual people who seemed straight-laced and monogamous, and homosexual people who seemed rather… well… sluttish (for want of a better word).
    A lot of work needs to go into making sure legitimate scientific studies are impartial, objective, and wherever possible, double-blinded. And that is before you even study the implications of the findings.
    But yes, now I can access the links, I intend to read up on these studies (I still have not done so yet). It should make interesting reading.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    JustMakingItUp,
    In theory I’m not against your libertarian take on marriage but I’m not sure it is as practical as you depict to simply replace all of it with a bunch of contracts. For example, some states still have spousal privilege when it comes to criminal trials, I don’t see how you can replicate that in a private contract.
    Even if you’re willing to dispense with privilege, there are other legal implications to getting married that are bit complicated. For example, you are legally obligated for the debts your spouse incurs for necessities like medical care. This obviously has a public policy benefit….Donald Trump’s wife can’t ask for charity care on the grounds that she has no job and her husband doesn’t want to foot the bill but I don’t think you could manufacture it by having your spouse carry around a private contract.

  • Richie

    JustMakingItUp – Hi, I’m Richard Hollis.
    Actually, the reason I was not able to access the link is that I had only received a draft of Dustin’s post via e-mail and the links were not attached.
    I do take your point that it was the weakest part of my response. I was taking an emotional stance rather than a logic one. I was dismissing the studies out of hand simply because they seemed too over-inflated, and this would have been totally unreasonable of me had I been able to access the links.
    However, I don’t think I was totally unjustified. Studies such as these (where people are presumably asked to fill out surveys and trusted to tell the truth) are notoriously fraught with difficulties. For one thing, people lie. It may be that the researchers actually found a tendancy in homosexuals to exaggerate their sexual conquests. Perhaps the heterosexuals interviewed were in relationships, and therefore less likely to admit to any infidelities. Perhaps the researchers themselves were biased, and actively wanted to prove homosexuals were more promiscuous, and so deliberately selected people they expected to give the results they wanted to hear.
    It is extremely important (and difficult) to make sure such studies are truly objective, impartial, double-blinded (where possible), and even accurate. And that is before we even discuss the implications of the findings.
    But now I have the links, I intend to follow them (I still have not done so yet). I’m sure they will make interesting reading.

  • Richie

    JustMakingItUp – Hi, I’m Richard Hollis.
    Actually, the reason I was not able to access the link is that I had only received a draft of Dustin’s post via e-mail and the links were not attached.
    I do take your point that it was the weakest part of my response. I was taking an emotional stance rather than a logic one. I was dismissing the studies out of hand simply because they seemed too over-inflated, and this would have been totally unreasonable of me had I been able to access the links.
    However, I don’t think I was totally unjustified. Studies such as these (where people are presumably asked to fill out surveys and trusted to tell the truth) are notoriously fraught with difficulties. For one thing, people lie. It may be that the researchers actually found a tendancy in homosexuals to exaggerate their sexual conquests. Perhaps the heterosexuals interviewed were in relationships, and therefore less likely to admit to any infidelities. Perhaps the researchers themselves were biased, and actively wanted to prove homosexuals were more promiscuous, and so deliberately selected people they expected to give the results they wanted to hear.
    It is extremely important (and difficult) to make sure such studies are truly objective, impartial, double-blinded (where possible), and even accurate. And that is before we even discuss the implications of the findings.
    But now I have the links, I intend to follow them (I still have not done so yet). I’m sure they will make interesting reading.

  • Richie

    Ooops. Sorry about that…

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Richie
    I do take your point that it was the weakest part of my response. I was taking an emotional stance rather than a logic one. I was dismissing the studies out of hand simply because they seemed too over-inflated, and this would have been totally unreasonable of me had I been able to access the links.
    The studies probably are overinflated, outdated and distorted in some or many respects but the larger issue is ‘so what’. Statistics are always in flux and it is always possible to create the numbers that suit your agenda, and by create I don’t mean lie but simply choose your subjects carefully to get the results you want. How about the divorce rate for A-level celebrities who marry within two years of their first cover on People magazine? Domestic abuse rates for couples that meet at AA or NA meetings perhaps? If I told you bloggers have a 97% failure rate at marriage how would you feel about the state telling you it’s not going to let you get married for the sake of the ‘institution’?

  • http://editorialsection.com Troy Westin

    Great post!! I invite everyone to read the post on http://editorialsection.com

  • BitterClinger

    I haven’t visited Evangelical Outpost for quite a while. Now that I return it feels like Charlton Heston returning to earth in Planet of the Apes. Is this some kind of Emergent Evangelicalism? From these comments, and those on other threads, it appears that many evangelicals support a redefinition of marriage and the family – beginning with gender, moving on I presume to number. A large number seem poised to support a candidate most distinguished for his promise to sweep away even the smallest impediments to the killing of unborn children as one of his first acts in office.
    Freedom of the Gospel, indeed. This kind of freedom appears set to bind our nation for a very long time.
    (Note: BitterClinger is merely a screenname, not intended to imply any relationship to Jamie Farr, his family or associates.)

  • Rob Ryan

    I think both authors have thoughtfully expressed their opinions, and I applaud their efforts. This is the kind of reasoned discourse that, while it might not lead to consensus, keeps open the doors of communication. Thank you, Mr. Steeve and Mr. Hollis for your contributions. You have given me much to ponder.

  • ucfengr

    I’ve only called 3 people here stupid. Try to think of it in a positive way….you’re like a member of an elite force here….
    As I said, you are not smart enough to call anybody stupid. Perhaps you should stop trying to justify it.
    Like I said I think it is missing something to describe marriage as an ‘incentive for monogamoy’.
    Then talk to Ebonmuse, he was the one that asserted it was needed. Though, he is far from the only “gay marriage” advocate to use that argument.

  • Tmarlin65

    What is sad is that people use Christianity when it is convenient for them. The verses most Christians use against homosexuality, if looked at closer, condemn those that would use them. If you do follow the Bible, Homosexuality is a sin. Guess what so is Adultery! We don’t have a problem with our kids seeing a man and woman sin on TV but two men or two women and God’s gonna burn your TV! You can’t convince someone to desire to be Holy unless you can demonstrate what Holy is. It’s Planks and Splinters. No I don’t agree with homosexuality but I’m tired of people living with their girlfriend out of wedlock and Telling a Gay couple they will burn in Hell.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    ucfengr
    Then talk to Ebonmuse, he was the one that asserted it was needed. Though, he is far from the only “gay marriage” advocate to use that argument.
    If you want to conduct private debates then take it to email, otherwise any argument posted on a comment board is fair game for criticism by anyone who reads it.

  • smmtheory

    From these comments, and those on other threads, it appears that many evangelicals support a redefinition of marriage and the family – beginning with gender, moving on I presume to number.

    Nah, the comments you see that support the redefinition of marriage and family are the atheists, Cafeteria Christians, and others that nay-say evangelicals and purport to tell everybody they aren’t tolerant enough (never mind the fact that Christ didn’t tolerate sin).
    The comments made by others tend to get lost in the shuffle or drown out by the comments from the self-appointed arbiters of intelligence, tolerance, and enlightenment.

  • ucfengr

    If you want to conduct private debates then take it to email, otherwise any argument posted on a comment board is fair game for criticism by anyone who reads it.
    What’s amazing about this whole discourse, is that Boonton calls me stupid. Here’s the path:
    Ebonmuse asserts that gays need the incentive of marriage to practice monogamy.
    I point out how silly that is and if it’s true (which it could be, he is not the only gay marriage supporter to put forward that argument), gays obviously have bigger problems than not being able to be married.
    Boonton calls me stupid for saying gays need an incentive to be monogamous, while at the same time showing that he doesn’t understand what an incentive is (here’s a clue, marriage is the incentive).
    Now that I look at it, I find myself starting to agree with Boonton; I am stupid. Who but an idiot would get stuck in orbit around the black hole of stupidity that is Boonton?

  • http://www.daylightatheism.org/ Ebonmuse

    It doesn’t look as if the original author of this post intends to address my point. Unfortunate.
    ucfengr, you have twisted my words. I did not say that gays “need the incentive of marriage to practice monogamy”. That is obviously false: the large numbers of gay couples who are already living in monogamous relationships, fighting for the right to have those relationships legally recognized, is disproof enough of that. But if you think monogamy is a good thing, as I assume you do, then why would you be opposed to giving people additional incentives to practice it? If you’re opposed to “bribing” people to be monogamous, do you also think we should roll back the tax exemptions and other benefits offered to heterosexual married couples?
    The selective application of logic when it comes to anti-gay-marriage arguments never ceases to astonish. Are some gays promiscuous? No doubt. And something like 50% of heterosexual marriages end in divorce. Does that also prove that straight people are inherently promiscuous and don’t deserve access to marriage either?

  • smmtheory

    do you also think we should roll back the tax exemptions and other benefits offered to heterosexual married couples?

    Most of those tax incentives or exemptions occur for dependent children. If the couple both work and earn extra money, their taxes can often be higher when their combined income pushes them into the higher tax bracket. Given how advocates brag about how homosexuals tend to earn more, that seems more likely to happen than not. One other thing to note is that depending on how much a parent spends on their child, that tax exemption does not really make a child any more affordable and only slightly mitigates the expenses of raising children. So loosing the tax exemptions and other supposed benefits given to heterosexual married couples would be worth it to me at least if it were to be traded for the elimination of monosexed marriage being recognized as valid by the government.
    Do you think that the advocates for monosexed marriage would quit seeking governmental recognition of their relationship as a valid marriage if the tax exemptions and other benefits were non-existent for heterosexual marriages? I for one, do not think they would quit. I think bringing those things up is used as an evasion from having to talk about the true and underlying motives behind the activism.

  • EW

    I’m pretty educated in religion and theology (masters degrees in both). i lean pretty heavily on the conservative side when it comes to issues of homosexuality, bottom line, i disagree with it and don’t think it’s right or moral. With that said i would still not vote for proposition 8. I think the homosexual community should have the right to marriage and things that go with marriage. I also don’t agree with the Muslim faith and many other faiths and practices but i still think Islamic people should have the right to get married. I think it’s a smoke screen to think that the liberal illuminati are going to take over the country and gays are going to be the down fall of marriage. I simply don’t believe that to be true. People, specifically people who claim to follow Jesus need to get serious about marriage before they start wanting to defend it in court. McCain being a huge example. This is America we believe in freedom of religion and equal right, i affirm those things and it’s it’s because of that that i think homosexuals should be able to marry.

  • smmtheory

    I really don’t see how someone well versed in religion and theology can counter Jesus’ definition of marriage – one man and one woman. To do so implies that you find suspect at least one of his teachings. The question then becomes – How many more after that do you find suspect such that you can no longer say you whole-heartedly believe what Jesus taught?

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Boonton calls me stupid for saying gays need an incentive to be monogamous, while at the same time showing that he doesn’t understand what an incentive is (here’s a clue, marriage is the incentive).
    It’s stupid to describe marriage as a bribe by the gov’t to be monogamous. Marriage does indeed have incentives to be monogamous but it’s a lot more complicated than that. It is a challenge to reap the rewards of mutual monogamy….the description of a marriage as a contract is very apt. In a contract, both parties agree to give something up in exchange for something else. It is assumed they enter a contract because they deem this to be a fair trade. Yes it is possible for one side to cheat (example, you accept the inventory but refuse to pay the vendor) so contract law has incentives for both sides not to cheat. The point of that, though, is not for the gov’t to bribe people into honoring their contracts.

  • Richie

    Smmtheory – hello again.
    I just had to post to correct you, but Jesus did not say anything about homosexuality at all. Nothing. Not one thing. Which is odd in itself; if homosexuality is such a great sin, you’d think he’d at least MENTION it once…

  • Jeong

    To the people who say ‘No’ on prop 8.
    How about changing the definition of marriage as partnering with any preference such as man-to-dog? woman-to-pig. Do you like it?
    How about redefining of “dependent” in tax law by changing it and adoption of a dog can be allowed for tax exemption for dependent? Can you accept it?
    Let’s keep the common sense.
    Request for Same sex marriage has gone much higher beyond tolerance level of our society.
    Therfore, ‘YES’ on Prop 8 is absolutely necessary for our social health.

  • Richie

    Jeong, that is a ridiculous comparrison. A marriage is a union of two consenting equals. You cannot marrying a dog because a dog has no idea what it is doing. It does not understand marriage, let alone consent to it. Therefore it is not a fair comparrison.
    Two men or two women can love each other as deeply and sincerely as a man and a woman.
    Requesting same-sex marriage does not go beyond tolerance at all.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    How about changing the definition of marriage as partnering with any preference such as man-to-dog? woman-to-pig. Do you like it?
    Not really, I see no argument in favor of man-dog or woman-pig marriages. I see a very good one against it which is that dogs and pigs are not humans. Last time I checked, gays are.
    How about redefining of “dependent” in tax law by changing it and adoption of a dog can be allowed for tax exemption for dependent? Can you accept it?
    Well anyone can be a dependent in tax law….if you are taking care of someone, I think the test is provide at least half their expenses and that is more than $5K a year…..as for expanding that to dogs, I’d love that as I have two dogs….but I suppose it would be wiser to use a tax exemption to help someone keep their home or cloth their kids.

  • jeong

    Once it is allowed to redefine marriage as you prefer for Homosexuality, anybody might be able to redefine it according to their preference without restriciton. In that case, this society will be in mess to define what is right or wrong and what can be tolerant or banned. Without certain restriction of human freedom according to common social welfare, evetually this society will be uncontrolable and return to very primitive society.
    If you think that man-to-man marriage is acceptable while man-to-dog is not acceptable just because dog is not humanbeing, it is completely ccontradictory logic because the man who prefer dog instead of humang being will be discriminated aaccording to your strange logic of ‘NO’ side of prop 8. If you think there is no problem to choose your partner for marriage with same sex, why does it become problem for a person to choose a dog as marriage partner. You have to keep in mind that there can be some weird people who prefer animals to humanbeing naturally, as you insist that homosexuality is innate.
    Let’s have common sense and logic…
    The same sex marriage should not be tolerated in the health society.
    ‘YES’ on Prop 8…it should be for you and me and my children and future generation and all human being.

  • smmtheory

    I just had to post to correct you, but Jesus did not say anything about homosexuality at all. Nothing. Not one thing. Which is odd in itself; if homosexuality is such a great sin, you’d think he’d at least MENTION it once…

    Well, let’s put it this way, homosexual sex is sex outside of marriage, which Jesus did have something to say about. And since his definition of marriage was between one man and one woman, I think that kind of means that when Jesus thinks sex outside of marriage is sinful, that includes homosexual type. And for those who thought that was unfair, Jesus recommended celibacy. Homosexual activity doesn’t exactly qualify as celibacy either. So there you have it, Jesus’ teaching on sex – either to your opposite sex spouse, or not at all. Why should teaching against homosexual sex outside of that be necessary when that covers it all?

  • ex-preacher

    Actually, Jesus never said anything about sex, period, except to condemn lust and adultery. He never condemned premarital sex. He did say, according to one gospel, that divorce is never permissible. This is why the Catholic church doesn’t allow divorce. Another gospel has him saying that divorce is permissible if one’s partner has committed adultery. He seems to clearly condemn remarriage after divorce. Various churches and scholars have differed sharply on what Jesus really meant about divorce and whether one can ever divorce or ever remarry after a divorce. If Christians are serious about having the law reflect Jesus’ teachings on marriage, they should push for a constitutional amendment banning divorce, except for scriptural causes. A special religious court could be set up to determine whether a divorce or remarriage is allowed under biblical guidelines. Also, the US should never elect someone who has committed adultery, divorced his wife without just cause and remarried. Like John McCain.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    jeong
    Once it is allowed to redefine marriage as you prefer for Homosexuality, anybody might be able to redefine it according to their preference without restriciton.
    I don’t recall anyone saying anything about preference, IMO it is about being fair and decent. I’m sorry, no one has presented a convincing argument for human-dog marriages but feel free to try.
    If you think that man-to-man marriage is acceptable while man-to-dog is not acceptable just because dog is not humanbeing, it is completely ccontradictory logic because the man who prefer dog instead of humang being will be discriminated aaccording to your strange logic of ‘NO’ side of prop 8.
    True a man who wants to marry a dog doesn’t get his way. So what? A dog still isn’t a human and last time I checked is not able to enter contracts, not able to make informed consent, in general doesn’t have the intelligence that a human does….even very stupid humans.
    You have to keep in mind that there can be some weird people who prefer animals to humanbeing naturally, as you insist that homosexuality is innate.
    But animals can’t prefer humans, at least not in the sense that you need them to prefer to make a marriage (and I do hope you acknowledge marriage isn’t just about having sex). There are humans in this category as well. For example, you can’t marry someone whose in a coma.

  • smmtheory

    If Christians are serious about having the law reflect Jesus’ teachings on marriage, they should push for a constitutional amendment banning divorce, except for scriptural causes.

    The way it was before No-Fault divorce laws were written in other words. Christians were steamrolled on that one too. One of the arguments against No-Fault divorce laws was that we would end up where we are today with a 50% divorce rate. A lot of good it did them to try to talk common sense into the activists and meddlers back then. And would you and the other proponents of monosexed “marriage” be sanguine about throwing out No-Fault divorce laws? HECK NO! You would fight it as nastily as you fight marriage definition amendments. Don’t even pretend otherwise. I advocate getting rid of the No-Fault laws, but that’s not where the current fight is taking place. Suggesting that that is where we should take the fight is kind of like a bait-and-switch tactic, or pointing off to space somewhere behind your opponents back and saying “What’s that?” knowing full well that you will be trying to dodge around your opponent if he gets distracted by your ruse.

    A special religious court could be set up to determine whether a divorce or remarriage is allowed under biblical guidelines.

    The annulment process in the Catholic Church.

    He never condemned premarital sex.

    Here’s the thing about pre-marital sex. It leads to adultery in one way or another. First, if a man has sex with a woman prior to marrying her, the religious view is that they should formalize the marriage they consumated. If they don’t, and then later that man gets married to a different woman, he has retroactively committed adultery. Now some people might consider the second sexual relationship the adulterous one, some might consider the first relationship the adulterous one in a kind of front-loaded sort of way. Either way, the adultery has been committed. And not just for that man, but having not married the woman he had intercourse with in the first place, they are both causing each other to commit adultery which is compounding the sin.

    Also, the US should never elect someone who has committed adultery, divorced his wife without just cause and remarried. Like John McCain.

    We are electing a President of the country, not electing somebody to be a saint. Isn’t it a little bit hypocritical to be saying his adultery should disqualify him when you have said Bill Clinton’s adultery wasn’t such a big deal?

  • jeong

    Boonton,
    It is surely true that there will be nobody who want to marry with dog. However my point is that, if all the effort for redefinition for same sex marriage is allowed, then marriage can be redefined according to any preference. And also we can allow redefining of all other social terms. What if redefining adult? Let’s say for example, somebody want to marry with 7 years old kid, it is prohibited at present time. However, with the similar logic of requesting for same sex marriage, somebody can complain and appeal for the permit of the kind marriage with kid. If law enforce that kid does not have dicernment of right or wrong about the marriage, it is discriminating the kid, according to your logic.
    Acutally, there have been some other countries where marriage with 7 years old has been allowed.
    Of course, I cannot tolerate for kid to marry with adult. Likewise I cannot tolerate for the marriage between same sex. Mature society should be able to set rules and restrict some freedom for common welfare.

  • http://dailyduck.blogspot.com/ Hey Skipper

    Dustin:
    Clearly you put a lot of effort into thinking through and depicting your position in favor of Proposition 8. However, your argument suffers from enough deficiencies that it fails to support your conclusion.
    Marriage is a fundamental building block of society. That phrase is often used but seldom explained. When I say “fundamental building block of society” I am referring to marriage’s natural creation of families.
    You conflate two terms here, marriage and families, base your position on the latter, and then use indirection to corral the former.
    Families are the building block of society. Civil marriage is a legal construct to original purpose was to protect the property rights of women and the children that were, until the Pill, the eventually nearly inevitable outcome of sex.
    Clearly, protecting the property rights of dependents is important. However, in linking families and marriage as you do, you are appealing to the same notions of human nature that animate the left: our nature and actions are determined by society.
    I doubt very much you believe that; in fact, I’ll bet you believe precisely the opposite. However, without that underlying assumption, your conflation fails. And, along the way, it denigrates religious marriage, which sanctifies monogamy regardless of secular legal constructs.
    According to A. Dean Byrd, Ph.D, “There is no fact that has been established by social science literature more convincingly than the following: all variables considered, children are best served when reared in a home with a married mother and father.”
    I think that is close enough to objective truth to take as stipulated.
    However, as a practical matter, it is presents . Within the realm of human affairs, there will always be some children who do not have such an environment available to them. Even more sadly, there are children for whom there are few options.
    In order to complete that statement, it needs to consider those children for whom the options are two: an series of foster parents, or adoption by a same-sex couple.
    Appealing to the advisability of married mother and father for children is pointless if that option is not on offer.
    Which leaves the question that matters open and unaddressed: which is least bad, being raised by a married same-sex couple, or foster care?
    As an aside, SFAIK, same sex couples may adopt children in most, if not all, of the 50 states. Whether that is a good idea or not is a subject for a separate thread that should always keep in mind the options on offer.
    … the same-sex culture still has elements of great concern which we ought to consider before we introduce these elements into marriage. Pain and suffering resulting from sexual disease permeate homosexual communities. According to ex-gay speaker Mike Haley, the odds of a straight man contracting AIDS after one heterosexual encounter are 1 in 165,000 as opposed to 1 in 175 for gay men after one homosexual encounter.
    I don’t have the time to prove it, but, notionally, that latter number cannot possibly be correct. Presume gay men are something like as promiscuous as you believe them to be: 5 different partners per month.
    If the odds of a gay man contracting AIDS are in fact 1 in 175 unique encounters, then essentially all gay men are dead.
    Except they aren’t, so that stat needs some explaining.
    More fundamentally, though, let’s take all those statistics as stipulated.
    So far as I know, Evangelists agree that mankind is fallen. Your statistics, at best, show that gays are somewhat more fallen than the rest of us. Which demands the question: is there a fallenness threshold beyond which marriage is not allowed?
    If so, then you need to show it, and how gays fall on the far side. Otherwise, these stats, even if true, do not advance your argument even an inch towards its goal.
    Your moral framework needs foremost to be informed by deciding up front whether morality applies to the situation at hand.
    In order for something to assess the morality of something, one must first know the extent to which that thing involves a choice.
    For instance, (although Christians once thought otherwise), there is absolutely no moral component to being left handed — there is no choice in the matter.
    Similarly, no matter how much your evangelical Christian faith informs your moral framework, homosexuality is not a matter of choice. There simply is no moral component to being gay.
    Now, you may counter that while there is no moral component to being gay, actualization of that fact is immoral. Unfortunately, not only does that leave you on the horns of the Euthryphro dilemma, it also presents you with a theodicy problem: why would God create a group of people and then demand that others ostracize, and even kill, them?
    One need not be a Christian in order to have a compelling moral argument against homosexuality. For example, you might be Aristotelian. If so, you might consider the anatomical design of men and women and conclude that homosexual sex is against the proper function of humans.
    As it happens, all mammals start existence as females. It is only through the Y-linked expression of hormones during gestation that a female body plan becomes male. What would an Aristotelian make of that? Particularly when informed the Jamie Lee Curtis is, by Aristotelian standards, male?
    Your argument in favor of Prop-8, the result of which is to impose a sectarian notion upon a non-sectarian society, simply fails to make its case. The task facing you is to convince the rest of us that allowing gays to marry will somehow corrode marriages for heterosexuals.
    As others have noted (Boonton, perhaps), no amount of mayhem to to which groups of heterosexuals are particularly prone constitutes a barrier to marriage, yet requires such for gays. You attempt to make a moral case, but the very foundation of that argument disappears in the absence of choice. Finally, you make an appeal to anatomical design without acknowledging its basics or contingencies.
    Your position makes perfect sense for insisting evangelical Christians refuse the marriage sacrament to gays. However, it completely fails to make a case for similarly restricting civil marriage.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    The way it was before No-Fault divorce laws were written in other words. Christians were steamrolled on that one too. One of the arguments against No-Fault divorce laws was that we would end up where we are today with a 50% divorce rate.
    Whose this ‘we’ here? Christians? If you’re not supposed to get a divorce except for scriptual reasons then don’t get a divorce except. Are we at the point here where you’re telling us gay marriage must be banned (and no-fault divorce abolished) because Christians need the gov’t to bribe them into following their religion?
    The annulment process in the Catholic Church.
    Last time I checked it was alive and well and hasn’t fallen even though it is highly unpopular among other Christians, not supported by civil marriage law and is even unpopular among many Catholics.
    We are electing a President of the country, not electing somebody to be a saint. Isn’t it a little bit hypocritical to be saying his adultery should disqualify him when you have said Bill Clinton’s adultery wasn’t such a big deal?
    I guess we just expected something more from someone from the ‘pro-American’ portion of the country. It’s not the first time smmtheory has disappointed.
    jeong
    It is surely true that there will be nobody who want to marry with dog. However my point is that, if all the effort for redefinition for same sex marriage is allowed, then marriage can be redefined according to any preference.
    Your error is assuming the argument in favor of gay marriage is simply “well that’s what some gays prefer and we should always do what people prefer”. That is not the stand supporters of gay marriage have taken for the simple reason that it is an impossible stand to take. People of contradictory preferences, you would rather there be no gay people, some others would rather everyone be gay, others yet would rather be allowed to drive around with a nuclear bomb in their trunk.
    What if redefining adult? Let’s say for example, somebody want to marry with 7 years old kid, it is prohibited at present time. ….Of course, I cannot tolerate for kid to marry with adult. Likewise I cannot tolerate for the marriage between same sex. Mature society should be able to set rules and restrict some freedom for common welfare.
    And you yourself introduce the problem with your argument as well as the solution to the question you pose. Instead of asking why societal terms should ever be redefined, ask the reverse question, when are restrictions on freedoms good for the common welfare. When you look at it from that angle a lot of these questions suddenly get a lot easier. Interracial marriage bans? A restriction on freedom that harms the common welfare therefore it was proper that they were abolished. Marriage of 7 yr olds? Big common welfare problem. How about marriage of 17 yr olds? Well that’s a bit iffier so states of differing rules. Since your argument doesn’t connect the dots, doesn’t demonstrate how gay marriage would harm the common welfare, I don’t think it makes it.
    Hey Skipper
    I don’t have the time to prove it, but, notionally, that latter number cannot possibly be correct. Presume gay men are something like as promiscuous as you believe them to be: 5 different partners per month
    1. This is kind of technical but why should one assume a bell curve distribution of gay promiscuity rather than say a power law distribution? The bell curve fits certain sets of data like height. Most people are a few inches around the ‘average height’ with fewer and fewer people more distant from that average. A power law follows a distribution like income. If you calculate the average income by exluding the richest 0.05% you’ll get a radically lower number than if you include them. Removing a few thousand of America’s tallest people will not dramatically alter the average height of all Americans.
    2. Given this possibility, even if 5 in 1 is the population average there are gay men who are less than 5 in one.. Possibly a great number with a smalle portion being ‘super promiscious’ enough to impact the average dramatically.
    3. Again given this, are there no gay men who have no partners per month? Who, for whatever reason, have not had any sex or haven’t had any in a while? Or perhaps are having (gay) sex on rare occassions like what we suspect of Idaho’s Senator Larry Craig? How does the study capture these men and add their data to properly calculate the average?
    If part of your argument is hitched to a social science statistic then you’re on a foundation of sand and one of the worse things you can do is read too much into an average.

  • smmtheory

    Whose this ‘we’ here?

    The ‘we’ here is American society at large. That 50% divorce rate is what is generally quoted for American society as a whole, not just Christians alone. But you kind of prove my point about how advocates for monosexed “marriage” would fight against repeal of No-Fault just as nastily as they fight for monosexed “marriage”.

    Last time I checked it was alive and well and hasn’t fallen even though it is highly unpopular among other Christians, not supported by civil marriage law and is even unpopular among many Catholics.

    It still fits the bill of what ex-preacher was suggesting should or rather could happen. What’s your point? I don’t know why you continue to presume to speak for Christians when you are not one.

    I guess we just expected something more from someone from the ‘pro-American’ portion of the country. It’s not the first time smmtheory has disappointed.

    Well, yes, I can see where you would be disappointed about having your hypocrisy with respect to adultery pointed out. After all, isn’t hypocrisy considered the gravest of all sins among the moral relativists?

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    smmtheory
    It still fits the bill of what ex-preacher was suggesting should or rather could happen. What’s your point? I don’t know why you continue to presume to speak for Christians when you are not one.
    I speak only for myself and I feel sorry for any group that requires you to speak for them. As for the Catholic Church, I fail to see the problem. If you abide by their teachings about marriage, you will not get remarried if divorced despite the fact that civil law has no objection (and many evangelical churchs might welcome your remarriage with open arms). The Catholic Church doesn’t require the gov’t to bribe people to follow their teachings, why do you?
    Well, yes, I can see where you would be disappointed about having your hypocrisy with respect to adultery pointed out. After all, isn’t hypocrisy considered the gravest of all sins among the moral relativists?
    1. You failed to point out any hypocrisy on my part or anyone elses.
    2. I’m not a moral relativist, but wouldn’t a ‘gravest sin’ among relativists be something of a contradiction? Kind of like an underdressed nudist?

  • jeong

    There is huge misunderstanding from ‘No’ side of prop 8. Most people in ‘No’ side of prop 8 misuderstand that the the same sex marriage is one of civi right movement in line with the past civil right movement started in 1960s.
    The past civil right movoment was not about ‘WHAT’ but about ‘HOW’. In other words, the movement has targeted to break down twisted social hierachy in order to give all social members equality. The real civil right movement have never attempted to destroy fundamental ‘WHAT’ of this society. However the same sex marriage is quite different than the real civil right movement because it is targeting to destruct our society into complete mess and uncontrollable status. They are destroying the fundamental ‘WHAT’.
    IT WILL EVENTUALLY TRIGGER ‘THE END OF WORLD’. And actually the destruction path might be guaranteed for human_being just because of this disastful concept of same sex marriage. Look beyond 20 years from now and consider how this world will be like. I am very concerning for my next generation just because of this kind of sinful movement. Please look at your conscience and watch for what will happen next.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    jeong
    They are destroying the fundamental ‘WHAT’.IT WILL EVENTUALLY TRIGGER ‘THE END OF WORLD’.
    Do you always tune up the rhetoric when you’re losing an argument?
    Look beyond 20 years from now and consider how this world will be like.
    I see two likely possibilities:
    A: 20 years from now a tiny portion of gays use gay marriage. Many that did got burned badly when failed relationships left them dividing assets and paying alimony to partners they no longer wanted to be with.
    B: 20 years from now a portion of gays use gay marriage. Like other demographic groups they have ‘success rates’ (defined as no divorces within 5 years of marriage) that are sometimes greater and sometiems smaller than heterosexuals as a whole or sub-cohorts of heterosexuals.
    In both cases the existence of gay marriage has no detectable impact on the far more popular heterosexual marriages (about 95% of all marriages). Like today some churches recognize gay marriages, others do not. There is probably more acceptance of gay marriage itself in the population but again it is nearly impossible to detect any impact positive or negative on heterosexual marriage.
    Can you give us a plausible future scenario? I’ve asked several times now for ‘yes’ supporters to show exactly how existence of marriage for a small minority group directly impacts their ability to be good husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers. Connect the dots for us.

  • smmtheory

    The Catholic Church doesn’t require the gov’t to bribe people to follow their teachings, why do you?

    And just where do you think I do require the government to bribe people to follow the civic law? If there is a specific argument I have made, please point it out. As I have stated, I would gladly give up any supposed benefits the government apportions to marriage if it meant the advocates for monosexed marriage would quit advocating for government recognition. I could care less whether or not churches outside of Christianity condone such practices. There have even been churches that were nominally inside of Christianity who have turned their backs on Christianity and condoned such practices as monosexed marriage. What I do care about is the damage that is being done to children through the government recognition of monosexed marriages. Our laws should be used to protect the least able to protect themselves, and this is being used to run roughshod over the children by adults who refuse to be adults.

    1. You failed to point out any hypocrisy on my part or anyone elses.

    2. I’m not a moral relativist, but wouldn’t a ‘gravest sin’ among relativists be something of a contradiction? Kind of like an underdressed nudist?

    1. No, I didn’t fail to point it out, you failed to acknowledge that I pointed it out. It looks like you have a mental block against recognizing that you seem to have a problem with McCain’s adultery whereas you have no problem with Clinton’s.
    2. Well if you talk like a moral relativist, you might ought to expect being pegged as a moral relativist, and hypocrisy IS a contradiction.

  • jeong

    Boonton…
    Please read carefully my point in line.
    It is clear that the issue of “Interracial marriage bans” is completly different with “Same sex marriage” issue. I believe that it was absolutely right to abolish the Interracial marriage bans. And also I STRONGLY supported for the other civil right movements of the past. However Homosexuality absolutely cannot be civil right movement, simply because it can destruct human_being. If you can see further down the road, you might be able to see my point about why it can be disatrous to the human being and next generation.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Smmtheory
    What I do care about is the damage that is being done to children through the government recognition of monosexed marriages. Our laws should be used to protect the least able to protect themselves, and this is being used to run roughshod over the children by adults who refuse to be adults.
    OK, please be specific here. Children are generated by heterosexuals except in the rather limited case of test tube babies. So what exactly are you talking about?
    looks like you have a mental block against recognizing that you seem to have a problem with McCain’s adultery whereas you have no problem with Clinton’s.
    I don’t have any particular problem with McCain’s adultery. I wasn’t part of his marriage, it is primarily his concern. I have my own problems to deal with.
    2. Well if you talk like a moral relativist, you might ought to expect being pegged as a moral relativist, and hypocrisy IS a contradiction.
    You ‘might ought’ put more effort into your own arguments.
    jeong
    You asked a question and I tried to answer it as best I could. Please try to return the favor. Connect the dots for us because quite frankly I have no idea what you’re talking about and I suspect you’re pumping up the rhetoric without thinking about the debts your reasoning and logic skills are going to have to make good on.

  • http://dailyduck.blogspot.com/ Hey Skipper

    boonton:
    If part of your argument is hitched to a social science statistic then you’re on a foundation of sand and one of the worse things you can do is read too much into an average.
    Ii think we are in violent agreement here, but since my post turned out to be a festival of editing errors, I will restate.
    Dustin used a number of statistics. Collectively, they beg disbelief. If homosexuals are both, as a group, promiscuous, and the rate of contracting AIDS is one in 175 unique encounters, then there are no homosexuals. Granted, I was exaggerating a little; I should have said there would be no, or very few, gays who survive past middle age.
    In other words, on the face of it, one of those two statistics must be wrong.
    Not that it matters, because, as you (at least I think it was you) pointed out above, applying such reasoning to gays, but neglecting to do so for heterosexuals, rather reeks of hypocrisy.
    smmtheory:
    As I have stated, I would gladly give up any supposed benefits the government apportions to marriage if it meant the advocates for monosexed marriage would quit advocating for government recognition.
    So, let me get this straight. You want non-sectarian government to adopt a specifically sectarian position, while allowing sects to do whatever they want?
    Christianity defines homosexuality as immoral.
    What if Christianity is wrong?

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Hey Skipper
    It’s tedious work but it is often interesting to probe suspect stats a bit deeper. Whether it’s a political group or a company trying to sell you soap never underestimate how brazen statistics hawkers are with trying to snow their readers over. For example:
    78% of lesbians have reported domestic abuse related problems
    If you follow the link you find an unfootnoted statement that:
    “78% of lesbians report that they have either defended themselves or fought back against an abusive partner”
    First problem, it is not specified whether ‘partner’ is only female partners or female and male (there are lesbians who have had relationships with men you know).
    Second problem, the second page of this document lists ‘types of abuse’….including ‘instigates feelins of shame’ as part of sexual abuse, ‘financial abuse’ that includes using ‘monetary resources of the partner or of the relationship’ without the other’s consent….’beauty-ism’….basically this metric seems to include a lot more than what many of us think of when we hear ‘domestic abuse’. This isn’t just your ‘Burning Bed’ stuff but also what a lot of heterosexual couples would consider fighting over money and so on. Not only that, if one partner in any relationship ever felt like they were being made to feel self conscious about their looks, intelligence, money or whatnot that too counts as ‘abuse’. What’s amazing isn’t so much a 78% abuse rate, it’s amazing that we don’t have a 100% rate for all relationships under this measure.
    Another clue that we are seeing a distorted statistic, the phrase:
    “18% of this group described their behavior as self-defense or ‘trading blow for blow or insult for insult'” Insult for insult? Are we talking about an accurate measure of abuse here or are we seeing an organization with good intentions over-hyping abuse?
    However, within the homosexual community, infidelity is the norm. Recent studies show that 95.6% of gay men report infidelity in their current relationship. Numerous studies reveal that, among self-described committed homosexual couples, each individual has had an average of 3-5 partners a year
    This link is pretty amazing because it is an FRC one. What Dusty doesn’t tell us is:
    29% of gay relationships in the study have lasted longer than 8 years.
    29% lasted 4-7 years
    31% 1-3 years
    11% less than 1 year.
    This is a somewhat amzing 60% of relationships lasting 4 or more years. Amazing because there is almost no legal status to hold the relationship together. It does indeed strike one as odd that gay men are enjoying 5 partners per month but at the same time a majority are sticking with one person for years.
    Here is the fact, conservatives know better. Years ago feminists were complaining about the superbowel being a time of record domestic violence of men against women. Conservatives took apart the numbers and demonstrated quite nicely there was no scientific basis to them at all. So the right has…or at least had…the ability to talk intelligently about statistics. What accounts for this newfound ignorance?

  • smmtheory

    So, let me get this straight. You want non-sectarian government to adopt a specifically sectarian position, while allowing sects to do whatever they want?

    I don’t believe that it is specifically a sectarian position. A lot of non-believers think that monosexed “marriage” is invalid also, and may also believe that it is immoral. I don’t care to interfere in what the homosexuals do in the privacy of their own sects and homes. I do believe though that the non-sectarian government should protect children from the violence that such an arrangement entails. If homosexuals want to pretend they are married, they should be allowed to pretend, but since their arrangement would not naturally produce children, children should be lawfully excluded from their midst.

    Christianity defines homosexuality as immoral.

    What if Christianity is wrong?

    Christianity isn’t wrong about that, but even if I grant you the position for argument’s sake, where is the harm of being told that it is immoral? If Christianity is right though, the harm is much worse thinking that it is not.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Hey Skipper
    It’s tedious work but it is often interesting to probe suspect stats a bit deeper. Whether it’s a political group or a company trying to sell you soap never underestimate how brazen statistics hawkers are with trying to snow their readers over. For example:
    78% of lesbians have reported domestic abuse related problems
    If you follow the link you find an unfootnoted statement that:
    “78% of lesbians report that they have either defended themselves or fought back against an abusive partner”
    First problem, it is not specified whether ‘partner’ is only female partners or female and male (there are lesbians who have had relationships with men you know).
    Second problem, the second page of this document lists ‘types of abuse’….including ‘instigates feelins of shame’ as part of sexual abuse, ‘financial abuse’ that includes using ‘monetary resources of the partner or of the relationship’ without the other’s consent….’beauty-ism’….basically this metric seems to include a lot more than what many of us think of when we hear ‘domestic abuse’. This isn’t just your ‘Burning Bed’ stuff but also what a lot of heterosexual couples would consider fighting over money and so on. Not only that, if one partner in any relationship ever felt like they were being made to feel self conscious about their looks, intelligence, money or whatnot that too counts as ‘abuse’. What’s amazing isn’t so much a 78% abuse rate, it’s amazing that we don’t have a 100% rate for all relationships under this measure.
    Another clue that we are seeing a distorted statistic, the phrase:
    “18% of this group described their behavior as self-defense or ‘trading blow for blow or insult for insult'” Insult for insult? Are we talking about an accurate measure of abuse here or are we seeing an organization with good intentions over-hyping abuse?
    However, within the homosexual community, infidelity is the norm. Recent studies show that 95.6% of gay men report infidelity in their current relationship. Numerous studies reveal that, among self-described committed homosexual couples, each individual has had an average of 3-5 partners a year
    This link is pretty amazing because it is an FRC one. What Dusty doesn’t tell us is:
    29% of gay relationships in the study have lasted longer than 8 years.
    29% lasted 4-7 years
    31% 1-3 years
    11% less than 1 year.
    This is a somewhat amzing 60% of relationships lasting 4 or more years. Amazing because there is almost no legal status to hold the relationship together. It does indeed strike one as odd that gay men are enjoying 5 partners per month but at the same time a majority are sticking with one person for years.
    Here is the fact, conservatives know better. Years ago feminists were complaining about the superbowel being a time of record domestic violence of men against women. Conservatives took apart the numbers and demonstrated quite nicely there was no scientific basis to them at all. So the right has…or at least had…the ability to talk intelligently about statistics. What accounts for this newfound ignorance?

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    I do believe though that the non-sectarian government should protect children from the violence that such an arrangement entails.
    What exactly are you talking about?

  • smmtheory

    What exactly are you talking about?

    I am referring to the violence done to children by exposing them to homosexuals pretending to be married to each other.

    Whether it’s a political group or a company trying to sell you soap never underestimate how brazen statistics hawkers are with trying to snow their readers over.


    This is a somewhat amzing 60% of relationships lasting 4 or more years. Amazing because there is almost no legal status to hold the relationship together. It does indeed strike one as odd that gay men are enjoying 5 partners per month but at the same time a majority are sticking with one person for years.

    Need I say more Mr. Statistics Hawker?

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    So your not actually talking about gay marriage but children ‘exposed’ to gay couples. OK, next time please let us know before post 50 that we can ignore you.
    Need I say more Mr. Statistics Hawker?
    Nope, you guys are caught hawking bum stats. I wouldn’t say anything more if I were you.

  • http://dailyduck.blogspot.com/ Hey Skipper

    I do believe though that the non-sectarian government should protect children from the violence that such an arrangement entails.
    What point are you trying to make?
    Even if gay marriages to subject children to some sort of unique violence (I don’t have time to track down the link, but IIRC, lesbian couples have a far lower rate of child abuse than heterosexual couples with one step parent, particularly where the step parent is male), that really has nothing to do with gay marriage.
    Gays may already adopt children in many, if not most, states. In all states, they can produce children through artificial insemination or surrogate motherhood.
    If that is what bothers you, than is what you should be fighting against.
    However, as I mentioned above, even granting there is no fact that has been established by social science literature more convincingly than the following: all variables considered, children are best served when reared in a home with a married mother and father, that forces a false dichotomy.
    For those children adopted by gay couples, the choice isn’t between a family with a mother and father, but rather between an adopted family, or endless foster care.
    Given the true choice on offer, which is best for children?
    Christianity isn’t wrong about that, but even if I grant you the position for argument’s sake, where is the harm of being told that it is immoral?
    Oh, the same kind of harm that comes from certain Hindu sects deciding those suffering from cleft palate are possessed by the devil, or certain Christian sects having (no longer, thank goodness) that being left handed meant the same thing.
    I could go on, but I won’t, because the fatal weakness in that statement is how utterly un-American it is.
    You are branding every member of a group by the presumed characteristics of that group. That is pure tribalism.
    In contrast, the American ideal rests upon individual merit.
    Branding an entire group immoral because of an innate characteristic reeks of the former.
    Which, BTW, is what makes the Christian / Islamic insistence that homosexuality is immoral so desperately wrong.
    There is no morality without agency. Gays have no choice in the matter, any more than straights do.
    Sex acts have no inherent moral value.
    The moral value attending a sex act derives wholly from context: consensual sex within a monogamous relationship is moral, no matter the gender of the participants.
    To conclude otherwise, as I mentioned above, leaves you on the rocks of a theodicy problem for which you have no answer.

  • smmtheory

    What point are you trying to make

    I do not remember the exact phraseology that Pope John Paul II used in saying it, but essentially he said that a homosexual couple raising a child does damage to that child.

    Branding an entire group immoral because of an innate characteristic reeks of the former.

    Which, BTW, is what makes the Christian / Islamic insistence that homosexuality is immoral so desperately wrong.

    There is no morality without agency. Gays have no choice in the matter, any more than straights do.

    Not so, homosexuality is a choice, not an innate quality. Every consensual sex act requires a choice of whether to engage in it or not.
    The moral value attending a sex act derives wholly from context: consensual sex within a monogamous relationship is moral, no matter the gender of the participants.
    Setting aside the fact that I disagree about whether or not the moral value of a sex act derives entirely from the context, your context is out of whack. The only morally good context is between husband and wife.

    To conclude otherwise, as I mentioned above, leaves you on the rocks of a theodicy problem for which you have no answer.

    Given the proper context, there is no need for theodicy, there is no conundrum, it is simple and straight-forward without nuance. Homosexual sex is not between husband and wife, so it is therefore immoral.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    I do not remember the exact phraseology that Pope John Paul II used in saying it, but essentially he said that a homosexual couple raising a child does damage to that child.
    You’re right, such children should just be aborted. More seriously, though, this has nothing to do with gay marriage. The question to ask is what is the alternative? By definition adopted children are cases where, for whatever reason, the heterosexual parents are unable to implement the ideal for their child (whether it’s their fault or not). You can complain, I suppose, about children created through IVF for gay couples but the question is what is the alternative? Would you rather have life with two gay parents or have no life at all?

  • http://dailyduck.blogspot.com/ Hey Skipper

    smmtheory:
    I do not remember the exact phraseology that Pope John Paul II used in saying it, but essentially he said that a homosexual couple raising a child does damage to that child.
    With respect to what, exactly?
    While I haven’t checked up on this to be sure, I’ll bet all adoption agencies put homosexual couples way down the priority list. That means, IIRC, gay couples are adopting children no one else will.
    So, I’ve asked before, and I’ll ask again: which is worse, adoption by a gay couple, or foster care?
    Not so, homosexuality is a choice, not an innate quality.
    Homosexuality, i.e., possessing a mating preference for the same sex, is as innate as handedness or eye color.
    Orientation and action are two different things.
    Which leaves the theodicy problem still in front of you.
    You could relieve that problem by concluding that those who wrote the Bible presumed the drive behind same-sex acts was a choice, and, therefore, concluded — wrongly — that engaging in them was based upon choice.
    Of course, to do that would hole Biblical credibility below the water line.
    Heck of a place — stuck between the devil of theodicy, and the deep blue sea of discrediting the Bible.
    The only morally good context is between husband and wife.
    Why? What it it about homosexual sex that makes it immoral?
    Beware of the Euthyphros dilemma, BTW.
    Full disclosure: my brother is gay. Consequently, I have a fair amount of first hand experience with gays.
    The notion that they are somehow irredeemably immoral in ways the rest of us are not is complete crap, and deserves precisely the same respect that, say, anti-Judaism does.
    None.

  • Godbot

    Why are my posts not posting?

  • Godbot

    Ah . . .
    It appears that if I post concerning the subject at hand, no post. But if I post concerning . . . nothing . . . it posts. Why?

  • Godbot

    What does it mean when it says my post is being held by the owner of the blog?

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    This blog has a spam filter. Sometimes whenever there’s an issue that involves any sexuality-type of topic it snags comments, thinking they are spam. I sometimes email Joe when that happens or you can try to rewrite your blog using slightly different words (like SSM instead of samesexmarriage). I don’t know if Joe is still managing the filter or not so there might be no one at the switch to approve comments that are held.
    It’s usually better to rewrite your post because by the time the comment is cleared people will mostly be reading only the newest comments at the bottom of the thread and will not notice that a comment has appeared in the center.

  • Richie

    “Not so, homosexuality is a choice, not an innate quality.”
    I feel that this really is at the root of a lot of misunderstandings about homosexuality. It is quite definitely not a choice. Trust me on this.
    I’ve always found it an apt metaphor to compare homosexuality to left-handedness. Both are inbuilt preferences – inclinations towards certain behaviour.
    Most people are right-handed, just as most people are heterosexual. Homosexuals CAN teach themselves to sleep with women in the same way that a left-handed person CAN teach themselves to write or use scissors with their right hand, but it will always feel counter-intuitive for them. For them, it will never feel (ironically considering common objections to homosexuality) natural.
    It is a choice whether to admit to yourself and others around you that you are gay. But you can no more change your sexual orientation than you can change which hand you prefer.

  • http://www.alienman.blogspot.com Brad Williams

    Hey Skipper,
    Just so you know, you’ve erected a straw man with you theodicy problem or the Bible’s wrong canard. The doctrine of original sin answers why someone’s sexual orientation can be perverted even from birth, and someone’s choice to act on a sinful impulse is no excuse. Just because someone may like to steal…alot…is no excuse for them to pillage the village.

  • jillpixy

    Wow! Maybe I’m in a little gay bubble in Los Angeles, but all the gay couples I know (and I know a ton, mind you) are older and very monogamous. In fact, they are quite boring. Some have adopted, and they are wonderful parents. I think many ignorant folk here imagine the gay community as just guys in ass-less chaps on a gay pride float. It would be like thinking of heterosexuals on Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale.
    I still haven’t heard from any of you a good argument on exactly how two women walking the aisle will personally ruin your own marriage

  • smmtheory

    Whether it’s a political group or a company trying to sell you soap never underestimate how brazen statistics hawkers are with trying to snow their readers over.

    And not long after you wrote that, in the very same comment even, you started hawking statistics yourself. Were you trying to snow the readers over? You made your own interpretation of statistics to favor your argument.

    This is a somewhat amzing 60% of relationships lasting 4 or more years. Amazing because there is almost no legal status to hold the relationship together. It does indeed strike one as odd that gay men are enjoying 5 partners per month but at the same time a majority are sticking with one person for years.

    Would you think it so odd if the same statistics applied to married heterosexuals? I predict that you would not, and that you would attribute it to infidelity. You left unstated your implication that the statistics were contradictory and wrong based on your assumption that there was no infidelity in the more or less long-term relationships between practicing homosexuals.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    smmtheory
    And not long after you wrote that, in the very same comment even, you started hawking statistics yourself.
    Yea I looked at some of the reports that were being cited by YOU GUYS.
    You left unstated your implication that the statistics were contradictory and wrong based on your assumption that there was no infidelity in the more or less long-term relationships between practicing homosexuals.
    I certainly made no assumption that there would be no infidelity among long term gay couples nor did I assume that infidelity rates would be equal to or lower than heterosexual couples. Take a peek at post 48 if you need a refresher. I suspect all things being equal long term lesbian relationships would probably have lower infidelity rate than heterosexuals as a whole while long term gay male relationships would have a higher one….
    Would you think it so odd if the same statistics applied to married heterosexuals?
    No but that’s not the point. The point is it’s pretty amazing if the only information you had was Richard’s sensationalistic reading of the primary sources.

  • smmtheory

    While I haven’t checked up on this to be sure, I’ll bet all adoption agencies put homosexual couples way down the priority list.

    Some of them, mostly religiously affiliated adoption services. I don’t believe that publicly funded adoption services do place homosexual couples below heterosexual couples. Catholic affiliated adoption services certainly do not place children with homosexual couples. Activists sometimes apply legal pressure to force them to, but usually that sort of coercion only persuades them to shut down rather than operate against doctrinal beliefs and policy.
    Between the two choices of foster home care and placement with a homosexual couple, the foster home placement is preferable in my opinion.

    Homosexuality, i.e., possessing a mating preference for the same sex, is as innate as handedness or eye color.

    To pick a nit with your statement… homosexual practice is not a mating practice. Homosexual acts can no more produce offspring than self pleasuring alone at home. If a person really wants to mate, they go to the opposite sex. Preferences are choices. Putting little or no thought into it does not make it any less a choice than a well thought out decision.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Between the two choices of foster home care and placement with a homosexual couple, the foster home placement is preferable in my opinion.
    Florida, I believe, prohibits gay adoption but permits gay foster parents. Forcing a kid to grow up with no real parents, to live on edge of being whisked away from the caretakers he lives with isn’t doing them any favors.
    The call that should be made here is what is best for the child, not the ideological fixations of the evangelical right. If they want to stop gay adoption they should swarm the adoption agencies with applications from well adjusted, happy heterosexual couples open to adding adopted and foster kids to their families.

  • http://www.alienman.blogspot.com Brad Williams

    Boonton,
    If they want to stop gay adoption they should swarm the adoption agencies with applications from well adjusted, happy heterosexual couples open to adding adopted and foster kids to their families.
    I totally agree!
    This whole argument seems to me, as a Christian, rather fruitless. Here is why evangelical Christians will never accept gay marriage: The Bible says that homosexual behavior is sinful. Period. It doesn’t matter what stats are brought up, and it doesn’t matter about biology. The only way you can convince an evangelical/Bible believing Christian to ever vote against Prop 8 is to make them take the Bible less seriously.
    Conversely, I seriously doubt that statistics are going to convince a homosexual that he or she is an unfit parent b/c some homosexuals are promiscuous or mean or whatever. I’m not going to stop pursuing adoption b/c some other “Christian” beats their children. That’s ridiculous.
    The problem here for anti-Prop 8 folks is not stats; it’s the Bible. Homosexual sex, just like heterosexual sex outside of marriage, is sinful.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    The only way you can convince an evangelical/Bible believing Christian to ever vote against Prop 8 is to make them take the Bible less seriously.
    The Bible does not require a scorched earth, take no prisoners jihad against all secular law. Don’t believe in gay marriage, don’t get gay married. Reject membership in any Church that has gay marriage. Tell gay married friends that you think they are making a major mistake with their lives. If they are convinced by your arguments, great. If not you leave them alone.
    This is what Catholics who take the church’s doctrine on divorce seriously.

  • http://dailyduck.blogspot.com/ Hey Skipper

    Brad:
    Just so you know, you’ve erected a straw man with you theodicy problem or the Bible’s wrong canard. The doctrine of original sin answers why someone’s sexual orientation can be perverted even from birth, and someone’s choice to act on a sinful impulse is no excuse. Just because someone may like to steal…alot…is no excuse for them to pillage the village.
    No, I didn’t erect a strawman. This is very much a theodicy problem. How do you vindicate divine goodness and providence in light of the fact that God specifically created homosexuals, who have utterly no choice in the matter, then went on to direct people to kill those caught engaging in homosexual acts?
    This goes well beyond the doctrine of original sin.
    Your analogy to theft is faulty. Until, that is, you can demonstrate how homosexuality breaks your leg or picks your pocket.
    Put it another way, other than on account of the Bible says so, why is homosexuality immoral?
    smmtheory:
    I don’t believe that publicly funded adoption services do place homosexual couples below heterosexual couples.
    Actually, they do. Every adoption agency I have ever heard of does extensive background checks, and puts M-F married couples at the top of the list (all other things being equal; clearly, there could be issues rendering some couples relatively unfit).
    Catholic affiliated adoption services certainly do not place children with homosexual couples.
    Not anymore, but they have.
    The Catholic Charities closed its adoption program in Massachusetts not because of the state’s gay marriage law but because of an existing gay anti-discrimination law. In fact, the charity had voluntarily placed older foster children in gay and lesbian households — the most willing to take hard-to-place children — until the church hierarchy was alerted and demanded that adoptions conform to the church’s religious teaching, which was in conflict with state law.
    Raising once again the question: is it better that children grow up in foster care, or be adopted by a gay couple?
    Neither your opinion, nor mine matters here. There is an objective truth out there, what is it?
    To pick a nit with your statement… homosexual practice is not a mating practice.
    Strictly speaking it is, because it is the result of the drive to mate.
    Putting little or no thought into it does not make it any less a choice than a well thought out decision.
    Is your heterosexuality a choice? Could you decide to engage in homosexuality?
    I’m going to go out on a limb here: No, and No.
    You are denying to others that which you assume for yourself.
    Brad:
    Here is why evangelical Christians will never accept gay marriage: The Bible says that homosexual behavior is sinful. Period.
    That amounts to the good German defense. (See the Euthyphros dilemma, above).

  • Godbot

    Boonton:
    Thanks for the info . . .

  • http://www.alienman.blogspot.com Brad Williams

    Boontoon,
    The Bible does not require a scorched earth, take no prisoners jihad against all secular law.
    Certainly not, but we still get a vote. And if we think a practice is evil, then we can vote no (or yes, as the case may be.) In this case, I think homosexual sex is not only evil, I think calling the union of two homosexuals ‘marriage’ is absurd. The Bible says it is wickedness in no uncertain terms. What else can I say?

  • http://dailyduck.blogspot.com/ Hey Skipper

    Now my reply is being held up …

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    You’re not being asked to vote on whether or not you think gay sex is evil or not anymore than you are asked to vote on whether people who marry for money rather than love are evil or whether it’s evil to ditch your wife after she gets disfigured in a car accident…. There are plenty of things that one thinks are evil that are nonetheless legal and it doesn’t follow that just being evil is sufficient to justify making it illegal.

  • http://h Hey Skipper

    Brad:
    Just so you know, you’ve erected a straw man with you theodicy problem or the Bible’s wrong canard. The doctrine of original sin answers why someone’s orientation can be perverted even from birth, and someone’s choice to act on a sinful impulse is no excuse. Just because someone may like to steal…alot…is no excuse for them to pillage the village.
    No, I didn’t erect a strawman. This is very much a theodicy problem. How do you vindicate divine goodness and providence in light of the fact that God specifically created homos*xuals, who have utterly no choice in the matter, then went on to direct people to kill those caught engaging in homos*xual acts?
    This goes well beyond the doctrine of original sin.
    Your analogy to theft is faulty. Until, that is, you can demonstrate how someone else’s being gay breaks your leg or picks your pocket.
    Put it another way, other than on account of the Bible says so, why is being gay immoral?
    smmtheory:
    I don’t believe that publicly funded adoption services do place homos*xual couples below heteros*xual couples.
    Actually, they do. Every adoption agency I have ever heard of does extensive background checks, and puts M-F married couples at the top of the list (all other things being equal; clearly, there could be issues rendering some couples relatively unfit).
    Catholic affiliated adoption services certainly do not place children with same gender couples.
    Not anymore, but they have.
    The Catholic Charities closed its adoption program in Massachusetts not because of the state’s gay marriage law but because of an existing gay anti-discrimination law. In fact, the charity had voluntarily placed older foster children in gay and lesbian households — the most willing to take hard-to-place children — until the church hierarchy was alerted and demanded that adoptions conform to the church’s religious teaching, which was in conflict with state law.
    Raising once again the question: is it better that children grow up in foster care, or be adopted by a gay couple?
    Neither your opinion, nor mine matters here. There is an objective truth out there, what is it?
    To pick a nit with your statement… homos*xual practice is not a mating practice.
    Strictly speaking it is, because it is the result of the drive to mate.
    Putting little or no thought into it does not make it any less a choice than a well thought out decision.
    Is your being straight a choice? Could you decide to become gay, even for a day?
    I’m going to go out on a limb here: No, and No.
    You are denying to others that which you assume for yourself.
    Brad:
    Here is why evangelical Christians will never accept gay marriage: The Bible says that gay behavior is sinful. Period.
    That amounts to the good German defense. (See the Euthyphros dilemma, above).

  • http://www.alienman.blogspot.com Brad Williams

    Hey Skipper,
    Yes, you did erect a strawman. Presumably, you are arguing against someone like myself. I believe that men are inherently sinful b/c we fell in Adam. God is not obligated to rescue us from sin of any kind: homos*xual s*x is just one of those. It’s no problem of “theodicy” because we are all guilty of sin. It goes like this:
    God created man good.
    Man sinned and became sinful.
    God is under no obligation to rectify this (even though He has for all who believe in Jesus.)
    People perish, Skipper, because they refuse to believe the truth of God in Jesus Christ. Do you want to escape the wrath to come? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. If you don’t believe and you perish, don’t blame God.
    Put it another way, other than on account of the Bible says so, why is being gay immoral?
    The Bible gives us truth. I read this as saying, “Other than on account of it being true that homosexuality is immoral, why is being gay immoral?” What I think and you think is irrelevant if the Bible is true. Why should I leave the Bible as true for someone else’s stats and pontifications?
    That amounts to the good German defense.
    Does this look like German to you?:
    “Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9).
    Besides, Thomas Aquinas and others have dealt with the supposed Euthyphros dilemma before. He also found it to be a false dilemma. Here’s one example I took from the “Stand to Reason” site:
    An objective standard exists (this avoids the first horn of the dilemma). However, the standard is not external to God, but internal (avoiding the second horn). Morality is grounded in the immutable character of God, who is perfectly good. His commands are not whims, but rooted in His holiness.
    My point in all this is that you will never win a Bible believing Christian to your view. Conversely, I don’t know why anyone would be persuaded of the Biblical view unless they have already submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

  • smmtheory

    Is your being straight a choice? Could you decide to become gay, even for a day?
    I’m going to go out on a limb here: No, and No.

    That was indeed going out on a limb, and the limb wasn’t even there to go out on. Yes, my personal s-exuality is a choice. If I chose to practice homos-exuality, I could.

    In fact, the charity had voluntarily placed older foster children in gay and lesbian households — the most willing to take hard-to-place children — until the church hierarchy was alerted and demanded that adoptions conform to the church’s religious teaching, which was in conflict with state law.

    Let me translate this for you since you have erred. Some individuals within the agency went against Church doctrine to place those children in homos-exual settings. It was NOT agency policy to be non-conforming to Church teaching. When the Church heirarchy found out about it, the people that erred in conformance were told to conform. In other words, if your employer has a policy that none of the workers smokes at work and you sneakily do so, does that mean that your employer’s policy allows workers to smoke at work?

    Strictly speaking it is, because it is the result of the drive to mate.

    No, it is borne of a desire to self-pleasure.

  • Emily Manriquez

    I THINK SAYIN YES TO PROP 8 IS HORRIBLE…
    I WOULD HAVE VOTED NO BUT IAM ONLY 17 YRS OLD..
    I THINK PEOPLE SHOULD MARRY PEOPLE WHO THE LOVE. THERE IS NO RIGHT TO TAKE THAT AWAY FROM CURTIAN PEOPLE.. WHAT IF THEY SAID NOBODY CANT MARRY THE LOVE OF THEIR LIVES.. ITS NOT RIGHT..
    IT DOSENT MATTER WHO U MARRY OR WHAT COLOR OR RACE..
    EVERYONE SHOULD GET THE SAME RIGHT AS EVERYONE IN THE WORLD.. ITS NOT EVEN PEOPLES BUISNESS WHO PEOPLE MARRY ANYWAYZ..
    NO ONE SHOULD BE TREATED DIFFERENTLY..
    VOTING YES TO ME IS BULLS**T..
    THIS IS MY OPINION.. AND I STICK WITH IT..
    EVEN IN THE CONSTITUTION SAYS PEOPLE SHOULD BE TREATED THE SAME.. SO UR GOIN AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION..

  • Emily Manriquez

    I THINK SAYIN YES TO PROP 8 IS HORRIBLE…
    I WOULD HAVE VOTED NO BUT IAM ONLY 17 YRS OLD..
    I THINK PEOPLE SHOULD MARRY PEOPLE WHO THE LOVE. THERE IS NO RIGHT TO TAKE THAT AWAY FROM CURTIAN PEOPLE.. WHAT IF THEY SAID NOBODY CANT MARRY THE LOVE OF THEIR LIVES.. ITS NOT RIGHT..
    IT DOSENT MATTER WHO U MARRY OR WHAT COLOR OR RACE..
    EVERYONE SHOULD GET THE SAME RIGHT AS EVERYONE IN THE WORLD.. ITS NOT EVEN PEOPLES BUISNESS WHO PEOPLE MARRY ANYWAYZ..
    NO ONE SHOULD BE TREATED DIFFERENTLY..
    VOTING YES TO ME IS BULLS**T..
    THIS IS MY OPINION.. AND I STICK WITH IT..
    EVEN IN THE CONSTITUTION SAYS PEOPLE SHOULD BE TREATED THE SAME.. SO UR GOIN AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION..

  • Richie

    SMMTheory – Having gay sex does not make you gay. WANTING to have gay sex makes you gay.
    A gay person COULD sleep with a woman just as you COULD sleep with a man. But it wouldn’t make him straight or you gay.
    What makes a person gay is their personal desires and inner thoughts, not their actions. And these are things obviously beyond our control.

  • Richie

    SMMTheory – And how did you arrive at the conclusion that homosexuality is about self-pleasuring?
    Has it ever occured to you that gay people fall in love? They are human beings too.

  • http://dailyduck.blogspot.com/ Hey Skipper

    Brad:
    With regard to strawmen, you are evading the point at hand. The theodicy problem here is squaring God’s goodness and providence with God specifically creating people whose mating preference is for those of their own gender, then specifically commanding people to kill them (Lev 20:13 — well, men anyway) when acting upon the drive God uniquely gave them, then declared sinful in all its manifestations.
    This goes beyond problematic human nature (ignoring for the moment how God could have created men good and sinful at the same time) by placing a unique curse on a few people.
    Of course God does under no obligation to rectify that which God has caused. However, that is no advertisement for God’s goodness and providence.
    Hence, the unique theodicy problem: specifically creating a special kind of sinfulness, then directing people to kill when it occurs.
    Does this look like German to you?
    Your citation of 1 Cor 6:9 is to assume the Good German defense. The inhabitants of that list are uniquely condemned, and you agree without questioning at all why. Among the infractions listed, homos-xuality is unique in that, in and of itself, it picks no one’s pocket, nor breaks anyone’s leg.
    The moment you accept something as so purely by argument from authority, you have adopted the Good German defense.
    Beyond that, though, who does that list omit? Anyone? You? I seem to remember Jesus saying something to the effect that sexually immoral thinking is just as bad as act itself.
    Consequently, all you have managed to conclude here is that homos-xuals are just as, but no more, condemned than the rest of us.
    Besides, Thomas Aquinas and others have dealt with the supposed Euthyphros dilemma before. He also found it to be a false dilemma. Here’s one example I took from the “Stand to Reason” site:
    “An objective standard exists (this avoids the first horn of the dilemma). However, the standard is not external to God, but internal (avoiding the second horn). Morality is grounded in the immutable character of God, who is perfectly good. His commands are not whims, but rooted in His holiness.”

    The trouble with this being that once the theological debris is cleared and you understand what it is they’re getting at, you find yourself right back at the first horn. If goodness is part of God’s nature, then goodness is not something God has any control over, and divine command theory is incorrect.
    smmtheory:
    That was indeed going out on a limb, and the limb wasn’t even there to go out on. Yes, my personal s-exuality is a choice. If I chose to practice homos-exuality, I could.
    That is an empty assertion. You could choose to dress a pig in a tutu and paint it green. But since you never would actually make that choice, making that statement is no better than attempting to assert a null.
    Let me translate this for you since you have erred. Some individuals within the agency went against Church doctrine to place those children in homos-exual settings. It was NOT agency policy to be non-conforming to Church teaching.
    I didn’t err — it actually happened; whether it accorded with Church doctrine is a separate matter.
    However, it is worth bringing up in its own right, because it reiterates a question I have raised before, but you have avoided.
    Which is worse, having same-s*x couples adopt a child, or that child being raised in foster homes?
    If the latter (and I strongly suspect that is true), then Church doctrine amounts to enforcing a choice detrimental to the children for whom the ideal choice does not exist.
    I’m glad I don’t have to defend that position.

    Strictly speaking it is, because it is the result of the drive to mate.
    No, it is borne of a desire to self-pleasure.

    No more than heteros-xuality is. That the coupling can’t result in offspring doesn’t mean the desire to couple doesn’t have the same basis.
    ++++
    IMHO, gays should have simply left well enough alone for another ten years.
    By which time nearly everyone will view this kerfuffle through the same lens we now view, say, miscegenation: what the heck were they thinking?
    In the meantime, there is nothing to be gained by annoying those whose religious precepts still make it moral to ostracize an entire group of people simply for the way they were born, for doing something that causes no one else any harm.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    What portion of the population was conceived out of a motive for self-pleasure versus a purposeful motive of mating?

  • http://www.alienman.blogspot.com Brad Williams

    Hey Skipper,
    Well, you partially got my point concerning human nature. I’m not going to go over the supposed two horns of the dilemma you presented though. It has been satisfactorily answered for a few hundred years now.
    Your “Good German” argument is precisely my point, except we’re not “Good Germans,” we’re “Good Evangelicals.” (Some of whom happen to be good Germans.) All Bible-believing Christians appeal to the Bible for their final authority. We believe it to be an infallible source of truth. Did you not know that? We have a host of reasons for believing this to be true, and you have probably heard them before and we’d stray from the point if we want there. So if your point is that I’ve believed that homosexuality is immoral simply b/c I read it in the Bible and accept it as authoritative, I’m willing to concede that. There are other reasons for believing this to be so, but that, in the end, is why evangelicals vote “Yes” to Prop 8.
    Everyone, ultimately, accepts an argument from authority. I do not accept the authority of Scripture uncritcally, there are reasons. But I’ve tipped my hand for you and shown you my cards. you know my source of authority. But it’s not enough for you to smell my rotten egg; you’ve got to lay your own. What is your authority? Man’s reason?
    Here’s the best part of what you said:
    Your citation of 1 Cor 6:9 is to assume the Good German defense. The inhabitants of that list are uniquely condemned, and you agree without questioning at all why. Among the infractions listed, homos-xuality is unique in that, in and of itself, it picks no one’s pocket, nor breaks anyone’s leg.
    And,
    Beyond that, though, who does that list omit? Anyone? You? I seem to remember Jesus saying something to the effect that sexually immoral thinking is just as bad as act itself.
    I apologize if I wasn’t clear before, and though I’d be happy to talk about it, I’m not interested in this forum in outlining all the ways in which homosexuality is harmful to those who practice it and for those who approve of it. My answers are Biblical anyway, and as I said before, I would not expect anyone to believe them if they haven’t first submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ anyway.
    But you are right. 1 Cor. 6:9 condemns all sorts of people in this passage. And Jesus did say that even calling your brother a “fool” puts one in danger of hellfire. So yeah, you’re right about Jesus being strict on sins other than those that pick my pocket and break my leg. So I whole-heartedly agree with this statement you made, and I applaud it:
    Consequently, all you have managed to conclude here is that homos-xuals are just as, but no more, condemned than the rest of us.
    There is hope for sinners in the resurrected Jesus Christ. Swindlers, fornicators et al. That’s where I always want to wind up in the conversation. Before someone can see Christ Jesus as the only hope, they need to be aware of the reason that they need a hope, and pretending that certain things that are sinful and evil are actually good and approved will have the result of letting them continue to perdition without warning.
    Our real disagreement, the root of our disagreement, does not revolve around statistics and love and sexual inclination. It revolves around what you and I believe about Jesus Christ and whether or not the Bible is true. Right?

  • http://dailyduck.blogspot.com/ Hey Skipper

    We believe [the Bible] to be an infallible source of truth.
    That is the problem. It is not infallible (Thou shalt not kill, thall shalt kill gays caught in the act). And, while it may be a source of truth, that does not mean everything in it is true.
    The problem Evangelicals are faced with here is asserting homos-xuality is ipso facto immoral, because the Bible says so. No doubt, it clearly does.
    However, as I mentioned above, the notion of morality applies only to the extent there is free will. Because of this, among the very few who still insist being gay is a matter of choice, Evangelicals are prominent. Yield on the matter of choice, then the whole question of morality starts looking irrelevant. Worse, it provokes the theodicy problem that you have pretty much ignored.
    Theodicy, in its simple form, attempts to vindicate divine goodness and providence in the view of the existence of evil. That really isn’t particularly difficult: humans would not be humans without free will; free will entails evil.
    However, that question gets much harder to deal with when acknowledging that God specifically created a subset of people who, having no choice in the matter, were going to be the target of God-directed ostracism, opprobrium, and murder. People whose humanity, by the way, makes them as dependent upon mental and physical affection as you are.
    Of course, God can do anything God wants. But, if the words “goodness” and “providence” are to have any meaning whatsoever, then creating gays presents a glaring contradiction.
    That contradiction can only be resolved by giving up on theodicy, or concluding that, in the case, the Bible is wrong: being gay is not immoral, and morality of acting on that impulse is contained wholly within context: monogamous homos-xuality is no more immoral than monogamous heteros-xuality.
    Yielding that, however, admits that the Bible is not an infallible source of truth; rather, it contains assertions that are presented as true, but are, in fact, morally indefensible.
    What is your authority? Man’s reason?
    Well, yes. Words have meanings. In order for an action to be immoral, the actor must have a meaningful choice, the action cannot be imposed upon someone else, and the action cannot significantly impose upon those not parties to the act.
    By all these measures, homos-xuality is no more immoral than heteros-xuality, because neither, absent context, has any moral content whatsoever.
    In other words, on this score, the Bible’s assertions are simply wrong. Whoever wrote those words was operating under a fundamental misapprehension, and falling prey to one of the most pernicious elements of human nature: the desire to demonize those who are different.
    I’m not interested in this forum in outlining all the ways in which homosexuality is harmful to those who practice it and for those who approve of it.
    Well, perhaps you should be. The alternative is to insist upon the immorality of a group of people while leaving on the table precisely why they are immoral. To the extent your answers are Biblical, the insistence upon making secular marriage unavailable to gays crumbles.
    There is hope for sinners in the resurrected Jesus Christ. Swindlers, fornicators et al.
    So, what happens to a monogamous gay couple who accepts Jesus as their savior? Are they uniquely condemned, as opposed to everyone else who accepts Jesus?
    If not, and I see no Biblical reason to conclude otherwise, then your citation of this passage doesn’t seem particularly relevant to the matter at hand.
    Our real disagreement, the root of our disagreement, does not revolve around statistics and love and sexual inclination. It revolves around what you and I believe about Jesus Christ and whether or not the Bible is true. Right?
    No, it doesn’t.
    Full disclosure: I am an agnostic areligionist. (Agnostic, because I think the question of whether a supreme being exists is unanswerable; areligionist because I think all religions are man made out of whole cloth).
    Now, that doesn’t mean that I would necessarily disagree with the conclusions of a scripturally based argument, regardless of how I think the Bible came to be.
    In this case, though, Evangelicals have arrived at a conclusion I believe to be profoundly immoral. That is what this revolves around.

  • http://www.alienman.blogspot.com Brad Williams

    Hey Skipper,
    That is the problem. It is not infallible.
    Well there you go! Is that an argument from authority, btw? I’ll give you mine, “Yes, it is!”
    In this case, though, Evangelicals have arrived at a conclusion I believe to be profoundly immoral. That is what this revolves around.
    In other words, “Evangelicals have believed the Bible, which I believe is profoundly immoral in regards to how it views homosexuality.”
    In another thread, Boonton mentioned that he believed himself to be an above average guy who is right about 54% of the time. I agree that he is both intelligent and probably right more than he is wrong. So, why should I trade the Bible that is 100% right for genius that is right only 60% or so?

  • Richie

    Hello Brad.
    The Bible is 100% accurate, is it? May I ask – which version?
    To name just a handful of the modern translations, there is the King James Version, the New King James Version, the Revised Standard Version, the New International Version, and the New American Standard Version.
    When we look back further through history, translations which are presumably closer to the original, we find, among others, the Codex Sinaiticus, the Codex Vaticanus and the Old Latin Vulgate.
    Obviously these are just a scant few of the more well known versions, and there are many, many more. And here’s the point – they all say different things. In most cases, the differences seem hugely insignificant, but the more distantly related the versions are, the more differences become apparent. They cannot ALL be correct.
    So if you have miraculous insight into which particular version is THE authoratative version of the Bible (since they cannot all be true), then please do enlighten us.

  • http://dailyduck.blogspot.com/ Hey Skipper

    Brad:
    I’ll give you mine, “Yes, it is!”
    Thou shalt not kill.
    Thou shalt kill.
    Which is it?
    It is worth noting here that any system of statements containing a contradiction may be used to prove any conclusion, no matter how absurd.
    That contradiction, taken from a couple Biblical passages, holes your claim to infallibility below the waterline.
    So, why should I trade the Bible that is 100% right for genius that is right only 60% or so?
    Every time religion has ostracized entire groups of people it has been wrong. Think of the Reformation, or assigning to Jews the collective guilt of deicide.
    Your position really boils down to “on account of because.” You sidestep Euthyphros with a transparent dodge, and fail to so much as take on board the theodicy problem.
    Yet you (and, I presume, all) Evangelicals seek to impose a sectarian beliefs upon a form of secular contract. That is ironic enough. The irony meter goes into the red, though, on noting that there is no barrier whatsoever to other sects performing sacred marriage upon whomever they choose.
    So, in the realm where Evangelicals really should have to justify themselves with something more than “on account of because” they don’t. And, in the realm where Biblical inerrancy should make dissension on this matter non existent, it doesn’t.
    Within ten years, people are going to look back on the passage of Prop 8 with this one question: what the heck were they thinking?

  • qwertyuio

    Richie asks what is “THE authoritative version . . .?
    Good question! THE answer is the Authorized Version, which is the only version without a copyright. It has been said, you can’t copywrite the Word of God.
    The two ms. that you mentioned (Sinaticus and Vaticanus), not only disagreed between themselves, but with 95% of the extant Greek ms. in existence. They formed the basis of most of the modern translations. (Even the infamous “New World Translation” used the Wescott-Hort Greek).
    Of these two ms., one was found in a trash can and the other in the Vatican Library. Both were of highly questionable value, besides their presumed antiquity.
    There is no such thing as a perfect translation, but the Greek ms. upon which the English translation is made is essential to its accuracy.
    Check out “The Revision Revised” by John Burgon
    for an eye opener.

  • qwertyui

    Richie asks, what is THE authoritative version . . .?”
    The answer is THE Authorised Version.

  • qwertyuio

    Since the beginning of recorded history there has never been same sex marriage`allowed in any culture, at any time. But according to Skipper, in 10 years time everyone will asking “what the heck were we thinking” in refusing Prop 8?

  • Richie

    qwertyuio – I have to say it’s nice to be given a straight answer. However, things are not really so simple. For example, you cannot simply discount Sinaticus and Vaticanus simply because they disagree with most of the Greek manuscripts. Imagine for a moment there is a book (Book 1). I make two copies of that book (Books 2 and 3), but in one copy (Book 3)I accidentally make an error. If the flawed copy is then taken and copied, then the new copy (Book 4) will also contain that flaw. Simply put, if Book 3 is taken and copied hundreds of times while Books 1 and 2 are not, then those two books will end up disagreeing with the vast majority of texts, but that is obviously not good grounds to dismiss them.
    When we look at the earliest Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, the first problem is of course, that we do not have the originals for any of the New Testament books. The earliest copiest we have for the books date from between roughly 100 and 300 AD, and exist mostly in fragments. The Codex Vaticanus is the earliest of the great parchment manuscripts at 300 AD.
    Now also consider that in this time there was no printing press, so everything had to be copied by hand in a time and society were very few were literate at all. This explains why the earliest manuscripts vary the most.
    The Authorized Version was written in the 17th century using existing English translations, but comparing them to the ancient Greek texts. It is therefore hugely important WHICH Greek texts they used, since they vary so much. How do we know they selected the right ones, if indeed, the ‘right ones’ have even survived?
    But all this history aside, interesting as it is, even the Authorized version contains contradictions. To pull one at random, how did Judas Iscariot die? According to Matthew 27:3-8, he gave his silver to the priests, who used it to buy the Field of Blood – called so because they buried foreigners there, and then hanged himself. According to Acts 1:18-19, Judas himself bought the field and ‘fell headlong’ onto it so his guts burst out (nice), and this gave the field its name.
    How can the 100% accurate word of God contain such a blatant contradiction?

  • http://dailyduck.blogspot.com/ Hey Skipper

    Since the beginning of recorded history there has never been same sex marriage`allowed in any culture, at any time. But according to Skipper, in 10 years time everyone will asking “what the heck were we thinking” in refusing Prop 8?
    Yep. Both demographics and people’s experience point in that direction.
    Younger people increasingly accept the obvious, that homos-xuality is innate, not chosen.
    Also, familiarity has failed to breed contempt. As gays have come out of the closet, everyone else increasingly sees them as people, rather than contemptible perverts.
    So, I think it not only inevitable, but sooner rather than later that society will look at Prop 8 as a bloody minded denial of a minority by a majority for whom the cost would have been nil.
    All based upon nothing more than “on account of Because.”
    What would have been your reaction in 1998 if someone was to insist that in 2008, a black man with the last name Obama would be elected president?

  • qwertyu7

    Richie,
    A thread on same sex marriage is not the place to go into too much detail on this matter. But I will say this and leave it to rest. Personally, I don’t care whether you believe me or not. If you are sincere in wanting to know more, I suggest that you google Wilber Pickering from the Greek department of Dallas Theological Seminary (Try Pickering + KJV),or (David Fuller + KJV),or John Burgon + KJV). Do some research!
    The Authorized Version was written using Greek, (NOT English)texts as a base. It was in agreement with no less than 95% of the 5000 existing Greek ms. These copies and fragments do not vary much and one could reconstruct the entire NT (except for a few verses) just by personal corresponsense letters of the church fathers.
    On the other hand the Sinaticus and Vaticanus deviate over 3000 times from the “Majority Text” and leave out 200 verses found in the Authorized version. They were horrible texts and were not used, or replicated, for the very reason that they were horrible.
    Concerning the alledged contradiction of Judas’ death as described in the book of Matthew and Acts. Matthew says he hanged himself. Luke says that he fell headlong into a field and his guts burst out. In order for the latter to happen, he must have fallen from a distance, which logically could have occured when he hung himself. He botched everything else in life, why not his own death? Why “headlong”? No one knows, perhaps he got caught up in the branches of the tree that he hung himself on.
    I believe the Word of God. When 90% can be proven true, I can accept the other 10% on faith.
    That is my last word on this subject. . .

  • Richie

    qwertyu7, you are right that this is a little off-topic, but I had to answer the accusations against me. I have indeed done some research. My understanding of the English origins of the Auhorized version comes from http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02141a.htm
    Be that as it may, your understanding of the Biblical scholarship is obviously lacking. Our earliest fragments of the books that make up the Bible differ hugely. It was only with the invention of the printing press that any book could be reliably reproduced. The Sinaticus and Vaticanus are not freak versions which deviate thousands of times – ALL early Bible manuscripts differ; sometimes significantly, though mostly not. There is no consensus or “majority text”. For a fuller explaination, see Bart Erhman’s Misquoting Jesus, or http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=vJluEnIqTVk
    Finally, what is the 90% of the Bible that can be proven true? None of it can be. You are taking the Bible ENTIRELY on faith as being even 90% true. For more on the historical inaccuracies in the Bible, see http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/otarch.html
    I do see we are going off on a tangent though. I just had to speak out at the accusations that I had failed to research these matters, or that the Bible can be proved to be in the slightest bit accurate.

  • qwertyui

    Richie,
    1. No accusations were made against you.
    2. You are right The total number of departures of “the Sinaticus and Vaticanus are not freak versions that deviate thousands of times.” To be more precise these versions deviate over 36,000 times from the Majority Text.
    3.The majority of the 5000 Greek ms. are in agreement. That is why the Majority Text is also called the “Received Text.” It is essentially what was recieved by the early church fathers.
    4.You say that “there is no consensus, or Majority Text.” If you google “Majority Text” you will find 86,000,000 references.
    5.You say that “none” of the Bible can be proven true. B.J. Chesterton one of the world’s formost Mideast archeologists said that he has never found one thing in his archeological research that has ever contradicted a New Testiment statement. And he was a Jew!
    5. You express doubt that the Bible is the “slightest bit accurate.” The year is 2008 . . . since when?
    If I do not respond to your reply it is because
    I am undergoing a family crisis, and besides, I don’t want to hijack this thread.

  • Richie

    1. Perhaps I spoke a little strongly there. I meant no offence.
    2, 3 & 4. I stand totally corrected. There IS a “majority text”. You learn something new every day.
    However, according to the first site I visited, ‘The “Majority Text” is a statistical construct that does not correspond exactly to any known manuscript. It is arrived at by comparing all known manuscripts with one another and deriving from them the readings that are more numerous than any others.’
    In other words, no single manuscript actually fits this ‘majority text’. It has been formed by looking at all the Bibe versions and fragments, (all of which disagree in one place or another) and in each case, favouring the most numerous interpretation.
    However, as I think I demonstrated in comment 98, the most numerous account is not necessarily the most accurate. If I make two copies of a book and one copy contains a mistake, but the flawed copy simply goes on to be copied more times, then this will be the most numerous version, and therefore the one to appear in the Majority Text. The Majority Text is doubtless an interesting focal point in Biblical scholarship, but there is no reason to suppose that this is more reliable or accurate than any other version.
    5. ‘Not finding anything to contradict’ is not the same as proving. It’s like asking someone to prove a negative. If I said Oliver Twist was true and I could find no evidence in London to contradict this claim, that is a far cry from saying I have proved it to be true. Indeed the most convincing argument against the inerrancy of the Bible is the lack of evidence that we would expect to find if it was all true.
    See http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/otarch.html
    and
    http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/camel.html
    for good examples of this.
    6. ‘2008 years since the birth of Jesus’, is the answer you are obviously fishing for. However, the BC/AD dating system was not invented until 525 AD, and was only slowly adopted in the West between the 8th and 14th centuries. The entire dating system was drawn up by men who were deeply Christian, and centuries after Jesus supposedly lived. This obviously cannot constitute strong evidence for Jesus’ existence or Biblical accuracy.
    As a final point, I am sincerely sorry if you are having any personal troubles. I hope it is all sorted out soon. I won’t take it badly at all if you don’t respond. But I’m always happy to debate it you do.

  • Gray Forest

    Actually, a study done a couple of years ago found that whether or not couples were in a legal commitment was the factor in staying together, rather than sexual orientation. Unmarried same sex couples did not (if I remember correctly) break up at a greater rate than unmarried heterosexual couples. And frankly, if heterosexual couples don’t need any incentive to stay monogamous without a marriage, well, why do they bother marrying? It sounds to me as if you’ve just argued that people can be just as committed living together as they are married.

  • Steffauri Naaia

    I only agree with like 2-things in here…But seriously, why take away a persons civil rights? That’s just so wrong! I mean really when all these church people and white trash gay bashers move in and try to take away their rights, it doesn’t make you look like you’re “proteacting” or “saving” marriage, it just looks like you’re being a whiney little bitch about it…

  • Steffauri Naaia

    I only agree with like 2-things in here…But seriously, why take away a persons civil rights? That’s just so wrong! I mean really when all these church people and white trash gay bashers move in and try to take away their rights, it doesn’t make you look like you’re “proteacting” or “saving” marriage, it just looks like you’re being a whiney little bitch about it…

  • http://www.sophiesladder.com Jeff Carter

    Dustin,
    I agree with you that there are other considerations about this issue than biblical ones. You mentioned some cultural ones, there are judicial /legal ones as well. (Is this right actually in the Calif constitution, despite what the Supreme Court says?) This is not a Christian issue. It’s about democratic majority rule, what rights are given to the minority and how to properly protect those rights. See my blog, “Life in the Big Democracy” at http://www.sophiesladder.com
    P.S. I found this blog from a link on “Blue Christian”.
    Regards,
    Jeff Carter

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  • Yashiki

    i personall do not support gay marrige….here are a few reasons why???
    1.not natural
    2.how will this going to benefit the society….instead this will ruin the society
    3.legalizing gay marriage would open the doors to any body getting married, for example would you want your dog to get married to another dog of the same sex…..how is the dog going to be benefited??
    4.why is there this change????…its not like divorce is not legal…i mean two people of the same sex can be good friends….how are they going to benefit the world….they can go out and watch movies or hand out together…
    5.this is less meaningful to the society
    6.there is a need of a family…you cant just adopt children from the orphanage…..one day the orphanage will run out of babies, then who will produces more babies or the orphanage would not want to give the baby to a gay couple…will they??
    7.gay parents will raise their children to be a gay…influation…
    8. gay marriage is not supported by religion
    9.children would not succeed if they do not have a male parent and a female parent
    10.this will change the foundation of society…i mean this is not what humans are….
    now i am in a huge mess, personally this is what i think of gay marriage, and now i have been given my debate topic to be for gay marraige and i don’t even agree to one of the advantages of gay marriage…i have not even lost one debate in my life….all i can do is more research, if any one you have a strong point for gay marriage pls do tell me…

  • Yashiki

    i personall do not support gay marrige….here are a few reasons why???
    1.not natural
    2.how will this going to benefit the society….instead this will ruin the society
    3.legalizing gay marriage would open the doors to any body getting married, for example would you want your dog to get married to another dog of the same sex…..how is the dog going to be benefited??
    4.why is there this change????…its not like divorce is not legal…i mean two people of the same sex can be good friends….how are they going to benefit the world….they can go out and watch movies or hand out together…
    5.this is less meaningful to the society
    6.there is a need of a family…you cant just adopt children from the orphanage…..one day the orphanage will run out of babies, then who will produces more babies or the orphanage would not want to give the baby to a gay couple…will they??
    7.gay parents will raise their children to be a gay…influation…
    8. gay marriage is not supported by religion
    9.children would not succeed if they do not have a male parent and a female parent
    10.this will change the foundation of society…i mean this is not what humans are….
    now i am in a huge mess, personally this is what i think of gay marriage, and now i have been given my debate topic to be FOR gay marraige and i don’t even agree to one of the advantages of gay marriage…i have not even lost one debate in my life….all i can do is more research, if any one you have a strong point for gay marriage pls do tell me…

  • http://www.livingvote.org Living Vote

    Don’t let this important debate die. Everyone who’s posted here has raised some very good points, and they should be preserved for anyone in the future who needs to learn the arguments on both sides. The best place to do that is at http://www.livingvote.org/.

  • Marty

    ‘Christians’ appear graceless, judgmental and controlling when they vote to ‘defend marriage’.  

  • Andrew

    The statistics offered by Steeve were an utter joke. Mr Hollis’ rebuttal was very impressive. 

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