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Same-Sex Marriage Leads to Police State

Same old story—same-sex marriage is a slippery slope. Once we allow this change, what will come next? Will people demand to marry their children or pets or sex toys?

Many traditionalists back in the sixties had their own version of this: “Once black folks can marry white folks, who knows what’ll come next?”

The sky didn’t fall after Loving v. Virginia eliminated anti-miscegeny laws in 1967, and it didn’t when the Netherlands became the first country to grant same-sex marriages in 2001 or when Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legalize them in 2004.

Don’t open that Pandora’s Box labeled “same-sex marriage”!

Here’s a new variation on the Chicken Little fear that the sky is falling. Fellow Patheos blogger Dwight Longenecker doesn’t wonder what’ll come after same-sex marriage. He knows: the U.S. will become a police state.

Hold your arms out for balance, and let’s step through the argument. First, he points to a recent article titled “Legalize Polygamy!” Written by a woman, it argues that a pro-woman attitude should allow women the freedom to enter into polygamous marriages. She argues that marriage is plastic—that it can be molded to take on new shapes.

America has dramatically rejected many of the marriage customs decreed in the Bible, so, yeah, marriage is plastic. But have you considered the consequences? Longenecker has.

Marriage is only plastic … because everything else is too. In other words, there is no such thing as Truth.

This big-T Truth presumably means objective or absolute truth. And here again I agree—I see no evidence for objective truth in issues that affect society such as morality or the definition of marriage. But Longenecker wails and rends his garments:

For the Catholic everything is connected. If marriage is plastic … then everything is plastic … Everything is up for grabs, there is no certainty and if no certainty, then no security.

Changing the definition of marriage pulls the thread that unravels the entire fabric of your reality? I guess it sucks to be you then, since we’ve already resoundingly rejected many of the Bible’s conceptions of the male/female relationship.

The Bible’s nutty interpretation of marriage

  • “Do not intermarry with [those in the Canaanite tribes]” (Deut. 7:3).
  • King Solomon famously had 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3).
  • A raped woman must marry her rapist (Deut. 22:28–9).
  • “Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.” (Num. 31:17–18)
  • God said to David, “I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.” (2 Sam. 12:8). God has his complaints about David, but polygamy isn’t one of them.
  • Paul said, “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry” (1 Cor. 7:8–9). Marriage is clearly the second best option. Celibacy is what we should actually strive for.
  • Paul also rejects divorce (1 Cor. 7:10–11).

The Bible isn’t much of a marriage manual.

The sky is falling!

In a society where anything goes everything goes…downhill fast. Where moral disintegration exists societal disintegration soon follows. Everything starts to come apart at the seams. Societal chaos threatens.

I missed how we get “anything goes” from expanding one institution of society to include a disenfranchised minority.

When there is no certainty in a society–no moral absolutes and no reason and no rules …

As for no moral absolutes … well, yeah. Why—do you have any evidence of moral absolutes besides some vague feeling? And here again, the only one who imagines no reason and no rules is Longenecker himself.

And now the punch line.

When there is no certainty in a society–no moral absolutes and no reason and no rules, then something must be done. People demand security. As disorder and chaos increase people demand order and control.

But, of course, this dystopia that’s around the corner won’t reach for Longenecker’s Yahweh, darn it. This obvious answer will be right in front of us, but our fallen race will appeal to government, and the government’s way to provide order and control is a police state.

Thus the ultimate irony that those who wanted a society “completely free” from absolutes where everything was plastic will end up with a police state where nothing is plastic and the total control is drastic.

This breathless argument distills down to this:

1. A same-sex marriage proponent is now advocating that polygamy be legalized. See? Didn’t I say this would happen?!

2. A flexible definition of marriage means that everything is flexible. Absolutes of any kind and even truth itself are no more. Anything goes.

3. Moral disintegration and social chaos follow.

4. The public clamors for order, and government responds with a police state.

(Point #2 is where the argument teleports to Crazy Town, IMO.)

The slippery slope argument is popular, but I reject it. The definition of marriage does change; that’s a simple fact of history. Instead of focusing on that, focus on the test that doesn’t change: does it cause harm?

Does polygamy cause harm? Does same-sex marriage cause harm? These are the questions to ask.

Happiness is the only good,
reason the only torch,
justice the only worship,
humanity the only religion,
and love the only priest.
— Robert Green Ingersoll

Photo credit: Wikimedia

About Bob Seidensticker
  • Bob Jase

    “The sky didn’t fall after Loving v. Virginia eliminated anti-miscegeny laws in 1967″

    Clearly you don’t live in the Confederate States of Amerika.

  • Greg G.

    Solomon also had 700 wives. Paul didn’t think marriage was for reproduction and having families. It was just to legitimize sex.

    Asia has had polygamy in the past. It was the man’s decision and the women considered it the bitter poison. After the end of WWII, the French went back to Vietnam and outlawed polygamy. After the American War, there was a sizable gender imbalance. A man could have two wives if his first wife agreed to it. She had the control so as long as everyone was kept happy and treated fairly, it worked.

  • smrnda

    Same sex marriage has already been legalized in a number of places, and the sky didn’t fall, they didn’t become dystopian police states, and those nations haven’t collapsed into total lawlessness.

    When determining what should or should not be legal, what you have to look at is the case for or against. There’s a good reason why some municipalities have outlawed talking on a cell phone while driving. It was shown to cause accidents. There’s a lot of people fighting to repeal drug laws on the grounds that the use of certain drugs hasn’t been shown to be harmful enough to deserve to be banned, and I think they have some good arguments.

    Same sex couples will get married, and the real thing these people fear is that all those same sex couples will look so normal, ordinary, and will have such loving, healthy relationships that the whole shock around it will be gone. Once people figure out the rules promoted by religions are silly and pointless they’ll ditch the church in large numbers, as is already happening. The anti-equality crowd has no good arguments, so they resort to hysteria.

    On polygamy, these are separate debates, and a case for polygamy has to stand on its own merits.

    On “Truth” – marriage is a social construct, so it IS plastic. There’s no Platonic Essence or marriage. That doesn’t mean anything goes – just that a lot of things can and should go, provided they don’t harm anyone.

    • Selah

      smrnda ,
      I am going to quote to you the ” silly ” rule that Jesus Himself said as He reached back to the beginning of the Bible in Genesis 2 :24 , ” A man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Regardless if the ” polls ” proclaim that more people are accepting same-sex marriage and others are trying to re-define what God’s design for marriage is , God does not change ! His word will never change or be tampered with to suit people.
      Even though God did not aim , in the beginning , for marriages to be miserable, many are.
      That’s what sin does. It makes us treat each other badly.The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 5 : 25.
      ” husbands , love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. “

      • Bob Jase

        To be honest about that quote you’d have to admit that it came from an anonymous author with an agenda about 80 years minimum after the death of Jesus, if he had actually lived.

      • Bob Seidensticker

        Selah:

        The Bible says that genocide and slavery are OK. We (rightly) discard what the Bible says when it’s nonsense. Same thing with same-sex marriage.

      • smrnda

        Let’s check the premise : sin makes us miserable. I’m involved in a relationship that, since it’s with another woman, would be considered sinful. I’m also an atheist, and that’s sinful. So then why do I feel so good? Why does this sinful design not in accordance with this god’s plans work out so well?

        • Selah

          smrnda,
          Wow , you hit the trifecta ! No belief in God , the creator of the universe, a relationship with another woman , and pride and preoccupatipon with your sin and you feel so good about this.! This is such a dangerous threat to life and death.Let me remind you of HEROD, who along with his soldiers treated Jesus with contempt and mockery, sent JESUS back to Pilate.
          Herod, in his case , was fearful of losing his earthly reputation and power, and for pride in his own accomplishments, and for lack of FEAR toward God, Herod rejected Jesus Christ and threby doomed his soul forever. My dear smrnda , get off this track you are on because you are headed for a train wreck and when you wake up from it all, you, in my opinion, will not hear from the Judge of the Universe the words ” Well done my good and faithful servant “

        • Bob Jase

          So how does it feel to live in constant fear of your all-loving god?

        • Bob Seidensticker

          Selah:

          get off this track you are on because you are headed for a train wreck and when you wake up from it all

          How do you respond to people of other religions when they tell you this? Do you follow their advice?

  • Randy Robbins

    Virtually all the supporters of polygamy are fundie mormons, and they will NOT be advocating gay marriage anytime soon. Oh, the dis ingenuousness of linking those two concepts.

    • JohnH

      That isn’t true. First, there are actually very few Fundie mormons, and even fewer who interact in any meaningful way with the rest of society. Second, between Islam, African culture, some fundie evangelical sects, and secular polygamy groups there are way more people advocating for polygamy then there are fundie mormons.

      As noted by BabyRaptor the polyamorous movement is very much alive and will and the polys have flags, bumper stickers, ribbons, and marches in such places as San Fransisco. None of which is associated with any of the religious (Mormon, Christian, Jewish, African, Islam, etc) that have elements that practice polygamy but all is very much associated with the civil rights and homosexual movements.

      It is not at all disingenuous to link these two concepts because activists in the poly movement are very much trying to link the two concepts and are taking the points raised by those contrary to polygamy as being decent arguments for polygamy. These efforts along with television shows designed to sway the public opinion (as happened with homosexuality) in favor of polygamy are being successful, unlike the pedophilia movement of the 80′s-90′s which failed to gain popular support. It is too early to see if the Zoosexual movement will follow the route of homosexuality, no fault divorce, and polyamory or will die out like the pedophilia movement. It is a pretty clear A->B->C from no fault divorce to homosexuality to polyamory, once children are no longer the primary legal and social reason for marriage (no fault divorce showing this) then there is no reason to not allow for homosexuality or polyamory. The slippery slope gets much rougher when it comes to pedophilia and zoosexuals as under current understanding of things children and animals are not legally able to give consent.

  • BabyRaptor

    I actively practice polyamory. I prefer having multiple partners; the idea of monogamy makes me seriously comfortable. And I’ve either been with or met plenty of other people who do so as well.

    I see nothing wrong with people who want to have multiple partners doing so, so long as everything is above the board. Both my partners know I’m polyamorous; they know I have another partner and in my current situation they’re actually friends.

    Be honest, be careful when it comes to sex, and don’t play games. The basic “morals” of relationships don’t really change no matter how many partners you happen to have at the time.

    I’ve gotten my fair share of shit for it. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been called a slut, or told that I “have issues settling down”…A couple times I’ve even been accused of having a mental disease.

    What it comes down to is that, like LGBTs were ~30 years ago, people who dislike monogamy aren’t a social norm. It’s not “how it’s done” or “normal.” I do think there are ways that it could be done legally, but I know its not likely to happen in my lifetime. I personally am okay with that, because I have no desire to ever get married anyway. If the world were to go ass-up tomorrow and there were a vote on it, I would support it.

    It all comes down to people being allowed to live their lives as they see fit. (Consent, no abuse, general bad things not being allowed, obviously.) The US, because of the huge religious presence, has a huge obsession with making sure everyone fits the cookie cutter norm.

  • just.chris

    I find it odd that all the polygamy debate seems always to be a man with multiple wives. Why is that?

    My guess is men have too much testosterone (are ass holes) and that the men would end up killing each other while in the traditional polygamist relationship the burden of dealing with “the ass hole” gets shared by the wives. In other words, why would one woman want to live with a bunch of ass holes?

    Physiologically, it makes much more sense to me for women to have multiple partners than men, i.e., women can have multiple orgasms and, at least, statistically able to please more partners in a “penetrating” way; anthropologically it would be safer for the pregnant woman and young children to have multiple protectors and providers. In our “modern” world both of these arguments could still hold.

    Out of curiosity, historically when did governments begin to register/aprove/legislate marriage?

    • Bob Seidensticker

      Chris:

      I find it odd that all the polygamy debate seems always to be a man with multiple wives. Why is that?

      Because one woman with multiple husbands is called polyandry.

      But perhaps you’re asking why we’re not talking about both. I wondered that myself.

      I think history has periods when there were more women than men (wartime), so polygamy made sense. On the other hand, they never did it in Europe, and I imagine they had too few men because of war on occasion.

      Physiologically, it makes much more sense to me for women to have multiple partners than men

      Once one of the women is out of commission because she’s pregnant, that leaves other women for the single husband.

      • Niemand

        I think history has periods when there were more women than men (wartime),

        True, but in a pre-industrial society you lose a lot of women to childbirth. And you’d want women who were able to give birth and survive with living offspring to have more than one partner because you wouldn’t want to risk her accidentally having a partner with nonviable genes. So polyandry makes sense sociologically too, depending on the situation. Why isn’t it more of a thing historically or in the debate?

  • smrnda

    I’d totally support recognition for polyamorous relationships, the only problem being finding ways to make sure it’s 2+ adults who are equal partners and not some guy collecting wives to use as doormats. Of course, I wouldn’t support a one man one woman marriage with the same level of inequality and I’m stuck putting up with that, so I’m not really sure what position to advocate.

    I’m personally monogamous, but I find one relationship to be a pretty big investment, the same way right now I’m finding 3 jobs to be a bit too much. At the same time, different people have different expectations and needs, and polyamory works better for them.

    • Bob Seidensticker

      smrnda:

      the only problem being finding ways to make sure it’s 2+ adults who are equal partners and not some guy collecting wives to use as doormats.

      When the Manchu dynasty was overturned in China (1912?), men were no longer required to wear the queue (the long ponytail that signified allegiance to the Manchus). But many men still wore their hair that way. If women who wore veils or burqas, or women in polygamous relationships were told, “You’re free! You don’t have to do that anymore!” how many would continue in the old ways?

      That’s the trick for me–differentiating oppression from custom. As an outsider to cultures where any of these things (that I think are oppressive) are done, I’m hesitant to think that I’ve got it all figured out.

  • Niemand

    I’ve been to the Netherlands, Canada, and Spain, countries with legal gay marriage. I’ve also spent quite a bit of time in Germany, a country with a nearly equal gay marriage equivalent. I’m hoping they’ll do something about that silly NEAR equal part soon. I’ve also spent a fair amount of time in states with gay marriage including Iowa and New York. All I can say is that if any of the above is a police state then police states are far mellower than I’ve been led to believe. Actually, I quite liked all of them. It’s the “free” places that I’ve visited or lived in: Texas, Florida, Kentucky, etc that give me pause. I like all those places to various extents, they’ve all got their good points, but they all strike me as quite a bit more police-state like than any of the gay marriage legal places I’ve visited.

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