More Bad Arguments Against Marriage Equality

Five major religious groups — the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod — have filed an amicus brief in the case challenging Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage. It contains the usual bad arguments, though they admit that it’s all about religion:

We are among the “many religions [that] recognize marriage as having spiritual significance,” indeed as being truly “sacred.” Our respective religious doctrines hold that marriage between a man and a woman is sanctioned by God as the right and best setting for bearing and raising children. We believe that children, families, society, and our Nation thrive best when husband-wife marriage is upheld and strengthened as a cherished, primary social institution. The family lives of millions of Americans are ordered around and given deep meaning and stability by these beliefs.

And…therefore…what? Why do you think your religious beliefs justify a particular legislative or judicial outcome? We do not live in a theocracy. They do still try, lamely, to find some non-religious rationale for their position, but because those arguments are really just a pretext they are decidedly irrational:

Undermining the husband-wife marital institution by redefining it to include same-sex couples will, in the long term, harm vital child-welfare interests that only the husband-wife definition can secure. The result will be more mothers and fathers concluding that the highest end of marriage is not the welfare of their children but the advancement of their own life choices. We know, from personal experience over numerous decades of ministering to families and children, that more focus on satisfying adult needs will not benefit vulnerable children.

Think about the argument they’re making here. They’re arguing that straight married couples, presumably those in their own religious traditions, are so shallow that the mere fact that gay people are allowed to get married will make them decide that their own children are less important. And therefore we must deny equal rights to gay people, and deny those same protections to the children of gay people, in order to keep straight people from deprioritizing their own kids. Great argument you’ve come up with. Absolutely brilliant.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Shorter:

    You people getting married will make me more petty and self-centered.”

    On a related note, finding out that motorcycles have the same road rights as cars makes me drive like an asshole.

  • Chiroptera

    The result will be more mothers and fathers concluding that the highest end of marriage is not the welfare of their children but the advancement of their own life choices.

    The advancement of the adults’ happiness and welfare is the main end of marriage. The welfare of children is an important goal for adults, but not the whole point of marriage. That is why we have lots of happily married couples who do not plan on having children at all. That is why we have plenty of well-adjusted children who grew up in single parent households.

    We know, from personal experience over numerous decades of ministering to families and children, that more focus on satisfying adult needs will not benefit vulnerable children.

    I may be wrong, but I am under the impression that we now understand that children can suffer in households where adults don’t focus on their own needs. Adults whose own needs are not met are often less emotionally capable of meeting the needs of their children.

  • Chiroptera

    Unless the argument really boils down to:

    Only hetereosexual couples are mature enough to satisfy both their own needs and those of their children.

    Homosexual couples are all too selfish to care about anyone’s needs other than their own.

    If that’s the argument, then to hell with you!

  • D. C. Sessions

    With amici like these …

  • a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Well, Xtians have been using non sequiturs like this for years to “prove” God. It’s really how they think.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.stricklin Sansgawd

    “We believe that children, families, society, and our Nation thrive best when husband-wife marriage is upheld and strengthened as a cherished, primary social institution.”

    And your belief would be considered scientifically false and socially stupid…

  • http://Reallyawakeguy.blogspot.com somnus

    The fact that gays aren’t allowed to marry in my state is the only reason I care about my kids at all! Because… Reasons!

  • scienceavenger

    @3 No, its more basic than that. In their world, no homosexuals have children. Really.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1194615189 ivyshoots

    We are among the “many religions [that] recognize marriage as having spiritual significance,” indeed as being truly “sacred.”

    Actually, no, you don’t “recognize” that; you simply believe it. Which is fine. No one denies you your right to believe it and to conduct your own life in accordance with that belief.

    The fact is, civil marriage is required by all 50 states; religious marriage is only “recognized” by the state after it issues a civil license, free of any religious affiliation. Atheists can legally marry without “recognizing” any spiritual significance or sacredness of their union.

    By their reasoning, they should object to atheists being able to marry even more than they do to same-sex partners (who may be religious or “spiritual”).

  • Al Dente

    the husband-wife marital institution by redefining it to include same-sex couples will, in the long term, harm vital child-welfare interests that only the husband-wife definition can secure.

    So as soon as gays can get married in Utah then opposite-sex married couples will start neglecting their children. That makes perfect sense…if you’re so blinded by homophobia as to make up stupid reasons to forbid same-sex marriages.

  • Wylann

    The first part of their whine (I can’t bring myself to call it an argument) would make them want to disallow my marriage to my also atheist wife. Now, it wouldn’t surprise if deep down, that’s what they really want, but I doubt they’d say it out loud unless they were sure no reporters were around.

    The second part would also make them want to disallow my marriage, since we aren’t having, and don’t plan on having, kids.

    So fuck all ya’ll religious bigots. Just keep spewing your hate and bigotry, and we’ll keep being happy, if only because I know it annoys you.

  • A Hermit

    The whole argument about children is a red herring, even if we were to accept the bigoted assertion that gays can’t be good parents. We don’t deny the rights and benefits of legal marriage to heterosexual couples who are childless, whether by choice or otherwise, and even parents who are so awful that their children are apprehended by the state remain married after their children are taken away.

    Arguing for the disqualification of same sex marriages for reasons which no one actually applies to heterosexual marriage is blatantly unfair discrimination.

    And those religious arguments weren’t any more convincing when it came to miscegenation laws…

  • yankonamac

    It’s the children thing that gets me every time–children become adults and some of those adults go on to have more children. To suggest that child-rearing is in some way unique, special, or the primary point of being a married adult is an astonishing level of folly, unless you observe a truly Catholic approach to sex and the woman keeps churning out babies until it actually kills her. It is not unusual for people to have 20 years of kids in the house followed by forty years without–I have no idea if anyone has ever done a study, but it stands to reason that when you add up all the years married people with kids spend parenting them with the years married people who don’t have them… refrain from parenting, and break that down against typical American life expectancies, most married couples spend most of their lives Not actively parenting. If you want to have kids, that’s nice, do your thing, but folks need to knock it off with suggesting that marriage is for child-rearing, or that child-rearing is even the biggest part of marriage for married people who choose to rear children. In 21st century western Europe marriage is an adult institution, and participation in it requires the consent of adults of sound mind. That’s it.

  • colnago80

    Ah yes, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod which didn’t accept the heliocentric solar system until 1927.

  • raven

    We are among the “many religions [that] recognize marriage as having spiritual significance,” indeed as being truly “sacred.”

    I doubt that. Cthulhu, this doesn’t make any sense.

    1. These are all exclusive xian cults. They believe their cult is True and most of the rest of the world’s religions and many xian cults are Fake.

    2. And what about atheist marriages. A not insignificant number inasmuch as the No Religions make up a billion people worldwide and growing rapidly.

    3. And why should I or anyone care what the SBC, Missouri Synod, or Catholic church thinks anyway? I have nothing but contempt for what they believe in and what they do.

  • Synfandel

    Well, to be fair, we’ve had same-sex marriage in Canada for eight and a half years and look what’s happened: married couples spend all their time in self-gratifying orgies and their children are starving in the streets.

    (Then again, for a married man like me with no kids, there’s no downside.)

  • John Pieret

    We know, from personal experience over numerous decades of ministering to families and children, that more focus on satisfying adult needs will not benefit vulnerable children.

    This argument is simple (in all meanings of the word): If people in general stop listening to our outmoded and prejudiced rules of sexual conduct, then all hell will break out and everyone will forget about everything except their own pleasure. Because the only thing stopping parents from ignoring dirty diapers in favor of diddling the family pets is old guys shouting “Shame!”

  • jnorris

    I will contribute $10 to a fund to be awarded to the person who developed the first valid or most valid argument against same-sex marriage. Judging to be by popular vote on this blog. Any tie to be decided in the Thunderdome with the winner getting half the pay-per-view TV sales.

    Seriously, the leadership in the American Taliban (see list of sects in Ed’s 1st paragraph) graduated from some sort of university. Many have doctoral degrees and one presumes are not stupid and can reason. And the best this collection of (deleted) can come up with is ‘icky’ and ‘somehow the kids’.

  • Erp

    Utah should have a bit of a problem defending marriage is only for procreation considering that Utah law only allows first cousins to marry if they are extremely unlikely to procreate (both over 65 or both over 55 and at least one is infertile).

    I would expect the UUA to file an amicus brief for same-sex marriage as they have done so before http://www.uua.org/news/pressroom/pressreleases/284789.shtml (there are a few UU churches in Utah). The United Church of Christ may also. Other possibles include the Episcopal Church (the Utah bishop has been supportive of the couples http://www.episcopal-ut.org/featured/bishop-hayashi-statement-on-supreme-court-stay-on-same-sex-marriage/)

  • zxcier

    We know, from personal experience over numerous decades of ministering to families and children, that more focus on satisfying adult needs will not benefit vulnerable children.

    And yet you still “minister” to vulnerable children…

  • gshelley

    Not as bad as Liberty Counsel’s argument that allowing SSM is just like banning interracial marriage, and they are the true inheritors of the Loving tradition, as both allowing SSM and banning IRM are adding “agenda driven obstacles” to the institution

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/liberty-counsel-legalizing-same-sex-marriage-banning-interracial-manage

  • dingojack

    “We are among the ‘many religions [that] recognize marriage as having spiritual significance,’ indeed as being truly ‘sacred.’. ”

    So why then are you pooling together to prevent the spreading of a rite that is ‘spiritually significant’ and even ‘scared’ ? Isn’t that going against you own job description?

    Dingo

  • leonardschneider

    (*sigh*) Great. More Bible-smacking religious assholes talking shit about MY family. (Follow the link. That’s my uncle Billy in the striped shirt and glasses in the video.)

    “Undermining the husband-wife marital institution by redefining it to include same-sex couples will, in the long term, harm vital child-welfare interests that only the husband-wife definition can secure. “

    Uh huh. Fuck you, Catholics, Mormons, Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and Missouri Lutherans: my uncle Billy and his husband Gail have adopted and raised a total of six kids, almost all of whom were the throwaway kids of fuck-up parents. All of their children are intelligent, well-behaved, and happy: their vigor for life is touching to witness and fun to be around. It goes without saying that, duh, Billy and Gail are excellent parents, even with the extra challenges they knew they were taking on.

    If I sound pissed off, yeah, you’re goddamn right. Because this is personal: you don’t talk shit about anybody’s family, ever, sure as hell not mine, and double-sure about my uncle Billy. He and Gail have accomplished amazing things with kids that never would have stood a chance otherwise… And these douchebags want to say Billy and Gail are lousy parents, for no other reason than they’re gay? Fuck them with a brick. I could probably go through this cabal of religious shit-sacks, one by one, and not find a single one with the stones to do what Billy and Gail have. Not successfully, anyway.

    “[S]ame-sex couples will … harm vital child-welfare interests…”? Suck me. The next fucking Mormon that shows up at my door is getting thrown off the deck, and the next Evangelical I come across berating people on a street corner is getting a kick in the bag, with no warning.

  • Moggie

    We know, from personal experience over numerous decades of ministering to families and children, that more focus on satisfying adult needs will not benefit vulnerable children.

    How fucking dare any representative of the Catholic church put their name to this, while continuing to defend their church which has repeatedly and worldwide privileged the “needs” of rapist priests over the welfare of vulnerable children. Sort your church out before presuming to judge the morality of non-rapists.

  • colnago80

    This just in, Federal Judge in Virginia declares Virginia law banning same sex marriages unconstitutional.

    http://goo.gl/0cLFO3

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    “So as soon as gays can get married in Utah then opposite-sex married couples will start neglecting their children. That makes perfect sense…”

    No, but what it WILL do is give the abusive SLC Moron parents a new excuse.

    “Your Honor, I was jes’ sittin’ in the Barcalounger, watchin’ the “Bigfoot Ghosthuntin’ Survivor Runway Project for Sister Wives” and suckin’ back a few “Colorado KKKoolades”, er, I mean Cocolas, and I heard that teh GAYmawwiage is gonna be legal. All of a sudden, I felt teh GAYdemons take over my body and start beatin’ on teh kiddiez and their moms usin’ my arms!”

  • Wylann

    Anybody know what the divorce rate is among these congregations? I suspect there aren’t any studies that are that specific, but I would be interested to know just how ‘spiritually meaningful and sacred’ they think marriage really is.

  • magistramarla

    I’m going to look at this from the point of view of a grandmother. I’m sure that someone will lambast me for this, so go ahead, but this is a thought that I had several years ago, when my son was just entering his teens.

    We have only one son, and four daughters, so he’s the only one to “carry on the family name”. (yeah, sort of old-fashioned – ducks).

    We talked about this. If he would have happened to be gay, and had married a young man, we would have been just as delighted for them as we were for the happy marriages of any of our children. We would have probably bugged those two young men for a grandchild, too. We would have rejoiced with them if they chose to have a child by adoption, surrogate, etc. And, as old-fashioned as it is, we would have been delighted to see them have a son to carry on that proud family name. (ducks again)

    I suppose that my point here is that anyone who is a loving parent should be able to accept and love their children no matter what decisions they might make when establishing their own families. And grandchildren are the best thing in the world, no matter what.