An Absurd New Anti-Marriage Equality Manifesto

A group of evangelical and Catholic leaders have prepared a new manifesto about the evils of same-sex marriage called The Two Shall Become One Flesh: Reclaiming Marriage. David Gibson of the Religion News Service has seen an advance copy and it appears to contain nothing new. It does say, apparently, that same-sex marriage is way worse than divorce.

But Reno said the members first had to agree to set aside their differences on the legitimacy of divorce and contraception, for example, and even whether marriage is a sacrament.

That enabled them to focus on the advance of gay marriage, which they say not only betrays religious tradition but, more than any other development, undermines society because “marriage is the primordial human institution, a reality that existed long before the establishment of what we now know as the state.”

“(W)hat the state defines as marriage no longer embodies God’s purposes in creation,” says the 5,000-word statement, which was first reported by Baptist Press. “An easy acceptance of divorce damages marriage; widespread cohabitation devalues marriage. But so-called same-sex marriage is a graver threat, because what is now given the name of marriage in law is a parody of marriage.”

So let me get this straight…You guys all claim to be “pro-family,” but you claim that same-sex marriage, which actually brings families together and gives them greater protections and mutual obligations, is worse than divorce, which actually tears families apart? Not one of the people who signed this statement noticed the obvious inconsistency of this?

The signers say they “do not dispute the evident fact of hormonal and chromosomal irregularities, nor of different sexual attractions and desires.” But they say that in legitimating same-sex marriage, “a kind of alchemy is performed, not merely on the institution, but on human nature itself.”

“We are today urged to embrace an abstract conception of human nature that ignores the reality of our bodies. Human beings are no longer to be understood as either male or female,” it says. The result, it says, will undermine society by eliminating any moral compass except that which the state declares to be the norm, to the exclusion of all others.

Human beings have never been just male or female, though most people fall into those two categories. There are also lots of people who don’t, including those who are transgender and intersex. The overwhelming majority of people will continue to identify as male or female and continue to couple with members of the opposite gender, whether gay people are allowed to get married or not. And to be honest, no one really gives a shit what you think about it. You’re more than welcome to continue to think it’s abnormal, sinful, evil or whatever. You just can’t have those views written into the law. I suspect you will survive that harrowing future and manage to move on with your lives anyway.

The signers raise the possibility — which has been debated among religious conservatives in recent months — that clergy could refuse to sign state marriage licenses as an act of civil disobedience.

I think that is an absolutely brilliant idea. It would help break the hammerlock that churches have on the performance of weddings. People will then have to get married by a judge or clerk or some other authorized person. I’m all for that.

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  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    The signers raise the possibility — which has been debated among religious conservatives in recent months — that clergy could refuse to sign state marriage licenses as an act of civil disobedience.

    And if that doesn’t work, they’re going to bring out the nuclear option: Holding their breath until they turn blue.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    The overwhelming majority of people will continue to identify as male or female and continue to couple with members of the opposite gender…

    Will they? Will they?!!!

  • Trebuchet

    The signers raise the possibility — which has been debated among religious conservatives in recent months — that clergy could refuse to sign state marriage licenses as an act of civil disobedience.

    Which they have every right to do. It’s just a repetition of the ongoing lie about pastors being forced to perform gay marriages. Unless they mean they’re not going to sign licenses for straight couples, either. Good luck with that.

  • John Pieret

    they “do not dispute the evident fact of hormonal and chromosomal irregularities, nor of different sexual attractions and desires

    a kind of alchemy is performed, not merely on the institution, but on human nature itself

    Whut? So you agree that LGBT people exist … it’s not a “choice” … but letting them marry somehow changes their human nature? From what they already are? Or are we ramping up for a declaration that people with hormonal and chromosomal irregularities or different sexual attractions and desires are not human?

    We are today urged to embrace an abstract conception of human nature that ignores the reality of our bodies. Human beings are no longer to be understood as either male or female

    Most gay people I’ve met are quite sure whether they are male or female. It may be true of trangendered or intersexed people but so what? We ignore and change “the reality” our bodies to suit our purposes all the time. I have two stents in my left anterior descending artery of my heart, without which the “reality” of my body might well be six feet down in a grave. Are you going to tell me that I have become only an abstract conception of my human nature? Think of all the things we do to our bodies in modern medicine that contradict the “reality” of them. If I deem my religion forbids a heart or liver transplant, do I get to use the law to deny you one?

    Babbling incoherently doesn’t enhance your argument, it just makes it clear that you want to deny LGBT people the rights everyone else has out of spite based only on your religious beliefs which, wisely, our Founders declared to be an illegitimate basis of law.

  • nycatheist

    “a kind of alchemy is performed”

    So alchemy works? Is that how gay teachers are converting our kids? Won’t someone think of the children!?!?

  • scienceavenger

    “Human nature” – you keep using that word…

  • Loqi

    letting them marry somehow changes their human nature? From what they already are?

    Duh, John. That’s just how alchemy works. What more needs to be explained?

  • raven

    …that clergy could refuse to sign state marriage licenses as an act of civil disobedience.

    Which is totally legal.

    Who would want a fundie xian clergyperson to sign their state marriage license anyway. That is what Pagan priests and priestesses are for!!!

    How many more decades are these clowns going to beat the Gay Hate drum? I’m already in serious danger. I can feel my heartbeat slowing drastically. This could be yet again, another case of…being bored to death!!!

    C’mon guys, get with the program and install the updates. Atheists and Moslems are the new gays.

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    But Reno said the members first had to agree to set aside their differences on the legitimacy of divorce and contraception, for example, and even whether marriage is a sacrament.

    Behold the power of Teh Gay. People who would otherwise be at each others throats over critical doctrinal issues like these are united on this one topic.

    Nice to see them standing by their convictions. I know that I’m going to take them very seriously the next time they say that opposition to contraception is a matter of principle. [/sarcasm]

  • matty1

    Why should clergy be privileged to sign marriage licences anyway? That seems like favouring religion over non-religion, which I thought your constitution and court precedent had something to say about.

    Either.

    Restrict people who can sign certificates to public officials, or

    Let anyone sign a certificate for anyone else, or

    Set up some simple accreditation for ‘marriage signers’ that is separate from whether that person is clergy or not.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    John Pieret “Most gay people I’ve met are quite sure whether they are male or female.”

    Are they? Are they?!!!

  • Sastra

    But they say that in legitimating same-sex marriage, “a kind of alchemy is performed, not merely on the institution, but on human nature itself.”

    “We are today urged to embrace an abstract conception of human nature that ignores the reality of our bodies.

    They’ve got it backwards of course. “Alchemy” and “abstract conceptions of human nature” are aspects of supernaturalism. Religion involves a focus on essential natures and embedded ‘rightness’ in certain behaviors which have nothing to do with fairness or empathy or anything on the ground of nature, but which have everything to do with teleology or purity.

    “Tigers are to go in zoos;” “Marriage is for making babies to please God.” They pull on the instinctive category intuitions of childhood and enshrine them as Eternal Truths.

  • eric

    Human beings are no longer to be understood as either male or female,” it says.

    You really shouldn’t “understand” them that way to begin with. You might want to start by valuing them as people rather than as gonads or ovaries first. Just a thought. Personally when I greet someone I don’t immediately sniff their crotch to see what’s down there, but hey, if that’s your style, I know a boxer mix that would agree with you.

    The result, it says, will undermine society by eliminating any moral compass except that which the state declares to be the norm, to the exclusion of all others.

    Oh the irony. Hey priests, I have a question for you: if SSM is legalized and all the bad things you say will happen actually happened, wouldn’t that support your moral compass? The only way I can see for your moral compass to be eliminated is if SSM is legalized and nothing bad happens. By claiming legalization will eliminate your moral credibility, you are basically conceding this.

  • anubisprime

    “marriage is the primordial human institution,

    Hmmm! ‘primordial’…Marriage certainly predates Christianity by quite a margin. but ‘Primordial…hardly!

    “a reality that existed long before the establishment of what we now know as the state.”

    And the church…so what?

    Marriage is found in many cultures in many forms throughout history.

    Monogamous (also known as ‘serial monogamy’…sounds a bit sinister actually!)

    Polygamy

    Polygyny

    Polyandry

    Plural marriage

    Child marriage

    Cohabitation

    Temporary marriages

    And last but not least…

    Same-sex and third gender marriages

    Which are not, as the mainstream churches like to parrot, a sign of godless times, but apparently occur in ancient tradition in several places…Greece for one and China for another.

    Never trust the church to provide accuracy or truth seems to be the message here…what a shocker?

  • wreck

    “they say that in legitimating same-sex marriage, “a kind of alchemy is performed”

    I thought alchemy was a good thing. I mean, you can use it to change a tasteless cracker into human flesh for your consumption, right? Which then redefines cannibalism into a moral act because your religion says it is.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    The signers say they “do not dispute the evident fact of hormonal and chromosomal irregularities, nor of different sexual attractions and desires.”

    I’m pretty sure that gay people don’t, as a general rule, suffer from chromosomal irregularities.

    I’m surprised they didn’t just say, “We don’t dispute that queers are retards”.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    On further reflection, I suspect that with “chromosomal irregularities” they’re referring to something like Klinefelter syndrome, where a person has two X and one Y chromosome and is often (but not always) intersex. But what the hell that has to do with SSM I’m not entirely sure.

  • theguy

    @5

    I’ve heard this sort of argument before. By “alchemy” what they mean is a sort of moral transformation: what they consider to be immoral is made moral, and vice versa. It’s another stupid argument that’s supposed to sound smart.

    In the same vein:

    “will undermine society by eliminating any moral compass except that which the state declares to be the norm”

    Gay marriage is not about statism; it’s about forcing the state to recognize gay marriage, which I believe is already good, regardless of what any God or state says. I suppose the writers of this manifesto want churches to declare the norm or whatever, but that way really would undermine society.

  • busterggi

    I agree with the fundies – just as Adam & Eve in the bible everyone should be required to marry their own transgendered clone.

  • cptdoom

    @Area Man #17

    I’m sure they’re referring to all the various intersex conditions, as a way of acknowledging that gender is a more complex subject than the male/female dichotomy implies. That allows them to pretend to be sophisticated, while still falling back on the “we are made male and female, with separate and distinct roles,” argument used against LGBT people.

    Human beings are no longer to be understood as either male or female

    And there’s the rub. If the strict dichotomy between male and female is lost, what is the rationale for the patriarchal system?

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    @ Area Man & cptdoom

    You’re giving them far too much credit. People have been saying for some time that homosexuality has some genetic basis — it’s the main argument against “it’s a lifestyle choice.” They’re acknowledging that position, but doing so in a way that makes gay people still “wrong” or “broken.” If it’s not a choice, then simply being gay is evidence of “chromosomal damage” in their world. It’s still “straight == ok”, “gay == not ok”. I doubt very much that they can even begin to wrap their minds around the ideas of people being intersex or asexual. Their best guess is likely “demonic possession” or “punishment for the mother’s sins.”

  • jnorris

    How about any couple that wants to wed will first get a license (contract) from the county. Second, the contract is formalized by a civil judge to insure both parties are competent and not being forced into marriage. Now the couple is legally married. Congratulations. Third, if so desired, the couple may have a religious Rite of Matrimony performed with all the bells and whistles.

  • dan4

    “An easy acceptance of divorce…”

    I’m not exactly sure what those words are supposed to mean. Is it a. a (somewhat awkwardly worded) statement against the notion people getting divorced for too casual of a reason? or b. a expression of distaste for the idea that THE VERY IDEA OF divorce doesn’t automatically make peoples’ skin crawl? If it’s the latter, then that seems pretty silly. I think most people (or most reasonable people, anyway) would have an “easy acceptance” with someone divorcing a person who, let’s say, turned out to be a serial killer.

  • whheydt

    Re: dan4 @ #23…

    Go back to the beginning of their statement where they state that first they had to sweep disputes about divorce and contraception under the rug in order for the fundies and Catholics to come to any sort of agreement at all.

    They’re trying to ignore their doctrinal differences on divorce. That’s ll.