Anderson’s Weird Understanding of History

Ryan T. Anderson is the Heritage Foundation’s resident “expert” on same-sex marriage, which means he can be relied on to offer one dumb argument after another against it. But his latest statements will really leave you shaking your head as he claims that the advocates of same-sex marriage are like the opponents of interracial marriage.

While anti-miscegenation laws were implemented throughout the United States for centuries until the Supreme Court struck them down in 1967, and it wasn’t until fairly recently that a majority of Americans began to accept that interracial relationships are moral (many, and disproportionately white evangelicals, still do not believe so), Anderson suggested that interracial marriage opponents never really held sway.

“What does race have to do with marriage?” he asked. “Absolutely nothing. And no great thinker at any point in human history ever said race had anything to do with marriage.”

Well, they may not be the greatest thinkers of human history, but plenty of leaders of the Religious Right movement believed that the Bible required them to oppose interracial marriage. Bob Jones said that any “Bible-believing Christian” would oppose interracial marriage, Jerry Falwell preached against it, and Jesse Helms — who has been honored by Anderson’s own group — “got his political start by bashing interracial marriage.”

That’s freaking amazing. No “great thinker” ever opposed interracial marriage, and yet somehow it was strictly forbidden in nearly every state for about 300 years of this country’s history, as well as in many other countries. And the entire basis for doing so was — survey says — religion, specifically Christianity. Judge Leon Bazile stated it directly in his district court ruling in Loving v Virginia:

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

Anderson then went one step further, insisting that gay rights advocates are the ones acting like the opponents of interracial marriage.

“For the past generation, there have been a bunch of lies told in the public schools and in the media, lots of propaganda, but propaganda can’t win in the long run. In the long-run, the truth wins out,” Anderson said. “In the same way when there were some racists who tried to say that you can’t have interracial marriage, that was propaganda, it was a lie, and it failed. In the same way, trying to eliminate that marriage is about uniting the two halves of humanity, not black and white, because that’s not the two halves of humanity, the two halves of humanity, male and female, husband and wife, mom and dad, you can’t erase that, and in the long run the truth will win out.”

Now that’s some fancy spinning for you. The advocates of same-sex marriage are just like the opponents of interracial marriage because they were both wrong. And yet every single argument that Anderson and other opponents of same-sex marriage was made by the opponents of interracial marriage too. Funny, that.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/199537614″ params=”color=ff5500″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Follow Us!
POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • dingojack

    “That’s freaking amazing. No “great thinker” ever opposed interracial marriage, and yet somehow it was strictly forbidden in nearly every state [of The United States of America?] for about 300 years of this country’s history*, as well as in many other countries.” [the editorial addition is mine].

    Was it? Do you have citations supporting that?

    Dingo

    ———

    * ‘nearly three hundred years’? Presumably starting in c1667 if you allow ‘colonies’, or ending in c2076, if the ‘states’ are in those of the USA itself.

  • eric

    In the same way, trying to eliminate that marriage is about uniting the two halves of humanity, not black and white, because that’s not the two halves of humanity, the two halves of humanity, male and female, husband and wife, mom and dad, you can’t erase that, and in the long run the truth will win out.”

    You know, its pretty galling to hear someone tell you what your marriage is about. To insist they know the meaning of your relationship with your spouse better than you do. Its even more galling when the words “loving someone and wanting to spend the rest of your life with them” are entirely absent from their meaning of marriage.

  • John Pieret

    Well, I’d have to agree with his implicit conclusion that Bob Jones, Jerry Falwell and Jesse Helms were not great thinkers but then Anderson has to go and spoil it by proving he isn’t either.

  • abb3w

    As high-phatic word salad goes, verging nearer to rational than most, and at least superficially seemed it might avoid the perrenial problem of being indistinguishable from a repurposed argument against interracial marriage. Unfortunately, the best part of his word salad appears to fall into that exact trap:

    @-2, Ryan T. Anderson (not quite):

    For the past generation, there have been a bunch of lies told in the public schools and in the media, lots of propaganda, but propaganda can’t win in the long run. In the long-run, the truth wins out. […] In the same way when there were some racists who tried to say that you can’t have interracial marriage blacks marrying, that was propaganda, it was a lie, and it failed. In the same way, trying to eliminate that marriage is about uniting the two halves of humanity, not black and white, because that’s not the two halves of humanity, the two halves of humanity, male and female, husband and wife, mom and dad, you can’t erase that, and in the long run the truth will win out.

    Yet another conservative trapped in Hume’s is-ought fallacy, compounded by the stupid error that broadening the scope of definition of a marriage “eliminates” existing marriages.

  • colnago80

    Re eric @ #2

    To rat fuckers like Anderson, marriage is all about procreation; everything else is minor.

  • John Hinkle

    …trying to eliminate that marriage is about uniting the two halves of humanity…

    Who’s trying to do that?

  • John Hinkle

    abb3w beat me to it. Duh, refresh first.

  • Sastra

    colnago80 #5 wrote:

    To rat fuckers like Anderson, marriage is all about procreation; everything else is minor.

    I disagree. Even procreation is minor. Hell, marriage itself is minor.

    The point of everything, the major reason for all human existence and endeavor and experience — is to worship God. Obedience, submission, and alignment with His Will is the purpose-driven life. If you remain child-free the better to serve Him, your marriage is gold. Holy matrimony is a sacred act of worship.

    They’d eliminate marriage if they thought it promoted secularism.

  • Anne Fenwick

    it was strictly forbidden in nearly every state for about 300 years of this country’s history, as well as in many other countries

    Citation needed?

    Mostly because I’m aware of many interracial marriages from various times and places throughout history which don’t seem to have been legally problematic, although also, of course, I’m aware of specific times and places where they were. Remember, in particular, that for much of America’s 300 year history, there was a far smaller number of states, and to my knowledge, some half of them permitted interracial marriage.