“Marriage equality” instead of “gay” or “same-sex marriage”

More language games: Gay rights activists are seeking to change the words with which we think about this issue by eliminating “gay” and “same-sex” from the discourse. From the Washington Post:

For gay rights advocates, the campaign so far largely centers on an effort to remove the terms “gay” and “same sex” from a debate that ultimately could be resolved by Congress, the courts or voters.

Instead of having their supporters talk about same-sex marriage, advocates want the phrase “marriage equality” to be used.

And don’t expect to see organizations that are easily tied to the gay rights movement featured prominently in the debate. Newly formed groups with names such as D.C. for Marriage and the Campaign for All D.C. Families will be the public face of the proponents.

“You don’t want to turn people off before they hear what you are talking about,” said Peter Rosenstein, a gay rights advocate. “We want to make it clear this is an equality issue. This is a civil rights issue. This is a family issue.”

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

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  • http://libertasacademy.blogspot.com/ Kathy Weitz

    I actually heard a local D.C. newscaster reporting on this issue last week repeatedly call marriage between a man and a woman ‘opposite marriage’! Similar to ‘anti-choice’, I think.

  • http://libertasacademy.blogspot.com/ Kathy Weitz

    I actually heard a local D.C. newscaster reporting on this issue last week repeatedly call marriage between a man and a woman ‘opposite marriage’! Similar to ‘anti-choice’, I think.

  • Manxman

    “Equality” can be a great evil, especially if force is used to impose it where it really ought not to exist or is not deserved.

    This quote by Dennis Prager helps to understand the motivations of the Obama administration, activist homosexuals and leftist liberals – “The Left is now, as it has always been, the child of the French Revolution and of Karl Marx. For both, the greatest evil is not injustice, not cruelty, not even murder; it is inequality.”

  • Manxman

    “Equality” can be a great evil, especially if force is used to impose it where it really ought not to exist or is not deserved.

    This quote by Dennis Prager helps to understand the motivations of the Obama administration, activist homosexuals and leftist liberals – “The Left is now, as it has always been, the child of the French Revolution and of Karl Marx. For both, the greatest evil is not injustice, not cruelty, not even murder; it is inequality.”

  • FW

    The gay population is far from monolithic. 10 yeara ago, asking about gay marriage would have been met with blank stares. Integration was not thought possible.

    what changed things? blogs. the internet. groups can no longer be manipulated and driven by false information by mass mail campaigns and organizations that spend 90 cents of their dollar on: mass mail campaigns.

    This is why gay “rights” organzations are floundering for a raison d´etre, ala this example of stupidity. I suspect that the dobson organization etc all on the side of the religious right are floundering, not surprisingly, for the same reasons.

    it is so easy now to check fatuous, inflamatory stories in mass mail campaigns with google and then stop them with a good blog.

  • FW

    The gay population is far from monolithic. 10 yeara ago, asking about gay marriage would have been met with blank stares. Integration was not thought possible.

    what changed things? blogs. the internet. groups can no longer be manipulated and driven by false information by mass mail campaigns and organizations that spend 90 cents of their dollar on: mass mail campaigns.

    This is why gay “rights” organzations are floundering for a raison d´etre, ala this example of stupidity. I suspect that the dobson organization etc all on the side of the religious right are floundering, not surprisingly, for the same reasons.

    it is so easy now to check fatuous, inflamatory stories in mass mail campaigns with google and then stop them with a good blog.

  • Peter Leavitt

    “Marriage equality” is merely a slogan. Nowhere in the U.S. or state constitutions do we find a reference to marriage “equality.”

    Marriage law is fundamentally about protecting the interests of children who are ideally entitled to the benefit of both a mother and father.

    Andrew Sullivan once candidly explained that the gay agenda of marriage involves the understanding of “extra marital” outlets for gay men. He writes:

    Some of this is unavailable to the male-female union: there is more likely to be greater understanding of the need for extramarital outlets between two men than between a man and a woman; and again, the lack of children gives gay couples greater freedom. Their failures entail fewer consequences for others. But something of the gay’s relationship’s necessary honesty, its flexibility, and its equality could undoubtedly help strengthen and inform many heterosexual bonds.
    –Andrew Sullivan, Virtually Normal, pp. 202-03.

    Most gays look on “straight” marriage as limiting; the deeply rooted Judeo-Christian ideal of a sacred one flesh life-long union in order to bear and nurture children as a quaint, dull affair that doesn’t satisfy their essentially narcissistic and hedonistic interests.

  • Peter Leavitt

    “Marriage equality” is merely a slogan. Nowhere in the U.S. or state constitutions do we find a reference to marriage “equality.”

    Marriage law is fundamentally about protecting the interests of children who are ideally entitled to the benefit of both a mother and father.

    Andrew Sullivan once candidly explained that the gay agenda of marriage involves the understanding of “extra marital” outlets for gay men. He writes:

    Some of this is unavailable to the male-female union: there is more likely to be greater understanding of the need for extramarital outlets between two men than between a man and a woman; and again, the lack of children gives gay couples greater freedom. Their failures entail fewer consequences for others. But something of the gay’s relationship’s necessary honesty, its flexibility, and its equality could undoubtedly help strengthen and inform many heterosexual bonds.
    –Andrew Sullivan, Virtually Normal, pp. 202-03.

    Most gays look on “straight” marriage as limiting; the deeply rooted Judeo-Christian ideal of a sacred one flesh life-long union in order to bear and nurture children as a quaint, dull affair that doesn’t satisfy their essentially narcissistic and hedonistic interests.

  • http://blog.higherthings.org/wcwirla/ wcwirla

    Whenever something is politicized, the word games inevitably begin. “Marriage equality” is yet another example. The goal is to scramble the discourse in order to draw attention away from the heart of the matter.

  • http://blog.higherthings.org/wcwirla/ wcwirla

    Whenever something is politicized, the word games inevitably begin. “Marriage equality” is yet another example. The goal is to scramble the discourse in order to draw attention away from the heart of the matter.

  • FW

    #5 peter leavitt

    “andrew sullivan candidly explained the gay agenda…”

    hummm. one man´s opinion becomes the gay agenda.

    yeah. like larry flynt represents your views and the heterosexual agenda….implying other heteros like you who are opposed to him are less than candid.

    “most gays”….how do you know this? how many gays do you know? you know me. you think I agree? maybe I am more like a typical homo?

    fatuous generalizations rob truth of it´s power.

    You are fighting fire with fire brother peter.

  • FW

    #5 peter leavitt

    “andrew sullivan candidly explained the gay agenda…”

    hummm. one man´s opinion becomes the gay agenda.

    yeah. like larry flynt represents your views and the heterosexual agenda….implying other heteros like you who are opposed to him are less than candid.

    “most gays”….how do you know this? how many gays do you know? you know me. you think I agree? maybe I am more like a typical homo?

    fatuous generalizations rob truth of it´s power.

    You are fighting fire with fire brother peter.

  • http://chaz-lehmann.livejournal.com Pr. Charles Lehmann

    Marriage equality already exists.

  • http://chaz-lehmann.livejournal.com Pr. Charles Lehmann

    Marriage equality already exists.

  • Peter Leavitt

    FWS, Andrew Sullivan’s view is rather common and influential among the gay community. He well knows the eclectic sexual proclivities of gay men in and out of marriage and understands that most gay men are not satisfied with monogamous relationships. His Atlantic Monthly articles and blog are followed by many. Sullivan is a Catholic Christian who writes for a serious journal. Flynt is an atheist who publishes a scandalous magazine. Equating these two men is absurd.

    Actually, I roomed in a quad at college with a homosexual person and have a close relative who is one, not that this really matters. One doesn’t form a view of a serious issue such as homosexual marriage according to personal relations.

    Anyone with eyes open is well aware that the militant homosexuals have a marriage agenda that, as Sullivan remarks, is “flexible” and trashes the Judeo-Christian ideal of lifelong one flesh union between a man and woman in order to bear and nurture children.

    If you have a better understanding of the gay marriage agenda, state, it and dispense with the huffing and puffing about generalizations and fire.

  • Peter Leavitt

    FWS, Andrew Sullivan’s view is rather common and influential among the gay community. He well knows the eclectic sexual proclivities of gay men in and out of marriage and understands that most gay men are not satisfied with monogamous relationships. His Atlantic Monthly articles and blog are followed by many. Sullivan is a Catholic Christian who writes for a serious journal. Flynt is an atheist who publishes a scandalous magazine. Equating these two men is absurd.

    Actually, I roomed in a quad at college with a homosexual person and have a close relative who is one, not that this really matters. One doesn’t form a view of a serious issue such as homosexual marriage according to personal relations.

    Anyone with eyes open is well aware that the militant homosexuals have a marriage agenda that, as Sullivan remarks, is “flexible” and trashes the Judeo-Christian ideal of lifelong one flesh union between a man and woman in order to bear and nurture children.

    If you have a better understanding of the gay marriage agenda, state, it and dispense with the huffing and puffing about generalizations and fire.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@9), “Andrew Sullivan’s view is rather common and influential among the gay community”? How do you know that? Did the gay community tell you? Or do you have evidence for this?

    Sullivan does have a popular blog, yes, but he writes much that is not about homosexuality. Based on references to his writing that I’ve seen elsewhere, I would argue that he is more popular for his politics than his homosexuality.

    And why is equating Flynt and Sullivan “absurd”? Why do Sullivan’s views necessarily represent “the gay community”, while Flynt’s views do not, you claim, represent those of the straight community? After all, Flynt makes a living merely off his repugnant idea of heterosexuality. Sullivan has to talk a lot about politics in order to be popular. What is your standard for when a person represents a group?

    And anyone with eyes open is well aware that the militant heterosexuals long ago trashed the Judeo-Christian ideal of lifelong one flesh union between a man and woman in order to bear and nurture children. “Militant homosexuals” are not likely to further said cause, but man, to pin this on the gays is really to have ignored your own community, Peter.

    And I say this as a man who also had a gay college roommate, gay close relative, and several gay friends-of-friends. With my Gay Acquaintance Yield thus higher than yours, my opinion necessarily matters more, obviously.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@9), “Andrew Sullivan’s view is rather common and influential among the gay community”? How do you know that? Did the gay community tell you? Or do you have evidence for this?

    Sullivan does have a popular blog, yes, but he writes much that is not about homosexuality. Based on references to his writing that I’ve seen elsewhere, I would argue that he is more popular for his politics than his homosexuality.

    And why is equating Flynt and Sullivan “absurd”? Why do Sullivan’s views necessarily represent “the gay community”, while Flynt’s views do not, you claim, represent those of the straight community? After all, Flynt makes a living merely off his repugnant idea of heterosexuality. Sullivan has to talk a lot about politics in order to be popular. What is your standard for when a person represents a group?

    And anyone with eyes open is well aware that the militant heterosexuals long ago trashed the Judeo-Christian ideal of lifelong one flesh union between a man and woman in order to bear and nurture children. “Militant homosexuals” are not likely to further said cause, but man, to pin this on the gays is really to have ignored your own community, Peter.

    And I say this as a man who also had a gay college roommate, gay close relative, and several gay friends-of-friends. With my Gay Acquaintance Yield thus higher than yours, my opinion necessarily matters more, obviously.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, I happen to occasionally follow Sullivan’s Atlantic blog, the Daily Dish, on the principle that it is rather good to know one’s enemy. He happens to be probably the most influential gay libertarian voice in the country. The blog is littered with homosexual apologia as well as politics and the gay community recognizes him as a major voice.

    Of course, some heterosexuals have disgraced the Judeo-Christian ideal of marriage, though that doesn’t in the slightest tarnish the ideal. Are you making the nihilistic argument that, since some heterosexuals have disgraced Christian marriage, we should, therefore, accept homosexual and other polymorphous, perverse forms of marriage?

    I have a granddaughter at Princeton who is a member of the Anscombe Society; she recently sent me an e-mail that describes its purpose as follows:

    The Anscombe Society believes that the intact, stable family is the most fundamental unit of society. We hold that the intact family consists of a man and woman, bound together by marriage, along with whatever children they may have. We define marriage as the exclusive and monogamous union between a man and a woman grounded in a commitment to mutual love and aid, with the intent to remain so committed until death. In most societies, this commitment is recognized by the state and by social custom.

    That’s a Hell of a lot better view than the nihilism of you and FWS.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, I happen to occasionally follow Sullivan’s Atlantic blog, the Daily Dish, on the principle that it is rather good to know one’s enemy. He happens to be probably the most influential gay libertarian voice in the country. The blog is littered with homosexual apologia as well as politics and the gay community recognizes him as a major voice.

    Of course, some heterosexuals have disgraced the Judeo-Christian ideal of marriage, though that doesn’t in the slightest tarnish the ideal. Are you making the nihilistic argument that, since some heterosexuals have disgraced Christian marriage, we should, therefore, accept homosexual and other polymorphous, perverse forms of marriage?

    I have a granddaughter at Princeton who is a member of the Anscombe Society; she recently sent me an e-mail that describes its purpose as follows:

    The Anscombe Society believes that the intact, stable family is the most fundamental unit of society. We hold that the intact family consists of a man and woman, bound together by marriage, along with whatever children they may have. We define marriage as the exclusive and monogamous union between a man and a woman grounded in a commitment to mutual love and aid, with the intent to remain so committed until death. In most societies, this commitment is recognized by the state and by social custom.

    That’s a Hell of a lot better view than the nihilism of you and FWS.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter, in response to my question (@10), all you did is repeat yourself (@11): “the gay community recognizes him as a major voice”. So I’ll do the same: How do you know that? Did the gay community tell you? Or do you have evidence for this? (N.B. Repeating yourself does not, itself, constitute “evidence”.)

    So Sullivan is your “enemy”, huh? Classy. No doubt you love him then, as Christ said. But look, I read his blog “occasionally”, too (it’s like we’re twins, Peter! — first with the gay college roommates, now with Sullivan-blog-reading!), and even today, when Maine has become the fifth state legalizing gay marriage, his front page is hardly “littered with homosexual apologia”.

    But you’ve ignored the questions I raised, which were also raised by FW: why is equating Flynt and Sullivan “absurd”? Why do Sullivan’s views necessarily represent “the gay community”, while Flynt’s views do not, you claim, represent those of the straight community?

    Anyhow, I don’t know if I also qualify as an “enemy” of yours or not, but I do like how you went from asking if I was a nihilist to outright accusing me of it in a few short sentences. Oh, you know me so well, Peter! It must be all that we have in common: you know, occasionally reading the same blogs, having the same percentages of sexual minorities in our circles, things like that.

    But really, Peter, friend-to-enemy, just because I don’t think you necessarily know what you’re talking about doesn’t make me a nihilist.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter, in response to my question (@10), all you did is repeat yourself (@11): “the gay community recognizes him as a major voice”. So I’ll do the same: How do you know that? Did the gay community tell you? Or do you have evidence for this? (N.B. Repeating yourself does not, itself, constitute “evidence”.)

    So Sullivan is your “enemy”, huh? Classy. No doubt you love him then, as Christ said. But look, I read his blog “occasionally”, too (it’s like we’re twins, Peter! — first with the gay college roommates, now with Sullivan-blog-reading!), and even today, when Maine has become the fifth state legalizing gay marriage, his front page is hardly “littered with homosexual apologia”.

    But you’ve ignored the questions I raised, which were also raised by FW: why is equating Flynt and Sullivan “absurd”? Why do Sullivan’s views necessarily represent “the gay community”, while Flynt’s views do not, you claim, represent those of the straight community?

    Anyhow, I don’t know if I also qualify as an “enemy” of yours or not, but I do like how you went from asking if I was a nihilist to outright accusing me of it in a few short sentences. Oh, you know me so well, Peter! It must be all that we have in common: you know, occasionally reading the same blogs, having the same percentages of sexual minorities in our circles, things like that.

    But really, Peter, friend-to-enemy, just because I don’t think you necessarily know what you’re talking about doesn’t make me a nihilist.

  • FW

    #11 peter levitt.

    wow.

  • FW

    #11 peter levitt.

    wow.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, instead of harping on small points, how say you on the Anscombe Society statement of purpose above?

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, instead of harping on small points, how say you on the Anscombe Society statement of purpose above?

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  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@14), I’m “harping on small points”? Or do you just repeatedly refuse to answer my question? Let’s review.

    You were the first (@5) to bring up Andrew Sullivan, using a quote by him to defend your claim of a “gay agenda” for marriage that “involves the understanding of ‘extra marital’ outlets for gay men.” Was that a “small point” of yours? No, it seemed rather key to what you were saying.

    It also makes the rather ridiculous mistake of assuming a monolithic gay culture, as well as assuming that all gay people listen to, care about, and agree with what Andrew Sullivan says (because, you know, they’re monolithic, just like us heterosexuals are — I mean, you and I are certainly no different, right, Peter?).

    FW called you (@7) on assuming Sullivan speaks for all gays. You defended yourself (@9), without actual evidence, by saying Sullivan is “influential among the gay community”. I asked you to back that up (@10): “How do you know that? Did the gay community tell you? Or do you have evidence for this?”

    Your response (@11) failed to answer my question, merely repeating yourself: “the gay community recognizes [Sullivan] as a major voice.” So I just repeated my questions (@12). Not that you’ve yet answered them, instead choosing to brush me aside (@14) as “harping on small points”.

    Hardly. Your first, main argument hinges on whether (a) Sullivan speaks for all gays, (b) all gays are the same and have the same monolithic agenda, and (c) whether you can be assessed as having any credibility or knowledge as to (a) and (b), based on your points here.

    And after decrying me for attempting to get you to answer some simple questions over and over (oh, and ridiculously labeling me as a “nihilist”), you bother to ask me to reply to some statement emailed to you by your granddaughter that you introduced late in the thread that has very little bearing on the conversation we were having.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@14), I’m “harping on small points”? Or do you just repeatedly refuse to answer my question? Let’s review.

    You were the first (@5) to bring up Andrew Sullivan, using a quote by him to defend your claim of a “gay agenda” for marriage that “involves the understanding of ‘extra marital’ outlets for gay men.” Was that a “small point” of yours? No, it seemed rather key to what you were saying.

    It also makes the rather ridiculous mistake of assuming a monolithic gay culture, as well as assuming that all gay people listen to, care about, and agree with what Andrew Sullivan says (because, you know, they’re monolithic, just like us heterosexuals are — I mean, you and I are certainly no different, right, Peter?).

    FW called you (@7) on assuming Sullivan speaks for all gays. You defended yourself (@9), without actual evidence, by saying Sullivan is “influential among the gay community”. I asked you to back that up (@10): “How do you know that? Did the gay community tell you? Or do you have evidence for this?”

    Your response (@11) failed to answer my question, merely repeating yourself: “the gay community recognizes [Sullivan] as a major voice.” So I just repeated my questions (@12). Not that you’ve yet answered them, instead choosing to brush me aside (@14) as “harping on small points”.

    Hardly. Your first, main argument hinges on whether (a) Sullivan speaks for all gays, (b) all gays are the same and have the same monolithic agenda, and (c) whether you can be assessed as having any credibility or knowledge as to (a) and (b), based on your points here.

    And after decrying me for attempting to get you to answer some simple questions over and over (oh, and ridiculously labeling me as a “nihilist”), you bother to ask me to reply to some statement emailed to you by your granddaughter that you introduced late in the thread that has very little bearing on the conversation we were having.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    But you know what, Peter (@14)? I’ll do something you won’t, or can’t, do and actually answer a question directed at me, even though I fail to see its significance as to what has been said:

    I see nothing I disagree with, as such, in that statement (@11).

    Of course, the statement is incomplete from a biblical standpoint. It fails to mention God and his role in a marriage, or the role he prescribed for men and women in marriage. Frankly, I would be surprised if the Anscombe society were to fully adopt Ephesians 5 in its position statement on marriage — they’re conservative, but I doubt they’re that conservative. Ask your granddaughter.

    But, as I said before (@16), the statement isn’t terribly relevant here. Even if I believe (and I do, in spite of being, you know, a “nihilist”) that marriage is a life-long commitment between a man and a woman, that won’t change if two gay men who are already living together and having sex can now also call themselves “married”.

    Nor will my marriage be affected by gay marriage. After all, it wasn’t affected by the horrifically high divorce rate, which also makes a mockery of marriage, but about which you seem far less concerned. And divorce at least in theory could affect my marriage — gay marriage, not so much.

    It seems to me that the battle against gay marriage is really just a proxy battle against gays in general. Perhaps if we don’t let them marry, they’ll stop being gay? Or at least they’ll remain a little more hidden where we don’t have to think about them?

    I mean, what is the value of your, on one hand, decrying homosexuals’ insatiable hedonism (vis-a-vis a lack of monogamous commitment), and, on the other hand, denying them an expression of monogamous commitment?

    Peter, you live in New England. Are all the legal gay marriages causing you to think about getting divorced? Does your marriage feel cheap and sullied, now?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    But you know what, Peter (@14)? I’ll do something you won’t, or can’t, do and actually answer a question directed at me, even though I fail to see its significance as to what has been said:

    I see nothing I disagree with, as such, in that statement (@11).

    Of course, the statement is incomplete from a biblical standpoint. It fails to mention God and his role in a marriage, or the role he prescribed for men and women in marriage. Frankly, I would be surprised if the Anscombe society were to fully adopt Ephesians 5 in its position statement on marriage — they’re conservative, but I doubt they’re that conservative. Ask your granddaughter.

    But, as I said before (@16), the statement isn’t terribly relevant here. Even if I believe (and I do, in spite of being, you know, a “nihilist”) that marriage is a life-long commitment between a man and a woman, that won’t change if two gay men who are already living together and having sex can now also call themselves “married”.

    Nor will my marriage be affected by gay marriage. After all, it wasn’t affected by the horrifically high divorce rate, which also makes a mockery of marriage, but about which you seem far less concerned. And divorce at least in theory could affect my marriage — gay marriage, not so much.

    It seems to me that the battle against gay marriage is really just a proxy battle against gays in general. Perhaps if we don’t let them marry, they’ll stop being gay? Or at least they’ll remain a little more hidden where we don’t have to think about them?

    I mean, what is the value of your, on one hand, decrying homosexuals’ insatiable hedonism (vis-a-vis a lack of monogamous commitment), and, on the other hand, denying them an expression of monogamous commitment?

    Peter, you live in New England. Are all the legal gay marriages causing you to think about getting divorced? Does your marriage feel cheap and sullied, now?

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, I’ve explained to Frank at #9 the difference between Flynt and Sullivan. I don’t poll the gay community for their views any more than you do. I quite understand that the gay culture is not monolithic, though it is fair to say that not a few gays, married and unmarried, are promiscuous with their sexual habits. See Jeffrey Satinover’s book, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth passim on this.

    On the matter of nihilism, in my view both you and Frank are arguing that, since heterosexuals have disgraced sacred marriage, homosexuals have some sort of sanction to do so. Most liberals tend to be at best relativists when it comes to making discriminating judgments on the question of gay behavior and marriage.

    The Anscombe Society’s position on homosexuality and marriage is unequivocal as the following makes clear:

    The Anscombe Society believes that homosexual persons are called to a chaste lifestyle along with every other member of society, and they are called to recognize the value which the intact family and the institution of marriage have on our society and future generations. As such, we cannot support homosexual relations which fall outside the goals of chastity, nor the proposition for same sex marriage, which challenges the fundamental definition of marriage.

    Of course, gay marriage shouldn’t affect any Christian’s marriage, though if society allows such marriage, it signals young people that there is nothing wrong with gay behavior. That’s one reason why Americans when given a chance to vote on the issue usually vote overwhelmingly against gay marriage.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, I’ve explained to Frank at #9 the difference between Flynt and Sullivan. I don’t poll the gay community for their views any more than you do. I quite understand that the gay culture is not monolithic, though it is fair to say that not a few gays, married and unmarried, are promiscuous with their sexual habits. See Jeffrey Satinover’s book, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth passim on this.

    On the matter of nihilism, in my view both you and Frank are arguing that, since heterosexuals have disgraced sacred marriage, homosexuals have some sort of sanction to do so. Most liberals tend to be at best relativists when it comes to making discriminating judgments on the question of gay behavior and marriage.

    The Anscombe Society’s position on homosexuality and marriage is unequivocal as the following makes clear:

    The Anscombe Society believes that homosexual persons are called to a chaste lifestyle along with every other member of society, and they are called to recognize the value which the intact family and the institution of marriage have on our society and future generations. As such, we cannot support homosexual relations which fall outside the goals of chastity, nor the proposition for same sex marriage, which challenges the fundamental definition of marriage.

    Of course, gay marriage shouldn’t affect any Christian’s marriage, though if society allows such marriage, it signals young people that there is nothing wrong with gay behavior. That’s one reason why Americans when given a chance to vote on the issue usually vote overwhelmingly against gay marriage.

  • Mary Jack

    Peter, tODD & FW,

    “On the matter of nihilism, in my view both you and Frank are arguing that, since heterosexuals have disgraced sacred marriage, homosexuals have some sort of sanction to do so.”

    I find this statement ironic since it seemed to me that Peter was, in a comment or two, seemingly, SEEMINGLY, arguing against homosexual marriage based solely on lack of monogamy. Which argument MUST be tested either by demonstrating that the statement is an oversimplification that may or may not apply or by pointing out that even in spite of such a generalization that a lack of monogamy is not working well as an argument against “gay marriage.” As I think tODD did.

    I don’t think anyone here is arguing FOR “gay marriage.” But logical arguments can and should be clarified.

  • Mary Jack

    Peter, tODD & FW,

    “On the matter of nihilism, in my view both you and Frank are arguing that, since heterosexuals have disgraced sacred marriage, homosexuals have some sort of sanction to do so.”

    I find this statement ironic since it seemed to me that Peter was, in a comment or two, seemingly, SEEMINGLY, arguing against homosexual marriage based solely on lack of monogamy. Which argument MUST be tested either by demonstrating that the statement is an oversimplification that may or may not apply or by pointing out that even in spite of such a generalization that a lack of monogamy is not working well as an argument against “gay marriage.” As I think tODD did.

    I don’t think anyone here is arguing FOR “gay marriage.” But logical arguments can and should be clarified.

  • kerner

    “It seems to me that the battle against gay marriage is just a proxy battle against gays in general.”

    Todd @17:

    I’m glad you finally said that, because until you did I was wondering what your beef with Peter was.

    I think Peter’s point is more that the greater battle is against sin and this country’s acceptance of it. To Peter (feel free to correct me if I am reading you wrong) the converse of your statement is true; i.e. the battle in defense of gay marriage is just a proxy battle in favor of sin.

    Maybe you don’t mean it that way, but your arguments leave open that possibility. For example, your argument that your marriage will not be affected by the existanse of gay marriage is, at best, anecdotal. Do you really think that the general moral atmosphere in this culture (and I grant you that it is pretty much in the toilet already in some areas) wouldn’t be further adversely affected by the grant of legitimacy to same sex behavior that legalizing same sex marriage would generate?

    I suppose a threshold question is: do you believe that homosexual sex (the activity, not the person) is wrong because 1) it takes place outside of marriage, 2) it’s just wrong, period, or 3) both?

  • kerner

    “It seems to me that the battle against gay marriage is just a proxy battle against gays in general.”

    Todd @17:

    I’m glad you finally said that, because until you did I was wondering what your beef with Peter was.

    I think Peter’s point is more that the greater battle is against sin and this country’s acceptance of it. To Peter (feel free to correct me if I am reading you wrong) the converse of your statement is true; i.e. the battle in defense of gay marriage is just a proxy battle in favor of sin.

    Maybe you don’t mean it that way, but your arguments leave open that possibility. For example, your argument that your marriage will not be affected by the existanse of gay marriage is, at best, anecdotal. Do you really think that the general moral atmosphere in this culture (and I grant you that it is pretty much in the toilet already in some areas) wouldn’t be further adversely affected by the grant of legitimacy to same sex behavior that legalizing same sex marriage would generate?

    I suppose a threshold question is: do you believe that homosexual sex (the activity, not the person) is wrong because 1) it takes place outside of marriage, 2) it’s just wrong, period, or 3) both?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@20), you said “the greater battle is against sin and this country’s acceptance of it.” Really, you think that the way to battle “against sin” is via our legal system? And if we have laws that prohibit a behavior, then people will necessarily not “accept” those behaviors?

    These are the assumptions I take issue with. Whether or not gay marriage is legal will not affect (a) the occurence of homosexual sex or (b) people’s opinions of it.

    I’d also like to point out that, the popular Manichean-esque dichotomy seen here notwithstanding, just because one picks on an argument that is in opposition to gay marriage does not make one a combatant “in defense of gay marriage”. It’s a simple mistake to make, and it certainly makes me easier to demonize (all the moreso given my now outed nihilism), but I’m actually more anti-anti-gay-marriage.

    If people here are truly concerned about preserving marriage and its foundation in our society, I would expect to hear way more about divorce, since that is the sin that quite obviously destroys familys in our society. But no, the continual refrain sounds like, well, that’s water under the bridge, or whattya gonna do, or so forth.

    Honestly, what is the moral difference between two gay men living together and having sex, and two gay men that the state says are married living together and having sex? Honestly? Gay marriage, or a lack of it, does nothing to stop those men.

    So the argument moves to how it will affect straight marriages. Okay. How will it, I ask, to which I am told such questions are “anecdotal”. Oh, but it’s about the “general moral atmosphere”. Which … is so much better off if we tell those two gay men having sex that they cannot marry? See how that preserves the “moral atmosphere” from deteriorating! No, honestly, I don’t get it.

    As to your final question, Kerner, it’s an odd one. Ask the same thing for adulterous heterosexual relationships. Is it still a meaningful dichotomy: Are they wrong because 1) it takes place outside of marriage, 2) it’s just wrong, period, or 3) both?

    I mean, I guess the only reasonable answer is #3. But it’s only “just wrong” because God proscribes adultery, right? So what’s your point?

    Moreover, how is battling against gay marriage going to have an effect, I ask you, on homosexual sex?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@20), you said “the greater battle is against sin and this country’s acceptance of it.” Really, you think that the way to battle “against sin” is via our legal system? And if we have laws that prohibit a behavior, then people will necessarily not “accept” those behaviors?

    These are the assumptions I take issue with. Whether or not gay marriage is legal will not affect (a) the occurence of homosexual sex or (b) people’s opinions of it.

    I’d also like to point out that, the popular Manichean-esque dichotomy seen here notwithstanding, just because one picks on an argument that is in opposition to gay marriage does not make one a combatant “in defense of gay marriage”. It’s a simple mistake to make, and it certainly makes me easier to demonize (all the moreso given my now outed nihilism), but I’m actually more anti-anti-gay-marriage.

    If people here are truly concerned about preserving marriage and its foundation in our society, I would expect to hear way more about divorce, since that is the sin that quite obviously destroys familys in our society. But no, the continual refrain sounds like, well, that’s water under the bridge, or whattya gonna do, or so forth.

    Honestly, what is the moral difference between two gay men living together and having sex, and two gay men that the state says are married living together and having sex? Honestly? Gay marriage, or a lack of it, does nothing to stop those men.

    So the argument moves to how it will affect straight marriages. Okay. How will it, I ask, to which I am told such questions are “anecdotal”. Oh, but it’s about the “general moral atmosphere”. Which … is so much better off if we tell those two gay men having sex that they cannot marry? See how that preserves the “moral atmosphere” from deteriorating! No, honestly, I don’t get it.

    As to your final question, Kerner, it’s an odd one. Ask the same thing for adulterous heterosexual relationships. Is it still a meaningful dichotomy: Are they wrong because 1) it takes place outside of marriage, 2) it’s just wrong, period, or 3) both?

    I mean, I guess the only reasonable answer is #3. But it’s only “just wrong” because God proscribes adultery, right? So what’s your point?

    Moreover, how is battling against gay marriage going to have an effect, I ask you, on homosexual sex?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@18), you really aren’t answering my questions, though I thought I answered your (much later, less relevant) question quite straightforwardly. You maintain, without any reasoning whatsoever, that Sullivan conveniently speaks for all (or enough) gays, and that they all have this “agenda” vis-a-vis marriage, and that Flynt in no way compares for the heterosexual side. Fine. I’ll stop asking you about your expertise in this area, since you’re not going to tell me.

    And as for you and your little labeling game, give it up. Ooh, I’m a “nihilist.” And because you’ve found enough evidence (no doubt of the same quality and quantity that led to your knowledge of Sullivan’s influence over all gays) to pigeonhole me as a “liberal”, you feel no compunction whatsoever in lovingly accusing me of being a “relativist when it comes to making discriminating judgments”. I hope I’ve made it perfectly clear how much I care about your judgment of me.

    “If society allows such marriage, it signals young people that there is nothing wrong with gay behavior.” Not sure why society is only sending a message to “young people” (guess you old people have it all worked out already), but this begs the question: how does disallowing gay marriage, but notably not actually prohibiting “gay behavior”, send much of a different message? If we’re seeking to tell today’s whippersnappers what’s what, then let’s ban gay sex! And men holding hands! And gay people! Let’s not get all wishy-washy and allow them to sodomize each other in private with the blessing of the state!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@18), you really aren’t answering my questions, though I thought I answered your (much later, less relevant) question quite straightforwardly. You maintain, without any reasoning whatsoever, that Sullivan conveniently speaks for all (or enough) gays, and that they all have this “agenda” vis-a-vis marriage, and that Flynt in no way compares for the heterosexual side. Fine. I’ll stop asking you about your expertise in this area, since you’re not going to tell me.

    And as for you and your little labeling game, give it up. Ooh, I’m a “nihilist.” And because you’ve found enough evidence (no doubt of the same quality and quantity that led to your knowledge of Sullivan’s influence over all gays) to pigeonhole me as a “liberal”, you feel no compunction whatsoever in lovingly accusing me of being a “relativist when it comes to making discriminating judgments”. I hope I’ve made it perfectly clear how much I care about your judgment of me.

    “If society allows such marriage, it signals young people that there is nothing wrong with gay behavior.” Not sure why society is only sending a message to “young people” (guess you old people have it all worked out already), but this begs the question: how does disallowing gay marriage, but notably not actually prohibiting “gay behavior”, send much of a different message? If we’re seeking to tell today’s whippersnappers what’s what, then let’s ban gay sex! And men holding hands! And gay people! Let’s not get all wishy-washy and allow them to sodomize each other in private with the blessing of the state!

  • kerner

    tODD:

    I only have time to give you the two answers I can give you quickly.

    First, I do believe that the position of the law on a particular activity has some effect on it, and that rule applies to any activity. I think, for example, that more people would use marijuana if it were legal than now use it, especially where the penalites are more severe. It is simply easier to convince people that something shouldn’t be done if the law condemns it, or even if the law does not overtly endorce it. Marijuana use is not really an analogy here, because I don’t compare it to homosexual sex, but it IS an example of the position of the secular law reducing an activity.

    As to homosexual sex. You have used the term “gay men” in the ontological sense that Frank uses it (i.e., something that is part of the person’s essence). I am becoming convinced that there is truth in that definition for some people who engage in homosexual relationships, but not all of them. I am convinced that there are a great many more people who have bi-sexual tendencies than either side of this debate would care to admit. The prisons are full of them, but you also see them outside (look at Anne Heche, heterosexual with Steve Martin, Lesbian with Ellen Degeneres, now heterosexual again). I’ll bet many of us know people who have been married for years and had children who leave their spouse to have a homosexual relationship. Sometimes they regret it, and sometimes they claim they are happier to have done it, but don’t tell me that they can’t have heterosexual relationships, when clearly they can. So, for these, it IS a choice. Still others simply could go either way, and the approval of people whose opinions they respect does make a difference.

    So I guess my answer is that for people who are truly hard wired to only be interested in homosexual sex, the position of the law will make little if any difference. But for others (and this group is probably larger than the first) that can go either way, I think the overt approval of the law (or the lack of it) DOES make a difference in whether some people will engage in this activity. Maybe not much, (I actually have done no research as to how much), but some.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    I only have time to give you the two answers I can give you quickly.

    First, I do believe that the position of the law on a particular activity has some effect on it, and that rule applies to any activity. I think, for example, that more people would use marijuana if it were legal than now use it, especially where the penalites are more severe. It is simply easier to convince people that something shouldn’t be done if the law condemns it, or even if the law does not overtly endorce it. Marijuana use is not really an analogy here, because I don’t compare it to homosexual sex, but it IS an example of the position of the secular law reducing an activity.

    As to homosexual sex. You have used the term “gay men” in the ontological sense that Frank uses it (i.e., something that is part of the person’s essence). I am becoming convinced that there is truth in that definition for some people who engage in homosexual relationships, but not all of them. I am convinced that there are a great many more people who have bi-sexual tendencies than either side of this debate would care to admit. The prisons are full of them, but you also see them outside (look at Anne Heche, heterosexual with Steve Martin, Lesbian with Ellen Degeneres, now heterosexual again). I’ll bet many of us know people who have been married for years and had children who leave their spouse to have a homosexual relationship. Sometimes they regret it, and sometimes they claim they are happier to have done it, but don’t tell me that they can’t have heterosexual relationships, when clearly they can. So, for these, it IS a choice. Still others simply could go either way, and the approval of people whose opinions they respect does make a difference.

    So I guess my answer is that for people who are truly hard wired to only be interested in homosexual sex, the position of the law will make little if any difference. But for others (and this group is probably larger than the first) that can go either way, I think the overt approval of the law (or the lack of it) DOES make a difference in whether some people will engage in this activity. Maybe not much, (I actually have done no research as to how much), but some.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@23), your example of marijuana is, to me, interesting. Sure, if we legalize it, more people would smoke it. But isn’t that because those people’s attitudes are already disposed towards the act, but that they are restrained by fear of being caught? That is, would legalizing marijuana change people’s attitudes, or would it merely allow more people to act on their already-changed attitude? Of course, it would likely be a mixture of both.

    But let’s focus on gay marriage here. The issue is one of legalizing gay marriage, not homosexual sex. You, and many people here, seem inclined to confuse those two. If you want to make the marijuana argument relevant here, then we should be discussing criminalizing gay sex (in order to make occurences of it less frequent). But we’re not discussing that, and I don’t know that many people here would ever favor criminalizing gay sex.

    Instead, it’s all done, as I said before, by proxy, by battling over gay marriage. Which, as I’ve pointed out, merely means — intentionally or not — that Christians are battling for gay sex to occur only in relationships that the state has not sanctioned.

    As to whether people are “ontologically” gay or bisexual or whatever, I’m not really interested in that right now, nor does it fit into what I’m talking about here, so I hope you understand if I ignore that for the time being.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@23), your example of marijuana is, to me, interesting. Sure, if we legalize it, more people would smoke it. But isn’t that because those people’s attitudes are already disposed towards the act, but that they are restrained by fear of being caught? That is, would legalizing marijuana change people’s attitudes, or would it merely allow more people to act on their already-changed attitude? Of course, it would likely be a mixture of both.

    But let’s focus on gay marriage here. The issue is one of legalizing gay marriage, not homosexual sex. You, and many people here, seem inclined to confuse those two. If you want to make the marijuana argument relevant here, then we should be discussing criminalizing gay sex (in order to make occurences of it less frequent). But we’re not discussing that, and I don’t know that many people here would ever favor criminalizing gay sex.

    Instead, it’s all done, as I said before, by proxy, by battling over gay marriage. Which, as I’ve pointed out, merely means — intentionally or not — that Christians are battling for gay sex to occur only in relationships that the state has not sanctioned.

    As to whether people are “ontologically” gay or bisexual or whatever, I’m not really interested in that right now, nor does it fit into what I’m talking about here, so I hope you understand if I ignore that for the time being.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    I’m not confusing gay marriage and homosexual sex. But I do see a relationship between them. But as far as the position of the law and the legal system goes you have a point when you say that “legalizing” homosexual sex has already been done. The Supreme Court has recently voided anti-sodomy laws. For the moment, there isn’t much we can do about that, even if we want to.

    On the other hand, your position seems to be: now that homosexual sex is legal, it will not cause further harm to society if the law affirmatively approves of it by institutionalizing it through amendment of the marriage laws. I disagree. I think that affirmative approval is a further step we as a culture need not take, and one that might make our situation worse if we do take it.

    I understand that the gay activists others have mentioned do not speak for all gays, and may not even speak for most of them (I have no idea, really), but the agenda these particular activists seem to be pushing is to have our society, through its laws, affirmatively approve of their sex lives. This would make my disapproval of their sex lives contrary to public policy, and this is a position in which I do not wish to find myself.

    Therefore, my opposition to this country affirmatively approving of gay sex by institutionalizing it in marriage remains a step I will oppose, not as some kind of proxy, but because it is in itself a bad idea.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    I’m not confusing gay marriage and homosexual sex. But I do see a relationship between them. But as far as the position of the law and the legal system goes you have a point when you say that “legalizing” homosexual sex has already been done. The Supreme Court has recently voided anti-sodomy laws. For the moment, there isn’t much we can do about that, even if we want to.

    On the other hand, your position seems to be: now that homosexual sex is legal, it will not cause further harm to society if the law affirmatively approves of it by institutionalizing it through amendment of the marriage laws. I disagree. I think that affirmative approval is a further step we as a culture need not take, and one that might make our situation worse if we do take it.

    I understand that the gay activists others have mentioned do not speak for all gays, and may not even speak for most of them (I have no idea, really), but the agenda these particular activists seem to be pushing is to have our society, through its laws, affirmatively approve of their sex lives. This would make my disapproval of their sex lives contrary to public policy, and this is a position in which I do not wish to find myself.

    Therefore, my opposition to this country affirmatively approving of gay sex by institutionalizing it in marriage remains a step I will oppose, not as some kind of proxy, but because it is in itself a bad idea.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@25), you said, “I think that affirmative approval is a further step we as a culture need not take, and one that might make our situation worse if we do take it.” As to the former, I’m not arguing that it’s a step we “need” to take, for what it’s worth. Arguing against anti-gay-marriage arguments may make it seem so to some, but it’s not.

    But, and I feel I’ve already asked this a lot around here: how, specifically, will gay marriage “make our situation worse”? Honestly, I want to know. How will it affect the state of marriage? How will it affect Christians? How will it affect non-Christians? Someone needs to spell this out for me.

    And “This would make my disapproval of their sex lives contrary to public policy, and this is a position in which I do not wish to find myself.” Forgive me, but that sounds a bit whiny. You don’t want to find your opinion contrary to public policy? In what way is this not a daily state of life for you (and me)? Correct me if I’m wrong, but it doesn’t seem to be debilitating to you that your disapproval of divorce is contrary to public policy.

    And, see, I keep making this point, but have yet to hear a satisfactory answer: why must our Christian beliefs about sexual behavior be enshrined in our marriage laws, but our Christian beliefs about divorce must not? Surely divorce has a bigger impact on society via the marriage. Surely divorce is a bigger temptation to most than homosexuality.

    But nobody ever joins in the fight against divorce with such vigor. At most, they seem to offer the obligatory, “Well, I also oppose divorce, you know.”

    I will note, however, that divorce until recently was only available to straight people. And I will continue to wonder if that’s why the fight against gay marriage is so much more popular and vociferous than the one against divorce.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@25), you said, “I think that affirmative approval is a further step we as a culture need not take, and one that might make our situation worse if we do take it.” As to the former, I’m not arguing that it’s a step we “need” to take, for what it’s worth. Arguing against anti-gay-marriage arguments may make it seem so to some, but it’s not.

    But, and I feel I’ve already asked this a lot around here: how, specifically, will gay marriage “make our situation worse”? Honestly, I want to know. How will it affect the state of marriage? How will it affect Christians? How will it affect non-Christians? Someone needs to spell this out for me.

    And “This would make my disapproval of their sex lives contrary to public policy, and this is a position in which I do not wish to find myself.” Forgive me, but that sounds a bit whiny. You don’t want to find your opinion contrary to public policy? In what way is this not a daily state of life for you (and me)? Correct me if I’m wrong, but it doesn’t seem to be debilitating to you that your disapproval of divorce is contrary to public policy.

    And, see, I keep making this point, but have yet to hear a satisfactory answer: why must our Christian beliefs about sexual behavior be enshrined in our marriage laws, but our Christian beliefs about divorce must not? Surely divorce has a bigger impact on society via the marriage. Surely divorce is a bigger temptation to most than homosexuality.

    But nobody ever joins in the fight against divorce with such vigor. At most, they seem to offer the obligatory, “Well, I also oppose divorce, you know.”

    I will note, however, that divorce until recently was only available to straight people. And I will continue to wonder if that’s why the fight against gay marriage is so much more popular and vociferous than the one against divorce.

  • FW

    #23 kerner

    as a sort of “friend of the court” piece of info:

    you, along with, the observation and interviews by frank of thousands of gays and bisexuals and lesbians, the APA, AMA and ABA, and dr Kinsey are correct. Sexual orientation does run along a spectrum. there are people who are at one end very very very homo, the other end very very hetero and everything in the middle. sometimes i suspect that men who are near the “hetero extreme” if you will indulge that term with out jumping on it, see their homo tendencies as a behavioral problem similar to drug or alcohol addiction, resist successfully and then in error assume gays are like them and the solution is the same.

    in a world where homosexuality were treated like left handedness I believe we would be surprised. maybe gays would not be,many heteros would be gay.

  • FW

    #23 kerner

    as a sort of “friend of the court” piece of info:

    you, along with, the observation and interviews by frank of thousands of gays and bisexuals and lesbians, the APA, AMA and ABA, and dr Kinsey are correct. Sexual orientation does run along a spectrum. there are people who are at one end very very very homo, the other end very very hetero and everything in the middle. sometimes i suspect that men who are near the “hetero extreme” if you will indulge that term with out jumping on it, see their homo tendencies as a behavioral problem similar to drug or alcohol addiction, resist successfully and then in error assume gays are like them and the solution is the same.

    in a world where homosexuality were treated like left handedness I believe we would be surprised. maybe gays would not be,many heteros would be gay.

  • FW

    todd you have it all about right I think.

    Kerner, some thoughts for you.

    imagine a world where homosexuality was the norm and being hetero were not. Kerner, what would it take to make you gay? is there ANY influence in the world that would make that so? when did you CHOOSE to be heterosexual by the way?

    and why on earth would anyone CHOSE to be gay? that is sort of like chosing to be a leper, poor, black in slavery times…. Imagine how YOUR life would have to change if you CHOSE to be gay. even if you were kinda sorta gay or bi…..

  • FW

    todd you have it all about right I think.

    Kerner, some thoughts for you.

    imagine a world where homosexuality was the norm and being hetero were not. Kerner, what would it take to make you gay? is there ANY influence in the world that would make that so? when did you CHOOSE to be heterosexual by the way?

    and why on earth would anyone CHOSE to be gay? that is sort of like chosing to be a leper, poor, black in slavery times…. Imagine how YOUR life would have to change if you CHOSE to be gay. even if you were kinda sorta gay or bi…..

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, I should say that when the principle of defining a marriage between a man and a woman is replaced by that of love between two people makes a family, how can the line be drawn at two people. This is one of the major concerns of those who oppose gay “marriage.”

    Robert George addresses this incisively in a First Things article Beyond Gay Marriage.

    In the article he refers to a statement, Beyond Gay Marriage by three hundred leading academics and gay activists who let the cat out of the bag by arguing for the doctrine that love makes a family, not marriage between a man and a women.

    Prof. George writes:

    In acknowledging that under the doctrine of “love makes a family,” what applies to “committed, loving same-sex couples” must apply to “committed, loving households in which there is more than one conjugal partner,” the signatories to “Beyond Gay Marriage” exhibit the virtues of intellectual honesty and logical consistency….

    The choice facing us as a nation is this: Either we retain as legally normative the traditional conjugal understanding of marriage as the exclusive union of one man and one woman, or we give legal standing and public approbation to every form of consensual sexual partnering and child rearing, including polygamy and polyamory. Just ask those notable “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied activists, scholars educators, writers, artists, lawyers, journalists, and community organizers.” They’ll tell you exactly what lies “beyond gay marriage.” They already have.

    So, when you ask how gay “marriage” affects the whole society, you might ponder the legal logic that is unloosed along with the real intentions of the gay activists.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, I should say that when the principle of defining a marriage between a man and a woman is replaced by that of love between two people makes a family, how can the line be drawn at two people. This is one of the major concerns of those who oppose gay “marriage.”

    Robert George addresses this incisively in a First Things article Beyond Gay Marriage.

    In the article he refers to a statement, Beyond Gay Marriage by three hundred leading academics and gay activists who let the cat out of the bag by arguing for the doctrine that love makes a family, not marriage between a man and a women.

    Prof. George writes:

    In acknowledging that under the doctrine of “love makes a family,” what applies to “committed, loving same-sex couples” must apply to “committed, loving households in which there is more than one conjugal partner,” the signatories to “Beyond Gay Marriage” exhibit the virtues of intellectual honesty and logical consistency….

    The choice facing us as a nation is this: Either we retain as legally normative the traditional conjugal understanding of marriage as the exclusive union of one man and one woman, or we give legal standing and public approbation to every form of consensual sexual partnering and child rearing, including polygamy and polyamory. Just ask those notable “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied activists, scholars educators, writers, artists, lawyers, journalists, and community organizers.” They’ll tell you exactly what lies “beyond gay marriage.” They already have.

    So, when you ask how gay “marriage” affects the whole society, you might ponder the legal logic that is unloosed along with the real intentions of the gay activists.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Pardon. The link for the above is Here.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Pardon. The link for the above is Here.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter, that’s weak. Your answer of how gay marriage will affect society appears to be: it won’t. Oh, but it might open the door to things that really will affect society, like polygamy!

    There’s a time and a place for slippery slope arguments (and that time is: very infrequently), but your comment (@29) absolutely fails to say what gay marriage itself will do to society.

    As in: let’s say that polygamy will never be legalized in this country. Can you then raise any issues against gay marriage itself? Or is your only argument against gay marriage that it will allow polygamy?

    Heck, while we’re at it, I’ll just leap ahead a bit and ask: how will legalized polygamy affect your marriage? How will it affect our society in particular? Honestly, I’d like to know the answer.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter, that’s weak. Your answer of how gay marriage will affect society appears to be: it won’t. Oh, but it might open the door to things that really will affect society, like polygamy!

    There’s a time and a place for slippery slope arguments (and that time is: very infrequently), but your comment (@29) absolutely fails to say what gay marriage itself will do to society.

    As in: let’s say that polygamy will never be legalized in this country. Can you then raise any issues against gay marriage itself? Or is your only argument against gay marriage that it will allow polygamy?

    Heck, while we’re at it, I’ll just leap ahead a bit and ask: how will legalized polygamy affect your marriage? How will it affect our society in particular? Honestly, I’d like to know the answer.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, of course, you will leap ahead “a bit,” as the logic of gay marriage requires it. In fact, the logic of the sexual revolution requires the wholesale abrogation of moral law that has already led the West into serious decadence.

    You might try Karl Barth sometime on the distinction between the sort of modernist decadent liberty of autonomous human being and the freedom of human being in submitting to the moral law. John Updike in his Rabbit stories shows the fecklessness of both a Lutheran pastor and Episcopal priest who caved in to the pieties modern secular liberalism.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, of course, you will leap ahead “a bit,” as the logic of gay marriage requires it. In fact, the logic of the sexual revolution requires the wholesale abrogation of moral law that has already led the West into serious decadence.

    You might try Karl Barth sometime on the distinction between the sort of modernist decadent liberty of autonomous human being and the freedom of human being in submitting to the moral law. John Updike in his Rabbit stories shows the fecklessness of both a Lutheran pastor and Episcopal priest who caved in to the pieties modern secular liberalism.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    So, Peter (@32), you’re just not going to reply to anything I say or ask you, are you? You’re just sort of talking in my general direction, but not with me, is that it?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    So, Peter (@32), you’re just not going to reply to anything I say or ask you, are you? You’re just sort of talking in my general direction, but not with me, is that it?

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, first, you amusingly are the pot calling the kettle when it comes to ignoring other’s points. Second, I’m not in the futile habit of kibbitzing with tiresome liberal ideologues.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, first, you amusingly are the pot calling the kettle when it comes to ignoring other’s points. Second, I’m not in the futile habit of kibbitzing with tiresome liberal ideologues.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter, I asked the one question I remember you asking me (regarding your granddaughter’s college club), no matter how relevant it was. Are you saying that you’ve equally answered the questions I have repeatedly asked you?

    And you are the master of slinging epithets around. I’ll add “tiresome liberal idealogue” to “nihilist” on the list of things you say that make me cry. But hey, Peter, just slap on a label and then the problem is solved, isn’t it?

    Also: you’re not in the habit of kibbitzing with me? Please. You’re just not in the habit of actually replying to my points or answering my questions. Trust me, you’re kibbitzing.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter, I asked the one question I remember you asking me (regarding your granddaughter’s college club), no matter how relevant it was. Are you saying that you’ve equally answered the questions I have repeatedly asked you?

    And you are the master of slinging epithets around. I’ll add “tiresome liberal idealogue” to “nihilist” on the list of things you say that make me cry. But hey, Peter, just slap on a label and then the problem is solved, isn’t it?

    Also: you’re not in the habit of kibbitzing with me? Please. You’re just not in the habit of actually replying to my points or answering my questions. Trust me, you’re kibbitzing.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Whoops. That should read (@35), “Peter, I answered …”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Whoops. That should read (@35), “Peter, I answered …”.

  • Matt

    Equal protection under the law already fully exists regarding marriage – unlike in 1950′s america.

    Everyone has equal protection and opportunity to marry anyone they want of the opposite sex. And, in states where marriage hasn’t been redefined, no one has the right to marry anyone of the same sex.

    Equal rights and equal protection.

    What’s really being asked for are NEW rights and NEW protection and, people have always and will always have the power to define the limits of rights and protectoin according to a moral standard. That’s not biggotry or evil – that’s life.

    This is about state and federal normalization of an activity – not of a race, or of a creed, but on an activity.

    And the issue of being “born with it” is irrelevant. Suppose there was a gene that predisposed one to dry-humping trees? Should we then say, “You know what? He loves that tree.” Or should we say, “I understand, I have compassion, but it still doesn’t make that behavior the best for society.”

    Homosexuality is deviant behavior: physiologically (goes against physical attribute and is incapable of supporting the species), sociologically (can’t be the building block of civilization) and theologically (God says, “I love you, I will forgive you, but nope.”)

  • Matt

    Equal protection under the law already fully exists regarding marriage – unlike in 1950′s america.

    Everyone has equal protection and opportunity to marry anyone they want of the opposite sex. And, in states where marriage hasn’t been redefined, no one has the right to marry anyone of the same sex.

    Equal rights and equal protection.

    What’s really being asked for are NEW rights and NEW protection and, people have always and will always have the power to define the limits of rights and protectoin according to a moral standard. That’s not biggotry or evil – that’s life.

    This is about state and federal normalization of an activity – not of a race, or of a creed, but on an activity.

    And the issue of being “born with it” is irrelevant. Suppose there was a gene that predisposed one to dry-humping trees? Should we then say, “You know what? He loves that tree.” Or should we say, “I understand, I have compassion, but it still doesn’t make that behavior the best for society.”

    Homosexuality is deviant behavior: physiologically (goes against physical attribute and is incapable of supporting the species), sociologically (can’t be the building block of civilization) and theologically (God says, “I love you, I will forgive you, but nope.”)

  • john18:38

    Have been trying to follow the “debate” or “discussion” going on, and trying very hard to have an open mind about everything, but it is very frustrating to try and “square the circle” if you will :( Many folks have many good points and can find right and wrong with each one, but it would take much too long and am not so inclined to think a blog is the best format to work out what are very complicated and emotional issues. Am starting to think it will be impossible to resolve the gay as not sin for many folks and perhaps they should just say that and form their Church with that doctrine and stick to it. The other folks who say it is not sin can form their own Church as well, and if they like they can let their Jesus be a homosexual, or not, since it doesn’t really matter, because it is not a sin. After all, there really isn’t anything in Scripture that would preclude that possibility, is there, once it is no longer a sin?

  • john18:38

    Have been trying to follow the “debate” or “discussion” going on, and trying very hard to have an open mind about everything, but it is very frustrating to try and “square the circle” if you will :( Many folks have many good points and can find right and wrong with each one, but it would take much too long and am not so inclined to think a blog is the best format to work out what are very complicated and emotional issues. Am starting to think it will be impossible to resolve the gay as not sin for many folks and perhaps they should just say that and form their Church with that doctrine and stick to it. The other folks who say it is not sin can form their own Church as well, and if they like they can let their Jesus be a homosexual, or not, since it doesn’t really matter, because it is not a sin. After all, there really isn’t anything in Scripture that would preclude that possibility, is there, once it is no longer a sin?

  • Peter Leavitt

    John, Dante in his Inferno reserved one of the lower rungs for those who remained neutral on serious moral issues.

  • Peter Leavitt

    John, Dante in his Inferno reserved one of the lower rungs for those who remained neutral on serious moral issues.

  • john18:38

    Thanks for your comment Peter…am not worried about Dante’s rungs as am not planning on visiting that place on any rung! But my point was that one cannot remain neutral, as there could be other implications, such as those that concern the nature of Jesus, and that could be an even more dangerous slope? Of course, that could change the whole tone of the conversation so folks could not remain neutral much longer, right? Well, in any case, this will probably be my swan song blog comment, as hate to communicate with emails anyway, and this blog stuff is even worse. God Bless you Peter….do like your comments very much and wish you the best :)

  • john18:38

    Thanks for your comment Peter…am not worried about Dante’s rungs as am not planning on visiting that place on any rung! But my point was that one cannot remain neutral, as there could be other implications, such as those that concern the nature of Jesus, and that could be an even more dangerous slope? Of course, that could change the whole tone of the conversation so folks could not remain neutral much longer, right? Well, in any case, this will probably be my swan song blog comment, as hate to communicate with emails anyway, and this blog stuff is even worse. God Bless you Peter….do like your comments very much and wish you the best :)

  • fws

    #40 Jesus became sin for us. jesus became EVERYTHING that we are. there must be no quotes around that word sin. he represented the ENTIRE human race, bar no one.

    so we not only cam but MUST say that he who knew no sin, was a mother, a father, a son a daughter , a black man, a gay man.

    Jesus also became a child molester, a drug addict, a gossip, a liar, a thief, and whatever is the very worst thing you have ever done or continue to do in your life.

    and in exchange he gives you and has you become restored, in him, good and perfect in God´s sight, everything that He is and represents.

    He does all this PURELY out of goodness and mercy, without any goodness or merit on our part. not even ONE DROP of merit in an ocean of His goodness.

    So when you do not see a homosexual, a black man, or a white man as Jesus, he will at the end say “you did not know me”.

    To the extent you have given love to the unlovable, the least the last the lost and those not worthy or deserving of anything good and only worth of your condemnation and disgust because of who they are or what they do, Jesus says “whatsoever you have done unto them, you have done unto me!”

    THIS, and nothing short of THIS, is what christian morality and sanctification looks like.

  • fws

    #40 Jesus became sin for us. jesus became EVERYTHING that we are. there must be no quotes around that word sin. he represented the ENTIRE human race, bar no one.

    so we not only cam but MUST say that he who knew no sin, was a mother, a father, a son a daughter , a black man, a gay man.

    Jesus also became a child molester, a drug addict, a gossip, a liar, a thief, and whatever is the very worst thing you have ever done or continue to do in your life.

    and in exchange he gives you and has you become restored, in him, good and perfect in God´s sight, everything that He is and represents.

    He does all this PURELY out of goodness and mercy, without any goodness or merit on our part. not even ONE DROP of merit in an ocean of His goodness.

    So when you do not see a homosexual, a black man, or a white man as Jesus, he will at the end say “you did not know me”.

    To the extent you have given love to the unlovable, the least the last the lost and those not worthy or deserving of anything good and only worth of your condemnation and disgust because of who they are or what they do, Jesus says “whatsoever you have done unto them, you have done unto me!”

    THIS, and nothing short of THIS, is what christian morality and sanctification looks like.


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