But if homosexuality isn’t ‘objectively immoral,’ then Anything Goes …

One of the most common and most popular objections that arises whenever anyone acknowledges that homosexuality is not “objectively immoral” is the argument that somehow this means that “anything goes.”

“If we start affirming then all of morality goes right out the window. If we don’t say that gayness is objectively immoral, then the world has gone mad today and good’s bad today and black’s white today and day’s night today …”

Et cetera.

I do not understand this argument.

The majority of the people making this claim do not believe that heterosexuality is “objectively immoral.” Yet none of them believes that, therefore, “anything goes” for straight people. Affirming heterosexuality has not meant that all of morality has gone out the window, so why would affirming the exact same thing about homosexuality produce such chaos and calamity?

The panicked assertion that it would do so comes, I think, from these Christians’ failure to develop any credible sexual ethic.

What they rely on, instead, is a single yes-or-no question. The entirety of their ethical thinking and ethical consideration regarding sex and sexuality consists of asking that one question. Everything else — the entire universe of vitally important ethical concerns — is swept away, dismissed, and replaced by this question: Are the parties involved married to each other?

If the answer is “Yes,” then any sex between them is moral and righteous because, and only because, it occurs between two people who are married to each other. If the answer is “No,” then any sex between them is immoral and depraved because, and only because, it occurs between two people who are not married to each other.

That has come to be relied on as a substitute and a proxy for every other ethical matter that matters when it comes to sex: love, consent, commitment, fidelity, trust, betrayal, kindness, cruelty, respect, mutuality, reciprocity, honor, malice, liberation, exploitation, manipulation, safety, honesty, dishonesty, magnanimity, joy …

All of that and more is meant to be confirmed or contradicted by that one married/unmarried binary question. And that’s too much for this one question to handle. Marriage is not any kind of guarantee that all of those virtues will be present and all of those vices absent. Marital status cannot be the be-all and end-all of sexual ethics. (Libby Anne has a terrific discussion of this in her “tale of the two boxes.”)

I don’t think this ethical immaturity is limited to sexual ethics. The lack of a coherent Christian sexual ethic is likely just a consequence of a more general lack of ethical thinking. American Christians often have long lists of “Dos” and “Don’ts,” but little understanding of, or interest in, why any given item is in one column and not the other.

Sexual ethics, after all, are not a wholly separate and distinct thing. Sexual ethics mostly consists of taking our existing ethics and keeping them with us when it comes to matters of sex — of ensuring that we do not shed our ethics when we shed our clothes. That’s important, because sex tends to involve us at our most vulnerable. We’re naked — exposed and unarmored and enamored.

The same obligations we have to one another in the rest of our lives do not go away when we enter the bedroom. It’s foolish and reckless to presume that all such obligations are automatically satisfied simply because we have checked the box that says “married.” And it’s foolish and cruel to presume that all of those obligations are automatically violated just because a couple is gay.

Acknowledging that homosexuality is not “objectively immoral” is no different from acknowledging the same thing about heterosexuality. It does not imply chaos, calamity and “anything goes.” Affirming sexuality is not the end of sexual ethics but, rather, the beginning of it.

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  • scifantasy

    There’s something similar in reverse. When Judge Walker in California struck down Proposition 8, he cited to something Justice Scalia had written (in dissent, of course) when the  Supreme Court struck down anti-consensual-sodomy statutes in Lawrence v. Texas.

    In short, Scalia argued that a moral basis was enough to justify banning homosexual conduct, because if it wasn’t:

    “what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising ‘the liberty protected by the Constitution’? Surely not the encouragement of procreation, since the sterile and the elderly are allowed to marry.”

    Walker basically said “yes, Justice Scalia, you’re right. Since there’s no reason to ban homosexual conduct, there’s no reason to ban gay marriage.”

    Scalia saw the gay marriage ban as an end in and of itself.

    Strikes me, you can’t have it both ways…

  • Rizzo

    It’s a stupid argument presented by stupid people.  It’s also a good way to tell if you should bother listening to the opinions of someone:  If they can seriously argue that homosexuality leads to anarchy then you know you can safely disregard their opinions.

  • http://twitter.com/Mjausson Apel Mjausson

     We can safely disregard their opinions, except if they have the power to make decisions for other people or a strong influence on their thinking. Examples include legislators, judges, and clergy.

  • LL

    Yeah, this. Pretty much the way I approach it. 

  • Stone_Monkey

    The marriage thing is an interesting (read repugnant) Catch 22 too. If you assume that any sex outside marriage is immoral and then you don’t allow people to marry their consensually chosen partner then you doom them to always being immoral, and, of course, immoral people shouldn’t be allowed to marry.

    Sneaky…

  • Tricksterson

    And you automatically downgrade them to second-class, not-quite-human status which is the real point of the whole exercise, having someone to feel superior to.

  • Dan Allison

    All you ever write about any more is homosexuality. It’s kind of an obsession for ya, isn’t it, Fred. I mean, to hell with the other 98% of us,they are obviously God’s Chosen People, right?

  • EllieMurasaki

    I imagine Fred would be delighted to shut up about gay rights, provided the people opposed to gay rights shut up first.

  • Pseudonym

    I don’t imagine that Fred is all that preoccupied with getting the last word in. It’s just that there’s a lot of stupid to counter.

  • http://accidental-historian.typepad.com/ Geds

     All you ever write about any more is homosexuality.

    Your concern is noted.

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

    Your concern petulance that privileged people have taken backseat in favor of focusing on the plight of a marginalized group is noted.

    ;)

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     * chuckle * Right. Because it’s not like this post has anything to say about sexual ethics within straight relationships. Nope, not even a little. Nothing to see here except gay, homosexual, gay. Why, five whole paragraphs in this post are about it! Shocking.

  • redcrow

     Oh yes, those poor straight people, why isn’t Fred concerned for them? They are *majorly* oppressed!

    Wait a second, Fred also cares and frequently writes about women’s rights, and as far as I know, some women are straight. A lot of them, even. I doubt Fred believes that only queer women have a right to have abortions or hold high positions in churches… Oh, but he didn’t write a post specifically about *straight* women’s rights, so it totally means that he thinks they don’t need any rights. Or something.

    (And while I’m typing and deleting and typing and deleting again, there are probably already twenty much better responses to this comment by now.)

  • Tricksterson

    Silly scarlet corvid!  Dan Allison was talking about people!, not women!

  • Michael Cule

    Well, no Dan. He also writes about banking, rich people, mobile homes, theories of atonement and salvatition, the right way (if there is one) to lead people towards Christianity, abortion, the dire fate of the newpaper industry and several other pet topics. Oh and that doesn’t include his epic deconstruction of LEFT BEHIND.

    Why just the other day and for the first time Fred pointed me towards a couple of blogs discussing ethical and religious aspects of DOCTOR WHO, both OldWho and NuWho. Who could ask for more diversity?

    And I believe his attitude is more towards getting people to admit that everybody can be God’s Chosen People, God being notoriously broadminded in his standards. He (Fred that is not God though maybe God too) seems to feel that there is plenty of Salvation to go around everyone and the salvation of the gays does not diminish yours.

    Or mine, hopefully.

    Yours agnostically,

  • Nathaniel

    You get a gold medal for missing the point, with a bonus for pointless self victimization pouting.

  • The_L1985

     Fred wouldn’t write so much about homosexuality if so many conservative Christians didn’t talk so much about Homosexuality Is Teh Evulz.

    No same-sex marriage advocate believes that gay people are objectively better OR worse than straight people–in fact, that’s why we want them to be able to marry the person of their choice in the first place!  GLBT issues are hot-button issues, so Fred is talking about them.

    Also, there is no clear consensus on how much of the population is gay.  Various studies have found values between 2 and 10 percent.  Because being gay has a social stigma attached to it, it’s also possible that even the high-end studies had some underreporting involved!  But it doesn’t matter how many gay people there are, because civil rights (should) apply to every American, regardless of how many of them fall into any given category.

  • Tricksterson

    No, he sees them as ordinary people, neither better, nor worse, on average, than anyone else.  If you could do the same, there wouldn’t be a problem

  • http://www.facebook.com/DuncanBeach Duncan Beach

    The problem is, Dan, that gay or straight, black, white, yellow, red, purple or bright green with yellow polka-dots, democrat, republican, communist, Christian, Jewish, Wiccan, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Muslim, Jain or Satanist, hells, even the atheists…We are ALL “God’s  Chosen People”. 
       God did, after all, choose US to live, here and at this time.

  • Daughter

    The “yes or no?” question makes figuring out your ethics easy, and it’s normal for human beings to want to take the easy road.

     I’ll give a personal example. At my daughter’s daycare, there is a tradition of taking clothes your child has outgrown and passing them on to a smaller child there. A mom did that recently, giving a bag of clothes directly to my daughter, so she’d had a chance to look through them before I got to see the clothing when I picked her up.

    Among the items were several pairs of shorts and skirts that were WAAAAAAAYYY too short for my comfort. But my daughter thought they were cute, and the battle was on.

    My daughter loves to dress, and I try to give her the freedom to express herself with clothing, whether it’s accessories or funky styles. But I draw the line at “sexy” looks — I do NOT think a 7-year-old should look sexy.

    But how do you explain that to her, especially when she knows that the mother of a child not much older than her allowed her child to wear such things? Do I tell her that there are pedophiles out in the world who might take such looks as an invitation? Nope, not a good option. But what do I say? There was a time when I might have said, “Because God doesn’t like it,” and that might have settled it, but, although I still believe in God, I no longer make that the end point of my ethics.

    Finally, I relented and let her wear a pair of the shorts. That day, she got several negative comments about them from people she likes and respects. It was enough to make her realize that it wasn’t just her mom that thought this wasn’t good, so she deferred to my judgment. But still, I don’t feel like I’ve given her a good reason for doing so.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    Among the items were several pairs of shorts and skirts that were WAAAAAAAYYY too short for my comfort…
     Do I tell her that there are pedophiles out in the world who might take such looks as an invitation? Nope, not a good option.  

    You’re right. It’s not a good option, because pedophiles aren’t attracted to clothing, they’re attracted to children. You could dress her in a burka, and it would not alter the behavior of a pedophile in the slightest. 

    I relented and let her wear a pair of the shorts. That day, she got several negative comments about them from people she likes and respects. It was enough to make her realize that it wasn’t just her mom that thought this wasn’t good, so she deferred to my judgment. But still, I don’t feel like I’ve given her a good reason for doing so.

    You didn’t give her a good reason, but she discovered one: that other people will judge her based on what she wears. Ideally, the lesson would be “what you wear communicates things to other people without you saying or doing anything”, but close enough, I suppose. 

    If you want to give her a good reason beyond that, some clothing is only appropriate in certain contexts. You don’t wear a bathing suit at the dinner table.  You don’t wear pajamas to go to Church or to the grocery store. Wedding dresses are only for weddings, and football shoulder pads are only for football players.  And short-shorts and short skirts are for girls who are ‘older’. (than her)

  • EllieMurasaki

    And short-shorts and short skirts are for girls who are ‘older’. (than her)

    My understanding from people who have ventured into the child, teen, and preteen girls’ clothing sections more recently than I is that if one wants one’s daughter to be wearing modest clothing, one shops in the boys’ section, because everything in the girls’ section is short shorts, miniskirts, and low-cut jeans with butterfly rhinestones on the butt.

  • LoneWolf343

     Pedophiles probably don’t appreciate the mixed messages.

  • The_L1985

     I wore little boys’ jeans my entire childhood.  Not for modesty reasons, but because I was rail-thin and girls’ jeans in most stores didn’t come in Slim sizes.

  • Fusina

     Apparently you and me both. For a while, my brother and I wore the same size Wrangler’s jeans and my Mum would get four pairs and we got to share them. Lucky for me, he didn’t like the red pair she got.

  • http://audioarchives.blogspot.com/ spinetingler

    “Wedding dresses are only for weddings, and football shoulder pads
    are only for football players.”

    No role-playing in your life, hmmm?  :)

  • Tricksterson

    Pajama bottoms are quite popular nowadays among the young as public wear.

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.alex.harman John Alexander Harman
    Do I tell her that there are pedophiles out in the world who might take such looks as an invitation? Nope, not a good option.

    You’re right. It’s not a good option, because pedophiles aren’t attracted to clothing, they’re attracted to children. You could dress her in a burka, and it would not alter the behavior of a pedophile in the slightest.

    Not necessarily true.  Pedophiles are attracted to children, not clothing, but how children are dressed is likely to affect which child a pedophile will choose to pursue.  Dressing in clothes that are “sexy” and “older” than the child wearing them is liable to serve as an excuse in the warped mind of such a predator.  Everything I’ve read about pedophiles suggests that most of them rationalize their behavior in order to convince themselves that their victims actually desire and enjoy their abuse; a short skirt or a midriff-revealing t-shirt is a potential hook for that kind of self-deception.

    As to not telling a seven-year-old that some adults are dangerous and that a little girl wearing short-shorts or other age-inappropriate, revealing clothing might be more likely to attract such an adult’s attention, I think it’s worth examining that very carefully before assuming that it’s “not a good option.”  I think we overvalue the particular subset of ignorance that we euphemistically refer to as “innocence” in Anglo-American culture, as a legacy of Victorian prudery and the Victorian cult of childhood.*  “That which can be destroyed by the truth should be,” and a child’s belief that the world is safe is surely one of those things.

    * As expressed in literary works like Peter Pan, The Water Babies, and the Chronicles of Narnia — I know the latter post-dated the Victorian era by several decades, but C. S. Lewis’s mentality did not.

  • The_L1985

     “I think we overvalue the particular subset of ignorance that we
    euphemistically refer to as “innocence” in Anglo-American culture.”

    Yes, but that doesn’t change the fact that any understanding a young child has of sex is not going to be remotely the same as how adults understand it.

    1. Adults understand that sex has the capability to form/deepen an emotional bond.
    2. Adults understand that sex is (supposed to be) pleasurable.
    3. Adults have a much more sophisticated understanding of consent vs. coercion than a child does.
    4. Adults generally understand more about the mechanics of sex than children do.  (There are outliers in both directions–abstinence-only “educated” adults can be clueless about sex, and kids whose parents forget to scramble the Playboy channel may well know more than they’re letting on.)

    Also remember that kids often have a simplistic concept of “love” that doesn’t distinguish very well between familial, romantic, and platonic love.

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.alex.harman John Alexander Harman

    Agreed on all points; I was only arguing that I don’t see much positive value in keeping children unaware of the existence of sexually predatory adults, and the fact that clothing that signals “I am a sexual being” (or, to someone with a predatory mindset, “I am a sexy little thing for your enjoyment”) is liable to increase the normally slight risk any given child faces of becoming a target for such an adult.

  • The_L1985

    Yes, that’s a very different thing indeed.  I was taught as a young girl that it’s wrong for grown-ups to ask kids to take off their clothes, or to go anywhere with a grown-up that Mom and Dad hadn’t said I’d be going somewhere with.

    The explanation was never sexual, and was always phrased in vague terms of Bad People who take kids away to do Bad Things to them, but I was certainly warned against sexual predators.

  • Fusina

     I was the kid that always wanted to know why, and I became the parent that explained. Worked for me and my daughter.

    I wish I had a good reason for you to give her, but all I have is this, “Unfortunately, people will judge you based on your clothing.” To quote an old saying, “what has been done is what will be done”. I’m lucking in that I have a teenage daughter who prefers bermuda shorts and tankinis with full coverage to short shorts and teeny weeny bikinis. Her biggest annoyance this year was that the bermuda shorts only came in beige, tan, and denim blue, where the short shorts came in all the tropical colors.

    At seven–I remember trying to explain why she needed to stay near me when we were out shopping. Yeah, I finally went with, “because I said so” but it was not my favorite answer. I think I finally explained about pedophiles etc, but not until she was a bit  older and starting to ask more questions  about sex than the “how did I get here” sort of thing.

  • Aiwhelan

     You don’t have to go into detail- my mom just warned that there might be people who wanted to take us away.  Kidnapping shows up in enough children’s literature and tv that it didn’t seem to need an explanation. Just something that Bad Guys did.

  • The_L1985

     Could you bleach out some bermudas and re-dye them?  Or is that more trouble than it’s worth?

  • Fusina

     Way more trouble. And home dying doesn’t usually get the super saturated colors that you get at the store, which was the appeal of the others. So we get her oversized brightly colored tee shirts at the local hobby store, and the boring blah colored shorts, and she decorates the shirts with fabric paint (sometimes) and that is what she wears.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

     I was the kid that always wanted to know why, and I became the parent that explained. Worked for me and my daughter.

    It does my heart good to hear that. Because I was that kid, too, and my parents always said “When you get older, you’ll understand why we don’t want to explain.” Well, I’m older now, and I understand why they refused to explain things, but I don’t agree that was the right thing to do.

    Now that I am older, what I hear all the time is, “If you ever have children, you’ll understand.” (I got hit with that most recently when I expressed a lack of decent concern over smut on mainstream bookshelves.) Or from people who are older yet then me, “You think that now? Just you wait!” Isn’t it annoying when people treat you as an incomplete human being, and assert that once you have become complete by [growing up][getting married][having children][getting another 20 years older], you’ll naturally change your views to conform with their perfectly and objectively correct ones?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Isn’t it annoying when people treat you as an incomplete human being, and assert that once you have become complete by [growing up][getting married][having children][getting another 20 years older], you’ll naturally change your views to conform with their perfectly and objectively correct ones?

    Sing it.

  • banancat

     If you can’t explain to your daughter why she can’t wear short skirts, then can you even explain it to yourself?  Why are you so uncomfortable with the idea in the first place?  What are you expecting to happen because of it?

    Also, I am bothered that you are unapproving of short skirts but are actually glad about other kids essentially slut-shaming your daughter.

  • Daughter

     Because she’s a young child. She’s not a teenager, she’s not an adult, and so I don’t think she  should dress like one. I think young kids should be able to enjoy being children, without coming across as sexy. I don’t think trends like Toddlers & Tiaras or thongs for preteens or 3rd graders with anorexia because they think they’re too fat are good ones –they’re pushing children to grow up too fast. Do you think these trends are good things, and if so, why?

    Btw, it wasn’t children who mentioned it, and it wasn’t slut-shaming. It was a couple of adults who pointed out, in a kind way, that her underwear was showing when she sat down.

  • Beroli

     

    I don’t think trends like Toddlers & Tiaras or thongs for preteens
    or 3rd graders with anorexia because they think they’re too fat are good
    ones –they’re pushing children to grow up too fast.

    That’s not the problem I have with third-graders with anorexia.

    (The problem I have with third-graders with anorexia is actually exactly the same as the problem I have with adults with anorexia.)

  • Daughter

     True, it’s not a good thing no matter what the age of the person struggling with an eating disorder.  But I think that the downward pressure that has younger and younger children obsessing about their looks is also problematic. And some of that has been deliberately pushed by corporations such as Abercrombie and the child beauty pageant world.

  • Daughter

     ETA: It’s not that I don’t know why I don’t think short shorts and skirts  aren’t a good thing for a child her age, it’s that I couldn’t think of a good way to explain it to her.

  • Joshua

    That particular one hasn’t come up for me yet, but at least around my parts there’s an easy suite of alternative answers: Either it’s rainy and too cold, or you’ll get cancer. Hooray for the ozone hole.

  • The_L1985

    …Isn’t the ozone hole over Antarctica?  I’m pretty sure penguins and research scientists are the only ones with a higher risk of skin cancer than pre-ozone-hole, and given that it’s Antarctica I don’t think they much care.

  • malpollyon

    …Isn’t the ozone hole over Antarctica?  I’m pretty sure penguins and research scientists are the only ones with a higher risk of skin cancer than pre-ozone-hole, and given that it’s Antarctica I don’t think they much care.

    It’s actually reached southern parts of Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, and South Africa at times; even when the hole doesn’t technically extend that far there can be significantly increased UV exposure due to the ozone depletion.

    That’s right, even the sun is deadlier Down Under.

  • Joshua

    The hole is centred over Antarctica, but increased UV exposure due to ozone depletion occurs in New Zealand and other southern countries.

    NZ has very high skin cancer rates. Public health campaigns to wear t-shirts over swimwear, 30+spf sun block, hats and sun glasses are the norm every summer. Schools require kids to wear hats at lunchtime even if they don’t otherwise have uniforms, and expect kids to wear sun bock daily. I think every adult has had some exposure to the list of features that indicate moles and freckles need medical attention.

    Hopefully this will have good effects – the damage done by the sun tends to turn up in skin cancers several decades later. Except in my case, as it happens. Lucky it was caught early.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Schools require kids to wear hats at lunchtime even if they don’t otherwise have uniforms, and expect kids to wear sun bock daily.

    Where’s aunursa? Nanny state taking away the freedom of parents to choose high risk of skin cancer for their children!

  • banancat

    So why do you think it is wrong for her to wear those clothes? I genuinely can’t conceive of any reason that doesn’t involve slut shaming.

  • The_L1985

    As has been pointed out, whether you’re sex-positive or sex-negative, sexy clothing still sends a message about the wearer.  I agree that that message doesn’t in any way imply anything negative about the wearer (unless you have nasty, dirty, smelly clothes and your message is also “I don’t bathe”), nor does it entitle anyone to make inappropriate and unwanted sexual comments/actions toward the wearer.

    However, when one wears sexy clothing, the implication still is that the person is a sexual being in some sense.  (In some circumstances, other signals refine this message into “I am a stripper/prostitute.”  However, that’s not the general implication of looking sexy, or no one would bother doing so.)  The fact that other people still ought to have enough decency and self-control not to make it a big deal doesn’t change that.  And yes, it’s normal for adult women to have sex (again, on their terms).  It’s not normal for 7-year-olds to have sex, or even to fully understand what sex is and what it means.  But a 7-year-old in “sexy” clothing implies that it’s normal (or somehow ought to be normal) for 7-year-olds to look sexy and/or to have sex.  That’s a very bad message to send for a whole host of reasons.

    It also implies that the parents are horrifyingly naive about potential dangers to their child, in much the same way as those inane decals that let everyone know exactly how many kids you have and their approximate ages.  (A pedophile could just follow you home, watch you turn in to your driveway, pretend to have made a wrong turn, and turn around and drive off.  Now he knows the home of a potential target.)

  • Ross Thompson

    …those inane decals that let everyone know exactly how many kids you have and their approximate ages.  (A pedophile could just follow you home, watch you turn in to your driveway, pretend to have made a wrong turn, and turn around and drive off.  Now he knows the home of a potential target.)

    They could also do this if you ever let your children go to school. Or be seen in public.

    Actually, those are probably riskier behaviours, because I understand that pædophiles have specific tastes and preferences, in the same way that humans do, and are more likely to respond to seeing an actual child who turns them on than to a stick-figure drawing that represents someone that might possibly turn them on.

  • The_L1985

     True, but schools have MUCH stricter security than they ever did pre-Columbine (if you or your kid was in school after 1999, you know exactly what I mean).  Also, kids are generally not unsupervised in public.

    Frankly, if I were a sex offender, and I didn’t already personally know my intended target, I’d be on the lookout for possible targets any way I could get them.

  • Ross Thompson

    True, but schools have MUCH stricter security than they ever did pre-Columbine (if you or your kid was in school after 1999, you know exactly what I mean).  Also, kids are generally not unsupervised in public.

    *shrug* I was in school in Britain, and our equivalent event didn’t have any noticeable affect on schools.

    But my point is that those stick figures on the backs of cars are probably pretty far down the list of things that help pædophiles. What about having a booster seat in your car? That will also tell everyone that you have a child, and their approximate age. Do you keep photos of your kids on your desk at work? Then co-worker pædophiles know you have kids, and can follow you home. What about photos in your wallet? If you drop it somewhere, whoever finds it will know you have kids and where you live.

    I don’t much like those decals myself, but thinking they pose some kind of terrible security risk seems ridiculous.

    And as for kids not being unsupervised outside? It’s far more likely (discounting family abductions) that children will get abducted from a public place than from their homes. So either they’re not being watched, or being watched don’t make that much difference.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I was in school in Britain, and our equivalent event [to Columbine] didn’t have any noticeable affect on schools.
     
    Of course not. On your side of the pond, it is not considered utterly batshit for the response to gun violence to be to restrict access to guns.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Yes, what with children being so rare, they might have little choice other than following cars with those stupid window decals, since hte odd of *any given house they pick* having children in it is negligible.

  • PJ Evans

     The decals frequently have names attached. I think they’re like having your kids’ names on your license-plate frame: you’re advertising your assets in public, and you don’t know who might notice.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    However, when one wears sexy clothing, the implication still is that the person is a sexual being in some sense.

    And stuff that’s seen as “sexy clothing” is all for women and girls. (Except in certain subcultures.) And when you tell girls that that clothing is bad, you are telling them that their own sexuality is bad. That they are bad.

    A little boy running around without a shirt isn’t seen as “sexual”, even though there are vile people who will feel sexual about him because of it. Teaching a girl that if she is judged as a predatory object by despicable assholes, it is because of how she dresses/acts/looks, is part of rape culture.

  • EllieMurasaki

    And stuff that’s seen as “sexy clothing” is all for women and girls. (Except in certain subcultures.) And when you tell girls that that clothing is bad, you are telling them that being female sexuality is bad. That they are bad.

    Except nobody’s talking about warning someone off sexy clothing if the someone is an eighteen-year-old girl. Nor if she’s a teenager.

    Preteens, though? No. Children? Fuck no. This discussion has all been about appropriate clothing for a seven-year-old child, and under no circumstances do I think it appropriate for a seven-year-old to wear anything that could reasonably be described as ‘sexy’. It is not about the clothing being bad or the sexuality being bad. It is that people who do not know what sexuality is should not be exercising it.

    Meanwhile, there is a sad lack of sexy everyday clothing for male-type persons. Dear world: get on that.

  • banancat

     Children who have not gone through puberty can’t be sexy by definition unless you’re a pedophile.

  • Dan Audy

    Oh come on.  Clothing absolutely can send the message ‘I’m a sexual being’ just like it can send the message ‘I’m refined and classy’ or ‘I’m hip’ or ‘I don’t care about your social norms’.  Clothing is used everyday by most people to covertly and overtly signal what kind of person they think they are and what kind of person they want other people to perceive them as.  Sometimes the message being sent is ‘I am a sexual being’ when a woman chooses clothing that emphasizes her sexual characteristics.  It doesn’t mean that she is a sexual object that exists for the satisfaction of others or that she deserves to be sexually harassed, or raped but it does say ‘I want to feel and be perceived as a sexy woman’.  Culture exists and cultural messaging exists and pretending it doesn’t just makes you look stupid because it is a core aspect of how humans interact and behave.  It isn’t about whether someone is monogamous, has multiple partners, or is asexual but about what you are choosing to present yourself as to the world.

    I don’t think wanting my daughter to not signal that ‘I want you to consider me sexually’ when she doesn’t really understand what sex and sexuality is is anymore unacceptable ‘slut shaming’ than not wanting her to wear biker leathers or a hijab without understanding the culture that is announcing she is a part of is ‘biker shaming’ or ‘muslim bashing’.  We’ve never really had to enforce any particular rules on her wardrobe other than it needs to be clean, fit properly, and be appropriate for he activities.  Since she is extremely physically active that means shorts under skirts (or skorts) and most other sexualizing clothing is out on the grounds of not meeting our criteria for fitting properly.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Children who have not gone through puberty can’t be sexy by definition unless you’re a pedophile.
     
    If something is by definition not sexy, then criticizing someone for that something is by definition not slut-shaming.
     
    By your reasoning, anyone who says a seven-year-old shouldn’t be driving is driving-shaming the kid and contributing to the belief that driving is bad, when we keep telling you that no, actually, it’s just that the earliest any jurisdiction allows someone behind the wheel is fourteen.
     
    There is a difference between “this is bad, don’t do it” and “you’re too young for this, don’t do it yet”. A seven-year-old wearing clothing in a style that, on a postpubescent, would be described as ‘sexy’? “You’re too young for this, don’t do it yet.”

  • The_L1985

    1.  The myth that men aren’t allowed to look attractive is damaging in many ways. The fact that only women have “sexy” clothing is just one example.

    2.  There’s a difference between “That kind of clothing is bad,” and “I don’t think you’re ready for that yet.”

    3.  I never said that sending the message “I am a sexual being” was, in and of itself, an invitation to have sex.  I am aware of the damn difference.  The problem isn’t “some asshole will objectify you based on your clothing”–although that is a problem, it’s a problem with the asshole, not the clothing.  The problem with the clothing is it has the potential to normalize child sexuality in society, and that would be a Very Bad Thing.  That is basically the entire point of my post.

  • banancat

     As has been pointed out, whether you’re sex-positive or sex-negative, sexy clothing still sends a message about the wearer.

    And that message is frequently wrong.  You can’t accurately determine a woman’s sex life by her clothing.  And you shouldn’t perpetuate the myth that you can.  I don’t buy it when you say “Oh, you can tell she’s a slut, but I’m totes ok with that because I don’t judge!”  No, you can’t tell who has more sex just by clothing.  Many others try to, and you perpetuate the myth that they are right to do so.  Probably because you believe that they are right to do so, but you don’t want to admit that outright.

    Meanwhile, I’m working for a society where we don’t judge others (inaccurately) based on their clothing.

  • The_L1985

    You’re right.  You can’t tell who has more sex by their clothing!  But again, it’s still not appropriate for a 7-year-old child to wear clothing that is used in adults to signal pride in one’s sexuality.

    You can be proud of being a sexy woman without having tons of sex, or even having any at all.  That’s really the concept I was trying to get across.

  • Joshua

    Did you miss the part where the child is seven? There are a world of things that adults understand that seven year olds don’t. It’s not that the adults involved disapprove of the messages and identity the child is choosing for herself, it’s that the child has no freaking idea what the messages or identity are, and cannot make an informed decision as to whether she wants to own them or not, because she’s seven.

    If you can’t explain to your daughter why she can’t wear short skirts, then can you even explain it to yourself?

    Doesn’t sound hard to me. Like how I can explain the dangers of diving off furniture head-first to myself pretty clearly, but so far have had difficulty explaining it to my two-year-old, even after she’s had her arm in a cast for the last three weeks. To pick a real example from my life.

    Kids do things that have consequences they don’t like, and wouldn’t have chosen, because they don’t understand how the world works yet. That’s as true for seven-year-olds and clothing as much as two-year-olds and gravity.

  • Jenny Islander

    I got into this at a(nother) feminist blog a while back, when I disclosed that I hadn’t allowed my daughter to take hip hop because the only teacher available thought that seven-year-olds should learn “dippin’ the chip” as their very first move.  (Pretending to ride on top of a supine man while miming either adjusting the fit of his penis or playing with one’s own clitoris.)  She finally quit the studio when the owner told her that she could not order regular shirts and pants for the boys in her class and make the girls wear bikinis.  The new hip hop teacher is teaching the little kids how to dance, not pretend to have sex on stage, while the older teenagers do sexier moves.  Just like the beginning ballet teacher is teaching forms and exercises and the older teenagers compete for the honor of the pas de deux with the visiting hunky ballarino.

    As I said over there, the thing is that children are powerless.  No matter what they wear or do, some perv is going to look at them and salivate.  But there is still a very deep gulf between teaching children to signal, “Aren’t I cute or good at keeping the beat or adorably muddled or unexpectedly athletic (and also a child, who is understood to be powerless)” and “Aren’t I a sexy little thing (a child, who is understood to be powerless).” 

    Many early primary aged children aren’t aware of the boundary being crossed.  It’s our responsibility to protect them from the things they can’t understand yet.  And the children who do understand what the dance or the outfit is about need protection from thinking that sex is connected with performing to the standards of those who have authority over them, that signaling sexual availability is a required part of social acceptability . . . that putting on jeans that go all the way up past their bellybuttons so they can have fun in the dirt makes them uncool, for crying out loud.

  • Randall M

     You know, I never really thought about the possibility of the word “ballerino”.  I mean, if you had asked me was there a male equivalent of “ballerina” I probably would have stared blankly at you while my brain shut down. 

  • DiscreteComponent

     It sounds like you and your daughter have had a learning experience.  She has learned that you have good judgement on what she should ware and you have learned to tell her “remember when I told you you shouldn’t ware those shorts you liked?”

  • Jessn

     Hello Daughter…my I help with a solution.  First, I tell my girls they can have X but someone may be able to see their underpants, or I do not want them to get cold, or something similar. I then tell them they have to wear a longer pair of short underneath like the “cool girl’s” and the top athletes do if they want to keep the shorts / skirts.  As for Shirts, I have them layer…always starting with a modest tank top or shirt first.  I also add little bits of lace and panels in their tops.  Who can go wrong with fun lace added.  Works every time. 
    My 14 year old still has me alter and add fun panels in her clothes so she does not show too much.

  • http://twitter.com/Jenk3 Jen K

     Maybe I’ve been watching too much Big Bang Theory, but I’m thinking “It is a cultural convention”.

  • Twig

    It all seems remarkably zero-tolerance in some ways, which has nothing to do with justice, mercy, compassion or pragmatism, and has everything to do with not being responsible for the outcome.

    Ancedote isn’t data, but in my personal experience people will do pretty much anything they can including shoving people under the bus in advance, to avoid being responsible for anything.

  • Silly_pl4c3

    Like Laotse said:

    When Tao is lost, there is goodness.

    When goodness is lost, there is morality.

    When morality is lost, there is justice.

    When justice is lost, there is ritual.

    Ritual is the husk of faith and loyalty, the beginning of confusion.

    If these people knew goodness they wouldn’t need to cling to morality.

  • AnonymousSam

      38 also feels relevant.

    A man of the highest virtue does not keep to virtue and that is why he has virtue.
    A man of the lowest virtue never strays from virtue and that is why he is without virtue.
    The former never acts yet leaves nothing undone.
    The latter acts but there are things left undone.
    A man of the highest benevolence acts, but from no ulterior motive.
    A man of the highest rectitude acts, but from ulterior motive.
    A man most conversant in the rites acts, but when no one responds rolls up his sleeves and resorts to persuasion by force.

  • Tom

     Or as the Doctor puts it:
    “Good men don’t need rules.  Today is not the day to find out why I have so many.”

  • pharoute

    If they were in the Tao they would not need good/evil.

  • http://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/ perfectnumber628

    I especially agree with the part about “dos and don’ts” but no “why”. I’ve heard a ton of things about dating and marriage and purity, from Christians/ the church, and basically it made me terribly afraid that if I started dating, if I spent a lot of time with my boyfriend, if I kissed a guy, etc etc, then I’d be “giving away part of my heart” and I’d be irreversibly damaged and I’d regret it forever. Now I’m in the process of challenging that thinking and trying to figure out what God ACTUALLY wants me to do, in the context of dating.

    I hate how much this kind of thinking- about purity and about “oh no, gay marriage is going to destroy society!”- relies on fear. It says we shouldn’t do something because somehow, in the future, by some unknown mechanism, our lives will be ruined.

  • Carstonio

     Perhaps the fear for society comes from the fact that homosexuality confounds certain concepts of gender distinctions, meaning the sexist ones.

    I found the old Love Boat episode that has the John Ritter scene lampooning such fears:

    http://www.cbs.com/classics/the_love_boat/video/?pid=ANJ2Y4OIrbTt

    Skip to 16:50 and see the irony as Capt. Stubing predicts the Neuter Apocalypse, not realizing he’s talking to a man dressed as a woman.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Skip to 16:50 and see the irony as Capt. Stubing predicts the Neuter Apocalypse, not realizing he’s talking to a man dressed as a woman.

    I promise I have a point besides shamelessly plugging my own blog, but…

    Gavin MacLeod went RTC, and was in a Christian movie where he played a 19th-century Bible professor, dismayed at the not only the 1890 divorce rate of FIVE WHOLE PERCENT, but at the idea that people might teach children good morals without crediting Jesus for them. 

    http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/time-changer-part-i/

    http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/2012/09/01/time-changer-part-ii/

    What it really comes down to is that these people are authoritarians.  They have no idea how to come up with a system of morals and ethics on their own, so everything must come from a Boss, and you don’t get much bossier than God.

    It’s why RTCs think atheists must spend our days murdering and pillaging–hey, we don’t believe in a God who says Don’t Do That, so why wouldn’t we, right?

  • LL

    Yeah, this. Basically, they’re either themselves control freaks or people who think somebody has to be in charge of everything. 

  • Matri

    Heh, who knew these people were secretly Subs?

    *hides*

  • The_L1985

     It’s even better when you’ve gone to Catholic CCD and discovered St. Thomas Aquinas’s thoughts on masturbation.  Then you either start to feel like there’s something wrong with you if you’ve ever masturbated, or you get lost trying to figure out how much bathwater you can safely throw out without losing the baby in it.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     When you get to the part where he proves mathematically that the foaming action of semen is not the formal cause of the human soul, it becomes a good deal easily to bracket the uncomfortable bits of Aquinas.

  • Carstonio

    This otherwise excellent entry doesn’t go far enough in questioning the “homosexuality = anything goes” mentality. Sometimes the people with this mentality seem to think of homosexuality as a temptation, like once you go gay you never go back. 

    It’s commonly suggested that most homophobes are self-hating gays. That’s a reasonable suspicion for the professional ones, given the record of people like George Rekers and Larry Craig and Ted Haggard. 

    But with the type of people Fred is talking about, I suspect most simply see homosexuality as the ultimate sin, and not just because it confounds their idea of gender roles. Some of them might equate their god or their religion with the creation of life, misinterpreting gay male sex as the worst type of defiance of “be fruitful and multiply.”

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    Exploring evangelical attitudes about sex gets tangled up pretty quickly.

    On one hand, yes, you have self-loathing closet cases, but there’s another version of homophobia based on projection, and that’s the fear that heterosexual men would be treated by homosexual men the way women are or would be treated by heterosexual men. You see this a lot in the “if we let gays in the military, what will happen when the gays shower with the straight people?”

    There’s an element of traditional gender roles and insecurity involved as well. “If you’re both ‘men’, then who’s the wife?” for example. There’s substantial overlap between evangelical homophobia and other traditional-gender-role policing. These folks are as uncomfortable with working moms, stay-at-home dads, and single moms as they are with homosexuals. 

    This set is also tangled up in the ‘sex-as-a-commodity’ model of human sexuality, where men want sex, and women give sex. At it’s extreme, this view poses men as insatiable libidinous beasts barely in control of baser urges, while women are denied any sexual desire whatsoever, and charged with ‘gatekeeping’ male sexual urges through modesty and denial.  In this view of human sexuality, all sexual expression outside of male-female intercourse is a deviation from ‘acceptable, civilized’ standards. This model lumps homosexuality in with bestiality, necrophilia, pedophilia, BDSM, prostitution, and arguably masturbation.  

    There’s also a weird misogyny element, that says women are inferior to men and should be subordinate to them, women should not be priests or leaders because they are ‘unclean’, and that sees women as corrupting or tempting men into evil. In this weird, distorted view, it only makes sense that men should prefer the company of men. Procreation is a necessary duty for these men, but otherwise, women are to be shunned and avoided, while men are to be respected and admired. Homosexual behavior is a reasonable extrapolation from this. (who is more worthy of your desire?) But that runs headlong into the gender-essentialism (“if there are two men, who is the ‘woman’ in it?”) and you get things like the bacha bazi, a tangled confusing mess.

  • Carstonio

     Yes. That’s exactly what I mean by confounding ideas about gender roles. All four elements that you listed boil down to sexism, or a gender hierarchy if you want to get technical.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    women are [..] charged with
    ‘gatekeeping’ male sexual urges through modesty and denial.   [..] This
    model lumps homosexuality in with bestiality, necrophilia, pedophilia,
    BDSM, prostitution, and arguably masturbation

    Well, male homosexuality. And male masturbation, come to that.

    This model would presumably predict that female homosexuals would be considered exceptionally modest and pure, since they get their needs for love and family met without those nasty male sexual urges being involved.

    Presumably other aspects become more important when that question comes up.

  • Amy

    Oo oo!  Pick me!  I’ve seen two responses to this:  

    Gay dudes are going to hell, but lesbians are not, because God and I share the same tastes in porn? 

    and   

    We are VIOLENTLY ALLERGIC to the idea of a sexual relationship that is not defined in man/taker v. woman/giver terms, so in every lesbian relationship, we assume that one woman pretends to be a man, which is blasphemy, and one woman IS in fact a good woman, she has just been tricked into letting a woman take the place of a man in her life.  

    This last one is usually also those people who get REALLY CONFUSED by the idea that not all gay sex is penetrative, and not all lesbian sex is penetrative.  You can practically see it in their eyes: you just called this sex, but a penis (or penis substitute) is not being shoved into a vagina (or vagina substitute)?!?  Why are you lying?? 

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     Yeah, that second one in particular rings very true. It also feeds into the “all gay male sex is anal” trope.

  • VMink

    Gods, this is going to make me feel dirty just typing it, but I should try to tackle it…

    Content Note: Pornography

    Much of Western pornography is oriented towards getting the consumer mentally involved.  Not in the sense of sympathy towards and identification with  well-written characters in a well-crafted plot, but letting the consumer imagine themselves as being a part of the scene.  This is most seen in the camera angles used — first-person, avoiding lingering shots of the male’s face, etc.) but also in the way the actors interact with the camera.  You hardly ever (in porn made for male consumers, which is the overwhelmingly majority of porn) see the male interact with the camera.  On the other hand, women performers much more frequently interact with the camera, acknowledging its presence so as to suggest they are interacting with the consumer.  The same thing happens with most “lesbian” porn produced for male consumers (which isn’t really “lesbian” porn): The intent is to draw the consumer into the scene to let them imagine that the lesbian pairing is about to become a bisexual three-way with the consumer as the third.

    In some ways, the porn industry is a more explicit expy of the advertising industry in general, with all the ickiness that suggests.  More than a few dystopian settings extrapolate from trends a blurring of the boundaries between ‘vanilla’ advertising and outright pornography.  As the term ‘dystopian’ suggests, this is not something to look forward to.

    (For the record: I am no prude (good LORD I am no prude) but most porn is outright misogynist and abusive, and is produced in anything other than an atmosphere of mutual consent, respect, and enjoyment between the performers and producers.  Hard to stand up for the ‘free expression’ of an industry that is overwhelmingly dysfunctional and abusive.)

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    Content note: pornography, NSFW link


    most porn is outright misogynist and abusive
    I’m not crazy about that statement, because it’s a pretty broad stroke to say it’s outright misogynist and abusive.  I’d say the majority of the misogyny in porn isn’t explicit, it’s objectification. Outside of the “gonzo” genre, the implication or demonstration of abuse is actually rare. 
    I’m going to quote Stoya, a mainstream adult performer for one of the larger producers, pretty heavily here:

    Not all pornography is sex/body/woman/queer-positive. Not all pornography is sex/body/woman/queer-negative. It isn’t all exploitative, but it isn’t all ethical either. Like most industries, it’s a mixed bag.

    [ most porn ] is produced in anything other than an atmosphere of mutual consent, respect, and enjoyment between the performers and producers. 
    Again, Stoya:

    Pornography is entertainment. The final product is a fantasy. Most companies don’t discuss the testing protocols we use. They don’t explain that actually the guy playing the pizza delivery man (Mike Blue in one case and James Deen in another) is someone that I at least casually know. They don’t show the viewer the parts of our day where we discuss limits and specific preferences before we start a scene.

    Stoya works for Digital Playground, one of the larger producers, so it’s safe to say her experiences are “mainstream”. 

    Most pornography is produced in an environment where enjoyment is somewhat constrained by the practical aspects of film-making. But basic enjoyment is a requirement to keep doing *any* job, so any performer who achieves a level of recognition does so by enjoying the work.

    Mutual consent is also the standard for the industry. 

    Hard to stand up for the ‘free expression’ of an industry that is overwhelmingly dysfunctional and abusive

    I think Stoya and Bobbi Starr, and other female performers in the industry would strongly disagree with your assessment of ‘overwhelmingly dysfunctional and abusive’. Ms. Starr identifies as a sex-positive feminist, has received awards and recognition by her peers, and directs and produces in addition to performing. 

    I agree that most pornography produced uses “the male gaze”, as does a lot of advertising and entertainment. I believe that the history of pornography has included a lot of exploitation and abuse, but I also hold that the mainstreaming of pornography has forced the industry to reform a lot of it’s bad elements. 

  • VMink

    Content note: Pornography; link goes to an LA Times article addressing pornography and STDs.

    I’d not be one to naysay the voices of performers within the pornography industry.  It’s just articles like these that make me cast a bit of a wary eye on it and which made me kind of shoot from the hip. :( I’m sorry for my knee-jerk reaction; it just seemed to me like the more misogynist elements of the industry are in overwhelming dominance over the rest of it.  I do know that there are sex-positive feminist producers and performers, and I’m glad they are doing what they enjoy, and hope they can have an impact on the industry as a whole.

    I have no problem with pornography in and of itself, as entertainment and enjoyment.  I have issues with the industry and the real serious problems that it has and which most of it refuses to face.

  • The_L1985

     And, complicating the issue, is the huge amount and variety of “amateur” porn, in photographic, video, text*, and drawn form, that isn’t made by “the Industry.”

    If a certain act is illegal, does that mean drawn pictures of the act are illegal too, or just the photos and live-action videos of it?  Is it illegal to write fictional stories about these acts?  Where do you draw that line?  Is it demeaning to draw pictures of girls with impossibly large breasts and buttocks?  What about men with impossibly huge genitals?  What about other impossible types and combinations of body parts?  If a married couple posts videos of their lovemaking online for extra cash, is exposing them** to their employers as “porn stars” a violation of their privacy?

    The Internet has created a huge list of new ethical issues that still haven’t been adequately resolved.

    * Yes, I count dirty fanfics and the steamier romance novels as “porn.”  If it describes a sex act with the intent of titillating the viewer/reader, it is porn to somebody.

    ** Exposing the porn.  I didn’t mean the rather risque pun…

  • VMink

    So what you’re saying is, “It’s more complicated than that.” =)

    You’re right, I made too-large generalizations in my post, and I apologize for that.  I’ll be more mindful of that.

  • LL

    RE  “I also hold that the mainstreaming of pornography has forced the industry to reform a lot of it’s bad elements.”

    Yeah, I doubt that. I suspect female performers in the industry would probably disagree because they want to continue working. And “identifies as a sex-positive feminist” really means nothing. It’s like me saying I identify as a supermodel. 

    Just sayin’. The “industry” is pretty scuzzy, still. Men apologize for it because they like watching it and don’t really want to think about what’s behind the production of it, kinda like women and diamonds. 

  • The_L1985

     …for the record, this woman never wants to own any diamond jewelry because of the exploitation involved in their mining and refinement.

    Also, some women watch porn, and some men wear diamonds.

  • Fusina

     Clear CZ. That is if you like the sparkle that diamonds have and want that without the exploitation baggage. I do have a diamond wedding band and engagement ring (long story). I actually prefer imitation stones–much less worried that I’ll lose them. Plus, you can get a lot more sparklies if you go with glass and crystal.

  • EllieMurasaki

    …for the record, this woman never wants to own any diamond jewelry because of the exploitation involved in their mining and refinement.
     
    Diamond jewelry that’s been previously owned? Jewelry using manufactured diamonds? This is not necessarily an either-or.

  • The_L1985

     True, but when you can’t afford to buy nice jewelry in the first place, and therefore any diamonds you ever own will be bought by Other People, you don’t really know which source the diamonds came from.

    I have actually discussed this with boyfriends that seemed to be getting “serious.”  Because I absolutely DO NOT WANT a diamond or diamond-like stone on my engagement ring.  I’d feel like advertising for the whole blood-diamond system.

  • Amy

    NSFW, obv: 
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/01/condom-porn-ordinance-los-angeles.html 

    Look, this was a January 2012 thing, so this is not an issue that disappeared when porn became more mainstream.   I’m not in the porn industry so I can’t speak for anyone in the porn industry.  

    I can say that I’ve been in workplaces where you did stand a good chance of hurting yourself – I’ve worked for CALTRANS and I’ve worked for the Forest Service where we were running around with chainsaws and wood chippers, and I’ve worked applying herbicides.  And in all of those workplaces, the “WEAR YOUR EFFING PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT I DON’T CARE” has been pretty consistent, because nobody wanted to deal with worker’s comp and injury.      

    The idea that the porn industry would be complacent about or resistant to the idea of condoms is just scary, to me?  It sounds really abusive; I don’t even have to wonder if it’s misogynistic, it just sounds *generally abusive* and incredibly unsafe.  

  • The_L1985

     I read Savage Love (yes, Dan’s a jerk sometimes; the articles are a guilty pleasure) and one letter mentioned pornography in which Person A* was wearing a condom, had sex with Person B, then proceeded to immediately have sex with another Person C without changing condoms.

    I cringe just thinking that someone thought that was an OK idea.  And probably will continue to think it’s a good idea until one of those C’s catches something from one of the B’s.

    * The respective genders aren’t the important thing here.

  • Amy

    AIIIIIII 

    yes, this is basically all my fears.  

    I think a contributing factor is that people are getting pretty awful sex ed in the public schools nowadays?  I attended a Planned Parenthood presentation a few months ago where a man in his early twenties explained that he performed the “sniff test” to decide whether he needed to use protection.*

    This isn’t about calling him dumb; it’s about: wow, this is the level of education people are getting nowadays, somehow, which is really depressing and kind of dangerous.   
     

  • The_L1985

     When it’s that bad, I’m honestly not sure you can call it “education” anymore at all.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    I’m not in the porn industry so I can’t speak for anyone in the porn industry.  
    Well, lucky for you people in the porn industry have spoken up for themselves and you can read their opinions. 

    The idea that the porn industry would be complacent about or resistant to the idea of condoms is just scary, to me

    Yes, because condoms are the only type of safety option available. Because the links are NSFW, let me summarize a few key points:

    Currently a clean (negative for gonorrhea, chlamydia and HIV) test taken within the previous thirty days is required to work as talent on a porn set.

    That standard? It’s self-imposed by the production company. Still going to say it sounds incredibly unsafe and generally abusive? Mandatory testing is the industry standard for performers in the U.S.

    Point #2: High profile female performers can demand clean tests from performers that as recent as 2 days before the shoot; while that’s the exception and not the rule, it shows that these performers have protections against abuse. 

    Point #3: There is no such thing as safe sex. There are only ways to lower risk. Condoms are one way, requiring recent tests would be another. Condoms fail, and even tests taken two days prior may not detect a very recent infection. The industry isn’t opposed to safety, they’re opposed to one-size-fits-all mandates by outsiders not invested in the industry. 

  • banancat

     Yes, because condoms are the only type of safety option available.

    This doesn’t make sense.  Sex workers should be protected by BOTH testing and mandatory condom use.  I work in a chemistry lab and nobody would ever suggest that I don’t need to bother with one type of protection just because I have another.  For example, if I wear a face shield, I still have to wear safety glasses underneath.  Because no one method is infallible, using multiple methods of protection decreases risks.

    And I also don’t think it makes sense to say that condoms shouldn’t be required because sex workers don’t want them to be.  I’ve worked with plenty of scientists who don’t want to wear the proper protective equipment, bu they still have to anyway.

  • PJ Evans

     The latest problem in that industry is a bit more serious, and itdoes require the industry to make some changes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    <blockquote?Point #2: High profile female performers can demand clean tests from performers that as recent as 2 days before the shoot; while that's the exception and not the rule, it shows that these performers have protections against abuse. 

    This one doesn’t sound that good to me, to be honest. High-status individuals in any industry have always had enhanced protections against problems that 99% of other people in their field have to deal with. 

    Point #3: There is no such thing as safe sex. There are only ways to lower risk. Condoms are one way, requiring recent tests would be another. Condoms fail, and even tests taken two days prior may not detect a very recent infection. The industry isn’t opposed to safety, they’re opposed to one-size-fits-all mandates by outsiders not invested in the industry.

    I definitely agree with you about the legitimate concern that regulators might use burdensome rules to marginalize and destroy a business that they dislike for personal reasons. (I think we all know what Republican-controlled legislatures are doing to abortion clinics nationwide right now; imposing unnecessary mandates for the sole purpose of driving up costs). As one of your links notes, that’s an argument for working closely with the industry to develop regulations that are both practical and comprehensive. 

    In fact, that’s how many (most?) regulations actually do end up being written — with regulatory officials consulting with insiders — and not just the bosses but worker representatives (if there are any!), as well as field experts.

    Self-policing can work but there needs to be responsible oversight to ensure that incidents aren’t being covered up and people aren’t being hurt because an industry opposes necessary regulation solely to preserve its bottom line. 

  • The_L1985

     You could argue that fingers and other such parts could be the penis-substitute if you really wanted to, I think.

  • banancat

     This last one is usually also those people who get REALLY CONFUSED by
    the idea that not all gay sex is penetrative, and not all lesbian sex is
    penetrative.

    These people would probably be just as confused by the idea that not all hetero sex is penetrative.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    This model would presumably predict that female homosexuals would be considered exceptionally modest and pure

    It would… except that as gatekeepers, females have a duty to “give sex” to those who have “earned it”. Lesbians by definition are withholding the sex that men are eventually “entitled to”. 

    As for female masturbation, remember that this model does not acknowledge female sexual desire under normal circumstances. To those folks, female masturbation is in the same category as ROUS’es. 

  • fraser

    I know a number of conservatives who do cite lesbian women as naturally monogamous in contrast to the wild hedonistic behavior of gay men.

  • Aiwhelan

     “Procreation is a necessary duty for these men, but otherwise, women are to be shunned and avoided, while men are to be respected and admired.”

    To (mis)quote Oscar Wilde, that sounds positively Greek to me…

  • fraser

     I agree that fear of becoming the target of unwanted interest plays a role. It’s not even rape, just the fear that someone will look at you and Get Feelings and think about you That Way when you don’t want them to. For some men, that presses a huge button.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Well, you know, in olden days an inch of cocking was looked on as something shocking, now heaven knows, anything goes.

  • Carstonio

    Heh! Somewhere, Cole Porter is laughing, especially considering his orientation.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Sometimes the people with this mentality seem to think of homosexuality as a temptation, like once you go gay you never go back.

    I am reminded of course, that America’s most trusted satirical news source has skimmed on this topic when it came to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.  

  • Tricksterson

    If you listen to some of the testimony of the pro DADT policy (some of whom were against it being installed in the first place using pretty much the same rhetoric they’re now using in favor of it) you get the impression they’re not very far from saying exactly that and the only thing stopping them is that they know how stupid it would sound.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    Anyone know any decent Chess White King/Black King slash? 

  • EllieMurasaki

    Sign up for Yuletide. http://yuletide.livejournal.com/1088150.html is where we’re planning who’s nominating what so as to minimize overlap.

  • Ross Thompson

    Anyone know any decent Chess White King/Black King slash?

    China Miéville’s Un Lun Dun has some in it. But it’s a young adult novel, so it’s pretty tame.

  • http://accidental-historian.typepad.com/ Geds

    What they rely on, instead, is a single yes-or-no question. The entirety
    of their ethical thinking and ethical consideration regarding sex and
    sexuality consists of asking that one question. Everything else — the
    entire universe of vitally important ethical concerns — is swept away,
    dismissed, and replaced by this question: Are the parties involved
    married to each other?

    This, right here.  I can’t agree with this enough.

    One of the things that struck me as I was leaving Christianity was the realization that the hand-wringing (pun intended) over masturbation and the “married sex is the best thing evar!” attitude created some massively unrealistic notions of human sexuality.  If you’re never allowed to get yourself off, so to speak, and the times you do it are filled with shame and followed by apology you won’t ever figure out what you like or develop a healthy sexuality.

    That, I believe, is one of the key drivers in that anti-gay hate and a lot of the weirdness that comes from the anti-gay camp.  People who have never been inside that world see some weird-ass statement on the gays recruiting and the irresistability of the cock and think, “Ah ha!  That guy’s a closet case!”  Yes, in some cases he is.

    In other cases, though, and I’d guess the majority, it’s literally a case of the person not knowing how someone can be homosexual because they never learned how to be sexual at all.  They spent the first couple decades of their lives avoid sin and being filled with shame whenever they gave in to their lust.  So they don’t really know what they like and don’t really have the language or experience to figure out who they are and why they are that way.

    If sex = lust = shame = going against god’s will, then it’s really not that far out of bounds to connect homosexuality in to a sort of odd continuum.  Further, if you actually, honestly believe that there’s an evil force out there trying to pull people away from god, believing in actively recruiting homosexuals attempting to make people gay is a logical conclusion.  They inflame lust and invite shame and revel in their sin.

    It doesn’t make any logical sense to someone who has an accurate view of sexual development, especially their own.  People who do have some sense of that don’t really know what it’s like to grow up in a world where being a teenager is considered awful and against god’s plan, either.  So it’s hard to communicate across that gap.

  • Dmoore970

    I suspect it’s more of a slippery slope concern.  Traditional morality is under siege from all directions.  If we give way on this, who knows what will be next.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You’ll want to clarify your concerns there. I’ll save you some time: if you’re worried about polygamy, don’t. Many, perhaps most, progressives have no problem with consensual adult polyamory, and some have suggested making more-than-two-person marriage legal, but I’ve yet to encounter anyone who has a plan for doing it.

    (If Anne marries Bob and Cathy, are Bob and Cathy married to each other? If Anne also wants to marry David, do Bob and Cathy need to be involved? Can Anne divorce Bob without divorcing Cathy, or would an end result of Anne being married to Cathy but not Bob require the filing of the Anne-Bob-Cathy divorce certificate and a minute later the filing of the Anne-Cathy marriage certificate? Can Anne divorce Bob without Cathy also divorcing Bob? If Anne and Bob have a baby and Cathy does the lion’s share of the baby-raising, and Anne and Bob and Cathy go their separate ways, what’s the deal with custody? Under current law, if Anne and Bob are married and Anne dies, Bob is guaranteed a given share of Anne’s estate termed the ‘elective share’, usually a third of all Anne has; if Anne and Bob and Cathy are married and Anne dies, do Bob and Cathy each get a third or do they split a third or what? If it’s each, what happens if Anne and Bob and Cathy and Dan and Edith are all married and Anne dies? I’m not sure about current law on this point but the general understanding is that if Anne and Bob are married and Anne is incapacitated, decisions for her medical care go to Bob; if Anne and Bob and Cathy are married and Anne is incapacitated and Bob and Cathy disagree on Anne’s medical care, who wins? Etc etc etc and I have never yet encountered anyone who’s answered any of these questions, never mind enough of them to make it worth trying to make polyamorous marriage legal.)

    If you’re worried about pedophilia or bestiality, don’t. The keywords here are ‘consenting adult’, and children aren’t adults and thus can’t legally consent (though teens-with-other-teens caveat) and animals can’t consent at all.

    If you’re worried about incest, don’t. Family dynamics usually preclude a truly consensual sexual and/or romantic relationship between close relatives, and I forget the name of the thing that happens to make people squick at sexual relations with someone they grew up in the same house with. (Freud might have been sexually attracted to his mother, but his mother didn’t raise him, his nurse did, and because of the aforementioned effect I can say with considerable certainty that he would have squicked horribly at the thought of sex with his nurse.) I don’t have an argument against long-lost siblings marrying provided they don’t intend to have children who are their own cousins, nor against the marriage of people who aren’t related but who consider themselves siblings because they got adopted by the same people or because one’s parent married the other’s parent, but those are not nearly common enough scenarios to be real concerns.

    Doing away with the rules against same-sex couples marrying is not actually going to bring us any nearer to legal polygamy, pedophilia, bestiality, or incest.

    If you’re worried about something else, say what it is, please.

  • http://outshine-the-sun.blogspot.com/ Andrew G.

    and I forget the name of the thing that happens to make people squick at sexual relations with someone they grew up in the same house with.

    Westermarck effect.

  • The_L1985

     “I forget the name of the thing that happens to make people squick at
    sexual relations with someone they grew up in the same house with.”

    The Westermarck Effect, IIRC.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    some have suggested making more-than-two-person marriage legal, but I’ve yet to encounter anyone who has a plan for doing it.

    I’ve thought about it, and it really is going to end up taking a team of some very bright people to create a good legal framework to handle all the aspects of poly marriage, IMO.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     Can you list three directions from which traditional morality is under siege that you’re particularly concerned about?

  • AnonaMiss

    One of our sarcasm detectors is mistuned, because I’m pretty sure that was an eyeroll comment, not a heartfelt statement.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Oh. Yeah, I suppose that’s plausible.
    (shrug)

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Can you list three directions from which traditional morality is under siege that you’re particularly concerned about?

    I’m going to jump in and say the fact that a sizeable percentage of the population thinks torture is OK freaks the everliving shit out of me.

    That’s probably not covered under “traditional” morality though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

     Traditional morality begins and ends with sexual mores. You can be a corrupt, mass-murdering autocrat, but as long as you are publicly involved in a heterosexual relationship, you’re good with the “values” crowd.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Traditional morality begins and ends with sexual mores. You can be a corrupt, mass-murdering autocrat, but as long as you are publicly involved in a heterosexual relationship, you’re good with the “values” crowd.

    You’d be interested to know that here one of the biggest advocates for workers’ rights in public discussions about industrial relations is the Catholic church–up to and including the conference of bishops.

    Several years ago we had a government that changed IR laws to shift power strongly towards employers over employees, which had the effect of forcing some low paid workers to take shifts at nights and weekends without penalty rates and other previously entrenched rights. Obviously the union movement saw red, but so did various Catholic bodies, citing traditional morality. Viz, it is important for people to have shared downtime–especially families–and where that isn’t possible they need to be compensated. It is not OK for an employer to say that working shifts in the evenings and weekends so that you hardly ever get to see your kids is equivalent to working a standard 9-5 weekday shift.

    I have several disagreements with my church globally and locally, but I am glad to see that here at least they are reasonably consistent within the framework of their own teaching.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Back at the other end of the twentieth century, it was widely considered likely that in the next few decades, the Catholic church was goingto officially embrace communism.

    For obvious reasons, it didn’t end up going that way.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Which is pretty funny given that in the late 19th century Pope Leo issued an encyclical that rejected communism. It also rejected unrestrained capitalism, so maybe in the eyes of the church’s detractors anyone who is not a one-eyed capitalist is a communist in disguise.

  • The_L1985

    “Traditional morality” changes at least once a century.  During Victorian times, it was actually considered improper in some places to not have coverings over the legs of furniture.  The reasoning was that if you saw a bare table leg, you might be tempted to think about bare human legs and what lies between them.

    The Catholic Church sold indulgences in the Middle Ages, and that was “traditional morality.”  Now they don’t, and the refusal to sell indulgences has gone on long enough that that refusal is now traditional.

    Throughout the Old Testament, polygamy (specifically polygyny) is treated as a morally-neutral thing.  The New Testament doesn’t address it at all.  Medieval society believed that each man could only ever marry one woman within his lifetime–divorce was forbidden, and widows and widowers were expected to remain chaste until death.  Modern society sees polygamy as anathema–but it’s now OK to divorce one spouse and later marry another.

    Traditional morality really just means “what we’ve considered morally OK for at least a few decades.”

  • Nathaniel

     Sorry, but that bit about table legs is a well worn urban legend. Not saying the Victorians weren’t screwed up about sex, but it’s still untrue. 

  • The_L1985

     Ah.  Well, now I know, at least. >.>

  • Ross Thompson

    “Traditional morality” changes at least once a century.  During Victorian times, it was actually considered improper in some places to not have coverings over the legs of furniture.  The reasoning was that if you saw a bare table leg, you might be tempted to think about bare human legs and what lies between them.

    There were parts of America (New York comes to mind) where long tablecloths that reached to the floor were the fashion, but purely for æsthetic reasons. Several British comedians / satirists of the day made a joke about how Americans were too repressed to even look at table legs, and in the Edwardian era, this became ajoke about Victorians in general. And then, it changed from being a joke to Received Wisdom.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DuncanBeach Duncan Beach

    Don’t give way.  I don’t care, and neither do any of my gay friends or relatives.  Stand there…right there, in front of that train.  I didn’t put you there.  I wouldn’t have put you there.   I don’t like having you there.  But I’m not required by God to pull you out from in front of it, either.  The problem with your ‘slippery slope’ argument, is that it’s based on the hypothesis (not even a theory, since it’s not testable) that homosexuality is even a little bit immoral.  I’ve seen no evidence that it is.   And no, before you ask, I’m not gay.  I’m heterosexual.  I just don’t like bullies wherever I meet them.  And yes, you’re a bully.

  • JustoneK

    Pretty much this entire series is what I end up linking because I am having THIS EXACT SAME discussion slash argument with a friend.

  • AnonymousSam

    Foot-in-the-door, slippery slope fallacies have always annoyed me.  It makes sense to them, but all I see is the assertion that all people are base, crass, and utterly alike. Usually the ones making this argument also seem to argue that without God, the sinner degenerate will follow through with any impulse regardless of its vulgarity.

    I’m bisexual. This doesn’t put me one step closer to molesting children. Attraction to the same sex is not the same as attraction to minors. At no point does a mental conversation ensue consisting of “Well, I’ve already sinned this much, why not go the whole hog?” Homosexuality does not equate to having no standards for decent sexual behavior. Godliness also appears to fail to impact one’s standards for decent sexual behavior. Brother, eye, big fricking plank, etc.

    I’m not Christian. This doesn’t make me more liable to lie, cheat, steal, murder, etc. Being a sociopath makes me more liable to do these things, but years ago, I realized the importance of a functional society and dedicated my life toward improving the conditions around myself and that holds more directly than any abstraction of a vengeful deity waiting for the passing of my life. Society is something I can see and interact with, and I know that its vengeance will be far swifter and certain. Moreover, I am floored at the implication that God’s watchful eye is the only thing keeping the person making this argument from doing all these things. Either you must concede that ethics and morality can exist outside Christianity or you imply that you’re one forsaken deity away from being a complete monster. Again, plank, eye, etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.alex.harman John Alexander Harman

    Being a sociopath makes me more liable to do these things, but years ago, I realized the importance of a functional society and dedicated my life toward improving the conditions around myself and that holds more directly than any abstraction of a vengeful deity waiting for the passing of my life.

    You’ve piqued my interest; as far as I know, I’ve never met someone who self-identifies as a sociopath.  The viewpoint of a sociopath who seeks to lead an ethical life out of enlightened self-interest sounds fascinating; do you perchance have a blog on which you’ve written more on this topic?  If not, know that you’d have at least one interested reader should you choose to start one.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

     There is something similar with me.  There are times when I think of myself as a sociopath.  Thoughts of death and pain do not disturb me, sometimes I wish to inflict them (preferably in the service of something constructive.)  On the other hand, people like my girlfriend protest that I am not a sociopath, because I actually care what other people think of me, and wish no one exposed to unnecessary suffering. 

    Another part is that I am rarely selfish.  I share with others because I can, because I know that they will appreciate it, and because if everyone is selfless then collectively we all have an easier time.  Heck, I would spend my life willingly if I thought that the payout to those who survive me would be great enough.  This has actually been a source of friction with other people in my life, because I have a difficult time understanding why my death would be more hurtful to them them then any conceivable benefit my death would bring.

    Sometimes I seem callus.  I am callus.  But my callousness is out of a lack of emotional understanding, rather than a lack of compassion. 

  • AnonymousSam

    I’ve thought about it, but I rarely have the urge to engage in self-dialectic with an audience. I’d just wind up writing slightly longer versions of what I already write here. Not that that’d necessarily be a bad thing, I suppose, just feels somewhat overindulgent to my ego (which is profound, gargantuan, and beyond compare — just ask me). If I can find a decent blog site, I’ll consider it.

    In the meantime, my self-identification is quite genuine. I was a classic case of conduct disorder when I was young, suffered quite a lot of abuse growing up, and by the time I got psychiatric help I was getting formally diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder. It’s been some years since then, during which my diagnosis probably will have shifted to nomadic antisocial, but… mental help is expensive, so I’ve had to deal with it on my own. Focusing on psychology, sociology, philosophy and religion has given me a set of tools to deal with my problems, albeit imperfectly.

  • gjaust

    Very long time lurker here and this is my first post.

    I think Fred misunderstands the objection.  It isn’t so much “Oh no, the gays are going to get us!” or “If we let people be gay, we have to let them have sex with animals too!”

    The objection is that the argument presented here is a misuse of Paul’s writings on the topic of ritual purity.  Considering Paul frequently warns against sexual immorality, using his rejection of mandatory circumcision, dietary restrictions, etc. to overrule other types of moral declarations is highly problematic.

    Or put more succinctly, it raises the human interpretation of what’s right and wrong above God’s as is presented in the Bible.  Believing you’re doing something out of love doesn’t automatically make it right (e.g. some forms of child abuse).

  • http://accidental-historian.typepad.com/ Geds

     Very long time lurker here and this is my first post.

    I think Fred misunderstands the objection.  It isn’t so much “Oh no,
    the gays are going to get us!” or “If we let people be gay, we have to
    let them have sex with animals too!”

    So, were you lurking for a long time except for the past week?  This is just part number, like, six in a series.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2012/09/11/but-what-about-all-those-anti-gay-clobber-verses/

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2012/09/11/the-clobber-verses-vs-the-only-thing-that-counts/

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2012/09/12/what-if-im-wrong-about-the-clobber-verses/

    Plus a couple others, but he’s already handled the objections you mention.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    Or put more succinctly, it raises the human interpretation of what’s right and wrong above God’s as is presented in the Bible.  

    No, it raises a human interpretation of what’s right and wrong over a human interpretation of what’s presented in the Bible.

    Because a particular modern Christian denomination’s interpretation of the Bible is a human interpretation, just like other denominations’ interpretations, both modern and historical. (I don’t mean to suggest here that it’s an incorrect interpretation; I wouldn’t know. Perhaps that denomination, unlike all others, has the correct interpretation. It remains a human interpretation.)

  • Lunch Meat

    Or put more succinctly, it raises the human interpretation of what’s
    right and wrong above God’s as is presented in the Bible.  Believing
    you’re doing something out of love doesn’t automatically make it right
    (e.g. some forms of child abuse).

    Here’s the problem: sometimes “God’s idea of what’s right and wrong as presented in the Bible” doesn’t or can’t apply. This is either because the Bible presents no opinion on a topic, or we can tell the opinion that it presents is wrong.

    For instance, is masturbation wrong? Anal or oral sex in the context of marriage? BDSM? Birth control? If birth control’s okay, are condoms, the pill or the rhythm method allowed? Pornography? What if it’s me taking a naked picture of myself to send to my husband?

    Is child abuse wrong? How about pedophilia? Spousal abuse?

    Should you litter or should you recycle? Is green energy a good idea? Should we work to protect endangered species? Is just war okay? If it is, are torture or nuclear bombs okay if we believe they’re necessary to protect the country?

    These questions are not addressed in the Bible. As Fred said in the post above, and as I have seen, Christians who are trained to respond to moral questions only with “the Bible says” are not able to respond to them. Either they sit there in awkward silence or they do violence to the scripture by attempting to twist verses so that they address topics they have nothing to do with (i.e., the story of Onan is about masturbation, a random phrase torn from a poem means that birth control is bad).

    And sometimes we just flat-out ignore the Bible. For instance, the Paul who was so insistent against sexual immorality also said that a man with long hair dishonors himself. He also told women to be silent in the churches, yet I’ve never seen a church where women don’t sing. He told slaves to submit to their masters. He told us to greet one another with a holy kiss.

    Yes, we should “flee sexual immorality”. But that’s obvious. Just as we should flee immorality in our words and our friendships and our jobs, we should flee immorality in our sex life. But what does that mean? That question requires interpretation. Interpretation requires the ability to think, not just recite verses.

    It’s obvious that a kiss means something different today than it did in that culture. That requires so little thought that most of us don’t even bother thinking about it. It’s not so obvious whether the word translated “homosexuality” means something different today than it did then, as an increasing number of scholars believe. But if people are being badly hurt–bullied, abused, ignored, verbally assaulted, ridiculed, made homeless, driven to suicide–by Christians’ use of those Bible verses, don’t you think we’d better make sure? Don’t you think the safety of those kids who want to kill themselves is important enough to address the chance you might be wrong? Don’t you think the question deserves more thought than a flippant “you’re putting your own interpretation above God’s truth”?

  • The_L1985

     He’s mentioned this particular concern in the various “clobber verses” posts.

  • fraser

     Overlooking, of course, that large numbers of people make exactly the argument you’re saying aren’t the issue.

  • Kiba

    Tell me, please, why I should care what Paul wrote or, for that matter, why the bible should be held as The Authority on, well, anything over some other religious text? 

    And while you are at it please tell me why I, a non-Christian, should be forced to follow your interpretation of the bible. (Why your version and not someone else’s? Also which version of the bible, which translation, and why.)

    Also please tell me if the roles were reversed would Christians be happy and content being told that they must conform to religious laws and interpretations of some other religion? (I’m pretty sure the answer to that one is going to be no.)

    Or put more succinctly, it raises the human interpretation of what’s right and wrong above God’s as is presented in the Bible.

     

    Christians do this all the time. Do you really think that if there was One True interpretation of the bible there would be as many different versions and translations of it? Or that there would be so many different versions of Christianity itself? Christians can’t even agree amongst themselves (and they aren’t alone in this) about their faith and holy book. The best you can do is follow the path that works best for you and let other people do the same. 

    When it comes to a secular society, like we have**, the concern shouldn’t be about hammering people into line with your particular religion’s tenets. It should be about making sure that everyone has the same rights, responsibilities, protections, etc as everyone else. Or, you know, equality. 

    **Talking about the U.S here.
     

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

    Of course, the desire to for morality to be predetermined, unified, and  ‘objective’ could be applied to any given realm of life, along with all the fears and failings of wanting to believe in such a thing. 

  • JustoneK

    HELLO I did not read the post but here are my opinions on Fred and his inability to properly address my needs above everyone else’s.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    HELLO I did not read the post but here are my opinions on Fred and his inability to properly address my needs above everyone else’s.

    That was too awesome to just like.

  • Stone_Monkey

    Personally I find the “gay panic” thing a bit weird. Despite being a straight man, I’ve always found it flattering on those rare occasions when a gay man hits on me. Possibly because it serves as a reminder that at least someone finds me attractive – ego boost in the extreme.
    Which is why I also have a problem with the “As long as they don’t come after me” school of faux tolerance. I mean, get over yourself! You think you’re God’s gift to men too?

  • http://accidental-historian.typepad.com/ Geds

     Which is why I also have a problem with the “As long as they don’t come
    after me” school of faux tolerance. I mean, get over yourself! You think
    you’re God’s gift to men too?

    My response to that is always, “Then you’re not actually okay with it.  Good to know.”

    I ended up taking an approach of, “They can do anything they want, as long as they don’t expect me to participate.”  I eventually realized that that’s a pretty good self-contained maxim for all human interaction.

  • Fusina

     Didn’t you know that they are so awesomely studly that everyone wants them? I mean, really. I think that must be it. This might explain a lot of misogyny too. This thought pattern that “I’m so studly that if a woman fails to fawn over me, there must be something wrong with her…”

  • LL

    Developing a credible sexual ethic would mean acknowledging a need for such a thing, and as far as I can tell (with Fred’s help, because some of the more repellent features of fundamentalist “sex education” and “marriage counseling” had escaped my notice until highlighted here), these people seem to believe that sexual ethics = sex for babies only. Oh, and now I guess we have to add “legitimate rape is bad, but the other rape is not really rape, more like some dirty whore getting what she deserves.” See, that’s it. Simple. The way these people like it. 

  • Michael Cule

    Reading the ‘two boxes’ post it struck me that those who put everything except ‘heterosexual sex in marriage’ in the box marked ‘sinful’ are putting into the box marked ‘approved for use by Christians’ the only thing they are absolutely certain God approves of. And assuming, as a matter of their soul’s safety that everything else is something God does not approve of.

    Because their God is an Angry God and a God who doesn’t like change. And it’s better to be safe.

    It doesn’t need pointing out (but I will anyway as I like the sound of my own voice) that this is in diametric opposition to the inclusive God that Fred pictures and that may be at the core of the disagreement.

  • MaryKaye

    My mentally ill teenager goes through occasional outbursts where he yells at us that WE MUST MUST MUST prevent him from cheating (on various rules such as “do your homework”).  He feels, in that state of mind, that it will be terrible if we don’t forcibly prevent him from cheating/violating a rule.  I can’t say that I understand what he’s thinking when he does this.  It does sometimes sound like “If you don’t stop me from breaking rules, nothing will.”

    The most recent round went like this:

    Teen:  You’re not checking my daily homework log every day, just the daily progress report!  What if I don’t write the homework in my log?
    Us:  Then we’ll find out at the two-week log check.
    Teen:  That’s not good enough!  What if I waited until just before the two-week log check and filled in all the log entries right then?!
    Us:  Then you’d be cheating.  I hope you don’t cheat.  We’ll probably find out sooner or later if you do.
    Teen:  NOOO!  You have to check it every day or you won’t know whether I’m cheating or not!  (meltdown)

    He is an atheist but he was raised by some fairly problematic Christians.  I wonder if something like this is going on inside some authoritarian Christian’s minds:  I *need* someone to watch me all the time and make sure I am following the rules, or I won’t be able to cope.

  • banancat

     Honestly, it sounds like your son has OCD.  You acknowledged that he is mentally ill, but do you know if it is OCD specifically?  Fear of doing something wrong and fear of breaking rules is far more common than the public realizes.  It’s not just about germaphobia and fear of being a bad person is probably the second most common symptom.

    Anyway, I think your son’s case is sort of separate from this whole issue.  If he has OCD, he would be sick no matter what.  The symptoms can manifest differently based on different life experiences, but I really don’t think this was caused by his authoritarian upbringing.  He needs professional help if he isn’t getting it already.

  • Dan Audy

    That sounds really rough.

    I’ve struggled all my life with mental illness and I have a real gratitude and respect for my parents and other loved ones who have weathered my irrationalities (which in my mind at the time made perfect sense and were absolute truth) when I was having worse periods.  I hope that when he is having less difficulties or later in life he can appreciate everything you are doing for him.

  • DiscreteComponent

    Question, just what is meant by “objectively immoral” or for that mater  “objectively moral”?  Are they really looking for an ethical system based on objective reality or are they looking for an ethical system based on divine revelation?  I just want to know what is meant by the terms, I had always felt that if you are talking about christian morality you are talking about the later and not the former. 

  • Carstonio

    I can’t speak for Fred, but I use the term “objective” for morality to mean independent of any stance about religion or any affiliation with a particular religion. Also known as secular morality. Fred practices what he preaches, making moral arguments using both his religious beliefs and secular principles. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    “sniff test” to decide whether he needed to use protection.*

    What?

    D:

  • Mary Kaye

     Just as a general reminder:

    It’s not usually a good idea to offer diagnoses over the Internet, or to criticize someone’s parenting or other relationship skills based on a one-paragraph description.  You just don’t have enough facts to do a good job, and the attempt can be both offensive and harmful.

  • AnonymousSam

    I’ve been thinking the same, but couldn’t think of how to phrase “There is no right way to be a parent.” There’s a lot of advice that’s good in principle, but the thing about kids is that they have this knack of, well, being kids. They’ll sometimes actively resist your efforts to give them good parenting. They’ll never be satisfied with your answers. They won’t understand your experience until they’re experienced themselves. Doesn’t matter how old they are, your two year old will give you “Why, Mommy?” and your sixteen year old will give you “Ugh, whatever, Mom.”

    Except when they don’t, and they understand perfectly, and they don’t ask uncomfortable questions and they get right what you’re trying to say the first time, they agree never to talk to strangers and how that boy isn’t right for them.

    In short, kids are absolutely infuriating and I recommend getting rid of them entirely. Absolutely useless invention, not one of our better ideas. For those of you who’ve already got them, you have my sincerest apologies and I hope you kept the warranty.

  • Tricksterson

    They are not absolutely useless.  They make a good emergency food source.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

     Ha ha. Little do you know that the warranty is only good unless and until the child exits the womb.

  • lovecomesfromlife

    This post makes me wonder about the to-do a few weeks ago about the folks who blamed the rape culture on lack of female submissiveness in the marriage bed.  If they are operating in the thought that there are only two options in sexual ethics – married sex good, unmarried sex bad – they might be reacting to the inclusion of ethical language in the context of married couples.  When you start throwing around terms like, mutuality, equality, respect, it shows  that you believe that, even in marriage, there is a spectrum of ethical behavior.  You believe that married sex can be performed ethically or unethically.  If you believe one box admits of an ethical spectrum, it suggests the other box might as well.  That there might be ethical and unethical unmarried sex.  

    Because rape within a marriage is a known occurrence there must be a way to drain that crime from it’s outrage.  That outrage might bring more awareness to the existing ethical spectrum within married sex.  The outrage of marital rape must become the pillar of traditional and god-ordained gender roles.  It wouldn’t be rape, they suggest, if the raped partner had simply submitted like they were supposed to.

    Getting in these men’s head makes me feel sick.  I think I need a shower.

  • Bnerd

    This kind of slippery slope argument has always amused me. There are of course perfectly logical slippery slope arguments one can make (gay marriage will lead to…. gay people getting married! *gasp*), but this is an extreme parody, falling in line with people who scream that of Jim and Tom next door get married then how will we ever justify not allowing Peter to marry his snapping turtle? I’m not so sure it’s “all about marriage” though. I think that is certainly a big part of it, but I think anybody who throws out this objection is usually, implicitly if not explicitly, arguing based on their perception of what is “natural”. You see, anything that doesn’t involve strict penis in vagina and a baby pops out of said vagina 9 months later is “unnatural” to them. Essentially, you’re correct in the larger picture: Their sexual ethics are deeply immature. But it’s not just about marriage. It’s about “nature”. And unfortunately their conception of nature is about as mature as their sexual ethics. As I have said before, why in the hell are people turning to Fifth Century monks who knew next to nothing about the mechanisms of nature and sex for practical advice? That’s a big problem. When you’re view on sex is rooted in ancient notions of nature that are so far off base they seem laughable to anyone who knows an inkling of even basic biology, you’re in trouble.

  • Mary Kaye

    When I read older studies in my field (evolutionary biology) I’m struck by the big blind spots the researchers had–often philosophically-derived blind spots, or at least those are the ones I can most easily see.  (I bet I have my own set, but of course I don’t know what they are….)  For example, the idea of the Platonic type or ideal was a huge barrier to understanding species properly, because a species is not actually a type.  The people who put Copper River salmon in Puget Sound thought that because they were all the same species they could be interchanged, but that turned out not to be the case.

    Another one of these big blind-spot ideas is that everything in nature has one specific function.  In reality some things have one function, many have several functions, some have none–they are side effects or leftovers or accidents.

    Sexuality has an obvious function.  This has impeded studies of its other functions–and it probably has several, particularly in primates.  Very complicated things, some of them cultural, go in in chimpanzee societies around sexual behavior.  There’s some interesting evidence that not-yet-fertile female chimps can have oestral swellings when it is socially useful for them to do so, for example when they have to integrate into a new community.

    In humans, too, sexuality has a lot of different functions, but many of us are stuck in the single-function paradigm.  I can’t help thinking that if human sexuality were solely about reproduction, we would have oestral swellings ourselves.  Instead we have concealed ovulation–the only one of the great apes that does–meaning that we seem to have evolved toward prioritizing non-reproductive sex.  –Or maybe the concealed ovulation is an evolutionary accident, but it’s a very striking one.

    Our current worldview (and I include myself in this) is going to look really stupid in a generation or two, just as the salmon-movers’ viewpoint looks stupid to me now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.alex.harman John Alexander Harman

    “In humans, too, sexuality has a lot of different functions”

    Jared Diamond wrote a short book on this topic called Why is Sex Fun?  He doesn’t draw many firm conclusions in it, but it’s a good layperson’s overview of the state of research on this topic (as of 1998, when it was published) and the various hypotheses advanced to explain why several aspects of human sexuality are radically different from that of any other mammal.

  • Ked

    If I might interrupt this busy comment thread to note that most of a month later, I still hate the new front page layout, and it has, in fact, resulted in my visiting this blog less often and reading fewer articles here. 

    It would be nice if there were at least some blogger discussion of why this change is being tolerated.   If Fred were to say, for example, “Well, it means I get more clicks which means they actually pay me more, so no going back,” I’d be sympathetic.  But no discussion of a change that’s actually spoiling this blog for me is disappointing.

    Never mind me.  Please resume your vigorous discussion.

  • Loki100

    This has relatively little to do with this topic, but Chris Kluwe (the Vikings punter who wrote the rather inventive letter in defense of marriage equality) just posed for a photo spread for Out Magazine. Which means he managed to become a gay icon in six days. That’s got to be some sort of landspeed record.

  • Lori

     

    This has relatively little to do with this topic, but Chris Kluwe (the
    Vikings punter who wrote the rather inventive letter in defense of
    marriage equality) just posed for a photo spread for Out Magazine. Which
    means he managed to become a gay icon in six days. That’s got to be some sort of landspeed record.
     

    Wow, that even beats Ben Cohen and that’s saying something.

  • bloodywars

    WHEN PROPHECY SUCCEEDS!

    youtube.com/watch?v=wHs0vM3gRTA

    you can thank RANDI

    youtube.com/watch?v=gHbYJfwFgOU

    which WORLD-VIEW will not exist, sh*thead?

    ______________

    5000 whining atheists vs the Great Prophet

    how the divine pen of Michel N. crushed the international atheist movement

    skeps.org/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=644
     

  • The_L1985

    I thought the courts said you weren’t allowed to to that anymore, Mr. Markuze.

    Also, Fred is a Christian, not an atheist. So your anti-atheist screeds don’t affect anything anyway.

  • Turcano

    Oh great, Mabus is off his meds again.

  • christopher_young
  • The_L1985

     …..light-colored clothing?

    And I wanted to start my day without righteous fury getting in the way. :(

  • http://twitter.com/BillHiers Bill Hiers

    My dentist made this same argument. He said to his assistant while they were working on me, that if gays were allowed to marry, anything would go, and a person could conceivably marry a goat. I mentioned it on here before, I believe, but thought it should get mentioned again as it’s an example of the type of simpleminded thinking Fred talks about.

  • JustoneK

    I’m always worried there are a lot of fundagelicals out there who really want to marry goats.

  • Tricksterson

    The worst part is that they never seem to have any consideration for the goat’s feelings or opinions.  What if the goat wants to keep it a casual friends with benefits situation?  What if it would rather concentrate on it’s career?

  • JustoneK

    holy shit I just figured out from this the rationale for marrying a goat.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Did you bite him? I hope you bit him.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    The people who claim if homosexuality goes, anything goes, terrify me. They so obviously have no notion of consent.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    By the way, there’s a lot of talk here about how a pedophile could “follow you home” and such — that anyone who would rape your child would be a stranger. Not likely. The vast majority of sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone the victim knows well. Being somewhat cautious about strangers is fine, but it’s far more important to be cautious about whom you trust to be with your children. This includes family members, religious leaders, teachers, and lifelong friends. 

  • Jenny Islander

    For a close analysis of perceived dangers to children vs. statistically attested dangers to children, see the Free Range Kids blog.  (Example: Stranger abductions are actually less common than lightning strikes without a thunderstorm to provide warning.  But we disrupt and limit our children’s lives for fear of stranger abductions, and nobody is freaking out about lightning strikes.  Meanwhile, most people don’t actually know what drowning looks like and don’t know how to properly install a car safety seat.  Misdirected priorities.)

  • banancat

    Clothing doesn’t send the message “I am a sexual being”, even in adults.  I am so sick of this.  You can’t determine how much sex someone has based on their clothing.  The woman in a miniskirt could be in a perfectly monogamous marriage.  The woman in a turtleneck and baggy jeans could have casual sex with multiple partners.  Telling a child that they’re not ready to look a certain way perpetuates the myth that you can accurately determine a woman’s sex life based on her clothing.

    I don’t like this hand-wringing that children can’t wear short skirts because someone mistake them for one of those women, and that would be bad because it’s bad to be one of those women.

    Or you can say that of course, oh no, you don’t actually believe that it’s wrong to look like those women, only that it’s a sad fact of life that other people do think it’s bad to look like those women, so you want your child to conform to their ideas of modesty so that they won’t judge the child.

    It is really sad that any parent could be glad at children slut-shaming another child so the child will be prevent from being slut-shamed as an adult.  It does make me think that any parent like that actually agrees with the slut-shamers but doesn’t want to admit that.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    It is really sad that any parent could be glad at children slut-shaming another child so the child will be prevent from being slut-shamed as an adult.

    You didn’t read anything else Daughter wrote after the first post you responded to, did you?

  • PJ Evans

     Have you ever seen some of those clothes? Taken a walk past the children’s section of a W*lM*rt?
    Believe me, they are pushing ‘sexy’ for under-12s.

  • Dan Audy

    Uggh, I know.  My daughter (thankfully) chose a junior high school with a uniform and turned into an amazing sewing geek 
    (she started because nothing fit her tall, skinny build and wanted to help out mum making stuff) so almost all of her clothes are homemade unless she wants something we can’t do like t-shirts with text or pictures.  She rolls her eyes and sighs at the children’s section of clothing not because she objects to their sexual objectification of children but because of their shoddy craftsmanship – different reasons but we still share a little moment of contempt.

  • Lori

     

    Clothing doesn’t send the message “I am a sexual being”, even in
    adults.  I am so sick of this.  You can’t determine how much sex someone
    has based on their clothing.  

    Um, “I’m a sexual being” =/= “I’m having a lot of sex”, which doesn’t mean that wearing clothing that says “I’m a sexual being” is a good idea for very young children.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    I don’t think wanting my daughter to not signal that ‘I want you to
    consider me sexually’ when she doesn’t really understand what sex and
    sexuality….

    You know, this has been bugging me the whole thread.

    The idea that short-short skirts signal “I want you to consider me sexually” is… really uncomfortably close, category-wise, logic-wise, to the scary rape culture nonsense of “Well, I’m not saying you deserved it, but what message did you think you were sending when you wore that skirt?”

    While I understand the discomfort behind prepubescent children wearing “sexy” clothing, I have to side with bananacat in working for world where we effin’ stop telling women – of any age – that really, how did they expect to be treated, wearing sexy clothes like that? And I think the first step in working towards that world is to STOP insisting that certain clothes invite sexual objectification, and START insisting that people stop goddamn sexually objectifying people based on their clothes. All this concern over the message that a young child’s clothes send — not helping us towards that goal, actually.

    Although “I want you to feel comfortable wearing whatever clothes you like, sweetie, but unfortunately there are people out there with stupid attitudes that will give you hell if you wear that” is certainly a reasonable objection for the 7-yo in the short-short skirt. I like that a hell of a lot better than “No, those clothes send a message you shouldn’t be sending at your age.”

    (The lack of “sexy” clothes that’s gendered male? That has a huge honking load to do with which gender gets treated by default as a sexually pleasarable viewing object, doesn’t it?)

  • Jenny Islander

    Dance and clothing are different matters although I posted about them together.  A dance recital that requires a prepubescent girl to bump and grind, and wear an approved costume that shows a lot more skin than the boys in the class are expected to show, connects signals of sexual awareness with adult approval–with getting a good grade from the teacher, in fact.  Clothing that was originally designed for older teenagers to show off their breasts, hips, and buttocks has the double problem of proclaiming that little girls are supposed to stand around and be looked at–with an eye toward sexual attributes that are nobody’s business below the age of consent–and making it very difficult for them to do anything else!

    At the height (depth) of the muffin top craze, I could not find ordinary play pants for my girls–even the one who was still wearing disposable training undies, for crying out loud.  Everything was tight.  Everything had zippers that ended below the navel.  Everything was flimsy.  I finally had my and my husband’s worn-out jeans and sweats cut down into child-size, roomy durable pull-on jeans and sweats that came all the way up over their hips, with roomy pockets in front for putting stuff in. Then they could go play in the dirt.

  • Dan Audy

    I don’t think that goal is possible.  Every generation has styles that are considered sexy and every generation has people seek them out because they want to look sexy.  People choose those clothes because they invite sexual objectification.

  • Lori

     

    I don’t think that goal is possible.  Every generation has styles that
    are considered sexy and every generation has people seek them out
    because they want to look sexy.  People choose those clothes because they invite sexual objectification.   

    This. Sending various messages with clothes actually serves a purpose. It’s one of the reasons that I find fashion interesting even though I personally am about the least fashionable person around. Unless we come up with some totally different way to fulfill that purpose that’s not going to change.

  • Dan Audy

    Personally I always liked the approach Lois Bujold McMaster took with Beta Colony in her Vorkosigan books.  Everyone wore earrings that signalled their gender, sexual orientation, and availability through style and colour.  It made perfect sense for a culture with a extremely broad and accepting attitude towards sex and treated it in a no nonsense practical part of everyones life.  It only covered that one particular part of life but it is just different enough from our forms of signalling to offer the opportunity to make comment on it.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    I liked the idea, until it occurred to me that this was a culture that arose after the development of sophisticated information technology, at which point I could no longer believe it.

    I eventually managed to convince myself that they were actually earrings that encoded all of this information in a much more useful fashion, and did a first-pass agent negotiation on their wearers’ behalf to determine likelihood of mutual satisfaction, and oh incidentally had some conventional styes and colors that signalled this stuff in a much clumsier fashion because why not?

  • Raycol

     The “anything goes” fallacy can be disproved by using the no-harm test.  If no harm is caused, then same-sex intercourse passes the no-harm test, based on Romans 13:9-10, and can be legitimately practiced by Christians.  Obviously, “anything goes” could result in harm and should not be practiced.  Details about the no-harm test are on http://www.gaysandslaves.com/noharm_test.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marta-Layton/100001373579092 Marta Layton

    Personally, I think the problem is even more fundamental than Fred seems to get at. Many Christians distrust human reason. If you don’t think human reason is actually capable of sorting the good from the bad, challenges to a kind of divine command theory are truly scary because it seems that take away the divine command and you’re left with anarchy. Many Christians (wrongly IMO) believe homosexuality is forbidden by the Bible. I think that, combined with the distrust of non-divine reason, is what drives this line of argument.

    The trick is getting people to realize that not all positions based on human reason are equally good. Some people just get the critical thinking wrong, for whatever reason. Just because two people have an opinion, this doesn’t mean that both are equally right or good or true or whatever. Of course, good luck driving that point home in this political culture!

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Many Christians (wrongly IMO) believe homosexuality is forbidden by the
    Bible. I think that, combined with the distrust of non-divine reason, is
    what drives this line of argument.

    Marta — as has been said here a few times, if that were so, I would expect all behaviors that many Christians (rightly or wrongly) believe forbidden by the Bible to be opposed equally strongly. And yet, I do not see self-identified Christians standing on street corners waving signs opposing usury.

    I conclude, therefore, that there are more factors involved than you list here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marta-Layton/100001373579092 Marta Layton

    I don’t doubt that there are other factors. Outside of logic classes, peoples’ conclusions are rarely supported by one neat and tidy argument. I didn’t mean to imply this was the only reason Christians thought anything would go if homosexual sex was permissible, though rereading my comment I see why you’d think that.

    But there’s a big difference between usury and homosexuality. Usury is a business practice, and the idea that ethics applied in business is controversial. Many people think good businesses are cutthroat and that normal ethics doesn’t really apply: if you can get away with it, you do it. That’s not saying the Bible is wrong; it’s just saying it doesn’t apply here. It’s less challenging, or at least not challenging in the same way.

    As for why you don’t see pro-usury sandwich boards, I think that has to do with the fact that this isn’t a point people see challenged. Debates like this are in some sense social. We see other people making claims about topic X that we believe are wrong-headed, so we in turn argue for the other position on X, where normally we might not be talking about X as well.

    Again, I’m not saying this is the whole story, but I think it’s a big part of it.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     > the idea that ethics applied in business is controversial. [..] That’s not saying the Bible is wrong; it’s just saying it doesn’t apply here.

    (blink)
    Um…
    Wow.

    OK. Sure. If the kind of ethics you’re talking about just don’t apply to businesses, then I can see why you restrict your efforts to constraining the behavior of individuals.

    Tapping out now.


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