20 Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage, Rebutted (Part 3)

20 Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage, Rebutted (Part 3) November 24, 2018

We’re looking at popular arguments against same-sex marriage (and a few that are just anti-gay). Conservative radio host Frank Turek provides most of the arguments. (Part 1 here.)

7. You’re infringing my religious freedom!

The sky is falling, and the religious liberty of bakers, florists, and photographers is battered down by the merciless iron fist of the Gay Agenda®. To those businesses that turn away homosexual couples, Frank warns,

If you don’t agree to celebrate same-sex marriages, you will be sued, fined, fired, and perhaps even jailed. All in the name of “tolerance, inclusion and diversity.”

Discrimination can be against the law. Break the law and bad things happen. It’s really not that hard, despite your eagerness to make it so. If your religion denied equal access based on race or carried out human sacrifice, you’d be breaking the law and your religion would lose. The unanimous decision of the Supreme Court in Davis v. Beason (1890) makes this clear: “However free the exercise of religion may be, it must be subordinate to the criminal laws of the country.”

More from Frank:

Can anyone see any middle ground between 1) you must celebrate my same sex marriage, and 2) God or my conscience prevents me from doing so? There is none. So which “right” will take precedence: the real right or the invented right?

The real rights—in America, at least—are those defined by the Constitution. You’re free to imagine whatever you want within your religion, just don’t pretend that that affects any of us in the rest of society. I wonder how Frank would feel if he worked at a company run by a Jehovah’s Witness or Christian Scientist who imposed their religious views on employees by limiting their health coverage (the Hobby Lobby treatment).

No one demands that you celebrate a marriage, but you must provide equal access as demanded by the law. Your conscience tells you to discriminate and serve only some of your customers? Don’t expect much respect for those views if they run up against the Constitution.

Christians like to imagine that they’re being imposed on, but what’s being imposed on here is their ability to impose their beliefs on others. I’m not sympathetic.

But it’s not just bakers and photographers. Public speakers like Frank are imposed on as well.

Those of us who have a diverse view are being excluded because we don’t exhibit lock-step conformity to their intolerant agenda.

You have a “diverse” view? So does the Ku Klux Klan. You and they are both free to speak, but don’t confuse public pushback with infringement of your rights.

We are being fired and fined for exercising our real God-given rights. How can this be? We can’t work because of our political views—views that are firmly rooted in the biological facts of nature. Is this still America?

“God-given” rights? Talk about it in church, but don’t imagine you can impose your theology on the rest of us.

You say your opinions don’t sell anymore? Tough. Bigotry giveth and bigotry taketh away. The conservative gravy train must’ve been nice while it lasted. Remember when you could tell racist jokes without whining from the PC Police? Ah—good times!

8. Let’s overthrow the government!

No, really—that’s pretty much what Frank calls for.

America needs a state governor who still believes in America—a governor willing to take a page from President Andrew Jackson who once rebuffed [an 1832] Supreme Court decision against the state of Georgia by telling Chief Justice Marshall, “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it.” . . . Are there any statesmen left in America?

When your interpretation of the Constitution differs from that of a state Supreme Court or a federal court, you think a governor should just flex his military muscle? Oh, Frank! You’re a real man, and I get goose bumps when you throw your weight around like that! You gonna punch the bully on the beach for me, too?

While that may create a constitutional crisis, our Constitution is already in crisis! What can be lost that hasn’t ready been lost?

What’s been lost? Are religious freedoms in the U.S. now indistinguishable from those in Saudi Arabia or Yemen? And does a coup have so little downsides that he can allude to it so casually?

The stunt Frank imagines has already been tried. It didn’t turn out well for the governor of Arkansas in 1957 when he called out the Arkansas National Guard to support segregationists opposed to a Supreme Court demand to integrate Little Rock public schools. President Eisenhower’s response was to federalize the Arkansas National Guard to remove it from the governor’s control and replace it with the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. Game, set, and match.

Frank is big on bravado, but he really needs to think through whom he allies himself with.

To be continued.

Every human being has the same right
to marry someone of the opposite sex.
— Frank Turek

.

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 1/13/15.)

Image credit: Pavel Ševela, Wikimedia Commons

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  • This is rich coming from him. He speaks publicly often, and also gets published widely. Oh, and the ruling which he cites that Jackson defied? It said the Cherokee couldn’t be removed from their land. Great example.

    • Jack Baynes, Sandwichmaker

      If God gave the white people that land, who are the courts to tell them they can’t evict the inconvenient current owners of the land?

      • I’m pretty sure the Cherokee their gods had given it to them. Of course, a Christian like Turek won’t care about that.

        • epicurus

          Ironic that Turek, as an Evangelical probably supports Israel as as nation today because God gave them the land thousands of years ago. I doubt he see’s that irony though, when discussing the Cherokee.

        • Of course, since he doesn’t believe that God gave them a divine real estate title, I’d assume.

        • epicurus

          Yes, it happens constantly – my god said or did something and I expect you to believe it and respect it. What’s that – you have a god too? That’s crazy – your god doesn’t exit, how could you believe such nonsense.

        • Mhm, it reminds me of this thing I read from the Middle Ages in which a Jew was arguing about how old the Earth was against some Egyptian pagan. The Egyptian claimed it was much older than the Jews thought. He rebutted this by claiming that couldn’t be right, because the Torah said he was wrong. With no attempt to establish anything past that. Of course, the Egyptian was more right than him, it turns out. Modern creationists citing the Bible turns out much the same way.

        • epicurus

          Just came across this short clip of Bertrand Russell talking about his meeting with Lenin in 1920 and how Lenin thought he could just dismiss any ideas he didn’t like by quoting a text from Marx, and reminded Russell of the dogmatism of a Cromwell (I assume he means Oliver not Thomas).
          https://youtu.be/6TK9c-caEcw

        • Yes, this jibes with what I’ve read. A lot of Marxists like to think Lenin was great, and it’s Stalin who made the USSR go bad. I don’t buy it though. Lenin may have been better than Stalin, but not by much. The road was laid before Stalin. Also with Trotsky, he was pretty notorious for his brutality as commander of the Red Army and both advocated terror against “enemies of the people”. H.G. Wells had much the same impression of Lenin, whom he met around the same time, saying he exuded “impish cruelty” as with the laugh at kulaks being hanged. It’s also ironic to think he quoted Marx as gospel, since they greatly diverged from Marx’s views in many areas.

        • Michael Neville

          I suspect that Turek has never heard of the Trail of Tears and thinks the Cherokee is a model of Jeep possibly named after some Indians who live in Bumfuk, East Dakota.

        • Otto

          Bumfuk, East Dakota is Sioux (Lakota) territory.

        • Ficino

          Would Turek just say that God gave Georgia to white Christians?

        • epicurus

          There is a funny line from the Mel Gibson movie “Maverick” where his character sacastically says “Nice of them to look after the place ‘till we got here.”

        • RichardSRussell

          I’m just envisioning a bunch of Cherokees descending on the Florida home of newly elected Sen. Rick Scott, booting him out, and informing him (in the immortal words of lyricist Ernest Gold from Exodus):

          “This land is mine. God gave this land to me. This brave and ancient land to me. And when the morning sun reveals her hills and plain, then I see a land where children can run free.

          “So take my hand and walk this land with me, and walk this golden land with me. Though I am just a man, when you are by my side, with the help of God, I know I can be strong to make this land our home. If I must fight, I’ll fight to make this land our own. Until I die, this land is mine!”

          Hey, if the fundies think it works for the Zionists, why not for the Cherokee?

        • I think they were removed from Georgia, but yeah. Look pretty much anywhere in the world though, and you’ll find someone was usually displaced by newcomers. As a parody of the Exodus song explicates:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pKMV6e5kEo&list=FL7F-qYxU3FznIcf4hFqRC8g&index=13&t=0s

        • RichardSRussell

          Right you are! The Cherokees were from Georgia. It was the Seminoles who were from Florida. So I guess I should’ve said Brian Kemp.

          Thanks for the terrific link, BTW.

        • Yes, the Seminole were also removed though, so that works either way.

          You’re quite welcome. It sends up the silliness of any single claim to the region I think.

        • Ficino

          Wow, I had never liked the lyrics of that song, but I never realized how it refutes itself. If this land is my own, then why am I going to “make it” my own, as though it is not my own?

        • Michael Neville

          “Make this land our home” means drive out the present inhabitants.

    • Perhaps this is evidence that Frank’s following doesn’t much care for evidence or research.

      • Well, he is certainly preaching to the choir.

    • quinsha

      The Trail of Tears where 1/4 of the people died? I was raised on that tale.

      • Yes, that one. It was a particularly low betrayal since the Cherokee and other tribes removed were Jackson’s allies in the War of 1812.

        • Jack Baynes, Sandwichmaker

          Trump loves Jackson because they share a sense of loyalty.

        • He is even worse.

    • zenlike

      Yep, you would think that any moral person would distance themselves away from that particular horrific bit of history as much as possible. He seems to not mind referring to it as something to emulate.

      • Some fundamentalist Christians like him seem to think it was “God’s will” that white people fulfill our “Manifest Destiny” (as indeed many did at the time-hence the name). It’s only bad if God isn’t on our side, don’t you know.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      I saw a piece that says that tRump is trying to screw over the Wampanoag (who were the natives at the first Thanksgiving) for corporate profit?

      • Apparently there was only one native at the first Thanksgiving, Squanto, the last Patuxet. However they got supplies from the Wampanoag to survive. I haven’t heard that of Trump, but it isn’t surprising. The Pilgrims reacted much the same in the long run to their kindness.

        Edit: I was wrong. Approximately 90 natives attended. It doesn’t say what tribe they were from, but presumably Wampanoag.

  • Michael Neville

    Frank is whining because he and many of his fellow fundagelical Christians are facing consequences for displaying their bigotry towards people who have done no harm to them.

  • ephemerol

    Can anyone see any middle ground between 1) you must celebrate my same sex marriage, and 2) God or my conscience prevents me from doing so? There is none.

    Can anyone see any middle ground between 1) the rantings of a lunatic, and 2) a christian explaining “god and his conscience”? Oh, wait, there is none.

  • Carstonio

    If you’re a baker or florist or photographer, you’re not celebrating a marriage, you’re providing a paid service.

    Here’s the all-time stupidest version of that argument: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/religious-conscience-vs-civil-rights-in-the-move-toward-gay-marriage/2014/03/14/ff6cabfc-aaf1-11e3-adbc-888c8010c799_story.html

    In some weddings, the photographer is a kind of supplementary liturgist for the ceremony: orchestrating participants’ movements, suggesting placements of the couple, encouraging romantic gestures, walking in front of them down the aisle and spending precious moments alone with the couple.

    • I’d not heard that one. But it seems clear that if you want to pick and choose your clients in an illegal way (based on race, origin, religion, etc.), then you shouldn’t go into that profession.

    • Kuno

      So they are more important than the priest officiating? Sounds marriage is a secular affair after all.

  • zenlike

    Where was Frank with his “middle ground” and “diverse views” before the legalisation of SSM? Did he support the “diverse view” of allowing gay people to marry, but putting provisions in the law that discrimination should be possible by people who want nothing to do with it? Did he support the middle ground of civil unions? Of course not. He and his ilk fought tooth and nail against SSM, rejecting any compromise or middle ground, instead using the full force of the government to legislate their specific religious view and force it on anyone. His crocodile tears do not impress me, and his dishonesty even less.

  • RichardSRussell

    If you’re a public accommodation, you should accommodate the public. Why is that so hard to understand? Among other things, it’s just a good business practice to want as many customers as you can get to spend money at your place. Heck, don’t just accommodate them, welcome them!

  • eric

    Can anyone see any middle ground between 1) you must celebrate my same sex marriage, and 2) God or my conscience prevents me from doing so?

    That middle ground, Frank, is ‘provide the service to the customer without personally celebrating the customer’s marriage.’ IOW, following the law.

  • JustAnotherAtheist2

    It’s genuinely heartbreaking that this man has a lucrative career spewing complete nonsense. And not just nonsense, hateful, inciting, deliberately dishonest nonsense.

    But it’s done for god, so it’s all good…..

  • MadScientist1023

    “Can anyone see any middle ground between 1) you must celebrate my same sex marriage, and 2) God or my conscience prevents me from doing so? There is none.”

    Yes, there is. There are a few options, actually.
    1. You tell someone you’re not taking new clients at this time or are unavailable on XYZ date and don’t elaborate on why
    2. You close your business to the public and switch to a “members only” model
    3. You tell the gay couple that orders something from you that you will serve them as the law requires, but that doing so will be against their religious beliefs and that you would recommend they go to XYZ other business instead
    4. You get out of the wedding business altogether

    • Otto

      ‘But…but…my conscience requires that I rub their nose in it and behave like a sanctimonious asshole!’

    • eric

      #1 would likely be illegal if the couple sued and could show that your pattern of ‘closing’ was consistent with denying service to a protected group. The simple analogy is (again) with racial discrimination; if a shop closed (with no explanation given) each time black customers walked in, and re-opened when they went away, would that be legal? No.

      • MadScientist1023

        If someone is doing it often enough that an actual pattern could be established, then they should switch to one of the other options. Preferably 4.

        Suing someone over that would be difficult, because the complainant would have to first establish a pattern and second demonstrate it wasn’t coincidence. It’s not viable in situations where requests for wedding services from gay couples are regular occurrences, but could probably deal with occasional requests.

        Either way, I think my point stands that there are “middle ground” options out there for anti-gay bigots who want to do their discrimination more discreetly or more legally.

        • eric

          Civil suits only have to meet a ‘preponderance of evidence’ burden, which I think translates to the jury thinking there’s a >50% chance they’re guilty. So the plaintiffs don’t have to “demonstrate” non-coincidence in any strong sense, they only have to get the jury to agree that the opening and closing schedule was more likely than not due to discrimination.

          Showing the pattern is relatively easy and civil rights activists figured out how to do that back in the 1950s: invite your friends to frequent the establishment. Either the owner serves them, or the pattern becomes clear.

          I’m not saying discreetly violating anti-discrimination law is impossible; I’m sure there are people who do it. But neither the courts nor legal firms who help the plaintiffs are dummies on the subject, as racists have thought up and tried most of the obvious tricks for going on 60 years now.

        • MadScientist1023

          That sounds like a good plan for a restaurant, but it seems a bit less practical for wedding photographers and bakers. When you are trying to hire someone whose services need to be scheduled in advance, it becomes much easier for the service provider to say they are booked that particular day.

          Sure, if you’re determined to be vindictive about it, you could press someone on their lies and force their hand. But as I said before, if you’re turning away gay people so often that a pattern can be established, pick a new strategy.

        • eric

          Why is it harder?

          Alice walks in, says “I’d like to hire you to photograph my gay wedding.” Photographer says no.

          Bob walks in, says “I’d like to hire you to photograph my gay wedding.” Photographer says no.

          Charlie walks in, says “I’d like to hire you to photograph my straight wedding.” Photographer says sure, no problem.

          Dave walks in, says “I’d like to hire you to photograph my gay wedding.” Photographer says no.

          Pattern established, using a grand total of 4 friends.

        • This is a tangent, but don’t you just say, “I’d like to hire you to photograph my wedding“?

          If the photographer says, “What kinda wedding we talking about here–gay or straight?” then he’s tipped his hand.

    • I was stuck on 4–that seems like the obvious one–but i like your suggestions.

    • Nomad

      5: You do your job without trying to make everything about you.

      I used to be a food delivery driver. I’ve delivered to many kinds of parties and other large groups. Church events were the worst because they were the worst customers in several ways (yes, they are terrible tippers, among other things). Also, of course, I’m an atheist and likely didn’t believe in whatever they were celebrating.

      So you know what I did? My damn job. I wasn’t in the job of delivering only to people who share my beliefs. I wasn’t celebrating whatever they were doing, I was bringing them food. The only time I came close to celebrating a customer’s event was when someone at a Halloween party I was delivering to offered me a drink. As you might expect I abstained because I was driving.

      If anyone’s wondering, church people were also terrible customers because they were just thoughtless. I’ve had to go to large churches with no clue where the food was going, I have ended up wandering the hallways until someone flagged me down. I’ve also shown up at churches with locked doors and had to go all the way back to the store to phone them and explain to them that if they wanted the food I would require some way to get it into the building (this was before the era in which cell phones were omnipresent). And then there was the one time where I was told to go to the lower entrance, which turned out to be the one with higher elevation.

  • WCB

    My debunking of Christianity’s anti-homosexuality.

    Modern day Near Eastern archaeology has debunked the Pentateuch. We now know there was no Egyptian captivity for 430 years. There was no Exodus of some 2 1/2 million Israelites and their innumerable cattle. No wandering in the desert. No camping out at Kadesh Barnea for some years. No invasion of Canaan. No bloody massacres and genocide. All of this is faux history written by some lying priest some 2700 years ago. And of course there was no Moses on the mount receiving 613 mitzvahs from God himself. The many cities Joshua supposedly conquered are now known to have ben ruins long before any Israelite was in the area.

    Thus the commands to execute homosexuals found in the old testament are lies also. God didn’t command that. It is highly offensive that that bigoted priestly lie still causes problems for so many despite the fact we know it is false. And of course since the OT lies about what God did, it is obvious it lies about God commanding murders, massacres and genocide. If there is a God, the bible slanders God. Which doesn’t seem to make for a wise theology or a good and truthful religion.

    Note also in the Pentateuch there is no original sin. No mention of an afterlife, heaven or hell. No mention of Satan or devils and how to know then and avoid them. It is obvious these books are not true. Why would god go on and on about the sacrifices to be made but fail to mention these important subjects?
    You have been had for 2,700 years by pious liars and fools. Time to wake up.

    • Greg G.

      Israeli archaeology has shown that there was no overturning of culture in the region around the time the Bible says there was genocide and a replacement of people. It would be rather absurd that an army would wipe out a culture for being evil, then adopt the practices of the culture. The archaeology shows many sites with identical cultures except some had pig bones and some did not, which implies that the Jewish religion began as just another Canaanite religion.

      • Hebrew religion seems to have picked up from Ugarit religion (which likely failed in the Bronze Age Collapse of around 1200 BCE).

    • Good.

      Actually, the OT does mention Satan–in Job, chapter 1. The only problem is, he works for God. He’s not the adversary destined for hellfire; that was added centuries later. Satan evolved just like God did.

  • Nomad

    There’s a different take on #7 that I usually don’t see people take, and I don’t understand why.

    The existence of SSM supporting Christians demolishes it. A variation on this argument against SSM is that churches will be forced to perform SSMs. This is not true, churches can’t even be forced to perform interracial marriages. This is not a hypothetical situation, some still refuse to do that to this day. However if that were a legitimate concern, then how would forbidding the practice altogether address the interests of religious freedom? It would merely privilege their beliefs over those who support such marriages and are willing to perform them in their churches.

    If opposition to SSM is to gain the privilege of religious belief, then support of it must as well. It’s no good to try to claim that your interpretation is the only proper one because you’re still dropping the mantle of religious freedom as soon as you do it. Once you claim religious freedom for your beliefs you have to give the same freedom to other beliefs. You don’t want to perform SSM in your church? Well you don’t have to. But if that would be such a bad thing, how is it that you are okay with denying others the right to perform it in their church if their beliefs support it?

    It’s a disingenuous argument, and I think it needs to be addressed as such. If you claim that the only way to protect your religious freedom is to take it away from everyone else, you’re not actually arguing for religious freedom at all.