I'm reposting some comments I left at Denny Burk's blog two months ago:
steve hays May 23, 2015 at 2:38 am #
“and that the legalization of gay marriage will STRENGTHEN these family units?”
“Gay marriage” is not a family unit, but a Trojan horse to destroy the family.
“Unless you propose banning adoptions by gay persons, and banning the usage of assisted reproductive technology by gay persons, your argument rings hollow.”
Actually, both ought to be banned.
“The studies which have been conducted in this area by sociologists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals all reach exactly the same conclusion — children raised by gay couples fare just as well on every measure of emotional and mental health as children raised by heterosexual couples.”
You mean like this study?
There’s no such thing as a gay couple. Homosexuals (especially men) are notoriously promiscuous. What about gay throuples?
“To quote from Judge Richard Posner’s brilliant decision…”
The courts are rigged because they preemptively discount religious arguments and natural law arguments. Having dictated what evidence is permissible, it’s easy for them to ridicule weak arguments. Those are the only argument they allow.
“No heterosexual marriage will be influenced one iota by permitting gay couples to marry. Heterosexual couples will remain free to raise their children with love and affection…”
To the contrary, the homosexual lobby’s animosity towards religion and parental rights is destroying heterosexual parenting. For instance:
“Gay persons wish to marry for the same reasons that heterosexual persons wish to marry — to express to society their commitment and dedication to each other, and to provide an optimal environment for the raising of children (a surprisingly high percentage of gay couples are currently raising children).”
In general, “gay persons” don’t really care to marry. For instance:
The “problem” with that is that as surveys have shown, while most homosexuals want both corporate benefits and gay marriage to be legalized, they don’t actually want to get married. As Homosexual advocate Dan Savage has argued, “monogamy is boring.”
Holland has had gay marriage for over a decade, yet only 20% of gay couples there have chosen to marry (as compared to 80% of heterosexual Dutchmen) similar stats can be found in Massachusetts. There tends to be an initial “novelty” surge and then the same-sex marriage rate declines. There is also a huge disproportion between the number of Lesbian and Gay Male marriages. Lesbians are simply far more likely to marry…. I’m struggling to remember the Pew figures but I remember reading in 2013 that 3/5ths of all gay marriages reported nationwide were female-female.
“The ‘responsible channeling of procreation’ arguments have all been eviscerated by the courts.”
Citing judicial opinion is an illicit argument from authority. Judges don’t determine reality. They don’t have the inside corner on truth and falsehood, right and wrong.
“with 38 states currently having legalized gay marriage.”
Generally imposed by judicial fiat rather than popular demand and the consent of the governed.
“younger persons are much more accepting of gay marriage than are older persons.”
Younger people generally become more conservative after they marry and begin raising a family.
Many liberal couples have dogs instead of kids. In that respect, liberal ideology is threatened by a demographic death spiral.
steve hays May 23, 2015 at 2:07 pm #
Actually, the so-called “stereotypes” are promoted by homosexual activists like Dan Savage. Andrew Sullivan. They frankly admit that homosexual marriages are open marriages. There’s no intention to be monogamous. And that’s not counting all the homosexual men who avoid marriage altogether. You naively believe homosexual propaganda.
I’d add that Ryan’s comment misses the forest for the trees. The real issue isn’t, in the first place, the behavior of individual homosexuals, but the public policy which the homosexual lobby and its allies are imposing on the nation.
A policy that tramples on Constitutional protections for freedom of association, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion. A policy in which the gov’t, instead of defending Constitutional protections, is prosecuting citizens for exercising their Constitutional rights.
It comes down to a choice between a police state and a free society.
steve hays May 23, 2015 at 11:20 pm #
“Your comments strike me as mischaracterizing large swaths of those who identify somewhere on the LGBTQ spectrum.”
That’s like the so-called moderate Muslims, who are invisible and inaudible.
The alleged “spectrum” is irrelevant in terms of public policy. What matters are the activists. The policies which they muscle through. Policies which potentially impact everyone.
This isn’t live-and-let-live. Just the opposite.
“If your analysis fails to account for the real desires of real people, then it’s bound to fail.”
Jeffrey Dahmer was a real person with real desires.
“withholding the legal benefits of civil marriage from committed same-sex couples”
i) Ah, yes, the mythical “committed same-sex couples.”
ii) And even if they were committed to each other, so were Bonnie and Clyde. Being committed to an evil relationship isn’t better than a noncommittal evil relationship.
iii) What about committed incestuous couples? Say a mother and son. Are you on board with that? What about pederasty? Are you on board with that? What sexual activities, if any, do you think the state shouldn’t sanction?
“I don’t understand your constitutional arguments. First, it’s unclear to me how I have a constitutional right to prevent someone else from getting married against my will.”
All 13 states which ratified the Constitution had anti-sodomy laws on the books. How’s that for starters?
“Nor do I construe myself as living in a police state merely because other people can do things that I find personally offensive.”
Are you deliberately misrepresenting the issue? Take freedom of speech. That implies the corollary freedom not to be forced to express views I disagree with.
“If those things harm me directly, that’s a different story.”
That’s irrelevant to civil liberties. When the state coerces a businessman into saying things he disagrees with, that violates his Constitutional freedom of expression.
And that’s detrimental to a free society.
“But it’s hard for me to see how I’m remotely affected by the fact that my colleague and his same-sex partner can walk down the street and get a marriage license at the county courthouse.”
You’re not trying very hard. When gov’t prosecutes private businessmen (and women) for exercising their Constitutional rights of free speech, free association, and/or religion, that’s a direct assault on their civil liberties. That’s what totalitarian regimes do.
steve hays May 24, 2015 at 10:59 pm #
“Biological kin already have legal protections in place.”
That’s disingenuous. Homosexual activists don’t take their cue from law. Rather, they change laws to reflect and enforce their social agenda.
The fact that incestuous marriage is currently illegal has no more bearing on how homosexual activists reason than the fact that homosexual marriage was traditionally illegal.
“You seem rational. You don’t see a substantive difference between an adult consensual sexual relationship and what is, essentially, rape?”
i) You seem to have difficulty follow the nature of the argument. Ryan raises an objection. I respond to Ryan on his own terms. My reply is modeled on how he frames the objection. It’s a standard mode of argument.
Ryan simply said “It’s unclear to me how I have a constitutional right to prevent someone else from getting married against my will.”
I cited a counterexample that’s analogous at the level of his objection.
The fact that pederasty is different than consensual sex is irrelevant to the comparison, since Ryan’s objection was unqualified.
ii) In addition, on what basis do some homosexual activists deem pederasty to be immoral? What is their source and standard of morality? Do they believe in objective moral norms? If so, where do they derive objective moral norms? Divine command theory? Natural law theory?
If, conversely, they deny moral realism, then they’re in no position to condemn pederasty.
iii) Various cultures, past and present, practice pederasty. For that matter, various cultures past and present, practice rape. What makes you think consent is a necessary moral precondition? What makes your social conditioning superior to the social mores of other cultures?
What about NAMBLA? It lobbies for the abolition of age of consent laws. Do you disagree? If so, by what moral authority do you presume to condemn NAMBLA?
“Not that you can make a case against adult-minor relationships from Scripture. The rabbinical traditions permitted marriage for girls as early as twelve, and while they generally paired off youths who were close to around the same age, it wasn’t inconceivable for an adult male to take a younger bride.”
i) You’re indulging in a bait-and-switch. Pederasty is a form of homosexual activity–which Scripture uniformly condemns.
ii) You cite no evidence from Scripture for adults who marry prepubescent girls. Moreover, sexual maturity is taken for granted in Biblical marriage. That’s a precondition of child-bearing.
“In some of these states, it was also completely legal to buy and sell human beings for fun and profit. Our American ancestors had some blind spots, so I wouldn’t look to them as an infallible reference point.”
i) Once again, you’re not following the nature of the argument. The question at issue, as Ryan cast it, was Constitutionality rather than morality.
ii) On a related note, you fail to distinguish between a hermeneutical reference point and an ethical reference point. Whether or not you happen to agree with the Constitution is irrelevant to what it means.
“I’d agree, but where is this happening? Where is someone being fined or imprisoned in the US for their personal beliefs or their inability to associate with like-minded individuals?”
You’re not trying very hard. Take the bakers in Oregon who’ve been driven out of business by the state. There’s the florist in Washington who’s been prosecuted.
“However, the question of whether a business (and a for-profit, secular business at that) should be afforded the same rights and freedoms that individuals do is another question altogether.”
Private citizens don’t forfeit their civl rights and civil liberties when they go into business. For instance, do you think 4th amendment protections don’t apply to private businesses? Do you think police have the authority to break into the premises and remove records without a search warrant?
steve hays May 27, 2015 at 10:41 pm #
“Unfortunately, having certain beliefs about the Bible or God guarantees nothing in terms of whether one will act morally or that one can infallibly know what the moral action is to begin with.”
Unless you have a justifiable standard of morality in the first place, you can’t fall short.
steve hays May 24, 2015 at 1:24 pm #
“With all due respect, your response strikes me as a bit unhinged. It is no less disingenuous to judge all LGBTQ people by the conduct of a few ignorant activists.”
So you’re admitting that LGBT activists who denounce religious liberty protections are unhinged?
“Therefore, it ought not to be a surprise to you when the average Joe elects to ignore what you have to say. When people have LGBTQ relatives, friends, and colleagues whom they love, appreciate, and/or respect, you’re not going to win them over by suggesting that they should ignore what they know and give credence to stereotypes that live on in the fantasies of right-wing activists more than in reality.”
The reality of gay sex is reflected in CDC warnings about the grave medical risks associated with homosexual activity.
“There is no ‘gay agenda’ or ‘gay lifestyle’ or the like.”
People with a militant social agenda naturally deny that they have a militant social agenda. We judge them not by their denials, but by their public policy initiatives.
“My gay lifestyle this day consisted of waking up, eating breakfast (black coffee and a beet-kale-apple smoothie)”
What about a gay lifestyle that consists of anal sex, rimming, fisting, golden showers, and/or scat?
steve hays May 24, 2015 at 10:47 pm #
“I see only a limited slice of the LGBTQ community, i.e., mostly white-collar legal, financial, and scientific professionals. Among that crowd, you won’t find too many people engaging in activities that would pose any kind of health risk.”
If you only meet them in a professing setting, how would you know what they do after hours?
steve hays May 24, 2015 at 11:17 pm #
I don’t mention oral sex because I have no opinion one way or the other on that score.
Yes, heterosexuals can engage in kinky sex, just like homosexuals. Heterosexuals can be just as depraved.
The obvious difference is that kinky sex is the only form of sex available to homosexuals. Bodies of the same sex are not designed to have sex with each other. They aren’t physically complementary. Therefore, the only recourse consists of various expedients contrary to nature, which are often physically destructive. Considered, for instance, the heighten risk of colon cancer among homosexual men. Not to mention colectomies.
steve hays May 25, 2015 at 1:04 am #
“So, now you’re an expert on the sex lives of gay men?”
There are gov’t health agencies that discuss that in lurid detail. I’m getting my information from official sources.
“There are plenty of gay men who have never engaged in any of the acts toward which you have expressed disapproval.”
And why are you so uncomfortable discussing it?
“Oddly enough, you seem to be far more interested in (if not obsessed with) gay sex than most gay men I know.”
A defensive maneuver in misdirection on your part.
I’m discussing gay sex because the topic of the post is gay marriage. Lots of folks who support gay marriage in the abstract have never bothered to acquaint themselves with the nitty-gritty details. From a PR standpoint, it’s a lot easier to promote homosexual marriage as if that’s an innocuous parallel to heterosexual marriage so long as you don’t talk about what homosexuals actually do with each other or to each other.
When, however, we get into the medical details, it doesn’t seem so noble and idealistic after all.
Your complaint is like complaining about a frank discussion of what hard drug use amounts to.
steve hays May 25, 2015 at 1:31 am #
“And, for the record, I, like most people, can see a rational distinction between consensual gay sex and child rape (which pederasty includes). Harming others without their consent (or against their express will) is one key distinction.”
The question at issue isn’t whether most folks can see the difference, but whether your worldview can justify moral distinctions. You’re ducking the issue.
It’s revealing when we see homosexual activists suddenly become very judgmental about alternative lifestyles they don’t approve of. What is the objective basis for your value judgment? What makes your moral opinion superior to the moral opinion of the pederast?
Are you a moral realist? If so, what grounds your moral realism?
steve hays May 25, 2015 at 12:06 pm #
“For some reason, you seem to be more comfortable engaging with LGBTQ people via negative caricatures of your own making rather than via the real lives of real people.”
So you’re saying that when gov’t health agencies warn homosexuals about the grave medical risks caused by various homosexual activities, that’s a negative caricature. There are no real homosexuals who do that in sufficient numbers to generate these public health and safety warnings by gov’t agencies.
“After all, your arguments are directed to a threat that has little existence outside of your own imagination.”
That the gov’t is prosecuting businessmen and women for exercising their 1st Amendment rights is easily documentable.
“Regarding my ethical reasoning, my worldview at least includes the notion that there’s a difference between imposing harm onto people without their consent (or contrary to their express will) and joining other adults voluntarily in risky conduct. I don’t see why this is such a foreign concept to you.”
If you bothered to do much reading in secular ethics, you’d be aware of the fact that many secular philosophers deny moral realism, viz. Michael Ruse, Joel Marks, Alex Rosenberg, Quentin Smith, J. L. Mackie, Massimo Pigliucci.
“When your ‘biblical worldview’ can’t distinguish between rape and consensual sex, you’re unlikely to find too many people who are going to accept its conclusions.”
You have the issue exactly backwards. Are you unable to follow the argument? The question at issue is not whether a biblical worldview can distinguish between rape and consensual sex, but whether secular ethics can justify a moral distinction between the two.
steve hays May 24, 2015 at 2:31 am #
i) To begin with, you’re confusing what people should do with what they should be free to do. That’s a fundamental distinction.
Although people shouldn’t be racially intolerant, it hardly follows that people shouldn’t be free to be racially intolerant.
A free society has tradeoffs. The freedom to do good includes the freedom to do bad.
The alternative is a totalitarian regime. Those don’t have a good track record on human rights, in case you hadn’t noticed.
ii) Suppose, during the Vietnam war, a girl’s parents sold her to a pimp to become a child prostitute, servicing American G.I.s.
(That isn’t just hypothetical. Child sex trafficking is rampant in parts of Asia.)
After the Viet Cong take over, the family flees to the US, where they start an Asian foot mart.
The girl, now in her late teens or early twenties, works at the family business. But due to her experience, she despises American men. He refuses to serve male American customers who come into the store to buy goods.
Do you think she should be prosecuted by the local DA? Should she be fined?
steve hays May 25, 2015 at 1:11 am #
Since it’s a private business, she should be free to refuse service, even if she’s wrong to do so. You also have no concept of or appreciation for the principle of limited gov’t. Even though the Mosaic law had a fairly detailed penal code, there are many evils it didn’t outlaw.
steve hays May 26, 2015 at 12:11 pm #
The more powerful the gov’t, the more that disempowers the public. Power is concentrated in bureaucrats.
The private sector doesn’t disempower the public. In principle, any private citizen can begin his own business. It’s just a matter of talent and diligence.
steve hays May 24, 2015 at 2:16 am #
This is not a live-and-let live situation. This is gov’t prosecuting dissenters for the thought-crime of endorsing Christian ethics. To say “worry about yourself, not others” is utterly clueless regarding what is really taking place.
steve hays May 25, 2015 at 1:25 am #
To begin with, you’re the type of person who’s utterly obsessed with the bogyman of “hypocrisy.” That’s the prism through which you seem to filter ever ethical debate.
In addition, you simply impute hypocrisy to others. No doubt that’s more comfortable for you than self-examination.
You also confuse the issue of “serving” someone with celebrating vice.
In addition, the real issue is the role of gov’t. Do you believe in limited gov’t or totalitarian gov’t? Totalitarian regimes don’t have a very good track record, viz. Nazism, Stalinism, Maoism, North Korea.
Most adulterers and divorcees don’t begin by informing the baker that they are adulterers or divorcees.
BTW, there are some Biblical grounds for divorce.
steve hays May 26, 2015 at 12:19 pm #
Your objection is incoherent. You inveigh against denying equality to a group of people, but in the very next sentence you inveigh against the Nazis. What do you think they were if not a group of people?
Casting every issue in terms of “equality” is morally vacuous. You need to learn an elementary distinction: treating like things alike, treating unlike things unalike.
To treat unequal things as if they are equal is amoral and unintellectual.
Evidently, you think it would be a good idea to suppress the Nazis. So, in reality, you’re very selective about your egalitarian principle.
Homosexuality isn’t a morally equivalent alternative to heterosexuality. You presume to compare the incomparable.
Totalitarianism is the opposite of individual freedom. That isn’t hard to figure out.
In addition, Nazism was a political movement. That’s completely different from the action of private individuals.
steve hays May 24, 2015 at 2:38 am #
“why can’t a gay couple provide what a mom and dad can?”
That’s hopelessly confused. The fact that men and women can do many of the same things hardly means men and women are interchangeable.
Wolves and humans can both hunt game. Does that make wolves and humans interchangeable?
Men and women are psychologically different. Children benefit from the difference.
Moreover, two men can’t both be the actual parents of children. At best, only one can.
As a rule, kids are best off with their biological parents. there’s a built-in psychological bond.
You’ve made a number of flippant comments about a very serious issue.
steve hays May 25, 2015 at 1:16 am #
To assert that “gay parents” on average do a better job is you just making things up whole cloth. Here’s a corrective:
steve hays May 23, 2015 at 11:31 am #
To begin with, there’s no such thing as “the church” in general. That’s just a handy abstraction. There are churches. Good, bad, and indifferent.
Churches are not to blame for the demise of traditional marriage. To the contrary, churches stood in the breech. Churches have been a preservative. Things would have gotten far worse, far quicker, had it not been for churches.
Finally, we need to resist defeatism. Until Jesus returns, there are no decisive battles. We win some, we lose some. Today’s defeat may be tomorrow’s victory, and vice versa.
steve hays May 23, 2015 at 1:27 pm #
I didn’t say that local churches are “completely separate entities.”
There are many theological metaphors for the church.
Baptism doesn’t make someone a Christian.
If Pope Francis really cared about marriage and the family, he should publicly defend the beleaguered archbishop of San Francisco. Likewise, to my knowledge, the USCCB has been deafening in its silence regarding Cordileone’s detractors. Your church has hung him out to dry.
The unity you valorize is nonexistent within your own denomination.
steve hays May 23, 2015 at 3:51 pm #
True, I don’t call your denomination “the Church.” And I’m not in union with the church of Rome. Indeed, union with the church of Rome is to be avoided–just as I avoid other sects with grave theological errors.
I’d add that if Pope Francis really cared about the sanctity of marriage, he’d silence Cardinal Kasper rather than making him the spokesman for these issues.
Francis marches to the drum of Cardinal Kasper, who’s the court theologian under the pontificate of Francis. Kasper represents the liberal wing of the church.