Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Birds are Flown...

The Birds are Flown... by paynehollow
The Birds are Flown..., a photo by paynehollow on Flickr.

As any visitors may have noticed, I've been quite busy of late, tending to my parents and taking on other projects, which has left me a bit understaffed emotionally to worry too much in writing about political debate. But, just briefly, I've noticed that the opponents of marriage (ie, those who nominally support marriage and recognize its benefits, but only if it's between two straight folk, not two gay folk) are appearing to slowly recognize the reality that public opinion has shifted and they are now on the losing side of history.

You might be inclined to think this loss would be accompanied by some humble self-reflection, but you would be mistaken. From what I am seeing on the interblogs, the recognition that they've lost is there, but otherwise, reality seems to elude them.

I'm speaking primarily about the lack of understanding on their part as to the reason they lost the argument against marriage equity. As with most arguments/debates, one side "wins" and the other "loses" when one side makes the case in a way that appeals to those listening as the most rational and/or moral argument.

For many out there, the reasons they lost are clear (in their mind) and include...

1. The devil always wins out in the short term
2. Pro-marriage-equity types have "controlled the language"
3. Pro-marriage-equity types have taken over the media
4. Pro-marriage-equity types have subverted our public schools
5. Our side is willing to do anything to win, including lie, cheat and twist facts

and, the ever popular...

6. The public is too dam dumb!

I've tried pointing out that it seems clear that they are losing/have lost the debate about marriage because their "side" appears to more and more people to be less moral and less rational and that the way the go about "debating" the topic mostly involves calling people stupid and/or evil for not agreeing with them and being disrespectful in their approach to disagreement.

I've pointed out to some conservatives that perhaps the main point they've lost on is their failure to reasonably address the "Where is the harm?" question. That is, it is quite obvious to most people that two rational adults, committing to love, honor and respect one another, to be there in sickness and in health... that THIS is not going to "destroy marriage" and that there simply is no obvious harm/no serious downside to such arrangements. That such love and devotion to another person/your family is an objectively, self-evidently Good and Rational idea. How is it NOT?

Not only do they not address the question. Ever. But what they do/have done instead is berate and demonize the Others for failing to recognize the brilliance of their position, even if they can't answer this obvious question.

Instead of answering, "I know it SEEMS like two adults committing to a loving, healthy marriage relationship is an obviously good thing, but the problem is - the harm that comes from this is..." and giving some specific real world answers (something other than "the harm comes from this is... that God disagrees with that behavior. I know because God told me..."), instead of doing that, they consistently drop back to repeating and repeating meaningless hunches and, when that fails, personal attacks.

Yes, we KNOW it is your opinion that God disagrees with that behavior. We disagree. Now what?

No, we are NOT trying to "destroy marriage." No, we are NOT simply trying to be blandly agreeable. No, we are NOT just WANTING to embrace evil. No, it is NOT the case that gay people are incapable of being faithful and moral. No, no, no, to all these attacks. We live in the real world and can see obvious evidence contradicting these attacks, and that makes THEM seem to be the immoral ones, for repeating lie after lie, twisted truth after twisted truth, false witness after false witness.

But rather than admit that they simply did not do a good enough job of convincing people that their position is both moral and rational, they go on the attack against all the stupid people who are too stupid and evil to agree with their hunches.

I hope that, as time goes on, they can begin to let the bitterness and vitriol go. That, for their sake, they can recognize that - even if they still ultimately disagree with us - they simply failed to make their case in a convincing enough manner.

Look, as an anabaptist peacemaker, I know what it's like to hold minority positions. We peacemakers did not want the US to invade Iraq for no good moral reason. We thought it was an abundantly obvious mistake. But, in the end, we could not convince our fellow citizens in sufficient numbers to agree with us.

Does that mean that I think the public at large is evil or stupid, for disagreeing with our collective pacifisty wisdom? Does it mean I think they "control the language?" No, we simply failed to convince enough people at the time in sufficient numbers and with sufficient momentum so as to stop the invasion.

Live and learn. What can we do next time (God forbid) to better make our case?

We did this (before my time) with the Viet Nam War. The protestors then who were righteously opposed to an immoral war took many actions that were quite obviously (at least in hindsight) a poor approach to making their case. Demonizing your fellow citizens as "baby killers," for instance, is not a good way to make a rational argument.

Live and learn. Give up blaming, learn to recognize your mistakes and reflect on how you can better present your view on a debate the next time around.

Live and learn, friends, live and learn.

139 comments:

Marshall Art said...

AS this isn't about war, I won't rehash all the reasons you are wrong about Iraq.

But you fail on many levels with your analysis of what is going on and what has been going on regarding the topic.

I, for one, have indeed given non-religious arguments regarding the harm your side will cause the nation and the culture. You simply reject them without any counter argument for why those consequences will not manifest.

One example is the clash of rights. The result of legal recognition of the fictitious "right" of same-sex marriage will undoubtedly clash with Constitutionally protected rights, such as freedom of association, religious expression and speech.

But your list of reasons that you think only exist in our minds actually exist in reality. Indeed, that you think they exist only in our minds is evidence of the truth of point 5. Point 5 might actually be the most compelling truth of the whole list as there is nothing, NOTHING, that rises to the level of truth in the arguments in support of same-sex anything.

As for our mistakes, they occurred decades ago, when good men did little to stem the tide of moral corruption that led to today's degenerate mindset, the consequences of which to be felt sooner, rather than later.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, do you think your side is losing the debate about marriage equity in the court of public opinion in the US?

Do you think that means that we did the better job of making our arguments than you did? That is, do you think we were more convincing in making our arguments and, to more and more people, our arguments sound the most rational and most moral?

If not, to what do you attribute your loss on this topic?

Craig said...

Dan,

I think it's a little soon for a victory lap on this.

If you look at the states where marriage "equity" has been put to a vote, the vast majority of states have voted to maintain the traditional legal definition of marriage.

As far as the "court of public opinion" I'm not sure that's the best place to establish issues of right or wrong. I'm also not sure you'd disagree that being the majority position makes anything right.

As far as "making better arguments", I can speak for the "arguments", being made here in MN.

1. The most common argument is the "luv" argument. "If 2 people luv each other, they should be able to marry. This is not an argument. It is an emotional appeal. It's effective. But it's not an argument. Further, there are a number of religious organizations that will solemnize the commitment of two folks who luv each other without involving the state.

2. The "marriage equity for all" argument. As you have aptly demonstrated, you have your own personal limits on what you would consider proper marriage. As do most on your side. The problem is that when this line (which sounds great and luving and inclusive and all that) is used, it is almost always a lie. So, lets be honest. Your side really wants "marriage equity" to be expanded to gay men and women. To be fair, I did actually find a "christian pastor" who is willing to admit that he would expand "marriage equity" to include stuff that even the tolerant left finds yucky. I appreciate his refreshing candor, and willingness to follow his argument to a logical conclusion.

3. Those who disagree with "marriage equity" are; haters, homophobes, bigots, fill in whatever loaded pejorative you choose. Because, it's really impossible to argue against "marriage equity" on any basis that is rational, or well thought through.

Yep, those are compelling arguments. Emotional appeals, misleading terms, and name calling. Well thought out.

To be clear, I'm not suggesting that those are YOUR arguments, I'm just reacting to what we saw during the amendment campaign, and now that the legislature is considering bills that will allow "gay marriage". So, maybe you're not representative, but your side spent a lot of money to make the three above arguments.

Effective, maybe. Ethical, maybe not so much.

Just maybe it would be wise to save the victory lap until there is actually a victory to celebrate.

Dan Trabue said...

Re: victory lap...

No victory laps from me - justice is too far from here and now. But, I'm confident that marriage will be an accepted and obviously good thing for gay folk as well as straight folk soon.

Do you suspect that a generation from now, marriage will NOT be considered a good thing for gay folk as well as for straight folk and that it will be legal every where in the US?

As to your perception of the arguments being made in MN...

1. If 2 people luv each other, they should be able to marry. This is not an argument. It is an emotional appeal.

That MIGHT be the case IF people were sayiing "ONLY love matters when it comes to marriage, nothing else does..." but no one is saying that.

No one is saying "As long as that man truly LOVES that five year old child, then it's a good thing for him to marry that child and have sex with him..."

That WOULD be a ridiculous argument, IF anyone were making it. No one is.

On the other hand, the actual argument being made is, I'm quite sure, "IF two folk love each other and no one is being harmed, then what business is it of yours or the state's to say they can't marry...?" And THAT is a good argument. It's compelling and perhaps the main reason why you all are losing this debate.

How about it, Craig: What if two rational, healthy adults love each other and want to marry - committing to faithfully love, support and respect each other - and they're causing no one any harm, what possible reason would there be for stopping that marriage?

Your collective inability to answer that question is largely why you all have lost/are losing this debate.

Rather than continue with the rest of the holes in your arguments, what if I just leave that one for you to address, if you wish.

I will say this, though: As many times as I've asked some version of that question over the years, I've never heard any rational reason offered, nothing beyond "It's my opinion that God would be opposed to it..." I'm looking for something more solid than an unfounded and unsupportable opinion. Do you have anything?

John Farrier said...

I support legalizing same-sex marriage and have voted that way. Consenting adults should not be obstructed from doing what they want with their own property.

That said, we are talking about a radical redefinition of marriage in a way unprecedented in human history. There could be negative, unintended consequences to major changes in a basic human social institution. That does cause me some anxiety.

But I'm not sufficiently persuaded by that argument to use government force against consenting adults. That's my principle and I'm sticking to it.

Marshall Art said...

"Marshall, do you think your side is losing the debate about marriage equity in the court of public opinion in the US?"

This is difficult to answer given the media's penchant for only highlighting pro-homosexual opinion. But we still are left with the cases where states were given the opportunity to vote on the issue, and that leaves us with a majority in favor of traditional marriage. These votes are a far better barometer of overall US opinion than polls that only question a few thousand people.

"Do you think that means that we did the better job of making our arguments than you did? That is, do you think we were more convincing in making our arguments and, to more and more people, our arguments sound the most rational and most moral?"

It's more like your side is the only side publicizing their arguments. Our side does little to counter the constant and obvious lies (obvious to honest people) and really have not done much to focus on the real issue. O'Reilly thinks you have the most compelling argument as well. But a compelling argument must contain truth. There is none, and has never been any, from your side.

Your side has not providing more convincing arguments, but dismissed or inhibited a real conversation that reveals the arguments of the honest side. You try to present your opposition in dishonest ways that unthinking people swallow, dishonest people perpetuate and indoctrinated people can't help but think is real.

John expresses a common misconception, that consenting adults have been obstructed from doing what they want as far as with whom they wish to live, love and engage in sexual behavior. This is not, nor has it been, a realistic representation of the debate. But it is an example of the distortions against which the conservative side has had to battle. His concerns, however, are real, legitimate and scrape the tip of the long list of very real problems that cannot help but manifest should this fictitious "right" find favor in the courts and legislative bodies of this country.

I intend to expound on these thoughts at my own blog very soon. No time for the next few days.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

These votes are a far better barometer of overall US opinion than polls that only question a few thousand people.

So you suspect that 25 years from now, marriage won't be available without prejudice against sexual orientation? I suspect you'd be mistaken.

Marshall...

It's more like your side is the only side publicizing their arguments. Our side does little to counter the constant and obvious lies (obvious to honest people) and really have not done much to focus on the real issue. O'Reilly thinks you have the most compelling argument as well.

That SOUNDS like you're saying we've done a better job of making our case. We've gotten out there with our message and made the case in such a way that most people now agree with us, a sweeping change in a relatively short time. Practically unprecedented, seems to me.

Marshall...

But a compelling argument must contain truth. There is none, and has never been any, from your side.


It IS a truth that people living monogamous, committed, marriage relationships are MUCH less likely to get diseases.

It IS a truth that children can benefit from being raised in healthy, committed married families - gay or straight - especially as compared with being raised in an orphanage.

It APPEARS to be a Truth (ie, you haven't presented anything to contradict it) that there is no harm in encouraging faithful, loving, committed, marriage relationships. If it isn't truthful, where is the argument against it?

WHERE IS THE HARM?

That is what you are failing to address in any sort of rational, compelling way.

You can't simply say, "No, it's not true! I say it's not!" and expect to be taken seriously.

Craig said...

"That MIGHT be the case IF people were sayiing "ONLY love matters when it comes to marriage, nothing else does..." but no one is saying that."

Unfortunately, you are mistaken. There have been bot commercials and billboards that say exactly this. The problem is that when you say "no one is saying that", you unfortunately cannot actually speak for everyone. I've seen the billboards and seen and heard the commercials.

"What if two rational, healthy adults love each other and want to marry - committing to faithfully love, support and respect each other - and they're causing no one any harm, what possible reason would there be for stopping that marriage?"

The first and most obvious answer is that the legal definition of marriage in the US is one man/one woman.
The second most obvious is that there are a number of religious organizations that will currently marry anyone who wants to solemnize their commitment. I have no desire to stop this from happening.
Therefore, your question falls short in terms of your underlying assumptions.
If the point that you are making is that two people who meet your (arbitrary and exclusive) standard wish for the state to sanction this union, then first the legal definition of marriage must be changed. If that happens, I would not attempt to deny anyone the right to marry. Until the legal definition changes, I will continue to support maintaining the legal status quo.

Perhaps you'd care to explain why you would impose your arbitrary exclusionary standard on those who wish to marry.

As far as "holes in my argument". You might have a point, had I made an argument. However what I did was to relate the types of arguments made to support your side of this issue. The fact that your side uses these tactics is not an argument. It does surprise me that many find these type of tactics persuasive.

Craig said...

PCUSA pastor: “I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.”

PCUSA pastor: "Regarding civil law, the full legal rights of marriage should be guaranteed for all Americans. This is an issue of civil rights and there is no good reason to deny such rights to any American."

Me: "I keep hearing folks say things like this, then when pressed, admit that they really don’t mean all. Do you really mean all?"

PCUSA pastor: "I’m pretty sure I mean all."

Me: "You have clearly stated that you support “full legal rights” for “all Americans”. As I see it there are only two rational ways to interpret your clear statement. 1. You support extending federal marriage rights to everyone, including those who choose to express their love through polygamy or incest. or 2. Your use of the term “all” was at best a poor choice of words, at worst an intentional use of the term in order to make yourself appear to be more “inclusive” than you are."

PCUSA pastor: "I honestly haven’t thought that much about polygamy or incest—except to note that both are present among biblical heroes and only (certain forms) of incest is prohibited in biblical law.

As I think about it now, I don’t see why—legally—consenting adults should be prevented from practicing polygamy"

Dan: "No one is."

It would appear that at least one person is. You do seem to get into trouble when you make statements like that.

Craig said...

“That WOULD be a ridiculous argument, IF anyone were making it. No one is.”

A few highlights from a conference for MAP’s, where precisely that argument is being made using the “love” justification.

World renowned "sexologist," Dr. Fred Berlin of Johns Hopkins University gave the keynote address, saying: "I want to completely support the goal of B4U-ACT."

Highlights of the conference:

Pedophiles are "unfairly stigmatized and demonized" by society.
There was concern about "vice-laden diagnostic criteria" and "cultural baggage of wrongfulness."
"We are not required to interfere with or inhibit our child's sexuality."
"Children are not inherently unable to consent" to sex with an adult.
"Anglo-American standard on age of consent is new [and 'Puritanical']. In Europe it was always set at 10 or 12. Ages of consent beyond that are relatively new and very strange, especially for boys. They've always been able to have sex at any age."
An adult's desire to have sex with children is "normative."
Our society should "maximize individual liberty. ... We have a highly moralistic society that is not consistent with liberty."
"Assuming children are unable to consent lends itself to criminalization and stigmatization."
"These things are not black and white; there are various shades of gray."
A consensus belief by both speakers and pedophiles in attendance was that, because it vilifies MAPs, pedophilia should be removed as a mental disorder from the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), in the same manner homosexuality was removed in 1973.
Dr. Fred Berlin acknowledged that it was political activism, similar to that witnessed at the conference, rather than scientific considerations that successfully led to the declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder: The reason "homosexuality was taken out of DSM is that people didn't want the government in the bedroom," he said.
The DSM ignores that pedophiles "have feelings of love and romance for children" in the same way adult heterosexuals and homosexuals have romantic feelings for one another.
"The majority of pedophiles are gentle and rational."
The DSM should "focus on the needs" of the pedophile, and should have "a minimal focus on social control," rather than obsessing about the "need to protect children."
Self-descried "gay activist" and speaker Jacob Breslow said that children can properly be "the object of our attraction." He further objectified children, suggesting that pedophiles needn't gain consent from a child to have sex with "it" any more than we need consent from a shoe to wear it. He then used graphic, slang language to favorably describe the act of climaxing (ejaculating) "on or with" a child. No one in attendance objected to this explicit depiction of child sexual assault.

Again, you get bitten by your "no one" categorization.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, when someone makes a sweeping generalization, it is a given that there are outlier exceptions.

Conservatives NEVER hate blacks.

Of course, I can easily provide examples of black-hating white conservatives.

But my being able to point to the outlier is in no way an indication that it is anything but the rare exception.

Do you have some serious point to make?

Dan Trabue said...

My question to you...

What if two rational, healthy adults love each other and want to marry - committing to faithfully love, support and respect each other - and they're causing no one any harm, what possible reason would there be for stopping that marriage?

Craig responded...

The first and most obvious answer is that the legal definition of marriage in the US is one man/one woman.

The second most obvious is that there are a number of religious organizations that will currently marry anyone who wants to solemnize their commitment. I have no desire to stop this from happening.
Therefore, your question falls short in terms of your underlying assumptions.


So, does this mean that you know of NOT ONE SINGLE reason why it's causing harm? That was, after all, the question being asked.

And again, it's your collective inability to answer THAT question (and other related questions) that is why you've lost/are losing this debate.

Craig said...

Dan,

"Craig, when someone makes a sweeping generalization, it is a given that there are outlier exceptions."

Then of what possible value is it to make a sweeping generalization that you know is inaccurate. I've always thought you were more careful with your use of language. I guess I was wrong.

"But my being able to point to the outlier is in no way an indication that it is anything but the rare exception."

the problem is that these folks are not "outliers". They may currently be i the minority, but according to your own logic, that doesn't make them wrong per se.

"Do you have some serious point to make?"

Yes. That these "outliers' as you call them are using the exact same logic that you are to make the exact same point you are. These outliers are your allies. They are working for the same goal as you and using the same arguments.

"So, does this mean that you know of NOT ONE SINGLE reason why it's causing harm? That was, after all, the question being asked."

No the question asked was.

"...what possible reason would there be for stopping that marriage?"

The answer to the question asked was.
1. In a legal sense (just affirmed recently in Arizona I believe) there is no federal government recognition of marriage except for that of male/female. From the perspective of the federal govt. as well as the majority of state govt's., no one can enter into something that doesn't exist. As the law sits now "SSM" does not exist. Therefore it cannot be entered into. That would see be be adequate legal reason to stop such a marriage.

2. I quite clearly stated that I do not object to folks who want to solemnize their relationship according to whatever religious organization wishes to do so.

"And again, it's your collective inability to answer THAT question (and other related questions) that is why you've lost/are losing this debate."

Perhaps, it's your unwillingness to realize that I did answer the question that you asked that is a part of the problem. As I said earlier (in the part of my response you chose to skip),

"Therefore, your question falls short in terms of your underlying assumptions.
If the point that you are making is that two people who meet your (arbitrary and exclusive) standard wish for the state to sanction this union, then first the legal definition of marriage must be changed. If that happens, I would not attempt to deny anyone the right to marry. Until the legal definition changes, I will continue to support maintaining the legal status quo."

So, I actually have answered the actual question you asked twice now.

As to your arbitrary standard of harm. I'm not sure how to discuss such a vague and arbitrary standard in a way that moves the conversation forward. Perhaps had you not skipped the part of my answer that dealt with that, I'd know. But, since you did, I guess I'll wait and hope.

I do, however, eagerly await your continued pointing out of the "holes" in mt non argument.



Craig said...

"Maricopa County Family Court Judge Douglas Gerlach ruled that Arizona's ban on same-sex marriages prevents Thomas Beatie's 9-year union from being recognized as valid."

Dan Trabue said...

My post posited the question...

I've pointed out to some conservatives that perhaps the main point they've lost on is their failure to reasonably address the "Where is the harm?" question...

and...



This was the point of the post (one of them). Yes, I did expand the question (when it went unanswered) in this manner...

What if two rational, healthy adults love each other and want to marry - committing to faithfully love, support and respect each other - and they're causing no one any harm, what possible reason would there be for stopping that marriage?

Rather than addressing the original question (which remains unanswered), you answered this other question by saying, if I understand correctly, "We've always done it this way and it's the way marriage is legally defined currently..."

I would point to the fact that marriage was defined legally as "only between two people of the same race" just a few generations ago. But "it's the way we've always done it..." and "it's the current law" is not an answer to the main question I'm asking, repeated yet again:

If two adults want to marry within their orientation and they are wanting to commit to love, cherish, honor, respect and be faithful to someone in a marriage relationship... this SEEMS on the face of it an obvious moral and good thing with no obvious harm and only good coming from it.

WHERE IS THE HARM IN SUPPORTING THAT?


Your collective inability to answer that has cast you all on the side of irrationality and immorality and, ultimately, on the losing side of moral history.

Do you have any answer to THAT question?

Dan Trabue said...

Sorry, some formatting issues with that last comment. Hopefully, you get the gist.

Marshall Art said...

Been away for the weekend. I now re-enter the fray...

"So you suspect that 25 years from now, marriage won't be available without prejudice against sexual orientation?"

I make no such predictions. I have only hope that in 25 years, reason will have overwhelmed our nation and this nonsensical push for abomination will be but a sad memory. But let's review the definition of "prejudice". From Dictionary.com's first three offerings:

1. an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.
2. any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.
3. unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious, or national group.

The support for traditional marriage and the defense against redefining the term to include those who do not now meet the criteria has nothing to do with prejudice as the word is defined above.

"That SOUNDS like you're saying we've done a better job of making our case."

Not at all, because the "case" is as yet unmade. What we have had thus far has been constant repetition that you want it and that you are somehow unjustly denied what you deserve. That's not a case. It's a whine. The case would be proving why you should be allowed to redefine a word and where the injustice lies in denying that redefinition. Still waiting.

As for your "truths"....

"It IS a truth that people living monogamous, committed, marriage relationships are MUCH less likely to get diseases."

Perhaps, but not an argument for redefining marriage to include a tiny percentage of a tiny percentage of U.S. citizens. More to the point, it is not a reason why any state should pretend such unions benefit the state the way traditional marriages do.

more coming....

Marshall Art said...

"It IS a truth that children can benefit from being raised in healthy, committed married families - gay or straight - especially as compared with being raised in an orphanage."

Problems with this statement include:

-that it is indeed a truth that children can (the definitive word here) benefit from being raised by two homosexuals. In fact, it is rather subjective to assume such a thing. But even if we concede that it is possible, it is not a reason to deny a child a mother or father, or that a hetero couple could not be found instead, which, if possible, would be the superior placement possibility for the child's sake.

-that given the choice, would a child prefer a mother and father to a homosexual couple of either gender given the strong likelihood that the child had envisioned such an arrangement for the child's own future? But an infant who cannot offer an opinion is forced to accept a childhood lacking either a mother or father simply to satisfy the selfish desires of a homosexual couple.

-that should we concede that an orphanage now ranks the least acceptable, would it not be better to focus on improving the orphanages? I would prefer this for the sake of the child rather than to force the child to be raised in a homosexual home. An orphanage run by by solid Christians, for example, would be an improvement over even some hetero situations, as it would focus on what is important for living life as an adult.

-that the recent Mark Regnerus study, to name just one, has indicated that children are not better off with homosexual parents.

Add from above to the answer for "where's the harm?"

"It APPEARS to be a Truth (ie, you haven't presented anything to contradict it) that there is no harm in encouraging faithful, loving, committed, marriage relationships."

This is a hunch as you mean to apply it to homosexual couples. It is a truth when concerning heteros (once again, I must apologize to all heterosexuals for my use of the contraction "hetero" if it is found offensive. Why it would be, I don't know, but apparently homosexuals aren't as thick skinned).

Now, there is no harm in encouraging ANYTHING. There is harm in carrying out some things that are encouraged.

You continue to ignore reasons given for the question you pose. From the first comment I gave you one:

"One example is the clash of rights. The result of legal recognition of the fictitious "right" of same-sex marriage will undoubtedly clash with Constitutionally protected rights, such as freedom of association, religious expression and speech."

We see evidence of this already in our country where same-sex marriage is still not universally accepted. With the acceptance of this abomination, its variants, such as transexuals and transvestites will be forced upon businesses and schools. We already see discussions regarding providing separate lavatories for boys who "self-identify" as girls and the like.

more...

Marshall Art said...

And of course, the question of allowing polyamorous and incestuous marriages cannot be dismissed just because you think they are not reasonable possibilities to assume.

But the main argument remains the issue of what SSM provides to the state that should or must compel the state to regard it as no different than traditional marriage. You want to focus on possible harm, of which I have only scratched the surface, but you fail to demonstrate benefits that justify overturning hundreds of years of understanding, not to mention the myriad laws and policies based on that understanding.

Craig said...

"Therefore, your question falls short in terms of your underlying assumptions.
If the point that you are making is that two people who meet your (arbitrary and exclusive) standard wish for the state to sanction this union, then first the legal definition of marriage must be changed. If that happens, I would not attempt to deny anyone the right to marry. Until the legal definition changes, I will continue to support maintaining the legal status quo."

"As to your arbitrary standard of harm. I'm not sure how to discuss such a vague and arbitrary standard in a way that moves the conversation forward."

If you're going to quote me then be so kind as to use the entire thought, instead of leaving out the part you don't think helps you.

I actually did a little research on the legalities of marriage, and no where did I find anything about this arbitrary concept of harm you keep bring up.

But, to answer your question yet again. If someone wants to support changing the existing law, then that is part of the political process. I don't necessarily see any harm in the attempt to change the status quo. I also don't see any harm in trying to maintain the status quo.

You on the other had still have to come to terms with the fact that governmental definitions of marriage don't include all of the conditions you keep adding.

The problem is that the "argument" being most often used by your side is the "luv" argument. We were inundated by the sappy "I just want my kids to be able to marry whoever they luv" ads for months last year, and more now. The problem with this as a basis for your position is two fold. First, it's not a rational argument, it's an emotional appeal. Second, from what I can find, the federal govt. doesn't recognize love as an aspect to marriage. You'll get no argument that love makes for a better marriage. But how do you require it? How do you measure it? How do you define it?

If you want to make the case for "marriage equity", great. How about doing it without the extraneous emotional stuff. Make a rational case for why marriage benefits society. Not just getting people weepy because there is a 3% change their grandchild won't be able to marry.

I'll grant you this though, IF the gay activists would actively embrace monogamous commitment, it might bring down the disproportionately high rates of STD's in the gay community which would be a good thing. Unfortunately too many in the gay community want to redefine monogamy also.


John Farrier said...

Marshall Art wrote:

And of course, the question of allowing polyamorous and incestuous marriages cannot be dismissed just because you think they are not reasonable possibilities to assume.

They certainly can't, now that polyamory has become mainstream. Polyamorists are already agitating for legal recognition. Let's not pretend that this political issue isn't coming very soon.

The knee-jerk libertarian in me says, "What consenting adults do is their own business." If I had to take a position, I'd say that we should legalize polyamory. But I don't want to be asked that question. I worry that we're messing up the cultural machinery that makes our society work.

Is there an argument for legalizing gay marriage that doesn't apply to legalizing plural marriage?

Many years ago, Megan McArdle wrote about gay marriage on her old blog. It's no longer around, but here's a piece of it:

My only request is that people try to be a leeetle more humble about their ability to imagine the subtle results of big policy changes. The argument that gay marriage will not change the institution of marriage because you can't imagine it changing your personal reaction is pretty arrogant. It imagines, first of all, that your behavior is a guide for the behavior of everyone else in society, when in fact, as you may have noticed, all sorts of different people react to all sorts of different things in all sorts of different ways, which is why we have to have elections and stuff. And second, the unwavering belief that the only reason that marriage, always and everywhere, is a male-female institution (I exclude rare ritual behaviors), is just some sort of bizarre historical coincidence, and that you know better, needs examining. If you think you know why marriage is male-female, and why that's either outdated because of all the ways in which reproduction has lately changed, or was a bad reason to start with, then you are in a good place to advocate reform. If you think that marriage is just that way because our ancestors were all a bunch of repressed bastards with dark Freudian complexes that made them homophobic bigots, I'm a little leery of letting you muck around with it.

When we're talking about legalizing gay marriage, we're talking about enacting a major social change that has never been done in human history. Is there an Undo button? Because I'm not sure we can reverse this action if there are negative unintended consequences.

I want to legalize gay marriage, but people on the other side of the debate aren't necessarily morally primitive bigots. They think that we're moving awfully damn fast. And they're right.

Marshall Art said...

"I want to legalize gay marriage, but people on the other side of the debate aren't necessarily morally primitive bigots. They think that we're moving awfully damn fast. And they're right."

Thanks for the concession, John, but that's not quite accurate, either. Not only are we moving too fast, but we're moving blindly and with a high disregard for reality. It's as if we know the roads are icing, it's dark and there are pedestrians but refuse to pay any of that any mind. The debate must focus on how SSM benefits the state in order for the state to consider granting such unions the same recognition it now bestows upon the traditional. They are not the same. This is without question. There is no justification for forcing the state to act as if they are the same. It is irrational. It is worse than irrational to expect the state to legislate fantasy and make-believe. The arguments for SSM depend upon treating fiction as fact. Not good for a civilized, intelligent and honest society.

Craig said...

Marshall,

Good point about making the positive argument about how SSM benefits the state.

One possible argument that could be made is that SSM will reduce the disproportionately high numbers of STD's in the gay community. Which would be a good thing.

I suspect that you will never see this argument be made for the following reasons.

1. The gay community tries it's best to hide or downplay this tragic situation.
2. Too many of the gay community want the benefits of marriage, without the shackles of monogamy.
3. It's a bad argument, because it suggests that a significant portion of the gay community is incapable of committed monogamous relationships without "marriage".

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

With all due respect, Dan, I think the way you've posed the issue, as a question regarding popular opinion on a matter amenable to legislative action, will not be respected as a legitimate question. The responses from your interlocutors confirm that, at least in my mind.

It would be nice if these things were open solely to matters of evidence and reasoning. It would be nice if we all began with the assumption that marriage is a legal matter between the state and individuals (a point the Supreme Court has made very clear over and over again) rather than a primarily religious institution.

The presence of slipper slope arguments also point out another hazard in discussing the topic in a general way, as you've posed. Precisely because the issue is being discussed in a theoretical way, rather than the specific pieces of legislation before various states, and before the Supreme Court, the whole slippery slope nonsense can sneak in, so you have John bringing up plural marriage, the matter of the normalization of pedophilia, and the like. If specific, real pieces of legislation were addressed, we could dispense with this nonsense by making the mundane point that societies draw all sorts of arbitrary lines about all sorts of things all the time; in this case, for example the law before the legislature here in IL opens marriage to same-sex couples but also protects religious institutions who do not wish to perform them. Obviously it's an arbitrary line being drawn; so what? All laws do that all the time.

As long as there are those who refuse to concede the basic moral equality of same-sex attraction between adults with heterosexual attraction between adults, no matter how often you say the pro-equality arguments are superior, your position will be ignored precisely because the basic premises are not agreed at the outset.

Dan Trabue said...

Thanks for the thought, Geoffrey. I am not sure I see the error of my ways, though.

My points were simply:

1. The anti-marriage side is losing/has lost the argument. Just looking at poll numbers amongst the young and you can see this. The demographics are against them.

2. They are losing this argument because we are making the better case/presenting our case more persuasively. This is primarily because...

3. They can't answer the simple question, "Where is the harm?"

As with the "definition" (legally) of marriage was changed from excluding interracial marriages to including interracial marriages, we - ie, most people - can see no rational harm in two consenting adults to commit to a loving marriage relationship, whether it's between straight people, people of differing races or gay people. On the other hand, we can see plenty of benefits to faithful, loving monogamous marriage relationships.

So, because they can't answer "where is the harm?" and because we see the clear benefits, this is a primary hole in their reasoning and I suspect the main reason that they are losing this argument.

This just seems apparent to me.

We aren't saying "ANY two (or three or a dozen) people can marry," but if there is no apparent harm and there is apparent good, claiming "We've always done it this way" is not a compelling argument, any more than a child saying "All my friends are doing it..."

So, unless someone has some specific, rational point to support there IS harm - demonstrably so - then, thanks for the thoughts.

John Farrier said...

Dan, is there an argument for legalizing gay marriage that doesn't apply to legalizing plural marriage?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall Art posted several comments that I have deleted, as they were more of the same he's already said and not an answer to the question, "What harm is there?"

Marshall, as I already said, IF you can answer that question, directly, I'll allow the post. Otherwise, thanks for visisting.

(Just so you know, the comments I will accept would be like this:

"The harm caused by two gay folk committing to love, cherish, honor and be faithful to in a marriage relationship is..." and fill in the blank with something beyond "cuz I think it's bad..."

Dan Trabue said...

Also, Marshall reposted some reference to the "Regenerus Study," which study the author has said does not mean what the conservatives THINK it means.

source

Conservatives have taken ONE study and twisted its findings to something the author of the study says is wrongly interpreted and they offer that as a reason why "gay parents are bad." But that is NOT the topic here. So, don't bother commenting on it further.

The point is, conservatives have been unable to rationally and convincingly answer (or answer at all) the question, "Where is the harm?" I'll entertain a direct answer to that question.

Dan Trabue said...

John asked a reasonable question...

is there an argument for legalizing gay marriage that doesn't apply to legalizing plural marriage?

"What harm is there?" is the question that I'm asking. It is my opinion (and I suspect the opinion probably of most of us) that polygamy vastly tends to rise from a negatively patriarchal, oppressive to women cultures such as fundamentalist Mormon and fundamentalist Muslim cultures. It is almost always one man, multiple women and I think seems clearly oppressive. That is, there IS harm, thus, that would be the difference.

We don't allow polygamy, bestiality, child rape, etc, "marriages" because there is harm, a lack of adult consent and there is no comparison to loving, respectful, mutual adult marriage relationship.

Now, having said that, if one could demonstrate that there can exist a mutually consensual, adult, loving, respectful polygamous marriage where there is no harm, no oppression, no subjection... perhaps one could make the case that the State would have no business interfering in such an arrangement.

But the culture would have to be convinced.

Fundamentalist Christians sure couldn't argue much against it, since in a negatively "literalist" version of the Bible, polygamy was clearly an acceptable part of biblical culture, never once condemned or called unacceptable.

But again, the point of this post is simply that conservatives have been unable to answer the "Where is the harm in a faithful, loving, committed marriage relationship, gay or straight?" question.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

As John Farrier makes clear, in a way King would have understood because he wrote against the phenomenon in his Letter From Birmingham Jail, even "supporters" think advocates are moving "too fast", as if somehow securing a civil right is something that, while technically a social good, should be done over an unspecified period of time.

Thus you see the harm: Codifying social acceptance of a despised minority. The backlash against granting Civil Rights to African-Americans is still with us, as evidenced by Brad Paisley's "Accidental Racist", a song whose white perspective can be summed up as, "Stop oppressing me for wearing a t-shirt!" And from that flow the false equivalencies and the setting aside of institutional white privilege as phenomena.

So, too, with gay marriage. We've already heard from the head of the Georgia Republican Party that people will get gay-married for the benefits, as if somehow there are double-secret benefits gay couples will receive others do not. It's ludicrous and false, but all other backlash claims are equally so.

To repeat - the "harm" from gay marriage is removing another perk the majority enjoys that minorities cannot.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall asked, in a post I deleted because it was otherwise not on topic, "Where's the benefit?"

1. Healthy families make for healthy communities.

2. Healthy marriages make for healthy families.

3. Therefore, I support healthy families.

Beyond that, it is a much more reasonable question to ask, "Where's the harm?" than "Where's the benefit?" We are a FREE people. What gives you or anyone else the right to tell someone else who they can or can't marry? HARM would be one reason for you to do so, and so, in order for the Right to win this argument, they must be able to demonstrate harm, seems to me.

On the other hand, I have no obligation to demonstrate that my walking is of benefit to the state, or that my playing guitar is of benefit to the state, or my tossing frisbee is to the benefit to the state... it's NONE of the State's business, AS LONG AS I'm causing no harm.

And you are left with a losing non-argument AS LONG AS you can't address that critical question.

Alan said...

Your question, Dan, as asked, "What's the harm?" is exactly the issue, not all the ancillary nonsense other people are bringing up. The legal burden of proof here lies with those who want to restrict rights. It isn't up to you to show a benefit, it is up to them to show a serious harm (an actual one, not an imaginary one) to individuals or the government or society. Don't rise to cheap bait.

The PIB arguments (polygamy, bestiality, incest) that John brings up are just a red herring. If he was actually concerned about polygamy, he would outlaw straight marriage, since polygamists have been overwhelmingly in heterosexual marriages. Gay people don't cause polygamy, straight people do.

But he doesn't really care about polygamy, he just can't think of a real argument against same sex marriage, so he changes the subject. Typical goal-post maneuvering when you're down by 7 with seconds to go.

http://www.johncorvino.com/article_archive/26728.html

John Farrier said...

Dan wrote:

Now, having said that, if one could demonstrate that there can exist a mutually consensual, adult, loving, respectful polygamous marriage where there is no harm, no oppression, no subjection... perhaps one could make the case that the State would have no business interfering in such an arrangement.

Historically, plural marriage is often found in strongly patriarchal societies in which women have few if any rights. But there's a growing polyamorous movement in the United States in which abuse is absent, or no more present than in modern American heterosexual marriage. Would you support the immediate legalization of plural marriage to permit this family and those like it to marry?

I'm not asking whether you would support considering this proposal over time or after a few decades of watching the modern polyamory movement develop. I'm asking if you would support the legalization of plural marriage on the same time frame of the legalization of gay marriage.

This part of my comment meanders a bit, but I want to explain my thought process, muddled as it is:

I really hadn't thought about gay marriage until a few years ago. That changed when it became a ballot issue in my state. I decided to vote in favor of legalization of gay marriage.

Now I'm less confident. For one thing, I'm annoyed by advocates of gay marriage who act as though people who disagree with them are bigots and completely out of touch with the times. We're talking about a momentous social change unprecedented in human history and beyond public policy consideration even a decade ago. Remember that Barack Obama, a man of the Left to say the least, opposed gay marriage less than a year ago. Yet some gay marriage supporters put on a big charade that their opponents are completely unreasonable and stupid. That's grossly unfair.

But that's a rhetorical issue related to political tactics, not the substance of the policy issue.

I now have kids and, well, I guess I'm increasingly worried about the world they're growing up in. I pay more attention to the cultural decay than I used to and it matters more to me than it did when I didn't have kids. And I see the mainstreaming of hookup culture and polyamory. I see people arguing that monogamy and fidelity are unnatural and that people really shouldn't be faithful if they want to be emotionally healthy.

The social concept of a loving couple coming together, marrying, and remaining faithful to each other is under constant attack. And I wonder if the movement to legalize gay marriage is related. Gay marriage opponents warned us that if we legalized gay marriage, we'd undermine marriage. They were right (perhaps for the wrong reasons) that marriage has been undermined.

John Farrier said...

Dan wrote:

Beyond that, it is a much more reasonable question to ask, "Where's the harm?" than "Where's the benefit?" We are a FREE people. What gives you or anyone else the right to tell someone else who they can or can't marry? HARM would be one reason for you to do so, and so, in order for the Right to win this argument, they must be able to demonstrate harm, seems to me.

On the other hand, I have no obligation to demonstrate that my walking is of benefit to the state, or that my playing guitar is of benefit to the state, or my tossing frisbee is to the benefit to the state... it's NONE of the State's business, AS LONG AS I'm causing no harm.


Very well said, Dan.

Alan said...

"The social concept of a loving couple coming together, marrying, and remaining faithful to each other is under constant attack. And I wonder if the movement to legalize gay marriage is related."

Wow. Will wonder's never cease? I completely, and I mean completely agree with John's statement.

The social concept of a loving couple coming together, marrying and remaining faithful to each other is indeed under constant attack from the enemies of justice, equality, and basic humanity: anti-gay bigots. The movement to legalize gay marriage is related to this attack, because it gave them an opportunity to expose their bigotry (mostly for cynical, cheap political gain, see for example, GW Bush and Karl Rove.)

Dan Trabue said...

Keep in mind that John is more of the libertarian strain of conservatism, not the neo-con/religious/fundamentalist strain. So, Alan, where you say...

But he doesn't really care about polygamy, he just can't think of a real argument against same sex marriage...

I don't think it applies, at least in the case of John/libertarians.

Alan said...

I particularly like this quote from the last link of John's: "The old conservative argument against gay marriage was that it would ruin the institution for straights. But Douthat's argument -- that gay marriage reinforces the idea that marriage and childbirth don't have to be connected -- acknowledges the exact opposite. It accepts that straight marriage "ruined" itself in a way that gay marriage won't fix. That's not a reason to oppose gay marriage. It's just an acknowledgement that gay marriage won't change anything for straight couples."

Alan said...

Funny, could have fooled me, Dan, since he's the one arguing about polygamy in a thread about gay marriage, a classic anti-gay strategy.

If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...

John Farrier said...

Dan wrote:

I don't think it applies, at least in the case of John/libertarians.

Indeed. I don't think that homosexuality is immoral.

Alan said...

Even the Catholic Church doesn't think homosexuality is immoral. Actually, nearly none of the most conservative Christian denominations believe that homosexuality is immoral. In fact, I can't think of a Christian denomination that officially states that homosexuality is immoral.

So, saying that you don't think homosexuality is immoral does not, actually, distinguish you from most neo-con/religious/fundamentalists.

Their problem is with "homosexual activity", (fer instance "gay marriage", or as I like to call it, marriage) would be pretty obviously a homosexual activity, so that's sinful and immoral, in their view.

It's the whole hate the sin/hate the sinner BS, they like to preach.

Parklife said...

Classic indeed.

With the number of people jumping the sinking anti-gay marriage boat.. maybe its time we came up with another red herring to throw to the masses.

Parklife said...

"cultural decay".. Classic conservative old man speak. And the "Think of the kids!!" argument.. classic! Again. Its like Rush was selling BOGO arguments.

For the record Dan, neither of these arguments sound like a libertarian.

Dan Trabue said...

I could be mistaken, but I believe John was playing devil's advocate, just raising the question, not "making the argument."

I see that the current Time Magazine has called Time of Death on the anti-marriage-equity movement...

Alan said...

Notice, BTW Dan, that once I offered a link containing a cogent refutation of the PIB arguments, that John just moves on as if nothing has happened and now ignores the issue.

If you need a good definition of moving the goal posts....

Lol

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, if you want to comment here on this topic, then the question you must answer is "Where is the harm?"

You keep asserting "But there IS harm. We've already said so!" But saying you've said there is harm and actually offering up harm are two different things.

Once again, if you want any comments to stay, you must begin your next comment with "There is harm and this is it..." and provide simple clear factual evidence.

Empty claims are not allowed today.

Marshall Art said...

Note that last sentence, Dan, and you'll find an example of the harm. The hateful attitude of activists and enablers toward those who disagree

But I'll go further and provide yet another example of the harm that is already being inflicted upon the nation. It demonstrates exactly the type of harm of which I spoke above, and of which you have offered no response. In this form, the harm infringes on the religious freedom of the florist, who cannot stay true to her religious beliefs and how best to live out those beliefs. The law in question forces her to live by the "morality" of someone else as if it is more legitimate than the true morality of Scripture, which activists and their enablers distort for their own advantage. The hypocrisy here is galling as your side dares preach the "morality" of equal treatment (when same sex unions are clearly NOT equal to normal unions) and tolerance, while legislating against tolerance with such laws as that highlighted in the link. It's going on now and will only get worse should this travesty be inflicted on a nationwide scale.

One more thing: It is dishonest of you to demand examples of harm and reject any comment that does not provide examples of harm currently inflicted. The lack of vision toward potential problems is typical of the left and it is just as important to prevent harm as it is to heal it. Indeed, preventing potential harm is more valuable and economically sound than fixing the mess the harm will inflict. Thus, the least you can do is provide some argument for why potential harm is unfounded. You haven't yet and I doubt you can.

Dan Trabue said...

Thanks for at least trying. The problems with your "harm..."

1. That answer is to the question, "What harm is there in not allowing businesses to hold discriminatory practices against a certain group of people/sinners?"

Your answer makes at least some sense to THAT question...

"The harm is that SOME people's religious beliefs hold that they should not sell stuff to certain groups of sinners they disagree with and, thus, would be a violation of their religious "liberty" to hold discriminatory business practices."

2. That, however, is NOT an answer to the question, "Where is the harm in two gay folk marrying one another and living in a committed, loving, respectful marriage relationship?"

Do you have any answers to THAT question?

Off topic, but dealing with your example to this other question...

3. The question of whether we should or shouldn't establish rules disallowing businesses to discriminate against certain groups of sinners already exists. We already disallow that. You can't refuse to rent a house to a Muslim because he is a sinful Muslim, or refuse to sell flowers to Southern Baptists because they are sinful Southern Baptists. This already exists.

Are you opposed to this existing policy? That is, do you think businesses should be free to discriminate against certain groups of sinners - whether that's Southern Baptists or "the gays..."? Or do you support anti-discrimination policies in some instances, but not for "the gays..."?

4. From a World Religious Study standpoint, I don't believe that it is factually true that there are any religions whose tenets include "Don't sell stuff to certain sinners..." That certainly isn't found in the Bible or any Christian denomination of which I'm aware.

Do you know of any organized religion (setting aside the "crazies" like Westboro types) that factually have a tenet to that effect?

I'll entertain any answers to the bolded questions from you, Marshall.

John Farrier said...

Dan wrote:

I could be mistaken, but I believe John was playing devil's advocate, just raising the question, not "making the argument."

Indeed. If, today, I had to vote again on a gay marriage ballot issue, I'd vote to legalize it. But I would do so with some concern that I could be wrong.

The libertarian response to this issue is obvious. But it's possible that libertarianism does not always have the optimal answers to public policy questions.

John Farrier said...

Dan, given the evidence that plural marriage is not necessarily harmful, would you support the immediate legalization of plural marriage? If not, why not?

Alan said...

You know, Dan, it occurs to me that I could turn your question around a bit and ask, "Where's the harm in letting two straight folk marry, etc., etc."

Given the divorce rate in this country, a rate that straight people have accomplished all by themselves, long before gay marriage was even a pipe dream, it seems that the greatest harm to straight marriage is straight people.

Maybe straight people could learn a thing or two from us and stop making such a wreck of marriage. At the very least we couldn't possibly screw up straight marriage any more than it already is.

;)

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Thanks for twisting and distorting. My answer was and still is to your question (that is, it is but one answer or example of "harm"). If you perused rather than skimmed my link, you see that the florist had homosexual customers. In the case of the suit, however, providing flowers for the "wedding" is tacit approval regardless of the fact that it is also a business transaction. That is the position of the florist and her beliefs are forced to take a back seat to the wishes of the homosexual. This is the harm that manifests in various ways now, and will certainly be far more tangible should this fictitious right be made law. There is no effort to establish the morality of the behavior or that same sex attraction is not a disorder. We are, as Geoffrey indicates so well, expected to concede the morality of same-sex unions and behaviors, to concede that it is as normal as heterosexual unions. Legislation in favor of the agenda forces this expectation upon those who are then made to choose between their righteous understanding of Biblical truth or the law. If that isn't harm, then you need to further clarify what you mean by harm.

"The harm is that SOME people's religious beliefs hold that they should not sell stuff to certain groups of sinners they disagree with and, thus, would be a violation of their religious "liberty" to hold discriminatory business practices."

The above is a purposely distorted representation of the reality. The harm is that the Constitution allows for freedom of religious expression, but you and yours insist that be restricted to inside a church, rather than in how we live our lives. Anyone truly dedicated to serving God would not care to involve themselves in enabling behavior that God has clearly condemned without reversal.

"That, however, is NOT an answer to the question, "Where is the harm in two gay folk marrying one another and living in a committed, loving, respectful marriage relationship?""

So you've changed the question, or, have been acting as if you were talking about the intent to alter our marriage laws to accommodate those who don't qualify by definition. THAT is the issue. I don't know about you, but my marriage isn't dependent upon state sanctioning. Our commitment to each other is based on the promise each of us made to the other in the sight of God. As such, no one is denying anyone from professing their undying love and commitment to another. The lack of state sanctioning and recognition does nothing to interfere with this fact. The many harms come into play once this fictitious "right" is codified into law.

As to your next emboldened question,

"The question of whether we should or shouldn't establish rules disallowing businesses to discriminate against certain groups of sinners already exists."

I don't believe "sinners" is a criteria of any legislative decision. So of course I fully support anyone's intention of denying association with sinners, be it socially or in business.

More...

Marshall Art said...

Indeed, I do not favor any restrictions whatsoever regarding with whom one does business. The government is not to discriminate. The individual should not have his freedom to discriminate based on his own criteria inhibited whatsoever.

As to your question #4, no, I don't. But the link I provided doesn't speak to this distortion of the point. It speaks to doing business with those who intend to act in a manner that is in opposition with the business owner's religious beliefs. Imagine if you were made to sell a product to Fred Phelps knowing he was going to use that product in his idiotic "God hates gays" protests at another funeral of a fallen soldier. Imagine if you were made to sell products to people you knew were going to use those products to pollute your rivers and streams. Imagine you were made to sell rope knowing it would be used for a lynching. In all these cases, as well as in the case of the florist, you are insisting that you should, by law, be made to sell to these sinners who intend to engage in their sin. Nice.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

In the case of the suit, however, providing flowers for the "wedding" is tacit approval regardless of the fact that it is also a business transaction.

? If I run a store and sell cigarettes or alcohol to someone, is that an indication that I approve of their use by that person or others? If I rent a home to a person who happens to be a liar, is that an indication that I approve of lying?

We're all sinners, Marshall. It isn't rational to say that because we do business with other sinners is an indication that we approve of their sin.

How would any business owner even know who is buying their flowers or goods and for what purpose? Are you suggesting that store owners should interrogate customers to find out if they're going to use those items for some perceived sin?

Regardless, CLEARLY, the answer you provide "Requiring people to do business with a group they disapprove of can be a violation of religious liberty..." is an answer to the question, "Should we ban discriminatory business practices?" not to the question I'm asking.

Suppose we establish that people can legally marry whom they wish, but we don't have anti-discrimination laws: Where is the harm in that?

It is because you can't answer THAT question that you have lost this argument. That's my point.

You are NOT obliged to agree with extramarital sex, with underage drinking, with cigarette smoking or with marriage rights for all people. Just because something is legal does not mean you have to approve of it.

Consider free speech: It's legal and applicable for even offensive folk like the Westboro Baptist types. Just because I support free speech does not mean I approve of each instance of it. It just doesn't.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Imagine you were made to sell rope knowing it would be used for a lynching.

And HERE is the difference: LYNCHING CAUSES HARM.

I can easily demonstrate this. Objectively.

Can you demonstrate that two fellas marrying - committing to love, cherish, respect, support and be true to one another - causes harm?

It is your absolute inability to answer THAT question that has led to your "side" losing this argument.

Do you understand that, yet?

Marshall Art said...

Alan's whimsy is not an original thought. Nor is it an honest one. Many of us on this side of the issue fully recognize the harm already done to the institution of marriage. No fault divorce another example of bad law and the results of that law has done much damage. This will only be compounded by diluting the definition to include whatever anyone wants it to mean.

More to the point, it is far more accurate to say, not that homo- or heterosexuals are to blame for the sorry state of marriage, but corrupt people are to blame. Self-centered people are to blame. Selfish, I-want-what-I-want-and-thus-have-the-right-to-have-it people are to blame. The activists are just another group of such people. Only such people would dare insist on redefining an institution and then seek to force the other 98% of the population to "concede the morality" of it.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Self-centered people are to blame. Selfish, I-want-what-I-want-and-thus-have-the-right-to-have-it people are to blame.

So, you mean like people who can't give a rational reason to support their arguments and can't answer a direct and easy question like "where's the harm?" and yet want to demand their own way and deny to others the option to marry and love, cherish, honor, respect another in a committed marriage relationship?

If so, you might be right.

Marshall Art said...

Try a little honesty, Dan, instead of bearing false witness against one who has given multiple examples of harm state sanctioning would inflict. Even more so, I have clarified the difference between what you just reiterated and what is going on in the public debate. No one is denying homosexuals the "right" to commit to each other. No one is giving a rational reason why their "right" must be recognized by the state as if it was the same as normal marriages, bringing to the state the same benefits for which sanctioning is granted.

Marshall Art said...

"Can you demonstrate that two fellas marrying - committing to love, cherish, respect, support and be true to one another - causes harm?"

Can you not understand the harm in forcing someone to act in conflict with their firmly held religious beliefs? Or are we only to act according to your very narrowly defined perception of what constitutes harm?

Worse is that you ignore the comparison I made, which does not rely on what the consumer intends exactly, but the forcing of the seller to sell regardless of the known intentions of the consumer when the manifestation of those intentions are perceived as sinful.

Parklife said...

"False Witness!!"

There it is.. Marshall just raised the white flag. Took a little longer than I thought. Congratulations to all.

John Farrier said...

Dan, would you like to answer my question? If your argument for legalizing gay marriage is 'what's the harm?', then it should be easy to answer.

You wrote in reference to gay marriage:

What if two rational, healthy adults love each other and want to marry - committing to faithfully love, support and respect each other - and they're causing no one any harm, what possible reason would there be for stopping that marriage?

Now just change the number two to three, four or five.

Dan Trabue said...

I refer you to my earlier answer on this topic...

We don't allow polygamy, bestiality, child rape, etc, "marriages" because there is harm, a lack of adult consent and there is no comparison to loving, respectful, mutual adult marriage relationship.

Now, having said that, if one could demonstrate that there can exist a mutually consensual, adult, loving, respectful polygamous marriage where there is no harm, no oppression, no subjection... perhaps one could make the case that the State would have no business interfering in such an arrangement.

But the culture would have to be convinced. I would have to be convinced.

As stated above, the main areas I see polygamy are in abusive, patriarchal, oppressive systems.

Alan said...

"Dan, would you like to answer my question? If your argument for legalizing gay marriage is 'what's the harm?', then it should be easy to answer."

Funny, John, that you get so petulant. When I ask you questions, you seem to think you can get away without answering them.

So, you can't actually answer Dan's real question (and the topic of the post) so you decide to debate PIB arguments?

If you have a real argument there, it should be easy to answer. LOL

Marshall Art said...

Alan,

What makes you think John, or anyone, is obliged to answer the questions of anyone who is not the host of this blog? What makes you think he's being petulant? His tone indicates far more patience and graciousness than the host has shown me. (You don't have to answer. I'm not the host.)

The "PIB arguments" are legitimate and regardless of whether or not John sees them as examples of harm state sanctioning of SSM would inflict upon the culture, the threat of those finding acceptance is far greater than SSM proponents are honest enough to acknowledge. Because the whine used by the SSM proponents cannot be shown to be unique to SSM proponents, that whine has already been adopted and is being readied for more aggressive use once the nation capitulates completely on the issue.

Marshall Art said...

"We don't allow polygamy, bestiality, child rape, etc, "marriages" because there is harm, a lack of adult consent and there is no comparison to loving, respectful, mutual adult marriage relationship."

Could you be more biased please? And who's "we"? And by the way, I don't believe that John ever suggested "child rape", so that bit of willful dishonesty requires apology.

Your protests regarding the PIB argument is incredibly self-serving for a defender of your preferred brand of immorality and dysfunction. That alone constitutes a harm as you intend to continue this slander of people you don't even know, simply because you think you've been exposed to enough examples of such relationships that were less than ideal. That's true bigotry of a level you pretend exists in people like me who defend Biblical truth and common sense.

Your claims of harm in these situations assume much about people you haven't met. Indeed, this from the TLC show, Sister Wives:

"The women in our family chose this life, often, over the option to pursue traditional monogamous relationships," says Janelle Brown via e-mail. "We are very happy, and our children are extremely well adjusted. We have raised our children talking about choice and consequence in a very real fashion and emphasize personal choice in their lives. We emphasize education for our children and do not condone underage or arranged marriages."

So while all the warped versions are hyped in the news, this "family" decided to risk legal repercussions in order to show that what you think is true of polygamous unions isn't the whole story, nor one that makes the slippery slope argument a failure.

On top of that, I remind you that no one brought up any suggestion of child rape except you. When speaking of incestuous marriages, it is adult consensual unions that is suggested. You choose to characterize them as unfailingly based on some kind of oppressive coercion on the part of one of the spouses. While that might be true of some, to insist that it is always true of every such relationship that has ever been or will ever be is pure bigotry and again, self-serving on behalf of your favored immorality.

What all of these has in common, including your offering, is the clear prohibition in Scripture. Thus, the spiritual harm, far more important than the physical, is great and eternal short of repentance.

Another commonality is the distinct departure from the traditional, which has much to do with the welfare of children, who have no voice on their behalf when it comes to any of those arrangements that are not of the traditional variety. State sanctioning seeks to bind the parents to the child and to each other for the sake of all concerned, particularly the children who have a right to know and be raised by those who brought them into existence. It is the best situation for the child.

Marshall Art said...

BTW, Alan. I finished the Corvino piece and if that's what passes for a "cogent" argument in your world, you have proven without being asked for proof that you are greatly lacking in the common sense department. That lazy and hole-filled drivel is worthy of a blog post of its own, just for the comedic value alone. Thanks for the link!

John Farrier said...

Dan wrote:

We don't allow polygamy, bestiality, child rape, etc, "marriages" because there is harm, a lack of adult consent and there is no comparison to loving, respectful, mutual adult marriage relationship.

Marshall and I have given you specific examples where your characterization of plural marriage as abusive is flatly untrue.

But for the moment, let's take polygamous marriages off the table and address specifically polyandrous marriages. If you have any evidence whatsoever that polyandrous marriages in America are generally abusive--or more abusive than monogamous marriages--then show it.

Now, having said that, if one could demonstrate that there can exist a mutually consensual, adult, loving, respectful polygamous marriage where there is no harm, no oppression, no subjection... perhaps one could make the case that the State would have no business interfering in such an arrangement.

But the culture would have to be convinced. I would have to be convinced.


Why do you have to be convinced? You've challenged Marshall that other people's gay marriages are none of his business. They don't need his approval. Why do other people's polyandrous marriages require your approval?

What's the "perhaps" modifier for? You're ready to proceed on legalizing gay marriage right now. You have no evidence that polyandrous marriage in America is harmful. In keeping with your 'Where's the harm?' principle, why not propose legalizing polyandrous marriage right now?

Alan said...

John did not, apparently read the Corvino piece I linked to, nor does he realize that gay marriage is already legal in several states.

Oh, and notice the goal post moving again. LOL. Next, Dan he's going to ask you to defend poly-canine relationships, because that obviously is so related to gay marriage.

It's a rather obvious rhetorical device to go from the fact that gay marriage is legal and has clearly caused no harm to arguing that's the same as something unknown may not cause harm. I like how you think you can pretend those are the same logical constructs, because I doubt even you believe they are.

Really, John, for a libertarian, it is pretty hilarious for you to ask someone else to argue for government intervention in any of your examples.

Devil's advocate, or disingenuous trolling? The line between the two isn't as fine as John thinks it is.

Alan said...

Still waiting for John to show the logical connection to his continued off topic discussion of PIB in a post that has nothing to do with those issues.

Marshall Art said...

Alan, as a shill, pretends there is no link to PIB and the demand for examples of harm.

Maybe I'm mistaken, but I believe the topic has to do with a national policy regarding SSM. As such, it does not matter that a few states have recently (relatively speaking) "legalized" SSM. Far better to look where there is more data upon which to make a determination. This article presents findings that counter the notion that where it is legal it has caused no harm. But we can also note that in states, such as Massachusetts, there has been a decided debate on the issue of harm as a result of legalization. It depends on how "harm" is defined, and I fear the definition here might be narrow to the advantage of the agenda. Dan still has yet to opine on the conflict between the fictitious rights of the activists versus the Constitutionally enumerated rights to freedom of speech, religion and association. If there's conflict, and there is, then there is harm as one side or the other must give way to the other. We've already heard from proponents that insist the edge must go toward the activists. That's harm.

Alan said...

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2007/sep/06/sam-brownback/marriage-rates-declined-before-same-sex-unions-leg/

Correlation does not equal causation. And, as marriage rates have been declining in western countries for decades, whether they have legalized gay marriage or not, in this case there isn't even a correlation.

MA's argument of harm basically amounts to the premise that marriage is somehow a limited resource, and granting marriage rights to LGBT folks reduces the number of marriages available to straight people. It is specious.

Alan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshall Art said...

The link I provided does indeed suggest correlation. And while it may be true that correlation does not equal causation, that truth does not trump the truth that in some cases it can indeed. If nothing else, such studies seem to indicate that it will do nothing to improve the situation as regards marriage rates, which is an argument put forth by the activists, even if only as a form of mockery.

But more importantly, the link does not deny that rates were falling previous. It does make a distinct point about the decline accelerating after passage.

"MA's argument of harm basically amounts to the premise that marriage is somehow a limited resource, and granting marriage rights to LGBT folks reduces the number of marriages available to straight people. It is specious."

"Specious"? I'd say "ludicrous" or "inane" because nothing I've said even hints as such a thing.

John Farrier said...

Update: this slope is very slippery.

Alan said...

John, how is it that you can recognize a slippery slope when you see it -- even call it a slippery slope -- and not recognize that it is a logical fallacy? Out of curiosity, have you ever read about logical fallacies, in particular the slippery slope fallacy?

Here John, a little homework for you: http://www.logicalfallacies.info/presumption/slippery-slope/

If anything should be obvious from your link, John, it is that heterosexual marriage causes polygamy. Polygamy existed (and has been legal elsewhere in various times and places, and is still legal in parts of the world) long before gay marriage was legalized anywhere. Your argument is just as specious as MA's attempt at a "correlation."

He attempts to claim that gay marriage causes marriage rates to decline more rapidly. Yet that acceleration has also happened in western countries WITHOUT gay marriage. It isn't a correlation any more than your claim, contrary to both history and common sense, that gay marriage somehow causes polygamy.

Basically you're attempting to argue that gay marriage makes the sun come up in the morning, because the sun has come up every day since gay marriage has been legal somewhere.

Good luck convincing anyone of that.

This, Dan, is why they've lost the debate: 1) as we've seen again and again and again, they can't come up with a single harm, 2) they can't come up with a single logical argument (even when they know they are using logical fallacies they continue to use them disingenuously because they've got nothing else), and 3) and as we've seen here, they don't actually debate gay marriage, they just change the topic.

They never had a chance to win a debate on gay marriage since they utterly refuse, as we have seen John do again and again and again and again and again and again in this conversation, to actually debate gay marriage instead of a bunch of random, unrelated side issues.

Thanks kids, it's been real.

Marshall Art said...

We've come up with lots of "harms" (by "we", I refer to all honest people who defend traditional marriage/family/values), but to list them all here would be tedious and mostly a wasted effort as the both of you would dismiss them without evidence as you have the arguments already presented. But don't worry. More will be presented after explaining to you how the "slippery slope" angle actually works here:

It's really quite simple. It's not a matter of direct cause, as in your foolish suggestion that homosexuality causes polygamy. But, as loosened morals of the 60's have led to rampant out of wedlock sex, no-fault divorce, and today's current attitudes about homosexual behavior, we are already sliding down that slope. Other forms of "marriage" will naturally follow, or at least begin to make a bigger push toward acceptance. As the arguments used to push the homosexual agenda have found favor in the minds of far too many corruptible and corrupted souls, that slope toward other marital arrangements will be steeper.

It is also helpful to remember that the debate here revolves around the question of "harm", not "gay" marriage in general. John seems to be on point to me.

But if Dan doesn't mind, I wouldn't mind hearing what Alan means by "debating 'gay' marriage". Doesn't speaking of possible harm satisfy at least one aspect of that debate?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, other than the "harm" caused by your not being able to discriminate and thus being an interference on your religious liberty (which is NOT a "harm" caused by marriage, but by a policy that bans discrimination, which is a separate question), you have yet to list ONE WAY which marriage causes harm.

Just to clarify.

And I'm out of time so unless you can offer that, I don't really want this thread to ramble further.

Again, an acceptable response would begin "Allowing people to marry, committing to one another in a loving, faithful, respectful marriage relationship causes harm by..." and filling in the blank with some direct and obvious and observable harm.

Fearmongering doesn't count.

No other comments need to be forthcoming.

Marshall Art said...

If you are going to dismiss our arguments, it seems to me that it would be gracious to do so with some counter, as in, "your argument fails because...". Instead, you simply say it fails, or worse, label it falsely as "fearmongering". Indeed, neither you nor anyone on your side of the issue has proven discrimination of the type you suggest. You do far less to defend this fictitious "right" than anyone on this side has to argue against it. You simply assert that it is righteous. "Water is NOT wet. Prove me wrong!" Shameful.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, I don't know how clear I can be: YOUR ARGUMENT FAILS BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOT ADDRESSED THE QUESTIONS OF...

WHERE IS THE HARM?
WHAT BUSINESS IS IT OF YOURS?
HOW DOES IT HURT YOU?

If you THINK you've answered that, I'm telling you as a reasonable fella, I have not seen ONE SINGLE ANSWER. ALL I have seen is your answer to the question, "Should we ban discriminations in businesses?" That is not the question I'm asking.

So, at this point (after literally YEARS of waiting for ONE single answer), reasonable people have concluded/are concluding you don't have an answer to the questions and thus, you lose by not participating.

Sorry, but maybe you can learn from this. Good luck.

John Farrier said...

Dan, since you're on the subject of:

WHERE IS THE HARM?
WHAT BUSINESS IS IT OF YOURS?
HOW DOES IT HURT YOU?


Then I have to ask you on the business of legalizing polyandry: why do you have to be convinced? Why do other people's polyandrous marriages require your approval?

What's the "perhaps" modifier for? You're ready to proceed on legalizing gay marriage right now. You have no evidence that polyandrous marriage in America is harmful. In keeping with your 'Where's the harm?' principle, why not propose legalizing polyandrous marriage right now?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, like this:

"TWO GAY GUYS LIVING IN A LOVING, COMMITTED MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP CAUSES HARM BY..."

and fill in the blank.

You can SAY 1000 times, "I already answered that," but until you actually answer, saying you actually answer, that is an empty claim.

If you think you've already offered something, feel free to just post the time you made the claim. But we've already dismissed your one non-answer, so there's no need to repeat that.

Besides your one non-answer, do you have ANY THING else?

If not, thanks for stopping by.

Craig said...

"What if two rational, healthy adults love each other and want to marry - committing to faithfully love, support and respect each other - and they're causing no one any harm, what possible reason would there be for stopping that marriage?"

Once again. As pertains to the federal government as well as the state governments in the U.S. SSM does not exist.

I'll try to make it simple. No matter how much two people claim to love each other, they cannot engage in something that does not exist. In the minority of states where SSM is legal, I am aware of no one who is trying to prevent anyone from availing themselves of that privilege.

You keep trying to impose these extraneous restrictions on marriage. Where in US (or state) code(s) is love required for marriage? Where in US (or state) code(s) is harm a factor in who is allowed to marry? If you are suggesting that love be a prerequisite for marriage, how do you plan to measure that? How would you legally define love? Why do the vast majority of pro SSM ads, billboards, bumper stickers, and testimonials focus on emotional appeals, misleading terms and name calling?

I'm not suggesting that it is impossible to make a rational, non emotion based case for SSM. I am suggesting that here in MN, the pro SSM folks have not taken that path. The impression that gives is that these folks know that their rational arguments aren't particularly persuasive, and choose to appeal to peoples emotional rather than rational sides.

Marshall Art said...

Let's start over, Dan. What is the purpose of this question as you now have formed it? Who is denying any two people from committing to each other? I can state categorically that there exists few people who are arguing against that at this point in time. The whole argument revolves around the push for state sanctioning, for government recognition of those unions. This is where the real harm to others comes into play. Otherwise, to answer your question is a concern only between the two who have committed to each other (and those forced to fork over their bucks to pay for their medical bills). I have been purposely avoiding talk of the many health problems that result from the improper use of the sexual organs, because if you really care about harm from any particular relationship, you can find that info all over the internet. Also, one cannot assume just what kind of physical interaction ANY two people committed to each other might employ, so what's the point?

Thus, the question that I answered is yours completed in this manner:


"TWO GAY GUYS LIVING IN A LOVING, COMMITTED MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP CAUSES HARM WHEN THAT UNION IS SANCTIONED BY THE STATE IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS:"

Despite what you, Alan and Geoffrey would insist, I don't really care what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home. But legal recognition of that union does affect the rest of society. You cannot show how it can help without merely asserting it will. There's no evidence that it has where it has been sanctioned. There has been evidence (that you all deny or ignore or write off as irrelevant) of harm. I've presented some of that evidence and have gotten no substantive counter evidence or argument.

John Farrier said...

Dan, why are you hiding from my questions?

Dan Trabue said...

1. John, my parents are not doing well and need a good deal of my attention. In addition to a multitude of other responsibilities.

If you'd like to come take responsibility of them for a day, I'd be glad to be quicker in jumping through your hoops.

2. I've answered and re-answered the question. IF someone could make the case that polygamy wasn't harmful - in a way that most of us think polygamy has been demonstrably harmful, oppressive, abusive and negatively patriarchal over the years.

The distinction between the two (gay folk marrying and polygamy) is that there is a history of harmful and oppressive polygamy that any polygamists would have to overcome. There is NO similar history of negative gay marriage situations.

That you can cite one (two?) reality TV show where someone claims it's good for them and there is no oppression does not rise to a level sufficient, in my mind, anyway, to overcome centuries of negative polygamy models.

My answer remains the same as the first two times. Don't bother asking again, I don't have time to repeat myself.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Thus, the question that I answered is yours completed in this manner:


"TWO GAY GUYS LIVING IN A LOVING, COMMITTED MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP CAUSES HARM WHEN THAT UNION IS SANCTIONED BY THE STATE IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS:"


I see... so, you HAVE answered my question... IF you change the question to another question other than my question.

Got you.

So, at this point, I will have to assume your answer is "NO, I do not have any real world evidence that two guys or gals committing in a loving marriage relationship causes any harm."

Thanks for making that abundantly clear. And that, sir, is why you all have lost this argument.

Craig said...

"...IF someone could make the case that polygamy wasn't harmful..."

Yeah John, 'cause nobody's ever done that. Perhaps that's what the folks at Sister Wives are trying to do. Show an actual polygamous family that meets all of Dan's extraneous conditions for marriage.

"...in a way that most of us think polygamy has been demonstrably harmful, oppressive, abusive and negatively patriarchal over the years."

With all due respect Dan, what your opinion is of polygamy is completely irrelevant. Just because you have a preconceived notion about polygamy that you choose to try to impose on others, has no bearing about whether polygamy does or does not conform to your prejudice.

For the record, I do NOT suggest that polygamy is anything but sinful and should not be practiced. I DO note that the polygamist folks can and are using the exact same arguments than Dan and the SSM folks are using as a way to justify their lifestyle.

Craig said...

I realize you are busy, I'll be patient.

Dan Trabue said...

Patient for what?

For me to post the obvious, that we have centuries of polygamists treating women like chattel with no real positive models standing out?

There is no comparison, based on actual history.

But again, IF the case could be made that there IS such a thing as healthy polygamous marriages that aren't abusive, oppressive, negatively patriarchal, then no, the state would have no real business in regulating against it.

So, I don't see how this affects the REALITY that you all have lost this argument because you can't point to a single real world observation to the questions asked:

1. What harm is there?

2. What business is it of yours?

3. How does it hurt you?

Those are the open questions on the table. You have not answered that question, or really even tried as far as I can see, and that is why you have lost this argument.

Craig, if you want to make a comment, let it begin with "The harm is..."

Otherwise, thank you for illustrating my point.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, what part of:

If you want to comment, let your next comment begin with "the harm is..." and complete it with a rational statement...

are you failing to understand?

Dan Trabue said...

It is for THAT reason - that inability on your "side's" part to rationally defend your argument with ANY REASONABLE POINT: Even just ONE - that you have lost this argument.

Move on.

Bubba said...

Dan's three questions are:

1. What harm is there?

2. What business is it of yours?

3. How does it hurt you?

These are excellent questions if we were debating whether homosexual relationships should be legal.

We're not.

It's entirely legal to have consensual sex with an adult of the same sex, cohabitate, announce your love to the world, and have friends and churches choose to embrace and bless that relationship in public.

What's "on the table" is whether society should endorse these relationships through the legal sanction of marriage.

The question is whether the state will issue marriage licenses ON OUR BEHALF, and when a couple or group goes to a courthouse to apply for that marriage license, the question of whether the state grants that license becomes entirely our business.

The more appropriate question, then, isn't "what's the harm?"

It's, what is the benefit?

Why should a free society encourage stable homosexual relationships?

There's a related question: why has the state encouraged stable heterosexual relationships and not, say, stable platonic friendships? What is it about eros that makes it worth the state's attention, that's distinct from philia?

Since Dan doesn't even understand the questions that matter, maybe he should explain just why he's qualified to declare who is and isn't making reasonable points in this discussion.

Dan Trabue said...

And Bubba, I'm just telling you how it appears (plainly): You all have lost BECAUSE you can't (won't even TRY) to answer these reasonable questions.

Your refusal to even answer them, and to insist, "NO! WE determine the questions to be asked!" make you all appear...

1. Irrational
2. Arrogant
3. Immoral
4. Wholly unable to deal with the questions being asked.

It is OBVIOUS to most folk, I suspect, why marriage is a good thing for gay folk and in the state's interest: BECAUSE MARRIAGE IS A GOOD THING, and that's true, gay or straight.

We are God-gifted with our sexuality and sex is GOOD. We all recognize that and celebrate it.

But we also recognize that it's good in the right context, and outside of the right context, sexuality can be unwholesome and even harmful.

We recognize the life- and love-promoting Gift of healthy sexuality, that it can help promote strong relationships and strong relationships help promote strong families and strong families can help promote strong communities and societies.

This is obvious to most of us.

Whereas, the negative results of promiscuity and unhealthy sexual expressions seems also obvious.

And so, it is obvious to most of us, I'd posit, that marriage then is the good and healthy place to express that sexuality, because we believe in marriage.

And so, because all of this is self-evident and abundantly obvious, the only questions remaining would be those like the three I've asked and which you all refuse to answer or are unable to answer.

So, you are losing/have lost because you seem irrational and immoral, asking everyone to bend to your will, even when it seems contrary to the public good and for no rational reason.

So, Bubba, unless you can answer those questions, thanks for supporting my point by way of bad example.

Bubba said...

To summarize: we MUST answer your questions, and if we dare object, even explaining why we do so, we're the ones who are arrogant.

It's arrogant to disagree with Dan's premises; I suppose it's equally arrogant to point out his base-stealing on the meaning of marriage and his presumptuousness on what is and isn't a healthy context for God's gift of sexuality.

(What did Jesus say about why God made us male and female? Is it irrelevant if He didn't provide a rationale that meets Dan's exacting standards?)

I suppose it's also arrogant to point out that the argument that the State should promote all good things is inherently totalitarian.

But what isn't arrogant is Dan's assertion that THESE! QUESTIONS! MUST! BE! ANSWERED!

Or Dan's passing judgment on those who disagree on the vital importance of those questions.

Oh, to have Dan Trabue's humilty...

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba, I'm telling you why you've lost this argument. I don't care that you answer the questions or not.

I'm saying, we have asked people like you (like I used to be, too) for years, "What's the harm?" and rather than engaging in dialog, we get lectures but no answers.

Thus, your side has come across as arrogant, irrational and immoral. People have tired of that and thus, you lost/are losing.

One question, Bubba: Do you think you've lost/are losing the debate in the mind of most Americans? Do you recognize that the polls show an amazing leap in opposition to your position in just one generation and that, according to the polls, your position is increasingly the position of older folk and thus, you'll eventually lose out by attrition, if nothing else?

If you can agree with the numbers, to what do you attribute this loss?

Are you going to blame evil people who want to choose evil over good? Do you want to say that those who disagree with you are just stoopid and that, increasingly, people are more stoopid than they used to be?

That you DID lose, but only because we "cheated" and used positive role models and media talking heads to win?

Bubba said...

"I'm saying, we have asked people like you (like I used to be, too) for years, 'What's the harm?' and rather than engaging in dialog, we get lectures but no answers."

By challenging the underlying premises of the questions, we ARE engaging in dialogue.

You surely know that there ARE loaded questions, where the only appropriate response is to unpack the question's faulty assumptions. By denying that possibility in this case, you're the one who's coming off as arrogant.

Your script isn't the only valid approach to a subject just because you like the results.

John Farrier said...

Dan wrote:

My answer remains the same as the first two times. Don't bother asking again, I don't have time to repeat myself.

I didn't ask about polygamous marriages. I asked about polyandrous marriages. You haven't answered that question.

John Farrier said...

It's worth noting that Marshall is taking a somewhat more pro-liberty approach than Dan--at least in terms of principle.

Marshall doesn't approve of gay marriage and thinks that it causes social harm. So he wants to ban it.

Dan doesn't approve of polyandrous marriage, but doesn't think that it causes social harm.* Still, he wants to ban it.

*Or does he? So far, Dan has dodged the question, addressing polygamy instead of polyandry--as though these terms are synonyms. When I've asked Dan to provide evidence that polyandrous marriage is abusive, he's responded as though I've asked about polygamous marriage.

John Farrier said...

John, my parents are not doing well and need a good deal of my attention. In addition to a multitude of other responsibilities.

I'm sorry to hear that, Dan. It's hard watching one's parents age. I hope that you are able to bear up. Your parents are blessed to have you as a son, as I am fortunate to have you as a web friend.

Parklife said...

"The more appropriate question, then, isn't "what's the harm?"

It's, what is the benefit?"

Heh.. it is about harm or benefit. There are about 1,100 laws that benefit married couples.

If John wants polygamy to be recognized.. so be it. But our society is not suggesting that. Im not sure why you are so adamant that your point be recognized when its not part of the discussion. Our society and culture doesnt exist inside a math equation. There is no formula as to why we do certain things. I'm guessing John is suggesting the elimination of "marriage"?

Dan Trabue said...

Once again, the questions you are being asked are...

What is the harm?

What business is it of yours?

How does it hurt you?

And I repeated an earlier question for Bubba's sake:

Do you recognize that you've lost this argument/are losing this argument?

If so, do you not accept that you have failed to make your case in such a way as to be reasonably compelling to most people?

Consider: I'm a pacifist/pacifist-leaning. I'm opposed to war, as a Christian and as a citizen, as a rule. But even so, I admit that there is a question peacemakers have to successfully address in order to "win" this argument on the national level. People want to know:

If we don't use war/killing/bombs/mass destruction in order to defend ourselves, what are we going to do when the very real "bad guys" of the world try to harm us?

I have all manner of reasons and ideas to respond to that question, but ultimately, so far, peacemakers have failed to win this argument because we can't answer that question in a way that satisfies/convinces the majority.

I don't blame the media, I don't blame "stoopid people who won't agree with me," I don't blame the conservatives. Thus far, they have the more convincing answer to most people. I acknowledge that reality.

That doesn't mean I think the majority is right, just that I/we haven't offered a convincing-enough answer.

Do you recognize the same reality on this argument about marriage?

Dan Trabue said...

Once again, the questions you are being asked are...

What is the harm?

What business is it of yours?

How does it hurt you?

And I repeated an earlier question for Bubba's sake:

Do you recognize that you've lost this argument/are losing this argument?

I have always deleted spam. If someone keeps repeated off topic nonsense, that is spam. I will continue to delete spam.

The questions stand, unaddressed. I'm not asking for links, I'm asking for a simple, direct answer.

Marshall Art said...

John,

It's nit-picking, but I must correct one comment you made:

"Marshall doesn't approve of gay marriage and thinks that it causes social harm. So he wants to ban it."

First, it does cause social harm as it already has caused social harm.

Secondly, I don't want to ban it (what doesn't exist can't be banned), but maintain the current legal and only proper definition of the word and institution. Homosexuals are free to commit to each other all they want (which is what being married is), but to have the state pretend such a union is equal and identical to the traditional and thus demands state recognition requires an argument a bit stronger than "because we want it", which is really the long and short of the pro-SSM argument.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, if you'd like to write me to criticize me, that's fine, but unless and until you answer the questions that are actually raised and asked of you on this post, you will not be commenting here.

Dan Trabue said...

Same for you, Marshall.

Once again, the questions you are being asked are...

What is the harm?

What business is it of yours?

How does it hurt you?

And I repeated an earlier question for Bubba's sake:

Do you recognize that you've lost this argument/are losing this argument?

Before you offer ANYthing else, I will accept an answer pretty closely along these lines...

"It causes harm (to allow two gay fellas to commit together in a loving, faithful marriage relationship) because..."

And fill in the blank.

OR, if you admit you don't have any observable harm to point to (as appears to be the case) you can admit to that. You may as well, because it's pretty obvious already.

Once we move past that point, then I will entertain other comments from you, but not until then.

Dan Trabue said...

John, since polyandry is a form of polygamy, my answer to you stands.

Just as a point of curiosity: Is there a serious movement for polyandry anywhere?

Still, my answer remains. I think most modern folk think the history of polygamy has been, on the whole, negative and oppressive/harmful. If there were evidence of non-oppressive/non-harmful polygamy, I don't know that the state would have a reason to oppose it. I think that IF there is such a movement, they find it on them to demonstrate no harm in a way that isn't necessary (or has already been demonstrated, if you prefer) in the gay/straight marriage world.

I would say that, even if a few polygamous marriages might be non-harmful, I would fear that the majority of polygamous marriages would be more of the fundamentalist Mormon/Muslim type that we, as a nation, would not want to encourage due to the harm done.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

I've answered your questions multiple times in multiple ways. You've deleted my responses so that others cannot judge for themselves as to whether or not I have indeed answered your questions or questions no one asked (which can only be proven by allowing the comments to remain). So I'll go once again.

But before I do, there is a distinct problem of clarity on your part. I have tried to make the point that this distinction exists in how the question is asked. As you put it, it does not imply any legislative perspective, and thus the answer will be different than if there is no legislative regard. This is why I sought to clarify the question by re-framing it this way:

"TWO GAY GUYS LIVING IN A LOVING, COMMITTED MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP CAUSES HARM WHEN THAT UNION IS SANCTIONED BY THE STATE IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS:"

This is really not as clear as it could be, so it should really look like this:

"TWO GAY GUYS LIVING IN A LOVING, COMMITTED MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP SANCTIONED BY THE STATE CAUSES HARM IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS:"

There's a distinct difference when the question is put this way, than when put as follows:

"TWO GAY GUYS LIVING IN A LOVING, COMMITTED MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP CAUSES HARM IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS:"

(Let's call your version, Version 1 and mine, Version 2.)

As things stand right now, there is pretty much state sanctioning everywhere, regardless of whether or not two homosexuals can get a marriage license at the county courthouse. "Sexual orientation" fallaciously appears throughout the land in a variety of laws, policies and mandates. So Version 1 implies that an answer is sought as if no legal pressures have been brought to bear. That is, to simply consider the question as if one is under no such legal pressures.

Version 2 reflects what is actually happening, in that activists, enablers and proponents are now seeking to make SSM sanctioned throughout the nation, be it state by state or though judicial fiat.

If I am correct in what you are trying to convey in asking the question as you have, while taking ungracious crap from you regarding my more important and more relevant variation, then obviously the level of harm and/or how that harm would manifest would naturally be altered than the level and/or manifestation of harm that Version 2 presents.

continuing...

Marshall Art said...

So, assuming I am correct regarding Version 1, the answer is no less compelling, as the harm is distinctly to the "two gay guys".

First, and most importantly, the harm is of a spiritual nature, as they are clearly engaging in sinful behavior. Despite your own poor exegesis, nothing in Scripture exists to dispute this. Indeed, Robert Gagnon cites several pro-homosexual scholars (including quotes) who concur with this fact (in reference to Paulian Epistles--he cites William Loader elsewhere in dealing with OT passages). The weak argument that anyone might not know this is true, or might sincerely believe otherwise is not compelling given the ability to find all one needs to know in this day and age.

Of course, harm from the improper use and placement of sexual organs is also easily researched. These can only be mitigated, not eliminated. Naturally, this assumes these practices will take place in the average union. Then again, if no sexual activity takes place, then it's just a couple of buddies who are really fond of each other.

Even the above just scrapes the surface, but obviously the harm is real.

So what business is it of mine? To paraphrase Marley, mankind is my business. The common welfare is my business. To say nothing would not be gracious of a Christian in light of the harm, particularly the spiritual harm. To those whom God has given over, there may be little left that can be done to convince. But for others, they may be dissuaded and therefor saved.

Beyond that, it doesn't harm me in the least except in arousing my sense of compassion for my fellow man. It brings sadness to know that too many are in rebellion and putting themselves at risk. There's no real love or commitment between any two people who insist on engaging in spiritually and physically harmful behaviors.

So there you go. What do you do with these answers, as you can't refute them but only dismiss them as you've been dismissing every other rational, logical and compelling argument against the agenda that doesn't exist? You likely will continue to NOT argue your case and pretend we've lost.

John Farrier said...

Okay, I think that I see what you're saying, Dan.

I would agree that historically, polygynous (to use a precise term) marriages have been abusive, or more prone to abuse than monogamous marriages.

I haven't disputed this claim, which is why I have not asked you to show evidence.

But now I gather you are saying that polyandrous marriages are abusive. I know of zero evidence of this being true. Of course, I'm not trying to ban them--you are.

So please show me the evidence that polyandrous marriages are abusive.

Evidence about the polygynous marriages are abusive won't qualify. That's a different animal. Please show me your evidence that polyandrous marriages are abusive. Don't conflate these two distinct marital concepts.

You keep saying that you've already answered the question, but you haven't.

Just as a point of curiosity: Is there a serious movement for polyandry anywhere?

Yes, it is. In the modern American polyamory movement, polyandrous marriages and families are common. I wouldn't be surprised if they're even the majority. They've even been on Oprah and ABC News.

Watch those two videos. Then answer this question: what's the harm? Because that's your standard.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, in a spammy, off-topic comment which I deleted asked, "How many times must we answer the question?"

One time, Craig. One time.

If you THINK you have answered it, I have not seen it. I'm not deleting your comments to be mean or because I don't like you. I'm deleting them because I'm asking for you to answer a question if you want to comment here. That is what you have to do.

Here's your chance, answer THIS question (don't tell me you've answered it, just answer it) and I will allow your comment to stand.

IF you answer this:

What harm does two guys or two gals committing together in a loving, faithful marriage relationship do?

THAT is the ticket to your participation on this post. Answer THAT specific question with a reasonable, real world answer. Do that, and you will see that your comment will stand and I may even let you move on to other criticisms and moanings.

Craig said...

Dan,

I've answered the question multiple times, including in a comment you deleted. The fact that you are choosing to ignore the fact that I've answered your question is just simply petulance.

If you chose to ignore my questions and misrepresent the comments I've made, I see no reason to play your childish game.

"What harm does two guys or two gals committing together in a loving, faithful marriage relationship do?"

To whom? In what state or federal statute is the concept of harm a factor in marriage? What is presently stopping two guys or gals from committing in a loving faithful marriage relationship? If you are speaking simply of the commitment, then this is available now. If you are talking about governmental recognition, then there is no legal provision for such a relationship in current law. Given that situation, my opinion of harm is meaningless. Why do you continue to introduce extraneous conditions into this discussion? Are you suggesting that those who oppose governmental sanction of SSM should not avail themselves of the political process?

If two guys or girls want to make a commitment, I have no problem with it. There are any number of venues in which this can be done now. As far a specific potential harm(s), I have the following concerns. This has already opened the door for other arrangements of "loving, faithful, committed partnerships". I suspect that there will be a certain degree of harm to children in these marriages. There is plenty of evidence to support the fact that a mother and father is the most desirable arrangement for raising children.

Once again, you've gotten answers, once again I'm sure you'll delete this, and lie about what you've deleted.

Please repent.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

To whom? In what state or federal statute is the concept of harm a factor in marriage? What is presently stopping two guys or gals from committing in a loving faithful marriage relationship?

I'll leave your comment there to demonstrate how you HAVE NOT answered the question.

If the question is, "What is the harm?" then the answer looks like, "The harm is..." with, you know, an actual answer. That you asked a bunch of questions in response to my question is NOT AN ANSWER to the question asked.

Do you really think that it is? (I'll allow an answer to that question, if you want to try).

Your one attempt at an answer, then, that I see in this response is this...

I suspect that there will be a certain degree of harm to children in these marriages. There is plenty of evidence to support the fact that a mother and father is the most desirable arrangement for raising children.

1. The studies about this DO NOT DEMONSTRATE harm to children. If you think it does, provide the study that DEMONSTRATES HARM (or even a "certain degree of harm") to children.

Your inability to provide that evidence will serve as evidence against your false claim.

2. That SOME studies suggest that a male and female parent MAY BE optimal (and there are problems with those studies), it is not an indication that there are anything wrong with lesbian parents or gay parents, or that homosexual parents cause harm. There is ZERO evidence to support that claim.

3. This line, aside from the faulty reasoning, is not addressing the question, "Where is the harm in two guys marrying?" It's addressing the question, "Should 'the gays' be allowed to be parents?" A rather scandalous suggestion, given the behavior of some straight folk.

So, the question remains: What is the harm?

An "answer" that is only a bunch of questions is not an answer to that question. I will entertain any actual answers, though.

If, on the other hand, your answer is this...

my opinion of harm is meaningless.

I'm inclined to agree, given the dearth of rational evidence thus far.

Marshall Art said...

"Allowing" Craig's last shows that my complaint regarding the deletion of my own previous comments was and is valid. Craig's "questions" answers yours just fine if only by their implications.

As to your three points in your response to him, #1 is quite faulty. If studies show that the best place for a child is with his own biological parents, then anything less is harmful by denying the child the optimum benefits afforded by being with his parents. Indeed, I would wonder if there are any orphans or kids given up for adoption that don't or haven't ever wondered about their true parents, whether their lives would have been better and, in the case of those given up, whether their parents loved them at all or not. Of course, this might not rise to a level of harm that a Dan Trabue would think is worthy of concern for kids, but that's but one of the many real differences between us.

#2 makes a statement I've never seen even addressed. We have studies that claim to show both sides of this question, but most, if not all that support the pro-SSM side have been shown to be slanted to the max. The studies that suggest a problem are of the type described in point #1. And of course other studies, as well as testimonials, indicate there are problems with kids placed with homosexuals. Again, it's really a matter of whether or not the harm rises to a level that concerns SSM proponents.

#3 brings attention to a previous concern of mine regarding the point of the question "where's the harm?" if every point of concern is continually dismissed, I must assume Dan is looking for piles of dead bodies before acknowledging "harm". A high standard indeed, but what else could he be thinking?

Dan Trabue said...

Okay, then, to sum it all up, your belief is that "harm" comes from marriage between gay folk because it is not optimal for raising children, and you, therefore, support a ban on all marriages between folk who MIGHT have children one day and who MIGHT be less than optimal, because that is harm and we should not allow "harm." Is that your position?

Again, it is for this sort of "answer" along with all the substantive NON-answers you have provided that you all have lost this argument.

If you have nothing else, thank you for your thoughts.

Craig said...

Dan, you've asked an incredibly general, vague and pointless question. You refuse to respond to questions that attempt to clarify what specifically you are trying to ask. Then when I, again, attempt to answer your question with my opinion (which is the best you can hope for with such a vague question), you ask for evidence, while simply expecting me to accept your assertion that "studies" support your opinion. Incredibly helpful that. Perhaps if you'd actually answer the questions and clarify what you mean it would help. For example, I see three separate and distinct parts to the issue of 1M/1W marriage.

1. The ability to make a commitment to a long term, monogamous, healthy, exclusive relationship.

2. The sanctioning of these relationships by religious institutions.

3. The sanctioning of these relationships by the state.

These are three vastly different arrangements and you are being (I suspect) intentionally vague about what you mean.

You seem to be referring to what I have numbered as #1, in your question. In this case I have responded multiple times. There is no bar to this right now. I work with a young woman who is in such a relationship right now. Even though there is no provision in state or federal law to sanction her relationship, if asks, she says she is married.

If you are, despite your invoking of numerous extraneous modifiers, referring to my #2, then there is a different issue. In the case of the state this is more a matter of contract law than of love respect or monogamy. Do I see the harm in allowing groups of people to make a legal contractual commitment to each other that will provide the "benefits" that are provided to married folks, no not really. But why would you exclude anyone from this sanction? Are other contractual agreements limited in this way? Other than your prejudice, why would you choose to limit this sort of contractual agreement.

Craig said...

(contd.)

If you are talking about my #3 the answer is pretty simple. I firmly believe that the Biblical ideal for marriage is 1M/1W. I also firmly believe that there is no obligation for all religious organizations to believe or accept the Biblical ideal of marriage. If they don't then the pretty much define themselves as non Christian, but I don't have or seek control over things like this. In this scenario, the primary harm comes when the folks who want to redefine marriage, refuse to allow those of us who are satisfied with the current definition the freedom of conscience to hold that opinion. As we are seeing in the PCUSA's struggles with this issue, the anti-1M/1W folks have moved from; "Open the door and let us in.", to "If you disagree with us you are evil, bigoted, homophobes.". Ultimately the harm from this will be sorted out by God. Either as through the flourishing of pro-1M/1F churches and organizations, and the withering of the anti-1M1F groups, or when we all get judged. I'm perfectly comfortable leaving that part up to God. Where I rebel is the intolerance and greed shown by the anti-1M/1W folks as this is being played out on denominations across the globe. Look at some of the vile things said against church leaders in Africa who hold to 1M/1W.

The problem with your question, as it is currently phrased, is that it cannot be answered to your satisfaction. Further, you are making it clear that even if you get an answer that meets your "acceptability" criteria, you will simply dismiss it without allowing for the fact that it is perfectly acceptable for folks to agree on this issue.

As far as providing "evidence", you've made it quite clear that you will delete any comment with links, so you've done a fine job of insulating yourself from having to actually deal with anything I would provide. Further, in the past you have demonstrated a lack of willingness to interact with links that support positions you disagree with. My suggestion is that. I'll stipulate that you can find studies that support your opinion. If I had the time, or wanted to go down this detour with you, I could point out plenty of reasons why those studies are not valuable. The opposite is also true. So, why not, just agree that my opinion that the most ideal situation of 1M/1W is a valid position to take, and I'll agree that you can find support for your position as well.

Dan Trabue said...

And what I'm telling you, Craig, Marshall, is that while YOU may not find "Where is the harm?" to be a reasonable question, MOST people do. And it is your collective inability to address that question in a satisfying manner - a manner that seems both rational and moral - that is causing you/has caused you to lose this argument with the majority.

Now, you can decry "the majority is stoopid!" or that "the majority just WANTS to support evil" or whatever crying you want to do, but until such time as you can effectively address this line of questioning, you will lose this argument.

And it has nothing to do with me (one guy on the internet) deleting links that didn't address the question I was asking, you haven't been able to convince the majority of us, that's all I'm saying.

That is all I'm saying.

Do you disagree that your side has demonstrated an inability to effectively address this question?

Craig said...

"... is that while YOU may not find "Where is the harm?" to be a reasonable question, MOST people do. And it is your collective inability to address that question in a satisfying manner - a manner that seems both rational and moral - that is causing you/has caused you to lose this argument with the majority."

This is a fine bunch of assumptions, yet not much substance.

First, can you provide some sort of source that suggest that "most" people are asking this question? So far, "most people" who have actually voted on marriage have voted against your position. So, some support please.

Second, as someone who lived through a constitutional amendment fight last fall and is in the midst of watching a completely liberal state government be unable to pass anti-1M/1W legislation, I have a fair degree of first hand experience in what is being actually said in the debate. I can assure you, tat there was not one bumper sticker, billboard, or media buy that asked "what is the harm". I've told you what they did say, and you've chosen not to deal with the actual tactics used, instead deciding that you represent "most people". Please, some evidence to support this contention.

Third, it is fairly obvious that answering this question in any manner other than complete agreement with you will not be satisfying to you. Frankly, satisfying you or any other who is precommitted to any position is not high on my to do list.

Fourth, it is possible that "we" are "losing the argument", the problem is that we're still winning the actual votes. Why, you may ask is the MN legislature (DFL house, senate, and Gov.) afraid to pass anti-1M/1W legislation? Because they are afraid of getting voted out of office in one of the more left leaning states in the country. Why won't they put it up for a vote? I suspect because their polling tells them it's not a big winner.

Fifth, you have not actually provided any evidence to indicate that "we" are losing the argument with "the majority". If you have some, let's see it. But as long as it's just your assumptions, I'm not satisfied that you've proven your point. Oh wait, you haven't even tried to prove your point, you've just assigned your personal biases to "the majority". Well done.

I do want to thank you for providing evidence that I have gotten pretty good at predicting your responses. Perhaps if you'd actually answer the myriad of questions on the table for you the illumination and clarification might be helpful.

BTW, MA and I have certainly not suggested that those on your side are "stoopid" or want to "support evil", nor have I seen anyone on the pro 1M/1W side saying that either. Not even during a fairly heated political debate. I'm not sure why you feel it is helpful to put words in the mouth of those who disagree with you. At best it's just a straw man, at worst, it's just flat out lies.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, I doubt seriously that you are unaware of the polling numbers on the topic.

The latest Pew Research numbers show that 58% think marriage should be legal (as opposed to the 36% who think it should be illegal) for gay folk or, if worded differently, Americans say that they "favor" legalizing marriage for gay folk by 49% to 46%.

But I'm sure you know this.

And I'm sure you know that, when the question is asked of YOUNGER people (those born after 1980), the numbers rise to 70% supporting marriage for their gay friends and family.

Or that 52% or REPUBLICANS under the age of 50 support marriage equity?

And the numbers of those in support just keep rising. Now, you can quibble with the wording and the exact numbers, but I don't see how anyone can fail to acknowledge that the trend is towards support of marriage equity. Do you?

Given these facts, I'm just not sure in what possible way you think you are NOT failing to make your case convincingly and, thus, losing the argument.

And surely you are aware that conservatives such as Limbaugh, O'Reilly and GOP politicans like Cheney, Portman and Kirk - and Time Magazine, too - agree that your "side" has lost this debate.

As O'Reilly said, "The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals... and to deny that you've got to have a very strong argument on the other side..."

That is what you are lacking.

And again, that's all I'm saying. I don't see how you can do ought but agree with O'Reilly and me and others pointing out reality.

Craig said...

Dan,

Yes, I am aware of the poll numbers. I am also aware of the actual vote results. As I said in my first column, it's pretty soon for a victory lap. For example, you have no idea how potential unintended consequences might change peoples attitudes. Anyway it's a fair distance from support is trending to the anti-1M/1W has won.

But even if I grant your point, this still fails to demonstrate that your question, as asked, actually represents anyone's opinion besides yours.

So, if this is a forgone conclusion, as you believe, what is the point of this. Are you suggesting that the pro-1M/1W camp just give up? Should we not avail ourselves of the right to advocate for our position using the political process?

I can see that asking additional questions is fruitless as you have abandoned even the pretense of actually responding.

If you'd like to clarify what you mean, you can. If not, then feel free to continue to blame MA and I for your vague and poorly conceived question.

Dan Trabue said...

It is my opinion - as someone who is in the midst of the support for marriage equity - that this line of questioning is why you all have lost this debate.

So, where you say...

If not, then feel free to continue to blame MA and I for your vague and poorly conceived question.

The point of this post is that your "side" has tended to blame others, blame the media, blame those who disagree with you, blame the questions, blame Satan, etc, etc for your loss. My point is and has been only this: That you all don't seem to realize the reason you are losing is that you are not making your case in a manner that seems rational or moral and, as long as you seem irrational and immoral in your reasoning, you will continue to lose.

That was my only point.

Dan Trabue said...

Quick question: It appears that O'Reilly finds the pro-marriage equity side easily the most compelling argument (which has been my point, in case you miss that). Do you think O'Reilly is mistaken?

Craig said...

Dan,

I really do understand that you have your opinion and what your opinion is. What I question is you projecting your opinion on others without any actual support for that projection.

I also realize that in your opinion "our side" is blaming various things for the "loss". Yet you have provided nothing except your say so to demonstrate that your thesis is factual. Speaking as someone who has/is gone/going through the political campaign around this issue, I can state categorically that I haven't heard anyone "blaming" any of the causes you site. Had you actually provided actual instances of people making these excuses, that would be something substantial to deal with. But unsubstantiated straw man type accusations don't really help, do they? I also realize that when it comes to the actual voting pols that the pro-1M/1W side has actually won the preponderance of the actual votes that have taken place.

I even realize that according to you the case against 1M/1W marriage is irrational/immoral. While I appreciate that you feel that way I'm not sure you've laid any foundation to suggest that there is a widespread concurrence with your opinion.

It is quite clear that numerous questions will go ignored, deleted, and unanswered. That's too bad.

You cherry pick one issue on which you agree with O'Rilley as if that somehow clinches the argument. Since I haven't heard Bill's reasoning, nor have you provided any sense of what that reasoning might be, I really have no way to comment on whether or not I agree or disagree with him. Had you read and responded to my earlier comments, it just might be that I actually do agree with him. I just don't care enough to check it out.

Marshall Art said...

"Do you disagree that your side has demonstrated an inability to effectively address this question?"

I absolutely disagree. In fact, I contend, no, insist, that our side has been the honest side, providing real facts for which YOUR side counters with the lamest of "nuh uh" types of arguments.

I don't know where O'Reilley gets off with his assertion that your side has the compelling argument. What would that argument be? According to Billy, it's that the homosexual doesn't want to be treated like 2nd class citizens, deprived of rights afforded the rest of us. How compelling can a lie really be, except to those willing to swallow the lie as truth? They are not lacking for rights, but instead want something special.

"Okay, then, to sum it all up, your belief is that "harm" comes from marriage between gay folk because it is not optimal for raising children, and you, therefore, support a ban on all marriages between folk who MIGHT have children one day and who MIGHT be less than optimal, because that is harm and we should not allow "harm." Is that your position?"

No. But thanks for yet another example of how your pleas for grace in discourse is entirely a one-way street. The issue of the impact on children is but one of the many SUBSTANTIVE arguments in favor of the status quo and against the whine for "marriage equity" by the activists and their enablers.

I've shown how other examples of harm are being played out already without the agenda having full national acceptance. You pretend I've shown examples of discrimination in business practice, when the truth is that it is discrimination against those who disagree with the agenda.

By the way, I read your link regarding the 52% of Republicans and it is very telling. First of all, you have Reps with family and/or friends who are homosexuals. These people are failures as regards this issue for they have shown a lack of backbone in flipping due to a familiar being homosexual. I have never turned my back on family and/or friends who engage in bad behavior, but I stand firmly against their bad behavior. This is both what a mature individual does and more importantly, what God expects His own to do. You fail in this regard as well.

Secondly, there is an example of a Rep (from Alaska) consulting her kids on the issue. This constitutes a clear lack of maturity to get morality clues from kids, especially in this day and age when kids have been indoctrinated by entertainment and leftist school activism (Like GLSEN). We're supposed to be guiding our kids' morally, not the other way around. As a result, it is not surprising that kids poll as they do on this issue. They've been let down in the moral guidance department and the activists and enablers are using that as a sign of shifting sensibilities. How freakin' convenient!

As I said, we're not losing the debate. You've just never debated in the first place. You've just asserted, lied and played the emotion game instead of focusing on truth and facts. You've spent time accusing opponents of bigotry and hatred and people naturally flee from such accusations and spend too much time trying to avoid such false charges. Whenever you're up for a true debate on the issue, you'll lose handily.

Craig said...

MA,

I appreciate your desire for a link, maybe you'll get luck. As it stands there are plenty of unsupported assertions in this thread, is I don't see any desire on Dan's part to substantiate them. I sincerely hope that i am incorrect, and that Dan will provide some degree of support, beyond simply asserting that certain things are so. Since all of my comments with links have been deleted, and Dan has indicated that he doesn't want links, I'm not hopeful.

Dan Trabue said...



Thanks, fellas, for providing the object lesson as to Why You Lost This Argument.

Peace.

Craig said...

No Dan, Thank you. You have provided an excellent example of how not to lose an argument. Simply choose not to have one. No one can lose something that (like SSM) doesn't exist. We ask questions you ignore them. We ask for support, you don't provide it. We answer your questions, you delete our comments, then you lie about what we said. All in all I'm sure you must be quite satisfied with your intellectual prowess. It would seem to be simple for you to provide evidence that would support your opinions, and clearly demonstrate the overall superiority of your opinions, yet you choose to dodge and hide. How pathetic and sad to see someone so confident in his opinions, yet so unwilling to support them.

I'm quite sure that you will try to slough this off as whining, or something to reinforce your self image. I am telling you it's not. It is truly a disappointment to encounter someone who is so unwilling to support their opinions and who goes to such lengths to avoid answering questions. I really expected more. I don't know why, but I did.

John Farrier said...

Dan wrote:

1. The studies about this DO NOT DEMONSTRATE harm to children. If you think it does, provide the study that DEMONSTRATES HARM (or even a "certain degree of harm") to children.

And yet when I've asked you provide evidence that polyandrous marriages--which you want to ban--are harmful, you refuse. When I point out a contradiction in your reasoning, you stop talking to me.

You frequently claim to be upset at Marshall's tone. Yet though I maintain a level, polite manner of discourse, you refuse to answer the hard questions that I pose.

This is an ongoing trend, from comment thread to comment thread.

Alan said...

John:

Until you answer anyone else's questions, shut up, you fraking hypocrite. kthxbai.

xxxooo

Alan

Alan said...

P.S. Craig, we'll believe you're really incensed about people not answering questions when you berate John for refusing to answer mine. Until then, you can shut up too, hypocrite.

xo

Parklife said...

Talk about final throws.. Craig and John's arguments seem to mean less and less to people. Im impressed they continue to rehash them and demand answers to questions.. but by the next election cycle they will be defending married gay republicans running for office.

Marshall Art said...

It seems that some think they are entitled to much, including responses, without being in any way connected to hosting this blog.

Parklife notes that the arguments put forth by Craig and John mean less to people. That would denote another form of harm, as greater numbers (if Parklife's assessment has any relation to reality) acquiesce to this nonsensical whine. As to supporting imagined "gay" Republicans, he seems to believe that if the best candidate happens to be homosexual, then we must reject that candidate. But then, that would also constitute a harm when the best candidate is homosexual, doing good in most areas if elected, but working to support the lie as well.

Back to the issue, I offer this from around 2002. While it speaks to much not directly related to what seems to be Dan's question (the intent of which seems fluid depending upon the response), there is much that speaks to harm within even a truly committed and monogamous union. I say "truly" due to the fact that, as the link re-iterates, even the term "monogamous" is distorted by the activists, who insist on definitions satisfying to themselves as opposed to reflecting truth and reality. Nonetheless, should we assume their definitions match the actual, the harm exists. Dan is adamant that other "marital" arrangements are most often harmful and thus could not rationally be tolerated by the state. Reports like the links I've provided indicate harm enough that Dan's standard should definitely apply. The difference is that it confounds Dan's objective and like all other examples of harm will certainly be dismissed. We must have piles of dead bodies in order to satisfy Dan's demands regarding showing harm.

Parklife said...

"arguments put forth by Craig and John mean less to people."

uhhh.. yes.. as poll numbers show.. and have for sometime.. the acceptance of gay marriage. Its amazing that this fact is still a secret to some people.

"As to supporting imagined "gay" Republicans, he seems to believe that if the best candidate happens to be homosexual, then we must reject that candidate."

Well.. you might think that if you didnt read what I wrote. But, carry on.

"working to support the lie as well."

Lie? What "lie" are you talking about?

And offering something from 2002 is a bit out of touch.. oh.. say 11 years out of touch. The larger point is that culture changes over time.

"We must have piles of dead bodies in order to satisfy Dan's demands regarding showing harm."

Just for the record... you're close is ridiculous and inappropriate.

Marshall Art said...

"as poll numbers show.. and have for sometime.. the acceptance of gay marriage. Its amazing that this fact is still a secret to some people."

Assuming the poll numbers mean what you infer, those numbers are no secret to anyone. My point (how you guys can miss such obvious points is a true mystery) is that these very poll numbers, even assuming they mean what you hope they mean, is evidence of harm as the population joins the rest of you on your journey toward acceptance of sinful behavior, mental/emotional disorder and the deception required to perpetuate it all.

"Well.. you might think that if you didnt read what I wrote."

Of course I read it. There might indeed be "gay" Republicans running for office. If, aside from their obvious quirk of being "gay", they are true conservatives, we would indeed be forced to defend their candidacy against the usual nincompoop the left would offer as an alternative choice.

"Lie? What "lie" are you talking about?"

The lie that is the homosexual agenda. Pay attention.

"And offering something from 2002 is a bit out of touch..."

Truth and facts are never out of touch, unless overturned by new information. What have you got? Anything at all? What more recent studies counter anything in my link, much less the harm of engaging in homosexual activity, which was the main reason for posting it, considering Dan's not so clear question?

"Just for the record... you're close is ridiculous and inappropriate."

The record demonstrates that Dan has shown he has in mind some extremely narrow notion of what constitutes harm. Based on all the real examples he has rejected for reasons poorly supported, some level of very obvious physical harm must be what he has in mind. Thus, my close is a logical conclusion, even if over the top.

Parklife said...

Heh.. so being gay is a "quirk". Thats one way to put it. Another would be to categorize it as one of the many hateful comments you have made in the past. This all sort of begs the question as to how you view the world...

Marshall's List - From Good to Bad
1. Any Republican
2. God
3. "Quirky" Republicans
4. Most everybody else
5. Criminals
6. Pedophiles and Rapists
7. Homosexuals
8. Liberals

Maybe you could switch #1 and #2. Maybe. Or switch #7 and #8, but does it really matter once you are worth less than everybody else.

Parklife said...

PS.. and you wonder why you cant seem to have a regular conversation with somebody..

Marshall Art said...

I don't wonder at all. I wonder why you can't. I have no idea what your last comments even mean. What's that list mean? What makes "quirky" indicate hatred? That word doesn't even go far enough when applied to you, and I don't hate you, either. You seem to really need me to be hateful. What's up with that?

Parklife said...

"I don't hate you"

marshall.. I dont care. Nobody cares. You have such a backwards view of the world, that your opinion has lost any sort of relevance.

Marshall Art said...

Someday you'll have to explain just how my view of the world is backwards. It's the only reason I continue to allow your visits to my blog. I fear it's a hopeless expectation.

Craig said...

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/04/legalize_polygamy_marriage_equality_for_all.html