Monday, December 3, 2007

Let's talk social issues

For some reason or another many of our fellow citizens have taken it upon themselves to tell consenting adults what they can and cannot do. Yes folks! That is the topic, gay marriage. If you are uncomfortable with this you have five minutes to run for the hills. Now since we have gotten rid of the childish people can we begin?

First let us examine marriage. Is marriage a religious institution? If so it is outside of the government’s power (state or federal) to limit it. If it is a civil matter, and therefore falling under government control then one cannot introduce the Bible as evidence to support one method/style of marriage or another. Welcome to the slippery slope – get a helmet.

For the sake of discussion let us assume that we can use the Bible or favorite “word of God” that you choose. We could use this to ban gay marriage based upon the alleged validity of the book in question. Since that book is now considered legally valid we must now allow polygamy and the stoning of prostitutes. This is called logic. Just so we are on the same page, polygamy is considered by some as having one wife too many. Others would say monogamy is the same thing (one wife too many – get it – it is a joke people lighten up).

Here is the major intellectual dishonesty. We, as a society, will allow gay men to live together. We will allow them share their lives together. We will allow them to negotiate and enter into binding contracts on property etc. In some areas we will even allow them undergo some type of “civil union” or other euphemism. What will not allow is for them to use the term “marriage” as if there is some magic in the word.

In an effort to cover up outright bigotry we dance around the issue and call it anything but what it is. Again, we have magic in words. I guess if you close your eyes really tight and wish really hard then it is not bigotry. Then again you could tap your ruby slippers together three times and end up in a beautiful land where it is okay to impose your views on other people. This would be a time before the freedom actually became something that you spoke of in relation to political theory.

This should not ever be a political question as it is really nobody’s business but those that entering into the marriage, or civil union or whatever you want to call it.

I have two questions for all 3 or 4 of the readers of this blog.
1. Can anyone offer a moral justification for banning gay marriage? If you can I would like to hear it.
2. Who exactly is being injured by two gay men getting married?

Brandt

26 comments:

Tony said...

To answer your questions -
1) I can't.
2) No one gets hurt.

I suggest we follow through on King Solomon's idea and cut the baby in half. Hear me out.
I say that we remove marriage from the public square. It is now the domain of the church. If the Methodists decide they want to allow homosexuals to marry, then they can. If Catholics decide not to, that is their choice.
Then, we create civil unions for both heterosexual and homosexual couples. This would grant the legal standing as marriage currently does for tax and estate purposes.
It won't make everyone happy, but something has to be done.
Tony

LightTraveller said...

Tony, you saved me the small trouble of having to type that exact thing! If marriage is a religious sacrament, what is the government doing administering it?

One other thought: If someone is in a (straight) marriage, the success of which is somehow threatened by what "Adam and Steve" happen to do, then maybe it's time to get to a marriage counselor and re-think a few things.

John Galt said...

If we really wanted to "protect marriage" we would outlaw divorce. If the two of you reasonable men can come to those conclusions why is this an issue?

Tony said...

To outlaw divorce would limit someone's freedom as much as stopping two homosexual men from marrying. Therefore, those who support banning homosexual marriage should logicly support banning divorce. Though something tells me logic isn't a high priority for them. They have no problem limiting others freedom (gay marrage) but the would never fathom allowing the state to limit their freedome. The following poem comes to mind:

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

-Pastor Martin Niemöller

Tony

Prexy said...

Personally, I feel that gay marriage is wrong. I have no rational, well thought out reason for this, so I can't really make an argument justifying my position. However, I tend to be more libertarian in my views and take "a live and let live" attitude. Therefore, I am fine with the government getting out of marriage. But, if the government does this, then I feel that all marriages should be allowed-be it between a man and woman, two people of the same sex, one man and five women or one woman and five men. If we cant discriminate against same sex marriages, then why should we discriminate against other non-traditional types of marriage?

John Galt said...

Prexy,
Thank you for posting. You are absolutely correct. You are respected for your opinion, particularly since you realize that it is a personal opinion. I praise you for your understanding and "live and let live" attitude. We don't have to agree with our neighbors. We do need to respect their freedom.
Brother Tony,
You have keyed onto a very important point. In order for something to be truly moral it must apply universally. If we ban gay marriage we should also outlaw divorce. Both of which are said to protect marriage.

More importantly. Nobody can protect their own freedom by limiting the freedom of another citizen.

Brandt

Tony said...

Bro:. Brandt,
Don't you have homework to be working on?
Tony

John Galt said...

Are you not supposed to be in school?

This is part of my home work. I am a psychology/philosophy/political science guy. All of you people are test subjects. So run the maze!

brandt

Tony said...

I am in school. The teacher is boring. This is much more interesting.

LightTraveller said...

Tony, I think that many people who oppose gay marriage do indeed also want to ban divorce. At the very least, many seem to be choosing something called "covenant marriages," which legally cannot be dissolved through "no-fault" divorce -- only for cause (that is, adultery). But I agree that there is a good deal of hypocrisy on the part of many.

Prexy, the only problem I see with state sanctioned polygamy would be the inevitable nightmare of the contract law involved. There just can't be any one-size-fits-all legal structure for that complex of a relationship. I don't mean I would support a ban, but it really would need to be the responsibility of the parties involved to draw up the legal parameters of the arrangement, probably with the assistance of a lawyer (who preferably is NOT part of the "marriage").

Anyway, I say if you're against gay marriage, don't send a wedding gift. ;-D

Tony said...

LightTraveller,
It is interesting to note that the first "no-fault" divorce act was signed by Ronald Reagan, then Governor of California. Many on the anti-gay/covenant marriage bandwagon hold President Reagen up as a model politician.

Howard Roark said...

Men and women must be free to decide what is right for them so long as those decisions do not impose on the inalienable rights of others.

Civil governments have no right to interfere in these matters. The responsibilities of the government begin and end with the protection of the rights of the individual. The civil government cannot and should not become a moral authority.

Howard Roark
Sirius Lodge

John Galt said...

I decided to use this topic because of its controversial nature. It cuts directly the truth of the freedom and rights inherent to humanity. All of our laws should be decided on this premise. When diverge from this we shift to tyranny.

Live Free as the Creator made you.

Brandt

Widow's Son said...

Perhaps marriage licenses (for all) should cost $25,000, and divorces be free.

Widow's Son
BurningTaper.com

John Galt said...

Brother Widow's Son,
As much as I would like to do that as a very big social joke, I don't think it would fly. It would be cool though.

What we to come to is an understanding of the deep seated psychology behind the problem. Why would anyone actually believe that it is okay to control the behavior of adults at such a fundamental level?

Brandt

2 BOWL CAIN said...

Great topic Brother!
My father, a staunch conservative is repulsed by gay marriage.
As a hetero sexual married man, with a daughter, I see no problem with gay marriage. I do not see it effecting our society.
It is a diversion and an issue to polarise americans and the rest of humanity so they can never be united and in a state of harmony.

John Galt said...

There will be more of this kind of topic. We must remember though, that the topics will all hover around the meta-topic.

Brandt

LightTraveller said...

2-Bowl: You're right. In most cases it is just used to win elections. But in many of those cases, it is losing its ability to do even that. This issue becomes less polarizing by the day.

Brandt: I recognized your meta-topic as soon as I read the question you posed. ;-)

John Galt said...

hmmm, perhaps I should be even sneakier about my meta-topics.

Brandt

LightTraveller said...

Nah, I was kinda expecting it anyway. Besides, you wanted someone to notice it or you wouldn't have mentioned it. ;-)

John Galt said...

Am I that transparent?

Brandt

Bod said...

P'rhaps the answer is to remove religion from marriage altogether and recognise it as a contract, that way it doesn't matter either way who the parties are, MM, MF, or FF. If people then wanted to have a religious element they could go have one.

Anagram Anonymous said...

"1. Can anyone offer a moral justification for banning gay marriage? If you can I would like to hear it.
2. Who exactly is being injured by two gay men getting married?"

1. My opinion is if two consenting adults love each other, than any actions they desire that injures no other person is not my problem. Morality is not morality when it is legislated.

2. As stated, as long as they are not harming others or stepping on the rights of other in their actions they should be free, in this country at least, to pursue happiness in any form that pursuit may take. If it does not lead to happiness, the choice is theirs.

On the other hand, marriage being a word, I do not object to said union being called something else and prefer it if acceptable to the parties involved. Really, I highly suspect that gay marriage will not happen anytime soon, as both parties use it to garner votes and get the voters to show up. Perhaps that's cynical, but have you noticed how this issues are close to becoming perennial?

John Galt said...

Brother Bod,
That is an interesting take on the matter. Is marriage a contract?

In a marriage people make a deal to love etc etc etc until they die. This is not really enforceable if broken. If so we would have to kill the one that stopped loving.

In my opinion marriage is more of an agreement. Things can change. That is the way of the world.

The financial matters and the matters of marital property and child care are another issue.

Brandt

bod said...

Marriage is most definitely a contract, both in legal terms and in practice, part of the English civil wedding ceremony actually makes mention of the fact it is a legal arrangement
Each party to the contract agrees to abide by a set of rules, to be faithful, to be considerate,to be loving, to assist in the running of the home, mutual respect. The list of two way responsibilities and expectations is quite a long one.
If either side fails to perform in respect of the contract it is breached, and it is on this basis that divorce proceedings are issued, don't forget that the law allows for remedies for non performance in contract law, in divorce courts it is alimony.

John Galt said...

...or palimony if you are lucky;-)

The "civil union" certainly is a contract. What of the marriage?

Brandt