Tuesday, November 14, 2006

response to meridian magazine

in steve m.'s post concerning the relative lack of non-religious arguments against gay marriage, my favorite character, hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, provided a link to a meridian magazine article attempting to make rational arguments to ban same sex marriage. to avoid putting too long of a comment on his blog, i am posting my short logical response to that article here.

1- Same-sex proponents are asking everyone — all of society — to dramatically and permanently alter their definition of family, to say that male and female are not essential for marriage, family and society. They want us to believe male and female are merely optional for the family.

this response is severely problematic and flawed for several reasons:

a- 'family' is used by most everyone to denote a familial relationship that is not composed of the simplistic father-mother-children combination. to say that the father-mother-children combination is essential or necessary for a family is and should be offensive to everyone. families can be composed of a father and son; mother and daughter; grandma and grandchildren; mother and son; brother and sister; brother and brothers; sisters and sisters; foster relationships; a group of youth who have nobody but each other; etc. to say that those in these relationships cannot call themselves a family is offensive and wrong.
b- to a lesser extent, 'marriage' is already used by most everyone in ways that denotes a union without an essential gender or sex dichotomies. we constantly refer to the merging of two businesses as a marriage (ie. the marriage of aol and time-warner).
c- nobody (besides perhaps a few amazonian cracks) are arguing that male and female are not essential for a society. such an argument is a mere straw man (or woman).

2- Marriage has nothing to do with race. It has everything to do with a husband and wife working together to create and care for the next generation.

a- this is a bit ironic considering that the church officially advocated against interracial marriages (including races that were not racially banned from receiving the priesthood).

There is no research showing interracial parenting is developmentally harmful to children...

i have a strong feeling that this is a completely ignorant and factless claim. i don't have the time, nor do i care to find the actual research, but it should seem pretty obvious to anyone with some ability to think rationally that, depending on the social/racial climate that a child grows up in, his/her racial identity (or lack thereof) can have sever and harmful developmental effects on him/her.

...but literally thousands of studies indicate that children are hindered developmentally when they are denied their mothers or fathers

unless you are willing to ban single-parenting, then you should seriously just stop using this argument.

3- If we say marriage is not about husband and wife, mother and father, where do we stop in our redefinition?

this is called a slippery slope. it's a logical fallacy. people who want to seem smart should just stop using them.

4- Every society needs men and women to cooperate in founding homes and raising children, and marriage is the way all societies accomplish this.

again. either be willing to ban single-parenting or just shut up. seriously.

5- Spin a globe and pick any place on earth and visit that place at any time in human history; you will find that they do marriage one way — between men and women. There may be other diversities, such as number of spouses and division of labor, but marriage is always heterosexual.

i spun the globe and my finger rested on scandinavia. the second time it landed on massachusetts.

Why do we find this global and historic universality of marriage?

trust me. you don't want to go into the historic foundations of marriage. it's not so pretty. historically, the institution of marriage was about ownership - very similar to slave ownership. think johnny lingo and mahana. johnny lingo bought mahana. marriage was a business transaction between father and husband. the husband buys his wife from her father for a price. she now belongs to him. the old testament sees marriage as a business transaction. our marriage traditions today are still made up of remnants from these business transaction. women take on the men's surname as a sign of ownership. husbands ask the father for permission. father's 'give away' their daughter. wedding rings are remnant tokens of slave ownership.

don't try to pull the history of marriage card. you really don't want to see marriage in a historical context.

-The lack of monogamy and relational durability in gay male relationships is evidence of this.

the same could be said of any type of relationship that has not had significant social support. like interracial marriages of the past, when society highly frowns on a relationship, the lack of support will hurt the relationship.

-We cannot survive with everybody doing whatever they want, sexually. Every society must have rules, mores and standards about sexual behavior, and marriage is how societies manage human sexuality.

and heterosexual marriages have been doing a better job at this? it sure didn't seem to help ted haggerty (zing!). on the other hand, psychologists have shown that humans have the tendency to sexualize the taboo. we sexually want what we cannot have.

-When we do not have a social norm of monogamy, women become commodities — things to be collected, used and then discarded.

see the discussion on the historical nature of marriage. in marriage, women were commodities - bought, sold, and traded by men. just read the bible.

-A wealth of research shows that abuse of women by their partners or strangers is lowest in married homes and highest in cohabiting and dating situations.

i'd love to see the stats on homosexual relationships. i'd be willing to bet that the rate women getting abused by their lesbian partners is far lower.

-Healthy children define a growing society. And marriage is the way we ensure the next generation grows up with the irreplaceable benefit of their mother and father.

again, time to ban the whole single-parenting thing.

6- No society at any time — primitive or developed, ancient or modern — has ever raised a generation of children in same-sex homes. Same-sex marriage will subject a generation of children to the status of lab rats in a vast, untested, social experiment.

while this may be true, we have a plethora of cases where children have been raised in non-traditional settings without problems. history has shown that children raised with single parents, divorced parents, grandparents, foster parents, and gay parents have had a full and healthy development. yes, it may take more work. yes, it may be difficult. but what family or child-rearing isn't difficult or work-heavy?

7- Well, the AAP and APA and AMA are wrong.


8-Every child-development theory tells us kids do best when they are raised by their own mothers and fathers.

ban single-parenting.

9- Can anyone say that is a good parenting ethic? The child needs a daddy, but he is told “no” because the parent has wants, and those wants come before the child’s needs.

child - "mommy, i want a daddy"

single mom - "i know son, but mommy needs to find the right person to marry."

child - "mommy, quit being a selfish bitch. just go marry the first guy you see. sheesh. who cares about your needs? i'm a child. i wand a daddy! my needs come first!"

10- The same-sex marriage proponents take what I call a “Mr. Potato Head” theory of humanity: There is no real difference between Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. They have the same central core, but merely external interchangeable parts. There’s no real difference.

another straw man. this is just plain false. in fact, it's contradictory to the whole same-sex debate. if there were no real differences between the sexes, there would be no homosexuality!!!

think mcfly. think!

i've got much more to say, but i've gotta get back to studying.


  1. Cliff-notes version:

    Since heterosexuals have totally screwed the pooch when it comes to the institution of marriage, we may as well let gays run it the rest of the way into the ground.

  2. LMAO... Great job, Narrator. Nice observance of logical fallacies as well.

  3. perhaps one of your finest posts! logically sound and funny (and therefore ethically sound) at the same time!

  4. I replied to your comments at SteveM's.

  5. i stubled on to your blog and i found it really intersting, some of the things you said about religion were really fresh and new ideas to me. im also studdying philophy and ethics but at GCSE leval. hope i can find you blog again! message me on myspace(www.myspace.com/robsypunk) if you have it if not.. get it :)

    hope to read more soon. best wishes xx


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