Tuesday, December 09, 2008

This just kills me. Newsweek runs a cover story called "The Religious Case for Gay Marriage." Of course, all the usual evangelical idiots express how offended they are that someone else is interpreting the Bible differently from them. But here's the hilarious part:

In addition to contesting Newsweek’s specific scriptural arguments, some social conservatives took issue with the basic premise of the magazine’s story: that conservative opposition to same-sex marriage is based on specific biblical instructions.

“I see it as an attempt to caricature and reduce to a cartoon the social conservative belief in the efficacy of traditional marriage, and try to reduce it to some formulaic, scriptural literalism,” said Ralph Reed, the former executive director of the Christian Coalition. “There’s more of a practical, sociological foundation for why we seek to affirm marriage as an institution than I think is generally understood by those who want to legalize same-sex marriage.”

Though Reed said he had respect for Newsweek, he said this week’s cover story was based on a “false assumption”: “We’re not trying to take the Bible and put a bill number on it and legislate it.”

Land pointed to campaigns for anti-same-sex marriage referenda around the country as evidence that biblical instructions were not necessarily the main impetus behind social conservative opposition to same-sex marriage.

“The arguments that are used are often not biblical arguments. They are secular arguments, arguing about marriage as being a civic and a social institution, and that societies have a right to define marriage,” Land said. Broadening the definition of marriage could “shatter” the social role married couples have traditionally played, he said.

In an e-mail to Politico, Maggie Gallagher, the president of the National Organization for Marriage, took a similar line, calling marriage “the one necessary adult relation in society – the way we bring together male and female to bring the next generation to life in a way that connects those children in love to their own mother and father.”

So basically, "The Bible does too say no gay marriage, and that's not what we're basing it on." The very idea that there is any logic to banning gay marriage that doesn't come from the Bible is absurd. Oh, sure, they always talk about "preserving traditional marriage," but I have yet to hear a single person explain exactly how hetero marriages are negatively impacted by the existence of gay marriages. And that's obviously because there is no way in which hetero marriages are negatively impacted by the existence of gay marriages. The only conceivable reason to be against gay marriage is because you want to impose your religious beliefs on other people. It's a clear violation of the First Amendment. For that matter, why is it still illegal to buy alcohol on Sundays in most of the Deep South? That's obviously a law that has no basis in anything but asserting the primacy of one religion. I tell you, if I were rich, I'd get together with a bunch of my rich California and New York friends and pour a shitload of money into state initiatives overthrowing that law in Georgia and the other red states. See how they like it. And I'm sure people would go for it, too. Most people don't get any benefit from gay marriages, but if you start asking even those devout Baptists why they let the gummint tell them they can't make a beer run on football day? Shit...


Anonymous rbubp said...

I'll offer my explanation of the "secular" claim: It's about kids. This is how gay marriage will affect the nuclear family: conservatives do not want to have to explain to their children why Crystal has two mommies. Additionally, because they do not want to deal with this, they do not want to have it come up in public schools, either--which it most surely would, because of equality laws and the kids' own discussion of their experiences. Envision a scene where Child A draws a picture of the house and family and how different it looks than Child B's more traditional version. Child B is confused--and either the teacher or the parent has to deal with it. Hell, in certain neighborhoods Child A would be confused, too.

So the number 1 issue, with a bullet, is staving off "legalization," because with that comes a social legitimacy--institutionalization--that will have to be allowed in school. Think about it: the literature changes. The toys change. Barbie and GI Joe change.

After that, conservative parents would have even more difficulty explaining why everybody else thinks goin' gay is a-ok. And then more and more of their own kids have no truck with gayness. (It is how we got a black president, after all.)

Which brings up another point: Democrats don't go here too vehemently either. Why don't progressives argue more strongly for the scientific evidence that homosexuality is biological, not social? Because, silly: Democrats don't want to push gay rights very hard because of the difficulty of that same "elementary school explanation" scenario. As soon as that hot-button imagery comes up--remember, it's the logical extension of gay marriage--the issue is DEAD. Mainstream America is not ready to have their kids reading books about a different kind of nuclear family. And Democrats are too chicken-shit push the actual evidence too far--they are afraid, perhaps rightly, that mainstream recognition of the realities of gay equality would send us back to the stone ages-- so the issue remains the province of the "radical" left.

Indirectly related, we all need to let go of that "but it's not a choice" thing. So the fuck what if it is??? I should have the right to be gay just because I feel like it.

12/10/2008 10:53 PM  
Blogger Chris Oliver said...

Well, I think you've hit on the point (in fact, that's explicitly how it was stated in the Yes on 8 ads), but that's not a negative effect on heterosexual marriage. It just means people are going to be made uncomfortable, and people are going to have to live in a world in which gay people exist. I don't see how making their marriages legal makes that any more likely, but that is how these people think. They want to go back to a world in which gay people lived in the closet, which is just never going to happen.

I realize that you're playing devil's advocate here and not actually trying to make that argument.

I totally agree on the "choice" issue. It's a completely irrelevent side issue. As Jon Stewart said the other night, religion is much more of a choice than heterosexuality. But when conservatives talk about homosexuality being a choice, it's because they have a different definition of homosexuality. To evangelicals, a homosexual is not someone who experiences homosexual urges, it's someone who engages in homosexual acts. So by their definition, it is a choice. And like you said, who gives a fuck? But that fits into their whole view. They want gay people to shut the fuck up, get back in the closet and either live celebately or enter a loveless heterosexual marriage so that they don't have to feel uncomfortable around them.

12/11/2008 1:13 PM  
Anonymous rbubp said...

Yeah, you're right, it doesn't negatively affect hetero marriage, (yes, devil's advocate), unless you figure that down the road fewer people do hetero marriage because they are busy being gay. So it's death by a thousand cuts at best (as if hetero marriage would somehow go away).

But I do think that the kids/next door neighbor issue is the secular language in question, moreso than Biblical edicts.

12/11/2008 4:51 PM  

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