What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.

About

What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

The zero-sum game, continued

Apropos of the recent news out of New York (which certainly counts as What's Wrong With the World), Lawrence Auster's commentators have more interesting comments to make than I do. One commentator asks, "What were the Republican lawmakers afraid of?" A pertinent question.

A couple of others answer. (Note--my convention is always to put quotation marks around the term "marriage" when describing the sickening simulacrum between two men or two women. I have silently changed these comments to do the same.)

Some posters at VFR wonder why Republican politicians in NY caved into the liberal, media pressure to vote for gay "marriage." Where is that fear coming from?

That fear in part is from the belief that liberal principles are intuitively right. Equality is the sine qua non of the contemporary moral and legislative agenda. All of American and world history is moving inevitably towards an egalitarian society. Gay "marriage" is but one aspect of that engine. The fear for the Republican is a deeply sub-conscious one--"I need to be on the right side of history, I cannot be seen to be against egalitarianism." Even if I believe that homosexuality is morally wrong, my philosophy of government is all-inclusive. In this sense, American history and government can work against morality.

The objective of complete egalitarianism has been enshrined by the civil rights movement of the '60s. There was an air of inevitability about it that has been translated into the gay rights arena. Politicians that voted against total racial integration changed their opinions decades later. The same attitude holds forth today. You may vote against homosexual "marriage" today but some day you will change your vote. We will give you endless opportunities to do so over the next few years--the result is inevitable.

Another commentator:

They are afraid of the press, which has a strong influence on their reelection. Any Republican who switches on gay "marriage" can be a maverick or a brave truth-teller of conscience. A Republican who does not switch is a homophobe and reprobate.

They are afraid of the bad opinion of their society in general. This is because, within the ruling class, gay "marriage" is highly if not overwhelmingly popular. It is true that any Republican will know many proles who oppose gay "marriage." But they do not interact with such people every day. They interact daily with the educated class.

They also seek the good opinion in particular cases of their family or close friends. Many people have a homosexual within their family, and most of their family supports that person and his or her partner. Even more people have close friends who have a homosexual close to them.

They are also afraid of the future. Recall that progressives control all education in this country, at all levels. The new generation is fully indoctrinated with rights and equality, not to mention "social justice." They support gay "marriage" at much higher rates than older people.

These observations seem like an accurate indication of how the Republican traitors have come to their treachery and of how they have been taught to think. I hope they are duly punished in the next election. I seem to recall that a conservative group promised to blacklist any politicians who caved on this issue. Let's hope they carry through.

I have only one thought to add: The religious "exemptions" added at the eleventh hour apparently influenced some of the Republicans. Notice how this fits into the idea that this has something to do with equality. The idea apparently is that if we put in religious "exemptions" this can be a win-win situation. This is, of course, a lie. What the Republicans who caved refuse to recognize is that the homosexual agenda is never win-win. It is a zero-sum game. If they win, traditionalists lose. It's that simple. But such simple truth is out of style in the land of politics.

Pray, Christians, for our nation.

Comments (113)

I'm starting to wonder if Roissy isn't right about how to stop all of this. He's commented that the only way that society will abandon the sexual revolution is to "feed the beast" until it chokes on its own sexual gluttony. I can't help but think that by trying to restrain history, we're actually desensitizing people to what is happening much like a frog that is slowly boiled barely notices the increase in temperature. We might be better off letting go and letting the liberals go so crazy that the public is horrified at what it sees.

** And yes, I'm aware of the implications for that and how some lives would be deeply scarred or even destroyed by that.

Or how about this as an explanation of the behavior in question? The republicans who voted for legalizing gay marriage in NY recognized that the arguments against it depend on a particular set of metaphysical assumptions. The constitution guarantees that those metaphysical assumptions and the state be kept distinct. They concluded, in the presence of compelling arguments for gay marriage and the absence of compelling arguments against gay marriage, that they should vote for it.

I think this is a more charitable interpretation that either of those quoted.

The constitution guarantees that those metaphysical assumptions and the state be kept distinct.

Gee, Tod, wouldn't Madison and Washington have been surprised to discover that this is what the Constitution guarantees. Sheesh.

Mike, for crying out loud in a hayfield, how can you bring Roissy into this subject? Anyway, bad idea of his. Very bad idea. Not that I suppose he cares. It's not exactly as though he promotes Christian morality. But I don't think we'll talk about him anymore.

Lydia,

Thank you for this post.

I'm not familiar with Roissy, but I do feel that Mike may have a point. There are a couple of 20th century examples that support the idea that if we go far enough, people will understand the perverse nature of it all:

1) eugenics, widely supported before WWII (something like 100 000 forced sterilizations in the US; cf Supreme Court case Buck vs Bell); the atrocities commited by the Nazis, I think, had a large part in stopping that;

2) a weaker example, that of pedophilia; in the 60s, a number of French intellectuals spoke out for its recognition as a legitimate form of "love"; thankfully, that wore out; most of their articles have disappeared by now, but Daniel Cohn-Bendit (still in politics today) was a member of that revulsing clique.

Not that I would support such a thing, thinking of how much those who genuinely suffer from their homosexuality are hurt, whether they are aware of it or not, by this general atmosphere of "gay-philia". But maybe once people realize that every single argument for gay "marriage" can be used to justify polygamy, polyandry, etc, they would come to their senses.

Jane, I doubt it. One man's reductio is another man's argument for going yet farther. I read an article some time ago positively celebrating the fact that homosexual couples are redefining the word "monogamy." How's that for crazy? Pedophilia became unpopular because the leftists who control the media decided they wanted to bash the Catholic Church more than they wanted to advance on that particular front. For those who love perverse things, it is the very perversion that they love. For those who give in to those who love perversion, there's always something that is "going too far" this year, but give it time, and it isn't "going too far" anymore. There's no such thing as rubbing society's nose in it and getting a reaction. There has never been such a reaction, and I doubt that there ever will be. The left simply lies for a while and says, "What a misrepresentation. That isn't what we're all about," and then later says, "Of course this should be normal."

Besides, when we've reached the insane point of calling two men or two women "married" a line has already been crossed. Telling people, "This could lead to such-and-such" will probably not influence them and, in any event, looks too much to the world like conceding ground on the _present_ insanity.

Mike, for crying out loud in a hayfield, how can you bring Roissy into this subject? Anyway, bad idea of his. Very bad idea. Not that I suppose he cares. It's not exactly as though he promotes Christian morality. But I don't think we'll talk about him anymore.

Because his strategy hasn't been tried and it's not like anything social conservatives have attempted has amounted to a hill of beans...

It would be absolutely, utterly, morally wrong and repugnant to try in any way whatsoever to induce people in our country to commit more acts of sexual immorality as a "strategy." What a repulsive and immoral thought. Millstone material.

And our resistance at this point consists in no small measure in an attempt to avoid having to approve of immoral acts ourselves, having them normalized to our children, having our own property, businesses, etc., used as billboards for immorality, and having immoral acts "in our faces." These are always and everywhere good goals that should never be abandoned for "strategic" purposes.

It would be absolutely, utterly, morally wrong and repugnant to try in any way whatsoever to induce people in our country to commit more acts of sexual immorality as a "strategy." What a repulsive and immoral thought. Millstone material.

I didn't say induce, I said get out of their way.

And our resistance at this point consists in no small measure in an attempt to avoid having to approve of immoral acts ourselves, having them normalized to our children, having our own property, businesses, etc., used as billboards for immorality, and having immoral acts "in our faces." These are always and everywhere good goals that should never be abandoned for "strategic" purposes.

The force of history is moving us in this direction anyway. What worries me is that by trying to hold back the tide we might actually be slowing it down enough that people become acclimated to it. Maybe the solution is to let the liberals truly tyrannize the majority of America without restraint so quickly that it causes a gut-level reaction from the majority.

For those who give in to those who love perversion, there's always something that is "going too far" this year, but give it time, and it isn't "going too far" anymore. There's no such thing as rubbing society's nose in it and getting a reaction. There has never been such a reaction, and I doubt that there ever will be. The left simply lies for a while and says, "What a misrepresentation. That isn't what we're all about," and then later says, "Of course this should be normal."

To the contrary. I've heard it said that witnessing the aftermath of the Holocaust was what laid the foundation for America's rejection of the racial status quo post-WWII. The problem is it has to get truly ugly before it reaches people on such a fundamental, gut-level that it makes them question their other instincts. As I said, I have no illusions about how ugly it would have to get. I have a pretty good idea of what it entails.

Mike, it isn't happening in sexual morality in America. I don't think it will ever happen. In fact, let's remember that homosexual "marriage" _used_ to be the very thing that people were threatened with: "Don't support this non-discrimination law. It's just a gateway for homosexual 'marriage'."

Now that reductio is itself the thing that is becoming "the reality" and we're supposed to urge people against it on the basis of something _else_.

When one thinks of the absolute filth purveyed to children by GLSEN, Planned Parenthood, and company in the public schools or in connection with the International Girl Scouts, and when this has not produced a massive reaction against the sexual revolution, I think we can see that aversion therapy is not going to work. Or let's put it differently: It has already worked with some people, but they turn out to be a smaller number than might have been expected, and we're swiftly reaching a point of diminishing returns. Those who are going to opt out of the system in various ways and turn into reactionary conservatives on sexual issues have mostly already done so, and those who haven't yet done so are in for the long haul, however bad it gets.

It's a little bit like the Episcopal church. You may still get a few stragglers over the years going to other churches in dribs and drabs, saying, "That was going too far." But most of that has already happened if it's gonna happen.

Mike T's suggestions amount to defeating Moloch-worship by promoting it. "Yeah, when the generation realizes they've sacrificed thousands of their young to worship this idol, they'll learn that it's wrong!" Except in the mean time, all of those immolated children are not coming back, and society will be too weakened by the loss to recover from their failure.

Besides, Mike, you're being too abstract about this. Let's get concrete. Why do I try to oppose the liberals on homosexual "marriage"? I do so in large part for the sake of people _like myself_, for the sake of people who _agree with me_ and for the sake of the bullying they are in for, the corrupting of their children, etc. I'm not doing it for the sake of some sort of abstract entity or abstract value.

Is not Andrew Cuomo a Catholic? So where is the excomnunication of such catholics by the Bishop?

Ted Kennedy is more of the same as Andrew Cuomo yet not a single bishop excommunicated Ted for his pro-abort stance and everything else?

Nancy Pelosi? A Catholic as well?

If the Church does nothing toward its heretics---what is the Republican Party going to do?

And Further I point to Lawerence Auster's own post on why "Republicans" voted for this and allowed to happen. Read his "Did VFR make a prejudiced reference to Jewish supporters of homosexual “marriage”?". It had to do with "moneyed donors".

The Republican Party has always been the progressive party. It was Republican party that passed the Civil Rights Act over the blue dog Democrats.

The Catholic Church does nothing. It wrings its hands and yelps but substantially? It does nothing.

Mr. Wheeler, a word to the wise: I know you now, if not from of old, at least from a previous thread. You managed, barely, to avoid getting banned at that time. But since I know where you're coming from, rest assured that I will have an eye on you. Creepy hobby horse riding will not be tolerated in this space.

End of digression. Let's try to have an interesting conversation.

Gee, Tod, wouldn't Madison and Washington have been surprised to discover that this is what the Constitution guarantees. Sheesh.

Or, Lydia, we could be charitable instead of dismissive. Do you think Robert Audi's line (that in a free democracy one ought not support a policy/law for religious reasons only) is out of line with what the writers of the first amendment were thinking? I don't.

In light of that, allow me to restate my earlier position: in light of the absence of good secular arguments against gay marriage, the republicans were rationally compelled by the secular arguments for allowing gay marriage. There's an alternative explanation that is a bit more charitable than those you consider. So why should we favor either of the explanations offered?

Tod:

They concluded, in the presence of compelling arguments for gay marriage and the absence of compelling arguments against gay marriage, that they should vote for it.

There are no arguments for gay marriage. What passes for an argument is simply screaming "Equality!" (a metaphysical concept for which liberals have no rational support) and claiming with no justification that it's a "right" (another metaphysical concept for which liberals have no rational support) while attacking people who support the reasoning against it as "homophobes".

Tod, the licitness of homosexual conduct itself depends on a contrary philosophical anthropology. So, it is no worse and no better a position than those who consider the conduct illicit. But in the case of gay marriage, things are different, for when it becomes legal, citizens whose comprehensive doctrines find the conduct deeply immoral will be punished if they do not acquiesce. So, for example, Catholic Charities must either get out of the child adoption business, or act contrary to its comprehensive doctrine. The home owner who does not want to rent a room to cohabitating couples, must rent to them including gay couples. Parents who object to public school curricula that teach that their philosophical anthropology is "hateful" have no recourse. This is not "political liberalism." It is comprehensive liberalism, the sort that today's liberals (like Audi) claim they reject. But, surprise, surprise, in the real world, it is relentlessly applied, under the guise of the principles Audi, Rawls, Nagel, etc. defend.

So, Tod, if you are consistent, you should reject gay marriage, since it would require that reasonable citizens who embrace reasonable comprehensive doctrines must act inconsistently with conscience. Of course, you could pull the race-analogy, but by doing so you would be creating a straw man, since those that oppose gay marriage do so based on a philosophical anthropology that entails certain moral judgments about the proper use of our sexual powers. That is a moral question, one for which Rawls' political liberalism was devised to handle. So, if it does not get applied here--in this quintessential moral issue--it's a sham. Whether it's Dworkin, Rawls, Nussbaum, Audi, or Nagel, we now know that they were just full of s**t. The talk of "reasonable comprehensive doctrines," "religious liberty," etc. was a ruse to install tyranny.

May God give to them what they richly deserve.

Tod, The Duece is spot on. Every argument for gay marriage is an argument against marriage. If gender doesn't matter to marriage, then why should consummation (that is, why do the participants have to have sex in order to "seal it"), non-relatedness, number, permanence, etc. matter any more? You see, the gay marriage advocate must eliminate the opposite gender rule in order to include two men and two women. But that is based on "equality." But that can't be, since if marriage is by nature a dual-gender institution, then no one's equality has been violated, since one's sexual orientation is not relevant to marriage. The only thing relevant is one's gender. But, you see, when you eliminate gender and replace it sexual orientation, then you have no grounds to say that two male siblings who set up a life around "fantasy baseball" is not a marriage. Suppose they consider a 162 game schedule as a "consummation" as sealing their commitment. Why is that wrong? To what are you going to appeal?

The radical skepticism that gets you "gay marriage" literally eliminates any criterion of marriage as rationally defensible. You have, in a word, destroyed marriage.

Hey, how about that justicy arc - what a bend!!!

Anyway Tod hit the nail on the head,

"...in light of the absence of good secular arguments against gay marriage, the republicans were rationally compelled by the secular arguments for allowing gay marriage."

There are, of course no rational secular arguments and the religious ones are clearly driven by emotion and reaction.

"..and for the sake of the bullying they are in for, the corrupting of their children..."

There is no right in a free society to be free from offense and defining others merely living their lives in the public manner that all peaceably abiding folks are entitled as "bullying" is the crudest sort of special pleading.

Claims of conscience by one impose no automatic obligations on others or the society as a whole. Conscientious objection to military service is an obvious example of such a valid claim. Objections to same sex marriage are far from rising to that level.

Corrupting the children? Well anytime I hear that I think of this,

http://www.pbs.org/tradesecrets/docs/alarscarenegin.html

Invoking "the children" is more likely than not to be an indicator of lack of any real substance.

Republican traitors? Nonsense, the obligation of Republican office holders is to those who own the party not the sundry rump groups to whom they pander and deceive for their votes.
If you actually believed them, more you the fool.

Even plutocrats have friends and family for which they feel a certain affection and loyalty and some of those friends and family are gay. So, let's see, blood and friendship vs. empty religious injunctions, how's that likely to turn out.

Even some Republicans have concerns that trump ideology and dogma, it seems.

Of course, you could pull the race-analogy, but by doing so you would be creating a straw man, since those that oppose gay marriage do so based on a philosophical anthropology that entails certain moral judgments about the proper use of our sexual powers. That is a moral question, one for which Rawls' political liberalism was devised to handle. So, if it does not get applied here--in this quintessential moral issue--it's a sham. Whether it's Dworkin, Rawls, Nussbaum, Audi, or Nagel, we now know that they were just full of s**t. The talk of "reasonable comprehensive doctrines," "religious liberty," etc. was a ruse to install tyranny.

Amen, brother. It was only ever a procedural figleaf for the imposition of a comprehensive egalitarian liberalism from there can be no escape and to which no dissent will be tolerated.

The Deuce, Thomas A., and Untenured are all doing such a good job responding to Tod that I don't need to say a thing. :-) (For future reference, I think we'll replace the s-word, even with asterisks, with "baloney" or something of that kind.)

Do you think Robert Audi's line (that in a free democracy one ought not support a policy/law for religious reasons only) is out of line with what the writers of the first amendment were thinking?

Oh, by the way, yes, I think that proposition is completely out of line with what the writers of the first amendment were thinking.

And that's taking it at face value.

It gets even more wildly out of line when one considers that Audi also defines a belief as "historically religious" even if one has an argument for it that contains no religious premises (in an ordinary sense of "religious"), if one's presently holding the belief is the result of a historical cognitive causal chain that involved religious belief. And so forth with other ridiculous definitions of "religious" such as one's making an argument (which could be entirely secularly cogent) for a religious motive. It's...desperate.

There are, of course no rational secular arguments and the religious ones are clearly driven by emotion and reaction.

Ah, we can all go home now that the Great Al has spoken.

There is no right in a free society to be free from offense and defining others merely living their lives in the public manner that all peaceably abiding folks are entitled as "bullying" is the crudest sort of special pleading.

Glad to hear you support people being able to act on peaceably and not provide services when they are morally opposed to it. Homosexuals understand that I assume, and don't want to bully anyone. We aren't talking life and death services, I mean like wedding photography.

Also, you wouldn't make the public schools teach that homosexuality is ok, right? I mean, you and Tod both said the government has no role in that.

Whether it's Dworkin, Rawls, Nussbaum, Audi, or Nagel, we now know that they were just full of s**t. The talk of "reasonable comprehensive doctrines," "religious liberty," etc. was a ruse to install tyranny.

Browsing back through the combox, something hit me as I reread TA's comment: Rawlsian proceduralism is the liberal version of Taqiyya. You lead the non-liberal infidel to believe that he will be tolerated provided that he consents only to tolerate divergent comprehensive doctrines of the good. But really, you are just getting him to believe this so you can set up a modus vivendi where everyone nominally assents to liberal political procedures. Then, when the political culture is procedurally liberal, you bring the hammer down and refuse to tolerate non-liberal comprehensive doctrines of the good on the grounds that the violate the implicit liberal proceduralism of the dominant political culture. Brilliant. Diabolically brilliant.

We shouldn’t rule out blackmail as a motive for the NY GOP’s cave.

The famous raid on the Genovese crime family-operated Stonewall Inn was an effort to break up the Genovese blackmail operation that targeted New York banks. Isn’t it reasonable to believe that such blackmail efforts now continue in other forms?

Lydia mentioned a “conservative group’s” promise to blacklist any politicians who caved. This is in fact the Conservative Party, which NY law allows to double-ballot GOP candidates.

A NYTimes interview with Conservative Party head Michael Long (“Conservative Party Is Obstacle to Gay Marriage,” May 19) contains this telling passage:

“Asked whether any of his own family members or children were gay, Mr. Long brushed the question aside. “I have nine children,” he said. “And there’s not one that I do not honor, respect and love. And that’s my answer.””

Note that the question was even asked?

It’s quite clear that if the media or activist groups can dig up a homosexual family member on the outs with the family, it will use that family member to feed its agenda and split the family even more.

If that family member is “closeted,” that information can be used to provoke further subversion.

Even if there is no homosexual blackmail in this case, it’s quite clear that a lot goes on behind the scenes. How many senators have compromising photographs of themselves in other situations?

Mike T’s “engorge the beast” proposal ignores many things, including the power of sexual favoritism and the problems it causes, like the systematic exclusion of purity from public life.

But the biggest problem is that sin isn’t a swinging pendulum that provokes inevitable reactions. It’s a rotting corpse, and only penitence and divine grace will save us from that.

Al, what *IS" marriage from a "secular perspective"? Notice, I did not ask you to "define marriage." I am asking to tell me what it is. So, for example, if I were to ask you what triangle, you would say, "A plane figure with three straight sides and three angles." You're not "defining" triangle, you are telling me what it is, since what a triangle is not under your power; it is something that we discover and then given an account.

Now, back to the question, "What *IS" marriage from a `secular perspective'?"

Good luck.

Consider this scenario.

A woman, X, undergoes transgender surgery so that she can become "male." (Actually, she is still a she; just one that has mutilated herself)
A man, Y, undergoes transgender surgery so that he can become a "female." (Actually, he is still a he; just one that has mutilated himself)

X and Y "marry" each other. When they "consummate" their union, X penetrates with her surgically created penis, Y's surgically created vagina (where the latter's penis once was). Notice, no actual sex organs are employed in this "union." Did sex take place? If so, then sex organs are literally irrelevant to "having sex." If you believe this, you have embraced a deep perversion.

Now consider this...

Y, now a "woman," leaves X to shack up with L, a transgendered female who, like Y, was once a "man."

Are Y and L a lesbian couple, or just a gay male couple who have been surgically altered to look like women?

Any discussion of the NY GOP caving must take into consideration the fact that there was a lot of Wall Street support for this decision. Al's onto something, but not what he thinks he is. No matter how "fiscally conservative" he may be, a right-liberal is still a liberal. Forget about the GOP -- party really doesn't matter here. The issue isn't with RINO's but with CINO's -- conservatives in name only. Anyone who still thinks the GOP is a conservative party (if it ever really was) needs to do a serious re-think.

"You lead the non-liberal infidel to believe that he will be tolerated provided that he consents only to tolerate divergent comprehensive doctrines of the good. But really, you are just getting him to believe this so you can set up a modus vivendi where everyone nominally assents to liberal political procedures. Then, when the political culture is procedurally liberal, you bring the hammer down and refuse to tolerate non-liberal comprehensive doctrines of the good on the grounds that the violate the implicit liberal proceduralism of the dominant political culture."

Precisely. Marcuse said as much: tolerance need not be extended to those on the Right. He didn't mean that Left-tyranny needed to be implemented in one fell swoop. The trick is to pretend to be tolerant of opposing views while all the while working towards their suppression/eradication.

And I thought this was a family safe blog. Thomas, Thomas, Thomas, you seem to be off in the natural law weeds. Marriage is what the relevant institution says it is - nothing more, nothing less. You want to make it about parts - mazel tov, knock yourself out. You and your theologically compatible fellows can do that.

Meanwhile, California says that marriage is,

"300. (a) Marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil
contract between a man and a woman, to which the consent of the parties capable of making that contract is necessary. Consent alone does not constitute marriage. Consent must be followed by the issuance of a license and solemnization as authorized by this division, except as provided by Section 425 and Part 4 (commencing with Section 500),"

and New York says that,

"Marriage a civil contract. Marriage, so far as its validity in
law is concerned, continues to be a civil contract, to which the consent of parties capable in law of making a contract is essential."

Of course New York now also says,

"S 2. Legislative intent. Marriage is a fundamental human right. Same sex couples should have the same access as others to the protections, responsibilities, rights, obligations, and benefits of civil marriage. Stable family relationships help build a stronger society. For the welfare of the community and in fairness to all New Yorkers, this act formally recognizes otherwise-valid marriages without regard to whether the parties are of the same or different sex."

For which act, all New Yorkers should be proud.

Meanwhile Thomas, you, and others, are free to define marriage (or play the "what is" game) as you see fit.


"Al's onto something, but not what he thinks he is..."

Of course it is. The folks who really run the Republican Party are, for the most part, libertarian inclined plutocrats. They need socially conservative votes so they paly you all but when its their interests or yours, over you go.

"In the 35th-floor conference room of a Manhattan high-rise, two of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s most trusted advisers held a secret meeting a few weeks ago with a group of super-rich Republican donors.

"Over tuna and turkey sandwiches, the advisers explained that New York’s Democratic governor was determined to legalize same-sex marriage and would deliver every possible Senate vote from his own party.

"Would the donors win over the deciding Senate Republicans? It sounded improbable: top Republican moneymen helping a Democratic rival with one of his biggest legislative goals.

"But the donors in the room — the billionaire Paul Singer, whose son is gay, joined by the hedge fund managers Cliff Asness and Daniel Loeb — had the influence and the money to insulate nervous senators from conservative backlash if they supported the marriage measure. And they were inclined to see the issue as one of personal freedom, consistent with their more libertarian views.

"Within days, the wealthy Republicans sent back word: They were on board. Each of them cut six-figure checks to the lobbying campaign that eventually totaled more than $1 million."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/nyregion/the-road-to-gay-marriage-in-new-york.html?_r=2&hp

Al writes: "The folks who really run the Republican Party are, for the most part, libertarian inclined plutocrats. They need socially conservative votes so they paly you all but when its their interests or yours, over you go."

I'm not entirely dim, so I'm aware enough of the influence of plutocracy in the GOP since the Grant administration.

But even here I doubt it's in their self-interest to set social conservatives onto the path of marginalization. Do they really think the GOP will be electable if SSM becomes the new orthodoxy?

Or are these people so rich they can play both parties? Are they setting themselves up to go Dem, like progressive Republican John Lindsay, having consigned all non-plutocrat conservative opposition to the sabotaged GOP?

Marriage is what the relevant institution says it is - nothing more, nothing less.

That's is both a sickening moral position and a legal black hole of nonsense, Al. Under such a ridiculous positivist theory, a "marriage" is "valid" if the law says you can "marry" 13 children, 4 puppies, and a glass dolphin all in the same ceremony.

The "relevant institution" you're thinking of is no such thing: there is NO human specific institution that can by fiat make or unmake what marriage is. And that's true even from a purely social, non-religious persective: marriage and the meaning that it has within any culture is generated within that culture by a mass of human history and human practices consented to and commonly practiced by millions of people over many many years - that's what custom is. The concrete coalescing of a custom out of historical practice is a many-generations-long social action that is separate from law as a formal body of authority, and custom constrains what law may speak to. Custom, in fact, generates the very ground by which law may speak: language (including the laws expressed in words) itself is merely custom about how to communicate - a well developed convention. The law, therefore, cannot merely by fiat declare the culture out of order by deciding what a word means contrary to custom. The culture that generated that word and that meaning has spoken first, and the law is a johnny-come-lately to the game, it must live within the meaning prescribed by the language conventions. To do otherwise is for the law to become a tyranny in essence: the law means whatever it says it means and nothing else - applied universally - swallows up all convention, all custom, and all meaning. If that is allowed to stand, then the law means NOTHING AT ALL, and ceases to bind anyone in any sense.

In addition, to take the religious perspective: man is not his own creation, and he doesn't simply constitute whatever he wants for reality. God has designed marriage, and man merely recognizes that (or not, in the case of perverse people). An awful lot of people accept this notion in general terms. Even if this were understood to be a mere religious "preference" as it were, that would still not create the ground for changing the law: If some other people don't accept that religious perspective on general terms, it is impossible for law as a social reality to be based on one mere preference of a minority over another preference. The only result such a (false) theory about religious perspective would give is that the law should get out of the marriage business altogether.

Mike T, mankind has already tried the experiment of giving homosexuality free rein. The result was not OK: cf: Sodom and Gomorrah. God took a hand and destroyed the problem, it did not burn itself out.

Marriage is what the relevant institution says it is - nothing more, nothing less.

I can't let this go...who the heck is the "relevant institution" to define marriage??? I mean, if marriage is not a Universal (requiring, then a universally relevant institution, like, you know, a God), then there is no relevant institution - there are only semi-relevant institutionS, plural, each having their piddly-little opinion and their own little tyrant-turf in which to brow-beat their citizenry.

I, personally, don't give a damn what a bunch of moral lemmings decide to do. Jumping off that cliff is not an option. More New Yorkers than not did NOT want this law and so, we, at last, discover the failure-mode of a representative government. Sometimes, the people are right and politicians are cowards. The squeaky wheel might get the grease, but everyone else gets drowned in the oil.

As a Catholic, I think that Cuomo should be hit with every delect on the Canon Law books. Oh, for the days of the penal laws (I mean the penal laws of the 1917 CIC).

Having said all of this, I must concede that rational thought is almost dead in this Country among many politicians. I believe they can still count money, which counts as a sort of rational thought among the soulless.

There are, of course no rational secular arguments and the religious ones are clearly driven by emotion and reaction.

You've got that backwards. It is the secular (non)arguments that are driven by emotion and reaction; the religious arguments are driven by logic and truth, but if logic and truth are not on your side, emotion is always available.

Cowards, the lot of them. Rich, spoiled cowards who know nothing of love or true compassion. I am sorry for showing so much anger, but, as St. Paul said [2Cr 11:29] Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?

Yes, the New York law will cause a lot of people to fall and I am indignant.

The Chicken

"I'm not entirely dim, so I'm aware enough of the influence of plutocracy in the GOP since the Grant administration.'

And it's not for nothing that the present has been termed the new Gilded Age.

"Do they really think the GOP will be electable if SSM becomes the new orthodoxy?"

As long as they have abortion to dangle in front of you all, you all will cave and vote your "values". Kevin, on the one hand when these guys have friends and family and personal values lined up - you all haven't got a chance. On the other hand, these folks aren't like you and I, they are very rich. Most have jets or easy access to them. They have concierge doctors. Laws that are devastating to poor women and greatly inconvenience middle class women are of no account to them. They will give you these laws (to them it's Kansas, where's that?) so you all will faithfully return.

"Or are these people so rich they can play both parties?"

Of course, duh, look who's Secretary of the Treasury.

Tony has said something really profound, here:

Custom, in fact, generates the very ground by which law may speak: language (including the laws expressed in words) itself is merely custom about how to communicate - a well developed convention. The law, therefore, cannot merely by fiat declare the culture out of order by deciding what a word means contrary to custom. The culture that generated that word and that meaning has spoken first, and the law is a johnny-come-lately to the game, it must live within the meaning prescribed by the language conventions. To do otherwise is for the law to become a tyranny in essence: the law means whatever it says it means and nothing else - applied universally - swallows up all convention, all custom, and all meaning. If that is allowed to stand, then the law means NOTHING AT ALL, and ceases to bind anyone in any sense.

Exactly. And notice that commentator Tod, above, who talked about supposedly unconstitutional metaphysics is ignoring the fact (which others have pointed out here) that _all_ substantive laws on important matters involve _some_ metaphysics. As of yet, New York law does not recognize "marriage" between a man and a dolphin. So it accepts a speciesist metaphysics.

People can say anything. If we can say that the umpteen thousands-of-years-old custom that a man cannot marry a man is "merely religious" we can also say that it is merely disallowed "religious metaphysics" according to which dolphins or bonobos are not persons. After all, there are philosophers _right now_ who believe that there are members of the great ape family that _are_ persons.

We could say that it is "merely religious" to hold that slavery is wrong. Indeed, I could spin a very pretty secular "justification" for slavery and oppose it, airily, to an opposition "tainted" with religion. All this "God created all men in his own image too" stuff. Religious! Pah!

And so on and so forth.

On can take virtually any wise human custom or wise human law--the authority and rights of parents, the rights of property, the injustice of murder, man-woman marriage, what you will--and dismiss it as invidiously "metaphysical" or invidiously "religious."

That is not an argument.

And to pretend that it is and therefore to steamroll whichever customs one dislikes in the name of faux "rationality" is, as Tony says, tyranny in essence.

This, from the Chicken, is very good:

who the heck is the "relevant institution" to define marriage??? I mean, if marriage is not a Universal...,then there is no relevant institution - there are only semi-relevant institutionS, plural, each having their piddly-little opinion and their own little tyrant-turf in which to brow-beat their citizenry.

Al does not know what marriage is, and yet he says that if any two people of the same sex are denied it, it is an injustice. But, alas, he appeals to "the relevant institution." That, of course, begs the question, since the "relevant institution," up until 7 years ago, did not allow gay marriages. Al thinks such a state of affairs was unjust. But to say that a state of affairs is unjust is to say it does not measure up to what it ought to be. So, if you make that judgment, you must know what marriage is. But you can't appeal to the "relevant institution," since the question is whether the relevant institution is getting marriage right.

If I may speculate here, I think that al won't tell us what marriage is because to do so means that he has to defend his point of view, which, as we would soon find out, is nearly impossible for him to do. Consider this. He said that there was no non-religious case for male-female marriage as the only instance of marriage. So, now I am asking him if he can tell me what precisely is this thing called "marriage" from which homosexuals have been denied access (which, by the way, is technically not true, since marriage has nothing to do with sexual orientation, but everything to do with men and women, which even liberals believe exist, since they divide the "gay community" between gays [men] and lesbians [women]). His answer: "relevant authority." That's not an answer; it's the cognitive equivalent of passing gas. For, as we all know, what a thing is is not a matter of authority. For example, that I am a human being is not contingent upon a vote of the city council. I am, to quote Popeye, what I am.

al's reluctance to tell us what marriage is is not an isolated case of frozen ignorance. It is literally ubiquitous in the media and on the Left. Here's why: they really don't care. What they care about is exacting revenge on Christian civilization and its contemporary practitioners. This is why the champions of "tolerance" so quickly become the enforcers of tyranny. The Gaystapo will not rest until all dissent is muted and all institutions bow to their demands. For the defenders of "diversity," it is only their understanding of human sexuality that will be permitted.

When a "Catholic" governor (a post-modern secular Borgia) explains that his live-in girlfriend's brother is gay, and this influenced his support, and he can't see the irony that he does not feel equally compelled to make the man's sister an honest woman, then you realize instantly that he does not think marriage is even good enough to offer to the woman he loves. But he wants gays to have it. He must really hate gays.

TA, in practice gays hate gays also: they do to each other what people do as a form of torture and sadism, as a means of expressing raw power over the "other" (to throw terminology back at the liberaliverse). The fact that some perverse people like to have others use them sadistically has long been understood not to confuse the distinction between good and bad...until recently, that is.

Unless straights can come up with a strategy for turning THIS clock back, we can say that effectively we have lost the culture war, not just a battle. At some point we will need to start praying to God to form a new civilization out of the ashes of the old, because (like Abraham's plea about Sodom), there just enough enough here to save the culture in its own right.

The law, therefore, cannot merely by fiat declare the culture out of order by deciding what a word means contrary to custom.

I am not so sure about that. The probability distribution of some opinions can radically change due to external forcing. For instance, I am loathe to point out that, essentially, Queen Elizabeth, much more than her father and mostly by force of law, caused the probability distribution of opinion to sway very heavily to Anglicanism. On the other hand, the probability distribution swayed away from the traditional, "til death do us part," when no-fault divorce laws came into effect. In one case, tightening the law focused opinion, while in the other case, loosening the law did the same.

The reason, in both cases, is that there was a split ontology within the law, simultaneously making an appeal to divine authority and human authority, but in both cases, the movement was away from divine authority to human authority. In this sense, the new abominable Gay What-ever-it-is-except-marriage Law, may have exactly the same effect, over time, as people become darkened and hardened to the higher law of God.

There is no way to fight this on merely human terms, I am afraid. Too many people have become too much in love with their own opinions to see beyond themselves. There are only two ways to fight this. Draw a line in the sand, right now, and refuse to cooperate with the law, which would, logically, in the final analysis, lead to an overthrow of the local government of New York state - this can only be done with a legitimate sanction, however, such as the early Dominicans has when they stamped out the Albegensians. The second way is simply to wait and have babies, lots of them. The probability distribution will radically shift back is the population is heavily weighted to man-woman marriage. Of course, the law will try to foresee this and put strict mandates on how many children a couple can have (coming, soon, to a United States near you), thereby weakening the spread of true marriage even further.

I don't know if anyone has defined the concept of social entropy, but if not, I want to stake my claim to it. What Cuomo is doing is heading in the direction of making sure every possible state of relationship between two living beings is realized, thus, drastically driving up the social entropy. Unfortunately for Cuomo, he hasn't realized that being human lies in the other direction. Man is a unique being because he is so unlikely. He is a unique being because he has a narrow path of reason to walk and not the wide path of the unthinking beast.

I have come to the conclusion that those who voted for this law should not be in power because they clearly do not understand what is at stake in calling something human. I can only weep for them as they will pay a heavy price for their support of something a child would naturally know is wrong. It takes a grave disorder within to want to carry that disorder to the world, without.

This is not a zero-sum game, however, because that would imply there is an equilibrium, a closed system. Fortunately, those who expect this to be the case - their gain is our loss, there is an outside Player who has his own pile of chips, so the side of marriage will never be completely overcome, although it may have to suffer for a very long time.

The Chicken

Well, Chicken, I'm definitely in favor of drawing a line in the sand, though I have no present plans to try to overthrow the government of the state of New York. :-) But there will be, I fear, plenty of situations where various forms of civil disobedience will now be called for--or things that are close cousins to it. Anyone who takes the position that he will never acknowledge these couples to be married will, at some point or other, run afoul that the powers that be. And then he will have to stand his ground.

> Pray, Christians, for our nation.

And get informed, organized and do something!

Here in NY, too many Christians had a defeatist attitude. Many did not bother to call the Senate (they keep a tally of for/against phone-calls). Many more people could have gone to Albany on the 20th to show support of a press conference (the one with Tyree speaking). Churches that were orthodox did not pray corporately on Sunday morning or even send out prayer requests to pray about this issue. Pastors also did not say much about this from the pulpit. We were not well organized. In contrast read the NY Times article about how fantastically well organized and strategic Gov. Cuomo and the LGBT group were.

We need to re-read the Parable of the Dishonest Manager again.

"For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light." ~ Luke 16:8

I am not so sure about that. The probability distribution of some opinions can radically change due to external forcing. For instance, I am loathe to point out that, essentially, Queen Elizabeth, much more than her father and mostly by force of law, caused the probability distribution of opinion to sway very heavily to Anglicanism. On the other hand, the probability distribution swayed away from the traditional, "til death do us part," when no-fault divorce laws came into effect.

Chicken, I am afraid that I simply don't agree in this instance. You cannot propose that a change in custom that comes about due to a change in law about required practice should logically justify using law to actually repudiate the very meaning of a basic expression (and concept) in the culture directly, a concept that is integral to a whole host of cognates and correlatives that have tendrils everywhere you look. They just aren't in the same category. Henry VIII (and Lizzie) didn't come along and say "here is what the expression 'Roman Catholic Church' shall mean as such from now on". Still less did they say "the expression 'God' now means what we used to know by 'Mammon'. They made practicing Catholicism illegal, they didn't make the word "Roman Catholicism" mean a new thing. Hell, you might as well propose a law that says " the term 'good' shall now mean "in accordance with the written law and nothing else."

It is one thing to change a law from "we permit divorce for these X reasons" to become "we allow divorce for these X + Y + Z reasons", and yet another to say something like "the term marriage itself now includes arrangements that heretofore were universally understood to have nothing whatsoever to do with the meaning of 'marriage' and were always understood to be opposed to the meaning of marriage".

Moses himself permitted divorce, admittedly on account of hard hearts. But to the Jews, and to Christ, this did not indicate that this practice had destroyed the very concept of marriage. Jacob took 2 wives, but this also was not understood by the Fathers and Doctors to constitute an abrogation of the very concept of marriage. If I recall correctly, St. Thomas indicates that there are first order, second order, and tertiary principles of the natural order involved in marriage: permanence and monogamous fidelity are part of the Divine constitution of marriage, but failure to comply with these does not mean that you have defied the first-order principle requiring a union of man and woman. Thus Jacob's intention to marry Rachel after marrying Leah left intact still higher-order principles regarding marriage. In our culture (as with Moses), you may damage the institution of marriage by undermining the principle that marriage is permanent (for life), without defying the still more-central core of the meaning of marriage.

The law in NY is now bent on defying that remaining central core of meaning that recognizes in marriage its first-order principles. This isn't changing the law because most people have now come to understand marriage to mean something new: poll after poll does not find people (as a majority) think that marriage means what gays have. You can, by a cleverly designed poll, confuse the issue enough so that some people may present a short-lived feeling that "gays shouldn't be excluded from marriage", but what they really feel deep down is, still, revulsion for what gays are about, both because it is revolting in itself and because has no essential connection to what marriage is about. A well designed poll will achieve showing this perspective in the vast majority. (By the bye, most people STILL, after a full generation of stupid divorce laws, think of marriage as meaning a commitment for life, even if they in practice don't actually fulfill that commitment. If you ask them on their wedding day, MOST ordinary joes and janes consider that their marriage is for life. That's what they WANT it to mean, and that's what they consider it to imply. They just don't realize that the commitment implies a heck of a lot of hard work and suffering to make it happen, and they don't fulfill it. Just as the fact that I don't live up to my baptismal promises, renewed at Confirmation, doesn't mean that I don't think being a Christian means living by God's law.)

It would be vastly more honest for gays to invent a new term for the kind of legal relationships they want to have, maybe "marbloids", and then push for a law to have marriages and marbloids be treated equally in all respects. Then, at least, they would not be defeating the very language that undergirds the meaning of law. Of course that is not what they want: they WANT to pervert language itself so we are no longer even able to speak in a way that casts opprobrium on their way of life. They want to exercise tyranny over our very thoughts.

The second way is simply to wait and have babies, lots of them. The probability distribution will radically shift back is the population is heavily weighted to man-woman marriage. Of course, the law will try to foresee this and put strict mandates on how many children a couple can have (coming, soon, to a United States near you), thereby weakening the spread of true marriage even further.

It is irrelevant whether they do this or not, Chicken. The liberals (and, therefore, the gays) have control of the schools. Christ himself said it: when he is done, the disciple is like the teacher. If the gay-loving state is the teacher, it will teach the student to love the gay culture and the gay mind-set. Only if education is wrested away from the state can the natural force of family upbringing and the baby-rearing Mom & Dad family have the effect you mention.

For Mr. Aquinas's benefit, I'll just point out that Al's little game of confident moral assertion combined with a persistent refusal to provide the rational grounds for the moral content of the assertion, is his most common trope.

And the sort of rational questions which he is most strident on, also happen to the sort of questions he is most reticent to rationally defend.

According to the feminists (some of them at any rate) and their liberal fellow travellers, marriage is a destructive and oppressive institution that heterosexuals would do well to escape from, or, better still, avoid altogether.

So why do homosexuals stridently demand that same-sex 'marriage' should be legalized? Won't the fundamentally destructive and oppressive constraints of marriage apply in their 'married' lives? Aren't homosexual 'couples' better off simply co-habiting?

(I know it's completely useless to point out any inconsistency of ends in the social policies of lefty-liberals.)

Dear Tony,

You wrote:

You cannot propose that a change in custom that comes about due to a change in law about required practice should logically justify using law to actually repudiate the very meaning of a basic expression (and concept) in the culture directly, a concept that is integral to a whole host of cognates and correlatives that have tendrils everywhere you look.

I was not commenting on using law to modify ontology. I was commenting on using law to modify custom. Laws can certainly be used to modify customs. Look at the Sunday Blue Laws, for example. If one could look at the probability distribution of opinions on an issue, you would see that it bounces around all of the time, usually about a centroid near some stable point, but external circumstances can modify the location of the stable point in an instant. It harms in nature all of the time. It's called a phase transition. A phase transition does not change the nature of the substance, just how one responds to it. One can beat someone over the head with a thick icecicle, but not with water and yet, they are the same substance. A custom can radically shift, even if it's ontology does not. Granted, the only true custom is one related directly to the ontology, but people fool themselves all of the time.

Even though a custom might be changed, it can not change the underlying ontology. No matter how much custom says cannibalism is a good, it can never make it ontologically so. So, I agree that legislating a new definition of marriage will not change the actual definition of marriage, but it will so cover over the ontology that it will become functionally useless. A classic example is heresy. Even though it was decreed by law, and thus the custom, that people sacrifice to a false god does not change the fact that there is one true God.

What you say about education ic certainly true. In my babies comment above, naturally, I was assuming homeschooling :)

The Chicken

Should be:

It happens in nature all of the time.

IPad spelling substitution. Number 1124253

The Chicken

There is another interesting take in the comment section of this thread posted here:

http://tigerhawk.blogspot.com/2011/06/good-news-everyone.html

Someone brought up the Boy Scouts. Everyone thinks that this is okay and nobody will get harmed. Well, the Boy scouts are. They are being discriminated against because of their outward stance against homosexuality.

Frankly, I'm at a loss as to what Lydia, Tony and others think they could do under our current system. The full faith and credit clause means its a matter of when, not if, gay marriage is forced on the rest of the country. The option is rebellion like what several states are doing by openly defying the federal government on gun control.

I was not commenting on using law to modify ontology. I was commenting on using law to modify custom. Laws can certainly be used to modify customs.

That's what I took you to be referring to. It is indeed true that laws modify customs all the time. But most of this is an organic action: the law makes a change in what people do that reflects on some low-level practices that do not amount to a positive custom, and the new ways of doing things gradually acquire more and more conformity of habit, along with more and more integrated changes in other aspects that touch on the matter the law actually speaks to, so that people eventually acquire a _new custom_. I recognize that, and I am fine with that: law has a place in forming the social environment, and this of natural force will bring about changes in custom in an organic manner: custom normally should be allowed to change organically. If the subject matter of the law itself is a matter about which there is no pre-existing custom, or about which a custom is present but does not define any significant common good (i.e. is a trivial matter) there is no moral issue with making such a law even though it may eventually modify custom.

Altogether different is a law specifically designed to upset a deeply set custom, a custom that refers to a very important aspect of the common good, and touches directly and indirectly on dozens if not hundreds of other customs. Custom has the force of law in this case, and normally it has the force of a higher law: People have a positive natural right to such customs, as long as they do not incorporate a direct moral evil (such as, for example, child sacrifice to Moloch - that kind of custom should not be protected as a long-standing tradition). It is only by reason of a clear and convincing proof that the new mode of acting (under such a proposed law) not only is a better good for the community, but is a better way even taking into account the damage to society caused by upsetting such important customs, that one could even make a stab at making the case that the law should in fact directly demand a change in custom. This would be a difficult undertaking even when the existing custom is not itself concerned with a grave common good. When the existing custom enshrines and promotes a very basic and very broad social good, it is virtually impossible to make such an argument.

Conservatism stands for (among other things) the right of a people to retain their customs (that do not constitute sins) without being forced, as a kind of violence, into opposed customs. Organic change is not a form of violence. Law that directly overturns a custom, with the threat of force, is certainly a kind of violence.

I will grant that the center of the opinion distribution in favor of the customary acceptance of marriage as between a man and a woman is significantly farther from the ontological standard than it was 30 years ago. But it is STILL well over 50% acceptance, quite a bit more than that. So a change in law in this regard CANNOT be explained as following a change in custom - the custom is still more intact than not. And it cannot be justified as explicitly intending to change customary understanding of marriage because it cannot make the above argument. Such a legislative change is an immoral act of law-giving, EVEN APART from the ontological (and customary) meaning of marriage. Once you throw in the reality that natural law itself constitutes the basis for the meaning of marriage, it is impossible for any good case to be made for changing the law to allow gays to marry. And we don't need to rely on revelation to make that case: natural law is fully sufficient in its own right. The NY lawmakers are defying God, natural law, and the basic form of their own culture - there is no excuse whatsoever.

Mike T, I don't know what can effectively be done at this point. It is still an evolving problem, though. Although the gays have won more than they have lost, they HAVE in fact lost some of the battles: the vote on Prop 8 in Calif was a big loss for them. The war has not yet been decided, it is still being fought and can still be won (if God will grant us the victory). The momentum has shifted in favor of gays, but that's not final victory. If the rest of us were to come to a determinate decision to fight, we could still prevail even without open rebellion.

Open defiance by a state or other entities is another avenue I would explore. I would like to see the Catholic Church as a body tell each and every government (local, state, and federal) that it will discriminate against hiring gays in all schools, for example. It would be morally justified in doing so ("example speaks louder than words" is all the argument needed), and the government would then be in a position of having to force the issue and take over an additional 2 million students, or create some space for permitting such discrimination. If I recall, the NY diocese had a comparable sort of situation, and succeeded.

I would also love to see a state like Wyoming or South Carolina tell the feds to stuff it for "full faith" with regard to gay "marriage". The reality is that the federal government isn't going to try to arrest and imprison a state tax official for refusing to give a marital deduction to a gay couple, at least not any time soon. Especially if the state employee is officially just doing what he is told by the governor. And they aren't going to send in the FBI to arrest the governor, not if he calls up his state militia to do its job.

What do I think we can do, Mike? Well, my state passed a state constitutional amendment. Qua state, we've done all we can do. If your state hasn't yet, get a move on. No, we can't control what the SCOTUS does with full faith and credit, but we can put up a big barrier right in our own state. If your town or state doesn't yet have non-discrimination laws that include "orientation" (which means, in law, also acts--that was _explicitly_ defined in the most recent case I know of), be ready to fight those tooth and nail.

Tell people you oppose civil unions. I was on a radio show a year or two ago and the conservative host was quite surprised to find that I opposed civil unions. So, he told me later, were his other guests. That's apparently been conceded by so many conservatives that one is considered a "hardliner" for thinking otherwise.

Talk openly about the moral legitimacy of discriminating on the basis of homosexual behavior. (I know you won't like that one, but it's part of what I say we should be doing.) Let people around you know that this is not taboo.

Refuse to use the term "marriage" for homosexual unions without scare quotes. And conservatives in New York must take that line as well (and in Massachusetts, etc.). For that one little refusal, I have no doubt there will be a cost.

Businessmen must refuse to grant spousal benefits to homosexual partners, even if they get in trouble for it.

I could go on and on. There needs to be massive grassroots resistance to this, even at the level of civil disobedience where that is necessary. I'm just talking about refusing to bow to the idol. I'm not talking about storming anything. I'm talking about saying, "No, I will not bow."

Also, fight for the churches and the institutions of Christian culture. If your children go to an ostensibly Christian school, make sure they are solid on this issue. If you are thinking of sending your child to a Christian college because it's Christian, make sure they haven't compromised. And by "this issue" I mean the morality of homosexuality generally, not just homosexual "marriage." Don't let them get away with maundering about "injustice" or having a homosexual student alliance which they lie and say is just to help these people feel loved or some nonsense like that. If you're an alumnus, withdraw your support for any wavering on this issue. If a professor is being fired from a Christian college with which you have a connection for teaching in favor of the morality of homosexuality or in favor of homosexual unions, support the administration.


Be prepared to leave a church over it. Make sure that everywhere your children are taught is a place that is not indoctrinating them with any sort of homosexual agenda, and include ostensibly Christian institutions in your suspicion until proven innocent. (It's unfortunate that we have to do this, but so it is.)

What do I think we can do, Mike? Well, my state passed a state constitutional amendment. Qua state, we've done all we can do. If your state hasn't yet, get a move on. No, we can't control what the SCOTUS does with full faith and credit, but we can put up a big barrier right in our own state. If your town or state doesn't yet have non-discrimination laws that include "orientation" (which means, in law, also acts--that was _explicitly_ defined in the most recent case I know of), be ready to fight those tooth and nail.

The SCOTUS can steamroll over a state constitution as easily as it can a state law. The only way out of this is for a state like Texas to direct its law enforcement to not only disregard the ruling, but to "regard as criminals" any federal law enforcement who attempt to intervene.

The reason most conservatives will never support that is that the image of state police arresting federal agents, to say nothing of state police gunning down federal agents who draw their weapons in support of a botched arrest, will incense their reflexive cop-worship tendencies.

* Lest anyone think I'm advocating something radical and completely outside the realm of practical politics, many states are now actually passing laws which not only restrict federal jurisdiction within their borders, but authorize state agencies to arrest federal agents who violate them. Wyoming, I believe, even goes so far as to provide a ~2 year felony sentence for ATF agents who violate its gun rights laws.

The SCOTUS can steamroll over a state constitution as easily as it can a state law.

Yes, but we set up the barriers we can. And believe me, they are real. They mean, for example, that local jurisdictions in the meanwhile cannot require employers to give benefits to same-sex partners. And it presents a psychological barrier to SCOTUS, as well: States x, y, and z are not neutral but are _definitely against this_. And there is no point in being defeatist about SCOTUS. State-level action is always a good place to start. But I favor a federal marriage amendment as well, of course.

But I favor a federal marriage amendment as well, of course.

Repealing the full faith and credit clause is the only way out of this with a single amendment.

"Laws that are devastating to poor women and greatly inconvenience middle class women are of no account to them."

I do not grant that abortion restrictions are such, and would instead say that Left-plutocrat inspired laws (The Great Society, The War on Poverty, etc.) are infinitely more damaging. Problem is, liberals like Al seem to disbelieve in the existence of Leftist plutocrats. It's somehow inherently better to be a Kennedy than a Scaife, because the former has the "right" ideas, which is what matters.

In the large midwestern city where I live, we have an "official" slick and glossy monthly magazine about the city -- its people, places, events, etc. It tends to be quite progressive socially, yet the events and products it usually features are most often way out of my price range, I being a typical middle-class guy. The mag seems to be aimed at wealthy liberals, the kind who support gay rights and aids research and organic food, but who can buy a new Volvo or take an impromptu ski-weekend in the Poconos or drop ten grand on a new bathroom without blinking -- in other words, Hollywood liberals who don't live in Hollywood. And other than the fact that they vote (D) instead of (R) there's not much difference between them and the GOP plutocrats that lefties like Al bewail.

Both parties are plutocratic, Al. The GOP is just more honest about it. In a recent senatorial election I had the choice between a liberal dem of the Obama mold and a supposedly pro-life Club for Growth-er. I sat it out. In the GOP bucks will always win out over babies. BUT this in no way even remotely entices me to vote for the party which has kept poor blacks on the white liberal plantation since the 60's in order to ensconce their own power.

Plutocrats are plutocrats, Al. The (R) or (D) at bottom doesn't mean a damn thing.

"Laws that are devastating to poor women and greatly inconvenience middle class women are of no account to them."

In Al's world, abortion is not about taking a human life. In ours, it is. There can be no meeting of the minds in such a dichotomy.

Anybody want to explain what's so "profound" about what Tony wrote? Of course law, like any other social endeavor, depends on language and convention. Equally obvious is the fact that positive law has its own vocabulary, and it continually redefines that vocabulary. And that law influences our language and our metaphysics just as language and metaphysics influence law. All this is pretty obvious.

If I understand right, Tony seems to be begging the question by simply asserting that this change in legal language will be too disruptive to society. But that's exactly the disagreement. Most people who support same-sex "marriage" (see where I stand!) argue that it won't be that disruptive at all.

Predictionwise, I think gay "marriage" is inevitable because there are no persuasive arguments against it. Arguments are important here, for a change, because it's one of those very few issues on which most people are disinterested.

Metaphysical arguments against gay "marriage" are a non-starter. They're just preaching to the choir, and it's a very small choir at that. Social arguments are persuasive to me, but apparently not to many other people. Most people don't worry about vague, abstract future threats, especially when someone's "rights" are being violated. So I don't see anything that can stop it.

No, actually, I don't see where you stand.

What was profound about what Tony wrote was this: When a law tries to force people to use an extremely important term in a wildly different way from the way it has been used by custom throughout human history, such a law is tyrannical pretty much by definition. It would be similar to passing a law requiring that we refer to and treat all dogs as persons in all areas of law.

Thank you for this article, Mrs. McGrew.

It highlights an important problem: ONLY Christians should serve in our government.
Anyone else is part of the secularist agenda will use it to bring shame upon our once great nation.

Aquinas > Darwin, Freud, Marx, and all those other post-modern nincompoops that influence the rabid secularists destroying our nation.

Metaphysical arguments against gay "marriage" are a non-starter. They're just preaching to the choir, and it's a very small choir at that.

This statement just exemplifies, rather than addresses, the problem. As "The Deuce" has already mentioned, things like "equality" and "natural rights" are wholly metaphysical concepts by necessity, and therefore metaphysical arguments are of highest importance here, regardless of how little stock our anti-metaphysical, "Enlightened" society puts in them. (In fact, any argument for or against "gay marriage" assumes some sort of metaphysical framework.)


I think gay "marriage" is inevitable because there are no persuasive arguments against it.

It ought to be blindingly obvious that the (alleged) absence of persuasive arguments against "gay marriage" does not in itself amount to an argument for "gay marriage." One wonders why it's not.

Lydia,
I would also encourage culture warriors to ward off companies and citizens from the following SSM countries and states, including travel restrictions and hefty tariffs and fines: the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and the District of Columbia. Mexico City performs same-sex marriages which are recognized in all Mexican states. Of course there are many more countries and provinces/territories that allow civil unions or have some other legal protections for gays, so they should probably be discriminated against as well.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_legislation_around_the_world

We've only had this debate about a dozen times before, so I don't know what the point of rehashing it could be. For anyone who feels the need, this thread is an adequate start:
http://www.whatswrongwiththeworld.net/2010/08/some_thoughts_on_the_prop_8_de.html

Everybody just ignore Mr. F.E., above. Obviously he thinks we are fools and don't know a faker when we see one.

Schierke is, of course, absolutely right is demonstrating the silliness of the argument that only one side in this argument is making use of abstract categories and concepts to derive its persuasive force.

Metaphysical arguments against gay "marriage" are a non-starter.

Then may I assume, Aaron, that you can give an account of the justification for gay marriage which does not draw on any metaphysical category at all?

I really would like to meet this mythical beast for the first time.

I really would like to meet this mythical beast for the first time.

It depends on what you mean by metaphysical. If you mean categories and concepts understood as relational and imperfect, grounded in experience, and a functional sort of convenient fiction, that is difficult but possible. If you mean unchangeable perfect categories and concepts that necessarily exist outside time and space I would say you've already met a mythical beast.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/metaphysics/

I don't know why everyone worries so much about arguments. Americans are no longer capable of following arguments, only fashions. Gay marriage is becoming more popular because it is fashionable. Lady Gaga supports it, it flies in the face of Christianity--possibly the most square thing out there, etc etc. In a more enlightened time, say the 1600s, gay marriage would not have been argued against, it would just have been laughed at and scorned, much the way social conservatism is now.

Not to threadjack, but some of you may be interested in this story. If you want a window into how broken our legal system can be, look at what this guy went through and how little justice the system was willing and able to provide him.

**It's somewhat related since it's about parental rights.

Matt, that is pretty much right: metaphysical arguments, or ANY arguments that rely on logic and carefully parsed thinking are non-starters to about 2/3 of the population - they are not equipped to follow or have no interest in the effort.

The other 1/3 of the population consists of 2 somewhat evenly divided groups: one set that understands how natural law impinges on us and upholds the morality that natural law implies, the other WANTS to follow their feelings, emotions, pleasures, and fashions, and can pretend to misunderstand rational arguments that support the natural law until the cows come home - all to further their non-rational agenda of Will and Want instead of Right over Wrong.

Predictionwise, I think gay "marriage" is inevitable because there are no persuasive arguments against it.

No, it's because too many people have been "taught", by their liberal masters in liberal schools, in such a way that they cannot recognize valid argument when it bites them on the...nose. When you compare the extraordinarily involved and complex development of arguments that was standard fare of newspapers and other media in 1788 and was read by the average voter, as against the drivel you find in any printed media that is read by the average voter today, this fact jumps out: Voters are not listening to any complex argument on any subject, metaphysical or otherwise, "persuasive" or otherwise. My brothers and I developed a cutting remark about dreadful poker players: you cannot bluff someone who isn't paying attention. Similarly, you cannot _persuade_ someone who isn't listening.

Thing is, the heirs of the sexual revolution will not stop here. In the future you can expect to see pushes for polygamy and pedophilia, perhaps even bestiality. Not overnight, of course. After all it took 40 years from when the psychiatrists woke up one day and decided that homosex was no longer aberrant, to what we have now. Give the perversion-pushers another 20 years or so and you will see it.

By the way, I wouldn't mind individual states having these "marriages," if they A) didn't serve as precedents for other states to do the same, and B) didn't provide an opportunity for the Fed. Gov. to stick its big nose in, which it will inevitably do.

'things like "equality" and "natural rights" are wholly metaphysical concepts by necessity, and therefore metaphysical arguments are of highest importance here'

Funny how the Left is willing to grant such abstractions a priori, but refuses to posit the validity of metaphysical argument. Apparently we can argue from philosophical presuppositions, provided it's their presuppositions we submit to.

"Talk openly about the moral legitimacy of discriminating on the basis of homosexual behavior."

Please do - it will be totally counterproductive.

Paul, "metaphysical" may be imprecise. What I see happening is that Tony and Mr. Chicken keep insisting that I deal in terms of their metaphysics and theology. My "is" is clearly different from their "is" so I see it as quite fair for me to point that out and state what makes sense to me. To do otherwise gets us into the natural law/theology weed patches and round and round we would go.

I am unconvinced, even if one buys into natural law as a general concept, that "marriage" is an irreducible "good".

I am not a Christian. Attempting to frame public policy to a non-Christian using Christian theology alone is a waste of time.
The operative word here is "alone". If you (or Tony, or Mr. Chicken) have arguments that don't depend on theology by all means feel free to include them, I can edit out the theology and I promise that including it won't prejudice any of your serious arguments.

This seems simple to me. equality before the law is a good thing. A blind test clearly reveals legal situations facing gay couples to be the same as those facing heterosexual couples.

Mike, it is likely you are wrong on FFC which has its strongest application in judicial matters. Regardless of a state's laws, the courts of that state will likely have to honor relevant judicial actions by another state. Not so much for non-judicial actions. A state probably won't have to accept marriages but will have honor things like adoption and custody which are matters of court judgments.

All this should be very interesting and good for the lawyers.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode28/usc_sec_28_00001738----000-.html

I am not a Christian. Attempting to frame public policy to a non-Christian using Christian theology alone is a waste of time.

When I was an agnostic, I was amused by the other agnostics and atheists who acted liked Christians while denying the divinity of Christ and denying that even God likely exists. It's sad and pathetic. The difference between you and the plutocrats you despise is that they truly believe in their hearts that this is all there is. Accordingly, they respond primarily to their will to power. The very idea of lecturing them on morality--speaking truth to power--draws on the image of the Lion of Judah going down like a lamb to the slaughter. You expect the trappings to be moving while the substance behind them is ripped out and thrown in the trash.

This seems simple to me. equality before the law is a good thing. A blind test clearly reveals legal situations facing gay couples to be the same as those facing heterosexual couples.

Equality before the law applies to same categories. A homosexual couple is not a heterosexual couple. Not even heterosexual couples are equal.

The following are some heterosexual couples that are not allowed to marry.

1. Two 10 year-olds.
2. A parent and adult child.
3. An adult brother and sister.
4. An adult and a child.

Actually, homosexuals are equal before the law, they can marry anyone a heterosexual is allowed to marry.

So, back to the drawing board Al.

Interesting thread. I particularly like the line:

It highlights an important problem: ONLY Christians should serve in our government.
Anyone else is part of the secularist agenda will use it to bring shame upon our once great nation.

I wonder how long it would take someone posting the exact converse of this statement to get banned from posting in this space.

Doesn't the solution to this dispute lie in having a dual marriage system: one governed by the state and the other governed by religious institutions? To use just a simple example: let's assume that the only right afforded by a state sanctioned marriage is the right to assign pension benefits to a designated spouse. What is the Rawlsian public reason (perhaps you guys aren't even willing to recognize that concept) to deny tax paying, same sex couples from designating each other for those benefits? I'm just trying to understand why people who belong to religions that frown on homosexual conduct care about trying to regulate the lives of people who do not belong to their religion. Is it that you are worried that opening the door will allow homosexuals to adopt? If so, I would think that the issue of whether homosexuals parenting will negatively affect their children could be empirically studied by looking at jurisdictions where it is permitted.

Al explained what I meant by metaphysical arguments against same-sex marriage: arguments that try to change the audience's basic metaphysical beliefs, or that are explicitly based on metaphysics that are not accepted by the audience. I distinguish that from what I called social arguments, which obviously implicitly depend on metaphysics as well. Does that clarify it to Paul Cella and others?

I pretty much agree with Matt and Tony about why arguments against same-sex "marriage" are unpersuasive. I mean they're unpersuasive to actual, living, breathing people. Some arguments are indeed persuasive to the ideal rational listener, who would of course find all my arguments persuasive.

Lydia, where I stand is, I'm against same-sex "marriage," and in particular I'm in favor of preserving the traditional meaning of the word, which is evident from my use of quotation marks. I don't believe in the ontology of marriage that some people are claiming here - I just totally reject their metaphysics. I'm also not against homosexuality. There's not much of a constituency for my views, taken together.

The statement,

when a law tries to force people to use an extremely important term in a wildly different way from the way it has been used by custom throughout human history, such a law is tyrannical pretty much by definition

is questionable on several points, especially as it applies to "gay marriage." I won't go into all of them, but the most obvious one is your definition of tyranny. What if 100% of the citizenry were in favor of the law? Would it still be tyrannical?

I have been reading all of ur comments and they are circled around Law, Religion, and what God wants ect. I assume that none of you are over two hundred years old so why, oh why are you making this your war when all your facts is what was written down on paper long ago? As children we are taught what's right from wrong. But yet we don't question anything!

When I was young I was a catholic but I questioned everything! Why would god hurt those he made in his image? Why would god give choice to humans if it will end badly? Why do religion teach us to love one another "but then there is exceptions"? We are told not to judge one another, yet we are more than willing to cast the first stone?
I asked a priest once why two woman or two men can't be married?

My answer was - "It's God's Law!!!!" Then I actually got in trouble.
Here's my answer. That priest is a man in a robe. He tries just like the rest of us to live a good and fulfilling life. "God's Law". . . I think we get so caught up in problems that we just add to it, just staying single-minded.

Paper isn't good enough for me, when it comes to impacting another persons life!

This seems simple to me. equality before the law is a good thing.

Al, if you want law, you have to have meaning for words. But you already cut out that possibility when you said

Marriage is what the relevant institution says it is - nothing more, nothing less.

If law makes up meaning ab initio, then the law is a nothing, and it doesn't matter whether you have equality or not.

I am not a Christian. Attempting to frame public policy to a non-Christian using Christian theology alone is a waste of time.

Attempting to frame public policy in any terms other than liberal clap-trap, to you, seems to be a waste of time. If you will look above, arguments framed NOT in Christian theology have been offered, but you ignore those - it appears that you cannot deal with them so you don't.

I won't go into all of them, but the most obvious one is your definition of tyranny. What if 100% of the citizenry were in favor of the law? Would it still be tyrannical?

Aaron, if 100% of the citizenry are in favor of a change in law to a new arrangement, then the custom would already be different from the old standard: you cannot get "100% of the citizenry in favor" without changing practices already. That should be obvious.

Tony, of course you can't get 100% of people to agree on anything. How about if we replace that by "public opinion," if you think that's a meaningful concept? Public opinion can change a lot faster than custom, especially when customary behavior is enforced by law.

For instance, public opinion might favor redefining (legal) citizenship to include those who were until then slaves, in some country where slavery was abolished peacefully. Before such a reform, customary usage is still not to call them citizens, and customary behavior is still not to treat them as citizens. That's because their customary noncitizen status has been enforced by law. With the stroke of a pen, the word "citizen" is redefined - forcibly, in the sense that the new citizens' status is enforced by law. All of this occurs (hypothetically) with popular approval. Tyranny?

I wonder how long it would take someone posting the exact converse of this statement to get banned from posting in this space.

I already made it clear that, not being stupid, I know that the person who posted that about Christians in government was faking. In other words, Mr. Atheist Missionary, he's one of your guys. Yet he isn't banned. I just imply that he'd better stop his shenanigans. It's actually harder to get banned around here than you evidently think.

The business about trying to control other people's lives is extremely tired and extremely old. I could waste my time (because it wouldn't make any difference to you, Mr. Missionary) posting link after link to the punishments meted out legally upon traditionalists for refusing to endorse the homosexual agenda. I could point out all the additional ways in which this is possible where homosexual "marriage" is recognized--all the ways in which others will be forced to go along with it on pain of fines, loss of jobs, etc. But I've had this go-round with your side before. Here's how it goes:

Homosexual agenda advocate: What do you conservatives care? How does it harm you? Why are you trying to control other people?

Conservatives: Here are 352 examples of the fact that when this stuff is in place, your side gets to control other people--namely, people who think like me--and punish us for not agreeing with you. That's why, just for starters.

HAA--Well, those are all _reasonable_. If people choose to deal with the public, they should _have_ to go along with this. And when we've passed homosexual "marriage," then it really _is_ legal marriage, and it's just acknowledging _reality_ to call it "marriage," so people should be forced to do so.

Conservative: I rest my case.

HAA--[Silence]

Or if that's not a radical enough redefinition, imagine a law that makes horses citizens. Not a very wise law, but if it enjoys popular consent, is it tyranny?

You see my point. I think the word "tyranny" is being redefined here.

. Most people don't worry about vague, abstract future threats, especially when someone's "rights" are being violated.

What, exactly is a right? Is it not the unrestriction of the natural operating mode of an organism, processes, or event? I have a right to eat because it is the natural operating mode of my organism to digest food for energy. Men and women have a right to marry because that is the normal operating mode of their sexual organs and the normal operating mode of preserving society in stability. Homosexuality can never be a right. It is a tolerated evil, a disruption to the natural order and no right action at all.

What if 100% of the citizenry were in favor of the law? Would it still be tyrannical?

Since the only true freedom lies in rational thought and since the law is irrational, it would be a tyranny that just happens to involve 100% of the people, but tyranny is no mere imposition of belief against free will. A defect in reason is a form of tyranny against reason, so while there would be no physical coercion, there would be coercion of the truth, which is a subtle, but higher form of tyranny.

My answer was - "It's God's Law!!!!" Then I actually got in trouble.
Here's my answer. That priest is a man in a robe. He tries just like the rest of us to live a good and fulfilling life. "God's Law". . . I think we get so caught up in problems that we just add to it, just staying single-minded.

A priest is NOT merely a man in a robe. He is an ontologically different creature by virtue of his ordination. It seems, Kenz, that you committed the first mistake of a young Christian - trying to figure everything out in isolation. One becomes enamored of ones own perspective and stops searching. Had you learned some theology, you might have better understood why the priest is not like you (you cannot change bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ) and why his answer to your question was consistent. Who gets to define what marriage is? Man? Would you trust that definition to a bunch of infallible, lazy, barely-beyond-knuckle-dragging homo sapiens? Marriage is a meta-definition meant for man, derived from the normal ontological operations of biology and society. Man's ability to change the definition of marriage is about as possible as his ability to change the color of a ghost.

The Chicken


...you cannot change bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ

Neither can the priest.

Man's ability to change the definition of marriage is about as possible as his ability to change the color of a ghost.

Why can't men change the color of a ghost? That is a very odd example.

Questions I've asked pro-gay marriage proponents and have never got coherent answers to:

1. If the traditional understanding of marriage as being limited by the sex of the participants is merely conventional and arbitrary, why wouldn't the number of participants also be merely conventional and arbitrary? If a man can marry a man, why can't he marry two men?

2. Following the same premise, why then wouldn't the age of the participants be merely conventional and arbitrary? If a 24 y.o. man can marry another 24 y.o. man, why can't he marry a 14 y.o. man?

3. Following the same premise, and given the progress of modern medicine, and the availability of contraception and abortion, why is the prohibition against incestuous marriage not merely conventional and arbitrary? Why can't a sterilized man marry his sister?

We could, of course, venture into the matter of cross-species sex, but that involves the thorny issue of consent, another tar baby that liberals would do well to avoid.

In any case, the underlying logic seems to be: if I can have sex with it, I should be allowed to "marry" it.


'I think the word "tyranny" is being redefined here'

Ever heard the phrase, "the tyranny of the majority"? Given the fact that a 100% majority is an impossibility, what would prevent, say, a 99 44/100% majority from being tyrannical?

I can answer all of those questions, CTY,D. The conditions aren't ripe yet.

The answer to 1) is as follows. We need, first, to have a group of psychological experts who are unreflectively committed to some version of preference utilitaianism tell us that polyamorous relationships are normal and healthy and that traditional strictures against them damage the mental health of swingers. This needs about 20 years to be effectively institutionalized in all the outlets that deal with marriage and family and psychiatric health. Then, we need about ten years of wall-to-wall media saturation. Sitcoms like "Will and Grace and Jim", and a smart, functional, good looking polyamorous trio on every major network television show. We also need hollywood celebrities to agitate for polyamorous "marriage" and some hot pop stars to visibly promote polyamory to the youth. Maybe also a Dr. Phil special or two devoted to Polyamory. Then, in ten more years time, the now reasonable argument you just made will be outside the space of reasonable opinion, an expression of despicable "polyphobic bigotry" and "monogonormative prejudice" that should get you shunned from polite society. The answer to 2) and 3) is the same, just swap out "polyamory" for "bestiality" or "incest".

I think, though, that Tony's point is that this law wasn't in fact supported by the majority of the people, and that if it had been, the customs would have changed already.

This raises a whole set of interesting issues about the relationship of representative democracy to direct democracy. I think we certainly can hit a weird grey area where "the people" do _not_ support a given piece of legislation but nevertheless aren't willing or able to organize to punish decisively those legislators or others (e.g., where judges are elected) who push it through. They can be, as it were, unhappy about something and uncomfortable with it but nonetheless capable of being pushed into it.

I think homosexual "marriage" definitely falls into this category. There are a lot of people who feel so uncomfortable with it that they aren't even comfortable openly opposing it. They hope that if they keep their heads in the sand they won't have to think about it or do anything about it. They are perfect subjects for bullying, and eventually, _after_ the law has been changed and there are penalties for doing otherwise, they will parrot the liberal party line. Such people are unlikely to vote out legislators who voted for the new NY law, but that is far from meaning that they favor the NY law.

Why can't men change the color of a ghost? That is a very odd example.

Thank you, thank you. I was going for odd...

The Chicken

...you cannot change bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ

Neither can the priest.

You know this, how?

The Chicken

This seems simple to me. Equality before the law is a good thing.

I don't think the word "simple" means what Al thinks it does. Undergirding that second sentence is a whole structure of moral philosophy which he professes to be completely innocent of. He's like a biologist with a adamant refusal to learn chemistry.

Equality is a metaphysical concept; strictly speaking, it is a theological concept because saying that all men are brothers presupposes that they have a Father.

Also, for anything to be "a good thing," we must have a rational account of what is good and what is not. This account Al cannot or will not provide, as it goes beyond his rigorous limits of "idle curiosity" in entering discussions here. Mike T. is absolutely correct when he says that Al can give no answer to "the plutocrats [he] despise[s]" who "truly believe in their hearts that this is all there is. Accordingly, they respond primarily to their will to power." Al has no grounds for gainsaying them. His opposition to usury, like his support of gay marriage, is only personal preference or prejudice.

Everyone,

Concerning Untenured's and Lydia's most recent comments, I thought this piece today by Joe Carter was particular relevant:

http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2011/06/how-to-destroy-a-culture-in-5-easy-steps

I also think the question of tyranny and law is an interesting one. There is a famous quote that is attributed to Senator Moynihan: "The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself." I wonder if the conservative corrolary is that politics destroys cultures as often as it saves them.

Mike T. is absolutely correct when he says that Al can give no answer to "the plutocrats [he] despise[s]" who "truly believe in their hearts that this is all there is. Accordingly, they respond primarily to their will to power." Al has no grounds for gainsaying them. His opposition to usury, like his support of gay marriage, is only personal preference or prejudice.

And yet, there is nothing more contemptible to people who live by their will to power than a blustering, delude, solipsistic liberal blathering on about a moral code he or she pieced together "by reason" and pilfering from various religions he or she otherwise regards as rubbish. It creates the worst image of weakness, namely a self-righteous fool who has all of the dependency issues that an angsty teen has for parents he or she loathes and undermines but desperately needs.

If there be no God, then there be no one worthy of giving us law other than the Ubermensch.

"I wonder if the conservative corrolary is that politics destroys cultures as often as it saves them."

This is the one place where I think Al is right, and at which I hinted above. We conservatives are foolish if we put any faith in the GOP to move the nation in a conservative direction. As the older conservatives knew instinctively, culture precedes politics. The conservative movement, both dazed and energized by the Reagan victory in 1980, has effectively forgotten this, and since that time has tried to effect cultural change politically.

Fact is, the GOP is not particularly interested in cultural matters in any substantive way, despite paying a fair amount of lip service to them. We traditional and cultural conservatives need to wake up to this fact, and to show a bit of wariness when it comes to our political alliances.

CTY,D, do you have a suggestion of how to change LAW other than through politics? Those of us making the case against gay "marriage" here have, regularly and profusely, been doing the things that help the culture reject the encroachment of this evil. And yet the evil creeps forward by the day. While we continue to work in the culture, we cannot neglect politics: politics is one of the expressions of the culture itself.

I think that perhaps you are more right about the GOP: this party has been abandoning conservative principles for a very long time, and is not likely to change its spots any time soon. I think that this constitutes a pretty good argument for a new party. I just don't see a lot of likely prospect for a conservative party to make it. That may be a poor reason to refuse to start one, anyway. Would you join it?

"do you have a suggestion of how to change LAW other than through politics?"

For the most part I think that hearts and minds need to be changed before people will vote to effect those sorts of changes politically. The middle class is the key. The GOP relies on the pro-business, corporate white-collar vote, and religious conservatives, while the Dems have the wealthy social libs and the underclass. Neither party speaks much for the middle class (although they both like our votes!)

"I think that this constitutes a pretty good argument for a new party. I just don't see a lot of likely prospect for a conservative party to make it...Would you join it?"

I had some hope that the Tea Party movement would eventually form itself into some sort of populist-right third party, but as I feared, it got co-opted by the Republicans. If there were such a party I'd join it. Currently I'm no fan of either the libertarians or the Constitution Party. I remain a registered Republican because I live in a closed primary state. (Not that it does much good, as the candidates I vote for seldom win.)

For the most part I think that hearts and minds need to be changed before people will vote to effect those sorts of changes politically.

But why? Gays don't rely on changing the majority of the populace before getting the law changed. Hearts and minds are all very well, but you are not likely to GET those hearts and minds while the law supports and encourages the degradation of the culture.

That's true, but also note what 'Untenured' wrote above in his 9:45 a.m. comment about how the gays went about changing the cultural perception. Basically, they worked from the top down and from the bottom up simultaneously.

And given the moral vector we're already on, it's much easier to erode existing laws than to preserve them.

Back to empirical facts, it's a fact that in some states there's already a majority or plurality of people who support same-sex "marriage." That's according to public opinion polls. Opinion is changing very quickly in that direction. Very soon, arguments based on courts imposing this against the popular will, or legislators acting against their constituents' values, will be obsolete. Widespread support for same-sex "marriage" seems inevitable, as opponents continue to die of old age.

The mainstream conservative pessimists are right, I think. This battle is all but lost. It will be practically impossible to reverse, too. How can you take restrict the legal definition of marriage once you've radically broadened it?

al:

Marriage is what the relevant institution says it is - nothing more, nothing less.

How inane can you liberals get? If marriage has no intrinsic meaning or existence, and is simply whatever some bozo bureaucrats define it as at any given moment, then there can't be any intrinsic right to it on the part of gay people or anybody else. Same goes for those liberals who try to "defend" gay marriage by arguing that marriage has been radically redefined by different cultures throughout history and so has no fundamental nature or meaning. Do you people even listen to yourselves?

"I'm not entirely dim, so I'm aware enough of the influence of plutocracy in the GOP since the Grant administration.'

And it's not for nothing that the present has been termed the new Gilded Age.

Well I've come to reject the "Gilded Age" as a perjorative in a similar way to the way the term "Dark Ages" was to the renaissance. Ditto for "robber baron," and other such. Now if you're anti-industrialist and/or anti-capitalist then it makes perfect sense to speak that way. But otherwise, I think it is misguided.

Steve Jobs is as much a "robber-baron" as any of the industrialists, which is to say, not much. Who thinks he is robbing people by providing them hand-held computers? Well, Nokia isn't too pleased about it, so perhaps they do. Did people who suddenly had light-bulbs consider themselves to be robbed of anything? Now each age has had it's Bernie Madoff, each had egregious corruption. Wealth brings a new set of problems. The truth is that there has been *wealth* since the Grant administration, which brought on the need for civil service reform. Congressmen at the time didn't think it strange to accept gifts, strange as it sounds now. That changed quickly as people realized that industrialization begat lobbyists. And there have been bank crisis ever few decades from the beginning too. But I frown on such tendentious terms now since I've learned a thing or two about the history of the period. It just doesn't do it justice.

"But I frown on such tendentious terms now since I've learned a thing or two about the history of the period. It just doesn't do it justice."

Um, yeah, right. I take it that treating your employees like slaves while you yourself live an obscenely opulent lifestyle is ok in your book? Read a biography of Henry Clay Frick or J.P. Morgan and get back to us.

Oh, and don't forget the Johnstown Flood, which could have been avoided had those sterling captains of industry who gathered at South Fork spent a few of their millions to repair and upgrade the dam. That event is just as much a microcosm of the Gilded Age as the murder of the Russian royal family is a microcosm of communist totalitarianism.

"The SCOTUS can steamroll over a state constitution as easily as it can a state law."

Yes but it is a paper steamroller. The state can ignore the SCOTUS if it tries to do that. (I'm not saying "is likely to," I am saying "can" and hopefully "would.") And, if the idea drives you to apocalyptic fears, rest assured that wouldn't cause a civil war. It would cause a "constitutional crisis," but if the state stuck to its guns the media panic would eventually die down and the state of crisis would soon be the normal state of affairs and people would move on to care about other crises and problems. Rest assured we are going to have lots of crises from now on.

I'm not saying Lydia is wrong that we should fight it in the ways she suggested. I do think it is too late for NY, though, and if it is too late for NY I fear that will soon be too late for the rest of us.

I think that in NY right now, and probably sooner or later in the rest of the states, the best way to fight it is an end-run. Work to subvert and eliminate civil marriage.

Yes, I do think that God has given the state the responsibility to defend and protect marriage. I do think that civil marriage has given states the means to protect wives and children, to promote the traditional family and public morals, and to protect the victims of divorce (the latter wouldn't be necessary if the state hadn't allowed divorce in the first place). But with "gay marriage" and other changes in welfare and family law that have preceded "gay marriages," those purposes have become moot and that state responsibility has been utterly and totally abandoned.

If you are a NYer or live in a state that gives due "faith and credit" or whatever it's called to gay "marriage" laws, actively support the elimination of marriage as a statutory category. Soon the public aren't really going to like civil marriage anyway, so why not get rid of it?

If you are a NYer or "Gay marriage" is enacted in your state, "Marry" your friend who doesn't have health insurance and force your employer to extend it to him. Let your employer and the state try to prove you are committing "fraud" by refusing to sodomize your friend. It is more loving to refrain from sodomizing your friend than to sodomize him, so it isn't really you who are committing fraud. Especially if your employer is a large limited-liability corporation, this may be the only way to enlist it on your side.

Even if you don't want to drag your employer into it (and if your employer publicly opposes "gay marriage," you don't want to do that), "marry," if you can, somebody of your own sex, and make it clear to everyone you know that you aren't homosexual and you aren't sodomizing your business partner or next-door neighbor. This tactic exposes you to the risk that the person you thought was your friend will victimize you, but courage is called for at this point. Anything that can be done to trivialize and make contemptuous "gay marriage" is a good thing. Again, let the state try to prove that you are committing fraud by not sodomizing your friend.

Don't get a marriage license when you do (really) get married, be willing to give up what few perks are left (or take advantage of those perks using the tactic of a faux gay "marriage" with someone else). This might not be possible if you are Roman Catholic (I imagine the pope would have to give some kind of permission to allow U.S. Catholics to get married without civil licenses), but a right-thinking Protestant pastor should be willing to go along with it and doesn't have to get the approval of "higher ups."

If we do not eliminate civil marriage, "gay marriage" will be used to persecute Christians and Christian pastors. If we do eliminate civil marriage, marriage will become nothing but a private religious ceremony from the state's point of view, and a weapon in its arsenal against us will be taken away.

The mainstream conservative pessimists are right, I think. This battle is all but lost. It will be practically impossible to reverse, too. How can you take restrict the legal definition of marriage once you've radically broadened it?

Gosh it's inevitable! We're progressive and on the right side of history! You can't stop us! Progressives are progressing towards destruction and annihilation. Societies go in cycles where there is a rise, stability, crisis, decay, decline, fall and renewal. There is no utopia at the end and society doesn't always improve. I mean past doesn't always equal traditional conservative. Remember all of those major liberal movements like the French Revolution, the 1960's sexual revolution and the Enlightment from the 17th to the 20th century?

Sorry pal but civil rights, equality, autonomy/individual rights, freedom, democracy, 'progress' and human rights are all metaphysical concepts. They are just metaphysical concepts for secular people most of the time.

Nobody here broadened the definition of marriage. Who did? Well see below:

Caucasian Liberals enabling and supporting Black mobs and Latino crime = Liberal Heterosexuals enabling and supporting Gays and Transgenders

A liberal heterosexual like you "al" is responsible. Liberalism is responsible for all of this mess. Cheers.

I mean past doesn't always equal traditional conservative. Remember all of those major liberal movements like the French Revolution, the 1960's sexual revolution and the Enlightment from the 17th to the 20th century?

Its amazing how liberals go non-stop like "Oh conservatives want to live in the past!" and ignore examples of liberalism in the past. To add to the cake in my opinion since we are so "progressive" nowadays lets progress beyond liberalism since it has been pretty strong since the 17th century in the Western world don't you think?

MC,
You know this, how?

I'll use an example from Star Trek, a show you've admitted a fondness for. Say that mankind has invented transporters, and I claim to have invented a transgender filter so that people can change their genders back and forth each time they use the transporter. Unlike other transporter effects, this one only works at the fundamental level of substance, not the level of empirical properties. So everyone who uses the transgender filter appears in all respects - genetic, biochemical, anatomical, to be the same gender they were before. Accordingly and getting back on topic, despite all outward and inward appearances two people of "essentially" different genders should be able to be wedded in holy matrimony. Remember that Thomas said above that gender is the most important factor.

Step2, what do you think is the meaning of "only works at the fundamental level of substance"? What do you think "substance" implies here? What if gender - as such - is something that lies BOTH at the level of substance and at empirical properties as a coordinated complex? That is, what if to speak of gender is, precisely, to speak of a co-mingled complex of substance and properties, so that you literally must speak of both to speak of gender?

It doesn't matter what you do around the edges of possible theory: marriage doesn't mean what it meant for many centuries if two people of the same expressed and present sexual organs try to get married: because their condition precludes normative heterosexual sex, they cannot consummate marriage properly so called, and they cannot intend the kind of union whose very nature includes a capability of heterosexual union. (And, I would like to add, it is the height of hubris for a 2% portion of the population to tell the rest of the population that they SHOULD have meant by the "marriage union" something broader than what they always did mean by it.)

It may ALSO be the case that two people with opposite sexual organs, who try to get married, cannot succeed because of other things, such as the fact that these organs are grafted into the wrong gendered-persons. But the question of the ontological reality of an impediment (or not) for the second scenario does not affect the definite impediment of the first scenario.

Caucasian liberals?

Lydia,

This has probably already been discussed in the comments, but I haven't yet taken the time to read all of them and wanted to throw this in the mix in case it has been missed:

This is not, and never has been, about "marriage equality". It is, if I may say so, even less than a zero sum game. It is about the complete eradication of normalcy. The Lisa Miller case is a paradigmatic one. Not only does the fiction of same sex "marriage" deny the nature of marriage itself, it denies the prime public and non-religious reason for state support of marriage - the child's natural right to be raised by his parents, the natural, biological mother and father without whom he would not exist.

What happens in pseudogamy and the aim of the agenda is to deny biology. Before this, in cases of adoption, the child's mother has some presumptive rights. But Lisa Miller committed high treason by not only leaving her lesbian partner, but becoming Christian! So, because of this she is presumed guilty and her rights to her biological child have been severed as if she were less than a foster parent.

It's really a culture of death, punishing parents for daring go bring children into the world that they font view as wards of the regime.

And further, Kamilla: Something I bring up to the civil unions compromisers among so-called "conservatives." Lisa Miller and her lesbian lover were not even in something called a "marriage" but were in a civil union. But of course, civil unions were set up from the beginning to be _legally identical_ to marriage, and the Vermont judge was just following out the twisted logic of that deliberate intent of the law. The child was born "in" the union and hence, a common-law presumption that a woman's husband is to be presumed the father of any children born while she is married to him got ported over to a woman who could not possibly have any biological connection to the child. Insanity.

By the way, if you shd. hear any more about Lisa Miller, please do let me know. I keep looking up her name at Lifesitenews, and last I heard she was a successful fugitive with her child--had not been found. Presumably got out of the country?

I hope so. It all brings to mind an idea I had for a television show. The
Premiere episode was to focus on the underground railroad that helps such people escape.

Post a comment


Bold Italic Underline Quote

Note: In order to limit duplicate comments, please submit a comment only once. A comment may take a few minutes to appear beneath the article.

Although this site does not actively hold comments for moderation, some comments are automatically held by the blog system. For best results, limit the number of links (including links in your signature line to your own website) to under 3 per comment as all comments with a large number of links will be automatically held. If your comment is held for any reason, please be patient and an author or administrator will approve it. Do not resubmit the same comment as subsequent submissions of the same comment will be held as well.