Tag Archives: gay marriage

Are There “Leftist” Ideas That Are Worthwhile?

I find a lot of weird things over on Minds.  First, I found an article that was criticizing the ideas they found in a YouTube video, made by a friend as I understand it, so I read the article and watched the video and hey, might as well take this on.  The original video was entitled “Which ideas from the left are worth taking on board?”  I’ll link to the video below.  So as I said, I watched it and disagreed with a lot of what was said, but I also disagreed with some of the things that the Minds article writer said, so as usual, I’ll just piss everyone off.  So let’s look at the four points and see where I stand on all of them.

1. Ideology.

This one is questionable because I really don’t agree that “ideology” is valuable in any meaningful way.  Your ideology is only important to me insofar as it corresponds to objectively demonstrable reality.  If it doesn’t, your ideology, like your religion, is idiotic and I couldn’t care less about it.  And this is really where we have problems on both the political left and the political right because I’ve found that the farther you go to the extremes, the less realistic these viewpoints are, the more emotionally-biased and irrationally-dogmatic they tend to be.  When your beliefs become irrational, your position becomes untenable as far as I’m concerned.  I don’t care how you feel, I care what you can prove.  And here, I agree with the article writer who defines ideologies as “an intellectual system of ideas or rigid abstract formulas mixed with scientific jargon and some empirical facts that claims knowledge about reaching perfection in the temporal order.”  I think a lot of that goes too far, as most ideologies I see are just emotional positions, based on wishful thinking, and accepted over demonstrable fact.  That’s where so many ideologies simply go wrong.  Always have, always will.

2. Gender Identity is a Social Construct

Now here, I think the video-maker is an idiot.  Gender identity is not a social construct, any more than species-identity is. Some furries might disagree with me but I think they’re emotional imbeciles too.  You cannot change reality because reality makes you feel bad.  It doesn’t work that way.  You are born male or female, or on extremely rare instances, both.  The last category is most often surgically corrected just after birth.  But your genes determine what you are.  They might not determine how you feel, but fuck how you feel.  Your emotions don’t determine reality.  I couldn’t care less about your emotional state.  Come to grips with reality and stop pretending that deciding to be male on odd-number days and female on even-number days is even an option.  It is not.  Time for a lot of people to grow the hell up.



3.  Homosexuality is fine and so is gay marriage

That’s two things I completely agree with.  First off, whether homosexuality is “fine” or not is irrelevant.  Homosexuals exist.  Welcome to the real world. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if  you like that gay people exist, they still exist, they have always existed and will always exist.  Time to grow up and deal with the real world.  Because they exist, what difference does it make if we let them voluntarily engage in legal marriage?  How does it demonstrably harm anyone if they do?  And no, I don’t mean your emotional discomfort which come from your delusional beliefs, I mean where is the objectively verifiable evidence that gay people being married produces any harm to anyone?  Because if such evidence exists, I certainly haven’t seen it and nobody on the anti-gay side has even tried to produce it.  I must therefore assume it simply doesn’t exist.  But our article-writer insists that somehow, being gay is wrong, again with no evidence and that equality across the board is somehow wrong, with nothing to back it up.  And honestly, I don’t  care if we can prove the existence of a gay gene or not.  What difference does it make?  People who identify as gay, whether they can prove it or not, have the same rights as everyone else, right?  So if a non-gay person can choose to marry some of the opposite gender, why can a gay person not choose to marry someone of the same gender?  Where is the demonstrable harm?  It isn’t like they’re trying to force the religiously delusional to marry them, I would oppose that, even though I think the religiously delusional are idiots.  But we’re talking about secular marriage.  I guess some people just want to feel special.  I think they’re idiots.

4. Abortion is fine

This is one I don’t get at all and recently, I’ve been asking a lot of right-wingers why this is a problem.  Give me one non-religious, non-emotional reason why abortion is a problem.  Go ahead.  But none of them can produce anything.  It’s always an emotional answer because they have nothing else.  Now I’d personally prefer, as a conservative, if people didn’t choose abortion, if they were responsible before pregnancy and thereafter dealt with the consequences of their actions.  That would be the way to go in a perfect world, but we all know this isn’t a perfect world and people are, unfortunately, irresponsible.  To be perfectly honest, most of the people who would have an abortion are probably not people who I would want to be parents in the first place.  We’re better off without having the irrational and irresponsible breed.  Therefore, I’m fine with abortion because I don’t think humans are magical or special or anything like that.  But the guy who wrote the article sure seems to.  He thinks humanity is sacred.  I think he’s nuts.  And before anyone suggests adoption, we have thousands and thousands of kids just in the U.S. alone that will never be adopted.  The idea of throwing hundreds of thousands of unwanted children into the mix is not only insane but utterly reprehensible.  I’d much rather have them never exist at all than exist in a life of suffering and unhappiness.  But then again, I don’t think human life is special.  I’m not religiously or emotionally delusional.  Some people unfortunately seem to be.

In the end, I think all of these ideas are neutral, it only matters how you define things and how those things correspond with reality.  As I said, the farther to the extremes you get, the less anything they hold to be true can be defended intellectually or objectively.  They get more and more delusional and less and less able to recognize the inherent delusions in their midst.  Are there good “leftist” ideas?  I don’t know.  Most of the positions that I agree with that are typically on the left, I agree with them for entirely conservative reasons.  No emotion required.  It’s every bit as important to have good reasons to support an idea than it is to have an idea to support in the first place.  I find that I emphatically disagree with the reasons most liberals hold their positions, even if their positions are defensible in other ways.  But I feel the same way about the far right because their ideals aren’t held rationally either, even if they can be defended intellectually.  So people like me, we’re just screwed in the end. Everyone hates us because we reject the emotional and expect people to be intelligent.  Too bad that so rarely happens.

Will Christian Churches Perform Gay Weddings?

This is an interesting question that has come up recently and one that, depending on your view, you might have a very different take on.  Of course, since the Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage across the United States, religious organizations have vocally condemned it because, according to their religious beliefs, gay marriage is a horrible and awful thing and they will never, ever, ever consent to such an evil thing. But will they eventually give up and start offering gay weddings?

I think they will, they said the exact same thing 50 years ago when interracial marriage became a big deal and today, almost without exception, they perform interracial marriages without batting an eye.  In fact, a lot of them pretend to have been early adopters of interracial marriage equality, even though we all know that they weren’t.  So will the same thing happen with gay marriage? I think it’s inevitable.

See, the reality that a lot of religious people don’t want to address is that most churches are in this for  the money and influence. It’s nice to think that they care about doctrinal purity but they really don’t.  The Catholic Church, for example, knows that without butts in pews every Sunday, they have no money coming into their coffers and with no ears listening to their sermons, they have no influence over the people.  When they start suffering losses, as they are right now, they start making changes. That’s where things like Vatican II came from, they were losing their cash cows and needed to adapt to changes in society. That’s why you saw churches getting rid of choirs and bringing in folk music.  That’s why you saw churches getting rid of Latin and bringing in English or Spanish or whatever other languages that their parishioners spoke.  As with any other business, it’s adapt or die and like it or not, religion is a business.  They have payroll to make, they have buildings to maintain and they have an infrastructure to pay for.  If they get to the point where they have bills to pay, they will make whatever changes they need to and justify those changes any way they can in order to make money.  Let’s not fool ourselves.

So how long will it take?  It’s already started.  There are plenty of Christian churches that already perform gay marriages, with more joining in every day.  A majority of Americans favor gay marriage whether the churches like it or not.  As we see more and more Americans flooding out of the churches, those churches are going to have to change their strategies in order to stay relevant and solvent.  In the end, they’ll have no choice.  Either give the people what they want or go the way of the dodo.  In either case, we win.

Too Stupid to Know They’re Stupid

I keep running across these numbnuts who really are too stupid to know just how stupid they actually are.  You know the kind of people I mean, the ones whose idiocy makes your head explode?

So this time out, this idiot shows up saying that having gays on television is somehow a horrible thing because it disrespects the rights of the religious not to have it “in their face”.  Of course, when I pointed out that there is religious programming on television, not to mention religious references all over the place, somehow that didn’t disrespect the rights of people who didn’t want it “in their face”. But if he wants to cast this as a respect thing, then why shouldn’t we expect the religious to respect the rights of atheists?  Of course that would be totally out of the question, wouldn’t it?  He  doesn’t respect gays, and by this time of the discussion, blacks and other minorities, at all.  He doesn’t want to see homosexuals.  Ever.  Anywhere.  He doesn’t want his kids to even know they exist.  It is a violation of his religious rights to even live in the same world as gays, and apparently blacks.

I had to point out that gays and blacks are born that way.  They have no choice in the matter.  But you know what isn’t inborn? Religion!  Religion is a choice!  You can choose which stupid beliefs you hold, most notably in this case, whether you think being gay is a sin.  So instead of expecting gays and blacks to hide so it doesn’t offend his delicate sensibilities, maybe he ought to just stop believing such ridiculous things in the first place.

And you know his response?  Religion isn’t a choice!  Apparently this imbecile thinks that religion is genetically determined.  He could not understand that people do not pop out of the womb believing in gods.  It was at that point in time that I just washed my hands of him, he had been on the forum for all of 4 days and had already completely blown any credibility he had.

Unfortunately, he’s not alone, there are plenty of these people who have zero credibility.  They have an extreme emotional attachment to their position, whatever it happens to be, and nothing anyone can say will ever sway them from their fanaticism. And when you point it out, they act like they’re the only ones in the right because they’ve got a mental block against even considering that they could possibly be wrong. In this case, this individual is so absolutely certain that his religion, and only his religion, is right, that anyone who doesn’t share his narrow-minded beliefs has to be wrong.  In fact, based on a lot of what he has said, apparently he thinks that everyone knows he’s right and is purposely rebelling against his God, for some bizarre reason, because they enjoy being reprobates.  Don’t ask me, it makes no more sense when he says it.

This is the legacy of people who believe things about which they have never applied rational thought and there are unfortunately a lot of them out there.  These are people who are so stupid, so deluded, so absolutely self-assured that everything they think has to be true because if it isn’t, their entire view of reality comes tumbling down, that they can’t even step back and examine their beliefs rationally.  They are entirely unable to be objective.  They just believe because believing is the only thing they are capable of doing.  That and being stupid.

Do the Religious Ever Get Tired of Being Wrong?

It’s funny, but whenever gay marriage comes up, the religious tend to say that most people are grossed out by gay sex and that Americans would never accept polygamy, another thing they are supposedly grossed out by, therefore they should never accept gay marriage.

Except Americans are increasingly fine with polygamy.  Most people just don’t care.  In a recent Gallup poll, we find that 16% of Americans support polygamy, up 9 points from 2001.  Now if  you remember back to the beginning of the gay marriage debate, it started out similarly, with an ever-increasing number of people coming to look upon it favorably, until today when a majority of Americans have no problems with it at all.

But don’t tell the religious.  They seem to think that reality is something other than what it actually is.

Now while I’m socially moderate in a lot of ways, I believe in equality for all and keeping the government the hell out of people’s lives and especially their bedrooms, I think some of these societal shifts can be a bit problematic.  Most of the elements in the poll really affects no one but those personally involved.  If two gay people get married, who cares?  It harms no one.  If a group of people get together and have an orgy, what difference does it make?  It has no real consequences to the surrounding community.  But there are some things, like the increased acceptance of out-of-wedlock children, that I do think affect someone, in this case the child, especially if it results in single parenthood.  Children do much better in a two-parent household than in a single-parent household.  We know this.  It doesn’t matter if the parents are both male, both female or one of each, a two-parent household is infinitely superior.  It tends to lead to increased poverty, especially among the already poor, where some estimates already place single-parenthood above 70%.  I have a problem with that.

But where I have no problems are  things like stem cell research, cloning, suicide and abortion, all of which are rising in acceptance.  Again, they don’t hurt anyone not directly involved and ultimately help society as a whole.  I don’t know that this represents a shift to the left, necessarily, but a shift away from religious morality into something that actually helps society, not impresses an imaginary friend in the sky.  And that’s generally a good thing.

Why Do These People Have Jobs?

Seriously, I have to keep wondering, and this is almost always in the deep south, but why do these idiots have jobs? Why do the people in the south keep electing these morons to represent them?  Okay, yes, the reason is because the voters are just as stupid as they representatives they elect, but I’m really getting tired of that as an excuse.

So in Tennessee, as should come as no surprise, the Blount County commissioners plan to take up a resolution begging God to forgive them for the recent Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.  Commissioner Karen Miller’s proposed resolution will grovel before an imaginary friend and promises “to protect Natural Marriage, from lawless court opinions, AND THE financial schemes of the enemies of righteousness wherever the source AND defend the Moral Standards of Tennessee.”

Well guess what?  You already have an oath that you swore to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and, whether you like it or not, that includes the decisions of the Supreme Court.  Just like the whole Kim Davis thing, you don’t get to have your cake and eat it too.  You don’t get to draw a government check and then refuse to do all the things that you swore you’d do when you were elected to office.  It just doesn’t work that way.

Now of course, this is a pointless resolution, it means nothing at all and talking to imaginary friends in the sky isn’t going to change the crappy conditions that exist in Tennessee.  But part of the resolution also includes, get this, asking God to move his wrath to someone else.  Yes, they’re trying to sic God on some other unsuspecting state because they’re properly scraping and genuflecting.

And these people have jobs.  Why?  Why are the people of Tennessee so damn stupid?  And the people of Alabama?  And the people of Georgia and Texas and Arkansas and Florida and the whole messed up lot of them?  Sure, I know that not all of them are to blame, there are plenty of people who are pissed off at this resolution, but apparently, enough people support this kind of religious bullshit that these idiots keep getting into office.

Sorry, I will never understand that.


The Bitchspot Report Podcast #2.29

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Se Juis Paris

A long show this week, we look at intolerant Christians in Texas, 1500 Mormons walking away from their church, a Utah judge tries to deny a lesbian couple their foster child and college safe spaces and why they’re a bad idea.  Then we talk about the terrorist attacks in Paris and whether the world is really ready to deal with ISIS.  It’s a belated episode, get over there and listen!

The Bitchspot Report Podcast #2.25

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There’s some serious stuff going on this week as we look at the end of the world.  Again.  Pastor James Manning goes completely insane.  The Pope defends heterosexual marriage after a Polish priest comes out as gay.  We revisit the Satanic Panic of the 1980s and find that it’s still going on today.  A lady is sweat-shamed at a Starbucks and it’s as stupid as it sounds. McGraw-Hill agrees to change a school textbook after a mother complains, and why this might not always be the right thing to do.  Then we talk about why people follow leaders who make them look really, really bad.  All this and more on this week’s show!

The Bitchspot Report Podcast #2.14

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Should Auld Stupidity Be Forgot?

Tom DeLay and his tinfoil hat, the truth about the Oregon baker case, evangelicals want to stuff political offices with preachers and the freedom to thread eyebrows.  Then we revisit a bunch of stories that we kept saying we’d revisit and hadn’t.

Yes, the world is a crazy place, listen to us simplify it.

The Bitchspot Report Podcast #2.12

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Ding! Dong! The Witch is Dead!

As we celebrate national gay marriage, we pause long enough to talk about a crazy evangelist who wants to send Bibles to starving Iraqi refugees, a teacher who disciplined a second grader for being an atheist, ridiculous southerners standing up for the Confederate Flag and the potential fallout from Greece’s #grexit.  Then we look at the Supreme Court decision and the idiots who pretend they’re not affected.
So what are you waiting for?  Go listen!

The Bitchspot Report Podcast #2.11

Bitchspot Report New Icon 500x276What’s Wrong With the South?

An unplanned south-centric episode, this week we look at a Texas pastor willing to be burned to oppose gay marriage, Louisiana is allowing Bibles in the classroom to oppose evolution, the Confederate Flag is finally getting the boot and it’s about damn time, plus the Supreme Court rules on Americans born in Jerusalem and what they can put on their passports.  Then we example France’s “right to be forgotten” and how Google should tell them where to shove it.  Lots of craziness this week, stay tuned.

The Bitchspot Report Podcast #2.10

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Jesus Says Give Me Your Wallet!

After missing a week, we come back with another 90 minutes of religious and political absurdity sure to make any rational person shake their heads.  This week, gays make Christians feel bad.  The Catholic Church is finally being held criminally liable for pedophile priests.  The Supreme Court rules in an online threat case.  A family is charged with disturbing the peace and brings up free speech concerns.  Plus, are the religious really more charitable when their religion uses intimidation and threats to extort money from them?  All this and more on this new episode!

The Bitchspot Report Podcast #2.9

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Drive Out the Gay Demons

This week, we look at the fallout from the Irish gay marriage vote, especially those who still oppose it.  Mike Huckabee proves he has no place anywhere near the White House.  The Supreme Court agrees to take on redistricting and what it might mean. Lobster tails and injustice, oh my.  Then we talk about the end of portions of the Patriot Act and whether this is a good idea.
So what are you doing gawking?  Go listen!

Same-Sex Marriage Causes Abortion?

how-is-my-marriage-affecting-youSometimes you wonder if the religious can get any more bat-shit insane and then they have to go and prove that yes, yes they can.  According to Gene Schaerr, a lawyer on the unsuccessful legal team that argued against Utah’s same-sex marriage laws, that legalizing gay marriage will have the effect of producing even more abortions.

Uh… what?

According to Schaerr, “On the surface, abortion and same-sex marriage may seem unrelated”.  Yes, just like religion and common sense are unrelated, but please continue.  He goes on to say that “the two are closely linked in a short and simple causal chain.”  Oh, do tell.  This ought to be good.

He argues that allowing gay marriage somehow devalues marriage, thus causing fewer women to get married.  As such, he says that “nearly 900,000 more children of the next generation would be aborted as a result of their mothers never marrying. This is equal to the entire population of the cities of Sacramento and Atlanta combined.”

Wait, is he fucking kidding?  Please tell me nobody can be that stupid.  Oh wait, he’s a lawyer, of course he can.

Where does he get any of these ideas?  Why does he think that  legalizing gay marriage has any effect whatsoever on the number of heterosexual couples that get married?  Where is his data?  We know he has none, he even admits it. This is all a load of made-up bullshit, vomited out in desperation before the Supremes make their ruling.  Let’s look at this logically, even though we know Schaerr has never done so.  If we’re talking about women who are going to get pregnant out of wedlock in the first place, why should we they’d care about getting married at all?  More likely, according to the religious, they wouldn’t be good Christians to begin with and thus, the legalization of gay marriage really wouldn’t matter to them one way or the other. No more of these women would get abortions because of gay marriage than they would without it.  Whether or not it was legal would be no factor at all.  This is, as expected, a totally empty argument.

But it gets worse.  In debating this story, a bunch of religious whack-a-loons started claiming that gay marriage, in and of itself, would produce a higher number of abortions coming from… get this… gay people!  I guess they don’t really understand homosexuality or how babies are made because two people of the same gender cannot, by definition, become pregnant.  Where is the logic in this belief?  Oh yeah… religion.

Two gay men getting married simply cannot create a pregnancy, thus they are totally out of the running for an abortion.  Two lesbians can certainly get pregnant through artificial insemination, but this isn’t going to be an accidental or unwanted pregnancy.  Few, if any of them would end in abortion, so where does this crazy train end?

At the end of the day, these are religious crazies getting desperate, now that the Supreme Court is going to finally make a decision on gay marriage and it looks like the only choice is to make it legal across all 50 states whether the states want it or not.  I will be very, very surprised if they do anything else and even if they do, 35 states have already legalized it and it’s just a matter of time until the remaining 15 do as well.  Even if some ridiculous backwards religious state refuses, they are still bound under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to recognize marriages performed in other states.  All gay residents have to do is cross the border, get married and come back.  It doesn’t matter what it says in their state Constitutions, the federal Constitution overrides them all. This has been decided back in the 1967 Loving vs. Virginia decision.

Where these religious asshats get these bizarre ideas is entirely beyond me.  I’m guessing they really take this stuff seriously, but then again, they take an imaginary friend in the sky seriously, so there’s already something seriously suspect about their rational faculties.  In any case, it’s just a few months until, hopefully, we’ll hear millions of voices cry out in religious terror and be suddenly silenced.  It couldn’t happen to a worse group of people.

The Bitchspot Report Podcast #2.6

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Check Your Religious Privilege

This week, churches need to pick better representatives, Rick Wiles peeks at Obama in the bathroom, an African Evangelical church leader doesn’t understand human reproduction, liberals hate good parents so knock it off and another atheist blogger is murdered in Bangladesh. Then we go on to look at the liberal myth of privilege and wonder how ridiculous these people can actually be.
Go find out on this week’s show!

If You’re Anti-Gay, Forget Getting Elected

Anti_Gay_and_Lesbian_movements_signThere have been a lot of social changes going on in western society recently, some good, some bad.  This one falls squarely into the “good” category.  As we all know, the GOP has a problem, they’re anti-gay in a society that is increasingly accepting of alternate lifestyles.  However, I don’t think they knew how big their problem was until a GOP pollster made a shocking discovery.  The time is coming very, very quickly where any openly anti-gay candidate simply will not be able to carry the most important demographic in America, people under 30.

Republican pollster Whit Ayers praised Indiana’s recent move to downgrade their religious freedom law, making it clear that it wasn’t designed to provide religious zealots a means to discriminate against gays, even though that’s exactly what it was meant to do.  I think it’s clear that more and more Republican candidates are going to have to drop gay-hate from their platforms or face irrelevancy at the polls.  While close to 75% of Republicans claim to be anti-gay, according to polls by Gallup, for those under 30, more than 60% support gay rights and gay marriage.

“We’re headed to the point where a political candidate who is perceived as anti-gay at the presidential level will never connect with people under 30 years old,” Ayres said.  Even though he says he would never ask a candidate to change their fundamental beliefs, he does say that he would advise the candidate to spin those positions in a more positive light.  He says that the future GOP is going to have to adopt a center-right position if they want to have any chance at all at a run for the White House in 2016.

Unfortunately, I don’t know that the GOP is capable of making such fundamental changes, they have spent years catering almost exclusively to an older, highly religious, primarily white audience, but that’s simply failed to take hold.  In 2012, Romney appealed to only 27% of Hispanic voters, Ayres says that the Republicans must capture at least 40% of Hispanic voters to have any chance at all of winning in 2016.  I just don’t think they’re willing to make the chances required to get those numbers.  Their core audience will never accept gay marriage as a plank in the platform.  Many of those people will have to die first.  I honestly don’t have a problem with that.  Time to oust the old garbage in favor of a Republican Party that can actually compete in the arena of ideas.  It’s the only way we’ll be able to fight against the growing liberal tide that is ruining America.


The Bitchspot Report Podcast #2.4

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If You’re Happy and You Know it, You’re Gay!

As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments for gay marriage, we take on four stories of political and religious import about the potential consequences of the coming decision.  Then, just to lighten the mood, we take a quick look at one of Japan’s more ridiculous religious cults, Happy Science!
So get thee to the podcast and have a jolly gay time!

The Bitchspot Report Podcast #54

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This week, Cephus and Mike look at the recent Chinese railroad knife attack, David Yonggi Cho, founder of the world’s largest megachurch gets convicted of theft, Americans are becoming sharply more favorable toward gay issues and the Catholic Church blames a Minnesota mom for not protecting her son from a pedophile priest.  Plus, we talk about where our views differ from the neo-cons.  All this and more in one 90-minute package!

The Bitchspot Report Podcast #53

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In our longest podcast ever, we discover that God wrote the Constitution, Missouri wants to warn parents before their kids learn facts, gay marriage leads inevitably to parents marrying their children and Pat Robertson tells Ken Ham to shut the hell up and we heartily agree with that.  Plus, we take a long, long, long time talking about our problems with liberal politics.  Two men enter, one man leaves.  Don’t miss it.

There Are Bad Arguments for Gay Marriage

alphabet-soup-argumentAs sad as it is to admit, I actually agree with the Catholics, or at least this particular Catholic blogger, on this point.  There are some really bad reasons to support gay marriage, just as there are some really bad reasons to reject religion.  That doesn’t mean that there aren’t really good reasons to support gay marriage, or to abandon religion for that matter, but there are some that are just horrible, illogical and irrational.

That’s one thing that I think most people struggle with to some degree or another, they are unable or unwilling to look at the reasons they hold beliefs critically.  It’s certainly possible to come to a good conclusion for a bad reason, but you cannot trust in luck to get to the proper end, you have to understand the path that you take as well as the destination you reach.

Matthew Archbold, over at the National Catholic Register, came up with this list that I want to address one by one, to see if I agree with his reasoning.  I’ll follow his numbering scheme, counting down from #7.

7) My son is gay!

I do agree that simply because you know someone or have a gay family member, this isn’t enough to be pro-gay marriage, any more than having a pedophile in the family is enough to be pro-Catholic.  While I know that it changes the minds of some people, such as Rob Portman, it’s still a wholly emotional argument and we ought to strive for better than that.  I am aware that it is commonplace, just as people who were against interracial marriage often changed their minds when Junior brought home a black girlfriend, but we should be able to do better than that.

6) If marriage is for pro-creation, then old people who can’t have kids shouldn’t be allowed to be married.

Here, Matthew goes completely off the reservation because this is a valid argument, yet he can do nothing to actually disprove it, he just makes fun of it.  It starts with an invalid premise, that marriage is for procreation.  It is not.   The fact that we marry people who cannot have children is proof of that.  That doesn’t just apply to the elderly, but to people who choose not to breed, who are born without the biological ability to breed, who have had themselves sterilized, etc.  There is no question on any marriage license that says “Are  you going to breed?”  Therefore, it’s a complete non-issue and theists need to stop asserting that it’s true.

5) The Bible doesn’t say that engaging in homosexual acts is a sin!!!

I know this comes from a Catholic site, but I’m going to be honest, I don’t give shit one what the Bible says.  The Bible says a lot of things that Christians completely ignore and/or find a way to rationalize their way out of.  Haven’t seen many of them killing witches or stoning unruly children lately, have you?  It’s really irrelevant what the Bible says with regard to homosexuality because we have a secular government and religious arguments are complete non-starters.  That said though, I’m going to take a different angle here, regardless of what the Bible calls homosexuality, it does not, anywhere within it’s pages, put mankind in a position of judging others for moral crimes.  Therefore, no matter what someone else does, what business is it of yours?

4) Jesus was gay.

Again, I’m not going to look at this from the perspective of a Catholic because, as far as I’m concerned, Jesus, the guy who appears in the Bible, is a mythical character anyhow.  He could only have been gay in the sense that Dumbledore was gay in the Harry Potter books, he had no reality beyond the printed page.  However, I find it hysterical that a group of people who have an entirely separate set of books called the Apocrypha, made up of extra-Biblical stories, could be holding to the idea that just because it isn’t in the Bible, it isn’t valid.  All of the non-Biblical books that were supposedly written by people who surrounded Jesus are going to potentially give us more information about Jesus, even if they were not adopted by the Council of Trent.  And let’s face it, the Council of Trent had an agenda and mostly, it was supporting what the churches already believed, without regard for factual truth.  I do agree that this is a stupid argument, but the argument against it is just as stupid.

3) Homophobe!!!

Name-calling certainly isn’t an argument, I will agree.  Calling someone a homophobe doesn’t mean a thing, any more than calling someone a sinner.  However, I will also say that if the label fits, wear it.  Humans, like it or not, are biologically programmed to fear that which is different than themselves.  There are a lot of people who are just icked out by homosexual sex.  A lot of that has to do with cultural and religious indoctrination, you can find plenty of people who are disgusted by the idea of interracial sex for the same reason.  I don’t condone the use of insults and name-calling, simply to fling insults and names, but let’s be honest, there are a sizable number of people out there that are afraid of gays and you can see it in the anti-gay rhetoric.  “If we let gays marry, it will destroy the meaning of my marriage!”  “If we let gays marry, my church will be forced to marry gays!”  And my personal favorite: “If we let gays marry, we’ll all have to marry men!”  This betrays a very bizarre, almost paranoid fear of homosexuality, so the label of “homophobe” certainly would be applicable.  I don’t think a lot of anti-gay people are really cognizant of the level of their fear of the unknown, unexpected or different.

2) All the polls say that Americans are in favor of gay marriage.

That is true, but that doesn’t really mean anything as an argument.  It’s just the argumentum ad populum fallacy.  Whether the majority of Americans are in favor of gay marriage or not has nothing to do with whether someone has a valid or reasonable argument, it’s an attempt to invalidate someone’s beliefs by saying they just don’t matter.  Now, in the real world, gay marriage absolutely will become legal, not only in the United States, but around the world.  England is currently working toward full gay marriage and so are many other first-world countries.  It is inevitable that it will happen, but that fact doesn’t give you license to just ignore what an individual says or thinks.

1) Temperatures are diverse. So why shouldn’t we be?

Alright, that is plain dumb, I’ll agree.  Hell, the more I think about it, the more stupid it gets, so Matthew gets a big thumbs up on this one.  People can say really, really stupid things and deserve to be called out on it.

There clearly are some really awful reasons to support gay marriage.  That doesn’t mean that gay marriage ought not be supported, although I’m sure Matthew would disagree, but that we ought to understand why we support causes and make sure our reasons are logical, rational and backed up by evidence, not simply because we desire a particular end emotionally.

That said, there are many really excellent reasons to support gay marriage, the best argument of all is this:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. (14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution)

Some Questions About Marriage

MarriageAs anyone who has been around here for a while knows, I come across all kinds of strange lists online that I’ll appropriate and answer, just for the hell of it.  It lets people know what others think and it makes my job a bit easier as I just have to answer questions, not come up with them in the first place.  Sneaky, huh?  This one is about marriage and whether or not gay marriage ought to be accepted from a “statist” perspective.  With the gay marriage debate heating up, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to both “borrow” someone else’s ideas, see what other people have to say on the subject and to respond to their questions.

On with the show.

1. Does marriage between two consenting adults need to be sanctioned by the state?

That’s kind of an odd say to put it, isn’t it?  Does it “need” to be sanctioned by the state?  I don’t know that anyone is putting a gun to the state’s head and making demands, but it seems likely that it will be sanctioned, it always has been and since the state is the legislative arm of society and society wants marriage legally recognized, then it seems only logical that it will continue to be recognized via license by the state.

2. If so, and there is a legitimate state interest in doing so, what are those interests, or interest?

There are plenty of perfectly viable interests.  Married people provide, in theory at least, a stable tax base and are a stabilizing agent for society itself.  They provide a much-needed boost to the economy, having more free money to spend within their communities and they can, although they certainly do not have to, provide a superior environment in which to raise children.

3. Outside of matters like taxation, benefits, power of attorney, visitation rights etc that can be legislated for separately, does the state have any other compelling and necessary interest?

I love how they dismiss a lot of the benefits, then ask what benefits there are.  Yes, all of those can be legislated for separately, but why would  you?  They already exist in the form of marriage.  Who in their right mind would advocate getting rid of marriage, then re-introducing something that looks, for all intents and purposes, exactly like marriage, just called something different?  Here’s the reality, there are an estimated 11,000 different rights, privileges and benefits that you get, provided by the state and federal government, just for putting your name on that marriage license.  While yes, I suppose most of them can be achieved by filing a ton of different legal paperwork, who in their right mind would want to do that, and at what cost?  A marriage license costs  you no more than $100,  depending on where you live, how many thousands upon thousands of dollars would it cost to get all of the paperwork drawn up and filed if you had to do it all separately?  So what is the reason to change something that already demonstrably works?

4. If the answer is no, then the state shouldn’t be in the marriage business at all.

Since the answer is not no, the question is irrelevant, but in reality, the state is in the marriage business because the people who vote in people to represent their views apparently want the state to be in the marriage business.  That trumps everything else.

5. if yes, and the interests are solidified around the concept of procreation then the following needs to be answered.

Yet, the interests are not solidified around the concept of procreation and never have been.  Marriage has always been a secular, even before religion stole it bodily.  Marriage has been about wealth and property and inheritance and standing in the community.  It’s about making sure that your property goes to your heirs after death, that your family is taken care of, etc.  In more modern times, it’s about the legal inter-mingling of two people’s assets and debts.  Procreation barely even enters into it.

6. Does marriage between a man and a women posses any inherent benefit to society over all others, including polygamous marriages, and homosexual marriages?

Nope, none that I can see.

7. If so, what is this benefit, does this benefit carry with it such a compelling state interest that, the exclusion of all other marriage arrangements would be a necessary and proper function of the state to legislate.

See above.

8. Is there an intrinsic value for one type of marriage over any other?

Again, not one that I can see.

9. Is there material proof, or evidence of any such claims?

I think the author was expecting a “yes” answer to the question above.  That’s the problem with so many of these “questionnaires” online, they are typically written with a certain expectation as to the responses, such that the next question proceeds from the assumption that previous questions were answered as predicted.  Then someone like me comes along and doesn’t do so and it just throws things off.

10. Does the right not to participate in the procreative process invalidate this state interest?

Since the state interest isn’t only, or even primarily, in procreation, absolutely not.  The state gets more money out of married people than it does out of single people, therefore the state has a vested financial interest in getting people married.  The next several elements are traditional and, unfortunately, do not apply as much these days, which is why I think our society is getting extremely screwed up.  In the past, married people were much more likely to own homes and provide social stability to their neighborhoods, they would live in one place for many, many years.  Today, that isn’t the case, most people move every couple of years and there’s really no point in generating community cohesiveness.  Today, people hardly know the people who live next  door and there’s no point in making long-term friends because next year, you’ll have a whole group of new neighbors.  The only place  that procreation matters to the state is in the generation of new taxpayers to offset the losses through death, but it takes 18 years for a new taxpayer to be generated, thus making most marriages pointless to the state for the majority of the time if procreation is seen as the sole purpose.

11. Does the ability to manufacture a way to participate in the procreative process validate the marriage arrangement?

Absolutely not.  Many, many people who are married will never have children for a variety of reasons and we do not restrict their ability to be married.  My sister, for example, hurt her back when she was younger and ran the risk, when she was younger, that if she ever got pregnant, she may end up paralyzed for life.  So she never had kids, yet she’s married.  I don’t see anyone arguing that we ought to restrict people like her and her husband from marrying, do you?

12. Does a marriage that produces children of the genetic components of each parent have any value over one that produces children of only one, or perhaps none of the parents?

Clearly not, otherwise we would not allow people past the age of procreation to get married, we would not allow people who were sterile, either naturally or by choice, to get married and we would not allow people who choose not to procreate to get married.  If it mattered that the children were genetically related to the parents, we wouldn’t allow adoptions or foster children.  This is a silly question.

13. Do the people through the state have a right and obligation to choose or favor one form of marriage over any other?

I’d argue exactly the opposite point, that the people, through the state, have an obligation not to favor one form of marriage over any other, they instead have an obligation to provide equal rights and opportunities to all.  Those are the principles upon which this nation was founded and I’d argue that refusing to provide equal and equitable treatment to all under the law is a slap in the face to all the people who fought and died to make this country free.

14. If the state has a fundamental duty, and by a necessary function, the right to regulate marriage types, does this duty, or function carry with it, a responsibility to exclude certain types of marriage, and if so, how does the state decide what types and whom is excluded?

I love how the questions presuppose the answers, don’t you?  I’ll give you three guesses what the stated political position of the individual who asked these questions and the first two don’t count.  The state clearly has no duty to regulate marriage types, except in the sense that all involved need to be legally permitted to enter contracts.  That means that people can’t marry children or  dogs or trees.  Otherwise, things ought to be pretty open.  The only possible exception, for the moment at least, is polygamous marriage.  No, I’m not against it, but all legal case law to date has dealt with two partners.  If the marriage is dissolved, then it’s over and there are legal procedures for determining who gets what.  But what do you do when there are more than two people involved?  How do you deal with inheritance, with divorce, with custody and child support?  These are questions that need to be answered before we allow polygamous marriage, otherwise the courts will be endlessly clogged, even worse than they are now, with nasty divorce proceedings that nobody has a clue what to do with.  Answer the questions, then allow polygamous marriage.

15. If it is that the state does not carry this right and responsibility then gay marriage along with any other type of marriage should be allowed.

Agreed, with the exceptions I listed above.

16. If it does carry this right and responsibility, then gay marriage and polygamous marriage should not be allowed to continue.

Then it’s a good thing that the state does not have that right or responsibility, isn’t it?

So we return to the original question.  The state has no reason not to allow gay marriage, it has no prevailing interest in keeping a small percentage of the population from being married and having the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else.  So why do it?

Why indeed…

Linguistic Lunacy

Yesterday, I spent the 4th with my extended family and that meant spending the day with my brother-in-law.  Now don’t get me wrong, he’s a great guy, I like him a lot, but he ended up reminding me why I hate accomodationism.  See, he’s a conservative.  That means he’s a gun-toting, personal-responsibility-demanding, small-government, kind of guy.  He’s also an atheist and has no attachment whatsoever to religious neo-conservatism.  In fact, he’s 100% in favor of things like gay rights.

He’s just not in favor of gay marriage.

Or, more properly, not in favor of using that word to refer to gay unions.  That might seem kind of stupid and, in fact, it is, but his reasoning has always troubled me.  See, he wants gays to be able to get “married”, but since the religious right has declared “ownership” of that word and he doesn’t want to do anything that’s going to unnecessarily piss them off.

Why?  Because more than he hates the religious, he hates the left and in his mind, the only way to beat the liberals politically is with the help of the religious wingnuts on the right.  The enemy of his enemies are his friends, in some fashion.

Unfortunately, I think that’s a pretty widespread view among Republicans.  Once you get outside of the Bible-swinging portion of the Republican spectrum, I think there are a healthy percentage of more rational Republicans who are playing nice with the religious wingnuts in order to buy their votes.  They’re willing to allow the crazies at the podium to spout all kinds of religious stupidity, so long as they keep putting their money and support behind the party.  I suspect they think that all of the nonsense supported by the far-right is politically impossible anyhow, therefore let them vomit their misogyny and racism, nothing can ever come of it.

I couldn’t disagree more.

I think they need to be opposed at every turn, no matter the effect on the party.  Philosophically and intellectually, the religious are bad news.  They believe irrational things, they want to push mythology in the schools and follow ancient books over modern knowledge.  This is bad for everyone.  Catering to them at all sends the message that their ideas are credible.  It gives the impression that the party in general supports and defends them.  I’d hope that if the Nazis were a sizable political faction in the U.S., people with more sense than that wouldn’t cater to their antisemitism for votes, but maybe they would.  Nothing really surprises me these days.

We can’t embrace the religious craziness of the far-right just to buy their votes.  I’d rather lose the next 10 elections than deal with the crazy uncle in the Republican party sitting in the corner talking to himself.  Honestly, I think it’s time for the Republican party to fragment so the normal people can go off and set a more rational platform for itself and people like my brother-in-law don’t have to feel like they’re obligated to hold their nose and talk nice to the nutballs.