I wanted to share here some conversation and further thinking on a topic that was discussed vigorously amongst friends while partaking in choice hops this past Halloween weekend. The below is written in conversation style (almost all my posts are like this) for friends. So it will seem personal at times.
A plea for friends who are in relationships… this is meant for continued deeper reflection. Take your time and reflect thoughtfully and if discussed amongst yourselves, discuss civilly. Through all the conversation, know that right now in California civil partnerships hold all the legal equality (taxes, health-care coverage, hospital visits, etc) to marriage. So the push to have “same-sex marriage” isn’t about “equality,” it’s about ideology.
Also keep in mind that I am not in any way under the impression that a simple conversation like this will undue many years of thinking on a matter/subject. (You or Myself.) I would rather you at the least be introduced to a side of an issue that maybe you haven’t heard of before. This introduction to other arguments may be long and tedious. TAKE YOUR TIME (*caps not yelling but said for impact*). Great theories and coming to positions (spiritual and political) on a matter take time and evolve, sometimes over years. Or at least they should be considered with weightiness and not merely adopted from university or parental influence.
I have no idea either what you may have been introduced to (for instance: Howard Zinn, the self admitted Marxist and historian whose historical viewpoint was born from Marx and Engels writings – on other words, his historical philosophy didn’t exist prior to the Communist Manifesto). This view of history tends to be popular at the university campus. In other words, many of our views are rooted in deeper worldviews and the peripheral views we hold may never change until you look a bit deeper into our worldview.
(What does a worldview entail? Any “coherent worldview must be able to satisfactorily answer four questions: that of origin, meaning, morality, and destiny.” Another writer outs it thusly: “A Worldview is how one views or interprets reality. The German word is Weltanschauung, meaning a ‘world and life view,’ or ‘a paradigm.’ It is a framework through which or by which one makes sense of the data of life. A worldview makes a world of difference in one’s view of God, origins, evil, human nature, values, and destiny.” Raising one’s self-consciousness [awareness] about worldviews is an essential part of intellectual maturity.)
In my mind’s eye we are talking about peripheral positions that would be impacted more by a deeper look into how we view reality… something not often looked into by the general populace today (see my first chapter in my book). So again,
- I am more concerned about clarity than agreement in this conversation.
Many positions we hold as fact can be based in fallacious thinking. I will exemplify this by a topic that was brought up the other night, anthropogenic global warming (man caused global warming). History and science come together to disprove this theory. Not only has the “hockey stick” model that gave birth to this giant theory which was popularized by Al Gore [Britain’s courts referenced many lies in his presentation to not show it in public schools] has been torn to shreds science-wise, history shows the complete breakdown of the premise. For instance:
(1) Mars (Uncommon Descent h/t) has had a bout of global warming… last I checked Exxon doesn’t drill there;
(2) In the 8th century AD, the Roman Empire grew grapes used for wine on the slopes of Salisbury Plain (about 80 miles southwest of London) in the United Kingdom;
(3) The Vikings raiding and traveling the seas was made possible by the now frozen “Greenland”actually living up to its name;
(4) NASA‘s “fact” that 1998 was the warmest year (used by Al Gore) was disproved by an amateur mathematician;
(5) In 1970’s, at the first Earth Day rally, scientists, meteorologists and politicians all pushed a theory that there was Global Cooling (Time magazine for instance). While this theory wasn’t as embedded in popular thinking and scientific literature as is global warming, it was still the dominant theory of that time;
(6) There is more ice now that 29-years ago; Antarctic sea ice more than in 1979;
(7) In the 1500’s till the late 1800’s passages that are now iced over allowed for what is termed as the Northwest Passage… Exxon or cars weren’t around then?
“If you are like me and bit foggy on the Northwest Passage, here is a five cent refresher. The British coined the term Northwest Passage for the potential northern oceanic pass that would allow vessels to move between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The earliest explorations for the fabled passage were by Cortes in 1539. The late 1500’s were marked by British explorers, Martin Frobisher, Humphrey Gilbert, and John Davis. Several expeditions followed, all with little success of finding the passage but tempered by the acquisition of new lands. Some attempts lead to deaths of entire crews. Notable of these is the Sir John Franklin expedition in which all of the crew members were lost to starvation, scurvy, cannibalism, and lead poisoning from food sealed in tins. The first to transverse the Northwest Passage was Sir Robert McClure using a combination of both sledge and ship. Ironically this was done during the search for Franklin’s team in which McClure’s own ship became trapped in the ice for three winters. The passage was finally conquered entirely by sea by the Norwegian Amundsen in 1906.”
A map of the land mass of the Antarctic (the Piri Reis map) is a mystery if you swallow the “goreacles” view of man-caused global warming:
Research showed that it was a genuine document drawn in 1513 by Piri Reis, a famous admiral of the Turkish fleet in the sixteenth century.
His passion was cartography. His high rank within the Turkish navy allowed him to have a privileged access to the Imperial Library of Constantinople.
The Turkish admiral admits in a series of notes on the map that he compiled and copied the data from a large number of source maps, some of which dated back to the fourth century BC or earlier.
(9) Acid rain scares of the 1980’s were mostly unfounded and not man-caused;
(10) On the northern side of Mammoth (in California), there are tree-lines that were preserved by a volcanic eruption in A.D. 1350. In this preserved tree-line there were seven species of tree that grew well above the current tree-line in this mountainous range. The Earth would have to be 3.2 degrees warmer (Celsius) in order for these particular trees to grow in this higher altitude.
So one can believe in man caused Global Warming, but the facts speak for themselves. (See my son’s 6th grade debate for Toast Masters for instance.) What would drive this view then? Patrick Moore, who you’ll remember is the co-founder of Green Peace, answers this important query, saying:
“I now find that many environmental groups have drifted into self-serving cliques with narrow vision and rigid ideology…. many environmentalists are showing signs of elitism, left-wingism, and downright eco-fascism. The once politically centrist, science-based vision of environmentalism has been largely replaced with extremist rhetoric. Science and logic have been abandoned and the movement is often used to promote other causes such as class struggle and anti-corporatism. The public is left trying to figure out what is reasonable and what is not.”
I almost wrote on the topic we spoke a bit about the other night back in September and wish I had, but instead I switched gears and wrote on the Left’s support for pedophilia (explicit and implicit) in their support of many groups who promote it – here in the united states and abroad (See: The Left / Islamo-Nazis / Homosexuality / Womens Rights / and Contradictions). I would like us to stay on just this topic if we can work though it.
Before getting to the main topic that we left last night about interracial marriage being illegal on the basis of color and homosexuality being equated to that [i.e., race], I wish to post some of what I said last night for record sake. This comes from a question asked of me by one of my son’s friends. He asked “What is your views on gays? Are they bad? Are they going to hell? Are you born this way?” (Question #3 from Q & A Session – PapaG Style) Most of what I talked about last night can be found in this post for clarity [updated a bit]:
….However, there is a “created order,” or, even a natural order (if you do not believe in God). My argument for heterosexual (between a man and a woman) unions is usable both by the atheist (non believer) and the theist (a believer in God – in the Judeo-Christian sense). Here is the crux of the matter in regards to “nature’s order:”
“…take gold as an example, it has inherent in its nature intrinsic qualities that make it expensive: good conductor of electricity, rare, never tarnishes, and the like. The male and female have the potential to become a single biological organism, or single organic unit, or principle. Two essentially becoming one. The male and female, then, have inherent to their nature intrinsic qualities that two mated males or two mated females never actualize in their courtship… nor can they ever. The potential stays just that, potential, never being realized…. Think of a being that reproduces, not by mating, but by some act performed by individuals. Imagine that for these same beings, movement and digestion is performed not by individuals, but only by the complementary pairs that unite for this purpose. Would anyone acquainted with such beings have difficulty understanding that in respect to movement and digestion, the organism is a united pair, or an organic unity?” (Prof. George)
So you see, the two heterosexual organisms that join in a sexual union cease being two separate organisms for a short time and become one organism capable of reproduction. This is what the state and the church are sealing in a marriage, this intrinsic union. The homosexual couple can never achieve this union, so “natures order” has endowed the heterosexual union with an intrinsic quality that other relationships do not have or could never attain. Both the atheist and theist can argue from this point, because either we were created this way or we evolved this way. Either way, nature has imposed on the sexual union being discussed.
Also, I do not think it is wholly genetic. I believe choice is involved as well as violence. For instance, take this thought from a pro-choice, lesbian woman, Tammy Bruce:
“ . . . . and now all manner of sexual perversion enjoys the protection and support of once what was a legitimate civil-rights effort for decent people. The real slippery slope has been the one leading into the Left’s moral vacuum. It is a singular attitude that prohibits any judgment about obvious moral decay because of the paranoid belief that judgment of any sort would destroy the gay lifestyle, whatever that is…. I believe this grab for children by the sexually confused adults of the Gay Elite represents the most serious problem facing our culture today. . . . Here come the elephant again: Almost without exception, the gay men I know (and that’s too many to count) have a story of some kind of sexual trauma or abuse in their childhood — molestation by a parent or an authority figure, or seduction as an adolescent at the hands of an adult. The gay community must face the truth and see sexual molestation of an adolescent for the abuse it is, instead of the ‘coming-of-age’ experience many [gays] regard it as being. Until then, the Gay Elite will continue to promote a culture of alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, and suicide by AIDS.”
What she is basically saying is that there are emotional reasons, usually trauma, or circumstances that push these young boys into the choices they make in regards to their sexuality. For instance, one of my co-workers is a homosexual man. He is a wonderful guy; I would invite him to my wedding if I could go back in time. He is very open about his past, he was “initiated” into the homosexual lifestyle by a grown black man when he was 14. In other words, he was raped. Whether he feels at this point in time that he consented is of no value to the conversation. He was not old enough to consent neither would this act by a family member, friend, or complete stranger be anything but rape. And this rape, at an age where boys are having surges of hormones and confused about a lot of things is what Tammy Bruce was speaking to. It is a psychological trauma that if not dealt with has negatively reverberating results in one’s life. To ignore the traumatic effects on a person’s life that an event like this has simply by “rubber stamping” the lifestyle that all too often is a consequence of violence does more harm (trauma) to the individual than simply asking society to stay within the classic definition of marriage.
This “trauma” sometimes works its way into sexual matters. There are many homosexual people, Al Rantel, to name a more popular one, that believe marriage should be kept between a man and a woman. Tammy Bruce wants it, but she, like most Republicans, want the states to decide, and not the Supreme Court.
Also, in 1993, the biggest march by the “gay” community (much thanks to a reader leaving a link to this article!) on Washington was held, and they had this as part of their platform:
- The implications of homosexual, bisexual, and transgendered curriculum at all levels of education.
- The lowering of the age [12 years old to be exact] of consent for homosexual and heterosexual sex.
- The legalization of homosexual marriages.
- Custody, adoption, and foster-care rights for homosexuals, lesbians, and transgendered people.
- the redefinition of the family to include the full diversity of all family structures.
- The access to all programs of the Boy Scouts of America.
- Affirmative action for homosexuals.
- The inclusion of sex-change operations under a universal health-care plan.
Obviously the Elite gay community Tammy Bruce spoke of knows which age is best for “recruiting,” e.g., traumatizing.
I will post three quotes from Tammy Bruce (a pro-choice lesbian):
Even if one does not necessarily accept the institutional structure of “organized religion,” the “Judeo-Christian ethic and the personal standards it encourages do not impinge on the quality of life, but enhance it. They also give one a basic moral template that is not relative,” which is why the legal positivists of the Left are so threatened by the Natural Law aspect of the Judeo-Christian ethic. (Tammy Bruce, The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left’s Assault on Our Culture and Values [Roseville: Prima, 2003], 35.)
…these problems don’t remain personal and private. The drive, especially since this issue is associated with the word “gay rights,” is to make sure your worldview reflects theirs. To counter this effort, we must demand that the medical and psychiatric community take off their PC blinders and treat these people responsibly. If we don’t, the next thing you know, your child will be taking a “tolerance” class explaining how “transexuality” is just another “lifestyle choice”…. After all, it is the only way malignant narcissists will ever feel normal, healthy, and acceptable: by remaking society – children – in their image (Ibid., 92, 206)
… and now all manner of sexual perversion enjoys the protection and support of once what was a legitimate civil-rights effort for decent people. The real slippery slope has been the one leading into the Left’s moral vacuum. It is a singular attitude that prohibits any judgment about obvious moral decay because of the paranoid belief that judgment of any sort would destroy the gay lifestyle, whatever that is…. I believe this grab for children by the sexually confused adults of the Gay Elite represents the most serious problem facing our culture today…. Here come the elephant again: Almost without exception, the gay men I know (and that’s too many to count) have a story of some kind of sexual trauma or abuse in their childhood — molestation by a parent or an authority figure, or seduction as an adolescent at the hands of an adult. The gay community must face the truth and see sexual molestation of an adolescent for the abuse it is, instead of the ‘coming-of-age’ experience many [gays] regard it as being. Until then, the Gay Elite will continue to promote a culture of alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, and suicide by AIDS. (Ibid., 90. 99)
[A reader with an eagle eye caught a mistake on my part,
so a portion of this post was removed: see comments]
Many homosexuals stand against same-sex marriage. I document some in-depth views by a couple of politically astute gay persons reasons on why they stand against same-sex marriage (so it isn’t homophobia [#1], and [#2] it isn’t about a lack of “rights,” because these homosexual writers believe they are equal now). I also quote a well-known Canadian homosexual psychologist and sociologist on this topic:
Paul Nathanson, a sociologist, a scholar, and a homosexual writes that there are at least five functions that marriage serves–things that every culture must do in order to survive and thrive. They are (source):
- Foster the bonding between men and women
- Foster the birth and rearing of children
- Foster the bonding between men and children
- Foster some form of healthy masculine identity
- Foster the transformation of adolescents into sexually responsible adults
Note that Nathanson considers these points critical to the continued survival of any culture. He continues “Because heterosexuality is directly related to both reproduction and survival, … every human societ[y] has had to promote it actively . … Heterosexuality is always fostered by a cultural norm “that limits marriage to unions of men and women.” He adds that people “are wrong in assuming that any society can do without it.”
Read more: RPT Joy Behar vs. Homosexuals on Same-Sex Marriage
These are considerations often not addressed by the Left. But all this is not the main point I want to deal with, which is, race and sexual orientation.
Dennis Prager mentions the power of this argument with one of his few refutations of it:
The most effective of all morality-based arguments for same-sex marriage, the one that persuades more people than any other argument, is the one that equates opposition to same-sex marriage with the old opposition to interracial marriage.
The argument, repeated so often that it sounds incontestable, is this: Just as parts of American society once had immoral laws that forbade whites and blacks from marrying, so, today, society continues to have immoral laws forbidding men from marrying men and women from marrying women. And just as decent people overthrew the former, decent people must overthrow the latter.
Thanks in large part to widespread higher education — the higher the educational level, the more one is likely to hold this view — vast numbers of Americans believe in this equation of sex (gender) and race.
But the equation is false.
First, there is no comparison between sex and race.
There are enormous differences between men and women, but there are no differences between people of different races. Men and women are inherently different, but blacks and whites (and yellows and browns) are inherently the same. Therefore, any imposed separation by race can never be moral or even rational;
on the other hand, separation by sex can be both morally desirable and rational. Separate bathrooms for men and women is moral and rational; separate bathrooms for blacks and whites is not….
Read more: False Equation: Opposing Same-Sex Marriage and Opposing Interracial Marriage
(In the audio to the right, this first caller should be listened to, below is the visual of the discussion.)
That first reason is why almost all the black civil rights leaders that marched with Martin Luther King Jr. do not support this comparison. For instance,
Average Household Income:
Homosexuals – $55,430 / African Americans – $12,166
Percentage of College Graduates:
Homosexuals – 60% / African Americans – 5%
Holding Professional Positions:
Homosexuals – 49% / African Americans – 1%
Taken Overseas Vacations:
Homosexuals – 66% / African Americans – 1%
Ever Denied the Right to Vote:
Homosexuals – No / African Americans – Yes
Ever Faced Legal Segregation:
Homosexuals – No / African Americans – Yes
Ever Denied Access to Public Restrooms:
Homosexuals – No / African Americans – Yes
Ever Denied Access to Businesses and Restaurants:
Homosexuals – No / African Americans – Yes
(Wall Street Journal, 7/18/91, B1)
Read more: RPT Homosexuality: Is it good for society? For the individual?
In a New York Times article entitled, “Blacks Rejecting Gay Rights As a Battle Equal to Theirs,” we find some interesting supposed parallels made by the Left taken to task. For instance, Vernetta Adams, A balck 24-year-old woman and history major at the University of the District of Columbia said this, “I can’t go in a closet and hang up my race when it’s convenient…. Gays hid in the closet when they wanted to advance. Now they’re out and demanding rights and yelling ‘discrimination.'” The The Rev. Lou Sheldon intimates the reasons he thinks many in the gay community are making this parallel:
“The reason gays are making parallels,” Mr. Sheldon said, “is that it may bring empathy from white men like me, who feel a collective sense of guilt about the way blacks have been treated. The fact remains that this is not a civil rights issue but a moral issue.”
This is the point that separates race from gender. That is, homosexuals have not been discriminated against:
Another argument for gay rights laws depends upon an analogy between homosexuals today and blacks before the civil rights movement. It claims that homosexuals similarly constitute a distinct and oppressed minority and that, although they do enjoy many civil liberties, they are nonetheless second-class citizens because people scorn and reject them out of prejudice. Hence, gay rights laws, modeled on civil rights statutes for blacks, should be enacted to correct this.
Yet the analogy is not sound. Homosexuals are not an oppressed minority in the way that blacks were. They have not suffered from imposed segregation, systematic economic deprivation, or denial of educational opportunities. Furthermore, they do not suffer from an inherited pattern of deprivation, since the homosexual condition is not passed from generation to generation like race or ethnicity. Rather, it has been well documented that homosexuals have, on average, incomes much higher than the national norm and that, on average, they receive several years more formal schooling than the typical American. They occupy thousands of positions of prestige and influence in business, academia, the professions, and the media. It cannot plausibly be maintained that they are an oppressed minority.
(Michael Pakaluk, “Homosexuality and the Principle of Nondiscrimination,” 77-78, found in Christopher Wolfe, ed., Same-Sex Matters: The Challenge of Homosexuality [Dallas, TX: Spence Publishing, 2000].)
Some discussion of the 3/5ths Clause in the Constitution came up as well. Frederick Douglas in his early years thought that this proved a “race bias” embedded in our country. Until that is, he read the Constitution and those writings of the authors of these sections and the debates (history) on such clauses:
Another point I make (in the post Homosexuality: Is it good for society? For the individual?) is that there is an issue before us:
A liberal society might, then, find it prudent to ignore homosexuality. It might well deem it unwise to peer into private bedrooms. However, this is not the issue before us. Today the demand is that homosexuality be endorsed and promoted with the full power of the law. This would require us to abandon the standard of nature, the one standard that can teach us the difference between freedom and slavery, between right and wrong.
What is the “issue before us?” I will let professor Robert George talk about it further:
….Lawyers challenging traditional marriage laws liken their cause to Loving v. Virginia (which invalidated laws against interracial marriages), insinuating that conjugal-marriage supporters are bigots. This is ludicrous and offensive, and no one should hesitate to say so.
The definition of marriage was not at stake in Loving. Everyone agreed that interracial marriages were marriages. Racists just wanted to ban them as part of the evil regime of white supremacy that the equal protection clause was designed to destroy.
Opponents of racist laws in Loving did not question the idea, deeply embodied in our law and its shaping philosophical tradition, of marriage as a union that takes its distinctive character from being founded, unlike other friendships, on bodily unity of the kind that sometimes generates new life. This unity is why marriage, in our legal tradition, is consummated only by acts that are generative in kind. Such acts unite husband and wife at the most fundamental level and thus legally consummate marriage whether or not they are generative in effect, and even when conception is not sought.
Of course, marital intercourse often does produce babies, and marriage is the form of relationship that is uniquely apt for child-rearing (which is why, unlike baptisms and bar mitzvahs, it is a matter of vital public concern). But as a comprehensive sharing of life—an emotional and biological union—marriage has value in itself and not merely as a means to procreation. This explains why our law has historically permitted annulment of marriage for non-consummation, but not for infertility; and why acts of sodomy, even between legally wed spouses, have never been recognized as consummating marriages.
Only this understanding makes sense of all the norms—annulability for non-consummation, the pledge of permanence, monogamy, sexual exclusivity—that shape marriage as we know it and that our law reflects. And only this view can explain why the state should regulate marriage (as opposed to ordinary friendships) at all—to make it more likely that, wherever possible, children are reared in the context of the bond between the parents whose sexual union gave them life.
If marriage is redefined, its connection to organic bodily union—and thus to procreation—will be undermined. It will increasingly be understood as an emotional union for the sake of adult satisfaction that is served by mutually agreeable sexual play. But there is no reason that primarily emotional unions like friendships should be permanent, exclusive, limited to two, or legally regulated at all. Thus, there will remain no principled basis for upholding marital norms like monogamy….
(Gay Marriage, Democracy, and the Courts: The culture war will never end if judges invalidate the choices of voters – Wall Street Journal)
While the following may be a bit graduate level, it is worth reading and digesting, as it makes similar points to the above comments by Robert George in the article he wrote, but it looks at the health of society. Like I said, you should take your time, follow through on some of the links, which would be equivalent to a small book being read. The following is taken from the chapter of my book entitled, Roman Epicurean’ism – Natural Law and Homosexuality (this section starts on page 14 if you wish to follow the references):
The very heart of natural law is the family, for the distinction of male and female is at the very origin of our divinely ordained (e.g., created) social nature. “Deviation from the ordained goal of heterosexual intercourse within marriage therefore strikes at the very heart of natural law.” Civil marriage, then, exists merely to recognize a pre-existing social institution presupposing a created order vis-à-vis natural law tradition. “The state does not create marriage – it merely recognizes it. Marriage, in its truest sense, is neither a civil institution nor a religious one, but a natural institution. The complimentarity of male and female is an essential part of its nature.” You see, the state has a vested interest in the family unit. If people could not have children, then the state would not be involved in the legal aspect of such a private contract. Michael Pakaluk, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Clark University, uses Justice John Harlan’s dissention in the Poe v. Ullman to point out that “society… has traditionally concerned itself with the moral soundness of its people.” He continues:
The laws regarding marriage which provide both when the sexual powers may be used and the legal and societal context in which children are born and brought up, as well as laws forbidding adultery, fornication, and homosexual practices which express the negative of the proposition, confining sexuality to lawful marriage, form a pattern so deeply pressed into the substance of our social life that any Constitutional doctrine in this area must build upon that basis.
Professor Pakaluk builds on theme of societal interest in the moral framework of the family structure and why it matters to a healthy society. He gives three areas of concern that said healthy society should be involved:
1. the state has an interest in promoting the family because the family is the only reliable source of good citizens—of men and women with civic virtues, goodwill towards others, peaceable habits of association, and virtues of thrift and hard work. It therefore has an interest in discouraging sexual activity that is harmful to family life.
2. the state needs to insure that the rights of all of its citizens are protected, especially those of children, but children have a right to be raised within an intact family (or, strictly speaking, being deprived of an intact family without grave reason). It follows that the state has an interest in regulating sexual activity so that children are conceived and raised within stable families.
3. the state has an interest in encouraging its citizens to master their sexual desires. This is an obvious and important point, but strangely it is frequently overlooked today. Inordinate sexual desire is clearly as capable of dominating and enslaving people as are greed, power, alcohol, and drugs. Desire not infrequently drives people to neglect their responsibilities, to use power illicitly, to abuse the rights of others, to betray others, to lie, even to commit murder. Disordered sexual desire is often directly linked to depression, listlessness, and rage. Clearly, a tranquil civic order can be established only among citizens who have achieved a good degree of sexual self-control, and the state clearly has an interest in promoting this.
This interest for a healthy society was born out of how pagan societies crumbled under the weight of licentiousness and the view of women as second-class citizen’s. Harold Berman makes this point when he writes that,
In pagan cultures in which polygamy, arranged marriages, and oppression of women predominated, the church promoted the idea of monogamous marriage by free consent of both spouses. In the West this idea had to do battle with deeply rooted tribal, village, and feudal customs. By the tenth century ecclesiastical synods were promulgating decrees concerning the matrimonial bond, adultery, legitimacy of children, and related matters; nevertheless, children continued to be married in the cradle and family relations continued to be dominated by the traditional folkways and mores of the Germanic, Celtic, and other peoples of western Europe. In the folklaw of the European peoples, as in the classical Roman law, marriage between persons of different classes (for example, free and slave, citizens and foreigners) was prohibited. Also divorce was at the will of either spouse—which usually meant, in practice, at the will of the husband. There were not even any formal requirements for divorce. Paternal consent was required for a marriage to be valid. Few obligations between the spouses were conceived in legal terms.
So there was a progression from Pagan rights for women, which were basically none, to a protection and equalization under a more Christianized system. It is this system that is being undermined in redefining marriage. What is meant by this is that marriage between a man and woman is not an institution created by the state. As philosopher Michael Pakaluk argues, “[it] is an objective reality prior to the state.” If it is merely an institution created by the state, the case used by same-sex advocates (Loving v. Virginia) to equate homosexual marriage to race falls apart:
There are several implications that follow from this. For example, Pakaluk points out that “parental authority must stand or fall with marriage.” For “if the bond of husband and wife is not by nature, then neither is the government of those who share in that bond over any children that might result.” Consequently, “laws recognizing gay marriage imply, similarly, that parents have no objective and natural authority over their children, prior to the state.”6 This would mean that parents would have no natural right, no actual moral grounds, to object to the public schools teaching their children lessons about human sexuality that are contrary to the lessons taught in church and home. The state, of course, may grant an exception to these “backward” parents, but not because they have a prelegal obligation to care for and nurture their children in shaping their character and directing their moral compass. Rather, the state may consider it politically wise to tolerate these families and their religious traditions. But it would not be as a matter of principle based on the order and nature of things.
Ironically, if this view of marriage were dominant in our legal culture when the Supreme Court rejected the prohibition of interracial marriage in the case of Loving v. Virginia (1967), the moral grounds for its opinion would have been lost.7 That is, in order for the Court to have concluded that forbidding interracial marriage is wrong, it would have to know what marriage is. But if marriage is merely a social construction and not a natural institution, the state of Virginia could have argued, like contemporary same-sex marriage proponents, that marriage is merely a social construction subject to our will and nothing more. It is only because the Court knew that marriage is between a man and a woman that it could say that race, like height, geography, or place of residence, is not a relevant characteristic for two people to marry.
(Francis Beckwith, “Legal Neutrality and Same-Sex Marriage,” Philosophia Christi [vol. 7, no. 1]: Downloadable PDF)
This “right to love” (which is separate from marriage) is discussed further by Dennis Prager and others. Before ending with some audio, another issue that may be embedded in your mind is that Christianity has enslaved women more than freed them. This misconception – common on the university campus – is another historical misconception. You may see this on pages 12-18 of my chapter entitled Gnostic Feminism – Empowered to Fail. A very important read to understand the protections that came from the Judeo-Christian worldview ultimately afforded to women almost from the conception of the Christian faith and later embedded in Western legal tradition. It is this tradition being undermined and the human rights homosexual persons and women have fought so hard for for centuries. If one rejects this American experiment founded in the rights of their Creator, then one rejects the rights found in this same document. Reverting back to the same positions that treated women and homosexuals in a less than demeaning manner is self-destructive and well, if you will forgive me, juvenile. Juvenile not in a negative way, but needing more input that is outside you normative “sounding board.”
Some important audio. Again, this topic is one I expect you to set aside some time for. Maybe a year even? I will politely keep you on track. The reason for this is that the typical position is reached on the Left some say merely by feeling. I am challenging you to leave the world of feelings and to put your feelings up against reasoned positions. Some of this will be religious in nature, but not in legal terms. What do I mean by this? Theologian Wayne Grudem explains the often mischaracterized cross-pollination of the religious with legal:
1. It fails to distinguish the reasons for a law from the content of the law
Such “exclude religion” arguments are wrong because marriage is not a religion! When voters define marriage, they are not establishing a religion. In the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” the word “religion” refers to the church that people attend and support. “Religion” means being a Baptist or Catholic or Presbyterian or Jew. It does not mean being married. These arguments try to make the word “religion” in the Constitution mean something different from what it has always meant.
These arguments also make the logical mistake of failing to distinguish the reasons for a law from the content of the law. There were religious reasons behind many of our laws, but these laws do not “establish” a religion. All major religions have teachings against stealing, but laws against stealing do not “establish a religion.” All religions have laws against murder, but laws against murder do not “establish a religion.” The campaign to abolish slavery in the United States and England was led by many Christians, based on their religious convictions, but laws abolishing slavery do not “establish a religion.” The campaign to end racial discrimination and segregation was led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist pastor, who preached against racial injustice from the Bible. But laws against discrimination and segregation do not “establish a religion.”
If these “exclude religion” arguments succeed in court, they could soon be applied against evangelicals and Catholics who make “religious” arguments against abortion. Majority votes to protect unborn children could then be invalidated by saying these voters are “establishing a religion.” And, by such reasoning, all the votes of religious citizens for almost any issue could be found invalid by court decree! This would be the direct opposite of the kind of country the Founding Fathers established, and the direct opposite of what they meant by “free exercise” of religion in the First Amendment.
(Wayne Grudem, Politics According to the Bible [Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010],31.)
In other words, one needs to make some “subject” “object” distinctions herein. Knowing that just because one’s view is religious or secular does not necessarily exclude her of his view from the panaplea of legal tradition. A quick note about another small topic that cropped up. If you are unaware of the horrible consequences of polygamy, I have some books and DVD documentaries that you are more than welcome to borrow that can increase your understanding of the psychological and positional destruction of children and women in these cultures:
- Escape, by Carolyn Jessop;
- Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist Wife, by Irene Spencer;
- Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamouse Sect, Becoming a Teengae Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs, by Elissa Wall;
- Banking on Heaven: Polygamy in the Heartland of the American West (DVD);
- Lifting the Veil of Polygamy (DVD);
- Escaping Polygamy: ABC Primetime Investigation (DVD).
Okay, some audio, finally:
Race, Gender, Homosexuality (24-minutes), somewhat religious;
Prop 8 Discussions (34-minutes);
Defending Traditional Marriage (34-minutes);
Gender Issues In Marriage (34-Minutes).