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March 04, 2004

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Myria

If you'll forgive me, Card's screed is less than persuasive. There's nothing particularly original there, and his views are long known. He starts by misstating both the role of the courts and the nature of the Goodridge decision - which more than likely he hasn't even read - and moves from there to recycling every strawman and semantic game he can manage. Rarely have I seen so many words wasted on saying so little.

Interesting arguments can and are being made on both sides of this debate, Card's screed is not what I would consider one of them.

Myria

Douglas

Oh, Myria, please forgive Card for the
unforgivable sin of stating the obvious.

BTW, you didn't mention that Orson
Scott Card is a fantastic writer, having
written many excellent science fiction
novels, most notably Ender's Game (Hugo
and Nebula Award winner)

DC

On the contrary, I find it very interesting and relevant to stop and consider the social implications rather than rush headlong into redefining society.

It's clear to me as a parent that my husband and I have different roles in raising our children. For example, men tend to encourage their children to take more risks.

It's also time that someone stand up and realize that the trend to follow whatever makes "us" feel good at the moment is not what is good for our society.

I can see it now. What brought down the great America? The selfishness of its citizens.

There's already evidence that the move from tolerance to sanctioned "approval" of gay relationships is changing the behaviour of our children. A recent "Washington Post article talked about high school girls "trying" lesbian relationships.

"At first I thought going out with a girl was nasty," she says. "Then I went to a club and did a big flip-flop. I've been off and on with girls and guys since then."

Another girl, a junior at Anacostia High, says her first love was a guy now in the Marines and stationed in North Carolina. She dated Kenny for two years and his picture adorns her bedroom wall.

But now she's dating a female high school basketball player. "Whoever likes me, I like them," she says matter-of-factly.

This wasn't happening when I was in high school. Could it possibly be due to the change from tolerance to approval/promotion in our schools?

What happened to homosexuals being born that way?

This may be a "Yawn" to you, but I'm sure it won't be if the parents of America actually consider what sanctioning gay marriage as the same thing as traditional marriage will mean when it comes to raising their kids.

ant

Agreed with Myria. I may be of the minority, but this is not about "left" or "right". This type of labelling becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You're a homosexual so your morals are questionable; you're not a conservative. Therefore you must be a liberal left-winger.

But here's a telling quote from Card's "screed" ... 'But homosexual "marriage" is an act of intolerance. It is an attempt to eliminate any special preference for marriage in society -- to erase the protected status of marriage in the constant balancing act between civilization and individual reproduction.'

Note how Card sought to protect the "special preference" of a (heterosexual) marriage. I believe this is one of the inequities that homosexual marriage proponents see to address.

There were many other parts of his arguments that raised my eyebrows since it's always easy to critique someone else's viewpoint. But then it becomse nitpicking. For example, making this into a left-right issue. Since the left is basically being "credited" for the adoption of homosexual marriages, those on the left could say that those on the right who joined the military are just bloodthirsty.

But I suppose you need to polarize issues to politicize and therefore to put politicians under pressure to "see" things "your way".

14 pages! Screed was a perfect description.

Ralf

Ant,

Special preferences exist to encourage and reward that which is more desirable. Denying consideration to those who are not doing the more desirable thing is not intolerant, it's simply not rewarding that which is less desirable. It has nothing to do with victimhood.

In the case of early prison release it is more desirable to have orderly prisons, and prisoners who contribute to that order get special privileges. Those who do not are not victims of intolerance.

When airlines extend special preferences to first class passengers they are not being intolerant, they're rewarding those who paid more and encouraging those who did not to consider it, because airlines find higher profits more desirable.

In the case of marriage nearly every culture on the planet has given special preferences to a defined way of life that has the best chance of carrying on civilization by bearing and raising children born to their mother and father. It's that whole "circle of life" thing and goes back thousands of years, much farther than the 228 years that mean ol' intolerant America has been around.

Since infertile couples inevitably come up here, a man and a woman who marry and never bear children also receive special consideration because by example they are following the more desirable model. Many also adopt and encourage the model of a family with a mother and father.

peg K

THE best analysis of this topic that I have read yet is at pejmanesque. Check out:

http://www.pejmanesque.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/6049

And Pej is NO whacko leftie. He's conservative - but thinks (as I do) that allowing gay marriage is actually a conservative position.

Read all his arguments - and see what you think.

ant

Ralf,
One thing I hate to do is nitpick a certain part of someone’s writing and take it out of context. However, the examples that you provided fail to dispel the notion that gay couples who want to get married are discriminated against.

First class passengers PAY for the privileges. Inmates who want to get released early “pay” by being a “good” prisoner. Am I to infer that if I am gay and I want to have the privileges of a heterosexual marriage that I should “pay” the price and be married heterosexually? After I have at least one child, who will get hurt when I realize that I can’t “pay” the price anymore and want a divorce? (We’ve seen enough of this coming out of the closet to know that this is real.)

Worse yet, I now have to tell my child(ren) the reason I’m leaving my spouse. Think of the impact that will have on the child(ren) as well as my spouse. We think it’s bad to cheat on our spouses, but often times, that “just happens”. We went into a marriage with the full intent to be faithful. To go into a heterosexual marriage when you know you’re gay is to deceive from the get-go. It’s just plain wrong and immoral(?) in this instance to force someone to “pay” this price.

And if I’m not willing to pay the price, then because of my sexual orientation, I will be denied the “special preferences” of marriage? But if I think I can pay the price, well, go to paragraph above.

Now let’s talk about cultures and civilization. I’ll preface by saying I’m Asian. If you’re unfamiliar with Asians, and I’m generalizing now, there is a STRONG dissension towards interracial marriages. To a Caucasian, an Asian is an Asian. For us, there is a HUGE difference between Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, … These are cultures that date back thousands of years (not just the 228 years of America's existence either) and as you can see all around you, that has changed.

One can argue that it has taken thousands or years for that change to take place so perhaps homosexuals can wait that long. To this I respond that then we, as a civilization, have not made much progress.

Or one can argue that interracial marriages are not entitled to any of the special privileges that innerracial (is there such a word?) marriages enjoy. If this were the case, then it’s fairly obvious that homosexuals are discriminated against because “civilizations” are only willing to include when they don’t have to give up anything.

I’ll touch quickly on the mother-father model as well. First, over 50% of marriages end in divorce. The children will miss a role model when this happens. And this usually happens when the children are still children (under 18) and most impressionable.

I cringe when I hear kids look up to athletes as role models. This indicates that at least these kids pick their own role models and it’s not necessarily their mother or their father. I pick my role model as someone I admire and respect, among other things. If I had a “bad” father or mother, surely I would not have them as my role model. So the paradigm of a family consisting of a mother and father is not necessarily the desirable model.

I’ll qualify my points by acknowledging that one can find examples and facts to refute what I’ve said. Like Newton's Second Law states, for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction. I'll attempt to de-politicize by saying that I'm a Republican who considers myself conservative. I'm also married with a newborn and I'm not a closet homosexual.

Ralf

Reply to Ant,

In my previous comments I was not trying to dispel the notion of discrimination. It's just too draining. "Because it's discrimination" is used as some sort of cultural fact that a wrong exists and must be righted and often ends all discussion (ie: If it's discrimination what more needs to be said? Case closed!). I will use this word several times below to illustrate.

I was trying to dispel the notion that not extending marital privileges to gay couples is somehow intolerant or creates victimhood (or creates second-class citizens as the MA judges declared). Yes it's a form of "discrimination", so what? Some groups won't let me in at any price because I wasn't born a certain way or a certain color. I can't get into other groups because the price is too high for me to pay. Calling that discrimination doesn't inherently mean some grave injustice is being perpetrated.

You asked if being gay and wanting the privileges of marriage means you have to "pay the price" and marry "heterosexually." Yes, that's what marriage is. Despite the invention of the term "gay marriage" there is no such legal or socially accepted thing. That said, I would think the price would be too high and as you stated would involve deceit and potentially ruining countless other lives.

I may (hypothetically) want to go to a veteran's hospital to receive the same privileges that the government extends to other people but I have never done the thing that would define me as a veteran. In fact I may despise everything the military stands for -- deep down to the core of my very soul. Yes, I can pay the price and enlist but it would go against everything I am and endanger the lives of those who assumed that I shared their views and would stand with them in battle. I couldn't live that way. At this point I can either accept that I don't belong in that group and make my own arrangements for health care (but why should I when "they" get it?) or I can redefine the rules to suit me and demand that I be treated equally as a non-veteran. After decades of activism some people might actually start to wonder why people like me, an identified group of discriminated-against pacifists can't have the privileges of the veterans just because I need to live differently.

If we are going to decide (or rule from the bench) that all people should be free to participate in everything, regardless of anything, we will have no freedom to associate; we will have a requirement to associate so there won't be any differences in groups. We will have no marriage because it isn't really defined as much of anything and it "discriminates" (gasp!) against single people. They're people too, you know. They're just as law abiding and contribute to society and many raise children, so what reason is there to exclude them from the same benefits as those "married" people? Heck, why not just give everybody everything equally! We could call it -- diversity! If every difference leads to victimhood I don't see how any group would be allowed to exist. The Boy Scouts have been fighting this battle for years, not just with the gay issue but even with their little policy that you actually have to be a boy. In many colleges Republican groups must allow Democrat members or be de-listed as an official group. The Sierra Club could be full of members who joined to get benefits regardless of the groups philosophy and they may all like to drive really big trucks. What's the point of the group then? We wouldn't even have straights and gays, we'd just have Strays.

About interracial marriage as an example of something once unacceptable that is now acceptable (but took thousands of years to get there): To bring up an example from the past as justification for skipping the long miserable debate and hastening what "may" be the eventuality of the future seems very dangerous. It's presumptuous to think anyone knows the future well enough to attempt to hasten its arrival. Wars are fought over things like the eventual future domination of someone's true religion or the eventuality of a super race. To prematurely bring about gay marriage because it takes too long and someone decided it will happen eventually is kind of bold.

It's been a pleasure discussing this with you and I intend no hostility toward views that differ with mine. Luckily I live in a country that allows us to have unequal thought (and uncensored internet access!) That may not be the case some day if we continue to see every difference as creating a "victim of intolerance."

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