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Monday, December 8, 2008

Beware Gun-Wielding Gay Terrorists! In Your Neighborhood!

Courtesy of PZ Meyers, here's the latest verbal flatulence from old-time Christian ass-hat, Pat Boone, equating the Islamic fundie violence in India with anti-Prop 8 protests here in the US. PZ does a snap-on job of gutting ol' Pat's absurd "reasoning." I just wanted to add to the fun by pointing out this choice passage:
Every homosexual citizen has the same, identical rights as any other American. The Constitution says nothing about marriage, and shouldn't. Marriage is not a governmental creation; it is a time honored and biblically ordained institution that is subject not to the government but to the will of the people. And the people, down through the centuries, have spoken. Not just the Bible, but Webster's Dictionary, defines this covenantal relationship called "marriage" as a commitment between one man and one woman.

Because this elemental building block of society has been so defined and respected throughout history, elected representatives in our self-government have granted certain supports and tax relief and privileges to marriages and families. Again, these privileges did not originate with some benevolent higher authority – they originated with the people, through the democratic process.

So if I understand Pat, the government has absolutely no place in regulating the religious institution of marriage, unless it wants to grant special privileges to certain married couples, in which case it's fine for government to regulate marriage. Just so I've got that straight.


  1. Charles -

    So, by this post, do you feel that the gov't. should step in to appease a special interest group?

  2. I looked hard for a link to Pat Boone singing No More Mr Nice Guy, but I couldn't find anything reputable -_-

    LOAF, I'm having a hard time not bringing up Slavery as an example. Characterizing the issue as one of "special interest" rights makes it sound like fringe elements are asking for something that the average person can't.

    And that's patently unfair.

    If Marriage weren't tied to legal issues (re. spouse visitation rights, etc), I might be tempted to simply let the issue be determined democratically by the majority. That *not* being the case, however, I believe it's ethically necessary to minimally grant any such couple the same legal status.

    Whether we call it "marriage" or something seperate but equal, I don't care. You've seen me argue that I believe the State does have the ethical right to define marriage as it chooses - I still believe that's true, even if it ends up being one man and one woman. But it stomps over basic human rights by preventing committed couples who don't meet this standard from having the same rights other committed couples have.

    Tax benefits? Leave it up to the state.

    Visitation and other custodial rights? The state has no moral or ethical standing to get in the way.

  3. WeM -

    Should we change people's way of thinking by laws, or by persuasion (dialogue/debate)?

    Which do you think is most effective?

  4. Also -

    Can we use other 'examples' other than slavery?

    I don't have slaves and I'm hoping you don't as well. Let's bury that issue. Let's talk about the here and now.

    People bring up that 'if you believe in the bible then you must believe in slavery'.

    Well, a lot of the founders of this country had slaves. But they overcame it - We as a country overcame it. The mindset was changed (for the better).

    Don't give me quotes about history, I know it's doomed to repeat itself.

    But I feel someone will give me the speil anyway.

  5. LAOF asked Should we change people's way of thinking by laws, or by persuasion (dialogue/debate)?

    Ah, now that is a MUCH more interesting question.

    Off the cuff, I'd say both - and that the two don't necessarily have to happen simultaneously. To wit, slavery was outlawed long before the morality of slavery was rejected - but both the legality and discursive approaches were necessary.

    In the here and now, public discourse is good. It's obvious that the legal issues aren't going to wait for people to generally agree upon what should be done, and that's fine - even if it results in homosexual marriage being outlawed.

    Prop 8? Very sad in my opinion - but that's what they decided as a state. That decision is now part of the discussion, too.

  6. WeM -

    Prop 8 is a good example.

  7. The headline to this made me laugh heartily :)

    Calling in 'gay' to work is latest form of protest
    By LISA LEFF – 15 hours ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Some same-sex marriage supporters are urging people to "call in gay" Wednesday to show how much the country relies on gays and lesbians, but others question whether it's wise to encourage skipping work given the nation's economic distress. Organizers of "Day Without a Gay" — scheduled to coincide with International Human Rights Day and modeled after similar work stoppages by Latino immigrants — also are encouraging people to perform volunteer work and refrain from spending money.

  8. WeM -

    As we used to say in the military - 'whatever your career can handle'.

    Namely, if they feel this is worth risking their job (as an 'unexcused' absence from work) - go for it.

    Civil disobedience. Some times not always civil, but almost always disobedient. :-)

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. So WeM -

    Do you believe the issue of same-sex marriage is a moral issue, and if so - should the 'acceptance' of it be legislated by the state gov't.?

  11. WeM -

    Don't bother answering, I won't be following up on this. But ponder my questions if you would, to yourself.

  12. LAOF asked me Do you believe the issue of same-sex marriage is a moral issue

    I wish you could have found a different word; "moral" has a lot of emotional/spiritual baggage associated with it.

    I'll restate it, tho in hindsight maybe it's not all that different from what you wrote: is homosexual marriage an issue about morality?

    I'll submit that those against it would say yes. I'll also submit that most (but not all) of those for it would call it an issue of rights; not right and wrong like murder, but secular protections.

    Where do *I* stand? Other than it NOT being an issue of morality (which is usually just a codeword for Biblical Values), I'm on the fence. I think we have to strike a balance between the state's right to endorse values it wants (while not infringing on those it does not) and modern human rights for the citizenry (regardless of whether that citizen meets the aforementioned standards or not).

    LAOF also asked if so - should the 'acceptance' of it be legislated by the state gov't.?

    You can't really legislate acceptance :) I know you meant something different, but I want to make it clear that legislation and acceptance should be mutually exclusive in the beginning (as the law is enacted). Without it being so, we'd never have the ability to recognize laws which were crafted incorrectly, or which embody values the state or citizenry eventually reject.

    Did that make sense?


    To answer the spirit of your question, I again think it's up to the individual states.

    I very strongly feel that gay marriage has no EFFING place in the US Constitution - let me make that clear. At the state level, constitutions absolutely have a right to embody values, er, Valued by the state and its citizenry.


    I don't want a law which says "Gay marriage is ok". I want one that says something like "Marriage is between two committed partners" - perhaps "regardless of gender".

    In short, laws should be about granting rights, not taking them away. A marriage law should be worded to grant rights to whatever standard the state finds acceptable, rather than a "No gay marriage allowed" law.



  13. Well thought out WEM,

    I was discussing this with someone recently and they basically said that we need to accept that there are two kinds of wedding. Marriage (with a big 'M') and marriage (with a little 'm').

    If you, personally, feel that getting wed is a union before God, then you're getting Married. If you see it as a union before the state/society, you're getting married.

    If you're part of a religion, you have to accept the terms and conditions that go with that religion - or reject it. Gay Christians harping on that their church won't marry them is kind of strange but it's a religious matter. Their marriage (little m) should still be recognized by the state.

    If you're not religious then it really doesn't matter, but you're getting married and there aren't any religious imperatives to define who is involved. (your point about the state getting define what marriage constitutes)

    Either way, the state should recognize both but there should be no imperative on individual religions to sanctify the little m's if it doesn't fit their theology.

    Make sense?

  14. EPM wrote much and ended with Either way, the state should recognize both but there should be no imperative on individual religions to sanctify the little m's if it doesn't fit their theology.

    Make sense?

    Yup - it sure does.

    I don't often meet people who agree that there's a difference between legal marriage and religious marriage. I wish it were otherwise...


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