Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Is Gay Marriage Really a Matter of Civil Rights?

Amid our descent into a fascist state there is a mind boggling array of topics I could write about. However, a recent exchange on a social networking website has left me with a bit of unfinished business; therefore, I am electing to opine on the topic of Gay Marriage. My position on this issue has nothing to do with hate (before you Alinskyists start throwing around ad hominem attacks). I do not hate homosexuals and I do not stand in judgment of them, but neither do I condone their behavior, nor do I have to compromise my moral values to adhere to the progressive’s politically correct sensibilities.

Proponents of gay marriage often begin their argument with the proposition that our current legal definition of marriage as between one man and one woman is discriminatory against homosexuals. Further, that gay marriage is an issue of equal rights.

I hate to break it to you (not really, I enjoy it), but all laws are discriminatory. Very few Americans (at least I hope) would agree that the agenda of the Man Boy Love Association is morally or ethically acceptable. However, it is the position of the Association’s members that their rights are being infringed upon by child rape laws, i.e. they are being discriminated against by the law. Similarly, polygamists are also discriminated against per the existing marriage laws. By what basis can one argue in favor of gay marriage owing to the fundamental “right” of homosexuals to marry but at the same time argue against polygamist marriage or the “rights” of older men to exploit young boys? Are polygamists not entitled to marry whomever they choose, regardless of the quantities? Many homosexual advocates claim that they should be allowed to marry because no one can control who they fall in love with. Ignoring the fact that no law precludes anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, from loving another person, the same could be argued for people who fall in love with more than one person. Why can they not marry each other?

Another common argument pivots on the notion that homosexuality is not a matter of choice; by some twist of nature homosexuals are predisposed to be homosexual. On the contrary, there is no conclusive study that validates this claim. First, if homosexuality were genetic, then the number of people claiming to be homosexual should be on the decrease because there would be few genetic offspring to propagate the gene. Second, identical twin studies have been done wherein one twin is homosexual while the second, identical, twin is heterosexual. If homosexuality were a trait then both twins should be homosexual. Third, studies have shown that self-proclaimed, lifelong homosexual men can successfully be psychologically reconditioned to heterosexuality wherein they continued beyond the study with fulfilling heterosexual relationships and no relapsing homosexual tendencies. In fact, the preponderance of evidence shows that homosexuality is a choice. As a choice deviant from objective morality there is no basis for legal concessions to be made in the name of “civil rights.”

Let’s assume for a moment that homosexuality isn’t a choice, that it is a matter of some yet unknown physical trait. We should also note that psychosis is a psychological disease and, although treatable, is not a choice of the afflicted. Therefore, if we should grant marriage rights to homosexuals under the pretense that they have no choice, should we not also grant a license to kill to sociopaths since doing otherwise would infringe on their right? Likewise, studies on biological determinism of criminal behavior have given as much credence to the idea that criminals are predetermined to be legal deviants as has research to the idea that homosexuals are predetermined to be homosexual; thus, how can discriminate against criminals by having laws that make it illegal to steal, murder, rape, and etcetera? I’m not making the comparison between homosexuals and criminals or sociopaths, but I am curious how being biologically predestined to engage in deviant behavior, regardless of its nature, is somehow a viable reason to condone that behavior.

Yet another, rather disturbing, comparison often espoused by the gay marriage proponents: the gay marriage movement is equivalent to the civil rights movement. The two are not in least bit related. In the civil rights movement, people were (sadly still are) discriminated against on the basis of the color of their skin, a trait they absolutely and inarguably cannot control, i.e. not a choice. In the gay rights movement there is a choice – just because you don’t like the alternative choice doesn’t mean you don’t have a choice. Gay rights activists are minimizing the importance and true struggle racial minorities have overcome by drawing the comparison between their movement and the civil rights movement. Just because drawing a parallel between a truly noble cause and your own cause might garner you some support doesn’t mean doing so isn’t despicable.

I’ll leave you with a thought on subjective versus objective morality. Ultimately, this debate is bigger than the issue of gay marriage – it is an issue of ethos. Do we abandon our objective morality in favor of the proposed, feel-good subjective morality that condones such things as homosexuality? If so, who gets to decide what is moral or immoral? Does the Christian? Does the Atheist? Judges? Congress? The President? Why? Our founding fathers well understood that religion was necessary to the maintenance of an objective morality; they also realized that an objective morality was necessary for the proper order of law. If left to a relativistic ethos we would be rudderless and the special interest group du jour able to set law according to its will. For those who think abandoning an objective basis for law is a good thing (in large part to support gay marriage laws) then are you really willing to deal with the consequences when a different group is in a position of power? Although it is not a forgone conclusion that gay marriage “rights” would result in polygamist marriage “rights” or man boy love “rights,” it is true that there would be no basis for denying those groups their “rights” under the regime of subjective morality.

“Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” -- George Washington (Farewell Address September 17, 1796)

4 comments:

  1. First, just because you say that you aren't making a comparison between homosexuals and sociopaths doesn't automatically negate the comparison that you made in the previous sentence.
    Now to try and tackle your points:
    1. All laws are indeed discriminatory, but I think the reason we don't allow NAMBLA to rape small boys is because it is against the law, unlike homosexuality. And the argument that if homosexuals are allowed to marry there is no reason to deny polygamy is interesting in that I can now use that same argument to argue against heterosexual marriage being legal. No better way to cut off the issue of polygamy than to just outlaw marriage in general.
    2. Whenever you start to talk about "treating" homosexuals as if they were mentally ill, and just needed a good talk to shake the gay off them, you build on your claim that you believe homosexuality to be a choice that one freely makes, and then after they make their free conscious choice they can't choose back, would even deny that they chose, and could only be "cured" through intensive therapy.
    3. Since according to you, homosexuality is a choice, it is therefore okay to discriminate against it. Want to get married, then don't be gay. Now imagine a law that said Christians couldn't marry. Christianity is a choice you made, you are not genetically Christian. Therefore the government would have every right to deny Christians the right to marry. Want to get married, don't be Christian. Doesn't seem like such a great stance now, does it?
    3. Your religion as ultimate source of morality does two things: (a) it assumes that we will use the Christian religion as the sole source (b) it ignores many of the bad things that are in the Bible, but that God commands. So unless you want civil law to require that you stone psychics (Leviticus 20:27) perhaps it would be best to rethink the idea that the Bible is a source of morality. Further, any use of faith is at its heart a subjective morality. My God said this is good, so it must be good.

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  2. Leaningtoleft,

    Thank you for your comments.

    1) The difference between marriage being between one man and one woman is that, under an objective morality, it is acceptable whereas polygamy and homosexuality are not. You can certainly make your argument if you are willing to agree to a subjective morality.

    2) Homosexuality was once classified as a mental illness but was removed by the APA because of mounting political pressure, not facts to the contrary. Further studies have shown that homosexual males were far less likely to identify with their fathers than heterosexual males, indicating a deeply rooted psychological issue. Dr. Spitzer of Columbia University also concluded that homosexuality was reversible. I'm not making this up, this is what research is saying - you don't have to take my word for it. Not sure what you mean by, "can't choose back..."

    3) The laws define marriage as between one mand and one woman, there is no mention of religion in the laws and to make a law specific to one religion would be against our constitution. So you're incorrect to suggest that the government could make a law banning Christians from marrying. Furthmore, you once again are illustrating quite nicely the danger of subjective morality. Under such an ethos there is no limit to the legal ramifications - a powerful group doesn't like something (Christians marrying, in your example) so it makes a law against it. However, under the objective ethos this is not possible.

    4) (a) Christianity is only one of many religions that oppose homosexuality. This country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and 80% of its citizens claim a belief in the Judeo-Christian God. Even an Evolutionary worldview would oppose homosexuality because it would preclude the "survival of the fittest" - the very mechanism necessary for advancing life. (b) Perhaps you should read Galatians 2:16 and gain a better understanding of the Christian apologetics. Faith is not the source of objective morality, God is. Even the authors of the Declaration of Independence understood the source of our "unalienable rights" must come from a higher power; otherwise, who grants them? If not for this higher power, then we are at the mercy of our governments to decide; once again, the power in control. Perhaps you prefer a system where rights are decided at the whim of a political party? That may sound good to you now, but how about when the conservatives regain control, would you still like that system?

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  3. You still talk of "objective morality" but use a book written by humans a long time ago as the sole source of that objective morality. If God had said it was good to rape someone, that would make it good. Now you might argue that God couldn't make something that was evil (such as rape) into something good, but this statement necessarily means that there is an objective good that comes from outside God. Where does that come from? And if it comes from outside God why should we go to the Bible for all of our "objective morality". If you want to have your own opinion fine, but stop acting as if you receive your moral insight from some fantasy place that only you can see.

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  4. You are correct, God is good and is not the source of evil. Why would an objective good have to come from outside of God? If God is the definition of good and the creator of everything within which that goodness is to be applied, then where is the contradiction? It is because God defines good for us that we know that rape is evil. Without God there could be no objectivity and no way to discern right from wrong.

    The same principle applies to science. If the Universe and all that is in it arose out of randomness, then all the characteristics - the physical principles - would also have arisen by random processes. There would be no way to interpret data because there is only a random basis for the physical principles upon which those interpretations must be drawn.

    The bottom line is that there is an absolute truth, no matter how much we wish to deny it and no matter how inconvenient it is to us. I don't expect you to believe in God, but I will ask you again: if there is no objective morality, then who gets to decide what is right and wrong? Why not me? Why not you? Why not Arlen Specter? Why not Prince Charles? If there is no God and we evolved through a natural mechanism wherein survival is the only descriminator in the selection of descendant genes, then how can you trust your ability to think and reason? From where did that ability come? How does rational thought emerge out of randomness?

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