The fall out from legalizing gay marriage *UPDATED*

Gay marriage has a warm, fuzzy feeling. Those who support it ask, who can be hurt by granting to gay couples the same rights we give to straight couples? As you know, while I have no trouble with same sex relationships between consenting adults, and favor granting civil benefits to gay couples, I do think marriage is a unique institution that should not be given away lightly.

As I’ve explained before, I think that the State has an interest in supporting heterosexual marriage. When you think about it, it’s really a guy thing. Heterosexual marriage, by tying a man to a woman, gives him something very special: The presumptive belief that the children she has are his. In order to protect these little fruits of his loins, the average man will embark on a behavior trajectory that makes him a good citizen: He will work hard so that he, not the state or the street, supports the little ones; he will avoid criminal activity; and he will use his testosterone to defend his nation, not commit revolution against it. Homosexual marriage, because it is not an inherently fruitful relationship, despite the fact that gays and lesbians can parent children, advances none of these purposes.

That’s my problem with gay marriage: it doesn’t advance any of societal purposes, but it does serve to devalue the marital currency. And it does this because of the gals. I noted that, in societal terms, heterosexual marriage is beneficial because it serves as a positive rein on guy energy. But guys, no doubt recognizing and resisting that rein, aren’t the ones who push for marriage. It’s the gals who do, with their vision of being princess for a day and of having someone committed to fatherhood with them. When there are two girls and a guy standing next to you queuing for wedding gowns, it saps some of the magic. It cheapens it, if you will. It also sends a very clear message that marriage is not about motherhood, which encourages more single parenting (have the baby, and don’t worry about the toilet seat being left up), and makes men extraneous and useless. (And yes, I know that there are a lot of other factors damaging the institution of marriage. That only makes it more serious that we don’t pile on more anti-marriage hits.)

There’s one other big problem, which is what Dennis Prager noted the moment the California Supreme Court issued its ruling: Once gay marriage is a state right, you’re going to start having discrimination claims that will fan out and affect every area of life. Schools are going to have to have equal numbers of books touting homosexual and heterosexual relationships, and that’s going to be true right down to kindergarten. And people are going to be constrained in what they can do in ways that are antithetical to their fundamental values.

You already know that a Boston Catholic organization (that is, not a state organization) is out of the business of providing homes for children because it felt it was doctrinally wrong to place a child in a homosexual household. Now, in England, an Earl who opened his 600 year old home for weddings has been banned from the wedding business because his Christian faith could not tolerate joining a man and a man in state sanctioned partnership in his home:

An Earl has been banned from holding weddings at his 600-year-old castle after refusing to allow a gay marriage.

The Earl of Devon, Hugh Courtenay, has had the licence to hold civil ceremonies at Powderham Castle near Exeter revoked by Devon County Council.

It is thought to be the first case of its kind in the country since the introduction of civil partnerships last year.

The council acted in response to a complaint from a gay couple from London who tried to book the castle for their own partnership ceremony.

The case was taken up by gay pressure group Stonewall and now the Earl has been told his licence has been revoked because of discrimination.

Devon County Council withdrew the licence because Lord Devon was in breach of the Sexual Orientation regulations of the Equality Act 2007.

[snip]

Mr Courtenay is the 18th Earl of Devon with a title going back to 1553. He says he is a devout Christian and is acting out of faith.

The Earl said: ‘I have to follow my religion in this case. The question has never arisen here before but I suppose I knew it would at some time.

‘Now it has, then this is the way it has to be. I have no option. As a Christian I have to object to this.’

There’s one last little interesting thing about that article and it’s the selfishness permeating the whole thing. The gay couple who got the whole thing started are delighted that, if they can’t have a wedding at the castle, no one can have a wedding at the castle:

The gay couple whose wedding was refused by the Earl say his decision was discrimination and they are delighted at the revocation.

So much of this rights thing has that nasty edge: If I suffer, everyone suffers. I will feel better only if you feel miserable. What a petty group.

UPDATE:  I simply want to urge everyone who glances at this post to read the comments.  They are much more interesting than the post itself.

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Comments

  1. Mike Devx says

    Book, I agree with all of your points, and they are good points.

    However, I still think all of you who advocate against gay marriage, with the argument that traditional marriage must remain valued, are fighting this fight by using us gays as a scapegoat. Yes, that’s right, a scapegoat, to bear alone the burdens of your fight.

    I say this because YOU DO NOT VALUE MARRIAGE ENOUGH. When the execrable Britney Spears can get married and then divorced within, what, twelve hours total? Give me a break about how much all of you “value the traditions of marriage”. I will absolutely call bullshit here. When the divorce rate is so ridiculously high… I look all around me at the 98% of you who are not gay, and I do not see very much valuing of traditions and of marriage at all.

    And you arguers for the value of marriage, you let all this trashing of marriage simply go. You let it all simply go.

    In a different post I commented on how Robert Heinlein had to wait one year, by legal decree, after he divorced his first wife, before he was allowed to marry his second wife, Virginia. NOW THAT WOULD BE VALUING MARRIAGE. But, no, you just want to focus on the gays. Perhaps understandable, since the activists are focusing on you. But YOU have cheapened marriage to a ridiculous point, ever since the late 60′s. It’s in a desperately sad state and that has absolutely nothing to do with gays! So please please do not tell me how deeply you all value it.

    I myself do not care either way about gay marriage, though I am gay. I care solely about the viciousness of judicial activism, and its profoundly destructive effects. I just see a whole lot of convenient posturing around how deeply traditional marriage is being taken, when in fact Americans have spent thirty years or more making of it a laughing stock – without a single one of those horrible gays anywhere in sight. Sheesh.

  2. says

    I don’t disagree with you, Mike. I agree with you. Defenders of marriage are fighting a rear guard action here — and, like most rear guard actions, I suspect, it’s doomed to failure.

    Marriage has become horribly cheapened, something bad not only for society but for individual marriages. Why try to make a relationship work when you can just walk away? You got the wedding presents, and now you can just give up and, in a month or a year or so, start all over again.

    It’s less easy with children, of course, and most couples in my community who have children divorce only when the stresses within the marriage become unbearable. I don’t know if that’s true for all communities, but the misery quotient is pretty high here before people subject their children to the acrimony of a divorce and the burden of split homes.

    So you’re absolutely right, Mike: The popular culture of disposable marriages is a terrible thing. While we cling to the heterosexual ideal of marriage in theory, we’re definitely trashing it in fact. I don’t know how to unscramble that egg. Simplistically, all I can do is try to close the barn door on that last horse. (Pardon me for switching metaphors in mid-paragraph.)

  3. says

    Mike,

    I’m with you. I’ve been browsing around the conservative blogs after the Supreme Court decision and I’ll name what I found: Bigotry. Pure and simple.

    Many conservatives I encountered on the blogs dispute this one essential thing: that homosexuals do not have the right to exist at all. Gays are people performing aberrant behavior, not really normal humans at all, anomalies, to put it much more mildly than the comments I read.

    My loadstone has always been about the preservation of freedom and liberty, and on this one score many conservatives, thus far, fail miserably. Many conservatives would hand off gays to persecution (one such organization is called ironically “Love in Action”) and I find that unconscionable.

    I put on my rose colored glasses when it happened but make no mistake about it. President Bush rode the 2004 election through gay bashing. He used gay marriage as a wedge issue when he was down double digits to Kerry. The fundamentalist right wingers came out in force because of it and put him over the top from way behind. Had that issue not been raised, Kerry would have won with a walk.

    I agree with Bush’s foreign policies and I’m glad he won. I even voted for him. But this business with gays and conservatives is a travesty…

    I agree with many conservative positions in national security, but I don’t much like this schtick.

  4. says

    I hope I’m not a bigot — although I may be. I’m fairly familiar with most of my prejudices (and there are many), but I’ve never seen myself as someone having a problem with gays or gay behavior.

    I am, though, a traditionalist, and a conservative in the strictest sense of the word — I don’t like have change imposed upon me abruptly and without careful thought. As I’ve long said, given a chance to think about it — which is something I specifically, and society generally, haven’t had the chance to do — I may well turn around completely and embrace the concept of gay marriage. I just want to analyze all the ramifications, which I view as, so much allowing gay marriage, but as changing the fundamental nature of straight marriage.

    Right now, I feel as if I am being pushed way too hard to transform an institution that goes to core human relationships — relationships between one person and another, and between one person and the state. This push is so ferocious I don’t feel that I’m being given the opportunity to determine whether this change is beneficial for me and for my descendants. When I’m pushed this way, my instinct is to push back, to slow things down.

    That’s why I’m especially hostile to the California Supreme Court decision — because it is a decision, made outside of the Court’s purview, and made without respect for my right as a citizen to have a voice in a move that fundamentally changes our society, in big ways and small.

    As I’ve always said, I’m thinking about gay marriage. Right now, I don’t see a huge societal benefit to it. Rather than expanding the notion of marriage to include gays, I’d like to spend a little societal time doing something different: focusing on the ills of straight marriage. I think healthy societies need healthy marriages, and I don’t see that taking a sick institution and stampeding into a reform that may not be a reform at all is going to make the institution or the society any more healthy.

  5. Ymarsakar says

    But, no, you just want to focus on the gays.

    Since they are the ones that first proposed changing marriage to include them as a way to access social acceptance, it is justly focused on the gays. If they don’t want it or aren’t pushing for it, people that want marriage to stay the same wouldn’t be talking about it in the way they have.

  6. tomc says

    Many conservatives I encountered on the blogs dispute this one essential thing: that homosexuals do not have the right to exist at all. Gays are people performing aberrant behavior, not really normal humans at all, anomalies, to put it much more mildly than the comments I read.

    While “progressives” support the right of muslims to simply physically exterminate them … conservatives are at least willing to wait until God does it.

    You see … homosexuals don’t reproduce. While I’m not saying they DON’T contribute to society, their contribution is inevitably much smaller than heterosexuals who have children.

    It’s not the fault of conservatives that homosexuals are doomed to extinction. That’s just a fact of life, it’s how God made humans so to speak. Regardless of the cause, we can’t change it. We can only accept it.

    Furthermore while I might agree “natural” homosexuals are somehow victims, people who choose to become homosexuals are making an unacceptable choice. A choice that damages the people around them. I do contend that 90% of gays are gay by choice, not by nature. Furthermore I do not think that treating the natural homosexuals like actual ill people is that morally wrong.

    But let’s say that gays’ wildest, uttermost dreams come true : total equality. Gay adoption. Marriage in the church. The works. History, or rather Europe shows what happens next : birth rates below even 1 child per woman, having more effect on the population than actual genocides had in the past. The whole society is 10% replaced with muslims in about 30 years. And gays are getting attacked by said muslims, with progressives unwilling to interfere.

    You see liberalism has failed in Europe. It’s going down the drain, even in progressive parties (e.g. the pvda of the Netherlands is refusing to defend gays from muslims, even after several got slaughtered, after being tortured for days, in the middle of amsterdam, they refused to even SAY that that act was wrong)

    You cannot have a society with equality for gays. The world itself, God if you will, destroys those. You cannot negotiate with anyone, you cannot make any progress at all. You can only succeed in turning America into hell.

    You see, I don’t believe in God being an old guy sitting on a cloud shouting down commands. God, instead, is the world itself, is everything around us. If you throw a ball into the air, “God” makes it fall back down. If you have any significant percentage of homosexuals in a society, that society falls.

    The only thing your homosexual jihad might accomplish is the same as that other jihad : an end to america, followed immediately by a genocide on all gays.

  7. expat says

    Bookworm, I am with you on this. Part of the problem is that the gay marriage movement is driven by activists who really don’t seem to value marriage; in fact, some say outright that they want to get rid of it. When I think of Spain issuing birth certificates with Parent 1 and Parent 2, I get nervous. I don’t think most activists, on any topic, give much thought to the cultural underpinnings of the laws they seek to change. Certainly, the participants in the Folsom Street Fair don’t; yet I bet their signatures are on all the gay marriage petitions. I just don’t know when these types will stop. I don’t think we have thought enough about what we want to preserve so that we can really articulate a set of values. Mike, you are right about the state of marriage, but that state has been reached by the same type of activism (including radical feminism) that I distrust. Somehow we have to return the discussion about societal values to the mainstream–to people who don’t preach hellfire and brimsone from the pulpits and who don’t find public sex in leather to be a worthy goal. I am sick of all the in-your-face activism. I am sick of all the narcissism.

    Maybe on this issue, the reasonable adults can get together and talk about what is best for the society and its children. I don’t want a society in which a teacher can face a lawsuit for using the word daddy. Maybe my fears are overblown, but can’t we take a little time to talk without being labelled homophobe.

  8. tomc says

    Maybe on this issue, the reasonable adults can get together and talk about what is best for the society and its children. I don’t want a society in which a teacher can face a lawsuit for using the word daddy. Maybe my fears are overblown, but can’t we take a little time to talk without being labelled homophobe.

    You can’t in a multicultural society. Because nobody agrees on what is acceptable and what not. If you want this you can have only 1 dominant ideology, which will be, at least partially, repressing other ideologies.

  9. Danny Lemieux says

    Gay minority activist efforts to destroy and rebuild the institution of marriage, one that took thousands of years to build, might have more credibility if there was any iota of evidence to consider that the consequences thereof have been fully considered (other than the most obvious on of gratifying gays by giving them what they want).

    And if the gay bloggers here happen to feel picked on, rest assured that I would pose the same challenge to “straight” advocates of polygamy and polyamory (in fact, I would probably be harsher in my assessment of the consequences thereof). YM is absolutely on point, here. The issue is focused on gays only because gays have themselves the focus on the issue.

    And, sorry MikeD, but the example of Britney Spears et al’s assault on marriage on goes to show that the fight to preserve the institution of marriage continues on multiple fronts. I seem to recall marriage advocates being appalled rather than elevated by her behavior. Just because a dam springs a leak hardly gives reason to demolish the rest of the dam, does it?

    Mark Steyn has another brilliant column today (brilliant, of course, because I happen to agree with him) that wonderfully illustrates the process of cascading consequences. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/boy-boys-girls-2056513-women-obama

    First, “pro-choice” advocates free abortion rights. Consequence – societies prefer boys, so girls get preferentially aborted. Oh, just for fun, let’s throw Middle Eastern polygamy in the mix.

    Second-level consequence: way too many boys, way to few girls. Feminism and women’s rights lose political clout. Male dominated societies flourish.

    Third-Level consequence – males fight over dwindling numbers of females for access to sex. Sex slavery and boy-on-boy sex (must be careful about choice of words, here) flourishes – and if you don’t believe me, you really don’t understand what is going on in traditional Islamic societies.

    Fourth level consequence, large numbers of men with no access (or hope thereof) to women become aggressive, destabilizing force in society.

    Result – war.

    So, would any proponent for the redefinition of marriage like to offer similar projections of cascading consequences? I mean, beyond the immediate gratification of the “it’s all about me” need and the reflexive jerk reaction to those that would disagree being labeled [fill in the blank with designation of "me"]-phobes.

    Here’s a hint – look to Northern Europe as your petri dish, where gay marriage is celebrated while the institution of marriage has pretty much been denigrated to irrelevancy. It isn’t pretty and it’s going to get much, much worse as they descend into “A Clockwork Orange” societies.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Clockwork_Orange

  10. socratease says

    I don’t think the gay couple in the article was really happy that others were miserable. Instead, it’s about force — having it over others and being able to exercise it in order to impose your point of view on them. The polls make it clear that gay marriage isn’t accepted by the majority, but the people who are pushing for it don’t really care about acceptance, the brute force of the state will do just fine, thank you. If acceptance was really their goal, you’d hear much more of them protesting AGAINST the California court’s decision – a triumph of force over opinion – instead of celebrating it.

  11. suek says

    Homosexual marriage…for what purpose?
    Consider marriage – is it a religious bond, or a civil bond?

    If marriage is a religious bond, then eliminate the license and the benefits and let people choose a church to marry them, or not have a marriage ceremony at all. Those who are religious are bound by whatever standards their religion imposes, those who are not religious are not bound.

    Any problems with that?

    If marriage is a civil bond, then what is the purpose of the state being involved? record keeping? inheritance rights? rights of hospital visitation (somehow I doubt that that particular right had _any_ consideration when marriage as a legal institution got started!) Remember that women were traditionally property. Marriage involved property rights, and the contracts of marriage were not cut and dried – they were written up by the families of the bride and groom. Today’s women state that they are not property, they belong to themselves. Still, when the marriage falls apart, look at the ire and viciousness with which one partner attacks the other in order to secure the property that was jointly owned – so it _is_ still about property rights.
    Another issue of state involvement is that of benefits. The state grants certain benefits in order to benefit marriage, which it sees as a stabilizing influence and a union that in some way benefits the state. Maybe that should be limited to couples with children instead. Maybe.
    In any case, if the purpose of homosexual “marriage” is to obtain benefits, then why shouldn’t every person presently single form some sort of marriage in order to get those same benefits? In other words, wouldn’t the denial of benefits to singles be discriminatory? And that doesn’t even begin to address all the various versions of “marriage” that will be possible if you start with the discrimination against xxx being a critical factor.

    So…just maybe we need to revisit the whole idea of marriage in the civil realm – determine what the function of the state should be and why, and maybe whether it should have any function at all. Then maybe it would be clearer whether homosexual “marriage” should be considered or not. Let’s start with an analysis of our presumptions about the purpose of marriage and go from there.

  12. jj says

    Moving a short step aside from the actual point at issue for just a second to a broader and more philosophically-based discussion (for which I apologize, but it’s interesting): funny you think marriage is a “guy” thing.

    I think most guys (and most anthropoloists) would quite firmly disagree with that, and assert that marriage – rather like table manners elevated to the level of finger bowls – is a female thing.

    Guys – unless they lock her up for nine months – have absolutely no biological certainty that it’s their kid, and as a matter of history it isn’t their kid an astounding almost 40% of the time. (They don’t care, they never know it, they feed and raise the kid – and die happy. We’re easily pleased, though perhaps will become less so with the coming of DNA testing.)

    But when you follow this in an anthropological sense right back to the beginning of time – who was doing better? Mostly, it turns out, men were: it was a world wherein success and prosperity (often enough mere survival) was based mostly on muscle mass and physical strength. Women required the company of men to survive far more than men needed them to ditto.

    So, to make a long story very, very short: females needed to hang with males in order to get something to eat on a regular basis; stay dry in the rain and snow; not be killed by stampeding mammoths; not be killed by an enemy tribe; not be killed 98% of the time in childbirth by sabre-toothed tigers attracted by the smell of blood – and maybe not be killed. In general.

    Whereas, in this world dependent on muscle mass, males needed to hang with females to…………… ?

    “When you think about it it’s really a guy thing.” It is?

    Sorry to offer some fun off the point.

  13. Gringo says

    One irony about the gay marriage movement is that the gay movement for good reason worked for years to get the government out of the gay bedroom. Now gays want the government to insert itself into gay relationships. Given the previous track record, would it not make sense for gays to want as little government involvement as possible in their lives?

    Other posters have pointed out the precariousness of heterosexual marriage, using Britney Spears as a poster child. The point is well taken. The situation is even worse, when one considers the approximately 70% illegitimacy rate for blacks and for 30% overall for the US. As regards the alleged beneficence of government intervention, a good case can be made that the liberalization of welfare requirements in the 1960s was a substantial cause for the nearly tripling of black illegitimacy rates from 1960 to the 1990s and the present. (Guesstimate: 24% around 1960. It has gone down a little, or stabilized , in recent years. Most current ~ 67%.)

    I would suggest that everyone visit the library of some law school, to see the manifestation of all the legal code we have written. Volumes upon volumes of legal code. We should not be so cavalier in adding to it. After all, Jim Crow laws were added to the legal code before they were taken away. Given the long-standing position of marriage in legal codes, I would also stress that we should not be cavalier in changing it.

    A further point is that it would appear that while some homosexual relationships are stable, that there is greater promiscuity ( think AIDS increase) and instability in male homosexual relationships. Female homosexual relationships appear to be more stable. Given the greater instability and promiscuity in male homosexual relationships, it seems more than ironic to advocate gay marriage.

    There was a referendum a while back on the ballot regarding the city where I live, regarding granting insurance to partners in gay couples. I voted against it. I was a contract worker for the city at the time, and the city did NOT pay for any of my insurance. If I was considered anti-gay for that vote, so be it. I saw it as self-interest.

    I am very uncomfortable with legal sanctions being imposed on such as the Earl for refusing to perform a gay marriage.

  14. Gringo says

    Add.
    Given the greater instability and promiscuity in male homosexual relationships, it seems more than ironic to advocate gay marriage. If you think that Britney was too quick on the trigger to marry, then what might happen with a lot of short term gay relationships that also feature marriage? Do non-gays want to pay for the courts to sort out all the property disputes that will ensue?

    I recall a case of two Swedish lesbians who contracted to get sperm from a male so that they could have a child. Several years after the birth of the child, the lesbian couple separated and divorced. Guess who got dunned for child support? The sperm donor!
    No, gay marriage is a can of worms best unopened.

  15. says

    I didn’t make myself clear, JJ. I think the personal benefits of marriage flow to women. However, I think the societal focus on marriage is the intent to constrain men — to bend their energies to fulfill societal needs.

    That’s why I think that, in terms of the societal purposes behind marriage, it’s all about the guys: forcing them to grow up; ensuring that they raise little future citizens; and making sure that the testosterone driven violence that characterizes so many young men is driven outwards, to “enemy” cultures (so as to protect children), rather than inwards, on the state itself.

    This may not be what guys want, but it’s what a stable society needs. And that’s why, from a broader state perspective, marriage is a guy thing.

  16. says

    Society does not require me to get married in order to have a family or children. And I don’t even need to sexually reproduce in order to raise children.
    If there is no convincing argument why I SHOULD get married, their can’t possibly be a convincing argument why I shouldn’t be ALLOWED to get married.
    That is what the court said! The court is correct. Sex has nothing what-so-ever to do with it.
    Unconventional gender roles, like men being wives, or women driving tractors, may make other people feel uncomfortable. Tough titty.

  17. says

    Scott, even if the Court is correct logically and morally, it’s not correct legally. It simply had no right to make the decision it did.

    I’d like to point out that the discussion in this blog is asking the kind of questions about marriage — its purpose, its benefit and its burdens — that should be asked before we change an age-old institution. The California Supreme Court, by exceeding its authority, denied society the right to engage in this very important discussion.

  18. suek says

    >>Society does not require me to get married in order to have a family or children.>>

    Correction:

    TODAY”S society. Rules have changed significantly in the last 50 years. Prior to that, society would shun you – and probably your family. For better or worse.

  19. says

    Hello Bookworm,

    Permit me to use a few quotations to illuminate my point. The first is from Judgement at Nuremberg, a movie that was and is instrumental to my world view.

    Judge Dan Haywood: Janning, to be sure, is a tragic figure. We believe he *loathed* the evil he did. But compassion for the present torture of his soul must not beget forgetfulness of the torture and death of millions by the government of which he was a part. Janning’s record and his fate illuminate the most shattering truth that has emerged from this trial. If he and the other defendants were all depraved perverts – if the leaders of the Third Reich were sadistic monsters and maniacs – these events would have no more moral significance than an earthquake or other natural catastrophes. But this trial has shown that under the stress of a national crisis, men – even able and extraordinary men – can delude themselves into the commission of crimes and atrocities so vast and heinous as to stagger the imagination. No one who has sat through this trial can ever forget. The sterilization of men because of their political beliefs…The murder of children… How *easily* that can happen! There are those in our country today, too, who speak of the “protection” of the country. Of “survival”. The answer to that is: *survival as what*? A country isn’t a rock. And it isn’t an extension of one’s self. *It’s what it stands for, when standing for something is the most difficult!* Before the people of the world – let it now be noted in our decision here that this is what *we* stand for: *justice, truth… and the value of a single human being!*

    I said it long ago and I still vehemently agree with it, that my loyalty and love to America and all my ties to it will be dissolved with the first Jew being put in an oven– if you’ll pardon the expression, Bookworm. All bets are off. For what then do I owe this country, a country that has turned its back on its own beliefs in freedom and liberty.

    This is the lesson of Nazi Germany that many people don’t get. The madness of the Nazi genocide against the Jews was not an isolated event in a specific time to a specific country to a specific people. When I wrote, “first Jew being put in an oven,” I meant any group that the people have decided shouldn’t exist.

    Like Mike said at the beginning of this comment thread, this is scapegoating. In ancient times and even to this day, a scapegoat is where a village throws all their sins on an innocent and drive him/her from the village. You rarely find a gay Republican because it’s the Republicans who have driven them out of the camp.

    Ernst Janning: Judge Haywood… the reason I asked you to come: Those people, those millions of people… I never knew it would come to that. You *must* believe it, *You must* believe it!

    Judge Dan Haywood: Herr Janning, it “came to that” the *first time* you sentenced a man to death you *knew* to be innocent.

    This is THE firewall if any civilization is to remain honorable. To knowingly send a man to torture or death that it knows to be innocent of any crime. It is a biological fact, that 10 percent out of every species of primates will be homosexual. This is also true of humanity in every society and every culture.

    We scoffed when Ahmadinejad said that gays don’t exist in Iran because a) we suspect he killed most of them or driven them underground and b) because down in our real books we know that gays are a constant recurring fact of reality.

    If the crime is to be alive, to exist, then God help us.

    How long will that firewall hold?

    I’ve read your posts, Bookworm, on the subject of gay marriage and followed your reasoning, and I still don’t buy it. I don’t see how the existence homosexuality can threaten or destroy heterosexuality and children’s psyche.

    If gay marriage might some day down the line perhaps damage children through the promulgation of the liberal idea that homosexuality might be normal is reason enough to leave injustice where it stands– for that is what this is– then I submit that this is a slippery slope. With such reasoning, where would school integration be if Americans accept this logic with respect to the fear of possible interracial marriage?

    It seems like to accept this reasoning you would have accede to the idea that homosexuality is harmful, deviant or otherwise perverse. How else can it harm children any more than the usual sex education in schools? As I wrote before, sexual orientation is in one’s nature, not one’s choice. If this is true, as I know it is, the heterosexual children would shrug off the homosexual parts. For myself, I’d like to withhold sex education all together from schools at least until the junior or senior year of high school. At least, they are arriving into adulthood then.

    For what it’s worth, Bookworm, I don’t think you are bigoted. I, personally, just don’t think that ideology should trump simple justice and fairness. I too don’t like activist judges legislating from the bench and I think they handed down a bad ruling. But I don’t think one should throw out the just idea of gay marriage because a self-appointed elite group decided what’s best for us either.

    But my purpose here is not to discuss legality, but justice.

    If conservatives are so concerned about the threat that homosexuals pose to our culture, they would do well to remember a few things. Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Tennessee Williams, and a host of who’s who in the Arts were homosexuals. In a word, the Arts and Culture are filled to the brim with homosexuals.

    I’ve had one fundamentalist Christian tell me once that Rome gave itself to hedonistic homosexuality and thus caused it to fall. He apparently forgot or didn’t know that Rome’s decline and fall took longer than most civilization’s existence. In fact, the “Byzantines” saw themselves as Romans in unbroken linear line from Caesar Augustus to its fall in 1453. It is also true that homosexuality was encourage among the ranks of the Roman legions because it made them more ferocious on the battlefield… and they happened to conquer most the known world.

    He also didn’t know that Greece, which held homosexual relationships as one of the ideal loves, gave Western Civilization it’s ENTIRE scientific, logic and reasoning methodologies.

    So, tell me that homosexuals have an adverse effect on culture when our entire Western Civilization is based on the marriage of Greek reasoning and Christianity.

    I also find tomc’s comments strange but indicative. Christian fundamentalist say that homosexuality is “doomed to extinction” because they don’t procreate. Procreation. I’ve heard it argued by fundamentalists that gays are unnatural because they don’t have kids and that sex and marriage is for no other purpose than this.

    I find it strange because when it suits their arguments fundamentalists become Darwinists. Survival of the fittest. Those who procreate and multiply have a greater fitness than those that don’t, and that the kind of sex and marriage that don’t have kids or don’t have the potential to have kids is perverse and does not contribute to the survival of the species.

    This is Darwinism 101. However, I usually find these same fundamentalists making the argument for Intelligent Design in other areas and other locations, particularly in the schools.

    For myself, I believe there is Intelligent Design, and is it too far fetched to believe that God created “eunuchs” or gay men for a purpose outside of procreation?

    Here is another quote for the fundamentalists reading this:

    Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

    And:

    “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

    For myself, I am not competent to judge another man, much less call him an abomination before God and man.

    I know that whatever standard I use to judge another person, that very standard, that I have erected, God will use to judge me…

    So, Bookworm, you know where I stand on this subject, and I don’t know what more I can do to reason on it further.

    So, with that said, let those who have the eyes and ears to see this let them see and hear. If not, I commend you to our Lord Jesus Christ.

  20. suek says

    >>It is a biological fact, that 10 percent out of every species of primates will be homosexual.>>

    I’d appreciate a source for this.

    >>When I wrote, “first Jew being put in an oven,” I meant any group that the people have decided shouldn’t exist.>>

    Adhering to the principle that marriage is an institution between a man and a woman and cannot therefore be at the same time the same bond between two members of the same sex is a _very_ long way from condemning them “to the ovens”. Please cite anytime within Christian history when Christians have not held the principle that homosexual acts were immoral, and have also condemned to death those who perpetrated such acts.

    >>…sexual orientation is in one’s nature, not one’s choice. >>

    So you say. I, for one, disagree. Animals can be conditioned in many different ways to respond to sexual pleasure. I have horses…I assume you know what artificial insemination is. A stallion is taught to mount a dummy with a condom (in effect) placed so that he can ejaculate and the semen saved. Initially, a mare is placed in front of the dummy until he’s taught to mount it. Eventually, the mare is removed, and the stallion will mount the dummy and ejaculate with no other stimulation. Stallions who are collected this way all their lives have been known to nicker to the dummy when led past them. Males especially take very little stimulus to become sexually excited. The result is that:

    >>If this is true, as I know it is, the heterosexual children would shrug off the homosexual parts.>>

    Heterosexual boys especially can be influenced to experiment, and progress to the next step of looking to other males for pleasure. There is no question that the sexual drive is virtually the most powerful drive mammals have. Males are highly driven to constantly seek sexual satisfaction and will find it where they can.

    >>For myself, I’d like to withhold sex education all together from schools at least until the junior or senior year of high school. At least, they are arriving into adulthood then.>>

    It used to be that way “in the old days” but sexual material today is so omnipresent that children are exposed to sexual information earlier and earlier in their lives – unfortunately, that is something that must be discussed. Frankly, I think it should be a family matter, but the statists have inserted into the education program.

    >>I find it strange because when it suits their arguments fundamentalists become Darwinists. >>

    And I find it strange that a group that generally believes that correct nurturing will result in a perfect society then use nature to explain a single particular behavior.

    >>For myself, I am not competent to judge another man, much less call him an abomination before God and man.>>

    I am not competent to judge another man’s soul, but I can judge another man’s actions. Are homosexuals an abomination before God and man? I don’t know. Not my job to know. If homosexuals kept their behavior in their bedrooms, it would be none of my business. But they have chosen to demand that society give them full fledged recognition and blessing. That being the case, it becomes necessary for me to make a judgement. And my judgement is that most if not all homosexuals are narcissistic and exist for their own pleasure. That, in my opinion, is the definition of sin. God only knows if homosexuality is by the result of genetics or choice, and I’ll leave the eternal judgement up to Him. Above my pay grade. Voting is within my pay grade. Given a vote, I’ll choose against marriage for homosexuals.

  21. tomc says

    This is Darwinism 101. However, I usually find these same fundamentalists making the argument for Intelligent Design in other areas and other locations, particularly in the schools.

    That’s perhaps simply because you don’t make a distinction where you should make one. It’s also funny how you decry hypocrisy in others, but not in yourself, I have a few questions about your interpretation of darwin at the bottom of this post. Genesis is a story trivially simple to read in greek, most translations are very, very literal. They do not transmit most of the meaning of the text very well. One could for example, as a direct problem with the “seven day interpretation” claim that Genesis supposedly defends : Genesis 2:4 claims it was one day. Now the bible DOES claim to be consistent, so they would not have made such a stupid error. So … in english, it is perhaps better to let a story sink in, summarize it for yourself, and then draw conclusions about it’s meaning. Genesis 1 is the start of a story, in the same way many biblical stories start : describing the ancestry and setting for the real story.

    Genesis is a story about why utopia is impossible (at least on earth), and about the creation (mostly by humans, but with help from God) of civilization, A story about the fall of man. A story that, for example, preceeds Jesus’ claim that even the best of men are sinners. Some other interpretations like to state that it menas that even heaven is not a utopia, not a place that is utterly devoid of problems, but that heaven is merely a place were every problem can be worked at, and fixed, a place were good people can be happy, which matches better with other tales about events in heaven that can be found in the bible.

    Also : it seems to me that you are a hypocrite “too”. As you clearly say you believe in darwinism when it suits you to discredit others (even though we probably agree that these people should be countered), however you do not accept it’s consequences when it states things about gays for example. But please read the full post before you refute anything in this paragraph. I would certainly enjoy your responses to the question lower in this paragraph.

    Is it already become politically incorrect to state that gays do not procreate ? I do not suggest doing anything to these people (except at least attempting to fix “psychological” gayness, which you surely admit exists too. People claiming to be gay, or lesbian, due to psychological trauma or simply to get attention. They should be given help, not the “right” to throw themselves into a dangerous fantasy). However even stating such a trivial fact has apparently become too much for a normal “moderate” person.

    “Gays do not procreate”. This statement does not make anyone a fundamentalist.

    “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

    And what do you think this means ? Note that again, in greek, the first time and the second sentence do NOT use the same verb. It is basically talking, not about the “thought crime” of judging one situation or person against another, but about gossip. It deals with interaction between people, not with thought crime, as you seem to imply.

    It specifies how a Christian should judge others. Note also how “God” is utterly absent from this sentence. It is a piece of advice that specifies how people around you will (or should) judge you : by your own standard. Note that the bible makes another important related mission to judging : that a personal judgement, based on scripture, is better than a group judgement, even if it comes from a priest or even the pope.

    It does, most defineately, NOT instruct Christians to become nihilists, as you seem to imply. Openness, yes, complete acceptance of any ideology without any distinction or evaluation, no, not at all. Jesus himself openly mocked a woman for sleeping around (however he was, as anyone knows, adamant about forgiving her), how exactly do you make that fit with your “judge not” interpretation ?

    You for example, should be judged by your apparent hypocritical beilef in darwinism (and I might very well be wrong about the hypocritical nature of that belief, but I do have questions). Tell me, what does darwinism say (1) about gays and their future (2) about the contribution gays make to society, specifically about the limits to said contribution, as it compares to heterosexuals (3) what do you think about the central assumption of darwinism, that everyone is motivated purely by self intrest (or more loosely worded that the strenght of your family bond is a reliable measure of how much you can trust someone ?) (4) do you agree with darwinism in these cases ?

    Feel free, completely free even to talk to me about what you think are contradictions in my beliefs. I (or so I hope) will try to fix them. Will you ?

  22. says

    Bookworm,

    I want to lastly make it clear that I am not dissolving my social contract with America. Like I said, until America decides to knowingly sentence to death or actively persecute and torture a group, then all bets are off. This obviously has not happened.

    Until such a time, you will not find a more patriotic nuke our enemies till the glow than me, and my comments to this point will attest to that. You know that I am neither a liberal nor a conservative, and I try to walk the moderate middle. I generally side with conservatives on many issues, but this is not one of them.

  23. rockdalian says

    Thomas

    Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Tennessee Williams, and a host of who’s who in the Arts were homosexuals.

    Sexuality of William Shakespeare
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakespeare%27s_sexuality

    suggests he had affairs with other women or may have taken an erotic interest in men.

    That said, no reliable direct evidence for any of these claims has been discovered.

    I would like to see the definitive proof of this claim. I don’t seem to be able to confirm this.

  24. rockdalian says

    Thomas

    Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Tennessee Williams, and a host of who’s who in the Arts were homosexuals.

    Michelangelo also seems to be open to debate.

    It is impossible to know for certain whether Michelangelo had physical relationships (Condivi ascribed to him a “monk-like chastity”),[24] but through his poetry and visual art we may at least glimpse the arc of his imagination.[

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelangelo

  25. Ymarsakar says

    The reason marriage is based upon an interest in government of regulating the legal protections or privileges provided to couples is exactly why men who donate sperm to homosexual couples are legally required, whether because the state or the couples wish it, to provide child support. For the foundation of our society is based upon the nuclear family unit and when that foundation is changed, you will have parasitism, injustice, as well as the chaos of introducing new untested functions.

    To justify the proposal of gay marriage by saying that marriage has already been changed and redefined in today’s popular culture or new age civilization, so thus we might as well change it more, is not a good argument.

    It would be a better argument to say that blood relationships no longer can apply to whether a person is a man’s son or a woman’s daughter. This way homosexual couples need not corrupt the marriage laws and protections for heteresexual couples with the legal ramifications of having a family that is not related to you by blood.

    In this field, they would do better to urge people to change the adoption laws and make it so that the state no longer recognizes families simply by right of birth. The legal ramifications are extensive in that this will demand that either all men be treated equally or special dispensations must be provided to homosexual couples because they cannot usually be held to account for supporting children simply by blood ties. How you are going to have a legal system that treats hetereosexual marriages one way while homosexual marriages another, simply because of the biological differences between the two, is a subject people ignore because iti s more convenient to have the Supreme Court rule in their favor.

  26. says

    Yamarsakar,
    Visit a coffee shop in san francisco’s Castro district and you will see that half of the gay couples have kids already. Yes, the state writes a special contract for gay couples with children, just like it does for legally sanctioned sperm donors and sperm banks. Or for that matter, 14 year olds who wish to be emancipated from their parents or children who for various reasons are wards of the court.
    We live in a market society based on laws and contracts, some people are happy going into a marriage with the “standard agreement,” but most of us would choose to write our own contract. That’s what it is, a contract. (That’s what the word marriage means in Chinese).

    Bookworm,
    The Supreme Court of California crossed its arms and said, “Make a convincing argument why some people should be able to write a certain kind of contract and others should not be allowed to.” That is clearly with in the mandate of the court. And nobody has yet been able to make a convincing argument to the contrary. Case closed.

  27. suek says

    >>“Make a convincing argument why some people should be able to write a certain kind of contract and others should not be allowed to.”>>

    Actually, that’s not the argument. Gays already have the right to a “civil union”. The problem is that is not enough for them – they want to change the concept of marriage from a union between a man and a woman to being a union between two people. Actually – as I recall from somewhere, the SC didn’t even specify two people…so that’s still an open question.

    I think we’re progressing to the point where there will be _no_ state sanctioned institution known as “marriage”. Marriage will be a religious institution and anything else will be a civil union established by contract.

  28. says

    “I think we’re progressing to the point where there will be _no_ state sanctioned institution known as “marriage”. Marriage will be a religious institution and anything else will be a civil union established by contract.”

    And suek, that would be okay too. I just like to be clear on my terms, my goals, and my inevitable fallout.

  29. jj says

    The constitution of the State of California does not permit – any more than does the US Constitution – courts to have that kind of power to make legislation – no matter how catchily they phrase it, or how creatively they parse the argument. Case closed, all right.

    That courts routinely overstep themselves does not ipso facto render it OK.

    It doesn’t matter what the supreme court of California crossed its arms and did: the fact is they don’t get to do it.

  30. says

    Please cite anytime within Christian history when Christians have not held the principle that homosexual acts were immoral, and have also condemned to death those who perpetrated such acts.

    suek,

    I am genuinely concerned with what you are saying here, suek. Surely, you are not saying that Christianity believes that homosexuals should be condemned to death.

    Our Lord and the Apostles have warned that in the latter days, when the Jews march back into Jerusalem, people will call for the death of others and sincerely believe they are doing the will of God because they will be doing it in His name. Jesus said that he will pronounce, “I never knew you” to people doing this.

    Perhaps I am misunderstanding what you wrote and its implications…

    Even so, I am glad you asked me this question.

    For the first six hundred years of our faith, gays were not persecuted at all. The first persecution of homosexuals occurred with Emperor Justinian, a Christian Byzantine Emperor.

    From this there are a few interesting tidbits to note. Firstly, that the official religion of the Roman Empire changed from the pagan Roman gods to Christianity under Constantine, which was well over two hundred years before Justinian.

    In fact, because the arid state of Egypt and other locations, we have Roman marriage certificates intact that specifically stipulates that the male concubines of the husband is to not be allow into the marital house. It was written as a matter of fact, nothing extraordinary. And these documents were dated to just before the fall of the Western half of the Empire when Christianity has long been the official state religion.

    Secondly, Justinian’s persecution of gays was not the only persecution he conducted. He was also the Emperor that doled out the same punishment for homosexuality as pre-marital sex, adultery, divorce, and sodomy. Sodomy was defined as any sex outside of the missionary position where the woman was on her back and the man in the dominant position. This definition of Sodomy was held from Justinian times all the way up to the American colonies and beyond before linguistic drift took hold. I only mentioned the American colonies because they tacked on sodomy to any criminal prosecution because they knew everyone committed it.

    Furthermore, there is little known fact about homosexuals in the history of Christianity, and it’s discussed even less. Every breviary in European churches up to the Gutenberg Press contain four masses for marriage between two males. Most of those breviaries are now gone, but some still exist in Eastern Europe.

    Also, furthering my point is that two of the great saints of Christendom were married in such a manner. Sergy and Bacchus, who where both saints and martyrs of the faith.

    In the Balkans and in Asia Minor, entire mosaics along the sides of churches depict Sergy and Bacchus marriage and they are still there to this day for all to see.

    The Vatican has fully acknowledged that they were married under a marriage mass between men. They also acknowledge that they lived together in this union in the same house, but insist that they were celibate, which, of course, is ridiculous.

    But don’t take my word for it. You can research this out for yourself. I don’t think there is anything I can do to convince you or reason you out of your positions. On issues like these men are rarely reasoned out of anything, if at all…

  31. tomc says

    Christianity simply states that homosexuals are to be treated like all other sinners. Keep in mind that they sin, that what they do is wrong, and that you are not to participate in it.

    It is also defensible to keep them away from kids. In other words, a gay person can never really be part of a Christian community. But that’s it.

    Political correctness, on the other hand, clearly specifies that protecting homosexuals from lethal muslim attacks is forbidden, as evidenced not two weeks ago in Amsterdam.

  32. suek says

    Thomas, you mention much that I do not recognize as true. Whether it is or not, I cannot say, and to be honest, don’t care enough to research. Obviously you do, but you also obviously “have a dog in the fight”.

    This, for example:

    “They also acknowledge that they lived together in this union in the same house, but insist that they were celibate, which, of course, is ridiculous.”

    You have no more reason to say it’s ridiculous than the church has to say they remained celibate. Each imposes their own preference. I’d like to point out, however, that the assumptions are: by the church, that one can live in a loving relationship without sex, and by you, that one cannot.

    >>Surely, you are not saying that Christianity believes that homosexuals should be condemned to death.>>

    I said no such thing. Any statement I made that you interpreted that way was in response to _your_ statements which generally indicated that Christians had condemned gays to death in the past, and would do so in the future. I deny that. If Justinian did so, it was _his_ action, not that prescribed by the church. I don’t think your statement of the church’s definition of sodomy is correct either. My understanding is that sodomy is specifically anal intercourse, and that that has _always_ been the definition. I’m Catholic – perhaps that’s influenced what I know. If other christian churches have other definitions, I may simply not be aware of it.

  33. suek says

    >>The constitution of the State of California does not permit – any more than does the US Constitution – courts to have that kind of power to make legislation – no matter how catchily they phrase it, or how creatively they parse the argument. Case closed, all right.>>

    So you say. Personally, I agree with you, but the Supreme Court of California is the _Supreme Court_ of California. Unless someone finds a way to get it into the federal courts and thence to the US Supreme Court in order to tell the state of California that the State Supreme Court doesn’t have that right, they _have_ made the legislation. The only way I can see that’s going to happen is if a gay couple sues for federal rights (benefits) because they’re married and the Feds refuse to allow it. Maybe there’s another way – I’m not a lawyer – but I don’t see it.

  34. says

    suek,

    You know that we had a man running for the Republican presidential nomination who overtly wanted to put homosexuals into concentration camps or internment camps for “sanitary” reasons as a “public health measure” because of HIV, right? Mike Huckabee made those statements back into the early 90′s and in this previous December, he said he stood by every word of it. And I don’t think I am being alarmist here.

    If you are unwilling to conduct research to either validate or reinforce your current opinions with the information I’ve stated here, putting aside intimations about my motives and intentions–neither of which you can possibly know– perhaps you can read Mein Kampf.

    In it Hitler, said that Jews should be isolated from society for reasons of “sanitation” as a “public health measure.” Hilter and the Nazi’s believed that the Jews were the primary carriers of syphilis. And when they got their way, Germany began their fateful path downward.

    Huckabee has unwittingly or not quoted Hilter’s reason for creating Jewish ghettos.

    In light of this, my previous assertion that my loyalty to America ends with the first proverbial Jew being put in a oven was not unwarranted.

    You have no more reason to say it’s ridiculous than the church has to say they remained celibate.

    Sure I do. They were married under the mass for marriage between males. In one of the mosaics, Bacchus dressed in a warriors armor but was draped over with a woman’s veil. But I think this is one of the statements you think are untrue and you are unwilling to research to see if it is true, so I guess we’re at an impasse, eh?

  35. says

    Mike Huckabee as VP would certainly be disturbing to me. There is absolutely no point on which I agree with that man. His social conservatism is, as Thomas rightly points out, as extreme as possible — and I’m not an extremist — and his practical politics place him as Carter’s heir. If McCain really did put Huckabee on the ticket, I’d no longer be able to vote per my “lesser of two evils” philosophy. Between Obama and Huckabee (who would be a young, healthy VP to an old, healthy President), I’d be unable to say whose evil was less.

  36. bse53 says

    Let’s get the record straight. Mike Huckabee didn’t advocate putting homsexuals in “concentration camps”!

    But, of course, if you’re looking to produce a negative emotional response, you might stoop to this sort of distortion.

    And while this has nothing to do with the subject of homosexuals using the term “marriage” to refer to some sort of binding contract, the concept of separating homosexuals infected with AIDS from the general homosexual community might have saved countless lives.

    The following is a more accurate report of what he advocated.

    “The Associated Press reported Saturday that as a candidate for the Senate in 1992, Huckabee said in response to a 229-question survey that he believed that AIDS patients should be isolated from the general public and that homosexuality was an “aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle” that posed a “dangerous public risk.”

    Fear of AIDS spreading into the community were fairly widespread in the mid-1980s, but by the time Huckabee answered the survey, it was well-established that the virus could not be spread through casual contact.

    When asked about AIDS research in 1992, Huckabee complained that it received an unfair share of federal dollars when compared to cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

    “An alternative would be to request that multimillionaire celebrities, such as Elizabeth Taylor[,] Madonna and others who are pushing for more AIDS funding be encouraged to give out of their own personal treasuries increased amounts for AIDS research,” Huckabee wrote in 1992.

    Huckabee said Saturday that his comments came at a time when “the AIDS crisis was just that — a crisis. … If I were making those same comments today, I might make them a little differently.”

    He said that, at the time, he wanted public health authorities to treat AIDS like tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.

    That was why he wrote in 1992 that “it is difficult to understand the public policy towards AIDS. It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents.

    “Medical protocol typically says that if you have a disease for which there is no cure, and you are uncertain about the transmission of it, then the first thing you do is that you quarantine or isolate carriers,” he wrote.”

  37. suek says

    I could not vote for a McCain/Huckabee ticket, either. I really didn’t think Huckabee was anything more than a joke.

    Re: the homosexuals in isolation camps…

    Actually, I think it makes sense to quarantine individuals with HIV or AIDS – whether they’re homosexual or not. If we had done that in the early days before much was understood about it or how it was transmitted, or how to treat it, it probably would have radically reduced the number of cases and deaths. However, that being said, I would condemn the practice of quarantining homosexuals because they _might_ get HIV or AIDS. That’s unacceptable.

  38. Mike Devx says

    I wish I could take back my first post (the first of these comments). It was an angry word-vomit of the kind I detest that I see across most of internet blog commentary. I am ashamed by it and how it reflects on me. I apologize because I believe it too is highly offensive. Book’s blog and commentary is one of the few civilized oases in the Internet Wild Wild West and I’ve soiled it, and I apologize. I hope everyone can keep this one of the few oases of civilized discourse that it is.

    I’ve recently become one of those idiots with free-floating anger who pounds the keyboard in frustration I don’t like it and I have no intention of continuing to post angry word-vomit missives like the regrettable, disgusting one I led this commentary with.

  39. says

    Mike:

    Your apology, though unnecessary, is accepted wholeheartedly. You are a valued contributor to this blog, and you are allowed to have your hot spots.

    Also, you certainly started a lively discussion (and a mostly civil one considering how sensitive the topic can be), and that is always valued here.

  40. Mike Devx says

    Thank you, Book, I appreciate your patience with any “hot spots”!
    And it is always a good thing to start a lively discussion!

    But I think your original post – or perhaps Thomas’ first comment – would have been enough to start the lively discussion. It shouldn’t take a rant such as mine to start a lively discussion.

    And I think the lively discussion was excellent, with only one instance of impoliteness (Scott’s “tough titty”). There are a lot of harsh hot-button opinions to be sure, and many that I totally disagree with, but they’re expressed quite well.

    It’s extraordinarily helpful to get honest opinion from a wide variety of people. I see that in all of these posts and I for one am grateful. Don’t ever get stuck in the echo chamber, able to hear only the voices of those who agree with you.

  41. says

    Your last point, Mike, is an interesting one, and may explain why lawyers tend to do well as bloggers. Not only are we used to writing, but we’re used to writing adversarial papers that have to contain underlying facts and analysis, and have to be civil enough to pass the judge’s muster. For me, provided that there’s civility, the conflict in ideas is my professional norm.

    What’s more impressive is how everyone else who comes who — most of whom are not trained in this kind of professional arguing — still hews to those same standards.

    This is the crucible approach, which assumes that, with civil argument from both sides, some truth — assuming there can be a truth — will emerge, as fine metal emerges from the hot crucible.

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