Why Same-sex Marriage Is Not Good for America

by Elgin Hushbieck, Jr.

[ene_ptp] A supporter of same sex marriage recently asked me, “Why should I care what two people do in the privacy of their bedroom?” It is a common question and even a valid one in some contexts, but it has nothing to do with same-sex marriage, except that it encapsulates a great deal of the problems with this issue.
To see this just consider the following fact, and it is a fact: The recent Supreme Court ruling forcing states to accept same-sex marriage across the country had absolutely no effect on what people could or could not do in the privacy of their bedroom. None.
A major reason for this is that marriage is not a private matter, is it a public commitment, and a societal construct. As someone who has been concerned about what author Maggie Gallagher described as “The Abolition of Marriage” long before same-sex marriage was even on the horizon, much less a pressing issue, I approached this debate as yet another in a long line of attacks on marriage, and in many respects one of the final nails in the coffin of marriage, if not the final.
While I believe there is an important religious component to marriage, religion was not the primary factor in my views. After all, the traditional view of marriage is hardly restricted to evangelical Christians, it is about as universal as any human convention as ever been. Even in societies that had no objection to homosexuality, marriage was still between and man and a woman. The main social experiment was with polygamy, but that seems to be driven more by male desire than family values and was at least until recently seen as undesirable at best, and degrading to women. We are already seeing signs of people pressing for this and other forms of marriage. Given the so-called “legal reasoning” of the decision, I do not seen any way to prevent it, and therein lies the problem.
Something that can mean anything means nothing; that is pretty much where we are today, with the only thread remaining being a grouping of 2. But, given that historically there is more foundation for polygamy, I cannot see how that will be able to stand for long. Marriage will end up being anything and thus will be nothing. It will effectively have been abolished.
Neither do I believe this is at all accidental. Serious thinkers on the left have attacked the traditional family and called for its weakening or elimination as a barrier to the state from the beginning, though the intellectual backing for this is largely unknown by the rank and file liberals.
To them it is just about people (currently two) in love. But if this is the case, why has the traditional family been such a feature of every culture and every time period until now? The main reason has been the raising to children, who it was believed needed a good father and a good mother.
Today we are told that this is no longer true. That the only thing needed is love. While love is certainly important, this is yet another example of ideology trumping reason and the facts. Its core foundational belief, while a mantra for the left from the late 1960s–1990s, is that men and women are the same. Most people have noticed the difference between the sexes from the beginning of humanity. But that did not keep the belief they are essentially the same from becoming an important tenant that lies behind much of modern leftism. It remains a key underpinning, even today and long after science confirmed common sense by refuting this idea.
It is this false idea, that there is no difference between men and women that underpins the notion that the only thing you need is love which has governed so much of the left’s attack on traditional values. After all once you admit there is a difference, then it becomes clear that a mother and a father bring different things to the raising of children, and if you allow for this, then you have a reasonable basis for traditional marriage.
Intellectually this is a death blow to the campaign for same-sex marriage. Its imposition by the courts was grounded on the false belief that the only possible opposition could be homophobia, and this could only be true if there was no basis for traditional marriage, that there fundamentally was no difference between men and women.
The lasting effect of individual same-sex couples getting married will be nil simply because, other than qualifying for social security benefits, little has changed for them. The social effects, on the other hand, will be to both to hasten and lock in the destruction of the traditional family. The message society sends to the next generation will now be that traditional marriage, rather than being the preferred option, will be just one of many social groupings one can engage in. Again, this was already going on long before same-sex marriage became an issue, and the deleterious effects will only be hastened and magnified, though probably still ignored, as they consistently have been.
In addition, there will be the further segmenting of society. Those who do not wish to jump on the bandwagon of the left, those who believe that men and women are different, and that marriage is between a man and a woman, will find it increasingly difficult to live in society. There will be a growing list of professions where those with traditional beliefs will be banned. We are already seeing it deepen the divide in churches and even splitting some churches. And undoubtedly this will hasten the exodus from public schools further segmenting society. In short, this will not unify the country, this will further split and alienate a very large and significant part of the population.
When the court attempted to settle the abortion issue in 1973, they instead created a political cancer that has infected much of politics since that time. I fear that they have done the same thing here, but time will tell.
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23 Responses

  • Dear Elgin,

    Again, I applaud you for your insightful post. Your reasoning is sound and should settle the issue for any honest seekers of truth. Thank you for being a virtuous common-sense voice in this debate.

    I don’t have time to express my views but hope to do so later. They are all biblical, and the consequences of ignoring God and His Holy Word are eternally deadly!

    Blessings! Keep your posts coming!

    • Elgin:
      While I highly respect the way you approach issues intelligently and with great conviction, I would argue that the reality of childless marriage as being truly a marriage undercuts the argument. I think you also make the assumption that children raised by same sex couples can’t be raised well. I don’t think this is simple fact.
      I appreciate that you frame your argument in broader terms than ‘ The Bible says it, therefore………….’ and I applaud your argumentation from other perspectives, even as I respectfully disagree…
      Bob

    • Elgin, most of your arguments against same-sex marriage revolve around the logical fallacy of the “slippery slope.” Slippery slope reasoning is based on the assumption that one thing must lead to another. They postulate that one thing inevitably leads to another and then another, and ultimately we end up with a very undesirable result. They conclude that we therefore shouldn’t do the first thing. The problem with these arguments is that it is possible to do the first without the necessity of the others to follow. In this case, same-sex marriage does not necessarily lead to the things you fear.
      When the slippery slope argument is used it is often because there are no good ones to present in opposition to the first cause. Any idea needs to be evaluated on the merits, not on what might happen. Its value stands or falls on its own. (Remember the “domino effect” argument that if Viet Nam falls to the communists that all of Southeast Asia will follow?) Propping up an argument with dire “what ifs” seems like desperation, not argumentation. So, we need not fear that “Marriage will end up being anything and thus will be nothing. It will effectively have been abolished.”
      Below are a few reactions to some of your comments:
      “To see this just consider the following fact, and it is a fact: The recent Supreme Court ruling forcing states to accept same-sex marriage across the country had absolutely no effect on what people could or could not do in the privacy of their bedroom. None.”
      It is only a fact because of SCOTUS’ prior ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, as recently as 2003, that struck down sodomy laws, making what anyone does in one’s bedroom none of the government’s business. (And let’s remember that sodomy is as much a heterosexual practice as homosexual.) So, your friend’s comment that this is nobody’s business is thanks to that ruling.
      Many refer to “the traditional view of marriage” as though the only true template for marriage fell from heaven and is THE one and only form authorized in the Bible. This is patently false on its face. You note, “The main social experiment was with polygamy, but that seems to be driven more by male desire than family values and was at least until recently seen as undesirable at best, and degrading to women.” This is a very curious choice of words that obscure the actual reality. Polygamy was not a “social experiment. It was an approved marriage system under the Law. Rather than it be driven more by male desire than family values, it was driven by patriarchalism and enforced by male domination where women were merely property, who could be bought and sold and divorced at will. This once was a “traditional view of marriage.” You see, the definition of marriage changes. And it changes because we change our notions of what is the right way to behave as human beings toward one another.
      \”To them it is just about people (currently two) in love. But if this is the case, why has the traditional family been such a feature of every culture and every time period until now?\” Well, it hasn’t, and I know you know better than to serve up this patently erroneous “fact.”
      \”Intellectually this is a death blow to the campaign for same-sex marriage. Its imposition by the courts was grounded on the false belief that the only possible opposition could be homophobia, and this could only be true if there was no basis for traditional marriage, that there fundamentally was no difference between men and women.\”
      Obviously you didn’t read the SCOTUS majority opinion. It had nothing to do with homophobia and everything to do with the Constitution. I quote from it. “The right of same-sex couples to marry that is part of the liberty promised in the Fourteenth Amendment is derived, too, from that Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws.”
      “The lasting effect of individual same-sex couples getting married will be nil simply because, other than qualifying for social security benefits, little has changed for them.”
      Notwithstanding the 1000+ Federal income tax laws formerly ineligible for gay couples, the true change is found in raising the legitimacy of LGBT families. Another way of putting this is LGBTs are now legally on par with straight families. By refusing to allow gays to marry, we, as a society, were saying, “You are not sufficiently human to be allowed to participate in what we, heterosexual “real humans” are entitled to.” Thankfully, LGBTs can claim the distinction of being fully human.
      “And undoubtedly this will hasten the exodus from public schools further segmenting society. In short, this will not unify the country, this will further split and alienate a very large and significant part of the population.”
      You are certainly right here. Just as with the Brown v Topeka ruling ending segregation, private “white only” schools arose throughout the South and elsewhere in the North. Many if not most of them where chartered as Christian schools. And just as their numbers have receded over the decades, so will those whose “family values” don’t accept gay families. For they will no longer need to separate themselves when they discover, as most of America now knows, that there’s not a dimes worth of difference in them anyway.
      Finally, Elgin, I have no problem agreeing that men and women are different. That’s totally irrelevant. What is relevant is, is there a difference in outcome in raising children that is so significant that it should be disallowed? Not only is there not a significant difference, there are studies that say same-sex couples are better at it! Here’s a link to a very scientific study that supports same-sex couples as “just as good” parents: http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/research/parenting/goldberg-smith-jpf-jul-2013/ This is one of dozens reaching the same conclusion. Or is this part of the \”liberal conspiracy?\”
      We’re on a slope, all right, but its an ascending one, not a slipping down into degradation. We’re learning that people are people, regardless of race, creed, or sexuality. This shouldn’t be news to one who understands that all people are created in the image of God, and by that fact alone, are entitled to the best treatment that humanity can offer.

      • EDN Editor,

        You are very clever, and your arguments seem reasonable, but they have nothing to do with God who created our bodies and ordained marriage between a man and a woman in the Garden of Eden. Jesus quoted this Genesis passage in Matthew 19:3-6. Your authority in life seems to be your intellect. My authority is based on Holy Scripture, especially the words of my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, interpreted by the Holy Spirit.

        Here the subject of sexual relations is addressed clearly in Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 1, verses 18-32: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
        Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

        I am not accusing you of all the evil practices mentioned by people who have a debased mind. But I do want to point out that homosexuality is included in these evil practices.

        I could comment on the illegal SCOTUS ruling and the 10th amendment, but for brevity’s sake, I rest my case on what God said. Even if David and Solomon had multiple wives, it was not God’s will as shown “in the beginning” and pointed out by Jesus!

        • Nancy, it\’s so easy to quote a little Scripture and think the job is done. Taking the meaning off the page as though it is the last step in understanding misleads. It is actually the first step. It\’s almost impossible to read the bible with the mindset of the author and original readers. We are separated by two to three thousands years of incredible changes in outlook. By omitting that effort we assume what it means to us is what it must have meant to them.
          I know these texts very well. Your meanings derived off the surface need a closer look. Energion is about to release my book that does this in detail. To do so is not clever, it is being faithful to the interpretive process. I hope you give it a look.

          • EDN Editor,

            Sexual perversion goes against nature and nature’s God. Abortion and homosexuality are twin evils and would rid us of children. Abortion does it by murder, and homosexuality does it by no reproduction in the first place.
            In our country, a small group of homosexual activists have become very powerful bullies, trying to force the normalization of perversion by legalizing it and stamping out all resistance. This erodes our freedom of conscience, guaranteed under the Constitution.

            The worst thing is that these activists are recruiting others in their lifestyle, especially children in schools, scouts, etc.

            Jesus warned against false teachers and teachings. I would urge you to reconsider publishing your book. I do not apologize for quoting Scripture.
            Jesus used Scripture to combat the devil’s temptations in the wilderness.
            He said, “It is written …” all four times. I am staking my eternity on “it is written …” and I pray you will, too. One day we will all give an accounting before a holy God for the deeds done in the body and also for every idle word.

            Praying,

          • I too will look forward to your book, though your general stance undercuts your own argument. If the Bible is unintelligible, what gives your interpretation any better claim to acceptance than other interpretation? If you argue for your view, why cannot Nancy argue for hers?
            Unless you have some unique way of approaching these passages that I have not considered, I see you having a huge uphill struggle. Let me give you a parallel. Many Christians have adopted a view that drinking alcohol is a sin. When they come to passages that seem to allow drinking such as the wedding at Cana, they have explanations that it really was not what a plain reading seems to be. But I see this as a problem, for human being have a great capacity to rationalize virtually anything. In short they are reading their belief into the text, not getting them from the text. This is why, for me, the plain reading takes precedence unless there is some clear and overriding reason to question it. I would argue we all do this to some extent. The real question is when do we have “a clear and overriding reason.”
            It is on this basis that I have a great deal of problem with many of the liberal views of the Bible. Quite frankly if I want to know what a liberal Christian thinks about a social issue and at times even theological ones, I will get much closer to their belief by asking what a liberal secular atheist believes, than by looking to what the Body of Christ has believed, or the plain reading of the Bible.
            And as a preemptive response, yes there were some Christians that supported racism and slavery, but those were hardly the only views and I would argue they were not even the predominate ones. In addition opposition arose not from outside but from within. So yes there were Christians who supported slavery, but I would also point out that the abolitionist movement was a Christian movement as well.

      • I disagree that my arguments are fallacious, though the distinction is subtle and often confused. Slippery Slope arguments argue against A because it might lead to B where there is not a tight relationship between the two, e.g., that a weakening of one standard might lead to weakening of other standards.
        My arguments are somewhat different, that the reasoning and argument put forth for Same-Sex marriage apply equally well to other forms of marriage arrangements. For example, a very common argument is that people should be free to marry the person they love. The foundation of this argument argues not just that marriage should be expanded to same-sex couples but to any arrangement based on love. In fact to argue that this is somehow restricted to the number 2, would be special pleading.
        As for no good arguments, there are in fact a great many, a few of which I have presented here. This is why I believe the supporters have tried so strongly to intimidate those making such arguments with personal attacks, something we have seen here, but not by you. These argument were made, considered, and rejected by the public. Ultimately same-sex marriage became law, not though persuasion and the power of the argument, but by mischaracterization and imposition of courts.
        As for previous court rulings, you seem to be arguing a sort of reverse slippery slope. But in any event I draw a distinction between Sodomy and Marriage.
        As for the nature of traditional marriage, we simply disagree. I would agree there have been exceptions, but as I general rule what I said is true. In addition the exceptions have for the most part been seen until recently as failures, as your comments about polygamy demonstrate.
        As for the court ruling, much of these reflect the debate over the living vs strict view of the Constitution which is beyond the scope here, and is something I devote a chapter to in my book Preserving Democracy. But this somewhat does go back to the concept that something that can mean anything means nothing. If the Constitution only means whatever the person interpreting it wants it to mean, than it means nothing and can mean anything. It means we are no longer under a Constitution, but ruled by an oligarchy of a majority of the Supreme Court, which can simply impose its will on the people, as it has done is this and other cases. I would only point out that should those you disagree with ever adopt that view of the constitution and gain a majority on the court, you may not like the outcome.
        While LGBT families are now legally on par with other family structures, a vastly larger number who believe in traditional marriage have been further alienated from society, with some being attacked, harassed, and punished by force of law, and to a growing extent living in fear. True the marriage issue is not the only factor in this, but it has been a significant factor.
        I think your view of the Christian school movement is a little warped. While I have no doubt that some schools were created as white only, the Christian school movement really arose in the 1970 and 1980 as public schools became increasing hostile to Christian values. While still going strong, it has somewhat been eclipse by the emergence of the home schooling movement.
        On somewhat of a side note, the Democratic Party has historically, and I would argue remains, the party based on race. It sees everything in terms of race. Until the 1960s, it was the party of slavery, and the later of segregation and its extreme elements formed the KKK. Except for a few and notable exceptions such as Truman integrating the military, it opposed Civil Rights which was being pushed by Republicans. The reason the Civil Right Bill passed in 1964 was not that Democrats were able to overcome Republican resistance, but because Johnson in somewhat of a Nixon goes to China moment was able to get enough Democrats to join with Republicans to pass the bill. The fact is that a larger percentage of Republicans supported the bill than did Democrats. To justify themselves they created the myth of a Southern Strategy and began calling Republicans racists because they continued to reject race based laws. Thus the Democrats were and remained the party that focus on race, though now they call Republicans who say that race should not matter, racists for not supporting their race based policies.
        This comes back to the marriage in that I believe that the major problem in the inner cities has not been lingering racism, though there certainly is some. Rather the major problem has been the destruction of the family, often as a side effect of Democratic policies. This ongoing destruction been a major factor in my support for traditional families.
        As for studies, I apologize for being so blunt, but anyone who points to studies on Same-Sex couples and children are either misinformed or lying. Even if we ignore the inherent problems of the social sciences themselves, or their growing politicization (note the reaction to a recent study that did raise some questions), the simple fact is that the phenomena is far too new and too small for any meaningful studies to have been done. This is at best a roll of the dice with the fate of the future generation at stake. I really do hope it works out, I am not hopeful.
        But frankly, you will have a hard time convincing me that studies would actually matter. The studies on the effects of the breakdown of the family have been pretty clear, but that has had no effect. The same have been the case in other areas as well, such as in schools, poverty, or a number of areas. It is one of my problems with the Left that the agenda comes first and facts evidence and reason are secondary.
        You wrote, “We’re on a slope, all right, but it’s an ascending one, not a slipping down into degradation.” We see vastly different realities. As I see it Europe is much further along the path than we are, and probably past the point of no return. It is one of the reasons, barring some significant change, I do not expect Europe as we know it to exist at the end of this century. Policies do have consequences, often unintended. Civilization is not constant, and the good one are rare, and do not last very long.
        I agree that all people are created in the image of God, but we are fallen and have sinful natures and live in a fallen world. We all have struggles with our nature and our struggles vary from person to person. I do agree that we should treat people with dignity and compassion. But an acceptance of the individual as a child of God does not mean an acceptance of sin.

      • One part I missed due to the italics, you cited the majority opinion saying, “The right of same-sex couples to marry that is part of the liberty promised in the Fourteenth Amendment is derived, too, from that Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws.”
        This both absurd and false. It is absurd to think that those passing the 14th amendment were making such a promise. Yes you can appeal to the living constitution, but then that is not the 14th amendment, that is the judge who is doing the reinterpretation that is making the promise. So this is the Judge, not the 14th amendment.
        It is false because, equal protection is based on there being no rational distinction, and as you have already agreed men and woman are different. If they are different, then you have a reasonable basis (i.e., the legal doctrine of rational basis) to restrict marriage to a man and a woman. Again this is why I, and many other, have pointed out that the Courts ruling is grounded in a false premise that while popular in the 1960-1990s has since been refuted, but now codified into constitutional law.
        In the end, it really did not matter what the facts, law or the Constitution said. It is what the majority of Judges wanted to do.

        • Elgin, we (You, I and Nancy) are at an impasse, and it revolves around one issue. You believe that there is such a thing as \”the plain reading of the Bible.\” I don\’t. That\’s why (at least in Nancy\’s case) a bible verse can be cited as the end of the matter. The plain meaning is plain only to those for whom it is plain. There is no such thing as an uninterpreted text. Even as we read we are interpreting, let alone in the reflection on what we read. So you think you know what the \”plain meaning \” is. Since it\’s so plain to you, it must be seen as plain to everyone else, and if any disagree with you, they are just wrong. In fact, you imply they disagree with the bible, itself.
          Yes, the bible is unintelligible until we make it comprehensible in our own minds. Before that, it is only words on a page. In fact, things are so plain to you that you doubt climate change danger, deny that humans evolved from lower life, and that LGBTs are as normal as all the professionals tell us they are. I wonder if you have ever asked yourself why you fall into the minority so often, if not always. Could it be that your opponents are \”children of a lesser God?\” Elgin, you are led by a mindset and so am I. Let\’s give each other space to roam in our own \”plain truths\” without having to sit in judgment on them. Let\’s plead our case in the public square (as we are now doing), and then live with the consequences as best we can. After all, I have to live with Citizens United and Hobby Lobby!
          This is all I have to say on the matter. I recommend my book from EnerPower Press, Marriage Equality: Why Same-Sex Marriage is Good for America The announcement of its availability is forthcoming.

          • EDN Editor, I was blessed that you complimented me. And I am not being sarcastic, but I mean it. You said, “I wonder if you have ever asked yourself why you fall into the minority so often, if not always.” Well, Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are MANY who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are FEW who find it.” (Matt. 7:13-14).
            I am really getting an education on this discussion network. I had no idea that on a Christian blog there would be so many who are heartily embracing homosexuality and same-sex marriage. I can see that, although I had so hoped I could persuade you away from a destructive lifestyle, I have not done so. Unfortunately, you are sold on evolution and the normalcy of LGBTs. I am not skilled as a debater, but I do know the Bible pretty well, and my whole life has been based on this “Owner’s manual” that God gave us. God loves all people, whether educated or mentally challenged. He is not trying to hide the Truth from us, so He gave us the “plain meaning” in the Scriptures. “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the SIMPLICITY and purity of devotion to Christ.” (II Cor. 11:3).
            I probably need to quit commenting, unless I can have a glimmer of hope that what I have said has helped someone. I may sign off with a poem I wrote. Praying about that.
            Thank you,
            Nancy

          • Actually, Nancy, I asked the question to Elgin.
            To be clear, I find you are a very devoted and sincere follower of our Lord. I would never want to imply anything other than that. We disagree about many things, largely because of how we use the Bible. We are trying to follow the same Lord in ways we believe are most appropriate. I’m not trying to undermine Christianity, but to engage its teachings in as full a way as I am able. Your heart compels you to plead for a better understanding of Israel in God’s plan. Mine compels me to plead for understanding one of the most misunderstood minorities in America. I believe God laid this on my heart as surely as God laid your burden on yours. Sure, let’s try to help one another by raising critical issues, but let us never write one another out of the body of Christ because we disagree. I believe your comments intend to mark me as one on “the way that leads to destruction.” That’s waaaaay above your pay grade. As Paul put it, “Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.”

          • In one sense you are correct. We are at an impasse. If the Bible is unintelligible, then either one must have special rules for the Bible, or all communication is unintelligible. One could, and perhaps you do, hold that these communications are just words on a screen that are only made comprehensible in our own mind. To some extent, this is true. Communication can be difficult, at times even impossible. At times that is the fault of the originator, and other the transmission, and at others the receiver. But normally we seek and often achieve communication. My grand kids are at the beginning of that process. I do to believe that are at the beginning of a useless and unintelligible process.
            I have one set of rules for everything. I do not change my standards from subject area to subject area. There is certainly some adapting to the subject matter. For example I do not seek truths in a book on philosophy the same way I seek truths in a book on physics, but that is a difference in degree not in kind. That is the problem I have with your views. They involved, at least to some extent special pleading, and are grounded in Sophism with some Gnosticism (I say this as an analytical statement, not a judgmental one.)
            As for being in the minority so often, yes I often am. But I do not worry about it much. I based my views on reason and evidence. I listen and read both sides and I am not afraid by ideas, nor about changing my mind, or being in the majority. Thus I go were the evidence leads, regardless of the number of people there, though there has been several times where my minority view has become the majority view.
            BTW, I would note that the last poll I saw said that the majority of people in the US did not believe in Climate Change, and we have already discussed the distortions in the claims of supporters of Climate Change. Because of the untruths and distortions, and frankly intimidation, I do not know how many actually oppose climate change. It has been a long time since I have seen an actual poll of climate scientist, but the last one it was nowhere near a majority that accepted the more extreme claims.
            Again I would recommend that you read Bryson’s A Brief History of Everything. This is a very sympathetic view of science and the History of science, but pay close attention to how often he uses phrases such as we do not really know, and how those who disagreed were treated, despite the fact that they were right. My view is based on the belief that nothing much has changed.
            After all, the last 10,000 years has been an unusually calm era for the climate. Climate scientist are worried about degree or so change over the next 100 years, when they cannot explain why at times in the past the climate has changed as much as 7 degrees in as little as 10 years. What can be said with certainty is that we do not know. But that is a very difficult message for many. (I noted that you took my claim that we do not know about evolution, as a denial)
            We also know that their predictions are based on computer models that have consistently been wrong and that they have been caught several time falsifying their data. Other data has just gone missing and thus cannot be independently verified.
            Let me give you an analogy. Imagine a financial advisor who is always predicting doom, has been consistently wrong, has been fined repeatedly for financial misconduct, and slanders and tries to destroy any who disagree with him. He is saying you must take actions that will put at risk your retirement. Should you trust him?
            Thus my question, which has so far gone unanswered, is why should I believe the scientist who claim Climate Change, particularly given the evidence I have cited that conflicts with their claims?
            Finally I a bit confused by your plea that “Let’s give each other space to roam in our own ‘plain truths’ without having to sit in judgment on them. Let’s plead our case in the public square (as we are now doing), and then live with the consequences as best we can. After all, I have to live with Citizens United and Hobby Lobby!”
            First off, the Left is promising to overturn those decisions. Furthermore, it is not my side that is seeking speech codes and punishing those who disagree, it is the left. Despise all the hype, Citizens United was about freedom of speech (should the makers of a movie about Hillary Clinton be allowed to show that movie?) Hobby Lobby was about freedom of religion. These are both decision grounded in the First Amendment. And, if you want to argue that corporations are not people, then you need to read the first federal Law, which the dictionary act. It defines corporations, and many other types of groupings of people, as persons under the law. Legally there was no other way these decisions should have gone. That they were so hotly contested on the left gives me great concern about the lefts intolerance for opposition points of view.
            After all, while there were many on the right who complained about Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, I know of no attempt to go to court to stop showings of the film.
            So if you want to push for tolerance for opposing points of view, great, but the target rich environment is on the left, as it is the left that is demanding conformance to their view or else.
            After all, my side won the debate on Same-Sex marriage in the public square. This is why the courts had to take that choice away from the people.

  • Elgin,
    I must also respectfully disagree with your post. It is interesting that your post avoids the trap of biblical arguments and attacks the idea of same sex marriage from the perspective of cultural values. Nevertheless, the argument falls short of the mark on many points.
    I agree that the Supreme Court decision on same sex marriage does not have any significant effect on what people do in private. It affects how states regulate institutional marriage and who will be permitted to enjoy the legal benefits of the institution.
    You raise the fear of polygamy. I am not sure there is anything to fear in such a development. Polygamy has been around since the dawn of recorded time, and yet few people are drawn to it, even in societies where it has been legal. My personal belief is that this is because humans are naturally inclined to bond in pairs. Of course there are always outliers but those should not define the institution of marriage, nor should fear of them drive the argument one way or the other. People will do what they will do, whether the State endorses their private conduct or ignores it. Even so there is no justification here for denying same sex couples the legal opportunities offered by institutionally prescribed marriage.
    You make several assertions about the ideological premises behind the “left’s” attack on the state institution of marriage marriage. Primarily you assert that it is attempting to reduce marriage to a a matter of love and away form the “traditional” purpose of marriage, child rearing. You conclude with the claim that the core ideological component is the notion that men and women are the same, and that liberals are attempting impose this notion on society through the legalization of same sex marriage.
    Men and women are not the same. I think this is in fact the message of the gay community. If you experience same sex attraction, an opposite sex partner is not a real option. Men and women ARE different.
    And while love is a component of marriage, for purposes of the law, the issue is not love, but the legal benefits which attend marriage. LGBTQ people are not seeking legalization of their love, but to share in the legal benefits of the state sponsored institution. They are seeking all of the rights which flow from the institution of marriage, for example, insurance benefits, inheritance rights, parental rights, property rights, child support and maintenance options in the event of divorce, pension benefits, and finally, but perhaps most importantly, acknowledgement of their rightful place in society as married persons. Your claim that the positive benefits of the change in the law for same sex couples will be nil is patently absurd.
    And while I can accept on purely emotional and aspirational grounds your assumption that there are advantages for children to be raised in a healthy environment where there is both a male and female parent, this does not describe the majority of families in America today. Whether through divorce, adoption, the presence of extended families, or births out of wedlock, many children simply are not afforded that opportunity. The best alternative is at least a home where there are emotionally healthy parents, same sex or otherwise, who love and nurture the children. Denying the opportunity of legal marriage to same sex couples will do nothing to increase then number of healthy opposite sex marriages, and nothing to increase the number of of healthy homes for children to be raised in.
    As far as your assertion that the purpose of marriage is primarily for purposes of child rearing, the point is without any genuine merit. I haven’t raised children in twenty years, should I be forced to divorce? Should my lawful marital rights be curtailed because they no longer support any ongoing child rearing activity? Should people who do not intent to have children or who cannot have children be denied the right to marry? Don’t be rediculous.
    I don’t know whether this is a left vs right issue, though I will accept the proposition that the bulk of the supporters of legalization of same sex marriage were from the left. I suspect that it is a human rights issue which has been embraced by conservative libertarians as much as by liberals. I think in time, as the political temperature cools on this issue, you will see fewer and fewer conservatives opposing same sex marriage.
    Your claim that the change in the law will make it impossible for those who disagree with the idea of same sex marriage lo continue living in this society is rather melodramatic. Your fear of a ban on opposing opinions is likewise without basis. In truth what you fear is that you will not be able to express your prejudices in meaningful ways, or otherwise manifest your prejudices through prohibitionary laws. You needn’t worry, bigotry survives even the most intense social efforts to root it out.
    Finally, I find your concern about unifying the country quite ironic, it appears that you are complaining that the Supreme Court’s move to greater legal inclusiveness for the LGBTQ community in the life of our society will cause existing members of society who cannot accept the inclusion of the LGBTQ community to feel “dis-included”. You seem to be saying that it is a greater social good that you feel included than that the gay man next door should be actually legally included.
    Is it not possible for both of you to be included, legally and socially?

    • I think it is important that we live side by side with those who view things differently and have different perspectives

      • Bob,
        I would agree, but there are really two issues here. One is that there can only be, or at least should only be one law. (But allowing that different cities, counties, states may differ). Thus on questions such this, there can be only one legal view of marriage. To somewhat simplify the matter, there are those who think that traditional marriage is an important and even foundational social intuition that should be given special status and protection because of the raising of the next generation. Then there are those who believe that it is just a legal union between two people, nice but not really all that important. The former has been the predominate view until recently. The latter as come to dominate over the last 100 years or so. One aspect of this can be seen in the dangerously low birth rates throughout Western Europe, which is well below even replacement rates, requiring them to import large amount immigrants to maintain their economies, which is leading to a whole range of other problems. In terms of law these views cannot co-exist. They are mutually exclusives points of view and the law must be focused one way or the other.
        As for individuals, they can have differing views, and it is at least possible for co-existence, and this possibility exists independent from the law. But it take tolerance on both sides. In the past the intolerance was strongly against not only same-sex marriage, but homosexuality in general. Recently the intolerance is coming predominately from those who support same-sex marriage. Leading up to the imposition of same-sex marriage by the courts, most people tolerated same sex couples and many states passed laws to try and protect their relationships while preserving traditional marriage.
        Since the imposition, people who even voices support for traditional marriage have been harassed and in some cases had their lives and livelihood ruined. I know our church had to rewrite its bi-laws in a way they hope will keep them from persecution, though it remains to be seen if such efforts will be successful. As in so many areas, the left has declared their beliefs to be rights, and then has shown a willing use the full force of the law when possible to suppress opposition. So as for the living together side by side, for the moment that depends largely on those who support same-sex marriage, and their willingness to tolerate those who believe in a traditional view of marriage.

        • “One aspect of this can be seen in the dangerously low birth rates throughout Western Europe,….”
          This is an interesting observation on your part. I am sure would agree that the declining birth rate in First World countries is due to a complex array of factors and not just to changing attitude toward the institution of marriage. I personally lot would attribute this reduced birthdate to a change in social position of women: since they are no longer legally determined to be the property of their husbands, they are more able to pursue their own career and vocational aspirations. Hence, fewer women are willing to set aside 10 years of their lives to bearing children and another 15 years on top of that to raising them all. With the advent of birth control, women are now able to mange their familial aspirations and integrate them with careers, in essence women are able to choose their own paths forward. One consequence is smaller and smaller families. Another consequence is an increased divorce rate as women choose to jettison mismatched husbands. All of this leads to an evolving understanding of the institution of marriage, and all of it is in reality traceable to the recognition that women are not property.
          Based on the foregoing I think you are looking at the wrong target when you blame the LGBYQ community and its allies for the fading of the institution which you call traditional marriage. The institution is evolving and adapting to the reality on the ground, more and more women are unwilling to set aside 25 to 35 years of their lives exclusively or child-rearing. Families are smaller, divorces have increased and unwanted children have fewer opportunities for placement into what you call traditional families.
          At the same time the oppression of the LGBTQ community is on the decline, and with the emancipation of LGBTQ people comes their own claims to more of the institutional goods offered to everyone else in society. Thus a further need for the evolution and adaptation of institutional marriage to accommodate the legitimate aspirations of the LGBTQ community in the legal benefits of this institution.
          The sky is not falling. Social evolution is happening before your very eyes. Take it in, see what it has to offer. See too how the the teachings of Jesus can be brought into play and more fully realized by greater inclusion, and genuinely charitable living. The judgmentalism of the righteous is called into question, and institutions originally intended for nourishment of society and the individual, such as marriage, are unshackled so that all can be nourished, instead of just the few.

          • John,
            In terms of birth rates, I would agree this, like most things involving people is complex and there are many factors, though I do think that changing attitudes of the family do play a significant part.
            As for blaming “LGBYQ community and its allies for the fading of the institution which you call traditional marriage” you have clearly missed the point. I have stated repeatedly that I have been concerned in this issue long before the alphabet list even became a factor.
            As for the rest of your message, time will tell, but as I have watched such social issues develop for several decades, I have found the predictions of those on my side have been far more accurate than the assurances of those who have tried to say such concerns were over blown.

    • John,
      I find it amusing that while you claimed to respectfully disagree, it did not take you long to get into personal attacks.
      As for the supposed “trap of Biblical argument” I see no trap. While I believe my view is biblical, I do not believe that the laws in the Bible are random, but rather are for our good. In this case there are societal reasons for the traditional view of marriage. Also I believe that the laws for our nation should be grounded in of its welfare of its people. Thus I stick with the societal reasons for my arguments.
      Concerning polygamy it is not fear, but I am just pointing out a further weakening of traditional marriage that I believe will be unavoidable.
      As for the ideological underpinnings I see this as just a fact that is well document in their writing.
      As for the left’s view of men and women, while I am glad to hear you accept that they are different, I lived through that period and thus took part in those debates. It is something that I find curious in that even though the foundations have long since been refuted the conclusions continue on unchanged.
      In any event this was a foundation for the court’s rulings. If you accept that men and women are different then the court’s reasoning falls apart. It is important to note that the reasonable basis test does not ask if you think it is reasonable, but rather if a reasonable person could reach that conclusion. Thus if one grants that men and women are different, then that is a reasonable basis for traditional marriage and the court had no grounds for their ruling.
      When I brought up the issue of love that was simply because it is the one of the main justifications that supporters of same-sex marriage have given.
      Your comments on the problem of traditional marriage only make my point about the weakening of marriage. This is why I have been involved in this issue for decades, and long before same-sex marriage was even on the horizon. After all Gallagher wrote her book in the early 1990s.
      As for traditional couples who are childless, that is irrelevant to the reasoning behind the laws. Laws are not, or at least should not be, written based on exception but on the norm. No one is calling for such things nor, in my mind would it be reasonable to do so. Thus your arguments are straw men, common but fallacious.
      I did not say it was impossible for those with traditional values to live in society, just that it would be increasingly difficult. This is not just theoretical speculation about what might happen, it is a very real and growing reality that is dividing society. Thus for example the recent account of a woman at a fitness center who complained when a man entered the locker room where she was dressing. She was the one who ended up having to leave the fitness center for being intolerant.
      As for a ban on opposing opinions, it again just a fact. Just look at the growing speech codes on Colleges and universities that label anything they disagree with as hate speech such as the recent ban on the words mother and father. The threat to free speech come solidly from the left.
      Sadly the rest of your reply degenerated into personal attacks, assigning to me attitudes I do not hold so that you can then criticize me. Thus they say far more about you than about me and are not worthy of a reply.

      • Elgin,
        I agree the laws should be grounded in the the welfare of the people, all of the people, and not in supporting the new-traditionalist ideologies of some at the expense of the actual welfare of others.
        Actually, what you call “traditional” marriage is rather more complicated than ‘one man one woman’ as you would have it. That being said I will concede that many societies have favored a one man one woman notion. History, especially when not fully understood, is not the best justification for denying marginalized people the benefits of state created institutions. If that were the case we would still have slavery and women and children would still accepted as the property of their husbands and fathers.
        I really don’t know what debunked foundations and conclusions you are referring to on the part of the “left.”
        As for the foundation of the Supreme Court’s decision, it was not premised upon the assumption that men and women are the same, but on the premise that that state guaranteed rights should be accessible by everyone, and should not be withheld based upon mere prejudice against one class of citizens.
        I agree marriage, as it was conceived of I the mid-20th Century is weakening, but this has nothing to do with the expansion of marital rights to the LGBTQ community, and everything to do with the inherent flaws in humanity and the institution of marriage itself. If people were better at keeping covenants between themselves marriages would be more healthy and they would be durable and lasting.
        I don’t know the circumstances concerning the woman in the changing room, but I cannot see what this anecdote has to do with whether LGBTQ people ought to be able to share in their partner’s/spouse’s pension or health insurance benefits or inherit property from each other, etc.
        I don’t know what beliefs you hold other than those you have outlined in your essay. The only beliefs I am critiquing are the ones you have claimed to hold. And, as there is no serious scientific or natural law justification for your position,other than ‘Lthink was better the way it used to be,’ I am left to attribute your position to mere prejudice. I note that you acknowledge a biblical basis for you beliefs but, as I am certain that you have read enough the biblically based refutations of your position, I won’t go there in this response.

        • John,
          You keep assigning to me views I do not hold and then arguing against those. Sadly it seems you are too blinded by your own preconceptions about what you think I must believe to actually address my arguments. Thus I do not see much value in continuing the discussion.
          Elgin

  • Elgin,
    I think you were wise to skip over the purely religious arguments. 30 years ago, I would have reluctantly said that the biblical witness was clearly against homosexual relationships of all kinds, though I would have added that the biblical witness is also in favour of slavery and occasional genocide, and that where we have moved beyond some aspects of the historical witness, we can move against others, given a sufficient rationale (and I would suggest that such a rationale be based in the commandment to love one’s neighbour and in Jesus’ preferential attitude towards the marginalised in society). I have, for what its worth, never considered that sexual orientation has much element of choice to it, and to regard God as condemning a loving act between two people would require me to accept a picture of God which bears no resemblance to the God I know and love.
    However, I have since then come across a lot of very well reasoned arguments (and Matthew Vines book “God and the Gay Christian” contains most if not all of those) which largely boil down to committed monogamous same sex relationships not having been in the contemplation of the biblical authors, and therefore not commented upon at all. I do not, therefore, think that a clear case against can any more be made from scripture (nor do I think that a clear case in favour can be made, pace Mr. Vines).
    Like other commenters, I do not think polygamy was an “experiment”, more the original mould of marriage in the early scriptural period (and in a lot of other cultures adjacent and more far flung). Although far less prevalent, polyandry has also in the past been the norm in some societies which have grown up without any contact with the Middle Eastern societies out of which our norms have come. A very few societies have recognised committed same sex relationships, notably Thebes in the classical period. I don’t see any particular model as overwhelmingly obvious from an anthropological standpoint, therefore. In addition, the gender stereotypes which we have been inclined to accept as inherent in the developed world (at least until recently) do not seem to have applied in all societies and times, though I will grant that there is a strong tendency in the direction of something similar to those we are used to. I do not, therefore, think that the anthropological view strongly supports the need for parents of two sexes, though it might support a case for parents displaying multiple traits which in a heavily gender-stereotyped society tend to be found almost exclusively split between males and females.
    Concentrating on the legal and political aspects, therefore, I would first comment that the church appears not to have concerned itself much with marriage until the thirteenth century; in England, at least, as late as the seventeenth century a clergyman discovered that the majority of “married couples” in his parish had not gone through a church marriage; until a fairly recent date from that start in the early Middle Ages, the church governed those marriages which it had solemnised and, to at least some extent, the inheritance implications. In the 17th century, government started taking an interest in its own right, and since then (in England, at least) has driven the legal position. It has (for instance) sought to encourage marriage by granting favourable tax positions to married couples, given default rights of inheritance to those who are married and to govern the formation and dissolution of married status. Families have been seen as a stabilising influence in society, and that position has not changed much (although the immense power once wielded by grandparents has not continued to be much legally supported).
    Just as in the wider anthropological context, societies have grown to support those systems which have seemed most beneficial in their early development (and in some cases those have not been based on nuclear one man one woman unions), society as represented by government in the UK and many other jurisdictions has noted that monogamous same sex partnerships can similarly be stabilising influences, and have rather belatedly started to grant those the same status as one man one woman relationships. We have not done the same in the case of polygamous marriages. The cynical ex-lawyer in me says that this is perhaps because interactions and the formation and taking apart of those become massively more complicated when you add a third or subsequent partners to the mix, and as there are a lot of ex-lawyers in parliament, they have had some fellow feeling for their colleagues still in practice. English law does sometimes have to deal with breakdowns in polygamous marriages contracted in jurisdictions where that is still permitted (or even normal), and I can attest that the result is messy even in comparison to the average divorce. The liberal in me says that this is at least partly because polygamy stems from and encourages partriarchal families, and these have too much tendency to be oppressive and inimical to individual freedom, and partly because our society in general does not have much wish for polygamous marriages.
    I think, therefore, that this is not a “slippery slope” situation, as there are some very clear reasons not to attempt to encourage or regulate three or more person relationships. Of course, that situation might change; society might move in an unanticipated direction, and it could be that in 50 or 100 years there will be a clamour to approve (say) polyandrous marriages. At that point, government will need to take a view as to whether society will be better served if coherent rules governing these situations exist, if inheritance and child rearing responsibilities during and after such relationships are governed by clear principles and whether tax law should encourage or discourage them. I will also point out that, aside the tax situation, legal agreements can be drawn up to effect most if not all of the same results as are achieved by recognising relationships as marriages. Why give lawyers all this extra income?

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