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Bloggingheads 08-08-2010 09:00 PM

The Readiness Is All (Michelle Goldberg & Dayo Olopade)
 

chamblee54 08-09-2010 12:34 AM

Re: The Readiness Is All (Michelle Goldberg & Dayo Olopade)
 
http://chamblee54.files.wordpress.co.../bh0808-01.jpg

chamblee54

Wonderment 08-09-2010 02:45 AM

Abe Foxman...
 
Michelle is right to suggest that the upside of the ADL scandal is to help expose Abe Foxman for the raving lunatic that he is.

Please see Yoav Shamir's brilliant Israeli documentary "Defamation" if you need any further confirmation of the wildly self-righteous paranoia of Foxman and the nefarious influence of the ADL. Trailer here.

Freddie 08-09-2010 10:33 AM

Re: The Readiness Is All (Michelle Goldberg & Dayo Olopade)
 
I find it hard to react to the way Michelle Goldberg talks about the non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust. On the one hand, I certainly understand the need to discuss the ethnic and religious makeup of the Holocaust with great sensitivity. On the other hand, I am very disturbed by the kind of hand waving, footnoting reference to the non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust of the kind Goldberg makes here. It's quite common but very unfortunate; the most conservative estimates place the number of non-Jewish victims at above 5 million people. They deserve more than that kind of dismissive parenthetical.

Ocean 08-09-2010 11:47 AM

Re: The Readiness Is All (Michelle Goldberg & Dayo Olopade)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Freddie (Post 174271)
I find it hard to react to the way Michelle Goldberg talks about the non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust. On the one hand, I certainly understand the need to discuss the ethnic and religious makeup of the Holocaust with great sensitivity. On the other hand, I am very disturbed by the kind of hand waving, footnoting reference to the non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust of the kind Goldberg makes here. It's quite common but very unfortunate; the most conservative estimates place the number of non-Jewish victims at above 5 million people. They deserve more than that kind of dismissive parenthetical.

I think that Michelle was only making reference to people that had been in Auschwitz and not to the total number of Holocaust victims. Here is a reference:

Quote:

The camp's first commandant, Rudolf Höss, testified after the war at the Nuremberg Trials that up to three million people had died there (2.5 million exterminated, and 500,000 from disease and starvation),[3] a figure since revised to 1.1 million, around 90 percent of them Jews.[4] Others deported to Auschwitz included 150,000 Poles, 23,000 Roma and Sinti, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, and tens of thousands of people of diverse nationalities.

Freddie 08-09-2010 12:13 PM

Re: The Readiness Is All (Michelle Goldberg & Dayo Olopade)
 
Ah, that would be a much more charitable reading. Thanks for pointing that out, my apologies.

BornAgainDemocrat 08-09-2010 12:25 PM

No rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Michelle seems to believe there are no rational arguments against gay marriage. Here is at least one that deserves consideration:

According to anthropology, the purpose of marriage is to establish the family as a stable institution for the nurture and acculturation of children. Families, not schools, are the primary institutions that transmit the values of a culture and civilization to the next generation.

This, it seems to me, is the moral issue at stake -- whether our liberal traditions could be undermined by changes that undermine the stability of the family as a biological and cultural institution.

No fault divorce certainly had that effect and probably needs to be reconsidered for that very reason. Gay marriage could also if, as a number of gay-marriage advocates have been arguing, it leads to a more "open" understanding of the nature of marriage as a cultural institution. (Hat tip Mollie Ziegler Hemingway)

In other words this is about the interests of society and of future generations, not the individual.

Hopefully the Supreme Court will see it that way. Otherwise I can foresee a broad popular movement to amend the U.S. Constitution.

look 08-09-2010 12:39 PM

Re: Nobody can even pretend that there is a rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat (Post 174280)
Michelle seems to believe there are no rational arguments against gay marriage. Here is at least one that deserves consideration:

According to anthropology, the purpose of marriage is to establish the family as a stable institution for the nurture and acculturation of children. Families, not schools, are the primary institutions that transmit the values of a culture and civilization to the next generation.

This, it seems to me, is the moral issue at stake -- whether our liberal traditions could be undermined by changes that undermine the stability of the family as a biological and cultural institution.

No fault divorce certainly had that effect and probably needs to be reconsidered for that very reason. Gay marriage could also if, as a number of gay-marriage advocates have been arguing, it leads to a more "open" understanding of the nature of marriage as a general institution.

In other words this is about the interests of society and of future generations, not the individual.

Hopefully the Supreme Court will see it that way. Otherwise I can foresee a broad popular movement to amend the U.S. Constitution.

Gay marriage could strengthen family values and social stability by taking men off the street. That is, one of the traditional advantages of marriage, according to some, is too 'domesticate' or 'civilize' men in need of some lovin' and a purpose. Two men raising a biological child or adopting a child would serve the same purpose, along with contributions by home ownership, contribution to the tax base, and bad ass nursery decorating.

nikkibong 08-09-2010 12:57 PM

Re: The Readiness Is All (Michelle Goldberg & Dayo Olopade)
 
I'm as disgusted as anyone by the opposition to the Cordoba Center, but I must raise an objection to Michelle's point (articulated here for the second time) that the opponents "don't represent New York." It's reverse Palinism: "only real New Yorkers, the pro-New York parts of America" can speak on this issue.

Michelle, 9/11 was an attack on the United States, not New York. All Americans have a stake in this issue.

That being said, the fact that fascistic idiots like Newt Gingrich have managed to hijack (ugh, that word) this debate is profoundly depressing.

bjkeefe 08-09-2010 01:36 PM

Re: Nobody can even pretend that there is a rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat (Post 174280)
Michelle seems to believe there are no rational arguments against gay marriage. Here is at least one that deserves consideration:

According to anthropology, the purpose of marriage is to establish the family as a stable institution for the nurture and acculturation of children.

First, there is no reason to believe that gay couples can't do as good a job at the "nurture and acculturation of children." In fact, there is every reason to believe they do.

Second, not everyone who wants to get married wants to get married for the purpose of having and raising children. People want to get married for all sorts of reasons, and that's independent of sexual orientation.

Quote:

Families, not schools, are the primary institutions that transmit the values of a culture and civilization to the next generation.
That certainly explains why conservatives never get worked up about what's taught in public schools!

Quote:

This, it seems to me, is the moral issue at stake -- whether our liberal traditions could be undermined by changes that undermine the stability of the family as a biological and cultural institution.
This is either word salad or an especially bizarre form of dog-whistling. What, gay couples are fascist?

Quote:

[...] In other words this is about the interests of society and of future generations, not the individual.
So much for our liberal traditions!

Quote:

Hopefully the Supreme Court will see it that way. Otherwise I can foresee a broad popular movement to amend the U.S. Constitution.
Hope no one is paying you for your prognostication. The trend lines are pointing in the other direction. Here is an illustration [1]:

http://a.imageshack.us/img843/8654/s...gesupporto.png

And, as my hat tippee, Andrew Gelman/538, and numerous others have observed, the more people are exposed to gays and gay couples, the less they feel compelled to object to their having equal rights.

Here is another illustration, perhaps even more to the point, in which attitudes are broken down by age. [2]

http://a.imageshack.us/img814/8308/a...amesexmarr.png

Note the prevalence of more densely-populated states near the top of the chart; i.e., if the data weren't also broken down state-by-state, the amount of support among younger people would be even more dramatic.

See the Wikipedia entry "Public opinion of same-sex marriage in the United States for an overview and more links.

==========

[1] Image of p. 49 of this PDF file: Jeffrey R. Lax and Justin Phillips, Gay Rights in the States: Public Opinion and Policy Responsiveness, American Political Science Review, Vol. 103(3): August 2009.

[2] Image from a Columbia University blog post providing an executive summary of sorts for reference [1]: "Polls Show Policymakers Lag Behind Growing Public Support for Same-Sex Marriage."

==========

[Added] I see that BADem modified his post while I was in the middle of composing my response, hence the slightly different subject line. I don't see any substantive diffs in the body of his post, so I'll let the above stand if there are no objections from him.

stephanie 08-09-2010 01:41 PM

Re: Nobody can even pretend that there is a rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 174284)
Gay marriage could strengthen family values and social stability by taking men off the street. That is, one of the traditional advantages of marriage, according to some, is too 'domesticate' or 'civilize' men in need of some lovin' and a purpose. Two men raising a biological child or adopting a child would serve the same purpose, along with contributions by home ownership, contribution to the tax base, and bad ass nursery decorating.

I haven't listened to this yet, but a similar argument, which I actually find convincing, is that the absence of gay marriage represents a greater threat to the conservative family structure. The reason is that the acceptance of gay relationships in a lot of areas has let to efforts to make things easier for people in such relationships (or to appeal to people in them due to financial motives). For example, many companies have offered benefits to partners (and not simply the tradition inclusion of spouse) in order to address gay employees, and to prevent conflict or suits have across the board included such partner benefits, whether gay or straight. The effect of this is to normalize living together arrangements, whether gay or straight. Arguably the same thing will ultimately result if we create a common "domestic partner" option as an alternative to civil marriage.

Given that there are a lot more straight people likely to be in unmarried relationships than gay people who end up getting married, the effect seems much greater. (This is especially true as the argument that the supposedly different on average form of gay marriages affecting straight marriages strikes me as extremely weak. It's not like gay people in such relationships can't already hold themselves out as married or that straight people in such relationships don't exist already.)

stephanie 08-09-2010 01:42 PM

Re: The Readiness Is All (Michelle Goldberg & Dayo Olopade)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nikkibong (Post 174289)
Michelle, 9/11 was an attack on the United States, not New York. All Americans have a stake in this issue.

That being said, the fact that fascistic idiots like Newt Gingrich have managed to hijack (ugh, that word) this debate is profoundly depressing.

Yes, and yes.

osmium 08-09-2010 01:43 PM

Re: The Readiness Is All (Michelle Goldberg & Dayo Olopade)
 
osmium loves the internet.

I think you guys might be pretending to be world-weary. I mean, if you feel it, you feel it, I can't say you don't.

bjkeefe 08-09-2010 01:44 PM

Re: The Readiness Is All (Michelle Goldberg & Dayo Olopade)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nikkibong (Post 174289)
I'm as disgusted as anyone by the opposition to the Cordoba Center, but I must raise an objection to Michelle's point (articulated here for the second time) that the opponents "don't represent New York." It's reverse Palinism: "only real New Yorkers, the pro-New York parts of America" can speak on this issue.

Michelle, 9/11 was an attack on the United States, not New York. All Americans have a stake in this issue.

It would be nice if you were as harsh in response to those who belittle as "limousine liberals" or whatever people who don't live in NYC who do support the building of the Cordoba Center. If 9/11 was an attack on the entire US, then we all should have equal say about how hallowed, or not, the grounds where the WTC stood are, and whether it would be a good thing or a bad thing to build this building, if we do think the grounds are at all special.

Quote:

That being said, the fact that fascistic idiots like Newt Gingrich have managed to hijack (ugh, that word) this debate is profoundly depressing.
Glad we're agreed on that.

Ocean 08-09-2010 01:45 PM

Re: Nobody can even pretend that there is a rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 174304)
I haven't listened to this yet, but a similar argument, which I actually find convincing, is that the absence of gay marriage represents a greater threat to the conservative family structure. The reason is that the acceptance of gay relationships in a lot of areas has let to efforts to make things easier for people in such relationships (or to appeal to people in them due to financial motives). For example, many companies have offered benefits to partners (and not simply the tradition inclusion of spouse) in order to address gay employees, and to prevent conflict or suits have across the board included such partner benefits, whether gay or straight. The effect of this is to normalize living together arrangements, whether gay or straight. Arguably the same thing will ultimately result if we create a common "domestic partner" option as an alternative to civil marriage.

Given that there are a lot more straight people likely to be in unmarried relationships than gay people who end up getting married, the effect seems much greater. (This is especially true as the argument that the supposedly different on average form of gay marriages affecting straight marriages strikes me as extremely weak. It's not like gay people in such relationships can't already hold themselves out as married or that straight people in such relationships don't exist already.)

Interesting point. I hadn't heard about that, but it makes sense. Thanks!

nikkibong 08-09-2010 01:47 PM

Re: The Readiness Is All (Michelle Goldberg & Dayo Olopade)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 174308)
If 9/11 was an attack on the entire US, then we all should have equal say about how hallowed, or not, the grounds where the WTC stood are, and whether it would be a good thing or a bad thing to build this building, if we do think the grounds are at all special.

...

Glad we're agreed on that.

And glad to see you repeating back to me what I just said -- and pretending it was a tweak or disagreement.

bjkeefe 08-09-2010 01:53 PM

Re: The Readiness Is All (Michelle Goldberg & Dayo Olopade)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nikkibong (Post 174311)
And glad to see you repeating back to me what I just said -- and pretending it was a tweak or disagreement.

Sorry, I didn't read your comment that way. Seemed to me you were only against criticism of non-NYer opponents of the construction. But, as long as we're agreed that non-NYers who support the construction have as much right to weigh in, then, fine.

Ocean 08-09-2010 01:55 PM

Re: Nobody can even pretend that there is a rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Agreed!

I want to add that, BornAgainDemocrat's argument from anthropology, is in my opinion counter to progressive thinking. We don't want to go backwards to what anthropology shows the institution of marriage was. We want to redefine marriage in light of the reality that we live.

Also, it's important to emphasize that the argument of marriage being only an institution for child rearing purposes can only be an argument to limit marriage to those who have (or will have) children. No woman beyond her reproductive years should be allowed to get married, or infertile couples, or people who choose not to have children.

The option is to reduce marriage to serving a function in child rearing, or to open it to include gay and lesbians.

BornAgainDemocrat 08-09-2010 01:56 PM

Re: Nobody can even pretend that there is a rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 174284)
Gay marriage could strengthen family values and social stability by taking men off the street. That is, one of the traditional advantages of marriage, according to some, is too 'domesticate' or 'civilize' men in need of some lovin' and a purpose. Two men raising a biological child or adopting a child would serve the same purpose, along with contributions by home ownership, contribution to the tax base, and bad ass nursery decorating.

Fair enough. I do not deny that there are rational arguments in favor of gay marriage. However, as I understand it, the judge in California based his ruling on the supposition that there were no rational arguments against gay marriage and that therefore there were no compelling societal interests involved.

The fact there are rational arguments on both sides of the question only shows that the federal courts should not decide this issue as a simple matter of individual rights. In fact it shows they should not be deciding the issue at all.

It is for legislatures to decide policy in this area, including laws that are designed to strengthen traditional forms of marriage and the family when parents and their biological children are involved. If the federal courts rule otherwise then their decision can and should be overturned, in my opinion, by means of established legal procedures for amending the Constitution.

As long as we live in a constitutional democracy based on the rule of law -- and that is the liberal tradition which we should be trying to preserve -- there is no other way. Let us hope it does not come to that -- or that we do not fail the test if it does.

Lyle 08-09-2010 02:03 PM

Re: No rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat (Post 174280)
Otherwise I can foresee a broad popular movement to amend the U.S. Constitution.

I see this happening as well. In fact, it already exists... the movement behind the Defense of Marriage Act. It'll be hard to reach the amount of votes needed for a constitutional amendment. I mean, more and more Americans are becoming accepting of gay marriage and/or civil unions... gay familial relationships in general. So I don't see it ultimately being successful... but, yeah there will be a movement for such a change in the law.

bjkeefe 08-09-2010 02:08 PM

Re: Nobody can even pretend that there is a rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 174316)
Agreed!

I want to add that, BornAgainDemocrat's argument from anthropology, is in my opinion counter to progressive thinking. We don't want to go backwards to what anthropology shows the institution of marriage was. We want to redefine marriage in light of the reality that we live.

Very well put.

Quote:

Also, it's important to emphasize that the argument of marriage being only an institution for child rearing purposes can only be an argument to limit marriage to those who have (or will have) children. No woman beyond her reproductive years should be allowed to get married, or infertile couples, or people who choose not to have children.

The option is to reduce marriage to serving a function in child rearing, or to open it to include gay and lesbians.
Yes. And why does BADem hate the DINKs?

;)

bjkeefe 08-09-2010 02:10 PM

Re: Nobody can even pretend that there is a rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat (Post 174317)
The fact there are rational arguments on both sides only shows ...

Sorry, but no. Your assertion notwithstanding, this is not a matter of fact.

Further, in my judgment at least, the arguments in favor of denying some people equal rights are all based on emotion -- clinging to tradition, "oh won't someone think of the children," the ick factor, etc. They are not rational.

bjkeefe 08-09-2010 02:17 PM

More 'heads in the debate
 
Glenn Greenwald responds to Ross Douthat's column.

John Cole's take:

Quote:

Much, Much Shorter Glenn Greenwald

Ross Douthat’s misunderstanding of the role of the state is only surpassed by his misunderstanding of the rule of law.

bjkeefe 08-09-2010 02:18 PM

Re: No rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lyle (Post 174319)
I see this happening as well. In fact, it already exists... the movement behind the Defense of Marriage Act. It'll be hard to reach the amount of votes needed for a constitutional amendment. I mean, more and more Americans are becoming accepting of gay marriage and/or civil unions... gay familial relationships in general. So I don't see it ultimately becoming successful... but, yeah there will be a movement for such a change in the law.

On a related note: "You say you’d change the constitution" and "Constitutional Conservatism."

Lyle 08-09-2010 02:26 PM

Re: Nobody can even pretend that there is a rational argument against gay marriage?
 
How is it not a matter of fact? The State of California argued for Prop 8 right... because the people of California voted for Prop 8, yes?

harkin 08-09-2010 02:42 PM

Re: The Readiness Is All (Michelle Goldberg & Dayo Olopade)
 
I'm still puzzled at how many are in such denial as to the real purpose of locating the victory center errr, mosque and cultural center where it was.

The purported purpose of a location that shows no understanding at all is supposed to be a place to promote understanding? lol

A couple of muslim voices against the center - oh, and nice to see some against the center (including a majority of NYC residents) being labeled fascists:

Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah - Mischief In Manhatten - Ottawa Citizen

"New York currently boasts at least 30 mosques so it's not as if there is pressing need to find space for worshippers. The fact we Muslims know the idea behind the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation to thumb our noses at the infidel. The proposal has been made in bad faith and in Islamic parlance, such an act is referred to as "Fitna," meaning "mischief-making" that is clearly forbidden in the Koran.

The Koran commands Muslims to, "Be considerate when you debate with the People of the Book" -- i.e., Jews and Christians. Building an exclusive place of worship for Muslims at the place where Muslims killed thousands of New Yorkers is not being considerate or sensitive, it is undoubtedly an act of "fitna"

So what gives Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the "Cordoba Initiative" and his cohorts the misplaced idea that they will increase tolerance for Muslims by brazenly displaying their own intolerance in this case?

.............We simply cannot understand why on Earth the traditional leadership of America's Muslims would not realize their folly and back out in an act of goodwill.

As for those teary-eyed, bleeding-heart liberals such as New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and much of the media, who are blind to the Islamist agenda in North America, we understand their goodwill.

Unfortunately for us, their stand is based on ignorance and guilt, and they will never in their lives have to face the tyranny of Islamism that targets, kills and maims Muslims worldwide, and is using liberalism itself to destroy liberal secular democratic societies from within."



Looks like the Taliban celebrated the understanding promoted by the permit approval for the NYC mosque by killing Christian doctors. How unreal is it that some are trying to excuse the murders by claiming some of the doctors were on a 'christian mission'. I would argue that going into a dangerous area to promote healing is a mission from whatever god you could name, except I guess one that condemns the infidel to death.

Florian 08-09-2010 03:07 PM

Re: Nobody can even pretend that there is a rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 174304)
For example, many companies have offered benefits to partners (and not simply the tradition inclusion of spouse) in order to address gay employees, and to prevent conflict or suits have across the board included such partner benefits, whether gay or straight. The effect of this is to normalize living together arrangements, whether gay or straight. Arguably the same thing will ultimately result if we create a common "domestic partner" option as an alternative to civil marriage.

Interesting and valid point. That is exactly what has happened in France. Civil unions (PACS), which were originally created to allow gay couples to enjoy the same civil rights as straight couples, have had the (unintended?) effect of providing a legal alternative to marriage to heterosexual couples. It is easier to dissolve a civil union than a marriage, and it appeals to the younger generation.

I don't have any statistics, but my impression is that civil unions (PACS) have been embraced more by heterosexual couples than by homosexual couples in France. French gays like most European gays, have little interest in the institution of marriage, which is (rightly in my opinon) seen as religious in essence.

stephanie 08-09-2010 03:17 PM

Re: Nobody can even pretend that there is a rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 174316)
Also, it's important to emphasize that the argument of marriage being only an institution for child rearing purposes can only be an argument to limit marriage to those who have (or will have) children. No woman beyond her reproductive years should be allowed to get married, or infertile couples, or people who choose not to have children.

As a good demonstration that marriage as currently defined is most definitely not about child rearing alone, I like to point to a law that exists in IL, even though it's a law that I find rather repugnant.

Specifically, in IL (and quite possibly other states, I haven't checked), first cousins aren't permitted to marry (although, of course, we give full faith and credit to such marriages from other states) unless the cousins can show that they are above child-bearing age or infertile. Among other things, it seems to me to encourage people to sterilize themselves as a precondition for getting married. In light of this, it's a little hard to complain that gay people shouldn't be able to marry because one of them cannot impregnate the other.

kezboard 08-09-2010 03:28 PM

Re: More 'heads in the debate
 
Douthat actually makes a great deal of sense throughout the first half of the article, but then of course he's compelled to come up with some sort of rationalization for his feeling that gays are icky, or his religious prejudices, or whatever it is.

Quote:

we’re giving up on one of the great ideas of Western civilization: the celebration of lifelong heterosexual monogamy as a unique and indispensable estate.
Lifelong heterosexual monogamy is one of the great ideas of Western civilization? Way to sell out Western civilization. What about, I don't know, the rule of law? Gothic cathedrals? Scientific empiricism? Opera? Smaženı sır? Dude, you have to make an argument for why it's one of the great ideas of Western civilization, especially considering that it's much younger than any of the other things I've listed -- is it not true that non-monogamy was tacitly accepted for men (but not women) before the dawn of "companionate marriage"?

Quote:

That ideal is still worth honoring, and still worth striving to preserve. And preserving it ultimately requires some public acknowledgment that heterosexual unions and gay relationships are different: similar in emotional commitment, but distinct both in their challenges and their potential fruit.
BUT HOW, ROSS? EXPLAIN IT TO ME!

I am also totally going to overlook the use of the word "fruit".

Ocean 08-09-2010 03:35 PM

Re: Nobody can even pretend that there is a rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 174346)
As a good demonstration that marriage as currently defined is most definitely not about child rearing alone, I like to point to a law that exists in IL, even though it's a law that I find rather repugnant.

Specifically, in IL (and quite possibly other states, I haven't checked), first cousins aren't permitted to marry (although, of course, we give full faith and credit to such marriages from other states) unless the cousins can show that they are above child-bearing age or infertile. Among other things, it seems to me to encourage people to sterilize themselves as a precondition for getting married. In light of this, it's a little hard to complain that gay people shouldn't be able to marry because one of them cannot impregnate the other.

When you start looking at laws like the one you cite, it only shows the arbitrariness of these kinds of decisions. That law, as you explain it, seems to yield two interesting aspects. One is the one you cite, that marriage is not about children. But it also states that there's an interest in the potential genetic defects of the child from such union. Imagine the implications in terms of restricting the right of marriage for people that have serious genetic conditions. As soon as we start to examine laws like that one, we start to open a whole realm of other issues. The only consistent finding is their inconsistency.

Florian 08-09-2010 03:36 PM

Re: Nobody can even pretend that there is a rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 174316)
Agreed!

I want to add that, BornAgainDemocrat's argument from anthropology, is in my opinion counter to progressive thinking. We don't want to go backwards to what anthropology shows the institution of marriage was. We want to redefine marriage in light of the reality that we live.

Also, it's important to emphasize that the argument of marriage being only an institution for child rearing purposes can only be an argument to limit marriage to those who have (or will have) children. No woman beyond her reproductive years should be allowed to get married, or infertile couples, or people who choose not to have children.

The option is to reduce marriage to serving a function in child rearing, or to open it to include gay and lesbians.

No, the real option is to allow both gays and straights to form purely civil unions, if they so desire, as is the case in most European countries. Marriage is and should be about raising children, even if there are exceptions to the rule. Exceptions, such as infertile couples, prove nothing. Bornagaindemocrat is correct, from both an historical and anthropological point of view.

Ocean 08-09-2010 03:53 PM

Re: Nobody can even pretend that there is a rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 174354)
No, the real option is to allow both gays and straights to form purely civil unions, if they so desire, as is the case in most European countries. Marriage is and should be about raising children, even if there are exceptions to the rule. Exceptions, such as infertile couples, prove nothing. Bornagaindemocrat is correct, from both an historical and anthropological point of view.

I didn't question historical or anthropological facts. I did object to using those facts as a reason to prevent G&L from having a right to marriage.

In my opinion, it would make sense that there only be civil unions for everybody. If people want to maintain the word "marriage" together with its rituals, they may do so, but that bond doesn't need to be endorsed by the state. Churches, or secular agencies can provide the ritual protocols. Having children may have been central to the origin of marriage, but it no longer is.

bjkeefe 08-09-2010 03:56 PM

Re: Nobody can even pretend that there is a rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lyle (Post 174329)
How is it not a matter of fact?

Re-read my response to BADem. To restate it: in my judgment, all arguments in favor of denying equal rights to gays are emotional ones. (NB: I am not saying this makes them therefore unworthy; I am just saying it is wrong to say, as BADem did, that it's a fact that they are rational arguments.)

Quote:

The State of California argued for Prop 8 right... because the people of California voted for Prop 8, yes?
Surely you are not insisting that all laws, ballot initiatives, and arguments that end up in court are nothing but purely rational, based only on facts. If you are ... well, I don't see how we can discuss it further. It would mean that our views of reality do not sufficiently overlap.

bjkeefe 08-09-2010 04:00 PM

Re: More 'heads in the debate
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kezboard (Post 174348)
Douthat actually makes a great deal of sense throughout the first half of the article, but then of course he's compelled to come up with some sort of rationalization for his feeling that gays are icky, or his religious prejudices, or whatever it is.

That was just about exactly my reaction to his column, too.

The rest of your post was a delight.

bjkeefe 08-09-2010 04:10 PM

Re: Nobody can even pretend that there is a rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 174354)
No, the real option is to allow both gays and straights to form purely civil unions, if they so desire, as is the case in most European countries. Marriage is and should be about raising children, even if there are exceptions to the rule. Exceptions, such as infertile couples, prove nothing. Bornagaindemocrat is correct, from both an historical and anthropological point of view.

I'd add to what Ocean said the observation that you're ignoring the reality of what the terms civil union and marriage connote, particularly in the US. There is no way to force everyone to switch over to understanding the terms as you would like to define them. It's been argued numerous times that reserving the M-word for straight couples results in the CU-people being relegated to the second-class status of "separate but equal."

Also, I think you have not accounted for gay couples who want to raise children. If they do, are you going to call their union a marriage?

Finally, I don't even think it's entirely correct to say that "Marriage is and should be about raising children," or that this is "correct, from both an historical and anthropological point of view." For much if not most of history, marriage, especially at the upper echelons, was a political and economic action, intended to consolidate wealth and/or power.

uncle ebeneezer 08-09-2010 04:27 PM

Re: Nobody can even pretend that there is a rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Quote:

Quote:

Families, not schools, are the primary institutions that transmit the values of a culture and civilization to the next generation.
That certainly explains why conservatives never get worked up about what's taught in public schools!
Winner!!!

Florian 08-09-2010 04:37 PM

Re: Nobody can even pretend that there is a rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 174356)
I didn't question historical or anthropological facts. I did object to using those facts as a reason to prevent G&L from having a right to marriage.

In my opinion, it would make sense that there only be civil unions for everybody. If people want to maintain the word "marriage" together with its rituals, they may do so, but that bond doesn't need to be endorsed by the state. Churches, or secular agencies can provide the ritual protocols. Having children may have been central to the origin of marriage, but it no longer is.

Having and, more importantly, raising (educating) children is central to the institution of marriage. Sexual attraction and "romantic love" may be the proximate cause of marriage, but such impermanent emotions hardly define it as an institution. Raising kids is tough, unromantic work, as I am sure you know better than I.

It is curious that American gays are so keen on gaining the social acceptance (= legal equality) that comes with marriage whereas on this side of the Atlantic there is almost no interest in such a "bourgeois" institution. I wonder why. Not even civil unions seem to appeal much to European gays.

bjkeefe 08-09-2010 04:47 PM

Re: Nobody can even pretend that there is a rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 174370)
It is curious that American gays are so keen on gaining the social acceptance (= legal equality) that comes with marriage whereas on this side of the Atlantic there is almost no interest in such a "bourgeois" institution. I wonder why. Not even civil unions seem to appeal much to European gays.

Just guessing, but do you think the different social safety nets and other (restrictions on) civil rights might have a little something to do with it?

Ocean 08-09-2010 04:47 PM

Re: Nobody can even pretend that there is a rational argument against gay marriage?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 174370)
It is curious that American gays are so keen on gaining the social acceptance (= legal equality) that comes with marriage whereas on this side of the Atlantic there is almost no interest in such a "bourgeois" institution. I wonder why. Not even civil unions seem to appeal much to European gays.

I don't know where that difference, if indeed present, may be coming from.

All I know is that on this side of the Atlantic, I've known quite a few gay or lesbian couples who are raising their children (adopted or naturally conceived) with the same devotion and difficulties as the rest (straight) of us, and I don't see any valid reason to prevent them from enjoying the status of being married if that's what they wish. There's been no tradition, historical antecedent, or religious formulation that has persuaded me that there's a rational valid objection to their pursuit of happiness.

Lyle 08-09-2010 04:47 PM

bjkeefe says Barack Obama is irrational
 
Emotion has nothing to do with being rational or irrational. Isn't it rational to be emotional at times? And what is irrational to you is quite rational to some, yes?

You do yourself ill when you try to pooh pooh an argument by claiming irrationality on the part of someone you disagree with. Most Americans don't support gay marriage. Barack Obama doesn't support gay marriage. The Defense of Marriage Act is Federal law. Not supporting same-sex marriage is all very rational to them, for whatever reason... whether or not you agree or disagree with them. I mean it's just fucking wrong to accuse all non-supporters of same-sex marriage as only acting on their "emotions". Really, people who think marriage should only be between a man and a woman is based on emotion? Not because religious communities should get to decide who to marry and who not to marry? Or because only men and women can procreate, and they would argue the natural family is that of a man and a woman raising their children?


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