Defending Integrity Over Partisan Advantage

This is the definition of intolerance. If a socially conservative private entity fired someone because they discovered he had donated against Prop 8, how would you feel? It’s staggering to me that a minority long persecuted for holding unpopular views can now turn around and persecute others for the exact same reason. If we cannot live and work alongside people with whom we deeply disagree, we are finished as a liberal society.

via Dissents Of The Day « The Dish.

Kudos to those who are willing to criticize their own side who have behaved badly – in this case, referring to the Mozilla CEO issue.

Some things are more important than partisan politics. The ability to vote, donate, and campaign for your beliefs in a free and fair political process should be treated as sacred – because without that right, there are no other rights, save what our Dear Leaders choose to grant us at any given moment in time.

Those who think it’s okay to punish someone for their private political behavior (kept appropriately outside of the office) might want to rethink the tool they are using to squash their enemy. Unintended consequences are certain to follow (and of course the precedent that has been set might very well come back to bite you).

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“I am the victim of h8 (that is, you having an opinion that makes me h8 you)”

Brendan Eich is gone. The creator of JavaScript and co-founder of mozilla.org has quit as Mozilla’s CEO, forced out by the uproar over a donation he made six years ago to a ballot measure against gay marriage.

via Slate

…or for traditional marriage, since – despite the deliberately misleading rhetoric of the pro-ssm camp – something important in traditional marriage will be destroyed if marriage is redefined.

The distinction is important. Whether or not you believe, personally, that the redefinition of marriage is good or bad, the reality is that there’s only one reason for refusing to acknowledge that marriage is being redefined, and that is to make it sound like the only motive someone could have for voting “against gay marriage” is animus.

Which turns the entire argument into an ad hominem – as the side that openly and unapologetically hates its rivals accuses the other side of being motivated by hate and thus having no argument.

But I digress:

But that wasn’t enough. A revolt among Mozilla staffers, compounded by pressure from software developers, outrage on Twitter and a boycott movement spearheaded by OkCupid, has driven Eich out. Baker, having accepted Eich’s resignation, offers this apology: “We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves.”

 

It may seem unrelated, but a professor on campus was recently arrested for taking the sign from a pro-life protester and destroying it. The professor said – apparently sincerely – that she had a “right” to be free of their viewpoint:

I asked Miller-Young if she could have behaved differently in this instance. There was a long pause. “I’ve said that I think I did the right thing. But I acknowledge that I probably should not have taken their poster.” Miller-Young also said that she wished that the anti-abortion group had taken down the images when they demanded them to.

Miller-Young also suggested that the group had violated her rights. I asked Miller-Young what right the group had violated. Miller-Young responded, “My personal right to go to work and not be in harm.”

Miller-Young elaborated that one of the reasons she had felt so alarmed by this imagery is because she is about to have the test for Down Syndrome. Miller-Young said. “I work here, why do they get to intervene in that?”

via Washington Post

We appear to have reached a point where identity politics teaches its adherents that they literally have the right to be free of any dissent – free of the presence of dissenters, and free of any unwanted signs of dissent.

The next question will be, is there an upper limit on what may be done to those who dissent “inappropriately”?

But of course, we should not confuse the rejection of Eich’s viewpoint (as a position so extreme it renders an individual unacceptable for prominent employment) as an act of intolerance. As Mozilla tweeted:

@nycconservative We believe in openness & that no one should be persecuted for the beliefs they hold, no matter what they are.— Mozilla (@mozilla) April 3, 2014

via The Federalist

Welcome to diversity. This is what tolerance looks like.

realistic_coexist1

“Caesar, Coercion, and the Christian Conscience: A Dangerous Confusion”

Those pushing for the legalization of same-sex marriage are relentless in their insistence that these bills would violate the civil rights of same-sex couples. They brilliantly employed arguments from the civil rights in their push for same-sex marriage, and they now employ similar arguments in their opposition to bills that would protect the consciences of those opposed to same-sex marriage. They claim that the rights of gays and lesbians and others in the LGBT community are equivalent to the rights rightly demanded by African Americans in the civil rights movement. Thus far, they have been stunningly successful in persuading courts to accept their argument.

That sets up the inevitable collision of law and values and Christian conviction.

via AlbertMohler.com

The problem, of course, is that it’s a lie. The idea that gay marriage = interracial marriage*, I mean. It’s a knowing, deliberate, sleight-of-hand “let’s pretend gay is a color and make that our logo” sort of lie. It’s a lie meant to confuse passive with active, “to be” with “to do”, racial rights with disability rights with religious rights – because of course the entire argument for same-sex marriage is based on gays skimming the best of all three (racial, religious, and disability rights) while rejecting the constraints of each type of legal right.

And it’s so in-your-face illogical. Putting aside the obvious – that there was never a compelling reason why the government should value separation of the racial gene pools – I think it’s very insulting to blacks that gay rights advocates choose to piggyback on their arguments

But blacks were able to prove that there is no significant or relevant difference between black and white skin. Gays can’t prove either that men are the same as women, or that same-sex couples are the same as hetero couples. How could they? They already have equality**; what they really want is not equality of opportunity but equality of outcome** – that is, they want accommodations, which is why I think their argument should rightfully be classed not as a racial argument but as a disability claim***.

The problem, of course, is that disability claims necessarily involve clashing rights – which is probably why gay marriage advocates are so intent on minimizing and justifying the horrible things they’re doing to the children they’re using (children are the real civil rights victims here), and of course demonizing and “Othering” anyone who objects to the lies.

does this baby make me look straightBased upon their biblical convictions, they do not believe that a same-sex wedding can be legitimate in any Christian perspective and that their active participation can only be read as a forced endorsement of what they believe to be fundamentally wrong and sinful. They remember the words of the Apostle Paul when he indicted both those who commit sin and those “who give approval to those who practice them.” [Romans 1:32]

___________________________________________

* If it were true, why wouldn’t pedophile marriage = interracial marriage? Yes, that’s a slippery slope – but isn’t that precisely the point?

**Nobody is checking for ‘gay genes’ before issuing marriage licenses. They are not being discriminated against based on a passive trait. They are demanding rather that they be allowed to cherry-pick rules, for the purpose of accommodating their disability – yes, disability: it is only their sexual defect that justifies their claim that it can somehow be ethical to use a member of the opposite sex for breeding purposes, then “transfer” custody of the child to a third party. Ordinarily, the only time custody can be transferred is when doing so is in the child’s best interest – but, let’s be honest: we don’t pressure little kids into the “two mommies” fantasy mythos because it’s in any way good for the kids. But, of course, we all know everyone is lying when we pretend that marriage “is not procreative” – because, of course, if gays really believed that marriage “is not procreative”, then there would be no reason for any child to ever be bullied into confusing real with fake, parent with stepparent, male with female.

***Which also explains why they insist their lives are miserable – so much so that gay  teenagers need to be sheltered from ever hearing certain words so powerful that it will drive them to suicide – even as they simultaneously hold themselves to be “proud”. Of course it cannot be both; they cannot both be as powerful as they claim and yet as fragile and needy as they demand we recognize them as. But it’s clear that, while they want the accommodations that go with disability law, they do not want the constraints that normally accompany such accommodations. Imagine if every bodily defect granted the victim a right to write one’s own list of “necessary” accommodations, and we see why “gay rights” so often seems drunk on its own power.

Trying So Hard…Coming So Close….

Ever have a ‘friend’ insist that you shouldn’t be prosecuted for a crime you didn’t commit because obviously you’re too stupid to have committed the crime?

It’s known as a “backhanded compliment”, I think.

The facts of her case do suggest that she regards marriage as a religious sacrament with a procreative purpose, that her Christian beliefs cause her to reject same-sex marriage, and that her business discriminates against same-sex weddings because she believes wedding photography requires artistic efforts to render the subject captured in a positive light. She believes making that effort would be wrong.

In America, there is plenty of homophobia, plenty of anti-gay bigotry, and plenty of people whose antagonism to gays and lesbians is rooted in hatred. Sometimes the language of religious liberty is used to justify behavior that is anything but Christ-like. But the Slate article is implicitly trafficking in its own sort of prejudice. The working assumption is that homophobia, anti-gay bigotry, and hatred are obviously what’s motivating anyone who declines to provide a service for a gay wedding.

That assumption is wrongheaded. A closer look at the photographer’s case is the best place to begin. Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin lost a case before the New Mexico Supreme Court, and have now appealed the ruling. As noted in their petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Huguenins’ photography business does serve gay and lesbian clients, just not same-sex weddings. Insofar as a photographer can distinguish between discriminating against a class of client and a type of event—there is, perhaps, a limit—their business does so: “The Huguenins gladly serve gays and lesbians—by, for example, providing them with portrait photography—whenever doing so would not require them to create expression conveying messages that conflict with their religious beliefs.”

The photography business has also turned down clients other than gay and lesbian couples while citing religious objections. “They have declined requests for nude maternity pictures,” their petition states, “and photographs portraying violence.”

Finally, it isn’t just same-sex weddings they’d be uncomfortable photographing: their petition states that they’d also refuse business capturing a polygamous marriage.

Set aside for a moment the tension here between individual liberty and non-discrimination law. Whether you think the New Mexico Supreme Court decided the case rightly or wrongly, that is separate from the question of what motivated Elaine Huguenin. I’ve never met the woman. None of us can look inside her heart. But her petition presents a perfectly plausible account of why she would refuse to photograph same-sex weddings for perfectly common religious reasons that have nothing to do with fear of gays, intolerance toward gays, or hatred of gay people.

This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who has spent an appreciable amount of time around practicing Christians. In such circles, there are plenty of ugly attitudes toward gays and lesbians, as well as lots of people who think gay and lesbian sex and marriage is sinful, but who bear no ill will toward gays and lesbians themselves. I wish even the latter group would reconsider. I don’t regard homosexuality as sinful. Unlike my friends in the orthodox Catholic community, I don’t regard sex before marriage or masturbation or the use of contraceptives or failing to attend Sunday Mass as sinful either.

via The Atlantic

Listen to the unwitting nature of that condescending “well maybe we shouldn’t be quite so bigoted toward those backwards people but ohhhh I do so wish they would give up their primitive superstitions already….”

They aren’t arguing for the “coexistance” they claim to prize so highly; “diversity” in this case is not to be celebrated. That Christians are to be tolerated in this case is based on the fact that they’re wrong, stupid, and immoral, “but”….

It’s the lack of self-awareness that is so weird. What makes Christians so awful is their lack of desire to celebrate other peoples’ values. So how come the people who claim that celebrating other peoples’ values is such a great thing to do are themselves exempt? If diversity is a good thing, then why do they act as if Christians holding out marriage as sacred – honoring more than just the sexual pleasure but the whole thing – is somehow evil, in a way that is far more urgent than, say, Islamic honor killings?

Most people are not even aware of the problems that could (and, I predict, will) be associated with same-sex marriage. The issue is the culmination of two disastrous policies: “identity politics” (the idea that justice should be adjusted according to your status as “victim” or “privileged”), and the sexual revolution (the idea that adult pleasure should be prioritized over the well-being of children, families, and social obligations). Both ideas are unsustainable, not only because they are unjust but ultimately because they aren’t grounded in truth – or even reality.

I suspect that, before this issue is done, the secular humanists are going to end up learning a lot more about why Christians hold concupiscence to be contrary to God’s will.

If my wife and I had contacted a wedding photographer who said she refused to photograph our ceremony because we’d “lived in sin” together before marriage….

I actually have experienced such a thing: a particular wedding professional made it very clear that he does not go outside his own denominational beliefs, and we could just deal with it. Can you imagine if I’d played drama queen victim and tried to file a lawsuit? How ridiculous would it be, for a grown-up person to throw a temper tantrum because they’ve encountered religious beliefs that are different from their own!

And I should also note: the Roman Catholic Church does not recognize my marriage. I am not three and therefore I can handle the existence of a person separate from myself without feeling the need to find the nearest available courtroom so that I can drum my heels against the floor and scream like Veruca Salt in front of everyone.

If we want a level playing field with fairness and justice for all, let the law focus on crimes of violence, and let individuals use persuasion in all other matters. This means letting people get away with doing wrong, as long as they commit no act of outright aggression. Even if it is wrong for Elaine to discriminate, we must be tolerant of such behavior if we want to live in a free society with a thriving entrepreneurial base. Those who take joy in this case because the law has ruled in their favor may come to regret a future day when that precedent is used to rule against them. The better way is to not give government such power in the first place.

via Forbes

Two Separate Questions

So what are we to make of the divisions that emerged in the course of Arizona’s consideration of its version of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the responses it inspired? I think it comes down to a matter of priorities, and to the broad-based willingness to let personal inclinations about what society ought to look like overwhelm a reasonable understanding of the ramifications of giving government the power to shape that society.

via The Federalist

Two question:

  1. “What society should look like” – that is, we should or shouldn’t limit Christian power, and/or we should or shouldn’t limit gay rights, or whatever.
    (In other words, the ends that may or may not justify the means.)
  2. Question #2: Should government have the power to shape society into (1)?

Are people even thinking at all about how it might change our world to change our structure of governance – changing the right to be free from governmental coercion into the right to use government to coerce the other guy?

“Does Faith = Hate?”

Will religious conservatives be seen as no better than racist bullies in the emerging settlement? Despite what you haven’t heard—the news media’s silence on religious liberty threats from same-sex marriage is deafening—this is not slippery-slope alarmism. The threat is real.

via The American Conservative.

What is the nature of kinship? Is it biological ties, or is it something you can “choose”?

People cite adoption,  but nobody “chooses” adoption. Adoption is based on the idea of finding the best possible home for a child who, for whatever reason, has no home. There’s no choice. There’s just what’s right or best – a value judgment.

But forcing everyone to embrace gay unions as equal to marriage does not mean, as gays insist, that marriage “is not procreative”. They have no intention of marrying their lover while raising their child with the child’s real other parent. They intend to take the child away from its real other parent and give it to their lover, because marriage is procreative. Example: in the courts Miller v. Jenkins, the courts upheld that Janet Jenkins being married to Isabella Miller’s mother means that Janet “is” Isabella’s other parent, because one of the benefits of marriage is the right to be presumed the parent of your spouse’s child. (Of course, traditionally that came with an obligation to refrain from adultery….)

People insist that the debate must be phrased in terms of equality for gays – specifically, in terms focusing on equality of outcome; gays deserve whatever it takes to make them as happily married as any other couple. That distinction is deliberately downplayed, but it is crucial, because it is biology that discriminates against them in this, not man. Giving them whatever it takes necessarily means taking away from others. We’re not talking about taking away artificial laws that are designed to be mean to a group of people for no reason; we’re talking about adding new stuff designed to compensate for biology’s cruelty. Fertility coverage for gays is already law in California, and multiple states are now teaching schoolchildren that ‘children can have two mommies’. That is not equality of opportunity. That is what disability rights law calls accommodations. Unlike most disability claims, however, there is no discussion permitted on what accommodations are actually reasonable, necessary, or required; there is no discussion of how much those accommodations will inconvenience those whose rights are in conflict. Gays are simply entitled to a blank check. If they need it, they’re entitled to it.

We will take from religious people the right to hold that kinship is sacred, that the ties between a mother and a father and a child are ties established by God, that family comes with sacred obligations. Those beliefs will be a crime, and the schools will teach our children that our holding those beliefs makes us a bigoted hater toward anyone who does not wish to honor the sanctity of those ties, or the obligations that come with them. These changes are already happening in some places.

But we’re also taking something away from the child – not just the right to have both mother and father, but the right to have custody decided according to the child’s best interest. Instead, child’s best interest can be sacrificed as we prioritize the rights of parents to purchase and consume parenthood as an experience.

The (Secular) Problem With Gay Marriage

Those who advocate for same-sex marriage take it as a given that there is no possible reason (other than animus) why anyone could object to “equality” – that there is no legitimate argument as to why gays should not be viewed as equal to married couples.

The problem with this is that, while there is no compelling reason why gays should not be granted the right to be recognized as life partners, marriage is about more than life partnership. There is a compelling reason why gays should not be recognized as procreative: because it’s not true, and the government has no right to make anyone lie. Not even to foster the illusion of equality.

It is an abuse of authority. Also, it won’t work.

Every problem I have ever heard articulated about gay marriage (and, yes, there are legitimate concerns about gay marriage) come down to this deception, this cognitive dissonance.

It is rarely questioned that marriage should be based on love, but given the marriage crisis, the question must be asked. Why should marriage be based on something that will die after seven or eight years?

From nydwracu niþgrim, nihtbealwa mæst

Gays argue that marriage is “not procreative”. If they genuinely believed this, they could have no problem with the idea of acting as if life partnership were somehow separate from procreative activity. Consider:

  • Gary would marry his partner Joe, but there would be no reason why Joe would have to be viewed as the “father” to Gary’s son.
  • Joe would be recognized as a stepparent (which is what he is), not a “second daddy”.
  • The child – let’s call him David – would be allowed to know and have a relationship with his mother.

To not know a mother – to be deliberately deprived of the chance to have this unique and valuable relationship, this experience that most people recognize as irreplaceable – who has the right to do this to a child? The more they justify about how the child “doesn’t mind”, the more abusive it sounds to my ears. The question is not whether a bunch of carefully contrived tests can “prove” the child is reasonably normal, according to this or that standard of what constitutes normalness. The question is this: why on Earth should anyone believe that parents who would deliberately do this to a child deserve to be viewed as “loving” or “committed”?

Obviously the people involved are not committed to the child’s welfare. They are committed to justifying why the child’s welfare is not really very important. Their own arguments insist that relationships are important, experiences are important – and they offer, as proof, evidence that society values these things, that these things are viewed as desirable as well as irreplaceable – but how is the chance to have a father (rather than a stepmother) any less valuable than the right to have a wife (rather than a husband)? The standards they apply to themselves do not apply to their kids, and if you ask them why they’ll tell you it’s because shut up.

The claim that even thinking such thoughts can only be the product of animus against homsexuals is bogus: not all homosexuals  do this (and not all the people who do this are homosexuals). Despite what the gay rights crowd says, they don’t really speak for all gay people. Some gays enter “coparenting” contracts – or even go so far as to marry gay or lesbian members of the opposite sex – precisely so that their child can have an intact family. Loving parents want what is best for their child, and there is no reason at all to suppose that whether you’re gay or straight matters at all to what the child needs. (Likewise, “single by choice” straight parents are just as selfish to their children; nobody has the right to use children that way).

But more importantly, there is no reason why any homosexual couple needs to do this. The whole point of gay rights was supposed to be about “not living a lie”. That’s a compelling argument. They should honor the integrity of it. It’s a false dichotomy to say that either gay people must live “in the closet” or they must be accepted as capable of having children together. Either extreme involves lies, and lies aren’t as victimless as “sexual revolution” warriors would have us believe.

The reality is that the only way two men or two women can come by a child – whether via adoption or via surrogacy – is if their claim, their right to possess a child, is prioritized above the child’s claim: the right to expect that the guardians charged with protecting their interests will do just that. No person, young or otherwise, should ever be stuck with a guardian who prioritizes another person’s interests over their own when determining how to resolve their custody case.

The child has the right to be placed with the best,  most loving, most committed home – the one best able to meet the child’s needs – without “political correctness” or anyone’s supposedly equal right to have a child being considered. Children are not goods, and there is no “right” to have equal access to an adopted child.

Adoption is supposed to be about finding the best parents for a needy child,

not the best child for needy parents.

But it isn’t just the fact that they’re not being fair to their kids. It’s also the entire notion of defining what it is to be a part of a family.

…it would end the public legal recognition of a social reality defined in terms of the natural link between sex and procreation. In direct consequence, the natural children of heterosexual couples would then be only legally their children if the state decided that they might be legally “adopted” by them.

From abc.net.au

We are talking about nothing less than changing the definition of what it means to be a family – from a biological fact to a choice that ultimately comes from government recognition, something government has the right to bestow – and something they can and do take away, not based on objective standards of right and wrong (as in adoption) but based on the desires – the personal fulfillment or pleasure – of the wealthy family member, at the expense of other family members who are either not recognized as family members or are assumed (presumed) to “not mind”.

Gay marriage claims are necessarily (if covertly) based on the argument that adoption should not be constrained only to what’s good for the child, but should be permitted even at the expense of what’s good for the child. Gay rights in this case mean changing the very definition of what a family is – so that not only is marriage itself primarily about the personal pleasure of the adult participants (at the expense of any other familial claims), but so that even the act of having a child is viewed as a consumption experience – something for adults to do for the purpose of personal fulfillment or enjoyment.

Given that the institution of marriage has spent thousands of years evolving away from this view of family-as-personal-possession, that’s not minor, harmless, or inconsequential. The institution of marriage cannot continue to serve to protect vulnerable family members from being used, exploited, abandoned, cast out, or harmed by more powerful members of the kinship unit if the institution is openly legitimizing the idea that powerful family members have a right to use, exploit, abandon, cast out, or reassign the parentage of other family members.

And even granted that we are going to allow family members to be subject to abuse, rather than having certain inherent rights, what is the basis of this change in kinship rules?  “I want.” But the problem with “I want” has always been that it’s just not possible for everyone to have equal access to some of that.

Which is why the legal institutions of family and kinship evolved the way they have in the first place. Because it’s fun to exploit, but it’s not nearly so much fun to be the one exploited.

Kinship bonds are different from any other type of bond. You can wish as hard as you like that your best friend were your sister, but she isn’t. You can pretend she is, but that takes energy. A lot of energy. Also: the affection has to be reciprocated.

The minute either one of you stops playing, the charade starts falling apart.

This is why the obligations and commitments of family are tied to kinship: as you can’t choose your kin, so too you also can’t unchoose your kin. Your mom will always be your mom. You can deny her, disown her, pretend she isn’t there – but she still is. That’s different from what friendship is.

Kinship is stable.

Affection is fickle.

Every world religion except humanism (and those branches of religion – or denominations – that have become half-humanist hybrids) have recognized this obligation associated with family and kinship. The bonds holding a family are recognized as sacred. This serves a practical function: it holds society together. When the obligations of kinship become optional, families fragment.

Families built out of wishful thinking, cognitive dissonance, and make-believe appear happy and may be genuinely loving, when times are good, but structurally they are not the same. The family structure is built out of straw, not brick; the “ties that bind” are weak bonds, not strong. Such a family lacks resilience. Such a family is plagued by unspeakable truths: every member of the family knows, on some level, that the bonds are not real – that they are more fragile than real bonds, and that they need to be protected. Taboos are not healthy. Cognitive dissonance, tiptoeing around things that are true and that maybe need to be said – but cannot be said – this is the very essence of what a dysfunctional family is.

And it takes energy. Taboos and fragility adds stress. It is this underlying anxiety that makes it so easy for gay couples to pressure their kids into not speaking the forbidden words. The kids must know, on some level, that it’s not safe to speak freely; inadvertently revealing the emperor’s lack of fine clothes could tear the family – or the illusion of family – apart.

Even adoptive families have this issue, to some extent. Adoptive families, unlike the family headed by a gay couple, did not at any point in time prioritize the parents’ desires over the child’s needs. They never took any action to deliberately deprive the child of anything – not a biological tie, nor a mother- or father-relationship. This gives the adoptive family a legitimacy and a credibility that gay families can only pretend to. They are able to allow the child time and space to grieve his losses without any conflict of interest; they can honestly say “we want only what is best for you”; they can credibly say, “We love you” – and the child can believe it, without any lurking “if you loved me then why would you…” questions to taint the bond. Adoptive families meet high standards and agree to selfless terms. And yet the children of adoption are more likely to have difficulties than children from intact families. Adoptive families appear to have more difficulty staying cohesive through trying or traumatic events than biologically intact families do. Adoption requires that a crucial but absent bond be “compensated for”. It requires extra love and extra commitment.

The problem is even more complicated when surrogacy, rather than adoption, is involved. Adoptive children find it comforting to hear reassurances such as “your mother gave you to us because she wanted you to have a better home than she could give you”. Saying that it shouldn’t matter is futile; it does matter. It matters in the same way it matters whether your husband and his secretary really were just working last night. It matters in the same way it matters whether your girlfriend actually gave her consent. There are lots of things in this world that don’t seem like they ought to matter, yet do. No human being wants to be built out of donated body parts, hatched in a rented broodmare. No person wants to know he exists because he was deliberately put together for the pleasure of the person who paid good money for him.

Not sure I understand this argument fully.  How does marriage between one man and one woman guarantee and protect the rights of children to know who their mom and dad are?  I know many straight parents who adopt from all over the world.  Those children are not always guaranteed to know their biological parents.

From Oy Gevalt! Techy Kvetching

The argument for gay-headed family-making is that it is “just like adoption”. It is not. Adoption grants government a very limited right to “reassign” children to homes, expressly constrained to only one purpose:  finding the best possible home for orphaned and abandoned children. Gay marriage is about lifting those constraints. Instead of adoption being about helping children in a bad situation, it becomes an institution that exploits children in a bad situation – and, in many cases, deliberately puts them into a bad situation.

(And this does not even begin to cover concerns over the exploitation of impoverished “egg donors and gestational carriers” – creatures who used to be known as “women”, before this new form of prostitution was invented:

The story is presented from the point of view of a woman called Offred…one of a class of individuals kept as concubines (“handmaids”) for reproductive purposes by the ruling class in an era of declining births. The book is told in the first person by Offred, who describes her life during her third assignment as a handmaid, in this case to Fred (referred to as “The Commander”)….Through her eyes, the structure of Gilead’s society is described, including the several different categories of women and their circumscribed lives in the new theocracy*….)

Adoption is a form of amputation – it is the amputation of part of a child’s family and identity information. Amputation is an emergency procedure. You don’t go around mutilating things except when it’s necessary, and even when mutilation must occur it must be done in accordance with the needs of the patient. To argue that adoption “works great” so therefore we should lift the constraints and let people do it any way they like is like saying that so-and-so is doing fine with his prosthetic limb and in fact there are certain advantages to having a one-legged kid, so why shouldn’t I be able to whack off my kid’s limbs just because I want to? The answer: adoption “works great” in comparison with the alternatives – foster homes and orphanages. But it’s not clear adoption will continue to “work great” now that we’ve stopped expecting those who place children for adoption to prioritize the child’s interests above all other considerations.

Adoption that isn’t about what’s best for the child isn’t adoption. It’s buying and selling children.

The whole idea behind gay marriage is that it supposedly doesn’t really matter if we’re actually related to each other or not. On this theory, if someone scrambled up all the babies in a hospital, it would be selfish and petty to mind, or to care too much about whether you got your own real child. I’d say anyone who seriously believes this should go find a little kid and tell her she’s really adopted, just to see what happens next, but that’s not even a good joke: the reason adoptive parents are today expected to tell their children the truth from early childhood is because it turns out that when people find out they are adopted, they are seriously traumatized.

It does matter. It’s who we are. It’s our identity.

The reality of a family that isn’t really a family is that it’s a fantasy. During good times, it may be “just as good”. When hard times hits, though, the family is more at risk than a real family. In the event of a divorce, there is no longer any motivation to put in the energy and the work to sustain the fantasy that “those people” are related to you.

It is painful for people to share their child with the person they just broke up with. It’s hard to do even when you know you have to. People tend to not do it if they can justify getting away with not doing it.

But when the family was never real to start with, divorce or breakup is much worse: it isn’t just “those people aren’t related to you any more”. It’s that “they never were related to you” – it’s all just a very Kafkaesque game. In a real family, your father can’t ever stop being your father, but in a make-believe family, the parent in question never really was your parent. The child knew all along it wasn’t real, but was told that reality didn’t have to matter. But it does matter if there’s a breakup, because the whole point of choosing to create a make-believe family instead of a real one in the first place is because the parents who made the choices wanted to avoid unpleasant duties, obligation and commitment. They wanted to indulge and prioritize their own feelings. If they’d had the maturity and selflessness to handle coparenting together after the feelings wear off, they would have had the maturity to not create such a mess in the first place.

Consider the case of Miller v. Jenkins. Janet Jenkins was never in any way related to Isabella Miller except in that she was married to Isabella’s mother, and one of the benefits of marriage is the right to be presumed the father of your wife’s child. Of course, for all that gays claim that they believe “marriage is not procreative” they do think they are entitled to claim this expressly procreative benefit – even though they reject the obligation that customarily goes with that obligation, which is to refrain from making babies with anyone except one’s spouse.  (Until the Sexual Revolution “liberated” us from our obligations, adultery was recognized as a crime.)

But the law requires judges to presume that, unless proven otherwise, it’s always in a child’s best interest to uphold that child’s right to a relationship with both biological parents, and so a law that was supposed to protect the rights of children instead was used to turn Isabella Miller into a commodity – something Janet Jenkins has a right to access, enjoy, and experience.  This particular ruling was at the expense of what was actually best for Isabella Miller. The girl’s real mother and Janet Jenkins together committed a fraud against this child, and the state failed to protect the child, her rights, or her interests.

This fraud, and the corresponding evasion of obligation, is also linked to the religious objections and concerns.

I am a strong proponent of the “melting pot” ideal of the U.S.A., so I do believe that religious people have to accept that gays have equal rights. But in this case, it is the gays – or, more accurately, the humanists – who are the aggressors. The question is not whether gay people are forced to accept religious teachings, but rather whether religious people are to be forced to accept humanist teachings. The DOMA ruling suggests that the Supreme Court is not prepared to recognize any right to “discriminate” – where “not discriminating” means those who embrace traditional Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and Confucian beliefs are “hateful bigots” because they do not embrace the Unitarian Universalist views on marriage, sexuality, obligation/duty, sin/concupiscence, family/kinship, and even the question of whether truth matters.

That’s beyond what the government has the authority to legitimately demand.

The logical compromise is to recognize that gays have special needs – while also recognizing that having special needs does not mean a blank check entitling them to anything they want. There is no right to freely mix and match the best aspects of disability rights and other types of civil rights, so as to have the best of all worlds and the obligations of none.

The correct frame of reference is not to compare them against interracial marriage (despite the rainbow logo), because unlike interracial couples they are not seeking equality of opportunity; their argument requires equality of outcome – merely having equal access to existing marriage laws is not enough; they need special accommodations; they cannot have justice (they claim) unless they have the chance to do whatever it takes to have the same end result (happiness in marriage), even though it means granting them rights above and beyond what heterosexuals are granted.

But disability claims are supposed to be limited to what is legitimately needed, and  I have yet to see any good argument explaining either why they need to be viewed as a procreative couple when they’re not.

Nor do I see why the rules of marriage itself ought to be changed, if accommodating gay peoples’ needs were the true goal (as opposed to various other concerns, real and imagined). Instead of redefining marriage so that sexual pleasure and emotional fulfillment is the point and procreation is important only insofar as it promotes the happiness of adults, we should grant an exemption for homosexuals – while preserving the core values that do not need to be changed.

The reality is that marriage is equally about life partnership and about procreation; both aspects are important. They should be granted the right to split the benefits of marriage so that their lover is recognized as their partner, while their “baby mama” is recognized as the person they share a kinship tie with. This would be equal to what other stepfamilies do. Going back to my fictitious family, this means:

  • The child David’s mother (let’s call her Joy) should have the same claim on Gary’s benefits that a hetero “baby mama” or first wife would have under similar circumstances.
  • Likewise, Gary should have an equal and reciprocal first claim on Joy’s benefits – so if Joy ever marries Sam, Sam will simply have to accept that her procreative family has a claim that must be honored, including the right to certain benefits that are bestowed for the purpose of establishing a family (whether Sam is a he or a she really should not matter).
  • Joe should be recognized as Gary’s partner, and having all the rights and benefits that are not expressly procreative (because those procreative benefits belong rightfully to Gary’s “baby-mama” Joy).
  • Joe and Sam should both be identified as David’s stepfather(s) and/or stepmother(s), not as David’s “second” father or mother, just as with hetero unions where the parent marries someone other than the “baby mama” or “baby daddy”.

And, meanwhile, religious individuals are perfectly within their rights to believe that the sacrament of marriage (which is not necessarily the same as a civil marriage) is necessarily associated with a couple embracing both aspects of marriage, the partnership and the procreative.

I fully expect gay couples to begin visiting the more conservative churches, demanding that they marry them, and when these churches refuse to, for these couples to take a legal stance and sue the churches for denying them their constitutional right to be married.

From Canada Free Press

There’s also the question – which remains largely unexplored, as near as I can see – of how the political structure will be affected, and whether capitalism can even survive in a situation where the state – rather than biology – has the power to determine who is related to whom.

 First, gay marriage does affect straight marriage by forcing straights to radically impoverish their understanding of their own unions.  Second, this is an attack by the state on a rival social structure, the kinship group.

From Orthosphere

If one looks not just at the feelings, needs, and desires of gays, but at all the stakeholders involved, I don’t see how any other conclusion could be justified.

One day after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its rulings on gay marriage, two state House Democrats said Thursday that they will introduce a bill that would allow same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania.

State Reps. Brian Sims and Steve McCarter, both from the Philadelphia area, say they will push the bill in the state House of Representatives. Sims is the first openly gay lawmaker ever elected to the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Pennsylvania state law prohibits same-sex marriage. However, Sims and McCarter want to take a shot at toppling that law.

From Penn Live/Patriot News

The state of Arizona might be one of the next few states to decide whether it would allow same-sex marriages after the Defense of Marriage Act was defeated Wednesday.

According to The Atlantic Wire, Arizona ranks fourth among states that are likely to pass same-sex legislation based on a compilation of recent polls.

We looked at the most recent public polling for each state to try and assess where action might be expected.

The polling suggests that states adjacent to those which have passed same-sex marriages or which show growing support for the passing of said legislation are most likely to follow suit.

Arizona is one of the few states which shows a support of 50 percent or more regarding gay marriage, and is behind New Jersey, Michigan and Virginia.

From KTAR

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*Somehow what’s oppressive when people imagine Christians doing it is eminently justifiable when “the right people” are doing it. The practice of exploiting people as resources is not any less repugnant simply because it is done to indulge egos instead of being done to appease a straw-man caricature of the Christian God.

The concept of treating people as resources has a name: “Biological Colonialism“:

…the sanctity/equality of human life ethic—which holds that all human beings have equal moral worth—is collapsing…the commoditization and exploitation of the body parts and functions of the poor, [is] effectively treating human beings as mere natural resources to be exploited and/or harvested.

Two Issues Raised By The Coy Mathis Case

If we, the populace, have now lost the right to expect that our daughters will not have to share a bathroom with little boys, I think there are two issues that we need to demand clarification on, before we just passively accept this huge change in the boundary-line between private and public. We need:

1. A definition of sex and gender that is grounded in science rather than ideology

Science has the obligation to inform us about facts, but not the right to demand we accept ideological value judgments.  What we are seeing is not “fact”. We don’t even have a consistent definition of what gender is or whether it matters: the mental health “experts” who are quick to insist that Coy Mathis will experience some really awful, negative consequence if he’s forced to acknowledge his male body are the same people who insist there’s nothing wrong with gay people deliberately making children motherless or fatherless – because sex and gender are apparently so unimportant to children that one can swap out a mother for a father with no loss at all involved. The rule seems to be “if it involves destroying a sexual boundary, then it must be right”. That’s consistent with the ideological goals of the so-called sexual revolution (which describes the destruction of sexual boundaries as “liberating”) but when science is separated from ideology (GIGO) the arguments are far less compelling.

Coy was diagnosed with “gender identification disorder” a mental ailment that the American Psychiatric Association, after years of lobbying from some advocacy groups, removed from its lists of mental ailments. The main objection those groups had been that the treatment consisted of getting the patient to accept its biological designation, that the designation of a mental disease would cause undue stigma and it would reinforce the binary model of gender in society. This last items is something the advocacy groups strongly reject, and are advocating against.

This is dripping with irony because by rejecting “boy things” in order to wear dresses, have long hair, play with dolls you are reinforcing male to female stereotypes…

From boricuafudd

2. A definition of “mental illness” that consists of more than just ideologues voting on who should and should not be stigmatized as a precondition of receiving what they need to live

If a person is going to argue in court that they can’t have a normal, decent, or happy life unless other people lose their rights (whether it’s a child’s right to have a relationship with his own real mother or a little girl’s right to not have to share the bathroom with boys), then that’s not normal or healthy.

Everyone has the right to make whatever lifestyle choices they want, but that right does not come with the right to demand that others consider themselves obliged to worry about your special needs. It can’t be both ways; it has to be one or the other: if you need accommodations, then you can’t argue that your condition is “equal”. To make such arguments is not only dishonest, but it does a major disservice to all those disabled people who are thus doubly stigmatized by the implied claim that there is something “icky” about being classed as disabled.

Mental health services originated as a promise – that people would be cured of their dysfunctions and would be helped to live better lives. It is a betrayal of that promise when mental health service providers who admit up front they don’t know how to “cure” much of anything focus instead on using their awesome authority to control and manipulate us, telling us how we ought to feel about function and dysfunction, forcing us to accept their ideological values and depriving us of our rights to self-governance and liberty, using people like Coy Mathis as mascots and meat shields who will be hurt if we do not acquiesce in their power grab.

In Creationism as a Mental Illness, Robert Rowland Smith argues that creationists exhibit several signs of mental illness including denial, psychosis, and inability to grasp irony.

The specter of mental illness does indeed loom large over creationists, but they are not alone. Signs of psychopathology can also be seen among their political bedfellows, conservative Republicans, especially when you consider a wide range of illness indicators. In his award-winning 2005 book Dr. James Whitney Hicks discusses 50 signs of mental illness including denial, delusion, hallucination, disordered thinking, anger, anti-social behavior, sexual preoccupation, grandiosity, general oddness, and paranoia….

From Psychology Today blog

 

The editors of this volume provide compelling arguments for many destructive trends in the mental health professions – most particularly, psychology, but also psychiatry and social work. They demonstrate from an insider’s perspective how activism masquerades as science in the APA, and how “diversity” has been redefined into a kind of narrow politicism, where differing worldviews are not only summarily dismissed, but the holders of such views actually punished.

The authors condemn the APA for providing forums only for their preferred worldviews. They particularly note how psychology is undermined when APA makes resolutions and public policy statements on issues for which there is little or inadequate science. Such prostitution of psychology by activist groups within APA is contributing, they say, to the profession’s demise as a scientific organization. “Psychology and mental health,” Cummings says, “have veered away from scientific integrity and open inquiry, as well as from compassionate practice in which the welfare of the patient is paramount” (p. xiii).

From http://www.narth.com/docs/destructive.html