Saturday, November 01, 2008

It Just Doesn't Get Any Simpler Than This



It's no coincidence that Mormons are leading the charge against gay marriage in California. They aren't big fans of interracial marriage, either. As late as 2001, the official website of the Mormon Church "discouraged" interracial marriage. And of course black people were not allowed to be Mormon priests until 1978.

Curiously, that page is no longer on their website.

34 comments:

Orthoprax said...

JA,

"You can replace 'interracial' or 'same sex' with any group of people you want... children, members of the same family, chimpanzees, and you see what this amendment is really about."

(For the record: http://tinyurl.com/aperights)

Of course the amendment is about discrimination - duh. The question is whether it's morally valid discrimination.

asher said...

however isn't interracial marriage between folks of differnt sexes rather than different races?

Duh?

JDHURF said...

asher:

Are you kidding? Interracial dating clearly refers to the dating of a couple from different racial backgrounds; hence inter-racial.

The Mormom cult is a disgrace to humanity.

The Candy Man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Candy Man said...

Thanks JA. It seems the supporters of proposition hate (AKA proposition discrimination) are now trying to claim that Obama agrees with them. Actually, he has specifically stated that is against prop 8 - along with Ahnold and every major CA newspaper.

Readers, we need all the help we can get to counter these lies. You can help get the word out by donating here.

The Mormom cult is a disgrace to humanity.

They are definitely wrong on this one, but we should not generalize. Everyone is human and everyone makes mistakes. Let's not judge others until we've stood in their shoes.

Don't give into hate. That leads to the dark side.

C. L. Hanson said...

Interracial marriage is discouraged by the LDS church more recently than 2001. It's still discouraged in a current lesson manual for youth as I pointed out here.

Spence said...

The unspoken reason for LDSinc's desperation over prop8 is not to gain credibility with other church organizations. The ceo's understand full well the implications of gay marraige...eventually polygamous marraige between consenting adults will be legal. This will be more than awkward for them. (I'm gonna get mom to pick dad a spinner!)

JDHURF said...

the candy man said:

They are definitely wrong on this one, but we should not generalize. Everyone is human and everyone makes mistakes. Let's not judge others until we've stood in their shoes.

That's too extreme. In order to properly analyze and oppose the Nazi Party I by no means need to stand "in their shoes" first. And I was not generalizing (claiming that all Mormons are evil), I was objectively describing the Mormon institution 'as such', which has been historically based upon racism, bigotry, reactionary politics and so on.

Don't give into hate. That leads to the dark side.

Silliness. It's not a product of hate to observe that the Nazi party was evil and it is likewise not hate to observe that the Mormon cult is a disgrace to humanity. These are simply objective criticisms of institutions and organizations where racism, bigotry and hate are endemic.

Anonymous said...

Saying the Morman cult is a disgrace to humanity is extreme. Do you personally know any Mormans? Not all beleieve in polygamy. Don't judge individua;s through a whole group.

JDHURF said...

anonymous:

I didn't say a word about polygamy. Hey, if you want to defend an institution that right up until the passing of civil rights in the sixties had as a doctrine of their cult the inferiority of black people - ironic to now know that the entire human race descends from a select breeding group of hominids from Africa - and continues now to actively campaign for bigotry, hatred and discrimination against gay people.

Any institution which engages in this sort of repeated evil is a disgrace to humanity. I don't know of how you could possibly argue otherwise.

Jewish Atheist said...

orthoprax:

The question is whether it's morally valid discrimination.

Of course. The point of the video is to make you reconsider whether it is morally valid discrimination. Those who opposed black-white marriages also thought their discrimination was morally valid.

Orthoprax said...

JA,

"Of course. The point of the video is to make you reconsider whether it is morally valid discrimination. Those who opposed black-white marriages also thought their discrimination was morally valid."

And therefore what? You're assuming it's in the interracial category of discrimination when it may actually be closer to the NAMBLA category of discrimination.

I could put peanut butter in an ice cream cone and call it ice cream. But that doesn't make it ice cream.

Jewish Atheist said...

And therefore what? You're assuming it's in the interracial category of discrimination when it may actually be closer to the NAMBLA category of discrimination.

I'm not assuming anything. I'm arguing that it's in the interracial category rather than the NAMBLA category.

Do you know how I know? Because gay marriage is good for families and good for society for the exact same reasons that marriage is -- it creates more stable families. NAMBLA traumatizes children. See the difference?

Quit trying to be clever and accept the obvious truth. You're not Orthodox, so stop pretending there's something wrong with being gay.

Orthoprax said...

JA,

"Quit trying to be clever and accept the obvious truth. You're not Orthodox, so stop pretending there's something wrong with being gay."

That's true in a vacuum, but for the wellbeing of society I think it makes far more sense to defend and promote monogamous marriage rather than sexual confusion and infertile unions.

I work in the Bronx and see every day what it means for a society to care about sex first and marriage last - or never. What this country has and continues to do by turning 'marriage' into a temporary legal construct, granting some benefits but meaning little and requiring no commitment or change in behavior has awful consequences on society at large. If you want to divorce the idea of marriage even further from couples who will grow a family, granting it to people of the same sex is a good way to go about it.

Jewish Atheist said...

or the wellbeing of society I think it makes far more sense to defend and promote monogamous marriage rather than sexual confusion and infertile unions

Um, that's what gay marriage is about -- promoting monogamous marriage. I don't see how enlarging marriage to include gay people weakens that cause rather than strengthening it. And gay people can and do have children. You're proposing that those children grow up with unwed parents.

Orthoprax said...

JA,

"I don't see how enlarging marriage to include gay people weakens that cause rather than strengthening it."

Because it loses meaning. Why should people bother with a trip to court street? This isn't the first strike against marriage, nor even the worst one, it's just the latest one.

"And gay people can and do have children. You're proposing that those children grow up with unwed parents."

No, I'm proposing that people have children within marriage where a father and a mother provide care and solid role models. Other situations are often ok as well, but we should preserve this as an ideal.

I promote the enrichment of the idea of marriage with meaning and purpose - so that people will be more likely to get married before they begin having intercourse and so fewer children will be illegitimately born into broken homes.

As America continues to turn marriage into just an expression of endearment without any sense of fidelity or permanence will the problems which plague the Bronx fester and spread.

Jewish Atheist said...

Ortho,

Because it loses meaning.

I really don't get that. It's the exact same thing as straight marriage, just with two men or two women instead of one of each. The EXACT same thing.

It seems to me that creating a second class of citizens who want to be committed and monogamous but aren't allowed to call it marriage would do a lot more to strip marriage of its meaning than expanding the institution to cover same-sex couples.

No, I'm proposing that people have children within marriage where a father and a mother provide care and solid role models. Other situations are often ok as well, but we should preserve this as an ideal.

But it's not like gay people can just turn straight. What's the point of idealizing straight marriage at the expense of gay marriage?

I promote the enrichment of the idea of marriage with meaning and purpose - so that people will be more likely to get married before they begin having intercourse and so fewer children will be illegitimately born into broken homes.

And yet you are supporting a system that practically forces gay couples to have children outside of marriage! And one that keeps children of existing gay couples outside of a family stabilized by the institution of marriage.

As America continues to turn marriage into just an expression of endearment without any sense of fidelity or permanence will the problems which plague the Bronx fester and spread.

I don't see how that has anything to do with same-sex marriage. By opposing SSM, you are de facto encouraging INfidelity and less-stable relationships.

Orthoprax said...

JA,

"I really don't get that. It's the exact same thing as straight marriage, just with two men or two women instead of one of each. The EXACT same thing."

Unless a woman is the same thing as a man, or vice versa, then the difference is everything.

What do you think is the purpose of marriage? I believe the purpose is to create a social safety net for the inevitable creation of children which occurs following sexual intercourse - an activity which ought to occur uniquely within the context of that union. The proponents of gay marriage, however, are loudly and firmly proclaiming that marriage has little to do with such mundane concerns and is just about uniting two people who love each other.

"It seems to me that creating a second class of citizens who want to be committed and monogamous but aren't allowed to call it marriage would do a lot more to strip marriage of its meaning than expanding the institution to cover same-sex couples."

*They* can call it whatever they wish, but marriage has never meant anything but the joining of man and woman. You can't strip marriage of meaning by not granting it to something that has never been so granted.

Ice cream is no less delicious if I refuse to call peanut butter a kind of ice cream.

"But it's not like gay people can just turn straight. What's the point of idealizing straight marriage at the expense of gay marriage?"

Because there are plenty of kids growing up and in-between people who really could go either way when it comes to their sexual orientation. Unlike what the propaganda mills may have told you, human sexuality is not binary, not solely determined by genetics, nor is it necessarily fixed for life. I want those people choosing regular marriage, not deviancy masquerading as normal.

"And yet you are supporting a system that practically forces gay couples to have children outside of marriage! And one that keeps children of existing gay couples outside of a family stabilized by the institution of marriage."

You think that gay relationships will gain stability by the state recognizing them as 'marriage'? I don't. I don't think it would change how things work within the gay community at all.

"I don't see how that has anything to do with same-sex marriage. By opposing SSM, you are de facto encouraging INfidelity and less-stable relationships."

That would only be true if society followed up by caring about the sexual indescretions of such relationships, which I'm confident it would not.

Jewish Atheist said...

What do you think is the purpose of marriage? I believe the purpose is to create a social safety net for the inevitable creation of children which occurs following sexual intercourse - an activity which ought to occur uniquely within the context of that union. The proponents of gay marriage, however, are loudly and firmly proclaiming that marriage has little to do with such mundane concerns and is just about uniting two people who love each other.

Infertile couples marry, post-menopausal women marry, people who don't want kids marry. We let them. We don't consider their marriages lesser marriages.

Also, gay people can and do have children all the time. If you feel the "social safety net" of marriage is so important for children, why don't you think that of children of gay parents? Why should they get cheated of having married parents by the federal government? It's obscene.

*They* can call it whatever they wish, but marriage has never meant anything but the joining of man and woman.

Wrong. Marriage has often meant the joining of a man and one OR MORE women. It probably ORIGINALLY meant that. Meanings change as times change. There's no virtue in holding steadfast to a word whose meaning is undergoing a change.

Because there are plenty of kids growing up and in-between people who really could go either way when it comes to their sexual orientation. Unlike what the propaganda mills may have told you, human sexuality is not binary, not solely determined by genetics, nor is it necessarily fixed for life. I want those people choosing regular marriage, not deviancy masquerading as normal.

Why is "deviancy" bad? Isn't being left-handed deviant? Should all left-handers who could plausibly pass as right-handers do so? And how many people, exactly, do you think could go either way but choose a same-sex partner because it would be legal to marry them?

You think that gay relationships will gain stability by the state recognizing them as 'marriage'? I don't. I don't think it would change how things work within the gay community at all.

So marriage confers stability on straight couples but it couldn't on gay couples? What about lesbian couples? Why do you want to stereotype individuals based on group statistics?

That would only be true if society followed up by caring about the sexual indescretions of such relationships, which I'm confident it would not.

And who the hell appointed you and your allies America's moral guardians? Even after all this argument I don't see how your point is any more valid than that of those who opposed interracial marriage. They said gay... I mean interracial sex is deviant and society would be better off if those people who could date either way stuck with the opposite sex... I mean their own kind. Should the majority have the right to prevent interracial marriage?

Orthoprax said...

JA,

"Infertile couples marry, post-menopausal women marry, people who don't want kids marry. We let them. We don't consider their marriages lesser marriages."

That's true, but my point is not that people ought to marry in order to have children, but to marry in order to legitimize sexual relations _in the largely inevitable case_ they have children.

Even people who do not intend to have children, often find themselves pregnant. People who were thought to be infertile are known to find themselves with a baby on the way. Otherwise these are pairings that have been grandfathered in and since they at least *model* the reproductive construct, they serve as no public statement against its purpose.

In contrast, the proponents of gay marriage publically and determinedly say that marriage is just about love and so on which undermines its basic social utility. Many couples do not feel they need to get married in order to appropriately show their love.

"Also, gay people can and do have children all the time. If you feel the "social safety net" of marriage is so important for children, why don't you think that of children of gay parents?"

They don't have children with each other. The state has zero interest in legitimizing their sexual relations since it has no relevance to creating children or raising families. Hell, can you even imagine gay people waiting until marriage to have intercourse?

"Wrong. Marriage has often meant the joining of a man and one OR MORE women."

I didn't say "a man and a woman" - I said "man and woman."

"Why is "deviancy" bad?"

Because it leads people away from normal sexual relations, real marriage and the bringing up of children in a time-tested and reliable way.

"And how many people, exactly, do you think could go either way but choose a same-sex partner because it would be legal to marry them?"

I think it's very common for young people to sexually experiment because the media and other sources tell people that they might be gay or bisexual and they ought to go and find out. This promotes sexual confusion. From that point on, the point is not how many would marry the same sex if it became legal, but who would not lead a preferred heterosexual life. Normalizing SSM would only encourage more people to head towards homosexuality. And I don't know the numbers exactly, but it's likely higher than you think. What kind of numbers do you think?

"So marriage confers stability on straight couples but it couldn't on gay couples? What about lesbian couples? Why do you want to stereotype individuals based on group statistics?"

I think the term 'marriage' ought to preserved for heterosexual unions, because as I've demonstrated they have unique concerns to uphold and redefining it to mean other things weakens it.

But can same-sex unions have a similar ceremony and call their long-term relationships something else? Sure. I do support civil unions. But I do not think giving them the term 'marriage' makes their relationships any more strong or weak than they were before they'd be called 'marriage.'

"They said gay... I mean interracial sex is deviant and society would be better off if those people who could date either way stuck with the opposite sex... I mean their own kind."

Sure, I guess if you see no benefit to children being born into families where both their parents are directly related to them and see all the artificial mechanisms as 'just as good' then I guess you wouldn't care about heterosexuality. However, I do think that the first way is better. Generally I favor protection and concern of fertility over infertility.

Jewish Atheist said...

ortho:

It seems your argument is built on two assumptions:

1) That homosexuality is bad, and
2) That the federal government has the right and the responsibility to enforce the view that homosexuality is bad by discriminating against gay people.

Is that correct?

Orthoprax said...

JA,

No, quite the opposite. Heterosexuality is good and society has an interest in preserving marriage as an institution that serves the particular situations of heterosexuals as the bedrock of society.

It's not discrimination against gay people - it's discrimination against gay relationships. I'm not saying that they're bad per se, but neither are they marriage.

A healthy society needs heterosexual marriage to be strong and well-circumscribed. This is the meat and potatoes of civilization. Gay relationships are a side dish that you can take or leave. There may be nothing wrong at all with the side dish - but don't confuse it with the main course.

Jewish Atheist said...

ortho:

Heterosexuality is good and society has an interest in preserving marriage as an institution that serves the particular situations of heterosexuals as the bedrock of society.

I don't think that's true, but even if it were true, how does that grant government the right to enforce that "interest" by discriminating against gay relationships?

What else could that line of reasoning be used for? Suppose a majority of Americans decided that a healthy society needs genetic hybrid vigor to be strong and well-circumscribed? Could it then ban non-interracial marriage? Could it forbid Ashkenazim from marrying each other? What about black people?

Orthoprax said...

JA,

"I don't think that's true, but even if it were true, how does that grant government the right to enforce that "interest" by discriminating against gay relationships?"

I don't understand your issue. The state makes laws in the interest of society. This almost always involves discriminating against something.

If the state determines that clean air is in the interests of society, how does that grant them the right to enforce that interest by discriminating against polluters?

"What else could that line of reasoning be used for?"

Whatever the electorate so decides, right up to the edge of our inalienable rights. Is this unfamiliar to you?

Jewish Atheist said...

ortho:

Whatever the electorate so decides, right up to the edge of our inalienable rights.

The right to marry the adult of your choosing should be an inalienable right.

Orthoprax said...

JA,

"The right to marry the adult of your choosing should be an inalienable right."

That's your position - and that's precisely what is at issue. You can't just assume it.

The federal government today does not recognize any such right. And neither does California for that matter.

Jewish Atheist said...

ortho,

I'm not assuming anything. I'm saying it should be an inalienable right. People who argued for interracial marriage being legal were doing the same thing.

I disagree with the current federal and California laws on the matter, obviously. That's the whole point of this post.

Orthoprax said...

JA,

"I'm not assuming anything. I'm saying it should be an inalienable right."

Ok, then make a case for it. Why should it be?

"People who argued for interracial marriage being legal were doing the same thing."

Indeed. But differently, anti-miscegenation laws were put on the books for purely racist reasons. Marriage though was not created as a mechanism for putting down homosexuals.

Although you may see it as an effort to end discrimination, I see it as the latest stike against marriage as a meaningful public institution. If you ever read all those classic anti-miscegenation court rulings, you'd see that the only reason marriage is considered so fundamental a civil right is because of its association with procreation and the raising of children.

This gay marriage effort is about legitimation of a lifestyle, not freedom of association.

Jewish Atheist said...

Ok, then make a case for it. Why should it be?

Because choosing one's life-partner is one of the most important things a person will ever do. Because people find meaning in having families. Because without the liberty to marry whomever you want to, what the hell is liberty even for?

Although you may see it as an effort to end discrimination, I see it as the latest stike against marriage as a meaningful public institution.

That is just ridiculous. Nobody's marriage is threatened by two other people they don't even know or care about getting married. Let me list some things that are bigger threats against marriage than gay marriage: television, high-fructose corn syrup, poverty, sending a kid to war, divorce, women in the workplace. Just off the top of my head. The idea that legally forbidding certain couples from getting married protects the institution for other couples is RIDICULOUS.

If you ever read all those classic anti-miscegenation court rulings, you'd see that the only reason marriage is considered so fundamental a civil right is because of its association with procreation and the raising of children.

Bullshit. While they certainly mentioned children as an obvious aspect to marriage, they did not limit it to that. In Loving, Earl Warren:

The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.

Remember that phrase? "The pursuit of happiness?" I can't see how marriage doesn't fall under that category.

Orthoprax said...

JA,

"The idea that legally forbidding certain couples from getting married protects the institution for other couples is RIDICULOUS."

I disagree, as we have already discussed above. If marriage is just about two people showing their love then it is nigh near pointless. Granted, it's already moved that way and worse in America, but gay marriage is a way of making that understanding all the more pervasive and permanent.

"Because choosing one's life-partner is one of the most important things a person will ever do. Because people find meaning in having families. Because without the liberty to marry whomever you want to, what the hell is liberty even for?"

Good. Gay people can have all that minus the "marry" part.

If the government stopped granting marriage licenses completely do you think everyone's liberty would be more limited?

"Bullshit. While they certainly mentioned children as an obvious aspect to marriage, they did not limit it to that. In Loving, Earl Warren: The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men."

It's not bullshit - why is it so vital a pursuit? Warren:

'Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.'

Jewish Atheist said...

If marriage is just about two people showing their love then it is nigh near pointless.

How can you say that?! Marriage is pointless without kids? Ridiculous.

And again, gay people can and do have kids. Gay marriage helps stabilize those families the way straight marriage stabilizes those.

Good. Gay people can have all that minus the "marry" part.

Separate but equal.

If the government stopped granting marriage licenses completely do you think everyone's liberty would be more limited?

I don't know. At least then everybody would be treated equally. Right now the government officially recognizes straight marriage but not gay marriage. That's straight-up (no pun intended) discrimination.

It's not bullshit - why is it so vital a pursuit? Warren:

'Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.'


And we're back to square one. We let infertile couples marry. Marriage is not just for reproduction.

The bottom line is: marriage should be considered an inalienable right, and government has no business dictating which consenting adults can marry other consenting adults to test out their social theories.

Orthoprax said...

JA,

"How can you say that?! Marriage is pointless without kids? Ridiculous."

I didn't say that. I said that making marriage just about showing a couple's love is pointless. Many couples are finding it completely unnecessary to marry in order to show their love.

"And again, gay people can and do have kids. Gay marriage helps stabilize those families the way straight marriage stabilizes those."

More than a civil union would? I don't buy it.

"Separate but equal."

And? Men's and women's bathrooms are separate but equal too. For some reason Americans tend to agree that men and women are not quite the same.

"And we're back to square one. We let infertile couples marry. Marriage is not just for reproduction."

As I've already gone into in detail, marriage is to produce a stable union in preparation for the production of children, not for the production of children in itself. Otherwise we don't really know if couples are really infertile, they could in accident create a baby. The point, as I said, was that gay marriage moves marriage further away from its purpose of social rearing and towards just an expression of fondness.

"The bottom line is: marriage should be considered an inalienable right, and government has no business dictating which consenting adults can marry other consenting adults to test out their social theories."

This isn't government. It's the will of the people to stick with the standard model of social organization and *not* attempt the social experiment you are promoting.

In any case, I think the real meaning of marriage in America is so weak today that allowing it for gays probably won't make much difference at this point, but I promote a total reconstitution of what marriage is in America. Without that, if the government institution is only serving to weaken the general social understanding of marriage, then it's being counterproductive and I'd prefer that the government get out of the marriage business altogether.

Jewish Atheist said...

ortho:

I don't think we're making any more progress here. :-) Thanks for the discussion, though.

capecodkwassa said...

JA:

Thanks for the continuous, substantive support for straight-gay equality. Your erudite posts about the subject are thoughtful and much-needed.