Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rick Warren to Speak at Obama's Inauguration

Matt Duss:
Pastor Rick Warren will deliver the invocation at President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 20. While he is a recognizable celebrity and best-selling author, Warren also advocates a number of deeply anti-progressive views. He supported California’s anti-gay marriage Proposition 8 and has likened gay marriage to polygamy and incest. He is strongly anti-choice, and has equated abortion to the Holocaust. Warren also supports the assassination of foreign leaders. Appearing on Fox’s Hannity and Colmes on December 3, Warren agreed with Sean Hannity’s assertion that “we need to take him [Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] out,” saying that stopping evil “is the legitimate role of government.” He added, “The Bible says that God puts government on earth to punish evildoers.”

Just revolting. Warren is well-known for emphasizing issues like environmentalism and social justice unlike Christian nuts who are 100% Republican partisans, which I suppose is a step in the right direction, but he's still a largely right-wing regligious nut. Aren't there enough left-wing religious nuts out there?

Republicans tried to convince us that Obama's attendance at Wright's church proved that Obama is anti-White and anti-American. That is and has always been a ridiculous argument. There is not a hint of evidence that Obama shared Wright's views and his tone could not be more different.

What Obama's attendance at Wright's church proved is that Obama's perfectly happy to associate with religious nuts when it proves useful politically. Maybe this sort of thing will help move Christians leftward. But it's not something I have an easy time stomaching.

Obama has responded to the controversy:
Mr. Obama himself responded to the growing controversy when prompted by a question during a news conference today designed to announce a trio of financial regulators. The president-elect stressed that he is a "fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans," but said it was also important for Americans to come together despite disagreements on social issues.

Mr. Obama said the inauguration would include people with a wide variety of viewpoints represented and "that's how it should be."

He also pointed out that he was invited by Warren a few years ago to speak at his church, despite his disagreement with Warren on those issues. "That dialogue is part of what my campaign has been about," he added.

If Warren opposed interracial marriages instead of gay marriages, I'm pretty sure Obama wouldn't be having him at the inauguration.

64 comments:

dbackdad said...

"If Warren opposed interracial marriages instead of gay marriages, I'm pretty sure Obama wouldn't be having him at the inauguration." - That's it in a nutshell. Great point. Society as a whole needs to get to that point where they find gay marriage no more unusual or offensive than interracial marriage. I'm already there, but obviously others are not. Obama not being there, or at least not politically being there, sends the wrong message.

avian30 said...

For the record, Obama does not support gay marriage either (at least publicly). He only supports gay civil unions.

JDHURF said...

It's a disgrace to the inauguration that Rick Warren - who not only fallaciously compares gay marriage to incestuous marriage, but also compares abortion to murder and the Holocaust – is going to be speaking. It’s contemptuous of Obama’s professed ideals of change and unity, anti-gay bigotry is representative of neither change nor unity (quite the opposite: archaic tradition and bigoted division).
It’s nice to invite people with differing views and I think that criticism of many of Obama’s appointments, while in essence valid, are taken to extremes, but obviously there are views and positions that are simply not welcome: white supremacists have no place, for example and neither should anti-gay bigots (there is, after all, quite a difference between Obama's transparent "disagreement" with gay marriage in conjunction with his support for civil unions and other civil rights for gay people and Rich Warren's hateful central view of homosexuals as sinners by definition, not just in that everyone is a sinner, but that homosexuality is itself intrinsically sinful).

Holy Hyrax said...

>homosexuality is itself intrinsically sinful

Just for clarification. If lets say Liberman or Rahm Emanuel ever became president, would it be wrong of them to put up a rabbi?

Joshua said...

"If lets say Liberman or Rahm Emanuel ever became president, would it be wrong of them to put up a rabbi?"

It would be wrong of them to put up a rabbi who is a bigot against gay and lesbian Americans, especially if they were elected on a platform of progressiveness.

Holy Hyrax said...

>It would be wrong of them to put up a rabbi who is a bigot against gay and lesbian Americans, especially if they were elected on a platform of progressiveness.

If one is against same sex marriage, does that auto matically make you against gay Americans?

Holy Hyrax said...

And just to add, I assume this means NO orthodox rabbi will ever be allowed

Joshua said...

Yes, denying homosexuals the same rights as heterosexuals is bigotry.

I have never heard a rational reason to disallow gay marriage, all the arguments are essentially either religious intolerance or the "ick factor"

And there are a few (very few) orthodox rabbis who are pro gay rights

Ezzie said...

LOL. I love the comments here (and the post). It's nice to see how tolerant liberals are of viewpoints with which they disagree.

If Warren opposed interracial marriages instead of gay marriages, I'm pretty sure Obama wouldn't be having him at the inauguration.

Well, good to see that Obama agrees with conservatives that being against gay marriage is NOT like racism.

Jewish Atheist said...

LOL. I love the comments here (and the post). It's nice to see how tolerant liberals are of viewpoints with which they disagree.

What does it mean to "tolerate" a viewpoint? Nobody's saying Rick Warren shouldn't be allowed to speak -- we're just saying Obama shouldn't be giving him a podium. I'm as "tolerant" of people speaking against gay marriage as I am "tolerant" of people speaking against interracial marriage.

Well, good to see that Obama agrees with conservatives that being against gay marriage is NOT like racism.

I'm betting his religion has a little something to do with that.

Scott said...

I understand the anger from progressives on letting Warren speak. What I don't understand is the lack of anger for him picking people like Emanuel, Clinton, and Gates to run his administration. I know there are some who have spoke out with some disappointment, but none of them got the same reaction as this guy who is merely going to give a speech, not help define policy.

Holy Hyrax said...

>I have never heard a rational reason to disallow gay marriage, all the arguments are essentially either religious intolerance or the "ick factor"

I have not heard a rational reason for it. I guess we are the same.

Joshua said...

"I have not heard a rational reason for it. I guess we are the same."

But wouldn't you agree that the burden of argument is upon those who wish to deny a right to a group of people?

(And besides, I think there are good reasons to allow gay marriage, see for example here and here)

Holy Hyrax said...

>But wouldn't you agree that the burden of argument is upon those who wish to deny a right to a group of people

I would, had a agreed it was a right. The burden is on those that just decided to create this right.

Anyways, we don't need to get into this. I am sure JA can link you to the other posts he has had.

HEY JA

When is the wedding. It's funny, but I haven't received my invitation yet in the mail. Must have gotten lost, right? right?

Random said...

"Aren't there enough left-wing religious nuts out there? "

Oh come on, did you really think Jeremiah Wright was going to get the gig?

"There is not a hint of evidence that Obama shared Wright's views and his tone could not be more different."

Nonsense. 20 years spent sitting in the congregation listening without complaint to Wright sounding off is a lot more than just a "hint" of evidence.

"What Obama's attendance at Wright's church proved is that Obama's perfectly happy to associate with religious nuts when it proves useful politically."

Speaking personally, what it proved to me is that Obama is an ambitious politician not overly burdened with principles or integrity. Furthermore I strongly suspect that he's at the very least an agnostic who is well aware that such views if openly expressed would be electoral poison in the US (the only thing Barack Obama deeply and sincerely believes in is the greater glory of Barack Obama).

"If Warren opposed interracial marriages instead of gay marriages, I'm pretty sure Obama wouldn't be having him at the inauguration."

Probably, but then African-Americans outnumber gays by at least 6-1 in the US (and Christians outnumber gays by at least 20-1), and I suspect Obama is already thinking about the 2010 mid-terms, if not re-election in 2012. His entire career so far has been about running for the next election, after all. If he can solidify AAs and evangelicals behind him by burning gays then he won't hesitate for a heartbeat.

I have to say though that this entire controversy is indicative of a fascinating trend to have emerged since the election - namely about how conservatives have been favourably impressed with Obama's appointments (I admit it, I'm one of them - keeping Gates on in particular was a genuinely impressive move) and behaviour so far whereas the left is absolutely livid at finding out that there's still space under the bus for them.

One final thought back on topic, but Obama has met Warren a couple of times now I think (most famously at the Saddleback debate with McCain) maybe he simply likes and respects the guy and knows there's more to him than the crude liberal stereotyping would have us believe?

Word verification "elate" - I love it when this sort of thing is in context...

Kylopod said...

"If Warren opposed interracial marriages instead of gay marriages, I'm pretty sure Obama wouldn't be having him at the inauguration."

I would not necessarily be against putting up a speaker who opposed interracial marriage, if we lived in an earlier generation when that position was mainstream. Nowadays, it is no longer mainstream. Opposition to same-sex marriage, however, is not only mainstream but the position of the majority of Americans.

The point is, when a significant segment of the populace believes fervently in views you find offensive, I don't think rigidly boycotting anyone who holds those views is the key to advancing society.

Warren's statements on this issue are stupid and despicable, but overall he's a good guy, especially when compared to other right-wing evangelical leaders. He is someone we should be reaching out to. If we don't, we're making the same mistake as those right-wingers who act like all pro-choicers are evil.

That kind of moral rigidity isn't useful, no matter what your perspective. We need to learn to work together as a society, and we don't do that by shutting out those we disagree with.

One of Obama's gifts is gaining allies, and it's significant that he has done more in support of gay marriage than any other presidential candidate ever nominated by a major party. He's ASSMINO--Against Same Sex Marriage In Name Only.

Rev. Wright himself has a reputation for being more sympathetic to gay rights than most African American preachers. Wright's social liberalism has been mentioned as a possible reason for Obama's attraction to his church.

Jewish Atheist said...

Scott:

I understand the anger from progressives on letting Warren speak. What I don't understand is the lack of anger for him picking people like Emanuel, Clinton, and Gates to run his administration.

First of all, a lot of progressives ARE angry about those choices. I'm not personally, because all three are good at getting things done (well, maybe not Clinton -- I was REALLY hoping for Richardson) and what they get done will be what Obama tells them to get done. Warren's speech is 100% symbolic, so obviously the symbolism of the pick matters much more.

I also hate the idea of having a religious leader giving an invocation at the inauguration regardless of who it is, but I know that's not going to change any time soon.

G said...

What Obama's attendance at Wright's church proved is that Obama's perfectly happy to associate with religious nuts when it proves useful politically.

So you're saying he's just like any other politician...glad you're coming around

Jewish Atheist said...

So you're saying he's just like any other politician...glad you're coming around

He's like other politicians in that he compromises and picks his battles strategically.

I've never denied that. I think he's an exceptional politician because he's smarter, wiser, more thoughtful, and much more charismatic than the overwhelming majority of politicians.

Joshua said...

"I would, had a agreed it was a right. The burden is on those that just decided to create this right."

In California it was definitely a right until election night. Also, it is a right for heterosexual couples, and my point was that it seems wrong to deny a right to one group when another group has that right.

Scott said...

ja:

First of all, a lot of progressives ARE angry about those choices.

I understand and mentioned that in my original comment. My point is that the level of outrage to this mere speech far exceeds the level of outrage over the appointment of policy makers. Yes, I know the "Obama's gonna call the shots" narrative, I'm just unconvinced.

pfchick said...

Obama is certainly showing himself to be quite the pragmatist. I strongly suspect that he has thoroughly studied his Machiavelli. The idealist part of me is kind of disappointed about that. On the other hand, I'm not as naïve as I used to be--I hope--and his being willing to compromise on certain issues shows that he might actually be able to govern. Obama still fills my heart with hope that things might actually change in the United States. I long to be proud of my country.

JDHURF said...

Holy Hyrax said:

Just for clarification. If lets say Liberman or Rahm Emanuel ever became president, would it be wrong of them to put up a rabbi?

I get the impression you didn’t understand my point. It’s not an opposition to a religious person speaking – I couldn’t care less if they had a Priest, a Rabbi, an Imam, a medium or whatever speak – the opposition is against anti-gay bigotry and allowing those who profess said bigotry speaking at the inauguration of a President who ran upon the professed ideals of change and unity (again, anti-gay bigotry being neither, being as it is archaic tradition and bigoted division).

If one is against same sex marriage, does that auto matically make you against gay Americans?

Absolutely it does, by definition. Just as opposition to interracial marriage was and is by definition racist.

Ezzie said:

I love the comments here (and the post). It's nice to see how tolerant liberals are of viewpoints with which they disagree.

The disingenuousness of this right-wing tactic is transparent. The right begins by expressing extreme intolerance of gay people and the civil rights they deserve and then shriek that they’re being treated with intolerance because people have the audacity to point out that this is bigotry on par with the Ku Klux Klan’s opposition to interracial marriage (as well as gay marriage for that matter).

Holy Hyrax said...

>Absolutely it does, by definition.

So you are saying, in no way I can have gay friends and feel they are as human and american as I am, without being all and out ANTI gay

JDHURF said...

Holy Hyrax:

What I am saying is that denying gay people the same fundamental rights as guaranteed to them by the Constitution because they are gay is by definition anti-gay bigotry (no matter how many gay people you claim to be friends with).
By opposing civil rights and equality for gay people, you are professing and supporting anti-gay bigotry, again, by definition.

Kylopod said...

LOL. I love the comments here (and the post). It's nice to see how tolerant liberals are of viewpoints with which they disagree.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually agree with Ezzie on this point. The left has a distinctly puritanical bent on some issues. If we were to send a bunch of liberals back in time to the 1960s or to the 19th century and place them in charge of the civil rights or abolition movement, they probably wouldn't get anywhere. They'd be too busy getting offended by just about everyone, and they'd lose many potential allies.

Nephtuli said...

What I am saying is that denying gay people the same fundamental rights as guaranteed to them by the Constitution because they are gay is by definition anti-gay bigotry (no matter how many gay people you claim to be friends with).

Part of the dispute is whether SSM is a right and whether it is actually protected by any constitution. You're just begging the question when you assume it is.

And JA, Obama himself opposes SSM so I don't think the miscegenation analogy is a useful criticism.

The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

So let me see. We're all for tolerating the other guy, as long as he agrees with us. If he holds right wing views, well that's intolerable and since you so gosh-darned tolerant, you're just not going to tolerate such bigoted intolerance.

Or I could just call it what it is: hypocrisy.

Seems Obama is a far smarter and inclusive guy than his so-called progressive fans ever imagined

Joshua said...

"...you're just not going to tolerate such bigoted intolerance."

That's exactly right, but probably not in the way you meant. It seems so ridiculous (and disingenuous) for the right wing to claim that we are the ones being intolerant and closed-minded because we won't sit still and allow them to discriminate against GLBT people.

You would like to accuse us of discrimination against the right, when in fact it's the right that would like to legislate intolerance.

Indeed, we will not tolerate bigotry. Would you have us tolerate racism and sexism? Why should homophobia be more protected than those bigotries?

And don't start telling me that banning gay marriage is not bigotry. If you would disallow one group to marry based on sexual orientation, that is discrimination by definition. It's exactly like banning interracial marriage.

dbackdad said...

"If he holds right wing views, well that's intolerable and since you so gosh-darned tolerant, you're just not going to tolerate such bigoted intolerance ..." - This is a specious argument that seems to be making the right-wing talking points circuit. It is not bigotry to call bigots for what they are. Would I be a bigot and a hypocrit if I criticized someone for sheltering racists? Do I have to be "tolerant" of the KKK? I realize they have the right to exist and I would gladly defend that right, but I also have the right to not encourage their racism or pretend it doesn't exist. Obama, by allowing a forum for someone like Warren, it can be argued, is doing such a thing for bigots of a different kind. Someone's religion is not a magic "get-out-of-jail-free" card for intolerance.

JDHURF said...

Kylopod:

Well, you should more closely review the history. The radicalization of the 60’s is nothing even remotely like the “puritanical bent” you conjure. With groups like the Weather Underground it would be pretty difficult to go beyond the radicalization or the “puritanical bent” of the 60’s.

What an offensive remark by the way: that opposition to anti-gay bigotry can be so condescended to, shame on you.

Btw – no allies are being lost. You are either for gay rights or you are opposed (the allies are to be found within other autonomous movements, such as the environmental movement, the feminist movement, the anti-war movement, the solidarity movements and so on). People who are opposed to gay marriage are clearly not allies.

Kylopod said...

The radicalization of the 60’s is nothing even remotely like the “puritanical bent” you conjure.

I never said it was. I was talking about the modern left, and the whole point of my time-travel scenario was that they wouldn't be able to function in the '60s.

You are either for gay rights or you are opposed.

Oh, yeah. "Either you're with us or you're against us." Nice to see who you take as your model.

People who are opposed to gay marriage are clearly not allies.

But they can be made into allies, if you can win over their hearts and minds. Treating everyone who doesn't rise to progressive standards as the enemy is not the way to go about it.

Random said...

"Btw – no allies are being lost."

Yes there are. There are plenty of people around who see no reason why gays should not be able to have the state recognise their relationships in the same way as it does those of heterosexual couples but who simply do not believe that the right to use the term marriage for those relationships is a fundamental human right, and more and more of these people are being increasingly put off by the bigotry and hate-filled intolerance of the gay rights extremists (think that's too strong? Look at this "The Mormons are an atrocious bunch and, well, it just felt amazing to fuck up their holy place" - funny how people like this don't go into South-Central LA and attack African-American churches, but then the Crips might shoot back).

As an example of how this whole process might have been conducted differently and more successfully, look at this article from The Economist on the 3rd anniversary of Britain legalising civil partnerships, and especially this quote -

"In contrast to their American counterparts, most British gays seem relaxed about not having the right to call their partnership a marriage. “It meant we could get the law through sooner. Changing the wording is not really a priority,” says a spokesman for Stonewall, a gay-rights lobby group."

Speaking as somebody who has observed this process from the outside, one reason why gays are relaxed about the terminology is that they use words like "wedding" and "marriage" anyway without anybody stopping them, or even caring very much. This may seem like a classic, messy British compromise (use the law to get the 90% of what you want that's uncontroversial, and then simply behave as though you've got 100%), and doubtless JDHurf and the other liberal bigots will be along soon to explain why the likes of Stonewall are pink Uncle Toms who should never have compromised like this and should instead have vandalised as many churches as it took to make people support them, but somehow it seems to have worked.

Joshua said...

Random,

I don't have anything against compromise, and I think most gay rights activists would appreciate getting 90% of their demads, as you say, but that doesn't detract from the position that there is still NO GOOD REASON to deny gays the same rights as straights.

And I'm sick of the line "marriage is not a fundamental right." If straight people are allowed to get married, then it is a right, by definition. And that same right should be extended to gays, since there is no rational reason to deny them that right. Once again, change "gay marriage" to "interracial marriage" in all the arguments and you'll see why banning gay marriage IS bigotry.

Garnel Ironheart said...

First of all, I'd never claim there's no bigotry on the right. It's just that when rightist stand up for their views, they're called bigots. But when leftists stand up for their exclusionary views, they call them "progressive". It's not the difference but the hypocrisy.

The right is trying to legislate bigotry and thought control? Look at Great Britain over the last 30 years. The Thatcher and Blair governments were in for pretty much the same amount of time. Which goverment spent more time and money installing cameras, expanding human rights councils, impinging on freedom of speech? It wasn't Thatcher.
The movie "V for Vendetta" proves this point easily. While the leftists are screaming about the threat of a right wing fascist government, they're busy trying to bring in a left wing fascist government while no one notices.

Jewish Atheist said...

But when leftists stand up for their exclusionary views, they call them "progressive".

WHAT exclusionary views? Is the left agitating to make straight marriage illegal? Or to prevent Republicans from marrying? No. Or even to prevent Rick Warren from speaking freely and openly? No.

It's just stupid to compare actively denying a specific group of people the right to get married with the mere speech that the person who does such a thing is a bigot.


The right is trying to legislate bigotry and thought control? Look at Great Britain over the last 30 years.

The authoritarian-libertarian axis is orthogonal to the right-left axis. That Blair (who isn't really left anyway btw.) Obviously leftists can be authoritarian. In contemporary America, though, it's Republicans who are actively limiting and seeking to limit other people's rights. Democrats have been complicit, sometimes very complicit, in some of these things, of course.

Garnel Ironheart said...

>WHAT exclusionary views? Is the left agitating to make straight marriage illegal?

The left is all about limiting freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom of belief. They blanket it under such high-sounding titles as "progressive views", "political correctness" or "human rights" but the bottom lines is the imposition of a liberal set of views on the rest of society.

Look at universities today - don't tow the feminist, environfascist, pro-same-sex line and you get blacklisted. Try to support a proposition that was democratically rejected and you should be allowed to address the public in front of the president. Talk about about fathers are getting screwed over when it comes to custody rights in divorce cases and the word "misogyny" gets screamed out (but don't you dare call them hysterical).

The left is all about exclusion, limitation, imposition, even as it shouts that it believes in freedom and rights.

Jewish Atheist said...

The left is all about limiting freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom of belief. They blanket it under such high-sounding titles as "progressive views", "political correctness" or "human rights" but the bottom lines is the imposition of a liberal set of views on the rest of society.

This is not true. Nobody on the left is attempting to limit Warren's or anybody else's freedom of speech, association, or belief.

Look at universities today - don't tow the feminist, environfascist, pro-same-sex line and you get blacklisted.

That is a lie.

Try to support a proposition that was democratically rejected and you should be allowed to address the public in front of the president.

Again a lie. Nobody said Warren shouldn't be allowed to address the public in front of the president. Warren has the same right as you, me, or any other citizen. We're saying Obama shouldn't have invited him.

Talk about about fathers are getting screwed over when it comes to custody rights in divorce cases and the word "misogyny" gets screamed out (but don't you dare call them hysterical).

Screaming "misogyny," even if it happens, does not limit freedoms. You have the freedom to speak, but not the freedom to not have people respond to your speech.

The left is all about exclusion, limitation, imposition, even as it shouts that it believes in freedom and rights.

Not true. The right is literally trying to prevent people from getting married. The left is not trying to prevent people from doing anything.

JDHURF said...

Kylopod said:

I never said it was. I was talking about the modern left, and the whole point of my time-travel scenario was that they wouldn't be able to function in the '60s.

And my response was that you need to do some actual research on the topic.
Your claim was that the “modern left” – whatever you mean by that blanket epithet – is so “puritanical” that were it to go back to the 60’s it would be impotent and my response was to observe that the “left” of the 60’s was far more radical and puritanical in many ways than the so-called modern left.

Oh, yeah. "Either you're with us or you're against us." Nice to see who you take as your model.

It’s a fact. Either you support gay equality or you don’t. Either you support civil rights, integration and so on or not; this is just uncontroversial.

But they can be made into allies, if you can win over their hearts and minds. Treating everyone who doesn't rise to progressive standards as the enemy is not the way to go about it.

No one is treating anyone as an enemy, that’s just ridiculous hyperbole. What I personally did was pointed out on a blog comments section, not exactly the apex of the struggle, that opposition to full gay equality was by definition anti-gay bigotry.

Random said:

There are plenty of people around who see no reason why gays should not be able to have the state recognise their relationships in the same way as it does those of heterosexual couples but who simply do not believe that the right to use the term marriage for those relationships is a fundamental human right, and more and more of these people are being increasingly put off by the bigotry and hate-filled intolerance of the gay rights extremists.

The same laughably hypocritical canard from the right: shriek about intolerance when one’s own intolerance is opposed.
The opposition against the “redefinition of of marriage” is close to one of the most intellectually and morally bankrupt arguments. At one point marriage was defined as only between a man and a woman of the same race, any argument against interracial marriage that cited the “definition” of marriage and opposed full racial equality based upon nomenclature should simply be laughed out of the room.

Garnel Ironheart said:

First of all, I'd never claim there's no bigotry on the right. It's just that when rightist stand up for their views, they're called bigots. But when leftists stand up for their exclusionary views, they call them "progressive". It's not the difference but the hypocrisy.

I’ve already exposed the fraudulent nature of this desperate right-wing canard and yet it’s still bandied about without conscience. When the right “stand up for their” opposition to equality that by definition makes them bigots; if you don’t like the term, don’t conduct yourself along the very lines of the definition of the term. The amorphous “left” that continues to be cited is here only intolerant of intolerance of people: intolerant of anti-gay bigotry.
As JA pointed out, the exclusion is only coming from the right here, the exclusion of gay people from marriage, the left isn’t excluding straight people, your comments are hopelessly confused.

The right is trying to legislate bigotry and thought control? Look at Great Britain over the last 30 years. The Thatcher and Blair governments were in for pretty much the same amount of time. Which goverment spent more time and money installing cameras, expanding human rights councils, impinging on freedom of speech? It wasn't Thatcher.

The movie "V for Vendetta" proves this point easily. While the leftists are screaming about the threat of a right wing fascist government, they're busy trying to bring in a left wing fascist government while no one notices.

I’m interested to hear how anti-state leftists – such as myself – are “trying to bring in a left wing fascist government” when they are, as am I, opposed in principle to such things. Your misuse of the term fascism is revealing (you should review my blog post on so-called ‘liberal fascism’).

JA’s response was again right on point. There are certainly those on the left who are authoritarian and so forth (Leninists, various Maoists, Castroites and so on), but that certainly isn’t representative of the entire left, there’s also the long history of libertarian socialism, anarcho-communism and so on (thoroughly liberatory tendencies that oppose all forms of domination, hierarchy and exploitation, including those forms manifested by the very existence of the state or government).

Joshua said...

Mr. Ironheart,

When I used the terms "left" and "right" in my post I was using them as shorthand for "pro gay marriage" and "against gay marriage." I was not asserting that all people who consider themselves to be on the "left" are perfect, and all the people on the "right" are morally reprehensible. I was simply arguing that the "anti gay marriage position" is bigotry by definition. Bringing examples of authoritarian leftists does not in any way address this argument, it is merely a commonly used red herring, evading the real issue at hand. I'm still waiting to hear a rational reason to ban gay marriage (i.e. something other than "the bible says so", "it'll destroy the traditional family", and "it's icky"). Enough with all these accusations that we're being intolerant of your intolerance.

Random said...

Joshua,

"I was simply arguing that the "anti gay marriage position" is bigotry by definition."

With all due respect, but can you (and JA, and JDHurf, and the rest of the guys parroting this line) please show us the qualifications from a recognised body (the Oxford English Dictionary or Webster's would do for starters) that appointed you as the authority with the right to define either bigotry or marriage? The fact that the situation may just be a tad more complicated than you guys are making it out to be can be shown by these words from that notorious anti-gay bigot Sir Elton John -

""I don't want to be married. I'm very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership," John says. "The word 'marriage,' I think, puts a lot of people off.

"You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships.""

Seems he's rather nearer my position than he is yours. Or are you going to claim the world's most famous and high profile homosexual is a pink Uncle Tom too, and has far less understanding and sympathy for the gay lifestyle than you guys?

Joshua said...

So Elton John doesn't want to get married. So what? There are other gay people who do want to be married (Ellen DeGeneres, for example). You say that the issue is complicated, but you still have not said how.

I'm using the word bigotry informally, maybe discriminatory is a better word. My point is this:

By banning gay marriage you are saying that one group (gay people) is not allowed to do a particular thing (get married) that another group (straight people) is allowed to do. I hope we can both agree that in a free society, if you want to disallow something for a specific group of people, there better be a good reason. And if you disallow the thing for no good reason (e.g. because of race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation), that's discrimination and bigotry. For example, there is a good reason to make it illegal for toddlers to drive cars, while there is no good reason to make it illegal for black people to drive cars.

I'm still waiting for someone to give me a good reason to ban gay marriage. Who is hurt by allowing Ellen to stay married to Portia?

Joshua said...

And what's this business about "redefining marriage"? If we do in fact to redefine something (do we?) in order to allow equal rights, why not do it? Is it gonna cost us extra tax money or something?

JDHURF said...

Random said:

With all due respect, but can you (and JA, and JDHurf, and the rest of the guys parroting this line) please show us the qualifications from a recognised body (the Oxford English Dictionary or Webster's would do for starters) that appointed you as the authority with the right to define either bigotry or marriage?

The definition of bigotry is elementary: prejudice against a specific demographic and many times also a discrimination of this demographic (in this case the demographic being gay people).

The fact that the situation may just be a tad more complicated than you guys are making it out to be can be shown by these words from that notorious anti-gay bigot
Seems he's rather nearer my position than he is yours. Or are you going to claim the world's most famous and high profile homosexual is a pink Uncle Tom too, and has far less understanding and sympathy for the gay lifestyle than you guys?


Elton John isn’t the gay rights movement, he’s not a leader and he’s clearly only expressing his own personal view; a view he believes to be pragmatic but which, in effect, validates the central prejudice of opposition to gay marriage (Elton John is mistaken).
Gay people, like all people, have a fundamental right to enjoy the institution of marriage, that is equality.

Random said...

"So Elton John doesn't want to get married. So what?"

No, it's not just that Sir Elton doesn't want to get married - it's that he doesn't believe that gays should, and that civil partnerships are a perefectly satisfactory equivalent. And it's relevant because in a previous post you - and several others of the narrow minded, intolerant liberal sort - claimed that the only permitted reason for being opposed to gay marriage is anti-gay bigotry. Sir Elton was quoted as a reductio ad absurdum of this particular argument. Unless you want to make yourself look completely ridiculous by claiming he's an anti-gay bigot too, I would hope you would now recognise that it's possible to be opposed to gay marriage without bigotry forming any part of the reason. Frankly, you guys really do need to get your heads around the idea that it is perfectly reasonable to believe that marriage is no more a "right" than the right to be popular or beautiful - it's something that only society at large can grant, and it's society at large you should be lobbying, not trying to force the change against the will of the community.

Random said...

"Look at universities today - don't tow the feminist, environfascist, pro-same-sex line and you get blacklisted.

That is a lie."

No JA, it isn't. It's only two days to Christmas so I don't have time to cite individual cases, but I will point out that it happens so often that at least one civil rights group has been set up specifically to assist people who fall foul of this sort of behaviour - The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. You're welcome to search their archives if you wish.

JDHURF said...

Random:

Your Elton John argument is preposterous. I know a bakers dozen worth of straight people who have no desire whatever to get married, that's not an argument against allowing straight people to get married; that's just obvious.
To deny gay people their fundamental right to enjoy the institution of marriage just like everyone else - to deny them basic civil rights - is vulgar discrimination, period (whether or not everyone wants to get married or not, an irrelevant and trivial fact).

Scott said...

[quote]Gay people, like all people, have a fundamental right to enjoy the institution of marriage, that is equality.[/quote]

Gay people CAN enjoy the institution of marriage, and you're correct it is their right to do so. However, what most people are after is not the right to marry, which they have, but the privilege of having the State recognize that marriage.

Scott said...

lol php

Sometimes I forget where I am.

Joshua said...

Random,

You're totally missing the point. What Elton John says or does is irrelevant. Elton John says wacky things all the time, here he seems to be saying that he believes that gay people shouldn't want to get married, since "Marriage is going to put a lot of people off," i.e. gays should compromise so as not to offend the bigots too much. No matter what Elton John thinks, there are (many) gay people who DO want to be married, and (I repeat) as long as straights have the right to marry (they do) so should everyone else, unless there is a good reason (see my posts above) to prevent them from doing so. You still have not given me a good reason. Stop with the fallacious arguments and tell me why gay marriage should be illegal.

(And your "reductio ad absurdum" is not so, rather it is the fallacy of "appeal to authority")

Random said...

"(And your "reductio ad absurdum" is not so, rather it is the fallacy of "appeal to authority")"

No, it is not. With all due respect, but for someone who is placing such trust in logic you are proving remarkably poor at it. Appeal to authority has nothing to do with it - Sir Elton's words are irrelevant to the truth or otherwise of my argument. What they *do* do however is demonstrate the falsity of your argument that only hate filled anti-gay bigots can be against gay marriage.

Incidentally I have to ask you something - why are you persistently refusing to use Sir Elton's title? Actually I don't have to ask - from your own logic I can deduce that the only possible reason is that you are a hate filled anti-gay bigot who believes that gay people should not be allowed anywhere near the ancient and honourable institution of knighthood. Shame on you, sir.

Jewish Atheist said...

Random:

Aren't you being disingenuous? Elton John does not appear to be against gay marriage -- he just thinks it's bad strategy. (It "puts a lot of people off.")

JDHURF of course already pointed this out.

There were plenty of blacks arguing that blacks should content themselves with separate but equal, too. That doesn't mean that those opposing desegregation weren't bigots.

Joshua said...

Random,

Dude, you're really stretching it. JA and JDHURF already pointed out why your SIR Elton John argument is false (I probably didn't use his title because I'm used to seeing his name without the title on my ipod playlist) Anyway, I never said "only hate filled anti-gay bigots can be against gay marriage." What I have been trying to express is that the anti-gay marriage position is inherently discriminatory and bigoted. This does not mean that all people who are against gay marriage are hate-filled, they may in fact be convinced by a bad argument, or indoctrinated by religion. In the case of Sir Elton, he is a brave historic figure in the fight for gay rights, but that does not mean he is correct in this circumstance.

Anyway, instead of mocking the shortcomings in my skills in logic skills, can you tell me where my main point is wrong (i.e. give a rational reason why gay people should not have the right to marry)

Joshua said...

And speaking of fallacies, your distortion of my position is known as the "straw man" fallacy.

Frederick Ferguson said...

You know Larry, if I thought that you and your ilk of self-serving, status quo defenders would stop your abuse of the Establishment Clause with a few bits of granite in a State House I really wouldn't care. But I know and you know, we all know, that your crowd will continue to cynically bait the right-wing religious extremists with your feigned support of their indefensible and unconstitutional social agenda so that they will continue to believe that making you rich somehow serves us all. Shame on you indeed. God will judge you for your failure as a thought leader and I hope you have somewhat less disingenuous arguments then.

werkshop said...

Warren speaking at the inauguration won't move anyone in the religious right to the left. They don't do that. Period. There's no appeasing them, there's no pandering to them. You either oppose them or they roll over you. Unfortunately Obama typifies the political 'left' - spineless pandering is what he does.

Shalmo said...

"Jewish Atheist" I am curious.

Are you planning on making a post about the genocide happening today in Gaza?

Israel has killed 500 and the deaths are climbing. As usual the excuse will be that those guys were firing rockets at us in the first place, ignoring that the reason those rockets went off were as retaliation against a terrorist state oppressing a civilian population. Hamas was democratically elected.

Please don't shy away from a discussion that is deeply important. You more than anyone should be weary and ready to battle barbarism caused by Jewish fundamentalists

Sadie Lou said...

"By banning gay marriage you are saying that one group (gay people) is not allowed to do a particular thing (get married) that another group (straight people) is allowed to do. I hope we can both agree that in a free society, if you want to disallow something for a specific group of people, there better be a good reason."

Good Reason:
An old Geezer can't marry an under age little girl.

Good Reason:
A Mormon can't marry all kinds of women and have several wives

Good Reason:
A Man or Woman can't marry an animal

Why are these GOOD reasons? Just curious. I want reasons why these are not allowed.
~Sadie

Joshua said...

Sadie,

The "good reason" to generally disallow an adult to marry a minor is to protect the child from abuse (in many states, a judge can decide that a particular underage child is mature enough to consent).

As for polygamy, if it is in fact between consenting adults then I have no problem with it. The problem with fundamentalist Mormons is that those marriages often involve minors, or adult women forced into marriage by fear.

Bestiality might be considered abuse of animals, but I really can't see how fucking a cow is worse than eating it.

Random said...

Sadie,

Happy new year! Missed having you around:-) Hope everything's good with you and yours...

But on the main point (been away from the blogs over the holiday season - I hope everyone had a nice break regardless of affiliation...). I really don't have much of a dog in the fight over gay marriage. I'm simply stupefied at the utter failure of the proponents to realise the extent to which the bigotry and intolerance (and no, you will not succeed in convincing me that vandalising Mormon temples is evidence of anything other than bigotry and intolerance) of so many of their supporters has damaged the cause. I genuinely do believe that the British approach to this as described above has been a better way of handling the issue for both sides. If you want further evidence to support this, consider this story - a conservative politician gets a civil partnership with his boyfriend and it's so uncontroversial that as far as I can this is the only report that any media organisation has bothered to file on the subject. But then I guess this sort of progress is just too boring for the sort of people who believe thay should get everything they want RIGHT NOW and they have the right to desecrate as many churches as they like until they get it.

Sadie Lou said...

Hi Random! I have missed my old debating blogs! i think I've narrowed it down to my favorites too--so hopefully. I'll be able to make some time.
:)
I don't have much of a fight against gay marriage either (if you will recall on my old blog). I think Christians are going at it all wrong. A lot of Christians want to pretend that voting down gay marriage is to stand for truth and God's word--but the reality is that it's judgmental, unloving and condemning.

Jason...
Your "reason" seemed to based on a sense of morality.

I said "little girl" and "old geezer" just make the issue obvious but the reality is that a 17 year old girl can't marry her 18 year old boyfriend either--where do you draw the line between consenting "adults" since you and I both know, women mature faster that boys.
:)

Polygamy wasn't banned because of Mormons. I said Mormons just to cloud the issue.
Have you looked into the legal issues to allowing polygamy? You don't seem to much against based on moral principles--but what about for the economy?
Do we want a man to be able to sue several wives? How much would it cost the state to handle a divorce of several individuals?
What about health benefits for small business? Do you want to help insure a family of one man and his several wives and their multiple children?
Food for thought.

The animal one was just to see where your standards are--got it.
Thanks.
:) My points are that there are OTHER reasons for gay marriage being voted down rather than just persecution from the religious.

Anonymous said...

Everyone wants to fight God, or deny His existence altogether. He created you, loves you and died for you. Yet you desire your on sinful ways, and you live your life being your own god. Sin is hard to face, but it lead you to an eternal death seperated from all. Why is it so hard for you to see homosexuality as sin, it is pretty obvious to even a small child. Man was created by God and woman was created to be his helpmate. How vile, man with man, woman with woman, in your conscience you know this to be true, but you yell and scream hoping everyone will believe your disgrace to be righteousness. You cannot equate the black discrimation with the moral majority of citizens crying out against leudness, and disgrace of homosexuality.

suchlovelyfreckles said...

Nice post. I agree wholeheartedly.

Anonymous said...

Surely, we can all find some love in our hearts for Rick Warren. Wake up America. Not only has Pastor Rick likened gays to pizza and pedophiles, but he is making up his own reality in Syria and Uganda as well. Please enlighten yourselves with the following articles:



http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2009/01/the_truth_about_rick_warren_an.php

http://www.slate.com/id/2207554/



I think we are now in need of a PR campaign from Sir Elton John who is one that really understands how to deal with the AIDS epidemic. Perhaps he can appear on Larry King Live again and elighten everyone out of their Rick Warren disillusionment.



I am afraid it only gets worse. He has deemed himself America's new ambassador to the Middle East and Muslim world. For one, he would like to assassinate world leaders like Ahmadinejad who was elected by the Iranian people. Read the article:


http://iamjunius.wordpress.com/2008/12/06/rick-warren-supports-call-for-ahmadinejad-assassination/



Right now, Pastor Rick is taking a break from blamming the media for his grand faux pas,while Obama orchestrates a new red herring for the sake of his (Lincoln politics). Yes, that's right folks enter the gay Bishop Gene Robinson to speak at the last minute at the inaugural ceremonies. That ought to fix things, and he's not asking Bishop Robinson at the last minute he planned to ask him all along it just happens that the timing coincides with pissing off the gay and lesbian community. Hummm. Gosh I feel alot like Dorothy from the wizard of Oz going to see the wizard (Obama) on inauguration day. Wasn't that during the great depression too, and that's right the Wizard turned out to be a fraud. Why on earth in the geopolitical climate we live in (especially after the Bush Adminstration) would Obama choose a xenophobic, homophobic, bigot to pray over him at the inauguration. I know, so he can bring us all together, and its working right?