Same-Sex Marriage Conversation, Concluded

Read the introduction and parts I , II, III, and IV of this series.

I posted the following on my blog about two initial “no on 8″ protests that became nasty:

latimes.com

photo credit: latimes.com

These are two of many reports of the same sort of thing.  I’ve had a few discussions with proponents of SSM, and the emotional vitriol is significant.
I’m not going to pretend that “yes on 8″ folks are totally in the clear here; I saw a news report of some Mormons tearing down “no on 8″ signs and then physically attacking some of the protesters. Their actions are reprehensible and they should be swiftly disciplined (and I don’t think this because they are Mormon! Though I vehemently disagree with their theology, which I regard as a twisting of historic Christianity, I am happy and proud to stand with them on moral issues when we agree.).
My points *are*:

1) Those who are sympathetic to homosexuality and who are proponents of SSM often talk about how the other side is intolerant, hateful, and bigoted, yet the majority of instances I’ve heard of are like the two links above. This needs to be acknowledged.

2) Really, keep it up. When I was a wrestler, you were gonna lose if your opponent got you angry. You would ‘get out of your game’ and do something stupid, perhaps losing a team point or even getting disqualified. It is no different here. All the emoting and anger doesn’t hurt the traditional marriage cause. Eventually, folks will realize that when it comes to SSM, the emperor has no clothes.

To which my friend replied:gdint

Yeah, emotion and anger would be the wrong things to show, especially when children are paying attention right? Especially when there is injustice in the world? Its a great idea to be stoic, not to get upset, to keep it in.

I guess its a good thing throughout history that people stayed quiet and didnt speak out against hypocrisy, injustice, prejudice, bigotry, etc.

Yeah, say nothing, be calm…..then your voice won’t be heard.
I hope the sarcasm is evident.

My next response:

The only thing I’ve seen coming from SSM proponents, and I mean the only thing, is argument by outrage. Of course, there is a time and place for strong words. Some of my blogs on abortion bear that out. But when mere emotional outrage is the only thing relied on, that’s telling. You might bully and browbeat some people into agreement, but it won’t get you very far overall.

Also, I reiterate the double standard I pointed to above. I admit there has been instances of violence from the “yes on 8″ crowd. Like I said above, they should be swiftly disciplined by the law and, where slurs have been uttered by church members (whether Mormon or Christian), their churches should bring discipline. Behavior and attitudes like that have no place among God’s people.

But I have read time and time again of violence, even death threats, coming from “no on 8″ protesters. The verbal rage is quite impressive too. I myself have been called all sorts of names, some by you. This goes past strong and passionate disagreement. This is a huuuge double standard coming from those who talk so much about tolerance and love. To the audience reading the exchange–read the blog yourself, examine our claims, examine our tones and attitudes especially, and make up your own mind.

Response:

Double standard……ah, that just wraps up Prop 8 doesn’t it?

Again, I won’t apologize. I would have called racists just that in the 1930′s and the 1950′s, just as I do now. I would have called Hitler an anti-semetic/homophopbic/hypcocritcal mass murderer (and many other names..but I digress).

I call sexists what they are. I call a spade a spade Rich. You don’t like the name, too bad. The way you are treating a group of Humans is wrong, and I am no longer standing by and just watching it happen. The way you are treating a group of Humans by taking their rights away, by putting them in a “lesser” category is inhumane, and I WILL get angry anytime one human thinks its ok to do that to another.

Do I think the violence is justified, absolutely not. But do I think name-calling is called for? If its unjustified, no, but if its simply to point out the behavior and put a mirror up for someone and force them to see themselves for how they are behaving, then yes, I think its IN line.

Just because you don’t want to see your behavior for the ugliness it contains, doesn’t mean I should walk away. So you didn’t call me a name Rich, you didn’t use the word FAG….your action by voting YES on Prop 8 is the inhumane action.

And trying to show that one side, your side, is acting more calm after the passing of Prop 8 – that doesn’t prove anything Rich. If the vote went the other way, there would be angry Yessers, there would no doubt be protests, and I’m sure there would be violence. Why am I so sure? Because its what I saw before the election. It only calmed down after Prop 8 was passed. From what I observed in my communities before the election were many groups of angry and name-calling Yessers. I also saw a community against Prop 8 that stayed calm and believed that humanity would prevail, that California was not a state that would discriminate and let a majority supress a minority….and afterwards I see people outraged that we have this Double Standard. We are outraged, we are angry, and we aren’t going away.

Your “side” had better be ready….this is the fight of our generation and we WILL prevail.

The Conversation Continues:

Emotion is a good and called for thing sometimes…its just that you’re pretty much sunk if that’s all you rely on, and that’s what I see here (with the exception of Patterico. Who knows, there are most likely more out there like him. December 26 addition–Miller uses more than emotion in her Newsweek article. She at least makes an attempt at some arguments).

If you are going to call a name (again, something I’ve done before), make sure you back it up and show how it sticks. I don’t think you’ve done that here; the best you’ve done is question beg, followed by a lot of outrage.

Let me comment on something more fundamental here, something more fundamental than SSM: does “love” mean that you must approve of everything the person does? I’m glad my parents didn’t think so. When they saw me doing something destructive, whether to others or to myself, they stood against it, many times disciplining me stiffly. I’m a better man for it.

Keep that in mind in the debate over homosexuality.

Many people disapprove not due to some deep seated fear, as you suggest, but because they are convinced the homosexual lifestyle is harmful, both to the individuals involved and to society at large (and not just in the sexual area). An acknowledgement of that is all I ask.

Disagree with that you may, disagree passionately, even, but its unfair to try to pidgeonhole these folks (I’m in this group) as fearful, hateful, etc. If we got it wrong, then we got it wrong, and hopefully history will correct us and we’ll repent. But merely shouting “bigot!” doesn’t show us our error.

I didn’t want to have to say this, but I guess its appropriate now: I’ve lived with a homosexual man for a year in the past. We got along just fine. When I wrote an op-ed piece for the OSU newspaper that shared my view about homosexual behavior, one lesbian invited me to the gay/straight alliance group at OSU. I went, and I went without a protest sign in my hand. I was pretty quiet in the meeting, especially when they decided to talk directly to me.

Through the whole exchange, I gained some homosexual acquaintances (I would call them friends, but I don’t know if they’d call me a friend). I took one to church a few times, and he took me to one of his AA meetings. I never uttered a hateful word to these guys; I just disapproved of their lifestyle. There are men who struggle with Same-sex attraction in a 12 step group I go to for sexual addiction (Yes, I do not lead a righteous life by any stretch of the imagination. I have my own sin to repent of.). I’m happy to call these guys brothers. They are actually a lot nicer than I am, and are a pleasure to interact with.

I could go on, but does this sound like someone who has a deep seated fear and hatred?

Last thing: if disapproving of a lifestyle is enough to garner the label “hatemonger,” then the same label applies to you.

What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

To summarize, no “rights” are being taken away. Homosexuals have the same rights as I do…I can’t afterall, marry anyone I choose. Homosexuals, as well as myself, can marry someone of the opposite gender above the age of 18.

Just because someone has different desires (this was the point of Koukl’s “French voting” illustration) doesn’t mean that they are being treated unequally if the government chooses not to acquiesce to that desire.

Plus, desire or a behavior is not a good ground for a right.

Most of what I’ve seen so far is question begging; just assuming SSM is a right without giving reasons for that. Now, I think you’ve also assumed something else you need to argue for: that homosexuals, transgenders, etc, should be a protected class of people, similar to racial minorities.

Just as clarification, I’m not asking “why should homosexuals be protected from violence, slurs, etc?” No one should be attacked due to their sexual orientation…pointing that out kinda makes me look absurd, in fact, its just that I feel I need to so I’m not misheard.

What I am asking is “why should we consider sexual orientation the same type of thing as race and ethnicity?” To be somewhat convincing when it comes to SSM, you’ve gotta answer that question solid. Most reasons have something to do with “I was born that way” or “I didn’t ask for this,” or “its who I am.” All three are variations of the same basic answer.

So that was it! I hope you’ve gained some insight by reading this, and I hope this adds to the already lively discussion on same-sex marriage that has resulted from the Newsweek article. Let me know your thoughts.

Also check out related posts from my own blog:

Oy

Balancing Scripture, Reason, and Experience

Tony Jones: Same-sex Blogalogue Update

Tony Jones Part III: Something I Missed

Jim Carey, Eat your Heart Out

Proposition 8 Protest Links

Rights, Shmights

But its a Religious Argument!

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2 responses to “Same-Sex Marriage Conversation, Concluded

  1. Pingback: A “Gay (Un)Education” « The Pugnacious Irishman

  2. Pingback: Day of Silence in Public Schools « The Pugnacious Irishman

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