Friday, June 29, 2007

Blankenhorn's Three Rules of Marriage

David Blankenhorn offers three fundamental rules of marriage in The Future of Marriage:
The rule of two
The rule of opposites
The rule of sex


The three rules go together. A man and a woman are drawn to one another, the natural result of which is that they wish to have sex with one another, the natural result of which is a child. Marriage is a social institution created to provide that child with his or her own mother and father permanently. Marriage also makes the sex between the man and woman legitimate, because it protects them from the natural shocks that any human relationship is subject too, and pre-emptively protects any future children that could normally be expected to result from their sexual relationship.

Blankenhorn thinks an assault on any one of these rules would lead to undermining them all. For this reason, he opposes same-sex marriage. He does not object to homosexuals, homosexuality, or, as far as I can tell, homosexual sex. His concern, rather, is to protect children. He views marriage as the greatest social invention to protect children. Any social move that deinstitutionalizes marriage will soon hurt all kids some, and hurt some kids terribly.

Blankenhorn details well that there is a concerted effort to deinstitutionalize marriage. He takes Judith Stacey as a leader in this movement, and refers to the extreme position that she represents as "the Full Stacey." Stacey is against all three rules of marriage, and openly wants to deinstitutionalize marriage altogether. Her position is that any relationship, made by any number or composition of consenting adults, constitutes a marriage if they say so. Blankenhorn points out the irony that the greatest opponents of marriage, the brigade of the Full Stacey, are the strongest proponents of same-sex marriage. The most aware anti-marriage leaders (like Judith Stacey herself) are deliberately promoting gay marriage in order to end all marriage as a social institution. They want to save the village in order to destroy it.

104 comments:

Alan said...

"Blankenhorn points out the irony that the greatest opponents of marriage, the brigade of the Full Stacey, are the strongest proponents of same-sex marriage."

Nonsense.

The greatest proponents of same-sex marriage are the real couples fighting for it. These are the folks who have brought the court cases. These are the folks in the commercials. These are the folks going door-to-door. These are the folks testifying before Congressional and State House committees. It is a savvy rhetorical device to randomly pick someone who goes too far and choose them as the spokesperson for the gay marriage movement. (Was there a vote I missed?) But I just asked around and no one I know has ever heard of this woman.

(These "rules" are an excellent example of post-hoc reasoning. Figure out how to exclude gay marriage from marriage and create "rules" to do so. Nice.)

Well done though, you get both the "It's for the kids!" and "It'll lead to polygamy!" arguments in there at the same time. Throw a burning mountain of brimstone in there and you'd have a hat trick. :)

Chairm said...

The Full Stacey is the essence of SSM argumentation as presented widely, whether in front of courts or legislators or in forums such as in the blogosphere.

As I've said over at the marriagedebate.com, if you give SSM argumentation enough rope, it will hang itself. The problem is, that argumentation seeks to hang the social institution, as well.

See here for one pretty good example of an SSMer providing very scant cover for The Full Stacey.

Blankenhorn's book is not post hoc reasoning. Read it and you will learn a good deal more about the nature of marriage, and about the decisions we now are being asked to make about its future, than you would get from a hundred pro-SSM commentaries and books.

SSM argumentation is about replacing marriage with something else. It thrives on post hoc reasong and on irrelevancies.

Nonetheless, SSM argumentation is an attack on the nature of marriage and for the sake of promoting identity politics as a trump card.

Even among the gay and lesbian populations in cities, like Toronto (where there are very high concentrations) SSM is characterized by a very low participation rate.

See here and here.

Just one Canadian couple SSM'd in Toronto this year. Toronto supposedly has the 3rd largest gay and lesbian population of all North American cities.

Anonymous said...

Even if we agree that marriage fundamentally exists to protect children, this argument fails to render marriage inappropriate for couples who are unable or choose not to have children, whatever their gender and orientation.

The Culturologist said...

"I just asked around and no one I know has ever heard of this woman."

You and your friends really ought to get familiar with the literature on the topic then.

Gruntled said...

Yeah, Judith Stacey is kind of a big deal. She is a co-founder of the Council on Contemporary Families, among other things. She also used to hold the wonderful title of Barbra Streisand Professor in Contemporary Gender Studies and Sociology at USC.

Fitz said...

"Yeah, Judith Stacey is kind of a big deal. She is a co-founder of the Council on Contemporary Families,"

Yes, Alan is looking at it interpersonally and NOT looking at the people behind it driving it.

They are the ones who decide what it means and how it happens.

AMERICAN LAW INSTITUTE PUBLISHES PRINCIPLES OF THE LAW OF FAMILY DISSOLUTION

http://www.ali.org/ali/pr051502.htm

LAW COMMISSION OF CANADA REPORT: BEYOND CONJUGALITY

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2002/rpt/2002-R-0172.htm

The want to De-privilege the Privileged (traditional marriage)
And privilege the de-Privileged (anything but traditional marriage)

In this regard the first two represent very important, very influential legal opinion. (do look into who is actually leading you… and where)

To the extent that the ALI document dealt with the issue, it was summarizing state responses to these problems.

(from my article on the subject)

Founded in 1923, the ALI includes within its membership many of America’s most influential judges, lawyers, and law professors. The influence of the ALI includes aiding in the Uniform Commercial Code’s drafting, as well as other model codes, such as the Model Code of Evidence, and the Model Penal Code. It has been typically known for its “Restatements of the Law” in certain fields, including contracts, torts, trusts, and conflict of laws.52 This pedigree has established an informal system through such restatements whereby members of the legal community and, significantly, judges, will use these restatements in discerning the direction of their own state's case law when confronted by conflicts in the law and undecided cases with no state precedent, essentially adopting in the process the restatements' recommended thrust or specifics.

It is considered unusual for ALI to make a foray into a field such as family law. Stranger still was for the ALI to recommend changes to existing law. As we have seen, it has been typical for it to simply restate existing law.53 However, the timing of the Report's release made it more than fortuitous.

The Report was released while both the Lawrence and Goodridge cases were pending. Issued only six months before the former and less than a year before the latter decisions were announced, the Report “appear[ed] intended to influence legal developments, particularly those initiated by judicial decisions.”57 As Arizona law professor and editor of the ALI report Mark Ellman noted, “the new report is intended to set guidelines and for individual judges and state legislatures.”58

Equal to the prestige of the body making the Report and its curious timing is the startling nature of the proposals made in The Principles of the Family Dissolution when compared with family law as practiced.

"The major flaw in the Family Dissolution Principles in general, and chapter 6 in particular, is that it deconstructs family relations and tries to “level” marriage, parenting, and “alternative” relationships by greatly expanding the kinds of relationships that are given the same preferred, privileged legal status and benefits as “family” relations. Some aspects of that theme pervade nearly all of the chapters of the Family Dissolution Principles."59



Indeed, David Westfall, writing in the Harvard Journal of Law in an article entitled “Unprincipled Family Dissolution” goes so far as to raise concerns about the “controlled nature of the consultative process”60 used in drafting the Report, noting how the small group of legal academics who produced it had such broad latitude on a subject of such general and public concern.

The remarks of Professor Katherine Bartlett, one of the three principal drafters of the Report, both tells us something about those drafting this work, as well as neatly summing up the drive of the proposals:

"the value I place on family diversity and on the freedom of individuals to choose from a variety of family forms. This same value leads me to be generally opposed to efforts to standardize families into a certain type of nuclear family because a majority may believe this is the best kind of family or because it is the most deeply rooted ideologically in our traditions.”62



52 See The American Law Institute, at http://ali.org
53 The Future of Family Law, Law and the Marriage Crisis in North America A Report from the Council on Family Law at 16
57 Katherine Shaw Spaht THE MEANING OF MARRIAGE The Current Crises In Marriage
58 Karen S. Paterson Love and the Law: A realty Check USA Today, Dec. 4, 2002, at D8
59 David Orgon Coolidge, Widening the Lens: Chapter 6 of the ALI’s Principles, Hawaii and Vermont, 4 J.L. &Fam. Stud. 79 (2002) Id. at 79
60 David Westfall, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 27 (2004): 918-20.
61 Katharine T. Bartlett, “Saving the Family from the Reformers” (Brigitte M. Bodenheimer Memorial Lecture on the Family), University of California, Davis Law Review 31 (1998):

epictetus said...

I've always thought the real solution would be to remove special priviledges for certain types of families (i.e. straight married couples, gay married couples, etc) and just treat everyone equally. Although that kind of idea it is hard to gain traction around here.

-- P from Weston, MA

nova said...

In the interest of parity, an article from today's Slate. "Rebutting the claim that same-sex marriage demeans the institution."

http://www.slate.com/id/2169615/

Alan said...

"You and your friends really ought to get familiar with the literature on the topic then."

"Yes, Alan is looking at it interpersonally and NOT looking at the people behind it driving it."

In fact the people driving it are the gay couples themselves who are bringing the lawsuits and lobbying their legislators.

It's difficult to ignore how amusing it is that three straight (?) guys are schooling me, a married gay man on gay marriage. Sorry, I didn't realize you were the experts .... ;)

And again, I'm still not clear on when this woman was elected as our spokesperson. Since she's the woman in charge, one would think I'd find that information out there somewhere, right?

But even if we did, at some point, elect her as a leader in this movement and everyone seems to have missed it, how ridiculous is it to argue that the fight for gay marriage is actually a fight to end marriage? In fact, it is a fight FOR marriage! That seems like it should be self-evidence, even for our opponents. That there may be some small and relatively unknown group of folks out there who want to do away with marriage entirely does not mean that's the point of the movement.

Nice try. But this is simply the same sort of "guilt by association" argument we see all the time. Pick someone you don't like with extreme views and make the argument about that person, rather than the actual views of the actual people who are actually working for gay marriage. But since the leader of your anti-gay marriage movement is Fred Phelps, what else should I expect? ;)

José Solano said...

Hi Alan,

How do you define marriage and how is that different, if at all, from the way it has been defined universally until our recent political changes?

Alan said...

"How do you define marriage and how is that different, if at all, from the way it has been defined universally until our recent political changes?"

Universally, since our recent political changes?

You mean like how marriage was (and still is, in some places) "universally" defined as a contract between families to sell a woman as property in exchange for a dowery? Or how marriage was "universally" defined as one man and how ever many women he could afford to take as his wife? Or how marriage was "universally" defined as one white man and one white woman until "recent political changes"?

So, I guess in order to answer your question I would have to know how you think marriage was "universally" defined, across cultures and for all time until these "recent political changes."

And, I'd also have to know which "recent political changes" you mean. By "recent political changes" are you referring to the abolishment of slavery in the US? The advent of women's suffrage? The legalization of birth control? The legalization of interracial marriage? All of these have had significant changes on marriage, obviously.

However, one caveat: As you must be aware, I'm apparently not well read on this subject, according to some of the other commenters here. Perhaps your question would be better directed toward Judith Stacey. Apparently she's the expert.

José Solano said...

Hi Alan,

Let me simplify it for you. How do you define marriage?

arturo fernandez said...

Jose believes that gay people are not "fully human". The things they do, he's said, are things "subhumans" do, and I quote.

José Solano said...

Arturo, you’re either terribly misquoting me or confusing me with someone else. But in a sense none of us is fully human if we have not reached our potential as human beings. Other animals seem to reach their potential but humans are capable of indefinite growth, particularly in the moral development which animals are not troubled with. In another sense we may be seen as fully human in our incomplete, imperfect state. Depending on our definition Hitler might be seen as fully human or inhuman.

But yours is merely a personal attack and has nothing to do with this thread. The issue here is marriage. Adiós.

arturo fernandez said...

I didn't personally attack you. I didn't say you were less human for not being gay.

Alan said...

"How do you define marriage?"

This is one of the foundational problems with these debates. Jose's side sees marriage as an algorithm. It is a checklist of 3 or 5 or 8 things that equal a definition. I, however, believe that attempting to define something like marriage is, at best, naive. That's why the phrase "traditional definition of marriage" is ridiculous. Jose wants a sound-bite to debate. I'm unwilling to give one, because marriage means more to me than simply a 5 word definition that fits nicely on a bumper sticker, or a Republican fundraising letter.

If one were to gather 100 people in a room, gay or straight, and ask them what their personal definition of marriage is, you'd receive 100 different answers. Those answers would be colored by each person's personal experiences, by whether or not the person was married, the ways in which they've experienced marriage in the past (either their own, or their parents & family, etc.) Frankly, I would wager than a large majority of those folks in that room (gay or straight) would not have marriages that fit the definitions of the Pharisees out there. In fact, if the Pharisees were to closely examine themselves, I bet they'd have a lot to argue about amongst themselves. :)

But there are still those who think marriage is like laying pipe. They want a blue-print. Mostly they want a definition that they can construct in such a way so as to keep "those people" out.

I suppose that answer wouldn't satisfy you, Jose, but really what's the point? Since I'm fairly certain you consider homosexuality (or at least homosexual "practice") to be sinful, what's the point of debating marriage, when I'm sure we wouldn't agree on more foundational issues like that?

Feel free to play the "he won't answer me!" card, or some other lame rhetorical device if you'd like. I have answered you, and done so clearly.

Chairm said...

Alan's remarks epitomize The Full Stacey, and yet he poses as blissfully unaware.

In the reaction to Gruntled's post, Allan, in his own shorthand, has just demonstated that Blankenhorn is correct about the intended influence of SSM argumentation.

Good job.

Heh.

As for the individuals in court cases, they,as you, depend on the same SSM argumentation that presupposes the deinstitutionalization of marriage.

Enough rope and SSM argumenation hangs itself.

Alan said...

"Alan's remarks epitomize The Full Stacey, and yet he poses as blissfully unaware. "

According to Gruntled, the "Full Stacey" means that she wants to deinstitutionalize marriage altogether.

I quote, Gruntled, "Her position is that any relationship, made by any number or composition of consenting adults, constitutes a marriage if they say so."

That was not my point at all. Nice try, though. I suggest reading what is actually written, when attempting to understand someone's point. It's far more useful.

"poses as blissfully unaware"

Actually I'm not "posing" as anything. If you'd like to actually call me a liar, I'd suggest you do so.

"intended influence of SSM argumentation..."

Actually I made no argument at all. An argument starts with a claim and is backed up by evidence. I simply answered Jose's question by stating that I think the question itself is fatally flawed.

Your response does point out though that no answer I gave would be the "correct" one in your eyes, thus proving my point exactly. (That is, the actual point I made, instead of the point you wish I'd have made.) Regardless of what I wrote, you would, as you have clearly demonstrated, read into my answer whatever you wanted. I propose you simply write your own answer to Jose's question and sign my name to it ... at least that tactic would be somewhat more intellectual honest.

Again, the stupidity of the "they want to get rid of marriage entirely!" argument is self-evident. Working this hard to get gay marriage legalized and equal to heterosexual marriage would be a colossally stupid way to get rid of marriage as an institution. Nice try, though. When one cannot actually argue a point, sometimes the best one can do is question the motives of those with whom one disagrees. That seems to be your tactic, unfortunately.

Renee said...

In the begininng to my husband marriage was a responsibility; even though I didn’t need him and could survive without him he saw it as taking on being an adult. Huh? I have a job, I have credit, and I even come to this marriage with the ability to get my own health insurance.

That would all change, when not having a maternal bone in my body; I wanted to have a baby. Finally being able to see him every morning and evening, and hanging out together all weekend long things were set. Call it hormones I don’t know I wasn’t on the Pill to begin with, in my attempt to be within the teachings of my belief and unaware of the realistic alternatives we were taking prophylactic measures in terms of family planning. We found out I had no problem ovulating or even conceiving, just staying pregnant was the problem and I miscarried. It took several months before receiving the gift of our daughter.

Pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood changes everything and I couldn’t imagine doing it alone or within someone who wasn’t as involved in it as I was. Who else better, then the man who got you pregnant? Who else better, then someone you already made a life long commitment with you too!....

So when scholars, marriage advocates, and legal courts claim marriage is unique for heterosexuals due to the openness to acts of procreation and we have a duty to uphold and strengthen the institution because just as we don’t want orphans and widows in the streets, we don’t want mothers and children being abandoned.

Goodridge wasn’t a win in equality, just a glaring reality how much our culture through public policy doesn’t care about men and women who take responsibility for their sexual actions and embrace children. That is why so many people have begun to wake up regarding the need to make laws that encourage marriage and not a legal license to get out of one. Our civilization needs functional generations even for the immediate future. Children are most likely to succeed in this endeavor when the biological mother and father not only love but are committed to one another for life.

I no doubt your orientation is real, but the biological design of our sexuality is based on reproductive mating. I'm not going to deny the fact, my body was designed to have sex with a man, open itself to life through ability to ovulate, and carry a child in my uterus.

We have a sever problem with the breakdown of the family. Dads are more the financial support. Dads make up half of who we are.

You think it is all about people hating you? It is easy to pass off these arguments as hate, I'm not asking you to change your orientation, but don't say I'm a bigot to say as a mother with three children I need the father to be united in this endeavor raising children.

Your argument is, I'm not allowed to have a word to describe responsible procreational activity and as a matter of public policy we can not address responsible procreational activity.

Renee said...

"Again, the stupidity of the "they want to get rid of marriage entirely!" argument is self-evident. Working this hard to get gay marriage legalized and equal to heterosexual marriage would be a colossally stupid way to get rid of marriage as an institution. Nice try, though. When one cannot actually argue a point, sometimes the best one can do is question the motives of those with whom one disagrees. That seems to be your tactic, unfortunately. "

Actually this is true. I gree up in a very secular progressive enviroment. I was told marriage was obsolete. All my life the National Organization of Women told me marriage would ruin my life, and over the course of events in recent years you see these big "NOW" sign with "equal marriage" on them. "A woman needs a man, like a fish needs a bicycle" Why is it wrong for a heterosexual women to marry and open herself to having children, but it is ok for two women or two men to married? The start of equal marriage was started by "NOW"

Alan said...

"You think it is all about people hating you? It is easy to pass off these arguments as hate, I'm not asking you to change your orientation, but don't say I'm a bigot to say as a mother with three children I need the father to be united in this endeavor raising children...."

I'm not sure who you're talking to Renee. But if you're addressing me, and if you're simply going to make things up about what I've said, what's the point? I have not said anything about people hating me, nor have I said you are a bigot.

Really, if people are just going to make things up out of whole cloth, why do they even bother commenting? They could much more easily have a conversation with themselves and be much happier, I think. LOL

"Your argument is, I'm not allowed to have a word to describe responsible procreational activity and as a matter of public policy we can not address responsible procreational activity."

No that isn't my argument. Again, if you or chairm or the rest of the Opine Editorial folks would rather simply write a response for me, since you're obviously not interested in reading the actual words I've written, please feel free. It would save us all a lot of time. ;)

This is apparently the tactic of these folks: Make it up, make it up, make it up. Create your own straw-man arguments and knock them down. Enjoy!

Alan said...

"Why is it wrong for a heterosexual women to marry and open herself to having children, but it is ok for two women or two men to married?"

Nope, didn't say that either. LOL

It seems more than a little childishly egocentric to believe that your experiences with NOW are generalizable to the population as a whole, Renee.

Again, any time you'd like to discuss something I've actually said, feel free.

Renee said...

I didn't expect you to say agree with me.

I expected your responses.

It'snot a tactic and I'm not making anything up. Calling yourself married doesn't change anything. Our sexuality is motivated by reproductivity. Your body was created to produce sperm, as mine was to ovulate, carry, birth, and even lactate for children. Our bodies can not be misused.

Just because you are not interested in the opposite sex, makes you no less of a person. Not everyone, including heterosexuals are called for marriage. There are chaste people who live wonderful lives filled with friendships.

I know you'll be bitterly angry with me if I suggest the Catholic Ministry regarding those who experience same-sex attraction www.couragerc.net I've learned from reading from Catholics who expereince same-sex attraction but live a chaste life, that their needs have to be addressed as well as those who enter the vocation of matrimony.


I speak truthfully with my heart.

Take care.

Alan said...

"I know you'll be bitterly angry with me"

Umm.... no, again you're wrong and again, I've not called you hateful, a bigot, and for the record I never get "bitterly angry" with a completely anonymous person typing away on the interweb.

However, among the many reasons I won't be visiting your Catholic ministry (mostly because I'm married, so it wouldn't be very useful) is that I'm not Catholic.

"Just because you are not interested in the opposite sex, makes you no less of a person. "

Thanks, but I never thought for a minute that it did. :)

José Solano said...

Hi Alan,

Thank you for responding to my question.

Out of my very simple question you made several presumptions. 1. “Jose wants a sound-bite debate.” 2. “Mostly they want a definition that they can construct in such a way so as to keep "those people" out.” 3. Since I'm fairly certain you consider homosexuality (or at least homosexual "practice") to be sinful, what's the point of debating marriage, when I'm sure we wouldn't agree on more foundational issues like that?

How can you have an intelligent discussion if you preclude that the person you’re having the discussion with cannot disagree with you?

Your response to my question is so vague that it can just about include anything. Perhaps your understanding of marriage is whatever the persons seeking marriage wish it to be. It sounds like “anything goes.” When you reach that point of vagueness you have in effect made marriage meaningless. When marriage is rendered meaningless you have really deinstitutionalized marriage and you are merely providing benefits to whomever claims their relationship is marriageable.

You say that if you ask 100 people you’d get 100 different answers about what marriage is and that these people would disagree with “the Pharisees out there” who would even be arguing among themselves. That might be right. You say, “I . . . believe that attempting to define something like marriage is, at best, naive.” So what do we do, go by the inconsistencies of the 100 plus people and allow any and all to marry? That sure sounds like the “Full Stacey” that you do not wish to identify with. But you’ve confessed it Alan! Now take your time and reconsider the contradiction you’ve placed yourself in.

When creating legislation a very specific definition needs to be applied. Where does it come from? I propose that the definition come from the majority of the people of that society through a direct vote of the people. In many states that has happened and the people have stated by overwhelming majorities that marriage is the relationship of one man and one woman.

Alan said...

"Perhaps your understanding of marriage is whatever the persons seeking marriage wish it to be. It sounds like “anything goes.” When you reach that point of vagueness you have in effect made marriage meaningless. When marriage is rendered meaningless you have really deinstitutionalized marriage and you are merely providing benefits to whomever claims their relationship is marriageable. "

Notice what Jose did? Start with "perhaps" and create a straw man. Then, take that straw man further and further. Then presume that this new bizarre argument is the one I made.

Nope, didn't say anything like that.

Nor did I preclude your disagreeing with me. I simply pointed out that a discussion about gay marriage is going to be fruitless if you believe that homosexuality and/or homosexual practice are sinful. That seems blindingly obvious.

"Now take your time and reconsider the contradiction you’ve placed yourself in."

Here's your tactic Jose: Create a position I didn't advocate. Then argue against it. Nice and neat, but not very effective. What is it with you Opine people, anyway? You really are good at reading whatever you want into things. When you want to *actually* discuss what I *actually* said, let me know.

But in the meantime, thank you for proving that it doesn't matter what I write, you'll find something to argue about. And, if you can't, you'll simply create something to argue about. (Which was, I suspect your intention all along and the actual reason you asked the question in the first place. Yet another tactic.)

José Solano said...

Hi again Alan,

It is possible that you really don’t understand what you’re saying and imagine people are putting words in your mouth. So, you go about in circles simply denying and denying that anyone understands what you have said. What you have said is really very simple and you have been quoted. You said, “I . . . believe that attempting to define something like marriage is, at best, naive.” That’s it. That’s not hard to understand. This wish-wash position is in effect the “Full Stacey” deconstruction of marriage that thoroughly incapacitates legislation and inevitably deinstitutionalizes marriage. If you can’t define marriage then who is to say who is married and who is not? Do we have to come to you as some sort of mystical guru who will pronounce ex cathedra, case by case, who can be married or not? Will there be no objective means of determining who may form a marriage or not? After all, it would be a best naïve to try and define it. I wonder what it would be at worse? I’m afraid you have really tied yourself in a knot Alan.

Fortunately I don’t think anyone in legislation would agree with such a whimsical posture. As I do not think you are going to soon try and untie yourself we’ll have to leave it to the reasoning readers to recognize what is rational.

Ah yes, I can almost hear fading out in the distance, “They just don’t understand me, they’re twisting my words, I didn’t say that, I was referring to something else, they’re just picking on me, they’re making up straw men, I know their tactics, marriage is not what anyone wishes it to be, it’s what I wish it to be, eh, that is, it’s what I sometimes say it is but can say other things at other times, or it’s, it’s . . ., it’s really not definable, yes, that’s it, it’s naïve to try and define it and all of humanity has been terribly naïve in trying to define it over the millennia. Oh, but I’m not really saying this. Now where is really the real me? Who is this speaking??”

Peace.

Renee said...

You say you're married.

What makes you married?



Despite the attempt to destroy sexual roles between men and women over the past 40 years, men and women aren’t going to change and neither will the needs of children to have a mother and father. Rather then fighting Mother Nature, pretending sexual differences do not exist or are completely irrelevant, people need to reconnect and realize what marriage is.

Marriage isn’t a civil contract or a civil right. Marriage isn’t just something for the religious. Marriage is definitely not about equality. Marriage isn’t just about love. Marriage is simple, the acknowledgement and appreciation of responsibility the two sexes have for one another, male and female as husband and wife.

Why are we so afraid of this? It’s objective. It’s honest. It is respectful of both sexes. I know as a woman, and I can only assume men feel the same as human beings we seek truth and knowledge. For neutered marriage to exist we must have woman and man be equal when it comes to sexuality, that would be a lie though. No civil law, no amounts of campaign lobbying, and no amount of name-calling can change how our reproductive organs function.

Masculine and feminine elements are complementary. Sort of the yin/yang of sorts or the equal halfs that are completed. It is no surprise our DNA is made up half equally of our mother and father. Don't you find that at least interesting, how we represent our parents love for one another in an unitive act that created us? I find that to be amazing.

It is how we open ourselves to life. It is how we are all created. For it have a value, it needs a name of its own.

Alan said...

Jose,

Thank you for proving my point. You're not here for discussion, you're simply here to debate yourself, badly I might add.

Perhaps that's fun for you, but you don't need me to do it. :) And more importantly, regardless of our disagreements, I'm not going to participate in a conversation with someone as rude as you. Disagreement is fine, forceful disagreement is fine. Snotty, rude comments are not fine. At least not for me.

Renee,

Though I believe you've also misunderstood me, I do at least appreciate that you can be polite about it. It's a quality that Jose should observe and take to heart.

Gruntled said...

Renee, thank you for a loving account of how you came to, and came to understand, motherhood.

José Solano said...

Hey Alan,

You can’t end our conversation. You never really entered it and I already ended it since you were just going around in circles. As I told you, “we’ll have to leave it to the reasoning readers to recognize what is rational.”

It’s at best “naïve” to try and define marriage? What kind of nonsense is that? And you want people to take your seriously? No rational conversation is possible with someone that asserts such nonsense.

You must resort to insults when you cannot make any sense. As with your irrational ally Arturo, I must simply say, Adiós. I’ve helped you as much as you would allow.

“Oh no, they’re not taking me seriously and I thought I was being so clever in my contradictions and circumlocutions. Where am I? Who am I? I feel so strange and out of my comfort zone.”

Hey Alan, it’s Ok. I’m doing a couple of Checkov farces pretty soon and this is good practice. Interestingly enough one of them is “The Marriage Proposal.”

I wish you well. Go have an IPA or two and lighten up. Peace.

arturo fernandez said...

Adios Jose, until we meet again.

Peace. Love.

arturo fernandez said...

Alan, they're hopeless. Just have fun.

Alan said...

Jose writes, "It’s at best “naïve” to try and define marriage? What kind of nonsense is that? And you want people to take your seriously? No rational conversation is possible with someone that asserts such nonsense. "

Well, you've certainly proved you can't make rational conversation! ROFL

For our other readers (you've left, Jose, you can ignore this) let's take a couple examples. To keep it simple, let's keep them heterosexual:

1) Heterosexual couple, both Christians, married in a church. Are they married?
2) Heterosexual couple, both Christians, married in a church. Husband was previously married and divorced. Are they married, or is he committing adultery?
3) Heterosexual couple, neither are Christians, married at city hall. Are they married?
4) Heterosexual couple, both Catholic. Married, but then some magic guy in Rome tells them they were never married. Were they ever actually married, or just fornicators?
5) Heterosexual couple, both Christian. Married 52 years. Never had children. Are they married?

This definition the Pharisees want isn't as simple as they'd pretend. As I said, folks like that want bumper-sticker slogans. Marriage is too important for such nonsense. The fact that I think a definition is stupid doesn't mean that anything goes, they argue. It does mean that different people's marriages, even heterosexual people's marriages are quite different, in many important respects.

I asked Jose what *his* definition was and he refused to answer. I asked Jose why we would bother discussing marriage when it is obvious that he thinks that homosexuality/homosexual practice are sins, which is certainly more foundational an issue than marriage. He refused to respond.

Notice the other tactics here:
1) Pick a person with extreme views and decide that person is the leader of the gay marriage movement. (A big target is easier to hit)
2) Question the motives of your opponent.
3) Ask a question solely so you can attack the answer
4) If you can't attack the answer, create a straw man
5) Congratulate yourself on your cleverness for attacking the straw man
6) Insult, insult, insult.
7) Lie, lie, lie
8) Never, ever actually answer questions yourself because that makes you vulnerable to attack.

Obviously this conversation is beyond being salvageable. Oh well. Always glad to expose the tactics of the Pharisees.

arturo fernandez said...

"It is no surprise our DNA is made up half equally of our mother and father. Don't you find that at least interesting, how we represent our parents love for one another in an unitive act that created us? I find that to be amazing."

Rape does that too. You must find rape "amazing". "Love" and "respect" for your partner doesn't magically increase the chances of a child being born. What you want to term "Mother Nature" doesn't really care if mom mom hates dad or if dad beats up mom.

R.K. said...

A very simple question, Alan: Do you or do you not believe that marriage is definable?

I've read your posts in this thread, and for the life of me I do not see how Jose's characterization of your argument is off the mark.

"1) Heterosexual couple, both Christians, married in a church. Are they married?
2) Heterosexual couple, both Christians, married in a church. Husband was previously married and divorced. Are they married, or is he committing adultery?
3) Heterosexual couple, neither are Christians, married at city hall. Are they married?
4) Heterosexual couple, both Catholic. Married, but then some magic guy in Rome tells them they were never married. Were they ever actually married, or just fornicators?
5) Heterosexual couple, both Christian. Married 52 years. Never had children. Are they married?"

1)Yes, 2)Yes, 3)Yes, 4) Not enough information given (why does Rome say they were never married?), 5)Yes.

Apparently these all turn on the issue of who is marrying the couples, which isn't really the issue in SSM.

arturo fernandez said...

r.k., do you find rape "amazing" too? Gruntled does, he called it "loving". He loves it.

R.K. said...

Among other things, Arturo, rape is evil because it cheapens an amazing thing and makes it look ugly. Doesn't make the amazing thing rape trivializes any less amazing in fact, however. Nor does it make it any less unique.

This pattern of looking for the exceptions and using them to deconstruct the whole will ultimately leave humanity with nothing.

And EXACTLY what did Gruntled say?

arturo fernandez said...

r.k., the "love" experienced in the heterosexual encounter affects the odds a baby will be born? Obviously not, as Mother Nature has ordered. Renee wants to organize things according to the rules of Mother Nature, and Gruntled thinks that's lovely. That is a very bad idea. That will make rape less an exception than it is now.

R.K. said...

So, because conception can occur from rape, it completely negates the wonder and amazement in the fact that children can be produced from this one act, which is of course far more wonderful when love is really involved.

What's wrong with this picture? In essence, then, there is no wonder or amazement in the beginning of new life at all, is there?

I think I should let Renee respond to this, because it so obviously mischaracterizes what she and Gruntled have said, and they should point out better than me what it is you are so obviously not seeing here.

Alan said...

RK: Simple. (And thanks for answering civilly)

I believe that almost every definition of marriage is going to leave some people out whom basically everyone would agree are, in fact, married.

For example, our blog-host Gruntled here and his Opine friends believe that marriage is about procreation. So, if that's part of the definition, then obviously the folks in Example #5 are not married, even though you clearly think they are.

Many people would say that a Christian marriage is necessary for a couple to be truly married. Including that in our definition would leave out the folks in Example #3.

Jesus said a man who divorces his wife and remarries is committing adultery. So, anyone who has remarried is apparently committing adultery, which would leave out the man in Example #2. Yet, you believe they're married. Don't you believe Jesus meant what he said? Picking and choosing what to follow from the Bible, are we?

Example #4 is interesting because, according to Catholics as I understand it, the Pope can go back in time and make it so a marriage never actually happened. It's called an annulment. So, the day of their wedding, you or I or anyone would say they were married. However, if they want an annulment, the Pope can proclaim that, not only are they now unmarried, but the marriage itself *never actually happened*! (One wonders then if they had sex, were they fornicating?) So much for "what God has joined together, let no man separate", eh? So, your definition of marriage has to include marriages that never happened.

And we could come up with many more examples. In other countries for example, people marry as young as 12 or 13. In the US, not only wouldn't we include teenagers in our definition, we even have laws against it! Yet they, and their families surely believe they're married. Do you think they are not married?

Britney Spears was married for something like 45 hours in Las Vegas. Then she got a divorce. She and her husband and all of society thought they were married (well, at least for a few hours.) So, we should include drunken Las Vegas weddings in our definition, right?

You could go out and order a mail-order Russian bride, marry her in the US and voila, you're married. Shall we include mail-order brides in our definition?

People are married who not only do not love each other, but are physically and emotionally abusive toward each other. Yet society treats them as married. Shall we include physical and emotional abuse in our definition?

The fact that I seem to be the only one on this thread who realizes that the definition of marriage is somewhat plastic, even for the well-defined set of heterosexual couples as I've clearly illustrated, does NOT mean anything goes. (Even though when it comes to heterosexual marriage, apparently anything DOES go!) However, these examples clearly show my initial point, which Jose was unable to grasp: these definitions are basically useless. No matter how horrible the situation, no matter how inept the participants, no matter how ill-advised the combination, basically any heterosexual couple can get married.

So, does your definition include all of them? What is YOUR definition, anyway?

If you're not going to include all of them, when will you be working to outlaw those you disagree with?

See, frankly I don't mind if the Pharisees want to ban gay marriage because they think it'll destroy marriage. I just wish they'd look at the other 95% of the population once in a while and ban the 45 hour Las Vegas weddings, mail-order brides, and marriages between alcoholic abusive codependents too. If they actually believed it was important to save marriage, they'd be much more successful by banning the enormous number of train-wreck marriages that are actually happening, instead of a paltry number of hypothetical ones like gay marriage (which, let's remember, is only legal in one state.) Perhaps they would be able to work that 50% divorce rate down a bit in the process too.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm all for protecting and strengthening marriage. I wish and pray that every couple had a happy healthy marriage like I do, like my folks do, like my brothers do. However, I also realize that when it comes to destroying marriage, it isn't gay people who are doing so... You straight people have done a pretty bang-up job of that all on your own.

Yet no one is passing constitutional amendments about that, now are they? Gee...I wonder why.

Like I said, marriage isn't an algorithm to be solved, it isn't a bumper-sticker slogan, no matter how much you folks would like to turn it into one. And one wonders who exactly it is that is destroying marriage.

R.K. said...

I've given my definition in the thread below, Alan.

Well, I guess your answer to my question to you is that you believe marriage is NOT definable. Because unless every marriage is fine within that definition, then there's no sense in the definition. Is this a mischaracterization?

Hey, it's not a perfect world, Alan, but if we do not provide some definitions for our basic institutions that make sense, then we can not be surprised if generations after ours decide that anything goes, even if that's not what you're saying now (and I don't believe it is even though your position cannot help but lead to that).

R.K. said...

More to the point, Alan, my position is this: We need a basic definition. Within that basic definition, anything does NOT go, and we can say so (age limits, limiting to two, drunken Las Vegas weddings, etc.). But I will fight first and foremost for the basic definition, because without one, sorry, but anything does go then.

By the way, you don't like it when people make assumptions about you. Well, don't make assumptions about me, either, as you do in your remarks about your Example #2.

Alan said...

"Within that basic definition, anything does NOT go, and we can say so (age limits, limiting to two, drunken Las Vegas weddings, etc.)."

I won't hold my breath until most of these become illegal. Yes, underage and polygamous marriages are illegal, but most of the other things I mentioned are not, nor is anyone actually working to make it so. So much for defending marriage, eh?

"Because unless every marriage is fine within that definition, then there's no sense in the definition. Is this a mischaracterization?"

Yup, it is a mischaracterization. Because, as I've pointed out, almost every marriage is ALREADY fine, no matter how ill-advised (see my previous comment for examples.)

That is, if your enterprise is to create a narrow definition and then hold EVERYONE to it, good luck. But I think your enterprise is to create a definition that excludes only gay people, and does nothing about the train-wreck straight marriages I've mentioned. If you're not actually going to do anything to defend marriage, what's the point of creating your definition?

So, you want a very narrow definition. Fine. Now enforce it on straight people once in a while and I might actually believe you mean what you say.

I won't hold my breath.

Alan said...

"Well, I guess your answer to my question to you is that you believe marriage is NOT definable. "

I believe that the bumper-sticker slogan you're asking for as a definition is useless. That's not the same as saying it's undefinable.

Again, I've asked some very simple questions about your definition and where my examples fit in it. The fact that you refuse to clarify exactly how the myriad of straight marriages fit within your definition is your problem, not mine.

Alan said...

Ah, RK, I found your definition of marriage in the other thread.

"society's blessing of a couple to perform the one act which produces conception, whether it in fact does in their case or not. "

So, polygamous marriages are OK? Incest? Couples who never have children? Post-menopausal women? (I mean really, your definition is self contradictory -- it hinges on procreation and then you say procreation isn't necessary.)

So, you can see why I think your definition is pretty useless. It says that basically any straight union is just fine. Perhaps that's why you folks have a 50% divorce rate?

R.K. said...

Here's the rest of what I said in the other thread:

"This, of course, leaves open the possibility of sibling marriage or child marriage, and these are prohibited for other reasons. But marriage between two of the same gender falls outside of this basic definition altogether.

Does the fact that there is a basic definition necessarily mean that within that definition, everything is OK? Hell no.

And, as you surely read, the basic definition does NOT hinge on procreation. It hinges on the biological ability to perform the one act that can result in procreation. That's the basic definition throughout history. Within that definition, society may also illegalize marriages which are unwise, such as incest, polygamy, child marriage, and Britney Spears marriages. Of course, how people are supposed to know BEFOREHAND which marriages are not going to work out (or which ones will actually produce kids), well, you explain that one.

As for you, Alan, you say that you don't mean that marriage is undefinable. Well, then, define it, or stop saying you really don't mean that. Or explain how your argument is not just "well, we've messed up marriage so bad already, who cares if we mess it up even more by destroying the one basic definition its had".

Alan said...

"Does the fact that there is a basic definition necessarily mean that within that definition, everything is OK? Hell no. "

LOL. But obviously that's exactly what you mean. Oh, you mean I misunderstood you?! Well, gee that never happens. LOL Sorry, but the irony is just too amusing not to note it. YOu try to define marriage and it's obvious that within this definition anything goes, and yet you complain because I think such definitions are stupid. LOL

"But marriage between two of the same gender falls outside of this basic definition altogether."

Right, and so do plenty of other marriages. You have more exceptions than I can count to your definition. And, plenty of "marriages" that you dislike fall INTO that definition (ie. polygamy, incest, etc.) Sorry, but a definition that is created specifically to exclude gay people while letting in polygamists, arranged marriages, the infertile, Las Vegas weddings, etc. is obviously a pretty terrible definition. I'd suggest you go back to the drawing board. Looks like your sound-bite definition has more than a few holes in it.

And of course, I think it's hilarious that you believe that marriage is all about sex. While obviously sexual expression is one part of marriage, it surely isn't the only part, as your definition CLEARLY states. Leads one to wonder, who exactly is it that is obsessed with sex?

By the way, straight people can have sex which results in procreation without a marriage certificate. Since your definition is about the act, and not about the marriage, I'm surprised you don't support fornication. Yet for some reason society does not bless that one act which produces procreation in that instance. Again, your definition needs serious work.

As for you, RK, you say that you don't mean that anything within your definition is OK. Well, then, tighten up your definition, or stop saying you really don't mean that. ;)

Alan said...

RK

I guess to put it simply, if you can't see that a definition that says "the key to marriage is procreation ... unless of course procreation doesn't happen" is out-and-out silly, then I'm pretty sure we're never going to see eye to eye on this.

Take care, though, and thanks for the polite discussion. It's a welcome change of pace around here. :)

R.K. said...

"Well, then, tighten up your definition, or stop saying you really don't mean that."

And I could do just that, after which your response would be that all the additional restrictions I'm adding in have varied too much throughout history and cultures. Which is why my BASIC definition is the one which really has not. But by getting me to add on the other restrictions as "basic", you're hoping to put me in a Catch-22. Sorry, not falling for it.

Later, when I have more time, I will paraphrase you method of argument here to another public question, so the fallacy of this method is apparent if it isn't now.

Anyway, thank you for the kind words. Be assured I may attack your argument strongly, but I will not attack you personally.

Alan said...

"But by getting me to add on the other restrictions as "basic", you're hoping to put me in a Catch-22. Sorry, not falling for it."

So, they're not "basic" yet they're necessary? Hmmm... If monogamy isn't part of your basic definition, that seems a little strange, doesn't it?

Nope not hoping to catch you in anything. You seem to be proceeding from a false assumption: that I think this is a game, or that I think this discussion is "winnable." I don't think either -- this is just a discussion. I don't think I'm going to change your mind. So, though we've seen plenty of savvy rhetorical tactics used in this discussion, they weren't coming from me. I'm just here for the discussion.

In fact, I was just hoping you'd see that your "basic" definition is itself self-contradictory, even without all the exceptions you're willing to make. Even if we ignore the fact that your definition requires all sorts of exceptions, even if we ignore the fact that your definition includes people who do not procreate (and thus violate the definition itself), and even if we ignore the fact that you freely admit that marriage has changed over the years, we still are left with the fact that your definition is self-contradictory. Marriage can't be defined as A and not A at the same time. And, even if that's where you're going to hang your hat, then I'm surprised you don't realize that such a definition basically means "anything goes." As you said above, "even if that's not what you're saying now (and I don't believe it is even though your position cannot help but lead to that)."

And the evidence that anything goes is that, in fact, pretty much anything does go, as I've clearly illustrated.

So not only is your argument self-contradictory, it is also contradicted by clear evidence. So, you're 0 and 2.

I do find it interesting that you recognize the Catch-22 your definition imposes on you, but are unwilling to recognize that might mean there's a flaw in your "definition."

And finally, you haven't responded to my contention that the "defenders" of marriage are doing nothing to actually defend marriage from train-wreck straight marriages. Where are the constitutional amendments for those? You all have had 231 years to "defend" marriage in this country and have done essentially nothing. Funny that you're only concerned about gay marriage.

I think we're already talking around in circles. But again, thanks for the dialogue. Take care.

R.K. said...

More later, Alan, but for now, one question.

Are you saying that those who believe that marriage is essentially related to procreation must therefore tell all married couples, not just that they MAY have children, but that they MUST, or they are being hypocrites? And that if they don't, then their marriages will be annulled?

As you probably know, it is non-consummation, not childlessness, which is grounds for annullment generally.

Again, will apply this same kind of argument to a different public question later.

Alan said...

Sorry, RK, I guess I can't be any clearer, though I've tried.

You say marriage is "essentially about procreation". Then you give a pass to people who either don't or cannot procreate. It must not be too "essential" then, eh? I'm not calling anyone hypocrites. I'm calling the definition self-contradictory. It hinges on the "possibility" of procreation, even if procreation doesn't happen -- even if procreation CANNOT happen. Well, we can certainly look to plenty of marriages in which there is absolutely zero possibility of procreation (which, you believe is essential) and yet you'd still believe it was a real marriage. For example, I assume you'd have no problem with a post-menapausal woman getting married, even though there is clearly zero chance that, regardless of the sexual act employed, she will ever be able to procreate.

So this essential act: procreation, is the key to marriage. Except when it isn't.

(And then, of course, all sorts of people who can and do procreate, still shouldn't be married ... but that's somehow not part of your definition either.)

José Solano said...

Hi R.K.,

You see the obfuscation problem that Alan creates to allow anything to be called marriage as per his ex cathedra whims. Mainly what he’s looking to do by his evasiveness is to somehow slip in the homosexual relationship under the rubric of marriage. He rightfully recognizes that if he were to provide a clear definition of marriage that includes a homosexual relationship he would be incapable of providing rationale that would exclude a great many other forms of relationships not now presently accepted as marriage. He really does recognize that his position is such that he is doomed if he does and doomed if he doesn’t define marriage. And this because he wishes to include the unmarriageable. He imagined the safest position is to simply say it is “naïve” to try and define marriage. But he is experiencing now the consequences of such evasive nonsense. Fortunately the legislature is not so irresponsible and recognizes that precise definitions are essential.

But the sine qua non of marriage has been defined and understood universally since time immemorial. It’s so simple that the simplest and least educated people as well as the greatest sages have had no issue with its basis. The relationship rests primarily and fundamentally on the COMPLEMENTARITY of the sexes with the recognition that only through such complementarity can there be any procreation and the preservation of the species. To this indispensable criteria a society may decide to add other conditions.

But, it is this COMPLEMENTARITY and the possibility of PROCREATION that is the foundational core of every marriage, until our contemporary confusions. Even the ancient Greeks, who exalted the homosexual relationship to such a degree that practically every male in that society engaged in homosexual relationships, never imagined that a homosexual relationship could possibly form a marriage.

Now, this foundational definition does include incestuous, polygamous and even child marriages and we do find historically societies in which each of these forms of marriage have been accepted. What it categorically does not include is the homosexual relationship. A homosexual “marriage” is simply an absurdity. It cannot be a marriage regardless of what contemporary confusions decide to offer such relationships a marriage license. It is a hoax and a mockery of marriage.

As I have mentioned, additional conditions can be placed by a particular society on what it chooses to recognize as a marriage so that society may exclude incestuous, polygamous or child marriages. Or, the society may carefully define what it means by incest and child marriages and these do vary even from state to state in the US. At times, even in the US, persons with certain communicable diseases were not allowed to marry. These are things for a society to consider.

Real marriages existed long before societies formed an institution of marriage. The institution was created to offer certain protections and benefits to this foundational core, this nucleus of the family and of society itself that the society hoped and prayed would be fruitful, that is, would procreate and enhance thereby the community. Homosexuals, the unmarriageable, are now campaigning very strongly to usurp the privileges that were only meant for the benefit of marriages with their potential to bring children into the world. The people must reject this usurpation and vote in every way they can to protect marriage.

arturo fernandez said...

Jose, you're just upset because heterosexuals are more disposed to be 1. polygamists 2. child molestors and 3. rapists.

R.K. said...

Alan (and Arturo, if you wish):

Before I post a long paraphrase of your argument, I have one more question of you.

You say that you don't believe that with respect to marriage, "anything goes".

You say that "anything goes" already, even with the basic definition of marriage I have given (because it is "inconsistent").

But you also say that it is simplistic and "naive" to try to provide a basic definition of marriage.

Please explain how an "anything goes" situation can be expected to be less of an outcome for any institution or arena of human behavior when no basic definition is provided at all, than it is where one is provided, or even when one is provided that is "contradictory".

Chairm said...

Alan, your reaction to my previous comment is just more rope that hangs SSM argumentation.

Also, that reaction misrepresented what I had actually said.

SSM argumentation exists independantly of you. It is utilized by SSMers (and in this you are not alone) with more show than substance. That is to say, you strike a series of poses.

Call in SSM "voguing".

It is done here with blissful words. And sometimes spiteful, as well. Depends on the emotive trump card being played when the pose as intellectual superior has failed.

When a mirror is held up to the typical SSMer, the reaction is to play the victim of an imagined insult or somesuch. Yet another pose.

Sometimes it is a dishonest pose.

Most often, as in your case I think, it is a robotic function that mimics rather than originates an understanding of social institutions, marriage, and whatever topic is at hand. That doesn't make one a liar; it makes one a useful fool.

Again, I refer to your comments that gush forth the basic assumptions that underlay the deinstitutionalization of marriage.

Alan, here you have presented as unaware of The Full Stacey and the intended influence of SSM argumenation. And you have done so with comments that epitomize The Full Stacey.

Your stated intention is beside the point; but you have made it another data point by denying this.

Maybe I should not have said blissfully unaware. If you have not done your homework on the subject, you are probably striking an honest pose of blissfully ignorance. Doesn't really add credence to your opinion, however.

Maybe you have not yet read Blankenhorn's book -- the one that Gruntled has posted about and about which you have a ready opinion. I dunno.

Perhaps you have not grasped the essence of SSM argumenation nor the meaning of Stacey's support of merging SSM with marriage recognition. You may be honestly ignorant of the subject of Gruntled's post. I dunno.

No matter. You have posed. You have done so with words of bliss.

And now your latest comments have strongly suggested that you are unaware of how much more rope you keep adding to hang SSM argumentation.

* * *

Another part of your pose, Alan, is to accuse others of the very things you do with your own rhetoric here. That is not so uncommon among SSMers. It is distasteful and more a distraction -- and a hindrance -- than a contribution to civil discourse.

You can continue to vogue on.

Or you could do your homework and try to provide less show and more substance.

Become better informed.

For example, compare the content of the comments you made, and about which I commented earlier, with Blankenhorn's description of The Full Stacey and of the intended influence of SSM argumenation. That's a good place to start since Gruntled's post was about that part of Blankenhorn's book.

R.K. said...

"Jose, you're just upset because heterosexuals are more disposed to be 1. polygamists 2. child molestors and 3. rapists."

You don't want to open that door, Arturo, because look at what else is behind it: Dean Corll, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Patrick Kearney, the killers of Jesse Dirkhising.....

Let's not go there.

arturo fernandez said...

"I think I should let Renee respond to this, because it so obviously mischaracterizes what she and Gruntled have said, and they should point out better than me what it is you are so obviously not seeing here."

Defenders of Traditional Marriage, who find rape amazing, I'm still waiting.

Alan said...

RK writes, "Please explain how an "anything goes" situation can be expected to be less of an outcome for any institution or arena of human behavior when no basic definition is provided at all, than it is where one is provided, or even when one is provided that is "contradictory".

In general I'd say I'm a pragmatist. So, my answer would be that you've defined marriage, and yet anything goes. You allow basically any couple possessing the appropriate plumbing to get married and you have a 50% divorce rate, drunken Las Vegas weddings, serial monogamy in the form of 3rd, 4th & 5th marriages, mail-order brides, etc., etc., etc. So, practically speaking, your definition hasn't worked out so well has it?

You believe marriage is meant for procreation, yet you well know that 50% of those marriages will end in divorce, which certainly impacts the children of those marriages. What exactly is your definition doing to protect those kids? Clearly nothing.

The best you can get out of your current line of arguing is that if you provide a definition, anything goes (as is currently the case, though you seem unwilling to admit it), and if one doesn't provide such a definition, you speculate that anything goes as well. Practically speaking, I don't see the difference. "Anything goes" is already "anything goes."

Fact is, eliminating marriage entirely (The Full Stacey) isn't much worse than your current 50% divorce rate and zillions of train-wreck marriages. You argue against "the Full Stacey", but practically you've done nothing to keep it from happening already anyway. The difference between eliminating marriage entirely and a 50% divorce rate isn't much, it seems to me. We even hear today about couples having "trial marriages". At the same time, large numbers of heterosexual couples are living together without getting married. What are those, if not "the Full Stacey" in deed, if not in name? What is your definition doing to eliminate that?

So, to answer your question about how my position can be better than yours... I'll turn your question around. What's worse, real marriage destruction or possible marriage destruction?
You seem to believe that my position -- that relying on a definition to "save marriage" is naive because it obviously hasn't worked -- means that I don't want limits about who gets married or that I want to legally eliminate all marriage everywhere (ie. the Full Stacy). That's untrue. However, the reality is that you indeed do NOT seem to want limits on who gets married, as long as the couple in question has what you believe to be the proper plumbing. None of your "exceptions" (polygamy, incest, etc.) are currently legal, and yet you STILL have a 50% divorce rate! You want to blame me and my position for potentially setting the stage to possibly destroy marriage in the future by letting anything slide. I'm blaming *your* position for *already* destroying marriage *now* by letting anything slide. Seems to me, your position is worse. It's actually done nothing to fix the problem. Blaming the destruction of marriage on gay marriage (which basically doesn't exist) is simply ridiculous when it is obvious that you all have done your best to destroy it already.

It seems to me that, from a practical standpoint, given that a definition obviously doesn't work and hasn't worked, and given that you believe having no definition is also bad, then perhaps it is time for you to admit that attempting to defend marriage on the basis of a 15 word, bumper-sticker definition is an exercise that's bound to fail -- because it already has.

José Solano said...

Well, what can one say Dear Reader?

Alan’s form of argumentation has gone from making nonsense statements about it being “naïve” to define marriage to the preposterous in imagining that nothing should be defined unless somehow that definition has a sort of magical power to make itself happen among human beings. That is to say that we should not define murder or theft unless somehow that definition could reduce the number of murders or thefts or that the definition is dependent on that reduction. This must be the most desperate type of silliness argumentation and thoroughly bankrupt reasoning.

The primary reason to define something is to provide some sort of identification and signification to the thing, not to make the thing behave in a certain way. Definition is not some sort of magical incantation by which something comes into being. That’s a vestige from a pre-logical, pre-rational, primitive and superstitious form of thinking. Yet, even if we were to use the definition as an invocation to bring that thing into being (Derrida), that still demonstrates the value of the definition and does not support the notion that it is “naïve” to try and define it. On the contrary, all the more reason to define it.

One observes or conceives of something and then one describes it, one defines it so that one may communicate it to someone else. That’s the function of language. Because marriages break up does not mean that marriage must not be defined. Indeed, the fact that we can say that a marriage has broken up indicates that we know what a marriage is, not that it is indefinable or should not be defined. The work of supporting and strengthening marriage cannot exist without a definition of marriage. The failure and/or desire not to define it is the direct path to its deconstruction and eventual deinstitutionalization. It is rendered meaningless if one cannot identify or recognize what it is. This is precisely the problem that contemporary society is experiencing today and is in actuality a major cause of the disillusion of marriage and the fragmentation of families. For too many people it has become some sort of wish-wash amorphous relationship easily dispensed with.

Alan’s form of argumentation simply amounts to absolute gobbledygook. One correct observation that Alan appears to make is that we need to work on supporting marriage. Unfortunately, his inability or unwillingness to define marriage works completely against this goal.

P.S. Among the things that societies have added on to that fundamental defining core of marriage that has been universally understood—biological COMPLEMENTARITY with the hope of fruitfulness, PROCREATION—are the ideals of FAITHFULNESS (monogamy) and INDISOLUBILITY (permanence). This is the direction in which our society should head.

Alan said...

Actually my argument is and has been that it is naive to believe that a definition of marriage is going to somehow magically defend marriage -- because it obviously hasn't. It isn't a complicated argument, Jose, are you really that incapable of grasping something so simple?

I quote Jose, "When marriage is rendered meaningless you have really deinstitutionalized marriage and you are merely providing benefits to whomever claims their relationship is marriageable."

Um...News flash -- that's already the case now.

If Jose really wanted to defend marriage maybe he'd outlaw 3rd or 4th marriages (serial monogamy). Maybe he'd make divorce more difficult. Maybe he'd outlaw drunken Las Vegas weddings. Maybe he'd do something about the fact that a majority of heterosexual marriages in this country are civil marriages performed without the benefit (or support) of any faith community whatsoever. Maybe the religious communities that want to defend marriage would work harder to provide counseling for those about to enter into marriage.

Nope... they're not interested in any of that. They're sure a definition will save them all. Or picking on the gays....yeah, maybe that'll help. Anything but looking in the mirror.

I'm all for supporting marriage. As I've said earlier, I wish that all people could have happy, healthy, stable marriages that are the norm in my family. I just don't think that scape-goating a group of people who have never been allowed to get married as the reason your marriages are in shambles makes any sense at all.

You may as well blame unicorns.

"Let's create this definition of marriage, and then everything will be OK!", Jose contends.

Yeah, how's that worked out for you so far, kiddo?

Well, we've had just such a definition for quite some time, and yet we see the results. And we see exactly how much you are doing to reverse these trends: nothing. Where are the constitutional amendments to strengthen straight marriage?

Jose, you can bury your head in the sand and ignore the state that marriage is in if you like. Or you can look around and realize it's in serious trouble. But don't try to blame your mess on me.

Keep wordsmithing your bumper-sticker definition. I'm sure it'll save plenty of those marriages that are in trouble.

"Hey look, Maureen! They passed an anti-gay marriage amendment today. I'm going to call my divorce lawyer and have he rip up the divorce papers I filed!"

LOL. Yeah, right.

José Solano said...

Well, Dear Reader, it appears that Alan’s superstitious gobbledygook has no ends. He now projects some sort god-like omnipotence on me. “If Jose really wanted to defend marriage maybe he'd outlaw 3rd or 4th marriages (serial monogamy). Maybe he'd make divorce more difficult.” Maybe I would do this, maybe that, maybe, maybe, maybe. Maybe I can transform humanity into saintly beings. If I oppose war maybe I should stop it. Sorry folks, I’m just an ordinary mortal. It appears God can’t even do that.

And so, if we can’t transform the world by the waving of some magic wand it must mean that we’re “not interested in any of that”? Again, this is just silly argumentation.

We work to the best of our ability to improve marriage and family and oppose degenerate behaviors, violence, injustice, poverty, etc. To be sure, our efforts to improve the world are failing to a considerable extent, but that does not mean that we will stop trying and stop defining things, stop calling things what they are.

As has already been clearly demonstrated, failure to properly define marriage contributes to its demise, undermines the institution by making it meaningless.

Alan said...

"He now projects some sort god-like omnipotence on me."

I'm sure as you view the world in your child-like egotism, you think this is all about you. But I was using you as an example of your movement.

I'll try to make it simpler for you: Where are the Federal Marriage Amendments being proposed that would eliminate serial monogamy? Where are the Federal Marriage Amendments being proposed that would eliminate ANY of the other train-wreck marriages I've discussed? Answer: No where. None. Nothing of the sort has been proposed. Zilch. Nada. So much for your hard work to protect marriage. ;)

Jose says that "We work to the best of our ability to improve marriage and family..." Yet the "best of their ability" is to propose anti-gay marriage amendments. Wow...I'm truly impressed with your devotion to protecting your "definition."

What is truly sad is that, not only are you individually apparently not supporting those sorts of actions Jose, but your entire movement is ignoring them as well.

Nice try, but hopefully you can do better than that. LOL

The Culturologist said...

It's difficult for me to ignore the vapidity of what appears to be your position, Alan: 'I'm a homosexual and so by definition I understand same sex marriage and its likely implications for society better than heterosexual people, however much more familiar they may be with the relevant scholarly literature.'

That's the same kind of Know Nothing, essentialist crap that we heard in the 1960s and 1970s from extremist black nationalists regarding why white people could NEVER understand ANYTHING about their condition as well as the most unread black man could understand at the crude gut level.

Sorry, knowledge matters when what we are talking about is social and cultural order and change. If you don't even know who Judith Stacey is or what she has argued about marriage, you don't really merit any more attention from anyone who actually has bothered to do their homework on this issue until you get yourself up to speed.

Alan said...

"If you don't even know who Judith Stacey is or what she has argued about marriage, you don't really merit any more attention from anyone who actually has bothered to do their homework on this issue until you get yourself up to speed."

:)

And yet here you are commenting. :)

LOL

José Solano said...

“Ahhg. There they go again actually thinking that I really imagine what I say. Haven’t they figured out yet my chameleon way of talking. Nothing I say should be taken as if I really mean it or that what I say really has any meaning. They should know by now I can change it whenever I find it convenient or when what I’ve said has been exposed as nonsense. This is what Arturo and I have most in common. We are essential just reactions to what we don’t like. What we say should not be taken as if it has any sense.

For instance, I wasn’t really talking about you José, though I named you. ‘I was using you as an example of your movement.’ But you as ‘an example’ does not really include you. You see what I mean? If you do you’re doing better than I because I don’t. I just say things that sound interesting to me. I don’t check to see if they have any meaning. Arturo knows where I’m coming from. I mainly just want to insult people that might see through my irrational commentaries. It doesn’t matter to me that I just make mumbo jumbo statements without even a trace of substance. How did you like that bit about ‘your entire movement is ignoring them (marriage and family) as well.’ Take that as ‘you view the world in your child-like egotism.’ Ha, got you there. Those are strong words which I actually think I mean. But remember, I can ‘clarify’ in my next comment that I can mean almost anything since it’s really naïve to attribute any meaning to my words.

I try so hard to be slippery and indefinable in the hope of somehow inducing belief that there could be such a thing as homosexual “marriage.” That’s pretty hard to do but I’ve actually almost convinced myself. You see the only thing I’m really interested in is having everyone affirm my life style and crown it with the time honored and reserved title of “marriage.” By now Jose you should be realizing that to understand homosexualist reasoning all you need is some sense of the Theater of the Absurd.”

Hmm. I think I’m getting the picture. Thanks a lot for these confessions from the deep.

Alan said...

Ah, love the Weapons of Mass Distraction, Jose.

Can't actually rebut my points, eh? Nothing slippery at all about the charges I've made regarding the refusal of you Pharisees to actually do anything like defending marriage. Yet, you ignore that, because you have to. Because you know I'm right.

LOL

"I mainly just want to insult people that might see through my irrational commentaries."

Oh, the irony. ROFL.

Thanks Jose. Always glad to see where the Pharisees go when they've got nothing to say ... insults.

But you've given me a great laugh to end the week! Have a great weekend! :)

The Culturologist said...

Nope, not commenting on anything 'substantive' you've said, just pointing out the reaction you're sure to get from lots of people who take this topic seriously when you say you don't even know who relevant scholars on the subject ARE and you don't care.

The constant LOLs and winky faces don't win you many 'serious interlocutor' points either.

R.K. said...

I asked of Alan:

"Please explain how an "anything goes" situation can be expected to be less of an outcome for any institution or arena of human behavior when no basic definition is provided at all, than it is where one is provided, or even when one is provided that is 'contradictory'."

And he has not answered. The closest he has come is to essentially say that since "anything already goes", it could not be any worse if the basic definition is listed.

News flash, Alan: Things can always get worse.

So, now let me ask you:

Please explain how an "anything goes" situation can not be expected to be even more of an outcome for any institution or arena of human behavior when no basic definition is provided at all, than it is where one is provided, or even when one is provided that is "contradictory".

I'll be waiting for a real attempt at an answer, not another dodge by repetition of the same broken record (which we have really already answered numerous times).

Anonymous said...

oops, the last line of my third paragraph should read "it could not be any worse if the basic definition is lifted (not "listed").

R.K. said...

and "anonymous" above was me. Sorry.

arturo fernandez said...

no, it was me.

Alan said...

RK writes, "And he has not answered. The closest he has come is to essentially say that since "anything already goes", it could not be any worse if the basic definition is listed."

Actually that IS my answer. Really, RK, you can't even keep your own statements straight. First you say that I don't answer, then you repeat my answer almost verbatum. Your "you won't answer me" whine is becoming a broken record. The fact that you don't LIKE my answers doesn't mean I haven't answered....which you well know since you just repeated MY ANSWER. :)

Your vaunted "definition" has resulted in "anything goes." Do you watch the news? Do you see what's going on with marriage? It isn't clear to me how it could get worse.

RK writes, "Please explain how an "anything goes" situation can not be expected to be even more of an outcome for any institution or arena of human behavior when no basic definition is provided at all, than it is where one is provided, or even when one is provided that is "contradictory"."

RK, as YOU point out above, I HAVE already answered. I'll be glad to address more of your questions when you address even one of mine. I'm glad to have a discussion, but I'm not so interested in an interrogation. I'll be waiting for some real answers, not another dodge, not just another complaint that you don't like my answers. Thanks!

"The constant LOLs and winky faces don't win you many 'serious interlocutor' points either."

And yet you still keep commenting, Mr. Culturologist. Hilarious. LOL I don't intend to address your comments seriously, since you've made it clear that I "don't merit any more attention" from you ... well, except that you keep commenting. ROFL.

R.K. said...

I said:

"The closest he has come is to essentially say that since 'anything already goes', it could not be any worse if the basic definition is listed."

To which you reply: "Actually that IS my answer."

As if I hadn't just pointed out that things can always get worse.

So I ask again: Please explain how an "anything goes" situation can not be expected to become even worse for any institution or arena of human behavior when no basic definition is provided at all, than it is where one is provided, or even when one is provided that is "contradictory".

Or explain how and why things "can't get any worse", not only in what "goes", but to what extent.

You know my question, Alan. And you know full well that you have NOT answered it. But by repeatedly coming back and claiming otherwise, you are just playing a game....yes, a game....of seeing which of us wears down first so that they can claim the "last word".

A suggestion: Show your arguments here to a real professor of logic, one who is either neutral on or even lukewarmly pro-SSM. See what they say about your method of argument here.

Alan said...

RK, perhaps in your haste to post you skipped over reading this: "I'll be glad to address more of your questions when you address even one of mine. I'm glad to have a discussion, but I'm not so interested in an interrogation. I'll be waiting for some real answers, not another dodge, not just another complaint that you don't like my answers. Thanks!"

You've already restated MY answers to your questions multiple times. Funny how you can complain over and over that I don't answer your questions (when I clearly have, because you can even restate my answers!), but you refuse to answer mine.

You appear to want to play the victim, complaining that I won't answer your questions. But I think it's obvious that you haven't even attempted to answer mine. Why is that? By continuing to claim that I won't answer your questions, then restating my answers precisely, and yet also refusing to answer my questions you are just playing a game....yes, a game....of seeing which of us wears down first so that they can claim the "last word".

Until you'd be so gracious as to bother to answer all questions I've posed to you, and respond to the points I've made, I'd say there's not much more we can do here. But again, thanks for the discussion. I really do enjoy it. I think it's important to understand where the other side is coming from, and these conversations are very instructive.

You'll notice now (or perhaps you missed it) that I've made what those in linguistics call a "bid" to end the conversation amicably at the end of my last several posts. Yet you seem to need to continue our discussion, for some reason I can't quite figure out. However, I'll be happy to continue to reply to your comments as long as you continue to remain polite, and if you plan on ever answering MY questions and responding to my points. But all the same, I still think this is going nowhere and we can end any time you like. As I have now pointed out a dozen times (and you refuse to acknowledge), we're NEVER going to agree on these issues because we obviously don't agree on the more fundamental issue of homosexuality itself. Perhaps you're unable or unwilling to recognize that, simply because you like to argue or because this is, as you say, a "game"?

If, unfortunately, you are just playing a game now, continually repeating the same charge that I won't answer your questions, yet repeating my answers to your questions, then let me know that you need to have the last word, and I'll be happy to provide you with that opportunity.

R.K. said...

I long ago pointed out the very obvious flaw in your "answer" (that things can always get worse) and you have not answered it.

Alan, I think I will let it go at this because at this point I think it is obvious to any neutral observer who is dodging questions here. Again, take it to someone who specializes in logic and see what they say.

R.K. said...

"As I have now pointed out a dozen times (and you refuse to acknowledge), we're NEVER going to agree on these issues because we obviously don't agree on the more fundamental issue of homosexuality itself."

Where did I "refuse to acknowledge" this?

Alan, I am not asking you, nor do I expect you to, agree with me regarding SSM. But that's not the issue here. The issue here is when a whole type of argument is flawed, and the ability to see that should NOT merely depend on what position one holds on the issue being discussed. I am certain that many other, better proponents of SSM such as Jonathan Rauch, Dale Carpenter, and Andrew Sullivan could tell you the obvious flaws in your way of arguing here, and perhaps guide you to a different method.

Alan said...

"Alan, I think I will let it go..."

I agree, RK, and thanks for the lively discussion! It's unfortunate that we're unable to really talk to each other in a way that we can both understand. I suspect it's as much an artifact of the limited means of communication in blog comments, plus the constant distractions of other commenters. It is also pretty clear that there are some significant assumptions being made, perhaps on both sides, that are keeping us from understanding each other.

In any event, I hope you will consider the point I've been making all along -- that it will take some *real* work to rescue marriage and that scape-goating a tiny minority of people for the massive wreck that straight people have made of marriage is probably not the best way to "protect" marriage. I disagree that's an "illogical" point (and I can't help but observe that Sullivan, et. al. have made that same point numerous times), but in any event I still hope it is something you'll consider.

Though obviously we're not going to agree (about much of anything at all, it seems) I appreciate the way you conduct yourself, in contrast to the other folks who've commented here.

Take care. :)

Alan said...

"I long ago pointed out the very obvious flaw in your "answer" (that things can always get worse) and you have not answered it."

BTW, RK, just a minor point, but for future reference, when you debate these issues with others, since you are the one who made the claim (ie same-sex marriage will make things worse), typically the burden of proof is on the person making the claim. Demanding that I prove your point for you typically isn't the way logical debate works. Just some friendly advice...

R.K. said...

You take care, too, Alan. I've appreciated the lively discussion you've provided here as well. And I agree that there are probably assumptions being made, perhaps due to completely different approaches not only to this question, but to the question of argument itself, that keep us from understanding one another.

As for your statement about "burden of proof", I strongly disagree when the issue is unprecedented changes to highly complex systems (ecology, economy, environment, culture), but this is a discussion for another thread.

Anyway, thank you for the civil but lively debate, and take care.

José Solano said...

In brief summation folks:

The defenders of marriage that have commented here know what marriage is and can define it. This enables us to work for its protection because it is identifiable. Blankenhorn has provided his three rules of marriage: The rule of two, the rule of opposites and the rule of sex. We essentially agree with these three rules as needed for the formation of a marriage institution in our nation. I have given a more precise definition for all circumstances and societies, for our nation and for other cultures that do not subscribe to the Judeao-Christian precepts of marriage. What all of them have in common in defining marriage is that marriage must have complementarity as a relationship that lacks complementarity neuters marriage and forecloses on the possibility of procreation. Children obtained by such a neutered relationship are denied the right to a mother and a father.

The institution of marriage has always recognized that complementarity allows for the continuation of society. People are not considered married merely because they care for children otherwise everyone that cares for children could apply for marriage licenses and its benefits. The institution of marriage has always been a blessing and sanctification of man and woman because of the assumption that they may procreate. Society has always recognized the obvious biology by which the opposite sexes are naturally fitted for each other. If some cannot or will not procreate it does not negate the purpose of marriage. It is the misfit that negates marriage.

The purpose of the definition of marriage is not to defend marriage but to acknowledge, to recognize what it truly is so that society may provide marriage the special distinctions and privileges that the society believes it merits. This is why it is simply silly to try and qualify an earlier assertion that it is “naïve at best to define marriage” by saying: “My argument is and has been that it is naive to believe that a definition of marriage is going to somehow magically defend marriage -- because it obviously hasn't.” No one has said marriage is defined so as to defend marriage. Is this a straw man, a red herring or simply a lame attempt to camouflage the earlier nonsensical assertion?

The grave problem is that if we ignore the definition of marriage we will either be unable to determine who should obtain the special privileges and benefits reserved for marriage and thereby deinstitutionalize civil marriage or allow anyone with sufficient political power to obtain them.

We must preserve the definition of marriage to avoid the deconstruction of marriage. Defining it will not stop people from having marital problems or divorcing. The problems of divorce and family fragmentation are addressed through specific laws countering our present no fault divorce system, providing good instruction in the public schools that properly identify marriage and wholesome family structures rather than equalizing wholesome families with fragmented and dysfunctional families. And the defenders of marriage are certainly working on that front also, but that is a discussion for a different thread.

Here the marriage defenders have only addressed what marriage is while the opposition has sought to evade and confound its definition so as to allow homosexual relationships to usurp the privileges and distinctions of marriage.

arturo fernandez said...

Here's an example of how Jose's beloved "law of opposites" play out in the real world.

http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/56219/

Gruntled said...

Wow, Gloria Steinem has been living in a time capsule! Really brings the '70s back ...
(Also, she seems to have confused "Saving Private Ryan" with "Band of Brothers," and missed the point of both.)

arturo fernandez said...

Gruntled, you mean "Jose has been living in a time capsule". He's the one who likes "the law of opposites".

arturo fernandez said...

By the way Gruntled: Cheers!

José Solano said...

Hola Arturo,

You seem to have amazing consistency in that all of your comments are irrational and irrelevant.

Nevertheless, as I believe I have a pretty good sense of humor, I can say that though I avoid her language, I do agree with Gloria on a number of observations that she makes in her article. It is a well-known fact that certain movies appeal more to women than to men and vice versa but stereotyping on the grounds of this truthful generalization is uncalled for. A great many movies appeal to both men and women. My wife and I, for instance, agree one hundred percent on the movies we like and we had a wonderful time a couple of nights ago watching a splendid video of Maya Plisetskaya performing excerpts from great ballets. We also enjoyed an excellent documentary on Islamic mysticism, “The Sufi Way.”

Nevertheless, most movies and the popular media in general are geared to a very low level of intelligence easily amused or thrilled by inane stupidities, and this applies to both men and women. Gloria seems to be watching some pretty awful stuff.

Adiós.

arturo fernandez said...

Hola Jose:

Indeed, as you say, "It is a well-known fact that certain movies appeal more to women than to men and vice versa." The more they are made to appeal to one gender without regard to the other the more they are, as you say "geared to a very low level of intelligence". Gays are generally disinterested in the (your phrase) "inane stupidities" that interests the stereotypical male. One of the commentor-critics of Gloria's article states that for males to like films "with more content and sensitivity" is to fear being seen as "effeminate"--gay.

You say you and your wife like ballet. That also appeals to gays. You're rejecting the "law of opposites". You have more of a gay marriage than most straights do.

arturo fernandez said...

Alan said: "I agree, RK, and thanks for the lively discussion! It's unfortunate that we're unable to really talk to each other in a way that we can both understand. I suspect it's as much an artifact of the limited means of communication in blog comments, plus the constant distractions of other commenters."

Jose, I think that means us. I don't think they like us. Viva La Raza!

José Solano said...

Yes Arturo, I think you are right but for the wrong reason. I don’t think it has anything to do with ethnic prejudice.

Homosexualists try very hard to silence me because of my uncompromising position on their perverse behaviors. Much as I care for them as people, their aberrant sexual practices cannot be condoned and are a terrible impediment to their actualizing their full potential as human beings. They can’t stand that I do not take seriously their mock marriages and their fallacious, empty and contradictory arguments by which they seek to justify their gross conduct and desensitize the gullible masses to what they do to each other. I tell it as it is. Their sexual practices are an abomination.

Well, of course they are not going to like me and think I’m quite rude, to say the least. How dare I say such a thing when they are working so hard to convince themselves and everyone else that theirs is a normal and healthy lifestyle, indeed that it’s their actual identity. What nonsense!

Some wish to so aggrandize their moral turpitude as to use the term for obscene sexual behavior, “gay”, to denote the appreciation of sublime, intelligent and creative non-perverse acts. So coming from you I am to take it as a compliment that I “have more of a gay marriage than most straights do.”

People engaging in homosexual acts can do any number of wonderful things and have great appreciation of the arts. Likewise with the adulterer or abortionist or zoophile. Some years back I had wonderful neighbor who was an excellent cellist, a friend of Yoko Ono, who cared for her dog so much she would masturbate him so that he might be happy. Is there a law against that? I don’t know. It’s certainly a behavior I cannot condone and by Old Testament standards she would have been stoned to death. I’m a pacifist so I wouldn’t go that far. I don’t think that because we both appreciate and are involved in the arts she would “compliment” my marriage by saying we “have more of a zoophile marriage than most straight people.” Can you appreciate the analogy?

I wish you wellness and spiritual growth.

Adiós. ¡Viva la raza!

arturo fernandez said...

The only way to appreciate your analogy is by believing that a human person's sexual attraction to a human male or to a human female is a perversion, like a person's sexual attraction to a nonhuman. Which compares to having sex with an animal, in your opinion, having sex with a man, or with a woman? I'm guessing you guys think having sex with a woman compares to having sex with an animal: because raping a woman can create life, your side has already declared it to be "amazing" and very lovely indeed.

As I said above, one of the commentor-critics of Gloria's article states that for males to like films "with more content and sensitivity" is to fear being seen as "effeminate"--gay. If the commentor had said it's fear of being seen as "bestial", it would have made no sense at all. In fact, bestial would be the opposite of "sublime, intelligent, and creative", your words for what Gloria's commentor called "effeminate". The fact that we can appreciate what this commentor wrote would give you a clue, if you weren't blinded by bigotry, as to why God or Nature made sure that there be some such people among His human creation. It wasn't just for gay's own benefit, as your own marriage attests.

"Effeminate" necessariy means an increased sexual attraction for the male gender. Because to improve on the male gender made it inevitable that some males be sexually attracted to other males, same-sex attraction for the male is a good thing--because it's a natural thing and a necessary thing.

I wish you wellness and spiritual growth.

Viva La Raza Cosmica!

Anonymous said...

And by the way Jose, I don't think there's any ethnic prejudice involved. I'm just kidding.

Viva La Raza Cosmica!

José Solano said...

Sorry Arturo but it was too hard to follow all that. I don't really know what you're talking about. Oh yes, I did catch that part, I'm a bigot. And that was very interesting eugenics; “to improve on the male gender made it inevitable that some males be sexually attracted to other males.” Hmm. I’m just left speechless.

Cuídate. Adiós.

arturo fernandez said...

Eugenenics? I clearly said that God or Nature made it that way. That's the kind blindness I'm talking about. Let go of that bigotry, and you'll begin to understand.

José Solano said...

Hmm. God or nature? Is this some original thought or study of yours, or some personal revelation you’ve had? I certainly don’t remember it in the Bible. The Bible says that in the beginning God created humans as male and female and calls homosexual conduct an abomination. Jesus says that a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife in marriage and the two (man and woman) become one. It’s definitely not in the Koran nor even in the Damapada. Even the recently released Gospel of Judas condemns homosexuality (which the National Geographic Society decided to ignore in its TV reenactment) and no Gnostic group says such a thing.

If its nature where do you get such evidence? You probably have not observed that all claims of a “gay gene” have been debunked. So your eugenics [the science that deals with the improvement (as by control of human mating) or hereditary qualities of a race or breed.] must be an original insight unknown to the scientific world. I suggest you publish it right away and seek peer review. The homosexualist editors of the NY Times would love to make it front-page news.

Your still batting 1000 on the irrational scale. It must be a lifestyle of yours.

Hasta la vista.

arturo fernandez said...

So suddenly you understand it to know it's irrational? You're a joke. But I wish you well.

Hasta la vista.

R.K. said...

Arturo, do you feel it is a good, or even wonderful, thing for poor people to get food?

If your answer is yes, then by analogy with your repeated comment here, which you seem to think has been some kind of an argumentative checkmate, you must also have believed that the SLA kidnapping of Patty Hearst was a wonderful thing. (If you're too young to remember, look it up on the internet).

John Howard said...

From my blog, 4.12.2007:

Here is what I would offer as the definition of marriage:

"Marriage is the right to conceive children together."

José Solano said...

Hello John Howard,

You sure get around. I certainly agree with you in that it is a given that all marriages have a right to conceive children. This is a right given by natural law and God not by governments, so that if civil law should deny the natural and divine right to conceive to a man and a woman who have of their own will been joined in matrimony, their marriage is no less valid and no less a complete marriage.

Governments may and should reinforce the natural law and may provide privileges and benefits to marriages. But civil law should deny the right to conceive to same-sex couples or to potentially self-propagating individuals, as we find among certain lizards.

On the other hand, should a government or anyone impose the right to conceive on a man and a woman who have not chosen to be married, that man and woman are not thereby married. This can be understood in terms of breeding programs demanded of slaves.

Nevertheless to create the formula Marriage = Right to Conceive is imprecise and should really be stated as Marriage > Right to Conceive because marriage by definition requires complementarity. To say, “to conceive children together” is also unclear as it does not clarify—“together” with whom?

John Howard said...

Together with whom?? With each other, silly, using their own gametes. When a couple is legally married, it means the authorities that issued the license to marry approve of the concept of offspring of those two people. If the law does not allow the conception of offspring using their gametes, marriage is not allowed.

If civil law should deny the natural and divine right to conceive to a man and a woman who have of their own will been joined in matrimony, their marriage is no less valid and no less a complete marriage.

Are you kidding me?? That is the danger, that people will claim that conception rights are not essential to marriage, and it does not harm or change their marriage for them to be prohibited from conceiving together. But of course it does change the marriage, it completely destroys the most universal constant of marriage.
Can you imagine if the court ruled in Loving that the Lovings could marry, but Virginia could still prohibit them from conceiving together? It was the conceiving part that was the "basic civil right of man" that made marriage a right in the first place.
Complementarity is not necessary to conceive together anymore, we need to prohibit people from conceiving with someone of their same sex, and we need to preserve the right of every marriage to conceive genetic offspring. And complementarity is not a good definition of marriage, I'm complementary to about 3 billion women, but there are many I can't marry, and the special thing about the one I marry is that we then have - or damn well better have - a right to conceive children together.

José Solano said...

Now, now John Howard, it’s not a good idea to start a discussion by insulting the person you’re talking to. I am not being silly because I do not take a simplistic view of your little equation. I realize you wish it to be airtight but it simply isn’t and I’m pointing out to you where the holes are.

You apparently are talking about “civil” marriage so to begin with the word “civil” should be placed before the word marriage in your little equation. Marriages occurred before the civil institution came into being. The definition of marriage must be understood from this beginning as the complementary union of man and woman. Marriages existed even where conception was not recognized as the common byproduct of a marriage.

You add “with each other” as if to imply a two person marriage but this is not in your little equation either. Does “with each other” include polygamous relationships?

Regardless of how the court would rule in Loving or whatever, the people that have married remain married and retain their natural and divine right to conceive. The only thing irrational laws can do is to provide penalties for the violators of the law. They cannot abrogate marriages because a marriage exists in spite of the law. What the law can do is recognize a marriage and provide it privileges and benefits, IF it understands what a marriage is. It may mistakenly imagine it is recognizing a marriage where no marriage has really occurred as with ss “m” in Massachusetts.

John Howard said...

I'm talking about marriage as recognized by the people who would otherwise punish the couple for having sex. Yes, it's civil marriage, all that matters is the power and authority to punish and prohibit unmarried sex and to enforce the obligations of marriage on couples that civil society has allowed to have sex.

Polygamous marriages are allowed to conceive children together, that has been consistently true also. The husband is allowed to have sex and conceive children with all of his wives. Marriage is the right to conceive children together.

Alan - don't drop out of this conversation yet. Marriage should guarantee the right to conceive children, using the marriage's own gametes. Same-sex couples should not be given the right to conceive children together.

José Solano said...

Marriages have the right to conceive children together. “Same-sex couples should not be given the right to conceive children together” even when a state calls their affair a “marriage.” Presently the law allows homosexuals to conceive, if they could. There should be legislation preventing homosexuals from conceiving and homosexuals should be supportive of this. There should also be legislation preventing humans from conceiving with chimpanzees or other non-humans, if that were ever possible but because of the Kayuga results legislation against same-sex procreation should be pursued first. We should also be aware of the self-procreation (parthenogenesis) possibility as has been recently discovered among Komodo dragons and which exists among other animals. I’m not sure how to address this in law and the only known case in humans is the birth of Jesus. If it happens without artificial means it certainly should not be outlawed.

John Howard said...

Marriages have the right to conceive children together.

Excellent, thank you.

“Same-sex couples should not be given the right to conceive children together” even when a state calls their affair a “marriage.”

I agree, but don't you see how this changes marriage? I'm not sure which is worse, actually: allowing same-sex conception or stripping marriage of conception rights. Same-sex conception might never become practical enough for any couple to choose it over other ways of acquiring cure little children. But if we have stripped marriages of conception rights because people accept your view, that could result in people being forced to use donor gametes, etc. I don't know why you refuse to simply say that such a situation is unacceptable, and demand that we do not allow same-sex marriages because marriage must continue to guarantee conception rights. You seem so worried that SSC will be justification for SSM, and yet you refuse to present a unified defense against both of them for some reason. They should both be fought as if they are the same thing, because it is important for them to BE the same thing. Don't separate them, that's what they want to do!

Presently the law allows homosexuals to conceive, if they could.

You mean "same-sex couples", not "homosexuals". Yes, the law allows pretty much everything, and in all cases, it is "if they could". Both-sex couples are allowed "if they can", and human-animal hybrids and cloning are allowed "if they can".

There should be legislation preventing homosexuals from conceiving and homosexuals should be supportive of this.

Again, you mean "same-sex couples". Every person has a right to conceive.

There should also be legislation preventing humans from conceiving with chimpanzees or other non-humans, if that were ever possible but because of the Kayuga results legislation against same-sex procreation should be pursued first.

It's all covered by an "egg and sperm" law, Jose. And the egg and sperm law only would stop intentional attempts at conceiving children that are not from a man's sperm and a woman's egg, so Mary would be in the clear. God is allowed to violate our human rules whenever he wants, he kills millions of people a day, for instance.