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November 14, 2006

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LAK

Frederick, to compare Iraq to WWII is absurd. To justify the carnage there by appealing to 9/11 is equally absurd. Iraq is a travesty, a bogus war that easily could have been avoided. We could have achieved much better ends by non-violent means. Your inability to separate Iraq from legitimate use fo force is spectacularly foolish and intellectually dishonest. Hundreds of thousands dead for what? To get rid of the "rape" rooms and brutality by Saddam when dimploatic means probably would have been far more successful?

Stop conflating bullshit war based on outright lies and preying on fear with legitimate uses of force.

And either way, the point is that the emotional human element should be considered and felt by all. Japan should have shown its people gruesome pictures of war dead befoe it bombed pearl harbor. Our media should show pictures of children with their heads blown off, becasue that is the truth of what is happening. Our media should show pictures of dead American soldiers and their caskets.

Everyone should see the real cost of war. All humanity would be better off if war wasn't something that happened in vid and sound bytes of bloodless cool explosions on CNN. We should see the dismembered people, we should hear stories of mothers who lost their children. We should hear soundbytes of screaming and sorrow and wailing.

Likewise we should hear stories of same sex love and stories of the hardships that a lack of state sacntioned same sex union causes in a world in which tehre are many many same sex couples.

All this would more adequately inform the debate and the collective cost benefit analysis we do would be that much more accurate.

These are real people getting their heads blown off. George Bush should have to hold a piece of a child's brain in his hand while he witnesses the life leave that child's body first hand. Then he should talk about Christ as he orders more bombs dropped on a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 or Al Qaeda.

Erasmussimo

Mr. Hamilton, you have excursed into a total non-sequitur. I have not offered any of the ridiculous straw men you tear into. Your argument completely evades the point I was making and addresses something else entirely.

I will offer just one observation, and ignore the rest of your irrelevant arguments. You ask, "Who in their right mind "wants to go to war"?" The answer, of course, is those who decide to go to war. The invasion of Iraq wasn't a mistake caused by Mr. Bush accidentally pushing the wrong button on his telephone. Mr. Bush exercised his volition and chose to go to war. All those people who supported his decision also chose to go to war. I'm certain that they acknowledged the costs of the undertaking, but in the end they decided that they wanted the war badly enough to pay the price. The problem is always that people underestimate the cost of war; that's why we need the personal anecdotes to remind us of just how horrific the results are.

And yes, we need the personal anecdotes from 9/11 to remind us of how horrific terrorism can be. I look at ALL the pictures, the pictures of the people jumping out of the WTC, the pictures from Abu Ghraib, the picture of the little Iraqi girl covered in her dead mother's blood, screaming in terror on the pavement. I constantly remind myself o the human costs of these policies. Do you?

Frederick Hamilton

Yes, war really is hell on earth. To equate Iraq with WWII is not so outlandish as you feel. But, I am sensitive to the fact that the vote to go to war in Iraq was a voluntary decision based in part on some faulty info (not lies). What should the civilized world do with the Saddam's. With Darfur? With Srebrenica? If realitively little power (I know, don't go balistic but 2,800 American lives lost versus a half million slaughtered by Saddam) or possibly a very small force in Darfur or as we did in Kosovo (air power only) accomplishes an end to the genocide, is it worth it?

I know the humanity of it is real. Should Lincoln have not pursued the Civil War given it's horrible humanitarian devastation. More lives lost than any war before of since. More lives lost at the battle of Antietam (28,000 on both sides) than any battle in America's history. The carnage of the Civil War was just unimaginable. Worth it? Had Lincoln aqcuiesed to the division of the nation over 618,000 lives would not have been lost.

Had we ignored Hitler, we would not have lost 292,000 Americans. The toll of WW II by all combined estimates is close to 50,000,000.

All pictures of all the dead in war would galvanize the world and occupy a complete large city library depending on the size of the pictures.

I don't have the answers. Clearly you do. It is easy to posit, no more war. It is impossible for that to be reality because of people like Saddam, Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin et al. Should civilized nations capable of stopping a person like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who calls for the annihilation of Israel do anything about him? Negotiations only? If he obtains nuclear weapons and then uses them against Israel, what should we do?

Islamic fundamentalists who teach their 3 year old children to hate Jew pigs and infidel Americans and train them to be suicide bombers are in a war of attrition. What should we do? Should we simply cede Israel to the Islamic fanatics and hope the problem will then be over? A few million Jews for peace. Not a bad deal, huh?

I know you Eras and LAK think all of this is just "straw men". I am a fairly well read fellow and I believe the Islamic jihadists are for real and will be for a long time to come. And they only kill a few hundred or thousand at a time, so maybe we should accept that as a way to exist in this newfound crazy world? And until a few years ago they were only killing Israeli Jews, so?

I know the hell of war. I had close relatives killed in our recent wars. It isn't pretty. It is disgusting. Sure Bush could carry a piece of an Iraqi childs skull, and Saddam could carry bags full of people shredded in his human shredding machines (alive), and Truman could carry pieces of Japanese and FDR Germans, and Kennedy, LBJ and Nixon pieces of Vietnamese.

I am waiting for the answers to today's Islamic Jihadists, Muslim Jew haters, African Darfur genocidists, et al. I am afraid the mindsets of the above will respond only to a major show of force.

I am so pessimistic about the Middle East that I think the use of nuclear weapons in that part of the world is inevitable (not by us). I also think it inevitable that a nuclear device will be detonated in a large American city by Islamic Jihadists.

All American Presidents carrying bodyparts and all the pictures of the dead you talk about will not change the world we now live in.

There will be peace if those that hate us and hate Jews want peace. If they don't, there will be perpetual war. Pretty simple and pretty depressing as that.

With all the negatives that Americans wish didn't have to be such as TSP, NSA, there is no other option than to stay up the terrorists ass and kill them when we can find them until they cry uncle. They may not surrender for a very long time. If not they will kill us and we will kill them and Eras and LAK will have a hell of a lot of pictures to look at and war will still be hell.

Americans, Israelis and most sane people want peace. Islamic Jihadists and Muslim fanatics want death to Jews and infidels and Sharia Law. Those two polar opposites mean continued war until one side or the other lays down.

Peace.

LAK

There was a vote not for "war" but for the grant of war powers, and it was forced on the legislature with the threat of political death if you did not vote for it. Still a few Dems had some spine. No delaration of war, just a sheepish grant of discretion to teh president by a bunch of political whores.
And if you think teh Legislature had the same and all the information as the Whitehouse Frederick, I have a bridge to sell you.

This ain't the civil war, this ain't world war II. Stop conflating them Frederick, you do your honesty and debate a disservice. The difference between the civil war and a preemptive war based on intentional misinformation provided to Congress and the public is so obvious I shouldn't even have to mention it.

Your pessimism and fear are palpable though. It must be depressing being you.

bobo

"But patience is what we will need. The fight for equality under the law is going to be a 20-year battle -- I've just been through a year-long brawl in Wisconsin on this issue, organizing a county in opposition to the amendment, so I have a ground-level sense of how tough this is going to be -- and it is going to end up being decided by the US Supreme Court in the end. "

And we're here to fight against you every step of the way. Should be a fun ride.

BoBo Out.

Roach

There is a good reason that traditional notions of the "ethics of rhetoric" have called for avoiding personal testimonials, particularly when they involve family members, when discussing issues of public important. Many people, including me, believe having gay relationships is immoral, that gays should no more be married than brothers and sisters, and that there are good reasons for these beliefs and these policies.

At the same time, we know it's not the worst thing on earth to commit the immoral act of homosexuality, and, like any other human follies and mental illnesses, it's natural that parents will love their children so afflicted and even modify their own views on account of a personal encounter with this condition.

But, by bringing up family members with this problem, Stone short circuits the debate by putting interlocutors in the position of being able to raise their points about the morality of banning gay marriage (and of being gay) only by attacking Stone's daughter. It's the rhetorical equivalent of using a human shield. I think it's an abusive use of rhetoric that any high school debater could spot and, frankly, it's completely pathetic of Stone to do this.

Here's an analogy, which incidentally is completely true. I have strong views on the war on terror, as regulars to this site know. And I may be right or wrong in those views. For example, I certainly don't think the terrorist scum at GITMO deserve Constitutional protection, Geneva protection, Habeas appeals, or any of the other nonsense that Geoff Stone and others have sought to provide these monstrous people.

But it would not be appropriate for me to interject the following: *if people like you have your way, then the people that killed my uncle, Donald Regan, FDNY, will go free and you will have enabled them to do so. You will be siding with the terrorists who killed a member of my family.*

I only bring this up as an example. I do not pull out this card in debates on this subject, because to do so would give me an edge, based on sympathy and the emotional heavy firepower of invoking a deceased family member. Its just as wrong (and lame) to wave the bloody shirt, as it is wrong to wave the lavender one as well.

Discussions of policy, and ultimately good policy itself, should be based on generally applicable arguments based on reason, not maudlin appeals that interject the speaker's family.

Since Stone started this ridiculous devolution, though, and after some reflectin I realized I should not enable it by pretending this is OK and that this kind of way of normalizing gay marriage--something as ridiculous as marrying a shoe--is acceptable. Stone's entry above is infantile and mischevious. If I hurt his feelings, that's his own fault for writing this rather pathetic paen to his daughter and her sex partner.

LAK

"But it would not be appropriate for me to interject the following: *if people like you have your way, then the people that killed my uncle, Donald Regan, FDNY, will go free and you will have enabled them to do so. You will be siding with the terrorists who killed a member of my family.* "

Actually no it wouldn't becasue Stone doesn't use his daughter to make off the wall irrational assertions about someone's loyalty to their country.

Saying what you said would be akin to saying those who believe in the 4th amendment side with murderers who get off because evidence seized in violation of the 4th amendment is deemed inadmissable, oh and a cousin of mine was murdered.

When does Stone invoke his daughter to make an irrational argument? Never.

You'll have to try again Roach. You can do better. Your example didn't give me a second of pause, because your conclusion is ridiculous and your use of your uncle has noting to do with your conclusion. It was a piss poor analogy.

"You're not too smart. I like that in a man."
-Kathleen Turner in Body Heat.


BoBo

BoBo knows.

Chet Lemon

No one is preventing anyone from "marrying." A number of church denominations bless these unions and two women or two men may call the union a "marriage" if they please.

What the author is proposing is an imposition. Marriage laws as they currently stand are not an imposition on anyone as the author suggests. Every single person is subject to the same exact limitations regarding whom one may marry.

State interest is what we should be discussing. There is no state interest in expanding marriage to include same-sex couples. The reason marriage is recognized is not to put some sort of stamp of approval on "love." If that were the case, how could marriage be limited at all, assuming the author believes that there should be limits on what types of relationships and number of participants may qualify as marriage in the eyes of the state. Marriage is recognized in order to encourage men and women to provide children produced as a result of this unique, induplicable union the optimal environment -- a home with a a mother AND a father. A question supporters of same-sex "parenting" must answer: Which parent, the mother or the father, is irrelevant? How can one say that a child should be purposely deprived of one or the other? It's dangerous to conclude that children are just fine in any old arrangement. It's baffling that a "birds and bees" sit-down is necessary here, but two women cannot "have children." This is what makes it completely rational that the state would limit marriage to couples that possess the complementarity that led to the recognition of marriage as it has existed in America for our entire history.

I already hear it...so here goes...infertile hetro couples or hetero couples who don't plan to have children should still be able to marry. This position is not contradictory, nor is it an argument for same-sex "marriage."

Marriage laws apply equally to every person -- in the entire universe of citizens, every individual has the same opportunities and restrictions regarding what other individual one may marry. Also, the government has no right to administer fertility tests or to make couples swear to have children or not.

Thus, that marriage laws treat every individual identically makes them just. When we talk about rights under our system of law, rights are applied to INDIVIDUALS -- not groups or couples. Any argument relying on a foundation of "couples' rights" is built on sand because such an idea is a radical invention constructed to achieve political ends and remedies not available through an honest application of the law.

LAK

Roach, are you just another repressed homosexual like Haggard? Are you sure? Immoral? According to whom? You? Jesus? That angry superego you have that makes your psyche pay in guilt each time you spank it to the idea of sucking on a big dick?

I only wish I could be as explicitly offensive as you are implicitly. What a terrible terrible human being you must be.

Erasmussimo

Mr. Hamilton, you continue your divagatory predilections, and the only reasonable course open to me is to ignore you. I don't know how you manage the logical leap from a lesbian couple's desire for marriage to Mr. Hussein's atrocities, but I shall simply ignore it.

Mr. Roach, I chastise you for your abusive language. I have on a number of occasions objected to Mr. LAK's language and yours is every bit as destructive to rational discourse. Please, let's focus on the issues.

Turning to the elements of your post that have substance, I'd like to focus on your suggestion that {offering anecdotal evidence as illustrative of the problem} is "the rhetorical equivalent of using a human shield". I find this suggestion patently absurd, because in this case the individuals cited are not the shield, they're the target! Mr. Stone's post is a direct example of how the policy we discuss is implemented. Let me remind you that laws apply to PEOPLE. Talking about exactly how those laws directly affect those people is the most pertinent way to consider them. Legal abstractions are certainly appropriate to consider as well, but ultimately the effect of all laws is on people and examples of how those laws affect people is the most direct and most relevant evidence we have to consider.

Thus, it is entirely fair and proper to bring the ethical issue directly to you. You would deny these two people what they want. They have done nothing to hurt you, but you want to hurt them. You advocate a policy that is injurious to their happiness. You are welcome to defend yourself with the claim that the injury you inflict upon them is counterbalanced by other factors, but I insist that you acknowledge the fact that you are a contributor to the injury wrought upon these people.

Cynic

"But it would not be appropriate for me to interject the following: *if people like you have your way, then the people that killed my uncle, Donald Regan, FDNY, will go free and you will have enabled them to do so. You will be siding with the terrorists who killed a member of my family.*"

Oh come on Roach. This is a faulty analogy and you know it. A more fitting analogy would be to note that movies have been made about the terror of 9/11, the victims' tragic stories have been told and retold, and the lives of those affected by the tragedy have been brought to the forefront of the public mind, all to argue the same conclusion: we have to get the bastards who did this.

You're not going to turn on your own, now, are you, Roach?

LAK

Some more rock solid conservative thinking. Jesus I should have gone to Boalt.

If you want state interest, look at the court costs of cleaning up the mess that a lack of state sanctioned marriage leaves when same sex couples divorce or one dies. My ex girlfriend from U of C law is making a killing representing gay people in will disputes and custody battles. All of which would be moot if the same legal presumptions, rights and privileges applied to same sex couples as they did to hetero ones.

When the reality is that there are tens of thousands of same sex couples living together as a family, some with children they raise together, to dimiss the equal protection issue by noting that all men can still marry a woman and all woman can marry men is either ignorant or purposefully disingenous. Take your pick.

Awful. Who rasies these people to hate others?

Hell I'm pretty much anti-homosexuality in theory, I think it is a symptom of the stark polarity of gender construction in capitalism. There is massive gender alienation in our culture which resluts in many many people being unable to form meaningful intimate relaionships with members of the opposite sex, and many many poeple who feel alienated from tehir own gender becaseu they don't look or act a certain way. The result is a stark increase in homosexuality.

But to attempt to impose these beliefs on others through the law? to attempt to deny individuals their freedom and equal protection of the law? Are you kidding? If I can do it, you bigoted conservatives can too. Its called political ethics. I would never impose my view that abortion is immoral on otehrs as a legal matter to the point where I would want to government to tella woman what she can and can't do with her body. Nor would I continue to allow the government to fail to extend equal protection of marriage laws to same sex families.

Where did you people learn your civics lessons? Who failed you in that you would willingly impose views of yours that sound more in faith and speculation on others through the action or inaction of governemnt.

It is so deeply deeply shameful and hostile to everything this country is about.

LAK

Eras,

Do you realize how utterly offensive it was to call Stone's daughter's fiancee her "sex partner"

What a shithead that guy is. So depressing that people like him even exist and had such horrible childhoods they could end up with so much hate in their hearts.


Erasmussimo

Mr. Lemon, you raise the "state interest" argument, which is certainly a rational one to which I have no fundamental objection. The debate then turns on a careful analysis of what exactly is in the state's interest. If you posit that the state has a legitimate interest in the proper upbringing of children, then you have started down a treacherously slippery slope, as I have explained in another thread. We already intervene to assert our interest in insuring that parents do not beat or abuse children. But what is meant by "abuse"? Surely a parent should spend a minimum amount of money on food, shelter, and clothing for each child, but what should that minimum be? And should we take children away from parents who cannot or will not spend our defined minimum?

How about education? We all agree that every child must be educated -- but how much and to what standard? In our ever-more-technological society, mere literacy is no longer sufficient to insure a child a productive place in society. Is it not in the state's interest to insure that every child is educated to minimum standards of mathematics and computers? How about science? Is it in the state's interest to insure that every child has a basic understanding of elementary scientific principles? Most scientists would agree that the theory of evolution constitutes one of those basic scientific principles -- does this mean that the state has a legitimate interest in requiring every child to learn evolution?

And then there's family structure. I find it ironic that Americans defend the nuclear family as some sort of time-honored tradition. The nuclear family is a perversion, a deviation from the near-universal extended family. All the literature agrees that allomothers are a crucial factor in maternal success, but our society has stripped away the allomothers and left the birth mother bereft of the support traditionally provided. Based on what we know about traditional child-rearing, a lesbian couple should be superior to a traditional heterosexual couple for bringing up children. Fathers are of secondary value; for most of history, most children spent most of their early years in close contact with women and rare contact with men. Hence, if you really want to support the traditions of human families, then you really want to support lesbian marriages (but not male homosexual marriages).

Cynic

"I realized I should not enable it by pretending this is OK and that this kind of way of normalizing gay marriage--something as ridiculous as marrying a shoe--is acceptable."

I know I already responded to your comment, Roach, but this caught my eye and I could not let it slip.

Ladies and gentlemen, what Roach is doing here is suggesting the gay persons are less than human. If marrying a gay person is no more sensible than marrying a shoe, what other conclusion is one to reach?

Roach, I don't know how you got to the point where you're able to callously demean the humanity of other living persons, but I will politely request that if you are unable to respect your fellow human beings as your equals before God, that you do not remark upon their lives and our laws respecting them any further. Your remarks are offensive, slanderous, and among the most reproachful actions a human being can take.

Roach

I see the naturally loving and charitable nature of the liberal has shown itself once again in LAK and some other people's nutty posts.

Someone wrote, "You advocate a policy that is injurious to their happiness. You are welcome to defend yourself with the claim that the injury you inflict upon them is counterbalanced by other factors, but I insist that you acknowledge the fact that you are a contributor to the injury wrought upon these people."

No it's not. Homosexuality is injurious to their happiness. This is paternalistic legislation, like the legislation you liberals always want to impose to prevent people from yanking their children from school or owning guns. So it's not injurious to their happiness, but rather aims to effectuate their happiness as well as our colllective happiness as a society. Every society until recently knew all about this sort of thing, and gay marriage would not more bring about their happiness than giving a drink to an alcoholic would.

Roach

I love my Mom. She's not a shoe. But I think it would be equally ridiculous to marry her as to marry a sibling or a dog or a shoe.

Put your thinking cap on for that one, Cynic.

LAK

Yet you claim to be for "respect for the dignity of the individual." What a fucking hypocrite.

You are a sorry little man Roach. My guess is a closeted homosexual who sufferes from some extreme form of self-hatred, just like our friend Haggard. Becasue those who hate homosexuality are usually the ones who are unable to deal with their own.

Just like you see conservative family values guys cehat on their wives and strangle their mistresses. The whole worldview is grounded in severe repression.

Actually, there is plenty of rational state interest in preventing you from marrying or having sex with your mother as the kids you have would be so malformed and subject to rare homozygous recessive traits as to impose costs on the rest of us.

So Roach, when is it that your religious beliefs or whatever the source of your bigotry trumps your "respect for the dignity of the individual"??? Where is the line you draw you hypocrite?

Roach

Take your meds, Lak. Not everyone who disagrees with you is a murderer or a strangler or a homosexual.

"there is plenty of rational state interest in preventing you from marrying or having sex with your mother as the kids you have would be so malformed and subject to rare homozygous recessive traits as to impose costs on the rest of us." Well, in your world, such incestuous couples could always abort their little screwed up spawn, couldn't they? And that's no big deal, right?

I love your armchair psychoanalysis. So, do people like you that defend sexual license secretly (or not so secretly) belong to NAMBLA and just want to normalize deviance? This kind of psychoanalysis and personalizatino, particularly by someone with a modest IQ like LAK, adds little to the debate. Incidentally, Stone personalized this debate initially, for the record.

Cynic

"But I think it would be equally ridiculous to marry her as to marry a sibling or a dog or a shoe."

Really, Roach? *Equally* ridiculous? Because it seems to me that marrying a person is importantly different from marrying a shoe. Unless a shoe would be just as good a conversationalist as your mother.

You know, I seem to recall certain people long, long ago thinking that teaching people with slightly darker skin how to read, was as "ridiculous" as teaching a dog to read. But that's not dehumanizing, now, is it?

And my thinking cap is functioning ably, thanks. How's yours?

Cynic

"So, do people like you that defend sexual license secretly (or not so secretly) belong to NAMBLA and just want to normalize deviance?"

Ohhhh, right, I forgot... you can't possibly be in favor of allowing people the liberty of having gay sex unless you're also in favor of pedophilia. You know, given the similarity of *fully grown humans* of the same sex to, um, children (though, granted, if you're taken with modern runway models the physical comparison is actually pretty apt, especially when you narrow "children" down to "starving children"... though this problem exists quite distinct from, even opposite to, NAMBLA... hmmmm).

Well, I guess it did take us a whole 45 comments to get there... does that count as progress?

LAK

True, but people who publically advocate for discrimination against homosexuals are more often than not represeed homosexuals themselves, just as you are.

Roach, you deserve a good ass kicking by a large gay man. No doubt you are a pencil necked repressed, lonely geek who battles nightly with his dark urges, just like Haggard did. Maybe you even have a wife and a kid, given how conservative you are, which makes you all the more sad.

And if you had half a brain: 1. You wouldn;t have had to slum it at U of C undergrad with the rest of the alienated medicore geeks and 2. you'd be able to translate that my armchair psychoanalysis would mean that secretly harbor hatred toward those that are different than me and I really long to be a member of your fascist political gang (like you really long to suck dick).

But the sad part is you're not even one of the severly wealthy conservative elites I grew up with. A real conservative. The ones that run the show. My guess is you are some really angry alienated lower-middle class loser so full of anger at you mother that you turned out willing to hate anyone different than you. You are a pawn of those real conservatives who have something other than their repression to point at for their morally detestable politics, like assets and disproportionate incomes in finance given their SAT scores.

LAK

Seriously though cockroach, where is your "respect for the dignity of the individual"?????

How is it that you claim this and then want people not be able to choose who they sleep with love or marry? You reallythink society is going to fall apart if 10% of our population gets a certificate from teh state that entitekls them to community property?

From whence this "immorality" you cite?

At least with guns, they kill others and people without adequate mental capacity who kill themselves.

You describe this as paternalism? Who are you to say whether gay people are actually happy? If they weren't do you think they'd still be in homosexual realtionships? If they are not, how the fuck do you know?

No surprise you didn't get into Harvard or Yale or MIT or CalTech or any of the 25 or so schools better than the U of C undergrad. Williams certainly would never have accepted a fascist homophobe like yourself.

Erasmussimo

This discussion is getting a little too nasty for my taste, so I am bowing out.

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