Friday, February 17, 2006

Wedded bliss is ignorance?

A single guy and a high-school student debate marriage

Continuing Easy-Target Week here at Not Right, today I critique a conservative column from a local high-school newspaper. Normally I leave these alone, because teenage writers tend to resort to extremely flawed arguments and somewhat unformed prose. Hell, even adult writers are prone to this from time to time. But because this particular conservative column holds up surprisingly well as a piece of writing, I deem it worthy of a rebuttal. The untitled column is written by one S.L. Benedict Oliver, an old-school writer's name if ever I've seen one.

In most cases, the Christian-liberal argument for homosexual marriage begins with discrediting the Bible (Leviticus 18:22 to be specific). Leviticus says "do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman." This is one of the more straight-forward messages of the Bible. They might say that the Old Testament is antiquated because it also sanctions children into slavery (Exodus 21:7) and the execution of those who work on the Sabbath (Exodus 35:2).

Which is a good point, really. One of the only ones I fear we're going to see.

Once they're done mocking their own religion, they might then make a Socrates-esque argument like this: God says love all people. Men and women are people. Men should get married. That is the best justification I could put together; now watch as it falls apart.

As poorly constructed straw men often do...

As long as we argue the Christian side of the case, it must be pointed out that the Bible makes no claim that love between two men or women is wrong; it simply states that the act of sodomy is an offense. The affection of someone for another should under no circumstances be mistaken with the 'romantic' attraction between two people. The whole sodomy thing is what gets God throwing plagues around.

So you see, the Bible allows gays to love each other as long as they don't ever have sex or kiss or hug or touch or anything. Why, that's not oppressive at all! Incidentally, I apologize if anyone had God's hand recently pour locusts on their crops; I man-hugged an old track buddy the other day. My bad.

Marriage is there so two people can procreate without being hedonistic freaks.

Which is such a wonderful definition of romance. On the other hand, I know plenty of married people who say their sex lives lack hedonistic freakdom, so this is probably true.

Going back to Socrates and his method, marriage is for procreation. Same sex couples can't procreate. So, do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman.

Unless you happen to be a woman, in which case it's perfectly fine to lie with a man. But you damn well better procreate every time you do it, otherwise you'll wind up in Hell right next to Nicole Kidman!

So, what do the rules of one religion have to do with the laws of a nation so adamant about separation of church and state? Leaving out all of that man and woman business, the legal requirements for marriage in a nutshell are this: "The consent of the parties...followed by consummation...amounts to a valid marriage" (Lectric Law Library) The key word here is 'consummation.' The nearest thing to consummation in a homosexual marriage would require a lot of sodomy.

Yes, and I don't doubt that people like you and Fred Phelps never pass up an opportunity to obsess over the sexual practices you claim to hate so much. Listen, who really cares what couples do in the bedroom? I don't, and I would hope that no one cares what I do as long as I'm not molesting children, raping someone or nailing Chicken Little. It's called discretion. Anyway, there's nothing that gay couples do that straight ones don't also partake in.

America has laws against sodomy (or did) as does the U.S. military. (2+2=4) Draw your own conclusions.

My conclusions: 1) maybe you ought to check out whether or not those anti-sodomy laws are still on the books. Last I checked, they were being repealed due to their unconstitutionality; 2) if the U.S. military is going to be our barometer of behavior, then we're in for a load of civilian court-martials. Tom Cruise, Demi Moore and Jack Nicholson might have to reunite for a sequel to A Few Good Men. Heh heh heh.

As anyone who has taken Biology I can tell you, man plus woman equals baby, and baby equals future.

As anyone young enough to take Biology I can tell you, boy plus girl minus education equals baby, and baby often equals limited future. No child should ever be born strictly for purposes of parental validation; if that is the reason you feel the need to get married or to procreate, then you need serious counseling. Children deserve to be wanted and feel loved.

One of those liberal-types may tell you that this procreation thing can be easily circumvented with artificial insemination (for the ladies). A conservative may say then reply that this makes no sense because it's still not consummation and the liberal is not answering the question.

Or perhaps one of those liberal-types would ignore this straw man and argue that marriage is about much, much more than mere procreation. Like the ultimate commitment of mutual love, and the legal establishment of a partnership. And let's not forget the whole hedonistic-freak thing; that's a bonus!

The opposition argues that marriage should be changed from "man and woman" to "either, or." Also, marriage should not be based on procreation but sex (yes, there is a BIG difference).

Those who support gay marriage favor a legal concept of marriage as a union between two consenting adults, whoever they might be. Because we supposedly have a secular government NOT based on the Bible, and because procreation has no legal basis as a parameter for marriage, there is no legal reason that gay marriage should not be allowed in the United States.

Finally, the natural act of having children should be altered to suit homosexual needs. Just to clarify, no man/woman plus no procreation would then equal marriage. (2+2=5) Big Brother is watching you.

Remember how I said that this editorial was well-written? I take that back.

With that out of the way, let's get down to the bare-bones. Homosexual couples want to be married in order to gain the many wonderful benefits given by the law to married people. No one can blame them; it is injustice for laws to come between two people in love.

Exactly. Which is why I chastise Republicans and Democrats alike for waffling on this issue; gay marriage is a personal and religious issue, period. Why do we continue to bow to the most puritanical elements of the right on this one? As far as I can tell, heterosexuals wreck marriage well enough on their own. What's all this talk about sanctity again? Frankly, I'm surprised Oliver made this lucid point. He must be setting us up for a major qualifier:

Now listen to these last words and listen well.

Wanna bet what kind of dad this guy's going to be once he procreates?

You can have your civil unions with all the trimmings, but stay away from marriage. You will not meddle with either the sanctity of the marriage or the dignity of the human race as living, procreating human beings.

Actually, it's exactly because of such fanatical thinking that Louisiana voted out all of its civil unions. Voters were so determined to hurt gay couples that they deprived unmarried heterosexual couples of civil benefits as well, thus saying, "We don't hate gays; we hate everybody."

So live and love and be happy, but be wary. Two people of the same sex may someday be married in the eyes of the state, but, in the eyes of nature, they will be nothing more than partners in crime. Leviticus would be pretty ticked off too.

In other words, the Old Testament Judgment Police will always be after you if they lose this round. Never mind that such thinking represents neither Christianity nor American freedom.


Flamingo Jones said...

I hate these sort of procreation arguments for a number of reasons...but the one that seems most obvious is that it's not just gay couples who can't procreate. (Thanks to S.L. Benedict Oliver, I've now used the word "procreate" more times than I've ever wanted to) What about straight men or women who find themselves sterile for no reason of their own? Should they be denied the right to marriage as well? Or should they be allowed to marry, but just not have sex? It's ridiculous.

The view that sex is only for procreation is one that was held by purist Corinthians back in Bible-y times, and uber-Christian Paul had to write them a letter telling them to knock it off.

You can't make a biblical argument and then ignore huge chunks of the Bible.

Well, except that "turn the other cheek" crap. We can just ignore that completely, obviously. "An Eye for and Eye" 4Eva!

thehim said...

Wanna bet what kind of dad this guy's going to be once he procreates?

A closeted gay one?