Science and Other Drugs

….maybe a little less wrong….

Marriage equality, as seen on Facebook

EqualitySeen on Facebook:

“Marriage laws are already equal. Any unmarried man is free to marry any unmarried woman, pretty much without exception, as long as they mutually agree. God forbid that the leaders of our nation pervert the sacred institution of marriage by attempting to grant individuals the freedom to marry whoever (or whatever?) they please.”

Dear Facebook-friend-of-my-inlaws-who-will-not-be-named:

Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
He answered them, “What did Moses command you?”
They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.”
And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Now, I know you’re hung up right now on the “God made them male and female” bit. So let me try to simplify it.

Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
Jesus said to them, “They are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

You’re still not quite getting it, are you. Let’s try one last time.

Pharisees asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
Jesus said, “No.”

Clear enough now?

Please, please explain to me how civil recognition of a gay relationship has more immediate and observable deleterious effects than divorce. Jesus specifically and unequivocally says that divorce is wrong. Even if you believe homosexuality is a sinful, bad, evil choice, the Bible still never actually mentions gay marriage (or the possibility of a state-recognized gay relationship) long enough to condemn it. It does mention divorce. If you’re so worried about getting the government to enforce Biblical standards, why can’t we start with what the Bible actually condemns?

On to another example.

Also seen on Facebook:

“There is no legal, logical, moral, biblical, or historical reason to support same-sex marriage.”

This one I can actually cite; it was from this article by Voddie Baucham. While he does have a point in that the black civil rights movement was just a little more dramatic in a lot of ways than the gay rights movement, his argument that gay marriage equality isn’t on a level with the fight against anti-miscegenation laws is full of holes.

But let’s go back to his quote. There’s a major problem here: it has nothing to do with the question at hand. Even if he was absolutely right, this statement doesn’t imply that there are no legal, logical, moral, biblical, or historical reasons to support the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Someone can support the legalization of marijuana without supporting its use. Someone can support the legalization of gambling without supporting the practice. Someone can support the (continued) legalization of NASCAR without being a fan. And yes, it’s very possible to support the legalization of gay marriage without actually advocating gay marriage.

One final example, lifted from a boisterous comment thread:

“Allowing gay marriage reinforces the idea that marriage is unrelated to parenthood.”

Wait, what? There are a lot of gay and lesbian parents in the United States. How will allowing them to marry somehow make marriage less related to parenthood?!

Of course, the underlying argument is obvious. He really means “the idea that marriage is unrelated to procreation.” But clearly, that’s an untenable argument, because plenty of people who can’t or won’t procreate are still permitted to get married. Let’s outlaw birth control while we’re at it, shall we? So he has to replace “procreation” with “parenthood”….which merely serves to highlight the absurdity of the whole approach. It’s just a repackaged form of bad reasoning; the argument assumes the premise.

In conclusion….

I didn’t change my profile picture to the pink and red equality symbol yesterday. I have too many prejudiced family members and I really don’t want to get into it with them. Does that make me a bad person? Maybe. Or perhaps I’m just lazy. Dunno.

Okay, I lied; I’ll leave you with one more gem from Facebook. This is but a paraphrase (the original was far too long), but here goes.

“Why are we glued to our screens, obsessed with the decision of the Supreme Court? We already know the truth. Whether they rule on the side of right or wrong, it doesn’t make a difference; we still know what God has revealed. That’s all that should matter.”

He’s absolutely right. It doesn’t matter to the religious right whether the Supreme Court strikes down Prop 8 or not. Either way, they’ll keep on believing the same bigotries and practicing the same prejudices and teaching the same tropes.

You know who it matters to? It matters to the people camped out, waiting to hear whether they’ll be allowed to marry. That’s who it actually matters to.


12 responses to “Marriage equality, as seen on Facebook

  1. violetwisp 2013/03/27 at 08:27

    Really enjoyed that! Your Facebook sounds like a fun place.

  2. myatheistlife 2013/03/27 at 20:04

    In a tangential kind of way – fuck yes! Good post.

  3. myatheistlife 2013/03/27 at 20:28

    When I hear someone talk against equality (not just for marriage) and it is not sociall dangerous for me to do so, I call them out. It is the stupidist thing to be that ignorant.

  4. johnny b 2013/03/28 at 01:15

    I dunno, you didn’t really address what I think is the main issue. How will this Supreme Court decision affect future generations and even the present? Everyone thinks people against same sex unions are intolerant, cruel, jerks because they don’t want to let 2 adults love each other the way they choose and the way different sex couples can. But the reality is we are trying to help them. Hear me out, please.. Same sex relationships are immoral and the legalizing of unions would no doubt promote just the opposite. Christians everywhere are already beginning to believe there is nothing wrong with it. Can we let this end up like Roe v. Wade? Look at the people, they are formed to their society, the law of the land is their teacher. It changes there worldview and this court decision will have that affect. If we want a society that is altogether a little more closer to God we vote no to same sex marriage.
    You may think like most people though and say why should my religious beliefs have hold of another and I say because it’s more than just a religious belief it’s what we hold to be the truth. For example, many people are pro choice and feel they have the right to kill the person that is so young within them but I still must do everything I can to protect that person because of my belief that God has made every person equal and thus they all deserve to live without being murdered. My religion here plays the same role as it does in the issue concerning same sex unions. And actually plays a role in all my decisions and morals. they are inseparable.

    • forgedimagination 2013/03/28 at 07:41

      Ok, let’s assume for a second that the founding fathers all followed Islam, to varying degrees, and they create a legal system in general recognizing some basic approaches to life that exist in Islam. Fast forward a few hundred years, where most of the country is not Islamic and wants nothing to do with the Islamic moral code. Unless you also believe that in this situation the Islamic moral code should be used to make legal decisions for everyone, regardless of their religion, your argument doesn’t hold water.

      Yes, your religion will affect your worldview and your politics. That’s not the concern here. The concern is whether a MINORITY of people’s religion should be allowed to affect people who don’t follow that religion.

    • physicsandwhiskey 2013/03/28 at 09:58

      Forgedimagination addresses this in part, but here’s the crux of the issue.

      “It’s more than just a religious belief it’s what we hold to be the truth.”

      We get that. But the rest of us hold your religious belief about the truth to be false.

      I don’t see how this can be compared to Roe v Wade. Roe v Wade subordinated the rights of the unborn to the rights of women to choose whether to give birth. What rights are subordinated by the push for marriage equality? Please, name one.

      • johnny b 2013/03/28 at 14:59

        Yes I realize that you hold it to be false but that still doesn’t make it false. My argument does hold water just like it does in Roe v. Wade there is a minority that wants the right to kill the unborn but I’m not going to just let them do it because my religion is different from theirs and I don’t want to push my views on them. I wish they believed it was wrong but they don’t so in order to be humane I have to protect them from hurting themselves, even if they don’t see it. You believe in the same principle, would you not lock up a child molester whether they thought they were doing something wrong or not?

      • physicsandwhiskey 2013/03/28 at 15:06

        I can only repeat my question: which rights are being abrograted by legalizing gay marriage?

      • johnny b 2013/03/29 at 00:49

        Isn’t that irrelevant? Obviously R v. W dealt with different issues. I’m only using it as an analogy. Some parts of an analogy are used to show parallels while other parts are not the same and are ignored. The part that is analogous here is where I get my moral understanding in the objective truths of the two “different” issues.

      • physicsandwhiskey 2013/03/29 at 04:39

        Right now, the only analogous point is that you think both abortion and gay marriage are harmful. We’ve established a reasonable rationale for the first item, but not the second.

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