Through the Cultural Looking Glass

I see the gang over at RI Future is running hard in the post-election season with same-sex marriage advocacy. I suppose that means we can start the clock until the first accusation that the political right is being divisive by not ceding.
Believe it or not, what drew me so deeply into this debate seven years ago wasn’t ideological conviction, but rather the intellectual constructs on which the sides were built, especially the many ways in which the entire issue is premised on a wish-it-to-be-so, through-the-looking-glass reasoning. A glaring expression of that quality that I noted early on came from Andrew Sullivan, in his book Virtually Normal:

Some might argue that marriage is by definition between a man and a woman; and it is difficult to argue with a definition. But if marriage is articulated beyond this circular fiat, then the argument for its exclusivity to one man and one woman disappears.

Yes, a definition is a definition, but if we change the definition, then the definition is something else. Upon this imperative is built the notion that a small minority can declare a right for itself and disenfranchise the majorities who disagree. Quoth Crowley:

The idea that one group of people can vote away the rights of another group of people should scare the living hell out of everyone. Our rights, and the freedom they bring, are not subject to popular vote for a very special reason – because if the powerful can take away the rights of the weak we do not live in a democracy – it is something else, but not a democracy.

Events in California give the statement its first-ever modicum of accuracy — in that the Prop. 8 vote did take away something that had been instituted — but his argument predates even the Goodridge ruling in Massachusetts. The ahistorical assertion is that maintaining a millennial status quo is tantamount to removing newly asserted rights.
Even were the anachronism ignored, however, the wish-it-to-be-so principle applies to the very notion that the male-female definition of marriage tramples the rights of homosexuals. There is no right to public recognition of any particular relationship, and to the extent that the public privileges a certain arrangement, it does not discriminate by excluding relationships that are substantially different. Relationships between people of opposite sex are substantially different from relationships between people of same sex.
Marriage functions, in our society, by associating child-birth with the sex that men have with women, and associating both with a stable familial relationship. That reality simultaneously rebuffs rights-based assertions and hints at the probable long-term result of changing the terms. A definition may be a circular fiat, but rewriting it is likely to boomerang.

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Mike
Mike
13 years ago

END THE HATE!
SUPPORT RECTUM MARRIAGE
FREE THE BRISTOL TWO
http://www.eastbayri.com/detail/79667.html

Pat Crowley
13 years ago

Justin, do you support Mike’s disgusting views too?

rhody
rhody
13 years ago

Justin and Pat, can you please give Mike a little bipartisan help wiping the santorum off his face?

Kim Ahern
Kim Ahern
13 years ago

Mike, I find your comment disgusting and reprehensible (similar to my feelings about the two men in the article you reference if found guilty as charged). However, the only reason I feel this warrants a response is because of the connection you appear to be drawing between homosexuality and pedophilia. I graduated from Providence College during the same time that the Boston Church Scandal was going on. Our Vice President for Mission and Ministry, Father Guido, addressed this very same connection in the Cowl (student newspaper) that I think should be repeated here. I realize I am adding in the unrelated concept of the priesthood, but I am only posting this to respond to Mike’s false connection above. Father Guido’s letter: “The recent exchange of opinion between Joe McCormack ’07 and Michael Rubin ’08 on the matter of homosexuality, the preiesthood, and a forthcoming Vatican document bearing on both was heartening for the fact it addressed issues of importance and currency. Nevertheless, I feel is is necessary to address several assertions that tend toward the innacurate and could be misleading. I do so as vice president for mission and ministry, as a psychologist who has published on the topic, and as a member of the bishop’s advisory board for the protection of children and young people. According to A Report on the Crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States (2004), commissioned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 81% of the victims of clerical sexual abuse were males, not 95% as reported by Michael Rubin quoting Peter and Paul Catholic Ministries. The term pederasty is not a diagnostic or clinical term. Rather pedophilia is a disorder in which an individual has a sexual attraction to a pre-pubescent minor, whether male or female. While not in itself a… Read more »

Mike
Mike
13 years ago

[Comment deleted. It contained some worthwhile points, though, and I hope the author will consider rewriting it minus the personal invective and inflammatory language. — JK]

Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

Mike,
On just about every issue, if not every issue, I’m about 180 degrees away from the RI Future / “progressive” crowd.
So please take this as “constructive criticism” from someone inclined to be friendly to you – your choice of language (if not your diatribe) is not helping your cause.
It’s inappropriate and just makes it easy for others to write-off your message because of the delivery.

Mike
Mike
13 years ago

Any remotely sane person can see that it is Criminal to place four 12 year old boys in the custody of a male “couple” who get sexual gratification ejaculating in the rectum’s of other males.
The result (the 4 little boys being subjected to repeated anal penetration by their “fathers”) did not require a Sherlock Holmes, Charlie Chan, Sam Spade or Jim Rockford to sleuth out.
NEVER would a 12 year old girl be put in the custody of an unrelated heterosexual single male-for reasons both obvious and sound. But little boys are being thrown to the wolves and sacrificed on the altar of promoting rectum-based marriage (aka “marriage equality”).
Kim Ahern, Jerzyk and others I call you out for the filth you are in condoning the mass rape and torture of children in the name of your unnatural and perverse ideology.
I call out the NEA and the AFT as America’s 2 largest pedophile organizations as any fool who is capable of googling the words “teacher sentenced” can readily see. This despite the complete blackout by the far-left “mainstream” media. This means you Ian “Walter Duranty” Donnis, self-proclaimed “journalist”.

Mike
Mike
13 years ago

GREAT NEWS PROGRESSIVES!
All your lobbying must have paid off. Progressive AG Patrick Lynch (you know the one who attended the “wedding” of his sister to a woman) has just plea bargained the child rapists to a NO JAIL sentence.
Will they be partying at Local 121 tonight and picking out some new little boys to adopt tommorow at DCYF?
http://www.eastbayri.com/detail/79843.html
Kudos to progressives for freeing the Bristol Two.

Justin Katz
13 years ago

Just so’s nothing is read into a non-answer to Pat:
What views are your referencing?

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
13 years ago

I am reading all this and I don’t claim to be an expert on pedophiles,but my 26 years in law enforcement(NY State plus INS)certainly exposed me to plenty of them.The one thing they had in common was that the overwhelming majority were men,almost to the point of exclusivity. Women were pretty rare as pedophile offenders.I never recall running into any lesbian pedophiles. The men we dealt with often victimized family members,including their own children. The point is,pedophiles,homosexual or heterosexual are subhumans and the only “therapy” they deserve is life imprisonment or death,but thanks to the Supreme Court we can only execute them if they kill the child,and then only where the ACLU hasn’t gotten the death penalty abolished. I had a relative who was repeatedly raped by her father as a child.He was not a blood relation to us.He apparently was “straight” because he didn’t rape her brother. I had a Guatemalan who was convicted for raping his six year old son. I had an alien smuggler who was Mexican that got convicted of raping his daughter(she was over 18 so maybe he wasn’t a pedophile,just a scumbag piece of filth),killing another man,and additionally he got away with beating his first wife to death.When I arrested him it was for,among other things holding an illegal alien female as a slave in his basement.Thank God he died awaiting sentencing,or he would be out and about today. Why tell these stories?Because I have found that pedophiles are all about one thing:they like sex with children and feel entitled to it.They can be hetero- or homosexual.They are in a class by themselves when it comes to criminals. My relative who got raped?She never recovered mentally and had nothing good in her life thereafter-her father got thrown out of the house-period.He should have been… Read more »

Jim
Jim
13 years ago

I’m not sure how this turned into a discussion of pedophilia, which is 100% unrelated to homosexuality. The main article has one glaring issue – the sole purpose of marriage and sexual intercourse is procreation. Are married heterosexual couples living in “sin” if they got married knowing they did not want children and have no plans to have children? Are they living in sin if they aren’t physically capable of having children (one or both are sterile)? As someone who went through many years of Roman Catholic schooling (2nd grade through high school), has taught in a Catholic school, and now works in a Catholic institution, I know none of this is true, at least not according to traditional Roman Catholic beliefs. Yes, the Catholic Church has taught that sexual actions that cannot lead to procreation are wrong (masturbation, contraceptives, oral sex, I think you get the point). However, the Catholic Church also teaches that the use of Natural Family Planning is a sin-free way to have sexual intercourse and avoid procreation. I learned about the rhythm method back in middle school, which was at a Catholic school. I learned about Natural Family Planning at a marriage prep class, which was through the Catholic church. Everything originally stated in the original article is completely false according to the teachings of the Catholic church. Marriage has two sides, the religious side and the legal side. The government can only see one side of that, according to the US Constitution (which conservatives claim to protect), and it’s not the religious side. The religious definition of marriage may be that of a man and a woman. The legal definition does not specify. Based on the assumption that the founding fathers truly wanted a separation of church and state, the government cannot define marriage… Read more »

EMT
EMT
13 years ago

Somebody needs to remind Crowley that it was Obama voters that were a major factor in passing Prop 8.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
13 years ago

White “progressives” often assume “people of color”are on the same page with them at every turn because their interests intersect at some points.The weird thing is that they,who are always screeching about racism are being very racist without knowing it.They just assume that those same “people of color”are waiting with bated breath on their advice for living their lives,their guidance on life’s issues.Nothwithstanding that many of these “progressives”are children of privilege who never had a hard day in their lives,while many of the people they patronize have had to make survival decisions from early on.
Ignoring that “certain people” have a mind of their own is the great Achilles Heel of the “progressives”.I don’t impute bad motives to them,but it’s a matter of talking down to those who very well may be their betters.
They have synthetic relationships with the people they purport to understand-relationships chosen because they seem politically correct.These “progressives” live 24/7 with a template of how to interact with specific “types”,not with individuals.

rhody
rhody
13 years ago

If the No on 8 people want to reverse the outcome next time, the smartest thing they can do is get some prominent and vocal African-Americans out in front of the campaign.
A good percentage of black Obama voters probably voted yes because they were pursuaded by either their ministers, athletes (homophobia is pretty common in pro sports) or gangsta rappers. Plenty of misinformation (that it would be taught in schools, that pastors could be arrested for refusing to perform gay marriages, etc.) was put out there, and blacks need to be assured by some of their OWN, not just by us Caucasians, that gay marriage is not a threat to their well-being.

Kim Ahern
Kim Ahern
13 years ago

This will be my last response because I prefer to engage in a more collegial discussion than Mike offers.
The only reason I responded in the first place was to make clear what Jim said above:
“I’m not sure how this turned into a discussion of pedophilia, which is 100% unrelated to homosexuality.”
Mike, you seem to be consistently linking these things and it does a disservice to you and your argument (as it does when you bring up the AG attended his sister’s REAL and LEGAL wedding, not sure why you used the quotes), but that too is unrelated and it’s a shame you felt the need to engage in personal and destructive political attacks.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
13 years ago

Rhody-why do Black people need one of their OWN and not a White person to make a point?Are Black people inherently different than White people?I don’t think any races are inherently different except on the visible surface.
If they were,mixed children would be defective,but instead more often than not,are healthier,stronger,and even smarter in a lot of cases than the products of close marriage.
You make it sound like Black people aren’t independent thinkers.I don’t think they differ from Whites,Asians,or anyone else in the frequency of independent thinkers in their population.Every racial/ethnic group has lemmings who need someone to think for them.
The whole issue of race has always sickened me.It’s a self-invented impediment of mankind.Maybe it’s a test from the Creator.If so,the world gets an “F”.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
13 years ago

Kim-I think Mach and I explained things in pretty clear perspective.Pedophilia came up because the issue of Prop 8 coincided in time frame with this abominable child rape case in Bristol.In this particular instance,the offenders were homosexuals.
I think it’s very clear that pedophiles are just a group of subhumans regardless of sexual orientation.
You may disagree,but I believe pedophiles are incurable because they don’t think they’re committing a crime.

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