Free Markets, Free People


On casting stones at same-sex couples

Over at RedState, Erick Erickson promoted a post in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage by “mjdaniels,” a Christian conservative and long-time lurker there.  It’s a long post that makes a number of good points, but he ultimately makes a number of rhetorical errors that give his fellow Christian conservatives an easy way out, and they did fix on those errors.  So it is that the people I see praising his argumentation with the fewest reservations are mostly not currently practicing Christians or self-identified conservatives.

Among those errors, the biggest was probably when he said, “Is Homosexuality a Sin? I. Do. Not. Care.”  Christians are supposed to care whether others sin. The proper question is the duty others have to sinners. And behold all the RedState regular commenters saying that they’re called to rebuke sin and lead sinners away from sin, out of love.  Many deny that enshrining these rebukes in legal exclusivity is tantamount to “hunting down sinful people,” and they claim that it isn’t them but same-sex marriage activists who are trying to “wield the power of the government to enforce my convictions on others.”

I’d sorely like to see how his fellow Christian conservatives would respond if they couldn’t focus on those errors.  In particular, I wished “mjdaniels” had better focused on something he only said in passing at the end of his post: that opponents of same-sex marriage were essentially calling for “casting the first stone at” this set of sinners.

It seems to me that when persuading Christian conservatives, one should be absolutely clear that the status quo is coercion – discriminatory taxes and inheritance rules, and denying the right to contract, all of which conservatives agree is state coercion when it’s applied to them – and that when Jesus was challenged to support such coercion (stoning a woman caught in the act of adultery, according to Mosaic Law), he in turn challenged the teachers of law and Pharisees that the first stone should be cast by one who is without sin.  When no one would stone her, he said he would not condemn her that way either, and he simply told her to leave her life of sin.

If even Jesus doesn’t think it’s humans’ place to punish violations of one of the Ten Commandments dealing with marriage, then it’s an uphill climb for a Christian conservative to argue that it’s their duty to uphold the use of such force based on moral strictures that are much less clear.

I find it baffling that conservatives think the government is capable of making a compact sacred by calling it a marriage, but there I see it in the RedState comments.  Do they teach their children that the state’s refraining from coercion is an indication of societal approval of a behavior?  No; what is not prohibited is merely left to be governed by the other aspects of civil society (the family, the market, churches, social pressure, etc.) and, if Christians are correct, God’s ultimate judgment.

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151 Responses to On casting stones at same-sex couples

  • the status quo is coercion – discriminatory taxes and inheritance rules, and denying the right to contract, all of which conservatives agree is state coercion when it’s applied to them

    Your usual badly reasoned, rather stupid call for conservatives to join your rather extremist (and risibly simplistic) libertarian view.
    Change the tax code (which is the embodiment of “stupid” and “arbitrary”), not a fundamental societal norm that exists for really excellent reasons.
    NOBODY is denying the right of contract.  That is a flat-footed lie, as well I know, having set up several gay clients to legally enjoy all the benefits of “marriage” sans only the tax code impediments.
    Deal with this: there is NO Constitutional “right” to marry.  (See the period?)

    • Not going to go back and forth with you all day this time.  But if you’re going to call anyone a liar, rather than just wrong/mistaken, you need something to back up that claim, or I’m going to start “disemvoweling” again.  Be a good guest.

      • So you are admitting that your statement regarding “denying contract” is simply false?
        If you made in out of pure ignorance, I guess you are not a liar.

      • dis-emvowelling…LOL.

  • How about government getting wholly out of the “marriage” arena altogether?
    Let “marriage” be an artifact/component of one’s self-chosen religious (or other construct) group affiliation.  Then let there be a license/contract aspect (in lieu of the current “marriage license”) to cover the legal-beagle/government side of the equation for taxes, insurance policies (significant others), et al.
    Might not that scratch the necessary itches while minimizing the attendant rashes (free baby powder to be supplied)?  (Ignoring for the moment the more rabid down-your-throat LGBT [no pun intended, I think] adherents who want to be “left alone” while they at the same time attempt to force religious groups to bend to their own wishes…..curiously [well, not really] eschewing mandating the same accommodations of the Religion-of-perpetual-outrage [peas be upon them].)
    Just a thought…

  • It’s not just a matter of preference, it’s a matter of long standing religious doctrine.   It’s the ‘word’ (marriage, but also purportedly the Word of God) and the religious foundation it rests on.   That can’t just be ruled away with a law, especially if you take Religious Freedom as an inalienable right.  The book used by the Judeo/Christian religions, and one that is part of the Muslim creed, says it’s a sin.  I didn’t say that, I personally don’t care, but I do respect the right of more religious people than I am to hold to their beliefs, even when I might consider them silly and old fashioned.

    As has been noted elsewhere, when you change the definition you open the door to anything anyone wants to proclaim is ‘marriage’ to include polygamy, etc.  Why should the view that anything we want is marriage is a better, more preferable, desirable, ‘right thing’ than the long standing concept of one man, one woman.   How does the view that we need to be accepting and open carry more weight than the idea that the religiously inclined carry that’s is restricted to two people of opposite sex?

     

    • Hmmmm, if its a religious matter, then why is the state there meddling? Isn’t that a break in the separation of church and state?
      And personally, I am also for legal polygamy between consenting adults, if only because some religions do allow that.

  • The problem I have with gay marriage, aside from it being morally wrong, is what might lie on the other side of it for our society:  tribalism.  If we take away the opposite gender requirement, why can’t we take away the number, currently two, required for marriage?  Isn’t that an unreasonable government burden as well?
    When people start marrying their high school classes, and children result, and then one of the tribe wants a divorce, whither the children?  Where’s the legal framework for that?  Where’s the moral frame…oh, never mind.
    Morality isn’t a libertarian thing, the public square must be naked of moral values, and your neighbor who married his three sisters and the joyous three-headed 60 IQ kids that result from that, that ain’t nobody’s bidness but his.
     

    • Well, if its the HEALTH aspect you worry about, that could be limited based on the principal you are harming the health of the potential children.
      But these will be such tiny fractions of a percent of a percent that who cares?
      Do you think people who want to “be” with their sisters are going to be prevented by laws anyways?

  • Let’s take my thesis that there is no “right” to marry a little further…
    Does a homosexual couple who are first cousins have a “right” to marry?
    Does a homosexual couple composed of a parent and off-spring have a “right” to marry?
    Does a homosexual couple, one of whom has a living spouse, have a “right” to marry?
    See, there is NO “right” to marry under the Constitution.  It has always been…since BEFORE American history…a matter regulated by the civil law.  And SINCE our founding, it has been a matter of civil regulation, and will continue to be.  And for what are very sound reasons.
    That is not to say that a “civil union” cannot be perfectly valid, and provide all the benefits of marriage in the legal (including tax) sense.

    • Since all of the taboos about incest are because of the fear of inbreeding, I think those laws probably should not apply to same sex couples.

  • when Jesus was challenged to support such coercion (stoning a woman caught in the act of adultery, according to Mosaic Law), he in turn challenged the teachers of law and Pharisees that the first stone should be cast by one who is without sin.  When no one would stone her, he said he would not condemn her that way either, and he simply told her to leave her life of sin.
    The full context of that incident is frequently left out, and the context vacates the point you think you’re making with it.
    The Scribes and Pharisees brought this woman  before Jesus in the hopes of trapping him. The Mosaic Law did indeed prescribe stoning for adultery, but the occupying Romans had reserved unto themselves only the ability to administer the death penalty.
    So when they brought the case before Jesus, they thought they had him trapped in a lose-lose situation: if he says “stone her,” then they can denounce him to the Romans as a subversive; if he says “let her be,” they can denounce him as not obeying the Law of Moses. (They tried the same thing with “is it lawful to pay tribute to Caesar?”)
    They were NOT, as is popularly held, asking for advice. These men were “whited sepulchers,” corrupt and wretched but affecting all kinds of piety to exert power over others. They were trying to destroy a man who was undermining their authority, because Jesus called them out constantly on their corruption and evil.
    So when Jesus said “let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” he didn’t mean ANY sin—he meant adultery. Every one of those men were adulterers, and Jesus knew it. He wasn’t saying that because we’re all sinners, we need to abandon standards of right conduct, he was exposing their hypocrisy and ill intent.
    He forgave the woman because he knew that she was genuinely repentant; because he’s GOD, and he gets to forgive whomever he will.  But to take this incident as evidence that “even Jesus doesn’t think it’s humans’ place to punish violations of one of the Ten Commandments dealing with marriage”?
    WAY off-base.

    • Offer me a bit of extra context, if you will: when does Jesus prescribe the use of force in these matters?

      • The recorded history does not show Jesus prescribing “force in these matters,” probably because the Jews of his era had not abandoned the concept that sin ought to be punished according to divine law—the way we have—so there was no reason to preach about something they already GOT. In fact, they were erring in the other direction: “straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel,” which means that they were being fanatical about “tithes on mint and anise” but not minding the weightier matters of the law, such as taking care of widows and the fatherless. Getting hysterical about the insignificant at the cost of not addressing the truly serious problems is not a sin limited to those Jews, IYKWIMAITYD.
        Jesus called them out on the mistakes they were making at the time. That was his job, just as it was Noah’s job to condemn his generation and Samuel to preach to his and Jeremiah to excoriate those of his era.

        It also explains why Jesus does not mention homosexuality: the Jews of that era were not trying to say that homosexuality was actually permitted by law, so there was no reason for him to correct them on that wise. If they were misinterpreting Leviticus, and forbidding SSM was NOT the intent of the law, then wouldn’t Jesus have corrected them on that?

        • Not to get off into the New Testament weeds here, but…
          seems to me that Jesus “coerced” the hell out of the money-lenders.  During the Apostolic period, several people were “coerced” to death for their transgressions according to the law.

        • dicentra, Neither of us can do more than speculate, can we?

          • That’s assuming that God has stopped talking to anyone and left us with absolutely no guidance beyond an ancient written record that, like all written records, is not crystal clear at all times.
            However, if you think that Jesus was just this really nice guy who didn’t want to hurt evil people, and he didn’t judge anyone (especially not the Pharisees and Scribes), remember that is the God of the Old Testament, the Smiter Himself, and that there was terrible irony in the fact that the very people who executed him claimed to do it to honor the God of Abraham.

        • “the Jews of that era were not trying to say that homosexuality was actually permitted by law, so there was no reason for him to correct them on that wise”

          Which is probably why he said “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
          Matthew 5:17

        • ‘which means that they were being fanatical about “tithes on mint and anise” but not minding the weightier matters of the law, such as taking care of widows and the fatherless.’
          The Democrats solution is to up those tithes on mint and anise to take care of widows and orphans.

  • “The proper question is the duty others have to sinners.”

    No, the proper question is the duty others have to God. One of them is not to facilitate or encourage sin.

    • One’s duties to others are part of one’s duties to God, as I understand the Bible (see, e.g., Matthew 25:34-46), but more to the point, is it “facilitating or encouraging” when one merely refrains from coercing?

      • ‘…“facilitating or encouraging” when one merely refrains from coercing?”

        How is using government power to force the recognition of same-sex marriage (SSM) non-coercive? As Ragspierre has said (several times), there are alternatives. The whole point of this movement is to make SSM the moral equivalent of an institution sanctified by several Gods and many civilizations using the power of the state. In a free society, even a libertarian one, people should be able to join together to establish their own customs, traditions, and even private clubs. I am assuming, of course, that freedom of association is a libertarian belief.

        • Indeed.  Pick neatly stands the whole idea of “coercion” on its head in this debate.
          “Coercion” is NOT going away on the issue, regardless.  In fact, we can predict that “coercion” will multiply via the precedents created IF the Supremes corrupt the meaning of the idea of “marriage”.
          Companies…many run by religious people…WILL be coerced into treating ANY old coupling of two (or more) people as “normalized” and on full parity with a married couple.
          Can we imagine courts coercing religious bodies to solemnize matings of “couples” their religion specifically bars?  If not, why not?

        • Both I and the author of the RedState post have said that there should be protections for freedom of religion and of association – I don’t think any church should be forced to recognize or officiate a religious ceremony, and I don’t think that (to use a well-known example) a photographer should be forced to cover a same-sex wedding if he doesn’t want to.

          Both he and I suggest that we can protect those slippery slopes while extending to same-sex couples substantial freedom to contract in much the way that opposite-sex couples do, which is indeed possible to varying degrees in some states if not others, but is not recognized by various federal laws, including tax laws.

          • Precatory bllt, Pick.  Mr f yr mnpn “rsnng”, lk w sw wth yr “pn brdrs” nnsns.
            “If only…” does not deal with reality.  Does it…???
            Nobody asked YOU what should or should not happen…and nobody will find your “I don’t think any church should be forced to recognize or officiate a religious ceremony” the least significant.
            I don’t think ObamaCare SHOULD mandate birth control.  So…???

          • Again with the hostile swearing and personal attacks, Rags.

            Fortunately for me, I can write posts and comments on this blog without waiting for someone (other than the founders of the blog who invited me to write here) to ask me what I think should happen, and if someone really doesn’t care, the best way they can show it is to not spend their time reading it.

          • You missed the point, Pick.
            Nobody questioned your ability to say what you think “should” be the case.
            I questioned what you think “should” be reality.  Because it ISN’T rationally connected to what exists.
            I also pointed out that what you think “should” be is entirely irrelevant to what WILL be.  And I predicate that on my (often sad) experience with the law.

          • If you pay attention, you’ll find that there are a lot of people who share my opinion on this.  We can be organized as political allies to pass protections into law… and I’d bet there are more people in favor of protections for the freedoms of religion and association than there are people in favor of keeping gays from having civil unions.

          • Ah, a crass resort to the fallacy of popular opinion.  Very telling.

            We can be organized as political allies to pass protections into law… and I’d bet there are more people in favor of protections for the freedoms of religion and association…

            How’s that working out for ya WRT ObamaCare.
            The freedoms you allude to are already in the Constitution.  The “right” to marry is not one.
            See…???

          • If you aren’t paying attention to how public opinion contributed to Obamacare or gay marriage, we’re done here.

          • …people in favor of keeping gays from having civil unions.

            Now you are changing the debate.  Nobody here has made that argument.
            Feel like the ground is getting a lil’ soft, Pick?

          • If it’s just the legal word “marriage” you’re trying to keep exclusive, and not any of the substance, then what’s the substantial difference between Christian conservatives’ typical position and that of me or the RedState author?

          • If you aren’t paying attention to how public opinion contributed to Obamacare or gay marriage, we’re done here.

            Well, again, you refuse to address the point.  I submit because you can’t.
            ObamaCare WAS and STILL IS NOT popularly supported.
            The rights of religious people to oppose its mandates ARE popularly supported.
            But the point was about about what is…or is not…”popular”.
            I asked you how the RIGHTS of free exercise/association are working out under ObamaCare.
            See, that is connected to the RATIONAL world as it exists.  Not as you opine it “should” be.

          • If it’s just the legal word “marriage” you’re trying to keep exclusive

            Ah, now a red herring.
            The word “marriage”, as we’ve noted, MEANS something.  And it is WAY the fl BEYOND a “legal word”.  It is only a legal construct BECAUSE of all it means to society…and HAS since time immemorial and ACROSS cultures.
            And “keeping it exclusive” is a perverse (i.e., intellectually bankrupt) way of saying, “Recognizing its meaning”.
            As noted above, MARRIAGE is…and always was…and will BE…exclusive of several classes of people.  And you CANNOT deny that, or honestly address it.

          • Then do tell the difference between the state offering marriage licenses to gays and the state offering civil unions to gays.  After all, you seem to be suggesting that one opens up violations of religious freedom and freedom of association, and the other does not.

          • Oooops.  ANOTHER shift in the debate.
            You started with your “casting stones” nonsense relating to Christian beliefs.
            Now, you are painted into a corner that you OBVIOUSLY cannot extricate yourself from!  Heh!
            But, OK, I wll b mr hnst thn y hv bn and answer your question directly…
            Civil unions CAN present potential problems with religious freedom WRT COERCIVE mandates.  But they do not HAVE to.  A state could consider civil unions a less valuable arrangement than actual…you know…marriage.  Because they are different, you see.
            YOUR thesis was that people should be free to form unions.  They are.  Your thesis was FURTHER that they should not be at a tax disadvantage.  We agree, if we limit the conversation to the perversity of the abomination we call “the tax code”.  That is addressed by changing the abomination.
            But a civil union is NOT marriage even in the law, necessarily.  Which is, of course, ONE reason the militant minority of gay people want the imprimatur of “marriage”.  In addition to a societal agreement they are fully “normal”, rather than a societal agreement they should be tolerated and not oppressed.
            MARKETS are free to…and HAVE…accommodated gay couples by offering them full parity in terms of benefits offered by employers.  Cool with me.  I would argue that employers should be free to see a civil union as NOT on parity with a marriage.

          • A civil union isn’t performed under the auspices of religion.   It’s a contractual matter between agreeable parties.

            A marriage, as currently defined, is a compact sanctioned by, to use the handy and obvious term, God and some church.    It’s supposed to be sacred (don’t get me started :) )


            No church will be discommoded by being forced to engage in a Civil Union, and no one will be able to force a church to engage in a civil union against their religious views.

          • And less we forget, it’s precedent that a wedding photographer was FORCED to take photos of a same sex marriage, against their will.

            No small thing.

          • Rags: Again with the baseless accusations of dishonesty.  When I point out that you’re wrong – that in fact gays are not in most states able to form civil unions (and Christian conservatives hardly seem to be in a rush to grant them) – I don’t accuse you of lying, because I don’t know your state of mind.

            Get specific, Rags: how should states treat civil unions differently than marriage?  Under what circumstances – with what precautions – do civil unions threaten or not threaten civilization?  Do civil unions not “facilitate or encourage” sin?

          • Sin?  government defined sin?  Government prohibited sin?

            that’s the problem Bryan, right there, isn’t it?   We are not a theocracy, it’s not a ‘government’ concept.

          • I haven’t been ducking and dodging and addressing straw-men, Pick.
            How many ways do you want to change the debate, Pick…???
            And, again, you are reverting to a falsehood.  In EVERY state I can think of, a homosexual couple can manage to legally have all the benefits of a civil marriage, save the FEDERAL tax issues.  NO “Christian” or other religious strictures apply.  I can readily get a homosexual survivor PAST inheritance taxes, even.
            I cannot speak for “conservative Christians”, and neither…I would assert with HIGH certainty…can YOU.  I dunno what they think of civil unions.  Neither do YOU.  Though you have indulged in the conceit that you can look down your nose at them in your post.
            Much LESS can I say how a given state should value a civil union, or the justifications for doing so.
            If I thought a civil union threatened society, I would not support them.  Dh.
            My interests do not lie in the “sins” of others, though I really do hate a liar.  People will sin, regardless of the legal structures we provide…including even the Constitution.
             

          • looker, I was referring to timactual’s claim that a Christian has a duty not to facilitate or encourage sin, as defined by (the Christian) God.  Now that Rags has said that “nobody here” has suggested denying civil unions to gays, I’m very curious what distinction there is between civil unions and marriage on the facilitation and encouragement of sin.

          • Don’t point to straw-men, Pick.
            Who here has opposed civil unions?  Specifically

          • Not exactly a straw man when I quote my opponents.  You say nobody here is opposed to civil unions, but going down the page I see a lot of rhetoric that applies just as easily to civil unions as to marriage.  Let me know if you can’t spot it, and I’ll go ahead and spend the time collecting the quotes.

          • Ah, well, if there’s any room for compromise it’s to be found in civil union, not in marriage.

             

  • “conservatives think the government is capable of making a compact sacred by calling it a marriage,”

    No, conservatives think the government is capable of recognizing that a compact has been made sacred by God and endorsed as such by a majority of citizens,  and acting accordingly. Conservatives know that  government cannot sanctify. That is why we are conservatives.

  • <em>How about government getting wholly out of the “marriage” arena altogether?</em>

    One of the things that makes marriage “marriage”—instead of merely living in the same abode all the easier to copulate—is that the couple has made a pact with the rest of society (NOT with each other) to Be Married—that is, to set up a household together that is built on the foundation of both sexes—the cosmic complimentarities, yin and yang—which comprise a Whole Person. (Calling the union of two women the functional equivalent of a man/woman union can be seen as nonsensical as an airplane with two left wings: it CAN’T fly, no matter how kindly our feelings toward left wings.)

    In small tribal societies where everybody knows everybody, there’s no marriage certificate needed because the wedding ceremony is performed in front of the whole tribe. In larger societies such as our own, not everyone can witness the wedding, so we have witnesses sign an official document to certify that the proper and accepted ceremony was performed. Paperwork is always a substitute for memory and presence, standing as a proxy for our absent selves so that we’ll know what happened even when we weren’t there.

    The government issues and maintains marriage documents because it’s the only authority that we all recognize in this country. We could just as easily set up an official Governing Body for Marriage, similar to IEEE for electronics or Guinness for world records. Using the State as the official record-keeper is not the same as government “being in the marriage business.”

    So let’s 86 that misconception right here.

    Furthermore, marriage is NOT a “religious thing.” If it were, no atheist would participate in it, just as he would not engage in prayer, worship services, or baptism. It is more accurate to say that religion <em>values</em> marriage. That’s not the same as marriage being a religious thing. So please can we 86 that misconception as well?

    If the gubmint is “out of the marriage business,” how will we know who is married and who is not? Remember, the two parties in a marriage are NOT the man and wife but rather the couple on one side and society on the other. Society gets to determine the conditions under which it will recognize who is married and who is not. We already refuse to recognize plural marriages, close-relative marriages, etc. If we go the route of “‘marriage’ [being] an artifact/component of one’s self-chosen religious (or other construct) group affiliation,” then that obliterates the Universal Recognition aspect of marriage, and once you’ve done that, you’re back to people merely living in the same abode, where they copulate and in most cases produce children. A couple can Be Married in the eyes of their church, but if one of them decides to abandon the spouse and kids, neither the society or the law can obligate that person to continue his obligations toward his dependents.

    In other words, “privatizing” marriage effectively destroys it. Which is what the Left wants anyway. They’ve been trying to get rid of such “bourgeois” conventions for at least a century.

    <em>Might not that scratch the necessary itches while minimizing the attendant rashes?</em>

    If we give Herr Hitler the Sudetenland, he’ll settle down and be content with that?

    The Left is not pushing SSM because they want justice for gay couples: they’re pushing it as part of their larger agenda, WHICH IS AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN to destroy family structures and religious organizations to clear away space for Total Government. Families and churches are the most powerful transmitters of values and customs, which makes them the primary bulwark against State Propaganda and control.

    If we think that SSM is about being fair to people whose feelings are deeply hurt or who suffer legal disadvantages because they are unable to pair-bond with a member of the opposite sex, then we’re just as foolish as those who thought that the Nazis only wanted to unify the German peoples.

    The Left will never be satisfied until it destroys all those who oppose them and micro-manages every aspect of our lives.

    So stop acting like it’s about whether it’s OK to encode punishment for sin in the law. It’s not about that at all. It’s about whether the Left will achieve their goals, and if they’re pushing something—no matter how worthy the goal seems—it’s because getting THIS thing will help them get what they ultimately want, which is the destruction of their enemies.

    Never give in to these people, no matter how reasonable or compassionate the demand sounds.

    Never.

  • DICENTRA- Amen and amen.
    Jesus did not come to this earth to be a civil magistrate, he came down to save the world( if the author wants to study in depth the word of God , i am all for it, but don’t take things out of context). As believing Christians , The definition of sin comes from the Bible but  we are to obey the laws of the land. However when there is a proposal to modify or  add laws that   directly oppose to the word of God, we as Christians will be against them, whether they are in our constitution or not. We didn’t start this battle, we didn’t start a movement to have SSM outlawed,but when you try to legislate sin ( see the Bible)we say no. And don’t use this hypocrisy angle “He who without…..” unless you have read the Bible you quote from.
    Now i will go back to worrying about the LOG in my eye versus the sty in your eye.
     

    • Legalizing something is not the same as making it mandatory.  It’s simply not the way of the United States that whatever is legally tolerated is “legislated.”

      (Edited to add: Nor does outlawing sinful behavior “legislate virtue” into existence.)

      And my knowledge of scripture may not be as deep as some have, but I have read (and listened to) quite a lot of the Bible, and studied it as part of my religious instruction.

      • But the current administration has clearly demonstrated the intent to force religious institutions to do things that are against their rules in the name of justice and equality.

        I see no reason to think they won’t presume to follow that logic on THIS issue, especially since it’s one of the constituencies they are currently pandering to.

         

        • So why isn’t the smart play, if you’re strictly interested in protecting religious freedom and freedom of association, to pass laws that explicitly address those issues and those alone?  Let Democrats try shoot that down, instead of allowing them to make this all about the basic freedom to enter into a legal compact.  Because their current strategy is making gains at a fast pace.

          • What in the wide world of sports makes you IMAGINE (nd, by, d y hv n mgntn!!!) that a LAW will prevent what a Constitutional right has NOT…???
            Cripes…!!!

        • This is a principle issue, not a personal one.
          You’re right, indeed, pass such laws.

          This fight is on the wrong terrain, but it’s linked to the fact that a religious tradition, marriage, was as widely accepted in every civilization as the word Xerox was once used to mean photostatic copy.  We’re way beyond the extrication point to pull government OUT of marriage.   This is unfortunately the field we find ourselves standing upon, history being what it is.   I see no point in compounding the government/religion blend by redefining the word to mean any collection of like minded individuals we want it to cover.

          The original contention was there was nothing for same sex couples by way of rights married couples enjoyed, then there was Civil Union, and that idea seemed/seems acceptable to many.  The real FIGHT started when more radical, or more traditionally romantic, same sex couples demanded they be allowed to marry, which raised the hackles of the religious to the point where they became equally vocal.  If the goal is equal rights under the law, that’s one thing, if the goal is parading a ‘SIN’ up and down the aisles of houses of worship that’s another story.   And of course if some of the others are right, and the goal is a leftist/marxist plan to destabilize society than I hardly would be supportive of it.

          The smart play IS to offer civil unions, that’s the smart play for SSM couples to accept, but….not happening, is it?
           

          • That’s what I’m trying to convince various stripes of conservatives to do: get out of reactive mode and head off the really radical stuff.  If they’re in reactive mode, the number of allies they have on that is shrinking fast, and they risk losing everything.  If they want protections for freedom of association and freedom of religion, the libertarians aren’t going to abandon them and will happily join a coalition to promote legislation that’s embarrassing for the Left to oppose.

          • Pick’s usual advice…
            Triumph through surrender…!!!
            Keep it, Pick.

      • BP”(Edited to add: Nor does outlawing sinful behavior “legislate virtue” into existence.)”
        I don’t whether to laugh or cry. your words are exactly why Jesus came here. It is one of the tenets of Christianity- Man cannot keep the law( 10 commandments) and He came to be our Savior. We are all sinners and fall short. Now that being said, does not mean that we are trying to legislate virtue just like you stated- that was done over 3500 years ago when the 10 commandments were given by God and we fell short as a human race, ergo enter Jesus and the Gospel. However the commandments are not abandoned, indeed they are what we try to obey and sufficient indeed. Obviously we realize that morality or obedience cannot be legislated  are not trying to legislate anything, we are not the initiators. So your strawman is not valid .  As Christians we believe homosexuality is a sin,but we are are not saying we want a law as such since we do not believe that laws can prevent sin. But when you want me to recognize some sinful act( according to my beliefs) as legitimate ,  I as a Christian refuse.
        See you have asked me to legitimize sin and i say no. I didn’t ask you to make a law that homosexuality is a sin. You started the fight, not me.

  • Bryan- so under this view, you’d also have to agree that its denying the right to contract (marriage) to three or more people who want a group marriage?  And if that’s correct, what of the implications in terms of abuse if the tax break, etc. There may never be a more opportune time for Govt to back out of the marriage game than now.

    This whole thing is played out I think. As big a dope as he is, Erb is right about what side of history opponents will be on. But as long as religion can still deny sacraments based on it, I don’t see the issue anymore. It’s sad because its another underpinning of our society gone, and it is not for the better. But the world keeps turning regardless…

    • But as long as religion can still deny sacraments based on it, I don’t see the issue anymore.  >>> I think I beclowned myself here with this. The more and more I think about it, what’s the REAL endgame here? To eventually get the church ruled to be a discriminatory organization and forced into compliance, or out.

  • If even Jesus doesn’t think it’s humans’ place to punish violations of one of the Ten Commandments dealing with marriage, then it’s an uphill climb for a Christian conservative to argue that it’s their duty to uphold the use of such force based on moral strictures that are much less clear.

    Let’s take the logical bones of Pick’s argument into another arena in the news…
    A lobbyist for Planned Parenthood made the rational argument that “post-birth abortion” should be a matter between a mother and her “care provider”.
    In other words, a matter of contract.
    Our “better”, Professor Erp, of Moosesqueeze Community College, tells us that “freedom” means we may define terms (“marriage”, “murder”) willy-nilly with perfect plasticity.  I suppose according to popular opinion.
    So, according to the Pickian logic, how can we justify “coercing” people from committing infanticide, because Jesus never did.
     

    • I guess we’ll have to justify murder laws some other way than “because God commanded a particular punishment on Earth for it.”

      • I guess we’ll have to justify murder laws some other way than “because God commanded a particular punishment on Earth for it.”
        I realize that the U.S. is not, never has been, and never will be (or should be) a theocracy, but any human-generated standard is subject to the whimsy of human ignorance, weakness, ambition, and wickedness.
        You can’t toss out divine standards (or even the claim thereof) and expect civil society to continue. Human history dominated by civilizations who adopted gods that demanded only allegiance (and child sacrifice), not ethical conduct (which is why it is a HUGE mistake to conflate Yaweh with Jupiter or Vishna). Human life in those societies was worthless: only those strong enough to deploy deadly force in their defense could enjoy any degree of safety.
        We Americans are pretty damned spoiled. We’re like kids who have no clue what it takes to purchase and maintain a house, cars, appliances, etc. We think it comes naturally, that we’re entitled to it, and that the goodies will always be there because they always have. When our parents say, “we can’t afford it,” we figure that’s code for “we don’t want to buy it because we’re mean.”
        The only reason we’re not living in a hellhole like Burma is that we’re still riding the ethical momentum of our forebears, who recognized that they were accountable to God for their actions and who also recognized WHY murder and theft and such were wrong: not merely because it was written in an ancient text but because the general principles of godliness were written in the fleshy tables of their hearts. (Jefferson lamented that God would surely deliver us up to His wrath for allowing slavery to continue post-Constitution, and he was right: the Civil War was seen by the Union [and not a few Southerners] as Divine Retribution for the abomination of human slavery.)
        The first law of remodeling is “don’t remove a wall until you know why it’s there.” Marriage and family are load-bearing walls of society, and the male/female complementarity is what bears the load.
        It is an extremely painful fact that some people are unable to pair-bond with the opposite sex, just as it’s tragic and unfair that some are blind, crippled, diseased, or otherwise handicapped. However, we don’t permit the blind to pilot commercial aircraft, no matter how much compassion we feel for them.
        Is it unfair that some people can never become pilots? Yes, it’s unfair, but the unfairness isn’t in our denying them pilot’s licenses, it’s unfair that they’re blind in the first place.
        So when people agitate to give pilot’s licenses to the blind (they’re just as smart and capable as anyone else, and besides, the co-pilot can see!), I have to suspect that they’re actually hoping to crash a bunch of airliners, and they don’t care who gets hurt, even when it’s the blind pilots themselves.
        The Left ALWAYS exploits the disadvantaged to their own ends.
        Don’t fall for it because you don’t hate gays or think they’re perverts. I don’t think they’re perverts, either. I just know that if the Left is pushing it, it’s absolutely wrong.
         

        • Your analogies are strained to the point of snapping.  Equating gay marraige with blind pilots is absurd.  And if you think the harm and risk is equivalent, please do tell.  I’m all ears.  The notion that some gay people marrying is going to destroying marriage or families or America is absurd.  If that was remotely possible then those institutions are flimsy and worthless already, which they are not.  Finally, the notion that if the ‘Left’ is pushing it it’s absolutely wrong’ is simplistic, thoughtless, and tribalistic.  You, like so many other people who toss around terms like “the Left’ and ‘the Right’ have no idea who you really mean.  It’s the equivalent of disparaging a rival sports team except that in this case it actually causes harm to civil society.

          • I’m all ears.

            You keep say that, along with this or that is “absurd”.  I thnk y r ll rs.

          • Convincing response; I’ve changed my view.

          • Pick, y r a pss.  Saying someone who keeps reciting they are “all ears” is all ears is NEITHER a “cuss-word” (got your doily out?) NOR a personal attack.
            __
            Try another one before that gets cold. – Bryan

        • Changing your view was never my intent.  Highlighting it for its superficial, sophomoric quality WAS.

    • “tells us that “freedom” means we may define terms (“marriage”, “murder”) willy-nilly with perfect plasticity”

      Sounds pretty libertarian to me, everybody having the freedom to define words. Another reason I will never be a libertarian. Society, as a group of individuals, does have the right to establish rules and norms and enforce them. In our society we have somewhat paradoxically established rules to limit our right to make rules. That’ s limit, not eliminate. Some rules are mentioned in various religious texts. That does not forbid society from adopting them.

      Of course when it it comes time to stand and deliver, Erp et.al denies the rest of us that freedom.

      • “Sounds pretty libertarian to me, everybody having the freedom to define words.”

        Wow. You don’t know libertarians at all.

        • So, in a libertarian paradise who gets to enforce the definition of words and prevent me from exercising my right to define my own words?

          • It’s not about your legal right to define words, it’s about the social pressure to use words in ways that communicate concepts effectively.  And the more hardcore the libertarian, the more stringent the demand for precision and agreed-upon terminology. You don’t get away with euphemisms when you’re talking to people like Billy Beck.

        • “Erp et.al denies the rest of us that freedom.”

          That didn’t take long.

      • Society, as a group of individuals, does have the right to establish rules and norms and enforce them.

        True.  And we HAVE.  Even the people of California saw fit to make marriage a matter of constitutional imperative.
        Which is WHY the matter is now before the Supremes.  The Collective is using the ultimate coercion to counter the rights of millions of voters, and the expression of those rights via the ballot.

        • Where does this right come from exactly?

          • You mean the right of free people to vote?  I think you are standing on your head here.  When has the civil law NOT had the “right” to regulate marriage?

          • No, “the right to establish rules and norms and enforce them.”
            That ‘right’ doesn’t exist. The ability of a society to do this comes from some combination of force and consent.  To the extent there is a ‘right’ at all, it comes from people agreeing to accept or tolerate these rules.

          • See Amendment, Tenth.
            Cripes…!!!
            Are you totally ignorant of the Constitution???  How ’bout history???

          • Honestly I expect better of you than this.
            This statement:
            Society, as a group of individuals, does have the right to establish rules and norms and enforce them.
            is a hell of a lot more broad than the 10th Amendment, which is encapsulated in the context of the USA and the Constitution.  Just because the Constitution says something only makes it a legal right within the context of the law of the United States and even then it’s fairly easy to argue that the Constitution is not the end all be all of rights.  The Constitution had specific things to say about slavery too but I’m fairly sure that you wouldn’t ever argue that owning slaves was a right just because it was enumerated/not prohibited in the Constitution. Of course slavery was a constant throughout much of history so – assuming you aren’t ignorant of history – maybe you would argue that it was a right to own slaves.
             

  • Dostoevsky is alledged to have said; “Without God, everything is permitted”. This includes, of course, prohibiting SSM. So, with or without God, society can deny the right of same sex couples to marry.

  • Mark Steyn…
    http://www.nationalreview.com/blogs/print/344287
    Gay marriage? It came up at dinner Down Under this time last year, and the prominent Aussie politician on my right said matter-of-factly, “It’s not about expanding marriage, it’s about destroying marriage.”
    That would be the most obvious explanation as to why the same societal groups who assured us in the Seventies that marriage was either (a) a “meaningless piece of paper” or (b) institutionalized rape are now insisting it’s a universal human right. They’ve figured out what, say, terrorist-turned-educator Bill Ayers did — that, when it comes to destroying core civilizational institutions, trying to blow them up is less effective than hollowing them out from within.

  • Just for me — MY opposition to “gay marriage” is that the term “marriage” already exists, has been clearly-defined and well-understood for a least a thousand years, and I DON’T WANT TO LET PROGRESSIVES START TAKING PERFECTLY CLEAR TERMS AND CONCEPTS and assigning alternative meanings to them.
    Once they’ve turned “marriage” inside out and upside down, they’ll go through the REST of common law and destroy the meanings of “vote” and “due process” and “rights” and “liberty” –and heaven knows what else– until Progressive Government and We-The-People are using the same words to describe fundamentally different concepts.  (George Orwell gave us a hint of how that ends – remember “war is peace” and “freedom is slavery”?)
    I believe it’s already been established that multiple languages impede the cohesiveness of a society; a single language containing words that mean certain things to government lawyers and completely different things to common citizens also endangers social cohesion.
    So, let’s reserve the word “marriage” for the traditional one-man-and-one-woman union.  For two guys, or two gals, or three guys-one-woman-and-My-Pet-Goat, find a different label to slap on the arrangement –”civil union”? “cohabitation contract”?– and fine, swell, knock yourselves out.

     

  • I’ve read a lot of statements made against legalizing gay marriage and my overarching conclusion is that in the end most of you sound like grumpy 80-year old men who harbor deep conspiracy theories about a monolithic political opposition and are simply uncomfortable with change.  I’ll happily agree that plenty of progressives have plenty of absurd and counter-productive ideas but the idea that a tiny percentage of people in same-sex marriages are going to undermine society is absurd. Biology and common sense says otherwise.  The vast majority of men and women will continue to seek each other out, marry, and make babies.  And while there are currently troubling issues with marriage and child rearing in America, 1% of the population marrying same-sex have nothing to do with it and never will. If you have a non-religious, fact-based argument that shows otherwise I’m all ears.

    • It’s a hot button word, you can’t extract the religious/sacred meaning to many people at this point.   So like it or else, religion has to be part of the discussion because that is the very basis for the problem.

       

      • I realize it’s part of the discussion and the rationale for opposing it for many – including many of my friends and family – but an appeal to the supernatural isn’t much of a way to make law. 

        I think marriage is wonderful and important for many reasons but not because God says so.  And to agree that gay marriage would be a bad thing – a worse thing that regular marriage – requires convincing evidence that as far as I can tell does not exist.  Appeals to the Bible, etc. carry no weight with me.

  • A point: in Wisconsin, it is law that no law or set of laws can provide the same or similar benefits to those provided by ‘marriage’ to same sex couples. Therefore, in Wisconsin, civil unions are specifically banned as is any system by which same sex couples could obtain ‘marriage-like’ benefits.

    If it is coercive to impose a definition of marriage to include same sex marriage upon straight society, can it be any less coercive to impose a definition of marriage to NOT include same sex marriage on gay society?  (I am not implying that there are two different and distinct societies.)

    If the purpose of DOMA was to prevent states from having to recognize same sex marriages legally sanctioned by other states, isn’t that imposing upon those states that do recognize same sex marriages by creating a second class of married couples – those that can move freely about the country without concern that the marriage will be honored in another state and those that can not move freely? And the purpose of this is SPECIFICALLY to prevent same sex couples recognition?  Under what Constitutional authority does government make that distinction?  Gay marriage will not end straight marriage (or if it did, David Andersen is right that such a institution is too fragile to survive). Procreation does not require marriage, but if marriage is such a vital institution, why deny it to people that seek it out?

    By the way, marriage is a right.  It has been recognized as a right by the SCOTUS, and as you don’t need permission to get married. Society may choose not to recognize a marriage, but once we gave government the authority to legally recognize marriage by any religious or non-religious couple, it can not choose to not recognize a class of couple simply because people find it ‘distinguishable’. Which is the politest way I can say animus.
     

    • Most of what you say is factually wrong.  Gob-smackingly wrong in several places.
      The rest is just leftist clap-trap, such as the use of the term “amimus”.

      By the way, marriage is a right.

      No.  It.  Is.  NOT.  Why do you think people have to get licenses?  Cripes…!!!!

      • If he’s gob-smackingly wrong, it should be easy for you to correct him with stunning clarity, right?  Start with the Wisconsin thing.

        • Why don’t you, Pick, and show some integrity today?
          But, OK.

          in Wisconsin, it is law that no law or set of laws can provide the same or similar benefits to those provided by ‘marriage’ to same sex couples.

          The writer needs to talk to a lawyer, because that is grossly ignorant.  Let’s start with a durable power of attorney.  Are those “illegal” in Wish-conson.  I dun tink so, Loooocy.  Is it illegal for two people to make a pledge of fidelity to each other in Wish-conson?  Nope.  Is it illegal to designate your same-sex partner as the person to contact in an emergency?  Naw.  Is it illegal to set up a trust so that your partner benefits from your estate (either during or after your death).  Nuh-uh.  And I could go on.

          The rights of married couples are readily provided…and even enhanced, with a lil’ creativity by a decent lawyer.

          Again, for you people who are slow of comprehension, marriage is, was, and will BE an EXCLUSIONARY concept.  On both ends, so to speak.  The people who enter into it INTEND their combine to be EXCLUSIVE.  And society has ALWAYS EXCLUDED people from entering into it.

          • The thing is, Tracy is right that marriage or an “identical or substantially similar” equivalent is banned by a constitutional amendment.  But that hasn’t stopped the state legislature from offering domestic partnerships with a number of marriage-like benefits.  The courts ruled that the state’s recognition of these partnerships does not even “remotely resemble” its recognition of marriages.

          • Yeah, and as I just demonstrated, the reality is that it can be wired around.
            Duh.
            And so…???

          • And so, if you’re convinced that in every state it’s easy to get all the benefits of marriage without the state calling it a marriage, why not just make civil unions universal, with one set of simple forms?  Why even have the state mixed up in marriage?  Why all the suggestions that if we let gays do this stuff, pretty soon the state will have to legitimize polygamy?

          • Wht th fl…!?!?!
            Do you want to FEDERALIZE marriage?  Or just civil unions?
            What about Federalism…the kind where states have rights and prerogatives…do you hate, Pick?
            And instead of positing inane questions (Why even have the state mixed up in marriage?) why don’t YOU do a little thinking?  See, because the answers are NOT obscure.

          • By universal I didn’t mean federal.

            And I’m asking you these questions because asking someone to explain what seems contradictory is much more likely to be productive than assuming I know all the details about his justifications.  Sometimes, when people start to explain themselves, they notice problems in their own reasoning.  Sometimes they resolve this dissonance by getting defensive or evasive.  And sometimes their answers clarify and inform, in which case I’ve avoided the ugliness of making accusations based on bad assumptions.

          • Why all the suggestions that if we let gays do this stuff, pretty soon the state will have to legitimize polygamy?

            Another of your straw-men, spiced up with a red herring this time.
            NOBODY said what you had your straw man say, Pick.  We HAVE said, if you start calling a circle a square, why not include the triangle (i.e., if you CHANGE the meaning of marriage, what CHANGESSSSSS are not in prospect)?
            As it stands, people DO and ARE living in polyamorous relationships, and a lawyer could provide them the same benefits we have addressed.
            THEY ARE NOT MARRIED, however.
            Geez…

          • By universal I didn’t mean federal.

            So, what…galactic…???
            But, seriously, folk, in the fullness of time, there could be an interstate compact on civil unions, such as we’ve seen in the many areas of law where those have been found to be beneficial.

          • Heck, why wait?  If, as you suggest, same-sex couples can get all the benefits of civil unions already in each state, then why shouldn’t conservatives and libertarians proactively expand explicit civil union legislation to every state, with an interstate compact (i.e., make civil unions universal)?

          • So NOW you are militating for MORE laws?  Seems sorta inconsistent for a Libertarian, dunnit?

            And I don’t “suggest”, I have demonstrated how the legal benefits of marriage (YOUR pretext, btw) are available for all kinds of groupings of people WITHOUT screwing with what “marriage” has meant through time and across cultures.  AND it doesn’t even require a “civil union” law.

            Uniform Codes of Whatever are not binding on any state.  They are adopted…sometimes with some modification…by states.

            Again, in principle, I see no harm in civil unions.  If there ever were a Uniform Code of Civil Union, it would be out of an evolutionary process.

            Better for our concerted effort would be to reform…starting with a clean sheet of paper and repeal of the 16th Amendment…the tax code, which, as I’ve said is the only other legal pretext for complaining of a “disability” respecting marriage.

            But I shrewdly suspect the legal and tax argument is a pretext on your part.

          • So NOW you are militating for MORE laws?  Seems sorta inconsistent for a Libertarian, dunnit?

            Not if those laws expand liberty.  You’re really not familiar with libertarians, are you?

            And I don’t “suggest”, I have demonstrated how the legal benefits of marriage (YOUR pretext, btw) are available for all kinds of groupings of people WITHOUT screwing with what “marriage” has meant through time and across cultures.  AND it doesn’t even require a “civil union” law.

            At most, you’ve asserted, not demonstrated.  Demonstration requires citations to evidence.  And basically the whole country seems to disagree with you about whether there’s any difference between states that do and do not offer civil unions.  That’s at very least a political concern.

            If you don’t think civil unions would do harm, why not just make them explicit beyond the few states that do so?  Why have conservatives so adamantly resisted passing civil union legislation that just simplifies the whole process?  What “evolutionary process” do you expect to occur without the political work of passing legislation?

            Better for our concerted effort would be to reform…starting with a clean sheet of paper and repeal of the 16th Amendment…the tax code, which, as I’ve said is the only other legal pretext for complaining of a “disability” respecting marriage.

            Oh, is that all?  Just repeal the 16th Amendment and scrap the whole tax code?  You can’t think of an easier way to stop discriminatory tax treatment toward same-sex couples?  Because the Left has some ideas that are moving a lot faster than your 16th Amendment repeal.

          • At most, you’ve asserted, not demonstrated.  Demonstration requires citations to evidence.

            Nw y r bng dshnst gn.  Remember our lil’ DEMONSTRATION WRT Wish-conson?  There is not a state of which I am aware that does not provide the same remedies as I noted.

            And basically the whole country seems to disagree with you about whether there’s any difference between states that do and do not offer civil unions.

            Another…pretty stupid…straw man, coupled with a resort to popular opinion fallacy.  I never made any such comment.

            What I HAVE said…and DEMONSTRATED…is that remedies ALREADY exist to provide legal rights to people outside of marriage.  I have provided them to people.

            The “whole county” does NOT disagree with that.  Indeed, apparently few know…or chose to recognize…the facts.  That does not make them NOT facts.  Does it?

            A civil union would merely bundle the same rights I can provide in an “a la carte” menu of laws.

            The tax code could be easily changed to omit entirely any marital context.  That was not my point.  My point was that your energy and mine would be better spent on a more radical reform in favor of liberty.  One that would have a LOT more benefit than corrupting a fundamental societial norm.

            But I think you knew that…

          • This is getting tiresome.

            What I HAVE said…and DEMONSTRATED…is that remedies ALREADY exist to provide legal rights to people outside of marriage.  I have provided them to people. The “whole county” does NOT disagree with that.  Indeed, apparently few know…or chose to recognize…the facts.  That does not make them NOT facts.

            You asserted.  You did not provide evidence.  And even if you’re ultimately right about the law, do you not understand that when “few know…the facts” that this is at very least a major political problem?  The passage (or blocking) of civil union legislation has been controversial everywhere, despite your assurances that A civil union would merely bundle the same rights I can provide in an “a la carte” menu of laws.

            And when you say this…

            My point was that your energy and mine would be better spent on a more radical reform in favor of liberty.

            … why should I believe you?  That radical reform is not going to happen any time soon, and everyone here knows it – including you, I’ve assumed.  In the meantime, conservatives are quickly and surely losing their battle to stop gay marriage, and we will all lose related battles unless conservatives change the political calculus.

             

          • And even if you’re ultimately right about the law, do you not understand that when “few know…the facts” that this is at very least a major political problem?

            I AM right about the law.  REFUTE what I’ve said.  Oh, wait.  YOU CAN’T, because what I’ve asserted in within even YOUR knowledge of the law.

            Um…  “Assault weapon”.  Political problem?  Well, yeah.  Why?  Because a lot of misinformation is in popular coinage.

            So…should Conservatives get out in front of gun grabbers, too, Pick?

            Ths s yr sm trt, mnpn frml.  Jst kp t.  T yrslf.  W’v LLLLLlllllll hrd t bfr n vrs prmttns tht md n mr sns thn y hv hr.

          • There’s a big difference between (a.) taking the initiative on something that you agree is harmless (civil unions) so that your opponents are forced to use a more radical message to get what they really want, and (b.) making unnecessary concessions on something you know is harmful, especially when your opponents hardly have any political momentum.

            And again, it’s amusing that you think you can tell me to keep something to myself.  Go read and comment in some other part of the vast Internet if you really don’t care what I have to say.

          • No.  I lk flng wth y.
            Count on it.

          • My partner adopted a child from China. No document produced in Wisconsin gave me any rights with regard to that child. Because we were not, nor could be married in Wisconsin (and it was against the law to get married elsewhere and return to Wisconsin and hold ourselves out as married), I could not adopt our daughter also. And, regardless of documentation, the WI Courts held I did not standing to even bring a motion before the court regarding her.  As is the case before the SCOTUS right now, despite ‘legal documents’, a same sex partner is NOT treated the same as a married spouse.  BTW, my partner was a Wisconsin licensed attorney that also practiced in the Federal Courts.

            Given there is no rational reason to deny same sex marriages, it must be irrational reasons – ie, animus.  Allowing gay marriage does not prevent straight marriage, straight people will not get married to gays ‘because they can’, non-married couples will continue to have children, married couples will continue to NOT have children.  Pagans and atheists will continue to be allowed to get married, as will Buddhists, Moslems and satanists.  Senior citizen and death row inmate marriages will get the ‘recognition’ of society.

        • Tracy, as before, y r fll f crp.

          Had you BEEN married, and the child had a surviving parent who retained rights to parentage, you’d be “aggrieved”.  Step parents have essentially NO rights under law.

          If cohabiting in a heterogeneous relationship…same deal.

          Your partner is a dummy, moreover.  You could be named the ward and executor regarding that child in your partner’s will.  You could also be given a durable power of attorney to act in your partner’s stead, unless there is some wrinkle in the law of Wish-conson.

          Given there is no rational reason to deny same sex marriages, it must be irrational reasons – ie, animus.

          First, hrssht as to your naked assertion regarding rational reasons.  There are rational reasons abounding through all of human history and culture.  That it is convenient to ignore that does not mean it does not exist.

          Second, cousins of close sanguinity are barred from marrying.  I have no animus to cousins.  People who have surviving spouses may not marry.  I have no animus to surviving spouses.  What a stupid thing to conclude.

          • Let me amend…
            Your conclusion and assertion are not simply stupid and unsupported, respectively.
            They are hateful and bigoted.
            By clear implication, you believe billions of living people and more billions dead who do not subscribe to your agenda are “irrational”.  You imply that believing people of MANY religions are not rational (and some are, surely, not, we agree), and that people like me who object to your agenda on grounds other than purely religious are not rational, and act in bad faith.
            I’ll stand with Pascal.  Moreover, the concepts of rational thought in the modern era came largely from churchmen and other believers.  I know many people of deep religious faith who are demonstrably MORE rational than are you.
            That they do not conform to your drive to change the institution of marriage does not make them either “irrational” or suggest animus to you or people like you.
            You are a bigot.

          • So, if we change the situation to something else, your assertion would then be correct.  If I am named guardian in a will, that does not give me rights NOW in a court.  If when we were together in Wisconsin my partner left, I would have had no right of visitation or custody – no standing to even bring it into court. (My partner died 18 months ago and I was the guardian named in her will). 

            As to ‘rational reasons’, given my legalese point of view, MY assertion was that government had no rational reason to treat couple differently.  People might have reasons, but there certainly are not rational.  Suggesting that all of human history and culture’ provides the rational reason is meaningless. YOU, I assume, are suggesting because we have only had opposite sex marriage for millennia that establishes forever an unchanging institution. That 10,000 years of ‘working it out’ has made it the only rational choice.   Given opposite sex marriage is not being banned, nor marginallized by allowing same sex marriage, the institution remains. What you have is people saying we don’t want our ‘traditional marriage’ sullied by ‘them’.

            Your ‘people who have surviving spouses may not marry’ is confusing – are you saying bigamy is against the law?  or widow(ers) can’t marry….?
             

    • “Procreation does not require marriage,”

      Truer words never spoken.  Honestly though, is the fact that we no longer morally sanction procreation outside of marriage working out really well?
      I mention it not to start a new discussion about the idea, but to point out the effect a fundamental change has had on society even though I prefer to believe same sex couples could in fact be legally joined without destroying the underpinnings of the nation.

      And I think if we pretend that some people involved here do NOT in fact have an agenda that goes well beyond equal rights for same sex couples we’re being foolish.

      • The destruction of the institution of marriage has been occurring for decades. Divorce and infidelity have been very destructive, but I don’t see efforts to ban divorce or sanction infidelity.

        • You are…again…not paying attention, OR your are denying evidence inconvenient to your agenda.

          • Oh, there IS an effort to ban divorce and criminalize infidelity? I guess I did miss that.

            If however you are suggesting that the Left seeks to render the institution of marriage, I wonder how that occurs by seeking to BE married.  Isn’t that the same as saying that people buying homes are destroying home ownership?
             

        • How society casually treats matrimony has not a thing to do with religious principles and beliefs.
          If you’re saying people are fallible, make mistakes and “sin” then yes, they do, that’s been acknowledged and the goal of most religions is to get people to see their spiritual mistakes and in many cases secular mistakes, and stop making them.

          All the more justification in my mind for a contracted Civil Union, nothing sacred about it, merely a contract between agreeable parties.

          This coming from an non aligned deist by the way, but Lord knows different sects have TRIED to teach me. .

  • Marriage is a tradition of society’s blessings on a ‘compact’.

    A couple can make compacts with each other all day long and nobody can stop them.  Any tax and legal favoritism can be addressed in civil unions.

    But marriage is Society blessing that ‘compact’.  And it stems from society wanting to say there is a new relationship and you treat them different.  Its not for the benefit of the couple.  Its for the benefit of how the couple interacts with society.  Things like neither person is ‘available’ any longer and there [were] punishments associated with violating that.  And you need to give them a break socially or in other places.  Primarily based upon the fact they represented the next generation.  In some cases, children will not be forthcoming, like if the marriage is late in life or the couple is barren.  But marriage is extended to them as a courtesy.  But it is extended willingly from the society.

    The minute you force someone’s blessing from them, it no longer has any value by definition.  So forcing society to bless same sex marriages when it doesn’t want to, it ends marriage.  And it is a form of tyranny.  It doesn’t matter if society’s choices are right or wrong you still destroy marriage.

    • So, if I understand you correctly, you’re fine with not just civil unions but same-sex marriage, provided that society extends that blessing willingly – say, by popular referendum rather than through a court decision.

      • Well for one, I’ve heard about recent polls which I don’t believe.

        But that aside, it depends on where you believe the boundaries of society exist in terms of population and the what a society’s values are entirely democratically driven by what a society wants at the moment.  Or individual rights wouldn’t have been defined in the Constitution.

        • Whoops.  Big morning oops.  That should read

          Well for one, I’ve heard about recent polls which I don’t believe.

          But that aside, it depends on where you believe the boundaries of society exist in terms of population and the what a society’s values are not entirely democratically driven by what a society wants at the moment.  Or individual rights wouldn’t have been defined in the Constitution.

          • Well, same-sex marriage is starting to win popular referenda at the state level, but you’re right, actual democratic support lags behind the polls.

            But if we don’t decide this by popular referenda, how should we decide when society is willing to extend the blessing of marriage?  Constitutional amendment?

  • Here’s a question, Pick…
    WHY did you elect to try to scold Christians on this subject, RATHER THAN launching a discussion about the LIBERTARIAN objections to having this matter forced into the courts to adjudicate what has been left to the people of the various states?
    Hmmm…????

    • Because the Christian conservative author of the RedState post didn’t lose his fellow Christian conservatives when he agreed that the issue should not be legislated by the courts.  I thought he should have expanded on the significant example of Jesus refusing to coerce (or condone other sinners coercing) the woman caught in the act of adultery.

      • Really…???  That is your answer…???

        You REALLY seem obsessed with that word “coerced”.  Jesus didn’t fall into the trap laid for him, as noted here.  He did NOT, notably, pretend that adultery (a marriage thingy, btw) was OK, no biggie, or that the woman had not sinned.  And, as I have noted, Christ was not troubled by “coercion”, nor were the Apostles.  Nor is God, apparently, if you credit the religious canon.

        I find your very selective use of Christian ideas…shall we say “inconsistent”.

        Let me ask, again, why you chose THIS to highlight, rather than a discussion of the use of the Federal courts to countermand the voiceSSSSS of the voters?

        I think the answer is obvious.  But you might surprise me.
         

        • Of course I’m fixated on coercion.  It’s a core concept of politics and government, and conservatives and libertarians both talk about liberty and coercion all the time.  So when Jesus refused to engage in or condone coercion that the Mosaic Law commanded, that jumped out at me.

          And speaking of straw men and red herrings, you haven’t seen me telling Christians to stop thinking of homosexuality as a sin, so why bring it up?  In fact, I specifically corrected the RedState author by pointing out that Christians are supposed to care whether others sin.

          Your speculation on my motives isn’t really going anywhere, and it’s starting to sound paranoid.  I saw the RedState post; he and the other Christian conservatives there already agreed that the issue shouldn’t be decided by the courts.  The areas where his rhetoric got him in hot water with his fellow Christian conservatives are far more interesting blog fodder than the non-controversy of their agreement.  And indeed, when Erick Erickson followed up he focused like a laser on that “I. Do. Not. Care.” statement.

          • And speaking of straw men and red herrings, you haven’t seen me telling Christians to stop thinking of homosexuality as a sin, so why bring it up?

            My use of the term was neither a straw man, nor was it a red herring.  I mentioned it because Christians DO see some conduct as proscribed by God, and certainly Jesus did.  Including in the incident you (incorrectly) use as your springboard here.  He commanded the woman to go and sin no more.  He didn’t suggest it, or advise it.

            How is my asking you questions “paranoid”?  I simply find what you choose to deal with odd and stilted, when there are so many things you could expend the time and energy on to MUCH better effect.  Trying to understand your arcane choice of things to assail is not “paranoid”.

            Perhaps the tell in this case is your “blog fodder” comment…

          • So it means nothing to you that Jesus refused to stone the woman as the Mosaic Law commanded, and simply told her to stop sinning.  That’s why you saw fit to lecture me, saying, “He did NOT, notably, pretend that adultery (a marriage thingy, btw) was OK, no biggie, or that the woman had not sinned.”  As if I had ever argued otherwise, or as if my disagreement with that point was any part of my argument at all.

            And when you start to think that a blogger focusing on controversy rather than a non-controversy is “a tell,” yes, that’s paranoid.

          • Golly, if my argument respecting your wrong construction of what happened with the woman caught in adultery was “lecturing you”, I know who is paranoid!  It was about that “coercion” word you are bent over.  The idea of “sin” involves a law, and those are coercive.  Rod-jor?

            And, I guess it is good that you sort of admit to posting this as a means of flogging traffic.  Sort of.

            I think everyone’s time could be better spent.  Which is not to say time spent here has been a total waste.

          • The idea of “sin” involves a law, and those are coercive.  Rod-jor?

            Do you recognize a difference between God’s law and the laws of men?  Are men called to coerce one another to enforce God’s laws on marriage?  If so, why did Jesus refuse to stone the woman who had broken God’s Commandment, as commanded by the Mosaic Law?  This is all ground I covered in my post.

            And, I guess it is good that you sort of admit to posting this as a means of flogging traffic.  Sort of.

            I stand to gain precisely zero cents from increasing traffic to QandO.  I write because something is interesting.  Why would I spend my time writing about something on which the relevant audience is already persuaded?

        • Do you recognize a difference between God’s law and the laws of men?

          Wul, duh…  But NOT as respects the “coercion” ambit.  You are having trouble following the whole line of thinking here, huh?

          Are men called to coerce one another to enforce God’s laws on marriage?

          Wul, yeah…  But of course, you have to ask which of the several “gods” all say the same things about marriage.  Which is to say, which of all the cultures say the same things about marriage.  And they have “coerced” those norms since the time we know much of anything about.  Even the Greeks, who thought male homosexual love with da bomb, did not have “gay marriage”.  Did they?

          See?  You got nutin…

          I stand to gain precisely zero cents from increasing traffic to QandO.

          Oh, no doubt!  Erp, too.  Money as the sole motivator of behavior is a bit simplistic, dunnu agree…???

  • While this case is hot, I’d like to know from the left while it’s fine to strike down DOMA and leave SSM to the states, but we can’t strike down Roe v Wade and leave abortion to the states?

    • Find two cases of abortion, decided differently, in different districts that deal with the same issue established by Roe v Wade, ie, that a woman has a right to privacy and that while the regulation of abortion is ok, the outright ban of it is not.  THEN, you have a chance of overturning RvW.

      • Nice try to hide behind legalisms.
        The issue raised was what is right and what is wrong in top-down mandates from the courts, taking away the ability of the people to set the laws.

        • It is not ‘legalism’ to state what is needed to ‘strike down’ a court decision. The people of California did not like a court decision so they amended their constitution. Roe v Wade can be addressed EXACTLY the same way with an amendment – but 40 years of whining has produced no such effort.  There are top down mandates from the courts that removed restrictions on a woman’s right to vote – do you object to that? Or that interracial marriage was the result of a Court, not ‘the ability of the people’. And it has been war and courts that gave blacks freedoms. Frankly, a majority of Americans in the past have FOUGHT such change that decades later people assume was just ‘natural evolution’…ignoring the courts forcing change.

          And look at a striking down of Roe v Wade…what would be struck down? A right to privacy?  What would states be deciding? To what extent a woman has privacy, or when abortion would be ok or not?

  • People, please read this thread.  In it, you will find evidence that Pick cannot tolerate disagreement.  WHEN he is dishonest, he will not tolerate being called out for being dishonest.

    He is the quintessence of a censor.  He is a gross hypocrite.

    • When you call someone a liar without knowing his state of mind, you’re speculating on his motives and attacking him.

      And yes, as I warned you multiple times in past threads, I will absolutely censor you for personal attacks, name-calling, hostile swearing, “shouting,” and similar discourtesy to me or other commenters under my posts.  I’ve started by “disemvoweling” particular attacks, and I’ll take further measures at my discretion.  Any commenter who has a problem with my level of tolerance for that behavior is free to comment elsewhere.

      I invite anyone to read this thread and see whether I have shown any intolerance toward those who merely strongly disagreed with me.

      • When you make a statement as fact that is untrue, you are EITHER ignorant or telling a lie.  Your “state of mind” is subjective and unknowable.
        If you don’t care whether it is true or not, you are still guilty of publishing a lie.
        When you dishonestly CONTINUE telling an untruth, as you have here, you are a liar.

        • Lying is a form of deception: trying to create in another’s mind an impression that one believes to be untrue.  If your opponent’s state of mind is unknowable, then you don’t know if he’s dishonest or simply in honest disagreement with you.  It does you no good to assume that your opponent is dishonest, and that goes double under my posts.

          • So when Barrackah Obama keeps reciting the “fact” that up to 40% of gun transfers are not subject to a background check…despite the fact that is objectively NOT true…he is just in honest disagreement.
            Naw.  Neither of you.

          • Uh huh.  You honestly integrate all the facts laid before you, and when your opponents on the Internet refuse to see the truth of your arguments, it must be that they secretly know the truth but are liars.

            We’re done here.  You’ve failed to heed my repeated warnings, you’re clearly signaling that you don’t plan to behave civilly, and I’ve run out of the patience to keep disemvoweling your comments.  Any further infractions under my posts, and I’ll start deleting your comments as I see them rather than picking through them to see if you’ve added some value in between the flaming.

  • The bottom line that you’re being asked — and — and it is one that I’m interested in the answer: If you say that marriage is a fundamental right, what State restrictions could ever exist? Meaning, what State restrictions with respect to the number of people, with respect to — that could get married — the incest laws, the mother and the child, assuming they are of age — I can — I can accept that the State has probably an overbearing interest on — on protecting the a child until they’re of age to marry, but what’s left?

    • I find it interesting that those that most strenuously argue that marriage is a fundamental institution are on the side of suggesting the most important association in life is not a right.

      According to most people, no liberty is absolute. There are regulations on speech, arms, even religion. Regulation of marriage follows well established footsteps into our liberties.  The first restriction on ‘rights’ is the limit of our reach. We can not project our freedom of speech into another’s residence, we can’t ‘just shoot off a few rounds’ off the front porch of our city townhome, and you can declare your own religion but legal recognition of it takes more than just a proclamation. Most regulations have an arbitrary nature to them – any age restriction: what is the actual, functional difference between someone 20 years, 11 months, 3 weeks and 5 days old and someone 21 years old? or 17 yrs 363 days vs 18 years old?

      • If people weren’t declaring religions as a tax dodge, it would help.   Who knows if God recognizes the religion, but the IRS likes to have rules so you don’t slip the leash.

  • The FIRST marriage in Scripture was between a brother and sister and so were the next dozen or so…then it was between 1st cousins for a century and then 2nd cousins for a while….

    • We need a “like” feature, STAT.

    • Your grasp of history (please provide the seminal court ruling that provided woman suffrage), law (“marriage is a right” HA!), genetics, and Biblical scholarship are literally breathtaking.

      No, seriously…  I can’t get my breath!  I am ROTFL too hard…!!!

      What a bigot.

  • The word “marriage”, as we’ve noted, MEANS something.  And it is WAY the fl BEYOND a “legal word”.  It is only a legal construct BECAUSE of all it means to society…and HAS since time immemorial and ACROSS cultures.
    Hear Hear and since some other cultures have had thousands of years of polygamy, we should respect that tradition as well, especially as our religious freedoms were specifically NOT based on a  Christians only rule.

    • OK.  Let’s adopt THOSE cultural norms.  Which would include forcing wimmin into tents and stoning homosexuals.
      Either ours or theirs’….
      Really pretty clear to me.

    • Are you suggesting we might go back to dragging people up the stairs of the Temple of the Sun and cutting out their beating hearts with obsidian blades?  HOT DAMN!!!!!!

      I shall commence work on the temple and alter post haste, you get to work on the blood soaked cotton robes and perhaps a Quetzalcoatl headdress.

      As Rags indicated…whose cultural norms do you really want to maintain?

  • ” Now that Rags has said that “nobody here” has suggested denying civil unions to gays, I’m very curious what distinction there is between civil unions and marriage on the facilitation and encouragement of sin.”

    In a moment I am going to give you some words to “diemvowel”. Just who the f***do you lthink you are to claim you know what I think? If you wish to knoew what I think, just ask. Furthermore, just who do you think ois “casting stones at …” . I also find that pretty offensive, but I guess you are allowed to offend us. Between you and Erp, I don’t know who has pissed me off more.

    Now, disemvowel this, mother…!  ..!.

    • There is so much on this thread that is revealing of some of the personalities here.  It is a rich mine, and starkly reveals some of the integrity of those posting.  (Isn’t a straw-man a form of lie?  I assert it is).

      One or two final thoughts…

      Pick says he favors law that increase liberty.  I would respond that those are VERY scarce.  Even the voting rights acts…while well motivated and even, we could argue, necessary in their time, have had the net effect of destroying more liberty than they created.

      Pick and his supporters here are all in favor of creating a new right.  This is completely inconsistent with the arguments we often find here that “rights creation” is a drive of the Collective, and has an evil outcome.  Why, if creating this new “right” is a good, should we resist creating a right to a “living wage”?  Why not a right to “free” birth control?  Why not a right to a home, etc.?

      One common trait of Pick’s proposals…besides their detachment from reality…is that all it would take for Conservatives to “win” is that we eschew principle.  Funny.

      • Why, if creating this new “right” is a good, should we resist creating a right to a “living wage”?  Why not a right to “free” birth control?  Why not a right to a home, etc.?

        From past readings of your comments I didn’t think you were this obtuse.  Are you tired? Drunk?