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Taking Manhattan out of the Apple?

The Manhattan Declaration, a manifesto asserting the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, and liberty of conscience, has been discussed previously on Uncommon Descent (see here and here ). Well, it’s in the news again.

I expect many readers will have heard by now that Apple has removed the Manhattan Declaration iPhone/iPad application from the iTunes Store. The Declaration – a Christian statement drafted in 2009 that supports religious liberty, traditional marriage and right to life issues – now has 479,532 supporters. The Manhattan Declaration app was accepted by Apple and rated as a 4+, meaning that it contained no objectionable material.

Last month, around Thanksgiving, the Manhattan Declaration application for iPhones and iPads was suddenly dropped, after the activist group Change.org gathered more than 7,700 signatures for a petition, after claiming that the application promoted “anti-gay” bigotry and “homophobia,” and that it attacked both “equal rights and the right of women to control their own bodies.” Under a headline entitled, “Tell the Apple iTunes Store to remove anti-gay, anti-choice iPhone application,” the petition drive concluded with the words: “Let’s send a strong message to Apple that supporting homophobia and efforts to restrict choice is bad business.

The petition seems to have had the desired effect. Catholic News Agency contacted Apple on December 2 for the reason behind its decision to pull the Manhattan Declaration application. Spokesperson Trudy Muller said via phone that the company “removed the Manhattan Declaration app from the App Store because it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.” Strange. Why the 4+ rating, then?

I believe in calling spade a spade, so I’ll just come right out and say it: Change.org lied to its readers and to Apple about the purpose of the Manhattan Declaration.

In their online petition to Steve Jobs, Change.org made the following deceitful claim:

The Manhattan Declaration application exists to collect signatures on a website which espouses hateful and divisive language, the very kind of language I hope the iTunes Store will not want to help disseminate…

Apple’s reputation is too important to be associated with this hate filled organization.

Oh, really? Let’s see what the Manhattan Declaration actually says about the unborn and about gay marriage.

In defense of unborn human life

The section on “Life” contains the following words:

A truly prophetic Christian witness will insistently call on those who have been entrusted with temporal power to fulfill the first responsibility of government: to protect the weak and vulnerable against violent attack, and to do so with no favoritism, partiality, or discrimination. The Bible enjoins us to defend those who cannot defend themselves, to speak for those who cannot themselves speak. And so we defend and speak for the unborn, the disabled, and the dependent.

Our concern is not confined to our own nation. Around the globe, we are witnessing cases of genocide and “ethnic cleansing,” the failure to assist those who are suffering as innocent victims of war, the neglect and abuse of children, the exploitation of vulnerable laborers, the sexual trafficking of girls and young women, the abandonment of the aged, racial oppression and discrimination, the persecution of believers of all faiths, and the failure to take steps necessary to halt the spread of preventable diseases like AIDS. We see these travesties as flowing from the same loss of the sense of the dignity of the human person and the sanctity of human life that drives the abortion industry and the movements for assisted suicide, euthanasia, and human cloning for biomedical research. And so ours is, as it must be, a truly consistent ethic of love and life for all humans in all circumstances. (Emphases mine – VJT.)

“The Bible enjoins us to defend those who cannot defend themselves, to speak for those who cannot themselves speak.” “Ours is … a truly consistent ethic of love and life for all humans in all circumstances.” Is this hateful language? You tell me.

I notice that Change.org speaks of “choice” in its online petition drive, oblivious to the fact that the innocent human being whose life is terminated during an abortion is denied a choice.

In defense of traditional marriage

“What about gays and lesbians?” you ask. Again, not a trace of hate. In the section on “Marriage,” the Manhattan Declaration affirms “the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every human being as a creature fashioned in the very image of God, possessing inherent rights of equal dignity and life.” Obviously that includes gays and lesbians. The Declaratio­n goes on:

We acknowledg­e that there are those who are disposed towards homosexual and polyamorou­s conduct and relationsh­ips, just as there are those who are disposed towards other forms of immoral conduct… We stand with them, even when they falter. We, no less than they, are sinners who have fallen short of God’s intention for our lives…

And so it is out of love (not “animus”) and prudent concern for the common good (not “prejudice”), that we pledge to labor ceaselessly to preserve the legal definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman and to rebuild the marriage culture. (Emphases mine – VJT.)

Some readers may disagree with these sentiments­; but there’s no condescens­ion here. Notice the wording: “We, no less than they, are sinners.”

As I write this, more than 35,523 people have signed an online petition to have the Manhattan Declaration iPhone app reinstated. I would strongly urge readers to lend their support to the petition by signing it here or here.

Let’s send a strong message to Apple that giving a group of concerned citizens a platform to express their opinions, and then withdrawing that platform without warning, is bad business.

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601 Responses to Taking Manhattan out of the Apple?

  1. but there’s no condescens­ion here. Notice the wording: “We, no less than they, are sinners.

    All humans are imperfect, so all are sinners – quite true. But you don’t think there is a touch of condescension in labeling an entire group “immoral” because of something that isn’t really a choice? How do you square this against the to protect the weak and vulnerable against violent attack, and to do so with no favoritism, partiality, or discrimination?

    I could just as easily assert that all Catholics are immoral because they support an organization that encourages child abuse. It would make as much sense, and be equally bigoted.

  2. Some readers may disagree with these sentiments­; but there’s no condescens­ion here. Notice the wording: “We, no less than they, are sinners.”

    There is indeed condescension.

    How about if “we” let “them” speak for themselves?

    “We” don’t get to define “them” as sinners–even if we “love” them.

  3. LarTanner@2

    “We” don’t get to define “them” as sinners–even if we “love” them.

    Why not? We are all sinners. We each have ideas about what constitutes a sin which may or may not correspond with reality. But each is free to express their view as to what thoughts, actions and behaviours are sinful, immoral, evil, bad, good, etc in accordance with our view of reality. In fact to deny this right is to take away part of our humanity. We human being are community and if we remain silent we isolate and impoverish our relations.

    For example we rightly state that masochism is harmful to oneself both physically and psychologically whether or not it is caused in part or in full by our genes. We rightly recommend that even if they can’t control the urge that they stop the behaviour. Remaining silent would be to show an indifference to the well being of our fellow man which impoverishes our human nature.

    If we believe that a behaviour is outside the will of God then our humanity demands that we bring it to their attention even if we acknowledge their right to excersize their free will.

  4. We acknowledge that there are those who are disposed towards homosexual and polyamorous conduct and relationships, just as there are those who are disposed towards other forms of immoral conduct. We have compassion for those so disposed;

    ….there’s no condescens­ion here?

  5. It is extraordinary how we live in an age where speaking up against sins, even in a polite manner, gets you labeled as a bigot by humanists who have no qualms about accepting “sins” as “rights” and have given themselves the authority to decide on matters of morality and what is better for humanity.

    Two points need to be made clear in case the article was not clear enough already:

    First, speaking up against the sinful acts of others does not mean that you are being hateful, condescending, or anti-”group”. It simply means, as andrewjg pointed out, a concern towards the well being of fellow humans.

    Second, there is a clear agenda operating behind the scenes for such atheist/anti-religion groups. They seem to be the ones who are mostly hateful and condescending towards anything remotely related to religion. It is a rather disgrace that change.org lied to its readers in the way they misrepresented the Manhattan Declaration.

  6. The whole “gay” activist political movement disgusts me to the very core as do the perverse sexual practices of “gays” – like golden showers, fisting, sodomy and worse.

    These people are following the marketing/propaganda plan laid out clearly by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen in the book “After the Ball is Over:How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays”

    In 1988, about 175 leading gay-rights activists met in Warrenton, Virginia where Kirk and Madsen took the strategic ideas of that meeting and wrote the book.

    Their goal was to maximize sympathy and minimize fear based on a program of propaganda based on principles of psychology and marketing.

    This plan uses an “Overton Window” technique to slowly but surely seduce Americans into accepting homosexuality as normal.

    They also use common propaganda and brain washing techniques worthy of Goebbels.

    Many euphemisms were created to help them along;
    -Change the uncouth ‘homosexual’ to “gay”
    -Use the word “rights” instead of wants to make all opponents look like rights violators and them look like poor victims

    Through a detailed strategy including “desensitization” (attitudinal manipulation through
    constant repetition), “jamming” (in which ruthless intimidation tactics are used to silence dissenting expression), and other powerful tactics, they have been able to shape public opinion.

    In After the Ball, the authors wrote: “We mean the conversion of the average American’s emotions, mind and will, through a planned psychological attack in the form of propaganda fed to the nation via the media. We mean ‘subverting’ the mechanism of prejudice to our own ends – using the very processes that made America hate us to turn their hatred into warm regard – whether they like it or not.”

    The quote is from the Book “The Marketing of Evil” by Daivd Kupelian.

    Yes it is a conspiracy but a very open and obvious one, yet of which the larger public has never been aware of.

    Thus today we have these people subverting whole sectors of society to their personal agenda to make converts out of you, your wife, your children and friends.

    Their goal is not mere acceptance but, seeing how they cannot reproduce themselves, converting you to the homo life style so they can use and abuse you which is what its really all about anyway.

    Has nothing to do with rights anymore than pedophiles or necrophiles ought to have equal or special rights.

    Its sick and America, through highly duped and stupid mass media and political lobbyists pretending to be victims and “normal”, has bought into the lie big time.

    It has never been normal – either for humans or animals and the proof of that is precisely that they cannot reproduce naturally.

    If the world turned “gay” today the race would be extinct in less than a century.

    Think about that as “normal”.
    It ain’t so Joe.

    Nature itself says so.
    If it were natural they would reproduce rather than having to convert.

    We are not suggesting violence or hatred, just rationality based truth.

    There is not a sane medical doctor in the country that would claim that homosexuality is “normal”.
    It isn’t and virtually all cultures throughout history have viewed it so -that is while they remained sane.

    In Holland there is already a pedophile politically party – all nice and legal claimed the judge; As long as they, at this time, don’t practice it!

    Wait a few more years of Overtone Window style propaganda and media “marketing” (brainwashing) and coercion and that will change too.

    Such folly is itself an abomination.

  7. mikev6

    Thank you for your post. You write:

    But you don’t think there is a touch of condescension in labeling an entire group “immoral” because of something that isn’t really a choice?

    Let’s have a look at what the Manhattan Declaration itself says:

    We acknowledge that there are those who are disposed towards homosexual and polyamorous conduct and relationships, just as there are those who are disposed towards other forms of immoral conduct.

    The Declaration says that homosexual conduct is immoral, not that homosexuals are immoral per se. There are people who are homosexual by orientation but who nobly resist the temptation to engage in homosexual conduct.

    A homosexual orientation is not a choice. Thus people cannot be labeled “immoral” for having that orientation. However, conduct is another matter. The choice to engage in a sexual act on a particular occasion is a voluntary one (with the exception of rape). That choice may be legitimately described as “immoral” if the act in question is immoral.

    There are many kinds of immoral sexual conduct. Homosexual conduct is one kind; adultery is another; and so on. Everyone has his or her own cross to carry in life, and almost no-one is without fault when it comes to sexual sin.

    Finally, we must beware of the slide in argumentation from “not chosen” to “natural.” From the fact that a homosexual orientation is not chosen, it does not follow that it is natural, let alone good.

  8. Bourne, with all due respect, I don’t see the love of the Manhattan Declaration in your response to the issue. Why focus on bedroom practices? All the things you mention are part of heterosexual life too — and depending on how you define sodomy, a pretty frequent part. :-)

  9. mikev6,

    I could just as easily assert that all Catholics are immoral because they support an organization that encourages child abuse. It would make as much sense, and be equally bigoted.

    The difference is that the “group” was defined by the immoral conduct itself, and not some larger parameter. Thus, where your example would be bigoted, it is not analogous to the former as you imply.

  10. Borne,

    I agree with you on the point you made regarding pedophilia. Just give it few more years, and humanists will convince the masses that pedophilia is also “genetic” and is not by choice. And who knows, give it some more years and even beastiality will be recognized as “genetic”. Then we will be seeing the ‘pedo & beastie’ parades all over the streets. Oh and let us not forget the semantic euphemism; they will be known as kid-lovers & animal-lovers.

    It’s not that far-fetched actually, what is the difference between a pedophile man molesting a young boy and a grown gay man having intercourse with another man? It’s only the age difference!! But in both cases we see attraction to the same sex, so why is latter “genetic” and the former not? I think it is the pedophiles… sorry, the kid-lovers fault for not following the same propaganda & lobbying campaigns alongside the gays, otherwise they would’ve been legal by now.

    Also beastiality should be legal too, why not? If humanists say that homosexuality is natural because we see animals do it, then we can use the same logic to conclude that sexually crossing species boundaries is also natural. Afterall, how did we get the mule if it wasn’t for a cross-breeding between a horse & a donkey. So why should humanists limit human sexuality to our species only? So let us also recognize the beas… I mean animal-lovers as “genetic” and not by choice.

  11. The funny thing (no pun intended) is that Apple, via its iTunes store, has classified “Expelled” as a comedy, despite numerous reviewers pointing out that it is a serious documentary.

  12. Tactics we need to keep in mind:

    1. Always remember who your real enemy is. In this case, it’s a highly organized “alternative lifestyles” lobby, whose members include both straight and gay people. Gay people as such are not the enemy; most of them just want to be left alone.

    2. Fight the important battles; don’t get side-tracked into ones that don’t count.

    3. Understand what your enemy’s long-range objective is.

    4. If you can think if some tactic that would defeat your enemy, put yourself in their shoes and say, “Now, how would I get around that?” And then think of a tactic for defeating that counter-tactic.

    5. Always be one step ahead of your enemy.

    6. Always make sure that you know your enemy’s arguments better than he knows them. Only then can you defeat them. That means reading your enemy’s literature, again and again.

    —————

    Some thoughts:

    1. Borne’s comment (#5), while somewhat harshly worded at times, was correct about one very important thing: there is an ongoing campaign to desensitize America (and the Western world, in general) to homosexual sex. And it has largely worked.

    I was interested to read the reviews of After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90′s by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Masden. Here is a brief extract from one review:

    Before I write, here is a quote from Wikipedia: “In 1987 Kirk partnered with Hunter Madsen (who used the pen name “Erastes Pill”) to write an essay, The Overhauling of Straight America, which was published in Guide Magazine. They argued that gays must portray themselves in a positive way to straight America, and that the main aim of making homosexuality acceptable could be achieved by getting Americans “to think that it is just another thing, with a shrug of their shoulders”. Then “your battle for legal and social rights is virtually won.”

    This book was a real eye-opener for me. I found it reminiscent of Saul Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals’.

    From the book flap: “Dismissing the movement’s outworn techniques in favor of carefully calculated public relations propaganda, AFTER THE BALL unveils the key psychological principles and national strategies that gays must follow…” “At the same time, Kirk and Madsen propose a clear-eyed agenda to reform gay culture…”

    To sum up the book: Two Harvard-educated intellectuals, one of which worked in Advertising on Madison Avenue, devised an agenda, to use propaganda and turn the tide of America’s disregard and ambivalence for homosexuality by 180 degrees.

    The enemy here is a PR machine. It is not gay people, and we should always keep that in mind.

    2. I don’t see any campaign on the horizon to normalize bestiality, if only because practically nobody finds it desirable. That’s a battle we don’t need to fight.

    For the foreseeable future, I doubt whether there is any real danger of pedophilia being legalized, if we are talking about children as opposed to teenagers.

    I find it very suspicious, however, that recently, we are being exposed to a steady drip-drip of stories in the media about teachers (of both sexes) behaving badly with their students. I have to ask myself if there is an agenda at work here, and whether we are being set up to regard this as normal. Logically, I suppose it follows that if you regard a 12-year-old as old enough to get birth control without informing his/her parents, then you must regard that 12-year-old as mature enough to choose his/her sexual partner. And if you were consistent, you’d have to say that this partner might be a teenager or adult. Now that’s a line of thinking we need to fight, tooth and branch. But it has nothing to do with “gay rights” per se.

    3. Speaking of which, “gay rights” is really a terrible misnomer. There are no gay rights or straight rights; there are only human rights. The exercise of certain rights, however, requires a certain level of maturity (e.g. the right to vote) and/or a certain unique kind of commitment (e.g. the right to marry).

    4. It’s naive to think that because gays can’t reproduce, the influence of the “gay lobby” can be contained. First, they can resort to artificial techniques such as IVF and (one day) cloning.

    Second, there’s already a case in the UK of a Christian couple being denied the right to adopt children because of their beliefs about the immorality of homosexuality. They were asked what they would do if their child told them that he was gay.

    As I pointed out in my previous post, it won’t be long before natural parents are quizzed about the same thing. (After all, the argument will go, if adopted children have the right to be brought up in a bigotry-free environment, don’t all children?)

    In 20 years or less, birth mothers will be refused the right to take their baby home unless they give the “correct” answers to the social worker who quizzes them about what they would do if their child turned out to be gay. This is a battle we need to fight. This will happen.

    5. Fighting means reading the literature, infiltrating groups and even being prepared to act as an agent provocateur, if necessary.

  13. I agree with mikevd and LarTanner, their objections have not been refuted, despite the usual predictable defenses. On the contrary Bourne’s heated and over-the-top response only proves the point mikevd and LarTanner were making. And then we have Shogun bringing in peodophilia. As if homosexuality inevitably leads to peodophilia or its tolerance. If that isn’t bigoted and absurd scare-mongering I don’t know what is. Heterosexuals are as likely to be peodophiles as homosexuals. No one group can be singled out for blame here, unless one is seriously prejudiced.

    And then vjtorley speaks of the tactics to be employed against the enemy, again and again, the word he uses is “enemy”. Enemy is an identical term employed for you know, the very real enemies we have like the Taliban and other jihadists like Al-Queida. vjtorley thus uses the same terminology to describe those whose political and social agendas we may not agree with as all decent Westerners use to describe those who incinerated thousands of Americans on 9-11, carry out honour killings on women and girls and the killings of apostates and terrorist bombings and the like. Oh and they execute homosexuals too. Using the word “enemy”, it reminds me of Obama using the identical word to describe anybody opposing his agenda.

    Let’s add gasoline to the fires already raging and intensify the already extreme polarities in the Western political sphere, shall we?

    One thinks of Orwell’s Animal Farm ‘all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others’. That is, ‘we are all sinners but some of us are more sinful than others’. This is simply disingenuous and contradictory – we are all sinners, but homosexuals are innately immoral and the rest of us aren’t innately immoral because of our heterosexuality.

    Or to put it another way, this is a reworking and rehash of the ‘hate the sin and not the sinner’ mantra, which is equally disingenuous at best and is likewise applied rather excessively and selectively to homosexuality.

    And this has what to do with design in nature exactly?

  14. The Real Reason God Destroyed Sodom & Gomorrah – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5325867/

    Ezekiel 16
    49 ” ‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

    The Physical Ashen Remains Of Sodom and Gomorrah – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwTVFk1HK3Y

  15. 15

    Apple has caved to the threats of the homosexual lobby. Reminiscent of threats by some Muslims regarding the publication of cartoon images of Muhammad.

    In doing so Apple shows it supports attacks by the homosexual lobby on the free speech rights of those who disagree with their life style practices and agenda, even if criticisms are measured and non-violent in content.

    The rights of one group cannot be achieved by suppressing the rights of another group.
    And before I get the expected rebuff “it works both ways” let me point out that I don’t see the Manhattan Declaration suppressing the free speech of homosexuals to argue their case for “normalizing” homosexual behaviour in society.
    The MD is equally entitled to lobby its objections in a free, democratic society surely?

  16. 16

    Isn’t it amazing that in the so-called “enlightend society” of today support for the protection of the unborn and the sanctity of human life is seen as “violence” against the rights of women. How distorted a piece of thinking is that?

  17. of related note:

    My Question for P.Z. Myers: What Endows a Human Being With the Right to Life? – Michael Egnor
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....41101.html

  18. zephyr@ll

    I agree with mikevd and LarTanner, their objections have not been refuted

    I am not sure I understand how their objections can be taken seriously. They would have us live in a society where all views and behaviours are off limits i.e. no one can say anything against them. The point about pedophilia is not that homosexuality leads to it – although I have heard some link them, that is a completely different discussion – it is that if one has the attitude that we are not allowed to make judgements about behaviours, that all behaviours are off limits, then it will ultimately lead to all behaviours being legitimate.

    I hope you can see the difference. I believe as deric has pointed out we are all entitled to share our views, but one cannot say your view if off limits if it extends outside yourself. In the first instance that view violates itself and when that happens society will crumble and become hedonistic and narcissistic in nature.

    Please understand that I am not saying a society which views homosexuality as being as legitimate as hetrosexuality does this, I am saying one that does not allow individuals to criticise it does because of the means of opposing dissent.

  19. Two points
    1. As vjtorley points out it is important to fight the right battles, i.e. to keep the broadview.

    To a liberal there is no end game for what freedom is. In other words freedom is the right to do anything I want and to have others accept it not matter the impact (provided I am not directly harming another).

    Thus it is not possible to entirely eliminate the likelihood that bestiality and pedophilia will be “rights” that will be sought in the future. How far in the future remains to be seen.

    2. The lack of reason in Apple’s decision to pull the app is what boggles my mind. You get a petition from one group with one viewpoint, you do not weight its claims against the actual content of something you previously declared as acceptable. You simply pull the application without reason or justification.

    Apple may be a tremendous innovator but poor mediator. If they can’t make well reasoned decisions they should be in the business they are in.

  20. zephyr

    I’d just like to respond to some of your points, as you appear to be under a misapprehension about the purpose of this thread.

    1. I do not think of gay people as being more sinful than I am. Neither did the authors of the Manhattan Declaration. Look at what they wrote: “We, no less than they, are sinners who have fallen short of God’s intention for our lives.”

    2. As a Christian, I do believe that gay sex is spiritually toxic. (For that matter, certain practices between heterosexual couples are spiritually toxic, too.) I also believe Christians should warn gay people of the real spiritual dangers of gay sex. If we didn’t, we’d be lacking in charity. Who is your real friend: someone who warns you of danger, or someone who doesn’t warn you, because he/she doesn’t want to hurt your feelings?

    3. There are, however, many things people do which are spiritually toxic, so none of us should sit in judgment on gays. We should always remember the words of Christ: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3).

    4. I also realize that asking gay people to lead a life of complete chastity is a pretty big ask. It’s not easy, and I’m not going to throw stones at those who try and sometimes fail. Sometimes there is only one right thing to do, and it’s very, very hard.

    5. “Innately immoral” is a contradiction in terms. Immorality is a choice. Homosexuals are not innately immoral, because nobody can be.

    6. I do not regard gay people as my enemies. Most of the ones I’ve met have been genuinely nice people, and I don’t think I’ve ever met any whom I would describe as evil.

    7. However, I do regard activists (straight or gay) who seek to destroy the institution of marriage as my enemies, because I know that if marriage collapses, so does society. And I don’t care what the sexual orientation of these activists is. Most of the damage, incidentally, is being done by “straight” people – e.g. the zealous (and probably married) schoolteacher who tells her students that all lifestyles are morally equivalent, that nobody should make value judgments about other people’s choices, and that the practice of monogamy is a relic of the past. I believe that anyone who is attempting to undermine marriage should be resisted, tooth and nail.

    8. I regard people who seek to destroy the institution of marriage as a much greater threat to society than the stupid little Taliban. Bombs on planes are nasty, but they don’t cause a society to collapse. And let’s face it, your chances of being blown to bits on a plane are practically zip – just like they were back in the nineties. We’ve wised up to the terrorists’ tricks, and we’ve learned not to let our guard down. If the fabric of our society crumbles, it won’t be because of terrorism; it will be because of self-inflicted damage.

    9. Eradicating the very idea of monogamy will definitely result in the destruction of the institution of marriage. This will inevitably happen if we legalize gay marriage, because the vast majority of gay couples are not monogamous. If you want to see the evidence for that assertion of mine, please read the article, Open Monogamy by writer and attorney Mary Rice Hasson. It’s pretty devastating. Some gays may claim to practice “emotional monogamy” (i.e. it’s OK to have an occasional affair, so long as you don’t get emotionally involved) but that is not the same thing as real monogamy. (Think about it: what wife would tolerate that rationale from a philandering husband? “It’s OK, honey, I cheat but I never get emotionally involved.”) If we legalize gay marriage, then what we are basically saying that monogamy is not an essential feature of marriage. In which case, I’d ask: what is? Openness to procreation is no longer a defining feature of marriage; monogamy is on the way out; and life-long permanence (“Till death do us part”) is already gone. What is left of the concept of marriage? Nothing.

    For those who are interested, here are some excerpts from Mary Rice Hasson’s article:

    The recently published Gay Couples Study conducted by Colleen Hoff at the Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality, San Francisco, looked at the relationships of 566 committed gay couples (males) over a three-year period. The study showed that 47 per cent of gay couples had “sex agreements” that specifically allowed sexual activity with others. An additional 8 per cent of couples were split: one person favored sex outside the relationship and the other expected monogamy. Only 45 per cent described their relationships as monogamous…

    A 2010 study [see http://www.informaworld.com/sm.....a918505146 ] from England entitled, “Gay Monogamy: I Love You But I Can’t Have Sex With Only You”, found that none of the gay couples in the study defined monogamy as sexual exclusivity. In fact, they all engaged in sex with outside partners, even though they professed to be in a monogamous relationship.

    How’s that, again?

    The Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality, in its spring 2010 newsletter, summarized the English study, explaining that sex with outside partners is the “monogamous” norm for gay couples.

    “All participants perceived fidelity as emotional monogamy. Thus, forming an emotional bond with an outside partner constituted cheating.” Sexual encounters with others didn’t count as “cheating” as long as it was “compartmentaliz[ed]“, which they defined as the process of separating sex from emotion and was key to most participants’ ability to manage sex outside the relationship.”

    Where does that leave us? Using the conservative figures from the Gay Couples Study, at least half of gay relationships don’t accept monogamy. But those that do, probably mean gay-style monogamy, which allows outside sex as long as it is “open” and any emotional attachment is to the committed partner. The gay relationship model, then, allows each partner to pursue as much sex with as many people as desired, as long as the outside relationships are “safe,” emotionally detached, and transparent.

    Think of the gay narrative, expressed in news stories, TV interviews, and court documents, that movingly tell of gay couples who have been “together” for 10, 15, 20 years and want to be married, just like straight couples. The heterosexual frame of reference assumes that, for gay couples, committed and long-term relationships embrace sexual exclusivity, the norm for opposite-sex couples. And surveys that show growing popular support for same-sex marriage rely on that same public misperception. (Emphases mine – VJT.)

    Readers might also like to have a look at this article in Psychology Today (September 16, 2008), whose author is quite sympathetic towards “open marriages” and even thinks we can learn something from them:

    In his book, The Soul Beneath the Skin, David Nimmons cites numerous studies which show that 75% of gay male couples are in successful open relationships. He makes it clear that whatever you decide as a couple you should be up front, direct and honest about what the contract of your relationship is on both sides. (Emphasis mine – VJT.)

    I expect some readers will remind me that married heterosexual couples also cheat. Some do; but according to the above-cited article by Mary Hasson, “just 7 per cent of Americans believe that adultery (sexual infidelity by married, heterosexual partners) is morally acceptable.” Not all heterosexual couples keep their marriage vows; but at least they intend to when they make them, and (by an overwhelming margin) they still regard them as morally binding, even if they do cheat.

    10. There is no good legal reason for legalizing gay marriage but not polygamy, and no-one, to the best of my knowledge, has ever proposed one. I think it’s fair to say that if the former is legalized, the latter will eventually be legalized, too.

    11. The social consequences of legalizing gay marriage will be huge. Children in public schools will be told that “emotional monogamy” (it’s OK to cheat so long as you don’t get emotionally involved) is just as valid as sexually exclusive monogamy. When these kids grow up, the attitudes they have imbibed at school will then affect their behavior as heterosexual married couples. Don’t take it from me. Here’s what Joe Quirk, author of the best-selling book, “It’s Not You, It’s Biology,” had to say in a recent interview (New York Times, January 28, 2010) (see http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01......html?_r=1 ):

    “The combination of freedom and mutual understanding can foster a unique level of trust,” Mr. Quirk, of Oakland, said.

    “The traditional American marriage is in crisis, and we need insight,” he said, citing the fresh perspective gay couples bring to matrimony. “If innovation in marriage is going to occur, it will be spearheaded by homosexual marriages.” (Emphases mine – VJT.)

    If our kids are educated to think in this “new” way, then monogamy will become a forgotten practice within 50 years. That is something we need to fight. Social attitudes change, and they can change surprisingly quickly over the course of time.

    12. I would therefore regard as an “enemy” any activist (straight or gay) who wishes to replace the ideal of monogamous marriage with a watered-down version of “open marriage.” The latter is not the real McCoy, and it never will be.

    13. In an article in Jewish World Review (March 9, 2004), entitled ‘Gay marriage’ confusions, the economist, social critic and political thinker Thomas Sowell penned the following words, which get right to the heart of what is wrong with gay marriage:

    Few issues have produced as much confused thinking as the “gay marriage” issue.

    There is, for example, the argument that the government has no business getting involved with marriage in the first place. That is a personal relation, the argument goes.

    Love affairs are personal relations. Marriage is a legal relation. To say that government should not get involved in legal relations is to say that government has no business governing.

    Homosexuals were on their strongest ground when they said that what happens between “consenting adults” in private is none of the government’s business. But now gay activists are taking the opposite view, that it is government’s business – and that government has an obligation to give its approval…

    The last refuge of the gay marriage advocates is that this is an issue of equal rights. But marriage is not an individual right. Otherwise, why limit marriage to unions of two people instead of three or four or five? Why limit it to adult humans, if some want to be united with others of various ages, sexes and species?

    Marriage is a social contract because the issues involved go beyond the particular individuals. Unions of a man and a woman produce the future generations on whom the fate of the whole society depends. Society has something to say about that. (Emphases mine – VJT.)

    14. I would also regard bureaucrats (again, predominantly “straight” people) who try to regulate what kind of moral instruction a parent should give to his/her children as “enemies.” I wrote above about the case in the UK of a Christian couple being denied the right to adopt children because of their beliefs about the immorality of homosexuality. The Christian Legal Centre, commenting on the case, said:

    ‘The implications are huge. It is no exaggeration to say that the future of Christian foster carers and adoptive parents hangs in the balance.

    ‘It may not be long before local authorities decide that Christians cannot look after some of the most vulnerable children in our society, simply because they disapprove of homosexuality.’

    I then argued that it wouldn’t be long before natural parents are quizzed about the same thing. I predicted that birth mothers would one day be refused the right to take their baby home unless they gave the “correct” answers to the social worker who quizzes them about what they would do if their child turned out to be gay. Now this would be a clearcut case of bureaucrats dictating values to parents. In response, I would say that the only values that governments have the right to ram down our throats are those of non-violence and the importance of fulfilling your duty to society. What a parent privately thinks, or teaches his/her child to think, is none of the government’s business, as long as that parent does not incite his/her child to commit acts of violence or intimidation.

    15. I found it very odd that the petition launched by Change.org linked the “gay rights” cause with the “pro-choice” cause, as I have personally known gays who were strongly pro-life.

    16. I totally agree with you that homosexuality does not inevitably lead to pedophilia or its tolerance. I would however question your claim that heterosexuals and homosexuals are equally likely to molest children. We don’t have enough data to answer that question definitively, and I’ve seen claims and counter-claims in the literature. Even if it were true (as some claim) that homosexuals are more likely to molest children, it would not follow that most homosexuals do so; nor would it follow that homosexuals who don’t molest children are wicked people. That’s why I urged above that homosexuality and pedophilia should be treated as separate issues.

    17. You ask: “And this has what to do with design in nature exactly?”

    Ask yourself this. Would a society which lets bureaucrats dictate the values that parents teach their children, and which lets teachers subvert the institution of marriage, be likely to let these parents teach their children that the God of the Bible (which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and which condemns homosexual acts) is the Designer of nature, and that it was He who made the first living cell? I think not.

    We at Uncommon Descent are against any form of thought control.

  21. vjtorley @ #10

    Thanks for your post. I understand your points clearly, and I was not intending on getting side-tracked into meaningless arguments. I was simply trying to satirize the way of thinking of the “alternative lifestyles” lobby that you talked about, and how if immoral behaviors become recognized as legitimate rights, then you can expect more of that because the boundaries of what we define as moral are melting slowly due to the desensitizing agenda. And I also wanted to poke fun at their semantic euphemism that turned sexual perversions into sexual “diversity”.

  22. I have an off-topic question: how do you quote someone else’s writing in your posts? Do I have to use or ”?

  23. Hi Shogun (#19)

    Re quotations: I had the same problem once. Here’s what you do.

    You type the less than sign, then the word blockquote, then the greater than sign, with no spaces between them. Then you hit the Enter key. Then you insert your slab of text. Then you hit Enter again. Then you type the less than sign, then the forward slash, then the word blockquote, then the greater than sign, with no spaces between them. Then you hit Enter again.

    At least, that’s how I do it.

  24. Thanks alot vjtorley, I was having alot of trouble with quoting.

  25. I completely agree, andrewjg and vjtorley,

    Pedophiles and any other form of sexuality should be given equal rights if homosexuality gets it as well. This clearly isn’t happening, so why the difference?

    On a slightly unrelated note, an article discussing genetics and whether people are born with things like sexuality decided, check out this article:

    http://www.arn.org/docs2/news/.....ty0711.htm

  26. Manable (#22)

    Thank you for the link to the article by Francis Collins, Lowell Weiss and Kathy Hudson. I liked this part:

    To be sure, scientists will find many behavioral factors in the genes. Researchers have long known that there is one extremely common genetic factor that confers at least a ten-fold increase in the propensity to exhibit criminally violent behavior. It is called the Y chromosome. No one has suggested that all those who possess this genetic marker–that is, all males–ought to be seen as lacking free will or inherently possessing criminal intent. More to the point, the case of the Y chromosome is an almost absurd extreme. In the vast majority of cases, genetic factors exert a much smaller influence on patterns of behavior and capability.

    Re gay marriage, I think the appropriate legal analogy is to polygamy, not pedophilia.

    Re homosexual acts, I do not think that these should be outlawed. That does not make them right, of course.

  27. Shogunhow do you quote someone else’s writing in your posts?

    Like this:
    <blockquote> You type the less than sign, then the word blockquote, then the greater than sign, with no spaces between them. Then you hit the Enter key [not necessary, but may be an aid to you as you compose]. Then you insert your slab of text. Then you hit Enter again [not necessary, but may be an aid to you as you compose]. Then you type the less than sign, then the forward slash, then the word blockquote, then the greater than sign, with no spaces between them. Then you hit Enter again. </blockquote>

    And the end-result is this:

    You type the less than sign, then the word blockquote, then the greater than sign, with no spaces between them. Then you hit the Enter key [not necessary, but may be an aid to you as you compose]. Then you insert your slab of text. Then you hit Enter again [not necessary, but may be an aid to you as you compose]. Then you type the less than sign, then the forward slash, then the word blockquote, then the greater than sign, with no spaces between them. Then you hit Enter again.

  28. vjtorley,

    It seems there is a mass misconception that genetics are the be-all and end-all. I’ve watched programs that state that ‘much of our life is determined before we are born by our genetics’, which is clearly not true. On top of this, I’ve had debates where people have asserted that people are 100% definitely born gay, and that scientific study has proven so, which, quite frankly, is another lie entertained by the media and by some scientists that have a reason to want this too be (i.e homosexual scientists who wish to give more evidence to justify their desires).

    I agree polygamy is a better analogy, but I do think the point I made is sound. I also agree that homosexual acts probably shouldn’t be outlawed, though the debate around that I haven’t looked at, admittedly.

  29. Illion, thanks for the post. I was also trying other tags such as bold & italics. I know how to do it now.

  30. Manable,

    I also agree, and that is the point I was trying to make since my post # 9. If we drop our limits on what is defined as moral with regard to sexuality, then any form of perversion such as pedophilia and beastiality can be legalized using the same desensitizing tactics that vjtorley talked about. Some people may think that this is far-fetched because such things are not desirable YET. But if we go back maybe 20 years, even homosexuality was far less desirable and less accepted than it is today. All it takes is some time, lobbying activists, and moral people standing still.

    Also thanks for the link you posted. In my opinion, the last five paragraphs were the best:

    To build on a metaphor offered by the biologist Johnjoe McFadden, looking for genes that encode our unique behaviors and the other products of our minds is like analyzing the strings of a violin or the keys of a piano in the hope of finding the Emperor Concerto. Indeed, the human genome can be thought of as the grandest of orchestras, with each of our approximately thirty thousand genes representing a unique instrument playing in the wondrous and massive concert that is molecular biology. Each instrument is essential, and each must be in tune to produce the proper (and highly sophisticated) musical sound. Likewise, genes are essential to the development of the brain, and must be “in tune” to produce functioning neurons and neurotransmitters. But this emphatically does not imply that genes make minds any more than a viola or a piccolo makes a sonata.
    For many of us, there is still another powerful reason, wholly apart from the mechanics of science, to reject the notion that DNA is the core substance of our humanity. It is the belief that a higher power must also play some role in who we are and what we become. Of course, some scientists and writers dismiss this spiritual notion as pure superstition. Thus Richard Dawkins has observed that “we are machines built by DNA whose purpose is to make copies of the same DNA…. It is every living object’s sole reason for living.” Really? Is there nothing about being human that is different from being a bacterium or a slug?

    Can the study of genetics and molecular biology really account for the universal intrinsic knowledge of right and wrong common to all human cultures in all eras (though all of us have trouble acting on this knowledge)? Can it account for the unselfish form of love that the Greeks called agape? Can it account for the experience of feeling called to sacrifice for others even when our own DNA may be placed at risk? While evolutionary biologists proffer various explanations for human behaviors that undermine the efficient propagation of our genes, there is something about those claims that rings hollow to us.

    The notion that science alone holds all the secrets of our existence has become a religion of its own. The faith of Dawkins and others in biology seems even greater than the faith of the simple believer in God. Science is the proper way to understand the natural, of course; but science gives us no reason to deny that there are aspects of human identity that fall outside the sphere of nature, and hence outside the sphere of science. For most believers, God has no meaning unless God is more than nature. If God is more than nature, then studying the natural may never reveal the true mystery.

    In the end, we must acknowledge that we human beings have only scratched the surface of self-understanding. The structure of DNA does hold considerable interest for this line of inquiry; but it would be the purest form of hubris to take our rudimentary knowledge of our genetic code, craft theories about it with our puny minds, and declare that nature has once and for all trumped nurture and toppled God. This is the kind of arrogance that humans alone seem to possess, and that genes alone could never explain.

    The beauty of these quotes is that they totally demolish the basis of Dawkins’ materialistic thought.

    Also notice how zephyr, lartanner, and mikev did not provide any scientific evidence to prove that homosexuality is natural and thus contradict what is mentioned in the above quotes by Francis Collions et al. All they did is provide subjective sentiment towards gays and disdain towards religious definitions of morality.

  31. Thanks, Shogun.

    It needn’t even be seen in terms of will it be legalized, but simply in terms of the logic of equal rights too all people. Proponents of the the view that gay marriage etc should be legalized etc, would say it’s simply equal rights and they shouldn’t have their rights restricted. Their sexuality should be allowed as well as those who are heterosexual. But then, Why not beastiality? Should their rights be restricted? Simply by following the logic you come to this conclusion. Though others may have something to say about my conclusion.

  32. Hi everyone,

    I don’t often recommend an article by Jerry Coyne, but on this occasion I will. Despite the fact that he’s an atheist who denies free will, he has offered a remarkably fair-minded assessment of what scientists do and don’t know about the causes of homosexual behavior in animals and humans, and what ethical conclusions (if any) can be drawn from all this. Here is his article:

    Evolution, animals, and gay behavior .

    Enjoy!

  33. vjtorley,

    That is indeed a very fair minded assessment of it. He openly admits scientist don’t really know whether or not it’s genetic and concedes that it’s probably a mixture of genetics and environmental factors (which could quite possibly be true, though i don’t think we can say that whether it’s probable or not yet). I’m rather amused that he doesn’t really care about it and am rather amused at him deny free will of any kind, or so it seems he’s saying so..

  34. Well, you know, if “homophiles” are “born that way,” and thus may not be faulted or criticized for engaging in “homophilia,” than simple logic, to say nothing of basic fairness — and we all know how “liberals” love “fairness” — would seen to dictate that we must likewise admit to the in-born nature of “homophobia,” and so, no “homophobe” may be faulted or criticized for it.

    Gander, meet goose.

  35. When I read the comments relating to this post I feel like the mask has slipped from Uncommon Descent and its true nature has been revealed. Like vj I believe in calling a spade a spade and the nature that has been revealed is self-righteous and bigoted.

    I draw a distinction between the issues of abortion and murder. I can understand that some people find abortion deeply wrong and wish to prevent it because they believe the foetus is an innocent victim. I don’t agree, but I understand the moral imperative to campaign against it because there is a potential victim. But the attitude to homosexuality that is apparent in these comments is deeply unsettling. Remember two fundamental things. There are no victims in a homosexual act and homosexuals do not seek to limit or influence heterosexual relationships in any way. They only wish to conduct their own relationships without legal or social stigma. The signatories to the Manhattan convention clearly wish to restrict their freedom. You don’t want people to practice homosexuality, because you find it wrong for religious reasons, and you are going to use social, moral and possibly legal pressure to prevent people practicing it.

    The Taliban – who seem to crop up a lot in this debate – also seek to restrict a number of sexual and social practices because they find it wrong for religious reasons. This includes homosexuality of course, and adultery, but is extended to things such as women being educated, men shaving their beards, and even dancing and music. How shall we answer them? By saying our religion is right and theirs is wrong? I think we all know how that debate gets settled.

  36. I’ve to agree with markf. And for our society, it is not important whether some acts are regarded as immoral by some religious groups, but whether these acts are performed by consenting adults: therefore, homosexual acts and pedophile acts aren’t equivalent – a minor can’t consent in a meaningful way!

  37. My comment expressed no opinion on homosexuality, or heterosexuality, or religion, or religious values, or science.

    My comment was and is that “we” don’t get to define “them.”

    If “we” want to call ourselves sinners, that’s great have at it.

    But “we” have no authority to speak for “them” when “they” can speak for themselves–and apparently many of “them” have.

    “We” cannot define “them” in “our” terms. Why? Because that’s taxation without representation, which I’m sure many can understand. It’s colonialism. It’s patronizing. It’s arrogant. It’s unmerited. It’s probably meaningless.

  38. Markf @ 32 and your mask has slipped (long ago, in fact), revealing an intellectually dishonest fool. So there!

  39. I’m going to go out on a limb here and side with Markf on the issue of homosexuality. One of the things I enjoy about being an American is the right to decide my own “pursuit of happiness.” Others should have that right for themselves, even if it means the right to pursue sin. I don’t see that I am victimized by homosexual relationships or even — this will be controversial — that my marriage is threatened by the marriage of homosexuals. A lot of things are immoral that are not illegal, and I like living in a society where a religion does not determine what’s legal.

    (To anticipate a point and answer a conflation, homosexuality is obviously different from pedophilia because pedophilia is not consensual.)

  40. vjtorley,

    Your argument that the legalization of gay marriage will lead to the destruction of the institution of marriage is not compelling.

    Suppose I grant your (highly questionable) assumption that gay marriages will not in general be sexually monogamous. Suppose I also grant the (again highly questionable) assumption that a trend towards non-monogamous marriages would destroy the institution of marriage. You think the way to save marriage is to legislate against gay marriage.

    Consider the following hypothetical: It is a statistical fact that members of a certain ethnic community, let’s say Inuits, are extremely likely to engage in open relationships. Would you think of this as sufficient grounds for denying Inuits the right to engage in marriage?

    If the answer is no (as I hope it is) I would like to know why your argument concerning gay marriage is materially different. Why should the mere statistical fact that members of this group are more likely to engage in open relationships justify the denial of gay marriage?

  41. As for Sowell’s argument that the state is concerned with marriage because it has an interest in procreation, I would argue that this misses the main interest of the state. The state should be involved in marriage because the institution of marriage provides a beneficial setting for the raising of children, not just their creation. And gay couples are just as capable of raising children successfully, the unsubstantiated claims of gay adoption opponents notwithstanding.

  42. mikev6–But you don’t think there is a touch of condescension in labeling an entire group “immoral” because of something that isn’t really a choice?

    If it’s not a choice it’s not a sin but are you saying every homosexual act is not a choice?

    I could just as easily assert that all Catholics are immoral because they support an organization that encourages child abuse.

    You can easily assert anything but to say that the Catholic Church encourages child abuse is not merely making an untrue claim but a bigoted and hateful one as well.

  43. Markf

    I would like to dissociate myself from Ilion’s intemperate remarks. I know you for an honest man, and no fool. Pax.

  44. vjtorley:

    A homosexual orientation is not a choice. Thus people cannot be labeled “immoral” for having that orientation. However, conduct is another matter. The choice to engage in a sexual act on a particular occasion is a voluntary one (with the exception of rape). That choice may be legitimately described as “immoral” if the act in question is immoral.

    I see. Sexuality is a fundamental part of being human. While homosexuals have no “choice” in the nature of their attraction, they apparently have to opt-out of their fundamental natures to avoid being labeled “immoral” in your view.

    Assuming that you are straight, how would you react if you were told that your only choices were “being immoral” or sleeping with members of the same sex? In other words, while you claim there is no choice, in essence you still regard homosexuality as a choice – a choice between sex with people you have no attraction to or no sex at all.

    The interesting point about the OP and other comments here is that there is the basic assumption that homosexuality is intrinsically ‘immoral’. So I’ll ask:

    Why is homosexual activity immoral?

  45. andrewjg:

    The point about pedophilia is not that homosexuality leads to it – although I have heard some link them, that is a completely different discussion – it is that if one has the attitude that we are not allowed to make judgements about behaviours, that all behaviours are off limits, then it will ultimately lead to all behaviours being legitimate.

    I don’t recall anyone saying that you’re “not allowed” to make judgements about behaviors. In fact, I fully support your right to express those judgements. Just don’t expect others to agree with those judgements or withhold public criticism.

    The conflating of homosexual activity with pedophilia is a favorite one (the Catholic Church is using it)but misses some key points.

    There is no evidence (AFAIK) that two adults of the same sex in a committed relationship causes harm to those individuals. On the other hand, children are unable to form valid consent, and pedophilia causes a great deal of lasting harm to the child.

    The idea that the “slippery slope” leads to all types of behavior becoming the ‘norm’ is overly simplistic.

  46. Though, the ecumenical flavor of the Manhattan Declaration does leave a bad taste in my mouth – I did sign the petition! Hopefully, all the commentators here are not just blogging their support, but signing as well.

  47. #39 vj

    Thanks. I too appreciate your honesty and intelligence although as you can see I feel you are deeply mistaken on the issue of homosexuality. Unlike other issues that have arisen here I do not participate out of intellectual interest. Many of my closest friends are gay, and while things have improved vastly in the last 50 years I know them to be the subject of unreasonable prejudice.

  48. mikev6@41

    Refer to comment no. 2. My point refers to one’s right to say X behaviour is right or Y behaviour is wrong. If homosexuality is off limits then so is any behaviour. As others have pointed out perhaps comparing it to polygamy is better because it is more direct. It looks to me like Europe in fast becoming a place where any criticism of homosexuality is off limits.

    I think the Manhattan declaration being remove from the app store is an example of the same thing happening in the US. So for me it is more a free speech issue. We do live in a secular society so as long as you do not at least directly impinge on someone else’s rights you should be able to do whatever you want. But with matters such as what the State’s definition of marriage is, all sides have a right to be heard. All sides cannot be accommodated. Either marriage is peculiar to one man and one woman or it is not. It is either a flexible man made construct or it is something from God.

  49. markf@2

    The Taliban – who seem to crop up a lot in this debate – also seek to restrict a number of sexual and social practices because they find it wrong for religious reasons. This includes homosexuality of course, and adultery, but is extended to things such as women being educated, men shaving their beards, and even dancing and music. How shall we answer them? By saying our religion is right and theirs is wrong? I think we all know how that debate gets settled.

    The questions is not about banning behaviours. It is about the the right to make representation that these behaviours are immoral. We – most of use anyway – don’t want to ban homosexuality. We want to do a few simply things e.g. protect the institution of marriage as being uniquely between one man and one woman and critical of the ongoing success of civilisation. All conceptions of marriage cannot be accommodated. It is an either or.

    So I don’t think a comparison with what the Taliban is at all appropriate. I think the Taliban is more easily associated with the homosexual rights lobby. They seem intent on squashing any opposing voices.

  50. Dieb,

    I’ve to agree with markf. And for our society, it is not important whether some acts are regarded as immoral by some religious groups, but whether these acts are performed by consenting adults: therefore, homosexual acts and pedophile acts aren’t equivalent – a minor can’t consent in a meaningful way!

    But consenting adults who practice incest can consent in a meaningful way.

  51. Above post should be markf@32

  52. DiEb,

    there’s no condescens­ion here?

    Nope.

  53. andrewjg,

    So I don’t think a comparison with what the Taliban is at all appropriate. I think the Taliban is more easily associated with the homosexual rights lobby. They seem intent on squashing any opposing voices.

    Good point.

  54. #44 andrewjg

    The question of whether anyone should be allowed to express any opinion is a difficult one – but that is not the issue in vj’s post. I think I agree that it should be legal to hold any moral opinion subject to the laws of slander and libel. And, as far as I know, no one is suggesting that the Manhattan Declaration be forced to take down its web site. But that doesn’t mean that every organisation has to condone every opinion. In particular it is up to the staff of Apple Inc as to whether they think the Manhattan Declaration is something they want to condone.

    The real issue in vj’s post was whether change.org lied in describing the Manhatten declaration as hateful and divisive and whether that decieved Apple into removing the application. The Manhattan declaration is not the declaration of independence and it is quite hard to digest, but I would say that it not hateful but is divisive. However, it is naive in the extreme to suppose that Apple Inc decided to remove the application without reading the declaration and judging for themselves. Change.org may have brought it to their notice but there is no way they just said “Oh. OK we had better remove it then”.

  55. Sorry the numbers of the comments have all changed. My comment above was intended to respond to what is now comment #48 (but I guess it could change again!)

  56. mikev6 well put, that’s exactly it – vjtorley contorts himself. Homosexuals are not immoral but homosexuality is, in fact it’s “spiritually toxic” according to him. Not that homosexuals are toxic, it’s just that their sexuality is toxic, even as their (and our) sexuality is a fundamental part of our humanity.

    Sorry mikev6 for calling you mikevd above!! Yikes.

    Borne and Shogun, venting no-holds-barred, lumped pedophilia in with homosexuality, and Borne with necrophilia too! One can engage in all kinds of mealy-mouthed convoluted rationalisations here, but not only is that delusional, it is plainly bigoted.

    Also the assertions by vjtorley that homosexuals are more promiscuous than heterosexuals, less committed to monogamous relationships is a dubious one. The promiscuity among Western heterosexual youth is incredible, and if anything there is some evidence that young men and women in Western urban centers are more promiscuous than their parents and grandparents were (that includes the free love babyboomer generation). I have worked with the 18-25 demographic very closely over the last couple of years (and youngsters from all over the West, mainly North America and Europe) and their promiscuity far surpassed anything I saw as a university student two decades ago. There is simply no way homosexuals, even the most promiscuous ones, could surpass them as far as sleeping around goes. And I mean the young women here especially (young guys will be young guys after all), which is especially stupid and destructive. There are complex reasons for this that go beyond the scope and intent of this comment, but in part to oversimplify it surely has to do with strained family relations, alienation from parents, ennui and lack of meaning in life in an excessively consumerist and commercialised culture. Are you going to blame all that on gays btw? Oh wait it’s not gays you have a problem with, it’s just the spiritual toxicity of gayness.

    Which America are you people living in? Something from a Doris Day movie? The broken homes, the single moms, the absentee fathers, babies born out of wedlock – it is a growing epidemic especially in the cities. I know this may come as a shock, but what gay men do in their own homes, in privacy is not going to change the social and family collapse and decay of urban America one little bit. Nor are gays and the supporters of gay rights responsible for it.

    And then bornagain77 predictably with his Sodom post. Hey bornagain how come God hasn’t struck down the Castro district in SF yet (and for that matter plenty other gay districts from NY to London, Paris and Sydney)? What is God waiting for? Oh wait let me guess, He did strike down the sodomites with the vengeful wrath that is HIV right?

  57. Also on the subject of whether homosexuality is innate or not, I have noticed the straw-man of genetics continually brought up, and that there is no evidence that homosexuality is a genetic trait/s. Well duh, it’s only absurdist sociobiology that would suggest that in the first place. As an IDist I would point out that if one were to say homosexuality has its origins in the genes, one is arguably contradicting oneself, trying to have it both ways. It’s a blatant materialist argument to think of sexuality and human character traits for that matter as accounted for by DNA. That doesn’t mean it’s not innate, it just means that it can’t be accounted for by the genes. After all, human sexuality is a fundamental part of human consciousness and consciousness cannot be reduced to genetics, it remains mysterious and hazy, perhaps forever impenetrable in its essentials. The hard problem of consciousness, the problem of qualia remains. The attempt to explain away human consciousness (self-awareness and awareness of self-awareness) by waving the magic wand of DNA is just that, a non-explanation, it is scientific reductionism in principle. Such “reasoning” clearly follows from scientific materialist and reductionist presuppositions, it is scientific materialism itself.

    There are some things distinctive about human character, our minds themselves, that go beyond nurture and environment and unless we are materialists, it cannot be accounted for by DNA alone or predominantly even (except indirectly). A fortiori human sexuality cannot be accounted for by DNA alone, albeit sexuality, like our character and personality traits themselves, has innate dynamics. Even if this remains unexplained and little understood.

    Human sexuality along with other distinctive human character and personality aspects shows up the limits of scientific materialism (and therefore neo-Darwinism itself). So those of you all antsy about the ‘gay peril’ contradict yourselves here. That is you are saying there is no evidence that homosexuality is ultimately genetic, therefore it must be the environment, ipso facto the permissive social and political environment. This sets up a false choice, false since it is materialist. Just because it is not genetic does not mean it is not innate, it just means it is not genetic. Our innate characteristics, our consciousness AND our sexuality itself cannot be reduced to genetics. It is only an unquestioned materialist assumption passed off as proven science that says otherwise.

    I am not saying environment and upbringing has no role to play btw. Human sexuality is staggeringly complex of course and we still know very little..

    I hope none of you fire and brimstone types have siblings or children that are gay (assuming some of you are parents or plan to be parents) for their sake because they certainly won’t be coming out of the closet to any of you.

    You know many gay adolescents attempt or committ suicide precisely because of all the unhinged hatred they face. Not that the world will be less rid of gays for all that, you cannot stamp out gayness even if you come with your pitchforks and tar and feathers. Homosexuality has always been a part of humanity and it always will be (whatever its complex origins), even if you oppose its expression or very existence. Ahmadinejad can deny that homosexuals exist in Iran, but they do for all that. Just like they exist in the most conservative parts of Oklahoma, Idaho, North Dakota and Alabama. Homosexuality has always been present even in the most conservative social and political cultures (it was just hidden, underground, in the closet) so bang goes the hypothesis of permissive liberal culture is going to turn your kids into raging ‘fags’ scare-mongering. Naturally one can just keep ignoring uncomfortable obvious facts that don’t jive with da preaching.

    vjtorley (since you initiated this thread) if you have anything to say on homosexuality that I consider remotely likely to restrain or put off some redneck from bashing up some ‘queer boys’, I will let you know. Still waiting..

  58. My opening comment on my post #56 re my comment to mikev6 is a reference to something way back now, mikev6′s post #44.

  59. Perusing again some of the comments, wstack9 #19, talking about the risk of pedophilia and bestiality being given protected legal status if you know gays can do what they please. Yeah wstack9, gay rights will really open the floodgates, pedophilia and bestiality will be considered hunky dory and just fine next.

    Clive Hayden above:
    “But consenting adults who practice incest can consent in a meaningful way”

    Clearly then Hayden sees consensual gay sexual relations in the same light as consensual incest, damaging and destructive and every bit as taboo. Glorious. No not really.

    Hayden despite your and andrewjg’s intellectual gymnastics on the Taliban and homosexual rights, it’s very clear what the position is of the Taliban when it comes to homosexuality. It’s also very clear who is lumping adult consensual homosexual relations in America with rabid comparisons and fears of pedophilia, bestiality, (we even have necrophilia) and incest (thanks to you Hayden) on this thread.

    Hey don’t hold back now..

  60. zephyr@59

    Just because you wish to conflate issues – i.e. acceptance of behaviour with tolerance of it does not mean others are engaging in mental gymnastics. We are not defining words in one way and then using them in another or anything like that. The fact it homosexual lobby will not tolerate any opinion contrary to their own which is exactly the same as the Taliban.

  61. markf@54

    If divisiveness is the problem then we are in a very sad state. There are so many divisive issues that I can’t see how society can operate except on the most superficial level without allowing people to talk about them.

    This is not the same as having something forced down your throat. You don’t have to download the app.

    Now imagine the homosexual lobby made an app that contained a homosexual bill of rights. Clearly it would be divisive Would Apple be right in blocking it? I think not.

    The supreme court reaches decisions on a regular basis which are divisive. Should they stop doing so? Rather just pretend they don’t exist.

    Lastly remember if you own an iPhone you can only get apps from one place, the iStore. It would be different if that were not the case. I think Apple has actually removed the app because they don’t like the message. Surely it can’t be something as petty as divisiveness.

  62. #andrewjg

    “I think Apple has actually removed the app because they don’t like the message. Surely it can’t be something as petty as divisiveness.”

    Divisiveness may or may not be petty. It may or may not be wrong. It depends on what the issue is. To call on the white races to stand together against other races would divisive and wrong but hardly petty in its implications. However, I only raised the issue of divisiveness in the context of whether change.org were lying. I suspect you are right. Apple looked again the Manhattan Declaration and decided they didn’t like the message and withdrew the app. This is something they have every right to do.

  63. markf@62

    You are right. Divisiveness may or may not be petty. I suppose I refer to it as petty when it is used as a standard. I also abhor those who may divisiveness their aim. But if we are to have a free society divisive issues cannot be removed from the public sphere.

  64. zephyr

    You wrote:

    vjtorley (since you initiated this thread) if you have anything to say on homosexuality that I consider remotely likely to restrain or put off some redneck from bashing up some ‘queer boys’, I will let you know. Still waiting..

    I cannot do better than to quote the words of Christ Himself, in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5):

    21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ [an Aramaic term of contempt] is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

    43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    Here is a quote from later in the same sermon (Matthew 7):

    1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    Finally, here is a short quote from the Epistle of St. James, chapter 1:

    19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

    If you happen to meet a violent anti-gay bigot, show him these verses from Scripture and impress upon him the fact that if he yields to his anger and beats up gays (or any other people, for that matter), he will eventually end up in Hell. Our Savior himself has said as much, in the plainest possible language.

    That should stop him, but if it doesn’t, ask him another question: “Where do you think gays go – Heaven or Hell?” If he is a bigot, he will simply answer, “Hell.” Finally, ask him if he wants to spend eternity in the same place as gays. Checkmate.

  65. Why is homosexual activity immoral?

    The simple answer is that the Bible says it is and when you reject that you find yourself incapable of answering with any authority as to why beating up homosexuals is immoral.

    It is impossible for Man to create an authoritative moral code.

    The more complex answer is that the purpose of our existence is to love which is a real, and spiritual, thing and that using another human being, or allowing oneself to be used, as an object for sexual orgasm is a violation of the principle of our existence. I submit that with regard to male homosexuality that is never anything but the case.

    The arcane answer is that there are spiritual forces that hate you and want to degrade you and that you have an obligation to contest with them even if you don’t always win.

  66. mikev6:

    Here is an article by the philosopher and legal scholar John Finnis, which answers your question: “Why is homosexual activity immoral?”

    Source: Law, Morality, and “Sexual Orientation” by John Finnis. Printed in John Corvino (ed.), Same Sex: Debating the Ethics, Science, and Culture of Homosexuality (Lanham-New York-London, Rowman and Littlefield, 1997) pp.31-43.

    I hope it proves useful to you.

  67. zephyr

    I would agree with your remarks that there has been an increase in promiscuity among heterosexuals in the past couple of decades. I would also agree that gays have nothing to do with this surge in immorality. Straight people have nobody but themselves to blame for it.

    I’m 49. When I was growing up, a man who had had more than ten sexual partners would have been considered rather wild. Many people would have considered him a dissolute rake, and most mothers would have warned their daughters in no uncertain terms against having anything to do with him. Sadly, that has changed. When the leader of a British political party can publicly admit in a magazine interview to having slept with “no more than 30″ women, you know that there has been a decline across the board in moral standards. You also mentioned a change in the behavior of women in the 18-25 age bracket, in recent years. I can’t comment on that, as I reside in Japan, not America. However, your diagnosis of the causes of this change seems correct, as far as it goes: “strained family relations, alienation from parents, ennui and lack of meaning in life in an excessively consumerist and commercialised culture.” I would also add: the absence of a strong personal relationship with God, and the lack of a healthy father-daughter relationship, in particular. The behavior you describe in young adult heterosexuals is certainly “spiritually toxic,” which bears out my earlier remark that spiritually toxic behaviors are by no means confined to gays.

    On the other hand, the available medical evidence suggests that even in this day and age, most of the heterosexual population have slept with less than ten sexual partners. That, at least, is something we can be thankful for. A recent survey (based on data collected from 1999 to 2002 for the CDC) of 6,237 American adults, aged 20 to 59, using what are called computer-assisted self-interviews – a method designed to provide complete privacy and produce more honest answers – revealed that the median number of lifetime female sexual partners for men was seven; the median number of male partners for women was four. 29 percent of American men report having 15 or more female sexual partners in a lifetime, while only 9 percent of women report having sex with 15 or more men.

    Regarding homosexual promiscuity: I would have to respectfully disagree with your claim that homosexuals couldn’t possibly keep up with heterosexuals. Here are some statistics I’ve located on the Web, ranging from 1978 to 1998:

    (1) Bell and Weinberg reported evidence of widespread sexual compulsion among homosexual men. 83% of the homosexual men surveyed estimated they had had sex with 50 or more partners in their lifetime, 43% estimated they had sex with 500 or more partners; 28% with 1,000 or more partners. Figures are taken from a study by Alan P. Bell and Martin S. Weinberg, “Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women”, (New York, Simon and Schuster, 1978), p.308.

    (2) The same study revealed that homosexual men have to a great extent separated sexuality from relationship. The survey showed 79% of the respondents saying that over half of their sexual partners were strangers. Seventy percent said that over half of their sexual partners were people with whom they had sex only once. See Bell and Weinberg, pp.308-309. [It should be noted that this survey was drawn from the San Francisco area at the height of the celebration by that gay community of its freedom from the restraints of "puritanical, middle-class values" and before the AIDS epidemic struck.]

    (3) In their study of the sexual profiles of 2,583 older homosexuals published in Journal of Sex Research, Paul Van de Ven et al. found that “the modal range for number of sexual partners ever [of homosexuals] was 101–500.” In addition, 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent had between 501 and 1000 partners. A further 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent reported having had more than 1000 lifetime sexual partners. Paul Van de Ven et al., “A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile of Older Homosexually Active Men,” Journal of Sex Research 34 (1997): 354.

    (4) A survey conducted by the homosexual magazine Genre found that 24 percent of the respondents said they had had more than 100 sexual partners in their lifetime. The magazine noted that several respondents suggested including a category of those who had more than 1,000 sexual partners. “Sex Survey Results,” Genre (October 1996), quoted in “Survey Finds 40 percent of Gay Men Have Had More Than 40 Sex Partners,” Lambda Report, January 1998, p. 20.

    The numbers may have fallen since the seventies, but they’re still considerably higher for gays than for heterosexuals. And the numbers alone indicate that we’re talking about spiritually toxic behavior here.

    The problem is, however, that whereas in the seventies, the difference between the median number of lifetime sexual partners for straight and gay men was huge (about 7 versus 400 or so), now it’s more a matter of degree. There is much more of an overlap between homosexual and heterosexual behavior than there used to be, and it’s principally because of a loosening of morals among certain groups of heterosexuals, combined with an AIDS-triggered reduction in the lifetime number of partners for homosexuals.

    Nevertheless, there is still one arena within which heterosexuals still recognize and (most of the time) observe the ideal of monogamy: the institution of marriage. Although a significant number of married people have affairs over the course of a lifetime (25 percent for men, and 12 percent for women, according to the highly regarded 1994 University of Chicago survey, Sex in America; about 30 to 60 per cent, according to some other studies), sexual monogamy is still perceived as the norm within marriage, and just 7 per cent of Americans believe that adultery (i.e. sexual infidelity by married, heterosexual partners) is morally acceptable. And even if the lifetime incidence of cheating among married couples is high, the incidence in any particular year (say) is very low (about 3 per cent).

    If homosexual marriage is legalized, then the norm of marital monogamy will disappear, for reasons I have discussed above: very few gays practice it, and in order to accommodate tolerance of gay marriage within public schools, monogamy will be quietly dropped from the definition of marriage, and the next generation will cease to perceive it as normative. It will probably be replaced by something called “emotional monogamy,” which basically means that sex outside marriage is OK, so long as it’s clinically detached. I’ve already provided good evidence that this way of thinking is very common amongst gay couples. If that’s not spiritually toxic, then I don’t know what is.

  68. Sotto Voce

    Thank you for your post (#40). You ask:

    Consider the following hypothetical: It is a statistical fact that members of a certain ethnic community, let’s say Inuits, are extremely likely to engage in open relationships. Would you think of this as sufficient grounds for denying Inuits the right to engage in marriage?

    No. What I would say to Inuits is this: “According to the laws of this land, marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman who publicly vow to stay together for life, and to have sexual relations only with each other, for the rest of their lives. If you want to get married on that basis, you are welcome to do so.”

  69. Why are so many of us heterosexual Christians obsessed with the sexual like of homosexuals? Homosexual activity, to adopt a phrase from Thomas Jefferson, “neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

  70. Sotto Voce (#41)

    You also write:

    The state should be involved in marriage because the institution of marriage provides a beneficial setting for the raising of children, not just their creation. And gay couples are just as capable of raising children successfully, the unsubstantiated claims of gay adoption opponents notwithstanding.

    I’m sorry, but you are misinformed on this point. You might like to have a look at this article, Homosexual Parenting: Is It Time For Change?, by the American College of Pediatricians. the authors make a strong case that children reared by two individuals of the same gender are not as well adjusted as children reared in families with a mother and a father. The research findings make for some sobering reading.

    A short excerpt:

    Research on homosexual parenting

    Studies that appear to indicate neutral to favorable child outcomes from homosexual parenting have critical design flaws. These include non-longitudinal design, inadequate sample size, biased sample selection, lack of proper controls, failure to account for confounding variables, and perhaps most problematic – all claim to affirm the null hypothesis.14,15,16 Therefore, it is impossible for these studies to provide any support for the alleged safety or potential benefits to children from same-sex parenting.

    Data on the long-term outcomes of children placed in homosexual households is sparse and gives reason for concern.17 This research has revealed that children reared in homosexual households are more likely to experience sexual confusion, engage in risky sexual experimentation, and later adopt a homosexual identity.18,19,20,21,22 This is concerning since adolescents and young adults who adopt the homosexual lifestyle are at increased risk for mental health problems, including major depression, anxiety disorders, conduct disorders, substance dependence, and especially suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.23

    Risks of the homosexual lifestyle to children

    Finally, research has demonstrated considerable risks to children exposed to the homosexual lifestyle. Violence between homosexual partners is two to three times more common than among married heterosexual couples.24,25,26,27,28 Homosexual partnerships are significantly more prone to dissolution than heterosexual marriages with the average homosexual relationship lasting only two to three years.29.30,31 Homosexual men and women are reported to be promiscuous, with serial sex partners, even within what are loosely-termed “committed relationships.”32,33,34,35,36 Individuals who practice a homosexual lifestyle are more likely than heterosexuals to experience mental illness37,38,39, substance abuse40, suicidal tendencies41,42 and shortened life spans.43 Although some would claim that these dysfunctions are a result of societal pressures in America, the same dysfunctions exist at inordinately high levels among homosexuals in cultures where the practice is more widely accepted.44

    This is an article written by licensed pediatricians. I guess they’d know what they’re talking about.

  71. If I may make a point about the group cited by vjtorley @70.

    The American College of Pediatricians is not the same thing as the American Academy of Pediatrics. The ACP has only been around since 2002 and on its website states “The College bases its policies and positions upon scientific truth within a framework of ethical absolutes. Of particular importance to the founders were (as it is today) the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death and the importance of the fundamental mother-father family (female-male) unit in the rearing of children.”

    So while the position paper (not a peer reviewed article) may have been “written by licensed pediatricians” they represent a group with a clear ideological bent.

  72. QuiteID@69

    Not quote sure so many of us are. I think we are mostly concerned where the so called ‘homosexual rights’ intersect with the defense of marriage and adoption, and for me adolescents who are at a particularly vulnerable period with regard to their sexuality. Normalising and telling adolescents that they should experiment with their sexuality is dangerous in my opinion. I believe human sexuality is actually quite fluid especially at that age.

  73. One thing I often wonder when this topic comes up, is why are Christians so obsessed with sex? Borne or someone up-thread describing sexual practices with great glee and gusto (all of which as someone else pointed out are just as much hetero practices).

    But I often wonder – this God who created the universe and everything in it, the glory and vision that would take, then makes it his business to be absolutely concerned with who we have sex with and how? Really? It seems such a trivial consideration for such a being.

  74. vjtorley # 70

    Excellent article, time and time again you prove the social & psychological risks associated with homosexuality. And still the pro-gay members sadly insist that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality because it is not affecting them personally. Yet they fail to realize the long term effects on society as a whole.

    So far, almost all the scientific sources mentioned in this argument were referred to by the side opposing homosexuality. So far we have proven several key points:

    1) There is NO evidence that homosexuality is genetic (comments 25 & 32)

    2) The presence of desensitizing agenda that has twisted the boundaries of what is considered moral (comment 12)

    3) The overwhelmingly strong correlation between homosexuality and sexual polygamy(comment 20). This introduces the idea of: “it’s ok to cheat as long as you’re not emotionally involved” as vj put it.

    4) The lack of moral & logical basis for homosexuality and the fact that those who propound the “gay ideology” have no moral case to offer against promiscuity (comment 66)

    5) Higher rates of sexual promiscuity in homosexuals compared to heterosexuals (comment 67)

    6) The scary psychological impact on children reared by same-sex parents (comment 70)

    Now can any one with clear conscience still claim that there is absolutely nothing wrong with introducing homosexuality to society and keep a straight face?

    I would also like to commend vjtorely on his work here. It is interesting that despite your well-informed, polite, and open-minded comments, some of the opposition still try to paint you into the corner of those with “Taliban” attitude.

    Let us also keep in mind that the pro-gay side here did not offer any adequate rational response to the sources cited by the comments mentioned in the points above. All they had to offer is personal subjective sentiment towards homosexuality coupled with biased disdain towards the moral boundaries defined by religion.

    I don’t see any “Taliban” or “bigotic” attitude in speaking up against the increase in sexual promiscuity in society, the spread of the idea that it is okay to cheat as long as you’re not emotionally involved, the presence of morally-desensitizing agenda, the misconception that traditional monogamous marriage is a relic of the past, and the potentially dangerous psychological penalties incurred on innocent children reared by same-sex parents. And who is to deny the fact that such negative social phenomena would inevitably rise when we introduce homosexuality into the society in the name of humanism?

  75. andrewjg,

    Really? You don’t see an obsession with the sexual life of homosexuals? I guess I don’t care what homosexuals do, as it doesn’t affect me in the slightest. I say let ‘em marry. Bourne, Dr. Torley, and others have all gone on at some length about what they think the research says. I couldn’t read that much in esoteric sex research without staying up nights, and then I’d wonder where my priorities were.

  76. You don’t see an obsession with the sexual life of homosexuals?

    Sure, but not among Christian heterosexuals.

    They aren’t the ones disrupting religious services regarding to call attention to sexual lifestyles or having parades making a point of sexual lifestyles or even lobbying for changes in the law regarding sexual lifestyles.

  77. A bit OT, the first part of this video is brutally honest:

    A Powerful Lesson From ER
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06HGc_jb6tk

    ,,,,with such honesty the writers of ER have just earned a fan in me.

  78. tribune7, I don’t see it among Christian heterosexuals in general, but I sure do see it in this thread, where Bourne, Dr. Torley, and others have exhibited a great interest in such practices.

    Also, for what it’s worth, I don’t think legal efforts of homosexuals are about sexual practices at all.

  79. I might note that if we’re going to throw around statistics about homosexuals, we should not focus on men. Homosexual women are probably more monogamous and less STD-prone than straights. Does that mean that straight people are “toxic” compared to lesbians?

  80. MarkF @ 35:

    When I read the comments relating to this post I feel like the mask has slipped from Uncommon Descent and its true nature has been revealed. Like vj I believe in calling a spade a spade and the nature that has been revealed is self-righteous and bigoted.
    [snip]
    The Taliban – who seem to crop up a lot in this debate – also seek to restrict a number of sexual and social practices because they find it wrong for religious reasons. This includes homosexuality of course, and adultery, but is extended to things such as women being educated, men shaving their beards, and even dancing and music. How shall we answer them? By saying our religion is right and theirs is wrong? I think we all know how that debate gets settled.

    Ilíon @ 38:Markf @ 32 [numbers have changed since my original post] and your mask has slipped (long ago, in fact), revealing an intellectually dishonest fool. So there!

    VJTorley @ 43:Markf, I would like to dissociate myself from Ilion’s intemperate remarks. I know you for an honest man, and no fool. Pax.

    Just as well, I suppose. For I decline to be associated with the likes of anyone so “even-handed” as you have chosen to be.

    That *dishonest fool* (that is a redundancy, by the way) spews his irrational bile of leftist talking-points and your response to my “calling a spade a spade” is to tug your forelock, shuffle your feet, and attempt to curry favor with someone who despises you and all you value. Simply amazing!

    But yeah, I guess maybe he’s somewhat right in the longer-term, for there does appear to be some self-righteousness on display, just now what he meant.

  81. vjtorley:

    This is an article written by licensed pediatricians. I guess they’d know what they’re talking about.

    Yes of course, because you know, these are the experts in their chosen scientific field of study, and we always defer to the experts in any given science … er, oh wait, no not that. Never mind!

  82. Why is it always religious people that are obsessed with what other people do in the bedroom ?

  83. Ilion, you sound angry. What are you afraid of I wonder? Why are other people’s personal sexual practices and decisions as to who to love so threatening to you and your kind?

    Please don’t tell me its because the bible mandates it, because then you have to explain how you cherry-pick that part but don’t abide by the command to kill your children if they curse you. Or, if you don’t like the OT, the NT endorsement of slavery.

    One looks around the world (that God created in your view) and finds homosexuality rife amongst all species (not just humans). And you think you are the rational one for wanting to believe that it is “unnatural”.

  84. vjtorley@70:

    This is from the “American College of Pediatricians”, a tiny right-wing splinter organization that takes anti-homosexuality as a stated position. Given that, any “research” promoted by the organization needs to be regarded with some skepticism. Their agenda is clearly evident from the website.

    The REAL pediatric organization is the American Academy of Pediatrics. These are the folks with the actual science.

  85. tribune7:

    The simple answer is that the Bible says it is and when you reject that you find yourself incapable of answering with any authority as to why beating up homosexuals is immoral.

    As an atheist, I find what the Bible says on the subject not overly compelling. Do you have anything else?

    Regarding the beating up of homosexuals, my moral structure dictates that one should avoid causing pain or suffering to another human being. The Bible, on the other hand, specifies that homosexuals should be put to death.

    I prefer my structure.

  86. mikev6 — I gave you three answers

    Quiet ID — Also, for what it’s worth, I don’t think legal efforts of homosexuals are about sexual practices at all.

    Whatever

  87. tribune7,

    First, that’s not a site about legal efforts. So bzzt! Wrong answer.

    Second, a San Francisco leather parade is not, I think, representative of homosexual life in general throughout America.

    Third, your casual and almost immediate link to that site confirms what I said about straight obsession with homosexual sex in this very thread. I wouldn’t have ever gone to that site, but you seem to have ready access to the prurient stuff. Not that there’s anything wrong with that . . .

  88. tribune7 @ 83:

    “mikev6 — I gave you three answers”

    I am going to assume that you are referring to post 65.

    One answer references the Bible.

    One answer references unspecified malevolent “spiritual forces” that are out to get us. What exactly, are these forces? Sounds like a religious position.

    The third answer appears to make the absurd claim that homosexuals (specifically male homosexuals- do tell, why the distinction?) are incapable of love. Is that your actual position?

    If so, then what is your position on heterosexuals that never enter a long term “loving” relationship? Do they deserve equal scorn and limited rights in our society?

    I have two friends that have been together for 17 years. They say they love each other, but they have never married and have no children. Must they marry to prove to society that they love each other?

  89. vjtorley:

    Here is an article by the philosopher and legal scholar John Finnis, which answers your question: “Why is homosexual activity immoral?”

    Frankly, not really. The author has an entire series of biases on marriage, sex, and homosexuality that run through the paper that are never proven nor referenced. A key part of his argument is based on the philosophical view of the ancient Greek philosophers on homosexuality; it’s not clear how this even applies to our current society. (Furthermore, if we depended on historical views for morality we’d still have slavery and a set of other things we’ve thankfully discarded.)

    And he has a really funny prudishness about sex, even within marriage. If he’s married, my sympathies go to his wife.

  90. Muramasa — The third answer appears to make the absurd claim that homosexuals (specifically male homosexuals- do tell, why the distinction?) are incapable of love.

    Actually, Muramasa that’s not even close to what I said in the third answer but when filled with that righteous judgmental purity that you seem to think you are, one does not have to read closely does one?

    What I said in the second answer is using another human being, or allowing oneself to be used, as an object for sexual orgasm is a violation of the principle of our existence. and that with regard to male homosexuality that is never anything but the case.

    Now you seem to read into that that homosexuals “are incapable of love”.

    Again when one is filled with holy self-righteousness one seems not to have to worry about the actual words one reads but the truth is I am saying exactly the opposite of that.

  91. tribune7, am I reading you right in saying that it’s not that homosexuals are incapable of love, but that (male) homosexuals are incapable of expressing love in homosexual acts?

    As before, there is an impressive focus in your posts on the . . . er . . . physical particulars.

  92. tribune7:

    What I said in the second answer is using another human being, or allowing oneself to be used, as an object for sexual orgasm is a violation of the principle of our existence. and that with regard to male homosexuality that is never anything but the case.

    Now you seem to read into that that homosexuals “are incapable of love”.

    I took it the same way as Muramasa. Since you don’t specify what the “principle of our existence” is precisely, the reader is left to speculate.

  93. Indeed, tribune7, please clarify further what you mean.

    Your original statement was:

    “The more complex answer is that the purpose of our existence is to love which is a real, and spiritual, thing and that using another human being, or allowing oneself to be used, as an object for sexual orgasm is a violation of the principle of our existence. I submit that with regard to male homosexuality that is never anything but the case.”

    Is “love” the principle of our existence to which you are referring. Is it the only one or are there many?

    You state that I have misinterpreted your meaning. Do you agree that male homosexuals (and again, why do you make the specific distinction about males in your post?) are capable of love?

    If so, is your issue with the way in which that love may be expressed. What if heterosexuals express their love in the same way?

  94. Muramasa, mikev6, Quite ID – am I reading you right in saying that it’s not that homosexuals are incapable of love, but that (male) homosexuals are incapable of expressing love in homosexual acts?

    Almost. It’s that homosexual acts cannot be an expression of love. Homosexuals can express love and feel love anytime even during the acts, I am claiming.

    The homosexual is no different than you or me. He has a soul and is loved by God and is made in the image of God.

    The act is evil.

    Muramasa — What if heterosexuals express their love in the same way?

    It wouldn’t be an expression of love. Muramasa, do I really have to spell out why anal sex is just something that shouldn’t be done?

  95. tribune7:

    The act is evil.

    OK – sounds like we’re getting to the root of the issue. Presumably if I ask “why?” I’ll get the Bible response again.

    Mankind has invented an entire cornucopia of creative techniques in this area – is there a list that says “evil” versus “not evil” for each one? How does one decide? After all, they can’t all be mentioned in the Bible.

    And my take on your last question is “yes, you do have to spell it out”. Your fundamental objection to treating homosexuals the same way you would like to be treated is based primarily on this act.

  96. What strikes me is how theoretical are all these criticisms of homosexuality. They are based on obscure academic papers, readings of the Bible, or abstruse abstract arguments. How many of you have close friends who are gay? How many of you have even talked to a gay couple in a long standing relationship?

    Homosexuals are a cross section of society including many that are in long term loving mutually supportive relationships (as well as those that are not). I know several such couples. For a public example, consider Benjamin Britten and his partner Peter Pears – a devoted couple who made brilliant contributions to music in the 20th century with little fuss over their personal relationship. Do you seriously consider such couples as engaging in an evil activity?

    It may well be that homosexuals tend to be more promiscous than heterosexuals and that children brought up by gay couples on average do less well than those brought up by heterosexual parents. It would be quite reasonable to take this into account as a risk factor when considering suitability for adoption – just as adoption agencies consider it a risk if the parents are a different race from the child. It is nothing to do with the immorality of homosexuality itself. What is clear is that the pressure of moral disapproval (backed up the law until quite recently) has denied many gay people the possibility of a mutually loving relationship, and that some have been driven to depression or even suicide as a result. It is the reaction to this that has led to the sometimes over strident assertion of gay rights and gay lifestyle by some sections of that community. But this is utterly irrelevant to the morality of homosexuality in general.

    I believe some of you, such as vj, to be intelligent and kind people. All you need is to be a bit less theoretical and bit more human.

  97. tribune7

    “Muramasa, do I really have to spell out why anal sex is just something that shouldn’t be done?”

    Just in case Muramasa does not respond I should be interested to know. It seems to be that what two consenting people do in the privacy of their own bedroom is none of my business.

  98. re post #92
    yeah we do get to the uh core issue here. It really is, I have no choice but to spell it out here, anal sex. Hence why lesbianism doesn’t inspire the same wrath. Now there has always been a widespread taboo and condemnation of this sexual act throughout many cultures, throughout history. It is a very ancient taboo that predates the Bible, this is why it was adopted by the Biblical authors, not the other way around. For all we know (although one can only speculate) it is a taboo as ancient as humanity. It was a taboo not only among the ancient Semitic people, but throughout much of the Meditteranean, North Africa and the ancient kingdoms in the region.

    Not only is it an ancient taboo, it is a near-universal one. That is the taboo against anal sex and its association among male homosexuals is found among many of the Native Indian tribes of the Americas, the African Bantu (where among some of the tribes the punishment was death) and other pre-Christian and pre-Islamic African tribal groups in West and East Africa, numerous Asiatic tribes, Siberian tribes included. Also the taboo is there in the ancient Oriental cultures, among Australian aborigines and so many others around the world.

    So it is an ancient and near-universal taboo. In some cultures it was far more tolerated than others, obviously enough. Yet the taboo has always been there. The bible thus reflects a common chord in human concerns and beliefs here, it did not appear ex nihilo.

    The reasons for the taboo are several. One it is simply outside the norm, that is homosexual relations are outside the norm. It does not help a tribe struggling to survive, needing and wanting healthy babes to continue the line. There is no procreation with homosexuality, thus it was frowned upon in the same way that sterility was. Another reason, more to the point, is the act itself. I do not want to get into graphic details here and I’m not going to (as QuiteID put it so well, I will leave it to some of the Christian heterosexuals here who seem incredibly obsessed over the minutiae of gay male sex) yet the act is uh off-putting (I couldn’t think of any other adjective so that will have to do), even to those of us who do not get all frothy at the mouth over what gay adult men do in the privacy of their own homes.

    Hence the prejudice, so obviously deep-seated against male homosexuals, comes across as almost primal, base – no matter how one tries to dress it up behind sanctimonious and pious language. In fact despite the Biblical justifications from many (including those posting here) I do think that their prejudice is not truly derived from Biblical concerns or injunctions, but a deep-seated ancient or primitive one. How to put it better? An aboriginal fear, that is a natively human, or near-native taboo of the human race. Christians just dress up this ancient taboo in the language of the Bible, to justify and rationalise a taboo to themselves that is deeply embedded within the human psyche and adding various skewed academic studies and so-called scientific expertise to the mix does nothing to change that.

    In other words, those deeply prejudiced against male homosexuals (denials to the contrary) deceive themselves as to their true motives, as is always the case with prejudice. To know the reasons for one’s prejudice (against whichever group of people) is to be free of it. One cannot know why one is prejudiced, without ceasing to be prejudiced! Hence the explanations put forward by those here justifying their antagonisms to male homosexuality are bizarre, contradictory, circular and illogical. They are not the real deeper motives.

    Biblical injunctions cannot explain the depth and degree of the knee-jerk intemperate hostility from many of the posters on this thread alone. After all nobody takes seriously biblical commands on cutting off the hand of your wife if she gets all uppity, the stoning of adulterers and the casting out into the wilderness of rebellious sons to die of thirst and starvation. Likewise nobody takes seriously esoteric biblical commandments on the exact nature of animal sacrifices. Yet the taboo/injunction against male homosexuality remains deeply entrenched, and is still taken very seriously.

    This is a big clue that the motive here goes deeper than anything the bible says, after all we have junked plenty of other commandments. On this topic, the routine violations by religious and non-religious alike of the major commandments (ie the ten commandments) inspires less condemnation and fervour from those so hostile to male homosexuality. In other words, to repeat myself, it is a near primal taboo that is not acknowledged or recognised as such, since the taboo is filtered and distorted through a Christian perspective.

    There is much more to say here, but I have already written so much. Just to put it as well as I can, the taboo in part obviously relates to factors of cleanliness. Not only this of course. I am not being judgmental nor moralistic here, just as dispassionate as is possible (I hope).

    Not that what I write will make any difference to those who already think they know why God hates male homosexuality, not that God hates fags at all, just the sexuality that defines a large part of who they are. Hey the bible tells them so, that’s all they need to know.

  99. Just to add this: the taboo against anal sex has also been there among heterosexual couples, and still is, albeit far less so than among male homosexuals. That is it is more tolerated or ignored at least. The reason is surely that anal sex is universally associated with male homosexuality, much less so with heterosexuals.

    Given that humanity has a long dark history of all kinds of prejudice, hatred and bigotry (still very much with us of course), it is easy to understand how the taboo against anal sex latched itself or bloomed into prejudice against gay men. That is they became an easy target, the easiest target given humanity’s predisposition to scapegoating and hatred. And so they have become scapegoats for much of society’s ill and frustrations, going way beyond and above their mere breaking of a taboo in sex.

  100. zephyr

    Congratulations on your honesty and clarity. In the end it comes down to the “yuck” factor. Note that many children have a similar reaction to conventional sex when they first hear about it. Yuck doesn’t mean wrong.

  101. markf@93

    I can’t say I have friends who are homosexual. But I have worked with many and had pretty good work relationship, and a few I meet regularly outside work but on a superficial level.

    There are many views to this debate. Ultimately it does depend on your starting point. As a Christian I obviously have mine, but I do believe an argument can be made without reference to scripture. And one that is not obscure or academic. Some points:-

    1. Nature is not perfect. Things go wrong all the time.

    2. It is clear from a superficial anatomy lesson that homosexual intercourse is not intended and clearly disordered.

    3. If nature follows its intended outcome there would not be homosexual activity.

    Things do go wrong. What then? Does that make these people bad? I don’t think so.

    Now it seems likely that sexual orientation is actually RELATIVELY fluid. It appears to be a function of nature and nurture. But it is also clear that people don’t choose their orientation. What then if you are homosexual? It depends on what you believe. If you are a Christian you have two options. You can try and reorient yourself. It seems that about 30% of people who tried it, who were Christian and were motivated to do so, were able to. This is about the same percentage as an alcoholic trying to recover. The other option is to abstain. Maybe I am naive, but I think it is only our over sexualised society which makes this sound so difficult. The over sexualised society we live in is a problem for homosexual and hetrosexuals alike, it makes us think of the opposite or in this case the same sex primarily in sexual terms. I have some experience in abstinence. I can say that really it is about not putting yourself in vulnerable positions.

    If your beliefs do not prohibit you, you can just go ahead and do whatever you want. Its a free society after all.

    I think the general repulsion male heterosexuals have to the homosexual sex is because it appears to violate all that is masculine. I am not even convinced we should be trying to reorient this revulsion. It may be there for good reason. Certainly government money should not be spent trying to do so. We can love and respect the person without affirming everything about them. But that is an aside.

    The question of “What is marriage?” is a different thing. If the state is going to recognise marriage it can only endorse one conception of it. All views cannot be accommodated. The “What is marriage?” discussion is a long one. So I end here.

  102. markf@97

    Not sure the yuck factor applies. You can have a yuck factor for a number of reasons. Children have the yuck factor and they are quite right to have it because it is yucky. Psychologically speaking the sex drive has actually got to be strong in order to overcome our natural disgust for it. So children – hopefully not being sexual – have a natural and correct disgust for it.

  103. Zephyr@96

    Not only is it an ancient taboo, it is a near-universal one.

    If it is so universal perhaps there is a reason for it.

  104. Zephyr@96

    Sorry should have added. That actually I suppose there is a lot in your comment I agree with. I mean I do believe the prejudices against anal sex are not confined to the Bible. They are deep and universal as you put them. The question is why are they so strong and so universal? I have also wondered about the difference in reaction to lesbian and gay sex. What is it intrinsically about them that makes the reaction different.

  105. andrewjg #98

    Thanks for a calm and reasonable comment.

    “If nature follows its intended outcome there would not be homosexual activity.”

    This argument is more Christian than you may appreciate. As a non-theist I don’t believe there is such a thing as an intended outcome for nature and therefore homosexuality is not something “gone wrong”. It is clearly a by-product of the reproductive process but that is rather different.

    “If your beliefs do not prohibit you, you can just go ahead and do whatever you want. Its a free society after all.”

    This is entirely reasonable. It is not what is in Manhattan declaration and I suspect a lot of the other commentators here would disagree. But I whole heartedly support the message.

  106. andrewjg:

    “If it is so universal perhaps there is a reason for it.”

    Duh. I kinda got into that reason very briefly in my extensive post above. The rest I will leave to your imagination. Like I wrote above, what I write is not going to be appreciated nor understood much by everybody here. And your post #99 is entirely contradictory btw.

    markf I never said wrong or right. To me that doesn’t enter into it at all. It’s not about absolutes, unfortunately it is to most people who think in black and white ways. I’m trying to be as scientific as possible here about it, yet people can’t help but bring moral judgments into it *from both sides* – it’s wrong or right. So-called morality doesn’t comes into it at all, for me. I no more see it as immoral than I see it as moral. By framing it as a moral argument, it’s morally right, you then encourage those of a homophobic bent to react – no it’s morally wrong. Then again, you are reacting off of them. If one just drops the whole moral argument (it is neither moral nor immoral), one can delve deeper into the real issues everybody avoids in our frankly juvenile culture.

    The whole argument re male homosexuality in our culture is thus very superficial, immature, emotional and refuses to get down to the fundamentals, because everything else in our culture is likewise superficial and a ridiculous circus (look at politics!) and lacking seriousness.

    The point I made in my post above is that homosexuals because of this breaking of a deeply held taboo, then get scapegoated for society’s ills, humnity predisposed as it is to scapegoating and prejudice. This scapegoating and bigotry ends up going way beyond and above the breaking of this primal taboo (which is what of course bigotry is all about). Look at the contents of many of the posts above spurned by the mere mention of male homosexuality – incest, pedophilia, bestiality! etc. Naturally the points I make are easily missed. They would be.

  107. my apologies to andrewjg for my heated response above, it was not called for. I shouldn’t have lumped you in with others. Sorry.

  108. andrewjg you want to talk about lesbians do you? haha.

    Well for one no anal sex. In fact we could at least consider that the primary reason, I don’t think that would be too controversial. There are surely other reasons though.

    In fact I can think of other reasons, but this goes into deeper discussions of sexuality and female sexuality itself, and the way men regard female sexuality. This is a whole other thing..

    I did once read an Oriental Taoist explanation for why male homosexual sex was considered taboo and lesbianism not, I don’t know if it’s worth bringing up here (it’s kinda esoteric), but yeah I think there are probably a number of reasons.

  109. 109

    Zephyr at 95:

    yeah we do get to the uh core issue here. It really is, I have no choice but to spell it out here, anal sex.

    This whole thread is really strange and I suspect that my parents would not approve of me commenting here, but I do have a question.

    If the moral objection to male homosexuality is the taboo against anal sex, does the objection go away if a gay male couple abstained from anal sex and only engaged in oral sex?

  110. mikev6 –The act is evil. . . Presumably if I ask “why?” I’ll get the Bible response again.

    That would be rather pointless — at least as far as citing chapter & verse — since you’ve already said you rejected it.

    There is an absolute moral order to the universe. Agree? If not why bother discussing anything with me? Or, maybe more to the point, why should I bother discussing anything with you? If you don’t believe in an absolute moral order then you can justify anything including theft, muder, and, of course, judging others for having opinions you don’t share.

    The only authority is your own feelings and cultural norms that you may not have realized you’ve accepted.

    Now if you accept an absolute moral order do you accept that this absolute moral order involves a requirement to love one another?

    If so, do you agree that this requirement includes for us to love homosexuals?

    If so, why would you refuse to condemn acts that cause them guaranteed pain, suffering and early death? Why would you refuse to condemn behavior that involves public degradation, voluntary or not?

    mikev6 & markf “yes, you do have to spell it out”.

    From the University of Santa Barbara
    Again, why would you refuse to condemn this act much less give approval to it? Don’t you care about these people?

  111. Sotto Voce

    Thank you for your post (#40). You ask:

    Consider the following hypothetical: It is a statistical fact that members of a certain ethnic community, let’s say Inuits, are extremely likely to engage in open relationships. Would you think of this as sufficient grounds for denying Inuits the right to engage in marriage?

    No. What I would say to Inuits is this: “According to the laws of this land, marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman who publicly vow to stay together for life, and to have sexual relations only with each other, for the rest of their lives. If you want to get married on that basis, you are welcome to do so.”

    So why won’t you say the same thing to homosexuals?

  112. Tribune7,

    I completely agree with what you’ve said about moral law, I do believe C. S. Lewis wrote about that and made a good case for it.

    Markf said:

    How many of you have close friends who are gay?

    Does my brother count? Even still, I don’t see how this matters.

    Zephyr said

    Hence why lesbianism doesn’t inspire the same wrath.

    I think andrewjg was very right when he said it’s probably the offensiveness to masculinity that makes it more wrath inducing, but also, because a lot of guys find lesbian activity attractive.

    Also, I disagree with you zephyr when you generalize Christians in general saying that we probably all have a deeper motive than the bible. I have plenty of reasons to try and justify it, but I don’t. not because i find it repulsive, but because what I believe is the genuine reason for me believing it is wrong.

    As Tribune7 said, this debate is pointless if we don’t accept a moral absolute.

    Markf said:

    “If your beliefs do not prohibit you, you can just go ahead and do whatever you want. Its a free society after all.”

    This is entirely reasonable. It is not what is in Manhattan declaration and I suspect a lot of the other commentators here would disagree. But I whole heartedly support the message.

    Are you applying this to all moral issues? Or all issues about sexuality?

  113. zephyr, I’m sorry but I overlooked Post 95.

    biblical commands on cutting off the hand of your wife if she gets all uppity,

    There is no Biblical command to cut off the hand of one’s wife much less a command for one to cut off the hand of one’s wife if “she gets all uppity”

    If you are referring to Deut 25:11-12 the wording, as per the King James, is 11When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: 12Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her.

    The “thou” being referred to is not the husband, who would likely appreciate the assistance she has rendered, but the state authorities.

    Harsh to our ears but those were harsh times. Imagine if someone suggested that the penalty for losing a lawsuit be 40 lashes as per Deuteronomy.

    Which gets us to you statement that the taboo of homosexuality “has always been there.”

    Well not always. While more often than not it has been a taboo there have been plenty of societies in which it wasn’t.

  114. tribune #107

    “There is an absolute moral order to the universe. Agree? If not why bother discussing anything with me? Or, maybe more to the point, why should I bother discussing anything with you?”

    I had a feeling this would come down to metaethics in the end. As I have said many times I don’t believe in moral absolutes and there is still every point in discussing moral issues and trying to bring others round to your point of view – subjective does not mean trivial.

    Actually the issue of homosexuality is rather a good illustration of the subjectivity of morality. There is nothing you can do prove that anal intercourse is wrong and nothing I can do to prove that is morally acceptable. I know that. But I certainly want you to accept homosexuality because I want there to be less people in the world making the life of gay people a misery. And I expect you would like it if I rejected homosexuality. So we try to persuade each other using examples and appeals to consistency. They might work (I doubt it) but neither of us can ever provide a conclusive proof.

    Manable #108

    “Does my brother count?”

    It depends. Is he a close friend? Is he in a long term stable relationship?

    “Are you applying this to all moral issues? Or all issues about sexuality”

    It applies to issues where there is no victim – no one is being forced or fooled into suffering.

  115. tribune7 #109

    You are correct, it is not the husband, but the authorities re the chopping off of the hand of a woman. Well somewhat pedantic point I think, but still appreciated nevertheless.

    I don’t think the justification for it that one always hears, “harsh times” makes any real sense btw. Harsh? Well life is harsh, so? Anyhow don’t want to stray from the subject at hand.

    San Antonio Rose #106 – that’s a good question, and I don’t pretend to have an easy answer here. I don’t. Although funnily enough, I was thinking about that exact same thing, after having posted up on this topic (the morality or otherwise of this taboo sexual act or whether as I say we should even frame it that way) to which you refer.

    You know the thing with human sexuality, it’s so complex, diverse and so primal, that I don’t think we can settle any debate or come with some pat simplistic notions of how sexuality should be, or is. And I think we tend to do that, from whichever direction we are coming. It is interesting that only humanity makes sex into a problem or problems. Animals don’t. Then again only humanity makes the really big problems, not animals. Since sexuality is inextricably a part of human consciousness and its uniqueness (the two-edged sword of potential god-like wisdom and compassion and devilish barbarity that is the human mind), perhaps it’s not too surprising that.

  116. Well somewhat pedantic point I think,

    Maybe, but it’s a point that must be made. There is nothing in the Bible — Old or New Testaments — that gives allowance to a husband doing violence to his wife.

    Many seem to have a mistaken idea that it does so it is important to point this out.

    A good illustration of this is those fundamentalist Puritans passed an anti-wife beating law not long after they established a government

  117. markf — But I certainly want you to accept homosexuality because I want there to be less people in the world making the life of gay people a misery.

    And I certainly want you to condemn anal sex because I want there to be less people in the world making the life of gay people a misery.

    See that, commonality.

  118. Hi everyone,

    Thank you all for your comments. Contrary to what some readers have suggested, the objective wrongfulness of homosexuality does not depend on the mechanics of the homosexual act being performed. Thus the question of whether two people of the same sex engage in anal sex, oral sex or mutual pleasuring is irrelevant. Nor does it matter if the people in question are two women or two men. Lesbian sex is just as immoral per se as gay sex.

    The “yuck factor” is something that should not be ignored. Presumably God gave us our feelings of moral revulsion for a reason. However, arguments based on moral revulsion alone are not decisive. Ever since the Fall of Adam and Eve, our moral compass hasn’t been working quite the way it should be. We may feel little or no revulsion towards certain kinds of homosexual sex (e.g. gays having oral sex, or lesbian sex), but that fact in itself doesn’t show that these acts are morally acceptable. Our sense of right and wrong may have been blunted by our morally wayward society, that’s all.

    The other thing we need to be careful about with the “yuck factor” is that we may feel a sense of revulsion about a certain kind of act, without being able to specify exactly what it is about the act that revolts us. When I was a teenager in the 1970s, I knew people who could not even discuss homosexual sex without feeling nauseous. (Probably that reaction is less common today.) But if I’d asked them to specify exactly what it was that revolted them, I’m not too sure they could have told me clearly. Many people might have mentioned an aversive reaction to anal sex, but I think we should be careful of assuming that’s all that upset them. Another factor would have been the manner in which the relation between the two partners in homosexual sex seems at times to “ape” the relation between a husband and wife, but in a grotesque, twisted fashion, like an image in a distorted looking glass. Yet another factor would have been a strong sense that one partner was at the other’s “beck and call,” physically speaking – in other words, that the homosexual sex act can become an act of power play. By the way, it is very naive for anyone to think that sex is really “all about love,” and only people who grew up in the 1970s could have believed such nonsense. The reality is that human depravity being what it is, once sex is robbed of its procreative dimension, sex is really all about power, not love. We may be spiritually blinded to this point when we consider heterosexual sex, but it is gradually becoming apparent nevertheless. For many people, however, this point is easier to grasp when they consider homosexual sex acts.

    However, moral arguments should be based on more than a yuck factor. I’d like to discuss John Finnis’ argument against homosexual sex, which he puts forward in his essay, Reason, Faith and Homosexual Acts. The gist of his argument is that for a heterosexual couple, a marital sexual act – i.e. one in which the couple express their friendship and lifelong commitment by sharing and giving each other pleasure, and which culminates in “a union of the generative organs in which the wife accepts into her genital tract her husband’s genital organ and the seed he thereby gives her” – brings the couple together at all levels, biologically as well as at the level of feelings and intentions, so that they become “one flesh.” A sexual act of this kind inherently signifies lifelong exclusive love, because the union of organs is the kind of union that is capable of giving rise to a new human life, and the child resulting from a fertile procreative act will need to be cared for by a couple who have publicly committed to staying together for life, “until death do us part.” That’s the ideal environment for raising a child.

    The exclusive nature of the marital act still remains, even if a heterosexual couple’s act is one which, on that particular occasion, cannot give rise to new life, owing to the couple’s infertility or age, or the time during a woman’s cycle at which the act is performed. The procreative dimension of the act is still there, even if the couple have no plans to procreate. On the other hand, an act – even between two married people – in which one partner views the other in impersonal terms, i.e. purely as a pleasure object, who just happens to be the nearest object available that can satisfy one’s lust, is not a truly marital act, according to Finnis.

    Homosexual sex is by its nature incapable of bringing two people together at all levels of their being – biological as well as psychological. No matter how it is performed, nothing about the act itself signifies life-long exclusive love, which is the most intimate kind of love there is. Thus a homosexual act is severely self-stunting, and hence immoral, whether we realize it or not.

    What are the background assumptions Finnis is making here? First. he’s assuming that children best thrive in a household with a Mum and a Dad, who have publicly vowed to be faithful to one another “until death do us part.” Even today, I think few people would argue with this point. It makes obvious sense.

    Second, Finnis is assuming that since a physically intimate act between two people is sometimes capable of bringing them together at all levels of their being (as in marital sex), then it would be self-stunting (and hence wrong) for two people to perform a physically intimate act when that act is inherently incapable of bringing the two parties together at all levels of their being (as in homosexual sex, for instance). I think most of us can see Finnis’ point. If there is a kind of love that brings people together at all levels of their being, then there should be a special kind of act for expressing that love, and it should be the most intimate kind of act there is. Hence for two people to engage in a physically intimate act when they are incapable of giving themselves to each other at all levels of their being is to “debase the currency” of intimate acts, thereby cheapening their value. That’s wrong. The same argument could be made in relation to premarital heterosexual sex, of course. “Wild thing, I think I love you, but I don’t really know for sure.” That’s not true intimacy; that’s conditional love.

    Finally, Finnis is assuming that marriage is a basic human good. Basic human goods are goods which are intrinsically valuable (properly desirable for their own sake), objective (in that their goodness is independent of the attitude of the subject pursuing them) and universal (good for everyone). Other examples of basic human goods proposed by Finnis include the goods of life; marriage; knowledge; appreciation of beauty; religion; and play. It seems plausible that marriage is such a good. First, it can be desired for its own sake; second, its goodness is not dependent upon our subjective attitudes, but is instead something objective, like the goodness of health; and third, marriage is a universal good, in the sense that while not everyone may desire marriage, it would nevertheless fulfill and perfect everyone as human beings if they did choose to realize this human good. Marriage may not be chosen by everyone, but it is bad for no-one.

    The third criterion for a basic human good is likely to be the most controversial today, when applied to marriage. In the past few decades, we have come to accept the myth that there is a “type” of human being that is homosexual, just as there is a “type” that is heterosexual. (That’s really pretty ridiculous, when you consider that many homosexuals are actually bisexual.) Once we fall into this line of thinking, however, we may be blinded to Finnis’ last point. We may be tempted to think that there are some types of people who are inherently unsuited to marital love, as if something in their nature precluded them from being fulfilled by it. Once we accept that premise, then it might be tempting to say that for people of this “type,” homosexual sex is the best they can do, so why not leave them alone to enjoy it?

    But of course, there is no empirical evidence from the human sciences that homosexuals are a special type of human being, with a distinct “good of its own” or telos. That’s what the “gay rights” lobby wants you to believe, but it’s a myth. We can see this by looking at a genuine case where there are two types of human beings, each with a distinct “good of its own.” Men and women are two genuine types of human beings, and happily, their respective goods are mutually complementary, which is what makes families possible. “The purpose of a man is to love a woman and the purpose of a woman is to love a man.” (Quoting a lot of lyrics tonight, aren’t I?) That doesn’t mean everyone has to go and get married or even that everyone would feel happier if they did. It just means that marriage is bad for no-one.

    Without further ado, here is an extract from Finnis’ essay, Reason, Faith and Homosexual Acts :

    Human fulfillment consists in the actualizing, in the lives of persons and their communities, of those basic human goods towards which the first principles of practical reason — the very foundations of conscience — direct us. Among these basic human goods is the good of marriage. The Church often speaks of the goods of marriage: (1) loving friendship between wife and husband, and (2) procreating and educating any children who may be conceived from the spouses’ marital intercourse. They are interdependent goods: this is a friendship sealed by a commitment to exclusiveness and permanence, a commitment of a kind made appropriate by marriage’s orientation to the procreation and education of the children of the husband/father and wife/mother; and that raising of children is most appropriately undertaken as a long-term, even lifelong commitment of the spouse-parents. Being interdependent, these goods can also be properly described as two aspects of a single basic human good, the good of marriage itself.

    The more distant a kind of sex act is from the marital kind, the more seriously disordered and, in itself, immoral it is.

    In Christian marriage the personality, individuality and equality of the spouses is fully respected. The marital communion is not a submerging of the two persons into one. But it is a communion, a bringing-together of their wills in their mutual commitment; of their wills and minds in shared understanding and faith and hope; of their wills, minds and feelings in shared joys, cares, and sadness; and of their wills, minds, feelings and bodies in sexual intercourse. That intercourse, when it is truly marital, enables them to experience and actualize their mutual commitment and communion at all levels of their being: biological, emotional, rational and volitional. It is only truly marital when it has the characteristics of the two-sided good of marriage itself: friendship and openness to procreation. A sexual act is marital only when (1) it is an act of the generative kind, that is, culminates in a union of the generative organs in which the wife accepts into her genital tract her husband’s genital organ and the seed he thereby gives her; and (2) it is an act of friendship in which each is seeking to express commitment to and affection for, and the desire to benefit and give marital pleasure to, and share marital pleasure with, the other spouse as the very person to whom he or she is committed in marriage.

    These two conditions are also inter-linked. Only an act of the generative kind (in the sense just specified) truly unites the spouses at all levels,
    biologically as well as at the level of feelings and intentions.
    This is a real biological unity (even if, as is usually the case, the couple in fact cannot, at the time of intercourse, bring about actual generation of new life). For in reproduction a mating pair functions as a single organism. In respect of all other organic functions, from thinking to digesting, each human being is an entirely individual organism. But neither the male nor the female can reproduce; it takes their union in an act of the generative kind to bring about reproduction (if the background conditions of their bodies are in the state required for actual generation). So in an act of the generative kind, whether or not it results on a particular occasion in actual generation, there is more than merely a particular juxtaposition of members and sequence of movements. There is also, and fundamentally, a real (albeit in itself temporary) organic/biological uniting of the pair, so that then and there, in respect of the reproductive function, they constitute one organism. This is the one-flesh unity which Jesus, recalling Genesis, makes foundational to his teaching on marriage, and on sexual desires, choices, and actions in their relation, right or wrong, to marriage understood as the two persons, male and female, in one flesh.

    The conditions under which a sexual transaction between spouses can amount to marital intercourse are, to repeat, of two kinds. Their chosen behavior must be an act of the generative kind (taken on each occasion as a whole sequence of preparatory, consummatory and confirmatory), and their intentions and wills must also be united in service of the marital good instantiated in their exclusive and permanent commitment to each other in marriage. So a married couple’s sexual act is not truly marital if, for example, one or both of the spouses is wishing he or she were doing this with someone else, or is imagining doing so, or is willing to engage in this activity with any attractive person who could bring him or her to orgasmic release. Think of someone whose frame of mind is: I am willing to do this with some other attractive person, but the only available person at present is my spouse, so I’ll do it with him/her. Such a person is disabled by that frame of mind from making and carrying through a truly marital choice to engage in intercourse. In the technical phrase of the theologians, this person is engaging in intercourse for pleasure alone. His or her act of intercourse is depersonalized, not an act of marital friendship.

    The relationship of same-sex couples can never be marriage. The easiest way to see this is to ask oneself why same-sex sex acts should be restricted to couples rather than three-somes, four-somes, etc., or rather than couples or other groups whose membership rotates at agreed intervals. Nothing in the “gay ideology” can, or even seriously tries, to explain or defend the exclusiveness or permanence of same-sex partnerships or their limitation to couples… As careful large-scale studies have shown, and “anecdotal” historical testimony amply confirms, there are practically no homosexual couples, even long-term couples, to whom sexual exclusivity as a principle, and real mutual commitment to it in practice, make any sense.

    …The way these [homosexual] inclinations originate in a particular person does not affect the fact that, just insofar as they incline that person towards sex acts with persons of the same sex, they incline not towards but away from authentic fulfillment.

    Well, I hope that clears up a few matters. I don’t expect that Finnis’ argument will convert everyone reading this thread, but it should be clear that we are not dealing with subjective preferences here. Finnis is making certain assumptions about human nature which are either true or false.

    None of the foregoing should be construed as an attempt to denigrate homosexuals in any way, shape or form. They are children of God, with immortal souls. The key point I wished to make in this post is that an act of love between a husband and wife is capable of bringing them together as human beings at all possible levels, in a way in which same-sex acts cannot possibly do.

  119. markf,
    If I might add the following to what our host has said, it is not difficult to prove that anal intercourse is immoral. Any time a person who has the capacity to act rationally chooses to act irrationally, the act is immoral. Sodomy is the kind of act that cannot be rationally chosen. Hence it is always immoral. Murder, rape, and adultery are other examples of acts that cannot be rationally chosen. That is why there are moral absolutes that prohibit all of these things. Why do people do these things anyway? It is simple to satisfy some feeling or desire they have rather than exercise the self-control that reason calls for.

    You seem to agree that it is wrong to harm other people; but why is it wrong? Just because you or I say so? It is wrong to harm others because we are social beings who depend upon others for our well-being. In harming others we are harming ourselves, and no rational person intentionally chooses to harm himself. Immorality is always irrational.

    Now sodomy is exactly the kind of thing that the homosexual activists claim they do because of innate impulses that they choose not to control. Instead they choose to celebrate these impulses and indulge them whenever possible. No further argument is needed. Sodomy is irrational and necessarily immoral.

  120. they incline not towards but away from authentic fulfillment

    What give anyone any right whatsoever to tell someone else how they feel ?

  121. “The Taliban”? Markf, what have you been drinking?

    Dear friend, pour the sweet, cooling waters of Reason into that seething cauldron of yours and see if you can’t spare yourself a trip to the cardiologist. The Taliban embrace Sharia; the confectors of the Manhattan Declaration believe in separation of church and state. See the difference? No? Try again.

    The Manhattan Declaration is a “manifesto” against Modernism with its smug nihilism, not a political blueprint. So you can unclench those tiny fingers and stop worrying. VJ’s not going to come knocking at your door with a pitchfork, even if Obama’s popularity is tanking and the Tea Party is on the rise.

    And speaking of outing oneself, may we now safely infer that you are a moral relativist with regard to “homosexuality”? Funny, that’s just what people on this site have been saying about Darwinism all along. It leads to the annihilation of moral absolutes.

    You say the “attitude to homosexuality apparent in these comments is deeply unsettling.” First, it might soothe your troubled spirit to try to understand it. VJ’s comments pertain to homosexual acts only, not to “homosexuality” (whatever that is). I can see why you would want to conflate the two. Sort of like micro and macroevolution.

    Second, no signer of the Manhattan Declaration has evinced any intention to “restrict the freedom” of homosexuals. But of course VJ is exercising his First Amendment freedom of speech when he expresses the opinion that homosexual acts are immoral. Do you desire to restrict it?

    (We know you do.)

  122. Markf (#93)

    You asked:

    How many of you have close friends who are gay? How many of you have even talked to a gay couple in a long standing relationship?

    In response to your question, I can’t say that I have any close friends at the moment who are gay, but I knew a gay couple about ten years ago who were friends of mine. I and some friends of mine visited their place a couple of times and we had dinner with them. (One of them was a Christian.) They were genuinely nice people, and I believe they’re still together. They were also very good cooks.

    Back in the nineties (at a time when, incidentally, I was not affiliated with any religion), I had some friends who were Catholic seminarians and who were also gay. I lived in a group house at the time, and there was one occasion when they took the rest of us along to a gay bar (my first and only visit to one). The doorman knew at once that some of us were “norms” (his term for heterosexuals, I assume). Inside, I remember listening to one gay man movingly narrate how his gay partner of several years had died in his arms, of AIDS. His love for his partner was unmistakably genuine; it’s a pity they weren’t monogamous.

    One thing I noticed, though, when listening to these gay seminarian friends of mine talk (we sometimes had dinner together at our group house, back in the nineties) was that they felt a certain revulsion towards the female body. This came out in certain rather crude remarks they occasionally made (anatomical references, that sort of thing). At some psychological level, they seemed to dislike women, even though many of them had close female friends. That puzzled me. I noticed the same thing again, about ten years ago, when I and some of my friends were in a bar, and as it happened there was a gay guy there who was talking very candidly about sex. He made some remark about the process of giving birth, saying that he found the whole thing distinctly yucky. He even said that for him, the idea of putting his organ into the same cavity where women gave birth was utterly revolting. I can’t imagine a heterosexual man having that reaction. If this feeling of revulsion towards the female body turns out to be widespread among gays (and I don’t know if it is), then there are two possibilities: either gays somehow acquire that feeling towards women as they grow up while straight men don’t, OR most boys have this feeling initially, but straight men learn to overcome it while gay men don’t.

    Another friend and flat-mate I had in the late eighties and early to mid-nineties (again, an ex-seminarian, and a very intelligent man), was a Catholic, but developed doubts and left the Church. (Incidentally, I left the Church in 1989, and didn’t really return until 2005.) I had never suspected this man of being gay, but he “came out” for a while, a couple of years after leaving the Church. A few years later, though, I found that he had returned to the fold. As he told me later, he experienced a real sense of spiritual grief upon leaving the Church, and I think that, coupled with his sense of intellectual disappointment at what secularism had to offer him, prompted his return. I don’t know what he’s doing now, and he never discussed his gay relationships with me.

    Going back into the late seventies, I spent a year working in a store before going to university. This was probably a good idea, as I was only 16 when I finished high school. The manager of the store was a very pleasant lady who (I was later told) was a lesbian, although she never said as much to me. She was quite traditional in many ways – “old school” as she put it. (That was why she hired me: she sensed I was the same.) About twice a week, two men who were friends of hers would drop in and have a chat with her. Looking back, it was obvious that they were gay, but I didn’t realize it at the time, and only learned of it later.

    The following year, when I went to the Australian National University, I got involved with the pro-life movement. That was in 1979, when ideological battles were still being fought over the issue. I’d stick up a pro-life poster, and a couple of hours later it would be ripped down. I do recall that one of the pro-choice feminists who was vehemently opposed to the pro-life movement had had a very damaged childhood: at the age of three, she’d witnessed her alcoholic father raping her mother on the stairs. That experience had made her a militant feminist. Not surprisingly, she was also a lesbian.

    Well, that’s about the sum total of my experiences with gays. Make of it what you will. I can say that I haven’t had any unpleasant experiences that would cause me to develop prejudices against gay people, and the gays I’ve known have been decent people.

  123. markf (#93)

    I should like to add, as a supplementary remark to my previous comment, that the seminarians I knew in the nineties were genuinely striving to sublimate their sexual orientation, and generally succeeding, which goes to show that people are not machines after all. I don’t know if any of them actually completed their seminary training.

    Regarding priests: I went to about 15 schools across Australia during my childhood. About half were Catholic. I’ve known many priests over the years, but thankfully I’ve never met a bad one. I have very good reason to believe that the priests I met were chaste, if only because the advice they gave me in Confession on dealing with temptations against purity betrayed their lack of first-hand experience, so to speak. This is another example of people who managed to sublimate their sexuality. It can be done.

    I realize that there is an ongoing controversy over the merits of compulsory celibacy for priests, but that is another matter. (Incidentally, Catholic priests in the Eastern rites of the Church may be married men, although they have to get married prior to their ordination, and they cannot become bishops.)

  124. vjtorley:

    “Homosexual sex is by its nature incapable of bringing two people together at all levels of their being”
    those levels being: “biologically as well as at the level of feelings and intentions”

    Despite your claims, a heterosexual couple that has sex which CANNOT lead to procreation (i.e. at least one of the partners is infertile at the time of intercourse due to medical reasons, age, birth control, etc. etc.) is in exactly the same situation as a homosexual couple having sex. Infertility precludes procreation IN PRINCIPLE. That’s what infertility means. So, one of those “levels of being”, that you claim to be necessary for a true loving sex act, in this case the biological level, is inherently absent in both cases.
    Thus, this statement of yours about heterosexual couples seems entirely arbitrary and unjustifiable:

    “The procreative dimension of the act is still there, even if the couple have no plans to procreate.”

  125. vjtorley:

    Well, I hope that clears up a few matters. I don’t expect that Finnis’ argument will convert everyone reading this thread, but it should be clear that we are not dealing with subjective preferences here. Finnis is making certain assumptions about human nature which are either true or false.

    Well, having read one of Finnis’ papers already, I’m not sure this one is any more convincing. His arguments make perfect sense if you accept the Church’s position on marriage and related matters as a pre-condition and argue from there. Otherwise, one is left wondering about things like single parenthood or IVF, etc.

  126. Notice how the exact same trend in intelligent design VS Darwinism debate is also taking place here. Most Darwinists take a short cut around the ID argument and simply claim that it is religious, even when the ID argument is perfectly scientific and rational. The pro-homosexuality side is doing the same here, their best argument against their opposition is calling them religious. As if this is supposed to “magically” refute their argument.

    The interesting thing is, it is the pro-homosexuality side that is making subjective comments based on their atheist/humanist world view. Their argument goes like this: I like gay people, they are nice, and if you are against them you are religious!!!

    The “religious” side has actually done a far better job in presenting an objective basis for their side. The pro-homosexuality side did not even bother to make an attempt to prove why their subjective world view is better. Simply calling the opposition “religious” and downplaying the validity of the sources & statistics they cited is not a valid rational response.

    To establish a valid case for homosexuality, there has to be some kind of objective analysis to weigh the pros & cons concerning the long term social effects of introducing homosexuality to society. Simply saying that you know some nice gay friends does not do the trick. I’m sure there are pedophiles who seem nice as well. Our side has shown an objective analysis of the issue and we saw more harm than good.

  127. What strikes me is how theoretical are all these criticisms of homosexuality. …. How many of you have close friends who are gay? How many of you have even talked to a gay couple in a long standing relationship?

    The simple fact of the matter is that most people are nice, most of the time. But there’s still something different about sexual disorientations.

    Sometimes facts even seep through in the media:

    Most recent violent crimes involving gays and lesbians were committed by other homosexuals…
    ‘We realized that there is a lot of conjugal violence and violence within the gay community.’”
    (The Gazette (Montreal)
    April 4, 1996, Thursday.
    News; In Brief; Pg. A3
    Pilot project tracking violence against gays)

    Gays and lesbians are more likely to be victims of domestic violence than anti-gay violence, according to a survey made public yesterday by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs.
    (The Gazette (Montreal) October 23, 1996, Wednesday,
    Final Edition. News; Pg. F10 Gay domestic violence; Study
    documents abuse in homosexual relationships
    Byline: Vicki Haddock)

    Battering is also a problem among gay couples: the National Coalition on Domestic Violence estimates that almost one in three same-sex relationships are abusive, seemingly more than among heterosexual couples.

    (Newsweek October 4, 1993 , U.S. Edition Special Report; Pg. 26 Patterns of Abuse
    Byline: By Michele Ingrassia et al.)

    For example:

    A real life example:
    “She [a lesbian] used to say that she’d reneged on all her principles by sleeping with a woman who’d slept with a man. And she believed herself to be the victim. After the last beating, she said to me: ‘Look at you. Everyone’s going to think you’re the victim’.
    (The Guardian (London)
    October 19, 1998
    The Guardian Features Page; Pg. 8
    Silent partners
    Byline: Mel Steel)

    Note that Kirk and Madsen argued that gays should use their own psychological dynamics to manipulate others:

    In any campaign to win over the public, gays must be portrayed as victims in need of protection so that straights will be inclined by reflex to adopt the role of protector. If gays present themselves, instead, as a strong and arrogant tribe promoting a defiantly nonconformist lifestyle, they are more likely to be seen as a public menace that warrants resistance and oppression. For that reason, we must forego the temptation to strut our gay pride publicly to such an extent that we undermine our victim image.
    (After the Ball: How America will conquer its fear & hatred of Gays in the 90’s
    By Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen :183)

    Theoretical? I doubt the bruises were theoretical.

  128. The “religious” side has actually done a far better job in presenting an objective basis for their side.

    When people are willing to deny the innate complementarity of the sexes just because they have some gay friends that they want to be nice to they aren’t interested in reality.

    But here it is anyway:

    Another subtopic of interest to anthropologists is the homosexual mentorship (Herdt, G.H. 1981. Guardians of the Flutes. New York: Mcgraw-Hill)(Herdt, G.H. ed. 1982 Rituals of Manhood. Berekeley: Univ. Calif. Press) (Herdt, G.H. 1984. Ritualized Homosexual Behavior in the Male Cults Of Melanesia. 1862-1983: Ref 178. :1-82) Mentorships are a much more common form of homosexual behavior than previously considered. These relationships usually form between a preadolescent and either an older adolescent or an adult. Adams (Adams, B.D. 1985. Age, Structure,
    and Sexuality. Journal of Homosexuality. 11:19-33) has summarized the ethnographic data for male mentorships.
    [....]
    Ethically this is a particularly touchy issue. There is an enormous prejudice against similar kinds of patnerships in the United States (indeed they are typically illegal), and the older partner is usually defined as mentally ill or as a sexual criminal.
    (Annual Review of Anthropology,
    Vol. 16, 1987, The Cross-Cultural
    Study of Human Sexuality,
    By D. L. Davis, R. G. Whitten :69-98)

    For example:

    …inside the charred King house, investigators found a note Alex had written saying he admired Chavis and wanted to be just like him. “Before I met Rick I was straight but now I am gay,” Alex wrote.
    (The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) August 26, 2002
    Monday Final Edition
    NEWS; Pg. A4
    HEADLINE: TWO JURIES TO DECIDE IF CHILD MOLESTER, 2 BROTHERS OR ALL 3 KILLED FLA. FATHER
    BYLINE: Bill Kaczor)

    But it’s not as if anyone already willing to deny reality in order to be nice to their friends and so on is interested in evidence.

  129. I could just as easily assert that all Catholics are immoral because they support an organization that encourages child abuse. It would make as much sense, and be equally bigoted.

    That pattern isn’t new:

    ….in the 1930s, the régime levelled similar accusations against the army Chief of Staff, Werner von Fritsch, who would not comply with nazi policies, against Catholic clerics in order to bring the Church into disrepute so that its influence in education and the youth movement would be reduced, and against branches of the independent youth movement. The pragmatic position of certain nazis in power seems evident from the fact that Röhm was not the only homosexual in the nazi movement, and that before his liquidation homosexuality seems to have been tacitly tolerated in the SA and the Hitler Youth.
    (Medicine, Male Bonding and Homosexuality in Nazi Germany
    By Harry Oosterhuis
    Journal of Contemporary History,
    Vol. 32, No. 2. (Apr., 1997), :187-205)

    That’s the charge of those who judge lest they be judged but note the pattern in the real world:

    …homosexual practices are increasing among men and growing towards a major vice. The most arresting report from Europe comes from Germany.
    (American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 37,
    No. 6, May, 1932 The Family
    By Ernest R. Groves :948)

    …in those years when Hitler was shaping his party to take over Germany’s destiny he had his fill of troubles with his chief lieutenants who constantly quarreled not only among themselves but with him….No other party in Germany came near to attracting so many shady characters…pimps, murderers, homosexuals…
    (The Rise and Fall of theThird Reich
    New York, Fawcett Crest, 1960
    By William Shirer :173)

    It would be against medical principles to provide a list of the Nazi leaders and their perversions. One thing, however, is certain—not ten percent of those men who, in 1933, took the fate of Germany into their hands, were sexually normal…
    (The Memoirs of a Sexologist
    By LUDWIG L. LENZ
    (New York: 1954) pp. 429 ff)

    The fact is that in most of these para-military organisations which allegedly serve renewal and discipline and which present themselves as muscular and manly there is another cult apart from that of ultra-patriotism.
    We have become increasingly accustomed to the figure of the ‘nationalist leader’ who occupies his spare time by seducing young boys.” [i.e. homosexual mentorships] Konrad Heiden (1945, p. 235) went further and described homosexuality as being pervasive and indeed institutionalized within the S.A. movement and its predecessors: “The perversion was widespread in the secret murderers’ army of the post-war period and its devotees denied that it was a perversion. They were proud, regarded themselves as ‘different from the others,’ meaning better.” This is perhaps not surprising, since so many of the leaders of the S.A. were open homosexuals…
    (American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 87, No. 5, Mar., 1982
    Sexual Taboos and Social Boundaries
    By Christie Davies :1057-1038)

    In the end,
    According to the chief psychiatrist at Nuremberg, Douglas M. Kelley, only two of the twenty-two major defendants were without ‘vices’…..
    (Journal of Modern History,
    Vol. 47, No. 2, Jun., 1975
    Psychohistorical Perspectives on Modern German History
    By Peter Loewenberg :239)

    It may be that Kirk and Madsen settled on the methods and modes of propaganda that they did as a result of their psychology.

  130. There is no evidence (AFAIK) that two adults of the same sex in a committed relationship causes harm to those individuals.

    Denying the innate complementarity of the sexes harms individuals and does not promote the general welfare.

    Denial is linked to destruction and the absence of life, affirmation is linked to life.

    E.g.

    The introduction of the [AIDS] epidemic to developed countries, such as the United States, followed relatively soon after the ‘gay revolution’ that had its origins in the riot at the Stonewall Inn, a bar frequented by homosexual men, in New York City in 1969.
    [...]
    Similar patterns soon followed in other developed countries, such as Canada, Australia, and those of western Europe.
    (The AIDS Epidemic — Considerations
    for the 21st Century
    Fauci, Anthony S.
    The New England Journal of Medicine
    September 30, 1999; 341: 1046-1050)

    Recognizing patterns of this sort will be called bigotry, e.g.:

    There is more than enough room for honest, philosophical debate on providing benefits to anyone. But that isn’t what we got. Instead, we got Karen Johnson launching a speech so filled with hate-mongering and fear-peddling as to be breathtaking. [...] She even invented her own illness, something she called “gay bowel disease,” an ailment with which the specialists at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are unfamiliar. But they are getting interested in studying what should be called Bigot’s Brain Disease.
    (The Arizona Republic.
    February 14, 1999 Sunday, Final Chaser
    Arts and Ideas; Pg. E15
    Intolerable Behavior: Legislators Guided by Hate, Capitol Is No Place For Anti-Gay
    Venom.”
    Byline: Stephen Tuttle, Special for The Republic)

    And yet:
    Forty six percent of all patients were HIV positive. [...] Enteric organisms, predominantly protozoal, which have been traditionally subsumed under the ‘gay bowel syndrome’ occur frequently in homosexual men who are also HIV positive.
    (Gay bowel syndrome in HIV positive homosexual men
    Chen M. 1997. Venereology-The Interdisciplinary
    International Journal Of Sexual Health. 10: (4) 223-225)

    All of this is harmful, not to mention extraordinarily expensive. It’s interesting that Darwinists generally support homosexuality now.

    On the other hand, children are unable to form valid consent, and pedophilia causes a great deal of lasting harm to the child.

    You’ve never debated a homosexual activist who was what we would think of as abused as a child. He didn’t think that he was abused or harmed, so how can you say otherwise? It seems to me that the main problem with the “Do whatever you can get away with doing without causing harm.” is that we all already know that right and wrong are not quite that subjective.

  131. mynym, thanks for your post. Yet more references and objective evidence showing us the problems with homosexuality, and still the opposition subjectively claim that there is nothing wrong with it!!

  132. mynym:

    “The simple fact of the matter is that most people are nice, most of the time. But there’s still something different about sexual disorientations.”

    Thanks for clarifying in 124 what you actually mean by that: homosexuals fall in the same category as Nazis, pimps, pedophile perps, and murderers. So, most Nazis, pimps, pedophile perps, and murderers are really nice people, too, they are just a bit disoriented, huh?

  133. mynym, just what do these “facts” show? That gay and lesbian people sometimes are violent towards each other (for example)? So what? Do you think heterosexual people don’t commit domestic abuse etc?

    The breathtaking arrogance and audacity of people who think they can decide for other people what constitutes a good and loving relationship absolutely amazes me.

  134. Shogun writes,

    Notice how the exact same trend in intelligent design VS Darwinism debate is also taking place here. Most Darwinists take a short cut around the ID argument and simply claim that it is religious, even when the ID argument is perfectly scientific and rational. The pro-homosexuality side is doing the same here, their best argument against their opposition is calling them religious. As if this is supposed to “magically” refute their argument.

    I guess I’m an exception to this rule. I’m pro-ID but also in favor of legalizing homosexual marriage. This is not because I’m in favor of homosexuality per se but because I don’t think we should expect our laws to be biased in our favor. The shoe could easily be on the other foot, and biased against Christians.

  135. Shogun:

    To establish a valid case for homosexuality, there has to be some kind of objective analysis to weigh the pros & cons concerning the long term social effects of introducing homosexuality to society.

    Homosexuality is mentioned in the Old Testament, and most certainly predates that book. I think society and homosexuality are well known to each other and don’t really need a formal introduction.

    All the data I’ve seen presented so far has been on characteristics of homosexuals as a group. Homosexuality has been very visible and legalized at various levels in different countries. Surely by now there should be studies documenting the serious societal erosion directly caused by gays and how they’ve destroyed the fabric of these societies?

    And I’d be interested in what you propose after your “objective analysis to weigh the pros and cons”. Concentration camps? Ovens?

    These are, after all, people we’re discussing. Humanists see this as an issue of individual rights and freedoms, while your language sounds more like an eugenics discussion. Which is ironic on this blog.

  136. mynym@123:

    OK – I’ll bite. What on earth do your references in this comment have to do with my quote? Especially where mine was a deliberate over-statement used as a comparison.

  137. mynym@124:

    “On the other hand, children are unable to form valid consent, and pedophilia causes a great deal of lasting harm to the child.”

    You’ve never debated a homosexual activist who was what we would think of as abused as a child. He didn’t think that he was abused or harmed, so how can you say otherwise? It seems to me that the main problem with the “Do whatever you can get away with doing without causing harm.” is that we all already know that right and wrong are not quite that subjective.

    And your point is what exactly? Current laws set age limits on what is considered consensual. Just because minors feel they have the ability to form consent doesn’t mean they can, and declaring in later life that they weren’t abused or harmed doesn’t negate the abuse.

    And what does a “homosexual activist” have to do with this?

  138. mikev6-

    And I’d be interested in what you propose after your “objective analysis to weigh the pros and cons”. Concentration camps? Ovens?

    The fact that you portray my opposition to homosexuality as parallel to concentration camps and eugenics is a proof that you view any statement with some religious undertone as a “big bad evil monster”. I mean come on, why would I even go to that extreme and suggest such a thing. My suggestion however is that after we recognize it as problem we should seek treatment to it. This is where therapists and doctors come in. The same way that pedophilia is being treated with cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral interventions, and pharmacological treatments. I believe similar treatments can help in the case of homosexuality. Now some might argue that such treatments may not work because they still think that homosexuality is natural, but they should also keep in mind that even in the case of pedophilia there is no empirical evidence to show that these treatments work for them, so does that mean that pedophilia is also natural just because they haven’t found one conclusive cure to it? I surely hope not. But at least they are doing something to treat it and it’s working for many people. And since homosexuals are also human beings, it is our moral responsibility to help them overcome their problem rather than encourage them with the illusion that it is their “natural” right.

    All the data I’ve seen presented so far has been on characteristics of homosexuals as a group.

    I don’t see a big distinction between homosexuality as a group and homosexuality itself. A group is basically homosexuality in action. As long as homosexuality is hidden in a society there will be less harm, but when it becomes legalized and accepted throughout society they become a group, or even many groups. Consequently, the associated problems begin to inevitably creep into the society.

    Homosexuality is mentioned in the Old Testament, and most certainly predates that book. I think society and homosexuality are well known to each other and don’t really need a formal introduction.

    We also know that sexual perversions and psychological problems are as old as humanity itself. The fact that something existed with humanity does not, in & of itself, mean that it is right. If I tell you that religious belief has also existed as long as humanity, would you buy that as a reason to prove the validity of religion? I doubt you would! Neither would I. Longevity is irrelevant to validity.

    And speaking of longevity, the universal “yuck” factor has also existed as long as there was homosexuality, so don’t you think that it is a perfectly natural reaction? Or does it mean that the vast majority of humanity had been dumb intolerant bigots?

    Let me clarify the point that our side had been trying to make: I agree that some immediate reactions to homosexuality might be religiously inspired, and there are also reactions driven by the “yuck factor” that do not need religion. But in any case, we can establish an objective basis to determine the harm inflicted on society if we introduce homosexuality as a norm. And despite some knee-jerk responses, we try to establish our point as politely as possible, and your side is still trying to make us all look like intolerant “Taliban” monsters. But I don’t recall any Talibanis proving their points objectively through sources and statistics.

    In short, we have already proven that homosexuality is a problem for society. The question now goes to your side: What do you have next on the agenda? Are you able to make a rational objective defense of homosexuality and show that it has no problems for the society? I doubt that any of you dares to step outside the box of your subjective atheist/humanist world view that has grown accustomed towards accepting “sins” as “rights”. This is why your best arguments are subjective and emotional sentiment towards homosexuality and disdain towards religion, and this is what’s clouding your judgement and making you unable to think objectively about the issue of homosexuality that you are strongly advocating as a part of your humanist ideals that sell people the convenience of life without religious moral responsibility, and enjoy a world life where no one thinks that they will be held accountable for drinking alcohol, lying, cheating, and committing adultery and homosexuality.

  139. Shogun@130:

    Hmm – what religious “undertones” do you think I’m objecting to in your phrase “objective analysis of the pros and cons”? It’s the clinical bureaucratic tone that concerns me.

    Are you proposing that these treatments be voluntary? What happens to the patients if they refuse? Presumably you’d need to outlaw homosexuality first (like pedophilia) to make this treatment plan a requirement. And then, if the treatment doesn’t work, we can always use jail time.

    However, think of the benefits! Once we have the gays and child molesters taken care of, we can continue to improve society in other ways. Alcohol is definitely one place for improvement that you’ve mentioned – we can either ban it outright or ensure everyone has to take counseling after a drink. You’ve mentioned humanists and atheists that are unable to see right and wrong clearly; these folks obviously are pushing us down the wrong path. We need to lead them back to the light for their own good and the good of society; it’s hard to find them sometimes but I’m sure their neighbors will turn them in out of concern. And once that’s done, there are some Christian churches that are way too liberal and really don’t follow Jesus well enough…

    As you say, it’s our moral responsibility to help them with their problems. It’s not like they have any “natural” rights.

  140. Shogun, you claim to have “proven” that homosexuality is a problem for society. All I see is mynym’s cut and paste job of news articles and references to Nazi Germany.

    mikev6 suggested looking at other societies for evidence of this supposed danger to society. Gays serve openly in the British army. Have they suffered as a consequence?

    Your post at 130 seems to equate homosexuality and pedophelia. Do you believe those two things are closely related?

    You state above “As long as homosexuality is hidden in a society there will be less harm, but when it becomes legalized and accepted throughout society they become a group, or even many groups. Consequently, the associated problems begin to inevitably creep into the society.” Are you suggesting that homosexuality should be illegal in order to “save” society?

    And in your last paragraph, you lump alcohol consumption in with adultery, lying, cheating and homosexuality. Should alcohol consumption be illegal?

  141. A Note on the American College of Pediatricians

    Some readers have queried my reliance on research by the American College of Pediatricians to support my contention in #70 above that children reared by two individuals of the same gender are not as well adjusted as children reared in families with a mother and a father. Wikipedia paints them a right-wing splinter group, and in particular, takes issue with claims made on their Facts about Youth Web site, accusing them of misrepresenting the findings of various authorities whom they quoted, including Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health. However, the American College of Pediatricians has responded to these accusations here . Readers can view the exchange with Dr. Francis Collins here . I believe that fair-minded readers will agree that the ACEP has not in any way mis-represented Dr. Collins’ views.

    When making up my mind on whether I should trust the American College of Pediatricians or the larger American Academy of Pediatrics, I do not decide the matter by doing a head count. Nor do I decide the matter by looking at the ideological stance of the colleges in question, for I consider the liberal views of the American Academy of Pediatrics to be just as ideologically motivated as the views of the American College of Pediatricians. Instead, what I do is look at the evidence they cite in support of their assertions. In #70 above, I cited an article entitled, Homosexual Parenting: Is It Time for Change? by the ACEP, which argued that children reared by two individuals of the same gender are not as well adjusted as children reared in families with a mother and a father. The article cited 44 references. Here they are. If the American Academy of Pediatricians has better evidence for its liberal views on homosexual parenting than the ACEP has for its conservative view, then the onus is on it to produce that evidence. You be the judge. Has the ACEP done its homework?

    1. American Academy of Pediatrics, “Co-parent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents,” Pediatrics. 109(2002): 339-340.

    2. Heuveline, Patrick, et.al. “Shifting Childrearing to Single Mothers: Results from 17 Western Countries,” Population and Development Review 29, no.1 (March 2003) p. 48.

    3. Kristen Andersen Moore, et.al. “Marriage from a Child’s Perspective: How Does Family Structure Affect Children and What Can We Do About It?” (Washington, D.C.: Child Trends, Research Brief, June 2002) pp.1-2.

    4. Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandfeur, Growing Up with a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994), p. 45.

    5. Sotirios Sarantakos, “Children in Three Contexts: Family, Education, and Social Development,” Children Australia, vol. 21 (1996): 23-31.

    6. Jeanne M. Hilton and Esther L. Devall, “Comparison of Parenting and Children’s Behavior in Single-Mother, Single-Father, and Intact Families,” Journal of Divorce and Remarriage 29 (1998): 23-54.

    7. Elizabeth Thomson et al., “Family Structure and Child Well-Being: Economic Resources vs. Parental Behaviors,” Social Forces 73 (1994): 221-42.

    8. David Popenoe, Life Without Father (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996), pp. 144, 146.

    9. Glenn Stanton Why Marriage Matters (Colorado Springs: Pinon Press, 1997) p. 97-153.

    10. SchneiderB, AtteberryA, Owens A. Family Matters: Family Structure and Child Outcomes. Birmingham, AL: Alabama Policy Institute;2005:1-42.Available at http://www.alabamapolicyinstit.....ucture.pdf.

    11. Sax, Leonard. Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know About the Emerging Science of Sex Differences (New York: Doubleday, 2005).

    12. Blankenhorn, David. Fatherless America. (New York: Basic books, 1995).

    13. Byrd, Dean. “Gender Complementarity and Child-rearing: Where Tradition and Science Agree,” Journal of Law & Family Studies, University of Utah, Vol. 6 no. 2, 2005. http://narth.com/docs/gendercomplementarity.html.

    14. Robert Lerner, Ph.D., Althea Nagai, Ph.D. No Basis: What the Studies Don’t Tell Us About Same Sex Parenting, Washington DC;Marriage Law Project/Ethics and Public Policy Center, 2001.

    15. P. Morgan, P. Morgan Children as Trophies? Examining the Evidence on Same-Sex Parenting, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; Christian Institute, 2002.

    16. J. Paul Guiliani and Dwight G. Duncan, “Brief of Amici Curiae Massachusetts Family Institute and National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality,” Appeal to the Supreme Court of Vermont, Docket No. S1009-97CnC.

    17. American Academy of Pediatrics, Perrin, EC, and the committee on psychosocial aspects of child and family health. “Technical report: Co parent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents,” Pediatrics. 109(2002): 343. The Academy acknowledges that the “small, non-representative samples … and the relatively young age of the children suggest some reserve.”

    18. F. Tasker and S. Golombok, “Adults Raised as Children in Lesbian Families,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatric Association, 65 (1995): 213.

    19. J. Michael Bailey et al., “Sexual Orientation of Adult Sons of Gay Fathers,” Developmental Psychology 31 (1995): 124-129.

    20. Ibid., pp.127,128.

    21. F. Tasker and S. Golombok, “Do Parents Influence the Sexual Orientation of Their Children?” Developmental Psychology 32 (1996): 7.

    22. Judith Stacey and Timothy J. Biblarz, “(How) Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter,” American Sociological Review 66 (2001): 174, 179.

    23. Judith Stacey and Timothy J. Biblarz, “(How) Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter,” American Sociological Review 66 (2001): 174, 179.

    24. Gwat Yong Lie and Sabrina Gentlewarrier, “Intimate Violence in Lesbian Relationships: Discussion of Survey Findings and Practice Implications,” Journal of Social Service Research 15 (1991): 41-59.

    25. D. Island and P. Letellier, Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them: Battered Gay Men and Domestic Violence (New York: Haworth Press, 1991), p. 14.

    26. Lettie L. Lockhart et al., “Letting out the Secret: Violence in Lesbian Relationships,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 9 (1994): 469-492.

    27. “Violence Between Intimates,” Bureau of Justice Statistics Selected Findings, November 1994, p. 2.

    28. Health Implications Associated With Homosexuality (Austin: The Medical Institute for Sexual Health, 1999), p. 79.

    29. David P. McWhirter and Andrew M. Mattison, The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1984), pp. 252-253.

    30. M. Saghir and E. Robins, Male and Female Homosexuality (Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1973), p. 225; L.A. Peplau and H. Amaro, “Understanding Lesbian Relationships,” in Homosexuality: Social, Psychological, and Biological Issues, ed. J. Weinrich and W. Paul (Beverly Hills: Sage, 1982).

    31. M. Pollak, “Male Homosexuality,” in Western Sexuality: Practice and Precept in Past and Present Times, ed. P. Aries and A. Bejin, translated by Anthony Forster (New York, NY: B. Blackwell, 1985), pp. 40-61, cited by Joseph Nicolosi in Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality (Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson Inc., 1991), pp. 124, 125.

    32. A. P. Bell and M. S. Weinberg, Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), pp. 308, 309; See also A. P. Bell, M. S. Weinberg, and S. K. Hammersmith, Sexual Preference (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981).

    33. Paul Van de Ven et al., “A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile of Older Homosexually Active Men,” Journal of Sex Research 34 (1997): 354.

    34. A. A. Deenen, “Intimacy and Sexuality in Gay Male Couples,” Archives of Sexual Behavior, 23 (1994): 421-431.

    35. “Sex Survey Results,” Genre (October 1996), quoted in “Survey Finds 40 percent of Gay Men Have Had More Than 40 Sex Partners,” Lambda Report, January 1998, p. 20.

    36. Marie Xiridoui, et al., “The Contribution of Steady and Casual Partnerships to the Incidence of HIV infection among Homosexual Men in Amsterdam,” AIDS 17 (2003): 1029-1038. [Note: one of the findings of this recent study is that those classified as being in "steady relationships" reported an average of 8 casual partners a year in addition to their partner (p. 1032)]

    37. J. Bradford et al., “National Lesbian Health Care Survey: Implications for Mental Health Care,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 62 (1994): 239, cited in Health Implications Associated with Homosexuality, p. 81.

    38. Theo G. M. Sandfort, et al., “Same-sex Sexual Behavior and Psychiatric Disorders,” Archives of General Psychiatry 58 (January 2001): 85-91.

    39. Bailey, J. M. Commentary: Homosexuality and mental illness. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry. 56 (1999): 876-880. Author states, “These studies contain arguably the best published data on the association between homosexuality and psychopathology, and both converge on the same unhappy conclusion: homosexual people are at substantially higher risk =for some form of emotional problems; including suicidality, major depression, and anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, and nicotine dependence…”

    40. Joanne Hall, “Lesbians Recovering from Alcoholic Problems: An Ethnographic Study of Health Care Expectations,” Nursing Research 43 (1994): 238-244.

    41. R. Herrell et al., “Sexual Orientation and Suicidality, Co-twin Study in Adult Men,” Archives of General Psychiatry 56 (1999): 867-874.

    42. Vickie M. Mays, et al., “Risk of Psychiatric Disorders among Individuals Reporting Same-sex Sexual Partners in the National Comorbidity Survey,” American Journal of Public Health, vol. 91 (June 2001): 933-939.

    43. Robert S. Hogg et al., “Modeling the Impact of HIV Disease on Mortality in Gay and Bisexual Men,” International Journal of Epidemiology 26 (1997): 657.

    44. Sandfort, T.G.M.; de Graaf, R.; Bijl, R.V.; Schnabel. Same-sex sexual behavior and psychiatric disorders. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry. 58 (2001): 85-91.

    ——————————————————————————–

  142. Just to be clear about the names: it’s the American College of Pediatricians and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Sorry.

  143. QuietID–I’m pro-ID but also in favor of legalizing homosexual marriage. This is not because I’m in favor of homosexuality per se but because I don’t think we should expect our laws to be biased in our favor. The shoe could easily be on the other foot, and biased against Christians.

    QuietID, laws are restrictions on our behavior aimed at maintaining a social order. They are always going to have a bias against those whom the writers of the laws feel will endanger the social order.

    More often than not the bias is correct.

    Consider this: suppose a married man wants to take three other wives. Do you believe the law should be changed to allow this? If not, do you recognize that you support bias against Islam?

    How about 6 other wives? If not you have a bias against original Mormonism.

    How about support of child marriages? Failure to do so could show a cultural/religious bias.

  144. All I see is mynym’s cut and paste job of news articles and references to Nazi Germany.

    As I said, evidence and rationality don’t matter to people already willfully denying the complementarity of the sexes. They’ve denied reality and that’s that.

    But here is a sample of civilization on the decline anyway:

    I begin here by briefly documenting the wider output of filmic representations of homosexuality in the period…
    No other films depicted homosexuality as unequivocally, centrally, or positively as these. Michael (1924), the story of the tragic love of a painter for his model/protégé, was a remake of the Swedish film Vingarne (The Wings, 1916); Der Fall des Generalstabs-Oberst Redl (1931) dealt directly with the Redl scandal. [a scandal involving blackmail and homosexuality] At least one of the several films dealing with Frederick the Great (Fridericus-Rex-Zyklus, 1922) pointed to his homosexuality, although all those dealing with Ludwig II of Bavaria managed to keep quiet about his. Though not the main characters, a lesbian and a gay man are central to the plots of, respectively, Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandora’s Box, 1928) and Geschlecht in Fesseln (Sex in Shackles, 1928), the latter worth noting — despite the fact that it ends unhappily for all concerned — for the tender physicality shown in the love between two men in prison. Gays are part of the ambiance of decadence in two of the Mabuse films (Dr. Mabuse der Spieler, 1921/2, and Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse, 1933) and in films, of which there were apparently many, like Nachte der Weltstadt (Nights in the Metropolis, 192?), where lesbians dancing together were shown as characteristic of urban night life.
    (Less and More than Women and Men: Lesbian and Gay Cinema in Weimar Germany
    By Richard Dyer
    New German Critique, No. 51, Special Issue on Weimar Mass Culture (Autumn, 1990) :6)

    An interesting contrast:

    Most of the [Judaic] rules of the law of holiness relate to the basic categories of the natural world and of human experience. Such categories as the living and the dead; mortal and divine; human and animal; air, sea, and land; male and female; past, present and future are common to most peoples. They provide a framework of basic ‘natural’ categories that render the universe meaningful. What is peculiar to the Jewish people is that these natural categories are also moral categories and anything that is ambiguous or threatens to blur the boundaries of these categories is treated as abominable.
    (Sexual Taboos and Social Boundaries
    By Christie Davies
    American Journal of Sociology,
    Vol. 87, No.5, Mar., 1982 :1032-1063)

  145. Should alcohol consumption be illegal?

    No, but should drunks be a protected category in the workplace? (Believe it or not they are. Thank you Bush I)

    Should being an alcoholic be grounds for divorce? With almost universal unilateral (i.e. “no-fault”) divorce that’s a moot point in most states. Should we end unilateral divorce? I betcha doing so would end the gay marriage debate.

    Here’s an interesting thing to consider: should being an alcoholic be grounds for being forbidden to marry? Why not? Because it’s all about me me me me me, and what I I I I want and we should all be freeee to be you and me me me me me.

    Society be damned.

  146. Dr. Torley, here is an apologetic website, that you may be interested in, that looks to have many excellent resources:

    Apologetics 315
    http://apologetics315.blogspot.....l?spref=fb

  147. …you claim to have “proven” that homosexuality is a problem for society.

    That depend on what you mean by problem for society. Parents may have a problem with never having grandchildren or they may not. Children may not have a problem with never knowing their parents or they may. Some blind lesbians may not have a problem with trying to have blind lesbian children and so on. What counts as a problem?

    Apparently most people would have a problem with more and more children engaging in homosexuality, otherwise propagandists wouldn’t promote the “born this way” myth to the extent that they do.

    And yet it is generally just a myth:

    Broude (Broude, G. 1981. The Cultural Management of Sexuality. Ref. 279. :633-73) concludes that child training can have a profound effect on adult sexual orientation.
    (Annual Review of Anthropology,
    Vol. 16, 1987, The Cross-Cultural
    Study of Human Sexuality,
    D. L. Davis, R. G. Whitten :98)

    Some people might consider that a problem, others might consider this pattern a problem:

    The very experience of acquiring a homosexual or bisexual identity at an early age places the individual at risk for dysfunction. This conclusion is strongly supported by the data.”
    (G. Remafedi, “Adolescent Homosexuality: Psychosocial
    and Medical Implications,” Pediatrics 79, no. 3 (1987), pp. 331—37)

    . . For each year’s delay in bisexual or homosexual self-labeling, the odds of a suicide attempt diminish by 80 percent.
    (G. Remafedi, J. A. Farrow, and R. W Deisher “Risk Factors for Attempted Suicide in Gay
    Bisexual Youth,” Pediatrics 87, no.6(1991), pp.869—75)

    High risk sex between men accounts for the largest proportion of AIDS cases among adolescents (13 to 21 years of age). Sex between males has been implicated in 70% of the cases that were unrelated to blood products. In a national sample of sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seroprevalence among 20- to 24-year-old male homosexual youths was found to be 30.1%, as compared to an overall rate of 1.4% among same-aged clients.
    (Pediatrics 1994; 94: 163-168
    August, 1994 Section: Articles.
    Predictors of Unprotected Intercourse Among
    Gay and Bisexual Youth: Knowledge, Beliefs, and Behavior
    Gary Remafedi, MD, MPH)

    Model I, Onset of Behaviors Before Age 13, showed use of cocaine before age 13 years as strongly associated with GLB orientation (odds ratio [OR]: 6.10; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.45-15.20). Early initiation of sexual intercourse (2.15; 10.6-4.38), marijuana use (1.98; 1.04-4.09), and alcohol use (1.82; 1.03-3.23) also was associated with GLB orientation.
    (American Academy of Pediatrics
    Pediatrics 1998; 101: 895-902
    May, 1998 Section: Articles
    The Association Between Health Risk Behaviors and Sexual Orientation Among a School-based Sample of Adolescents Robert Garofalo, MD. R. Cameron Wolf, MS; Shari Kessel, ScB; Judith Palfrey, MD and Robert H. DuRant, PhD)

  148. Some people actually don’t consider this a problem, there are elements in the supposed “sexual desire” community that consider acquiring HIV a rite of passage and so on.

    But for those unwilling to deny reality yet here are some more of the problems associated with defining yourself by sexual desires and identifying with and joining “communities” based on sexual disorentation:

    In the first years of the AIDS epidemic, U.S. officials had no alternative but to negotiate the course of AIDS policy with representatives of a well-organized gay community and their allies in the medical and political establishments. In this process, many of the traditional practices of public health that might have been brought to bear were dismissed as inappropriate. As the first decade of the epidemic came to an end, public health officials began to reassert their professional dominance over the policy-making process and in so doing began to rediscover the relevance of their own professional traditions to the control of AIDS.
    Bayer and Angell were not alone. Lee Reichman, director of the National Tuberculosis Center, stated “traditional public health is absolutely effective at controlling infectious disease. It should have been applied to AIDS from the start, and it wasn’t. Long before there was AIDS, there were other sexually transmitted diseases, and you had partner notification and testing and reporting. This was routine public health at its finest.
    (Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine
    Winter, 2003
    Quarantine Redux: Bioterrorism, AIDS and the Curtailment of Individual Liberty in the Name of Public Health
    by Wendy Parmet)

    If the New York Times and other mass media had given the first thousand AIDS victims even a fraction of the coverage given to the seven victims of poisoned Tylenol capsules, millons of Americans would have learned of the new disease much earlier, and tens or hundreds of thousands of Americans who are now dead might be living. Instead, the Times published fifty-four stories on the Tylenol affair (several on the front page) and a total of three stories on AIDS— none of which appeared on the front page, and none of which used the words ‘sex’ or ‘homosexual.’
    (Homosexuality and American Public Life Edited by Chrisopher Wolfe
    (Dallas: Spence Publishing Company) 1999, :122)

  149. You be the judge. Has the ACEP done its homework?

    Well, at least someone in academia is trying to stand up for the interests of children. Given the decline of American civilization I’m surprised that there are that many left. Most of the research I’m citing is from the people who deny the complementarity of the sexes. Like the anthropologists discussing pedophilia in a morally neutral way they don’t have a problem with homophilia either, some don’t even have a problem with zoophilia while others write law reviews pointing out that it may be difficult to keep necrophilia illegal.

  150. Keeping in mind the importance of basic natural categories in Jewish law it’s interesting that modern pagans still rebel against it. As is seen in their attitudes towards homophilia, pedophilia, zoophilia, etc., depending on how far they take the urge to merge.

    E.g.

    A number of contemporary movements,including the animal rights movement (with its idea that man is no higher than animals), also exemplify the confusion. As animal liberationist and founder of PETA Ingrid Newkirksays, “a rat . . is a pig … is a dog … is a boy.” There are movements to break down the barriers between generations: Witness the recent change in the definition of pedophilia and the publishing of the double Journal of Homosexuality issue, “Male Intergenerational Love” (an apologia for pedophilia). Thus we see animal confused with human, sacred confused with profane, adult confused with child, male confused with female and life confused with death–all of these traditionally the most profound of distinctions and separations, are now under seige.
    (Homosexuality and American Public Life, Edited by Chrisopher Wolfe,(Dallas: Spence Publishing Company)1999, :104-105)

    The Jewish prophets represented this “sinister” sort of pattern with the Tower of Babylon and the Whore of Babylon. I suppose we’ve yet to see what will become of Lady Liberty.

  151. If you cannot convince a man of the medical fact that he should not be using his lower digestive tract as a sex organ, you will surely never convince him of the moral fact that homosexuality is evil.

  152. And your point is what exactly? Current laws set age limits on what is considered consensual.

    And they vary, his point was that it’s arbitrary and one shouldn’t impose their values on others. He also pointed out that in some cultures they masturbate their children in order to help them sleep. As I said, you’ve never debated someone who disagrees with the “Jewish”/Western worldview that you’ve apparently learned by osmosis.

    Just because minors feel they have the ability to form consent doesn’t mean they can…

    And just because someone is eighteen that doesn’t mean that their consent is necessarily any more valid. The law is arbitrary because it has to be so and it traces back to a certain view of the world.

    …and declaring in later life that they weren’t abused or harmed doesn’t negate the abuse.

    So you’re going to tell him that he was harmed when he says that he was not? Isn’t harm subjective? Or is there actually an objective order to things which even “perverts” know? After all, they wouldn’t get much out of perversion if they didn’t have at least some knowledge of the true version of things.

    And what does a “homosexual activist” have to do with this?

    Apparently he knew much more about this than you do.

  153. If you cannot convince a man of the medical fact that he should not be using his lower digestive tract as a sex organ…

    I don’t have the article but some researchers have suggested that it’s possible that gay men are in the process of evolving. It’s also a running joke among other pagans that the reproductive organs are too close to the excretory. One commented that it would be like building an amusement park next to a sewage plant. For instance, supposedly PZ Myers could design a better reproductive system as it is too close to other systems and so on. Yet I wonder where he would put the excretory system in the abstraction of his mind? Maybe Myers could put it closer to his brains and then what is already true of him metaphorically could be closer to the truth literally? Perhaps an out of the way spot like the upper leg, and just let the excrement run down it? After all, if it did happen to be there then evolution, whatever it is, would explain that just as well as it would “explain” every other possible position.

  154. 154

    Thanks Mynym.

  155. mynym@144:

    And they vary, his point was that it’s arbitrary and one shouldn’t impose their values on others. He also pointed out that in some cultures they masturbate their children in order to help them sleep. As I said, you’ve never debated someone who disagrees with the “Jewish”/Western worldview that you’ve apparently learned by osmosis.

    Ahh – ok. So your point is that this homosexual activist feels that consensual guidelines are arbitrary and that he was ‘abused’ as a minor but doesn’t feel that it caused him any harm. Therefore, all homosexuals feel this way and from that eventually society as whole will make pedophilia acceptable.

    (At least, I think this is your point.)

    Do you agree with him?

  156. Judging from mynym’s 122 & 124, mynym’s point is that homosexuals fall in the same ethical category as pimps, pedophile abusers, murderers and Nazis. So, one would think that society should ALREADY have crumbled.

    Alternatively, since…

    “The simple fact of the matter is that most people are nice, most of the time. But there’s still something different about sexual disorientations.”
    … maybe mynym thinks that pimps, pedophile perps, murderers and Nazis are really mostly nice people too, and just a bit disoriented?

  157. This is one of the few topics where I become disappointed in the posters here.

  158. mikev6@131

    Are you proposing that these treatments be voluntary? What happens to the patients if they refuse? Presumably you’d need to outlaw homosexuality first (like pedophilia) to make this treatment plan a requirement. And then, if the treatment doesn’t work, we can always use jail time.

    If you are capable of objectively defending your point without having to resort to your subjective disdain towards religion, then you wouldn’t need to put words in my mouth and misrepresent my arguments. When did I ever suggest jail? Don’t make up random nonsense and claim that I said that. None of the people on my side of this debate ever claimed to propose punishment to homosexuality, so the fact that it is you who brought up jail and concentration camps speaks volumes about the extremely prejudiced way in which you view religion as an “evil taliban monster”. Keep in mind that demonizing our side does not refute our arguemtns, it only reflects your prejudice.

    Our point is that same sex marriage should not be legal, and that the society should eliminate the misconception that homosexuality is a perfectly natural norm because many fools still think that it is purely genetic. Now as for proposing jail time for homosexuality and/or voluntary or involuntary treatments, that is all up to the laws of the country in which they live in.

    Muramusa@132

    Shogun, you claim to have “proven” that homosexuality is a problem for society. All I see is mynym’s cut and paste job of news articles and references to Nazi Germany

    Is that really all you saw? Our side had been referencing sources since the beginning of the debate to objectively prove our points regarding the social, psychological, and medical problems associated with homosexuality. And so far your side had referenced none. So on what basis does your side claim that we are more “subjective” than they are?

    I am positive that most of the opposition did not even bother to thoroughly look at the articles and stats posted by vjtorley, mynym and others. Let alone reflect on what their results mean. I’m also sure that they used the same sleight of hand used by Darwinists against rational and scientific ID arguments: simply dismiss them as “religious” and avoid all the headache.

    Just what does it take to rationally convince our opposition? Is that even possible? As Stephen pointed out in #143:

    If you cannot convince a man of the medical fact that he should not be using his lower digestive tract as a sex organ, you will surely never convince him of the moral fact that homosexuality is evil

    Absolutely true, they already dropped their rationality long ago when they bought the idea that a lower part of the digestive tract can be used as a sex organ.

  159. tribune7 [135], you write:

    QuietID, laws are restrictions on our behavior aimed at maintaining a social order. They are always going to have a bias against those whom the writers of the laws feel will endanger the social order.

    More often than not the bias is correct.

    I would dispute that. Throughout most of history laws have been biased against religious minorities, women, racial minorities, non-property owners, etc. In every case those groups were seen to threaten the social order. In some cases, of course, that threat may have been real: the social order changes when women (or religious minorities, or those who do not own property) have full rights. I don’t think the bias in any of those cases is correct.

    Consider this: suppose a married man wants to take three other wives. Do you believe the law should be changed to allow this? If not, do you recognize that you support bias against Islam?

    How about 6 other wives? If not you have a bias against original Mormonism.

    It would also be a bias against ancient Israelite society. Actually, I’m a bit conflicted about this. I think monogamous marriage is the ideal, but I don’t know that it was a good idea to force Mormons to change their religious beliefs to join the United States.

    How about support of child marriages? Failure to do so could show a cultural/religious bias.

    This I’m clear about. We have good reasons for supporting an age of consent. The age varies from state to state, but the idea that children are incapable of engaging in consensual marriage is well-founded.

  160. shogun@141:

    (I’m not sure why you keep bringing up the “disdain for religion” meme – there was nothing in your comment, or my response, that had anything to do with religion. Nor do I know anything about your particular religious views.)

    You proposed that all homosexuals should be “treated”. My question was simply the logical one of how you intended to carry that out. Using jail is one way. You might have others.

    However, I’ve touched on the deeper question further in the comment. The perceived harm from homosexuality is more indirect – they cause harm to themselves and general society. This is unlike pedophilia in which an aggressor and a victim can usually be directly identified.

    The idea that we criminalize a group because of their potential damage to something nebulous like “the good of society” is a fairly scary thought. Almost any group (Muslims, atheists, black people, people who are overweight, etc.) could fall under such an edict once you start that process.

  161. Berceuse@148

    I would like to know what disappoints you and why. It may add some value and I/others may learn something or get a new perspective.

  162. I am sure mikev6 can speak for himself, but Shogun just brought forth so outlandish an accusation that I’ll say something (I hope mike doesn’t mind?):

    “When did I ever suggest jail? Don’t make up random nonsense and claim that I said that.”

    As is obvious from the section you quoted, mike NEVER claimed that YOU suggested jail time. Nowhere. He built a simple logical chain of hypothetical scenarios from your VERY REAL suggestion that homosexuals should receive treatment for their “condition”. And he asks if you think that such treatments should be voluntary or mandatory. You dodge that question artfully by accusing him of stuff he didn’t do. So, I am afraid that it is you, Shogun, who is “making up random nonsense” in claiming that other people say things they never said.

  163. Here’s something I overlooked. tribune7 wrote:

    Here’s an interesting thing to consider: should being an alcoholic be grounds for being forbidden to marry?

    Well, should it? I’d say no. I know I sound like a flaming liberal to some here, but I think consenting adults should be allowed to mess up their lives as much as they want.

    In fact, it is at the end of our rope that God reaches out to us. I don’t feel that we should try to “save” society from itself when it is incapable of doing so. Those who are able to do good are few. They cannot help others to do good by reforming society. Such reforms only sow confusion. Best to stand as a light by contrast with a society that is truly, irrecoverably reprobate.

  164. So the Intelligent Design community is a bunch of homophobic religious fundamentalists who want to legislate their version of morality. Who woulda’ thunk?

    This comment thread is EXACTLY why teaching ID in high school is being so vigorously fought.

  165. Re: 152

    In a nutshell, bigotry and intolerance

  166. 166

    #154

    So the Intelligent Design community is a bunch of homophobic religious fundamentalists

    That’s correct Lastyear, throughout all of human history and all cultures, the men who did not leave their seed in their brothers’ rectum were “homophobic religious fundamentalist”.

    The two traits are inseperable, as you have skillfully pointed out.

  167. You guys know that not all homosexuals practice anal sex, right?

  168. —markf: “Congratulations on your honesty and clarity. In the end it comes down to the “yuck” factor. Note that many children have a similar reaction to conventional sex when they first hear about it. Yuck doesn’t mean wrong.”

    The moral arguments against homosexuality are not based on the “yuck” factor.

    —San Antonio Rose: “If the moral objection to male homosexuality is the taboo against anal sex, does the objection go away if a gay male couple abstained from anal sex and only engaged in oral sex?”

    The moral objection to male homosexuality is not limited to anal sex.

  169. 169

    Berceuse,

    My point really has nothing whatsoever to do with anal sex. I just find it hilarious that materialist like to position the cultural disdain for homosexuality within the entire human community as a religious thing (particulatly a western Christian religious thing). It might be hard to imagine a more common thought across all boundries, times, and cultures than the edifice of a man and a woman.

    Perhaps heating our meat, or the disposing of dead bodies, may rank as high.

  170. StephenB: Is it permissible for the mouth to be used as a sex organ? Hands?

    The urethra also carries urine, but I suppose that’s okay because it was Designed that way.

    And for all those citing all those articles, I assume that you disagree with the American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association positions on homosexuality, correct?

  171. “The idea that we criminalize a group because of their potential damage to something nebulous like “the good of society” is a fairly scary thought. Almost any group (Muslims, atheists, black people, people who are overweight, etc.) could fall under such an edict once you start that process.”

    Kind of like Al Sharpton calling for conservative radio talk show hosts to pass a “Public Good Test” or be thrown off the air, eh? *wink wink nudge nudge*

  172. So your point is that this homosexual activist feels that consensual guidelines are arbitrary and that he was ‘abused’ as a minor but doesn’t feel that it caused him any harm.

    Age is much more of a continuum than sex so any distinctions based on it are actually more arbitrary, not less. And it may be that none of the people classically defined as “perverts” feel like they were harmed or that they’re causing anyone any harm. The subjective harm/harmless standard actually has little meaning unless one views the world as objectively ordered in the first place. There is a lot of evidence that we all know it is ordered or as the Founders put it that there are “self evident truths” evident in the self. This knowledge is linked to an awareness of basic natural categories like life and death (perverted in necrophilia), human and animal (perverted in zoophilia), child and adult (perverted in pedophilia) and male and female (perverted in homophilia). To undermine or do away with knowledge such as this is to begin to do away with civilization as we know it. People should know that they are choosing to change their civilization and not be manipulated into feeling that everything will stay the same after groups of “sexual desire” people are invented and so on.

    As John Adams said:

    Have you ever found in history, one single example of a Nation thoroughly corrupted that was afterwards restored to virtue? ….And without virtue, there can be no political liberty….Will you tell me how to prevent luxury from producing effeminacy, intoxication, extravagance, vice and folly? ….I believe no effort in favor of virtue is lost.

    Note that language tends to speak for itself and that the word virtue was once linked to virility. Who here has heard the media report that the private involved in the Wiki leaks scandal was gay? It seems that the natural tendency of those prone to effeminacy is towards gossip and manipulation over open debate, emotional conditioning and propaganda over logical argument and so on and so forth.

    Shirer noted it:

    By 1926…the charges and countercharges hurled by the Nazi Chieftains at one another became so embarrassing that Hitler set up a party court to settle them and prevent his comrades from washing their dirty linen in public.
    (Ib. :174)

    [The Nazis] quarreled and feuded as only men of unnatural sexual inclinations, with their peculiar jealousies, can.
    (The Rise and Fall of theThird Reich
    New York, Fawcett Crest, 1960
    By William Shirer :172)

    About three years before the Nazis came to power we had a patient at the Institute who had a liason with Roehm. We were on good terms with him, and he told us a good deal of what happened in his circle…He also referred to Adolf Hitler in the oddest possible manner. ‘Afi is the most perverted of us all. He is very much like a soft woman, but now he makes great propaganda in the heroic morale’.
    (Magnus Hirschfeld: A Portrait of a Pioneer in Sexology by Charlotte Wolff)

    Therefore, all homosexuals feel this way…

    I haven’t said that there are any groups of people defined by sexual desire who feel anything one way or another.

    …and from that eventually society as whole will make pedophilia acceptable.
    (At least, I think this is your point.)

    You’re mistaken.

  173. Berceuse,

    “You guys know that not all homosexuals practice anal sex, right?”

    And plenty of straight people do, including straight married couples.

    Upright Biped,

    “My point really has nothing whatsoever to do with anal sex.”

    And yet the anti-gay marriage crowd (including in this thread) has focused intensely on that issue.

  174. You guys know that not all homosexuals practice anal sex, right?

    Most people who choose to deny the complementarity of the sexes at one point or another over their life-span seem to be engaging in it.

    There is no other explanation for the empirical evidence, e.g.:
    (D. E. Koziol et al., ‘A Comparison of Risk Factors for Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Hepatitis B Virus Infections in Homosexual Men,” Annals of Epidemiology 3, no.4 (July 1993) pp. 434-41; G. Hart, “Factors Associated with Hepatitis B Infection,” International Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and MDS 4, no. 2 (1993), pp. 102-6; T. Weinke et al., “Prevalence and Clinical Importance of Entamoeba Histolytica in Two High-Risk Groups: Travelers Returning from the Tropics and Male Homosexuals,” Journal of Infectious Diseases 161, no. 5 (May 1990), pp. 1029-31; A. Rodriguez-Pichardo et al., “Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Homosexual Males in Seville, Spain,” Genitourinary Medicine 67, no.4 (August 1991), pp.335—38; D. I. Abrams, “The Relationship between Kaposi’s Sarcoma and Intestinal Parasites among Homosexual Males in the United States,” Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, no. 1(1990), Supplement 1, p. 144—46; N. J. Bodsworth et al., “Hepatitis Delta Virus in Homosexual Men in Sydney,” Genitourinary Medicine 65, no.4 (August 1989), pp.235—38; T. Takeuchi, “Sexually Transmitted Amoebiasis: Current Epidemiology,” Kitasato Archives of Experimental Medicine 61, no. 4 (December 1988), pp. 171—79; W Tee et al., “Campylobacter Cryaerophila Isolated from a Human,” Journal of Clinical Microbiology 26, no. 12 (December 1988), pp. 2469—73)

  175. In a nutshell, bigotry and intolerance

    No more than pointing out to the National Association for the Acceptance of Fat People that morbid obesity is unhealthy is “bigoted” against fat people. Of course there are fat people who live until old age so that must mean it’s fine. Plus I have a fat friend, so that means that the military should drop all fitness requirements. And fat kids get beat up in school, therefore no doctor should publish anything about obesity. Etc. If only fat people were as good at victimization propaganda people would probably be dumb enough to attack people interested in knowledge in that case too.

    I’ve always wondered at how successful propagandists are in conditioning people to be willfully illogical and ignorant. I think it has to do with the absence of any iconoclastic tendencies.

  176. 176

    QuityeID,

    I think there are those on this thread who have focused on it, and I think a larger percentage have not. I think if you re-read the comments you can count the number of times the that someone commented that the issue is not primarily about anal sex.

    My comment had nothing to do with it. My comment was about the historical bias against homosexuality across virtually all cultures. My comment was a direct reaction to the materialist position that this historical multi-cultural bias is somehow at the end of a Christian spear. It’s a ridiculous position to even try to defend.

    You may continue to ignore my point as you wish.

  177. — lastyearon: “This comment thread is EXACTLY why teaching ID in high school is being so vigorously fought.”

    Now that’s what I call a delicately constructed, richly conceived, eminently persuasive argument.

    Inform children about the design patterns in nature and it follows that they will soon cultivate a seething hatred for homosexuals.

  178. mikev6,

    I keep bringing up the “disdain against religion” because that is what is implied from the comments from your side, whether we’re talking about this debate or any other debate in this website. The atheist/humanist side have their own subjective world view which they believe it to be better than that of religion. Their opposition to religion is strongly related to their disdain towards religious moral laws. I just find it hard to believe that their opposition to religion is purely based on concern towards minorities (ie. homosexuals). There is more to their agenda.

    You proposed that all homosexuals should be “treated”. My question was simply the logical one of how you intended to carry that out. Using jail is one way. You might have others.

    And I already answered that it is up to the law on how to carry this out, since I’m not a law expert. That is not to say that we should not speak up against immorality such as homosexuality. If your subjective world view tells you homosexuality is okay, then you should be able to objectively prove that, which is what your side failed to do. Our side has already provided objective evidence to prove our point. If you don’t like our evidence then come up with your own, it’s as simple as that!

    The perceived harm from homosexuality is more indirect

    It is a harm nonetheless. And I dare say that this harm is inevitable once homosexuality is brought into the society. We don’t have to wait until a drunk driver gets into an accident an kills others before we pass a law prohibiting drunk driving.

    Let me ask you something, if we introduce homosexuality to society can you guarantee that there will not be an increase in sexual promiscuity, no children reared by same sex parents will be psychologically harmed, and no rise in the risk of AIDS and other STDs? Such problems are directly related to homosexuality when it becomes active in a society.

    The idea that we criminalize a group because of their potential damage to something nebulous like “the good of society” is a fairly scary thought. Almost any group (Muslims, atheists, black people, people who are overweight, etc.) could fall under such an edict once you start that process.

    You’re misrepresenting my arguments again. Recognizing a problem and fixing it does not mean that we criminalize the group of people inflicted by the problem. Having Muslims and black people does not pose a risk in & of itself. There are many peaceful western countries that have Muslim minorities and there is no correlation between having Muslims and rise in terrorism, nor is there a correlation between having black people and a rise in crime rates. Even if there is, we would seek to work with the group in question to solve the problem and not necessarily criminalize them. However, the sources cited here seem to suggest a strong correlation between homosexuality and its associated social, psychological, and medical problems. Unless your side can come up with objective evidence to show otherwise.

  179. QuietID — Throughout most of history laws have been biased against religious minorities, women, racial minorities, non-property owners, etc.

    You are right in that there have been plenty of unjust laws in history, but it doesn’t change the fact that even just laws are bias. A law against theft is a bias against thieves.

    Actually, I’m a bit conflicted about this.

    Why? A prohibition against multiple wives is a clear case of religious bias.
    Now, myself, I have see nothing immoral about prohibiting a a behavior as long as such prohibition is equally applied. In this case, Christians, Jews whoever are subject to the same legal prohibitions as Mormons and Moslems.

    How about support of child marriages? Failure to do so could show a cultural/religious bias. . . This I’m clear about. We have good reasons for supporting an age of consent.

    And I agree with you that we do but others from different cultures may not agree and I just want to make sure that you understand that we both support being biased against them.

  180. “You guys know that not all homosexuals practice anal sex, right?”

    And plenty of straight people do, including straight married couples.

    That is the propaganda of Kinsey. Show evidence for your claims that isn’t based on the assumption that prison populations are a normal cross section of married couples in America and so on.

    In any event, destructive behavior patterns are merely a symptom of the denial of the complementarity of the sexes.

  181. Berceuse saying those who have a different view that yourself are practicing “bigotry and intolerance” is a good indication that the ones with the different view are not the one who is bigoted and intolerant.

    You guys know that not all homosexuals practice anal sex, right?

    Do you agree that the ones that do are doing something wrong, and that that particular act should be unwaveringly condemned?

  182. ——Berceuse , In a nutshell, bigotry and intolerance.”

    * America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance — it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded.

    * Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience toward evil … a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment. Tolerance applies only to persons … never to truth.

    —Fulton J. Sheen

  183. “You guys know that not all homosexuals practice anal sex, right?” And plenty of straight people do, including straight married couples.

    They do. In fact, it is thought that one, if not the main, reason AIDS became a heterosexual epidemic in Africa as opposed to elsewhere was because of this practice.

  184. …who want to legislate their version of morality. Who woulda’ thunk?

    Who would have thought that you would try to take a passive position as if someone is “imposing” and so on? The question is not whether or morality will be legislated, the notion that the law is not based on morality is infantile.

    This comment thread is EXACTLY why teaching ID in high school is being so vigorously fought.

    It’s too bad that fat people aren’t as good at victimization propaganda. (“Tends to cry about nothing…” as one psychologist put it.) Because sometimes it has good results, regardless of its roots. For instance, it’s good that tolerance of effeminate kids or “gays” is being taught. But it’s likely the fat kids in school who are more likely to be bullied and so on.

    I’m sure that teaching them all that they are caused by blind and ignorant ignorant processes and “survival of the fittest” as you advocate helps greatly in these matters.

    In any event, the main reason that ID is being fought with such irrational fervor is psychological, not scientific.

  185. Inform children about the design patterns in nature and it follows that they will soon cultivate a seething hatred for homosexuals.

    It’s a bitter irony for “homosexuals” that to the extent there is an immutable group called homosexuals the evidence is clear that people who hate them the most are other “homosexuals.” There is little evidence that people who believe in natural law and so on are equally dangerous because their natural tendency allows for common sense and rationality. Who would be more dangerous to homosexuals, Thomas Aquinas or the Marquis de Sade?

    Note his philosophy, sexual ethic and attitude toward natural law:

    Sade is the anti-Montesquieu of the Enlightenment. Indeed, he mentions Montesquieu in Juliette only to denigrate him as a second-rate philosopher. Sade exposes, and opposes, the idealistic dimension of Montesquieu’s political science. Montesquieu’s ideal of justice is unacceptable in Sadean politics. It must be replaced by an implacable judicial relativism, by private passions and interests — precisely what Montesquieu was at pains to repress in order to demonstrate the possibility of peaceful cohabitation.
    (Original Vengeance: Politics, Anthropology and the French Enlightenment
    By Pierre Saint-Amand
    Eighteenth-Century Studies, Vol. 26,
    No.3. (Spring, 1993), pp. 399-417)

    The reasonable philosophy of Aquinas, Montesquieu and others naturally leads to less hatred, not more.

  186. Shogun (and others). What a horrible dystopian view of a society you are promoting where the state is so pervasive it regulates which consenting adults can have sex with each other and what sexual acts they may partake in. I would think that is exactly the opposite of the society the founding fathers wished to establish. To avoid this kind of tyranny was why they left England.

  187. Mynym, if you were armed with a comprehension arrow, if you will, and your target was the point I was trying to make, you’d pretty much be firing in the opposite direction. I do not care to go any further because it’s clear it won’t go anywhere.

    By the way, no one is making the “fat people” analogy but you.

  188. —mynym: “The reasonable philosophy of Aquinas, Montesquieu and others naturally leads to less hatred, not more.”

    Precisely. That also raises the definitive question about what really qualifies as a loving act. Which is better, sappy sentiment or tough love? Is it really a loving act to accept both the gay person and his behavior, knowing that he is about to lose his immortal soul and 20 years of his earthly life. Or, is it better to accept the gay person, reject his behavior, and admonish him, hoping that he may save his soul and live out his full live span.

  189. Hi everyone,

    I’d like to move the discussion along by focusing on two common errors that are made when people discuss homosexuality. The first is to assume that “gays” constitute a natural category or “type” of human being; the second is a failure to distinguish between two senses of the word “natural.”

    The problem with assuming that “gays” represent a “type” of human being is that this way of talking leads us to think that gays have a separate “good of their own”: gays sex might be wrong for person A but right for person B. As the old song has it,

    “Now the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum,
    What might be right for you might not be right for some.”

    We should resist this temptation, in the absence of scientific evidence of any kind that gays form a natural category. In his very fair-minded article, Evolution, animals and gay behavior, Jerry Coyne asks:

    Was prolific gay behavior in ancient Athens the same thing, biologically, as the behavior of gays in 1930s Chicago? Who knows?

    Why should we assume that “gays” in ancient Athens have anything in common, psychologically, with gays today? Where’s the evidence? The fact that the behavior is similar doesn’t necessarily indicate a common cause.

    Coyne also points out in his article that there is no common factor underlying homosexual behavior in animals:

    Can animal studies really inform work on human homosexuality? I’m not an expert in this area, but Mooallem doesn’t paint an optimistic picture. He shows, and I had guessed this, that “gay” behavior in animals (by this I mean “same-sex” sexual behavior) is a grab-bag of diverse phenomena that don’t support a single evolutionary explanation.

    If there’s no common explanation of homosexual behavior in animals, why assume that there is one for all human societies?

    I should add that the “right for me, wrong for you” mantra fails to account for people such as bisexuals.

    The other trap people fall into when discussing homosexuality is to conflate two senses of “natural.” Natural can mean: innate, or inborn, and hence ineradicable (or at least, difficult to eradicate). Or it can mean: good for you, in the sense of: bringing out the best in you, and helping you come to fruition as a human being.

    When I say that heterosexuality is natural for all human beings, I mean “natural” in the second sense of the word. As an old eighties song puts it:

    “The purpose of a man is to love a woman,
    The purpose of a woman is to love a man.”

    This is indeed what is best for us. But it doesn’t mean that we’re born with an innate desire to find a partner of the opposite sex. Indeed, I submit that the evidence indicates the opposite. Boys and girls are born with a natural (in sense 1) aversion to one another, and they have to be subtly and not so subtly educated – even “brainwashed” – into overcoming that aversion and believing that their life’s destiny is to be with a partner of the opposite sex.

    What I’m suggesting is that in the first sense of the word, heterosexuality isn’t natural. It’s profoundly unnatural. If anything, homosexuality may be natural, or the default pattern, just as “female” is the default pattern of embryonic development in the absence of male hormones.

    Try a thought experiment. Imagine a plane crashes on a deserted island, and the only survivors are five boys and five girls, aged three or four. Now imagine that nobody finds and rescues them until they are fifteen years old. What will they find? Will the boys be pairing up with the girls? I doubt it. I suspect that without the right kind of parental guidance, the boys would still be with the boys, and the girls with the girls.

    If I’m right, then homosexuality may be natural in sense 1, while heterosexuality may be natural in sense 2. This may be a scary thought for some, but remember that God intended us to grow up in two-parent families, and in a society where people would teach their children that boys are meant to marry girls, when they grow up.

    Now can you see why, if homosexuality is natural in sense 1, while heterosexuality is natural in sense 2, efforts by the gay lobby can do real psychological damage to children’s natural (in sense 2) development?

  190. Mynym, if you were armed with a comprehension arrow, if you will, and your target was the point I was trying to make, you’d pretty much be firing in the opposite direction.

    Your “point” about bigotry and intolerance? I didn’t miss it, almost any schoolboy in America knows about bigotry and intolerance even if they’re almost illiterate otherwise.

    By the way, no one is making the “fat people” analogy but you.

    Actually the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance makes the analogy themselves. And of course psychologists as well:

    So why is being fat considered unattractive? It is because it deviates from this culturally defined, media-driven norm of physical attractiveness. One can speculate as to why this prototype of physical attractiveness emerged in the first place. For one, there is the association of being fat with being unhealthy. Unfortunately, even though this generalization is not supported by evidence, it is propagated by media. You might compare the plight of other groups in society such as gay people, who have been portrayed by media as pedophiles. The discriminatory process is a vicious one.
    (What Would Aristotle Do?
    The power of reason
    by Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D.
    Psychology Today

    Do you hate fat people? Are they not good enough to be mentioned in the same sentence as your Gays©? Have I mentioned that I know a nice fat person? That means that being fat is nice, not to mention that I’m nice and tolerant also.

  191. We should resist this temptation, in the absence of scientific evidence of any kind that gays form a natural category.

    It is interesting that many argue that they can transcend sex (transexuals, etc.), yet at the same time many argue that they cannot transcend being gay in the least. They’re immutably oriented to only one sex and cannot choose otherwise, yet the biological reality of sex itself is portrayed as a choice. If sex is a choice then how can homosexuality be an immutable, biological fact?

  192. A little old on this thread now, but…

    vjtorley@133

    Since I do try to read some links proposed by people in discussions, I thought it would be worth exploring the ACEP paper proposed by vjtorley in #133.

    I can’t say I’ve read the entire paper closely. I was struck by the number of studies on single parent families supporting the idea of the “ideal” family unit. I would need to see some analysis that this had application to same-sex couples and I couldn’t see anything of that sort in the list. Also, the references criticizing the methodology of current research were not from scientific organizations – I’d want to vet the credentials on those.

    In browsing through the article, I came across this sentence:

    Data on the long-term outcomes of children placed in homosexual households is sparse and gives reason for concern.(17)

    Curious as to what concerns might be there, I checked the footnote:

    17. American Academy of Pediatrics, Perrin, EC, and the committee on psychosocial aspects of child and family health. “Technical report: Co parent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents,” Pediatrics. 109(2002): 343. The Academy acknowledges that the “small, non-representative samples … and the relatively young age of the children suggest some reserve.”

    Odd – why the change in wording? It does sound cautionary – the Academy “acknowledges” it. Let’s read the paper…

    Yes indeed, the summary says:

    The small and nonrepresentative samples studied and the relatively young age of most of the children suggest some reserve

    However, it’s clear from the context of the rest of the paper that the “reserve” is related to the small sample size. The authors are cautioning that one should be careful in drawing conclusions.

    Obviously, a nice example of quote-mining in action. So, what are the results we need to be careful about? Here’s the rest of the summary:

    The small and nonrepresentative samples studied and the relatively young age of most of the children suggest some reserve. However, the weight of evidence gathered during several decades using diverse samples and methodologies is persuasive in demonstrating that there is no systematic difference between gay and nongay parents in emotional health, parenting skills, and attitudes toward parenting. No data have pointed to any risk to children as a result of growing up in a family with 1 or more gay parents.

    Some among the vast variety of family forms, histories, and relationships may prove more conducive to healthy psychosexual and emotional development than others. Research exploring the diversity of parental relationships among gay and lesbian parents is just beginning. Children whose parents divorce (regardless of sexual orientation) are better adjusted when their parents have high self-esteem, maintain a responsible and amicable relationship, and are currently living with a partner.22,31 Children living with divorced lesbian mothers have better outcomes when they learn about their mother’s homosexuality at a younger age, when their fathers and other important adults accept their mother’s lesbian identity, and perhaps when they have contact with other children of lesbians and gay men.22,24 Parents and children have better outcomes when the daunting tasks of parenting are shared, and children seem to benefit from arrangements in which lesbian parents divide child care and other household tasks in an egalitarian manner28 as well as when conflict between partners is low. Although gay and lesbian parents may not, despite their best efforts, be able to protect their children fully from the effects of stigmatization and discrimination, parents’ sexual orientation is not a variable that, in itself, predicts their ability to provide a home environment that supports children’s development

    OK – this is quote-mining with serious balls. The authors have taken a paper that completely contradicts their entire thesis, take one sentence and twist the meaning, and then add the paper to the reference list as “support”. And add a snide comment just for fun too.

    At this point, whether there is any merit in the other references to support vjtorley’s case or not, I can’t trust the article or the ACEP to be a reasonable guide.

    vjtorley has complained that the “other” organization – the AAP – is equally biased to the left. Perhaps, but I’d trust it more after this exercise. However, if anyone reading this can spot a similar example of quote-mining from the AAP, I’ll change my mind.

    And for those of you looking for studies on the “other” side, this paper has 31 references.

  193. Natural can mean: innate, or inborn, and hence ineradicable (or at least, difficult to eradicate).

    This isn’t exactly true. Things which are innate can sometimes easily be changed and that was one of the problems with the “born this way” propaganda that gay activists debated among themselves. After all, if people began to consider homosexuality a birth defect and found a treatment for it, what then? Would the gay community support that choice? What about parents aborting babies based on innate “gay” characteristics? Etc. It was always known that there were problems with false propaganda of this sort but apparently it is quite effective on ignorant and stupid people.

    At least in the West:

    In the West, for instance, it may be common to expect that a homosexual preference is life-long, exclusive, and may even be genetic. McIntosh (McIntosh, M. 1968. The Homosexual Role. Soc. Probl. 16(2):182-92) has argued, however, that this kind of homosexuality is a relatively new Western cultural phenomenon, and Weatherford (Weatherford, J.M. 1986. Porn Row. New York: Arbor House) questions the extent to which exclusive homosexual preferences are even characteristic of present day U.S. culture. The cross-cultural evidence suggests that life-long or exclusive homosexuality is a rare phenomenon. Bisexuality and situational or ad hoc homosexual behavior are more common.
    (The Cross-CulturalStudy of Human Sexuality
    Annual Review of Anthropology,Vol. 16, 1987 by D. L. Davis and R. G. Whitten :69-98)

  194. For gods sake people, what is it with this raging, unending obsession with homosexuality ?

    And the constant suggestions that such people are somehow deviant and need to be changed. Who gives us the right to make these judgements ?

  195. However, the weight of evidence gathered during several decades using diverse samples and methodologies is persuasive in demonstrating that there is no systematic difference between gay and nongay parents in emotional health, parenting skills, and attitudes toward parenting.

    A sympathetic study of such studies:

    Recently this same myth-breaking tradition has focused on gay parents and their children. This literature has responded to lesbians’ need for information when they fight for custodial rights in the legal system. In an effort to inform the court that lesbians are reasonable parents, a number of small studies have shown that lesbians compare favorably to other single mothers….
    (Sociological Research on Male and Female Homosexuality
    by Barbara Risman and Pepper Schwartz
    Annual Review of Sociology, 1988, 14 :125-47) (Emphasis added)

    But I thought that the point of these studies (other than providing talking points for activists and so on) was to compare heterosexuality and homosexuality? It’s well known that being fatherless is not associated with virtue. That’s why the term bastard is an insult and so on. If studies show that homosexuality compares favorably with single mothers that should not be advanced as evidence of its desirability.

    Sometimes researchers of that sort will do their best to portray homosexuality as the equal of heterosexuality and then note in the end some “special difficulties” faced by children in such situations. This is because according to the researcher nothing has anything to do with homosexuality.

    E.g., a special difficulty:

    “[A] specter…. haunts some children of homosexuals: AIDS. For Stefan Lynch, 24, watching his father die five years ago was particularly lonely. The father talked about it little, already feeling guilty about “abandoning me when I was a teenager,” recalls Lynch.
    ….In some families, AIDS strikes more than once. Breauna Dixon, 7, wrote a picture book about her father’s death that is used in AIDS support groups. Breauna now lives with her father’s partner–who became her guardian–and the man’s new live-in partner (her third “dad”), who has HIV.
    (U.S. News & World Report
    September 16, 1996
    Culture and Ideas; Pg. 75
    Kids with gay parents
    By Joseph P. Shapiro; Stephen Gregory)

    Another special difficulty, it seems that the boys of lesbians often resent their mother’s masculine female partner.

    E.g.:

    I used my kids to deceive the public and get gay rights. I thought only of my own needs and not of their futures. Although I love my kids, I have damaged them. Now lesbians have got what I fought for, and I wish I’d never done it.
    We deceived society. We said gays only had problems because society put them on to us. We came across well. We portrayed ourselves as the warm, loving, normal, alternative family, and we used these children to get the gay rights message across.
    They [the children] were so cute; they talked about having two ‘mummies’ who loved each other like a mother and father, and they had us cuddling the kids and reading to them at bedtime.
    We talked about all the male support and role models we had for
    the [two] boys. But it was a load of bull — we didn’t. My boys had no masculine role models and no masculine identity.
    Jonathan’s 11 now, and he’s angry. He knows he was conceived by artificial insemination and that I don’t know his father, but he’s
    always asking me, ‘What color eyes did my father have? What does he look like? What does he do?’ I can’t tell him because I don’t know. He’s still in counseling — all about his anger and his lack of a father. I see the hurt on the boys’ faces daily — especially when the father-son events come along, like school camps and father-son evenings.
    “I often hear the kids saying how neat it would be to have a Dad. They go straight to any man who will show interest in them. They’re starved for male affection. Jenna [her daughter] is so hungry for male love I’m scared she’ll be abused.
    (“I was wrong about lesbian parental rights,” The [Auckland, New
    Zealand] Evening Post, November 30, 1994, pp. 40-41.)

    “I thought only of my own needs and not of their futures.”

    But what is to be expected among those who define their “identity” by their own sexual desires? What is to be expected of those who argue that anything other than fulfilling their desires is “living a lie,” as if their own desires define the truth and morality?

  196. Some among the vast variety of family forms, histories, and relationships may prove more conducive to healthy psychosexual and emotional development than others.

    Lol, next thing you know they’ll be reporting that men and women are different.

  197. mynym, I’m afraid that no study is good enough to convince the opposition. The whole idea of legalizing homosexuality hinged on the claim that it was perfectly natural which was prematurely taken from few studies conducted by none other than homosexual researchers. But now that it was shown that homosexuality has no natural/genetic basis, the society has already been desensitized enough into accepting it as a norm thanks to the tactics of Kirk and Madsen. I wonder what would these atheists say about a religion that was propagated via the same deceptive tactics!! Wouldn’t they be attacking it day and night.

    Notice the interesting duplicity here. The atheists/humanists side has learned to differentiate between a social/psychological/medical problem caused by homosexuality and the concept of homosexuality itself. But when the slightest harm is inflicted on society in the name of religion, they would not hesitate to demonize the entire religion based on the actions of the few without even bothering to rationally differentiate between the actions of extremists and what the religion truly teaches.

  198. I don’t understand this middle ground people are taking (homosexuality should not be illegal but should be officially discouraged and homosexuals not given the right to marry etc.).

    My view is that if homosexual behavior is not made illegal, homosexuals should have equal rights including the right to marry. Not because I like it but because things are NOT BETTER when the state adopts a pale imitation of the values of the church. This namby-pamby middle ground deprives the state of its authority to enforce laws and deprives the church of its ability to contrast strongly with the world.

    Pick your approach, people, but enough of this Laodicean attitude.

  199. I don’t understand this middle ground people are taking (homosexuality should not be illegal but should be officially discouraged and homosexuals not given the right to marry etc.).

    Who said that? All I have said is that homosexuality should not be treated as the equal of heterosexuality because it is not. One form of heterosexuality is currently being promoted and prescribed by the State because it promotes the general welfare and it is in the interests of children to do so. That is all. And even that is currently being undermined and done away with to the point that the general welfare and the interests of children don’t matter anyway. A Sadean philosophy on such matters is becoming more common and yet people will be surprised when there are more sadists.

    My view is that if homosexual behavior is not made illegal, homosexuals should have equal rights including the right to marry.

    Everyone already has equal rights no matter what their sexual desires happen to be at any given time over their life-span.

    Not because I like it but because things are NOT BETTER when the state adopts a pale imitation of the values of the church.

    That depends on what you mean by better. The philosophy of natural law that the American Founders promoted has always proven itself superior in promoting life, wealth and the general welfare.

  200. …homosexuals should have equal rights including the right to marry.

    Maybe thinking about it this way would help. If you are successful then every man will have the right to marry another man no matter what their sexual desires are or their reason for doing so. This will apply equally just as the law already applies equally to all. The law is not based on subjective sexual desires, it’s objectively based on biological facts:

    The attributes of mothering and fathering are inherent parts of sex differentiation that paves the way to reproduction. This is where the sociology analogy so often drawn between race and sex breaks down in the most fundamental sense. Genetic assimilation is possible through interracial mating, and we can envisage a society that is color blind. But genetic assimilation of male and female is impossible, and no society will be sex-blind.
    (American Sociological Review, Vol. 49, No.1, Feb., 1984.
    Gender and Parenthood
    By Alice S. Rossi :10)

  201. mynm, why not make it illegal then?

  202. mynm, why not make it illegal then?

    It’s for the same sort of reasons that morbid obesity isn’t illegal. It isn’t desirable but that doesn’t mean that it should be made illegal. On the other hand, the fact that it should not be made illegal does not mean that children should be taught that being obese is desirable. If only fat people were better at victimization propaganda every fat kid being bullied at school would prove that everyone should play pretend that being fat is desirable, good and so on. After all, if we do not say that morbid obesity is good and healthy then some poor child will be victimized.

    Another victimized group that you seldom hear anything about is ugly people, despite the fact that studies show that they’re less likely to get jobs and so on. And there are even more people and minorities. Take flatulent people for example, they’re actually nice people so I’m not sure why people seem to hate and fear them so much. There are even stories of flatulent people being fired for no other reason than being flatulent. There should probably be a law created to protect flatulent people.

  203. With respect to illegality… shrug, it’s not as if heterosexual behavior outside the bounds of marriage is illegal anyway.

    On another note, why do you suppose that zoophilia is illegal in many states?

  204. QuietID — I don’t understand this middle ground people are taking (homosexuality should not be illegal but should be officially discouraged and homosexuals not given the right to marry etc.).

    How do you feel about adultery? Do you think that should be illegal, and, if not, do you think society — which is not the same as the state — should give it approval?

    Or do you perhaps even actually think that the state should give it approval? For instance end the military policy of it being a court martial offense, or forbidding it to be taken into account in adjudicating matters in family courts?

  205. Sorry guys, but this is an issue that I disagree with.

    If two persons love each other then I see no reason why they should not be together, whether they are gay or straight.

  206. If two persons love each other then I see no reason why they should not be together, whether they are gay or straight.

    I thought the discussion was about legality.

    If a morbidly obese person loves cake I see no reason why they should be prevented from having some. However, if they want to teach children that they should always have what they love then I want to be at liberty to say that they should not.

  207. I would note that it will be the Left that will become increasingly totalitarian with respect to health. They have always been the first to use the general welfare as an excuse to control and manipulate (rather than educate) other people. In the meantime homosexual activists have been saying that it’s all a matter of biology. That’s part of the dangers of such propaganda but it’s too effective to give up, mainly because most people are stupid.

    The appearance of an argument can often aid an emotional appeal for other reasons. [...] Where the target of an emotional appeal is aware of the attempt at manipulation, he will tend to resist it; where he is distracted from the true nature of the appeal by a ‘cover argument,’ the emotional effect, paradoxically, will be all the greater. Thus, an argument can function as a distractor.
    Our remarks apply primarily to the (intellectually) lower 90% or so of the general population, whose beliefs more or less never alter their emotions. This is largely true of the upper 10%, as well, but, fortunately, not entirely. The highly intelligent sometimes display the capacity, although less often the inclination, to step outside themselves and analyze their feelings, and the causes of their feelings, dispassionately, and this sometimes modulates the feelings themselves.
    (After the Ball by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen :138)

  208. mynym, I’m afraid that no study is good enough to convince the opposition.

    It’s probably a matter of their emotional conditioning. They’ve been conditioned to have a negative emotional reaction whenever anything negative about homosexuality is said. So it’s not a matter of facts, logic and evidence.

    As Kirk and Madsen note:

    Our effect is achieved without reference to facts, logic, or proof…through repeated infralogical emotional conditioning, the person’s beliefs can be altered whether he is conscious of the attack or not. Indeed, the more he is distracted by even specious, surface arguments, the less conscious he will be of the true nature of the process. In short, jamming succeeds insofar as it inserts even the slightest frisson of doubt and shame into the previously held unalloyed beliefs regarding heterosexuality and homosexuality.
    (After the Ball by Kirk and Madsen :152-153)

    In some sense it’s to keep people stupid and ignorant when it comes to homosexuality. It seems to work pretty well.

  209. QuiteID@198

    I am not even sure what the legal definition of marriage is. But I think ‘marriage’ is in a real sense between a man and a woman. I don’t think it can be between two men or two women regardless of what the law says. I mean it is not a man made construct.

    I think secular governments should do one of two things:-

    1. Recognise civil unions of which marriage is a type i.e. being between a man and a woman.

    2. Grant civil unions the same rights as marriage.

    3. Allow business to decide if it wants to if it wants to provide any civil union related benefits to its workers and if so to choose if it offers to all types, or any particular type. Since it is the businesses money the owner should be able to provide benefits as to their convictions.

    4. Government should not provide any civil union related benefits at all.

    Basically I think that in many instances the law does not need to choose sides. The culture will decide what is appropriate or not. But I don’t think redefining what marriage is, is something government should get involved with. And it is not a discrimination issue.

  210. Mikev6 (#192)

    Thank you for your very thoughtful post.

    I’d like to address your complaint about “quote-mining with serious balls.” Referring to a paper by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Perrin, E.C., and the committee on psychosocial aspects of child and family health (“Technical report: Co parent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents,” Pediatrics. 2002;109;341-344; available online at http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/...../109/2/341 ) you charge that the American College of Pediatricians has “taken a paper that completely contradicts their entire thesis, take one sentence and twist the meaning, and then add the paper to the reference list as ‘support.’”

    I find the “quote-mining” charge curious, because Intelligent Design theorists are often accused of quote-mining by Darwinian evolutionists. Just today, I was re-reading a book entitled Is Evolution Proved? – A Debate Between Douglas Dewar and H.S. Shelton. With an introduction by the editor, Arnold Lunn. Hollis and Carter, London : 1947. It’s available online at
    http://books.google.com/books?.....38;f=false

    On page 94, Shelton, who defended Darwinian evolution in the debate, wrote:

    I am somewhat suspicious of quotations by anti-evolutionists, which sometimes give a false impression by taking passages out of their context.

    That was in 1947. It’s an old charge, then. There is an interesting exchange on what we now call the Cambrian explosion, later in the book. On page 162, Dewar wrote to Shelton:

    You admit that all the phyla were in existence in the Ordovician period. This is equally true of the aquatic classes. Thus no new Phylum or aquatic Class of animals has evolved since the Ordovician period.

    On page 167, an annoyed Shelton shot back:

    You say I admit that all phyla were in existence in the Ordovician. Why admit? I believe I asserted it. That is good evolutionary evidence. Phyla do not come into existence in an erratic and unaccountable way, as might well happen if they were specially created.

    Dewar triumphantly responded on page 170:

    I had very good reasons for saying that you ‘admit’ that all the phyla were in existence in the Ordovician. We are arguing a case and your statement or assertion to the above effect, being very damaging to your case, is in legal parlance an admission. There is another reason: you asked for my authority for saying that the vertebrates existed in the Cambrian, implying that you did not admit this. In consequence, instead of basing my argument against evolution on the existence of all phyla in the Cambrian, which you might have been inclined to contest, I used your admission by basing my argument on the existence of all phyla in the Ordovician. Clearly some of my statements are too subtle for you. (Emphases mine – VJT.)

    (As an aside, we now know that there were vertebrates in the Cambrian . Dewar was right on that score.)

    The point I am making here is that when engaging in debate, it is perfectly legitimate, as an argumentative tactic, to use damaging admissions by an adversary, in order to support a position that runs totally counter to the adversary’s stated beliefs. Thus it is utterly irrelevant that the above-listed paper by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which is cited by the American College of Pediatricians (ACEP), “completely contradicts their entire thesis,” as you point out. Fine; that makes it all the more valuable as evidence. Again, I see no ethical problem if the ACEP is content to “take one sentence.” They are under no moral obligation to take any more than one.

    It would, however, be wrong of the ACEP to “twist the meaning” of the sentence they cite. You allege that they do this. But do they? What do they actually claim?

    In their main article, they write:

    Data on the long-term outcomes of children placed in homosexual households is sparse and gives reason for concern.(17)

    And in footnote 17 they add:

    The Academy acknowledges that the “small, non-representative samples … and the relatively young age of the children suggest some reserve.”

    Well, what does the AAP paper actually say? Here are some damaging admissions in their paper:

    Accurate statistics regarding the number of parents who are gay or lesbian are impossible to obtain. The secrecy resulting from the stigma still associated with homosexuality has hampered even basic epidemiologic research. A broad estimate is that between 1 and 9 million children in the United States have at least 1 parent who is lesbian or gay.(1) …

    Compared with young adults who had heterosexual mothers, men and women who had lesbian mothers were slightly more likely to consider the possibility of having a same-sex partner, and more of them had been involved in at least a brief relationship with someone of the same sex,(10) but in each group similar proportions of adult men and women identified themselves as homosexual. …

    Because most children whose parents are gay or lesbian have experienced the divorce of their biologic parents, their subsequent psychologic development has to be understood in that context. Whether they are subsequently raised by 1 or 2 separated parents and whether a stepparent has joined either of the biologic parents are important factors for children but are rarely addressed in research assessing outcomes for children who have a lesbian or gay parent. …

    The small and nonrepresentative samples studied and the relatively young age of most of the children suggest some reserve. (Emphases mine – VJT.)

    Is data sparse, as the ACEP alleges? Even the AAP admits as much.

    Does it “give reason for concern”? I’d say so. While underplaying the fact, the AAP admits that children of gay and lesbian parents are more likely to be involved in same-sex relationships. More pertinent, however, is the following admission by the AAP:

    Because most children whose parents are gay or lesbian have experienced the divorce of their biologic parents, their subsequent psychologic development has to be understood in that context.

    Translation: children of gay and lesbian parents fare OK, in comparison with other children of divorced parents. Fine; but what about in comparison with children from two-parent families?

    In footnote 17, the ACEP states that “The Academy acknowledges that the ‘small, non-representative samples … and the relatively young age of the children suggest some reserve.’”

    Well, yes. It does acknowledge that, in black and white. You correctly point out that the “reserve” is related to the small sample size. Indeed it is; did the ACEP state otherwise?

    The word “acknowledge” in footnote 17 of the ACEP article appears to bother you, but I would suggest that you have a look at the passage I cited from Dewar at the beginning of this post:

    We are arguing a case and your statement or assertion to the above effect, being very damaging to your case, is in legal parlance an admission. (Emphasis mine – VJT.)

    Having admitted that “[t]he small and nonrepresentative samples studied and the relatively young age of most of the children suggest some reserve,” I am bemused when I read in the very next sentence of the AAP article:

    However, the weight of evidence gathered during several decades using diverse samples and methodologies is persuasive in demonstrating that there is no systematic difference between gay and nongay parents in emotional health, parenting skills, and attitudes toward parenting. (Emphases mine – VJT.)

    “Persuasive?” “Demonstrating?” Who are they trying to kid? Those are very strong words to use, when you are basing your conclusions on “small and nonrepresentative samples” where “most of the children” are “relatively young.”

    So, is the ACEP guilty of “quote-mining with serious balls” as you allege? I’ll let my readers decide.

    Now, because I’m a generally courteous person, I’ll supply the full context of the AAP article and quote some statements which I imagine the ACEP would vehemently disagree with. However, I should point out that I’m doing this as a favor. Ethically speaking, I’m under no obligation to do so. Here goes:

    Empirical evidence reveals in contrast that gay fathers have substantial evidence of nurturance and investment in their paternal role and no differences from heterosexual fathers in providing appropriate recreation, encouraging autonomy,5 or dealing with general problems of parenting.6 Compared with heterosexual fathers, gay fathers have been described to adhere to stricter disciplinary guidelines, to place greater emphasis on guidance and the development of cognitive skills, and to be more involved in their children’s activities.7 Overall, there are more similarities than differences in the parenting styles and attitudes of gay and nongay fathers.

    Similarly, few differences have been found in the research from the last 2 decades comparing lesbian and heterosexual mothers’ self-esteem, psychologic adjustment, and attitudes toward child rearing.8,9 Lesbian mothers fall within the range of normal psychologic functioning on interviews and psychologic assessments and report scores on standardized measures of self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and parenting stress indistinguishable from those reported by heterosexual mothers.10

    Lesbian mothers strongly endorse child-centered attitudes and commitment to their maternal roles11–13 and have been shown to be more concerned with providing male role models for their
    children than are divorced heterosexual mothers.6,14 Lesbian and heterosexual mothers describe themselves similarly in marital and maternal interests, current lifestyles, and child-rearing practices.14 They report similar role conflicts, social support networks, and coping strategies.15,16

    Children’s Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

    The gender identity of preadolescent children raised by lesbian mothers has been found consistently to be in line with their biologic sex. None of the more than 300 children studied to date have shown evidence of gender identity confusion, wished to be the other sex, or consistently engaged in cross-gender behavior.

    No differences have been found in the toy, game, activity, dress, or friendship preferences of boys or girls who had lesbian mothers, compared with those who had heterosexual mothers. No differences have been found in the gender identity, social roles, or sexual orientation of adults who had a divorced homosexual parent (or parents), compared with those who had divorced heterosexual parents.17–19 Similar proportions of young adults who had homosexual parents and those who had heterosexual parents have reported feelings of attraction toward someone of the same sex.20

    Near the end of your post, you issue a challenge:

    However, if anyone reading this can spot a similar example of quote-mining from the AAP, I’ll change my mind.

    Stay tuned! That will be the subject of my next post on this thread.

  211. 211

    zephyr,

    Clive Hayden above:

    “But consenting adults who practice incest can consent in a meaningful way”

    Clearly then Hayden sees consensual gay sexual relations in the same light as consensual incest, damaging and destructive and every bit as taboo. Glorious. No not really.

    Hayden despite your and andrewjg’s intellectual gymnastics on the Taliban and homosexual rights, it’s very clear what the position is of the Taliban when it comes to homosexuality. It’s also very clear who is lumping adult consensual homosexual relations in America with rabid comparisons and fears of pedophilia, bestiality, (we even have necrophilia) and incest (thanks to you Hayden) on this thread.

    I was responding to this remark, which has as its criterion consenting adults consenting in a meaningful way:

    I’ve to agree with markf. And for our society, it is not important whether some acts are regarded as immoral by some religious groups, but whether these acts are performed by consenting adults: therefore, homosexual acts and pedophile acts aren’t equivalent – a minor can’t consent in a meaningful way!

    Don’t take me out of context. My response to the above comment is spot on. Nice try though.

  212. mikev6 (#192)

    I’d like to respond to your challenge:

    However, if anyone reading this can spot a similar example of quote-mining from the AAP, I’ll change my mind.

    The example I’m going to cite from the AAP is not one of quote-mining as such, but one which instantiates three equally egregious argumentative vices: quoting from an authority with a known personal bias; quoting from a study whose methodology is known to be severely flawed; and omission of data which is inconvenient to one’s case. I’m referring to the recent National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS) by Drs. Nanette Gartrell and Henny Bos, which was published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Since the 1980s, the US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS) has been following and reporting on a cohort of planned lesbian families with children conceived through donor insemination. The study may be cited as follows:

    Gartrell, N. and Bos, H. (2010). “US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological Adjustment of 17-Year-Old Adolescents,” Pediatrics, Volume 126, Number 1, July 2010 p. 28-36. Available online at http://pediatrics.aappublicati.....l/126/1/28 .

    The NLLFS study concludes: “Adolescents who have been reared in lesbian-mother families since birth demonstrate healthy psychological adjustment” (p. 28). The study received a very favorable write-up in Time magazine (June 7, 2010, Study: Children of lesbians may do better than their peers, by Alice Park).

    A critical review of this study by Dr. Albert Dean Byrd, PhD, MPA, MPH, is now available online, in an article entitled, New Lesbian Parenting Study Makes Claims Unsupported by the Evidence . The quotations below are all taken from Byrd’s article.

    And now, here is the evidence that the NLLFS study, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, is guilty of intellectual dishonesty on three counts.

    Vice Number One – Personal Bias:

    Gartrell and Bos are on record as activists seeking public support for homosexual parenting.

    I should note in passing that Dr. Gartell is openly lesbian, and that she has been in a lesbian marriage since 2005. She is also an author and editor, most recently an editor of “Everyday Mutinies: Funding Lesbian Activism” (Harrington Park Press, 2001).

    Dr. Bos worked in the Department of Gay and Lesbian Studies at Utrecht University and with the Rutgers NISSO Group after graduating in Educational Sciences from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Her research focused on gay and lesbian health and workplace issues. For her studies on parenting in planned lesbian families, Dr. Bos was awarded a PhD from the Department of Education, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Amsterdam. While working on her PhD, Dr. Bos published on gay/lesbian issues in the workplace and co-edited the book Van Adoptie to Eiceldonatie: Op zoek naar oplossing voor onvruchtbaarheid (From Adoption to Oocyte Donation: Solutions for Infertility).

    I respectfully submit that given the authors’ personal bias, the results of the NLLFS study were a foregone conclusion.

    Vice Number Two – Flawed methodology:

    1. The problems inherent in any self-report study. The lesbian mothers’ own reports that their children were well-adjusted were accepted by the study’s authors uncritically. The authors should have clarified the limitation and usefulness of such qualitative, self-reported data in light of the fact that the lesbian parents knew that the study would be used to further their political cause; in contrast, the control group had no idea how their reports would be used. In addition, most mothers, lesbian or not, would likely report their children’s adjustment in a favorable light. Outside observers such as the child’s teachers or counselors, if consulted, could have offered a different perspective.

    2. The lesbian parents were hardly typical parents: 93% were Caucasian. Most were college-educated (67%). Most were middle/upper class (82%). Eighty-five per cent were in professional or managerial roles. The control sample, however, had significantly more minorities; many more children from the South; they were very different in race composition and socioeconomic status; and the educational level of these mothers was unclear. A statistical adjustment for these differences could have been easily addressed. Had these differences been controlled, they might have been reduced, been proven negligible, or perhaps reversed.

    3. The sample was far from random. Participants were recruited from gay and lesbian venues (i.e., lesbian pride events and lesbian newspapers in three major metropolitan areas – Boston, Washington. D.C. and San Francisco). Although the authors acknowledge the non-randomness of their subject pool and the potential problems this situation could pose, this limitation did not seem to limit their conclusions. As a result, a very strong case could be made for selection bias having invalidated the findings.

    Despite the obvious study flaws, the authors offer the following generalization: “The NLLFS adolescents are well-adjusted, demonstrating more competencies and fewer behavioral problems than their peers in the normative American population (p.34).” (Italics mine – VJT.)

    Vice Number Three – Omission of data which is inconvenient to the authors’ case:

    Notably absent was data about the sexual orientation of the adolescents or the preferences or expectations for the adolescents’ sexual orientation (some of this data was, in fact, collected for the 10-year study). Was this data collected and simply dismissed? …

    No research was cited in the Gartrell and Bos study regarding the outcomes of children conceived through sperm donation, when compared to children conceived through the natural union of a man and a woman. The authors address the issue of donor status in a very cursory fashion, almost dismissively. (Italics mine – VJT.)

    There’s more:

    Remarkably, the authors report that the relationship-dissolution rate for the lesbian couples was 48% at the 10-year mark and 56% at the 17-year mark. (The average duration of the relationship prior to dissolution was 12 years.) When compared to the relationship-dissolution rates of the biological heterosexual sisters of the lesbians, the rate of relationship breakup is nearly double for the lesbians.

    And what about research which points the other way?

    Other research, perhaps even more interesting, was released about the same time as the NLLFS study – research conducted by Marquardt, Glenn and Clark, titled, “My Daddy’s Name is ‘Donor’: A New Study of Young Adults Conceived Through Sperm Donation.” The authors’ conclusions included the following troubling negative factors: on average, young adults conceived through artificial insemination were more confused, felt more isolated from their families, were experiencing more psychic pain, and fared worse than a matched group of children who were conceived naturally in areas such as depression, delinquency and substance abuse. And the list goes on.

    I am amazed that the American Academy of Pediatrics could publish the NLLFS study as serious research. The study’s flaws are not minor; they are huge, gaping holes that you could drive a truck through. The American Academy of Pediatrics is guilty of a sin which is 1000 times worse than quote-mining; this is massive deception, on a grand scale. It deserves to be exposed.

    I’ll leave it to my readers to decide which Pediatrics institute has the most credibility after this: the conservative American College of Pediatricians, or the liberal American Academy of Pediatrics.

  213. 213

    VJ….nice job.

  214. VJ.. nice work again, I think you already delivered your point long ago. But no matter how good your argument is, it is not enough to convince the opposition. This is not a debate about one issue (homosexuality), it is ultimately a conflict of opposing world views. The atheist/humanists here are arguing from their own subjective world view and their best arguments are emotional support for homosexuality. Not to mention their contempt to any subtle hint of religion.

    What is really troublesome is that the majority of the public still buy the myth that homosexuality is perfectly natural, and this was the grounds on which it was legalized in the first place. I wonder what would the public say if they receive the knowledge that they had been deceived about homosexuality through the desensitizing tactics of Kirk & Madsen. Why wouldn’t the deceptive gay lobby groups have the courage to tell the public that there is actually no conclusive scientific evidence to show that homosexuality is natural?

  215. vjtorley@212:

    I think a reasonable first analysis. Your first point is always something to be careful of but it applies to many researchers (all Discovery Institute Fellows, for example). Lack of randomness and sample bias are my personal issues in research. But then I come from an area where there is usually too much data rather than too little.

    Hmm – so both sides are potentially bad from my point of view. Each bit of research will have to be evaluated individually.

  216. I have been away for a couple of days and apologise if I am repeating stuff that has been said elsewhere. There are over 200 hundred comments and some of them of several thousand words.

    As far as I can see there is quite a lot of debate on the success of gay couples as parents, how long gay couples stay together, and whether gay people are more promiscous on average. None of this seems relevant to the fundamental question: Is it wrong to engage in homosexual practice? If it is not wrong then surely it is absolutely appalling to deny those gay couples who are not promiscuous and do stay together and do not intend to bring up children (and there are many such couples) the dignity of recognising their relationship and making a public committment to each other. We would never dream of denying any other minority group the option of marriage because that group as a whole were more promiscuous and had less stable relationships than average.

    I then scanned for arguments that homosexual practice was wrong in itself. These appeared to fall into three types:

    * The Christian religion forbids it. Well those of us who are not Christians clearly have a problem here. And I suggest it is a very poor idea for society to base its moral norms on any one religions precepts.

    * It is self-evidently evil (e.g. StephenB #151). Many, many people do not find it self-evidently evil. So it is hardly a proof.

    * The John Finnis paper that vj first references in #66.

    This paper was clearly written from the assumption that homosexuality was wrong and uses obscure, abstract language to try and find a justification (but actually hides the fact there is no justification). In the end it rests on the premise that sexual acts that could potentially lead to children in some context (which might be nothing to do with this couple) are OK while sexual acts that could not are evil. There is no real proof of this – just some flannel about actualising and giving expression to marriage – as though homosexual couples were necessarily not expressing their relationship. By this definition kissing between heterosexual couples is evil. It also leads to the bizarre conclusion that while conventional sex is OK because of its potential for procreation, it is also OK for a heterosexual couple who don’t want children and take steps to avoid it i.e. deliberately avoid the justification.

  217. Onlookers:

    Pardon a note.

    I have been busy elsewhere but have been monitoring key threads, and notice that the issue in this thread points to the social/moral implications of evolutionary materialism and its inherent amorality; as it begins to dominate governance in our civilisation.

    For, this thread — sadly, but tellingly — is highly revealing of the underlying inescapable amorality and radical relativism of evolutionary materialism, what it implies for a society where the intellectual and governance culture are increasingly dominated by that force, and the related impact of the Alinski “Rules for Radicals” rhetorical pattern of personalising issues and polarising the public. (Aka “jamming”-out those who differ from the agenda being pushed, using the fallacious and utterly immoral trifecta rhetorical stratagem: red herring distractors, led away to strawman caricatures that are laced with personal attacks, and then setting the strawman alight with incendiary rhetoric).

    VJT is quite right: there is an agenda and case in point of censorship — yes, inappropriate suppression of opinions that cut across the wishes of the powerful — accompanied by the hijacking of “rights” language, and the slandering of the concerns expressed in the Manhattan Declaration; concerns that plainly were very carefully balanced indeed and reflect the longstanding position of theistic thought that homosexual behaviour is profoundly disordered — “against nature,” self- and socially destructive, thus immoral. (Cf petition to Mr Jobs of Apple.)

    Now, just above at 216, MF tries to focus the issue:

    the fundamental question: Is it wrong to engage in homosexual practice? If it is not wrong then surely it is absolutely appalling to deny those gay couples who are not promiscuous and do stay together and do not intend to bring up children (and there are many such couples) the dignity of recognising their relationship and making a public committment to each other. We would never dream of denying any other minority group the option of marriage because that group as a whole were more promiscuous and had less stable relationships than average.

    Now I am fully aware of MF’s habitual rhetorical tactic of ignoring what he cannot cogently address, but the basic gap in reasoning here is the one long since highlighted by Plato in his The Laws, Book X, c. 360 BC, which I have frequently highlighted at UD:

    ________________

    >> Ath. . . . [[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [[i.e the classical "material" elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art, and that as to the bodies which come next in order-earth, and sun, and moon, and stars-they have been created by means of these absolutely inanimate existences. The elements are severally moved by chance and some inherent force according to certain affinities among them-of hot with cold, or of dry with moist, or of soft with hard, and according to all the other accidental admixtures of opposites which have been formed by necessity. After this fashion and in this manner the whole heaven has been created, and all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only. [[In short, evolutionary materialism premised on chance plus necessity acting without intelligent guidance on primordial matter is hardly a new or a primarily "scientific" view!] . . . .

    [[Thus, they hold that t]he Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them; and that the honourable is one thing by nature and another thing by law, and that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.- [[Radical relativism, too, is not new.] These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might [Nietzsche's will to power and power based nihilistic amorality are not new, and are rooted in the imposition of evolutionary materialism], and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [if justice and morality are just a matter of power games, then to the victors belong the spoils], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is, to live in real dominion over others, and not in legal subjection to them. >>
    ________________

    Notice, how Plato draws out that the onward tactic of those caught up in amorality is to reduce right and wrong to a political power contest, and then to proceed on a path that destabilises society as a whole.

    Which of course is the precise point of the Kantian Categorical imperative: behaviour that is socially destructive if generalised is inherently immoral.

    So, once the amoral ethical implications of evolutionary materialism and its associated radical relativism and will-to power nihilistic ethics are worked out and spread across a culture [which then begins to forget its traditional restrains on potentially destructive behaviour, e.g. marriage and committed family life backed up by a community that cherishes and protects family and children through law, education and custom], such stand revealed as utterly immoral.

    The case of the homosexualist lobby’s decades-long (and increasingly “successful”) campaign to destabilise marriage and family, not to mention core personal identity — even our names reflect our sexual identity — is simply a particular case in the wider point. So is the related campaign to “pornographise” sexual relationships, also twisting courtship into the notorious seduction-score, notches on the belt game. (e.g. Ever wondered why there is so much “free” [pseudo-]“amateur” porn on the Internet, and why it so consistently seeks to glamourise and desensitise us to the most bizarre, abusive and destructive sexual misconduct? Why search engine providers like Google, who have given into Chinese censorship, play the “free speech rights” game in defense of such porn — apparently including ? And more?)

    In short, we are living in a civilisation that is in moral spin-out driven by a rising tidal wave of amorality, and is rapidly sliding towards the cliff of the collapse of family stability. (And on that, I cannot but decry the rising or horrendous rates of illegitimacy [starting with my home region] and the similarly rising or appalling rates of divorce . . . that too, is a dangerous weapon against our future.)

    We need to think again.

    GEM of TKI

  218. PS: It is worth the while to put up aspects of he declaration here, e.g. the title and preamble, which make it utterly plain that what is now at stake is freedom of conscience and of virtue; without which no society can survive:

    ______________

    >>MANHATTAN DECLARATION: A CALL OF CHRISTIAN CONSCIENCE

    Drafted October 20, 2009 & Released November 20, 2009

    PREAMBLE

    Christians are heirs of a 2,000-year tradition of proclaiming God’s word, seeking justice in our societies, resisting tyranny, and reaching out with compassion to the poor, oppressed and suffering.

    While fully acknowledging the imperfections and shortcomings of Christian institutions and communities in all ages, we claim the heritage of those Christians who defended innocent life by rescuing discarded babies from trash heaps in Roman cities and publicly denouncing the Empire’s sanctioning of infanticide. We remember with reverence those believers who sacrificed their lives by remaining in Roman cities to tend the sick and dying during the plagues, and who died bravely in the coliseums rather than deny their Lord.

    After the barbarian tribes overran Europe, Christian monasteries preserved not only the Bible but also the literature and art of Western culture. It was Christians who combated the evil of slavery: Papal edicts in the 16th and 17th centuries decried the practice of slavery and first excommunicated anyone involved in the slave trade; evangelical Christians in England, led by John Wesley and William Wilberforce, put an end to the slave trade in that country. Christians under Wilberforce’s leadership also formed hundreds of societies for helping the poor, the imprisoned, and child laborers chained to machines.

    In Europe, Christians challenged the divine claims of kings and successfully fought to establish the rule of law and balance of governmental powers, which made modern democracy possible. And in America, Christian women stood at the vanguard of the suffrage movement. The great civil rights crusades of the 1950s and 60s were led by Christians claiming the Scriptures and asserting the glory of the image of God in every human being regardless of race, religion, age or class.

    This same devotion to human dignity has led Christians in the last decade to work to end the dehumanizing scourge of human trafficking and sexual slavery, bring compassionate care to AIDS sufferers in Africa, and assist in a myriad of other human rights causes – from providing clean water in developing nations to providing homes for tens of thousands of children orphaned by war, disease and gender discrimination.

    Like those who have gone before us in the faith, Christians today are called to proclaim the Gospel of costly grace, to protect the intrinsic dignity of the human person and to stand for the common good. In being true to its own calling, the call to discipleship, the church through service to others can make a profound contribution to the public good.>>
    _____________

    Next, some of the substance . . .

  219. Opening salvo — this is a strong echo of the 1934 Barmen Declaration in the teeth of the rise of Fascist political messianism:

    ______________

    >>DECLARATION
    We, as Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians, have gathered, beginning in New York on September 28, 2009, to make the following declaration, which we sign as individuals, not on behalf of our organizations, but speaking to and from our communities. We act together in obedience to the one true God, the triune God of holiness and love, who has laid total claim on our lives and by that claim calls us with believers in all ages and all nations to seek and defend the good of all who bear his image. We set forth this declaration in light of the truth that is grounded in Holy Scripture, in natural human reason (which is itself, in our view, the gift of a beneficent God), and in the very nature of the human person. We call upon all people of goodwill, believers and non-believers alike, to consider carefully and reflect critically on the issues we here address as we, with St. Paul, commend this appeal to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.

    While the whole scope of Christian moral concern, including a special concern for the poor and vulnerable, claims our attention, we are especially troubled that in our nation today the lives of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly are severely threatened; that the institution of marriage, already buffeted by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is in jeopardy of being redefined to accommodate fashionable ideologies; that freedom of religion and the rights of conscience are gravely jeopardized by those who would use the instruments of coercion to compel persons of faith to compromise their deepest convictions.

    Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good, we are compelled by our Christian faith to speak and act in their defense. In this declaration we affirm: 1) the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every human being as a creature fashioned in the very image of God, possessing inherent rights of equal dignity and life; 2) marriage as a conjugal union of man and woman, ordained by God from the creation, and historically understood by believers and non-believers alike, to be the most basic institution in society and; 3) religious liberty, which is grounded in the character of God, the example of Christ, and the inherent freedom and dignity of human beings created in the divine image.

    We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our right—and, more importantly, to embrace our obligation—to speak and act in defense of these truths. We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence. It is our duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season. May God help us not to fail in that duty. >>
    ______________

    Ironic, isn’t it that a declaration that focuses on freedom of conscience and expression should be met by . . . CENSORSHIP based on slander by activists for a fashionable agenda?

  220. Regarding marriage:

    ___________________

    >>MARRIAGE

    The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:23-24

    This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:32-33

    In Scripture, the creation of man and woman, and their one-flesh union as husband and wife, is the crowning achievement of God’s creation. In the transmission of life and the nurturing of children, men and women joined as spouses are given the great honor of being partners with God Himself. Marriage then, is the first institution of human society—indeed it is the institution on which all other human institutions have their foundation. In the Christian tradition we refer to marriage as “holy matrimony” to signal the fact that it is an institution ordained by God, and blessed by Christ in his participation at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. In the Bible, God Himself blesses and holds marriage in the highest esteem.

    Vast human experience confirms that marriage is the original and most important institution for sustaining the health, education, and welfare of all persons in a society. Where marriage is honored, and where there is a flourishing marriage culture, everyone benefits—the spouses themselves, their children, the communities and societies in which they live. Where the marriage culture begins to erode, social pathologies of every sort quickly manifest themselves. Unfortunately, we have witnessed over the course of the past several decades a serious erosion of the marriage culture in our own country. Perhaps the most telling—and alarming—indicator is the out-of-wedlock birth rate. Less than fifty years ago, it was under 5 percent. Today it is over 40 percent. Our society—and particularly its poorest and most vulnerable sectors, where the out- of-wedlock birth rate is much higher even than the national average—is paying a huge price in delinquency, drug abuse, crime, incarceration, hopelessness, and despair. Other indicators are widespread non-marital sexual cohabitation and a devastatingly high rate of divorce.

    We confess with sadness that Christians and our institutions have too often scandalously failed to uphold the institution of marriage and to model for the world the true meaning of marriage. Insofar as we have too easily embraced the culture of divorce and remained silent about social practices that undermine the dignity of marriage we repent, and call upon all Christians to do the same.

    To strengthen families, we must stop glamorizing promiscuity and infidelity and restore among our people a sense of the profound beauty, mystery, and holiness of faithful marital love. We must reform ill-advised policies that contribute to the weakening of the institution of marriage, including the discredited idea of unilateral divorce. We must work in the legal, cultural, and religious domains to instill in young people a sound understanding of what marriage is, what it requires, and why it is worth the commitment and sacrifices that faithful spouses make.

    The impulse to redefine marriage in order to recognize same-sex and multiple partner relationships is a symptom, rather than the cause, of the erosion of the marriage culture. It reflects a loss of understanding of the meaning of marriage as embodied in our civil and religious law and in the philosophical tradition that contributed to shaping the law. Yet it is critical that the impulse be resisted, for yielding to it would mean abandoning the possibility of restoring a sound understanding of marriage and, with it, the hope of rebuilding a healthy marriage culture. It would lock into place the false and destructive belief that marriage is all about romance and other adult satisfactions, and not, in any intrinsic way, about procreation and the unique character and value of acts and relationships whose meaning is shaped by their aptness for the generation, promotion and protection of life. In spousal communion and the rearing of children (who, as gifts of God, are the fruit of their parents’ marital love), we discover the profound reasons for and benefits of the marriage covenant.

    We acknowledge that there are those who are disposed towards homosexual and polyamorous conduct and relationships, just as there are those who are disposed towards other forms of immoral conduct. We have compassion for those so disposed; we respect them as human beings possessing profound, inherent, and equal dignity; and we pay tribute to the men and women who strive, often with little assistance, to resist the temptation to yield to desires that they, no less than we, regard as wayward. We stand with them, even when they falter. We, no less than they, are sinners who have fallen short of God’s intention for our lives. We, no less than they, are in constant need of God’s patience, love and forgiveness. We call on the entire Christian community to resist sexual immorality, and at the same time refrain from disdainful condemnation of those who yield to it. Our rejection of sin, though resolute, must never become the rejection of sinners. For every sinner, regardless of the sin, is loved by God, who seeks not our destruction but rather the conversion of our hearts. Jesus calls all who wander from the path of virtue to “a more excellent way.” As his disciples we will reach out in love to assist all who hear the call and wish to answer it.

    We further acknowledge that there are sincere people who disagree with us, and with the teaching of the Bible and Christian tradition, on questions of sexual morality and the nature of marriage. Some who enter into same-sex and polyamorous relationships no doubt regard their unions as truly marital. They fail to understand, however, that marriage is made possible by the sexual complementarity of man and woman, and that the comprehensive, multi-level sharing of life that marriage is includes bodily unity of the sort that unites husband and wife biologically as a reproductive unit. This is because the body is no mere extrinsic instrument of the human person, but truly part of the personal reality of the human being. Human beings are not merely centers of consciousness or emotion, or minds, or spirits, inhabiting non-personal bodies. The human person is a dynamic unity of body, mind, and spirit. Marriage is what one man and one woman establish when, forsaking all others and pledging lifelong commitment, they found a sharing of life at every level of being—the biological, the emotional, the dispositional, the rational, the spiritual— on a commitment that is sealed, completed and actualized by loving sexual intercourse in which the spouses become one flesh, not in some merely metaphorical sense, but by fulfilling together the behavioral conditions of procreation. That is why in the Christian tradition, and historically in Western law, consummated marriages are not dissoluble or annullable on the ground of infertility, even though the nature of the marital relationship is shaped and structured by its intrinsic orientation to the great good of procreation.

    We understand that many of our fellow citizens, including some Christians, believe that the historic definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is a denial of equality or civil rights. They wonder what to say in reply to the argument that asserts that no harm would be done to them or to anyone if the law of the community were to confer upon two men or two women who are living together in a sexual partnership the status of being “married.” It would not, after all, affect their own marriages, would it? On inspection, however, the argument that laws governing one kind of marriage will not affect another cannot stand. Were it to prove anything, it would prove far too much: the assumption that the legal status of one set of marriage relationships affects no other would not only argue for same sex partnerships; it could be asserted with equal validity for polyamorous partnerships, polygamous households, even adult brothers, sisters, or brothers and sisters living in incestuous relationships. Should these, as a matter of equality or civil rights, be recognized as lawful marriages, and would they have no effects on other relationships? No. The truth is that marriage is not something abstract or neutral that the law may legitimately define and re-define to please those who are powerful and influential.

    No one has a civil right to have a non-marital relationship treated as a marriage. Marriage is an objective reality—a covenantal union of husband and wife—that it is the duty of the law to recognize and support for the sake of justice and the common good. If it fails to do so, genuine social harms follow. First, the religious liberty of those for whom this is a matter of conscience is jeopardized. Second, the rights of parents are abused as family life and sex education programs in schools are used to teach children that an enlightened understanding recognizes as “marriages” sexual partnerships that many parents believe are intrinsically non-marital and immoral. Third, the common good of civil society is damaged when the law itself, in its critical pedagogical function, becomes a tool for eroding a sound understanding of marriage on which the flourishing of the marriage culture in any society vitally depends. Sadly, we are today far from having a thriving marriage culture. But if we are to begin the critically important process of reforming our laws and mores to rebuild such a culture, the last thing we can afford to do is to re-define marriage in such a way as to embody in our laws a false proclamation about what marriage is.

    And so it is out of love (not “animus”) and prudent concern for the common good (not “prejudice”), that we pledge to labor ceaselessly to preserve the legal definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman and to rebuild the marriage culture. How could we, as Christians, do otherwise? The Bible teaches us that marriage is a central part of God’s creation covenant. Indeed, the union of husband and wife mirrors the bond between Christ and his church. And so just as Christ was willing, out of love, to give Himself up for the church in a complete sacrifice, we are willing, lovingly, to make whatever sacrifices are required of us for the sake of the inestimable treasure that is marriage. >>

    _____________________

    This is well-thought-through, and very carefully balanced indeed. those who object say more about themselves than about this declaration . . .

    Now on the freedom of conscience issue . . .

  221. On liberty of conscience under God:

    ______________

    >> RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
    The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. Isaiah 61:1

    Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s. Matthew 22:21

    The struggle for religious liberty across the centuries has been long and arduous, but it is not a novel idea or recent development. The nature of religious liberty is grounded in the character of God Himself, the God who is most fully known in the life and work of Jesus Christ. Determined to follow Jesus faithfully in life and death, the early Christians appealed to the manner in which the Incarnation had taken place: “Did God send Christ, as some suppose, as a tyrant brandishing fear and terror? Not so, but in gentleness and meekness…, for compulsion is no attribute of God” (Epistle to Diognetus 7.3-4). Thus the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the example of Christ Himself and in the very dignity of the human person created in the image of God—a dignity, as our founders proclaimed, inherent in every human, and knowable by all in the exercise of right reason.

    Christians confess that God alone is Lord of the conscience. Immunity from religious coercion is the cornerstone of an unconstrained conscience. No one should be compelled to embrace any religion against his will, nor should persons of faith be forbidden to worship God according to the dictates of conscience or to express freely and publicly their deeply held religious convictions. What is true for individuals applies to religious communities as well.

    It is ironic that those who today assert a right to kill the unborn, aged and disabled and also a right to engage in immoral sexual practices, and even a right to have relationships integrated around these practices be recognized and blessed by law—such persons claiming these “rights” are very often in the vanguard of those who would trample upon the freedom of others to express their religious and moral commitments to the sanctity of life and to the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife.

    We see this, for example, in the effort to weaken or eliminate conscience clauses, and therefore to compel pro-life institutions (including religiously affiliated hospitals and clinics), and pro-life physicians, surgeons, nurses, and other health care professionals, to refer for abortions and, in certain cases, even to perform or participate in abortions. We see it in the use of anti- discrimination statutes to force religious institutions, businesses, and service providers of various sorts to comply with activities they judge to be deeply immoral or go out of business. After the judicial imposition of “same-sex marriage” in Massachusetts, for example, Catholic Charities chose with great reluctance to end its century-long work of helping to place orphaned children in good homes rather than comply with a legal mandate that it place children in same-sex households in violation of Catholic moral teaching. In New Jersey, after the establishment of a quasi-marital “civil unions” scheme, a Methodist institution was stripped of its tax exempt status when it declined, as a matter of religious conscience, to permit a facility it owned and operated to be used for ceremonies blessing homosexual unions. In Canada and some European nations, Christian clergy have been prosecuted for preaching Biblical norms against the practice of homosexuality. New hate-crime laws in America raise the specter of the same practice here.

    In recent decades a growing body of case law has paralleled the decline in respect for religious values in the media, the academy and political leadership, resulting in restrictions on the free exercise of religion. We view this as an ominous development, not only because of its threat to the individual liberty guaranteed to every person, regardless of his or her faith, but because the trend also threatens the common welfare and the culture of freedom on which our system of republican government is founded. Restrictions on the freedom of conscience or the ability to hire people of one’s own faith or conscientious moral convictions for religious institutions, for example, undermines the viability of the intermediate structures of society, the essential buffer against the overweening authority of the state, resulting in the soft despotism Tocqueville so prophetically warned of.1 Disintegration of civil society is a prelude to tyranny.

    As Christians, we take seriously the Biblical admonition to respect and obey those in authority. We believe in law and in the rule of law. We recognize the duty to comply with laws whether we happen to like them or not, unless the laws are gravely unjust or require those subject to them to do something unjust or otherwise immoral. The biblical purpose of law is to preserve order and serve justice and the common good; yet laws that are unjust—and especially laws that purport to compel citizens to do what is unjust—undermine the common good, rather than serve it.

    Going back to the earliest days of the church, Christians have refused to compromise their proclamation of the gospel. In Acts 4, Peter and John were ordered to stop preaching. Their answer was, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Through the centuries, Christianity has taught that civil disobedience is not only permitted, but sometimes required. There is no more eloquent defense of the rights and duties of religious conscience than the one offered by Martin Luther King, Jr., in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Writing from an explicitly Christian perspective, and citing Christian writers such as Augustine and Aquinas, King taught that just laws elevate and ennoble human beings because they are rooted in the moral law whose ultimate source is God Himself. Unjust laws degrade human beings. Inasmuch as they can claim no authority beyond sheer human will, they lack any power to bind in conscience. King’s willingness to go to jail, rather than comply with legal injustice, was exemplary and inspiring.

    Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family. We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.

    Is this a declaration with which you agree, and that you would like to support with your signature? If so, please click the button below. By doing so, you’ll be joining the hundreds of thousands of others who believe as you do about taking a stand for their faith. >>
    ______________

    So, now, let the objectors answer on the merits, not he red herrings, the strawman caricatures and the ad hominem attacks.

    __________

    F/N: for those who would deride and dismiss the Christian faith as ill-founded and dismissible on its core claim, the gospel, I suggest a look here, here and here as a start.

  222. how long gay couples stay together, and whether gay people are more promiscous on average.

    This is merely showing that even according to the “It’s okay to do whatever you can get away with doing without causing harm.” standard it’s still wrong. In other words, it shouldn’t be promoted by the State as something desirable on a par with heterosexuality. You’re shifting to a different standard here:

    None of this seems relevant to the fundamental question: Is it wrong to engage in homosexual practice?

    It is wrong to deny the innate complementarity of the sexes. The interesting thing about the LGBT community, such as it is, is that it includes the notion that the natural categories of male and female can be transcended. So homosexuality supposedly cannot be chosen, yet the very thing that defines male and female (and therefore homosexuality) supposedly can be chosen. The only thing that seems to unify the “minority,” such as it is, is a willful denial of and rebellion against the innate complementarity of the sexes.

  223. Markf– I then scanned for arguments that homosexual practice was wrong in itself. These appeared to fall into three types:

    How about the one where you are supposed to love your neighbor which means trying to discourage them — much less actively giving license to — objectively destructive behavior?

  224. #222 I am afraid I have no idea what the “innate complementarity of the sexes” means. To me it is just another example of obscuring the real reasons with obscure abstract language.

    #223
    I cannot see how this is an argument for homosexuality being wrong. It is at most an argument for trying to dissuade people from homosexual practice (given it is destructive). You could say as much for smoking or over-eating. It doesn’t mean either is evil.

  225. tribune7, by “objectively destructive”, what are you referring to? Spiritual jeopardy (provided that it’s a sin)?

  226. To me it is just another example of obscuring the real reasons with obscure abstract language.

    I suspect that by real reasons you mean the feelings of revulsion that many people feel toward homosexuality, religious reasons or whatever else. But the evidence is clear that the real reasons cross culture and subjective feelings as a result of basic biosocial realities. There are people who do not have feelings of revulsion at homosexuality or who have such sexual themselves who admit to reality anyway. And there are people from all different sorts of religions who similarly admit to reality. And so on.

    It’s not a matter of obscure, abstract language in the least. That’s way everyone understands it no matter what their sexual desires happen to be. The sexes are complementary in many ways, beginning with the fact that all of our lives have their origins in the undeniable fact of their complementarity.

    On the other hand, things are often equally as obvious:

    What does it mean, I asked him, when a man puts the part of himself which represents the generation of life into the cavity of decay and expulsion?Seeing the answer all too well, he refused to reply. Permit me to spell it out. It means ‘Life, be swallowed up by death.’
    –J. Budziszewski, The Revenge of Conscience

  227. and we’re on again…

    tribune7@223:

    There is nothing wrong with warning people about potential dangers of actions. However, many of the comments go far beyond handing out flyers and a few PSA’s.

    The question is whether these dangers, the supposed evils of homosexuality, and the perceived danger to society as a whole justify violating the civil rights of people who engage in certain sexual acts.

    I have difficulty with this. I wouldn’t want the State forcing me into a treatment program or curtailing my rights because of something my wife and I do in our own bedroom, so I don’t advocate that for anyone else.

    And the decision that sexual act A is immoral and sexual act B is fine is totally arbitrary. Christians can refer to the Bible for guidance on anal sex (although it doesn’t seem 100% clear), but most of human creativity in this area is not mentioned in the Bible or any other religious text, so you’re reflecting personal taste, not immorality.

    Now, as I’ve said before, there’s nothing to stop anyone from saying homosexuality is immoral, and I support that right even if I disagree with it. However, if you proceed further and actually take actions that interfere with the rights of others, that’s where I differ.

  228. Onlookers:

    The above underscores why we need to hear the point being made in the Manhattan Declaration, and hear it objectively.

    That male and female are innately complementary is self-evident, starting with the basic biology of human reproduction and the social-psychology of child nurture. Indeed, here is Am H Dict:

    com·ple·men·tar·i·ty (kmpl-mn-tr-t)
    n.
    The state or quality of being complementary: “This is where the complementarity of the masculine and the feminine so acutely emerges. They are the necessary poles of a dialectic process” (Therese Namenek).

    Notice the typical example given — I did not add it, just check!

    Next, as a trained philosopher, MF knows full well that one (but not he only) key test for the moral worth of a belief, proposal or behaviour is the consequences it has when — empirically or as a thought experiment — spread across the community. For instance, if lying were the rule rather than the exception, communication, trust and community would utterly break down. The same would hold for stealing etc. That is, immoral acts can often be identified by how they parasite off the fact that they are not the general pattern of behaviour.

    As a logically equivalent form, they can be identified from whether they show the due respect to persons, or use them for selfish ends. (This last illustrates a connexion to the classic golden rule; whether or not there is a willingness to acknowledge that.)

    Above, enough was shown to highlight that amorality is immoral and socially destructive, and yes this means that evolutionary materialism is immoral.

    Similarly, the excerpts of the Manhattan Declaration were more than enough to identify the moral problems of homosexual conduct and its proposed legal establishment.

    Refusal to acknowledge unwelcome — but objectively warranted — facts and truth does not constitute good reason to dismiss them.

    And, I can assure you, that when you are going to try to lock people out of doing charitable works, and drive them out of business on profound matters of conscience, or in effect censor churches where people go to deal with the most profound reality of all, God; you are becoming a tyrant or a supporter of tyranny.

    (And, kindly note: we make a sharp distinction here between homosexualist ideologues pushing a questionable agenda and oredinary people who have or may struggle with same-sex attractions and associated habituating behaviours, for whatever reasons. Nor will it help us to address this issue to try the turnabout accusation of “you’re a hypocrite” tactics. [Observe how the declarants are very careful to confess the sins of the church as institution and the need for repentance at institutional and popular levels.] Indeed, we should particularly note that they — correctly — view that the bigger problem is the sexual anarchy that increasingly dominates our civilisation and is reflected in things like divorce and illegitimacy rates; noting that one key problem with homosexualism is that if its legal agenda triumphs, it will lock out the path back to sexual and family sanity. If we do not address the range of issues, we are going to pay a terrible price, as a global community.)

    So, it is high time that we all took a sober look at what is happening with our common civilisation and its foundational institution, the family.

    GEM of TKI

  229. PS: One cannot have a right to a wrong. You can have the right to be free to make a decision to act one way or another, but no-one owes you the duty to support you in the wrong, and when that wrong has potential to do severe damage to people and communities, there is a compelling community interest to regulate through law or custom or both. Sexual anarchy is precisely a classic such area, and it is why we have law on rape, incest, child exploitation, adultery, and on the institution of marriage and family. Willy-nilly asserting or manufacturing claimed “rights” under colour of law, does not change the underlying realities, but it may institutionalise destructive conduct and make it doubly hard to correct such.

  230. Kairosfocus:

    That is, immoral acts can often be identified by how they parasite off the fact that they are not the general pattern of behaviour.

    Hard to support this one. The general feeling is that the immoral is above mere percentages. Most of the population has sex before marriage – does that make it suddenly moral? Does an act go from immoral to moral when you hit 50%? The whole tenor of this thread is that “society is in moral decay and gays are contributing to it” – if most of the population is displaying “moral decay” then surely that makes it moral under this guide.

    So, it is high time that we all took a sober look at what is happening with our common civilisation and its foundational institution, the family.

    And then do what, exactly?

  231. The question is whether these dangers, the supposed evils of homosexuality, and the perceived danger to society as a whole justify violating the civil rights of people who engage in certain sexual acts.

    No one’s civil rights are being violated by those who support civilization based on reason and natural law. Indeed, the history of America shows that a philosophy of natural law leads toward progress in respecting civil rights, not their violation.

    But as far as the notion of violating rights based on sexual desires goes, are the rights of bisexuals violated only when they feel like being homosexual? I’m curious as to the thought processes of someone who actually believes that there is an immutable minority called homosexuals who have a different set of rights than everyone else as a result of their sexual desires. If men who want to have sex with more than one woman defined as “promiscuous people” would that be another minority whose civil rights were being violated by current marriage law? After all, they’d be born that way and so on.

    The truth is that if same sex marriage is prescribed it will apply to all people equally. It will not apply to subjective classifications that ignorant people treat as an objective reality equivalent to the empirical reality of being male or female. Ironically the same people who want to treat subjective and situational sexual desires or a self-definition like “gay” as an objective biological reality also tend to want to act as if biology is a subjective choice. It isn’t.

  232. Markf,

    The first principle of morality is that we should do good and avoid what is evil. A second principle is that we are rational beings and ought to act rationally. In other words, it is good to be rational and evil to be irrational.

    As I explained above, #119, sodomy is irrational and therefore immoral. There is no rational justification for such an act. People often act on impulses, feelings, and desires in an irrational manner. When they do, what they do is immoral. If you reject this, then you are rejecting morality itself. If you continue to use the word ‘morality’ anyway, then it is clear that you would rather play word games rather than get at the truth of the matter.

  233. …the decision that sexual act A is immoral and sexual act B is fine is totally arbitrary.

    As I recall the only basis for a sexual ethic that you’ve admitted to is consent. Isn’t that arbitrary as well?

    Christians can refer to the Bible for guidance on anal sex (although it doesn’t seem 100% clear), but most of human creativity in this area is not mentioned in the Bible or any other religious text…

    That is merely an inversion of legalism. Respecting basic natural categories is written all over the spirit of the law.

    …so you’re reflecting personal taste, not immorality.

    Isn’t your morality summed up by consent and nothing else? That’s all that I can gather from what you’ve said. In other words, “Do what thou will.” as the Wiccans say. If there is something more to your sexual ethic than that then feel free to explain.

  234. Pol Pot thought it was wrong and unnatural for people to go to universities and live in cities. Clearly this causes the breakdown of the bonds of camaraderie that exist amongst a community living in the forest, and also destroys the innate agrarian nature of human beings.

    Hitler thought Jews were unnatural and sub-human. His solution was to try and exterminate them. But a more humane way would be to make them have “treatment” so they stopped choosing to believe in Judaism.

    A hundred years ago most people thought it was unnatural for black people to have human rights. Just look at them, clearly they are different, and in the eyes of many whites, they clearly aroused revulsion. It’s just natural that the races should live separately, and that black people perform the mundane tasks in society.

    None of these viewpoints are any different to mynymn’s and other’s belief that homosexuality is wrong and unnatural. It’s a completely self-centered and personal values based judgment no matter how you try and dress it up.

  235. And then do what [about the decline of civilization], exactly?

    To begin with one could support something like the Manhattan declaration against the censorship, propaganda and proto-Nazi tendencies typical to those who attack civilization. People could do things like that regardless of whatever sexual desires they happen to have or not have at any given time. After all, we’re all just people and losing sight of that fact based on the sort of classification mania typical to psychologists would be utterly absurd. They invented the homophile and then let “them” out of the asylum.

    “Psychology is as useless as directions for using poison.” –Karl Kraus

  236. “…when a man puts the part of himself which represents the generation of life into the cavity of decay and expulsion”

    hmmm, except that that part of himself that represents the generation of life is also a rod of decay and explusion – given that in human males, it is the lower part of the urinary tract.

  237. mynym at 234:

    so, Apple – a private company – deciding to not offer a Manhattan Declaration app. in their commercial product line-up is censorship and a “proto-Nazi attack on civilization?”

    I don’t know – I call it free speech in a free market.

  238. Markf — I cannot see how this is an argument for homosexuality being wrong. It is at most an argument for trying to dissuade people from homosexual practice (given it is destructive). You could say as much for smoking or over-eating. It doesn’t mean either is evil.

    Mark, saying something is wrong is not the same as saying something is evil. What is evil, however, is being unwilling to say that something that is wrong is wrong.

    For instance, if we should teach in our schools that those who warn of the dangers of cigarette smoking are narrow-minded intolerant bigots, well that would be evil.

  239. So, it is high time that we all took a sober look at what is happening with our common civilisation and its foundational institution, the family.

    Which makes a good argument for looking critically at the Manhattan Declaration. Our common civilization is more than either yours or mine. Who decides when human life begins or ends? On what grounds? With what stipulations and exceptions? While the MD presents a legitimate view held by many, it is not the only legitimate view and, I would argue, it doesn’t provide the most helpful perspective on the issues it addresses.

    Same with “the family.” Who decides what makes a normal or legitimate family? Who decides what relationship gets the word “marriage” attached to it? Does the pope? A rabbi? A medieval philosopher? A politician? The “people”?

    The underlying theme of this entire discussion is the declining authority and political power of religious institutions in America. The MD is speaking to a frightened social and political base, assuring them through omission that problem couldn’t be with corporate greed, rampant capitalism, and outdated political and economic models.

    No, they say, the problem is “us.”

  240. Mikv6 — There is nothing wrong with warning people about potential dangers of actions. However, many of the comments go far beyond handing out flyers and a few PSA’s. The question is whether these dangers, the supposed evils of homosexuality, and the perceived danger to society as a whole justify violating the civil rights of people who engage in certain sexual acts.

    Mike, I have not read every post. If we are talking about a “right” to marriage, it doesn’t exist. You may not marry your sister. You man not marry a child. Saying you have a right to marry is like saying you have a right to drive. You don’t. You even need to apply for a marriage license generally.

    There is also the realty that gay marriage will give social sanction to this particular sex act which is very, very bad. This will obviously make laughable any public health warnings.

    Then there is the matter of “love.”

    Ironically, this debate is not about church marriage. If for instance, two persons of the same sex wanted to pay some person to utter a blessing over their union, I don’t think any poster has advocated it be illegal.

    The issue, of course, is civil marriage and that is an institution that is predicated on the expectation of the absence of holy love in sexual unions. Doubt me and I’ll just point to the divorce courts, which are too crowded as is.

    There are financial benefits to marriage but these are based on the idea that a spouse stays home arguably doing the hardest and most important work while a spouse goes outside to acquire the material resources.

    Most people don’t think such a thing is unfair. OTOH, if two persons should both work without an expectation that children are soon going to be in the picture such an arrangement starts seeming a lot less fair. Such a thing will always be the case in matters involving two men, and, yes, I don’t think homosexual men should be allowed to adopt except in the rarest of circumstances.

    For me, not allowing homosexual men to marry is not about being mean or violating civil rights but simple common sense.

  241. Berceuse tribune7, by “objectively destructive”, what are you referring to? Spiritual jeopardy (provided that it’s a sin)?.

    No. I was referring to physical matters. If we can’t agree on the physical reality bringing the spiritual into it is an exercise in futility.

  242. kairosfocus:

    …and when that wrong has potential to do severe damage to people and communities, there is a compelling community interest to regulate through law or custom or both.

    OK, so you feel that the danger of homosexuality is enough to overturn basic rights and freedoms for individuals. What do you think would be an appropriate restriction? Criminal charges for sodomy? House arrest? National Gay registry?

    What about me? You’ve equated homosexuality to rape. If I was to assist one person to rape another, I would be charged with a crime. If I support equal rights for homosexuals, am I not also guilty of assisting this “severe damage to people and communities”? Will you also support limiting my rights and freedoms as well? What do I get – a fine? Jail time?

  243. Tribune7

    “Mark, saying something is wrong is not the same as saying something is evil. What is evil, however, is being unwilling to say that something that is wrong is wrong.”

    In comment #94 you said the act of homosexuality was evil. Have you changed your mind?

  244. mynym@233:

    As I recall the only basis for a sexual ethic that you’ve admitted to is consent. Isn’t that arbitrary as well?

    Sure it is. But it’s not completely arbitrary. We would all agree that a 5 year old can’t consent to sex. A person two weeks shy of 18 – a bit murkier. There are of course individuals older than 18 who can’t reasonably consent either. But there has to be a dividing line somewhere.

    On the other hand, how do you determine which sexual activity is moral or not? You keep mentioning “natural law”, but I see no way of going from that (whatever “natural law” means in this case) to a specific activity. If I take a list of 200 different sex acts, show me how I decide which ones are “moral” and which ones aren’t.

  245. ME6:

    First, please note that I have spoken to ONE way we can spot immoral behaviours, proposals and attitudes.

    (There are many other ways to validly recognise and warrant moral principles, starting with being on the receiving end of abusive conduct. Moral principles of fairness etc, typically serve to protect the weak from the depredations of the strong and immoral, i.e. just the opposite of “might makes right.” Similarly, one can reflect on the evident purpose of something, and the good end it fulfills; that which frustrates such is evil, i.e. the privation of good — cf. the power of choice that empowers us to love and shows how we are under moral government, but which can be perverted into hate, selfishness or callous indifference. Yet another, is to simply be in good communion with God, and to learn from him, through the voice of an unsullied and well-instructed conscience; a way that is simply not open to those whose consciences have become benumbed by the habits and teachings of vice and error. Hence, the importance of the cultivation of virtue. And so on . . .)

    Second to this, in fact, widespread sexual immorality is precisely responsible for much of the chaos we are seeing. It is now inviting the destruction of marriage as an institution, and of the families built on stable marriages.

    If you don’t know what that implies for a community, think street gang culture writ large; coalescing around substituting the peer group on the street for the missing family — and without any serious police force to protect the weak. There are several all too real world examples of where that points, and it ain’t pretty.

    That is, we see here precisely the destructive implications of the behaviour as it spreads across the community that the CI highlights as a test of immorality. (This is opposite to the radical relativism of the dictatorship of 51%. So far are we gone as a civilisation that this is hard to see, through the underlying pernicious effects of the amorality of evolutionary materialism.)

    The declarants in fact highlighted the destructive trend, and have called for repentance and reformation, starting with the churches. And that is what we need to do — but I am fully prepared to bet that our civilisation as a whole (as opposed to remnants and communities of refuge) will not do this. That is, my diagnosis is that he disease is now mortal.

    My long-term bet is: China wins, should the good Lord tarry that long. And, “that long” is 30 – 50 years.

    Meanwhile, we are in for a wild, bloody ride with internal problems and the rising violent Islamist challenge [NOT to be equated to all or even most Muslims, but 100 mn+ is a lot more than the total number of real Nazis and Communists in the last, late and unlamented Century . . .] which in significant part is responding to the signs of decadence and decay.

    A China, BTW, which is rapidly moving towards the critical 20 – 30% Christian population that causes a civilisational tipping point.

    Prester John II.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Mynym, well put.Lamont, you also have a serious point, especially when rationality is understood as recognising the value of personhood and — in this context — the complementary design of our bodies. if sodomy were to become the universal form of sexual behaviour, the race would perish.

  246. 246

    #236

    The nice thing about places like Uncommon Descent in a web-enabled world, is that a vastly larger number of people are becoming exposed to just how deeply people (intelligent ones) are willing to argue in favor of ignorance.

    When forced out on a rhetorical limb by the failures of one’s argument, one then asks “who decides what makes a legitimate family?”

    What an insufferably stupid question to ask (made even more stupid by the strategically-placed adjective “legitimate”). One can only wonder if they have ever taken off their cloths in the presence of a person of the opposite sex, or perhaps caught an re-run episode of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.

    But then again, what could be expected of someone whose came here to enlighten onlookers with circularity. As a person who thinks that words matter, he informs that the ultimate reality is that there are no ultimate realities.

    What else could be said?

  247. Re: 238

    Well you’ll have to expand on what you mean if you want me to agree. Saying it’s destructive does not make it so.

  248. #232 Lamont

    I left your argument off my little list because it seemed so patently absurd I thought I must have misunderstood it. Here are three key sentences from your earlier comment and my responses.

    1) “Any time a person who has the capacity to act rationally chooses to act irrationally, the act is immoral.”

    Really. So, e.g. if someone who carries the photograph of their dead loved one in their pocket in the hope that might bring them back to life this is immoral?

    “Sodomy is the kind of act that cannot be rationally chosen. ”

    Why not? Two people want to do it. It does not harm to anyone. What is irrational about that?

    “Why do people do these things anyway? It is simple to satisfy some feeling or desire they have rather than exercise the self-control that reason calls for”

    Sadly some people commit murder in very controlled and calculated fashion. Are these murders OK?

  249. MEV6:

    Plainly, your definition of a “right” is deeply suspect.

    here is rthe only truly defensible definition of a right thst doesd not end up in some species or another of might makes right:

    A right is a binding moral claim we may make on others, based on our inherent dignity and purpose as human beings.

    So, I have a right to my life, the foundation of fulfilling my purpose. And many other things. But, I have no binding moral claim on others that they must marry me. Marriage is a freedom, not a right.

    To compound the error by claiming a right to indulge in self- and socially destructive destructive sexual conduct, is even more of an error.

    Worse, it plainly trammels here on not only my right to my conscience and to a mind of my own that I may express, but the right to my reputation, for you have here slandered me.

    Your accusation that I disrespect rights is out of order, and should be apologised for. (Onlookers, see how the issue of homosexualist activism and trammelling on freedom of conscience and expression for those who see something seriously wrong with homosexual behaviours, is very very directly relevant? I am all but called a hateful, oppressive person above, when I have expressed in a fair and civil way, a principled moral objection.)

    MEV6, you owe me and others an apology.

    Good day, sir.

    GEM of TKI

  250. tribune@237:

    Mike, I have not read every post. If we are talking about a “right” to marriage, it doesn’t exist.

    I fully agree – no one has a ‘right’ to marry. However, that’s not what the gay marriage issue is about AFAIK. It’s about the idea that the State cannot refuse the rights that go with marriage to a particular group of people just because of sexual orientation and yet offer those rights to other groups. There are still restrictions involved (age, consent, etc.). The same reason that inter-racial marriage laws were overturned.

  251. “If I take a list of 200 different sex acts, show me how I decide which ones are “moral” and which ones aren’t.”

    I would also like to see this answered, especially in the context of the irrationality argument stated earlier. How are we defining the boundaries for rational action when considering sexual behavior? If for example, sex is considered for solely its practical, reproductive purpose, just about anything not involving semen being deposited into a vagina is “irrational”, and therefore “immoral.”

  252. MF:

    Murder is inherently irrational. Being calculated is not the same as being rational.

    To see why, just turn the matter around: one who willingly invites his own murder is plainly deeply irrational, and so the same holds when he is the intended perpetrator, not the victim. (We don’t even need to move to full universalisation to see that. And BTW, this is not hypothetical. I know a psychologist who had a patient who came to him when he had tried to hire a gun-man to kill himself. The gun-man (a paid murderer coming from a street culture that has the breakdown I discussed above) said: you are sick, and need to go to psychologist X.)

    And, this is beginning to look like a reductio ad absurdum as the attempt to deflect the import of the amorality of evolutionary materialism is ever more on display.

    GEM of TKI

  253. Lartanner #236

    The underlying theme of this entire discussion is the declining authority and political power of religious institutions in America.

    Isn’t the underlying theme of your side an atheist/humanist agenda with homosexuality as a subset of this subjective world view?

    Frankly, no one from your side attempted to show OBJECTIVELY why religious morality (Christian in this case) is wrong? A subjective contempt towards Christianity is not an objective argument against it, just like how your emotional sentiment towards homosexuality is not an objective ground to legalize it.

  254. Re ME6:

    Bare assertion, without foundation. In particular, we see here 1984 style word twisting.

    Marriage exists, historically and as a general consensus of humanity, as a term to describe a stable union between the complementary sexes — which is biologically objective — in which in the normal course children are born, nurtured and raised, perpetuating society with future stable adults.

    Any sane community has a compelling interest in the fostering of such relationships, and in refusing to confuse what should be plain.

    And, to support such a common-sense, natural law [law of human nature as male and female here, and as having children that require 10+ years to be sufficiently mature to fend for themselves] view is not to condone hate or violence to those who may wish to adopt other patterns of behaviour.

    But, for the sake of survival of the community, we must not allow confusion or undermining of what is vital.

    See why I think our civilisation is increasingly suicidal?

    GEM

  255. Shogun

    “Frankly, no one from your side attempted to show OBJECTIVELY why religious morality (Christian in this case) is wrong?”

    I would imagine that most of the “atheis/humanists” in this discussion believe that ethics is at core subjective, certainly I do. Therefore we cannot objectively show that religious morality is wrong and you cannot objectively show it is right. If you believe that something is wrong because your book of rules says so -I cannot prove that wrong. All I can do is

    * Point out that there are lots other books of rules out there and somehow we have to live together.

    * Point to consequences of your book of rules which seem absurd or unacceptable e.g. if your book of rules says that all sex must be related to procreation then why is sex after the menopause OK?

  256. PS: Western civ is something like 1 or 1 1/2 billions out of 6 1/2. While homosexualisdation of marriage may be popular among the university- and mainstream [so-called] media indoctrinated, it is probably not even a majority opinion among that 1 1/2 billions. And even if it were, the 51% would not transform what is objectively disordered and socially suicidal into what would be right or a right.

  257. kairosfocus:

    MEV6, you owe me and others an apology.

    If I have misunderstood your meaning and thought, I certainly am more than willing to apologize and I’m sorry – such was certainly not my intention.

    Given the number of discussions of damage to society from homosexuality, it’s not unreasonable to discuss the topic of rights and penalties, but I will keep my examples more reasonable.

  258. Onlookers:

    MF,252 : I would imagine that most of the “atheis/humanists” in this discussion believe that ethics is at core subjective, certainly I do

    Thus we see confirmed the point that evolutionary materialism is inherently amoral and radically relativist. So, might makes right to such, however cleverly disguised.

    When it ocnmes o “books of rules,” this is a strawman, the core principles of morality are a consensus, and that obtains across religions and civilizations. As C S Lewis long ago pointed out, there are no cultures that celebrate cowardice in battle, or the cheating, unfairness to or murder of those in the in-group.

    Indeed, the evidence of the fact that quarrelling is a universal phenomenon — look above and see evident materialists trying to show us wrong — shows that we are governed by a moral law, that is binding. That strongly points tot he objectivity of morality and to the objectivity of a Moral, Good Lawgiver.

    One who is the foundational IS of the cosmos who, per his inherently good character, properly grounds OUGHT.

    Those who reject this conclusion, are forced into one species or another of subjectivism on morality; if they are consistent in their thinking.

    AKA, might makes “right.”

    G’night

    GEM of TKI

  259. Before we go assuming what “sides” people belong to, I want to clarify:

    I’m not an evolutionist
    I’m not an athiest
    I’m not a materialist

  260. ME6;

    this is not a matter of “IF I might have offended . . . ”

    And, the damage to society from homosexualist ideology has been objecively shown above, just dismissed by those who find that an inconvenient truth.

    Please, think again before you help further the damage to a gravely — I think mortally — wounded civilisation.

    G’night.

    GEM of TKI

  261. markf # 252

    If you believe that something is wrong because your book of rules says so -I cannot prove that wrong. All I can do is

    * Point out that there are lots other books of rules out there and somehow we have to live together.

    * Point to consequences of your book of rules which seem absurd or unacceptable e.g. if your book of rules says that all sex must be related to procreation then why is sex after the menopause OK?

    But the key problem here is: on what basis do you claim that religion’s opinion regarding an issue (ie homosexuality) is false? Where did you get that authority? The only way to do it is to objectively prove that homosexuality is beneficial or harmless to the society in the long term. Your objection, however, is totally subjective and emotional, and hence it is flawed. My side at least attempted to objectively show that homosexuality is harmful due to several social/psychological/medical problems associated to it. And your best apology towards homosexuality seems to be “I know some nice gay friends”, added to that a confusion of the human nature and subjective contempt towards religion. You are objecting to religious rules that promote self-control of desires for the well being of humanity, and your basis seems to be the rather humanist view: “do as thou wilt”.

  262. kairosfocus

    Would you agree with me that the reason why religious rules are objectively right is because they conform to the true human nature better than the atheist/relativist/humanist view?

    For example, religion promotes the traditional heterosexual marriage which perfectly conforms with the human nature. Any other form of sexuality is therefore an act of perversion that is parasitic to human nature, such as homosexuality. This is why the gay activists tried to prove that homosexuality is natural in order to reconcile it with human nature, but they ended up promoting a myth that many ignorant people bought.

    Interestingly enough, the fact that the “yuck” factor has been historically a universal look at homosexuality proves that it is a perfectly natural reaction, unless the opposition would have us believe that the vast majority of humanity had been intolerant bigots.

  263. kairosfocus:

    Please, think again before you help further the damage to a gravely — I think mortally — wounded civilisation.

    I would agree that civilisation is gravely wounded. I just don’t think that homosexuality is a cause.

  264. shogun:

    “I know some nice gay friends”

    I know it was meant to be disparaging, but it’s a much stronger force than long lists of articles on the evils of homosexuality.

    I guess I’m wondering what people are trying to prevent? I think you’ve used the phrase “introduce homosexuality to society”. Gays are on TV as ‘normal’ people; Pride parades are so common to be largely “just another parade”; and for every gay student bullied there are many who are just accepted by their peers. Such is social change – people work alongside gays and find they aren’t fiends and monsters.

    At what point were you expecting the “gay avalanche” to hit? It seems (to me) to have already happened to a significant degree.

    And yet, heterosexual people are still getting married. I know we’ve seen articles about the dangers of homosexuality, and some are probably legit. Do we have anything showing a clear causal link between homosexuality and family damage? (There’s been a lot of links so my apologies if I’ve missed these.)

  265. In comment #94 you said the act of homosexuality was evil. Have you changed your mind?

    No. I was responding to your statement in #224 in which I thought you were agreeing that certain homosexual acts were wrong and comparing them to smoking and over-eating which we as a society should attempt to discourage.

    Yes, I think acts of willful self-destruction and self-degradation are evil but I’m OK with describing the acts as simply “wrong” to find common ground.

    With regard, however, to encouraging these acts or discouraging criticism of them, I’ll have to stick with “evil”

    Now, re-reading post 224 I see you are saying “homosexuality” is not wrong — which is a point about with which I might not be in disagreement if you are referring to unwilled thoughts or orientation — OTOH, you seem to be saying you may find it acceptable to dissuade people from this behavior a la over-eating albeit I think it would be better compared to intravenous drug use.

    We may be talking past each other.

  266. We’ve heard of the accounts from closet homosexuals who’ve suffered significant psychological torment because they believed their inclincations were immoral, unnatural, or “parasitic” (as one put it). When they come out to their family and friends, sometimes they’re met with hostility…other times they are met with understanding and acceptance. In the former case, that kind of rejection can be depressing and dangerous. People commit suicide over this kind of thing. In the latter case, usually the individual is overcome with relief, and leads a much happier life. Now, since we’re on the subject, which scenario do you think is more damaging?

    We say that the long-established “yuck” factor shouldn’t be ignored, and I think that’s a valid point. But when some homosexuals become a danger to themselves in the face of censure, I don’t think that should be ignored either.

  267. You might say “a homosexual is a danger to himself anyway if he acts on it” but I think that’s an unfair assessment. One can practice good judgment.

  268. mikev6– However, that’s not what the gay marriage issue is about AFAIK. It’s about the idea that the State cannot refuse the rights that go with marriage to a particular group of people just because of sexual orientation and yet offer those rights to other groups.

    mike, they are not being denied marriage benefits because of their sexual orientation. They are being denied the benefits because they can’t create children, and since they can’t create children in that particular union there is no need for the benefits, and, in fact, granting them would place an unfair burden on everyone else.

    Believe it or not impotent men cannot get married in the Catholic church no matter how much they might happen to love a particular girl.

    Modern man and woman have gotten this idea that everything is about self-defined self-fulfillment. It’s not.

  269. Berceuse, you ought to stand by your friends when they need you.

    I’m not sure to which posts you are responding in your comments.

    The thread is getting pretty slow. I don’t know how much longer people will be sticking with it.

  270. It wasn’t in reference to a specific post, or any friend of mine. It’s a pretty common trend. Tchaikovsky, for example, was very tormented in his lifetime, arguably for this reason.

  271. tribune7:

    mike, they are not being denied marriage benefits because of their sexual orientation. They are being denied the benefits because they can’t create children, and since they can’t create children in that particular union there is no need for the benefits, and, in fact, granting them would place an unfair burden on everyone else.

    To which I respond with the usual example of two heterosexual people in their 60s who get married, get benefits, yet can’t have children.

    The constitutional issues around gay marriage do not involve procreation. The State doesn’t see this as an issue. It may be for religious marriages, as you’ve noted below; that’s at the discretion of the specific religion and no one is forcing them to change that.

    Believe it or not impotent men cannot get married in the Catholic church no matter how much they might happen to love a particular girl.

    But a civil ceremony is perfectly fine, or another religion. Many divorced Catholic couples follow that path. If a Catholic couple feels it necessary to follow this rule and not get married, that is their choice, of course.

  272. It is only in a teleological context that we can differentiate between good and evil sex acts. The relevant question is this: What does the natural moral law say about the purpose of sex and its legitimate expression. If the Creator designed sex for a purpose, then any sexual act that frustrates that purpose is evil. If, on the other hand, sex has no purpose, then no sexual act at all is evil. One cannot frustrate a purpose that doesn’t exist.

    So, why did the Creator design humans with the capacity for sexual expression? In the most fundamental sense, there are two reasons: [A] to strengthen the loving bond between husband and wife and [B] to perpetuate the species.

    Equally important, each function is inextricably tied to the other. Because marital love can be defined as mutual and sacrificial self giving, the unitive component cannot be morally or logically separated from the procreative component. As a moral alternative to marital chastity, the husband cannot say to the wife, “I will give of myself insofar as our sexual activity intensifies our love, but I will hold back that part of myself that transmits life by practicing artificial birth control, medical sterilization, or some kind of non-procreative sexual activity. To love is not to give one half of oneself. To be sure, family planning need not violate the natural moral law, but the natural way, which is even more effective than they artificial way, is the only moral option.

    To run away from this aspect of the natural law is to set up the social and cultural conditions for the gay rights movement and, ultimately, gay marriage. Husbands and wives who use each other as mere sex objects are violating the natural moral law just as surely, though not so outrageously, and not nearly as recklessly, as sexually active homosexuals. If, on the other hand, the purpose of sex is solely for pleasure–If any orifice at any time will do–then homosexual behavior is just one more application of the dehumanizing, objectifying, anti-life principle of mutual masturbation.

  273. StephenB:

    To be sure, family planning need not violate the natural moral law, but the natural way, which is even more effective than they artificial way, is the only moral option.

    Sorry – I’m going to need a citation on the “effectiveness” part. My understanding is that the success of natural family planning is far lower than artificial methods.

    BTW – can I assume from your post that your response to my question in #244 is “only those acts that lead to procreation”? No one else has tackled the question.

  274. StephenB, I’m very close to agreeing with you, but I think you go too far. By your criteria, any of the following (if they lead to male climax) would be evil even if practiced by a husband and wife:

    *oral sex
    *anal sex
    *masturbation
    *mutual masturbation
    *use of a condom
    *use of birth control pills

    I’m sure I’ve left something out.

    I’m sorry, but that is just nuts. It certainly doesn’t derive from any natural law.

  275. Mikev6 –To which I respond with the usual example of two heterosexual people in their 60s who get married, get benefits, yet can’t have children.

    And you would be raising a very good point. I would answer that it is more reasonable and better for everybody to end the allowance for them than to expand it to others.

    I’m just a big meanie.

    And if there should be unwillingness to end it for them, it would still be better for everybody not to expand it to to others.

    I’m not just a big meanie, I’m a big unfair meanie.

    The constitutional issues around gay marriage do not involve procreation.

    Nor does the prohibition about multiple wives. If a state should pass a law banning impotent men from marriage would that be unconstitutional?

  276. Berceuse — Tchaikovsky, for example, was very tormented in his lifetime, arguably for this reason.

    And what caused Beethoven’s torment?

  277. QuietID, the things you cited are considered sins by the Catholic Church.

    Addressing why they are sins requires reflection and prayer and conversations with God with the understanding that He still loves up if you should slip up and is more than willing not to hold it against you.

    The only act that you list that I think becomes the business of the public is the anal sex and that is because of the damage it causes, personal and public, whether it be hetero or homo.

  278. markf, I just realized I did not address my response at 265 to you and you may have missed it.

    Sorry.

  279. —Quite: “StephenB, I’m very close to agreeing with you, but I think you go too far. By your criteria, any of the following (if they lead to male climax) would be evil even if practiced by a husband and wife:

    *oral sex
    *anal sex
    *masturbation
    *mutual masturbation
    *use of a condom
    *use of birth control pills

    I’m sure I’ve left something out.

    —-”I’m sorry, but that is just nuts. It certainly doesn’t derive from any natural law.”

    What is the basis for your judgment? All Christian Churches without exception agreed that all these acts [if brought to completion] are immoral until 1930, when it became fashionable to flow downward with the stream and mimic the secular culture. That can mean only one of two things. Either they, like the Catholic Church, which maintained the teaching, were wrong for almost two thousand years, or else they caved in from social pressure.

  280. Re: 276

    I don’t know what you’re getting at, tribune, but I’m not suggesting that anyone who suffers torment has repressed homosexuality. If you’re suggesting, with Beethoven as an example, that Tchaikovsky had emotional instability for other reasons, I’m not going to say you’re wrong (it’s not like I knew the guy), but when it came to his personal problems, his homosexuality is a frequently addressed issue by musicologists; to deny that is silly. In any case, I went with a familiar name, let’s not get caught up in composers.

  281. markf (#216)

    Thank you for your post. As I see it, the disagreement over the morality of homosexual acts boils down to these two questions:

    (a) Should every intimate act be an act of total self-giving?
    (b) Is the marital love that occurs between a man and a woman good for everyone?

    Once we grant that the answer to these two questions is “Yes,” then the argument against the morality of homosexual acts follows logically.

    I’ll address point (b) below, in the course of my argument against the morality of homosexual acts, which I hope to keep as plain and simple as possible, for those who dislike Finnis’s “flowery language.”

    As regards (a): in an intimate act, you give the other person your whole body. That’s all of you: it’s your whole self. You can’t give any more than all of you.

    To argue against this, you have to adopt some kind of bizarre self-body dualism, according to which the body is not the self, but just a tool of the self. I don’t think you, as a physicalist, would want to do that. Hence if a person has anonymous sex with someone without intending to give themselves in this fashion, then their conduct is basically schizoid and deluded: they are attempting to divorce their bodies from themselves, which they simply cannot do.

    It follows, then, that an intimate act is an act which, when performed by a person who is not deluded about themselves, can only be intended as an act of total self-giving.

    In the syllogism below, I’ll assume that the two participants in a homosexual act intend it to be an act of total self-giving. It will be my aim to show that their intention necessarily fails.

    OK. So here’s the argument:

    (1) A homosexual act is an intimate act. Thus if the participants in the act are not deluded about their nature as embodied beings, they intend this act to be an act of total self-giving.

    (2) However, a homosexual act is by its very nature incapable of being an act of total self-giving. It can only be something less than that.

    (3) An act which is by its very nature incapable of realizing the intentions of the actor is a wrong act.

    (4) Hence homosexual acts are wrong (i.e. immoral).

    Proof of (2):

    (5) If there is another act which, for each and every human being, is capable of signifying a deeper level of self-giving than a homosexual act, then necessarily, for each and every human being, a homosexual act not an act of total self-giving.

    (6) There is another act which, for each and every human being, is capable of signifying a deeper level of self-giving than a homosexual act, namely, an act of love between a man and a woman.

    (7) Necessarily, for each and every human being, a homosexual act not an act of total self-giving. (What’s necessarily true for each and every human being is true by nature, so it follows that a homosexual act is by its very nature incapable of being an act of total self-giving.)

    Proof of (6):

    (8) There is something in an act of love between a man and a woman that is capable of signifying lifelong, monogamous love: namely, the fact that it is capable of procreating a child, who thrives best in a family where the love between the parents is lifelong and monogamous.

    (9) There is nothing in a homosexual act as such that is capable of signifying lifelong, monogamous love.

    (10) Lifelong, monogamous love is necessarily deeper than love which is not lifelong and monogamous.

    (11) Thus an act of love between a man and a woman is capable of signifying a deeper level of self-giving than a homosexual act.

    (12) No human being is by nature incapable of (i) participating in an act of love between a man and a woman, and (ii) giving him/herself in a way that signifies lifelong, monogamous love. (Impediments aising from disease or infertility are physical but not natural impediments, as removal of these impediments – e.g. by a super-skilled surgeon – would not alter who I am as an individual. A confirmed bachelor’s disinclination to participate in the good of marital love – e.g. because he prefers solitude – does not mean that he is by nature incapable of doing so. Children are of course temporarily incapable of participating in the good of marital love now, by virtue of their immaturity, but they will be capable as adults. As adults, they will still be the same individuals that they are now.)

    (13) Thus for each and every human being, there is an act which is capable of signifying a deeper level of self-giving than a homosexual act, namely, an act of love between a man and a woman.

    The most controversial premise is probably the twelfth. What it’s basically saying is:

    Marital love is good for everyone. There is no-one for whom it would not be a good.

    Now, if there were a “type” of human being that was by nature incapable of the kind of love that exists between a man and a woman, then one might be tempted to argue that people belonging to this type should be free to love in the best way they can, and that these people should not be bound by the rule that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. One might be tempted to propose an alternative kind of marriage for people of this type. What I’m saying is that as a matter of empirical fact, on our own planet at least, there is no such type. If we look at cultures outside our own society, there seems to be very little evidence of people who are gay for life. More tellingly, there is no fundamental difference between gays and heterosexuals, as can be shown by the fact that if a gay person has an identical twin, that twin is often straight. To suppose that being gay is good for one but bad for the other, you have to slide back into some kind of self-body dualism.

    It is true that many gays seem to have an orientation that precludes them from realizing the kind of love that exists between a man and a woman. Whatever this orientation may be, it is almost certainly not determined by their genes, as the “twin” argument shows. Hence there is no reason to consider it irreversible in principle. The fact that no present therapies can achieve this reversal for all gays does not imply that no future therapies will be able to do so.

    I agree with you that there if one were to approve of a man and a woman getting married who have deliberately rendered themselves incapable of having a child, one would have to approve of gay sex. I approve of neither practice.

    I conclude that the attempt to depict gays and lesbians as people of a different type, with a separate good of their own, fails.

    To sum up: in order to argue in favor of gay sex, you have to do one of two funny things: deny that people have a nature, or deny that the self is essentially embodied.

    The first option rules out the possibility of a naturalistic ethic. As naturalistic ethics is by far the best bet for constructing a secular humanist morality, then I don’t think I’d be too keen to do that, if I were a secular humanist. (The alternative way of constructing morality based purely on preferences, is flawed because it fails to distinguish between preferences which are inherently destructive and those which are not. To do that, you need a notion of “harm” which is able to stand, irrespective of what individual people happen to like or dislike.)

    The second option involves a very peculiar way of looking at ourselves – one which is made even more peculiar by the fact that the people endorsing it are the ones who are the most vocal in criticizing Jews, Christians and Muslims for believing in a soul and an after-life. A common belief of Jews, Christians and Muslims, however, is that the souls of the dead shall one day be resurrected with their bodies, and that until they are, they are essentially incomplete.

    As regards gay marriage: I would not campaign against it so vociferously, were I not convinced that it cannot co-exist with marriage as we know it. I have already argued that children will be educated to accept gay marriage in schools, and that they will come to regard monogamy as just another lifestyle choice, and not as normative. Once you educate a population out of monogamy, it is very hard to educate them back into it.

    So there are my reasons in a nutshell. Let me reiterate that I bear gays no ill-will whatsoever.

  282. —Mike: “BTW – can I assume from your post that your response to my question in #244 is “only those acts that lead to procreation”? No one else has tackled the question.”

    Yes, provided we amend that to read “only those acts that are ‘open to’ procreation.” If a married couple cannot have children, their acts would not “lead to” procreation but could, nevertheless, be open to it and therefore moral. Also, one can make a case for other kinds of sexual acts if they are not brought to completion and used as a preliminary to sexual intercourse.

    —”Sorry – I’m going to need a citation on the “effectiveness” part. My understanding is that the success of natural family planning is far lower than artificial methods.”

    If you Google “Sympto-Thermal Method” of Natural Family Planning, you should find a number of studies that indicate an effectiveness rate of about 99%. I believe that surpasses the performance of the birth control pill by about .5%, and it certainly is a lot safer, carrying none of those dangerous and sometimes life-threatening side effects.

  283. Shogun:

    The terminology “religious rules” is loaded and misleading.

    We have a strong clue in the world without that it is designed, not “designoid.” (See how Dawkins’ attempted substitute term implies that there is indeed credible evidence pointing to design? Evidence that is so unwelcome that a question-begging “substitute” term is being proposed?)

    Similarly, we find ourselves morally obligated; which is evident from simply how we quarrel. Cf above (and elsewhere) where those who are arguing that “morality” is nothing more than a perception relative to individual and community, are trying to imply that hose who object to homosexualisation of marriage are hateful bigots etc etc.

    That is, we have excellent reason to infer that we are a Creation, and that the implied creator is a good and necessary being, the ground of morality. Thus also, we have a purpose that is in part evident from our own nature and the nature of the world around us.

    In that context, that which frustrates our purpose and calling as creatures, is objectively wrong. And principles and rules — notice my emphasis — that recognise this will be right; where rules are more specific, less flexible and situationally applied/relevant.

    (BTW, I just had a conversation with an accountant on the difference between UK principle based accounting and US rule based accounting. In the UK even if one has punctiliously adhered to the rules, but manages to twist them into a misleading half-truth that fails to give a true and fair view, the auditors have a duty of disclosure that the principle has been frustrated. I am told Enron is a case in point of cleverly twisting rules into pretzels, frustrating the proper end by manipulating the means.)

    That such principles and consequent rules are tied to generally accessible warrant for a theistic view is simply a matter or reflecting evident reality.

    (Observe above how MF, a trained philosopher, was forced to admit that his evolutionary materialism has no sound foundation for morality, being reduced to that subjectivism and relativism that boils down to might makes right. That is, it is all about a power struggle to control levers of power. I hope he can now rise to the level of Plato, who knew c. 360 BC, that that MUST be both wrong and dangerous.)

    So, “religious rules” are not right or wrong on being tied to any particular religion — the not so subtle agenda of slander [spell it out: theocratic tyranny] in using such terms — but based on the evidence that we live in a Creation and are fallen creatures with a calling and a purpose that are partly evident from our natures and which we must make a serious, lifelong moral effort to recover.

    One of those principles is neighbour love, which is a root principle of virtue. I find it interesting that when Locke set out to ground the principles of liberty and limited government with divided powers, in his 2nd essay on civl govt, section 2.5, he cited noted theologian Richard Hooker from his Ecclesiastical Polity (an anglican work that elicited high praise from the pope of the day in the midst of the sad wars over religion!) thusly:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant.

    We may pretend to ignorance on this, or may studiously ignore it; but the point is plainly sound. And it comes right out of the Golden Rule of Moshe and Yeshua; and, the often slandered and derided Paul. I cite from him in several pivotal remarks in the Epistle to the Romans; as this is in the specific context of moral duty, the roots of conscience and citizenship in community:

    Rom 2:6 [God] will reward each one according to his works: 7 eternal life to those who by perseverance in good works seek glory and honor and immortality [notice the principle and purpose, which specific rules will flesh out based on situations and circumstances], 8 but wrath and anger to those who live in selfish ambition and do not obey the truth but follow unrighteousness [notice the negative principle on rejection of truth one knows or should know, and its connexion to immorality] . . . .

    Rom 2:14 . . . whenever the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature the things required by the law, these who do not have the law are a law to themselves. 15 They show that the work of the law is written in their hearts, as their conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or else defend them [notice the principle of the conscience], 16 on the day when God will judge the secrets of human hearts, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus . . . .

    Rom 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. [notice the primacy of love and the point that principle sets the context for rules] 9 For the commandments, “Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet,” (and if there is any other commandment) are summed up in this, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong [or, HARM] to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. [NET]

    I happen to be specifically a Christian, and yesterday morning, at 221, I invited those who want to know why, to see why (at 101 level) I think this view is well-warranted. In that context, “rules” that credibly trace to our Creator may seem foolish or offensive to some, but frankly I trust the Creator’s perceived folly before I trust the contrary claimed wisdom of men. Especially when the clues in my heart and the world around as well as history point strongly to the credibility of the source. (And yes, the echo of certain irony-tinged Biblical texts [esp. Prov 1, Rom 1 and 1 Cor 1:17 ff] is quite deliberate.)

    GEM of TKI

    PS: MEV6 should reflect on the fact that in a Judaeo-Christian context, on the principle of marriage as correct context, the act of penile, vaginal penetration — which is biologically apt — is seen as right in a marital context, but wrong elsewhere; by being taken from its proper context. And, even most of today’s secularists will acknowledge — fatally for subjectivism and relativism — that the very same physical act, in the context of rape by fraud, force or exploitation of those unable to consent, would be wrong: context and proper purpose are important. Similarly, one can abuse the marital context in a pornographic setting, to promote unchastity and the benumbing of conscience in hopes of greedy gain and/or prurient display, as the [pseudo-] “amateur” genre commonly demonstrates. Acts and contextual rules are secondary to principles. From properly understood principles and purposes, we may discern proper rules for novel settings, that could not have been anticipated in texts, e.g. it is plainly wrong for a married couple to film the act of intercourse for pornographic purposes. But, it might be arguably appropriate for the same couple to have instead done so for a properly research or educational context. So, one and the same physical/biological act can have very different moral implications depending on context.

  284. mikev6, markf, zeroseven and others here who like me don’t give a flying fig what gay men do in their privacy of their own homes and do not think that homosexual practices are going to lead to the collapse of America (other things might though): it doesn’t matter what you write at all, the self-righteous “moralists” here aren’t paying any attention. They are true believers and that is that.

    They think they have Jesus and God on their side, and everything follows from that. What’s really galling is the lack of honesty about their prejudice though.

    Homosexuality has been associated several times over with every perversity they can imagine – pedophilia, bestiality, rape. Homosexuals and those who dare support their civil rights and liberties have been equated with Nazism (by mynym) and the Taliban (way up above), which is beyond perverse and unhinged. Homosexuality has been called evil, and a factor that causes the decline and decay of our culture and at the same time we get the ‘some of my best friends are gay I got nothing against them personally’ prattle.

    IMPLICIT in the unhinged breezy associations of homosexual sex with illegal sexual acts like pedophilia, bestiality, rape; calling it evil and the like (at least one poster regretting that it is legal), is that it should be made illegal – that is homosexual sexual relations.

    So then following from that, should homosexuals be given jail time, or as mikev6 puts it, house arrest, or maybe just a hefty fine? What if they can’t pay the fine, jail time then? Or do you think they should be allowed to break the law with impunity? I know you won’t answer these questions, when mikev6 asked them, they weren’t answered either.

    Here is some news that those puffing on about the Manhattan Declaration and how immoral homosexuality is, can simply choose to ignore. From the stirling Melanie Phillips in the UK (no PC liberal, no Darwinian either for that matter).

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/mel.....gays.thtml

    From the link:
    —————————–

    “Last week, the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly voted on a special resolution addressing extrajudicial, arbitrary and summary executions. The resolution affirms the duties of member countries to protect the right to life of all people with a special emphasis on a call to investigate killings based on discriminatory grounds. The resolution highlights particular groups historically subject to executions including street children, human rights defenders, members of ethnic, religious, and linguistic minority communities, and, for the past 10 years, the resolution has included sexual orientation as a basis on which some are targeted for death.

    “The tiny West African nation of Benin (on behalf of the UN’s African Group) proposed an amendment to strike sexual minorities from the resolution. The amendment was adopted with 79 votes in favor, 70 against, 17 abstentions and 26 absent.

    “A collection of notorious human rights violators voted for the amendment including Afghanistan, Algeria, China, Congo, Cuba, Eritrea, North Korea, Iran (didn’t Ahmadinejad tell the world there were no gays in Iran?), Egypt, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan, Uganda, Vietnam, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

    “Add to this Bahamas, Belize (where you get 10 years for being gay), Jamaica (10 years of hard labor), Grenada (10 years), Guyana (life sentence), Saint Kitts and Nevis (10 years), Saint Lucia (10 years), Saint Vincent (10 years), South Africa (Apartheid? What apartheid?), and Morocco (ruled by a gay monarch!). They are all on the list of nations that do not think execution of gays and lesbians is worthy of condemnation or investigation. (The full vote tally is published beneath this column.) To its shame, Colombia was among the 16 nations who abstained.

    “Those against the amendment include every European nation present, all Scandinavian countries, India, Korea, most of Latin America, all of North America, and only one Middle Eastern nation: Israel. In most countries in the Middle East, it is a crime to be gay–in some, like Saudi Arabia, it is punishable by beheading and in others, like Iran, by hanging.

    “The UN has a remarkable track record of doing virtually nothing when presented with mass killings or genocide. ‘Never again!’ was the cry after the holocaust. Since then, the world has witnessed a dozen more never agains with strong condemnation from the UN coming after the corpses pile up. A resolution of the sort that was voted on in the General Assembly is significant for its clarity of message: ‘It’s okay to kill the gays.’”

    ————————

  285. Zephyr:

    Pardon some fairly frank and direct remarks, but he tone and substance of your own comment just above — an out and out accusation of dishonesty — warrants such.

    I therefore think you need to take a careful look in the mirror, and to actually show us that you have read, understood and can thoughtfully respond to the Manhattan Declaration on the merits. (Onlookers, the exchanges yesterday were triggered by my clipping out several excerpts from 218 – 221.)

    Take particular time to look at remarks on the general breakdown of marriage and the implications of institutionalising homosexualisation of marriage under colour of law, with the issues that directly emerge on freedom of conscience, religion, expression and to make a legitimate living.

    Your dismissive attitude and remarks just above underscore the precise concerns the declarants have highlighted.

    Your first two paragraphs are utterly revealing on the strawmanisation and well poisoning you have imposed on the discussion, and I will make some specific — and pardon their frankness — notes on points:

    ________________

    mikev6, markf, zeroseven and others here who like me don’t give a flying fig what gay men do in their privacy of their own homes

    –> strawman: the issue was not what acts homosexuals may do at home or in anaonymous bath-houses etc (which BTW are often provably unhealthy and a public health risk; and especially fellatio is as much at stake here as anal penetration . . . cf the over-representation of homosexuals in several key STD statistics, with AIDS leading the list, in the context of the degree of promiscuity and attempted redefinition of “monogamy” that are all too typical) but the imposition of a redefinition of the fundamental institution of society, marriage and family, and what that implies.

    –> further to this, the context for this thread is the evident imposition of censorship to block a protest on principle, driven by a homosexualist advocacy group

    and do not think that homosexual practices are going to lead to the collapse of America (other things might though):

    –> repetition of the strawman on acts. It is not acts but legal agendas that are at issue, as the MD explicitly states.Cf 220 above.

    –> If you had taken a moment to read even the excerpts, it would have been obvious that the declarants are pointing to the disintegration of marriage and family as the trigger for social collapse, and highlight the attempted homosexualisation of marriage as a roadblock to correcting the problem

    it doesn’t matter what you write at all, the self-righteous “moralists” here aren’t paying any attention.

    –> an ad hominem laced slander, in fact the above thread is replete with very careful principled arguments, starting with those of VJT

    –> Further, the tone of the comment is exactly a case of the sort of judgemental and dismissive attitude that it claims to object to

    –> Further, this is a case of turnabout — and manifestly false — accusation of closed mindedness.

    They are true believers and that is that.

    –> Some sarcasm is well-warranted,a s that is probably the only way to get the point home: and of course you and your ilk have cornered the market on the truth and are not committed to any particular view of reality which you think is well-warranted, in the teeth of objections made by others . . .

    –> Pardon the painful bite of that, but that was to make the point that there are two ways to look at this matter of being a “true believer”

    They think they have Jesus and God on their side,

    –> This is a manifest strawman: the issue would be: not whether God is with us, but whether we as penitent sinners under reformation are increasingly with him. As tested by principles such as the truth in love, purity and humility, but without compromise with evil.

    –> Further, you can see that the issue that we are morally obligated creatures (something you imply at every turn) has the implication that we are under moral law appropriate to our nature, thence a Law-giver.

    –> thus, we are credibly morally governed creatures in a creation, and subject to the Creator, who is also evident from the design of the creation all around us.

    –> that Christians specifically identify that Creator with the God revealed in the Bible, and in the life, service, teachings, power, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth as witnessed in the first instance by 500 who could not be turned,and all in fulfillment of specific prophecies of centuries standing, means that we do not simply blindly believe but have a context of warrant. [Cf linked at 221 above for a 101 survey]

    –> You may disagree with that warrant, and are free to state your case, but please be honest enough to acknowledge that Christians do make an objective case for why they accept that God was in Christ Jesus reconciling the world to himself.

    and everything follows from that.

    –> this is an unwarranted accusation of closed minded question begging, kindly see the just above and the linked from 221

    What’s really galling is the lack of honesty about their prejudice though.

    –> Prejudice means that one judges before warranting the judgmernt. Christians have masde it plain over 2,000 years that we have warranted our basic case. You may disagree, but that such warrant exists is an objective fact.

    –> In the more specific conrtext, the rejection of the attemntped homosexualisation of marriage and family is not a matter of impositon before warrant but of csareful examination of issues, as precisely the declarants exempligfy.

    –> I observe a very harsh judgmenet of dishonesty being made without providing adequate warrant, so the issue is: will you kindly look in the mirror then have the grace to apologise?

    –> Then, please look carefully at the MD on the issue of liberty and how the homosexualist agenda is an enemy of such freedom of conscience. Can you show that hat concern is misplaced or mere prejudice? If not, you owe a second apology.

    __________________

    See the problem?

    G’day.

    GEM of TKI

  286. StephenB, you write: “All Christian Churches without exception agreed that all these acts [if brought to completion] are immoral until 1930, when it became fashionable to flow downward with the stream and mimic the secular culture.”

    I’m not talking about Christian churches, I’m talking about how such views supposedly derive (as you claimed) from “natural law.” I’m talking about the state, a secular institution.

    My disagreement with the Manhattan Declaration has nothing to do with its views on theology, most of which I share. They have to do with its view the state. I think we do ourselves no favors when we expect the state to enforce our views on sexual morality. Society is reprobate through and through. It will not reform itself through secular institutions. Better to let the state reveal its corrupt nature so that the church can stand in marked contrast.

    (For the record, in case anybody cares, I think the sexual practices I listed earlier are permissible within marriage.)

  287. PS: Pardon a footnote, which is simply here as a balancing remark, i.e a threadjacking will not be entertained. Ms Phillips in your cite is plainly over-reading the issue. Homosexuals are not subject to extrajudicial or judicial execution in say the Caribbean, which is listed by the names of several territories, and from where I write; most violence against homosexuals in this part of the world is from their fellow homosexuals; though there have been occasions of vigilantism and assault that are wrong. And, to infer from that homosexuality is not listed or delisted in a list of examples of specific kinds of extrajudicial killings is tantamount to approval of such killings is itself an overreach that is slanderous. A far more reasonable context for understanding would be that — while there are indeed troubling cases and countries where homosexuals or suspected homosexuals have been abused or murdered by state agents — the listing of homosexuality has become a tool used to advance the claim that to object to homosexuality or to have laws that forbid certain sexual behaviours often associated with homosexuality is hate and even incitement to murder. the reaction to de-listing is telling on that. (The onward listed Huff Po article is so grossly slanderous, inaccurate and over the top that it raises serious questions about Ms Phillips’ reasoning on this matter.)

    Let us get the matter in cotnext, Wha tis really needed is the commitment of all nations to protect life from conception to natural death — which is exactly what the Manhattan Declaration explicitly advocates. The provision of lists of preferred classes to be protected actually undermines the general principle: life, being a sacred gift from God, is to be protected, and innocent life therefore may not be forfeit.

    (And BTW, FYI: I am currently involved in an effort that inter alia seeks to put just that protection of life from conception to natural death into a national constitution.)

  288. kairosfocus your condescension would grate, if I took your prattle seriously. I don’t.

    Apologise for what? Offending homophobes who pretend they are not? If I don’t apologise for offending your uh sensibilities what are you going to do? Send in the Inquisition, call the cops?

    kairosfocus:
    “Then, please look carefully at the MD on the issue of liberty and how the homosexualist agenda is an enemy of such freedom of conscience. Can you show that hat concern is misplaced or mere prejudice?”

    If you fail to see that “concern” over “the homosexualist agenda” [sic] is misplaced and prejudicial in principle, and you clearly do fail to see it and always will do, that’s not my problem, it’s yours.

    Here kairosfocus I will save you having to post up again..

    Apologise, apologise for offending those who oppose “the homosexualist agenda”

    zephyr: no

  289. vj #281

    No one can accuse of not having thought about this issue!

    Before looking at some details of your argument, I want stress a point I have made before. You require an abstract and complicated argument with no less than 13 paragraphs to prove that homosexual sex is wrong. This is not like murder or robbery or torture – where there is an obvious victim that has been forced or duped into suffering. Intelligent though you are, you also capable of error. Suppose you have made mistake in your argument and actually homosexual sex is morally acceptable? Please think seriously about this possibility. After all there are many ardent Christians and even ID supporters on this blog who think who see nothing wrong with homosexual sex.

    If you have made an error, then you have accidentally done something rather appalling. You have a maligned a whole community but it goes much further than that. I am sure you personally recommend no more than trying to persuade homosexuals to give up sex. But a culture of condemnation has broader consequences. In the past in Western countries this community has been mocked, imprisoned, driven to suicide and murdered. In many parts of the world it still illegal with horrific punishments, including in a few cases the death penalty. All of this abuse is justified on the assumption that homosexual sex is wrong. The situation is very much better in Western countries than it was – but this improvement required recognition that homosexual relationships and sex was morally acceptable. The Manhatten declaration and those who promote it are in danger of reversing the trend.

    Now for some more detailed points about your argument.

    1) I am very confused about intimate acts and “total self-giving”.

    (a) What do you mean by self-giving? You make sex sound like a sacrifice. It is mutually enjoyable and sometimes very emotionally fulfilling experience and one does one’s best to make sure your partner also enjoys it – but I am not aware of anyone giving anything (except perhaps some semen).

    (b) Even I could understand what you mean – it is not clear why intimate acts should require total self-giving. I think this paragraph is your justification:

    As regards (a): in an intimate act, you give the other person your whole body. That’s all of you: it’s your whole self. You can’t give any more than all of you

    But here you seem to be saying that “total self-giving” necessarily happens in an intimate act. In which case there is no moral question to be resolved. If this is true then if we indulge in an intimate act then total self-giving takes place whether wish it or not. Or perhaps you are saying that acts without “total self-giving” are not truly intimate? It is all very confusing.

    2) Then you begin the argument itself. There are many things I would like to dispute but here are two highlights.

    A homosexual act is an intimate act. Thus if the participants in the act are not deluded about their nature as embodied beings, they intend this act to be an act of total self-giving.

    They are very likely as confused as I am about “total self-giving”. I would imagine most of them just intend to have a good time.

    An act which is by its very nature incapable of realizing the intentions of the actor is a wrong act.

    Do you mean morally wrong? I absolutely refute this. It would mean every act of crazy heroism against impossible odds was morally wrong.

    Finally you write:

    “I agree with you that there if one were to approve of a man and a woman getting married who have deliberately rendered themselves incapable of having a child, one would have to approve of gay sex. I approve of neither practice.”

    Imagine a man and woman are very much in love. The woman discovers she has Hodgkinson’s disease. So they decide to get married but they will not have a child (who might inherit this awful condition) instead they plan to adopt. Before they marry they render themselves incapable of having a child by vasectomy or hysterectomy. Do you really disapprove of this?

  290. Zephyr:

    Pardon an even more direct observation:

    You are, unfortunately, exemplifying precisely why the Manhattan Declaration is timely and important as a PRINCIPLED defense of life, marriage and liberty in our time.

    Your words above — notice, how you have again failed to speak to the matter on its merits but essay instead to categorise, name-call and dismiss people you don’t know and whose arguments you have not seriously read much less addressed [and I am someone who has lost at least one homosexual friend to suicide and come from a region where the implications of family breakdown (by imposition of slavery for centuries) are an everyday reality] — also illustrate aptly why my estimate of the likely fate of our civilisation at this point is: the disease is terminal.

    Onlookers, I suggest you take a moment to read Ac 27, as a parable of how democratic polities can go fatally wrong when people refuse to face unwelcome truth and dismiss those who dare to raise it.

    If there is any hope, the underlying assumption in Z’s argument is that we are morally obligated, i.e. we are under moral law. That implication calls for the proper explanation of such a status; namely, that we are morally governed creatures, living in a world established by a good and concerned Creator, the Law-giver. And, that the law — the moral law of our nature as morally governed creatures — is evident from the design of our world, our bodies and our minds and consciences.

    Unless key sectors of our civilisation recognise this implication and accept it, we are heading for a crash. In this case, given the havoc wreaked by a rising, broad-based wave of sexual chaos and associated marital and familial disintegration, it is utter folly to legally lock out the possibility for restoration of sound marriage and family life patterns.

    And, to do so in the name of “rights” is even worse folly, though it is of course quite persuasive rhetoric for those who have not thought about what is a right, and how it is to be warranted. Once such is thought through, rights will be seen to be moral claims based on our nature and evident purpose, which is of course in part male and female, with an obvious purpose.

    There, therefore, can be no right to be free to marry a person of the same sex. Just as, by its very nature, marriage requires consent of an appropriate partner, so we have no right to marry.

    And, the community has a legitimate interest in the matter, as stable marriages and families are a survival issue. So, law in response to radical advocacy, that reinforces the historic understanding of marriage and family, is entirely appropriate. Never mind the incendiary, polarising rhetoric of the radicals who hope to overthrow the longstanding consensus of humanity, through specious rhetoric.

    (Details have already been given above, so pardon the summary. The very fact that such is now deemed controversial, is a proof of how bad the case is for our civilisation at the hands of amoral, evolutionary materialist elites whose premise is that might makes “right” and “rights” are a matter of the balance of power for the moment, so why not use slander, polarise and rule tactics if you can get away with it.)

    GEM of TKI

  291. PS: Z, a reasonable person will refrain from or apologise for misrepresenting or slandering people. And you have misrepresented the Manhattan Declaration, its signatories, and any number of people above.

  292. MF:

    Before making moral judgements, could you kindly justify their binding character?

    (I note here on your subjectivist remarks, yesterday.)

    GEM of TKI

  293. 293

    VJT:

    (8) There is something in an act of love between a man and a woman that is capable of signifying lifelong, monogamous love: namely, the fact that it is capable of procreating a child, who thrives best in a family where the love between the parents is lifelong and monogamous.

    ….

    (12) No human being is by nature incapable of (i) participating in an act of love between a man and a woman, and (ii) giving him/herself in a way that signifies lifelong, monogamous love. (Impediments aising from disease or infertility are physical but not natural impediments, as removal of these impediments – e.g. by a super-skilled surgeon – would not alter who I am as an individual.

    What about elderly people? My great aunt Connie got married in her early 70s, long after she went through menopause. For your argument to work one of two things would have to be true:

    1. Menopause is not natural, which is most certainly is.

    2. In some future fantasy world, doctors figure out how to reverse menopause (and presumably hysterectomies), so straight couples in their 80s can have children.
    Honestly, people that old having children is also rebellion against how we were designed.

  294. SAR:

    Elderly married couples are just that: married.

    The proposal by the homosexualist radicals would destroy the legal framework that allows us to restore marriage from the current sexual chaos that engulfs our civilisation.

    That is a considerable difference in significance.

    GEM of TKI

  295. F/N: Tozzi’s critique of the so-called Yogyakarta Principles, will expose the implications of the international lawfare agenda of the radical homosexualist advocates. Notice, the conference in question was carried out under the general umbrella of the UN.

  296. Berceuse — I don’t know what you’re getting at, tribune,

    The point I’m getting at is that geniuses often suffer and those who march to their own drummer always do. If society had told Tchaikovsky it was good to be gay, I don’t think he would have been any happier.

  297. 297

    KF. That doesn’t make sense for two reasons.

    First, VJT’s entire argument is based on the idea that heterosexual marriage is inherently procreative. And that holds regardless of the participants fertility because, presumably, in some future sci-fi world doctors may figure out how to reverse those physical problems. So, when you say:

    Elderly married couples are just that: married.

    whether you know it or not, you are admitting that marriage is not about procreation.

    Second, for my generation, the sexual chaos is promiscuity, be it gay or straight. Indeed, one of the thoughts expressed more than once in this discussion, is that gays are immoral because they are promiscuous and experience a much higher rate of STDs. So, now when gays agree with you that a promiscuous lifestyle is unfulfilling and dangerous and want to form stable, monogamous relationships, you’ll deny them that to.

    But, let me ask you one question: let’s say every nation on earth legalizes gay marriage. You would have us believe that will destroy traditional marriage. So, tell me what will happen to your marriage? No abstract moralizing . Your specific marriage.

  298. In my example at the end of comment #289 above I meant Huntingdon’s disease, not Hodgkinson’s disease.

  299. SAR:

    I am not VJT and I am not basing my argument on his, so my point stands independent of his.

    I repeat: marriage is based on the complementarity of the sexes, reflecting our Creation order; and as a social institution exists to procreate and nurture the race. It also provides mutual comfort and support to the married, as I can see from my parents as they move into the ninth decade of life.

    The marriage of my parents [primary and secondary . . . a childless couple], or of my neighbour, a lifelong spinster who married a man whose wife on her deathbed suggested her husband look up the old campus days friend — it was a famous newspaper search and marriage in Jamaica — pose no threat to family and culture.

    The radical agenda to homosexualise marriage does, as further documented in the just linked. Remember, this is a legal agenda that will turn ther police into spies on your family life, wil requre removal of reference to Mr and Mrs X from textbooks, will force churches, schools, hospitals, businesses etc etc into all sorts of things against heir conscience, and will radically restructure society; and not for the good.

    The resultant destruction of family — already well under way, this would simply make it effectively irreversible — will lead to the emergence of a culture of the atomised and disoriented dependent on state and street for substitute family and individual identity. It will put the present street gang subculture on steroids.

    I have already had to live with my family in a state that reflected this breakdown, and I do not want to go back there, thank you. I moved my family to a state living under the threat of an active explosive volcano in preference. Think about that, please.

    The rich living in walled, gated communities will be able to save themselves for a tie, but that will not be true for the rest of us.

    So, please think seriously about where our civilisation is headed, and where the radical advocates of all sorts of things will further take it. Ten, try to work for sound reformation.

    GEM of TKI

  300. 300

    KF,

    Before I head off for the day, I need to quickly note that you didn’t answer what gay marriage would do to your specific marriage. Unless, you meant this:

    this is a legal agenda that will turn ther police into spies on your family life, wil requre removal of reference to Mr and Mrs X from textbooks, will force churches, schools, hospitals, businesses etc etc into all sorts of things against heir conscience

    So, your real issue seems to be censorship and forcing of religious organizations to recognize gay marriage. If gay marriage could be accomplished while allowing you to continue to freely moralize and allowing churches and other such religious organizations to honor their policies and statements of faith regarding homosexuality, would your objections go away?

  301. 301

    One other thing. You say:

    The resultant destruction of family — already well under way, this would simply make it effectively irreversible — will lead to the emergence of a culture of the atomised and disoriented dependent on state and street for substitute family and individual identity.

    Here in the US, the breakdown of the family, particularly in urban areas, has more to do with poverty and lack of stable economic opportunity. Blaming it on the gays is, as my dad would say, weak sauce.

    TTYL!

  302. San Antonio Rose

    Thank you for your question. Please give your great aunt Connie my warm congratulations on her marriage.

    Regarding your question: I believe it is certainly permissible for an elderly or otherwise infertile couple to get married, as they are doing nothing to render procreation impossible. Procreation is one of the great goods of marriage; to deliberately thwart it would be to rob marriage of its character.

    Rendering procreation impossible before getting married is wrong. It does not follow, however, that a married couple who are currently infertile should do everything they can do render procreation possible – i.e. seek out every fertility treatment they read about. There is such a thing as trying too hard.

    The point of my peculiar thought experiment was not to show that elderly people should have children, but that they could, hypothetically speaking. If their infertility were reversed, they’d still be the same people. That was what I meant when I wrote that age is not a natural impediment, in the strictest sense of “natural.” If you use the word “natural” to mean “in the ordinary course of events,” then of course aging is natural. It is something that happens to all of us. However, there is no reason in principle why it could not be delayed or partially reversed.

    Regarding the advisability of having a child in one’s old age: I think it is unwise, but not immoral. The late actor Anthony Quinn (1915-2001) fathered a child at the age of 81. I don’t think that was wrong. And I doubt whether the child he fathered would think it was wrong, either.

    If a super-surgeon of the future were able to offer a couple in their seventies the chance of conceiving again, I would advise them to say no – unless the surgeon could also give them an extra 30-year lease of life. And even then, they would have no obligation to take up the surgeon’s offer.

  303. SAR:

    Please read carefully.

    I gave a very specific answer, one that involved my own and three other marriages — never mind the terms you attempted to dictate were most loaded.

    Rather than continue to live in just one aspect of the sort of situation that Yogyakarta agenda would precipitate, I found it better to live with my family under the threat of an active explosive type volcano.

    Think about that, please.

    Also about that imposition of a police state, censorship and widespread violations of conscience for people in homes, schools, hospitals, churches and businesses as well as areas of residence will imply.

    Finally, I do not at all appreciate your twisting my remarks on a widespread breakdown of family due to sexual chaos that would be rendered irreversible by the homosexualisation of marriage, into “blame it on the gays.” If you had taken the time to read my words more carefully, or to actually read the point made in the Manhattan Declaration, you will see that the precise point was that sexual chaos is a much broader problem, but the homosexualist agenda on marriage would push things across a tipping point; I gather that already your illegitimacy rate in the US may be 40% — that is not a good number but it is also a sign of how widespread the problem is. [You will also kindly note that I do not normally use a term that relates only to an activist fraction, for all homosexuals. I suspect MOST actual homosexuals do not identify with the activist movement. "gay" is not a synonym for "homosexual."]

    GEM of TKI

  304. San Antonio Rose

    A quick footnote. You asked KF what impact the legalization gay marriage would have on his marriage. I think the question is not what it impact it would have on his marriage, or on mine, but what it would have on our children’s and our grand-children’s future marriages. Would it weaken their sense that marriage is a life-long, monogamous partnership, “until death do us part?” Almost certainly, because of the brain-washing they’d get at school. Does that worry me? Yes.

  305. kairosfocus,
    Thanks for raising the Yogyakarta document. I had never heard of this before. Do you think it is likely to affect laws? It hasn’t yet in any way that I know. But as I hope I’ve made clear, I believe that laws should allow people to mess up their lives as much as they want. So to the extent the Yogyakarta principles would decriminalize homosexuality, I’m all for them. To the extent that they would restrict freedom of conscience for individuals or private organizations, I’m against them. But I haven’t seen the document have any effects in the “real world” yet. In fact I’d never heard of it before reading your mention of it.

  306. QI:

    Please read Mr Tozzi’s well-reasoned critique.

    The issue is not the decriminialisation of homosexual behaviour [which, de facto and de jure is largely so across our civilisation], but the police state backed homosexualisation of our civilisation and its foundational social institutions.

    That would turn a very large number of decent and upstanding people into “criminals” in the eyes of the law.

    The result would be horrific.

    And that is before we get to the social significance for communities of the gradual destruction of the family, probably across 20 – 40 years. (VJT you are right on that timeline issue.)

    The Yogyakarta agenda is hovering around in the UN and is being pushed behind the scenes. That which hovers behind the scenes today as an unmentionably radical suggestion, in 10 – 20 years is all over the headlines as the “mainstreaming” tactics work out on the ground. And I could regale you for hours with the techniques and tactics associated with that.

    Lets just say that the homosexualisation ofg marriage is far along, and the climate change agenda is completely mainstreamed, through it has had some troubles over the past year or so since the email scandals.

    Without its name being called, we are facing the Y-karta agenda right here as we look at constitutional renewal. (That backdrop is part of why I have pointed out some of the issues I highlighted above.)

    GEM of TKI

  307. #302

    vj – if you are going to authorise any act that could lead to procreation subject to suitable scientific miracles than you must allow the possibility that sex between a lesbian couple might have a daughter through some bizarre feat of future medicine (a son is of course ruled out because neither has a Y chromosome). Just how far are you going to extend “could” and why on earth should it affect the morality of what can actually be achieved with present technology. Surely you must being to appreciate how arbitrary is the set of rules you are building about what is and is not moral?

  308. “I know some nice gay friends”

    I know it was meant to be disparaging, but it’s a much stronger force than long lists of articles on the evils of homosexuality.

    The same could be said of any human desire or behavior pattern. I know a nice fat person but that doesn’t mean that the military should change its fitness requirements. It also doesn’t mean that fat people are having their civil rights violated and so on. It’s actually infantile link knowing a nice person with changing the structures of society based on your personal experience. It’s also interesting to note how a special case has been made in the case of homosexuality thanks to effectiveness of propaganda on stupid people. Nothing against stupid people, I know a nice stupid person also. And they are another minority that is often discriminated against.

    I guess I’m wondering what people are trying to prevent?

    Disorder, chaos, destruction, etc., not to mention more stupidity.

    Gays are on TV as ‘normal’ people; Pride parades are so common to be largely “just another parade”

    Only in certain regions of the country, California is an example and they’re bankrupt due to their decadence.

    ….and for every gay student bullied there are many who are just accepted by their peers.

    That’s true. It’s always been the case that fat students and effeminate students should not be bullied and so on. That doesn’t mean that gender identity disorders and morbid obesity are desirable.

    Such is social change – people work alongside gays and find they aren’t fiends and monsters.

    It’s interesting how no one here seems interested in defending homosexuality per se:

    The Waging Peace media campaign will reach straights on an emotional level, casting gays as society’s victims and inviting straights to be their protectors. For this to work, however, we must make it easier for responsive straights to assert and explain their new protective feelings. Few straight women, and fewer straight men, will be bold enough to defend homosexuality per se. Most would rather attach their awakened protective impulse to some principle of justice or law, some general desire for consistent and fair treatment in society.
    Thus, our campaign should not demand explicit support for homosexual practices, but should instead take antidiscrimination as its theme. (After the Ball by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen :187)

  309. —Quite ID: “I think we do ourselves no favors when we expect the state to enforce our views on sexual morality. Society is reprobate through and through.”

    All societies are based on some moral code. My country, the United States, once believed in the natural moral law and was better for it, even though it did not always meet that standard. This same country officially abandoned the natural moral law in 1947 and has, since then, become progressively moral immoral. It now bases its laws on the whims of judges, the convenience of legislators, and, to some extent, popular opinion, all of which explain the progressive corruption.

    To be sure, the standards for the civil law should not be as demanding as the Biblical standards from which they are derived. In any case, what does any of this have to do with my comments about what does and does not constitute moral [not legal] sexual behavior.

    —”Better to let the state reveal its corrupt nature so that the church can stand in marked contrast.”

    The Church should influence the state with the right moral code so that the state will not be so corrupt.

    —”(For the record, in case anybody cares, I think the sexual practices I listed earlier are permissible within marriage.)”

    My question persists. On what standard do you base that judgment? I have already explained the Church’s interpretation of the natural moral law and provided the rationale [the unitive and procreative component of the sexual act cannot be separated]. If you disagree with that standard, please explain why. Provide your own standard, the rationale for that standard, and justify it from a Biblical/Natural law perspective.

  310. It wasn’t in reference to a specific post, or any friend of mine. It’s a pretty common trend. Tchaikovsky, for example, was very tormented in his lifetime, arguably for this reason.

    No, not really:

    Poznansky concludes that the composer “eventually came to see his sexual peculiarities as an insurmountable and even natural part of his personality … without experiencing any serious psychological damage.” cf. Wikipedia

    And that undermines the image of the Gay Victim that you just invoked:

    In order to make a Gay Victim sympathetic to straights, you have to portray him as Everyman. But an additional theme of the campaign will be more aggressive… The campaign should paint gay men and lesbians as superior-veritable pillars of society.
    …this trick is so old it creaks. …. But the message is vital for all those straights who still picture gays as ‘queer’ losers-shadowy, lonesome, frail, drunken, suicidal, child snatching misfits.
    The honor roll of prominent gay or bisexual men and women is truly eye-popping. From Socrates to Eleanor Roosevelt, Tchaikovsky…
    (After the Ball by Kirk and Madsen :187-188)

    Good job, you invoked the Gay Victim and the Great Man at the same time. The evidence may be lacking, as usual, but at least you tried. As I recall propagandists often go a little far in their claims about famous people being gay, anyone from Lincoln to Alexander Hamilton has been called gay for the sake of propaganda.

    In any event, imagery of this sort, emotional conditioning and so on is not going to make having the State prescribe homosexuality as if it is the equal of heterosexuality any more reasonable or rational.

  311. markf #289)

    Thank you for your comments. I’ll start by addressing your key concern: what if my argument is wrong? You write:

    Intelligent though you are, you also capable of error. Suppose you have made mistake in your argument and actually homosexual sex is morally acceptable? Please think seriously about this possibility. After all there are many ardent Christians and even ID supporters on this blog who think who see nothing wrong with homosexual sex.

    If you have made an error, then you have accidentally done something rather appalling.

    First, a Christian who approves of homosexual sex is an oxymoron. That doesn’t show that homosexual sex is wrong, of course; one also needs to show that Christianity is right. But there can be no doubt that the historical Jesus, who was raised as a Jew, would have disapproved of homosexual sex. His views on sexual morality were even stricter than those of most of His Jewish contemporaries: not only did he condemn adultery, He also said that looking at a woman lustfully is tantamount to committing adultery in the heart (Matthew 5:27). He also condemned divorce (Mark 10:11, Luke 16:18). Finally, He insisted that He hadn’t come to do away with the Law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17-19), which would make no sense if He believed that its precepts prohibiting homosexual sex were immoral. I take it that nobody can legitimately call themselves a Christian unless they also claim to agree with all of Christ’s views on morality – for if they disagree on even one point, they are relying on what they see as a higher authority than Christ, in order to decide what’s right and wrong.

    Second, even though I believe that homosexual sex is immoral, I do not believe it should be illegal.

    I have nothing against two persons of the same sex living together, and getting legal recognition as “nearest of kin,” allowing them to get visitation rights in hospitals. I’m also happy for two adults who have lived together for many years to be treated as partners for tax purposes, regardless of their sex. However, as a Christian, I’d still counsel homosexuals living together to live a celibate life.

    I certainly do not advocate any kind of name-calling, violence or hatred towards homosexuals. They are children of God, no matter whether their conduct is moral or immoral.

    More to follow later.

  312. Shogun (253),

    Isn’t the underlying theme of your side an atheist/humanist agenda with homosexuality as a subset of this subjective world view?

    Yes, that agenda includes civil rights, justice, and economic equity.

    Frankly, no one from your side attempted to show OBJECTIVELY why religious morality (Christian in this case) is wrong?

    Who said it’s wrong? Christianity is right and good on very many things. But it’s not right and good on everything, and it’s not the only show in town–or necessarily the best.

  313. Second, for my generation, the sexual chaos is promiscuity, be it gay or straight.

    The philosophy which causes people to self-define as gay causes promiscuity. The fact that it is a self-definition is proven by the fact that people who have the same sexual desires but do not agree that they are good to act on self-define as ex-gay and so on. Choosing to “come out” and identify as gay and so on causes promiscuity because it is linked to a philosophy in which not acting on sexual desires is “living a lie.” I.e. their own sexual desires define the truth and morality. This is combined with the fact that homosexuals have to rebel against natural law per se, unlike heterosexuals who may or may not. I.e. they have to pervert basic natural categories that we all know exist. Kirk and Madsen note that we all have a knowledge of the true version of things which is being perverted in perversions:

    At first, the increasingly jaded gay man seeks novelty in partners, rather than practices, and becomes massively promiscuous; eventually, all bodies become boring, and only new practices will thrill. Two major avenues diverge in this yellow wood, two nerves upon which to press: that of raunch, and that of aggresion.
    The pursuit of sexual happiness via raunch-fetishism, water sports and copraphilia, and so forth-seeks, essentially, to restore…thrills by restoring the ‘dirty,’ hence forbidden…a new barrier of ‘resistance’ to overcome. Unfortunately, this, as with all attempts to sustain the furor sexualis of youth by sheer intensification of some peripheral aspect of the experience, is doomed to failure: mere amplification of ‘dirtiness’ results, finally, in mere wallowing in filth… (After the Ball by Kirk and Madsen :304)

    Indeed, one of the thoughts expressed more than once in this discussion, is that gays are immoral because they are promiscuous and experience a much higher rate of STDs.

    Unlike heterosexuals who may or may not do the same thing homosexuals begin by violating natural law, therefore many assume that violating it more will make them happier or happy again. This is why all sexual disorientations are linked together. Notice how the words sanity and sanitation are linked and are vital when it comes to civilization.

    So, now when gays agree with you that a promiscuous lifestyle is unfulfilling and dangerous and want to form stable, monogamous relationships, you’ll deny them that to.

    That’s victimization propaganda, no one is being denied anything. But if you’re successful you’re going to deny children their fathers or mothers, more boys of lesbians will resent their masculine mothers and so on. More daughters will grow up with their third “dad” due to their father’s promiscuity and vain “pursuit of happiness” as the be all, end all in his life due to his gay philosophy. More young men will begin to struggle with what it is to be a man, the virile roots of virtue will be done away with and more will die.

  314. LT:

    On the — I think reasonable — assumption that you are more or less coming out of the evolutionary materialism-dominated, secularist, subjectivist/relativist school of thought on morality, could you kindly provide warrant — beyond, “might makes ‘right’ . . . ” — for why we should be bound by your views on “civil rights, justice, and economic equity.”

    In short, this — again – is a key concern on my part, as already cited from Plato’s The Laws, Bk X in 217 above and never seriously responded to:

    _____________

    >> Ath. . . . [[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [[i.e the classical "material" elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art, and that as to the bodies which come next in order-earth, and sun, and moon, and stars-they have been created by means of these absolutely inanimate existences. The elements are severally moved by chance and some inherent force according to certain affinities among them-of hot with cold, or of dry with moist, or of soft with hard, and according to all the other accidental admixtures of opposites which have been formed by necessity. After this fashion and in this manner the whole heaven has been created, and all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only. [[In short, evolutionary materialism premised on chance plus necessity acting without intelligent guidance on primordial matter is hardly a new or a primarily "scientific" view!] . . . .

    [[Thus, they hold that t]he Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them; and that the honourable is one thing by nature and another thing by law, and that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.- [[Radical relativism, too, is not new.] These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might [Nietzsche's will to power and power based nihilistic amorality are not new, and are rooted in the imposition of evolutionary materialism], and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [if justice and morality are just a matter of power games, then to the victors belong the spoils], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is, to live in real dominion over others, and not in legal subjection to them. >>

    _____________

    Until I and others are satisfied that we see objective warrant for moral claims, we remain concerned that we may be being manipulated emotionally, in the context of an agenda that cannot stand on its own merits, one that as Tozzi pointed out, may have very serious consequences for liberty and justice for all. Not to mention, for the family foundation for any community worth living in.

    So, can you please explain and warrant your claims?

    GEM of TKI

  315. StephenB, we’re not going to agree on issues of state. But I think it might be worth continuing this part of the dialogue. I wrote

    (For the record, in case anybody cares, I think the sexual practices I listed earlier are permissible within marriage.

    You responded:

    My question persists. On what standard do you base that judgment? I have already explained the Church’s interpretation of the natural moral law and provided the rationale [the unitive and procreative component of the sexual act cannot be separated]. If you disagree with that standard, please explain why. Provide your own standard, the rationale for that standard, and justify it from a Biblical/Natural law perspective.

    I think the Natural Law argument is weak, and the Biblical arguments prohibiting such acts within marriage are nonexistent. The Catholic Church (which was the sole Western authority on such issues until the Reformation) built its views over time less and less on the Bible and more and more on a highly elaborated and specific theology that I don’t share.

    The argument from tradition is not compelling. Homosexuality was illegal, and its illegality supported by the Church, in most Western societies until very recently. Why do you (and vjtorley, and kairosfocus, etc.) all reject the argument from tradition in that case? If you accepted the argument from tradition, you should support the legal prohibition of homosexual behavior.

  316. LarTanner,

    You’re evading the issue. You were asked:

    Frankly, no one from your side attempted to show OBJECTIVELY why religious morality (Christian in this case) is wrong?

    To which you answered:

    Who said it’s wrong? Christianity is right and good on very many things. But it’s not right and good on everything, and it’s not the only show in town–or necessarily the best.

    You said it was wrong. And if there is a “best” to be compared to, then there is an objective moral standard. Unless there is a fixed point as a destination, you cannot come closer to it. Better and Best would have no meaning without an objective morality.

  317. QuiteID,

    You’re evading the question StephenB asked you:

    On what standard do you base that judgment? I have already explained the Church’s interpretation of the natural moral law and provided the rationale [the unitive and procreative component of the sexual act cannot be separated]. If you disagree with that standard, please explain why.

    What is your standard, and what is it based on?

  318. —mynym [quoting Kirk and Madsen]:
    —”At first, the increasingly jaded gay man seeks novelty in partners, rather than practices, and becomes massively promiscuous; eventually, all bodies become boring, and only new practices will thrill. Two major avenues diverge in this yellow wood, two nerves upon which to press: that of raunch, and that of aggresion.”

    —The pursuit of sexual happiness via raunch-fetishism, water sports and copraphilia, and so forth-seeks, essentially, to restore…thrills by restoring the ‘dirty,’ hence forbidden…a new barrier of ‘resistance’ to overcome. Unfortunately, this, as with all attempts to sustain the furor sexualis of youth by sheer intensification of some peripheral aspect of the experience, is doomed to failure: mere amplification of ‘dirtiness’ results, finally, in mere wallowing in filth… (After the Ball by Kirk and Madsen :304)”

    This is a key point. Sexual gratification for the sake of sexual gratification alone is always inflationary. Since the initial thrill is driven, in part, by a desire to violate the natural moral law, the violator becomes ever more comfortable with the violation and finds it increasingly less stimulating. Thus, to maintain the desired stimulation, he must engage in increasingly outrageous violations of the natural moral law [fisting, violence, admission of excretory functions etc.]

  319. Clive Hayden, I base my standard on the Bible, which does not in my view condemn consensual sexual practices within marriage. (The sin of Onan has to do with a refusal to perpetuate his brother’s tribe — I think it’s stretching it to say that the sin is really about where the semen lands.)

    I ask you, as I asked StephenB: why is the argument from tradition compelling in the case of condemning sexual practices within marriage but not compelling in the case of outlawing homosexual practices outside of marriage?

  320. KF (314)

    could you kindly provide warrant — beyond, “might makes ‘right’ . . . ” — for why we should be bound by your views on “civil rights, justice, and economic equity.”

    No, I cannot. I don’t think you should be bound to my views on these things.

    Now a question for you. Assuming we want to live in the same society together, do you think it’s possible for us to negotiate reasonable definitions of civil rights, etc., and to establish administration of them?

  321. tribune7@275:

    Nor does the prohibition about multiple wives. If a state should pass a law banning impotent men from marriage would that be unconstitutional?

    I would argue yes. Just as banning inter-racial marriage is unconstitutional. I see marriage as a useful and fulfilling entity even if children are not part of the equation, and inability to have children, like race, should not be a barrier.

  322. This is a key point. Sexual gratification for the sake of sexual gratification alone is always inflationary. Since the initial thrill is driven, in part, by a desire to violate the natural moral law…

    It’s interesting that “perverts” understand the laws that they are perverting. Similarly, those who have been conditioned to feel that they must support homosexuality here because they know a nice gay and so on assume natural law as well. They appeal to it in arguments about how bad it is to even mention perversions like zoophilia. But given their supposed subjective morality based on consent or harm there isn’t anything wrong with such disorders per se. After all, we use animals for our own ends all the time, including eating them and we don’t ask their consent to do so. The only reason that the very same people who seek to undermine natural law and civilization in one case use it an excuse to get self-righteous in another (“How dare you even mention that!” Etc.) is because they already know that there is order to things. Like “perverts,” they are appealing to and using that knowledge and yet attacking and doing away with it at the same time.

  323. markf (307)

    Just a quick answer before I retire for the evening. You wrote:

    vj – if you are going to authorise any act that could lead to procreation subject to suitable scientific miracles than you must allow the possibility that sex between a lesbian couple might have a daughter through some bizarre feat of future medicine (a son is of course ruled out because neither has a Y chromosome).

    Even if science could enable a lesbian couple to have a daughter, it would still remain the case that a lesbian sex act could never produce one. Thus a lesbian sex act could never be described as a procreative act. It lacks that dimension.

    The point I was trying to make with elderly or infertile couples is that the act they are performing is the same kind of act as the act performed by fertile heterosexual couples who are not trying to impede procreation. In the latter case, the sex act is (at least sometimes) a procreative act. If it is morally permissible (as it surely must be) for a married man and woman to engage in a procreative act, then I would argue that it is also morally permissible for a married man and woman who are infertile through no fault of their own, and who are doing nothing to impede procreation, to engage in the same kind of act. That was the sole point of my sci-fi illustration: to show that it is only through an accident of circumstance (which scientists could theoretically fix) that an infertile couple’s act of love is robbed of its procreative aspect. A lesbian sex act, on the other hand, could never be a procreative act.

    My sci-fi example was not intended to suggest that infertile couples should be seeking fertility treatments, regardless of their age or the cost of the treatment.

    On the topic of homosexual sex, I’d like to recommend a short online article by ex-atheist Jennifer Fulwiler, who converted to Catholicism a few years ago. Her article, What will I tell my gay friends? is extremely well-written, easy to read and makes some very telling points about what sex is for.

    #289

    Re your case of the couple where the woman finds out she has Huntington’s disease, I’m afraid I would not regard either a vasectomy or a hysterectomy as a moral option. Both acts are a kind of self-mutilation, which involve destroying an aspect of your whole being: your fertility. It’s a you-versus-your body mindset again.

    On the other hand, if they got married and had sex, knowing that their offspring might inherit the disease, I would not regard that as a wicked act. There can be no such thing as wrongful procreation. Inadvisable, yes; wrong, no.

  324. Clive (316)

    Better and Best would have no meaning without an objective morality.

    Keep on the quixotic quest for objective morality. In the real world, meaning depends centrally on difference.

  325. 325

    Lunch time! I thought I’d peak in on Kairosfocus.

    I gave a very specific answer, one that involved my own and three other marriages — never mind the terms you attempted to dictate were most loaded.

    The question I asked was how gay marriage would hurt your marriage. You mentioned several marriages, but made no argument as to how instituting gay marriage would hurt them.

    Rather than continue to live in just one aspect of the sort of situation that Yogyakarta agenda would precipitate, I found it better to live with my family under the threat of an active explosive type volcano.

    So, you do believe your marriage would be harmed by instituting gay marriage wherever you lived before. Okay. I am sorry to hear that. When I asked my parents that question they answered that their marriage wouldn’t be harmed because the only thing that affects the success or failure of their marriage are their actions and behaviors towards each other. To the extent they honor each other, they sanctify the relationship. Two gay guys getting married has no impact on them at all.

    Also about that imposition of a police state, censorship and widespread violations of conscience for people in homes, schools, hospitals, churches and businesses as well as areas of residence will imply.

    So, again it seems your issue is not gay marriage per se, but some other radical agenda that you perceive goes along with it.

    Finally, I do not at all appreciate your twisting my remarks on a widespread breakdown of family due to sexual chaos that would be rendered irreversible by the homosexualisation of marriage, into “blame it on the gays.”

    My apologies. Since you seem to want to force the same solution on all gays, whether they are radical activists or just people wanting to live their life in peace and quiet, I assumed wrongly what you were saying. Sorry.

    I does make me wonder something about your later comment “I suspect MOST actual homosexuals do not identify with the activist movement. “gay” is not a synonym for “homosexual.” If your issue is with the activists and their radical authoritarian agenda, wouldn’t it make sense to work with the other homosexuals to craft a same-sex marriage law that preserves your free speech rights and the rights of conscience of religious organizations? Work with the “good homosexuals” to marginalize the radicals?

    If you had taken the time to read my words more carefully, or to actually read the point made in the Manhattan Declaration, you will see that the precise point was that sexual chaos is a much broader problem, but the homosexualist agenda on marriage would push things across a tipping point;

    I see a lot of such predictions, but no one ever says how that works. There is gay marriage in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Sweden. What is the negative results in those countries that has resulted from gay marriage.

  326. I would argue yes. Just as banning inter-racial marriage is unconstitutional.

    Being aware of sex distinctions is not the moral equivalent of racial discrimination, otherwise having opposite sex bathrooms would be as unjust as having separate bathrooms for blacks and whites once was.

    There has never been a sex blind society in all of history. We will never have a sex blind society, nor is it clear why we should want one.

    A few notes on everything that you would have to be ignorant of and blind towards:

    Involved fathers typically initiate more active play and are more tolerant of physical exploration by infants than mothers….In their efforts to encourage infant competence, mothers are generally more concerned with verbal-intellectual teaching, whereas fathers are more oriented toward active, arousing play and fostering autonomy and independence.
    (Henry B. Biller, Father and Families:
    Paternal Factors in Child Development,
    Auburn House, Westport, Connecticut, 1993)

    In a study of 42 families of young children, mothers were more likely to use indirect forms of communication such as questions, directives, and suggestions, while fathers tended to use direct forms of communications such as imperatives. Mothers in the study were found to be less direct and tried to elicit compliance and cooperation from their children. Fathers in the study offered a model of directiveness and self assertion. In measures of compliance or obedience toward their mothers and fathers, although girls did not differ in their rates of compliance to mothers and fathers, boys showed higher levels of compliance to their fathers than to their mothers.
    (Thomas G. Power, Marianne McGrath, Sheryl O. Hughes, and Sarah H. Manire, “Compliance and Self-Assertion:Young Children’s Responses to Mothers Versus Fathers,” Developmental Psychology, 30 (1994): 980-989)

    The author puts play in a central position in his model, as central to fathering as nurturance to mothering, and then ascribes an essential function to it, that of opening the child up to the world, as essential to development as providing a sense of security. The author presents the case that the unique aspects of father child play make positive contributions to early development.
    (Do Fathers Just Want to Have Fun? Commentary on Theorizing the Father-Child Relationship
    By Roggman, Lori A.)

  327. 324

    “Keep on the quixotic quest for objective morality. In the real world, meaning depends centrally on difference.”

    Yet, in the real world, you can provide no warrant for your views.

  328. StephenB@282:

    Yes, provided we amend that to read “only those acts that are ‘open to’ procreation.” If a married couple cannot have children, their acts would not “lead to” procreation but could, nevertheless, be open to it and therefore moral. Also, one can make a case for other kinds of sexual acts if they are not brought to completion and used as a preliminary to sexual intercourse.

    While I don’t agree personally with the “only for procreation” idea, this approach certainly has the merit of at least trying to define what acts are moral or not for Christians. However, wouldn’t the last sentence also allow uncompleted anal sex as a preliminary to intercourse? (I’m just going on logic here – the downside of that particular process is obvious to me as well as anyone else.)

    Regarding natural family planning – the efficacy seems to vary widely from study to study, which suggests that many factors are involved in success. There is certainly much to commend it. I can only refer to my own experience.

    I’ve tried it once. He’s now in elementary school. :-)

  329. 329

    VJT

    Rendering procreation impossible before getting married is wrong. It does not follow, however, that a married couple who are currently infertile should do everything they can do render procreation possible – i.e. seek out every fertility treatment they read about. There is such a thing as trying too hard.

    So, it would seem that your philosophy would deny marriage to a straight couple that has no interest in children and has taken steps to ensure that doesn’t happen. So, you devise a little thought experiment to avoid that.

    The point of my peculiar thought experiment was not to show that elderly people should have children, but that they could, hypothetically speaking. If their infertility were reversed, they’d still be the same people. That was what I meant when I wrote that age is not a natural impediment, in the strictest sense of “natural.” If you use the word “natural” to mean “in the ordinary course of events,” then of course aging is natural. It is something that happens to all of us. However, there is no reason in principle why it could not be delayed or partially reversed.

    So, your rationale to deny gay marriage is because of procreation. But, you are willing to allow straight couples who have no capability to procreate to marry because in some future, science-fiction-comes-true world scientists might figure out how to reverse a hysterectomy or stop menopause? So Mark asks the obvious question regarding gay marriage if scientists figure out a way for two women to procreate and you resond:

    Even if science could enable a lesbian couple to have a daughter, it would still remain the case that a lesbian sex act could never produce one. Thus a lesbian sex act could never be described as a procreative act. It lacks that dimension.

    So, it isn’t about procreation at all, but about the Approved Types of Sex.

  330. 330

    VJT:

    I think the question is not what it impact it would have on his marriage, or on mine, but what it would have on our children’s and our grand-children’s future marriages. Would it weaken their sense that marriage is a life-long, monogamous partnership, “until death do us part?” Almost certainly, because of the brain-washing they’d get at school.

    Two comments before I head back to class:

    1. What makes you think gays are less likely to have life-long monogamous relationships? Frankly, heterosexuals don’t exactly have a great track record in that regard. Given that same-sex marriage is a recent phenomenom, shouldn’t we be looking at the divorce rates for gays in countries where they can get married?
    2 I don’t understand why people are so scared that public schools will teach students an unhealthy view of marriage. Wouldn’t it make more sense to improve their parenting skills or send their kids to religious schools (or home school) that will teach the right things?

  331. markf (#289)

    In answer to your query: total self-giving means holding nothing of yourself back, physically, mentally or emotionally, when you express your love for your sexual partner.

    A gay couple may intend that their sex act be an act of total self-giving, and may even give as much as they possibly can of themselves, on an emotional level. Nevertheless, their act fails to qualify as an act of total self-giving, because there is one vital aspect of their being which they are not attempting to express, and which they could not express in the act, even if they wished to do so: the procreative aspect. The procreative aspect of sex can only be expressed with a partner of the opposite sex.

    Consequently, no matter how hard they try, a gay couple cannot engage in an act of total self-giving, even if they mistakenly intend to do so.

    By the way, when I wrote in step 3 of my argument that “An act which is by its very nature incapable of realizing the intentions of the actor is a wrong act,” you should read that as meaning: “An act which is premised upon a mistaken intent is a wrong act.”

    An infertile couple, on the other hand, are engaging in an act which is typically (for most married people) potentially procreative. Moreover, they are doing nothing to block the procreative aspect of that act. Their sex act fails to be procreative, only because of accidental circumstances which are beyond their control. Consequently, their act of love still qualifies as an act of total self-giving, as they are doing everything that a fertile couple does when they make love.

    I hope that answers your questions. And now I really must retire for the evening.

  332. SAR:

    Please, just simply read. I have answered. Your responses begin to sound like you want to pretend that the answer is not there.

    Let us not go down that road.

    GEM of TKI

  333. —Quite ID: “I think the Natural Law argument is weak, and the Biblical arguments prohibiting such acts within marriage are nonexistent.”

    If it is weak, you should be able to explain why and offer an alternative standard, complete with its rationale. So far, you have not done that. The Scriptures are certainly not silent, making even more demands than the natural moral law by holding us accountable not just for our behavior but even for our thoughts and intentions. It is completely anti-Scriptural for one person to use another person as an object for his/her sexual gratification as the admonition against lust makes clear.

    —”The Catholic Church (which was the sole Western authority on such issues until the Reformation) built its views over time less and less on the Bible and more and more on a highly elaborated and specific theology that I don’t share.”

    The Catholic Church’s position is the Biblical position, and it has not changed in any way.

    —”The argument from tradition is not compelling.”

    That statement is easy to make but not so easy to defend.

    —”Why do you (and vjtorley, and kairosfocus, etc.) all reject the argument from tradition [illegality of homosexuality] in that case?”

    Which argument are you referring to?

    –”If you accepted the argument from tradition, you should support the legal prohibition of homosexual behavior.”

    Why does the traditional argument against the morality of sexual behavior require one to favor the outlawing of homosexual behavior? Christian theology/philosophy provides only basic moral principles upon which the civil law is established, allowing the culture to breathe and develop naturally. It does not, like Islam, smother the culture with a ready made legal and social agenda customized to conform in every way to its theological dogmas.

    Your concerns are misplaced. What is to be feared is not old laws against homosexuality, which are dying out, but rather the new, anti-Christian, anti-freedom, hate crime laws, which are cropping up everywhere. In the West at least, Christians who criticize homosexual behavior have a lot more to fear from their governments than do homosexuals.

  334. LT:

    Pardon.

    You acknowledge just above that you have no basis for the morality that we all must live as being bound by.

    That speaks volumes on the inadequacies of the secularist, evolutionary materialistic view.

    Above I pointed out the longstanding — 2,350 years is surely longstanding — concern that such views logically lead to radical relativism and the de facto principle that might makes right.

    Such people in a community will operate by the principle: what can I get away with, i.e. utter incivility.

    Such, therefore can only to be negotiated with at arms’-length, and on terms of realising what will happen if one’s back is turned. (Very familiar terms these, we used to have to deal with communists, who lived by the ethics of ends justifying means, and might determining right. We learned the hard way — I could give you some hair-raising war stories — never to turn our backs to them.)

    Therefore, the onus is on YOU to show us that our concerns on the intent to homosexualise marriage are not well-founded.

    For, to people like Plato described, “rights” is a synonym for a claim to power to act as one pleases, regardless of consequences to others who are not sufficiently strong to retaliate.

    Claiming a “right” coming out of such lips, is pointless.

    So, now, show us, in specific response tot he concerns above, how radically reshaping marriage will do more good than harm in the community. (And address the framework for rights and purposes, thus justice that has already been presented, please. for, that one anchors rights in our objective experience of being morally bound and its implication that there is a Law-giver, who has made us male and female and has made children such that the need 10- 20 years of stability to be properly matured. Thus, marriage as it is historically understood. And, since marriage, hsotorically and on the above facts of procreation and nurture is a matter of mutual consent and long term open ended commitment between people of complementary sex, it is a freedom and an agreement indeed a covenant, not a right.)

    Failing that demonstration of safety in making the demanded changes, the default must stand, for simple prudence and safety.

    GEM of TKI

  335. mikev6 — I see marriage as a useful and fulfilling entity even if children are not part of the equation, and inability to have children . . .

    If children are not part of the equation, why not just live together without a contract? Why is access to a divorce court so important?

  336. —Mike: “However, wouldn’t the last sentence also allow uncompleted anal sex as a preliminary to intercourse? (I’m just going on logic here – the downside of that particular process is obvious to me as well as anyone else.)”

    The justification for engaging in alternative sex acts would seem to be based on the idea that some souls, either for medical or psychological reasons, cannot “get ready” for birth-producing sex any other way, if you get my drift. On the other hand, one must already be ready for anal sex to engage in it, so I don’t understand how it could be morally justified as a preliminary technique.

  337. StephenB, I agree with you here:

    Christian theology/philosophy provides only basic moral principles upon which the civil law is established, allowing the culture to breathe and develop naturally. It does not, like Islam, smother the culture with a ready made legal and social agenda customized to conform in every way to its theological dogmas.

    As a Christian, I’m against homosexual behavior. But as a citizen, I think the society has reached a point where laws need to treat homosexuals as equals.

    You may be right about what we in the West have to fear, although I have not seen the effects of that. The fears expressed here have been of the what-if, slippery-slope variety.

    Internationally, of course, homosexuals have a great deal to fear, including execution. That of course is the Biblical standard (Lev 18:22), but modern pluralistic societies cannot hope to implement that standard. The question is how far will they depart from it?

    The UN recently voted “to remove LGBT people from a list of protected groups that have historically been targeted for genocide.” Such a vote suggests that the Yogyakarta principles, which kairosfocus has raised, are hardly guiding for international law.

  338. ME6:

    I note to you again, I am meeting those principles so-called in action on the ground here in dealing with a constitution. Indeed, much of the above thread is a manifestation of the agenda shown in those principles, so-called.

    Further, above I showed that the MD first addresses the principle that life, from conception to natural death and without qualification, should be respected and cherished. Any qualification by listing particular classes of persons to be specially protected in fact undercuts the basic principle.

    That is the “group rights” premise is antithetical to the very foundation of rights. As was already addressed above.

    And, you too, on track record, need to address the same challenge that LT has to, on the inherent amorality and radical, subjectivist relativism of evolutionary materialist worldviews, leading to the nihilistic premise that might makes right.

    Otherwise, we would be foolish indeed to turn our backs.

    GEM of TKI

  339. San Antonio Rose (#329, 330)

    I’d just like to clear up one point, first of all. I would deny marriage to a straight couple that has no interest in having children and has taken steps to ensure that doesn’t happen. However, I would not deny marriage to an elderly or infertile couple that has no interest in having children, but has taken no steps to ensure that doesn’t happen. The former couple have closed their hearts to procreation. The latter couple is simply not interested in procreation. So, contrary to your claim, it’s not simply about about the Approved Types of Sex.

    1. You ask:

    What makes you think gays are less likely to have life-long monogamous relationships? Frankly, heterosexuals don’t exactly have a great track record in that regard. Given that same-sex marriage is a recent phenomenon, shouldn’t we be looking at the divorce rates for gays in countries where they can get married?

    I agree that the track record of heterosexuals is not fantastic in the present day and age. However, gays have a much worse track record. You may have missed what I wrote earlier on in this thread, in comment #20 (see paragraph 9):

    [T]he vast majority of gay couples are not monogamous. If you want to see the evidence for that assertion of mine, please read the article, Open Monogamy by writer and attorney Mary Rice Hasson.

    An excerpt from Hasson’s article:

    While just 7 per cent of Americans believe that adultery (sexual infidelity by married, heterosexual partners) is morally acceptable, Dr Hoff’s report emphasizes that nearly 50 per cent of gays in committed relationships specifically affirm sexual infidelity. Other research shows shockingly higher rates (75-95 per cent) of non-monogamy in long-term gay relationships.

    (Note that we are talking about male homosexual relationships here. Research on lesbian couples is sparse but one study finds that 20 per cent of lesbians pursue open relationships.)

    Hasson goes on to argue that even gays who call themselves monogamous don’t really practice monogamy. Commenting on that finding, I wrote:

    Some gays may claim to practice “emotional monogamy” (i.e. it’s OK to have an occasional affair, so long as you don’t get emotionally involved) but that is not the same thing as real monogamy. (Think about it: what wife would tolerate that rationale from a philandering husband? “It’s OK, honey, I cheat but I never get emotionally involved.”)

    Later in the same comment, I also wrote:

    Readers might also like to have a look at this article in Psychology Today (September 16, 2008), whose author is quite sympathetic towards “open marriages” and even thinks we can learn something from them:

    In his book, The Soul Beneath the Skin, David Nimmons cites numerous studies which show that 75% of gay male couples are in successful open relationships. He makes it clear that whatever you decide as a couple you should be up front, direct and honest about what the contract of your relationship is on both sides. (Emphasis mine – VJT.)

    You may have also missed what I wrote in my critical review (comment #212) of the recent National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS) by Drs. Nanette Gartrell and Henny Bos, which was published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Since the 1980s, the US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS) has been following and reporting on a cohort of planned lesbian families with children conceived through donor insemination. Having a child would be a pretty powerful motive for staying together, you might think. Evidently not:

    Remarkably, the authors report that the relationship-dissolution rate for the lesbian couples was 48% at the 10-year mark and 56% at the 17-year mark. (The average duration of the relationship prior to dissolution was 12 years.) When compared to the relationship-dissolution rates of the biological heterosexual sisters of the lesbians, the rate of relationship breakup is nearly double for the lesbians.

    2. You also wrote:

    I don’t understand why people are so scared that public schools will teach students an unhealthy view of marriage. Wouldn’t it make more sense to improve their parenting skills or send their kids to religious schools (or home school) that will teach the right things?

    The reason is that in 20 years’ time, the government won’t let religious schools teach that homosexual acts are immoral, or that marriage is essentially monogamous. That will be considered hate speech, which is prejudicial to the interests of gays, the majority of whose marriages are not monogamous. In comment #20 above, I cited the case in the UK of a Christian couple being denied the right to adopt children because of their beliefs about the immorality of homosexuality. The Christian Legal Centre, commenting on the case, said:

    ‘The implications are huge. It is no exaggeration to say that the future of Christian foster carers and adoptive parents hangs in the balance.

    ‘It may not be long before local authorities decide that Christians cannot look after some of the most vulnerable children in our society, simply because they disapprove of homosexuality.’

    I then argued that it wouldn’t be long before natural parents are quizzed about the same thing. (After all, the argument will go, if adoptive children have the right to be brought up in a bigotry-free household, why not natural children too?) I also predicted that birth mothers would one day be refused the right to take their baby home from hospital, unless they gave the “correct” answers to the hospital social worker who quizzes them about what they would do if their child turned out to be gay.

    And in an earlier post, entitled Survival of the Godliest: Does strong religious belief provide an evolutionary advantage? I outlined some simple measures by which secularists might seek to restrict the fertility of religious people and propagate their secularist “memes,” among them the following:

    Deny government funding to religious schools that teach any kind of “bigotry.” Leave the term “bigotry” as vague as possible in legal judgments, in the beginning. As time progresses, issue a series of legal decisions, enlarging the list of ideas that can be classified as bigotry, so that in effect, religious schools receiving government funding end up teaching a form of “secular lite,” which is always about 15 years behind current social trends, and therefore relatively innocuous from a secular perspective, while at the same time retaining limited appeal for parents who want their children brought up with “old-fashioned” values.

    (As I pointed out in that post, the research indicates that only people with very strong religious beliefs – so-called “fundamentalists” such as the Amish and Orthodox Jews – tend to reproduce at above replacement levels, so inculcating secularist “memes” would have the effect of reducing fertility.)

    At a later date, even religious schools which don’t receive government funding could be threatened with closure for teaching “bigotry.”

    In short: the secularist bureaucrats who seek to impose their values on the rest of the population have a long-term plan, and they are quite prepared to use the power of the State quite ruthlessly to impose it. Sending your children to a religious school might reduce the risk of them being corrupted by secular ideals, but not for long.

  340. —SanAntonioRose: “When I asked my parents that question they answered that their marriage wouldn’t be harmed because the only thing that affects the success or failure of their marriage are their actions and behaviors towards each other. To the extent they honor each other, they sanctify the relationship. Two gay guys getting married has no impact on them at all.”

    The issue is less about the impact on this or that marriage and more about the impact on the common good, society at large, and the future of marriage and the nuclear family as an preferred institution. Gay marriage reduces mainstream marriage to just one of many social contracts which, by definition are not deemed special in any way. It has already had an effect. Marriages are down in the West and, more and more, arguments are being made that the state can do just as good of a job rearing children as parents in a nuclear family.

    The trajectory goes like this: Sexual immorality, in general, and homosexuality, in particular, reduces the number of marriages; fewer marriages weaken the nuclear family, which is the main safeguard against a tyrannical state; the weakened family cannot resist the tyrannical power of the state and basic human rights are lost.

  341. Dr. Torley, please be consistent. If you’re going to argue for the rights of couples to adopt no matter their views on homosexuality (I presume you’d not prohibit adoption by a pro-gay, heterosexual couple) you should not restrict the rights of people to marry — and, presumably, adopt — based on their views about birth control.

  342. QuiteID (#337)

    I’d just like to comment on a remark you made in your previous post, if I may. You wrote:

    Internationally, of course, homosexuals have a great deal to fear, including execution. That of course is the Biblical standard (Lev 18:22), but modern pluralistic societies cannot hope to implement that standard. The question is how far will they depart from it?

    I don’t know whether it was your intent, but your wording suggests that in a completely Judeo-Christian society, the death penalty for homosexuals would be appropriate, and that the only reason you object to it being implemented at present is that the society we live in is a pluralistic one. I hope I haven’t mis-read you; my profound apologies if I have.

    If that is what you meant, then I would have to disagree. I would maintain that the death penalty for homosexual acts (mandated in Leviticus 20:13, by the way), was intended for a one-off situation, never to be repeated. The story of the woman caught in adultery (John 7:53-8:11) strongly suggests that Jesus Christ intended to do away with the death penalty for sexual sins.

    The reason why the death penalty may have been necessary in ancient Israel may have been because in that culture, as in ancient Greece, homosexuality was predominantly associated with pedophilia. The practice may have been so prevalent that it had simply to be eradicated, root and branch, in order for Israelite society to retain its ethical and religious ideals – otherwise Israel would have succumbed to child abuse, as other societies in the region did. Secular readers should recall that we are talking about a subsistence society, more than 3,000 years ago, which certainly could not afford the luxury of high-security jails.

    In short, God’s command to execute homosexuals in ancient Israel does not imply the universal generalization that all practicing homosexuals deserve the death sentence. Homosexuals are sinners, but so are we all. They are also children of God. The death penalty is justifiable only when the very survival of a society is at stake.

  343. QuiteID (#341) and San Antonio Rose:

    I’m not a nosy person by nature, and I do not believe the State should be, either. No public official has any business asking a man and woman wanting to get married what their views on this or that issue are, or whether they have sterilized themselves. The legal presumption should therefore be that a man and woman presenting themselves before a marriage celebrant have no impediment to marriage. With a gay couple, on the other hand, the impediment to marriage is immediately obvious.

  344. vj #307

    Re your case of the couple where the woman finds out she has Huntington’s disease, I’m afraid I would not regard either a vasectomy or a hysterectomy as a moral option. Both acts are a kind of self-mutilation, which involve destroying an aspect of your whole being: your fertility. It’s a you-versus-your body mindset again.

    On the other hand, if they got married and had sex, knowing that their offspring might inherit the disease, I would not regard that as a wicked act. There can be no such thing as wrongful procreation. Inadvisable, yes; wrong, no.

    This demonstrates to me the subjectivity of ethics. I find the actions of the couple so obviously praiseworthy and morally good that any argument that concludes they acted wrongly must be mistaken – a sort of ethical reduction ad absurdum.

    To be honest I am little shocked that you, a good man, should hold such an opinion. However, at this point we have to agree to differ and I just hope your position changes.

  345. Kairos (334)–

    You acknowledge just above that you have no basis for the morality that we all must live as being bound by.

    Did I say “no” basis? Really? As in “none”? I don’t think I said or implied “no” basis. I might have said something like “no absolute basis,” which is far different than none at all.

    Therefore, the onus is on YOU to show us that our concerns on the intent to homosexualise marriage are not well-founded.

    Your concerns are not well-founded because marriage is not the exclusive right or domain of heterosexuals and never has been. What’s more, there is no logical or moral reason in a free society to make the legal definition of marriage arbitrarily exclusive.

    Other than this, I wish not to indulge the fear-mongering and bigotry shown in your raving demand for me to speculate on future society. If folks like you would grow up and get over yourselves, society might do very nicely, thanks.

    If you really cared about people and about “life” and “family,” you would turn not to the juvenile MD but to movements focused on eradicating poverty (how about that?) and urging global environmental responsibility. Why

  346. 346

    Quick question as I don’t have alot of time in study hall. VJT, you write:

    I would deny marriage to a straight couple that has no interest in having children and has taken steps to ensure that doesn’t happen.

    and then you write:

    No public official has any business asking a man and woman wanting to get married what their views on this or that issue are, or whether they have sterilized themselves.

    So, you feel strongly enough that marriage should only be about procreation that you think marriage should be denied to some heterosexual couples, but not strongly enough to act on your convictions. You justify your inaction by saying:

    The legal presumption should therefore be that a man and woman presenting themselves before a marriage celebrant have no impediment to marriage. With a gay couple, on the other hand, the impediment to marriage is immediately obvious.

    But, in your future sci-fi world where you think hysterectomies can be reversed and menopause stopped, you would still deny the same legal presumption to same sex couples even if science figured out a way for them to procreate.

    You justify that by saying:

    Even if science could enable a lesbian couple to have a daughter, it would still remain the case that a lesbian sex act could never produce one. Thus a lesbian sex act could never be described as a procreative act. It lacks that dimension.

    So, it isn’t enough that same sex couples could procreate, they must procreate by performing The Right Procreative Act. Maybe I am just a dumb girl, but it seems to come down to the fact that you just don’t like what gay couples do behind closed doors.

  347. 347

    #345

    KF: could you kindly provide warrant — beyond, “might makes ‘right’…” — for why we should be bound by your views on “civil rights, justice, and economic equity.”

    LT: “No, I cannot”.

  348. BiPed: Ah, the quote-mine. How…surprising

    /sarcasm

  349. QuietID — But as a citizen, I think the society has reached a point where laws need to treat homosexuals as equals.

    I think one of the things that is driving the dispute is that you see homosexuals as a separate category of persons, whereas I, and most of those disagree with you, I suspect, do not.

    I believe that homosexuals are treated as equals under the law.

    I see it primarily as a behavior issue while you see it as a forced-identity issue. Why do you see it this way?

  350. 350

    “Quote mine”….???

    Skippy, its right up thread for anyone to see.

    Are you suggesting I took you out of context?
    Let us see:

    Your next words following my quote of you were “I don’t think you should be bound to my views on these things.” …and that was the end of your thought.

    You next started another paragraph beginning with “Now a question for you.”

  351. 351

    Lar,

    When you come up against reason that you can’t deal with, have the sack to admit it and move on.

    /reality

  352. question for all those on this thread who think that heterosexuality is the only “natural” and “moral” kind of sexuality: does that mean hermaphrodites are condemned to lifelong celibacy, since they are “naturally” neither male nor female (and you consider sex-adjustment, after all, also “unnatural” and “immoral”)?

  353. Dr. Torley,

    These are complex issues, but I’ll try to reply to several related concerns.

    First, your lack of nosiness is an insufficient defense of your position. You’ve said

    I would deny marriage to a straight couple that has no interest in having children and has taken steps to ensure that doesn’t happen.

    Those are strong words. As San Antonio Rose notes, you seem to back away from this position, but it either means something or it does not. Why not have the state issue a certificate barring marriage to any bachelor receiving a vasectomy unless and until the procedure is reversed?

    As for the death penalty, here I think you walk into a bit of a trap. You write:

    The reason why the death penalty may have been necessary in ancient Israel may have been because in that culture, as in ancient Greece, homosexuality was predominantly associated with pedophilia. The practice may have been so prevalent that it had simply to be eradicated, root and branch, in order for Israelite society to retain its ethical and religious ideals – otherwise Israel would have succumbed to child abuse, as other societies in the region did.

    A number of people on this very thread have suggested that we are going in that direction now, so why not revert to that standard?

    Further, you do not just oppose the death penalty: from what I understand, you oppose all legal punishment. Why? If homosexual behavior was punished for itself then, it should be punished for itself now. If it it punishable only when associated with pedophilia, it is but a small step to saying that homosexuality is wrong only under the same conditions.

  354. I think one of the things that is driving the dispute is that you see homosexuals as a separate category of persons…

    Propagandists recommend creating such imagery but the evidence is clear:
    “Homosexuality is something people do; it is not who they are.” –Pepper Swartz, summarizing the evidence

    For some posting here it seems that the evidence doesn’t matter. They know a nice gay, therefore whatever else they’re advocating legally or morally follows. Notice how their infantile logic doesn’t work to reach any other conclusion. For example, if someone said that the gays they knew were narcissistic and manipulative and concluded that this settled all legal or moral issues they would call their own logic bigotry.

  355. Further, you do not just oppose the death penalty: from what I understand, you oppose all legal punishment. Why? If homosexual behavior was punished for itself then, it should be punished for itself now.

    Not at all, the spirit of the law is the same (i.e. the Logos to things or natural law that even perverts know) but the letter of the law dealing with it is relativized by time, place and circumstance. In this case, perhaps the main reason that an ancient group of wandering nomads could not tolerate homosexuality in the least was because most would have been dead due to disease if they did tolerate it. It’s a different circumstance than the “Live and let die.” attitude that people can afford to take now.

  356. Contrary to what has been said about me, I don’t think homosexuals are a different category of person. In fact, I agree with much of Dr. Torley’s account of development, although describing early same-sex attraction as “homosexuality” seems too Freudian to me.

    I’m a bit surprised at the folks here– who normally call out for moral absolutes — reading the Scriptures in relative fashion just when it’s convenient. Maybe it’s obvious to you what is relative and what is absolute, and maybe it’s just a happy coincidence that those differences align nicely with your political convictions. As for me, I find these questions rather difficult.

  357. molch hermaphrodites are condemned to lifelong celibacy

    Why should that be the case? Just so long as they used the organs God gave them in the proper manner, of course.

  358. UB

    Thanks for watching my 6.

    LT needs to address the implications of his evident evolutionary materialist metaphysics, in light of the IS-OUGHT gap such views contain.

    That is plainly the underlying driver of the collapse of ethical thought in our civilisation, and the results are quite evident in the sexual chaos reflected in this thread as we can see above.

    To fix the problem, we need to go back to the other subtle implication: the fact of quarrelling — especially over rights — implies that we are morally bound, morally governed. Thence we see that there is moral law that governs us in light of our purpose, and this points to a Law Giver.

    On such a foundation, we could rebuild our civilisation, but my suspicion is the disease is now mortal.

    Better go study Chinese, folks.

    GEM of TKI

  359. Very instructive thread. What it shows is the bankruptcy of the materialists as it relates to morality. Having abandoned the neccessary foundational principle of an absolute “good” they are left to wander in the wilderness of their own subjective making arguing that good is whatever they convince others what that “good” happens to be at this moment in time. If they can get enough people to agree what was at one time wrong that it is now good evil becomes good and good becoes evil. Materialists are moral alchemists

    As KF has already pointed out good is another word for “might” as in “might makes right (good)” Of course this offends their sensibilities but the fact is all Hitler did was exercise might and made the holocaust good. After a few years a stronger might intervenend (The Allies) and made what was once good evil. And that sums up the basic foundation of morality for the likes of MF, Lars, and all the other moral relativist’s
    on this thread as Lars stated in response to this query by KF

    KF: could you kindly provide warrant — beyond, “might makes ‘right’…” — for why we should be bound by your views on “civil rights, justice, and economic equity.”

    LT: “No, I cannot”.

    Nuff said.

    Vivid

  360. 360

    STephenB:

    Gay marriage reduces mainstream marriage to just one of many social contracts which, by definition are not deemed special in any way. It has already had an effect. Marriages are down in the West and, more and more, arguments are being made that the state can do just as good of a job rearing children as parents in a nuclear family.

    So apparently marriage still has it’s specialness when it is one of (many – 1) social contracts? And marriage rates have been declining since the 1960s. How exactly is gay marriage, which is a recent event, responsible for that?

    The trajectory goes like this: Sexual immorality, in general, and homosexuality, in particular, reduces the number of marriages;

    You mean the number of straight marriages, right? Is it gay marriage that is the problem or just the mere recognition that perhaps some people are attracted to members of their same gender?

    How exactly does that work? By not stigmatizing gays, they start to feel free to come out of the closet and not hide in loveless traditional marriages to a person they are not attracted to? I suppose that would reduce the number of marriages. But, I am not sure why you think marriages in which one of the parties is miserable and not attracted to their partner is a good thing. I would think society would be improved by relationships where the participants are committed to love and support each other regardless of whether or not they conform to the idea that one party must be male and the other must be female.

    fewer marriages weaken the nuclear family, which is the main safeguard against a tyrannical state; the weakened family cannot resist the tyrannical power of the state and basic human rights are lost.

    Actually the main safeguard against a tyrannical state is The Constitution in general, and the Second Amendment in particular. The idea that the massive power of the government is rendered ineffective because a family has a husband and a wife, as opposed to some other arrangement seems ridiculous on it’s face. So, tell me how does that work? How is the power of the government defeated when Heather has a mommy and daddy, as opposed to two mommies or two daddies?

  361. I’m a bit surprised at the folks here– who normally call out for moral absolutes — reading the Scriptures in relative fashion just when it’s convenient.

    Whether it’s convenient or not the spirit/meaning of the law is more important than the legalism of debating exactly which sex acts are allowable and so on. (By the way legalists, anal sex is always destructive as a result of feces in the bloodstream and all that.)

    With respect to the meaning of the law:

    Most of the rules of the law of holiness relate to the basic categories of the natural world and of human experience. Such categories as the living and the dead; mortal and divine; human and animal; air, sea, and land; male and female; past, present, and future are common to most peoples. They provide a framework of basic “natural” categories that render the universe meaningful. What is peculiar to the Jewish people is that these natural categories are also moral categories and anything that is ambiguous or threatens to blur the boundaries of these categories is treated as abominable.
    [...]
    We can see also why sorcery, necromancy, and witchcraft are forbidden (Ex. 22:18; Lev. 12:26—27, 20:6—7; Deut. 18:9—15; 1 Sam. 15:23, 28:7— 20; 2 Chron. 33:6) and why “any man or woman among you who calls up ghosts and spirits shall be put to death” (Lev. 20:27). Such people are dangerous because they break down the division between the living and the dead or between the present and the future (Is. 8: 19—2 2, 47: 13—15).

    The book of Leviticus makes explicit a central moral distinction that runs throughout the Old Testament—the Jews must either live in a world of carefully separated discrete categories (i.e., remain a people with a distinct identity) or face a world of utter confusion (Douglas 1970, p. 67; Davies 1975, p. 97). The biblical account of the creation involves the resolution of the world into clear categories from primeval confusion (Gen. 1: 1—19) , and the flood represents the return of that confusion as the separation of the land from the sea is eliminated. The building of the tower of Babel, an impious attempt to join together the separate categories of heaven and earth, is punished by the infliction of confusion on its builders, the beginning of the mutual unintelligibility of men’s various languages (Gen. 11:1— 9), an unintelligibility removable only by the divine gift of tongues (Acts 2:2—12).

    It is now possible to provide a complete explanation for the harsh treatment of homosexuality, bestiality, and transvestism in the scriptures. These are all forms of sexual behavior which break down the boundaries between some of the most fundamental categories of human experience—the categories of male and female and human and animal.
    [...]
    It is easy to see how transvestites break down the categories of male and female, but the situation is slightly more complicated in the case of homosexuality. The essential point to grasp is that “male” and “female” are complementary categories, each defined in relation to the other. The male is by definition complementary to the female and only remains male so long as his sexual behavior relates exclusively to females. Any sexual behavior directed by a biological male toward another male will (at any rate so far as the scriptures are concerned) automatically place him in the same cat egory as a female, for whom this is the normal sexual orientation.
    Because homosexual behavior involves a person placing himself or her self in the wrong sex category it erodes the boundary between these cat egories. This is why homosexual behavior is linked in Leviticus with bestiality, a sexual practice which breaks down the division between the equally fundamental categories of the human and the animal (see also Epstein 1948, p. 135).”
    (Sexual Taboos and Social Boundaries
    By Christie Davies
    American Journal of Sociology,Vol. 87, No.5, Mar., 1982 :1032-1063)

    Maybe it’s obvious to you what is relative and what is absolute, and maybe it’s just a happy coincidence that those differences align nicely with your political convictions.

    Natural law isn’t just obvious to me, it’s obvious to everyone. On the other side, we are not the people of God wandering the wilderness and so on and our relationship to it is not the same. To the extent that we know the law of the Jews as Christians we are merely former pagan perverts ourselves.

    As for me, I find these questions rather difficult.

    You find it difficult to understand that Christianity doesn’t call for the execution of homosexuals? Then why do you suppose that so many Christians have been tolerant of it? They were all wrong but your struggles with it are correct and supposedly show what a good legalist you are?

    Let the dead bury their dead.

  362. Actually the main safeguard against a tyrannical state is The Constitution in general, and the Second Amendment in particular.

    A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when they lose their virtue they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader…. If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.
    –Samuel Adams

    Have you ever found in history, one single example of a Nation thoroughly corrupted that was afterwards restored to virtue? ….And without virtue, there can be no political liberty….Will you tell me how to prevent luxury from producing effeminacy, intoxication, extravagance, vice and folly? ….I believe no effort in favor of virtue is lost.

    …our Constitution is made only for a moral and religious people.
    –John Adams

    The idea that the massive power of the government is rendered ineffective because a family has a husband and a wife, as opposed to some other arrangement seems ridiculous on it’s face.

    Not ineffective, totalitarian because as the Founders noted when local forms of government like families and communities fail it will become more corrupt and centralized.

    How is the power of the government defeated…

    It’s not defeated, it’s greatly increased as the liberty of the people decreases.

  363. You mean the number of straight marriages, right? Is it gay marriage that is the problem or just the mere recognition that perhaps some people are attracted to members of their same gender?

    There is no gay marriage or straight marriage, there is only marriage. It has always been recognized that people’s sexual desires are not always perfectly oriented toward monogamous marriage over their life-span. And yet we still have the institution of marriage, why do you suppose that is?

    By not stigmatizing gays, they start to feel free to come out of the closet and not hide in loveless traditional marriages to a person they are not attracted to?

    The way that you make love into the equivalent of feeling good or happiness is telling. The reason that marriage vows typically are what they are is because marital love is not the juvenile notion of: “You make me happy now, therefore I love you!” or “Now I’m unhappy, so I don’t love you.”

    For Christians it’s interesting to contrast the sacrificial love of Jesus towards his Church, putting aside feeling good totally. Doing so even just a little would go a long way in many marriages and ironically people would be much more happy the less selfish and juvenile they were about love.

  364. mynm, you ask

    You find it difficult to understand that Christianity doesn’t call for the execution of homosexuals?

    Not at all. As a Christian, I find it difficult to know how to apply the Biblical standard in the contemporary context. Consider: Fifty years ago, homosexual conduct was illegal in almost every state in America, and most conservative Christians supported its continued illegality. At the moment, as evidenced by this thread, conservative Christians are saying something like “Criminalize homosexual conduct? That’s crazy! Whatever gave you that idea?” What gave me that idea was all of Christian history except for the last few decades in the West.

    Why was it obvious to U.S. Christians 50 years ago that homosexuality should be considered criminal and obvious now that it should not be?

  365. Consider: Fifty years ago, homosexual conduct was illegal in almost every state in America, and most conservative Christians supported its continued illegality.

    I’m not sure that all that many people thought about the illegality of sexual perversions fifty years ago. Have you thought about zoophilia being illegal now? I read a law review on it and actually it is not technically illegal. What opinion do you think that Christians should have on the legality of such things?

    At the moment, as evidenced by this thread, conservative Christians are saying something like “Criminalize homosexual conduct? That’s crazy! Whatever gave you that idea?”

    Someone may have said that but I didn’t. It’s still criminalized all around the world.

    What gave me that idea was all of Christian history except for the last few decades in the West.

    It’s not just Christian history, it’s the history of civilization in general.

    Why was it obvious to U.S. Christians 50 years ago that homosexuality should be considered criminal and obvious now that it should not be?

    Perhaps it’s largely the success of the “born this way” propaganda combined with the fact that people feel that they can afford decadence. That’s what John Adams was saying about the rise of civilization naturally leading to luxury and decadence and so on. It remains to be seen what will happen when the State begins to run out of money to paper over the decadence typical to a declining civilization.

  366. Onlookers:

    The fundamental issue remains that we are looking at a rising tide of censorship, intimidation and slander, to back a radical agenda.

    The advocates of that agenda are consistently unable to objectively ground their claims, nor can they show us why we should tamper with the historic understanding and institution of marriage.

    They simply assert “rights,” in a context where a dominant worldview that many such advocates support, evolutionary materialism, is known — has been known since the days of Plato in his the Laws Bk X (as excerpted twice above) — to reduce right to might: the highest right is might.

    So, we have excellent reason to be gravely concerned about such agendas, and those who champion them.

    this concern is heightened when we observe recent trends on anti- discrimination law or hate speech and hate crime law, so called, and how such laws have been abused, e.g. cf here. We also find very troubling efforts att he international level, e.g the Yogyakarta agenda as discussed critically here. In a nutshell such laws and proposed laws — whether local, national or international — are thought and conscience police laws.

    Plainly, on prudence, we should demand that the proposers of radical adjustments to the legal nature of marriage — foundational to family, society and child nurture — demonstrate that they (and those who follow them over the next 20 – 40 years) will not do more harm than good.

    Equally plainly, with ample opportunity to meet this challenge, and with abundant cases in point, the advocates of homosexualisation of marriage and family have not met this test.

    Evidently, they cannot.

    So, we are really dealing with an attack on the foundations of society to reshape it further in the interests of a radical agenda that has a good fit to the currently dominant evolutionary materialist, radical secularist ideology, but this ideology is itself incompatible with the premise of rights and liberty: a right is a binding moral claim for respect of our inherent dignity and purpose. It reflects the moral law that is written on our hearts, and which we see abundant evidence of above, in the explicit and implicit calls for “fairness,” and “rights.” But, if the law is written on our hearts, that points to the Writer, our Creator, Lord, and Judge before whom we will account:

    Rom 2:6 [God] will reward each one according to his works: 7 eternal life to those who by perseverance in good works [thus in the way of penitence given whatever light they have] seek glory and honor and immortality [notice the principle and purpose, which specific rules will flesh out based on situations and circumstances], 8 but wrath and anger to those who live in selfish ambition and do not obey the truth but follow unrighteousness [notice the negative principle on rejection of truth one knows or should know, and its connexion to immorality] . . . .

    Rom 2:14 . . . whenever the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature the things required by the law, these who do not have the law are a law to themselves. 15 They show that the work of the law is written in their hearts, as their conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or else defend them [notice the principle of the conscience], 16 on the day when God will judge the secrets of human hearts, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus . . . .

    Rom 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. [notice the primacy of love and the point that principle sets the context for rules] 9 For the commandments, “Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet,” (and if there is any other commandment) are summed up in this, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong [or, HARM] to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. [NET]

    Our civilisation is at — or, actually likely beyond the crossroads that once a King of Babylon knowingly crossed. This issue looks a lot like the mysterious handwriting on a wall that showed that he had been weighed in the balance and found wanting.

    Our civilisation at this stage is plainly found wanting. The questrion is, is there even at the last moment, a way back?

    I fear not — and fear, because if I am right we have a wild and bloody ride ahead that will put the worst aspects of WW 2 and the wider C20 into the shade — but hope and pray to be wrong.

    In the meanwhile I suggest we study Chinese, or at least insist that our children do so.

    GEM of TKI

  367. PS: On “born that way.” I recently saw where it is pointed out that simply the fact of having properly expressed XY chromosomes — there are some rare, unusual cases that lead to forms of what formerly were called hermaphrodites etc — makes one something like 10 times more likely to be guilty of violent crime etc. But, we would never dream of saying that genetically induced proclivities remove moral responsibility for our decisions and behaviour. Similarly, if one has a proclivity and sensitivity to alcohol that may well be genetically built-in, that makes one MORE responsible not to express the proclivity in inappropriate ways or tread on slippery slopes. I think there are some lessons in this.

  368. QuiteID (#353, 364)

    Thank you for your questions. There are two reasons why I would oppose all legal punishment for homosexuality.

    First, criminalizing the practice might create more problems than it solves. It might drive “predatory” offenders into behaviors that target the weak and vulnerable: children and teenagers.

    I once attended a talk given by a now-famous moral theologian. (I won’t reveal his name.) After the talk, the topic of homosexuality came up. He said, “A lot of people feel sorry for homosexuals. Well, I don’t. When I was a boy, I had to put up with them calling out after me on street corners, and making lewd suggestions, while I was walking outside.” That would have been in the 1940s. Does anyone want to go back to that?

    Second, in the society in which we live, the practice of homosexuality as such does not constitute a threat to public order, so the parable of the wheat and the tares applies. Conceivably, however, there could be some modern-day societies in which homosexuality did constitute a real threat to public order.

    Suppose, to take a hypothetical example, we were living in a society where deaths from AIDS were hundreds or thousands of times higher than they are now, and there were no medical treatments available, and evidence emerged that homosexuals were one key group responsible for transmitting it to the rest of the population. Then it would be prudent to make homosexuality illegal. It would also be prudent to target other key groups responsible for spreading the disease.

    Even in such an extreme situation, however, there would be no case for re-instituting the Biblical death penalty for homosexuality.

    You ask me why this should be out of the question, given the decadent practices that are re-appearing in our own society. In brief: (1) Bad as our society is now – and it is getting steadily worse – we still have a long, long way to go before we hit the depths of depravity found in ancient Israel: child sacrifice, child prostitution, incest and so on. (2) We are no longer a subsistence society. We can afford jails; ancient Israel couldn’t.

    Regarding marriage between a man and a woman where one or both parties has sterilized themselves, you ask;

    Why not have the state issue a certificate barring marriage to any bachelor receiving a vasectomy unless and until the procedure is reversed?

    Upon reflection, I think we need to distinguish between two kinds of hurdles: legal and ecclesiastical. I think a Christian minister would certainly be justified in refusing to marry the bachelor you described in your example, if he/she happened to find out that the bachelor had been sterilized.

    What about the State? Well, for starters, the notion of State officials going through people’s medical records makes me feel pretty queasy. It’s very Big Brother-ish.

    Additionally, one could argue that while the State has a legitimate interest in defending procreation as the social good for which the institution of marriage exists, it is too late to make sterilization an impediment to getting married. The damage has already been done; the rule has been transgressed too often now. Millions of people would have to be arrested.

    The best we can do now is to lower the bar to the next sustainable threshold: monogamy. Most people still strongly support that. Gay marriage would shatter that norm, so we should fight it tooth and nail, while we can.

  369. —SanAntonioRose: “Actually the main safeguard against a tyrannical state is The Constitution in general, and the Second Amendment in particular.”

    Clearly, the Constitution and the Second Amendment play important roles in safeguarding our freedoms, however, it is the willingness of the populace to promote, support, and defend the Constitution that matters most.

    Here is an analogy:

    A merchant’s warranty or guarantee of quality [analogous to the Constitution] is thought to be a safeguard for the customer who may purchase a defective product or service that doesn’t deliver what is promised. However, it is the character of the business owner [analogous to moral people and the uprightness of the nuclear family] that matters most, because a warranty is not worth the paper it is written on if the merchant cannot or will not back it up.

    In like fashion, the United States Constitution is no safeguard if the nation’s leaders will not honor it or conform to its principles. Thus, the character of the people and the quality of its institutions, the most important of which is the nuclear family, are more important than the Constitution.

  370. Are we all still going to be commentating on this thread here six months from now?! Don’t think the servers can handle it.

    #346 San Antonio Rose. Your cutting laser-like logic here is naturally ignored by our opponents. It’s often the youngsters who have the sharpest minds, when not dulled by rote conditioning, petty dogma (religious or other) and silly ideologies. I’m not being condescending, I’m impressed. I think you are the youngest poster here and your rhetorical Jujutsu has earned you at least one admirer.

    For what it’s worth (not much, if anything at all to true believers) and I write as an IDist and no liberal, not even remotely (although of course I will be perceived as one because people’s sexuality and consensual sexual choices are not factors that I think are gonna bring down Western civilization, or what passes for it) and the Darwinians here may disagree with me likewise (which is fine), I will tell you that the deep-seated resistance to ID in our culture has very little to do with the science: the merits or otherwise of IC, the Cambrian Explosion and whether it can be reconciled with neo-Darwinism or not, and icons of evolution that have been exaggerated or misrepresented or otherwise etc. Very few people have the time or inclination to follow all these debates on evolution seriously. The enthrallment to the neo-Darwinian synthesis has a lot to do with the understandable knee-jerk resistance and reaction to bible-belt fundamentalism and everything associated with it. Personally I think this is an error of throwing out the baby with the bathwater, nevertheless this reaction is there for a reason. It didn’t come out of a vaccuum. Atheism, secularism, hence the necessity for neo-Darwinism, is the reaction to this kind of sanctimonious “moralistic” preaching. They are reacting to you lot, they bounce off of you, and my point is you give them plenty to react against. I’m not saying this is the only reason for atheism and the necessity for neo-Darwinism (ignoring the complex issues surrounding theistic evolutionists here), not at all, just that it is a major major reason. There are other reasons of course. It’s complex.

    And so when someone like me comes along and says ID is not Creationism, Darwinian minds are already closed because of what they are reacting to. In fact if I were a Darwinian blogger I would make hay with this thread here at uncommondescent. Ironically I could sometimes do a better job of conflating Creationism with ID than the likes of Novella, Myers, Dennett, Rosenau, Shermer, Brayton, Nickel and others at CSI, AHA, NCSE etc who don’t always keep their fingers on the pulse and are so fast asleep at the wheel, likewise too busy preaching to the choir.

    Hypothetically if any person were to remark to me face to face, “hey zephyr, if ID isn’t Creationism in a cheap tuxedo, explain this EXACT thread then at a so-called leading ID blog. How can I distinguish this rhetoric from what I can hear in small-town bible-belt America every Sunday from the preacher or any Christian fundamentalist website, radio station etc” And I respond sheepishly “uh you can’t distinguish between them on this heavily commented thread at a leading major ID blog I admit, but let me explain although it will take like half an hour ’cause it’s complex and convoluted an..” Darwinian rolls his eyes, responds “okaaay zephyr thanks for that, appreciate your honesty, but I don’t have half an hour, I have to fetch the kids from soccer practice, cook dinner for them and finish going over the budget reports for work tomorrow and then I want to catch Leno, just relax, life is short after all”. “Uh okay”, I sheepishly respond. I don’t think *some* leading ID figures have made a conscious, deliberate and dare I say it lazy decision to preach to the choir and go beyond the science into old-time religion and all associated with it, but they have done so nevertheless (I just don’t think they can help themselves at all frankly). Nevertheless it is counter-productive, very safe and lazy. And it’s a lot worse than that too.

    vjtorley and gang: yes I know you think the Darwinians are fleeing from THE TRUTH (ie Christianity), well you would.

  371. On a minor point though:

    SanAntonioRose: “Actually the main safeguard against a tyrannical state is The Constitution in general, and the Second Amendment in particular.”

    StephenB wrote in response:
    “Clearly, the Constitution and the Second Amendment play important roles in safeguarding our freedoms, however, it is the willingness of the populace to promote, support, and defend the Constitution that matters most.”

    On this point I agree with StephenB. Humanity can often get caught up in an idealistic and naive belief that because some noble sentiments are written in a constitution, it is therefore going to be followed to the letter as if it were a natural law. History shows otherwise.

  372. #370 zephyr

    in fact if I were a Darwinian blogger I would make hay with this thread here at uncommondescent

    Yes – I was tempted! See my first comment #35. I take some of that comment back now. The mask has not slipped completely. A number of ID proponents have made it clear that they do not approve of this moralising on other people’s sex lives. It must take a fair amount of determination to profess a different opinion to the bulk of the ID supporters on this issue – congratulations.

  373. vividbleau #359

    I have to deal with objection so many times I wrote a small piece about it which I have just moved onto my blog - subjective does not mean trivial.

  374. Zephyr:

    Playing with rhetorical matches can get dangerous in unexpected ways.

    The Creationism in a cheap tuxedo talking point is a red herring led away to a strawman soaked in ad hominems slander from the Alinskyite (communistic) Rules for Radicals playbook — a typical “I can get away with it” behaviour of the ruthlessly amoral in pursuit of an agenda that cannot stand up on its merits.

    Precisely what we are objecting to and concerned about in this thread.

    As in, we can make an even better argument about the a priori, amoral evolutionary materialists — we can list them: Dawkins, Lewontin, Scott of NCSE, Forrest of the same NCSE and the New Orleans Humanists, the late Sagan, the uncivil prof from Minnesota who thought desecrating a communion host and posting the picture was a way to make a scientific point, and many, many more . . . — who are hijacking science in pursuit of transforming western civlilisation into a suicidally self-destructive atheistical culture.

    (This thread, in other words is relevant to the question of cultural and policy impacts of evolutionary materialism, which is propped up by the pretence that by a priori imposition of materialism, “science” can be deemed a pillar of such materialism: the wolf in a lab coat issue. That we are here talking about a case of CENSORSHIP is highly revealing on this.)

    And, the problem goes right back to Darwin, as we can see from the following Oct 13, 1880 letter he wrote to Edward Bibbins Aveling (a physician, and Karl Marx’s son- in- law):

    . . . though I am a strong advocate for free thought [NB: "free-thought" is an old synonym for skepticism, agnosticism or atheism] on all subjects, yet it appears to me (whether rightly or wrongly) that direct arguments against christianity & theism produce hardly any effect on the public; & freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men’s minds, which follows from the advance of science [in other words, there is a worldview level cultural agenda here, presented in self-congratulatory terms]. It has, therefore, been always my object to avoid writing on religion, & I have confined myself to science. I may, however, have been unduly biassed by the pain which it would give some members of my family [NB: especially his wife, Emma], if I aided in any way direct attacks on religion.

    The question of whether the evidence of life and he fine-tuning of the cosmos points to design as best explanation is an empirical one, not a question of imposed worldviews. It can and should be addressed on the scientific, empirical merits. And, across the long run of history — absent imposition of a priori materialism by the back door of so-called methodological naturalism — the consensus of informed thinkers is that the evidence strongly favours design. For instance, can you explain the origin of language, codes, algorithms and the machinery to effect it in the living cell, starting with chance plus necessity only in Darwin’s warm little pond or an equivalent modern scenario? Complex information systems and their underlying artificial languages routinely and without exception, are seen to be the product of design. And once that threshold is crossed, we have every right to also infer tha the further increments of complexity to account for body plans is equally designed. Similarly, when we see just how carefully balanced the observed cosmos is, to make C-chemistry cell based life that uses proteins as workhorse molecules is, that points to design as its best explanation (even in the case of suggested multiverse speculations, as we have to account for the cosmos baking bread factory that bakes up life-facilitating sub-cosmi, not burned hockey pucks or messed of half-baked dough).

    To deal with the matter of the cheap tuxedo NCSE talking point on the merits, cf. the UD Weak Argument Correctives, no 5.

    So, kindly lay off motive-mongering ad hominem attack games.

    Then, can you kindly provide a sound basis for morality on the evident evolutionary materialistic views you are in effect defending by using talking points above. Also, you need show us how we need have no serious concern that we are seeing the thin edge of a Yogyakarta homosexualist- materialist- amorality- nihilist wedge that ends in tyranny over the conscience. (And using a few superlatives on the talking points raised by someone else will not do.)

    GEM of TKI

  375. 375

    MF 372

    Mark you have been on this blog long enough to know there is a full range of opinions from ID proponents on a vast variety of issues. The caricature of a monolithic hord “Lying for Jesus” has never been true, and never will be – no matter how often your side repeats the words.

    The portrayal is a strategic placemat for the simple fact that your side cannot produce any evidence whatsoever that information is a phenomena reducible to physical law.

  376. 376

    Z #370

    You make your point. I, for one, agree with the core of it.

    Speaking (IMHO) from the Western tradition, if Christianity had been doing it’s “job” then Darwinism would have never found root.

    However, that has nothing to do with the scientifically observable facts supporting ID. The modern argument from Design wins every time it leads with the evidence.

    My older brother (whom is a gentleman of the highest order, which I love with all my heart) converted to Christianity very late in life. It was not too long thereafter he was suddenly cross with the pastor of his church. The pastor had stuck his nose where it was not welcome, nor necessary. I remember clearly my brother dropping his head and looking at me over the rims of his glasses. He said “being a Christian is being a follower of Jesus Christ – it has nothing whatsoever to do with following the men who follow Jesus Christ”.

    Clarity counts.

  377. Vivid (and MF):

    Excellent observations; thanks for the kind words too.

    I observe MF’s blog post, which starts out:

    Those who believe that morality is objective often respond by saying that the alternative makes morality trivial, using phrases like “makes right and wrong a popularity poll”, “reduces morality to a matter of opinion”, “what you ought to do is no more than a fashion”, “might is right” etc.

    This sets up a strawman. The objection, MF is that — as has been pointed out ever since Plato in The Laws, Bk X, 360 BC — evolutionary materialistic views make for AMORALITY and nihilism, creating a war in the culture driven by those who think that the highest right is might.

    By neatly changing that into the quesiton of trivizlisation, the real issue — which the case in point shows is anything but trivial: CENSORSHIP and evident subversion of foundational inst6itutions of our civlisation — is trivialised.

    Not good enough, MF. You are a trained philosopher and so you know the force of the IS- OUGHT gap.

    The question is not at all comparable to your “this movie is funny,” or C S Lewis’ counter-example: “I abhor prunes.”

    Nor does your conclusion even begin to relate to the issue of our being morally governed creatures: “In the right context a subjective issue has all the importance of an objective issue and takes on many of the trappings of an objective issue.”

    Moral issues are inevitably subjective, as do all matters of opinion and warrant; for it is subjects, live minded, enconscienced beings, who must address them. BUT THAT DOES NOT PREVENT THEM FROM ALSO BEING OBJECTIVE.

    And, in particular, as the thread above abundantly shows, issues of fairness, rights and the like are by consensus found to be binding. That is a fact of our observation as much as any that we make by using eyes, hands, ears, or noses.

    We find ourselves morally obligated, and we find that we are therefore morally governed. That points to a binding moral law, and onward to a Law-Giver. It also grounds our rights — the crux of fairness or justice — as binding moral claims we make on others in light of our inherent dignity and purpose as creatures. And, on such a view, there is an IS who grounds OUGHT: the necessary being who is Creator and is by inherent character good. (This decisively answers the attempt to extend the Euthyphro dilemma from its proper target, pagan, limited gods, to the Creator.)

    By sharpest contrast, the evolutionary materialistic view is forced to try to explain reality on ises that cannot ground oughts: matter, energy, space and time. The most that can be said is that moral judgements are subjective, and have no ultimate significance. That is, the view is inherently amoral and has no resources in it to stand off ruthless nihilism that thinks and acts in terms of “might makes ‘right’ . . .” Indeed, in the century just past, it was a favourite worldview choice of just such nihilists.

    As I have previously pointed out at UD, it is also inherently self-referentially incoherent on grounding the credibility of our minds. For that too is only a matter of subjectivity driven by the accidents of genetic mutation, selection forces of accidental environments, and similarly accidental socio-cultural settings.

    In short, the evolutionary materialist implications on subjectivity of mind and morals end up in self-contradiction and undermines not only morality but science, reason and rationality itself.

    Our culture needs to think again, but is most disinclined to do so in its current state.

    Better look up some online lessons in Chinese.

    GEM of TKI

  378. 378

    VJT:

    The best we can do now is to lower the bar to the next sustainable threshold: monogamy. Most people still strongly support that. Gay marriage would shatter that norm, so we should fight it tooth and nail, while we can.

    Why do you say this? Do you have statistics that show that, in countries where it is legal, gay marriages end in divorce at a higher rate than traditional marriages?

  379. 379

    StephenB:

    In like fashion, the United States Constitution is no safeguard if the nation’s leaders will not honor it or conform to its principles. Thus, the character of the people and the quality of its institutions, the most important of which is the nuclear family, are more important than the Constitution.

    You didn’t really answer the question as to how a traditional family is able to stop the immense power of a state, but I suppose this is close enough.

    So, it is your position that gay people are of low character and any family unit they may form is of lower quality?

  380. PS: MF, I found it quite ironic that in a blog entitled “In Moderation Celebrating being placed in moderation on Uncommon Descent (now happily rescinded),” my comment linking my response just above was either disallowed at the outset or put in moderation without notice to me.

  381. 381

    Zephyr, thank you for your nice words. My parents always said I was a precocious child when I was little. I guess, though, my generation isn’t hung up so much on ostracizing people who are different. And we think if we are going to improve society, then we do so by improving our own behavior and actions, not huffing and puffing indignantly about what we don’t approve of in others. Motes and beams, if you will.

  382. SAR:

    When families are strong and stable, we have independent-minded people in equally strong local communities and with solid community-based non-governmental civil society organisations — churches, professional and business groups, clubs, societies etc — with a lot of effective leaders. (Please read Democracy in America for details.)

    Politicians have to address that reality in a democratic republic especially when it is expressed in the teeth of a sound constitution.

    But, if family stability can be undermined (leading to ill-adjusted, atomised people looking to mass media, the street and political messiahs for family substitutes), and the foundation of a solid moral consensus can be undermined through radical relativism, the constitution can be subverted and you now face unjust judges driven by amoral worldviews and politicians who have messiah complexes.

    Chaos: anomie and anarchy.

    And, ever, the answer to chaos in which “every man does what is right in his own eyes” (every man from gutter-most to uttermost) — a very relevant Biblical reference — has been:

    1 Sam 8:1 In his old age Samuel appointed his sons as judges over Israel . . . 3 But his sons did not follow1 his ways. Instead, they made money dishonestly, accepted bribes, and perverted justice.2
    4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and approached Samuel at Ramah.note 5 They said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons don’t follow your ways. So now appoint over us a king to lead us, just like all the other nations have.” . . . .

    10 So Samuel spoke all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “Here are the policies of the king who will rule over you: He will conscript your sons and put them in his chariot forces and in his cavalry; they will run in front of his chariot. 12 He will appoint for himself leaders of thousands and leaders of fifties, as well as those who plow his ground, reap his harvest, and make his weapons of war and his chariot equipment. 13 He will take your daughters to be ointment makers, cooks, and bakers. 14 He will take your best fields and vineyards and give them to his own servants. 15 He will demand a tenth of your seed and of the produce of your vineyards and give it to his administrators and his servants. 16 He will take your male and female servants, as well as your best cattle and your donkeys, and assign them for his own use. 17 He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will be his servants. 18 In that day you will cry out because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD won’t answer you in that day.”
    19 But the people refused to heed Samuel’s warning. Instead they said, “No! There will be a king over us! 20 We will be like all the other nations. Our king will judge us and lead us and fight our battles.” [NET]

    Sounds familiar?

    Amorality, anarchy and chaos lead to a crying out for a political saviour. But, political messianism ever ends in tyranny. For, it is a species of idolatry.

    Resemblance to the course of our civilisation over the past 100 years is not coincidental. Nor is resemblance to current events.

    Imagine a day in which 10% tax rates — true, riding on top of a tithe that served to fund many governance activities through the Levites, the priests and the tabernacle — were seen as excessive and oppressive!

    GEM of TKI

  383. PS: SAR, the issue is not at all one of mere huffing and puffing over what we tut-tuttingly do not approve of in others — BTW a typical, trivisalising expression of exactly the relativisation and subjectivisation of principle that is destroying our civilisation.

    Please do not project airs of condescending hypocrisy and bigotry on us, the better to dismiss serious issues.

    The matters at stake are far too serious for that resort to the trifecta fallacy: red herring distractors, led away to ad hominem-soaked strawman caricatures, ignited to choke, cloud, poison and polarise the atmosphere.

    Have you read the Manhattan Declaration and the critique of the Yogyakarta declaration?

    (Neither of which is condescendingly hypocritical or bigoted.)

    If not, kindly do so now and respond on the merits to the concerns raised. Then, also address the issue in this thread’s original post: censorship, which is a first step to a thought police state.

  384. 384

    SAR,

    Once you get all this off your chest, you can then be still.

    When are wise enough to reach that point in this matter, set your stabbing questions aside and please consider addressing in earnest the elephant in the room – the oh-so obvious complimetarity of the sexes.

    Don’t even bother now, it would be a waste (the old addage there is nothing more elusive thn a half fixed problem). It is clear for now you need to exercise your spleen.

    Have at it.

  385. 385

    When families are strong and stable, we have independent-minded people in equally strong local communities and with solid community-based non-governmental civil society organisations — churches, professional and business groups, clubs, societies etc — with a lot of effective leaders.

    So, in order to support strong and stable families, you feel you must stop other people from forming families which you do not approve of? That seems to be the Ned and Jimbo approach to saving families.

    By the way, you have probably forgotten what with all the parallel conversations you are holding, but you never answered my question regarding what the negative consequences were in countries that have instituted gay marriage (Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Sweden.)

  386. Onlookers:

    Pardon: the onward links to the book Democracy in America were bad. Here is a better online copy.

    __________

    SAR:

    Kindly stop twisting my words into strawmen laced with ad hominems that you ignite.

    The underlying issue is — based on the known complementarity of the sexes and the requisites of stable child nurture and the long experience of humanity on the matter — what is marriage, and what is family by extension of the procreational function of marriage.

    Arbitrary attempts to by pretended legislative fiat impose what is against our creation order as morally governed, sexually reproducing creatures found in complementary sexes as equivalent to what is founded on what is, will lead to chaos and to tyranny.

    Indeed, already we see hateful false accusations of bigotry for challenging so bold an attempt, and censorship in defence of the usurpation.

    Worse, we see that the very foundation of morality is at stake in the twisting of the key term, “rights.”

    Until and unless the serious issues are addressed and objectively and fairly settled on the merits, we have every justification to see what is going on as a radical agenda based on an amoral worldview and the arrogance of the anti-ethics of the will to power, expressed in: “might makes right.”

    So, to see you again resorting to the rhetoric of distraction, distortion, denigration and polarising abuse simply tells us that the concern that we are dealing with a destructive agenda is well-founded.

    Please, stop and think again.

    GEM of TKI

  387. F/N: perhaps you have not been following the rising tide of censorship and loss of freedom in precisely the same countries, driven by the agenda so aptly expressed in the so-called Yogyakarta principles? [People have been actually publicly and permanently silenced by de facto court order in Canada! A pastor in Sweden who dared to preach from Rom 1 was sentenced to gaol and was only saved form that fate by the intervention of the Czech representative att her EU human rights commission. Orphanages ahve been shut down in defiance of High Court rulings in the UK, on a twisted reading of "antidiscrimination" law. Just this year, an evangelist responding civilly to a heckler in the UK was falsely accused and arrested then charged by a homosexual activist policemen. Already textbooks are radically redefining family and gender roles, the better to inculcate sexual anarchy in the next generation -- this one is not confused and chaotic enough it seems. And more, you can simply read above to get a cross section. And, I hereby endorse Stephen B's remarks above especially.] As has been pointed out, the wider, deeper consequences will take 20 – 40 years. That is one root of my assessment that our civilization is already mortally wounded and so confused that it cannot even properly evaluate mortal perils.

  388. 388

    Oh, KF, don’t be so prickly. We are all friends here. Answer two questions for me:

    1. You want to strengthen marriage and family. Yes or no?

    2. You feel stopping gay marriage is part of that effort. Yes or no?

    If you answer yes to both questions, then I haven’t twisted your words in comment 385. I have merely restated them in a way that you don’t like. You shouldn’t be all indignant because my writing style is more direct and less mellifluous than yours.

    You still haven’t answered my question regarding what the negative consequences were in countries that have instituted gay marriage (Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Sweden.) This is the fourth time I’ve asked.

  389. 389

    KF at 387:

    As has been pointed out, the wider, deeper consequences will take 20 – 40 years. That is one root of my assessment that our civilization is already mortally wounded and so confused that it cannot even properly evaluate mortal perils.

    I would think, you of all people, would appreciate the overblown nature of such rhetoric when applied to the case of a minority group seeking access to freedoms and benefits previously reserved only for powerful majorities. Sad, really.

    But, I can see I will get no where with you. Let me offer the younger generations perspective, though I have no hope you’ll take it to heart. You are concerned with your rights of conscience and I agree that those rights should be preserved. However, your means to accomplish this is, in part, by denying homosexuals the opportunity to form social contracts and families with the person of their choice. If the only way you can think to preserve your rights of conscience is by denying a minority (reported at only 1 out of every 15) the rights of their conscience to a minority, then it is you that is employing “might makes right.”

    Further, if you feel it necessary to deny people the right to live their own lives, make their own decisions, and form their own families, then you are no less an authoritarian than those radicals you see hiding behind every tree.

  390. SAR:

    You have now resorted to trivialising of correction of slander.

    That, sadly, speaks volumes. this is a serious matter.

    As to your repeated questions, what is substsantial in such has already been adequately answered by the undersigned and by others, including just above.

    Let me put the matter this way: it is those who prpose a radical modification to a fundamental social institution who properly have the burden of proof that they will do more good than harm. Already, as previously noted, there is widespread sexual chaos, marital and family breakdown, as the MD addresses. The problem with the proposed homosexualisation of marriage is that it arguably will make the breakdown irreversible, by acting under colour of law.

    On failing in that duty of showing that the proposal is genuinely progressive, the homosexualist advocates have subverted the language of “rights,” in a contgext where it is evident that for many of them, a right is little more than the imposition of the powerful.

    That is a further threat to our civilisation.

    My estimate is, the damage is already mortal, and the consequences will — absent a miracle of reformation — be accelerated by entrenching the agenda in the Yogyakarta principles in law.

    But, regardless of such a pessimistic prognosis, it is duty to point out the march of folly. To see why, kindly read Ac 27 to see how a manipulated democratic polity in miniature had to handle the crash after first foolishly brushing aside prudent counsels and corrections.

    I think enough has been said for now, and I must go on to other matters; so, good day.

    GEM of TKI

  391. 391

    KF:

    Let me put the matter this way: it is those who prpose a radical modification to a fundamental social institution who properly have the burden of proof that they will do more good than harm.

    People are clannish. They distrust, fear, and even hate those that aren’t part of their clan. And that fear leads them to ostracize those outsiders. But, each successive generation seems to rise more and more above such fear. You can see the change as we go from the generation that enslaved your people to the generation that “merely” segregated them to the generation that elected an African-American to the most powerful job on earth.

    And, as we go forward, each generation will have less and less fear of homosexuals and accept them for who they are rather than who we would want them to be. If you think it is a good thing that we hold on to that hate and fear, then all I can say is that there is no reason to continue talking with you.

  392. SAR

    I would like to add my congratulations to those of zephyr on your comments. They are clear, concise and, of course, correct.

  393. San Antonio Rose, what do you think is the point of marriage?

  394. MF:

    I have a moment. I glanced, and see a further remark is in order.

    Before claiming anything relating to a moral issue is correct, as a trained philosopher, you need to first ground morality.

    As was pointed out in response to your attempt to trivialise the issue of the radical relativism and amorality of evolutionary materialism, leading to a public ethics of might makes right.

    I trust that your second attempt will be better than the one you have linked in your blog.

    Remember, what is being played with here is the fundamental social institution, marriage and family.

    G’day, again

    GEM of TKI

  395. SAR — And, as we go forward, each generation will have less and less fear of homosexuals and accept them for who they are rather than who we would want them to be.

    You are reading things into what people write that they aren’t saying and this seems to be a common trait among those who are taking your position.

    I didn’t see any fear of homosexuals expressed by KF or VT, so it seems that the generation in which they are accepted as individuals is theirs.

    What I do find puzzling is the inability of those taking your side to see homosexuals as people i.e. individual human beings. It strikes me that you see them as some sort of exotic group that you feel you can put in a zoo akin to a conservation crusade.

    What you and the others seem to be advocating is no different that claiming society must not tell a young man — or woman — to indulge in whatever urge he or she happens to be feeling at a particular moment.

    Frankly, I think indifference is a worse sin than hate.

  396. PS: SAR, with all due respect (and despite the congratulations of the evolutionary materialists happy to have you champion their views), accusations of prejudice do not answer to the serious questions on the table. Again, have you read the Manhattan Declaration? The Yogyakarta critique? The relevant cases listed in the thread above that show that he issues are not just theoretical? The original post, which is responding to a case of censorship in defence of a radical agenda? If so, kindly explain to me how you can justify dismissing the concerns and issues raised — including the apparently inescapable amorality of the underlying worldview agenda, evolutionary materialism, which has pushed a “might makes right” ethics into dominance in the public square — on terms of people being “clannish” or prejudiced? (Do you not see that hat is a slanderous dismissal, especially given what HAS been put on the table?)

    Something is seriously wrong here.

    Perhaps, indeed, it would be good for you to explain the nature and purpose of marriage, in your view, as Trib has asked.

  397. Zephyr said:Hypothetically if any person were to remark to me face to face, “hey zephyr, if ID isn’t Creationism in a cheap tuxedo, explain this EXACT thread then at a so-called leading ID blog.

    This is perhaps the most ignorant comment yet. Not treating homosexuality as the equal of heterosexuality is perhaps the least provnincial or sectarian moral issue one could pick out of many, yet you portray it as the exact opposite. I.e., only conservative Christians in America oppose it and this proves how provincial and sectarian all opposition is? How utterly ignorant, homosexuality is still criminalized in most nations and American Christians are perhaps more tolerant of it than most other people in history. Even when atheistic or pagan ideologies like Communism or Nazism have been established they have not treated homosexuality on a par with heterosexuality.

    There are many reasons for this and few of them have anything to do with the rather ridiculous beliefs typical to the MTV generation in America:

    People are clannish. They distrust, fear, and even hate those that aren’t part of their clan. And that fear leads them to ostracize those outsiders. But, each successive generation seems to rise more and more above such fear.

    That’s the only reason that the majority of people throughout history have discriminated against homosexuality in favor of heterosexuality? Who would have thought…. and there’s nothing intrinsically complementary about the sexes or things like fathering and mothering or the pan-cultural reality of anything else having to do with the biosocial reality of sex. No, instead the MTV generation in America has been conditioned to know that it’s all just a matter of outcasts, victimization and so on.

  398. What I do find puzzling is the inability of those taking your side to see homosexuals as people i.e. individual human beings. It strikes me that you see them as some sort of exotic group that you feel you can put in a zoo akin to a conservation crusade.

    The irony is that if homosexuality becomes common enough that people treat it as they would any other human behavior their values will have already shifted toward hedonism to the point that it will no longer matter. Eventually it will be said that there’s nothing wrong with choosing to be gay anyway. In fact, some already say it.

    After all, you have to wonder why people would want to avoid choosing homosexuality or avoid teaching children about it and so on if it is as good and desirable as propagandists make it out to be.

  399. —SanAntonioRose: “You didn’t really answer the question as to how a traditional family is able to stop the immense power of a state, but I suppose this is close enough.”

    The principle of subsidiarity is an organizing principle which holds that all matters concerning productivity, justice, and public policy ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority. When that principle is applied, a more just, well-ordered society emerges because power proceeds from the bottom up, beginning with the nuclear family, proceeding through local and state governments, and ending at the federal level. When that order is reversed, that is, when the state is calling the shots, freedom is compromised. Only when the nuclear family is in tact, and only when the state respects the natural moral law as the arbiter for all disputes can that order be preserved. A well-ordered society is one in which the natural moral law shapes civil law and in which the nuclear family is the strategic power base.

    —”So, it is your position that gay people are of low character and any family unit they may form is of lower quality?”

    Gay “units” are not nuclear families and cannot, therefore, promote the natural moral law, much less can they influence the state to maintain it, for the simple reason that they don’t believe in it. Thus, they bring disorder to the table, not order.

  400. 400

    Tribune7 @ 395:

    SAR — And, as we go forward, each generation will have less and less fear of homosexuals and accept them for who they are rather than who we would want them to be.

    You are reading things into what people write that they aren’t saying and this seems to be a common trait among those who are taking your position.

    I didn’t see any fear of homosexuals expressed by KF or VT, so it seems that the generation in which they are accepted as individuals is theirs.

    Their position is that acceptance of homosexuals in general and gay marriage in specific is part of an agenda to destroy the nuclear family, remove their rights of conscience and free speech and to have the state take their children in order to have them raised in a “politically correct” fashion thus leading to the complete breakdown of society into a state of moral confusion. You don’t see fear in that? I see so much fear there that I hope they carry a change of clothes with them (just a little joke, I don’t mean it literally LOL)

    What I do find puzzling is the inability of those taking your side to see homosexuals as people i.e. individual human beings. It strikes me that you see them as some sort of exotic group that you feel you can put in a zoo akin to a conservation crusade.

    That is completely backwards.Because gays are more open/out today, it is my generation that does see them as individuals. Mainly because we knew them as friends and classmates long before we knew they were gay. It isn’t my generation that sees dark, authoritarian conspiracies in homosexuals wanting to live their lives free of ostracism and judgemental busybodies.

    What you and the others seem to be advocating is no different that claiming society must not tell a young man — or woman — to indulge in whatever urge he or she happens to be feeling at a particular moment.

    Congratulations. You have defined freedom. People should be free to live their lives as they feel comfortable. Free to associate and forming relationships with the people they want to. Free to make their own decisions, right or wrong. So long as they don’t harm anyone else (and we have extensive criminal laws spelling out what that is), it is NOYB. If you don’t want the government telling you what to think or how to live, why are you so intent on imposing the same type of control on others that you don’t approve of?

    As far as my view of marriage, I would guess it has two parts. First, it is a way which two people who wish to make a commitment to each other can do so. Of course, marriage isn’t required to make such a commitment. I am sure we all know a straight, unmarried couple that has lived together for a time longer than Rush Limbaugh’s first three marriages combined (3, 7, and 10 years respectively. LMBO) So, the other half of marriage is that society gives certain rights in exchange for the official marriage. Rights like inheritance and making medical decisions when the other person is incapacitated, to give two examples.

  401. Checking back in…I see that SAR still isn’t freed up enough to deal with the issue.

    (snore)

  402. Onlookers:

    Notice the lie — yes, a willful and slanderous deception that one refuses to correct in the teeth of cogent contrary evidence is a lie — that those who object to the radical agenda of homosexualisation of marriage are being accused of being unable to see homosexuals as human beings?

    Sorry, this is simply and willfully false. I and many others have no problems in seeing and relating to such groups of people, all people, and ourselves as finite, fallible, morally fallen and sometimes ill-willed or outright deceived or misled people.

    So, we know that the first thing is to beware of getting important and delicate things wrong.

    The issue is not whether homosexuals are fully human, or are nice or not — most are (most of the time), some few are not, like any other group of people you care to name. That is an irrelevancy.

    the issue is that a radical change to the foundational institution of any community — the family and its core, marriage — is being undertaken. Unless it can be reasonably shown that such changes are going to do more good than harm, they should not be attempted. Further to this, there is a lot of reason and there is a significant and growing body of evidence that the proposed change will be damaging, not an improvement to an already bad situation.

    Notice: that evidence and reasoned, principled concern is not beingf addressed on the mertis, but isntead those who raise legitimate concerns are being vilified, even demonised.

    (As a black man, I have to take it as a very serious and wounding insult to be insistently, willfully, slanderously and falsely accused of prejudice for the thought crime of asking pertinent and serious questions and raising pertinent concerns; instead of having such questions soberly addressed. I and other members of my race are all too familiar with such tactics, and where they lead. Such incivility should stop; now. Since we have already seen the willful refusal to apologise for such misbehaviour, I simply point out that to refuse to cease and desist from such tactics underscores the destructive nature of the advocacy we are seeing, here and in the wider civilisation.)

    The saddest part of the above, is that– thanks to the cynically calculated Hunter-Madsen “desensitise-jam out-convert” propaganda strategy [cf Borne at 6 above for starters, here, then VJT at 12, and Mynym at 127 and 207] — public discussion of an attempted radical change to the most foundational institutions in our civilisation has been so deeply and willfully poisoned and polarised that I think someone like SAR may not even realise that she is spouting a slanderous, distractive and irrelevant propaganda talking point.

    Let us therefore draw the obvious conclusion: the radical advocates have no serious case on the merits.

    We saw that when they could not provide a serious explanation for why marriage could be willy-nilly redefined to suit their agenda.

    We saw it when they could not account for why they want to claim that to so redefine marriage and access to it is a “right.” (Indeed, they have been unable to answer to the point that marriage to be marriage it is a covenant entered into freely, so it is never a right. Nor can they show that the complementarity of the sexes and the functions of procreation and child nurture are not so essential to the future of society that marriage inherently must be based on the heterosexual bond.)

    When addressing the issue that a right is a binding moral claim, one that is objectively compelling, we found that we are dealing with adherents or supporters of a worldview, evolutionary materialism, that undermines the force of ought. So, it is amoral and turns right into a question of power and manipulation in society: “might makes right.”

    So, now, let us hear and heedthe warning of David Kupelian in his The Marketing of Evil, as ciged by Borne at 6 above:

    Through a detailed strategy including “desensitization(attitudinal manipulation through constant repetition), “jamming” (in which ruthless intimidation tactics are used to silence dissenting expression), and other powerful tactics, they have been able to shape public opinion.

    In After the Ball, the authors wrote: “We mean the conversion of the average American’s emotions, mind and will, through a planned psychological attack in the form of propaganda fed to the nation via the media. We mean ‘subverting’ the mechanism of prejudice to our own ends – using the very processes that made America hate us to turn their hatred into warm regard – whether they like it or not.”

    We have been warned, and we have seent he concerns in that warning play out right before our eyes.

    Now, what will we do about it?

    GEM of TKI

  403. 403

    As a black man, I have to take it as a very serious and wounding insult to be insistently, willfully, slanderously and falsely accused of prejudice for the thought crime of asking pertinent and serious questions and raising pertinent concerns; instead of having such questions soberly addressed. I and other members of my race are all too familiar with such tactics, and where they lead.

    When anyone seeks to limit the relationships and ability to form contracts of an entire group of people (be they nice or not, radical or not) solely based on some shared characteristic, then they shouldn’t be surprised when the subject of prejudice comes up. And I suppose that is why I am most disappointed in you, KF. If anyone should understand the role of “morals” rhetoric in the oppression of an entire group of people, it would be you.

    Such incivility should stop; now.

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  404. 404

    …shouldn’t be surprised when the subject of prejudice comes up.

    Prejudice?

    You have yet to build the basis of your argument. You can’t use that word until you deal with the issue.

  405. —tribune7 to SanAntonioRose: “What you and the others seem to be advocating is no different that claiming society must not tell a young man — or woman — to indulge in whatever urge he or she happens to be feeling at a particular moment.

    —SanAntonioRose: “Congratulations. You have defined freedom.”

    No, what he has described is “license,” not “freedom.” Your inability to make the distinction defines your many misapprehensions about what constitutes a well ordered society.

  406. When anyone seeks to limit the relationships and ability to form contracts of an entire group of people (be they nice or not, radical or not) solely based on some shared characteristic…

    So I take it that you must be against discriminating against promiscuous people. They’re nice people, by the way. I know a nice promiscuous person and can’t you just feel the nicety and tolerance of that?

    It’s interesting that the MTV generation is so easily swayed by identity politics.

    …then they shouldn’t be surprised when the subject of prejudice comes up.

    You shouldn’t be surprised if the subject of stupidity comes up if you’re going to equate “sexual minorities” with the civil rights movement and racial minorities. What surveys show that African Americans have shifted their racial identity over their life-span at rates of well over %50? Ironically, if there is an immutable group called gay people then it is also among the best educated (rates of college degree %60) and wealthiest (check marketing surveys) groups around. This is not evidence of victimization, despite the skill that those with effeminate tendencies seem to have when it comes to propaganda. I’m aware that many have been conditioned to feel that basic forms of pattern recognition are the equivalent of stereotype and some may even be stupid and ignorant enough to believe that it’s the moral equivalent of racism. Yet the reality is:

    Most sissies will grow up to be homosexuals,
    and most gay men were sissies as children…
    Despite the provocative and politically incorrect nature of that statement, it fits the evidence.
    In fact, it may be the most consistent, well-documented, and significant finding in the entire field of sexual orientation research and perhaps in all of human psychology.
    (Queer Science by Simon LeVay (The MIT Press: 1996) :166)

    One can only wonder what the MTV generation would be saying if fat people (another minority being denied their rights and so on) demonstrated the same sort of skill with victimization propaganda. They’d probably be dumb enough to not only insist that the military change but to treat the ability to serve in the military as some sort of civil right, the denial of which would be the moral equivalent of racism.

  407. 407

    Ah, yes, a well ordered society. That is one where you, or some of your like minded brethren get to decide what (and who) is best for everyone else, right?

    Freedom is slavery!

  408. SAR

    Free to make their own decisions, right or wrong.

    Nobody is telling you you shouldn’t be free to make your own decisions. What the debate is about is that some don’t want anybody telling them what is right or wrong, or good or bad.

    So long as they don’t harm anyone else (and we have extensive criminal laws spelling out what that is), it is NOYB.

    Here’s a thought: suppose a particular couple is hosting parties every other weekend that features anonymous anal sex with multiple partners, some of whom go home to unsuspecting wives and girlfriends. Should there be means to shut them down?

    If you don’t want the government telling you what to think or how to live, . . .

    But you’re the one who wants to bring the government into this, remember? What do you think civil marriage is? :-)

    So, the other half of marriage is that society gives certain rights in exchange for the official marriage.

    Why should “official marriage” bring any rights?

  409. Notes on effeminacy:

    These reports indicate that 46% to 64% of boys with untreated gender identity disorders develop homosexual or bisexual orientation during their
    adolescence.
    (Davenport CW: A follow-up study of 10 feminine boys. Arch Sex Behavior. 15: 511, 1986.)
    (Green R: The “sissy boy syndrome” and the development of homosexuality, New Haven. Conn. 1987, Yale University Press.)
    (Zucker K.J: Cross-gender-identified children. In Steiner BW, editor Gender dysphoria: development. research, management New York, 1985, Plenum Press.)
    (Zuger B: Early effeminate behavior in boys: outcome and significance for homosexuality, J Nerv Ment Dis 172: 90, 1984.)
    (Zuger B: Is early effeminate behavior in boys early homosexuality? Comp. Psychiatry 29: 509, 1988)

    And this brings up an interesting question given that psychologists claim to be able to help with gender identity disorders. If homosexuality is good and desirable as people here claim (but never demonstrate) then should parents be forbidden from seeking such treatments? Members within some associations have tried to pass resolutions which define therapy for gender identity issues as the equivalent of child abuse, after all.

    But this doesn’t seem to be an issue of actual knowledge about anything. For most posting here it seems to be about their emotional conditioning and that is all. It’s illogical. That’s why if one repeats the same exact logic back to them in the reverse they will reject it.

    Kirk and Madsen note that a more effective technique for dealing with those of limited intelligence is to merely keep a conversation going and in the process their emotional state tends to alter simply because you are taking the time to converse with them. But that only applies if you are interested in using conditioning as a means toward political ends instead of treating the truth as an end in itself.

  410. 410

    Tribune:

    Nobody is telling you you shouldn’t be free to make your own decisions.

    Unless, of course, I choose to make a lifelong commitment to the person I love and that person happens to also be a girl. That is a decision you’ll deny me.

    Here’s a thought: suppose a particular couple is hosting parties every other weekend that features anonymous anal sex with multiple partners, some of whom go home to unsuspecting wives and girlfriends. Should there be means to shut them down?

    It is obvious you have thought about this a lot. And I don’t mean that in a good way. LOL.

    Why should “official marriage” bring any rights?

    Whether it should or it shouldn’t is irrelevant. It does.

  411. Ah, yes, a well ordered society. That is one where you, or some of your like minded brethren get to decide what (and who) is best for everyone else, right?

    Your position might be helped if you invoked some imagery of rolling around on the floor crying. After all, it’s all so terrible and victimizing and so on.

    Even secularists and totalitarians like the Communists and Nazis have a history of being intolerant of homosexuality once they get into power due to their focus on the collective and health. This is not a matter of Christians imposing their values on others and so on. In fact, if anything it is more a matter of you imposing your philosophy of hedonism on everyone based on your feelings with little regard for the general welfare.

  412. It is obvious you have thought about this a lot. And I don’t mean that in a good way. LOL.

    I’m sure it’s quite funny to the women who come down with STDs as a result. There have been a few studies on it.

    I suppose it’s all a laughing matter to the MTV generation. Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you die.

    “Hades is the same as Dionysus, in whose honour they go mad and rave.”

  413. 413

    Your position might be helped if you invoked some imagery of rolling around on the floor crying. After all, it’s all so terrible and victimizing and so on.

    Funny. That is how I visualize others (not you) in this discussion with all their talk of their rights being taken away by gay marriage.

    In fact, if anything it is more a matter of you imposing your philosophy of hedonism on everyone based on your feelings with little regard for the general welfare.

    No one is forcing you to have a gay marriage. You can marry whomever you please.

    For now, anyways. You’ll be one of the first I have report to the re-education camps for your new gay marriage. Bwahahahaha! LOL

  414. 414

    SAR@413,

    You’re the only one in here who is unable to have a mature conversation about serious subject matter without resorting to such transparent sophistry (read tasteless jokes) as:

    “You’ll be one of the first I have report to the re-education camps for your new gay marriage.”

    You should try to approach the subject more like VJTorley, who is respectful and fair in all of his responses, or like Markf. No ones will take you seriously if you’re arrogant and snide.

  415. 415

    You’re the only one in here who is unable to have a mature conversation about serious subject matter without resorting to such transparent sophistry

    Transparent sophistry or cleverly disguised satire.

    All of my other comments here have been written with seriousness. I stand by all of them. If my writing style is not to your liking, I am sorry. You aren’t the first to blanch at my forthright manner. I suppose that isn’t very ladylike of me, is it?

  416. SAR:

    Sadly, you have now stepped utterly beyond the pale of decency and civility.

    Reasoned questioning, challenge and disagreement are not to be met with slanderous accusation. At least, by the reasonable and decent.

    You have made your choice by your further insistence on slander rather than reason, now you will have to live with its consequences, as you have exposed more about yourself than you may realise.

    As, some others have now pointed out.

    Good day, madam

    GEM of TKI

  417. 417

    KF,

    Do you agree with my definition that prejudice is “when anyone seeks to limit the relationships and ability to form contracts of an entire group of people (be they nice or not, radical or not) solely based on some shared characteristic?”

  418. —SanAntonioRose: “Ah, yes, a well ordered society. That is one where you, or some of your like minded brethren get to decide what (and who) is best for everyone else, right?”

    I gather that this is the first time anyone has ever presented to you the idea of a well-ordered society. Did you not know that, from an earthly perspective, this is supposed to be the collective goal for all rational people–to harmonize diversity with unity. If you didn’t know that, then don’t you think it is a little premature to be cynical about a subject with which you have not yet become acquainted?

    In truth, there are only two ultimate paradigms for the application of justice: Might makes right and the natural moral law. Because you sneer at the latter, you are, unwittingly, advancing the cause of the former. The question about “who gets to decide” about the ultimate standards for justice is supposed to be vested in the natural moral law to which everyone is accountable, not just a few tyrannical men, who are accountable to no one.

    Begin by reading, or rereading, my post on the meaning of subsidiarity.

  419. Onlookers,

    Let us remind ourselves of the Hunter Madsen strategy that SAR is showing us in action:

    _______________

    Borne, 6 above (citing Kupelian’s summary):

    >>Through a detailed strategy including “desensitization(attitudinal manipulation through constant repetition), “jamming” (in which ruthless intimidation tactics are used to silence dissenting expression), and other powerful tactics, they have been able to shape public opinion.

    In After the Ball, the authors wrote: “We mean the conversion of the average American’s emotions, mind and will, through a planned psychological attack in the form of propaganda fed to the nation via the media. We mean ‘subverting’ the mechanism of prejudice to our own ends – using the very processes that made America hate us to turn their hatred into warm regard – whether they like it or not.” >>

    Mynym, 127, out of the horse’s mouth so to speak:

    >> In any campaign to win over the public, gays must be portrayed as victims in need of protection so that straights will be inclined by reflex to adopt the role of protector. If gays present themselves, instead, as a strong and arrogant tribe promoting a defiantly nonconformist lifestyle, they are more likely to be seen as a public menace that warrants resistance and oppression. For that reason, we must forego the temptation to strut our gay pride publicly to such an extent that we undermine our victim image.
    (After the Ball: How America will conquer its fear & hatred of Gays in the 90’s
    By Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen :183) >>

    And, again in 207:

    >>The appearance of an argument can often aid an emotional appeal for other reasons. [...] Where the target of an emotional appeal is aware of the attempt at manipulation, he will tend to resist it; where he is distracted from the true nature of the appeal by a ‘cover argument,’ the emotional effect, paradoxically, will be all the greater. Thus, an argument can function as a distractor.
    Our remarks apply primarily to the (intellectually) lower 90% or so of the general population, whose beliefs more or less never alter their emotions. This is largely true of the upper 10%, as well, but, fortunately, not entirely. The highly intelligent sometimes display the capacity, although less often the inclination, to step outside themselves and analyze their feelings, and the causes of their feelings, dispassionately, and this sometimes modulates the feelings themselves.
    (After the Ball by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen :138) >>

    Yet again, in 208:

    >> Our effect is achieved without reference to facts, logic, or proof…through repeated infralogical emotional conditioning, the person’s beliefs can be altered whether he is conscious of the attack or not. Indeed, the more he is distracted by even specious, surface arguments, the less conscious he will be of the true nature of the process. In short, jamming succeeds insofar as it inserts even the slightest frisson of doubt and shame into the previously held unalloyed beliefs regarding heterosexuality and homosexuality.
    (After the Ball by Kirk and Madsen :152-153) >>

    ________________

    Sounds familiar?

    Sorry, I have had to deal with guilt manipulation cults for decades.

    The above is the sort of cynical manipulation by the ruthless we are being subjected to, and as we see above, it can work very well, thank you; once people forget to ask and think through some very pointed and pertinent questions.

    GEM of TKI

  420. F/N: SAR, maybe it has not dawned on you that you have forfeited the privilege of dialogue, through insistent uncivil conduct.

    But I will give you just one corrective to your attempted definition of prejudice: in prisons, societies — for the defense of the civil peace — are obliged to incarcerate and control a significant number of people because they have a common characteristic: conviction and due sentencing for criminal conduct.

    I suggest you consult a dictionary, here, AmHD:

    prej·u·dice (prj-ds)
    n.
    1.
    a. An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts.
    b. A preconceived preference or idea.
    2. The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions. See Synonyms at predilection.
    3. Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion.
    4. Detriment or injury caused to a person by the preconceived, unfavorable conviction of another or others.prej·u·dice (prj-ds)
    n.
    1.
    a. An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts.
    b. A preconceived preference or idea.
    2. The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions. See Synonyms at predilection.
    3. Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion.
    4. Detriment or injury caused to a person by the preconceived, unfavorable conviction of another or others.

    A well-warranted conclusion that an ideology or the agenda of its adherents is dangerous and potentially destructive to civil society may be adverse, but it is not a prejudice, as it is not a judgement before the facts.

    And, again, the issue is that, amidst a situation of an already deteriorating family environment, we are dealing with a declared agenda that credibly would render the dangerous decline irreversible. I have given you summary reasons, and serious references above, which you have shown no evidence of having seriously read or reflected on.

    That is sadly telling.

    If anything, it is the undersigned who has a right to call your intemperate and slanderously uncivil reaction prejudiced.

    Good day, madam.

    GEM of TKI

  421. 421

    KF

    SAR, maybe it has not dawned on you that you have forfeited the privilege of dialogue, through insistent uncivil conduct.

    I am led to understand that the white background signifies moderator privileges. Insofar as your comments appear with a light green background, I have to assume that you don’t have the wherewithall to compel said forfeiture by actually actively censoring me.

    So, until someone comes along to actually enforce your edict of “Hush and run along, little girl, while the adults talk” I am going to continue to participate in the discussion. If you cannot countenance that, feel free to ignore me.

    That said, I only wish to note that you quoted a dictionary, which provides a number of definitions of “prejudice,” the last two of which are:

    3. Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion.
    4. Detriment or injury caused to a person by the preconceived, unfavorable conviction of another or others.

    Since my participation here is apparently about to come to a end, I would note that these two definitions conform nicely to the one I asked you comment on. And there is nothing I feel needs to be further added.

  422. mf RE 373 Really? this is the best you can do? The issue is not whether questions regarding good and evil are trivial even though in your view they are not absolute. Of course they are important nor did I say otherwise. The issue is what grounds morality not that it is not trivial. That you think you have dismissed “might maked right” by your missive says something about your capacity to be imporessed by your own percieved self importance. In short it was a very poor performance from a Professor from Cornell.

    It was instructive however to observe that on your blog you do the very thing I stated in 359

    “Having abandoned the neccessary foundational principle of an absolute “good” they are left to wander in the wilderness of their own subjective making arguing that good is whatever they convince others what that “good” happens to be at this moment in time. If they can get enough people to agree what was at one time wrong that it is now good evil becomes good and good becoes evil. Materialists are moral alchemists”

    Your post was nothing more or less than a marshalling of your arguments, nothing more really than your opinion,as to why your position and thoughts on these matters should hold sway over contrary opinions. Thanks for proving my point.

    I suggest you reread KF’s post # 377. IMO a pretty devestating critique. Oh I forgot you don’t like to engage KF.

    Vivid

  423. “devastating”

    Vivid

  424. Onlookers:

    SAR should read what she has become caught up in (while noting that I have given my reasons, evidence and onward references she refuses to engage . . . my conclusions are not a judgement before facts, neither are they irrational):

    _______________

    Borne, 6 above (citing Kupelian’s summary):

    >>Through a detailed strategy including “desensitization(attitudinal manipulation through constant repetition), “jamming” (in which ruthless intimidation tactics are used to silence dissenting expression), and other powerful tactics, they have been able to shape public opinion.

    In After the Ball, the authors wrote: “We mean the conversion of the average American’s emotions, mind and will, through a planned psychological attack in the form of propaganda fed to the nation via the media. We mean ‘subverting’ the mechanism of prejudice to our own ends – using the very processes that made America hate us to turn their hatred into warm regard – whether they like it or not.” >>

    Mynym, 127, out of the horse’s mouth so to speak:

    >> In any campaign to win over the public, gays must be portrayed as victims in need of protection so that straights will be inclined by reflex to adopt the role of protector. If gays present themselves, instead, as a strong and arrogant tribe promoting a defiantly nonconformist lifestyle, they are more likely to be seen as a public menace that warrants resistance and oppression. For that reason, we must forego the temptation to strut our gay pride publicly to such an extent that we undermine our victim image.
    (After the Ball: How America will conquer its fear & hatred of Gays in the 90’s
    By Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen :183) >>

    And, again in 207:

    >>The appearance of an argument can often aid an emotional appeal for other reasons. [...] Where the target of an emotional appeal is aware of the attempt at manipulation, he will tend to resist it; where he is distracted from the true nature of the appeal by a ‘cover argument,’ the emotional effect, paradoxically, will be all the greater. Thus, an argument can function as a distractor.
    Our remarks apply primarily to the (intellectually) lower 90% or so of the general population, whose beliefs more or less never alter their emotions. This is largely true of the upper 10%, as well, but, fortunately, not entirely. The highly intelligent sometimes display the capacity, although less often the inclination, to step outside themselves and analyze their feelings, and the causes of their feelings, dispassionately, and this sometimes modulates the feelings themselves.
    (After the Ball by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen :138) >>

    Yet again, in 208:

    >> Our effect is achieved without reference to facts, logic, or proof…through repeated infralogical emotional conditioning, the person’s beliefs can be altered whether he is conscious of the attack or not. Indeed, the more he is distracted by even specious, surface arguments, the less conscious he will be of the true nature of the process. In short, jamming succeeds insofar as it inserts even the slightest frisson of doubt and shame into the previously held unalloyed beliefs regarding heterosexuality and homosexuality.
    (After the Ball by Kirk and Madsen :152-153) >>

    ________________

    G’night all

    GEM of TKI

  425. #422 Vivid

    Just to put the record straight. I have never been to Cornell and I am not an academic. I guess you are thinking of Allen MacNeill. Why did you resort to trivial insults? I don’t think I ever made any personal remarks about you did I?

  426. 426

    SAR should read what she has become caught up in (while noting that I have given my reasons, evidence and onward references she refuses to engage . . . my conclusions are not a judgement before facts, neither are they irrational):

    You aren’t willing to address my point over your zeal to affect an entire group of people based on the radical agenda of a few. You admit that there a nice gay people, but apparently being nice and wanting to live their lives in peace is just not enough. The must conform to your rules and expectations or suffer being collateral damage in the culture war.

    As far as your disapproval of my tone, all I can say is your indignation is noted. You wear it well.

  427. SAR, you are a child.

    I mean that in a good way :-)

    Be careful out there.

  428. San Antonio Rose

    You aren’t willing to address my point over your zeal to affect an entire group of people based on the radical agenda of a few

    But the opposition to homosexuality is not based on “radical few”. The “yuck” factor opposing homosexuality is universal and historic. This means that it is a perfectly natural reaction to something that deviates from the human nature. However, I agree that the “yuck” reaction should not be used to justify violence or hatred towards homosexuals.

    apparently being nice and wanting to live their lives in peace is just not enough

    Your side keeps bringing up emotional sentiment towards homosexuality and rejects any sources cited by our side that show the serious problems associated with homosexuality. The only time that a subjective and emotional argument takes sway over an objective fact is when the fact is dismissed as inconvenient truth that conflicts with a subjective world view.

    Homosexuality is an unnatural deviation from human nature. PERIOD. We have a reproductive potential that could bring new human beings into the world being halted in favor of an unnatural desire. And the only reason it is being tolerated is because many people still foolishly think that it is perfectly natural.

    Notice how the “goal posts” have shifted on this issue, the gay-rights lobbyists propagated the myth that homosexuality is perfectly natural as their basis for legalizing it. But now scientists admit that there is no evidence for this. The next apology was to claim that homosexuality hurts no one. But further studies proved that there are indeed psychological, social, and medical problems associated with it. Now the lobbyists and humanists are left with a totally emotional and subjective justification for a an unnatural desire based on the claim that homosexuals are nice. But even if they are nice, that does not guarantee that when homosexuality becomes widespread in society there will not be a rise in sexual promiscuity, a rise in risk of AIDS and STDs, a rise in risk of psychologically affected children reared by homosexuals, and that people will start to look at the natural heterosexual marriage as a thing of the past.

    The problem with the atheist/humanist view is that it uses a justification for a certain desire as a basis for a moral choice. In other words, they think that allowing people to engage in their desires (ie homosexuality) is the right moral choice. But I don’t see how can there be a sound moral standard based on “do as thou wilt”, which is a concept derived from an abusive understanding of freedom.

  429. Shogun:
    “We have a reproductive potential that could bring new human beings into the world being halted in favor of an unnatural desire.”

    Are you really under the impression that the reproductive potential of humans on this earth is being halted?? Look around – it’s racing to the 10 billion mark somewhere in the next 30 – 60 years! You really think we need the homosexuals of this world to help us make MORE people on this earth???

    “the gay-rights lobbyists propagated the myth that homosexuality is perfectly natural as their basis for legalizing it. But now scientists admit that there is no evidence for this.”

    Which scientists are those? There is plenty of science documenting that homosexual behavior has been observed in close to 1500 species of animals, ranging from primates to gut worms, and it is well documented for 500 of them. Of course I am sure you will assert next that humans are not animals, and what’s natural for non-human animals is not natural for humans.

  430. 430

    I (as others) have followed SAR’s comments throughout this thread. The general strategy she uses is to ask questions (often trivial or irrelevant) designed to evoke an emotional response aligned with her position, which she avoids addressing. I counted some two dozen questions sprinkled among her comments:

    She asked if the objection to homosexuality was based upon anal sex, then wouldn’t the objection go away if gay men limited themselves to oral sex.

    She asked about elderly marriage, where she wants to know why a couple who marry beyond the age of childbearing can be seen as acceptable under the traditional views she opposes.

    She asks what will happen to a specific existing marriage if the whole world allowed homosexual marriage.

    She asks if it were possible to have gay marriage without prohibiting churches and their followers to moralize among themselves, would the objection to gay marriage go away.

    She asks (in order to assuage any concerns on the part of heterosexuals) if it does not make sense to somehow “work” with non-radical homosexuals in order to “marginalize” radical homosexuals.

    She again asks about the fairness of allowing straight people who are incapable of childbearing to marry if gays are disallowed.

    She asks why someone would suspect that gays are less likely to have life-long partnerships.

    She asks if it is not most-fair to gays to only consider divorce rates among gay couples in countries that have allowed gay marriage for some time.

    She ask if it would not make more sense for parents (who disapprove of gay marriage indoctrination at schools) to improve their parenting skills, or perhaps limit their children to religious schools, or keep them home altogether (as opposed to sending them to schools funded by the public).

    She asks if marriage only retains its specialness if it exists as an exclusively heterosexual contract.

    She asks how gay marriage is responsible for declining marriage rates.

    She asks if sexual immorality and gay marriage are presumed to be the cause in the decline in straight marriage.

    She asks if the decline in marriage might simply be caused by the “recognition” that some people are attracted to persons of the same sex.

    She asks if relaxing of gay stigma would not obviously lead to a reduction in marriage.

    She asks how government power is affected by a change in the traditional nuclear family.

    She asks if there is research indicating a higher failure rate among legal homosexual marriages than heterosexual marriages.

    She asks if gay marriages are considered of “lower character” than non-gay marriages.

    She asks if traditional marriage is supported by prohibiting non-traditional marriage.

    She asks if it correct that prohibiting gay marriage is part of the effort to strengthen marriage and family.

    She asks why someone who doesn’t want the state telling them what they can and cannot do, would support a telling anyone what they can and cannot do.

    She asks if a “well ordered society” is where like-minded people get together and establish parameters for the society.

    She asks if her definition of prejudice is acceptable (that being anytime one group seeks to affect another group’s choices based upon the traits of a group, regardless of if those traits are “nice” or not, “radical” or not).

    And of course, she asks is she is not being “lady like” for the thoughtfulness of her treatment of the issue.

    - – - – - – -

    Oddly enough, not only did she refuse to describe the virtues of homosexuality to the heterosexual society whom she demands must embrace it, she flatly refuses to address the primary issue (that being the natural complimentarily of the sexes) despite it being on the table throughout the entire thread.

    One can only presume that these two items are unimportant to her thoughtful treatment of the issue.

  431. Why are people citing this book by Kirk and Madsen as though it is the center of some international homosexual conspiracy? It’s sounding like Glenn Beck in here.

  432. 432

    Oh Mr. Biped, I guess I should be honored you have gone to great lengths to read what I have written. I am not used to having a whole passel of boys hovering around me trying to pull my pigtails. LOL.

    Oddly enough, not only did she refuse to describe the virtues of homosexuality to the heterosexual society whom she demands must embrace it

    Heterosexual society? I see. Homosexuals must justify their existence to you in order to be allowed to move about in polite company, is that it? What is the going price of admission these days? How very open-minded of you to allow them to beg for the right to make their own decisions regarding their relationships.

    Whether you like it or not, homosexuals exist in society and you cannot demand that they submit themselves for your approval. But that is the beauty of it. The only thing that matters is each of our individual relationships with God. I will stand before God with my head high for what I believe. And for those here who feel they are righteous enough to stand in judgement of others, I suggest you contemplate Matthew 7:21-23 before you go on about casting out those that you perceive as devils.

  433. SAR@431 – It doesn’t appear that Upright Biped suggests that homosexuals justify their existence. He suggests that they justify the virtues of homosexuality. If the traditional definition of marriage should be changed, then they should be prepared with facts and evidence to show why this would be beneficial for all of society as a whole.

    As far as the only thing mattering is an invidual’s relationship with God, I would also recommend reading Ecclesiastes 7:16, which states, “Do not become righteous overmuch, nor show yourself excessively wise. Why should you cause desolation to yourself?”

    A human who sets his or her own standards and judges others by them is ‘righteous overmuch.’ Yet, this person fails to realize that by doing so, he is elevating his standards above those of God and thereby proving himself unrighteous in God’s sight.

  434. 434

    SAR,

    You are quite a showman, of course, drawing on the convenient imagery of people on their knees begging for their rights, devils being tossed out, and such.

    This of course hasn’t the slightest effect on me. I am quite certain I have probably known, have been friends with, have associated with, have worked with, have shared time with and lived around more homosexuals than you have ever known. On my personal website is a video tribute to an openly homosexual friend I once worked with who recently passed away. I get along just fine, thank you.

    You failed once again to address the issue.

  435. Let me make a proposition: reasonable people can and do disagree about the gay marriage thing. Who’s with me?

  436. Sorry, let me revise: reasonable people can and do disagree reasonably about the gay marriage thing.

  437. There is a lot of hand-wringing about some posters failing to address the issue of “complementarity of the sexes”. It has been referred to as the “elephant in the room” and “the primary issue”.

    After an admittedly brief period of research, this phrase would appear to be primarily, if not uniquely used in Catholic literature. The top Google hit for “natural complementarity sexes” links to “For Your Marriage” which is described as “An Initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops”.

    From that site:

    “Why can marriage exist only between a man and a woman?

    The natural structure of human sexuality makes man and woman complementary partners for expressing conjugal love and transmitting human life. Only a union of male and female can express the sexual complementarity willed by God for marriage. This unique complementarity makes possible the conjugal bond that is the core of marriage.

    Why is a same-sex union not equivalent to a marriage?

    A same-sex union contradicts the nature and purposes of marriage. It is not based on the natural complementarity of male and female. It cannot achieve the natural purpose of sexual union, that is, to cooperate with God to create new life. Because persons in a same-sex union cannot enter into a true conjugal union, it is wrong to equate their relationship to a marriage.”

    This just brings us back to the issue of procreation being the be-all, end-all core of marriage. I still do not find that argument compelling in the least. Examples above raised the question of infertile or elderly couples. Responses seemed to focus on the possibility that infertile couples could, in theory, get pregnant. Again, not a compelling argument.

  438. Onlookers:

    Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals:

    13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and ‘frozen.’… “One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.”

    What a hateful, devilishly deceptive and divisive piece of advice!

    Do you see the root of the trifecta fallacy of distracting red herrings, led away to strawman caricatures soaked in ad hominems which are then ignited through incendiary slanderous rhetoric , the better to cloud, choke, confuse, poison and polarise the atmosphere?

    Do you notice that somehow, by virtue of the distracting and polarising tactics above, we are not addressing the focal issue of imposed censorship on a false accusation of hate speech against those who have raised principled objections, not to homosexuality or homosexuals, but to the Yogyakarta-style aqenda to homosexualise marriage and family by imposition of dangerous law?

    So, we see just how effectively Kirk, Madsen and others at that infamous After the Ball conference did their poisonous work:

    ____________

    >> Borne, 6 above (citing Kupelian’s summary):

    >>Through a detailed strategy including “desensitization(attitudinal manipulation through constant repetition), “jamming” (in which ruthless intimidation tactics are used to silence dissenting expression), and other powerful tactics, they have been able to shape public opinion.

    In After the Ball, the authors wrote: “We mean the conversion of the average American’s emotions, mind and will, through a planned psychological attack in the form of propaganda fed to the nation via the media. We mean ‘subverting’ the mechanism of prejudice to our own ends – using the very processes that made America hate us to turn their hatred into warm regard – whether they like it or not.” >>

    Mynym, 127, out of the horse’s mouth so to speak:

    >> In any campaign to win over the public, gays must be portrayed as victims in need of protection so that straights will be inclined by reflex to adopt the role of protector. If gays present themselves, instead, as a strong and arrogant tribe promoting a defiantly nonconformist lifestyle, they are more likely to be seen as a public menace that warrants resistance and oppression. For that reason, we must forego the temptation to strut our gay pride publicly to such an extent that we undermine our victim image.
    (After the Ball: How America will conquer its fear & hatred of Gays in the 90’s
    By Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen :183) >>

    And, again in 207:

    >>The appearance of an argument can often aid an emotional appeal for other reasons. [...] Where the target of an emotional appeal is aware of the attempt at manipulation, he will tend to resist it; where he is distracted from the true nature of the appeal by a ‘cover argument,’ the emotional effect, paradoxically, will be all the greater. Thus, an argument can function as a distractor.
    Our remarks apply primarily to the (intellectually) lower 90% or so of the general population, whose beliefs more or less never alter their emotions. This is largely true of the upper 10%, as well, but, fortunately, not entirely. The highly intelligent sometimes display the capacity, although less often the inclination, to step outside themselves and analyze their feelings, and the causes of their feelings, dispassionately, and this sometimes modulates the feelings themselves.
    (After the Ball by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen :138) >>

    Yet again, in 208:

    >> Our effect is achieved without reference to facts, logic, or proof…through repeated infralogical emotional conditioning, the person’s beliefs can be altered whether he is conscious of the attack or not. Indeed, the more he is distracted by even specious, surface arguments, the less conscious he will be of the true nature of the process. In short, jamming succeeds insofar as it inserts even the slightest frisson of doubt and shame into the previously held unalloyed beliefs regarding heterosexuality and homosexuality.
    (After the Ball by Kirk and Madsen :152-153) >>
    ____________

    In short, demonising slander of those who raise questions — especially principled and informed ones — concerning the homosexualisation agenda for our civilisation, multiplied by guilt manipulation and desensitisation to the self-and socially destructive behaviour of those caught up in homosexual activity.

    SAR has become a capital illustration of a “convert,” who seems to imagine that — regardless of evidence (which she obviously refuses to read or respond to), the only possible motivation for objection to homosexuality is “prejudice.” Which she has been led to twist from its proper meaning, improperly judging before the facts are in, to any objection to the fashionable forms of outre behaviour of our time. (This is of course, the twisted — amoral and radically relativist — version of “tolerance” that demands approval of the most outrageous misbehaviour on penalty of being accused, usually falsely, of “hate.” Its root is the dominance of evolutionary materialism, which as we have seen above, utterly undermines the foundation for morality, and ends up in the devilish delusion that might and manipulation make right.)

    In that process, SAR has now slipped across the border into trollishly slanderous behaviour. Having been repeatedly counselled and corrected, not to mention warned, she is insistent and plainly willfully abusive.

    Therefore, we should now refuse to “feed” trollish misconduct by paying it the attention it thrives on.

    Until SAR seriously addresses and cogently responds to the issues that are at stake, she has — by her unfortunate and willfully wrongheaded behaviour — removed herself from the circle of sober, serious, civil discussion.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Quite ID,had you been paying attention, you would have found out from several remarks and links above that there IS an international homosexualisation of law and public policy agenda, one that builds on the successful agit-prop tactics worked out in the After the Ball conference and ruthlessly used over the past 20 years. Therefore, kindly read and respond on the merits — i.e. reasonably — to Tozzi’s critique of the declarations emanating from the Yogyakarta conference held in 2006 in Indonesia under UN auspices. And, I think you will see not only above from the Manhattan declaration and the thread above but from the just linked critique [and from many other sources], that there is such a thing as a reasoned, principled concern about and objection to the radical, now global agenda to homosexualise our civilization’s foundational institution, marriage and family. The abuse of anti-discrimination law and principles to do so, is of particular concern, for the demand now is not mere tolerance of what one objects to, but approval on pain of being slandered, labelled and punished under dangerously tyrannical law.

  439. Following on from Murasma’s excellent comment.

    As well as the of the “complementarity of the sexes” we get Shogun:

    “Homosexuality is an unnatural deviation from human nature. PERIOD.”

    And on the back of this UP demands that someone justifies the virtues of homosexuality.

    As far as I can see this amounts to:

    Homosexual relations don’t produce children

    This is not normal

    Therefore they need to justify their activity before it can be condoned.

    (If someone feels I am putting words into their mouths please correct. I just like to put things in plain English.)

    So, does everyone who engages in an abnormal activity have to justify it, otherwise it is evil by default?

  440. PPS: Let me list Tozzi’s main points (note, there is need to examine the substantiating evidence):

    _________________

    >>Problem #1: The [Yogyakarta] Principles undermine parental and familial authority. [p.3]

    Problem #2: The Principles undermine freedom of speech. [p. 4]

    Problem #3: The Principles undermine religious freedom. [p.5]

    Problem #4: The Principles undermine national sovereignty/national democratic institutions. [p.5]

    Problem #5: The Principles encourage (physically, psychologically and morally) unhealthy choices. [p.6]

    Problem #6: The Principles fail to provide objective standards for evaluating conduct. [p. 6]

    Because the Principles partially incorporate language or concepts that appear inoffensive or selfevident (e.g., everyone has a right to life), and characterize opposition as being violative of individuals’autonomy rights, they have a superficial appeal which can be difficult to counteract, particularly in circles
    that are sympathetic to the Principles’ underlying rights-emphasizing presuppositions.

    The Principles, however, assume a number of premises which are false, or stated more cautiously,should not be assumed to be true without proof. To begin with, the working group declares itself, ipse dixit,
    to be “The International Panel of Experts in International Human Rights Law and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity,” presuming that it possess authority to opine on the issues before it. From its roster,appears to be a self-selecting group, comprised primarily of activists. See Principles Annex at 34-35.

    Dissenting voices among, for example, psychologists are not evident, and they do exist.6 These voices,
    however, are not to be heard, and indeed any assertion that sexual orientation or gender identification is
    capable of being treated or cured is considered a form of “medical abuse” which must be proscribed.

    Principle 18 at 23 (calling upon governments to “Ensure that any medical or psychological treatment or
    counselling does not, explicitly or implicitly, treat sexual orientation and gender identity as medical
    conditions to be treated, cured or suppressed”) . . . .

    One also needs to recapture the language of the “common good.” What the common good is,simply, “that good which is common to all.” It is thus not to be equated with a majoritarian good (such as
    the “greatest good”) or a minority good (such as one identified with the predilections of autonomous
    individuals), but rather one that ensures flourishing of society as a whole and its constituent members . . . . In this regard, use of Kantian constructs – in particular the categorical imperative – that are not grounded in a particular religious tradition and thus more capable of approximating universal assent, can be useful . . . .

    Thus contrary to the presuppositions of the Principles, laws limiting the ability to marry to members of the opposite sex, or restricting benefits to married couples traditionally understood, are not arbitrary, but
    designed to promote the future flourishing of the human species, and not its diminishment and
    disappearance. This is to the benefit of all members of society, even those who struggle with issues of
    sexual orientation and gender identity.[p.7, 8]>>
    ___________________

    There are some very sobering issues at stake here. They should not be dismissed on poisonous talking points emanating from a radical, and radically relativist agenda. We need to ask what is happening to the common good.

    And, in this regard, perhaps it will be clear why I fear that the wounds in our civilisation — absent a miracle — are already mortal.

    Again, I ask us to soberly read Acts 27, as a parable and paradigm for what happens when an ill-informed democratic public is manipulated by special — moneyed and dependent technical — interests, how prudent but uncomfortable counsel is often dismissed, how dangerous risks can easily be run by the march of folly backed up by a “majority,” and what then has to happen after the crash into reality.

  441. kairosfocus, to be honest, I haven’t seen the demonizing to which you refer on this thread. I know you’ve been upset with some people, but I haven’t seen anybody slander you. Sure, people’s emotions are caught up, and sometimes folks get a little snippy, but these are — as you rightly remind us — important issues.

    As for the Yogyakarta principles, I am aware of them thanks to this thread, and I agree with you that they would take things too far if implemented. But I don’t see that they have had any power — certainly not in the UN. If they had, the UN would not have voted as they did last month to remove sexual orientation from a list of reasons not to execute a person.

    I don’t see where anybody’s right to free speech is being abrogated either. The fact that we’re having this conversation suggests it’s not.

  442. zeroseven @ 83Ilion, you sound angry. What are you afraid of I wonder? Why are other people’s personal sexual practices and decisions as to who to love so threatening to you and your kind?

    And you sound like an idiot – that, by the by, is the charitable interpretation of your little foray into unlicensed psychotherapy.

  443. Pardon me for that last note. Specifically, please pardon me for failing to point out the passive-aggressive nature of Zero’s amusing attempt at ‘Bulverism’

  444. 444

    436

    I find it humorous that a grown adult would need to Google “complimentarity of the sexes” in order to understand it. One might think that such things had become obvious somewhere along the way to adulthood. Of course, the Googling of the term was not done in an attempt to address the issue, but to have something to say in order to have anything to say at all.

    Indeed, the issue was brushed aside. This is what happens when inconveinent truths are to be avoided. The obviousness of this maneuver allows a prediction; when any of you get around to it, the bottom line will be that it simply doesn’t matter.

    Dismissal of observable facts will be your final option.

  445. I am clearly not as brilliant as Upright BiPed; I do not know the origin of every term I come across. Google was helpful to see if I could determine the full context of its use.

    I am going to assume that the “observable facts” to which UBP refers are that the penis fits into the vagina. I am aware of this.

    My point is that when the term is generally used, it is almost always in the context of arguing against same-sex marriage. Furthermore, the basis for that argument is that sex acts in same-sex marriages cannot produce children.

    I disagree that procreation is the primary function of marriage and should not be used as a criteria for permitting marriage.

    What exactly are you looking for in a response?

  446. Shogun #428

    Notice how the “goal posts” have shifted on this issue, the gay-rights lobbyists propagated the myth that homosexuality is perfectly natural as their basis for legalizing it. But now scientists admit that there is no evidence for this. The next apology was to claim that homosexuality hurts no one. But further studies proved that there are indeed psychological, social, and medical problems associated with it.

    This one is worth responding to.

    I don’t know about others but I have never defended (or attacked) any activity on the grounds of being natural. In fact I am not sure what it means for an activity to be natural. Is eating too much natural? Is road rage natural?

    I haven’t had the time to read and assess all the stuff about the psychological, social, and medical problems associated with being gay. I imagine there are quite a lot. But so what? We need to decide what the issue is and the relevance of that evidence to that issue.

    Here are three possible propositions:

    1) Homosexual activity is a sin.
    2) Homosexual activity should be illegal
    3) Homosexual marriage should not be allowed

    What is the relevance of possible psychological, social, and medical problems to each one?

    (1) Psychological, social, and medical problems are irrelevant. There are considerable such problems associated with overworking and alcoholism. These problems need to be addressed but they don’t make overworking and alcoholism sins.

    (2) If there are any significant number of gay people who do not suffer or cause psychological, social, and medical problems then it would be unreasonable to make homosexuality illegal. Why should they suffer because of problems associated with other gay people? It would be like making the gypsy/traveller life illegal because of problems associated with many but not all gypsies.

    (3) As far as I can see none of these possible psychological, social, and medical problems arise specifically from gay marriage – rather they are alleged to arise from homosexual relationships in general. In fact it may well be that they arise just because gay people have not had the option to have publically recognised relationships such as marriage. I am not saying there is any evidence for this. All I am saying is that there is no evidence against it either. The evidence available is not relevant to gay marriage.

    Is this analysis sufficiently objective and unemotional for you?

  447. QI:

    FYI: When you are falsely accused of prejudice and hate (your words being twisted along the way to do so), that is slander. In this case, the automatic projection of accusations of bigotry and/or hate and dehumanisation — a very direct comparison to the accusation of racism — unto those who have serious questions about or principled objections to the ongoing major global pressure to homosexualise marriage. (And if you do not notice that there is such a global push, you are either Rip van Winkle just waking up from a 20-year nap or you are at best in denial. And, RvW would not know about the internet or blogs on the WWW.)

    If such an attacker refuses to correct the statement but insists on it in the teeth of relevant correction, it is willfully false accusation, a variety of lying as well.

    That — as can be objectively documented above — happened not only to me, but in the broader sense to those who questioned the agenda to legally twist marriage away from reflecting the complementarity of the sexes and the requirements of child nurture; which would render irreversible the widespread damage done to marriage and family by the sexual chaos we see in our time. Much of that sexual chaos has to do with the rise of radical relativism that works to denigrate and dismiss traditional norms, a radical relativism that is in turn driven by the rise of a priori evolutionary materialism as a dominant worldview among the educated elites under false colours of science.

    Evolutionary materialism is inherently amoral as it has in it no is that can ground ought. It thus leads to radical relativism, and to the pattern whereby those who imagine that might and manipulation can decide ‘right’ and ‘rights.’ That is, it leads to factions and chaos thence tyranny, as Plato pointed out in The Laws Bk X. As a consequence, it is no surprise to see that those who hope to profit from that pattern, and those taken in by it are caricaturing, slandering and dismissing objectors.

    But in fact the very appeal to fairness and rights points to the objectivity of our being morally bound, i.e. we are morally governed. And if we are under moral law, we are under a Law Giver. The only viable candidate for that is the necessary being who is a wise and inherently good Creator.

    But those caught up in resentful ingratitude to such a Creator, and those who wish to do as they please — if they can gain power — will seek to reject such reasoning on whatever excuse, and will instead substitute caricatures and distortions of nature as objects for our ultimate loyalty. In this case, a twisted form of origins science that embeds a priori materialism, so distorting the obvious evidence that confirms the testimony of the moral law in our hearts: our cosmos and life in it bear strong empirical marks pointing to design.

    As to the Yogyakarta agenda, in point of fact, as I have repeatedly stated in the thread, I am currently facing an attempt to impose it right here in our revised constitution, through an ill-advised, poorly worded antidiscrimination clause that makes the mistake of listing protected groups and using such phrasing as would protect bestiality, sado-masochism etc etc. In addition, an earlier clause I had to help correct willfully was designed to set up so-called same sex marriage.

    Since you are plainly not RvW, you know about the global push, but are in obvious denial of its import and the effect of the mainstreaming tactics that the Yogyakarta advocates — who did not suddenly vanish after issuing their declaration claiming to have force of international law! — are pushing.

    Next, I see that for about the fourth time in 24 hours, the de listing of homosexuality by some committee or other of the UN is being raised in a context meant to suggest that the “real” problem is hate to the point of intended mass murder of homosexuals.

    In short, the talking point — doubtless it is all over the homosexualisation agenda fora on the Internet and would have been in the news — is being used to lend credibility to a lie and a slander. FYI, as tozzi’s critique and the Manhattan Declaration demonstrate, there are principled and serious objections to the homosexualisation of marriage. Objectionsthat as this thread shows, are consistently not being answered, but instead are being met with distractions, distortions and demonisations. Here,the implied — and utterly unworthy — suggestion is that I and others like me would approve of mass murder, by formal or informal means of real or suspected homosexuals.

    QI, why didn’t you scroll up above to where I have already responded to the claim, say at 287 above, and respond to the real issue?

    Namely, and as the Manhattan Declaration properly advocates, human life — without modification or listing of groups worthy of such protection [which suggests that there are nameless groups such as the unborn or the comatose that are not . . . ] is to be protected from conception to natural death.

    The entire “special group rights” concept is wrong, and is very very dangerous, as it implies that there is life unworthy of living. That is why the MD is right to up front the life issue:

    A truly prophetic Christian witness will insistently call on those who have been entrusted with temporal power to fulfill the first responsibility of government: to protect the weak and vulnerable against violent attack, and to do so with no favoritism, partiality, or discrimination. The Bible enjoins us to defend those who cannot defend themselves, to speak for those who cannot themselves speak. And so we defend and speak for the unborn, the disabled, and the dependent. What the Bible and the light of reason make clear, we must make clear. We must be willing to defend, even at risk and cost to ourselves and our institutions, the lives of our brothers and sisters at every stage of development and in every condition.

    Our concern is not confined to our own nation. Around the globe, we are witnessing cases of genocide and “ethnic cleansing,” the failure to assist those who are suffering as innocent victims of war, the neglect and abuse of children, the exploitation of vulnerable laborers, the sexual trafficking of girls and young women, the abandonment of the aged, racial oppression and discrimination, the persecution of believers of all faiths, and the failure to take steps necessary to halt the spread of preventable diseases like AIDS. We see these travesties as flowing from the same loss of the sense of the dignity of the human person and the sanctity of human life that drives the abortion industry and the movements for assisted suicide, euthanasia, and human cloning for biomedical research. And so ours is, as it must be, a truly consistent ethic of love and life for all humans in all circumstances.

    BTW, that is another flash point for the constitution I am dealing with. (The FCO-imposed draft is riddled with literally dozens of serious errors, especially on issues of good governance, and is reflective of all sorts of politically correct agendas. It is one major redraft short of being right, but has been imposed by arm-twisting and intimidation. Now, we have to fight to expose it and insist on the major revision that is needed.)

    So, pardon me in my conclusion that the Yogyakarta agenda — for which the after the ball, desensitisation, jamming conversion strategy was a precursor and foundation — is very much being pushed on the ground, and coming from very powerful centres.

    GEM of TKI

  448. 448

    KF at 437:

    SAR has become a capital illustration of a “convert,” who seems to imagine that — regardless of evidence (which she obviously refuses to read or respond to), the only possible motivation for objection to homosexuality is “prejudice.”

    Let’s open up your dictionary.

    3. Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion.

    By your own admission, the homosexual radicals are very small in number. Yet you see, in this small and powerless group, the entire destruction of society. You are made so anxious by their supposed agenda that you have retreated to a secret volcano lair (j/k).

    4. Detriment or injury caused to a person by the preconceived, unfavorable conviction of another or others

    You are proposing to stop the large group of peaceful, moderate homosexuals from making their own decisions regarding their own relationships. And, yeah, maybe that is an emotional appeal. But, you are having a real impact on real people. At least have the courage to akcnowledge that you are having a demonstrable effect on people who do not subscribe to the agenda that has your knickers in a twist. At least, Upright Biped understands that he is thwarting the hopes of some of his friends.

    Until SAR seriously addresses and cogently responds to the issues that are at stake, she has — by her unfortunate and willfully wrongheaded behaviour — removed herself from the circle of sober, serious, civil discussion.

    As I said before, until the moderator decides to pass judgement on my individual contributions (See how that works?), you are free to ignore me. And, if you absolutely cannot countenance my presence, all you need to do is ask me nicely for last word and I will grant it to you.

  449. 449

    KF:

    Next, I see that for about the fourth time in 24 hours, the de listing of homosexuality by some committee or other of the UN is being raised in a context meant to suggest that the “real” problem is hate to the point of intended mass murder of homosexuals.

    I suppose it is unfair to tar you with that since you haven’t advocated murder of homosexuals. So, to make sure we are all have the same understanding, do you agree that homosexuals should be on the list of “vulnerable populations in need of equal protection from extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary execution?” A simple yes or no will do.

  450. MF:

    Pardon — even though you are unlikely to read this, on your announced policy, I write for the record and the benefit of onlookers.

    First, until you can ground ‘rights’ on something stronger than subjective impulses, political negotiations [cf 377 above] — and, more broadly, “might and manipulation make ‘right’ and ‘rights’ . . . ” — you have no basis to speak to the intersection of moral/natural law (that law written into our nature that relates to how we are morally governed as responsible creatures) and civil law and public policy.

    As to your strawman-tactic targets:

    I: Homosexual behaviour (the relevant sex acts and associated relational practices) is demonstrably self-and socially destructive [thus immoral per Kant's CI], so — given that it cannot be eradicated by public education or the like [cf smoking] — at least should be contained and discouraged, even as we try to contain the damage done by alcohol.

    II: The more reasonable response is that relevant, particularly dangerous or communicable disease vector sexual practices should be illegal, restricted or strongly discouraged, with public education to explain why. (Anal intercourse, annilingus, and fellatio are particularly relevant here. Promiscuity, and anonymous multiple partner sexual behaviour in bath houses or the like — how those 50 to 1,000+ sex act partners per lifetime are racked up — should be also sharply restricted and enforced against where institutionalised in porn shops, bath houses and red light district streets or bordellos. As Uganda showed the way, the ABC principles can help with all of the above.)

    III: Isn’t it interesting how the real problem was exactly reversed? What should be stopped decisively, is the — historically utterly unprecedented, BTW [despite some pretty strained misreadings of history] homosexualisation of marriage, on several grounds already explained or linked above.

    I find your second major resort to distractions and strawman rhetorc in 24 hrs, highly telling that you do not have a solid case on the merits. Starting with the objective grounding of moral claims. You can propose no is that can ground ought, without surrendering evolutionary materialism.

    That in turn is utterly revealing on the underlying challenges to our civilisation.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: I see that the comment and link are now up at your blog. That my one-liner comment should have been spam filtered is quite significant. (The likeliest suggestion is that UD is a blacklisted site at WP.)

  451. SAR:

    You have forfeited the right of dialogue, though insistent slander.

    You have now repeated the slanderous claim of prejudice, apparently not realising that principled and warranted objection to the radical agenda — by a powerful, well funded, deeply institutionalised influential minority bent on the tactic of “mainstreaming” — is not to be equated to the irrational hatred or dehumanisation of those who have or may struggle with same sex attractions and behaviours. Homosexuals are human beings, and so deserve to be respected as such. Like the rest of us, they are finite, fallible, morally fallen and morally struggling.

    The Scriptures I believe speak redemptively to that:

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (Amplified Bible)

    9Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality,

    10Nor cheats (swindlers and thieves), nor greedy graspers, nor drunkards, nor foulmouthed revilers and slanderers, nor extortioners and robbers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God.

    11And such some of you were [once]. But you were washed clean (purified by a complete atonement for sin and made free from the guilt of sin), and you were consecrated (set apart, hallowed), and you were justified [pronounced righteous, by trusting] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the [Holy] Spirit of our God.

    These are hope and prayer of every true Christian for those who fall into the listed typical classes of enmeshed sinners. including those enmeshed in sexual attractions and behaviour twisted out of the order of nature or taken out of the context of covenant of man and woman under God as the core of family as God created it.

    Now — by the fact of repeated, insistent — and now furthered — personally abusive slander, you have forfeited the right to ask me questions.

    You have an apology and some retractions to get out of the way first. That is how you can return to the circle of reasonable, civil dialogue; from which you removed yourself by your repeated and insistent “dancing wrong but strong.”.

    Worse, the just above are questions that in fact were anticipated in the clear statement that — specifically rejecting lists of specially protected groups for good reason — all human life should be protected from conception to natural death. No exceptions. No specially protected groups (and no silently de-listed and suppressed groups implicitly licensed as outlaws to be killed as convenient or desired).

    In short, the very question you ask is loaded with slanderous implications and assumptions, being an example of the fallacy of the complex, loaded question.

    For shame!

    In short, you need to set the basic problem right first, your being caught up in the Kirk- Madsen – Yogyakarta slander strategy to “mainstream” homosexualisation of our civilisation:

    _________________

    >> Borne, 6 above (citing Kupelian’s summary):

    >>Through a detailed strategy including “desensitization(attitudinal manipulation through constant repetition), “jamming” (in which ruthless intimidation tactics are used to silence dissenting expression), and other powerful tactics, they have been able to shape public opinion.

    In After the Ball, the authors wrote: “We mean the conversion of the average American’s emotions, mind and will, through a planned psychological attack in the form of propaganda fed to the nation via the media. We mean ‘subverting’ the mechanism of prejudice to our own ends – using the very processes that made America hate us to turn their hatred into warm regard – whether they like it or not.” >>

    Mynym, 127, out of the horse’s mouth so to speak:

    >> In any campaign to win over the public, gays must be portrayed as victims in need of protection so that straights will be inclined by reflex to adopt the role of protector. If gays present themselves, instead, as a strong and arrogant tribe promoting a defiantly nonconformist lifestyle, they are more likely to be seen as a public menace that warrants resistance and oppression. For that reason, we must forego the temptation to strut our gay pride publicly to such an extent that we undermine our victim image.
    (After the Ball: How America will conquer its fear & hatred of Gays in the 90’s
    By Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen :183) >>

    And, again in 207:

    >>The appearance of an argument can often aid an emotional appeal for other reasons. [...] Where the target of an emotional appeal is aware of the attempt at manipulation, he will tend to resist it; where he is distracted from the true nature of the appeal by a ‘cover argument,’ the emotional effect, paradoxically, will be all the greater. Thus, an argument can function as a distractor.
    Our remarks apply primarily to the (intellectually) lower 90% or so of the general population, whose beliefs more or less never alter their emotions. This is largely true of the upper 10%, as well, but, fortunately, not entirely. The highly intelligent sometimes display the capacity, although less often the inclination, to step outside themselves and analyze their feelings, and the causes of their feelings, dispassionately, and this sometimes modulates the feelings themselves.
    (After the Ball by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen :138) >>

    Yet again, in 208:

    >> Our effect is achieved without reference to facts, logic, or proof…through repeated infralogical emotional conditioning, the person’s beliefs can be altered whether he is conscious of the attack or not. Indeed, the more he is distracted by even specious, surface arguments, the less conscious he will be of the true nature of the process. In short, jamming succeeds insofar as it inserts even the slightest frisson of doubt and shame into the previously held unalloyed beliefs regarding heterosexuality and homosexuality.
    (After the Ball by Kirk and Madsen :152-153) >>

    __________________

    When you can show us that you have corrected that pattern of slander, and when you are willing to make amends for repeated and outrageous slander, then you will have returned to the circle of civil dialogue.

    Good day, madam.

    GEM of TKI

  452. 452

    You have forfeited the right of dialogue, though insistent slander.

    I have taken two definitions of prejudice (that you provided) and compared them to your own positions as stated in this discussion. You have neither disputed that you have fear of the radical homosexualist agenda (definition 3) nor disputed that you intend to impose the same restrictions on an entire group based on the agenda of a few (definition 4).

    Worse, the just above are questions that in fact were anticipated in the clear statement that — specifically rejecting lists of specially protected groups for good reason — all human life should be protected from conception to natural death. No exceptions. No specially protected groups (and no silently de-listed and suppressed groups implicitly licensed as outlaws to be killed as convenient or desired).

    In short, the very question you ask is loaded with slanderous implications and assumptions, being an example of the fallacy of the complex, loaded question.

    No, it was an honest question. If you weren’t so caught up in protecting your manly honor from this little girl, you might have seen it as such. But, be that as it may, I thank you for repudiating that action by the UN.

  453. F/N: I find it interesting that it is very hard to find a critically aware assessment or even a good objective definition of “mainstreaming” by a web search.

    Mainstreaming can best be seen as the toolbox of techniques — rhetorical, propaganda, focus group leading, local or national/regional or international negotiation, media etc — that is intended to move a minority view or agenda to become the mainstream, predominant one.

    As Kirk., Madsen, Yogyakarta etc, and as many advocates for any number of other agendas exemplify, too often the techniques become manipulative, deceptive or exploitive.

    In direct contrast, I strongly support the principles of Paul:

    2 Cor 4:2 . . . we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

  454. SAR:

    We await your apology and repudiation of the Kirk- Madsen- Yogyakarta stratagems.

    Until you do so, I will in response simply highlight the pattern of misbehaviour you have undertaken.

    Indeed, I note that you AGAIN have insisted on further propagating the slander of prejudice. (And that in the teeth of a very specific, detailed repudiation of any such projections of prejudice. In short, on evidence, you are operating from the fallacy of the poisonously ideologised, closed mind. That is, no denial or correction will ever s8uffice to remove the projection, until you acknowledge your wrong on substance and attitude. We cannot help you to do that: God help you do it, you have to look yourself in the mirror and realise your wrong. FYI, the line between good and evil, as Solzhenitsym aptly said, pases not between classed, nations, races or opinions, but right through the human heart. The Alinsky premise that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other, is a stinking, poisonous and cancerously corrosive and destructive deception from the pit.)

    This is what you are caught up in, need to stop, and need to apologise for:

    __________________

    >> Borne, 6 above (citing Kupelian’s summary):

    >>Through a detailed strategy including “desensitization(attitudinal manipulation through constant repetition), “jamming” (in which ruthless intimidation tactics are used to silence dissenting expression), and other powerful tactics, they have been able to shape public opinion.

    In After the Ball, the authors wrote: “We mean the conversion of the average American’s emotions, mind and will, through a planned psychological attack in the form of propaganda fed to the nation via the media. We mean ‘subverting’ the mechanism of prejudice to our own ends – using the very processes that made America hate us to turn their hatred into warm regard – whether they like it or not.” >>

    Mynym, 127, out of the horse’s mouth so to speak:

    >> In any campaign to win over the public, gays must be portrayed as victims in need of protection so that straights will be inclined by reflex to adopt the role of protector. If gays present themselves, instead, as a strong and arrogant tribe promoting a defiantly nonconformist lifestyle, they are more likely to be seen as a public menace that warrants resistance and oppression. For that reason, we must forego the temptation to strut our gay pride publicly to such an extent that we undermine our victim image.
    (After the Ball: How America will conquer its fear & hatred of Gays in the 90’s
    By Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen :183) >>

    And, again in 207:

    >>The appearance of an argument can often aid an emotional appeal for other reasons. [...] Where the target of an emotional appeal is aware of the attempt at manipulation, he will tend to resist it; where he is distracted from the true nature of the appeal by a ‘cover argument,’ the emotional effect, paradoxically, will be all the greater. Thus, an argument can function as a distractor.
    Our remarks apply primarily to the (intellectually) lower 90% or so of the general population, whose beliefs more or less never alter their emotions. This is largely true of the upper 10%, as well, but, fortunately, not entirely. The highly intelligent sometimes display the capacity, although less often the inclination, to step outside themselves and analyze their feelings, and the causes of their feelings, dispassionately, and this sometimes modulates the feelings themselves.
    (After the Ball by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen :138) >>

    Yet again, in 208:

    >> Our effect is achieved without reference to facts, logic, or proof…through repeated infralogical emotional conditioning, the person’s beliefs can be altered whether he is conscious of the attack or not. Indeed, the more he is distracted by even specious, surface arguments, the less conscious he will be of the true nature of the process. In short, jamming succeeds insofar as it inserts even the slightest frisson of doubt and shame into the previously held unalloyed beliefs regarding heterosexuality and homosexuality.
    (After the Ball by Kirk and Madsen :152-153) >>
    __________________

    For shame!

    Good day, madam.

    GEM of TKI

  455. 455

    KF:

    We await your apology and repudiation of the Kirk- Madsen- Yogyakarta stratagems.

    I am neither Kirk or Madsen. Nor am I a signer of the Yogyakarta document. I am under no obligation to apologize for the actions of someone I do not know. As far as repudiation, I stand by all my comments made here and an honest reading of them would answer your question. Your insistent demand that I specifically repudiate them has nothing to do with clarifying my position and everything to do with you insisting I submit to your presumed authority. The same goes with your declaration that I am no longer part of this conversation.

    Indeed, I note that you AGAIN have insisted on further propagating the slander of prejudice.

    I have provided two definitions of prejudice and contrasted them with your position as stated here.

    The Alinsky premise that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other, is a stinking, poisonous and cancerously corrosive and destructive deception from the pit.

    And yet you have no problem denying an entire group of people the ability to make their own decisions about their own relationships based on the radical agenda of a few.

    For shame!

    Indeed.

  456. 456

    KF, this is also an honest question. I have pulled the section headings from the Yogyakarta Principles and they are as follows:

    PRINCIPLE 1: THE RIGHT TO THE UNIVERSAL ENJOYMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
    PRINCIPLE 2: THE RIGHTS TO EQUALITY AND NON-DISCRIMINATION
    PRINCIPLE 3: THE RIGHT TO RECOGNITION BEFORE THE LAW
    PRINCIPLE 4: THE RIGHT TO LIFE
    PRINCIPLE 5: THE RIGHT TO SECURITY OF THE PERSON
    PRINCIPLE 6: THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY
    PRINCIPLE 7: THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM FROM ARBITRARY DEPRIVATION OF LIBERTY
    PRINCIPLE 8: THE RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL
    PRINCIPLE 9: THE RIGHT TO TREATMENT WITH HUMANITY WHILE IN DETENTION
    PRINCIPLE 10: THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM FROM TORTURE AND CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT
    PRINCIPLE 11: THE RIGHT TO PROTECTION FROM ALL FORMS OF EXPLOITATION, SALE AND TRAFFICKING OF HUMAN BEINGS
    PRINCIPLE 12: THE RIGHT TO WORK
    PRINCIPLE 13: THE RIGHT TO SOCIAL SECURITY AND TO OTHER SOCIAL PROTECTION MEASURES
    PRINCIPLE 14: THE RIGHT TO AN ADEQUATE STANDARD OF LIVING
    PRINCIPLE 15: THE RIGHT TO ADEQUATE HOUSING
    PRINCIPLE 16: THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION
    PRINCIPLE 17: THE RIGHT TO THE HIGHEST ATTAINABLE STANDARD OF HEALTH
    PRINCIPLE 18: PROTECTION FROM MEDICAL ABUSES
    PRINCIPLE 19: THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF OPINION AND EXPRESSION
    PRINCIPLE 20: THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY AND ASSOCIATION
    PRINCIPLE 21: THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF THOUGHT, CONSCIENCE AND RELIGION
    PRINCIPLE 22: THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT
    PRINCIPLE 23: THE RIGHT TO SEEK ASYLUM
    PRINCIPLE 24: THE RIGHT TO FOUND A FAMILY
    PRINCIPLE 25: THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN PUBLIC LIFE
    PRINCIPLE 26: THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN CULTURAL LIFE
    PRINCIPLE 27: THE RIGHT TO PROMOTE HUMAN RIGHTS
    PRINCIPLE 28: THE RIGHT TO EFFECTIVE REMEDIES AND REDRESS
    PRINCIPLE 29: ACCOUNTABILITY

    I will certainly grant that it is a very socialistic list well beyond the issue of homosexuality. But, my question is this:

    To the extent that, in any given society, these principles are granted to heterosexuals, which should not be granted to homosexuals?

    I get that you object to Principle 24: The right to found a family. Are they any others that you think do not apply to homosexuals when they do apply to heterosexuals?

  457. Quiet ID — This long thread isn’t about reasonable people disagreeing but about fashion-following bigots attempting to squelch debate.

    I haven’t seen one defender of gay marriage say “I support gay marriage but Apple is wrong in banning the Manhatten Declaration and I call on them to rescind their action.”

    But yes, people who are advocates of gay marriage have legitimate points that should be considered and that I myself would probably support.

  458. 458

    #444

    I am clearly not as brilliant as Upright BiPed

    blush, blush

    I do not know the origin of every term I come across.

    I hardly ever know the origin of the words I use, I don’t know the origin of the words I am typing right now, but I do know their meaning.

    Google was helpful to see if I could determine the full context of its use.

    I don’t particularly begrudge anyone wanting to know the origins of words and terms, so don’t sweat it – and I can say that without knowing the origin of the term, or the full context of its use.

    I am going to assume that the “observable facts” to which UBP refers are that the penis fits into the vagina. I am aware of this.

    blush, blush… wink

    My point is that when the term is generally used, it is almost always in the context of arguing against same-sex marriage.

    Let me get this straight, your point is that when someone uses the term “complimentarity of the sexes” it’s usually in the context of same sex marriage. Okay, got it. That may be somewhat analogous to the term “the stove is hot” being used to suggest to not put your hand on it.

    Furthermore, the basis for that argument is that sex acts in same-sex marriages cannot produce children.

    Well, hang on second; not so fast. I am willing to bet good money that when a person is discovering the natural world and first notices the “complimentarity of the sexes” the very last thing they are thinking is “hey, sex acts between same-sex persons don’t result in babies”. Now, of course, who knows exactly what that response is, but I would be willing to suggest it is more likely, in fact perhaps far more likely that the response is something more along the lines of “Oh…that’s-”. The response may even include a completely-natural moment of humility, or perhaps even a raised eyebrow followed by a moment of reflective bewilderment. Some people may even look around in awkwardness to see if anyone is watching what they are thinking. What do you think of this suggestion? If you agree, then what do you think it could mean?

    I disagree that procreation is the primary function of marriage and should not be used as a criteria for permitting marriage.

    What?!? You sure are desperate to move on quickly aren’t you? To hell with any mumbo-jumbo as to the rather highly-confirmed natural function of the apparatus, to hell with whatever sociological stability might be added in the creation of our civilization, to hell with whatever resulting effects are undeniably required for each and every person having the debate – lets get on with some legal-ease to legitimize the direct opposite of all of it.

    What exactly are you looking for in a response?

    I predicted a response in my last post; an utter dismissal of the observed facts. The one you gave.

    Want another prediction? I predict (should I continue to engage this pointless conversation) that any argument which invokes the obvious complimentarity of the sexes will not be seen as sophisticated or nuanced enough to be of any service to the issue at hand. This position will most likely take the form of emotional paraphernalia, or perhaps someone will be bold enough just to submit that natural function, civilization, and life-giving don’t matter – and continue arguing for an exception to them.

  459. SAR:

    Your rhetorical tactics reveal that you are too intelligent to not realise that you are twisting words to try to find any handy objection to avoid acknowledging and turning from slander.

    Again, this (the mainstreaming stratagem of Kirk, Madsen, Yogyakarta, the nearest TV news and talkshow channel, most current comedies with a sympathetic victimised “nice” homosexual character, etc etc) is the strategy you are enmeshed in:

    ________________

    >> Borne, 6 above (citing Kupelian’s summary):

    >>Through a detailed strategy including “desensitization(attitudinal manipulation through constant repetition), “jamming” (in which ruthless intimidation tactics are used to silence dissenting expression), and other powerful tactics, they have been able to shape public opinion.

    In After the Ball, the authors wrote: “We mean the conversion of the average American’s emotions, mind and will, through a planned psychological attack in the form of propaganda fed to the nation via the media. We mean ‘subverting’ the mechanism of prejudice to our own ends – using the very processes that made America hate us to turn their hatred into warm regard – whether they like it or not.” >>

    Mynym, 127, out of the horse’s mouth so to speak:

    >> In any campaign to win over the public, gays must be portrayed as victims in need of protection so that straights will be inclined by reflex to adopt the role of protector. If gays present themselves, instead, as a strong and arrogant tribe promoting a defiantly nonconformist lifestyle, they are more likely to be seen as a public menace that warrants resistance and oppression. For that reason, we must forego the temptation to strut our gay pride publicly to such an extent that we undermine our victim image.
    (After the Ball: How America will conquer its fear & hatred of Gays in the 90’s
    By Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen :183) >>

    And, again in 207:

    >>The appearance of an argument can often aid an emotional appeal for other reasons. [...] Where the target of an emotional appeal is aware of the attempt at manipulation, he will tend to resist it; where he is distracted from the true nature of the appeal by a ‘cover argument,’ the emotional effect, paradoxically, will be all the greater. Thus, an argument can function as a distractor.
    Our remarks apply primarily to the (intellectually) lower 90% or so of the general population, whose beliefs more or less never alter their emotions. This is largely true of the upper 10%, as well, but, fortunately, not entirely. The highly intelligent sometimes display the capacity, although less often the inclination, to step outside themselves and analyze their feelings, and the causes of their feelings, dispassionately, and this sometimes modulates the feelings themselves.
    (After the Ball by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen :138) >>

    Yet again, in 208:

    >> Our effect is achieved without reference to facts, logic, or proof…through repeated infralogical emotional conditioning, the person’s beliefs can be altered whether he is conscious of the attack or not. Indeed, the more he is distracted by even specious, surface arguments, the less conscious he will be of the true nature of the process. In short, jamming succeeds insofar as it inserts even the slightest frisson of doubt and shame into the previously held unalloyed beliefs regarding heterosexuality and homosexuality.
    (After the Ball by Kirk and Madsen :152-153) >>

    __________________

    In other words, you are being emotionally manipulated by a strategy that cynically seeks to exploit the emotions of fairness and sympathetic concern of the vast majority of the population.

    Not, to protect the 1 – 3% of the population who are enmeshed in homosexual attractions and behaviour, who have more than adequate provision in law for their proitection.

    Not at all, this is to manipulate your and my emotions to create unwitting support of a cynical, radical agenda of a powerful group of elites — some homosexual, some heterosexual, most atheistical, all committed to the overturning of the foundations of Western Civlisation; regardless of likely consequences.

    to destroy our civlisation as we know it and have reaped the unprecedented benefits of — and that is their aim — these want to elicit our active or at least passive support for an agenda that seeks to overturn the foundational institution of our civilisation without having to answer serious questions on its likely impacts.

    Namely, they [just like the communists before them -- who they learned from (rules for Radicals often appears in advocacy or even education training course book lists or references), like Saul Alinsky (this is the list of his rules)] — through manipulating concepts of fairness and equality in a context where precisely the complementarity of male and female is vital for the procreation of the race — wish to radically redefine marriage. They intentionally want to do so in a way that will implicitly outlaw the Bible-based Christian faith and will censor, criminalise and intimidate by power of law, a great many people of decent intent and conscience.

    To do that, they pretend that there has been an established pattern that men can marry men and women women, and to object is to be hateful and bigoted.

    This is slander,and it is intended to set up a situation where outlawing and persecution of Christians will seem to be legitimate, as this is protective against bigoted haters.

    Such oppression can only be done by deceptive propaganda that manipulates the feelings of those who will not think for themselves, and works by the classic turnabout false accusation propaganda tactic.

    Namely, accuse those who you are attacking of what you are about to do, or something tantamount to it. So, you falsely appear as the victim resisting attack.

    that is why the slander you have been carrying out is so dangerous.

    It is why you need to apologise for it and turn from it.

    For shame!

    Good day, madam

    GEM of TKI

  460. 460

    Your rhetorical tactics reveal that you are too intelligent to not realise that you are twisting words to try to find any handy objection to avoid acknowledging and turning from slander.

    It isn’t a hard question. Of the 28 rights that are addressed in the document, in any given society some or all are available to heterosexuals. I understand that you do not feel that homosexuals should have a right to form a family (Principle 24). Of the remaining 27 rights, it seems reasonable that, to the extent that any particular society recognizes those rights, they should be available to all citizens regardless of their sexual orientation. Do you agree or don’t you?

  461. 461

    “At least, Upright Biped understands that he is thwarting the hopes of some of his friends”

    The homosexuals I know have never asked me to legitimize their lifestyle. They know I am obviously heterosexual and we have a respectful relationship within those limits.

    Cheers

  462. UB:

    In response to:

    >> I disagree that procreation is the primary function of marriage and should not be used as a criteria for permitting marriage. >>

    You wrote:

    >> You sure are desperate to move on quickly aren’t you? To hell with any mumbo-jumbo as to the rather highly-confirmed natural function of the apparatus, to hell with whatever sociological stability might be added in the creation of our civilization, to hell with whatever resulting effects are undeniably required for each and every person having the debate – lets get on with some legal-ease to legitimize the direct opposite of all of it. >>

    Well said.

    Aptly summarises the attitude and agenda that we see so rampant in our civilisation today.

    If that agenda is not checked, the consequences — which have been repeatedly highlighted but ignored — will be horrendous.

    GEM of TKI

  463. 463

    UB:

    The homosexuals I know have never asked me to legitimize their lifestyle.

    There is a difference between refusing to legitimize someones lifestyle and actively thwarting their hopes. But, I understand what you are trying to say.

  464. Imagine for a moment there is a God. Imagine that God considers homosexual acts to be abhorrent and prohibits them.

    In that case, which is kinder? To warn those who engage in homosexual acts about God’s antipathy? Or to pretend that God doesn’t really mean what he said and that homosexual acts do not have any negative consequences?

  465. SAR — You have neither disputed that you have fear of the radical homosexualist agenda (definition 3)

    I couldn’t find the specific source you were using in the many words above but fearing an specified agenda is the opposite of prejudice — preconceived opinions, unreasoned feelings etc. — especially when you can articulate your fears.

    Here’s the def of prejudice from dictionary.com.

    nor disputed that you intend to impose the same restrictions on an entire group based on the agenda of a few

    Again the debate isn’t about imposing restrictions but about expanding a particular role of government.

    You seemed unwilling to distill the purpose of marriage to its core — namely at what point should the state and society become involved in personal relations and why should they do so.

    If you want to love another woman all your life, fine. In fact, you should do so. You should love everybody.

    And that of course includes men. And that of course implies babies. Which means the future, which, you hopefully understand is not guaranteed to be good.

    And sex, btw, while having a connection to love does not equal it. That’s a concept 19-year-old-or-so females sometimes have a problem with.

  466. #456 Tribune7

    I haven’t seen one defender of gay marriage say “I support gay marriage but Apple is wrong in banning the Manhatten Declaration and I call on them to rescind their action.”

    Apple didn’t ban the Manhattan declaration. They just chose not to support it. A corporation has the right to decide which causes it supports. As far as I can see (it is a very long thread), not a soul on this debate has suggested banning the Manhattan declaration or that the signatories do not have a right to express their opinion. All I can see are arguments against some of the proposals in that declaration and other related proposals.

  467. Trib and UB:

    Thanks.

    SAR — under the impact of the explicitly emotional manipulation described above as intent by Kirk, Madsen et al — evidently cannot distinguish and irrational fear or prejudice from a reasonable concern regarding a potentially destructive outcome for our civilisation. She refuses to address teh issues on the merits, and projects hetefulness where it is not.

    Those are themselves furter warning signs of how polarisation is being willfully created by the likes of Kirk, Madsen et al, and how if it succeeeds, it will be used to censor — oops: already ticked off that item on the agenda — criminalise and then eventually persecute those who stand up for what should be obvious from basic biology of teh sexes and rtequisites of family nurture, much less history.

    BTW, did you know that in the 1920′s, off early Marxist thought on how the family was exploitative, the USSR sought to break down the traditional framework of marriage and family?

    Then they began to see the chaos that was resulting.

    They backed off, to a weakened form of state suport for traditional marrage and family life. (To see how weak, imagine you had to get your marriage license from the divorce office, IIRC. That weakeining is a material contribution tot he chaos in Russia once the secret police were put in abeyance for the moment. Under Putin and Putin’s face card, that easing up on the reins is of course being “corrected” as we speak.)

    I trhink that most people do not realise the matches tat atre being played with on this issue of radical redefinition of marriage and family in law. Of those who do know, most are unwilling to be smeared with the kind of slanderous filth that we see above in this thread.

    And yet, we hear Amos’ warning:

    Amos 3:7″For the Lord GOD does nothing
    (F) without revealing his secret
    to his servants the prophets.
    8The lion has roared;
    who will not fear?
    (G) The Lord GOD has spoken;
    who can but prophesy?”

    Amos 5:10(O) They hate him who reproves(P) in the gate,
    and they(Q) abhor him who speaks the truth.
    11Therefore because you(R) trample on[b] the poor
    and you exact taxes of grain from him,
    (S) you have built houses of hewn stone,
    but you shall not dwell in them;
    you have planted pleasant vineyards,
    but you shall not drink their wine.
    12For I know how many are your transgressions
    and how great are your sins—
    you who afflict the righteous, who(T) take a bribe,
    and(U) turn aside the needy(V) in the gate.
    13Therefore he who is prudent will(W) keep silent in such a time,
    (X) for it is an evil time.

    14(Y) Seek good, and not evil,
    that you may live;
    and so the LORD,(Z) the God of hosts, will be with you,
    as you have said.
    15(AA) Hate evil, and love good,
    and establish justice(AB) in the gate;
    (AC) it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts,
    will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph . . . .

    We are playing with fire, and the sort of manipulation that creates a foolish consensus in the teeth of the self-evident facts of human nature and the well-known needs of procreation and nurture will lead to a crash if it is not stopped.

    Let us all read and soberly reflect on