While Surfing The Intertubes…

…I happened upon this great post about marriage. There are no citations, and being a natural skeptic, I’ll take a lot of it with a grain of salt until proven. However, I find the conclusions to ring true, regardless of whether you want to quibble about the origination of wearing white at a wedding, or the church’s medieval attitude towards marriage in the Middle Ages. There really is no “tradition” that doesn’t evolve as a response to cultural pressures. We change our attitudes, and traditions change with us. As the writer says:

Because, honestly, which traditional definition of marriage do we want our Constitution to protect?

…The one from Book of Genesis when family values meant multiple wives and concubines?
…Or the marriages of the Middle Ages when women were traded like cattle and weddings were too bawdy for church?
…Since this is America, should we preserve marriage as it existed in 1776 when arranged marriages were still commonplace?
…Or the traditions of 1850 when California became a state and marriage was customarily between one man and one woman-or-girl of age 11 and up?
…Or are we really seeking to protect a more modern vision of traditional marriage, say from the 1950s when it was illegal for whites to wed blacks or Hispanics?
…Or the traditional marriage of the late 1960s when couples were routinely excommunicated for marrying outside their faith?

Much of the brouhaha surrounding  gay marriage is contrived by those with agendas, primarily the religious with pure unadulterated bigotry at their base. This would not be a controversial subject but for a group of people with prejudices like our dear friend Gideon. Discrimination is discrimination is discrimination, and layering “sanctity”, and “tradition”, and “the institution of marriage” over it does nothing to clear the stink of hatred for someone you find different from you purely because they are different. We saw the same bullshit with laws preventing interracial marriage, and today we don’t give it a second thought.

I predict in 10 or 20 years, we’ll look back on this while we’re still marching in our “Atheist Pride” parades and wonder what all the controversy was about.

Thanks to Archie Levine. (And I know that’s three posts in a row on the same subject, but it all needs to be said.)

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26 thoughts on “While Surfing The Intertubes…

  1. This is just one of those issues that will seem clear in the future, People who oppose gay marriage will be judged as irrational bigots by history and they don’t see it at all.

    • You watch, in 40 years you won’t be able to find a living human who will proudly admit that they voted for Prop 8 “back in the day”, or that they had any negative feelings towards homosexuals. Think about it – we know a large segment of the American population was for segregated schools back in the 50’s and early 60’s. Surely many of them live on today. But you never hear anyone admitting that it was them, or that we should go back to segregation.

      I got a kick out of reading the appeal that Prop 8 proponents put before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday, in order to stay Judge Walker’s re-implementation of gay marriage set for August 18. They actually had the nerve to call Judge Walker “extremist”. Ha! Pot/Kettle.

      • You watch, in 40 years you won’t be able to find a living human who will proudly admit that they voted for Prop 8 “back in the day”, or that they had any negative feelings towards homosexuals.

        John, that reminds me of a passage I read in a book about Reconstruction. Floridians were being asked about why they supported seceding from the Union, and a good many said that they didn’t, they just went along with what everyone else in the state voted for, which made one wonder how Florida seceded at all if nobody actually supported it. Hardly any of them would own up to the fact that they did support secession.

  2. Having read all of Judge Walker’s long judgement, I can report that he discusses in depth the way that marriage has changed, with particular emphasis on an obsolete legal principle known as coverture which meant that a married woman’s legal identity was folded into that of her husband. His legal argument is quite similar to the one presented above.

    • One of the nice things about the law (secular law, that is) is its ability to evolve in tune with the changing attitudes and needs of humanity. That’s one of my problems with Biblical law. It assumes that what a bunch of ignorant goat herders believed thousands of years ago, when their knowledge of the world was 180 degrees from ours, is still applicable today, and should be applied with rigidity. I know that gets into a relative vs. absolute morality argument, but I really don’t think there is such a thing as 100% absolute morality. There are some aspects of morality that don’t change because of some immutable aspects of humanity (like murder), but there are some aspects that must change as we evolve from goat herders to 21st century rationalists. Gideon, for instance, would be very comfortable tending his herd and roaming the desert, but the world is not like that anymore (except in certain third world and second world countries, like Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia).

      The law has to reflect that.

  3. “…The one from Book of Genesis when family values meant multiple wives and concubines?”

    Yeah, and guess where they learned that practice? From the heathen, of course, one of the sins that helped destroy the antediluvian race. There’s no denying that Christians have gotten themselves in trouble emulating the Godless. It was never God’s purpose for men to collect wives like stamps. If you read the Bible without the usual bias, you’d see that men always reaped the consequences for going off on their own, ignoring God’s law and counsel.

    “You watch, in 40 years you won’t be able to find a living human who will proudly admit that they voted for Prop 8 “back in the day”, or that they had any negative feelings towards homosexuals.”

    In forty years, John-O, you’ll be extinct, along with everyone else that continues to practice the homosexual abomination. Notice that I said those that “practice” the abomination? It’s virulent gays like yourself that continually stress that God is arbitrary… more so than if they just gave up what He detests, in that mocking and debased activity that goes against nature, itself. What you want is for people to believe that if they are gay, their case is hopeless, like if someone is a thief or an adulterer. You hate God and you want everyone else hating Him, too.

    You keep calling me a bigot. I suppose that you’re not being a bigot when you slam Muslims over the (supposed) actions of a few during 9/11, yet, because of them, now ALL Muslims have to pay. And, of course, you’re not being a bigot when you join your guru/prophet/messiah Dawkins in his tirades against Christianity and Christians, right?

    Do I smell hypocrisy, big-time, here?

    Methinks so!

        • All of it. The idea that multiple wives and concubines is a “heathen” import when it’s in Genesis, of all places, not to mention the rest of the Bible; the idea that homosexuality “goes against nature”; the idea that we “hate god”, a non-existent entity (sort of like hating leprechauns if you think about it); the idea that we “slam” Muslims because of 9/11, when if you ask any of us, we support their right to build a mosque a few blocks from the WTC. I’ve commented on other sites to that effect (haven’t addressed it here). None of us are against Islam because of 9/11. We are against Islam because it’s just a belief in another fairy tale, like your beliefs, that consequently leads to thinking like that that resulted in 9/11. Surely you can understand the distinction.

          Yes. It was all gibberish, that you pulled out of your ass, like everything else.

          • “The idea that multiple wives and concubines is a “heathen” import when it’s in Genesis, of all places, not to mention the rest of the Bible…”

            Heathen tribes are mentioned in Genesis, too, does that make them the sole property of Genesis like you estimate their practices to be? In many instances, (as you, yourself, have pointed out) God is found reprimanding the Israelites for their backsliding and following of heathen customs. And, you can’t infer that having multiple wives is a result of adopting heathen customs when God’s law expressly forbids adultery? Obviously, when such practices are recounted, doesn’t it seem sensible to conclude from God’s law that it is not something that He condones or advocates, but, is merely the will of sinful man taking precedence? Does everything have to spelled out for you?

            As for Muslims wanting to build a mosque at Ground Zero, I think it’s a dumbass idea, given the prejudice against them. I mean, why go looking for trouble? And, there’s no conclusive evidence that Muslims are behind 9/11, either, given all of the opposing evidence that is out there that no one even wants to consider. Even if a few radical Muslims did actually pull off the impossible and *chuckle* circumvent the most powerful nation on Earth’s security net, and take over five, count ’em, FIVE commercial airliners, armed only with *LMAO* utility knives… (awww, c’mon, John… THINK for a few minutes, will ya? The real instigators of all of this are laughing at you, son!) that doesn’t justify the prejudice that all Muslims are receiving, now.

            The Scriptures have been existence far longer than any of their detractors. They’ve withstood the ravages of time where entire cultures and empires have crumbled to dust and been forgotten. It’s principles are timeless, having the same relevance for today as they did millennia ago. And, here comes little Johnny-come-lately to state that it’s all irrelevant and bogus!

            John… the import of your arrogant presumption dwarfs all incredulity!

  4. Shit, SI, everybody knows that traditional marriage is between one Cuban man and one ditzy redheaded woman who wants to be in his show.

    At least, that’s what we understood TM to be when I was growing up.

      • Ricky & Lucy and Rob & Laura types somehow managed to boom babies back in the 50s. Maybe there’s some powerful sexual marriage in those twin beds that’s missing from today’s king sized mattresses.

  5. I don’t know what Americans of 2050 will think of same-sex marriage, but I do know that Americans of 2010 seem to be approximately equally divided on the question, and the trend seems to be running surmily towards acceptance. There also seems to be a generational, or rather cohort, shift, with each successive generation in most age groups showing less opposition than before.

    I think Gideon is here to advance the notion that American civil law must reflect his biblicly-mediated personal opinion of what God wants. But that’s a point of view that is contingent on so many factors that cannot be verified and on which most people would be unwilling to take Gideon’s word.

    Repeatedly expressing exasperation at the failure of others to accept one’s opinion as a valid interpretation of the opinion of God does not provide an adequate substitute for a rational argument.

    • Fortunately, Gideon is nothing but an anachronism. While it’s true that many people still oppose full rights for LGBT’s, it’s refreshingly rare to come up against as strident a fundamentalist attitude about it as you get from Gideon. That’s why I don’t bother refuting him. He does massive self-pwnage every time he presses the “enter” key, seemingly without realizing it! He has literally zero chance of swaying anyone with his hatred. Anyone he would “connect with” is already out of touch with modern society. There are real obstacles that need to be challenged. He’s not a part of that reality.

  6. “I think Gideon is here to advance the notion that American civil law must reflect his biblicly-mediated personal opinion of what God wants.”

    Actually, Tony, I care squat what civil law dictates, as it is already tainted by humanistic tripe and subject to whichever lobby holds enough money and power to sway it. I’ve stated many times what is painfully obvious to anyone that can read plain English, reiterating the Bible’s plain assertions that this world is toast, along with it’s degraded practices and those that promote them. That is not merely my opinion, it’s God’s will as stated in His Book, faithfully recorded by His servants.

    Evo, Christianity may, indeed, be fast becoming an anachronism in this particular generation, however, it will outlast you and your dream society of perversion and infidelity. The year 10,000,000,000 will see the redeemed fulfilling their purpose for being under the government of God, whereas you will be cosmic dust. That, again, is what the scriptures say, and it’s nothing to do with what I loathe, desire, or even hope for… it’s just the way things are and will be. I came into this world the same way you did, with the same debt of sin hanging over my head. The difference between you and me is that I recognize my need for redemption. You choose to believe the first lie ever uttered on this planet – that man can be his own god, knowing both good and evil, fulfilling his own destiny apart from his creator.

    I would sooner die than be a part of your “reality”, John-O. As recorded in times past, the time will come again when your ilk will only be too happy to grant me that wish, and would be successful, too, but were they not in all reality in combat with an angry God. Remember the story of Lot? That’s the way it will be in the last days.

  7. Spanish Inquisitor, if I may, as a complete newby to this blog I have three questions:

    1. Has Gideon been around enough to be regarded as a regular?

    The other two questions only apply if the answer to question 1 is “yes.”

    2. There is a common “law” of internet discussion that says any attempt to satirize fringe views tends to become indistinguishable from the real thing. It’s usually called “Poe’s Law.” When somebody suspects that a parodist is at work instead of a real fundie, they often invoke Poe’s Law. I am tempted to invoke Poe’s Law because of Gideon’s unusually specific dating of the year 10,000,000,000 (Anno Domini?) as a scripturally correct predicted date for the redeemed “fulfilling their purpose for being under the government of God.” Has anybody ever before remarked on the possibly parodic nature of Gideon’s pronouncements?

    3. Is it plausible that Gideon may not in fact be a Christian attempting to give an honest witness, but a troll attempting to discredit Christians?

    • Oh, for… @*4%&*#!

      Man, are you guys dense! The year 10 billion is just another way of saying that Christians are promised eternal life, and infidels like Evo will be dust by that point in the future… if he desires it that way, of course. He can always repent and be one of those mentioned living well into eternity.

      The only parody in operation, here, are goofballs trying to pass themselves off as respectable infidels!

    • 1. Yes. About 2 years now, is it Giddy?

      2. We’ve tossed that around a bit, and for the most part have determined that he’s the real thing. That’s the funny part about POE, though, is you can never really be certain.

      3. Yes. See # 2. Since I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on the POE, I allow him to continue commenting, albeit slightly moderated, for that very reason. He’s the best advertisement for atheism this side of the Vatican. See my comment policy which I only have because of Gideon and CL.

      BTW, Tony. welcome to Spanish Inquisitor, where nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition Gideon!

    • “Is it plausible that Gideon may not in fact be a Christian attempting to give an honest witness, but a troll attempting to discredit Christians?”

      Either way, he does an excellent job of it, doesn’t he?

  8. “We’ve tossed that around a bit, and for the most part have determined that he’s the real thing.”

    “Either way, he does an excellent job of it, doesn’t he?”

    *Sniff*

    Awww… if I wasn’t a prince of the kingdom and would be lowering myself to do it, I’d give all you infidels a big hug! (Except for you, Evo… you’d only take it as a proposal!)

    😉

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