The Rational Case Against Same-sex Marriage

VoltaireThumbby Monsieur Voltaire
I must admit that it took me a while to develop a logical opinion on the issue of same-sex marriage (SSM). On one hand, I have nothing against gays or gayness—quite to the contrary, some of the mentors to whom I owe most intellectually were gay men, and at least a couple of my dearest friends are also not heterosexual. Consequently, I wish them all happiness, love, success and a life free of unfair discrimination. On the other, to alter the meaning of an institution that has been based on heterosexuality since recorded history—and to do so in less than a generation–feels less like spontaneous evolution and more like forced cultural sabotage. Consequently, I have held my intellectual approval of SSM until I had a chance to think on it coldly and rationally.

One of the most unchallenged cases we hear for same-sex marriage goes something like this: my marrying a person of my same sex does not harm your heterosexual marriage, or the institution of marriage as a whole, so what’s the problem? Even commentator Bill O’Reilly, the self-appointed impartial cultural arbiter of our times, broke the tie in favor of SSM by positing that he never heard a compelling counter to this statement. Since Scott and Bill getting married does not harm my own marriage to Suzy or Mary, I can only be against SSM on grounds of cultural stubbornness (whether this be based on religion, politics, or merely on my finding it creepy to see two guys smooching and fondling one-another like Will and Viola in Shakespeare in Love).

But the fact that a rational case hasn’t been made does not mean there isn’t one. I have come to the conclusion that SSM damages not only the institution of marriage as a whole, but indeed the idea of natural law–on which is built the whole edifice of Anglo-American jurisprudence and political philosophy.

The US Constitution was founded around the concept of natural law, which contains the “unalienable rights” with which we are “endowed by our Creator.” These rights can’t be voted on, changed, or taken away, because they are not given to us by the state–we are born with them, and we would keep possessing them as intrinsic to our nature even if the state barred us access to them. The right to life, property, liberty, pursuit of happiness, etc. are only some of the traditionally-understood parts of natural law.

One of the most tangible and visible aspects of natural law has been marriage. Why? Because there is nothing more natural than the joining of one man and a woman as the nucleus of a family and for the purpose of procreation and the rearing of offspring; and natural law has done nothing but give legal recognition to this most natural of unions. Natural law has also ensured that this institution remain at the basis of society, as centuries of tradition and custom have but confirmed that the healthier the family, the healthier the society.

One of the beauties of natural law is that it is by definition unchangeable. It is the immobile guiding star around which the whole machine of jurisprudence judges (or should) the justice of individual laws. Should our society become completely detached from natural law, we would de facto no longer have a Constitution, and we would be at the mercy of the Zeitgeist. And the pernicious nature of SSM takes aim at natural law through the institution of marriage. If we can vote to change such a basic, fundamental and tangible natural institution, then everything else can be voted on, and we therefore deny that there is any such thing as a natural right.

So, my talking point—even for those who don’t have a clue on what natural law is—is “if the nature of family can be voted on, then the nature of mankind also will be.” We have already seen this in the case of abortion: a prematurely-born is a human baby with the protection of law, while a post-term is still a “fetus” and can be aborted and torn to bits in the most gruesome fashion. To put up such basic natural truths for a vote means turning a healthy society into a madhouse of Dr. Frankensteins trying to alter nature to suit their latest feverish dream. The protection of natural law is the only barrier standing between us and this nightmare scenario—as long as we understand it.

This is why I will always call SSM “pretend-marriage” no matter who I may offend. Civil privileges like inheritance, visitation rights, etc.—those, yes, let’s vote on them and give them to committed couples of any sex. But there is only one marriage. As there is only one humanity.
 • (9652 views)

Share
This entry was posted in Politics, Religion and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

102 Responses to The Rational Case Against Same-sex Marriage

  1. RobL_V2 RobL_V2 says:

    Well said Monsieur,

    For the record I’m not ‘against’ SSM. SMM doesn’t exist; it’s an oxymoronic de-novo term void de-facto existence.

    Agree on the natural law bit, if you can invent ‘rights’ you can deny rights. Rights are not in the realm of the human according to our Constitution. Sure we can depart for the Constitution, we are free to make such a choice and the barrier preventing us is only parchment thin. But we decouple at our own risk and its something I’d fight to prevent, many have died doing so.

    The folly belongs to a populous who does not realize homosexuals have never been discriminated against in the realm of marriage; they are free to marry members of the opposite sex like everyone else. Of course offer such fact and you are assailed, ‘why would I want to marry a member of the opposite sex!?!’ Well perhaps the same reason others do, to raise a family. Many have done it, some happily others not but there is no guarantee of happiness in life. The only guarantee is liberals offering you guarantees of happiness.

    Seems a wining lie for them. Years of abandoning classical liberal education in schools and academia in favor of modern liberal indoctrination has done its job. I fear now any discussion on the richness of our culture from Aristotle’s natural law theory though the pinnacle of the American Constitution is lost upon a shallow electorate with so much of society the deep subtitles of the discussion are missed upon a shallow populace who cannot advance beyond, conservatism is bigotry.

    Meanwhile most of the populous when put to the vote, voted to uphold marriage and abhor same sex oxymoronaige. Yet when elected officials or their judicial appointees unconstitutionally ignore their will, they do nothing and return to the glories of CNN mythology and Hollywood debauchery.

    I’m reminded of, was it Mencken or Pope? Who facetiously wrote that literacy should never be universal for it gives the evil the tool to manipulate the vast majority of humanity’s hopelessly stupid. Something like that…

    Frightening times when dark humor offers more reality than a national media’s presentation of it. Perhaps evil has won…

    • RobL_V2 RobL_V2 says:

      Not Mencken or Pope. It was Albert Jay Nock and I believe it came from his masterpiece ‘Memoirs of a Superfluous Man’.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I’m a bit bored by this subject. The new Natural Law (television and a university education) has spoken. It is the right of every man to put his penis into another man’s anus and call it “holy matrimony.” Or what Jonah Goldberg calls “The pursuit of happiness.”

    If you asked people what “Natural Law” is they would ask you if that is on HBO or Showtime. And even if they had an inkling of what that is, the idea of law-as-restraint is considered old fashioned. And a culture that is becoming accustomed to the hook-up is not in any moral position to restrain anyone else.

    So they just call it “marriage equality” and that wraps it up in a nice neat bow.

    Of course, as I’ve always insisted, there is a larger game at play here. It is the growing influence of Utopian statism. And both statists and juvenile narcissists love this idea. For the statist, they get to direct society and wield power. For the juveniles, they are released from the heavier responsibilities that come with life.

    This is now the paradigm of our society, something that Mark Steyn describes in “America Alone.” Europe has already made this paradigm shift and is literally dying because of it. The state plans all the big stuff (retirement, education, healthcare, and more) while people bask in the freedom of choosing which color of protective sleeve to put on their iPhones.

    I’m convinced that no culture is able to look long-term. Only moment to moment pleasures or pains count, at least in today’s short-attention-span low-information world. And our culture is no longer in pursuit of happiness. It’s in pursuit of pleasure. When combined with the reams of pro-gay propaganda that the average (and I sneer at “average”) person views in a day, there is no stopping gay marriage.

    And even if all of the above wasn’t enough, we must come to appreciate the liberal fascist aspect of our culture. There is a mean streak a-brewin’. Utopia is, of course, a fantasy. But what it does have a habit of doing is breeding discontent and a sense of alienation in people because of unmet and unrealistic expectations.

    So even if some remain unconvinced of the benefits of gay marriage, they are well versed in the idea of the Two Minute Hate upon which the foundations of gay marriage are based — the idea the traditional marriage is “discriminatory.” They know how to take their own tangible non-Utopian interior feelings of disappointment and project them outward onto a scapegoat. This presents the case, as Thomas Sowell notes, in which you have these people who make mere mascots out of gay people (or black people or Muslim people) to show how supposedly morally superior they are (the quick cure for malaise). But otherwise they could care less what happens to these people.

    And there is this deep and sick need as never before in our culture to project dissatisfaction and distemper thanks to the pressures of a culture that promises Utopia but can, of course, only ever deliver mediocrity and disappointment. The higher one’s Utopia visions, the more one will have that sense of dissatisfaction. We can again return to Thomas Sowell and his wisdom regarding the “unconstrained” or Utopian vision of the Left vs. the “constrained” or tragic vision of the right.

    So we conservatives must sit back and smile while the juveniles run society into the ground because they haven’t got a clue. As Dennis Prager notes, these people are “nice” but they are not good. And they don’t have to be good. That is part of the point of this Utopian statism. All of the costs of this “niceness” are socialized. No one individually has to bear the burden of creating Utopia, so those costs tend to go unnoticed. But, of course, there are costs and the costs are all too tangible. And as Monsieur Voltaire has found out, and probably will continue to find out, to point out those costs to people — the reality behind all the pleasing myths — is to invite scorn.

    And this is what leads to Orwellianism, where reality is so obviously one thing but people refuse to even look at it or talk about it. For some this is because the Utopian vision is so pleasing. For others, they’ve been intimidated by political correctness into silence. And as is the case with human psychology, when people are forced to eat a shit sandwich, they will be very tempted to pass this sandwich on to others. This is one reason, for instance, the Muslims in the Middle East are so wretchedly racist and violent. Their own regimes and religions are so oppressive that the natural inclination is to lash out against those who don’t also share their burden.

    So watch for all this to collapse upon itself. Watch for all those who thought that gay marriage was just the height of good manners to themselves become a target of the whirlwind of this social Utopian monster that they have unleashed. And don’t say that we didn’t warn you.

    • Monsieur Voltaire says:

      Brad, I know you are being hyperbolic, but just for the sake of the occasional reader, let me say this: we can’t afford to be bored about this subject, and we can’t just be jaded about the fact that people in this country enjoy their natural rights (well, as long as we can) while having no clue about them. We need to press the subject, educate, spread our informed opinion and stand up for what’s right.

      When and if our society collapses upon itself weighed down by its own relativism, there will be little consolation in telling Liberals “I told you so.”

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Oh, geez….you saw right through me.

        The problem is, MV, the idea of unalienable rights is fading. “Unalienable” is too often tied to the idea of god-given. And anything to do with God is de facto illegitimate.

        This is one reason there has been a resurgence in Libertarianism. I don’t mean to suggest that Libertarians are godless heathens. But there is this natural and logical inclination to try to ground rights in something else, especially in a society where that increasingly scoffs at the idea of objective right and wrong (and thus of any idea of natural rights or natural law).

        This is why in libertarianism there tends to be this emphasis on “reason.” Well, “reason,” as I note, is a method, not a policy or a goal. “Reason” can’t tell you what is good or bad, what is desirable or undesirable, or what is moral or immoral. And this has led many libertarians to take their argument to absurd extremes.

        But in our society right now, rights are what we make them. This is the Utopian conception. This is what underpins the idea of “gender.” Gender is not a real thing. It’s whatever we choose it to be. And every once in a while I still read about some libtard parent who has decided to raise his is her child with “gender neutral” toys or something like that. Honest to God, there are still many people who believe that girls act like girls only because their parents throw dolls at them instead of guns and trucks.

        And we see this playing out as women more and more play soldier in the military. To some extent, the roles of men and women are as fungible as we agree they can be — as long as we also agree to overlook those times when its obvious that there are inherent differences.

        At heart, I’m all for people doing whatever the hell they want — if they will pay the costs for it. If you’re gay and want to get married, then fine. But there are some costs involved. For example, you don’t get to adopt children. Why? Because “gender” is not something that is completely fungible. Children really do benefit from having a real father and a real mother. As a single person, I should no more be put at the head of the line to adopt a child than a gay couple.

        The problem with the modern conception of gay marriage is that gay marriage isn’t based on an accommodation of the realities of genetic quirks. It’s based on a Utopian Leftist political agenda, and one filled with grievance, even if the useful idiots who keep supporting that agenda are none the wiser about this grievance. Call it “marriage equality” and the low-information voter is satisfied.

        Right now, there is no averting the collapse of our society. But what we can hope to do is when the Five Minute Hate comes to replace the mere Two Minute Hate, we can be a buttress against political and psychological fascism. That’s small consolation, but that’s all we have. And even that isn’t much. I don’t see rational arguments being able to change many minds when the excrement does hit the fan.

        • CCWriter CCWriter says:

          My problem with some interpretations of “natural law” and “God-given” is that some attempt to cut corners and steal bases with it. Namely, that if rights preceding the Constitution are given by God then that is supposed to mean anyone asserting that they know God wants X, Y or Z can claim their belief trumps the constitutional limit of no establishment (that is the government cannot take sides on whose interpretation of what God wants is correct). Whereas, under my concept of constitutional conservatism, debate about right and wrong is meant to take place in the non-compulsory arena, and that if that area is shrinking, maybe we ought to focus on restoring its significance to society instead of going along with crypto-progressive notions of using government to manage ideas.

          I’m certainly not happy with what the left has been doing in terms of social engineering. But my response is not to try to grab the wheel and steer in the opposite direction. First of all we don’t have the power to do that, and secondly it’s against limited-government principles. What I will do is stand up firmly for people’s right not to be compelled in their personal conduct and decisions to knuckle under to the political agenda based on false definitions of concepts like “public.”

          Unfortunately, this position not only is unpersuasive to the left (which doesn’t surprise me), it makes some conservatives get all red in the face though somehow they can’t tell me what their problem is with it, other than that they hate me for some position I never took (which grieves me). Such is the lot of a small-l libertarian. Ah, well.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I’m very sympathetic to the argument of not telling people what to do “Because god says so.” And yet, look at the alternatives. If we are to be anchored in human opinion anyway, an opinion anchored in political expediency, pop culture, and/or propaganda isn’t any better, and demonstrably much worse.

            I think it would be helpful to understand “Because god says so” as an option to the universal alternative, which is almost always prevarication, demagoguery, and deceit. What we call human “reason” is too often simply the for-show “rational” argument that is a front for hiding one’s true motives.

            Humans are not freed from this when they talk of god. But I wonder if it doesn’t help them focus their minds on universals.

            What we have now is a culture whose morals are not founded in natural law, the Bible, or even “reason” (to the extent that this makes sense). They are founded in narcissism, pop culture, the lowest common denominator, and animal passions.

            I hate to break the news to anyone, but we are a republic, not a democracy. We were never meant to be ruled by the passions of the mob. Nor, for that matter, were we to be ruled by a clergy. But it at least can be said that the mind of the Christian clergy will produce a somewhat coherent and sustainable society while the mind of the pop-culture pagan produces his own disintegration.

            • CCWriter CCWriter says:

              I think you’ve supported my argument that it’s time to pay more attention to human opinion, coherent thinking and example-setting that takes place without reference to government sanction. Don’t waste time asking for it or lamenting the weight placed by government and pop culture on the other side. Just demonstrate independence from it. I don’t see our side as having tried very hard to do this. But I am coming more and more to believe that this is in fact the way out, if we have the wisdom to see it and the courage to follow it.

              As for Christian clergy? They should certainly speak up! And do they not have ample channels in which to do so? I just shudder when anyone implies that whatever the clergy say must or shall (or even has any need to) be codified and delivered by the government (over and above, of course, the legitimate laws religion happens to agree with). That’s Progressivism even if the person saying it claims to be a conservative. (Which is why I find it more encouraging than discouraging that the independents and undecideds reject such a scenario–it shows they have some good instincts.)

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                One of the problems with natural law is that it can too easily fall prey to the naturalistic fallacy: Whatever is “natural” or common is therefore good.

                Well, slavery has been pretty “natural” in that regard, as has been the persecution of homosexuals. I don’t believe we can have a true American society where we do little more than hold to unchanging laws based merely in tradition.

                Sometimes traditions change, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

                But what we face in the Left is a new tradition of anti-tradition. This is so due to the Utopian and Cultural Marxist roots of the Left. They are for overturning everything just as a child in a highchair might wish to overturn his plate of strained peas. Because he can.

                I’m sympathetic to aspects of Voltaire’s natural law argument, but it in itself is not enough. We must, at least in America, do more than appeal to authority…or even past experience.

                So, I’ve got one foot in the old-style libertarian camp as well. Let us decide what is good, to some extent, by what we think in the here and now.

                But I don’t think as the Left, or those who have been propagandized by the Left. I neither pine for Utopia nor want to destroy Western Civilization out of a sense of alienation, if not boredom.

                Unfortunately there is little room left for a truly American conception of liberty which borrows partly from tradition and is partly willful choice. We are out of balance. So, like you, CC, I’m not for grabbing the wheel and steering in the opposite direction. I still like the idea of charting an American course.

                And that course can certainly be friendly toward gays, queers, homosexuals, pole-smokers, or whatever we want to call them. But should it be of such a fevered mind and unbalanced wisdom that it must go entirely whole-hog and anoint homosexuality with the legitimacy of marriage? And although there is a larger game as stake, that is much of the essence of it.

                One might see this as a break from natural law and thus everything is then open to mere willfulness. But I think we have been on that path the day that first major entitlement was instituted. When we did so, we began to socialize (and thus disguise) the costs of social dysfunction, poor choices, and just plain criminal behavior. Gay marriage is just a sort of rider placed on top of that.

                And the entire breastworks of this socialist entitlement society is about ready to collapse. Gay marriage is just the latest addition. But Big Government and socialism are already mucking up the works. In some sense, we put too much emphasis on gay marriage if we don’t recognize that Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, and all the rest of these entitlements do as much, if not more, to separate us from nature reality, let alone natural law, and set us on the course to disintegration.

          • RobL_V2 RobL_V2 says:

            Nothing is persuasive to the Left beyond Leftism. Anything else is a tool, device, or neologism designed to advance leftism. They are based, rooted and derived only from themselves. There is no point in fretting over how to persuade them. The point is to persuade all others who remain with a free mind. The Left has successfully conditioned its adherents to deny their innate ability of thought. They are lost but the cause is not, there are billions who have not yet been intellectually neutered.

            It’s wrong to interpret ‘natural law’ as ‘god given’, that people do is more proof the Left’s indoctrination campaign of the past 40 years has been successful (see my comment above).

            Aristotle was the initiator of natural law theory although it took a millennium to fully develop by Aquinas. Aristotle, while no atheist, was not a Christian. Natural law is not a religious or Christian doctrine.

            Its important to remember the Founders articulated our rights are endowed by our creator, not by god. They didn’t want a fight over the definition of god and whose god. They simply all concurred there is a natural order higher than us. Even the most secular atheist concedes, humans came to being through a process (for them evolution) that existed before our arrival. There is a nature and a natural order above us. It is this nature which has provided our rights and it’s this approach in which our Constitution is to be interpreted.

            Thus rights are not arbitrary, not subject to whim but they simply are. As MV offered, once we are disconnected from natural law we disconnected from the entirety of civilization. For our executive, judicial, and legislative paradigms of self governance derive from it. No natural law, no civilization. Not a prospect I’d look forward to. I offer CC that in your discussion with the remaining, albeit dwindling, sentient Americans, you reconnect them with nature’s natural law for it belongs to no person, religion or belief.

            • CCWriter CCWriter says:

              I’m still seeing a logical disconnect here. You may assert something to be part of natural law, but what if someone comes along and asserts just the opposite to be natural law? Who wins? And based on what?

              • RobL_V2 RobL_V2 says:

                Remember when we discuss ‘natural law’ we are discussing natural law theory. This theory is no different than any other, its subject to its own ‘evolution’ as new considerations are made. Newton’s theory of gravitation served well until Einstein’s theory replaced it. That is not to say though we no longer have gravity.

                Its not mere assertions which shape a theory but evidence, rationality, applicability and observed result. The Left has never conclusively won anything; they simply censure debate and call it victory. So far the evidence supports the success of natural law theory as espoused by the founders. The Left can assert what they want but without evidence, rationality and coherence, such assertions cannot be sustained.

    • faba calculo says:

      “Of course, as I’ve always insisted, there is a larger game at play here. It is the growing influence of Utopian statism.”

      Or, maybe, what’s going on here is the slow dimminishment in “the fear of the other.” That, and the equally slow reduction in the hold Christianity holds on our culture. Note: I hold this up neither as a good thing overall nor a bad thing overall. Largely, it will depend on what replaces it.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Or, maybe, what’s going on here is the slow dimminishment in “the fear of the other.”

        If only that were true. Unfortunately, the idea of gay marriage is premised on the idea that traditional marriage is a conscious and deliberate attempt to harm gays. The wacko gay movement is hardly about reducing fear of the other. Instead, they’ve premised the gay marriage argument fully on the Cultural Marxist paradigm that they are victims and the standard structure and methods of Western Civilization are inherently victimizers. And they’ve ramped up the language to try to prove it.

        This becomes like some kind of bizarre Kabuki theatre where well-trained aggrieved people take turns knocking a brick out of the wall of civilization. “Oh, but Monsieur, eet eeez just wohn leetle brick,” to paraphrase Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life.”

        Who is there to erect the structure that keeps the wolves at bay? With everyone setting themselves up as a victim, there are very few indeed.

        And so although I have no animus against gays, per se, they are just one more narcissistic victim group who has learned the lesson well of cutting-and-pasting “We shall overcome” over whatever the hell they think they deserve. And at the end of the day, they will not be happy, no more than race relations are any better because Obama was elected president. The problem is, these things are all premised on bad principles.

        Although I don’t hold as tight to natural law as Monsieur Voltaire, he is right that we need a solid foundation. And Alinsky-like badgering and community organizing is not a solid foundation.

        As for the “hold” Christianity has on our culture. Compared to the “hold” that is part and parcel of the Left (over one hundred of its own citizens killed last century), I’ll take that hold any day of the week. I think Dennis Prager is right on when he says that it is the aggrieved, not the thankful and the humble, who commit the atrocities in this world. Long may Christianity have a “hold” on us.

        • faba calculo says:

          “If only that were true. Unfortunately, the idea of gay marriage is premised on the idea that traditional marriage is a conscious and deliberate attempt to harm gays.”

          No, but it is based on the idea that ONLY allowing heterosexual marriage is a violation of equal protection under the law.

          ” Instead, they’ve premised the gay marriage argument fully on the Cultural Marxist paradigm that they are victims…”

          Not everyone who cries wolf is actually wrong about there being a wolf. As I’ve pointed out before, it’s impossible to look at the history of gays in America and not see a lot of animus. Nor do I find it particularly likely that all of that has just vanished to be replaced by purely rationally-based concerns over what gay marriage will do to straight marriage.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            No, but it is based on the idea that ONLY allowing heterosexual marriage is a violation of equal protection under the law.

            That is the purpose of the law. It’s to discriminate between what is allowed legally and what is not. This same mindset is behind the idea of open borders. To not allow non-American-citizens into our country and legalize them is somehow considered just not fair.

            “Equal protection,” as you use the word, means no distinctions and thus no law. This is consistent with the mindset of the Left. Again, I’ve mentioned Allan Bloom’s interesting (but too thick and somewhat badly written) book “The Closing of the America Mind.” According to Bloom, the main theme being propagandized into Western Civilization is the idea of “openness.” Bloom asserts, and I quite agree, that the task of higher eduction has always been to teach people what it means to live a good life, to expose people to the best ideas and give them options. To sift through the best and the worst that life and human culture has to offer and choose the best, or what is the best for oneself.

            But today higher education has dispensed with all that. Now we are to remain “open” to all things. Judging one thing good and one thing bad is a no-no. Thus we have told people that the highest pursuit isn’t the good but to have no pursuits at all.

            And I think this shows up clearly in the idea that for there to be a law as logical and well-established (culturally and biologically) as marriage that it is seen through the lens of unequal protection of the law. This is, of course, absurd.

            It’s as absurd as saying that it is an instance of the unequal protection of the law because a ten-year-old can’t buy a bottle of whiskey or because I can’t get maternity leave (being a man and all).

            I’m not really sure why humans pine for this kind of mushy, ill-formed, ill-conceived, Communistic form of “equality.” I certainly don’t. I’m okay with the idea of a law that says that marriage equals one man and one woman. I’m also okay with a law that says one set of bathrooms for boys and one set of bathrooms for girls. I’m also okay with some towns that set the upper speed limit to 30 and others that have it at 25.

            I’m actually for diversity, not the homogenization of our country according to Communistic standards.

            • faba calculo says:

              “’Equal protection,’ as you use the word, means no distinctions and thus no law.”

              No, it means no distinction lacking a better justification than someone telling us that, if we lets gays marry, bad things will happen.

              “This is consistent with the mindset of the Left. Again, I’ve mentioned Allan Bloom’s interesting (but too thick and somewhat badly written) book ‘The Closing of the America Mind.'”

              Been a loooong time since I read that one. Most of what I can remember is that he called economists “the last of the rationalists”. It took me years to figure out that that hadn’t been a complement…LOL

  3. Kung Fu Zu says:

    Same sex marriage, like Obamacare, is being used to curb religious freedoms. I have always believed this is a large reason that the Left has pushed for this.

    According to a 2000 Gallup poll, homosexual couples (households) made up less than 1% of the population of the USA.

    This is all about the Left pushing for the rest of us to conform or be punished.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Well, certainly, Mr. Kung, the non-religious vision is part of the Utopian vision. That’s what all those bumperstickers that say “coexist” are all about. Even some religious nitwits have them on their cars, although how religious they are is a good question. But the idea of “coexist” means to non-exist. It means to blend into the secular state where there are none of these differences.

      The assumption of the secular society was written quite concisely (and dishonestly) by Christopher Hitchens in the subtitle of his book: “Religion Poisons Everything.” Believe me, many who are not on the Left or sympathetic to the Left believe this.

      Even many Christians and Jews believe this, for why else would they abandon their religions and substitute Leftist dogma in its place?

      The vision of the Utopian secular society is that we all become guided by “reason,” particularly scientific “reason.” It’s a wonderful conceit. We can laugh at the dichotomy of this supposedly “reason”-based philosophy buying into so many superstitious myths, including global warming. But the Left is ultimately a conceit, so this is in character for them.

      Also included in the vision of the Utopian Left is that we don’t need families (and, particularly, that women don’t need men). Government can take care of all our needs. Thus with the idea of procreation and basic support having already been psychologically and politically removed from the idea of the family, there can be no principled objection to homosexual marriage.

      Of course, we should not forget the fact that many on the Left, such as Obama and Hillary Clinton, are filled with a deep psychological hatred. Even Hitchens eventually admitted to this when he noted that the reason the Left promoted the importation of Muslims into Britain wasn’t because of any love of Muslims but because of a hatred for the British.

      Too bad that John Boehner is such a pussy. We should talk about this. Every Republican speech should begin with some example of the deep antipathy the Left has toward just plain decency. I think most of us here, all things being equal, couldn’t give a flying fuck if gays got married or not. But we understand gay marriage as part of a wider assault. We are being assaulted by the sick minds of the Left. And they are indeed sick. And it has unfortunately become politically incorrect to talk about it.

      Not here, of course. We could end up being the last bastion of free speech.

      • faba calculo says:

        Side note:

        “We can laugh at the dichotomy of this supposedly “reason”-based philosophy buying into so many superstitious myths, including global warming. But the Left is ultimately a conceit, so this is in character for them.”

        I’m not sure I see how one can call global warming a myth. We have been adding a lot of CO2 (et. al.) to the atmosphere, and CO2 does have greenhouse characteristics, and the Earth is getting warming.

        If all you meant was the doomsday projections of what it’s going to mean down the road, never mind.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          It actually is a myth. It’s as simple as that. It became politically correct at some point to believe in man-made global warming because to do so shouted that you “cared.” And to question it meant that you were a polluter or in the hands of the oil companies.

          This has been one of the best examples of a lie run amok that was also in cahoots with statists. A lot of money got parceled out to any and every researcher who could find (or claim) some “global warming” angle to his work.

          And I think the knee-jerk affinity (and gullibility) toward global warming showed the depth to which people have been programmed (often starting in Kidnergarten) with environmental wacko-ism.

          The sky is not falling. Whatever CO2 we put into the air is not only harmless but of a benefit to the planet. CO2 is the greenest gas there is. Plants thrive on it. And if we really could warm the earth, we ought to because a few degrees warmer would make the earth more hospital. And because we are due for another cooling trend (which is far more dangerous to life, all life), if we could warm the earth a little bit with CO2, we ought to start now.

          But, of course, we can’t. CO2 is just one of many greenhouse gases and effects only a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. And that wavelength is already nearly saturated. You could dump twenty times the CO2 that we do now and it would have no appreciable effect.

          All that you’ve been taught about global warming has been propaganda. There was one moment back in the late 70’s or early-to-mid 80’s when ice core samples showed a correlation (but not causation) between temperatures and CO2. This was (you have not heard because of the Big Lies being told) fairly quickly discovered to be irrelevant because the CO2 increase or decrease followed either warming or cooling of the oceans. When oceans warmed (due to other factors), it could not hold as much dissolved CO2, so more was released in the atmosphere, When oceans cooled, the reverse happened. But it wasn’t CO2 causing this. It was a mere effect of the warming or cooling.

          Since then, global warming has been turned into a pagan-like religion. You have people not just bastardizing their science for research grants (although plenty of that has occurred and continued to occur) but actively trying to prove it no matter what. The idea of man-made global warming has become a dogma as thick as any religious dogma.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            I did some research on the topic while writing a series of articles for the Encyclopedia of Environmental Issues for Salem Press (unfortunately, no longer in business). That’s when I learned about the law of diminishing returns effect for carbon dioxide. Not only does it affect only certain infrared wavelengths, but water vapor affects the same ones. As of that time (and I know of no reason to believe this has changed since), climate models also ignored clouds (which on balance probably have a cooling effect) because they don’t know enough to analyze their effects. Also, the large temperature increases reported as possible future increases are based on the assumption of synergistic warming effects that haven’t been seen.

            • faba calculo says:

              It’s my understanding that this whole argument fails from not appreciating that the atmosphere has different levels, and that things that are true at one layer of the atmosphere aren’t true at another.

              First, there are different levels, and the ones that matter for global warming are the upper ones, as those are the ones from which heat escapes back into space. If it lets as much escape as it originally took in from the sun, things are in balance.

              Second, things that are true at one level aren’t necessarily true at another, and the overlap of water and CO2 absorption lines is one of them. They overlap at temperatures and pressures of sea level, but not at those higher up, which, as mentioned above, is the layers that determine whether or not as much heat gets let out as got taken in. Furthermore, even if the absorption lines were the same higher up, it wouldn’t matter much, as there simply isn’t much water vapor that high (it being too cold for the air to hold onto it). CO2, on the other hand, knows no such limit and is widely distributed throughout the atmosphere.

    • faba calculo says:

      “Same sex marriage, like Obamacare, is being used to curb religious freedoms. I have always believed this is a large reason that the Left has pushed for this.”

      Except, so far, it really hasn’t. Take the whole cake decorator thing. That happened in Oregon, where there is no gay marriage. And the wedding photographer? That was in New Mexico. No gay marriage there either.

      It’s not gay marriage that’s the problem, but the whole issue of anti-discrimination laws the requires businesses not to refuse people based on their races/creed/color/sexual orientation/whatever. That’s where the assault on the right of association lies, and there’s what you are going to have to overturn to have it back.

      And, as long as we’re overturning the whole mess, I’m with you.

  4. pst4usa says:

    Very well said Monsieur,

    And as you say, if, people understood natural law, they might see the dangers in social engineering.

  5. Timothy Lane says:

    Language evolves, and I can accept that marriage may become defined over time as including homosexual marriage. But what we are talking about isn’t evolution but, as Voltaire put, hijacking (much as has happened with “gay”, a word I generally avoid as a personal protest against such etymological hijacking). This is especially important because the problem we face is that those who (usually but always for religious reasons) reject the concept of homosexual marriage are (as has been seen now in several states) not permitted to “discriminate” against participating in any way in homosexual rituals. Note that homosexual marriage isn’t actually illegal, so the libertarian argument would be against the “anti-discrimination” rulings.
    Civil unions are another matter, since they don’t try to redefine marriage. For that matter, my main concern has been preventing court action; when I voted for the Kentucky amendment banning official recognition of homosexual marriage and civil unions, it was solely as a way of forestalling court action on the subject.

    • CCWriter CCWriter says:

      Yes, absolutely the libertarian argument is against “anti-discrimination” rulings and you can see by the scare quotes what I think of the purported basis for them. Would that freedom of association and freedom of commerce had been more explicitly spelled out in the Constitution, because they’re so interwoven with the freedoms that are. I just wish that every time I say so, the liberals wouldn’t shout me down as a bigot and the conservatives wouldn’t turn up their noses at my support or claim I’m lying.

      • faba calculo says:

        Boy, I’ll munch to that!

      • RobL_V2 RobL_V2 says:

        Hope I’m not considered one of those turning my nose up.

        There is no discrimination as far as I’m concerned. Homosexuals are free and always have been to marry members of the opposite sex.

        Civil unions are legit for civil society should determine what benefits it affords to its citizenry. I personally think civil unions are not necessary as society determined marriage benefits (i.e. tax breaks) are provided to encourage couples to marry, have children in wedlock, and remain married to support the family. If society determines ‘marriage’ benefits must be offered to all consenting adult couples then so be it. I’ll accept the call as a member of civil society (but I’ll remain unconvinced traditional marriage benefits offered defacto wanton discrimination based on unjust denial).

        Unfortunately this is not even the discussion we are having. Civil society did not redefine marriage because the idea has not even been socialized civilly. The majority of states that did discuss turned it down yet courts and legislators betrayed the consent of the governed.

        To be honest better than condoning tax benefits for ascribed behavior, we should eliminate said benefits period. Yes we’ll remove the good of encouraging the family unit to stay together but we can also remove the greater evil of a bloated oppressive tax code.

        Alas the national discussion hasn’t expanded to such as of yet, so I’m forced to return to my base fear. If civil unions (which as I stated above run the risk of allowing civil society to consent to all people receiving all benefits from the commons) is not good enough but that all people must be given all things without the consent of the governed via a coerced redefinition of marriage. Then we forgo opening Pandora’s Box in favor of Pandora’s freighter.

        For the normal discrimination which occurs in the course of daily life will become suspect. Consider the furor of discrimination over who may and may not a men’s vs. women’s room. Discrimination is not a pejorative; it’s a necessary fact of life. If this fact become a grievance with an assigned dollar value which civil society may or governmental fiat will (when civil society does not) condone… then society is in for an obnoxious rude crude cruel journey as it descends to anarchy.

        Sorry CC, I got carried away in my thoughts. My point is this is not a libertarian thing but a liberty thing. Thus conservatives and libertarians should be united against arbitrary civil decadence and coerced governmental tyranny.

        • faba calculo says:

          “There is no discrimination as far as I’m concerned. Homosexuals are free and always have been to marry members of the opposite sex.”

          Yeah, this is one of great talking points of the anti-gay marriage side, but I think it misses something major. By forbidding same-sex marriage, you are forbidding gays from ever being able to marry ANYONE they could ever fall romantically in love with. And that is a massive burden that is not being placed on straights.

          “Civil unions are legit for civil society should determine what benefits it affords to its citizenry.”

          Fine, as long as it’s done in a way that is consistent with equal protection.

          “I personally think civil unions are not necessary as society determined marriage benefits (i.e. tax breaks) are provided to encourage couples to marry, have children in wedlock, and remain married to support the family.”

          Then give them to gay couples to encourge them to marry and raise children of their own.

          “Unfortunately this is not even the discussion we are having. Civil society did not redefine marriage because the idea has not even been socialized civilly.”

          I’m not sure what you mean by “socialized civilly”.

          “The majority of states that did discuss turned it down yet courts and legislators betrayed the consent of the governed.”

          The majority of states that have gay marriage have it via their legislatures or direct petition. And I don’t think that the any of the states where it was court ordered had a prior law forbidding it, save for California.

          “To be honest better than condoning tax benefits for ascribed behavior, we should eliminate said benefits period. Yes we’ll remove the good of encouraging the family unit to stay together but we can also remove the greater evil of a bloated oppressive tax code.”

          Are you including straights who marry as getting tax preferences for “ascribed behavior”?

          “Alas the national discussion hasn’t expanded to such as of yet, so I’m forced to return to my base fear. If civil unions (which as I stated above run the risk of allowing civil society to consent to all people receiving all benefits from the commons) is not good enough but that all people must be given all things without the consent of the governed via a coerced redefinition of marriage. Then we forgo opening Pandora’s Box in favor of Pandora’s freighter.”

          Again, I understand that you believe that, if we allow gay marriage, bad things will follow, but I’m not seeing the evidence or even really seeing what you think these bad things will be.

          “For the normal discrimination which occurs in the course of daily life will become suspect. Consider the furor of discrimination over who may and may not a men’s vs. women’s room.”

          Here I am more inclined to agree: let gay marriage be well-established, and some of the forces that been busy fighting that war will move onto issues like this. It’s simply inevitable.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            No, the issue of “discrimination” is those who (like Elane Photography in New Mexico or Catholic Charities in Massachusetts) aren’t allowed not to recognize the legitimacy of homosexual marriage. In some places, religious teachings have been cited as “hate speech”. No one actually bans homosexual marriage (note that in New Mexico, it’s not formally recognized by the state, and EP still got in trouble for CHOOSING not to be involved in such a rite). I have no problem with homosexuals engaging in such rituals, I could accept civil unions, and I might even be able to accept the eventual evolution of marriage to include homosexual marriages just as we generally no longer include polygamy (though I don’t suppose that is actually excluded by definition). But I oppose forcing other people to respect them in the interim.

          • RobL_V2 RobL_V2 says:

            your parsing is plodding….

            but my likely my response will be rambling…

            A rose by any other name is it not still a rose? Marriage redefined is still marriage as its been. And there equal protection doth apply. For a homosexual man can marry a women.

            In due course I’m malleable to a change but no due is given. No civil socialization, just media trumpeting and bigotry slander for non consent.

            Now if the Church of I Dont Know marries two people or two rocks it is beyond my purview but for the State to assent is a different matter for the State is we and we have not yet assented.

            As for Pandora, yes bad things do follow. Girls in Massachusetts schools are now afraid to use the girls room and the fear will only worsen.

            Children deserve biologic parents and if not possible they deserve heterogeneous parents, that is the nature of the thing. Encouraging homosexuals to marry and ‘rear’ children on their own is not feasible naturally or legally beyond a visit to the insemination clinic but that’s as one directional as it gets, soon you will be asking for ‘equal protection’. That begs a government sponsored state run fix, the industrialization of infanticide is bad enough but adding to it a black market baby industry to provide homosexual men parentage fodder is not only a bridge to far its one I cannot even conceive. Yet I fear there will be shouts for equal birthing rights and we soon our modern Sparta will mirror its precedent. A society overstretched, unilateral omnipresent and universally reviled and multilaterally threatened unable to produce the heirs necessary to carry on and the helots slitting their masters throats in the dead of night.

            Why can we not accept th elimits of our free chocie. If homosexuals want a hom sexual relationship, fine with me but why demand heterosexual normalcy. I’m married with kids and I no longer demand bachelor normalcy. Perhaps the government should pay for a surrogate so I can go out drinking every night? I want my equal protection? I want multiple orgasm, where is my equal protection, someones got to fix this discrimination. I demand my NBA career and salary even if I cant dunk. Its my equal protection. Where does the insanity end…???Where does it end

            PS

            Are you including straights who marry as getting tax preferences for “ascribed behavior”?

            YES

            • faba calculo says:

              Well, you were right, it was rambling. There are whole paragraphs, especially the one about Sparta, I simply can’t decode. But let me take a crack at at least one part:

              “I’m married with kids and I no longer demand bachelor normalcy. Perhaps the government should pay for a surrogate so I can go out drinking every night? I want my equal protection? I want multiple orgasm, where is my equal protection, someones got to fix this discrimination. I demand my NBA career and salary even if I cant dunk. Its my equal protection. Where does the insanity end…???Where does it end”

              Who said anything about “equal protection” in general? I’m talking about the equal protection UNDER THE LAW, which is what is written into the Constitution. Equal protection from circumstance, which is what you seem to be (tongue in cheek) demanding isn’t remotely the same thing. What legal restriction is there that prevents you from becoming a bachelor again? Dump you wife (perfectly legal) and you’re in! Divorcing the person you love(d) is a choice you’re allowed to make, the reverse of which (i.e., to get married to such a person) the gays would like to be allowed to make as well.

              • RobL_V2 RobL_V2 says:

                You differentiation between equal protection and equal protection under the law is no distinction. You are demanding equal ‘protection’ for inherently unequal things.

                As to Sparta (and don’t get me wrong I’m a big fan of Sparta, their accomplishments, their legacy but…) their practice of infanticide (compare to modern abortion industry), practice helot abuse (similar to creation of dole dependent serf today), and finding themselves post Peloponnesian war as a unilateral an power when they traditionally thrived as a hegemony balanced against other Greek hegemonies (similar to us post cold war victories and finding ourselves extended across the globe and every hates us and doing everything to weaken us). Sparta’s culture could not adapt to the new requirements and since the didn’t make enough babies could do nothing about it, they vanished from the scene within a generation. This focus on SSM inanity which will never increase our fertility and only take energies away from other more dire pursuits in a time the US is threatened form within due to liberal polices and enemies actions abroad.

                As to decode the rest, I read Julius Caesar over the weekend, stimulated my right hemisphere. Perhaps if you brushed up on your Shakespeare my letters would have more resonance (or not, I don’t claim to be Shakespeare, just recommend everyone reads him).

                Caesar, ‘The ides of March have come!’
                Soothsayer, ‘Ay Caeser, but not gone…’

              • faba calculo says:

                I will admit that I’ve never seen Julius Caesar. The whole rose by any other name, of course, was easy to spot, however. Than again, just about everything I “know” about Sparta I learned seeing the movie 300.

            • CCWriter CCWriter says:

              “The State is we and we have not yet assented”

              I don’t think that meets the logic test. What is really going on here is a tug of war between two sides who want to use the State to define reality with themselves in charge and the others marginalized. One is a group of progressives who think nothing can exist or be valid without the state saying so, because they see the state as the head and manager of society. The other is a group who should know better than to depend on the government to define normalcy for them, as if it’s impossible to live it otherwise. You keep feeding this expectation and yet are surprised when it is used against you. Then you stake everything on trying to seize control when you don’t have the numbers and the vast rank and file distrusts that plan. Why not instead turn your back on the illegitimate power and work on delegitimizing its sway? Why not just say “You don’t get to write the dictionaries” and proudly go your own way? As for tax breaks and such…the fewer the better, and the less government will stick its nose in where it doesn’t belong.

              • RobL_V2 RobL_V2 says:

                CC-

                I appreciate what you are saying and that may hold true for some ‘conservatives (i.e. RINOs) but to me the state does not define reality but by fact of its existence, places borders on it. That’s an enormous responsibility. Thus the founders provided us a Constitution ensuring government of the people, by the people, for the people.

                The Left seeks to design reality as you say buy conservatism should be seeking to ensure we constitution provide borders. I think there is a big difference.

                (In this paradigm would you say that ‘capital L’ Libertarians –I know you are a ‘little l’- is about ensuring there are no borders?)

        • CCWriter CCWriter says:

          No, Rob, I was not thinking of you as one of the nose-turner-uppers. Those guys would never accept the idea of conservatives and libertarians being united on liberty things, on which point you are absolutely correct.

          Though I’m not sure what you mean by “arbitrary civil decadence.” Many of us libertarians are unofficially with you on disliking rude crude etc. Unofficial in the sense that we can dislike it and state our opinion that it ought to be disliked by sensible and moral people, without wanting to make it against the law. Libertarians are very big on that distinction. So if something you dislike is traceable to enforced government social engineering, we support eliminating the social engineering that has been blocking the societal checks and balances that should have organically discouraged it.

          I don’t think the “free to marry members of the opposite sex” is a helpful argument. It kinda comes off like nose-thumbing. Maybe that’s just me.

          • faba calculo says:

            It ain’t just you. 😉

          • RobL_V2 RobL_V2 says:

            arbitrary civl decadence was my jab at those who provide themselves extemporaneous pleasures at their progeny’s expense.

            Since man and woman have walked the earth, marriage as been between the,. There is no thumb nosing at expecting that is what marriage remains.

            Perhaps some may find those who think otherwise are thumb nosing at the entire human enterprise…nod to faba…

            • faba calculo says:

              I fail to see asking for equality when the only argument against such equality is stern warnings about cats and dogs living together…the horrors, the horrors…as nose thumbing humanity.

              • RobL_V2 RobL_V2 says:

                There is no point in carrying on a discussion if your definition of ‘equality’ is giving everybody what they want when they want it.

                Might as well say the value of an ounce of gold and and ounce of silver need to be the same else we are descriminating.

              • CCWriter CCWriter says:

                “giving everybody what they want when they want it.” “else we are d[i]scriminating.”

                Rob, I think two important questions to ask are: Who is doing the giving? and Who is we? IMHO the premises of these statements are Progressivist even if you don’t realize it, and that may be why you’re losing–trying to fight all battles on the enemy’s ground and by their definitions. I recommend conservatives get clear in their thinking on these issues before advocating state action.

              • faba calculo says:

                “There is no point in carrying on a discussion if your definition of ‘equality’ is giving everybody what they want when they want it.”

                But that isn’t the version of “equality” I’ve urged. What I’ve advocated is equal protection under the law. That is, that the law not treat people differently without a concrete reason that can be confirmed empirically.

              • RobL_V2 RobL_V2 says:

                CC – You make a good point, I’d offer that my premise is not ‘progressive’ just my tactic. At this point in the dialogue only rhetoric will suffice.

                I think I provided a well reasoned argument in my earlier posts but since I received not reasoned counterargument but increasingly sophist retorts, I feel no compulsion for further reasoned discourse, it take time you know to write that. So the above is simply my rhetorical flourish to decorate my already established argument. Fighting fire with fire and all…

              • RobL_V2 RobL_V2 says:

                Faba-
                ‘What I’ve advocated is equal protection under the law. That is, that the law not treat people differently…’

                More sophistry. In regards to marriage the law does not treat people differently. Empirical fact is that throughout the course of history marriage is between a man and a woman. This has been applied equally and fairly to all adults whether heterosexuals and homosexuals.

                Now if we wrote a law that says marriage shall be who ever want to marry each other. Then we do not allow say a marriage between a brother and sister, than you can say we are treating people differently.

                Of course upon slightly deeper reflection we realize that every law treats people differently. Children are different than adults. Tall people are different then short (I’m too short allowed to ride on a roller coaster, I’m too tall to be an astronaut – discrimination!). Genders have obvious differences (that ovarian cancer research discriminates against my testicular cancer!). So really you offer simple rhetoric that claims to say it all by offering nothing.

            • faba calculo says:

              The cheapest form of sophistry around here are just your constant and baseless charges of sophistry.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      not permitted to “discriminate” against participating in any way in homosexual rituals

      The way this all works is, first you define yourself as a victim. And every victim requires a villain. Gay people are victims. Married people are thus the villains.

      As for discrimination, in support of natural law, reality itself discriminates. Those with Utopian ambitions don’t like that. Reality is to be overturned. The logical, if not always natural, institution of marriage defies Utopia. For there to be married people it means there are not-married people.

      And it’s not that even this concept is that hard for people to follow. But the crux of the argument is that we should move heaven and earth if we do something that gives someone bad feelings. This is actually, in part, the self-esteem generation coming home to roost.

      It’s not that difficult to just make the argument that gay people are just fine and dandy, but marriage is a different thing that has nothing to do with them. But this narcissistic generation that puts self-esteem and hurt feelings above all else has no principled way of saying no.

      The best thing conservatives and Christians can do is to play the victim card. They need to go on the offensive and show themselves being victimized by the various laws that discriminate against them. There is no other way. The victim/self-esteem/hurt feelings paradigm is too well established now.

      • faba calculo says:

        “It’s not that difficult to just make the argument that gay people are just fine and dandy, but marriage is a different thing that has nothing to do with them.”

        But it gets a lot harder once you start handing out legal/economic benefits based on being married.

        “It’s not that difficult to just make the argument that gay people are just fine and dandy, but marriage is a different thing that has nothing to do with them.”

        They’re way ahead of you. Hence all the bitching (and rightly so) over Elaine Cakes, the wedding photographer, the Boston diocese adoption program, etc.

  6. faba calculo says:

    “I have come to the conclusion that SSM damages not only the institution of marriage as a whole, but indeed the idea of natural law–on which is built the whole edifice of Anglo-American jurisprudence and political philosophy.”

    Fair enough. And, were I to come to this conclusion, I also would oppose gay marriage.

    “The US Constitution was founded around the concept of natural law, which contains the ‘unalienable rights’ with which we are ‘endowed by our Creator.’ These rights can’t be voted on, changed, or taken away, because they are not given to us by the state–we are born with them, and we would keep possessing them as intrinsic to our nature even if the state barred us access to them. The right to life, property, liberty, pursuit of happiness, etc. are only some of the traditionally-understood parts of natural law.”

    But those things, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, are not listed in the Constitution. Nor is there any mention of natural law in the Constitution. Nor is there any part of the Constitution that are off limit to amendment. Nor is the Declaration of Independence (their actual location) considered to be a legally binding document.

    “One of the most tangible and visible aspects of natural law has been marriage. Why? Because there is nothing more natural than the joining of one man and a woman as the nucleus of a family and for the purpose of procreation and the rearing of offspring; and natural law has done nothing but give legal recognition to this most natural of unions.”

    How do we know this? Where do we go to look up what natural law says or doesn’t say? If I say that equal protection under the law in a natural right and that it, in turn, requires that civil marriage be available to gays as well as to straights, how do we test this?

    “Natural law has also ensured that this institution remain at the basis of society, as centuries of tradition and custom have but confirmed that the healthier the family, the healthier the society.”

    Is natural law then merely what works?

    “One of the beauties of natural law is that it is by definition unchangeable. It is the immobile guiding star around which the whole machine of jurisprudence judges (or should) the justice of individual laws.”

    One could argue that that’s exactly why the idea of natural law might be invented out of nothing? That the idea that there were no moral absolutes was unappealing?

    “Should our society become completely detached from natural law, we would de facto no longer have a Constitution, and we would be at the mercy of the Zeitgeist.”

    It sounds like you’re saying that if the Zeitgeist decides against natural law, it’ll look to something else. But this is mere tautology. If you turn away from one thing, you, more or less, have to be turning towards something else. I understand you view things as natural law = good, Zeitgeist = bad, but it’s the Zeitgeist (i.e., the spirit of the age) that’s always in charge, pretty much by definition.

    “If we can vote to change such a basic, fundamental and tangible natural institution, then everything else can be voted on, and we therefore deny that there is any such thing as a natural right.”

    We are in that situation right now: everything can be voted on.

    “To put up such basic natural truths for a vote means turning a healthy society into a madhouse of Dr. Frankensteins trying to alter nature to suit their latest feverish dream. The protection of natural law is the only barrier standing between us and this nightmare scenario—as long as we understand it.”

    So your argument is that, if we allow gay marriage, horrible things will follow. Well, again, if this is the case, then gay marriage perhaps should not be allowed, but this article has done very little to show that this is actually the case.

    • Monsieur Voltaire says:

      Faba, you like playing sophist, and you are deliberately (and condescendingly) misunderstanding my words. I never said that certain language is contained in the Constitution–I said that the very idea of the Constitution is based on the concepts of Natural Law. No wonder the Declaration is imbued with the same spirit–the spirit that prompted this country to separate from what they saw as a source of arbitrary (i.e., positive) power.

      Sure, the Founders made the Constitution changeable, but you and I know that they made the process deliberately cumbersome, in deference to Classical theories on custom and Natural Law. Also, I never said that the Zeitgeist is “bad” (you are quick at putting words in people’s mouths, but you seem to be a lousy listener). I said that being at its mercy without the moderating effects of more timeless principles is dangerous. And that’s why I like Natural Law. Do you know about it? I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t–it’s not taught, save in very specialized courses, and our pop culture has done away with it while spending what’s left of its benefits like debauched heirs.

      Your last paragraph is downright childish, so I won’t dignify it with an answer, but if you re-read my article carefully, and not with a hasty anticipation to poke holes into it, you’ll see exactly why I see the breach of the traditional (natural) definition of marriage as a dangerous act of sabotage against Natural Law.

      I think your posts would be a lot more constructive (and frankly less tiresome) if you were to make a case for your point of view, rather than against that of others (more often than not, after you recast it as a caricature). Convince me that it’s a swell idea that we should take a vote every day on what [fill in the blank] should mean in our civilization. Argue that intellectually and with passion. Show me that history and tradition should begin today, every day (if that’s what you believe). I have made my case. Make yours, please.

  7. Black JEM says:

    Our only advantage here is that the gay population is going to become much poorer as assets get divided in divorce proceedings after the lawyers get their piece.

    I really don’t care what a court or a legislature says on gay marriage. They will never be married as far as I am concerned. Know one can force ME to accept that – which is why the New Mexico and Oregon cases are much more troubling to me. I am not in a retail trade thankfully. Could I hold up to that?

    More long term, the issue is moot. No country so separated from its founding ideals, regardless of how short they came to reaching them, can survive by chucking the ideals out of the window. This is what the American left has done. So when the govt starts being unable to meet their obligations to SS and Medicare (and it is going to happen at some point as long as democrats do not suddenly become extinct) it will be all on board. And at that point, the sheeple on the left will be lost and have no shepherd to come and save them. It could be ugly, or it could be a greater emancipation than that of the slaves during the civil war. But in the end, because things like gay marriage are not grounded on natural law, in the aftermath of the collapse those who recognized that natural law wasn’t a myth – and that utopia cannot be built on earth but is in heaven – will pick up the pieces and build anew. I am hopeful I can be there to help rebuild, and that those of us around find the task manageable.

    • faba calculo says:

      I am always amazed by how many people are convinced that, after the apocalypse, they will be the ones in charge.

      • Black JEM says:

        Never said I would be in charge – said I hoped to be around to pick up the pieces and build anew. There is a difference. Sad you missed it.

        • faba calculo says:

          Well, you wrote:

          “But in the end, because things like gay marriage are not grounded on natural law, in the aftermath of the collapse those who recognized that natural law wasn’t a myth…. will pick up the pieces and build anew.”

          I mean, won’t everyone who survives, whatever their take on natural rights, naturally be picking up the pieces after any collapse.

          But you did also write:

          “I am hopeful I can be there to help rebuild, and that those of us around find the task manageable."

          So it seems to me that you did and sort of didn't fall into this meme.

          • Black JEM says:

            You misread my thought – which I would expect – I am not speaking of the apocolypse or the ending of the nation – but the fracturing of the welfare state. And those who have grown dependent on it – and its belief systems – will be totally screwed.

            Right now, the only people getting ahead are those who don’t need the help. Misguided govt policy funnels more and more money into the hands of the well off, like me. I am restructuring debt because I have hard assets with high income which allows me to get most favorable terms – heck, Fannie bought my refinanced mortgage twice, because as my banker told me, Fannie offers the best rates to the best risks – the high risks can’t get a nibble, and they are the ones who need help because they don’t have a job or have had their hours cut due to Obamacare.

            But me, I am acquiring assets and socking away wealth and helping position my family the same way. So when the welfare state crashes I will be fine. And then we will need to rebuild the social constructs that the left tore down. That is what I meant by helping. You assume way too much about my need for control – that is your political philosophy, not mine. I am fine with live and live let live, but when some one makes stupid choices just don’t come around with your hand out without some conditions on my help. The govt doesn’t like that. Well, soon, the govt won’t be ina position to dictate terms.

            If it really all goes up in smoke, access to land and the ability to grow food and raise stock – as well as defend it would be paramount. But that is a world I just don’t see happening.

  8. faba calculo says:

    ” In some sense, we put too much emphasis on gay marriage if we don’t recognize that Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, and all the rest of these entitlements do as much, if not more, to separate us from nature reality, let alone natural law, and set us on the course to disintegration.”

    How does Social Security ‘separate us from nature reality’?

    • Black JEM says:

      Planning for what will – absent some catastrophe – be a known situation for us all, an old age where we may not feel either capable or willing to put in all the work necessary to meet our living expenses. We all hope to retire at some point, and seem to think that others should pay for it. It can be planned for.

      • faba calculo says:

        Certainly, it can be planned for. And maybe leaving everyone to plan for it completely on their own would be the best policy. But all that would do would be to make having Social Security a departure from the best policy. It wouldn’t do anything to make it a departure from reality!

        The truth about Social Security is that it makes retirement easier for a lot of people, and, therefore, likely does at least a little to make people less likely to save for their own retirement. It’s also an entitlement that can’t be maintained over the future while being funded purely from the current payroll tax. Therefore, we need to either understand that the the payroll needs to be increased, the cost of the benefits need to be cut, or money needs to be brought in from the general fund (as we do for nearly every other program out there). But this also hardly makes it an affront to reality.

        • Black JEM says:

          It is already being funded from the general fund – it passed its inflows a few years ago.

          The entire concept is screwy – it is actuarily unsound. It screws black men, and really pays off white and Asian women. It is a good deal for the poor, for they still get a least a small positive return, since the Fed and the consumer protection act essentially has ended savings accounts with any interest income to speak of.

          The entire concept takes money from the poorer cohorts of the population and funnels it to the group with the most wealth and assets. Truly dumb.

          Yes, I am sure it has helped some people who tried but could not save, or had some other issue impact their ability to save. But overall, a bad use of money. It is something the extreme majority of us know we will have in front of us, unlike disabilty or a serious injury or illness while still working.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      How does Social Security ‘separate us from nature reality’?

      The reality of taking care of yourself and your family. Social Security has allowed the bonds between parents and their children to be cut.

      Mark Steyn makes some wry observations about this in “America Alone.” But it’s just a fact that it will be either your family (and immediate local community) who supports you or it will be the government. And as the government inserts itself more and more into the role of family, the actual families become less important.

      And there are few things more reality-based than the family/extended-family. Perhaps gravity qualifies.

      And if this is what you want, fine. But realize there are some very degrading costs involved in having government as your surrogate spouse or parent. In fact, if you consider that there are up to one hundred trillion in unfunded socialist entitlement liabilities, the costs to society are more than just being a toady to the state. That kind of debt can, and will, have a devastating effect not only on our freedoms but our standard of living.

      I was just at the gas pump filling my car. And I overheard the conversation of a couple clearly blue-collar retired workers. God, I know what I never want to be. Let me never have my life reduced to the central interest being when I retired, how much I get for “free” from Social Security, what aches or pains are covered by Medicare, and this entire mindset that I see developing.

      I so wished that some religious “kook” had pulled up to the other pump and said,

      “Oh, what a beautiful day. It’s good to be alive. We’re given only so much time on this earth but, neighbor, I’m going to try to be grateful for every moment,.”

      I don’t know that most conservatives realize just what kind of new type of animal is evolving in our society. It’s not homo sapien. It’s homo entitlement. We are a now a degraded and ignoble people.

      • faba calculo says:

        “The reality of taking care of yourself and your family.”

        That’s not reality, it’s a potential aspect of reality. I was under the impression that, at least in the original claim, Social Security was cutting us off of from reality itself.

        “Social Security has allowed the bonds between parents and their children to be cut.”

        I and my brother, his wife, and multiple friends are all now living proof that this not true. I don’t care if there’s Social Security or not, as your parents get older, you’d better be prepared to see to it that they’re taken care of (assuming they aren’t ridiculously rich).

        “But realize there are some very degrading costs involved in having government as your surrogate spouse or parent.”

        You may wind up finding things even more degrading without a last line of defense. Private pensions (as opposed to 401K plans, which can be exhausted) are just about gone, and the costs of retirement can be highly variable. Some people, certainly, are going to skate their way to death and leave a good inheritance for their children and grand-children. God bless ’em.

        But you’re far more likely to outlive your savings (again, unless you are truly loaded) than you are to be shot up from invading Canadians or even Saudi terrorists. And a little collective-security vis a vis Social Security might not be such a bad thing to have in addition to our more traditional forms of defense. It will cost you some of your liberty, but all taxes do that.

        “In fact, if you consider that there are up to one hundred trillion in unfunded socialist entitlement liabilities, the costs to society are more than just being a toady to the state. That kind of debt can, and will, have a devastating effect not only on our freedoms but our standard of living.”

        But Social Security’s funding problems actually aren’t that great. The American Society of Actuaries has an interesting online game (see: http://www.actuary.org/content/play-social-security-game) showing different ways to close the Social Security shortfall via increased taxes and/or decreased spending. It’s worth having a go at it. Hell, it looks like just changing how we adjust benefits for inflation will fix 40% of the problem. I don’t think that Medicare is going to nearly so easy to fix, but SS isn’t that big a problem.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I and my brother, his wife, and multiple friends are all now living proof that this not true. I don’t care if there’s Social Security or not, as your parents get older, you’d better be prepared to see to it that they’re taken care of (assuming they aren’t ridiculously rich).

          It is true. Socialism and entitlements change the basic relationship between people and government. And plenty of people still care for family members. But the reality is that many don’t. The economics of it means they don’t have to. And remember, our parents and grandparents almost certainly had more children than they are having today. There is thankfully usually one good child who is willing to do the work that the others won’t.

          But families are now decreasing in size. The U.S. is barely at a replacement rate. And with a Ponzi scheme such as Social Security, you need a pyramid that is increasing in size, not staying the same size or, as in Europe, actually shrinking.

          One can view the government being the surrogate parent as a good thing or a bad thing. But it is. And the large footprint of government in our lives is having an increasing effect on how we live, think, and behave. And very often the effect is to incentivize bad behavior such as has happened to black families, nearly destroying them. These things matters.

          As for the viability of Social Security, I don’t think the idea that there is up to one trillion in unfunded liabilities is controversial. This system is set to break down. What we need to do is phase it out. If there must be government-enforced retirement accounts, there are much better ways to it then this present dishonest and unsustainable scheme.

          • Black JEM says:

            SS is not in the shape that Medicare is in. ANd changing some benefit formulas and increasing the age of payout would help.

            But plans for me to pay even more into the system when I won’t get out what I put in now are a non-starter for me.

            • faba calculo says:

              I’m not saying that all ways of fixing SS should be seen as equally good. I’m saying that it’s fixable without radically altering its nature. That’s something that most just don’t seem to get. I’m glad that you do.

          • faba calculo says:

            “As for the viability of Social Security, I don’t think the idea that there is up to one trillion in unfunded liabilities is controversial.”

            No, just not all that telling. Those shortfalls are usually measured over either 75 years or all eternity (though the shortfall is converted to its present value, making the difference between 75 years and all eternity not nearly as great as it sounds). Even over just 75 years, however, raising another trillion in tax in an economy the size of the US isn’t THAT hard. Likewise, cutting a trillion dollars in a program the size of SS over those same 75 won’t be all that impossible either. Like I said, altering the way inflation is calculated by itself appears to be able to close 40% of the gap by itself.

            This system is set to break down. What we need to do is phase it out. If there must be government-enforced retirement accounts, there are much better ways to it then this present dishonest and unsustainable scheme.

            • Black JEM says:

              Agreed – but our first real attempt with Bush crashed and died. My guess is that a democrat politician will have to propose it to give it a chance. As much as I hate compulsary retirement savings, at least it would be an improvement on the current system for a number of reason, including the ability for the retirement accounts to be handed down to children at death, which would help families build wealth.

              • faba calculo says:

                Aw, hell. I pasted some of Brad’s writing into my comment to respond to, but at the bottom I included a paragraph of his but forgot to put quotes around it or respond, thereby making it look like my own writing. Sorry, Brad. Also, it confused the issue, making it look like something I believed when I don’t. Sorry, everyone. My only defense is that it was late, and I was rushing so I could go to sleep (the server handling this site must be on the west coast, as it sure as hell wasn’t 10:20 here on the east coast when I wrote this).

                Personally, I like have SS around. It needs some adjustments, but with those, it’ll run just fine for the foreseeable future. Any switch to a system of individual accounts is going to require borrowing trillions of more dollars in order to pay current beneficiaries after the payroll tax contributions stop.

  9. Monsieur Voltaire says:

    All,

    Perhaps I should have done a better job at explaining Natural law. The concept was pretty much settled in the Middle Ages (if not already in pagan Roman jurisprudence), and it hinged on *very* few universal (i.e., self-evident) principles, mostly based on the “do unto others” notion. The idea behind them is that they are so basic they are self-evident, and therefore, they no more need to be constantly put into doubt than the fact that it is better to be healthy and alive than dead, to be happy than miserable, to be free rather than in captivity, to be temperate rather than subjected to violent extremes, and to be virtuous rather than destructive to self and others.

    The “God-given” issue is poetry. As is “natural.” They both are more poignant ways to say “self-evident and not up for constant review.”

    These few self-evident principles became the scale with which the justice of individual laws were measured. The less they violated these principles, the more just. For instance (one of you brought up slavery), being enslaved very much violated natural law, and therefore was violently condemned by its proponents. As did using violence for aggression, as opposed to legitimate self-defense.

    You may now ask me–well, MV, what the heck does SSM have to do with natural law? The concept of marriage appears quite regularly in legal treatises as one of the most tangible examples of natural law: since it’s naturally self-evident that it takes a man and a woman to procreate, and that timeless custom (the “little sister” of natural law) has healthy children learning from and being tempered through interaction with both parents, then calling anything “marriage” rather than a union between a man and a woman is absurd. Even in the case when couples don’t procreate, this nucleus is still the natural one based on biology and anatomy. This is also why pedophilia was considered a grave violation of natural law–children can’t procreate, besides being easy prey to stronger adults.

    Bottom line: take away self-evident truths (i.e., a postulates) from not only law, but also any art or activity, and you get nihilism and anarchy. If any man can have his own truths (thank you, Justice Kennedy), then the world has no order and we are all strange madmen to our neighbors.

    • RobL_V2 RobL_V2 says:

      I’m feeling frustrated MV. I offered similar explanations of natural law above yet they get no traction. Its simply impossible to carry on a discussion with people who continue to propagate the irrational ‘what feels right is right’ mindset. Its mindless.

      • Monsieur Voltaire says:

        Please keep it up, Rob, I know you to be one of the good guys. Sometimes it takes a few knocks at the door to be let in. Just remember you’re not alone in this quest. I too oscillate between optimism and pessimism–but at least I know that unlike our grandfathers, we have this magical medium to be heard. And, like facts, I too am stubborn. 😉

        • RobL_V2 RobL_V2 says:

          Thanks MV.

          ‘…then falls Caesar’

          No too pessimistic.

          Caesar – ‘Bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible’

          Brutus – ‘There are not tricks in plain and simple faith’

          Caesar – ‘Men at some time are masters of their fates. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.’

          Yes that hits the mark.

          Today I’ll allow optimism to dawn.

          (Note- Shakespeare’s quotes not in order of appearance)

      • CCWriter CCWriter says:

        Rob, I’m not being dismissive of your concerns. But I think this is supposed to be a place where we can help each other hone our arguments and even our thinking by testing them. Not where we get mad because the others still don’t agree with us 100%, and then further muddy the waters by characterizing their viewpoint as something it’s not.

        Or perhaps you are not referring to me.

      • faba calculo says:

        The probelm is that your natural law arguments are not convincing if one is not already in agreement with natural law philosophy. Lacking that, your arguments are a bunch of dire predictions with no support.

        I guess what’s missing here, from both of us, is any statement about what it will take to falsify the world views on gay marriage that each of us is putting forward, viewed from, say, the vantage of a generation hence.

        At the micro level, which is to say the level of the individual household, empirical evidence that the step-children of previously heterosexual marriages where one member is now living in a gay relationship come out measurably better off living with the straight parent than they do in the custody of the gay parent AND that more children are now living with the gay parent than had been the case in the past due to the acceptance of gay marriage would be telling against my position.

        Likewise, evidence showing that children born into gay households do worse than children born into other marrigae arrangements AND that gays are having more children as a result of having their marriages legally recognized.

        At a more society-wide macro level, time series and cross sectional data of countries where some do and some don’t have gay marriage could be used to see if various social pathologies grow worse faster in countries that allow gay marriage. Obviously, other factors would have to be controlled for, with which factors get controlled depending on which social pathology is being studied.

        Would you agree and/or add anything here on how your or my stated views on the consequences of permitting gay marriage could be empirically falsified?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I mentioned slavery. And for some people, it seems the most natural thing in the world. Yes, it may suck being on the wrong end of it, but it is a natural law of the jungle that the strong dominate the weak. The same with abortion. The Left would define “a woman’s right to choose” as a natural law. To some extent, it does matter who is writing the law or interpreting it.

      I agree on the broad strokes, that people want to be alive, that there is a right to self defense, there is a right to property, etc. But even the idea of a right to your property can be countermanded by seeing, for instance, the family unit itself (a communistic arrangement) as a natural law, therefore legitimizing socialism or Communism. And some people do just that.

      In regards to marriage, surely there would have been a time when polygyny would have been thought to be in line with the universe.

      I think one eye needs to be on natural law, but it’s not the final say, no more so than, say, natural theology has the final say in terms of the Christian faith. There are just certain agreed-up principles that are considered bedrock because of faith and tradition and they are not gotten to by reason alone.

      Myself, I don’t tend to want to make a natural law argument against gay marriage. Materially speaking, and all else being equal, gay marriage theoretically does little harm. In a perfect world, it really could be seen as a “no skin off my teeth” situation. But we have to live in the real world. And in the real world, people need reasons to commit to each other in marriage. And as we see in Europe, and as outlined by Mark Steyn, if you diminish the concept of marriage (and the very idea of needing to maintain your civilization through procreation), you are doomed. Maybe not today, but soon, and for the rest of your life.

      In the real world (at least the real world with a vigorous and noxious Left), gay marriage works to cheapen the idea of marriage. And when things are cheapened, they are not as much valued. And we need people to take marriage and their children seriously.

      If there is a natural law argument against gay marriage, it’s the same one I use against Big Government: Either the government takes care of us or we take care of ourselves. And if the latter, the support structure required is a family, extended family, and local private charities. The latter is the only way to maintain substantial freedom. The only alternative is government as surrogate parent or nanny and the subsequent loss of freedom, and most likely a good deal of prosperity.

      In that dichotomy, gay marriage is harmful because it makes a joke of the idea of marriage and family. And it turns our vision from the necessities to buying too easily into Utopian fantasies. And it matters that we don’t undermine marriage if we value freedom and good societies. We’ve seen what entitlements, no-fault divorce laws, the sexual revolution, feminism, and other things have done to put pressure on marriage. In some case, especially in the black community, it’s done more than put pressure. It has contributed to a 70% rate of broken families.

      If (a big if) big government was not an issue, and there was no modern Left, I think we could make an accommodation with gay marriage. But the situation we have now is yet a new “right” that puts that much more pressure on sustaining a good and free civilization.

      We can’t keep socializing the costs associated with playing fantasy games with reality, including various social engineering schemes and economic delusions. Few seem to understand that our deficit, debt, and unfunded entitlement liabilities are a ticking time bomb. Tweaking is not an option because it assumes interest rates will always be as artificially low as they are now. I think few people understand just what kind of a shit storm is coming (although Glenn Beck certainly does). It’s just a matter of when, not if.

      • faba calculo says:

        I would rely on the Society of Actuaries and the CBO much sooner than I would on Glenn Beck.

        If you want to avoid the shitstorm, then what is bought must be paid for. That can happen through increased taxes, decreased spending, or a mixture, but it’s leaving these deficits in place, decade after decade, that will be the ruin of the nation’s credit.

        Healthy societies can cut deals within themselves. That’s what produced the Constitution in the first place. Few if any loved it fresh out of the box, but they knew they were better off with it than they were with the Articles of Confederation, which were slowly dragging them to worse and worse places.

        At this point, I’d just tell the Dems we should close the deficit over the long-term (the budget doesn’t need to be balanced tomorrow), and that it should done with 75% cuts and 25% new taxes. Make the cuts built into the entitlements themselves, with additional cuts in place set to take off if the estimated savings don’t fully emerge. Then, in the last, if the savings still don’t emerge, set that to trigger a repeal of the tax cuts.

        As for where the cuts should be made, you start with my salary (for those of you who don’t know, I’m a federal employee). Just don’t end there!

        • Black JEM says:

          I think Paul Ryan was trying to make just this argument faba. Of course it didn’t get very far. Perhaps the next attempt will be better received. Heck the sequester that just eliminated some automatic baseline increases and only reduced the level of increase appeared to have some positive impact on the annual budget deficit.

          What if we actually held it constant for two years and strongly worked to move medicare to a defined contribution scheme? That could buy us some more time – a lot more. Add in privatized SS and you are now really talking. Clean up some ot the more egregious distortions in the tax code – deductibility of state and local income taxes as well as the mortgage deduction – and maybe you get some momentum.

          This still allows us significant military expenditures (I would like more Navy, not less) to protect our interests and trade. Trade is our lifeblood and we cannot forget it. And what if we really wentt all in on our oil and gas exploration boom through fracking. The royalties to govt and good paying jobs to people would create even more space to operate.

          • faba calculo says:

            Ryan’s suggestion vis a vis Medicare were excellent. I was already for Romney, but I wasn’t all that excited. Adding Ryan to the team really kicked me into a higher gear. But I don’t think I’d call what he proposed a defined contribution plan. In fact, at its heart, he maintained all the Medicare benefits. He just opened up things to competition to anyone who thought that they could provide the Medicare package more cheaply.

            • Black JEM says:

              If you look in the detail it was at its heart a defined contribution plan – but just for folks younger than 55 – otherwise you were locked into the current plan going forward. There would also be a means testing as far as continued contribution levels going forward.

              • faba calculo says:

                I don’t think that whether or not something is means-tested does anything to make a plan DC vs. DB.

                Furthermore, the amount the government would contribute wasn’t really what was defined. The contribution was set equal to the cost of the second cheapest plan that could offer that level of benefits. If you wanted your Medicare benefits (possibly plus some more) from another company, you had to pay the balance. But the amount the government paid wasn’t fixed. It would vary based upon what the premiums were for the second cheapest plan. If that increased at 7% a year, so did Ryan’s contribution.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I don’t think the American public or the politic class are mature enough, moral enough, or intellectually robust enough to tackle the problem of entitlement reform/elimination.

          But it does provide a great Cloward-Piven-like opportunity for those to jump in and “fix” things after they have collapsed. This is exactly what I expect to see happen. And that is not hard to predict. Just as the housing boom and bust was blamed on Wall Street (and successfully so), just as this global warming scam was blamed on capitalism, so the explosion of entitlements will be blamed on capitalism, the Constitution, and every little thing that stands in the way of complete control by the statists.

          We are watching the disintegration of America and freedom. And very few people are willing to stand up and call a spade a spade. It’s not a matter of reforming it. Big Government has gotten so big, it’s now a matter of trying to replace it with something else. We now have King George and a run-away Parliament in our midst. In a way (as someone astutely already mentioned), you have Washington DC asserting itself as a type of foreign government. It is not restrained by the Constitution. It is barely these days restrained by anything.

          • faba calculo says:

            “I don’t think the American public or the politic class are mature enough, moral enough, or intellectually robust enough to tackle the problem of entitlement reform/elimination.”

            When I contemplate the American public, and when I consider their past exploits, a strong hope of victory animates me. Their spirit, their age, their valor, give me confidence—to say nothing of necessity, which makes even cowards brave.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              We elected an America-hating Marxist for president — twice. That’s not encouraging. Nor is the brand of human being being shaped by dependence upon government entitlements Add in the finishing touches of political correctness, our vapid mass entertainment culture, and our dumbed-down schools and your average American is lost.

              And consider the number of people who readily believe the BS spouted by government. We have become Orwellian drones in all too many cases. It’s all fine and dandy to put together words of noble conceit, but it is conceit all the same. The American public right now is asleep at the wheel.

              • faba calculo says:

                It’s the last sentence that I was primarily interested in: necessity has a way of bringing people to their senses.

  10. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    The Left seeks to design reality…

    Rob has just said in six words what I struggle to do in six thousand.

    That is the crux of it. That is the difference between the vision of the Founders wherein the very purpose of the government was to allow us all to pursue happiness in the world of our own making as opposed to the vision of statists of all stripes who want to create that world for us.

    Why have we Americans shrunk back from designing our own destinies and are all too willing to accept the pre-packaged one from the nitwits, demagogues, and charlatans of government?

    Yes, one can have one’s loyalties bought off by government in various way, whether through entitlements or a job. I understand that, and that is no small factor. Still, how did we so easily lose that spirit of ousting the buttinskies and telling them to take a flying leap? What happened to the spirit of Sam Adams or Patrick Henry? Why have so many of us become such wimps and apologists for such dishonest sappiness as flows out of government and so many areas of our culture?

  11. Perpetua Perpetua says:

    As M. Voltaire has so eloquently pointed out, one cannot simply bypass the facts of nature and their implications and expect everything to proceed swimmingly. By every secular definition (before the shocking recent reversals, that is), marriage is a relationship that not only cements two spouses together but has the power within itself to generate a family, which all parties agree is the building block of society. Whether spouses make use of that generative power or not does not negate this self-evident principle. Societies have allowed variations on this theme, such as polygamy, but this is the theme. Two men can’t do that and two women can’t, so their relationship is simply not the equivalent of one that could. Even societies like ancient Greece that are purported to have had a higher tolerance for homoeroticism never confused it with the marital relationship. Alcibiades never marched through the agora to demand that he be allowed to marry Socrates (if it is true that their relationship had this element) or any of his other admirers. However lamentably people may fall short in their marriages, that does not negate the powerful fact of nature and history that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that this is the relationship that needs strengthening for personal and social betterment, not man and man or woman and woman.

    I bemoan the current state of marriage (and lack thereof), but calling an unnatural relationship by the same name as a natural one will only make the state of marriage worse, not better. Expanding the definition of marriage beyond a man and a woman effectively eliminates it from our vocabulary, laws, and eventually national customs. Consider that Canada, which has acknowledged homosexual marriage, has subsequently purged all terms used for marriage and family relationships from their laws and public vocabulary because those terms assume that natural blood relationship which homosexual unions can never have. To make the pretend marriages equal (to borrow M. Voltaire’s term), regulators have had to create entirely new terms that apply equally to all relationships, terms that have no meaning outside what the state says, effectively wiping marriage and family from Canadian law. I read this in an article written by a thoughtful Christian Canadian who has lived through this and who knows Canadian law; this is not apocalyptic hype. (It has been a couple of years since I read this, but I can try to find that article for you again if you’d like to read it. And by now I imagine there are more articles online about this.) Is making marriage and family even more malleable and subject to personal whim, and wiping binding blood relationships from the law really going to encourage people stick with their spouses and take better care of their families? Wouldn’t insisting that man and woman really are (not just have) interchangeable parts likely produce more relational and social chaos than we already have with serial marriages, cohabitation, “open marriages”/mistresses, and no-fault divorce? More “open” interpretations of the marital relationship have already made things worse, not better.

    If people want to satisfy their erotic desires in unnatural ways in private, that is one matter, and one in which I am not prepared or entitled to interfere. That’s tolerance. I appreciate people’s useful contributions to work and society, as well as their kindness towards their neighbors, no matter what their personal life is like. I appreciated it when my gay neighbors in a previous neighborhood cut my small patch of grass whenever they mowed their lawn since I had no mower myself and no budget to purchase one. But the demand for legal support for their sexual behavior–and the corollary elimination of polite dissent with their behavior–is quite another issue, and I am prepared and entitled to courteously resist that with my voice and my vote.

    • faba calculo says:

      “By every secular definition (before the shocking recent reversals, that is), marriage is a relationship that not only cements two spouses together but has the power within itself to generate a family, which all parties agree is the building block of society. ”

      Were it possible to show societies of the past that allowed gay marriage, how many would it take to falsify this statement?

      “Whether spouses make use of that generative power or not does not negate this self-evident principle.”

      But what if the hetero couple in question actually lacks any generative power? Doesn’t letting them marry then violate your principle?

      “Expanding the definition of marriage beyond a man and a woman effectively eliminates it from our vocabulary, laws, and eventually national customs. Consider that Canada, which has acknowledged homosexual marriage, has subsequently purged all terms used for marriage and family relationships from their laws and public vocabulary because those terms assume that natural blood relationship which homosexual unions can never have.”

      But Canada has not from its vocabulary, laws, or customs. All that it’s done is stop using gender-specific terms in its legal documents. Marriage in Canada is no long between just a man and a woman. But in terms of language, law, and custom, it otherwise moves forward.

      ” But the demand for legal support for their sexual behavior–and the corollary elimination of polite dissent with their behavior–is quite another issue, and I am prepared and entitled to courteously resist that with my voice and my vote.”

      You are indeed!

      • Monsieur Voltaire says:

        Faba, frankly, the more you write, the less you have to say–only two-bit rhetorical questions or too-clever-by-half retorts to the thoughtful posts you pretend to be answering. There’s a word for that: trolling. If this was my site, you would have already received a stern warning–but since it isn’t, I’ll merely skip your posts like so much white noise.

        • faba calculo says:

          “Faba, frankly, the more you write, the less you have to say”

          Something largely true all around. The more the same topic gets broached, the more old arguments get repeated.

          “only two-bit rhetorical questions or too-clever-by-half retorts to the thoughtful posts you pretend to be answering”

          My questions aren’t rhetorical, I was hoping for a real response, especially on the topic of falsification. I mean, is there NOTHING that could happen that you would consider having falsified your views of gay marriage? If so (I’m saying IF so), you can’t be holding them rationally.

          “There’s a word for that: trolling.”

          Irrelevant, since that is NOT what I am doing.

          “If this was my site, you would have already received a stern warning–but since it isn’t, I’ll merely skip your posts like so much white noise.”

          That is unfortunate, as I offered you a REAL chance to have a REAL discussion on the world views you and I were expressing on gay marriage. Again, the issue of falsification of a view is one of the key things separating a reasoned view from one composed purely of ideology. So I went first, attempting to lay out the conditions under which my view would be falsified. To my regret, you chose not to respond in kind.

  12. Perpetua Perpetua says:

    Now, wait a minute, no need to pull the “t” word; I took FC’s questions as questions. I’m wondering if you have found any cultures that have recognized homoerotic relationships as legitimate marriage, Faba, as I don’t know of any. (Besides our own, of course) I know the most about Greece and Rome, and I have read, for example, that Nero “married” a boyfriend of his in a ceremony that imitated a real marriage, but no one, especially not the law, took it seriously. If you have evidence of homosexual marriage, not just homosexual relationships, in other contexts, please enlighten us. One point we natural law folks are making is exactly that

    To address your other questions–the parts in which the generative power resides and the act in which they participate are ordered toward the procreation of children, i.e. producing offspring are their physiological purpose. They may not succeed in achieving that end–sometimes because of human interference, sometimes not–but that does not erase their fundamental purpose nor destroy the natural correlation between marriage and family. To make that concrete, the purpose of a car is to convey me from one place to another; that is why it is built the way it is, with wheels, an engine, and the rest of its complicated network of parts. The car’s purpose does not change from transportation to shelter just because I decide to use it as a house, or not use it at all. And though I might rightly be deemed an idiot for not using my car for transportation, it does not cease to become a car when I fail to use it for its intended purpose. It’s a car by definition and it is ordered toward transporting me somewhere. So no, a man and woman who marry do not cease to have a marriage when they fail to have children.

    Canada has “only” stopped using gender-specific and blood-relationship terms in law. And the human rights commission has only been prosecuting, fining, and silencing those who do not adhere to the new orthodoxy of treating pretend marriage as marriage. Law is not created or enforced in a vacuum but depends on and influences language, custom, culture, education, the press, and most importantly, the people who are now expected to change the way they think and speak so that they can live by it. It is PC thought-police run amok and armed with the authority and punishment of the law to punish those who insist on the old words and on upholding patterns of living predicated on them. I’m sorry, but I can’t see why this change is not a big deal. Customs and language, unlike laws, do not change in a day, and but change they do when the law changes, and I am concerned about the changes that have already transpired in Canada, as well as further changes that the law makes possible (if not imperative), and I don’t want them happening in my own country. At least I am not going to be an instrument in making those changes.

    I hope this clarifies my points, Faba, even if it doesn’t convince you. I can live with that. 🙂

    • faba calculo says:

      “I’m wondering if you have found any cultures that have recognized homoerotic relationships as legitimate marriage, Faba, as I don’t know of any.”

      I’m currently reading ‘Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage’ which is an extremely broad historical view of what marriage is and has been in the past. There do appear to be societies where the same institution that was used for straights to form unions for reproduction were also available to same-sex couples. However, details are faint in many of them. It would, in fact, be the society you are most familiar wtih, the Greco-Roman world, where the best examples appear to be found, and even there, the record is thin. Neverthesless, Juvenal reports at one point

      “‘I have a ceremony to attend,’ quoth one, ‘at dawn to-morrow, in the Quirinal valley.’ ‘What is the occasion?’ ‘No need to ask: a friend is taking to himself a husband; quite a small affair.’ Yes, and if we only live long enough, we shall see these things done openly: people will wish to see them reported among the news of the day. Meanwhile these would-be brides have one great trouble: they can bear no children wherewith to keep the affection of their husbands; well has nature done in granting to their desires no power over their bodies. They die infertile; naught avails them the medicine-chest of the bloated Lyde, or to hold out their hands to the blows of the swift-footed Luperci!'”

      Furthermore, Martial reports

      “The bearded Callistratus has been taken in marriage by the lusty Afer, in the same way as a virgin is usually taken in marriage by her husband. The torches shone forth, the flame-coloured veil concealed the bride’s countenance, and the language heard at bridals was not wanting. Even the dowry was settled. Does not this seem yet enough to you, Rome? Do you expect that the bride should present the spouse with pledges of affection?”

      Finally, there’s the fact that the Theodosian Code seems to condemn the act of gays marrying, which only seems to have sense if it had been happening.

      The problem here is that my knowledge of the Greco-Roman world, as I’ve already indicated in early comments on what I know of Sparta, is very low. Nor is it clear at what point would Roman gay marriage become like our gay marriage, standing with full legal equality to straight marriage. If some powerful man goes to the temple to be wed to another man and the priests are scared to say no, does that mean that Rome had gay marriage? As for the attitudes of the masses, what Latin opinion polls have survived that era? Were there any government benefits given only to the married that we could use as our measuring rod?

      In the end, I think that the most we can say is that, even if there were gay marriages that were allowed at a few points, 99.9999% of all marriages were almost certainly between men and women.

      “To address your other questions–the parts in which the generative power resides and the act in which they participate are ordered toward the procreation of children”

      As I see it, what the genitals evolved to do (which was, no doubt, in part aimed at reproduction) isn’t all that relevant to the question of what humans require of a relationship for it to count as a marriage. That marriage is almost always (at least intended to be) life long must say that its purpose extends beyond having and raising children. That it’s (at least usually) open to couples who are clearly past the age of childbirth says the same thing.

      “I’m sorry, but I can’t see why this change [in Canadian custom] is not a big deal.”

      As for the freedom of speech issue involving people who are getting in trouble in Canada just for displaying verses from the Bible condemning homosexuality, that IS a big deal. But that flows from the fact that Canada has weak protections for free speech compared to the US, not because they have gay marriage. I mean, I remember the guy in Canada who went to jail for denying the Holocaust. That, also, I find very upsetting. Canada has almost no religious broadcasting, because (as I understand it) the airwaves there belong to the state, not to the people to be administered by the state, so “separation of Church and State says uh-uh to religious broadcasting. Again, Canada simply has weak protections for speech and religion compared to the US. Thus, I’d say that this is a problem with Canada, not with gay marriage.

      “I hope this clarifies my points, Faba, even if it doesn’t convince you.”

      I really think that we should bag the idea of “changing the mind” of each other. The question of gay marriage is one that both sides rarely change their minds about. If we’re only coming here to change the mind of someone else, we might as well give up coming here at all. And I think we all already know this. We don’t come here with the expectation that someone on the other side of an issue will “see the light”. We come here for the camaraderie, the debate, and the entertainment of it.

      Or, put more succinctly, facts aren’t the only stubborn things that can be found at this website. 😉

      • Perpetua Perpetua says:

        I think your conclusion that “even if there were gay marriages that were allowed at a few points, 99.9999% of all marriages were almost certainly between men and women” is correct about Greece and Rome. The two sources you quoted are also satirists, so be careful about taking what they say at face value–they tend to fix on the most outrageous people and facets of life, and then caricature them further for comic effect–but I’m sure your source mentioned that. There was no such thing as “full legal standing” for the relationship between a man and his male lover (the most typical homosexual arrangement that shows up in our sources–esp. an older man and a younger one, even a boy)–legal marriage was between a man and a woman and typically involved the expectation of children–“procreandorum liberorum causa.” You can find as many quotes (as I suspect the ones above) mocking homosexual relationships as celebrating them, and the men in these relationships did not appear to understand themselves as “homosexuals”–a modern term–but as men who had their wives and also their lovers, of either sex. Most men looked down on the “eromenos” or passive male partner, which begs the question as to how honorable the relationship can really be if it degrades one of the people in it. You might have a look at Kenneth Dover’s “Greek Homosexuality” if you are interested in more details.

        One other point I’d like to respond to is that yes, you are right that marriage is more than producing and raising children; it ties two people together for life emotionally and spiritually. But friendship can do the latter without creating familial ties; only marriage between a man and woman can integrate both. One purpose does not and should not exclude the other, and the physical and spiritual sides of marriage are severed to one’s (or society’s) peril rather than to one’s health.

        • faba calculo says:

          “marriage is more than producing and raising children; it ties two people together for life emotionally and spiritually. But friendship can do the latter without creating familial ties; only marriage between a man and woman can integrate both. One purpose does not and should not exclude the other, and the physical and spiritual sides of marriage are severed to one’s (or society’s) peril rather than to one’s health.”

          But this just misses the plain and obvious fact that gay marriages are also busy, even as we speak, combining the physical acts of having and raising of children on the one hand with the emotional and spiritual aspects on the other. I don’t see how one can assert that only male/female marriage can do this when this is contradicted by simple observation.

          All that male/female intercourse has that gay intercourse doesn’t is the ability to have and raise children that are biologically related to both of the parents. But if straight couples who, for instance, resort to artificial insemination or surrogacy are not denied the status of “family” on those grounds, why should gays be so denied?

          • Monsieur Voltaire says:

            Because a child cannot be born without the union of a man and a woman, and parenting does not stop at the moment of conception. At least it does not in a healthy society, which we in the West no longer are. But arguing for a further aberration by pointing out that aberration is the new normal is only doubling down on hubristic insanity.

            I take it as a postulate that a child with a mom and a dad to raise him, with the unique combined treasures that only a male and female parent can jointly give, is a child that is raised as nature intended. I don’t need a study telling me that, and one can only argue the opposite by pointing at exceptions, aberrations and degenerate customs like serial single parenting (for which I mostly blame men) and calling them the norm. You don’t hear too many normal people saying “thank God I wasn’t raised in a two-parent family.”

            Which is why marriage is–was, and always will be–an institution between one man and one woman, as unimaginative as that may be for our novelty-hungry, pathologically-bored culture. Period. The truth of that cannot be up for a vote any more than an individual’s gender can be, pace those who think that gender is nothing but a cultural imposition. (I wish I could declare myself a woman right before using the gym’s locker-room–for I’d much rather be surrounded by well-toned au naturel naiads than by a bunch of endomorphic naked guys–but that’s just tough cheese, and I would be the first to call myself an idiot if I seriously made a case for it.)

            Whether we believe this on grounds of natural law, religion, custom, tradition or plain evolution theory, the fact is that our swanky little post-civilizational “designer society” is dying out, while others that don’t play god with themselves are quickly replacing us. In the end, there just may not be an absolute, knowable truth about this issue–but those of us who believe that SSM is an aberration don’t do necessarily so out of homophobia, which was the whole point of my article.

            • faba calculo says:

              “Because a child cannot be born without the union of a man and a woman, and parenting does not stop at the moment of conception.”

              But that’s my point: the parenting isn’t just in the conception, and conception is the only vital thing that is plainly unique to male/female pairings. The rest are empirical issues.

              “I take it as a postulate that a child with a mom and a dad to raise him, with the unique combined treasures that only a male and female parent can jointly give, is a child that is raised as nature intended.”

              It seems like you are doing more than taking it as a postulate: you’re taking it as an axiom, as something self-evident. And it’s not. As I say, how well clearly an empirical issue.

              Btw, is this, then, your answer to my earlier question about what could falsify your world view on gay marriage: nothing? No amount of evidence, no supply of empirical studies, no plethora of examples dancing in front of you?

              “Which is why marriage is–was, and always will be–an institution between one man and one woman”

              Surely you don’t mean that literally. I mean, the ONE man and ONE woman thing at the very least hasn’t always been true. Not that that fact, by itself, necessarily means that marriage should ever be between two men. It was just a jarring statement, so I seek clarification.

              “The truth of that cannot be up for a vote any more than an individual’s gender can be”

              Well, CIVIL marriage certainly can be put up for a vote, and that is all I desire to have voted on. And that is what is now, in fact, being voted on.

              Now, if you are referring to a more spiritual form of marriage, one decreed by God or grounded in natural law, well, I’d no more expect that to be a statement that can be confirmed or denied any more than can the existence of God or natural law themselves.

              “those of us who believe that SSM is an aberration don’t do necessarily so out of homophobia, which was the whole point of my article.”

              No, not necessarily. And, if you check my original comment on your article, I think you’ll find that this was the first thing I acknowledge: if the evidence were ever convince me of some of the arguments of the anti-gay marriage movement (e.g., that permitting gay marriage will significantly harm the institution of marriage itself), then I myself would oppose it.

  13. NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

    I think you’re on to something with your natural law argument, Monsieur, but I also believe the case can be made that SSM or “pretend-marriage” devalues real marriage much the way counterfeit currency devalues real money. And I think we’re ultimately going to have to make this case, or at least show why marriage is of value to society whereas SSM is not, if we want to avoid losing the argument by default.

    • Monsieur Voltaire says:

      Thanks, Nahalkides, you are absolutely right. There’s the theoretical case (my point), and there’s the agenda case (your point). Here’s the rather diabolical smoking gun regarding what you say (emphasis mine):

      As recently as the early 1990’s, Paula Ettelbrick, then policy director for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, strongly opposed the idea of making same-sex marriage part of the gay rights agenda, much less a priority. Rejecting marriage, she said, was a long held feature of radical feminism, and encouraging lesbian women and gay men to marry would “assimilate” the movement to American social norms and interfere with their ultimate goal of “transforming the very fabric of society.”

      Midway through the 1990’s something changed in America to redirect the policy direction of militant feminists and homosexuals with respect to marriage and family life. Gay and lesbian leaders began shifting toward promoting marriage, not because they had different goals, but rather because they began seeing that a radically subjective restructuring of marriage and family would achieve the same ultimate purpose. They began to see that revolutionizing the socially accepted, legally enforced meaning of marriage to the point of making gender identity totally irrelevant and completely severing parenting from the social purpose of marriage would eventually lead toward the abolition of marriage itself as a legally relevant social category.

      By the end of the 1990’s most gay and lesbian advocates, including Ettelbrick and Polikoff, had fallen in line to promote same-sex marriage as the new face of the revolutionary movement to normalize homosexual behavior in American culture. That did not mean, however, that leaders of the gay normalizing movement had developed a more hopeful view of marriage itself. While overt statements on abolishing the institution were hushed, this general shift in tone was more a matter of strategy than conversion, and some could not refrain from letting it be known they still desired the demise of marriage altogether. If marriage could not be abolished by rendering it illegal, the same result could be reached by rendering marriage so meaningless there would be no social incentives for getting married in the first place.

      So gay normalizing family law specialist Martha Ertman revised Martha Fineman’s plan for abolishing legal recognition of marriage altogether by instead suggesting the meaning of marriage in law should be replaced with a contract system accepting and affirming any combination of sex or number …

      You can read the whole thing with footnotes referencing the words of the movement’s proponents at http://www.profam.org/pub/rs/rs_2207.htm. This article and its sources should be required reading to all wanting to speak knowledgeably about the issue.

      Bottom line: don’t be a useful idiot. Know what you’re supporting, why and most importantly, what the proponents of such ideas are on record as wanting.

  14. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    There’s an advantage to getting one’s values from the general Zeitgeist. If there is an injustice, such an injustice can, at least in theory, be remedied fairly quickly.

    In fact, that’s just what William Wilberforce and a bunch of evangelical British Christians did in regards to almost completely irradicating slavery from the planet (with no small help of the might and prestige of the British Empire). Within a relatively short time, Wilberforce and his cohorts changed attitudes and changed behaviors. (But even then, their values were based in very old principles.)

    But there’s a downside to getting one’s values from the Zeitgeist, from fads and fashions, from the fast-food lane. The problem with having unfixed morals is that it’s like putting a frozen Pop-Tart into a toaster. If you control the propaganda, you can heat up people about any subject on command, as has been done in the case of gay marriage. And I’ve yet to run into someone who had gained sudden enthusiasm for this idea of gay marriage who seems even the least bit conscious of this fact.

    Untethering major things from natural law — or just good, time-tested practices — is a very risky proposition. For every success there have been probably a half dozen tragedies.

    For instance, the Progressives of the 19th and early 20th century got it into their heads that sterilizing some black people and the mentally retarded was a good and humane thing to do. The best and brightest said so, and others followed along. The fairly recent example of DDT being put on the hit list by Progressives — which led to the needless deaths of millions in third world countries — is another example. Again, the Zeitgeist for the ban erupted almost immediately and all the smart people said it was the thing to do. We saw the same thing happen with global cooling . . . and now global warming.

    I think as Voltaire had posted, at one time gays were officially against gay marriage. But now they’re for it. There is no more underpinning for gay marriage than fad, fancy, political correctness, grievance, and arbitrariness.

    And I’ve heard nothing at all about this aspect from those who support gay marriage. As Dennis Prager notes, for thousands of years, of all the most courageous and ethical thinkers on the planet — Buddha, Jesus, Confucius, Gandhi, Bill Clinton, Obama — none of them saw traditional marriage as in any way discriminatory nor saw a need for gay marriage.

    Then — BOOM! — there is this sudden change of opinion, a change even from orthodox gay thinking. How can one expect any thinking American to buy this bullshit?

    Ultimately, Monsieur Voltaire’s point about grounding things in more timeless principles is a good one. There might be a time where we can sort of fly by the seat of our pants. But in those times, we should be careful about dealing with potentially destructive fads and fancies. The winds of public opinion can blow as ill as they blow fast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *