Fundamentalist Jews And Muslims Unite In Hatred Of Gays

I’m stealing this post outright from Dispatches from the Culture War. Ed quotes from a Time Magazine article about reactions in Israel to this Friday’s planned Gay Pride parade:

An unknown extremist Jewish group pasted up signs announcing a $500 “reward” for every gay man or woman killed during the parade, which is scheduled for Nov. 10. Several ultra-orthodox rabbis have vowed to mobilize more than 100,000 protesters to shut down Jerusalem on the day of the parade, and police warn that some groups plan to pelt the marchers with apples jagged with razor blades.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the religious divide:

Meanwhile, in a rare display of solidarity with Jewish extremists, an influential Islamic cleric is urging Muslims to stage a simultaneous protest inside the old walled city to draw away Israeli police who would otherwise be shielding the gay parade from harm. “Not only should these homosexuals be banned from holding their parade,” says one Muslim cleric, Sheikh Ibrahim Hassan, who preaches at a mosque near Damascus Gate, “but they should be punished and sent to an isolated place.” Hatred, it seems, can be a bridge to inter-faith harmony.

It’s amazing that so many people the world over believe that something as basically harmless as one guy fucking another guy, or one woman fucking another woman, is something to get so hysterical about. Further proof that right-wing religion rots the mind, I guess. When they die and have to face God and Her girlfriend in Heaven, boy will their faces be red.

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75 Responses to Fundamentalist Jews And Muslims Unite In Hatred Of Gays

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  4. 4
    RonF says:

    Well, given the debate on free speech we had on here a while ago, it would seem that the Jerusalem Rabbis and Islamic clerics have every right to organize a protest against the march. I wouldn’t conflate such protests as “hate”.

    Calls and plans for violence are immoral, though, and should be condemned.

    God and her girlfriend, eh? If God is our Creator, if we are all made in the image of God, and if God uses the combination of male and female to continue the creation of life, then I doubt that what you’ll see is God and her girlfriend; it would seem something is missing there. My personal opinion is that God is neither He nor She but a combination of the two, in one being, and that God separated them upon our creation and requires them to then come together to create life for a purpose not revealed to us.

    Maybe He’s just got a sense of humor.

  5. 5
    Tuomas says:

    God and her girlfriend, eh? If God is our Creator, if we are all made in the image of God, and if God uses the combination of male and female to continue the creation of life, then I doubt that what you’ll see is God and her girlfriend; it would seem something is missing there. My personal opinion is that God is neither He nor She but a combination of the two, in one being, and that God separated them upon our creation and requires them to then come together to create life for a purpose not revealed to us.

    Maybe He’s just got a sense of humor.

    Quite possible that he has.

    Amp certainly has ;).

  6. 6
    Agnostic says:

    Where have my people gone wrong? Did they learn nothing from the years in the Ghettos and the Pale of Russia? Nothing from the pogroms and holocaust? How could Jews, of all people–who every Passover pray for the freedom of all humanity–how could they be so barbaric?

    When were saved from Egypt, and the Pharaoh’s army was drowning in the water, and the angels rejoiced, did God not admonish them “The work of my hand are drowning in the sea, do not sing hymns”?

    Yes, soon after that we overthrew and massacred the people of Canaan, but by what arrogance do these rabbis believe that God has given them similar justification? The days of the prophets are over, and it is the most sublime vanity to assume that you yourself are a prophet. No more does God strike the enemies of his chosen people down for even the simplest offense. Not for more than two millennia has He raised His hand thus, and not for a millennium more has He struck down those who have not already raised their hands against us in oppression. And they would have Him command them to attack their own in His name?

    Was it for this we were preserved for three thousand years, suffering the worst of persecution, then delivered into freedom? God, grant these false men greater wisdom to see the error of their ways, or when they die, let no sacrificial blood across their doorways save them from the fire.

    Pardon the excesses of religious expression. As an American Jew I sometimes forget that there are still people who believe that the rules haven’t changed.

  7. 7
    Agnostic says:

    (Yes, it’s ironic that my screen name is agnostic–I chose that to signify that on political issues I hold to no particular orthodoxy, and take no particular set of beliefs on faith).

  8. 8
    Dianne says:

    Maybe He’s just got a sense of humor.

    If God’s both male and female, shouldn’t that be “Maybe It’s got a sense of humor.”

  9. 9
    Sergio Méndez says:

    Ronf:

    I don`t follow very well your reasonning: to call for the death of another human being for being gay is not HATE in your book. Yeah, sure, those religious loons have all the right to manifest their feelings toward gays (while I am not sure they have the right for the assasination of another human being, anyways), but what that has to do with them being hatefull?

  10. 10
    Robert says:

    When they die and have to face God and Her girlfriend in Heaven…

    Jews and Muslims don’t go to Heaven, silly.

  11. 11
    parodie says:

    According to the news report I heard the other day (TV news), there are Christians joining the anti-parade movement as well. *sigh*

  12. 12
    Raznor says:

    It’s so beautiful when two groups of people who hate each other can find common ground because there’s a third group that each of them hate even more than each other? Did I say beautiful? I meant the other thing – nauseating.

  13. 13
    mythago says:

    What Agnostic said.

    And Dianne, properly it should be that They have a sense of humor.

  14. 14
    tali_le says:

    as one who lives here i must say things look bad
    religious people are rioting the streets of jerusalem and the police is doing nothing
    were all very scared of a tragedy that will happen friday

    tali_le

  15. 15
    Carrie Jo says:

    I have always and continue to be dumfounded by such hatered towards homosexuality. It’s very sad that so many people seem to feel personally threatened by its very existence.

  16. 16
    A. J. Luxton says:

    An unknown extremist Jewish group pasted up signs announcing a $500 “reward” for every gay man or woman killed during the parade,

    Fucking WHAT?

    Do these idiots not remember the Holocaust?

    Whoever did that, I wish on them the experience of reliving some part of that chapter in history. Just long enough to remember the rationales, and the sum total of who the Nazis were putting in those death camps, and why they thought they were doing it.

    Anything more I could say would be vastly offensive to, I’m sure, everyone.

  17. 17
    debbie says:

    I was in Jerusalem in the summer. Fliers were circulating offering money for the murder of gay and lesbian people during World Pride, and my recollection is that the parade was cancelled because of security concerns.

  18. 18
    Roger Helton says:

    Advocating violence is abhorrent. How quickly these Jews forget they were not the only victims of eerily similar attituded in the 1930′s and 40′s. They should be ashamed.

  19. 19
    CJ says:

    It’s amazing that so many people the world over believe that something as basically harmless as one guy fucking another guy, or one woman fucking another woman, is something to get so hysterical about.

    You’re oversimplifying it Amp. What you should find amazing is that family traditions in the old world have survived war, persecution and genocide for thousands of years. They take them seriously.

  20. 20
    Kevin says:

    If God has a problem with gay people how come God keeps making more?

  21. 21
    RonF says:

    Sergio, apparently you missed “Calls and plans for violence are immoral, though, and should be condemned.”

    Kevin; God makes murderers and thieves and adulterers, too, but He has a problem with people who commit those acts.

  22. 22
    CJ says:

    If God has a problem with gay people how come God keeps making more?

    I don’t claim God has a problem with gays, Kevin, but I don’t find western traditions of meaningless sex and hot-swappable parents so unequivocally wonderful that I want to shove it down their throats. I hope this demonstration saves gays from being persecuted just for being who they are. I don’t support obliging them to alter their family traditions.

  23. 23
    Ampersand says:

    CJ, what “family traditions” are you referring to, specifically, and who is suggesting that they be obliged to alter them?

  24. 24
    Ampersand says:

    Kevin; God makes murderers and thieves and adulterers, too, but He has a problem with people who commit those acts.

    Murder is an act that people can choose not to do. In contrast, experiencing same-sex desires is, for the vast majority of lesbians and gays, not a choice at all. If God is really willing to punish people for things that aren’t choices, then God is evil and should not be respected as a moral authority.

    Also, murder, theft and adultery are all things which do harm; someone is killed, robbed, or betrayed, respectively. For those reasons, I think the comparison isn’t very compelling. If God really thinks gay sex is like murder, then once again I think God is disqualified as a moral authority.

  25. 25
    Tuomas says:

    Murder is an act that people can choose not to do. In contrast, experiencing same-sex desires is, for the vast majority of lesbians and gays, not a choice at all. If God is really willing to punish people for things that aren’t choices, then God is evil and should not be respected as a moral authority.

    Homosexual sex is an act that people can choose to not do.

    You may be right, but experiencing pedophiliac desires, for the vast majority of pedophiles, is not a choice at all.

    (I think it is unnecessary to point out, but I’ll do it anyway: These are not morally compatible acts, just pointing out that desire for something does not IMHO remove the moral responsibility for acts that follow)

    Also, murder, theft and adultery are all things which do harm; someone is killed, robbed, or betrayed, respectively. For those reasons, I think the comparison isn’t very compelling. If God really thinks gay sex is like murder, then once again I think God is disqualified as a moral authority.

    This argument –that it harms no one as long as it is consenting — is much more compelling and one that I completely share. I think the choice or not -debate is a political red herring.

  26. 26
    CJ says:

    CJ, what “family traditions” are you referring to, specifically, and who is suggesting that they be obliged to alter them?

    The traditions that a family is family; father, mother, brother, child, husband, wife, that these relationships are real in essence not just by whim, and wouldn’t you yourself alter them?

    Amp, I have some concerns about the system of relationship ethics you champion; it allows you to switch off your role as guardian of your child if you choose to. I have no reason to think you would, you do seem very happy with her, but if you become dissatisfied with her I have no reason to believe you wouldn’t. You have declared that a parent’s right to have their preference is more important than their obligation to their family.

    To me, that is like a government that states it will spare no expense to protect your human rights, but reserves the right to declare you ‘not human’. The latter sentiment robs the former of all meaning.

    If I’m incorrect in some way, please tell me.

  27. 27
    Ampersand says:

    The traditions that a family is family; father, mother, brother, child, husband, wife, that these relationships are real in essence not just by whim, and wouldn’t you yourself alter them?

    I would alter those things as a universal and exclusionary definition of “family,” sure. However, I wouldn’t “oblige” others to alter these things in their own families. You said “I don’t support obliging them to alter their family traditions”; I don’t disagree with you about that, and as far as I can tell neither does anyone else.

    Amp, I have some concerns about the system of relationship ethics you champion; it allows you to switch off your role as guardian of your child if you choose to.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about here. What “relationship ethics” do I champion that would allow for child abandonment? I’m really bewildered by this claim of yours.

    (By the way, I’m not a father. The children photographed on this blog are my nieces, more-or-less.)

  28. 28
    Robert says:

    Murder is an act that people can choose not to do. In contrast, experiencing same-sex desires is, for the vast majority of lesbians and gays, not a choice at all.

    Having gay sex is an act that people can choose not to do, too.

    “Experiencing desire” is not an act; it is a condition. Murder is not a condition, is an act. Many, many people – perhaps most – experience the desire to harm or kill other people at one time or another (often for cause). Most all of us are able to control those desires, fortunately.

    Those of us who believe that both murder and gay sex are immoral (although in different ways and for different reasons) do not, generally, hold that the desire to kill or the desire to have gay sex are themselves intrinsically immoral. Both feelings are rooted in what are basically positive attributes. The feelings that people have are outside the realm of moral choice. It’s how we act on feelings where morality comes into play.

  29. 29
    Dianne says:

    You may be right, but experiencing pedophiliac desires, for the vast majority of pedophiles, is not a choice at all.

    I don’t know if this is relevent or not, but just to point out…Pedophilia is associated with a number of other mental problems, including other paraphilias. Homosexuality is not. This is one of the major reasons that psychiatrists consider pedophilia a disease and homosexuality a normal variant. Apart from the whole ability to find a competent consenting partner thing, of course.

  30. 30
    CJ says:

    It does not do us much good to have a law that makes it illegal to kill a human being, if one has the freedom to define someone as ‘not human’. It does no good to have property laws if ‘mere possession’ is considered legal ownership. Definitions that need to stand up in court must be arbitrary or laws cannot govern them.

    Your position is to permit the individual to define what a family is and isn’t by whatever standard seems good to them, and to switch from one definition to another as it suits their interests to do so. Fidelity, monogamy, financial support, mutual obligations, can not be defined or protected, they become adhered to or ignored according to personal preference. Legalized abandonment is something that you allow by granting such flexibility, I believe.

  31. 31
    Tuomas says:

    I don’t know if this is relevent or not, but just to point out…Pedophilia is associated with a number of other mental problems, including other paraphilias. Homosexuality is not. This is one of the major reasons that psychiatrists consider pedophilia a disease and homosexuality a normal variant. Apart from the whole ability to find a competent consenting partner thing, of course.

    Yes, but that doesn’t really change the underlying point I’m making: that desire does not an act moral make, instead, the morality issue must be resolved using a different moral calculus.

    YMMV.

  32. 32
    CJ says:

    AMP: What “relationship ethics” do I champion that would allow for child abandonment? I’m really bewildered by this claim of yours.

    It does not do us much good to have a law that makes it illegal to kill a human being, if one has the freedom to define someone as ‘not human’. It does no good to have property laws if ‘mere possession’ is considered legal ownership. Definitions that need to stand up in court must be arbitrary or laws cannot govern them.

    Your position is to permit the individual to define what a family is and isn’t by whatever standard seems good to them, and to switch from one definition to another as it suits their interests to do so. Fidelity, monogamy, financial support, mutual obligations, can not be defined or protected, they become adhered to or ignored according to personal preference. Legalized abandonment is something that you allow by granting such flexibility, I believe.

    Thanks for the clarification about your niece, and sorry for the assumption.

  33. 33
    Dianne says:

    Yes, but that doesn’t really change the underlying point I’m making: that desire does not an act moral make, instead, the morality issue must be resolved using a different moral calculus.

    No, I understood it, I just didn’t have anything in particular to say about it. I only commented for whatever informational value pointing out the psychiatric difference between pedophilia and homosexuality there might be. In general I agree that not all desires are equally good, etc. But if the desire to marry and form a family with a member of the opposite gender is good and attraction to members of the same gender is not pathological, just another variant of normal sexuality, why should then the desire to marry and form a family with a member of the same gender not also be good?

  34. 34
    Tuomas says:

    But if the desire to marry and form a family with a member of the opposite gender is good and attraction to members of the same gender is not pathological, just another variant of normal sexuality, why should then the desire to marry and form a family with a member of the same gender not also be good?

    Aside from “heterosexual sex is required to perpetuate the species”, beats me.

    Because some Holy Book or another said so, apparently.

  35. 35
    Ampersand says:

    CJ, what you’re writing is gibberish. You obviously have no understanding of my views, and your summaries of my views are too garbled and distorted to add any value to the discussion.

    Next time you want to criticize what I say, try using direct quotes, rather than paraphrasing your warped and distorted view of what I believe; that way the discussion might actually have some more valuable content.

  36. 36
    Ampersand says:

    Tuomas and Robert, good point about the desire/acts problem; my argument really doesn’t stand, as long as Fundamentalists never punish people for expressing same-sex desires, and only punish people for same-sex acts.

    Of course, I think we all know that’s not always the case.

    My point about harms, however, still stands. There’s a huge difference between murder and consensual gay sex; the former by definition harms someone, the latter may do no harm at all. To suggest the two are comparable is morally bankrupt.

  37. 37
    Tuomas says:

    as long as Fundamentalists never punish people for expressing same-sex desires, and only punish people for same-sex acts.

    Of course, I think we all know that’s not always the case.

    Similarly, we all know that people are sometimes punished for expressing a desire to murder someone, not just for the act.

  38. 38
    Robert says:

    as long as Fundamentalists never punish people for expressing same-sex desires, and only punish people for same-sex acts

    “What fundamentalists do” != “what is morally right”; there is undoubtedly some overlap, as for all groups.

    My point about harms, however, still stands. There’s a huge difference between murder and consensual gay sex; the former by definition harms someone, the latter may do no harm at all. To suggest the two are comparable is morally bankrupt.

    Indeed, your point does stand. There is indeed a huge difference.

    However, they are comparable in that they are both (in our moral conception) sinful – tending to create a separation from God. I know you don’t agree; I can’t help that. There is a sharp distinction between the two sins, but it is in degree, not in kind.

    So it may be morally bankrupt to “compare” the two in your view, but in our view it is a necessary consequence of logical thought based on our starting principles. They are of a class; there are comparisons to be made.

    This may be an area where the difference in our starting principles makes any kind of agreement impossible. That would be a sad thing.

    Homosexuals, I perceive, feel uniquely judged by Christian religious believers. And to some degree this is truly the case, in places and people where native prejudice becomes unfortunately wedded to genuine spiritual principle. But the judgment isn’t that unique.

    Before you write every Christian off as ‘orrible bigots…

    Christians believe – I believe – that Jesus didn’t upend the whole structure of salvation just for fun, and he certainly didn’t do it just for a tiny class of people, or even a big class of people. He did it on behalf of everyone. Andrew Sullivan, me, Kim Jong Il, Christopher Hitchins AND Mother Theresa. No exceptions.

    Everybody sins, everybody dies, everybody gets the same shot. It’s a bit stark but it’s not particularly unfair to anyone. Everybody has sin issues, from “did I insensitively hurt her feelings today?” to “dang, another dead body, this has to stop!” Our doctrine judges gays, but in the same way that it judges everybody: Not Up To Snuff. God has high standards, and we’re not there yet.

    To put it in a less roundabout way, if it wasn’t teh gay, it would be something else. (Or if it wasn’t something else, it would be teh gay.)

  39. 39
    CJ says:

    AMP: Next time you want to criticize what I say, try using direct quotes, rather than paraphrasing your warped and distorted view of what I believe

    You took that harder than I expected, Amp. I only thought there were consequences to your position that you might not have considered, and hoped to illustrate that an inch can fast become a mile. Perhaps it was too accusatory in tone. I apologize.

    Here’s a direct quote.

    AMP: I would alter those things as a universal and exclusionary definition of “family,”

    To include what? To exclude what?

  40. 40
    Tuomas says:

    I only thought there were consequences to your position that you might not have considered, and hoped to illustrate that an inch can fast become a mile.

    He has a cartoon about that inch fast becoming a mile business.

  41. 41
    Sailorman says:

    Ampersand Writes:
    November 9th, 2006 at 3:22 pm

    Tuomas and Robert, good point about the desire/acts problem; my argument really doesn’t stand, as long as Fundamentalists never punish people for expressing same-sex desires, and only punish people for same-sex acts.

    Generally speaking, the EXPRESSING of desire is an act. perhaps you mean to distinguish between HAVING desire (not an act) vs. acting on it?

    (p.s. rabidly anti-fundy myself, just interested in the debate)

  42. 42
    Tuomas says:

    (p.s. rabidly anti-fundy myself, just interested in the debate)

    Ditto.

  43. CJ wrote, in comment #19 that she

    [doesn't] claim God has a problem with gays, Kevin, but I don’t find western traditions of meaningless sex and hot-swappable parents so unequivocally wonderful that I want to shove it down their [presumably that religious people who are opposed pretty much to gay anything] throats.

    I just want to note that this comment, intentionally or not, has the effect of perpetuating some of the uglier stereotypes about gay male and lesbian sexuality (perhaps especially gay male).

  44. Robert, a question: Do you know what the Church says about gender identity disorder? Is it accepted as a legitimate medical condition? I am wondering, specifically, if people who go through gender reassignment, including surgery, are considered to belong to their new gender or their old? I know that Islam has struggled with this issue, at least in Iran, and has come down on the side that it is a condition for which gender reassignment is a legitimate treatment, as long as the individuals involved remain heterosexual in their new gender, and there are men in Iran who have become women and that women have become men, and they have done so with the blessings of the government (even the Ayatollah Khomeini, when he was alive).

    You might be wondering what this question has to do with the discussion at hand, and I am not yet able to articulate it fully, the question I want to answer first, that I think will help me tease out what I want to say, is whether the Church would consider sex between a woman who used to be a man and a man homosexual sex or heterosexual sex.

  45. 45
    Dianne says:

    Aside from “heterosexual sex is required to perpetuate the species”,

    Bosh. In vitro fertilization. Artificial insemination. Baster babies. Cloning. Oocyte fusion. (OK, so those last two were a little speculative.) There’s lots of reproductive methods that don’t involve heterosexual sex.

  46. 46
    Tuomas says:

    Bosh. In vitro fertilization. Artificial insemination. Baster babies.

    Well, yeah, but those things haven’t traditionally have been the ones that have perpetuated the species (and aren’t the ones doing the majority of that anyway), and in effect, they are essentially separating the impregnating effect of heterosexual sex and handling it in lab environment.

    Cloning.

    What about the shortening of telomeres?

    Oocyte fusion.

    Shh! Don’t summon John Howard (not the minister. The sperm and eggs guy).

  47. 47
    Tuomas says:

    Or, should I say, Penis-In-Vagina (PIV) heterosexual sex.

    You know, the sex that makes God happy. As long as it’s within the marriage and both are giving themselves fully to each other (not using contraception).

    /kidding, but the truth is stranger than the fiction…

  48. 48
    CJ says:

    I just want to note that this comment, intentionally or not, has the effect of perpetuating some of the uglier stereotypes about gay male and lesbian sexuality (perhaps especially gay male).

    I make no distinction between homo and hetero. There are as many alternative heterosexual family concepts I oppose. I realize the strong feelings this provokes, but I think our culture has very unhealthy standards about family. I honestly can’t know what a man means when he says ‘I’m a father’. Does he mean he’s a parent? Mentor? Paycheck? Sperm donor? Deadbeat? Rapist? Sympathetic male role model? Does the title assume any responsibility at all?

    Let me present you with this situation: you meet a man who tells you he’s a father of three, what do you think?

    If you learned that he supports none of his children, what would think? If he told you they were by three different women, that one of them was married to another man, that one was still in high school, and one might have been underage, and that that he was married to another woman the whole time it was happening?

    You might think ‘oh, I’ll report this bastard and he’ll pay through the nose, if not land right in jail’, but after a thorough, time consuming and expensive investigation, drilling into the personal affairs of four or five different people, you might find everything he’s done is in line with one or more of the alternative family options that are defended right here on Alas. Even the illegal acts have defenders that proclaim ‘it’s the law that’s wrong.’

    You could spend twenty years in court over it and prove no liability, or you could ignore it, and tacticly approve everything without question.

    As valid as some alternative views are, I honestly think the least harm and greatest good is done by holding with a traditional view of family. There are places where you can trace anscestry back six hundred years, and today you may not even know your own father. What a wonderful world.

  49. CJ: Your original comment about meaningless sex, etc. was in response to someone, I think it was Amp, who asked a question that had to do only with religious attitudes towards gay men and lesbians. The point(s) you are trying to argue, or at least the point(s) that I think you are trying to argue, and especially the digression you make in your last comment about fatherhood, are–at least as you have framed them to this point–irrelevant to the post that started this discussion. I stand by what I said: your comment about meaningless sex, etc., intentionally or not, was a homophobic one.

  50. 50
    Robert says:

    Robert, a question: Do you know what the Church says about gender identity disorder? Is it accepted as a legitimate medical condition? I am wondering, specifically, if people who go through gender reassignment, including surgery, are considered to belong to their new gender or their old?

    My understanding (which may be incomplete) is that gender identity disorder is accepted as a legitimate condition. However, transsexual surgery is considered problematic; the ordained treatment for GID is psychotherapy. A biological man who has the surgery is still considered to be man by the church, and a woman a woman, so sexual/matrimonial questions would depend on that variable.

    I don’t know how the church looks at the intersexed or what the teaching there is. (Not that you asked, but the connection seems clear.)

  51. 51
    Ampersand says:

    You took that harder than I expected, Amp.

    If you think my slight irritation means I took something hard, then you’re correct. Otherwise, you’re mistaken. :-)

    I only thought there were consequences to your position that you might not have considered, and hoped to illustrate that an inch can fast become a mile. Perhaps it was too accusatory in tone. I apologize.

    It’s not the tone I mind. What bugs me is you’re just making declarations, rather than making an argument.

    An argument would look like this:

    1) Accurate description of a position Amp holds. (i.e., “Amp is in favor of legal recognition of same-sex marriages between consenting non-related adults”).

    2) A step by step description of unexpected results of Amp’s position, including linking logic (i.e., “Amp’s position leads to A because…, A leads to B because…, B leads to C because…”).

    Without an actual argument to support your claim that my views would lead to “Legalized abandonment” or whatever else you’re claiming, you’re just presenting meaningless declarations.

    AMP: I would alter those things as a universal and exclusionary definition of “family,”

    To include what? To exclude what?

    I would include same-sex couples, including legal recognition of same-sex marriages. I would include legal recongition of the relationship between same-sex parents and their children.

    I would include some sort of legal recognition, differing from marriage, for polyamorous families, for families who recognize more than two parents (for example, a sperm donor and a lesbian couple), and for intentional families.

    The only thing I would exclude, that isn’t already excluded, is anonymous biological parenting. That is, I would outlaw anonymous sperm donations, anonymous egg donations, and anonymous adoptions. Children have a right, after a certain age, to know their own biological background, if they choose to know.

  52. 52
    Ampersand says:

    Robert, quoting me, wrote:

    My point about harms, however, still stands. There’s a huge difference between murder and consensual gay sex; the former by definition harms someone, the latter may do no harm at all. To suggest the two are comparable is morally bankrupt.

    Indeed, your point does stand. There is indeed a huge difference.

    However, they are comparable in that they are both (in our moral conception) sinful – tending to create a separation from God.

    It seems to me that one of two things must be true.

    1) You’re willing to accept that whatever God says is immoral, is immoral. God’s standards are God’s standards, and it’s wrong for us to ask if they make sense or form a consistent and reasonable moral system.

    2) You expect that God’s moral standards for how people should behave can make sense, as a consistent and reasonable moral system, to people.

    If you believe 1), then that’s problematic because it implies that you’d follow God’s standards even if God was a thug. Essentially, you’d be willing to follow the most powerful being in the universe because She (or He) is the most powerful, without regard to if She’s good or right.

    If you believe 2), then you’re no longer an amoral follower, which is good. However, you’re still stuck with trying to justify anti-gay claims in secular terms. Saying “the gay is wrong because God says so/it creates a wedge between humans and God/the Bible says so/etc” is not a sufficient moral argument.

  53. 53
    CJ says:

    CJ: Your original comment about meaningless sex, etc. was in response to someone, I think it was Amp, who asked a question that had to do only with religious attitudes towards gay men and lesbians.

    Richard, it was Amp who said:

    AMP: something as basically harmless as one guy fucking another guy

    I deny that sex is harmless. I think Amp trivialized the point.

    RICHARD: your comment about meaningless sex, etc., intentionally or not, was a homophobic one

    Thank you for pointing it out to me. I’ll be more careful. But Richard, there is a crisis of family in the west, and I don’t want it to spill into the old world in a rush of anti-traditionalism.

    No one addressed the post about the man with three unsupported children. I don’t expect anyone will, because under modern family standards the problem is unsolveable. The man does not need to convince anyone he is right to get away with what he’s done, he only needs to prevent society from reaching a consesus that he’s wrong.

    I have spoken to many opponents of traditionalism, and though united in opposition, they frequently have nothing else in common. I would suppose 80% or more of Alas readers would wish to break traditional monopoly on family and marriage for one reason or another, but I doubt 10% could agree on exactly what to replace it with. As I hoped to illustrate by example, that amounts to replacing it with nothing at all.

  54. 54
    Robert says:

    It seems to me that one of two things must be true.

    It’s the second one. There are moral rules that a particular person might not understand, but someone understands them even if Joe Smith doesn’t. God’s regulation for us is intentionally made generally comprehensible to us; we don’t have to rely on faith alone. That’s not to say that there aren’t areas of confusion or development, or places where the continued analytical tradition of the church might revise our understanding of the law, but it is a law and not just a set of random buzzkill dictates from the strongest deity around.

    However, you’re still stuck with trying to justify anti-gay claims in secular terms.

    Nah. I’m just stuck trying to justify anti-gay claims in terms that don’t rely purely upon “because God said so”. Justifying it in secular terms would be your problem, if you held the same beliefs; I don’t have to justify it in secular terms. The Catholic theology of the body is complex, coherent and intellectually satisfying – significantly more satisfying than the secular liberal philosophy of sexual freedom, and with an empirical track record of multigenerational survivability (despite many, many flaws in execution) that the liberal philosophy hasn’t yet produced.

    I am further relieved from an overly onerous burden of proof by the fact that the anti-gay claims I would make are pretty mild ones. I don’t think that the sacrament of marriage is open to same sex couples, and I think that having one parent of each physical sex is usually optimum for a child’s spiritual development. Engaging in gay sex is sinful; so is saying mean things to people on web sites (uh oh). That’s about it.

  55. 55
    CJ says:

    AMP: I would include…

    Every model you approve includes not more and not less than two married parents, with perhaps a donor orbitting the family somehow. You appear to take the idea very seriously, and it seems you want to prevent abuse of the institution. That’s comforting.

    And single parenting? Polygamous marriages? Unmarried parenting? Revolving-door lovers? Any other non-standard format of adult-child relationship that can occur to human thought? You don’t list them as allowable, yet they have their supporters and they are adamant that their views are as valid as yours.

    If the traditional begins to relent, are you concerned that a scramble for legitimacy will occur on all fronts, your good intentions be drowned in an ocean of arguments for concessions you never wanted, and the general acceptance of (or inability to prevent) family ethics you find abhorrent can result?

  56. 56
    Daran says:

    Tuomas:

    Shh! Don’t summon John Howard (not the minister. The sperm and eggs guy).

    Yes. Let’s summon him. [No, let's not! Link redacted by Amp!]

    Yeah, I was the kid who always stepped on the cracks too.

    Or, should I say, Penis-In-Vagina (PIV) heterosexual sex.

    You know, the sex that makes God happy. As long as it’s within the marriage and both are giving themselves fully to each other (not using contraception).

    You mean that nasty disgusting act which you should reserve for your husband.

  57. 57
    CJ says:

    The Catholic theology of the body is complex, coherent and intellectually satisfying – significantly more satisfying than the secular liberal philosophy of sexual freedom, and with an empirical track record of multigenerational survivability (despite many, many flaws in execution) that the liberal philosophy hasn’t yet produced.

    I never entered into any religion Robert, but the more I concerned myself with truth, ethics and morality the more my views seem to match just such sentiments.

  58. 58
    Daran says:

    Yes. Let’s summon him. [No, let’s not! Link redacted by Amp!]

    Spoilsport!

  59. Of the two possibilities that Amp laid out in terms of an individual’s stance towards the morality or immorality of their god’s word, Robert said that the second one describes his, and I am assuming Catholicism’s, stance:

    2) You expect that God’s moral standards for how people should behave can make sense, as a consistent and reasonable moral system, to people.

    The problem here is that the kind of god Catholics worship (and Jews and Muslims) can, for his own purposes, which he need never reveal, go against his own moral standard–as, for example, in the story of the binding of Isaac. God tells Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Instead of saying no, which one would assume would have been the moral thing to do, Abraham says okay–an act of faith for which he is glorified in all three of the monotheistic traditions (except the Muslims, I believe, say it was Ishmael whom Abraham was commanded to sacrifice). My point is not that it is impossible to make a kind of (moral) sense out of the story–i.e., that it is a cautionary tale against child sacrirfice–but rather that Abraham is celebrated in part because he does not try to make moral sense. In other words, he is celebrated because he assumes that whatever his god tells him to do is good in and of itself.

    That reading of Abraham’s actions, however, only makes sense if we assume that he indeed passed the test that God set for him in asking him to sacrifice Isaac. I have seen readings of the text that take into account things that occur (or do not occur) after the binding of Isaac–for example, the fact that God sent an angel to tell Abraham not to kill his son, and that he, God, never speaks directly to Abraham again–which, according to these readings, suggest God’s displeasure with what Abraham did and the possibility that Abraham did not pass the test God set for him.

    My point here is not to turn this thread into one focused on biblical exegesis, so let me say here that I am very aware that there are other readings which account for the examples I gave above–and if they are Christian readings, they obviously take the crucifixion into account–and that still have Abraham passing God’s test. My point is that if you posit an omnipotent and omniscient monotheistic god who is an absolute good in and of himself and who does not have to justify himself to human beings, you posit at least implicitly the first of the choices Amp gave as the bedrock of the relationship between human beings and that god:

    1) You’re willing to accept that whatever God says is immoral, is immoral. God’s standards are God’s standards, and it’s wrong for us to ask if they make sense or form a consistent and reasonable moral system.

    Which returns us to the question of monotheistic religious positions regarding homosexuality and whether they form a consistent and reasonable moral system. And that question, it seems to me, comes down to what the purpose of the body is understood to be.

    Ah shit–I need to go. I think this is a decent ending point, but I have more to say, so I will try to come back and finish this later.

  60. 60
    CJ says:

    I enjoy your views Richard, and I share your view that not every traditional ethic of the old religions should be blankly accepted. If it is moral, it will not be moral ‘just because’ it will be moral because ‘it is moral’ and no truly moral ethic should be afraid to face a bullshit test.

    The danger though, Richard, is a tendency to see what we want to see. The moral code being debated was not conceived as a weapon against gays, it argues sex not for the purpose of procreation is immoral, which means because of biology, gay sex never qualifies as moral, but no more immoral than any hetero sex that is not for the purpose of childrearing.

    If you posit that sex for non-procreational purposes is moral, then gay sex is as moral as any other kind. But a fundamental condition of morality is that it prevents harm.

    You can point to many people engaging in casual sex every day, gay and straight alike, who are not complaining about being harmed, and you might therefor declare it harmless, therefore moral.

    If only one in ten teenagers were interested in sex, and only one in ten of them chose to defy social conventions against doing it, and only one in ten of those forgot to wear protection, and only one in ten of those resulted in an STD or unintended pregnancy, it might mean thousands of cases every year, and every single occurence is traumatic to families and expensive for society. It requires very difficult, very personal questions be asked and answered, and they leave scars.

    Now imagine TEN out of ten teenagers were interested in sex, and NO social convention against pre-marital sex exists.

    Regardless that an individual might have sex a thousand times and never suffer a single consequence, is it nevertheless harmless?

  61. CJ, you wrote:

    The moral code being debated was not conceived as a weapon against gays, it argues sex not for the purpose of procreation is immoral, which means because of biology, gay sex never qualifies as moral, but no more immoral than any hetero sex that is not for the purpose of childrearing.

    Unfortunately, I do not have the time to say as much as I would like about this, but I will say this. The moral code you are talking about is a Christian, and perhaps even strictly Catholic, one; and I am not even sure that the Catholic Church holds to it in quite the strict way that it once did. Both Judaism and (as far as I know) Islam–and remember it was Jewish and Muslim groups that were the subject of the orginal post–not only embrace, but actively encourage and protect the (moral) value of non-procreational heterosexual sex, including acts other than intercourse.

    I also think, CJ, that arguing sexual morality, as opposed to sexual practice, from the fact of STD’s is a diversionary tactic.

  62. 62
    Robert says:

    Richard, Catholics believe that the basis of our moral teaching does indeed come from a direct command/set of commands from God – but we also believe that these teachings require interpretation, which requires historical context and individual human analytics. The big division between the One True Church ™ and the Protestants is the question of who should do this analysis and interpretation, and who has the final say.

  63. Robert, you wrote:

    but we also believe that these teachings require interpretation, which requires historical context and individual human analytics.

    I understand this. Jews have a similar belief–and a similar “big division.” My point, though, is that if God were suddenly and verifiably to appear and give commands that contradicted those interpretations, that, in fact–as in the case with the Binding of Isaac–went against everything we think of as moral, if you are a believing Jew/Christian/(and I assume) Muslim, you would need to throw out your old understandings of morality and fall in line with God’s new teachings/commandments. In other words, it is not the interpretations that are the bottom line; it is God’s word.

  64. 64
    CJ says:

    If you were short on time, Richard, I would rather you had answered whether you consider the general acceptance of pre-marital (i.e. casual) sex really harmless. As harm relates to morality I think it is extremely valid, but I thank you for not simply ignoring the point.

    Islam–and remember it was Jewish and Muslim groups that were the subject of the orginal post–not only embrace, but actively encourage and protect the (moral) value of non-procreational heterosexual sex, including acts other than intercourse.

    Do they encourage it pre-maritally? Richard, I’m fine with non-procreational sex within marriage, since a structure capable of dealing with the natural consequences exists, but that security is only an illusion if those who marry don’t understand or don’t accept that that is it’s purpose.

  65. 65
    CJ says:

    if God were suddenly and verifiably to appear and give commands that contradicted those interpretations [...] you would need to throw out your old understandings of morality

    Richard, what else could you do?

    Follower: ‘I think God means…’

    God: WRONG!!!!!

    Follower: ‘Okay, then!’

  66. 66
    Robert says:

    My point, though, is that if God were suddenly and verifiably to appear and give commands that contradicted those interpretations, that, in fact–as in the case with the Binding of Isaac–went against everything we think of as moral, if you are a believing Jew/Christian/(and I assume) Muslim, you would need to throw out your old understandings of morality and fall in line with God’s new teachings/commandments.

    Well, yes and no.

    The thing is, if that were to happen, it would itself be a contradiction of what God has told us he is going to do – and our next scheduled divine appearance is also the last one. If the 900-foot Jesus appears and isn’t here to roll up the carpets and so on, then He’s got some splainin’ to do.

    So, ironically enough, good Christians would be extremely suspicious of a God who appeared and started handing out new, “kill your babies” commandments. We would probably assume it was an apparition of Satan, instead.

  67. 67
    Dianne says:

    So, I’ve got to ask the people saying “Homosexual sex is wrong because God says so”, how do you know what God says?

    The Bible? To the best of my knowledge (and that’s not very good so this argument may be simply wrong) there is all of ONE ambiguous reference to gay male sex and none at all to lesbian sex anywhere in the Bible. And I’m not at all sure that “thou shalt not lie with men as with women” isn’t a proscription on telling fibs to men. Patriarchal religion and all. Either way, the sin, whatever it is, seems to be no worse than wearing clothes made of mixed fabrics. Indeed, isn’t the mixed fabric proscription in the same list?

    Revealed knowledge? What if God told me that sex was fine as long as it was responsible and consentual, no matter what the genders of the people involved? Whose revealed knowledge wins?

    Your spiritual leader says? He or she is just a person and could be wrong.

  68. 68
    Dianne says:

    Tuomos: Hey, I said those last two were speculative. Actually, I think there’s some problem with oocyte fusion as well. Mitochondria don’t play nice together or epigenetic changes unique to egg and sperm or something. But those are just technical challenges, not fundamental problems. If all the men in the world disappeared tomorrow along with all the sperm banks, humanity would most likely go on, albeit with considerable difficulty.

  69. 69
    Dianne says:

    So, ironically enough, good Christians would be extremely suspicious of a God who appeared and started handing out new, “kill your babies” commandments. We would probably assume it was an apparition of Satan, instead.

    Glad you have a healthy skepticism about you. But how do you know that the “God” who said “kill the gays” isn’t really an apparition of Satan as well?

  70. 70
    CJ says:

    Dianne: But how do you know that the “God” who said “kill the gays” isn’t really an apparition of Satan?

    Is it said that God wants us to kill gays, Robert?

    Dianne my understanding is that marriage is not for non-procreational purposes. That it needs to be this way in order to have the strength to endure the stresses of procreation that other kinds of relationships don’t have to face.

    You can interpret it as a slam against gays, but if the entire population of the world were gay, and therefore could not possibly be motivated by homophobia, wouldn’t you think that creating new life is an act perilous enough and rewarding enough that it merits a specific institution, and clear, enforceable protection?

  71. CJ–

    You keep changing the target in this conversation, but okay, I will tell you: I do not think that non-marital sex (which, of course, includes premarital sex) is, in and of itself, harmful; just as I don’t think that marital sex is, in and of itself, by definition, not harmful.

  72. 72
    Dianne says:

    my understanding is that marriage is not for non-procreational purposes.

    True for many species but not for humans. Sex in humans has social implications as well as reproductive implications. Why do you think that humans don’t have an obvious estrus? Because they are supposed to be having sex all the time, including times that pregnancy is unlikely. Sex is used to strengthen partnerships so that any children born will be cared for. Exploratory sexual activity is important because, really, in humans, sex is not all that instinctual and if a strong sexual partnership is to be built each partner must have practiced and learned about their responses and desires prior to attempting the definitive partnership.

    That it needs to be this way in order to have the strength to endure the stresses of procreation that other kinds of relationships don’t have to face.

    I’m sorry that procreation seems like such an ordeal to you. It doesn’t have to be that way, although stress is certainly involved.

    Nonetheless, doesn’t that mean that you’d be pro-gay marriage? After all, many gay and lesbian couples raise children and if it is better to have couples raise children than single parents then gay sex in a committed relationship with children has a procreative purpose: increasing the odds that the child will thrive.

  73. 73
    Kate L. says:

    CJ Wrote, “I have spoken to many opponents of traditionalism, and though united in opposition, they frequently have nothing else in common. I would suppose 80% or more of Alas readers would wish to break traditional monopoly on family and marriage for one reason or another, but I doubt 10% could agree on exactly what to replace it with. As I hoped to illustrate by example, that amounts to replacing it with nothing at all. ”

    I’m not so sure you are right about the above statement and FWIW it makes me absolutely crazy when people randomly make up % out of their head. Say MOST readers if that is what you think – 80% gives your claim far less validity.

    And again, I don’t think that people who are “anti-traditionalist” whatever that means are necessarily anti tradition for EVERYONE. I would probably call myself a relatively non-traditional person. I participate in many traditional practices and institutions (for instance, I am a woman legally married to a man and I had a wedding in order to gain that status). However, I did not do many “traditional” things. For instance, I was 8 months pregnant when I got married. I did not wear white, we wrote our own vows, said them in 2 languages, did not get married in a church, though we were married by a minister (a female minister of a VERY liberal church). I was not “given away” by my father… etc etc. I am not a particularly religious person, though I do consider myself a spiritual person and I do not equate religiosity with morality.

    I absolutely 100% support the idea that 2 same sex people can form a family unit and wish that they were legally able to do so (I’d feel much less guilty for partaking in the instution of marriage if it were available to all, but that is my own cross to bear). In fact, I think that giving people who wish to form family units the opportunity to do so does nothing BUT strengthen the moral fabric as well as provide greater stability and support for individuals. This is the piece I don’t understand about the argument against gay marriage. Allowing two people who are committed to each other and wish to live a happy, healthy life together as productive citizens does no harm, rather, I’d argue it does good. But I digress.

    My larger point I think is that I don’t know what you mean by anti-traditionalist. Can you define that please? As I said, I consider myself a person for whom many traditions are not useful to me and in fact harm me in many ways, thus I don’t practice them. However, I don’t in general wish to STOP people from practicing traditional beliefs or actions for themselves (provided it is not doing harm to others which is I think a reasonable enough thing to ask). Allowing 2 gay men to be married does absolutely NOTHING to harm my own marriage. NOTHING at all.

  74. 74
    Kate L. says:

    And to the question of non-procreational marriage, well what about all those heterosexual couples who get married with A) no intention of producing biological offspring and B) an inability to do so? Are they sinning against God too?

    I’m sorry but seeing as how we are experiencing a serious environmental threat from OVER population I can’t see non-procreational marriage as a bad thing. Given the human propensity for sex and the fact that it’s not like gay people are trying to CONVERT straight people to be gay, there will always be gay people and straight people and thus there will always be the opportunity for procreation. Allowing 2 men or 2 women to marry does absolutely nothing to suggest that the human species is in danger of dying out unless you are suggesting that as soon as 2 men and 2 women CAN legally marry and are free from social harms for doing so that EVERYONE will want to “join that team” and suddenly there would be no heterosexual people left. That’s just silly.

    Also, people DO raise children in same sex and polyamourous families. And I will ALWAYS argue that GOOD parents are far more important than the number and gender of said parents.

    As to your question of single parenthood, well I must say, single parenthood is not ideal and certainly not easy, however it is to some degree inevitable and seeing as how single parenthood has been around as long as marriage has, I don’t suppose one can make the argument that it has thus far crushed a practice that has helped humanity survive all these generations. Fun fact I’m sure you all know by now: there are FEWER single parent households in the US today than there were 100 years ago in the US. The reasons for single parent households is certainly different (before it was largely due to widowhood because people died earlier because of accident, injury, illness, or childbirth), now it is due more to people having children outside of marriage and people getting divorced, but still the fact remains (I can’t cite the original source off the top of my head, but it’s basically in every intro to sociology textbook around, specifically, “Exploring the architecture of everyday life” by David Newman. And I believe the author of “The way we never were” and “The way we really are,” can’t remember her name off the top of my head (Susan someone?), uses original data to support that claim. Given the fact that single parenthood is actually slightly more doable these days (assuming many single parents are women) since they can now legally work for money I just can’t get too fired up about children born out of wedlock and or people getting divorced. Again, one GOOD parent is better than 2 bad or miserable ones and although I will acknowledge it is more difficult to be a good single parent (because it’s just harder in general to be a single parent), I don’t think it’s impossible and I don’t think it’s harming the ability to raise good productive citizens.

    Are there people who probably shouldn’t procreate? Sure. Are there people who are bad parents (such as the man CJ described, fathering several children and not taking care of them etc)? Absolutely. Have bad parents always existed? Absolutely. If anything, there is more recourse now for being a bad parent than there used to be. In the 30s when people were poor and starving, and abandoned their families in order to survive where not hunted down and force to pay support to the children they fathered. Our systems are by no means perfect, they need a lot of work, but at least now there ARE systems in place to protect children from bad parenting and provide consquences for people who attempt to abandon their families. It’s not a new concept. By allowing more people to create stable unions you simply create more places for happy, healthy child rearing.

  75. 75
    CJ says:

    RICHARD: CJ– You keep changing the target in this conversation.

    Sex, marriage, family and childrearing are not distinctly separate issues.

    I do not think that non-marital sex (which, of course, includes premarital sex) is, in and of itself, harmful; just as I don’t think that marital sex is, in and of itself, by definition, not harmful

    Agreed, not in and of itself harmful. Not by definition either. But monogamous, marital sex prevents the most harm and encourages the most good. That is how I define morality, and you were bugging Robert about morality quite a bit. The choice (not always easily made) that permits the least harm and the most good is always the moral choice. If there were a system that prevented even MORE harm and encouraged even MORE good, then that would be the moral choice, and traditional marriage would become immoral by comparison.

    DIANNE: Sex is used to strengthen partnerships so that any children born will be cared for [...] doesn’t that mean that you’d be pro-gay marriage?

    If sex is necessary for marriage, is a lack of sexual interest a valid reason for separating? This point immensely weakens gay marriage for me. When a gay man posits he does not have to raise a child with the child’s natural mother on the grounds that he is not sexually interested in her, or a lesbian the natural father, you’re saying that hetero parents can also end the marriage also, as soon as they lose sexual interest.

    For me, in my capacity as a member of society, to allow a child to lose the benefits of family; the physical protection, the role models, financial support and before obliging the rest of society to make up the loss, the reason has to be objectively indisputable, such as their being in jail, medically insane, or dead.

    KATE L: it makes me absolutely crazy when people randomly make up % out of their head

    Me too. I didn’t claim it, I supposed it, it’s only my opinion based on what I’ve read and I think 80% is fair. I don’t see many people supporting traditional marriage here on Alas. I wouldn’t expect to, but it seems they differ with it in different ways. One wants only to include gay marriage, the next wants high school girls to get government allowances for having children, the next believes in single parenting, the next wants monogamy, the next wants polygamy, the next wants marriage of any sort written off as a bad idea. As far as I can see, except insofar as traditional marriage stands in everyone’s way equally, their individual views can be as offensive to each other as traditional marriage is to each of them. I may have underestimated how many could agree: it could easily be more than 10%, but I doubt there’s any clear majority view. If there were a majority view it might be: Let anyone do it any way they like.

    KATE L: I don’t know what you mean by anti-traditionalist. Can you define that please?

    In this context, I mean those who would change institutions that have lasted for centuries without a thorough appreciation of all of the consequences. I don’t agree with every old tradition, but in the western world, we have lost the solidarity of the family around which all of those traditions revolve, and I think that does too much harm.

    KATE L: Allowing 2 gay men to be married does absolutely NOTHING to harm my own marriage. NOTHING at all.

    Fourteen year olds getting pregnant doesn’t hurt your marriage either. Your neighbor cheating on his wife doesn’t. The girl across the street getting an abortion doesn’t. A co-worker dropping acid during pregnancy doesn’t. Struggling single parents don’t. Orphans don’t.

    It your parents had acted that way it you might have been impoverished, retarded or dead. If YOU act that way it might impoverish, damage or kill your children, but your marriage doesn’t have to be affected.

    Family tradition, the recognition of responsibility of one family member to another, is supposed to prevent all of this, but also prevents some other things, like easily changing your sex partners.

    KATE L: And to the question of non-procreational marriage, well what about all those heterosexual couples who get married with A) no intention of producing biological offspring and B) an inability to do so? Are they sinning against God too?

    Morality and sin are about harm, Kate. It may hurt no one directly, but it does this much: it separates marriage from childrearing in society’s eyes. You are led from there to the idea that marriage is not required for having children, neither then is commitement. When you go there, you allow that children will be born to people who didn’t want them, who can’t care for them, or will not care for them. If it comes to a choice, I would say that denying children to such a category of people is less harmful than allowing children to be born to them.

    I would nevertheless allow marriage to those who do not want children, but I would hold them to the same standards of fidelity and commitment to one another that are required for stable family. Without children, I doubt most couples would find that agreeable, and without children, I doubt society would bother to enforce it, so ‘slipshod’ family values creep in by the backdoor.

    KATE L: Also, people DO raise children in same sex and polyamourous families. And I will ALWAYS argue that GOOD parents are far more important than the number and gender of said parents.

    I understand what you’re saying but I disagree on the method of ensuring good parents. There aren’t enough naturally good parents to go around, because naturally good parents aren’t the only ones having children. To ensure good parents you must enforce good family standards on everyone who has a child.

    To do that you cannot allow family fidelity (parent to parent, parent to child, child to parent alike) to be contingent upon personal perceptions of ideal conduct or attractiveness.

    KATE L: Again, one GOOD parent is better than 2 bad or miserable ones and although I will acknowledge it is more difficult to be a good single parent (because it’s just harder in general to be a single parent), I don’t think it’s impossible and I don’t think it’s harming the ability to raise good productive citizens.

    You contradict your own argument. It’s harder to be a good single parent. That means it is harmful to society to encourage single parenting.

    KATE L: By allowing more people to create stable unions you simply create more places for happy, healthy child rearing.

    Stable unions, yes. Reliable unions, yes. But it’s not simple. Unwedded unions are not reliable. Teenage fumblings are not reliable. Revolving door husbands and wives are not reliable. Single parenting is not even a union. All opposed as immoral by every coherent culture that’s ever existed, all demanded by their various new age today. There’s no way to separate them.

    If I believed that these unions, once made, could be relied upon to last, I would be fine with them but every suggestion that marriage should be permanent (as family is permanent, right?) inspires the hottest opposition. They want it, but as a formality, a social convenience or a status symbol. Revokable upon request.

    Well I think that point of view is not as enlightened as some would like to think. It could never have carried the Jews and the Muslims through so much hardship as a lasting people, and I would not care to see it supercede the traditions that have.