The World O' Crap Archive

Welcome to the Collected World O' Crap, a comprehensive library of posts from the original Salon Blog, and our successor site, (2006 to 2010).

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Queerly Beloved*

*Yes, that’s how WorldNetDaily teases it on their front page.
In today’s column, On interracial and same-sex marriage, Dennis Prager sets out to eviscerate the ethical argument for extending equal civil rights to gays.  Fair enough, I suppose, but before we begin I’d like to quickly review Dennis’ qualifications to moralize on the topic of marriage.
According to Wikipedia, “Prager started his radio career on August 81982 as the moderator of “Religion on the Line”, a Sunday night program on KABC-AM, Los Angeles. The program featured discussions between representatives of various religions, typically including a priest, a Protestant minister, and a Jewish rabbi.”  Sadly, each week the ecumenical panel degenerated into a violent argument over which joke about them was the funniest: the one about the airplane, or the one about the brothel.
As for the source and validity of his insights on the moral aspects of marriage, Dennis has apparently studied the topic for many years, since he testified to Congress on behalf of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, and is now on his second divorce.  He is on record as supporting both state and Federal legislation which defines divorce solely as “the dissolution of the union between one man and one woman.  If we allow liberal judges to redefine this traditional institution, which is a bedrock of American society, then what is to stop people from divorcing multiple women at once, or filing for legal separation from a box turtle?”
The most effective of all morality-based arguments for same-sex marriage, the one that persuades more people than any other argument, is the one that equates opposition to same-sex marriage with the old opposition to interracial marriage.
The argument, repeated so often that it sounds incontestable, is this: Just as parts of American society once had immoral laws that forbade whites and blacks from marrying, so, today, society continues to have immoral laws forbidding men from marrying men and women from marrying women. And just as decent people overthrew the former, decent people must overthrow the latter.
Thanks in large part to widespread higher education – the higher the educational level, the more one is likely to hold this view – vast numbers of Americans believe in this equation of sex (gender) and race.
But the equation is false.
Remember kids, education makes you stupid.  The more facts and critical thinking skills you acquire, the more likely you are to hear nasty voices from your frontal lobe telling you that conservative opinion leaders are really just hypocritical moral scolds who can’t sustain a relationship and are often overcompensating for a rubber fetish.
First, there is no comparison between sex and race.
Except that both are something you’re born with.  And they’ve both traditionally been an excuse for discrimination.  And they both allow people you’ve never met to learn all they need to know about you from a quick glance.
There are enormous differences between men and women, but there are no differences between people of different races. Men and women are inherently different, but blacks and whites (and yellows and browns) are inherently the same. Therefore, any imposed separation by race can never be moral or even rational; on the other hand, separation by sex can be both morally desirable and rational. Separate bathrooms for men and women is moral and rational; separate bathrooms for blacks and whites is not.
No one’s agitating for the right to marry the plumbing, Dennis.
The second reason the parallel between opposing same-sex marriage and opposing interracial marriage is invalid is that opposition to marriage between races is a moral aberration while opposition to marrying a person of the same sex is the moral norm. In other words, none of the moral bases of American society, whether religious or secular, opposed interracial marriage
From a 1998 letter written by the Bob Jones University Community Relations Coordinator:  “Bob Jones University does, however, have a rule prohibiting interracial dating among its students. God has separated people for His own purpose. He has erected barriers between the nations, not only land and sea barriers, but also ethnic, cultural, and language barriers. God has made people different one from another and intends those differences to remain.. Bob Jones University is opposed to intermarriage of the races because it breaks down the barriers God has established. It mixes that which God separated and intends to keep separate.”
On the other hand, no religious or secular moral system ever advocated same-sex marriage. Whereas advocating interracial marriage was advocating something approved of by every religious and secular moral tradition of America and the West
Exactly.  For further information on America’s moral tradition of interracial marriage, see Noah’s Curse, The Biblical Justification of American Slavery.
Those who advocate redefining marriage are saying that every religious and secular tradition is immoral.
If homos marry, the Golden Rule is null and void!  We can spread Underwood Deviled Ham on the Eucharist and give the Kiss of Peace with tongue! Woo Hoo!
But as objectionable as hubris is…
…says the twice-divorced man who feels he’s best equipped to decide who should and shouldn’t be allowed to marry…
…false comparisons are worse. And there is no comparison between different races and the different genders.
Um, they’re all bipeds?
To the extent that racial groups are different, they are only because their cultures differ. But a black man’s nature is not different from that of a white man, an Asian man, an Hispanic man.
“Unless the black man wants to marry the white man, in which case I’m afraid we’re going to have to kick them both out of the human race.”
The same is not true of sex differences. Males and females are inherently different from one another.
For instance, women are kind of…bumpier up top, while men tend to, you know…wobble more below the waist.
…We now know that even their brains differ.
I just adore how, whenever differences between men and women are brought up, conservatives are suddenly all about the biological determinism; but whenever differences in brain structure and chemistry are found between gays and straights, suddenly it’s all a matter of Free Will Gone Bad.
Those who wish to redefine marriage for the first time in Jewish, Christian or secular humanist history may offer any honest arguments they wish. Comparing the prohibition of same-sex marriage to prohibiting interracial marriage is not one of them
Let me check my Wingnut-to-English phrasebook…Ah, here we are…”People who promote equality for gays are free to make any legitimate arguments they wish, except for the ones that work.  Oh, and if you want to fight about it, I’ll be bringing a gun, while you’ll be issued a cardboard wrapping paper tube.
Posted by scott on July 15th, 2008

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