Dispatches from the Creation Wars

TMLC on the New Jersey Ruling

My first thought when the New Jersey gay marriage ruling came down was, “Oh boy. This should be fun to watch as the religious right responds.” The Thomas More Law Center has responded with a News Alert (I’m on their mailing list). And it includes this delightfully ironic quote:

Patrick T. Gillen, the Thomas More Law Center attorney who drafted Michigan’s Marriage Amendment for the Coalition, noted another lesson to be learned from the decision. “The defense of traditional marriage was fatally compromised by the Attorney General’s failure to defend the role that marriage plays in promoting the true good of the spouses and children who enter the family. Once society fails to appreciate these essential goods of marriage, damage to the family and, ultimately, the common good, becomes inevitable.”


I’ll never get used to this kind of logical duplicity. Yes, of course marriage promotes the true good of spouses and children who enter the family. Now please tell me why this applies only to families headed by heterosexuals. Tell me why promoting the good of children and spouses in families headed by gay parents is not also part of the common good. They can’t answer that question because it reveals the real reason why they oppose this: because they just don’t care about gay people or their children.

They want them punished and kept down because they really do think that if anything is done to improve their existence, to give them the legal and financial security that the rest of us just take for granted, more and more people will decide to be gay. You know, as if anyone decides to be gay for the fringe benefits. Yes, that is patently ridiculous thinking, but that’s what they actually do think. That’s how it works in the non-reality based community.

Comments

  1. #1 qetzal
    October 26, 2006

    Tell me why promoting the good of children and spouses in families headed by gay parents is not also part of the common good.

    Because that’s not “true good.”

  2. #2 CPT_Doom
    October 26, 2006

    They want them punished and kept down because they really do think that if anything is done to improve their existence, to give them the legal and financial security that the rest of us just take for granted, more and more people will decide to be gay. You know, as if anyone decides to be gay for the fringe benefits. Yes, that is patently ridiculous thinking, but that’s what they actually do think. That’s how it works in the non-reality based community.

    Actually, Ed, to be even more cynical, I don’t think they believe this at all. Rather, I think they go after gay people so vehemently because if they don’t the entire foundation of their religious belief system collapses – if the “bible” is not literally true, then they have not theology. If gay people, who they claim are condemned in the “bible,” are actually decent human beings who deserve respect, then that is a major flaw in their thinking. Rather than actually change their beliefs, they instead decide to attack harder at gay people, to keep up the illusion of the great lavender menace. Not to mention, for the political arm of this “religious” movement, believers=votes=money=power, and they can’t afford to lose any of that.

  3. #3 The Ridger
    October 26, 2006

    Well, sure, Ed. I mean, look at how many people choose to be gay now, when it’s a lot of trouble and people hate them and they don’t have any rights or anything. Wait till they’re treated like real people.

  4. #4 Sastra
    October 26, 2006

    They want them punished and kept down because they really do think that if anything is done to improve their existence, to give them the legal and financial security that the rest of us just take for granted, more and more people will decide to be gay.

    I don’t think they’re worried that an official acceptance and recognition of homosexuality as normal will make more and more people decide to be gay: I think they’re worried that it will make more and more people decide not to be Christian. If homosexuality is mainstreamed, it will eventually make what they believe to be True Christianity@ look irrelevent, false, bigoted, or out of touch and out of date.

    Turf war. If they don’t marginalize gay people, they’ll end up being marginalized themselves. To an extent, they may be right.

  5. #5 bobz
    October 26, 2006

    I recall reading that five of the seven couples bringing the case have children. If this is correct, it kind of takes the wind out of that argument’s sails. It is the lack of equity that denies “the true good of the spouses and children who enter the family”.

  6. #6 dev
    October 26, 2006

    Regarding fundamentalist opposition to homosexuals in general and same-sex marriage in particular, I take my cue from Pascal Boyer’s comments in “Religion Explained” regarding fundamentalism as “an attempt to preserve a particular kind of hierarchy based on coalition, when this is threatened by the perception of cheap and therefore likely defection”. Hence fundamentalist opposition to modern liberal societies, which offer a myriad of ways for potential defectors to leave the fold with minimum penalty; the fundamentalist response is to attempt to raise the cost of defection, regulating behaviour through private and/or state coercion and if necessary through violence.

    Under this theory the virulence of fundamentalist opposition to homosexuality is due to gays and lesbians being an unstoppable stream of people extremely motivated to defect from the fundamentalist ranks: Unstoppable because people with an innate homosexual orientation are always being born within any social group, including fundamentalist groups, and extremely motivated to defect because of the sharp conflict between that orientation and typical fundamentalist norms. Allowing such ongoing defection or potential defection to go unpunished would encourage other potential defectors (gay or otherwise) and ultimately threaten fundamentalist group cohesion.

    Such punishment is ultimately motivated at discouraging defectors within the fundamentalist ranks, but must also be directed at gays and lesbians outside those ranks, who can serve as example and inspiration for those within. In particular, fundamentalists must punish or otherwise discourage any public acts associated with homosexuality. Marrying someone is the ultimate public act, and thus same-sex marriage in particular must be discouraged to the maximum extent possible. To raise the cost of defection as much as possible, fundamentalists must outlaw same-sex marriage in each and every state in the US; otherwise potential defectors could simply move to whichever states permitted it.

    On the other hand closeted gays are relatively nonthreatening to fundamentalist movements, since purely private actions cannot influence other potential defectors. Hence those fundamentalists who are “closet tolerants” (accepting of gay friends and family in private while opposing gay rights in public) are not hypocrites per se but rather are acting rationally in support of their movement’s goals.

  7. #7 DuWayne
    October 27, 2006

    Dev -

    I think you hit dead on the point. Very well put.

    I think what you said is also the prime cause of gay teen suicides. Kids who get harrased at school have it very hard. But when the same child is subjected to an absolute fear of their parents finding out, or even worse, of they know and speak out against it – it is so much worse. I dare say that few kids who have their parents full support and love, after they come out, are highly unlikely to commit suicide, no matter what their peers throw at them.

  8. #8 Paul Merda
    October 27, 2006

    Hear, Hear Dev!!! Their herd mentality is threatened, I like it…

  9. #9 jufulu
    October 27, 2006

    Dev,
    OMFSM, your comments are dead on. This is one of the most illuminating explanation for Fundy behavior that I have ever come across.

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