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How Did this Happen? Why Same-Sex Marriage Makes Sense to So Many


Jaybear

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Facinating article by R. Albert Mohler, Jr., who is the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

He actually makes an effort to understand why it is that same sex marriage is gaining broad acceptance in society.

I started a new thread, because I think its a must read article for religious conservatives if they want to truly understand the issue from a broader perspective.

Here is an excerpt:

Why does same-sex marriage make sense to so many people? The momentum toward the full legalization of same-sex marriage seems to intensify with every passing month - or even faster. The moral divide in this nation is now seen most clearly in the distance between those for whom marriage is exclusively heterosexual and thus a settled issue and, on the other hand, those who honestly see the legalization of same-sex marriage as a moral mandate required by justice.

Given the venerable status of marriage and its universally established heterosexual character - at least until very recently - the burden of argument falls on the need to explain how such a movement for a moral revolution gained credibility, cultural mass, and momentum. How did this happen?

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Because the pro-arguments are emotional, compassionate, and individualistic while the anti-arguments are long-term, responsibility-based, and community-minded. Plus marriage as an insitution and sexual morality have already been perhaps irreparably damaged by no-fault divorce and the sexual revolution, leaving scant solid footing for conservatives to fight from.

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Jaybear:

There has always been an effort to legitimize the libertine.

The term "libertine" is a pejorative term. I expected better from you.

But in any event, the question addressed in the article is not why activists (the libertines) are pressing for gay marriage. The question is why is the public coming to accept gay marriage.

Jason: Because the pro-arguments are emotional, compassionate, and individualistic while the anti-arguments are long-term, responsibility-based, and community-minded. Plus marriage as an insitution and sexual morality have already been perhaps irreparably damaged by no-fault divorce and the sexual revolution, leaving scant solid footing for conservatives to fight from.

Long term: Both sides want their position to be permanent. Not sure what your point is here.

Responsibility based: Empty self serving rhetoric. You complain that gays are sexually promiscuous, yet deny them the institution that asks for a lifelong commitment. So how exactly does denying gays marriage, make any person more responsible? Be specific please. I sense that many on your side believe that if gays can't marry, they will somehow go back into the closet.

Community minded: Empty self serving rhetoric. Implies without evidence that allowing gays to marry is bad for the community. Marriage brings and keeps families together, which is good for the community.

The real reason you people oppose gay marriage is because in your minds homosexuality is a sin. That's it. That is why organized opposition to gay marriage comes from the Mormons, the Catholics and the Baptists.

Perhaps you are slowing losing the public because you are resorting to contrived secular arguments which melt away when exposed to the sunlight.

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Perhaps I should explain a bit.

Long-term: the conservative argument is that the damge that will be done to marriage is long-term. That is, that it will not be immediately apparent and ultimately may last longer than the immediate benefits the progressives seek.

The progressive arguments are that immediate relief is needed to correct an injustice, and when they do consider the long-term effects of the decision, it seems to be to look forward to a day when marriage is destroyed.

Responsibility based: the conservative argument is that marriage and the family are building blocks of society, that we have a responsibility to society to build it stronger, and that rejecting or attacking the best option for raising new citizens in favor of one's own non-reproductive interests is irersponsible.

The progressive argument is that as long as someone is not harming others they should be allowed to do what they want. It is an argument for irresponsibility.

Community-Minded: ties in with responsibility-based above, but is also an argument that what is best for the community sometimes trumps individual liberty.

The progressive argument is that individual liberty trumps community needs so long as an individual does no harm to others. That everyman is an island, effectively.

The real reason you people oppose gay marriage is because in your minds homosexuality is a sin. That's it. That is why organized opposition to gay marriage comes from the Mormons, the Catholics and the Baptists.
Perhaps you could teach me to use the same incredible mind-reading powers, and then I could just tell you why you argue for it instead of having to debate the subject?

And out of curiousity, oh seer of the mind, does the un-organized opposition to gay marriage come only from the same motives? Because there are a lot of people in California who aren't active church-going Mormons, Baptists, and Catholics who voted against gay marriage.

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Jaybear:

I really can't help it if a word has a definition you don't like. It is an apt description/definition.

As to greater public acceptance. The natural man is a enemy of God, and has been from the beginning. The saying that "You will not die, but will be as the Gods knowing good from evil" is far older than you or me.

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Perhaps you are slowing losing the public....

And yet when it comes to a public vote it keeps getting defeated. It is the judiciary who keep overturning what the public wants.

It doesn't matter how many people accept this for organizations that consider it a moral issue or for individuals who see the damage that can be done to families. I think personally they ought to redefine terms so that a civil union is the secular definition, leaving marriage under the auspices of the churches, giving both the same rights. That would mean any marriage outside a church, temple or synagogue would be a civil union, perfectly legal under the law. It wouldn't usurp the sacredness of the marriage covenant for the religious and give everyone the legitimacy on a secular level they desire. And it would avoid the potential danger of churches being forced to marry people that do not meet the criteria under their faith.

Except I don't think that's the goal of the gay activists. I think they want to claim marriage as a way of legitimizing their behavior, demonstrating to me they have questions about the moral implications themselves. After all if they can get all the rights and responsibilities under a civil union (which in some states they already have) why make such a point of demanding "marriage" as defined by tradition and scripture.

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Well, the field of the modern mind is ripe and ready for harvest. The prevailing worldview is: equality good, discrimination bad. From there it's easy to show people how marriage sins against those twin pillars of modern thought. Hence the growing acceptance.

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Perhaps you could teach me to use the same incredible mind-reading powers, and then I could just tell you why you argue for it instead of having to debate the subject?

I hardly takes a mind reader to spot the connection between religion conviction and opposition to gay marriage. The reason your secular arguments are so flimsy is because you oppose gay marriage as immoral, then look to construct secular arguments to rationalize your discriminatory position.

And out of curiousity, oh seer of the mind, does the un-organized opposition to gay marriage come only from the same motives? Because there are a lot of people in California who aren't active church-going Mormons, Baptists, and Catholics who voted against gay marriage.

That is not true. In CA, well over 80% of those that don't attend church voted agaisnt Prop 8. Considering that most of these people, including me, were at one time indoctrinated into believing that homosexuals were deviant perverts, that a remarkable number.

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I hardly takes a mind reader to spot the connection between religion conviction and opposition to gay marriage.

But it would take a mind reader to be certain that the religious reasons are all that matter to myself or otherse, and your claim was that religion was the real reason. Therefore you claim to be a mind reader.
The reason your secular arguments are so flimsy is because you oppose gay marriage as immoral, then look to construct secular arguments to rationalize your discriminatory position.
You deride them as flimsy only because you disagree with them. And then you attribute prejudice as the real motivation for making them. You assume that those who do not agree with you cannot have a rational basis for doing so. That is more than a bit arrogant.
That is not true. In CA, well over 80% of those that don't attend church voted agaisnt Prop 8. Considering that most of these people, including me, were at one time indoctrinated into believing that homosexuals were deviant perverts, that a remarkable number.
So you hold that a wide majority (it would have to be pretty significant if 80% of everyone else voted on the other side) of California voters are practicing Mormons, Baptists, or Catholics? Do you have a ballpark figure?
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Jaybear:

Homosexuality has been around for a long time. Many religions throughout history have accepted or condemned it. So the issue is not one of religiosity. It is an issue of governmental recognition of SSM. The US essentially gets it marriage laws from the ancient Romans by way of the British. The ancient Romans while far more accepting of homosexuality than the US is never did equate it to marriage.

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And yet when it comes to a public vote it keeps getting defeated. It is the judiciary who keep overturning what the public wants.

Although I don't believe the right to marry should be put to a vote as a matter of public policy based on constitutional protections of minority groups, I believe it's only a matter of time till a public vote supports same-sex marriage. I would wager that even most Latter-day Saints would agree that eventually the public will support same-sex marriage (given LDS scripture that predicts that the voice of the people will support what Mormons consider to be "wickedness").

It doesn't matter how many people accept this for organizations that consider it a moral issue or for individuals who see the damage that can be done to families.

Just a minor point here: The implication of your sentance, above, seems to suggest that "organizations who consider [same-sex marriage] a moral issue" are those that oppose it. That isn't the case. Many individuals and organizations who support same-sex civil marriage also consider it's legalization to be a "moral issue"--our view of what morality calls for, in this case, differs from your own.

I think personally they ought to redefine terms so that a civil union is the secular definition, leaving marriage under the auspices of the churches, giving both the same rights. That would mean any marriage outside a church, temple or synagogue would be a civil union, perfectly legal under the law. It wouldn't usurp the sacredness of the marriage covenant for the religious and give everyone the legitimacy on a secular level they desire. And it would avoid the potential danger of churches being forced to marry people that do not meet the criteria under their faith.]

I, and many of my gay acquaintances and friends, would agree and support exactly what you describe, above. Simultaneously, however, I'd suggest it's highly unlikely that we as a nation would logistically be able to impliment that as a matter of public policy. "Marriage" is too embeded in the legal realm to extricate the usage of the word entirely and replacing it with "civil unions."

Except I don't think that's the goal of the gay activists. I think they want to claim marriage as a way of legitimizing their behavior, demonstrating to me they have questions about the moral implications themselves. After all if they can get all the rights and responsibilities under a civil union (which in some states they already have) why make such a point of demanding "marriage" as defined by tradition and scripture.

Although I certainly don't speak for "the gay activits" (in fact, I don't believe there is a universal collective of "the gay activits" who are entirely of the same opinion on the matter), I and many I associate with are more concerned about equal representation from our goverment, rather than "legitimizing my/our behavior." Of course, the two are not unrelated: equal treatment means that there will be some sort of "legitimization" of same-sex couples and their families... But I would suggest that no one expects "legitimizing behavior" in the sense of legitimizing sex acts between individuals of the same sex. Lawrence vs. Texas already de-criminalized (thereby "legitimizing") individuals' right to consensually engage in same-gender sexual behaviors. I would submit that the civil marriage movement is about equality for couples and families than it is legitimizing sexual behaviors.

My view,

Darin

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Jaybear:

I really can't help it if a word has a definition you don't like. It is an apt description/definition.

libertine:

1. One who acts without moral restraint; a dissolute person.2. One who defies established religious precepts; a freethinker.

So everyone (To include Barbara Bush and Cindy McCain) who supports SSM is lacking moral restraint or any synonym thereof. Well you might have good grounds to call Cindy McCain a libertine (she did commit adultery with John McCain); but there seems no reason in the public eye to label Barbara Bush as a person who is lacks morals.

Some people do not have religion. It is not far fetched to say the animosity towards homosexuality is based in religion, as religion has lost its influence on the people so have the notions that religion supported. This mean codification of religious laws are changed to reflect a more secular notion.

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You deride them as flimsy only because you disagree with them.

I deride them as flimsy, because they are flimsy. Your arguments have little appeal to those who don't share your moral condemnation of homosexuals.

And then you attribute prejudice as the real motivation for making them. You assume that those who do not agree with you cannot have a rational basis for doing so. That is more than a bit arrogant.

Your premise is wrong. I do believe you have a rational basis. You believe in God. You believe that God opposes gay marriage. Ergo, its rational that you would oppose gay marriage. I did not attribute any prejudice towards you.

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I deride them as flimsy, because they are flimsy. Your arguments have little appeal to those who don't share your moral condemnation of homosexuals.

The arguments against the practice are based on what may happen rather than what has happened. They have to do this, because no society of the past ever equated homosexual relationships with marriage. They aren't flimsy.
Your premise is wrong. I do believe you have a rational basis. You believe in God. You believe that God opposes gay marriage. Ergo, its rational that you would oppose gay marriage. I did not attribute any prejudice towards you.

Let me re-phrase then. You believe that it is impossible for your opponents to have reasons for arguing against same-sex marriage that are not religiously based (i.e. that are subjective).
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The arguments against the practice are based on what may happen rather than what has happened. They have to do this, because no society of the past ever equated homosexual relationships with marriage. They aren't flimsy.

They are flimsy because you can't articulate a rational connection between gay marriage, and speculative future ills.

By contrast, one can predict that allowing gay marriage in Marlyand will bring in money and tax revenues into their economy.

Let me re-phrase then. You believe that it is impossible for your opponents to have reasons for arguing against same-sex marriage that are not religiously based (i.e. that are subjective).

Answer this question. If a study concluded that gay marriage has either not impact or positive impact on heterosexal marriage and divorce rate would you then support gay marriage.

Or this one: If a study showed that children raised by gay couples would be better off if their parents were married, would you than support gay marriage.

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The arguments against the practice are based on what may happen rather than what has happened. They have to do this, because no society of the past ever equated homosexual relationships with marriage. They aren't flimsy.

That sounds a lot like punishing same-sex couples for some sort of crime that they haven't committed, and for which you aren't sure would even happen (reminds me of Minority Report).

Your statement that "no society of the past ever equated homosexual relationships with marriage" relies heavily on "of the past" to be factually accurate. Today, there are countries that have had gay marriage for almost a decade now, and the sky isn't falling. I have not read or seen any reports that are able to demonstrate any sort of casual link between allowing gay couples the right of civil marriage and any kind of social calamity or familial disaster.

Darin

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They are flimsy because you can't articulate a rational connection between gay marriage, and speculative future ills.

I can and have, but you haven't accepted such arguments in the past, so I see no point in trying again.
Answer this question. If a study concluded that gay marriage has either not impact or positive impact on heterosexal marriage and divorce rate would you then support gay marriage.
No. There are studies and there are studies, and one positive or negative study is not enough evidence for me to say "yes, this is how life really works."
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That sounds a lot like punishing same-sex couples for some sort of crime that they haven't committed, and for which you aren't sure would even happen (reminds me of Minority Report).

I have no desire to punish self-identifying homosexuals for the crime of engaging in homosexual acts. I am interested in protecting marriage.
Your statement that "no society of the past ever equated homosexual relationships with marriage" relies heavily on "of the past" to be factually accurate. Today, there are countries that have had gay marriage for almost a decade now, and the sky isn't falling.
You mean it hasn't fallen yet, as far as you can tell. 10 years is an eyeblink. See the earlier "long-term" comment. Someone living in Rome in AD 350 might easily think Rome was invincible too.
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Many individuals and organizations who support same-sex civil marriage also consider it's legalization to be a "moral issue"--our view of what morality calls for, in this case, differs from your own.

And that is the difference between humanistic secular morality and religious morality.

I would submit that the civil marriage movement is about equality for couples and families than it is legitimizing sexual behaviors.

Then why aren't they content in states that already allow civil unions to leave it alone?

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Jaybear:

I really can't help it if a word has a definition you don't like. It is an apt description/definition.

As to greater public acceptance. The natural man is a enemy of God, and has been from the beginning. The saying that "You will not die, but will be as the Gods knowing good from evil" is far older than you or me.

It behooves us as LDS to avoid making those kinds of moral judgments. Particularly since participation in polygamy looks very "libertine" in the eyes of most who believe in Christ.

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Facinating article by R. Albert Mohler, Jr., who is the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

He actually makes an effort to understand why it is that same sex marriage is gaining broad acceptance in society.

I started a new thread, because I think its a must read article for religious conservatives if they want to truly understand the issue from a broader perspective.

Here is an excerpt:

Satan and his efforts to stay the lords plan of family and happiness.:P

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