June 7, 2014

Love is all around.

Yesterday, I said "Love was all around, and I was able to choke back tears until I got back in the car." In the comments, Unknown said:
How can the increase of the rate of love in the world be a bad thing? I don't comment often, anywhere, but this moved me. Thank you.
And Pat said:
Long time conservative republican here, glad to see people who love each other and are willing to commit to each other, able to be married. We r's need to let this issue go and fight other fights.
But eric said:
I submit that the word love is being used in a fallacious way. Love does not mean something you feel. It means the way you behave. What we are seeing is a perversion of love. One that says, if you feel good, its love. Which is apropos of this situation. As we see both love and sex being perverter and enablers helping these people destroy their lives.
Love is not something you feel? "I feel it in my fingers/I feel it in my toes," sang The Troggs in a song, titled with the words I used, "Love Is All Around." And here's Joan Jett and The Blackhearts singing the theme from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" ("Love is all around/No need to waste it..."):



And — to embrace tradition — here's the original show opening with Mary emoting and a gentle-voiced man singing about turning the world on with a smile. Perhaps eric will stop in to submit that the human smile cannot in fact turn on the world and, indeed, the world is not a unified, embodied entity with genitals capable of arousal, and even given the vast appeal of Mary Tyler Moore, it is fallacious to contend that the entire world possesses a sexual orientation toward a woman smiling.

The gentle-voiced man — if you're inclined to riff on what your body's ears hear as effeminacy or metrosexuality or whatever — is Sonny Curtis, who played with Buddy Holly before there were Crickets and who wrote — in addition to Mary's "Love Is All Around" — the lawyer's favorite "I Fought the Law" and the Everly Brother's "Walk Right Back." Or does Anne Murray turn you on with her smile?

Did you know Mary Tyler Moore is now 77 years old and nearly blind?

Have you heard there are none so blind as those that will not see

And:
Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

171 comments:

Lewis Wetzel said...

Using the power of the state to coerce individuals into violating their consciences or into abandoning the public sphere.

What's love got to do with it?

Moose said...

Meh - it makes Ann happy. Let have her moment.
Me - I'm looking forward to when marriage has completely lost its meaning and you can take little vacations from martial fidelity. We can call them "Savage moments".

Ron said...

I encourage these displays of emotion from Althouse! More of that, please....

Gahrie said...

I see...it's OK to rule by judicial fiat as long as people can love each other. Well, incestuous and polygamist marriages are about love too, so they're in.

Strick said...

The passage from John says agape, brotherly love, not eros, sexual love. English is a poorer language for the confusion resulting from overloading the word "love", especially since the 60s.

etbass said...

John 14:21a KJV
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me:

m stone said...

The 1 John 4 verses, which you so casually apply to the post subject, is agape love, spiritual and emanating from God.

Don't mix it up with eros, the human drive that is corruptible, hormone-sparked.

Ann Althouse said...

Hi, Ron. Thanks. I'll remember that.

Unknown said...

Love Stinks

Love Hurts

So What?

gerry said...

Your quotation from John 4 supports Eric's contention.

The love of the 60s and 70s was luv and not Love, because the Love you want to imbue upon sexual feelings is not the Love that behaves selflessly for any and all.

All persons deserve loving respect; all sin deserves hateful rejection because it separates us from Love.

Ann Althouse said...

"The passage from John says agape, brotherly love, not eros, sexual love."

And your point is?

To the extent that we are talking about marriage, if it's only about sex, why is it a sacrament in the Church? Just a device to draw a line so people don't have sinful sex?

What do you think marital love is? Speak English.

Tank said...

You forgot love is everywhere by the Allman Brothers - da da da dat di dat dat DAT.

As I've said before, I don't think this is that important an issue either way. Some of the coercive side effects are disturbing. It's nice for gays who want to get married. Everyone knows that gay marriage is not marriage marriage.

Ann Althouse said...

What was the love within Mary's turning on of the world?

Michael said...

We went down to the courthouse
and the judge put it all to rest
No wedding day smiles no walk down the aisle
No flowers no wedding dress


Just had to dash to the courthouse. Right now.

Heartless Aztec said...

I prefer this classic... You were what Professor - 18 at the time? Did you feel it in your toes?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ut5uC91FcbI

Patrick Henry was right! said...

This is also called rationalization of sin. The Bible is full of examples.

Ann Althouse said...

@surfed Thanks. I'll switch the link to that one. The soundtrack is the same, but yours has some video content.

Expat(ish) said...

Off topic: I'd forgotten how talentless Joan Jett was outside the studio and po-mans "Wall of Sound."

She momentarily over-whelmed Fatboy Slim on the stereo and it was a chilling reminder of how bad it was before you could find music anywhere anytime.

Oh, we were talking about love and marriage? I'm with Al Bundy on all that, even after 20 good and happy years.

-XC

m stone said...

If you're talking about marriage, Ann, don't confuse the issue with the agape quote. It's an altogether different type of love, a different level.

John talks about love that is of God and God being love.

You're talking urban dictionary "love": two men or two women boinking.

fivewheels said...

I'm not any more against gay marriage than I already am against hetero marriage. But if you think anything a county clerk does can "increase the rate of love in the world", then you clearly are not talking about love.

Also, rushing to the courthouse in your shorts for an impromptu wedding does not bespeak taking an important occasion seriously.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Eric is right on. Love is fundamentally about action, not feeling. Ann's quote from scripture supports this. God loving us is understood as sending his son to us, an action. Christ's love can be expressed as an emotion (weeping over Lazarus,) but is much more fundamentally about dying for the sake of Lazarus.

Of course homosexuals can love in this Biblical sense. And that is even admirable. We desperately need more sacrificial love. But does homosexual marriage have anything to do with that? Perhaps in certain cases. But I suspect that it has more to do with many modern American heterosexual marriages, which are selfish, not selfless, which are about infatuation not commitment.

Anonymous said...

Aged Punk Semi-Star says:

Man, the damned hippies screwed up Love with their ugly shoes and soft baby hands, everyone feeling groovy and Free Love. In my day we would jump up-and-down and slam into each other just to Feel Something. In the Eighties some guy who hung around me told me he loved me and you know what I did? I punched him in the gut, that's what I did. Who has time for Love when you're taking it to The Man? Now the Corporations try and sell you Love like it's there in some f**king laundry detergent, all sunshine and squeaky-clean. I hate your clean laundry and your soft baby hands.

Ron said...

It looks like the Troggs are riffing on "Hard Days Night"

rhhardin said...

If you take your kid to the dentist, it's love but not you feeling it.

Love is not a feeling.

Thurber has an essay on it in _Is Sex Necessary?_, "How To Tell Love from Passion."

The conclusion a man commonly arrives at, after tossing the argument about, is something after this fashion: I am in love, all right, but just the same I don't like the way I looked at Miriam last night." ... By and large, love is easier to experience before it has been explained."

FleetUSA said...

I'm with Ann and Pat on this one. Not an issue to die over....we have so much going wrong in this country gay weddings can be joyous even if I'm not gay.

LarryK said...

Some say love is just a chemical reaction...and she blinded me with science


http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x11lvw_thomas-dolby-she-blinded-me-with-sc_music

John henry said...

"Love ain't nothing but sex misspelled" Harlan Ellison @1968

One of the things I find most annoying is the tendency to call sec "love".

Shove your di k through a hole in a bathroom stall for an anonymous bj and many gays call it "love".

It ain't.

John Henry

CStanley said...

The purpose of Eros, and the reason it is sanctified by marriage, is procreation.

George M. Spencer said...

The producers of MTM called Curtis to their offices, told him the show's concept, and he tossed off the song swiftly...without having seen an episode. I'm not sure one had been filmed yet. My recollection is that the producers wanted Andy Wiliams to sing it, but Curtis wouldn't hear of it.

The beret was carefully chosen for the opening credits--no kidding--to demonstrate that Mary was a hip, cool person. Her being single was quite controversial back in 1969-70.

The book "Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted is a good read

John henry said...

I also find it annoying that this is being shoved down our throats.

Old Bob Hope? Joke:

They just legalized homosexuality in California. I'm leaving before they make it mandatory

It used to be a joke. I can see it being a prediction.

John Henry

jr565 said...

Althouse wrote:
To the extent that we are talking about marriage, if it's only about sex, why is it a sacrament in the Church? Just a device to draw a line so people don't have sinful sex?

What do you think marital love is? Speak English.

what do YOU think love marital love is professor? and tell how how any restricted marriage other than gay marriage (since you have such a blind spot to it) wouldn't meet those requirements?

Jason said...

Yeah, I came into the comments to point out what others have said.. we are conflating "agape" with "eros." Any scriptural reading that does not take that into account is incompetent.

This is high school youth minister Bible study stuff. It's not even advanced.

See "The Four Loves," by C.S. Lewis, where Lewis warns about the danger of eros, when it masquerades as a higher form of love, and tricks us into debasing our faith, morals and religion around it, using our attachment to eros rather than the other higher forms of love - agape, storge and philia, to justify a religion centered on one's genitals, rather than on God.

One look at gay displays during a St. Patrick's parade should make that problem pretty obvious. But liberals have allowed themselves to become so perverted that they'll applaud the corruption of a Saint's day (agape) and a celebration of Irish culture in America (philia or storge, depending on one's point of view) into the phallic display that Lewis warned of.

Lewis does not say that eros is a bad thing. Just a dangerous thing. Like a bullet headed the wrong way.

Marc said...

One of the more honest, disingenuous conflations of Christian love and, I guess, secular love (one doesn't want to confuse the issue with Greek and Latin terms!), ever written, St John and the Troggs, Sacred Scripture and television theme song.

I am happy that you were happy, Professor, so far as that goes. (By which I mean-- cf your comment yesterday viz "I frequently converse with people without revealing that I think they are lying, bullshitting, or deceiving themselves."-- I think that you are deceiving yourself on this subject, but I have no desire to mock or trivialise your yesterday's happiness.)

traditionalguy said...

Romantic love can be so strong that we set boundaries to protect the participants from risks. Sometimes those boundaries work, sometimes they don't.

Loving passionately is not what is wrong. Plan well, but then accept that giving love to another is a big risk, just like having faith in God who told us that He IS love, is a risk.

Gay partners are not a threat to our boundaries.

Strick said...

"And your point is?"

Sorry, same thing as m stone. More background would have made it obvious, which I should have realized you didn't have or you wouldn't have used this particular quote.

The passage from John isn't referring to anything to do with marriage, family or even friends. That form of love was assumed. It refers to how you should treat everyone one else, even strangers and your enemies.

The same goes for the more famous passage about about this kind of love which was originally translated into English as "charity":

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

PB said...

How does marriage increase love? Presumably, love occurs before marriage? Marriage may actually stifle love, keeping people chained to loveless marriages, keeping them from finding love.

Government should get out of the marriage business.

Sydney said...

What was the love within Mary's turning on of the world?

Could you clarify that question? What is meant by "turning on of the world?"

Michael K said...

"why is it a sacrament in the Church? "

It used to be about children.

And I don't mean the strange same sex parent kind. I guess that is better than an orphanage but I'm not sure. I had a classmate at Dartmouth who had been raised in foster care and she said she would rather have been in an orphanage. She was getting a masters degree at Dartmouth so she was doing pretty well but still sad about her upbringing.

J Lee said...

Here's the full instrumental opening for the Mary Tyler Moore show from 1974, done for non-English speaking markets. Feel free to karaoke in your own lyrics, which can avoid the word 'love' (or, 'smile', or any of the other original lines) completely.

jr565 said...

Imagine a movie about a pedophile, where the song Love is all around is playing while he gawks at little kids with a big smile on his face. Hey, it's love. Maybe its not your love, or my love. but he can feel it in his finger and his toes.
If the movie played that song ironically, or sinisterly, you could see the point of the song in the movie. But if it was celebratory of love you'd be wondering what the director was thinking. Is he directing the new X men Movie for example?

We shouldnr treat love like pop songs treat love. Love Is All You need. No, frankly, its.

Love, especially sexual love, is often destructive, selfish, ugly, one sided and cloying.

Big Mike said...

Far be it from me to rain all over the love-fest, but many (IMHO all too many) marriages do end in divorce and we are moving into uncharted waters when both members of the divorcing couple are the same gender. I suppose from a law professor's point of view that merely makes it all the more exciting. But the Obama years seem to be one long social science experiment, and I don't predict that all of these experiments will end well.

jr565 said...

Althouse today reminds me of the old songs by Stephen Stills "if you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with" love then is both sex and love. And it could be the person you met at the bar. It doesn't mention the spread of syphillis through sex of course. Its all just love.
Though, this does in fact sound a lot like Dan Savage's version of marriage. Hey, no judgements.

Big Mike said...

@Ron, she does get p*ss*d off at times. Remember that.

Anonymous said...

Strick and etbass argue that you take 1 Jn 4:6-8 out of context. Which is right, you do. But you don't take the Bible to be authoritative about God and morals, so no big deal.

Re marriage and sacramental theology. It is a sacrament because it symbolizes Christ’s love for the church and his death and resurrection on the cross. Why is pouring water on someone or telling clergy you disobeyed God symbolize the message of Christ? The explanations for marriage, baptism, and confession, will not convince law professors looking from the outside in.

Re marriage and sex, Christian moral theologies (Catholic ones anyway) sets boundaries on sex that aim it at a set of goods more important than sex itself: bearing and raising children that result from sex; sustaining a lifelong, exclusive friendship between husband and wife; and maintaining intact families that care for the young and elderly. The argument is that sex outside of marriage, and improper uses of sex within marriage, refuse or undermine one or more of these goods.

Yes, sterility, adoption, death of spouses, late marriage, etc. create exceptions for Christian marriage. But the exceptions do not define the institution. Sterility is a lack of normal biological function. For that reason, humans quite rationally seek cures sterility to restore normal function. It’s not just a matter of having blue eyes or green eyes.

Notably, classical Christian moral theologies do not teach that people who “improperly” use sex cannot have genuine friendships with their partners, be dutiful parents, or be conscientious caregivers to the young or elderly. They may indeed display other virtues such as courage, intelligence, creativity, industriousness, honesty, hospitality, etc. Likewise, gluttony, greed, and pride do not necessarily exclude talent, competence, dedication, etc. A surgeon who displays hubris (a more serious sin than lust) may still be respectable and desirable as a doctor, and nicer to have a drink with than your average Bible thumper.

jr565 said...

Tank wrote:
It'ss nice for gays who want to get married. Everyone knows that gay marriage is not marriage marriage.
If its not marriage marriage, then how are gays allowed to marry? We all know its different, yet are being coerced into viewing it as the same because of some erverse reading of the 14th amendment from self serving people who are forcing this down your throat.
if you dare suggest that gay narriage is anything but marriage, you'll be charged with a hate crime.
Even though we all know its not marriage. Even though gay people know its not marriage since they call it gay marriage.

Anonymous said...

You know what's going to be awesome when they start beating the drums for polygamy? We're going to get two-for-the-price-of-one ladlings of Althouse the SWPL-solipsist theologian. Sophistic scoldings for homophobia and Islamophobia in one time-saving package, with a groovy soundtrack.

Taste the rainbow. Feel the love.

I can't wait.

Anonymous said...

RE: Did you know Mary Tyler Moore is now 77 years old and nearly blind?

Now it is Time to make my Move.

Levi Starks said...

Expiation of sin?
Sin equals a transgression, of the law of God.
Or more plainly a trespass across ground declared holy (which is to say set apart) by God.
Male and female created he them. Our modern day perversion (trespass) is that love = sex! and sex = love. In the biblical description of the relationship between David and Jonathan it is said David's love for Jonathan was greater than that of a woman. Did they have a homosexual relationship? Nothing in scripture would indicate it. Can two men, or women love each other deeply? Of course. Does it then extend that they must by necessity be allowed to express this love in physical manner which is inconsistent with the design of the bodies with which they were given by God?
The least objectionable adjective I can find to describe homosexuality in the bible is that it is "inconvienient"
But in our modern world, a failure to celebrate this inconvienience can only result in one being branded a bigot.

Anonymous said...

John: One of the things I find most annoying is the tendency to call sec "love".

But what about demi-sec? Or brut?

Anonymous said...

Reparations would be agape.

Lyle said...

I just hope the love lasts for these good folk.




Anonymous said...

Commenting on the Wrong Post Drunk Guy says:

I am fiercely proud to walk down my city streets dressed as a woman: in the streetlights I am a Goddess, and cars honk as they drive past. I realize there is more to being a woman than having a penis but it just feels right. Elena will just have to come to terms with my erections beneath the silky fabric; she will come around. In my plaid purse are my lipstick, my wallet and a yellow polyurethane penis: when she does come around I will have the yellow polyurethane penis and I will be ready. I think it is wrong for you to comment on things you really don’t know about.

Lyle said...

The unseriousness of last evening does bother me. Marriage should be taken seriously. There will be divorces.

At least now gay folk can be as unserious about life as many straight folk.

jacksonjay said...

I get my love from the One-Track Crack over at the Althouse-Go-Around!

White People is Dumb!
White People is Racist!
Give me some MONEY!

What's not to love!

William said...

I'm reminded of Oscar Wilde's comment about Liitle Nell whenever I hear someone get too gushy over gay marriage.........Queen Victoria took her role as head of the Church of England seriously. She was afraid of creeping Papism. She tried to limit the amount of lace a church could display on its altar during services. The Anglicans had to be vigilant about those sort of things.......As it worked out, the existential threat to the Anglican Church was not Rome but disbelief. People just don't believe in a God who's too liberal........I don't think the existential threat to the sanctity of marriage is gay marriage or even the Kardashians. People will just stop believing in it. Japanese robotics will pick up the slack eventually, but we're in an awkward transition phase right now.

Wince said...

"Everybody must get stoned."

LAHORE, Pakistan — A pregnant woman was stoned to death Tuesday by her own family outside a courthouse in the Pakistani city of Lahore for marrying the man she loved...

Stonings in public settings, however, are extremely rare. Tuesday's attack took place in front of a crowd of onlookers in broad daylight. The courthouse is located on a main downtown thoroughfare.

A police officer, Naseem Butt, identified the slain woman as Farzana Parveen, 25, and said she had married Mohammad Iqbal, 45, against her family's wishes after being engaged to him for years.

Her father, Mohammad Azeem, had filed an abduction case against Iqbal, which the couple was contesting, said her lawyer, Mustafa Kharal. He said she was three months pregnant.

Nearly 20 members of Parveen's extended family, including her father and brothers, had waited outside the building that houses the high court of Lahore. As the couple walked up to the main gate, the relatives fired shots in the air and tried to snatch her from Iqbal, her lawyer said.

When she resisted, her father, brothers and other relatives started beating her, eventually pelting her with bricks from a nearby construction site, according to Mujahid and Iqbal, the slain woman's husband.

Iqbal said he started seeing Parveen after the death of his first wife, with whom he had five children.

"We were in love," he told The Associated Press. He alleged that the woman's family wanted to fleece money from him before marrying her off.

"I simply took her to court and registered a marriage," infuriating the family, he said.

Parveen's father surrendered after the attack and called his daughter's murder an "honor killing," Butt said.

"I killed my daughter as she had insulted all of our family by marrying a man without our consent, and I have no regret over it," Mujahid, the police investigator, quoted the father as saying.

Hagar said...

Sexual attraction and love is not the same thing.

Strick said...

"Strick etbass argue that you take 1 Jn 4:6-8 out of context."

Quoted for Truth, my only point, other than blog comments suck as a form of communication. One last time in case I'm still not clear.

It's as if one of your students gave a long answer to a major test question and mistakenly capped it with a legal point that might look good to a laymen, but was not on point because they didn't understand a legal term.

It weakens an otherwise good case.

LilyBart said...

I’m kind of a ‘live and let live’ person. I don’t really care how you choose to live your life, or who you want to love. It’s your life – live it and be happy!

But I expect this to be reciprocated. If I don’t want to bake the cake or take your pictures, if I don’t want my kids to read about your lifestyle in school, or publicly support your choices, I shouldn’t be forced to do so. I should be allowed my views and choices as well.

We were all asked, “How will allowing gays to be married hurt you?” Well, now we know.

So pardon me if I don’t celebrate with you. It turns out allowing gays to be married didn’t increase freedom – it turns out it was what they call a “zero sum game”.

NCMoss said...

Parting thought: Is their victim index still sufficiently high so they can demand reparations? Because if you had an ounce of insight, you would understand it was never about the smoochy kind of love that Ann hails.

Anonymous said...

Commenting on the Wrong Post Drunk Guy says:

After visiting the beauty salon I went to my neighborhood Starbucks -- the one across the corner from the other Starbucks -- and as I was sitting at a table and enjoying a latte I caught a man discreetly trying to look up my skirt. I found it flattering, and confirmation that I am on the Right Path. I straightened my hem at my thighs and ran my hand down my smooth shaved salon-fresh leg: it is amazing what a bikini wax can do for one's self-image. I think it is wrong for you to comment on things you really don’t know about.

jr565 said...

Angelyne wrote:
You know what's going to be awesome when they start beating the drums for polygamy? We're going to get two-for-the-price-of-one ladlings of Althouse the SWPL-solipsist theologian. Sophistic scoldings for homophobia and Islamophobia in one time-saving package, with a groovy soundtrack.

I for one am looking forward to that. Because if I have a polygamous marriage I'll have 3 people paying the bill instead of two. And I get to have threesomes whenever I want.
Oh, and benefits for all. And love. Mustn't forget love.
But seriously, what's the problem with polygamy at this point. Any one not down with it is a traditional bigot.

Anonymous said...

Lyle said...
I just hope the love lasts for these good folk.

Lasts as long as the love share by the XX-XY couples.

jr565 said...

Unknown wrote:
"How can the increase of the rate of love in the world be a bad thing?"

Does marriage produce love? Absent marriage gay people weren't in love with each other? Then, whether they get married or not doesn't really increase or decrease the rate of love at all. Preventing gay marriage doesn't prevent gay people from being in love or having sexual relationships. Any more than prevention of polgamy prevents those who wish to marry into polygamy from loving each other and having sexual relationships. They just wouldn't be in a marriage.

pm317 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

Levi Starks wrote:
Does it then extend that they must by necessity be allowed to express this love in physical manner which is inconsistent with the design of the bodies with which they were given by God?
The least objectionable adjective I can find to describe homosexuality in the bible is that it is "inconvienient"
But in our modern world, a failure to celebrate this inconvienience can only result in one being branded a bigot

Absent marriage I don't see how gays have somehow been denied the ability to have gay sex. I certainly wouldn't want to tell gay people they can't have gay sex. But what does that have to do with marriage.
A lot of people are conflating the inability for gays to get married with the inability for gays to have gay relationships that aren't marriage. They can and they have.

Mark said...

Good result, bad process.

To all those who mix marriage, love, and sex into some kind of stew that makes logical sense, I say pish and posh.

Marriage evolved (at least in our culture) as a way to perpetuate extended family interests. The whole comedy of errors that was constituted European dynastic succession for a thousand years was just a rarified reflection of what was happening on the ground, as it were. The lower classes married to have sex and to have children who could work for them when they were young and care for them when they were (hopefully) old.

Love at that level of aristocracy (and big wealth, almost always the same thing) simply became a lie to romanticize politics. Because it was still all about the children, and therefore necessarily about the sex. Without the gilding of love noble marriages looked a whole lot like practical animal husbandry.

Anecdote is not data, but every gay couple I know who wants to be married (or who is married) wants to have children. More power to them. If legal recognition of marriage is required for them to have children, by all means it should be legal. As long as the rules are applied equally to all, I don't see a problem.

Still, legal fiat is the worst way to get there. Keeping a marriage together can be hard. (I should know, I've been divorced). It takes real commitment, and by the way, can you think of a single marriage with a pre-nup that actually went to "death do us part"? Having society at large disapprove can't help, and it's not ideal for the kids growing up under those conditions.

Congratulations to Wisconsin gays who are really committed to their partners. And I wish them all the luck in the world if they want to raise children within those marriages.

To the gays who see this as nothing more than a touchdown for their side, you're doing it wrong. But maybe you're accidentally doing something good for your more emotionally mature compatriots, and maybe you can avoid finding out how painful a divorce can be. Good luck to you too.

Sydney said...

Oh, I understand the Mary question, now. It was referring to Mary Tyler Moore who turned the world on with her smile. I was thinking the "love within" referred to Christ in Mary the Mother of God.

A smile can make someone else feel happy and even loved, but it isn't the same as love, whether it be agape or eros.

The Godfather said...

In 1991 I went to the Montogomery County (MD) courthouse to pick up our marriage license, for which I had applied a couple of weeks before. I didn't remember that Feb. 14 is Valentines Day, until I walked in and found the building full of couples (and their friends) who wanted to be married that day. I saw young women wearing gowns and dresses in garish colors and amazing styles, and young men in what I guess were thought to be tuxedos. The entire effect was about as unsacramental as you could imagine.

I suppose those who were offended by the gay weddings in Madison last night would also have been offended by the straight weddings in Rockville 23 years ago. But I wasn't. Yes, I wish more people took marriage more seriously, and sought the blessing of God on their union, but probably around half the marriages performed that day are still in effect, which in an uncertain world isn't that bad. I hope that 23 years from now the same can be said for the couples that married in Madison.

BrianE said...

"Love is not a feeling, it's an act of the will".

Stream of consciousness can lead one down some narrow corridors that end nowhere.

What does loving God mean?
Jesus said- "If you love me, you will keep my commandments"

Saying you love something or someone is fairly meaningless, since love requires action to be realized.

I think the country could have survived civil unions, a co-equal branch of civil rights in a secular society, but it became obvious many years ago, that the object of the homosexual activist was to poke a stick in the eyes of all those who offended them by refusing to normalize their behavior.

We are just beginning to see the effect of this new found power. It's shocking how fast the new morality is gaining speed.

Roost on the Moon said...

In hindsight, it's easy to see why gay marriage won so many people over so quickly. The arguments for it are so much simpler and wholesome, and so much less weird, than the arguments against.

rhhardin said...

It's the same love you see everywhere when the city council raises the minimum wage to $25 an hour.

Perverse side effects are hidden.

grackle said...

Everyone knows that gay marriage is not marriage marriage.

Me. I don't know it. It looks like marriage marriage to me. And there's plenty more that share my viewpoint. Explain please the difference as you see it. Show me how I'm wrong.

This is also called rationalization of sin.

Sin: the act of violating God's will.

So your religion will dictate what's allowed? Thanks, but no thanks. I will go by my own conscience for what I believe should be allowed.

Also, rushing to the courthouse in your shorts for an impromptu wedding does not bespeak taking an important occasion seriously.

Clothing police. NO SHORTS ALLOWED!

Shove your di k through a hole in a bathroom stall for an anonymous bj and many gays call it "love".

Quotes, please. Quote even one gay calling anonymous sex "love."

I also find it annoying that this is being shoved down our throats.

I don't get it. Two people are allowed to do something that doesn't involve anyone else. That's shoving something down someone else's throat?

One look at gay displays during a St. Patrick's parade should make that problem pretty obvious.

Admission: Gays horning in on St. Patrick's Day parades is rude and uncalled for. But what does any of that have to do with the issue of gay marriage?

I had a classmate at Dartmouth who had been raised in foster care and she said she would rather have been in an orphanage.

This commentor apparently sees no difference between foster care, which is someone being paid to house, feed and clothe minors, and adoption.

Imagine a movie about a pedophile … if it was celebratory of love you'd be wondering what the director was thinking.

Equating gayness with pedophilia is a common tactic among those who disapprove of gay marriage.

… many (IMHO all too many) marriages do end in divorce and we are moving into uncharted waters when both members of the divorcing couple are the same gender.

Fear of the unknown. Fear of the new or novel. Neophobia.

… we all know its not marriage.

I don't know. Explain the difference to me.

Does it then extend that they must by necessity be allowed to express this love in physical manner which is inconsistent with the design of the bodies with which they were given by God?

I don't see anything about the design of the human body that is inconsistent with the physical aspect of gay marriage. Enlighten me, please.

jimbino said...

Marriage may or may not involve love, depending on the religious views of the couple.

On the other hand, civil marriage endorsed by the state has nothing to do with love and everything to do with tax breaks for the couple and a favored position at the gummint socialist welfare trough.

These benefits have long been denied singles and gays; now, however, the gay couples will be there at the same trough, elbowing the straight couples, all of them supported by singles.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

"Eros" backwards is "sore". Think about it.

Earnest Prole said...

you peeps -- you talk about teh gays like they are so very different than you, but they aren't

66 said...

I think deguzman1 at 9:58 states things well for a Catholic perspective on marriage. I would only add that Catholic theology is grounded not just upon the Bible, but also opinion natural law, which enables human beings, through reason, to discern right and wrong. We were created man and woman by God for a reason. Man and woman join together in a way that creates a single flesh for a reason. This is the most basic reason that homosexual marriage is wrong: it contravenes natural law. I recognize that this is also the argument that receives the least respect from those who wish to contravene it. But when all is said and done, for me at least, it is very difficult to overcome the basic reality that men and women were created to come together.

A common, though for me unpersuasive, response to this argument is something along the lines of, "how can homosexuality contravene natural law if God created me with homosexual desire/orientation." But having a disordered desire does not mean that God has given you permission to act on that desire. Some desire pedophilia or bestiality. Some desire to take something that doesn't belong to them. Some desire to kill people. It is not enough to say that I have a desire that was God-given and therefore I can act on it.

We must struggle to discern what it is that God wants us to do with the gifts he has given us, and then we must pray for the strength and the courage to do that. I don't think desire has much to do with that.

Pianoman said...

As long as you're going to quote Scripture, how about Romans 1:

"26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error."

Lyle said...

elkh1,

yeah, like I said, it's good that gay folk can be as stupid in marriage as straight folk.

it's sad that people are stupid when it comes to marriage though. some of what happened last night was stupid.

The Crack Emcee said...

See, this is the funny thing about civil rights in America:

We're asked to celebrate the success of gays - who blatantly used the black Civil Rights Movement as THEIR roadmap to freedom - meanwhile, blacks are still mired in Hell without hardly a gay person in America saying a peep without prompting.

And maybe not even then.

The sense of betrayal, and exploitation, is overwhelming,...

The Crack Emcee said...

See, this is the funny thing about civil rights in America:

We're asked to celebrate the success of gays - who blatantly used the black Civil Rights Movement as THEIR roadmap to freedom - meanwhile, blacks are still mired in Hell without hardly a gay person in America saying a peep without prompting.

And maybe not even then.

The sense of betrayal, and exploitation, is overwhelming,...

somefeller said...

So is the new anti-gay marriage party line that gays shouldn't be granted legal marriage rights because they might get divorced? Just wanting to make sure.

In any event, congratulations to Wisconsin. The arc of history is bending slowly but surely in this country.

Rusty said...

m stone said...
The 1 John 4 verses, which you so casually apply to the post subject, is agape love, spiritual and emanating from God.

Don't mix it up with eros, the human drive that is corruptible, hormone-sparked.

Then let's show those in love some charitas.
But the judge was out of line.

Anonymous said...

From reading the comments, I believe Althouse has her answer. If I'm remembering correctly, Jason said it best.

A few points.

1) During the time the Bible was written (All of it) no one married for love. Marriage was arranged, there was no dating, there wasn't a spot on Strawberry Hill to go and make out. Women were more property (First of the parents, then of the husband) than they were decision makers in this process. The point of a marriage was so that the "two can become one flesh" which means to have children. The Lord goes so far as to command, in the Bible, that husbands love their wives and wives respect their husbands. This doesn't mean "Generate feelings for" instead it means, "Treat them charitably".

2) Mostly when you see the word Love in the Bible, it's a verb. It's meant to be charity. How you treat your fellow man. Which has already been stated in the comments previously.

3) We can actually love someone without liking them, in the biblical sense. But in Ann's sense, love and like are synonymous. That concept doesn't actually make sense to most American's, how can you love someone you don't like?

But as C.S. Lewis explains, you can't generate feelings for someone by sitting on your couch and hoping that you can feel "like" for them. Instead, if you love them (IE: Treat them with charity) the result will be starting to like them.

A good example of this is our children. Children are the most self centered, selfish creatures on the face of the planet. They need 100% support. They crap themselves, can't feed themselves, can't dress themselves, they can do nothing for themselves. They demand all of our time and our attention. And yet this selfish, helpless creatures, are the most loved. We shower our actions upon them. And then, we feel powerful feelings for them. We would do anything for them.

I submit, this isn't the same sort of love that you see on those steps. What you're seeing on those steps is a horrific perversion of that. You're seeing people who are only thinking of themselves and finding happiness in the moment, which will create long term suffering.

If we loved them, we would help them to stop and to learn a better way.

Mitch H. said...

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.


T.S. Elliot, "East Coker", Four Quartets

Ann Althouse said...

Those of you who talk about religious values and sin: I will believe you believe what you are saying when you go after all the heterosexual fornicators. Reject all sex outside of heterosexual marriage.

Revenant said...

Joan Jett puts on a damned good concert.

Mitch H. said...

Ann: I call out to you from the night: be honest in your spotlight, and sincere in the face of the infinite. Be honest for once in your life, and drop your shield of the law for this one, unprotected moment. What do you believe, unprotected, unshielded, undefended by pretense and law and pretense. Because the infinite is forever, and your position in this world is temporal, and this moment will pass, but the eternal is waiting, awaiting, and all your bullshit and your cruel neutrality and your clever horseshit will be as nothing before the Throne. Whosever throne it might me, whoever sits on that seat, it is coming.

Be ready, damn you. Because your answer will damn you or save you, whatever it might be, and whatever the opinions of those that hear. Because we are not the audience, but you know that the Audience awaits, listening.

Raptly.

Pianoman said...

@AA: So if you fail to make a post on what people consider important, and someone calls you out for *NOT* posting, you'll concede that you are a hypocrite?

I mean, I get what you're saying about hypocrisy, and I don't disagree with you. But you appear to be making up your own version of Christianity here by twisting Scripture so that it says what *you* want it to say. You seem to be using the Bible as a weapon against your rhetorical foes, rather than as a tool of enlightenment.

It's sort of a variation on Fen's Law, now that I think about it.

Paco Wové said...

"... the sort of distinctively "moral" discourse practiced in academic and legal contexts is almost predestined to produce an unedifying spectacle. Unmoored from its subject matter, necessarily trading on suppressed premises and commitments, such discourse is inherently deceptive and deficient. And its deficiencies routinely manifest themselves, the critic may remark, in the performances of moral reasoning that we regularly observe – performances that in addition to being unpersuasive are also distinctly peculiar."

Smith, Steven D. 2010. The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse. Harvard University Press. pg. 65.

66 said...

"Those of you who talk about religious values and sin: I will believe you believe what you are saying when you go after all the heterosexual fornicators. Reject all sex outside of heterosexual marriage."

To be clear, I am not "going after" those who engage in homosexual acts. I suspect that having a homosexual orientation is a very difficult circumstance. I pray that my homosexual and lesbian brothers and sisters are able to find their way on the path God has set before them.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

As so many people have pointed out, heterosexuals are just as able to do marriage wrong as any other group.

Right = love, caring, sharing, and family building for life.

Wrong = just about anything else.

Doesn't mean childless couples can't be married; family is not just children, even if that once was the primary purpose of state support of marriage.

Everybody getting married primarily to make a political statement should be slapped hard.

Pianoman said...

"Those of you who talk about religious values and sin: I will believe you believe what you are saying when you go after all the heterosexual fornicators. Reject all sex outside of heterosexual marriage."

Therefore, the Christian church as represented by Protestants and Catholics are total hypocrites unless they attack fornication with the exact same level of intensity as they do with same-sex marriage.

Am I understanding your position correctly, or did I miss something?

Anonymous said...

jimbino: These benefits have long been denied singles and gays; now, however, the gay couples will be there at the same trough, elbowing the straight couples, all of them supported by singles.

I'm not down with gay marriage, but I strongly encourage all couples, gay and straight, to celebrate and vacation in our national parks on jimbino's dime.

Michael said...

Crack

The evil Koch brothers, the very evil Koch brothers, donated $25,000,000 to the United Negro College Fund.

White Supremacy in action.

And, yes, the LGBT community pretended they were as oppressed as blacks. I wpuld be pissed at that too.

Anonymous said...

I really have a hard time coming down on one side or another of this issue. One the one hand I applaud commitment. On the other I'm not sure "marriage" is the appropriate label for this type of commitment. If "love" is the measure of state-sanctioned relationships, should we bestow such sanction on polyamorous couples? What about brothers and sisters whose relationship turns romantic? If we don't use the definition that has been used in the West for thousands of years, what do we use now? If "love" is our definition, we're going to have to sanction a lot of relationships that many people would not find healthy.

Michael said...

Somefeller

While I agree that gay marriage is a good thing I would not go so far as to describe its adoption as a bend in the arc of history. Unless, of course, history does not include the 90% of the planet which does not bend. Arc wise.


jimbino said...

Ann, there is no such thing as heterosexual marriage in the Bible, at least not marriage in conformance with our current idea that involves monogamy & pledges, flowers, dresses and bad music. The only common element is sufficient good wine, which is the only element necessary, as far as we can tell from the Bible.

All but the wine is a modern invention, and has nothing to do with Biblical tradition. Indeed, Jesus and Paul were lifelong bachelors, at least one of whom compared marriage to immolation.

The real Biblical model for the modern marriage is the Book of Job, and I recommend all aspiring grooms to read it.

Gahrie said...

Those of you who talk about religious values and sin: I will believe you believe what you are saying when you go after all the heterosexual fornicators. Reject all sex outside of heterosexual marriage.

We do. Look back at the last twenty Republican sex scandals, and the last twenty Democratic sex scandals. Look at what happened to those involved. One of the reason Gingrich will never have political power again is because of how he behaves.

It hasn't been Republicans, conservatives or the faithful who have been repealing and overturning all the laws against morality the last fifty yars.

We want to teach abstince, not sex ed. You won't let us.

Gahrie said...


The sense of betrayal, and exploitation, is overwhelming,...


Should be pretty familar, you've been living with it from the democrats for 70 years.

Jason said...

Jesus, Ann. You need to get off campus more.

jr565 said...

grackle wrote:
Me. I don't know it. It looks like marriage marriage to me. And there's plenty more that share my viewpoint. Explain please the difference as you see it. Show me how I'm wrong.

Well for one it's called GAY marriage, and not just marriage. And for another marriage has a bride and a groom. And gay marriage doesn't. It's a separate entity.
What you are really trying to say is you don't see why we shouldn't extend those benefits to gay people as well. But that's a separate argument.

Pianoman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

grackle wrote:
Me. I don't know it. It looks like marriage marriage to me. And there's plenty more that share my viewpoint. Explain please the difference as you see it. Show me how I'm wrong.

Does incestual marriage or polgamy look like marriage marriage to you? ON what criterion are you defining Marriage? If it's all about the LOVE, then surely these would apply? No.
I could make a simple argument that polygamy isn't marriage marriage because Marriage involves two peopel and not three and is between a man and a woman. But you're saying No, marriage can be any two people because the people are in love. Well, why must it only be two people and not three? What if polygamy looks like marriage marriage to those who want to have polygamy?
I'm trying to see where, if any place, you'd draw a line.

jr565 said...

Althouse wrote:
"Reject all sex outside of heterosexual marriage."

I dont think the church is particularly happy when people do it. Its not like theyre' saying that sex out of wedlock is a good thing or sin free.

jr565 said...

Grackle, Didn't you watch Big Love? Why then would you have a problem with polygamy?

Ann Althouse said...

"The purpose of Eros, and the reason it is sanctified by marriage, is procreation."

Well, then, stick to your principles and never use birth control (and never have sex with anyone other than your husband/wife).

Ann Althouse said...

From the Wikipedia article on the MTM show opening sequence:

"The sequence has been referenced and parodied numerous times. Oprah Winfrey recreated the entire opening sequence of the show in Chicago, with herself in the role of Mary. The All New Alexei Sayle Show parodies the opening credits in its opening sequence, with Alexei Sayle dancing through the streets of London to the theme song 'Life's a Big Banana Sandwich'. In the "Saturdays of Thunder" episode of The Simpsons (also produced by Mary Tyler Moore creator James L. Brooks), Homer criticizes his sister-in-law Patty's Mary Tyler Moore style hairdo, to which her sister Selma insists he be ignored, retorting, "You can turn the world on with your smile," in reference to the theme song's opening lyric.

"Often, the hat toss is the main focus of the parody. During the closing credits of the spin-off Rhoda, she also tries to fling her hat in the air while in the middle of Times Square, but it just falls to the ground and she must sheepishly pick it up. In the episode "And Maggie Makes Three" of The Simpsons, while working at a bowling alley, Homer spins around singing, "I'm gonna make it after all!", and tosses a bowling ball in the air, denting the hardwood floor when it falls. In the first episode of Suddenly Susan, Brooke Shields' character hears the theme song from The Mary Tyler Moore Show and throws her remote control in the air. It hits her in the head. Peter Griffin wins a piano competition in the Family Guy episode "Wasted Talent" by playing "Love is all around." Afterwards, during the audience's applause a girl throws her hat in the air and freezes, while those around her look perplexed as to why she and the hat are not moving. On the series Girlfriends, Maya throws her hat in the air after arriving in New York City to meet with a book publisher; the hat is caught by someone walking nearby, who runs off with it.

"In the Scrubs season one episode, "My 15 Minutes", Elliot takes a cab downtown at night. The Mary Tyler Moore theme plays as Elliot emerges from her cab. She twirls around and tosses her hat into the air and the music stops with a jolt when a young man bumps into her. He grabs the hat and sticks it on his head and keeps walking. The Latest Buzz twice parodies the hat toss: in the pilot "The First Issue", Rebecca (one of the new teen writers of Teen Buzz magazine) throws her hat up before leaving the office, which fails to come down; this is revisited in the series finale "The Final Issue" (which involves the staff's firing, similar to the final episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show), as one of the replacement teen writers, Lucy, does the toss with the same result, down to Rebecca giving the same advice to Lucy that her boss DJ gave to her during her first week on the job after the hat toss mishap."

Anonymous said...

Grackle: I don't get it. Two people are allowed to do something that doesn't involve anyone else. That's shoving something down someone else's throat?

Well, of course someone who believes that marriage "doesn't involve anyone else" but the people marrying is not going to "get it". But I am curious why you restrict it to two. If it "doesn't involve anyone else", what difference does it make? I don't get it. (Me, I don't think "gay marriage" is "sinful" or against God's will or whatever, I think it's just another symptom of a fractured, decaying society full of silly unrooted people who think that putting their heads up their butts just a little bit farther is the solution to every problem.)

As for shoving things down other people's throats, perhaps you've missed the grievance-shoppers sharing their love with dissenting bakers, stationers, photographers. As some wag put it (can't remember where now, maybe here?), funny how "we're here, we're queer, get over it" so quickly turned into "we're gay, you'll pay, get used it".

Ann Althouse said...

You know what's weird about all the pushback I'm getting on the Biblical reading I provided?

I didn't say anything about what it meant or how it relates to the rest of the post. I just said "And:"!

The objections you're raising came from your mind. Examine your fears and delusions.

Anonymous said...

Ann Althouse wrote;

"Those of you who talk about religious values and sin: I will believe you believe what you are saying when you go after all the heterosexual fornicators. Reject all sex outside of heterosexual marriage."

I don't know what you mean by "go after" but the Bible is pretty clear on all fornication. The only sexual practice that is non sinful is the one within marriage. And Christ is pretty clear about what makes a marriage, which is a man and a woman who become one flesh.

It only becomes complicated when we find we desire something else, make ourselves gods, as Adam and Eve did in the garden, and think we know better than Him.

That never ends well.

This time will be no different.

jr565 said...

Althouse wrote:
Well, then, stick to your principles and never use birth control (and never have sex with anyone other than your husband/wife).

Some religions are more strict than others with the use of birth control. But I think the issue was IF procreation is to produce a child it should be done within the confines of a marriage. Not that every time you have sex within a marriage, it must be to procreate. Again, some religions are stricter than others.
But you doon't even have to make it a religious argument. It's all about paternity of kids.There is no issue of paternity if the mother and father are the bride and and groom of the marriage. . It's their kid.
If the mom or dad is having sex on the side, then the paternity issue becomes really complicated. Who gets paternity.
Society doesn't want to have to deal with single moms, and babies daddies who arent' part of the marriage.
Which is why traditional marriage is the ideal relationship to codify a marriage around.
I don't see what gay marriage has to offer other than to allow a platform for people who love each other to say I love you. But, that's not what marriage is really about.

The Godfather said...

@Pianoman (1:11 pm) quotes Paul in Romans 1:26 et seq. beginning "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts."

What's "this" that led God to give them over? and who's "them"?

The answer is that "this" is idolatry and "them" is idolators ("22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools; 23 and they exchanged the glory of God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles." See also vv. 18, 28-32).

Paul wasn't talking here about Gay people doing what it is in their nature to do, but about heterosexuals doing what is contrary to their nature ("27 . . . men, giving up natural intercourse with women").

I don't claim that Paul was pro-Gay. He was a Jewish man of his time and had some of the prejudices you'd expect. If you told him that there are people who by their nature are sexually attracted to members of the same sex, he'd scoff. But Gay-bashing wasn't part of his agenda. He had more important bashing to do.

jr565 said...

actually, a lot of the things that gays are going through are also affecting single people.
A single man might find it harder to adopt than a straight couple, and perhaps even a gay couple.
But that's because society, RIGHTLY, values the mommy daddy paradigm over all others.

CStanley said...

"The purpose of Eros, and the reason it is sanctified by marriage, is procreation."

Well, then, stick to your principles and never use birth control (and never have sex with anyone other than your husband/wife).


I do, so I'm wondering why you felt the need to advise me such. Do you doubt that anyone lives according to these principles?

ALP said...

jr565: "Does marriage produce love? Absent marriage gay people weren't in love with each other?"
********
THIS! The idea that a bunch of civil servants and bureaucrats dole out magic pieces of paper that confer love on a relationship is absolutely abhorrent. Love, dignity, compassion...these are things that exist by themselves, inherent in the relationship. WHY do people hand over that kind of power to the government?

The kind of relationship between an individual and the state that this attitude implies is what I have always found so disturbing - and have held this view ever since the debate over cohabitation began decades ago. We are free citizens, not serfs. We don't need the government to tell us we are in love, or to give us permission to love. We just need the government to outline, and enforce, laws/regs regarding money, property and children. Leave the emotions to us and butt out.

I recently chatted with a friend of 30+ years - a lesbian in a 20 year long relationship. She and her partner can now get married. But instead of rushing down to the courthouse, they got out a CALCULATOR, consulted a CPA, and made the decision to stay *unmarried* based on the tangible, financial impact - not emotions. What a refreshing attitude! How rare it is for people to consider all the aspects of matrimony - including the financial. Money issues are one of the leading causes of divorce - too bad more people don't consider financial compatibility before tying the knot.

Ann Althouse said...

"The passage from John isn't referring to anything to do with marriage, family or even friends. That form of love was assumed. It refers to how you should treat everyone one else, even strangers and your enemies."

Yes, and I hope you are treating all the gay people with love then, okay?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann,

"The purpose of Eros, and the reason it is sanctified by marriage, is procreation."

Well, then, stick to your principles and never use birth control (and never have sex with anyone other than your husband/wife).


I never have had sex with anyone other than my husband, FWIW, nor do I expect ever to. I'm post-menopausal, so "birth control" (=birth prevention, frankly) is by now a non-issue.

I don't understand why sex looms so large in our lives today. From half the media you'd find it difficult to discern that Americans care about anything else.

Pianoman said...

My apologies, Ann -- I ASSumed that you were shutting down the discussion. I can't expect you to hover over each of your posts 24/7 to approve my rants. My mistake.

Ann Althouse said...

"Althouse today reminds me of the old songs by Stephen Stills "if you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with" love then is both sex and love."

I've always hated that song, and it's completely the opposite of the topic under discussion, which is lifelong commitment to one partner. That you perceive gay people as just loving the one they're with is strange. You say I remind you of something, but you must know that you are saying something about your own mind. I encourage you to think deeply about what it is.

CStanley said...

Yes, and I hope you are treating all the gay people with love then, okay?

I infer that you don't think it's possible to love gay people without condoning homosexual behavior and being for gay marriage. Some of us disagree with that perspective.

Ann Althouse said...

"Re marriage and sex, Christian moral theologies (Catholic ones anyway) sets boundaries on sex that aim it at a set of goods more important than sex itself: bearing and raising children that result from sex; sustaining a lifelong, exclusive friendship between husband and wife; and maintaining intact families that care for the young and elderly. The argument is that sex outside of marriage, and improper uses of sex within marriage, refuse or undermine one or more of these goods."

Good. It's a high standard, and there's no reason that gay people can't aspire to that high standard. Why would you want to exclude them?

Would your head explode if Pope Francis said that?

Ann Althouse said...

"You know what's going to be awesome when they start beating the drums for polygamy? We're going to get two-for-the-price-of-one ladlings of Althouse the SWPL-solipsist theologian. Sophistic scoldings for homophobia and Islamophobia in one time-saving package, with a groovy soundtrack."

I think the constitutional argument that polygamous unions must be recognized by the state is very poor, and I am opposed to legal recognition as a policy. I don't think group relationships should be punished though (because the prosecutions have targeted religion).

I think the point is equality, and that means only a 2-person relationship. People can make contracts if they want. They can say what they want about the nature of their relationship and conduct religious rituals.

Pianoman said...

"You know what's weird about all the pushback I'm getting on the Biblical reading I provided?"

You mean the part where you used the Bible as a bludgeon in order to shut up the Christians?

Pianoman said...

@Godfather: The Bible is pretty clear that being homosexual isn't a sin, but the act of homosexuality *is*.

Being heterosexual isn't a sin either. The act of fornication is, even though it, too, is "in our nature". It's in man's nature to try to impregnate, after all.

There's a lot of things that are "in our nature". It doesn't mean that they're not sinful.

Pianoman said...

@AA: "I think the point is equality, and that means only a 2-person relationship. People can make contracts if they want."

I look forward to marrying my Mother on her deathbed, in order to avoid estate taxes.

n.n said...

The point is not equality, but equal protection. There is nothing special about couples, other than their "Posterity", and there is no positive recognition or rejection of couplets, bigamists, polygamists, et cetera.

Congratulations to couplets, bigamists, polygamists et cetera. This is a day for all people of form, kind, and number which were previously marginalized to celebrate their loving relationships.

jimbino said...

Ann says, "I think the point is equality, and that means only a 2-person relationship. People can make contracts if they want. They can say what they want about the nature of their relationship and conduct religious rituals."

If you want equality, you have to stop the nonsense of civil marriage and the conferring benefits on those who participate in it, whether gay or straight, to the great disadvantage of singles and other loving couples, like brother and sister, grandmother and grandson, and two friends!

Civil marriage in Amerika flouts civil rights. Pure religious marriage would not.

jr565 said...

I've always hated that song, and it's completely the opposite of the topic under discussion, which is lifelong commitment to one partner. That you perceive gay people as just loving the one they're with is strange. You say I remind you of something, but you must know that you are saying something about your own mind. I encourage you to think deeply about what it is.


I wasn't atually talking about gays when I made that point. I was talking about the banality of love in equating being with the one you love with fucking someone your'e with as also Love.

But I did post a link earlier where it was revealed that in many gay marriages there is no real sense of monogamy:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/06/26/most_gay_couples_aren_t_monogamous_will_straight_couples_go_monogamish.html

Which kind of boils down to "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one youre with, no?
Listen to Dan Savage describe his monogomish relationship.
I'm not really getting the commited for life vibe from many gays.

Ann Althouse said...

"Oh, I understand the Mary question, now. It was referring to Mary Tyler Moore who turned the world on with her smile. I was thinking the "love within" referred to Christ in Mary the Mother of God."

I play with multiple allusions for your amusement and edification and to advance creative and analytical thinking. Please feel free to use whatever is made available.

"Love is not a feeling, it's an act of the will."

If that were true, we would not have so much adultery and divorce!

"Ann: I call out to you from the night... the infinite is forever... the eternal is waiting... whoever sits on that seat, it is coming. Be ready, damn you...."

Those of you who are getting grandiose about the high stakes on this one issue, look into your own heart. Why are you fixated on the lives of gay people? Why don't you concentrate on loving your neighbor? If you really believe there is a hell, why are you not afraid you will be judged for your failure to love?

"@AA: So if you fail to make a post on what people consider important, and someone calls you out for *NOT* posting, you'll concede that you are a hypocrite?"

Huh? That makes no sense at all. I write about what interests me at any given moment, and the topics aren't even based on my ordering of the importance of things, so there's certainly no idea at all that I would post based on what other people think is important.

CStanley said...

"Re marriage and sex, Christian moral theologies (Catholic ones anyway) sets boundaries on sex that aim it at a set of goods more important than sex itself: bearing and raising children that result from sex; sustaining a lifelong, exclusive friendship between husband and wife; and maintaining intact families that care for the young and elderly. The argument is that sex outside of marriage, and improper uses of sex within marriage, refuse or undermine one or more of these goods."

Good. It's a high standard, and there's no reason that gay people can't aspire to that high standard. Why would you want to exclude them?

Would your head explode if Pope Francis said that?


This was addressed to someone else, but as a practicing catholic I would say that my head wouldn't explode but I would find it scandalous. I would be willing to place a high wager that he will never say precisely that, because it would contradict thousands of years of Cathoic teaching about marital love, (Hint: you are not correct in saying that there is "no reason" that gays couldn't meet that standard, even if it is a reason with which you don't personally agree. You glossed over the phrase "improper uses for sex within marriage".)

n.n said...

Anonymous:

Therein lies the problem: selective exclusion. The marriage of couplets, without recognition of other loving relationships, creates a moral hazard.

That said, who really cares, right? This country has survived the creation of multiple moral hazards. The Democrats, in particular, are infamous for their sponsorship. And yet, they have suffered little setback for their numerous violations.

Perhaps they are right. Perhaps pro-choice (i.e. selective) is the right "moral" and objective principle to reconcile dissonant demands.

jr565 said...

"I think the constitutional argument that polygamous unions must be recognized by the state is very poor, and I am opposed to legal recognition as a policy."


In other words, you're one of the bigots. Join the club.

"As a polygamist would ask though I if the purpose of marriage isn’t to produce children in traditional one-mom, one-dad homes, if it’s just a legal arrangement between folks who really like each other, what basis can there be to deny triads and quads who want legal recognition of multiple-partner marriages?"


And note we do make exceptions for couples for various reasons. One, if one or more isn't old enough. Two, if the couple is blood related. So, we can't really talk about how there needs to be equality while continuing to deny segments of the population the right to marriage.
You might argue that it's right to ban incestual marriage because incest is social harm. But you could restrict marriage to being between a man and a woman because that is the ideal social good society wishes to promote.
I happen to think that the constitutional arguments for alllowing for gay marriage are similarly poor, but all it takes is a few judges apparently.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"If that were true, we would not have so much adultery and divorce!"
If people can't control their emotions, much less their will, we are no better than animals. Which is what the statists want you to believe.
A strong component of the philosophical justification for totalitarianism is that you, as an individual, have no legitimate "will". Your hopes and dreams, your vision for how you want to live and how you want your fellow humans to treat you are a result of things over which you have no control -- your upbringing, genetic influences, perhaps, and random chance.

jr565 said...

"
Perhaps they are right. Perhaps pro-choice (i.e. selective) is the right "moral" and objective principle to reconcile dissonant demands." So, the state should be pro choice on bigamy or inecstual marriage?

jr565 said...

" think the constitutional argument that polygamous unions must be recognized by the state is very poor?"
Why? Because the state previously stated that polygamy was illegal? The state also previously stated that marriage was between a man and a woman and not any two people.

Pianoman said...

OK, I'll try again. You said:

"Those of you who talk about religious values and sin: I will believe you believe what you are saying when you go after all the heterosexual fornicators."

I took from this that Christians who DON'T attack fornication as much as they attack gay marriage are hypocrites, because the text that Christians hold as sacred spends a lot of time talking about how bad fornication is.

In other words, you would judge people based not on what they DO, but on what they DON'T do.

This reminded me of how people who fail to comment on a subject are attacked for NOT commenting. The implication is that, by NOT saying anything, the person is actually ENDORSING it. Which is, IMHO, completely unfair.

Does that clear it up, or have I made it more muddy?

Ann Althouse said...

"If people can't control their emotions, much less their will, we are no better than animals."

You mostly only can control your actions, not the emotions themselves, but we tend to call that "controlling your emotions."

Let's say a woman feels no more love for her husband and is very excited by some other man. She can, through will, stay with her husband and keep away from that other man, but she can't very well will herself to love the husband and to feel nothing for the other man.

We can expect her to live up to the standard of resisting bad action, but how can she feel what she doesn't feel? Isn't it more to her credit if she does what is right even though it's not what she feels inclined to do.

I know some people in this thread have been asserting that love is action, but I don't understand that. Love is an emotion, a feeling, and it motivates action, but the action is a choice, and the love is not a choice.

CStanley said...



Let's say a woman feels no more love for her husband and is very excited by some other man. She can, through will, stay with her husband and keep away from that other man, but she can't very well will herself to love the husband and to feel nothing for the other man.

....

I know some people in this thread have been asserting that love is action, but I don't understand that. Love is an emotion, a feeling, and it motivates action, but the action is a choice, and the love is not a choice.


I can't disagree more. You will yourself to continue a loving relationship by refraining from indulging in the fantasy of the other person, and reflecting on the reality of all of the things that made you love the person to whom you made a commitment.

The Godfather said...

@Pianoman (4:13 pm): Actually there's very little about homosexuality in the New Testament: There's the passage from Romans you cited, on which I commented, and there's another Pauline Epistle (I don't remember the citation) in which homosexuality (or perhaps something a little different; it's a translation issue) appears on a list of behaviors Paul says everyone agrees are wrong.

There is some pretty harsh anti-Gay language in the Old Testament, particularly Leviticus, along with apparently favorable views of polygamy, child sacrifice, adultery with servants, etc. I suggest that these views cannot be taken as applicable to our situation today, without further analysis.

jimbino said...

Why are we talking about "love" here? Like sex, companionship, cohabitation, breeding and friendship, it is NOT a prerequisite for marriage, and indeed, has historically not even been an ingredient, until after Romeo and Juliet, and only in the West.

God loves everybody, of course, though he has strange ways of showing his love; Ruth loved Naomi while not massacring whole villages and flooding the Earth.

You want an example of a good Biblical marriage that has nothing to do with love: Book of Job.

Pianoman said...

Somehow this discussion of love reminded me of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNHuI0Pw0m8

Truer than the red, white and blue!

Anonymous said...

AA: I think the constitutional argument that polygamous unions must be recognized by the state is very poor, and I am opposed to legal recognition as a policy.

For now, Althouse, for now. You'll come 'round. You have to. You've got nowhere else to go. You've kicked out all the struts. You (the plural "you") didn't have to - if you'd thought it through a little more carefully you could have crafted legislation upholding monogamous marriage while expanding its legal benefits to homosexual couples. But you were just having way too much fun with the bigot stick to heed the precedents you were setting with your sloppy "sharing our love" and "what's it to you?" and "your hate makes baby Jesus cry" non-arguments. We tried to warn you!

I don't think group relationships should be punished though (because the prosecutions have targeted religion).

So you want to make Muslims just following their religion second-class citizens? Don't see how that's much different from rescinding laws against sodomy, but still not allowing gays to marry. We won't punish you, but you don't have equal legal status.

I think the point is equality, and that means only a 2-person relationship.

Hey, once you decide that anything that strikes your fancy is an urgent matter of "equal protection", it's hard to find a purchase for arguing that "equality" in marriage law be restricted in definition to mean allowing everybody equal access to the traditional marriage rules of Europe.

But why should they be privileged over those of traditionally polygamous Africans or Arabs? One may as well say that gays already had equal marriage rights because no one was denying them access to monogamous heterosexual marriage, either.

(Maybe the little bottles of "equality" and "multiculturalism" should have come with warning labels about not mixing one with the other, like those on bleach and ammonia bottles.)

Making everything you want an appeal to "equality" is where you went off the rails. Equality is a good, not the good, not the supreme end and value, not the purpose and meaning of every single institution and relationship in a civilization.

People can make contracts if they want. They can say what they want about the nature of their relationship and conduct religious rituals.

Lol. Good luck using that line to get everybody to stop pushing past the line where you wanted to say "oh we've come far enough now, haven't we?"

Pianoman said...

@Godfather: I agree -- when it comes to sins, homosexuality is way down on the list when it comes to NT citations. Doesn't make it any less sinful though.

(Just because something ISN'T mentioned in the Bible doesn't make it any less sinful. Pedophilia isn't referenced anywhere, for example .. and I think we would all agree that it is a sinful practice.)

Marc said...

I posted at 9:40 and wrote inter alia that AA was disingenuous, that being the precise opposite of what I intended to write; I guess my old head suffered a glitch. Ingenuous was what I wanted, as in candor-touched-with-naiveté. Would just have deleted the 9:40 except that I see the follow-up post is leading with AA and disingenuousness.

jr565 said...

I personally could care less about the sin of gays. If they want to have sex with people of the same sex, have at it.
The sin is not the reason to deny gays marriage. Its not even a negative reason really to deny gays marriage. The issue is that promoting traditional marriage as the ideal is the social good that society wants to promote. That outweighs any claims of equality.

Babies are created through mommies and daddies. Society wants a structure in place that has the biological mparents taking care of the biological kids.
For socialization we want, ideally, a mother and a father. What other institution offers that? Not polygamy. Not gay marriage.
incest would, unless we're talking about gay incest, but there are other reasons to ban incest. If we could ban incest for the social harm, we could similarly ban gay marriage for not promoting the social good in the way that traditional marriage does.
If gays want a recognized union they should go for civil unions which are the creations of the states. Not try to redefine marriage.

jr565 said...

Maybe the little bottles of "equality" and "multiculturalism" should have come with warning labels about not mixing one with the other, like those on bleach and ammonia bottles

The proponents of gay marriage want to talk about equality while leaving out all the other marriage types that are similarly unequal. I don't hear too many of them calling people bigots for not supporting polygamy for example.
Including our hostess.

Gahrie said...

I think the constitutional argument that polygamous unions must be recognized by the state is very poor, and I am opposed to legal recognition as a policy

So what? Substitute "gay" for "polygamous" and you have the opinion of the majority of Americans in the past, today and tomorrow. Yet we have state recognized gay "marriages" today.

Jason said...

Althouse: I think the constitutional argument that polygamous unions must be recognized by the state is very poor, and I am opposed to legal recognition as a policy. I don't think group relationships should be punished though (because the prosecutions have targeted religion).

Hypocrite. That's precisely the position taken by the entire country up until last week - and still the position of the majority of voters in Wisconsin, the last time they took the vote. And yet it's the OTHER people who are the bigots.

Take the plank out of your eye, Professor, and you will see that the wheels have fallen off your rhetorical go cart.

There is now no longer any coherent basis for keeping polygamy illegal. Indeed, I can now muster some powerful reasons against making such an arrangement illegal, or preventing the state from granting the same recognition to such a union.

For example, suppose you have a family with two children - wife 1 becomes disabled. She can no longer help support the home. But wife number 2 can! And can help support wife number 1 right along with everyone else.

Isn't that a better solution for society than having hubby divorce wife 1?

What? It should be illegal? WHY? Who are you to say no to these people?

People can enter contracts if they want

Thank you, Rick Santorum. But that was true all along, wasn't it?

Pianoman said...

Taking a step back and looking at this from a macro-level: How long will it be before SCOTUS rules on states rights? At some point, a state (Utah, Oklahoma, Texas come to mind) will vote against SSM -- like California -- but the executive and legislative branches of that state will *not* cave in to the pro-SSM lobby. Eventually, SCOTUS will need to decide whether states are allowed to make their own decision regarding SSM. They can't kick the can down the road forever.

So what's the consensus? Things move fast these days, and I guess it's just a matter of how long it takes our hypothetical gay couple from { Utah | Oklahoma | Texas } to initiate their lawsuit against all the HaterZ.

n.n said...

This scene reminds me of an episode from "The Outer Limits." It would be ironic if these several posts were a ruse to spur collection of arguments used to aid normalization of bigamy, polygamy, et cetera.

n.n said...

jimbino:

God's prime directive, his first commandment, which conveniently coincides with a principle of evolutionary life, is "be fruitful and multiply". As for marriage, it is not about love, but reaching a consensus. For the purpose of "be fruitful and multiply", and tangential functions. Although, there is something about man and woman becoming one, or something. Perhaps that could be interpreted as "love".

The Godfather said...

Pianoman (8:46 pm) is correct. Imposing Gay marriage by judicial decree, against the will of the people, is going to cause serious problems in the future. The same arguments can be made, and will be made, about plural marriage. Then there's the whole issue of the age of consent, sex with relatives, close family pets, etc.

This is an issue that should have been dealt with state by state by legislative action in a democratic republic. It would have taken a little longer, and I'm sorry for that, but in the long run -- I say this, and have said this, to my Gay friends -- it will be better to have your rights founded on the consent of your fellow citizens, not forced down their throats by judges they don't respect.

n.n said...

jr565:

Sure, why not. Pro-choice, or selective principles, already rationalizes abortion/murder of around one million Americans annually. It seems that proscribing relationships based on form, kind, or number is the least of our concerns. Besides, since pro-choice is the law of the land, any freakish reproduction from an incestuous relationship can be terminated without cause. So, any logical opposition to incest on biological grounds is now moot.

Anonymous said...

Pianoman said:

"I look forward to marrying my Mother on her deathbed, in order to avoid estate taxes."

Bingo! Go to the head of the internet.

No one's mentioned the act of love that male homosexuals perform on each other. I wouldn't let a dog do that to another dog. And I wouldn't want Barney Frank sitting next to me on a train.

Eve'sBlog said...

The preacher asked her
And she said I do
The preacher asked me
And she said yes he does too
And the preacher said
I pronounce you 99 to life
Son she's no lady she's your wife
-Lyle Lovett

grackle said...

Well for one it's called GAY marriage, and not just marriage.

The commentor seems to be stating that the reason that gay marriage is different than straight marriage is because "gay" is used as a prefix in the debates, articles, books, etc. about gay marriage. I was expecting a more substantial argument. This is merely frivolous.

Questions: Is Italian marriage different than marriage? Is Canadian marriage different than marriage? Is interracial marriage different than marriage?

And for another marriage has a bride and a groom.

According to the commentor's definition. Me? I say marriage can have two brides, two grooms or a bride and groom. That's my definition. Want to guess which definition matters to me?

What you are really trying to say is you don't see why we shouldn't extend those benefits to gay people as well. But that's a separate argument.

Seeing as how the commentor has broached the subject: Yes, For sure I don't see why the benefits from the institution of marriage should be denied to gay couples.

ON what criterion are you defining Marriage? If it's all about the LOVE, then surely these would apply?

I cannot imagine people wanting to live with each other and/or wanting to be married as not being motivated by love. I do not believe I'm obliged to declare any other criteria. Even though marriage obviously serves other purposes, in my opinion love is the main component of marriage.

Does incestual marriage or polgamy look like marriage marriage to you?

I was of the opinion even before I came to my own change of mind on gay marriage that homosexuality is determined from birth. Consequently, gay people are locked into a sexual preference for life, just like straight people are. It seems unfair to consign them to the shadows with no hope for entry into the institution of marriage.

But even so, I would not be for gay marriage as a practicality if I thought that society in general wasn't ready for its acceptance. Attitudes have changed enough now that any potential societal disruption will be minimal. Fifty years ago if the courts had declared gay marriage legal there would have probably been riots and violence. The political cost to the gay marriage proponents would have precluded what is now coming to pass, which is due entirely to the change in public opinion.

But incest and polygamy are choices and are not tied to latent characteristics. You are not born with these as inherent preferences. Nuclear family incest is coercive by nature.

For these reasons and others I don't believe incestuous marriage should be legalized. In fact incestuous marriage has no chance of being condoned, allowed or legalized. So arguments assuming the possibility of incestuous marriage are a type of straw man argument.

The situation with polygamy is more ambiguous. While I would in principle be pro-polygamy I do not think the times are anywhere near amenable to its practical implementation. So for now I'm also against the legalization of polygamy.

To be continued …

grackle said...

… continued

… theology is grounded … upon the Bible, but also … natural law … This is the … reason that homosexual marriage is wrong: it contravenes natural law…. for me … having a disordered desire does not mean that God has given you permission to act on that desire.

Informally this is called "bible-thumping." It's the idea that someone's religious convictions should dictate morality to the rest of us. This type of rationale occurs frequently in the comments. Religious folk need to realize that this is a poor argument to those of us that do not agree with their religious views. Anyone sitting on the fence trying to decide what their own attitude should be in regards to gay marriage is not likely to be swayed by this type of argument.

In the commentor's opinion there is also the idea that gayness is a disorder, an idea which is not in keeping with mainstream psychology.

Finally, whatever they believe they declare to be an unarguable "natural law," a law which the rest of us must follow without question.

What you're seeing on those steps is a horrific perversion … You're seeing people who are only thinking of themselves and finding happiness in the moment, which will create long term suffering.

Again, here is the idea of gayness as unnatural, as a disorder, as a perversion. And the commentor wants us to believe that he, like a god, is able to look into the minds of the gay couples and determine that they "are only thinking of themselves and finding happiness in the moment" and like a god he can of course see into the future.

Gahrie said...

In the commentor's opinion there is also the idea that gayness is a disorder, an idea which is not in keeping with mainstream psychology.

Anymore.

miller said...

I suppose if we were a Christian nation we could enforce certain Christian doctrines, but we're not.

We're a largely a nation influenced by Christians and Christian beliefs, but Christians don't agree on the doctrines, so it would be foolish to attempt to enforce a particular belief as Christian doctrine that must be obeyed by all, Christian and non-Christian.

I don't think there's 100% agreement on same-sex marriage among Christians, so I don't support making this (opposition to same-sex marriage) a doctrine that must be obeyed by all, Christian and non-Christian. Seems that if we make this an absolute standard, we are requiring those with religious objections (or even just their own human objections) to this to violate their consciences by being forced to submit to this.

Better to let this be something we allow for all, and keep religion from being the ultimate judge in the secular sphere.

jr565 said...

grackle wrote;
The commentor seems to be stating that the reason that gay marriage is different than straight marriage is because "gay" is used as a prefix in the debates, articles, books, etc. about gay marriage. I was expecting a more substantial argument. This is merely frivolous.

Oh, blow me. It's not frivolous. If you had two groups of couples in line and one group was going to be married traditionally and the other was to be married through gay marriage they'd be totally different. A bride and a groom is different than a groom and a groom. or a bride and a bride. Entirely different vocabulary involved. It's a different thing. And the cherry on top is that its called gay marriage to differentiate it from Marriage where gays can't get married because it requires a bride and a groom.
Different.

jr565 said...

"Questions: Is Italian marriage different than marriage? Is Canadian marriage different than marriage? Is interracial marriage different than marriage?"

Stupid questions Grackle. Do the people in the Italian wedding meet the requirements of marriage? Then no. If they don't then yes. Are the people of the right age, is it two people only, is it a man and a woman. are they blood related? are they already married?
NO. Well then you can marry whether you're black,white, italian or canadian.



According to the commentor's definition. Me? I say marriage can have two brides, two grooms or a bride and groom. That's my definition. Want to guess which definition matters to me?

NO, ACCORDING TO LAW dumbass. I agree with the law, but the law had that as one of the prerequistites for marriage. THat was the LEGAL definition.
And ok, I'll play your STUPID game I Think marriage should be five people, and they can be blood related and you can have up to three marriages at the time, plus you can marry pets and children. Want to guess which definition matters to me?
The law has the right to be other than what my, or you definition is.

"I cannot imagine people wanting to live with each other and/or wanting to be married as not being motivated by love. I do not believe I'm obliged to declare any other criteria. Even though marriage obviously serves other purposes, in my opinion love is the main component of marriage."

So then if we could establish that polygamists love each other, if incestual couples love each other, if underage children love their adult spouses, if you love your dog, that there should be NO other criterion in your mind to allow them to marry? I'd imagine that they do. So then, lets give them a license.

"But incest and polygamy are choices and are not tied to latent characteristics. You are not born with these as inherent preferences. Nuclear family incest is coercive by nature.

For these reasons and others I don't believe incestuous marriage should be legalized."You just said that the criterion for marriage was love. Now you're adding all these qualifiers. And nuclear family incest is coercive TO YOU, but what about people who don't have a problem with it? I'll ask the standard question that those pushing gay marriage ask "HOw would an incestual marriage hurt your marriage. Is it any of your business? Just because you don't like it doesn't mean you should deny people rights of marriage. And are your views on incest just your bigotry?


"While I would in principle be pro-polygamy I do not think the times are anywhere near amenable to its practical implementation. So for now I'm also against the legalization of polygamy. " So, how are we determining the times are ready? Would you stand against legalization of polygamy until the times were right? Wouldn't you then be the bigot that similarly stands against gay marriage?

jr565 said...

grackle wrote:
Seeing as how the commentor has broached the subject: Yes, For sure I don't see why the benefits from the institution of marriage should be denied to gay couples.

but that's just your opinion. If a polygamist asked you why you think he shouldn't be able to marry what would your answer be? Why should the benefits of marriage be denied to him and his family?
As to why gays shouldn't have the right to marry its because marriage is a very specific thing that, frankly wasn't designed for gays. It's to promote the nuclear family, that are the biological parents of kids who they support and socialize in that structure.

Since it wasn't designed for gays, what gays should do is petition govt to allow for a union that caters to their unique needs. If you asked me would I have a problem with gays marrying I would say, yes because first off gays can't marry because definitionally marriage is between two members of the opposite sex. But what would be the point of allowing gays to marry. It defeats the whole purpose of marriage promoting the nuclear family as the ideal structure.
But if you asked me, were I ok with gays trying to get society to allow for a recognized gay union that allows them benefits, I'd reluctantly agree. But they would be two separate things. As they are now.
And at any rate, it would merely be my opinion. You'd still have to go through the leglislature and find out if the people wanted it. Many states were already going the civil union route. If a state didnt' want it though, well then tough.

jr565 said...

you don't need christian objections to be against gay marriage. Christians didn't write the marriage laws. They agree with the marriage laws as written because they so closely mirror their own ideas about marriage.

jr565 said...

miller wrote:
"I don't think there's 100% agreement on same-sex marriage among Christians, so I don't support making this (opposition to same-sex marriage) a doctrine that must be obeyed by all, Christian and non-Christian." People are going to have opionons one way or the other. as will groups, as will churches. What DOCTRINE are you saying christians are using when promoting traditional marriage? They are merely stating their opinion.


"Seems that if we make this an absolute standard, we are requiring those with religious objections (or even just their own human objections) to this to violate their consciences by being forced to submit to this."
Are you saying this about gay marriage? And say a baker who doesn't believe in gay marriage being forced to bake a cake? Arent they being forced to submit to something here?

jr565 said...

grackle wrote:
"But incest and polygamy are choices and are not tied to latent characteristics. You are not born with these as inherent preferences. Nuclear family incest is coercive by nature.

whether it is or it isn't, we're talking about two people loving each other, and two people who are supposed to have equality under law.
Why should your hangup about other peoples marriages restrict them from marrying?

jr565 said...

"Yes, and I hope you are treating all the gay people with love then, okay?"
Not having gays marry is not treating them with hate. bashing their skulls in would be. Murdering them would be. But not denying them marriage.
Any more than setting a voting age at 21 is treating 20 year olds and under with hate. Or setting a drinking age to 18 is hate for people under 18.

jr565 said...

grackle wrote: "But incest and polygamy are choices and are not tied to latent characteristics."

There's either heterosexual or homosexual latent characteristics. All marriages would encompass those characteristics since you would be marrying either heterosexual or homosexual people. So, then why is that an objection to incest that's valid?
THe CHOICE is who you are allowed to marry. For some reason you have a hangup about people marrying their blood relatives. Even though their marriage wont affect yours. If you think marriage is an absolute right and are all for EQUALITY how could there be a restriction for incest?
Incest is icky. Just like homosexuality was icky. But does that mean society can get away with deprving people who love each other of the right to marry?
You seem to say yes.
So then your marriage equality argument is not as equal as you profess.

grackle said...

Oh, blow me. It's not frivolous. If you had two groups of couples in line and one group was going to be married traditionally and the other was to be married through gay marriage they'd be totally different.

The commentor frivolously enters into ad hominem vulgarity trying to clarify his viewpoint.

Here's his statement, which I asked him to explain:

Even though we all know its not marriage. Even though gay people know its not marriage since they call it gay marriage.

The commentor seemed to me to be drawing a distinction between ordinary marriage and gay marriage simply because of the prefix, "gay." The statement seemed clear enough. At least that's what I thought, mistakenly as it turns out. But as he now explains, he meant the marriage ceremony itself, not the motivation, the life after marriage or the living of gay couples within the institution of marriage.

I will readily allow that a ceremony, any ceremony, between two sets of participants, one set being straight and another being gay is different in the sense that the two sets possess different sexual orientations. My next question is - so what?

So then if we could establish that polygamists love each other, if incestual couples love each other, if underage children love their adult spouses, if you love your dog, that there should be NO other criterion in your mind to allow them to marry? I'd imagine that they do. So then, lets give them a license.

Surely the commentor realizes that believing love is the main component in marriage doesn't mean that a dog and a human should get married. If he doesn't … well, I really do not have a response – what would be the point?

So, how are we determining the times are ready? Would you stand against legalization of polygamy until the times were right?

As I've already stated, yes. As a concerned citizen I have to balance the potential for disruption against the moral imperative. Change implemented too soon could actually be counterproductive to the cause itself and set it back even further in time.
The apt cliché is: "Don't throw out the baby with the bath water."

As far as determining just when "the times are ready," that's a decision for each American to make. My decision is that the times are right for gay marriage. But not for polygamy. And probably never for incestuous marriage.

A comment about marriage:

It's to promote the nuclear family, that are the biological parents of kids who they support and socialize in that structure.

What about childless couples? Are they not entitled to marriage? What about couples who adopt? Are they wrong to adopt?

For some reason you have a hangup about people marrying their blood relatives. Even though their marriage wont affect yours. If you think marriage is an absolute right and are all for EQUALITY how could there be a restriction for incest?

I'm against incestuous marriage because it's a choice. Unlike gays, who I believe have no choice in their sexual orientation, to participate in incest is a choice and is not dictated at birth. And in the case of nuclear family incest there is coercion from the parent against the child. An incestuous parent is taking advantage of their child's vulnerability and helplessness in the face of parental authority. There can be no "equality" in that situation. Such a pathology is not present in gay marriage.

Equating incest with gayness is a mistake in at least two ways: It ignores the coercion inherent in one but not the other and it ignores the pathology of an adult dominating a child for sexual gratification.

Most of this latest comment of mine is reiteration of points I've already made, or at least implied, but I don't mind at all because it gives me the chance to talk at length to those readers who may be ready to change their minds about gay marriage. The more debate the better.

grackle said...

A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll is interesting.

Q: Overall, do you support or oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally?

68% percent said yes, 38% said no.

Q: Regardless of your own preference on the issue, do you think that the part of the U.S. Constitution providing Americans with equal protection under the law does or does not give gays and lesbians the legal right to marry?

50% said it does, 43% said it doesn't.

http://tinyurl.com/nr8bgtx