Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Gay Marriage = Communism

I've heard a lot of desperate and strange arguments against giving gays the right to legally marry lately. With New York passing their law recently, I can only for see the screaming becoming louder and louder. However, one of the strangest (in the sense it starts off original but goes down hill from there) that I've seen has to be from the National Review, called "No Homophobia", by George Weigel.

In this article, the author makes a number of claims, each of which I'm going to refute or discuss here, point for point. I'm really sick of a lot of these claims, because they're like perennial weeds: they come back no matter how many times you purge them. Like the anti-science and other anti-realities, the anti-gay movement is rooted in romanticism and post-modernism, so it helps to explain a little bit about why these weeds don't go away. This article especially reeks of that romanticism through projection; you'll see why in a minute.It starts off with some originality - comparing gay marriage to communism (by virtue of it being state-enforced) but quickly degenerates into the usual tripe from there.

The Washington Post’s culture critic, Philip Kennicott, recently took to the pages of his paper to note the “cognitive dissonance” between ingrained “habits of homophobia” in American culture, on the one hand, and a recognition that “overt bigotry is no longer acceptable in the public square,” on the other.

As an example of those who resolve this dissonance by holding fast to their homophobic prejudices, Kennicott cited Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, who had remarked on the similarities between the Empire State’s recent re-definition of marriage and the kind of human engineering attempted by totalitarian states; NRO’s Kathryn Jean Lopez and I came into Mr. Kennicott’s line of fire for displaying similarly “virulent homophobic rhetoric” in articles defending Archbishop Dolan’s suggestion that, in the marriage debate, the totalitarian temptation was very much in play.
That's right. It's obvious that people who equate marriage rights with "human engineering" attempted by totalitarian states is a fair comparison, and it's clearly totalitarian. Clearly. Those gays just want to overthrow everyone's freedoms. I can see all the people that this law hurt and, ignoring the butthurt, the number is a staggering 0.

I had to Google "totalitarian temptation", and I couldn't find a clear definition, with most of the links being recursive back to the National Review. So clearly this is a buzzphrase they coined, which means it is nothing like what it sounds. A totalitarian government is one where the government has total control. Temptation is the desire to achieve that. I cannot think of a sane individual who would give government total control, and when you can explain to me, using sound logic and clear thoughts that are not addled by worm and termite-ridden paranoia how gay marriage will lead towards a totalitarian government, you may have a point. But I'll save your tiny little prole mind the trouble - you can't. So don't bother. You lost already. There are tachyons that have more weight, substance, and more of a foothold in reality than your argument does. The Alcuberre drive is more likely than this slippery slope garbage.

Philip Kennicott’s line of attack nicely demonstrates the truth of Oscar Wilde’s famous observation that the only way to rid oneself of temptation is to yield to it. For crying “homophobia” is a cheap calumny, a crypto-totalitarian bully’s smear that impresses no serious person.
Oh yes, that's right, you're the victim and they're the "crypto-totalitarian bully" because they call you out for being an asshole. I've seen it a thousand times before. Hell, I own the damn t-shirt and bought the frickin' coffee mug. And for extra irony, you cite an open gay/bisexual man. One wonders if that was intentional, because that leaves a horrible taste in my mouth.

And the word he's looking for here is "projection." You do see it on the left but trust me, not nearly as often as you see it in on the right. Crying "homophobia" is not a smear; it's an attempt to show you what a bigoted asshole you're acting like.

"Calumny" - now there's a word you don't hear every day. For those who don't know, he's basically calling it a "cheap personal attack," but he's too pretentious to say that.
[...] Under Polish Communism, Catholic couples — which is to say, just about everyone — got “married” twice. Because marriages in the Catholic Church were not recognized by the Communist state, believers had two “weddings.” The first was a civil procedure, carried out in a dingy bureaucratic office with a state (i.e., Communist-party) apparatchik presiding. The friends with whom I was discussing this inanity are, today, distinguished academics, a physicist and a musicologist. They remembered with some glee that, a half century before, they had treated the state “wedding” with such unrestrained if blithe contempt that the presiding apparatchik had had to admonish them to take the business at hand seriously — a warning from the ΓΌber-nanny-state my friends declined to, well, take seriously.
And ... he's off. Comparing government marriage with communism. News flash: that boogieman is dead. There's not a communist state left on the planet except for North Korea, and we see how well that's going. Not even China is communist - they're a weird blend of Communistic Capitalism, or State-Run Capitalism.

I know a lot of people who got married at the secretary-of-state's office and never had a church wedding. Marriage is a secular thing in this country - you get tax benefits for being married, you get certain rights for being married - it's not just some BS religion ceremony in a church. And you know what? I think that the two-tiered marriage thing is a smart idea. It keeps religion totally separate from the State. It's not a nanny state to make sure everyone is treated equally under the law, no matter how hard you rich capitalists scream and bitch and throw temper tantrums to prove otherwise. Granted, that keeps you Straussians and Neo-Cons from playing the Religious Right for the tools they are, but in the end, that's for the best too. If you don't feed a plant, it will die. And it's about damn time the Religious Right died off, so stop feeding it all the attention.
Americans will say, “It can’t happen here.” But it can, and it may. Before the ink was dry on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature on New York’s new marriage law, the New York Times published an editorial decrying the “religious exemptions” that had been written into the marriage law at the last moment. Those exemptions do, in fact, undercut the logic of the entire redefinition of marriage in the New York law — can you imagine any other “exemption for bigotry” being granted, in any other case of what the law declares to be a fundamental right?
I think those exemptions are stupid, too. But then, the author had it right earlier: you split the religious element from the state element and you end that whole problem. No more exemptions needed; just make marriage a purely state thing. Don't worry about the religious ceremony - those are damn expensive anyway. Make it two-tiered. If they want to get married in a church, then odds are, they can find one. It can't be that hard.
[...] Should those pressures succeed, the Catholic Church will be forced to get out of the civil marriage business — as it has been forced in some states to stop providing foster care for children and young people, thanks to the pressures of the really phobic parties in these affairs: the Christophobes. Priests will no longer function as officials of the state when witnessing marriages.
I see no downside to this. Kick that church to the curb; as far as I'm concerned, it's got too many crimes to answer for. Pope Ratzy needs to be drug down from his high and mighty throne and charged with crimes against humanity for all the shit he's inspiring over there in Africa.

Oh, bull-fucking-shit. There we go again with this whining again about how Christians are the persecuted ones because they have to share their toys. Christophobes my ass. There's nothing "christophobic" about demanding my friends be given the right to marry the person they love like any other person in this country, or adopt like any other person in this country. I'm not a bully for demanding equal rights. You're the bully for painting me as one; victim-blaming is a most certainly an bully activity. You were talking earlier about blackwhite and projection, remember?  Well, congratulations, you didn't have to look very far to find it, now did you? It only took you what, 8 paragraphs?
[...] a redefinition of “marriage” that puts Christian communities and their pastors outside the boundaries of the law for purposes of marriage — will be to reduce state-recognized “marriage” to a sad joke. One can even imagine a whole new genre of dark humor, of the sort represented by “Radio Yerevan” and other brilliant exemplars of anti-Communist raillery, emerging. That might be fun, but it’s a sad price to pay for this state attempt to redefine reality.
Whoo-wee. There's some serious weapons-grade projection going on here. First off, we're back to this "redefinition" BS. Tell me, what was the original definition of marriage? It was a man and a piece of property. You're the one who redefined it to a "man and a woman" for the sole purpose of claiming that liberals are redefining it. And there's not even emphasis on the "woman" there - a clump of cells still means more than she does.

I've got a news flash - marriage is already state-recognized. Kind of funny how we ignore inconvinent facts when they don't match up with our notions of reality, isn't it?

[...] The 21st-century state’s attempt to redefine marriage is just such an attempt to redefine reality — in this case, a reality that existed before the state, for marriage as the union of a man and a woman ordered to mutual love and procreation is a human reality that existed before the state. And a just state is obliged to recognize, not redefine, it.
And that. Right there. That's why this stuff is rooted in the garbage of postmodernism and romanticism. The whole claim that "it's an attempt to redefine reality" - like reality can be redefined. Reality is pretty set: equal rights should be available for everyone, and there's no reason why you shouldn't allow everyone to have those rights. That's the reality. It's your stupid ass that's trying - and failing, I might add - to redefine it.

"Mutual love and procreation"; more buzzwords. Gays can experience mutual love, but they can't procreate. There are also heterosexual couples that experience mutual love, but can't procreate; and if they do, it's by the same means that a gay couple would. Should we not allow those barren couples to marry, too? Or women who are post-menopause? They should be banned from marriage? What about heterosexual couples who don't want children? Should they be barred from marriage? No? So why are you making this stupid argument, if it doesn't matter? Yes? So what you're telling me is that you're going to have the state verify that everyone who gets married can have children otherwise they can't get married? They're going to be preforming state-mandated tests to make sure this couple can reproduce, because that's what a marriage is for? And you're the one bitching that I'm imposing a totalitarian nanny state? Old and stupid canard is old and stupid; broken record is broken. These people don't even stop to think about the propaganda they're parroting.
[...] If the state can redefine marriage and enforce that redefinition, it can do so with the doctor-patient relationship, the lawyer-client relationship, the parent-child relationship, the confessor-penitent relationship, and virtually every other relationship that is woven into the texture of civil society. In doing so, the state does serious damage to the democratic project. Concurrently, it reduces what it tries to substitute for reality to farce.
And, finally, a series of appeals to fear; an if/then syllogism that needs some serious work.  If the state allows gays to marry, your medical record might not be safe between you and your doctor... unless you're a woman, and then we need to know these things to keep you from having an abortion or getting birth control. He says these things like they matter to him, when really, they don't. Equal rights and fairness for all are the things that are woven into a civil society; all of the above stem from those two things. The only farce I see here is your argument, and the arguments made by those like you, you homophobic bigot.

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