William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

What Went Wrong In Ireland, And What Will Go Wrong Here

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What went awry in Ireland was not the result of the vote, a result which was, of course, the wrong decision. The offense was something much deeper, something basic. It was the vote itself.

That a people could think, could even let themselves imagine, voting for something fundamental and unchangeable as marriage was a collosal breach of civil order, an act that must presage greater disorders to come. And this would still be so had the vote gone the other way.

Voting whether to call marriage something other than it is, is like voting whether to expand triangularity to include objects with more than three sides (in the name of equality), or like voting to kill citizens whose lives have fallen below some utilitarian threshold (via, say, abortion). It’s like voting to call black white or up down or for anything which is impossible but which is desired. It’s like voting that everybody gets to go to heaven.

That people cannot see this is the cause of the problem. Of course it is! Folks in democracies have fallen victim to the propaganda that voting is a good, and since voting is a good, it is always good, and since it is always good, anything, anything at all, can and should, eventually, be voted upon. “Truth” can be discovered by voting. The “wisdom” of the crowds!

This must lead to tyranny. It already has. To be forced to call a thing which it is not is tyrannical.

Voting is a good and does have it uses, but under only very limited circumstances, such as in small groups where all share a common goal and where the consequences of a decision are largely uncertain, and when there is no leader to assume responsibility. Leadership removes the burden of voting. Captains do not ask the crew which direction to steer. Voting leads to shipwrecks.

Most people do not have the capacity to understand the uncertainties and complexities of major decisions, though they are easily manipulated into thinking they do. Most do grasp the consequences of simple decisions. A group of (similarly ranked) colleagues deciding where to go to lunch might successfully vote. But a nation of every citizen eighteen and up deciding fundamental questions of life and of death? Guaranteed eventual disaster.

Worse, egalitarianism insists that an ever greater fraction of people get to vote and get to vote on more things.

Now if you were among the minority in Ireland, you are likely already convinced about the dangers of voting. But if you are with the majority celebrating “equality”, that most dreadful condition, you might not be. Voting, after all, got you what you wanted. Consider California. That State voted to ban gmarriage (remember Prop 8?). Was that the right vote? Did voting, forever after, reach the truth?

If you say yes, because you’re determined to hold onto the principle of voting, then you cannot say California came to the wrong conclusion. You must agree that it was the right decision. Which means you must change your own belief and say with the majority, “Same sex marriage is wrong.”

But if you say California came to the wrong conclusion, you must then agree that voting can be dangerous. And if voting is dangerous, its use should be restricted.

And that’s what gmarriage supporters did. They eliminated the vote by appealing to State leaders, who by fiat ushered in gmarriage. Believe it or not, this is a better situation than if the citizens of California originally voted for gmarriage, because leadership in some form has been exercised. But it is still bad because the original vote imbued in (all) citizens the illusion they could decide Truth. (Of course, the situation in California is even worse than I paint it, because the leadership erred and now citizens must recognize four-sided “triangles.”)

Voting saps the energy of losers—I speak here of voting on Truth, on foundations, and not on situations where there is a general understanding of uncertainties—which is good when the vote has reached the correct decision, but awful when the wrong decision is made. The losers say to themselves, “The outcome is sad, but we must abide by the will of the people.” But there is no such thing. Thinking there is, and thinking voting is always good, in time compiles error upon error, until, as the man said, the center cannot hold.

Solution? If you’ve understood the argument above, you already know.

101 Comments

  1. George Schultz

    May 25, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Mr. Briggs, well written. You hit that one square on the head.

  2. Back in college in the 70s my friends and I frequently were engaged in debate with relativists. A common rejoinder was “your truth isn’t my truth” — meaning truth was a variable reliant on the preferences of the speaker. That sentiment is never heard anymore; it’s become embedded in the common consciousness. Voting only works properly when most voters hold the correct absolute standards. If they don’t, it becomes a tool of oppression rather than a balance scale for making choices within the standards.
    The standard today is “equality.” But some “animals are more equal than others” so it’s really a rather clever trick to have turned an absolute into a relative. People are drawn to the absolute without wanting to commit fully to it or even understanding why. The want to be good without knowing how. Hence the vote for something deceptively cloaked in an appealing label.
    Solution? We don’t get a solution until this all plays out and the Absolute makes it right.

  3. Is the picture of Eleanor Roosevelt? (Possibly I’m the only one old enough here to remember what she looked like.) And if you’re saying truth / morality is determined by majority vote, then clearly that’s not so. One important example is Nazi Germany.

  4. Your statement about calling black white: First, there are churches that allow for everyone to end up in heaven, including Hitler and Stalin. I don’t know if they voted that in or not.

    This also assures that in the future, language will have little or no meaning, assuming it still does at this point. In a fascinating twist of completely irrational emoting, people have come to believe that God splitting the languages at the tower of Babel was a reward for good behaviour and should be emulated today. When language has no meaning, only chaos and anarchy can prevail. After that, divisions occur, groups partition off and the infighting begins. And this is seen as good today, as the desired outcome.

  5. Uh oh, I think you just prodded a sacred cow…

  6. Briggs, “Folks in democracies have fallen victim to the propaganda that voting is a good …”

    They believe it everywhere except in the free market where you vote with your money every time you make a purchase. Then it is suddenly a bad thing. I suspect you are or would be a fan of Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

    “Solution? If you’ve understood the argument above, you already know.”

    Do I? Nothing good I suspect.

  7. Fortunately, here in the West the most, your position is fading away. You can put all the high brow lipstick on that drunk hick pig’s epistemology you want, but your position remains backwards and mean-spirited and fortunately becoming a thing of the past.

    JMJ

  8. Haha, JMJ, sometimes I wonder if you’re actually a sock-puppet just here to make progs look dumb by repeating every single fallacious cliché in the book. Poe’s Law I suppose.

  9. JMJ: And here we are with you calling us names and being mean to us, insulting our morals and ideas. Interesting that you are apparently incapable of understanding your own behaviour.

    The “new is better” idea has proven false over and over again, so you might want to drop that for a bit. I’d say rethink it, but it’s not really a thought based idea in the first place, but rather an emotional one used to make one feel good about their ideas.

  10. JMJ–please translate your comment…don’t really understand what you’re trying to say, other than you’re angry.

  11. I ironically have to side with JMJ here [as he opposes other civil liberties that he does not like]. Liberty is messy, but that is its nature. An ordained and ‘safe’ society is at it’s roots, tyranny.

    The OP seems to imply that only people of a certain ideology should vote. And while that passingly appeals to my partisan bents, it’s inherently anti-liberty. The proponents of a particular definition of a word, do not [or have not tried] have a patent on it’s meaning, and the applied meaning in this argument is irrelevant. Homosexuals being allowed the legal status [as if government should dictate the terms of our personal contracts] has zero effect on the legal status of heterosexual contracts. The proponents of strictly male-female marriage lost that right back when marriages were forced, tiered and pre-dating the religious connotations that are relied upon in the arguments.

  12. CI: It would appear to me that the OP is not implying that only certain ideologies should vote, but rather that nobody should vote on such matters at all.

    “It’s inherently anti-liberty”

    …and this is a reason to oppose something?

  13. Sengendragon, why shouldn’t people vote on such a matter? One of the primary arguments from the right has been that this issue shouldn’t be decided by judicial fiat.

    The primary basis for political decisions should always be the increase or maintenance of the liberty for the citizen. Anything less is merely acquiescence to the political elite.

  14. Re: CI

    Liberty is not the greatest good in the world, and even if it were, its assurance is not the primary end of the state.

    Of course, if we define liberty as the ability to do what one wants, the only sure way to achieve it is to become virtuous, since it is always possible to choose virtue, regardless of what the government is doing, and sin is inherently unsatisfactory. Another one of those “those who lose their life shall save it” sorts of situations, I think; a man willing to give up his sinful desires will, by altering his desires to accord with the good, fulfill his desires much better than a man who does not.

    At any rate, an authority that follows a policy in accord with their actual primary end (the restraint of evil and encouragement of virtue) will thereby increase liberty. Naturally, whatever configuration of government best restrains evil and encourages virtue will also result in the greatest increase of liberty. Said configuration is not always necessarily a universal franchise among all citizens 18 and up, and, allowing for particular circumstances, may not involve voting at all.

    I’ll confess I’m not entirely certain what “right” it is you’re claiming “proponents of male-female marriage” have lost, but it seems worth reiterating one of our host’s points that the phrase is akin to “proponents of three sided triangles.”

    As far as legal recognition of gmarriages having no effect on the legal status of actual marriages, I can only conclude that you have been enviably secluded from the world, or at least the news, for several months at a minimum.

  15. Hrodgar, “Liberty is not the greatest good in the world”. Perhaps not, but neither is the tyranny of a majority.

    “As far as legal recognition of gmarriages having no effect on the legal status of actual marriages,” Presuming that you are married, tell me please, how your marriage has been affected. If you’re not married….please then tell me how my marriage has been affected.

  16. Cl: So centuries ago today’s people lost the right to define marriage because at one time marriages (all male-female) were forced and tiered? How did that take away any rights of today’s persons to object to same sex unions on the grounds that is not really marriage?

    The idea that everyone should vote is very new and generally adhered to most by those who have everything to gain from radicals, the uneducated, and the parasites voting. There is no inherent right of everyone to vote–obviously, since at the time the constitution was drafted, only men voted. The more uneducated and malleable the electorate is, the easier to lose one’s liberties to tyrants who play Santa Claus with morals and money. I would say that everyone voting is actually anti-liberty.

    Everyone free to do whatever they want is generally called anarchy, not liberty. Removal of rules increases unhappiness, not happiness. Imposition of too many rules can do the same. As noted above, this has NOTHING to with fairness, liberty or anything else. It’s revenge and bullying. How long do you think it will be before gays start burning and looting like blacks do in response to “unfairness”? My guess, not long.

  17. Sheri, of course you have the right to object……why would you invent an argument that I didn’t make.

    “Everyone free to do whatever they want is generally called anarchy, not liberty.”

    Agreed. Liberty is constrained by the tenets of not harming another, stealing from another or infringing upon the liberty of another. Tell me how gays being married fits into that.

  18. I don’t think anything went wrong in Ireland.

  19. “The proponents of strictly male-female marriage lost that right back when marriages were forced, tiered and pre-dating the religious connotations that are relied upon in the arguments.”
    Please explain how that does not say I don’t have the right when it clearly says I lost that right.

    I told you how the gays are doing that—bullying and punishing those who oppose their lifestyle. If this were just about gays having the same legal rights in a union as heteros, they would have gone for civil unions. This was never about fairness or rights. Ever. Just as race and feminist claims have nothing to do with fairness. It’s a way to get even and gain power. I’m sorry if you can’t see that, but it is what it is.

  20. Sheri, you don’t have a right, to pretend that a certain definition of a term is legally inviolable. You have every right to object to its societal change, just as gay citizens have ever right to object to the historical bullying, persecution and prosecution based solely on their sexual orientation.

  21. Cl: You mean like the current bullying and harrassment of polygamists, polyandrists, pedophiles, necropheliacs, beastiality practitioners, etc? After all, sexual orientation is sexual orientation. You can’t find a group more persecuted than pedophiles. They are beaten and killed in jail. All because they find children sexually attractive. And to use an argument put forth by the gay community—who would CHOSE to be that way? Of course they don’t chose to find children attractive. It’s not their fault. Yet we brand them for life. Same argument…….

    If terms are constantly changed, they have no meaning—witness gender identity which removes all the meaning from male and female. Again, there was NO reason to change it except revenge and bullying. So I have to believe you are all for people bullying and executing revenge, rather than civil behaviour. It seems you are more inclined to anarchy, than liberty.

    No one has a right to object to historical actions. That’s the past and it can’t be changed. It’s completely irrational to try and claim past behaviour that was bad somehow allows you to behave just as rotten and bad as others did in the past. Others whose behaviour is labelled bad, yet the labelling party is advocating doing the same now. Hypocritical, definitely. History is history—it cannot be changed nor objected to. Past actions are past.

    As long as we keep using the “who does it hurt” question, who does it hurt if people have sex with corpses? Who does it hurt if people hire prostitutes? Who does hurt if people make their own liquor? Who does it hurt if people own guns? Who does it hurt if people are homeless and live on the library lawn? There are hundreds of laws about things that hurt absolutely no one. A multitude of activities that we call a problem that really are not. So let’s just get rid of all of them, legalize anything deemed not to hurt anyone.

  22. So if I understand CI it is perfectly proper for people to vote on whether the sun should rise tomorrow, or not, and then the sun and the rest of us must abide by the results? Okay. Thanks for you well thought out and reasonsed opinion, CI.

  23. Cl,

    Did you use to post on My Space GW forum? Just curious

  24. Perhaps Ireland will now have a national motto:
    “sic volo sic iubeo”

    They, along with all others who have declared “riddance” to first principles (you know who you are), now only their appetites remains to guide them.

  25. The need to call homosexual unions the same as a marriage is an acknowledgement that it’s different. The phrase “marriage equality” says that we know it’s not.

  26. Voting doesn’t determine what’s true. It’s only a gauge of a population’s moral views of a particular matter. I found JMJ’s use of the word ‘epistemology’ embarrassing. He seems to think the word means ‘a system of thought’ rather what it actually means, which is the study of ways to determine what is true. (JMJ, try not to pretend you’re smarter than you are, avoid using words if you can’t be bothered to look up what they mean first.)

  27. What I find curious here is that no one had problem with voting on Proposition 8 in California. It seems that the result of the vote is more important than if it is justified to do so.

  28. Sylvain: The vote was irrelevant—the government over-ruled what the majority voted for. Voting really is irrelevant in California.

  29. Ye Olde Statistician

    May 25, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Tell me how gays being married fits into that.

    That is what the Catholic church thought about admitting more homosexuals into the priesthood. After all, a celibate homosexual was operationally indistinguishable from a celibate heterosexual. Things didn’t work out too well, despite the good behavior of the vast majority of homosexual priests.

    OTOH, Ireland already had legalized civil unions, so it is not clear what exactly was accomplished by pretending the definition of something had been changed by the paramount will of the People. Perhaps they wanted to possess the aura of “marriage”?

    But regarding the faculty of the public voting on definitions of terms that long pre-date their state, or on scientific conclusions, or mathematical theorems, and so on, we can quote Joseph Moore, who wrote regarding “statistical” surveys:

    say I was to ask the Man on the Street … his opinion on the use of a multiple investment sinking fund yield on after-tax cash flows for book purposes – I’m talking gibberish to him, and he should say as much. BUT – what if he’s been lead to believe that he ought to have an opinion, that his standing as an intelligent being is at stake if he doesn’t? Then he might give an answer – and that answer would be meaningless, unless he’s one of the 0.02% of the population for whom such a question has any meaning.

    The proponents of strictly male-female marriage lost that right back when marriages were forced, tiered and pre-dating the religious connotations that are relied upon in the arguments.

    That makes no logical sense. The one does not follow from the other. Marriage is what it is, and was “found” by states as a pre-existing institution. The definition of marriage (the very word implies man-woman; check the roots) existed before any of the modern religions. It is found in every corner and society of the world, and nowhere did society develop parallel institutions to govern and control homosexual relations, for the fairly obvious reason.

    Not clear what you mean by “tiered.”

    It’s not clear to me that intelligent design is a better approach to such things than evolution.

    you don’t have a right, to pretend that a certain definition of a term is legally inviolable.

    Sure. We could have a referendum on the definition of pi; or perhaps of vapor pressure; or even of multiple investment sinking fund yield.

    But it might could be that you don’t have a “right” to treat terms as infinitely malleable. Some years ago, two English sisters applied for a civil union, as it was then called, but were denied because they were not lesbian. But why cannot two sisters or a brother and sister living chastely together not be considered “married”? Are people to be required to perform sexual acts with each other? Why should the government care? Once you have answered that, you will be able to understand the objection to Newspeak. War is peace, my friend. Get with the program.

    just as gay citizens have ever right to object to the historical bullying, persecution and prosecution based solely on their sexual orientation.

    Again, there is no logical connection between the two. That they were treated in an unchristian manner does not in any way legitimize the redefinition of an ancient institution at the whim of contemporary fashion.

  30. Voting saps the energy of losers…

    Is this one of the arguments for the encrypted solution? I hope not. Yes, voting can sap the energy of loser, especially those who believe and insist they are always right and cannot stop complaining.

    Solution? If you’ve understood the argument above, you already know.

    So, I have not understood your argument. What is the solution? More energy drink? No more propaganda about heaven? Give more weights to votes of the minority? Let the experts vote only? No cakes for all weddings? Make the word “marriage” a dirty word? Let the consumers decide whether to buy cakes? Become a communist country? King or Queen? Pope the supreme leader? The Elders? Education? No education? Church everyday?

  31. “King or Queen?”

    Ugh, how utterly unthinkable. I don’t know what 99.9% of humans (if you give “votes” to the dead ones as well) were thinking when they acquiesced with various forms of aristocratic hereditary leadership. Good thing we know better now.

  32. The belief that we should control the behavior of others (when those others do no harm to you) is tyranny, whether by vote or by diktat.

    The fundamental roots of both sides of this argument, from what I can tell, are statist.

    One side says that marriage is a pre-state creation that is natural, given the evidence we have found, therefore it must be right and good, and enforced by both the established governing religion as well as the secular government.

    The other side says that marriage is whatever a majority vote (of “right-thinking” people) define it to be, and then it should be enforced by both the established governing religion as well as the secular government.

    The “pro-nature” side tends to sideline or ignore the “natural” tendency of most powerful men to polyamory (witness the papacy’s history of illegitimate children as an example), and the history of European marriage as a familial contract to preserve titles, property, and alliances. In addition, if it truly was a pre-state institution, then states intruding on it have twisted it (witness state bans on interracial marriage).

    The “pro-voter” side seems to think that given that state & church grants benefits to those men & women who enter into an agreement with the state, that anyone in what those voters consider to be a “similar” relationship should be granted those same benefits. But they also believe that once the voters have decided on something, everyone should be forced to acknowledge and celebrate their union as a “marriage”.

    What I don’t see here is this belief that somehow state & church sanctioned marriage is somehow better than the pre-state institution that preceded it. If it truly is as strong as the supporters of “it’s human nature” say it is, then it should succeed on its own merits as an independent institution. For the gmarriage voters, I doubt anything could convince them to simply remove the government power completely, as most of these folks see the state as a good in itself, forcing others to conform.

    As an aside, this post indicates more clearly to me than ever that the less power the state has, the better. Communities of Catholics could be free to sanction marriages in their communities however they wished, and communities of Buddhists could continue to completely ignore marriage from a religious context.

  33. Nate: Well said. I agree with you on this.

  34. Sheri: “A multitude of activities that we call a problem that really are not… So let’s just get rid of all of them, legalize anything deemed not to hurt anyone.”

    Allow individuals to err, fail, and behave immorally is fundamental to liberty (some of your examples fail the test, as harm is caused to, for example, the family of a corpse or the property owners of the library).

    Additionally, just because one doesn’t think something should be made illegal does not mean that one thinks these activities are not a problem. It’s just none of the law’s business unless the activity infringes on our rights. We can speak about the dangers, we can attempt to educate, but we shouldn’t use government force.

  35. If the belief that we should control the behavior of others is tyrannical, then everybody is a tyrant. Including those who think we need to control the behavior in some people of controlling the behavior of others.

  36. Nate: If the family of the corpse agrees, there is no harm whatsoever.

    We are using government force right now with changing the definition of marriage.

    People are still allowed to err. Utah no longer outlaws cohabitation, so the practioners of polymagy are free to practice. Homosexuals are allowed to cohabitat. Homosexuals are not routinely executed like in other places. There was no prohibition against erring.

    This is where we run into serious problems with “harms no one”. Few, if any, activities harm no one. Legalizing gay marriage has resulted in gays attacking any business owner that takes a moral stand, thus taking away freedom of speech and the right to practice whatever religion one chooses. It sounds very reasonable when people say this, but there is probably never going to be agreement on what “harms no one”. As noted by your disagreement with my list. How, then, can the government stay out of this if virtually all actions affect others, someone will always come up with a way the activity could be said to cause harm (as your objection to necrophilia shows) and “harm” is our criteria? I agree it sounds good, but in reality, I cannot see how it could ever be workable.

  37. Nate – “For the gmarriage voters, I doubt anything could convince them to simply remove the government power completely, as most of these folks see the state as a good in itself, forcing others to conform.”

    Liberal and Statist voters would I’m sure agree. Civil Libertarians however, are fairly uniform in believing that the State should not have an arbitrating role in the enactment of a private contract….and indeed, the biggest mistake was to empower members of the clergy to act as agents for the State.

  38. Sheri – “Legalizing gay marriage has resulted in gays attacking any business owner that takes a moral stand, thus taking away freedom of speech and the right to practice whatever religion one chooses.”

    This is illustrative of why the “traditional marriage” camp loses judicial review. The claims for basis do not even pass the Rational Basis test. No argument in favor of marriage equality takes away your freedom of speech, or your right to believe/worship….and it’s subjective bias to conclude that only your side holds the “moral” point of view.

  39. Cl: Are you even on the same planet I am? There are many, many examples, including one in this post, showing full well legalizing gay marriage allowed gays to bully anyone who said their behaviour was immoral. Hate speech laws forbids those in Canada and Britian from saying homosexuals are sinners. How long do you think before the same is true here? Plus, there’s the question of churches refusing to perform marriages—which if forced to, violates freedom of religion in ways the founders would be horrified by. Marriage equality most certainly DID take away my right to free speech and to worship as I chose and will continue to do so until all opposition is silenced by the gay community. Again, this is about revenge.

  40. CI, your argument makes no sense to me. If forcing someone to participate in a ceremony that violates their religious beliefs is not a restriction on your freedom of worship, then I don’t know what would be a restriction. And to quote Charles Dickens, if the law supports such restrictions then “The Law is an ass!”.

  41. Bob, I stand firm with you in that my labor is my own, and I should not ever recompiled to provide such to anyone that I do not choose to. That said, the few instances where this has occurred, does not meet the assertion that Sheri has relied upon.

    Sheri – Churches already have the protected right to refuse martial ceremonies at their discretion. Try being divorced [without annulment] and asking a Catholic church to perform the ceremony.

    “Marriage equality most certainly DID take away my right to free speech and to worship as I chose and will continue to do so until all opposition is silenced by the gay community.”

    Now you’re just being hysterical. Appeals to emotion are the currency of the left, please try and refrain from relying upon them. How has your right to worship been denied? You can’t answer that. You can oppose on religious grounds, the idea of gay marriage until the day you draw your last breath.

    Maintaining that this is abut “revenge” is overt acquiescence that there has been a history of similar behavior on the part of your camp, to be such on.

  42. Nate
    Might work

  43. From Nate’s link: “When you invite the state into those matters of personal or religious import, it creates difficulties,”

    Well said and high time.

  44. Sheri,

    How can you say you agree with Nate when everything you wrote goes against what he said.

    For you the government should enforced the religious definition of marriage even if the government is secular. While Nate says that if marriage is that great institution it will survive on its own merits.

    You had no problems with California using vote on proposition 8 to deny gay marriage, but you object that the secular government declared it unconstitutional. Now that the Irish voted yes to it, you are not okay with it being voted upon.

    For you it’s a problem of morality dictated by your religious beliefs. For other the problem is one of civil right. Morality is a personal belief. Homosexuality is immoral for you but not for other individual, so there is no reason the state which you abhorre should enforce your vision of marriage since no harm is done to anyone. Murder and pedophilia are creating victims so whether or not they are moral the state has the obligation to protect the people from being victimized.

    Of course, you don’t care about personal liberty, only your own and those of your fellow Christians, not all Christians, only those that think like you. Other people have no right, Christians should be able to hurt them with words shaming and denying their rights.

  45. Briggs,

    I guess that any watching Fox News should be exempted from voting.

  46. Cl: Not an appeal to emotion. As noted, these things are already happening in Canada and Britain. The rights of Christian business owners is limited now due to the probability of being sued for posting a sign concerning one’s faith. You seem to be assuming that people only worship in church and then they don’t do anything outside of there. That is definitely becoming the case—meaning morality is dangerous. If one is a college professor and happens to state to someone that they believe homosexuality is a sin, how long do you think they will be employed? Even id said off campus, it will be a strike against him. I don’t believe for a minute the founding fathers meant we only worship in churches, especially since they mentioned God repeatedly in government documents.

    I am really tired of the idiotic idea that if someone was mistreated in the past, they are entitled to behave like jerks now. I am appalled at how many commenters here think revenge is the way to go. I guess you’re getting your way–violence is up, people can’t get along and past sins are used to justify everything. What a wonderful world you’ve created. Every past behaviour justifies violence, mistreatment, bullying, suing, etc. Just wonderful.
    (And yes, I can back that up with facts. Call it emotion all you want if it makes you feel better, but it’s based on facts, not the fiction you seem to be pushing here.)

    Sylvain: I am FINISHED with you. Jumping threads and trying again is just rude. I said I was done and you refuse to let it go.

  47. Sander van der Wal

    May 26, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    The Church has made too many enemies. It is as simple as that. Politics. And they are starting to move. See their change of position in the Global Warming debate.

  48. Sander, “the change of position” you mention is not a dogma, nor yet a doctrine of the Church. It is the position of a clique of ill-informed hierarchy whose knowledge of science is, alas, less than that of their forebears in the 15th Century who condemned Galileo.

  49. “Why Are So Many Utterly Stupid People Allowed To Vote?”

    Because of the problem of who gets to decide who is stupid and who is not.

  50. Sheri – “I don’t believe for a minute the founding fathers meant we only worship in churches, especially since they mentioned God repeatedly in government documents.”

    You can worship while sitting on the commode. I asked you how your right to worship has been denied? You remain as free as ever to oppose anything you see as contrary to your religious doctrine. Please stop trying to invent arguments that nobody is making. Your entire response is filled with assertions that I have not made. It’s a convoluted appeal to emotion. A tactic of the left.

  51. Cl: Your argument at this point is I am appealing to emotion and that’s a tactic of the left. I am not appealing to emotion and I wonder why it is that’s the only thing you can do here—accuse me of using tactics of the left. You do realize that by throwing in “tactics of the left” you are using a straw man in an attempt to discredit me. Which clearly says you have no idea how to refute what I’m saying and have taken to invalid arguments in an attempt to detract from this.

    I have explained why this is a problem. If you cannot understand this, there is nothing I can do about that. You ignore all examples of where people’s rights WERE lost for real in real time in the real world. So there’s no point to this. You obviously ignore all evidence and go with a straw man instead.

  52. Ye Olde Statistician

    May 26, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    it’s a problem of morality dictated by your religious beliefs

    Would those be the religious beliefs of Plato or Khamurapi?

  53. Ye Olde Statistician

    May 26, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    their forebears in the 15th Century who condemned Galileo.

    Galileo was 17th century.

    Very much like, but not maybe in the way you think. The immobility of the earth was as well established as anything in physics. The contrary had been decisively falsified by the lack of visible parallax and more recently by the lack of visible Coriolis effects. It was, in a word, “settled science.” The new theory had no data to back it up, but Galileo wanted it to be taken on faith and some bogus hand-waving theories.

    Every time the Church aligns with settled science, it gets in trouble as soon as the science changes.

    🙁

  54. Since she is of legal age she can choose any man she want. The biggest problem is children which are at higher risk to have genetic deceased.

  55. If someone is in favor of religious liberty then they should support establishing a mosque near ground zero to replace the one that was lost in 911

  56. So Sheri, to be clear………you’re not going to tell me you how your right to worship has allegedly been denied?

  57. Predictions for next St. Patrick’s Day?

  58. YOS, you’re correct–17th century (I subtracted instead of adding to the 1600’s–synapses are getting further and further apart as I age). And the heliocentric hypotheses was even earlier than Copernicus–Archimedes and a colleague of his whose name I forget.

  59. On the other hand… the State has no business issuing licences regarding with whom one can exchange body fluids and set up home.

    Once the State awards itself this role it de facto becomes a political matter – that means voters, in what passes for democracies these days – not an etymological matter.

    Marriage anyway originates in male property rights from past times when daughters were the property of their fathers until given… who giveth this woman? – to their husbands. Hubby then got exclusive rights to his wife’s uterus and anything that came out of it he put there. He also got all property in the marriage, and this on his death passed to his legitimate heirs, not his wife.

    Religion muscled in as it did with everything and claimed originality and copyright.

    Fact is, marriage is just a property contract and has been obsolete since woman got equal dibs on property in marriage and right of first refusal on the kids and the contract ceased to be ’till death do us part’.

    It is anachronistic and those fighting over it are, in the parlance of the part of the World lucky enough to see my birth, just working themselves.

  60. John B: The problem here is religion was quite happy in many cases to give up that claim and have the state issue civil unions or perhaps to have civil marriage and church marriages. The civil would have no moral component—it would be as it should be, a contract between two individuals. However, this was not acceptable to gay activists who demanded their actions be deemed “moral” or else and not just a contract. I for one would be very happy to make marriage nothing more than a legal contract with no religious overtones. Those who want to marry in the church can also claim a church marriage. Actually, it’s worked very, very well for practioners of polygamy. They have one civil marriage and two or more church marriages.

  61. Thank you to Sylvain for showing at least showing some consistency and being in favor of allowing adult incest.

    Cl: I already did tell you. I can’t make you understand something you are not willing to. I was quite clear with multiple examples. I don’t have pictures, even if that would help, but maybe I can draw a cartoon version? In view of that, it seems pointless to keep repeating the objections when you just ignore or do not understand them. I have better things to do.

  62. Sheri – You gave not a single example of how YOUR right to worship has been removed or infringed upon. I do understand your position a bit better now, after you response to John B. It appears that you believe the religious argument to be the only moral component in this issue. Since morality is subjective to the individual, you can neither be right nor wrong…so why make the argument?

    “I for one would be very happy to make marriage nothing more than a legal contract with no religious overtones.”

    Good, we agree. BTW, marriage is nothing more than a legal contract, in the eyes of the law. And when making or restricting law….that is the only measure that counts.

  63. Cl: I gave not an example of how MY religious rights were infringed upon because a sample size of one person really doesn’t tell us anything about the overall effect of a law.

  64. Then why did you claim that “Marriage equality most certainly DID take away my right to free speech and to worship as I chose and will continue to do so until all opposition is silenced by the gay community. ”

    And in looking back at your posts, did you note how your argument was resting on a claim that gay marriage shouldn’t be legalized [not because it doesn’t harm anyone], because of the handful of instances where business owners were coerced into providing services.

    So, you would prohibit a liberty based on what could happen [sporadic efforts to infringe upon the right to ones labor], but ignore that the prohibition itself had been a primary component of the historical infringement of civil liberties for gay Americans.

    Interesting.

  65. Cl: Again, I gave you examples of where gay marriage has infringed and there is no reason to believe that will not happen here. There were only a handful of people promoting gay marriage two decades ago. Yet here we are. Less than 5% of the population is gay, yet here we are. Obviously, numbers involved mean nothing (so your statement about sporadic happenings really has not meaning) and things can certainly develop over time. Things start small and grow in predictable patterns. If you cannot see this, again, not my problem.

  66. If you were just going to doge, why did you bother to respond? So, just to clarify….your right to worship has not been taken away?

  67. That would be ‘dodge’.

  68. Ye Olde Statistician

    May 27, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Archimedes did not have a geomobile astronomy. He once used the idea in an essay on how to express very large numbers and wanted to compute the very largest number he could, so he calculated the number of grains of sand it would take to fill Aristarchus’ universe. He made no claim that it was physically true. In fact, we have nothing from Aristarchus himself on the subject, and we know of his notion because Aristotle debunked it. He said those who advocated a sun-centered world — mainly, the Pythagoreans — tried to fit the data to their theory rather than developing their theory from the data. But for them, fire was nobler than earth and the center was a nobler position, so per their religious beliefs, the sun must be in the center!

  69. Just to clarify, I answered your question and I’m not going to do so again. The fact that you do not like my answer is irrelevent. It’s my answer.

  70. So, Cl, when did you stop beating your wife?

  71. You made a statement, then failed to prove it. You didn’t answer the question. I understand why you didn’t…it’s just easier for you.

  72. Ye Olde Statistician

    May 27, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Marriage anyway originates in male property rights from past times when daughters were the property of their fathers until given… who giveth this woman? – to their husbands.

    This is a Late Modern myth. Marriage existed in clan and tribal societies where the very idea of “property” was itself unformed. It existed in societies where property was “owned” by the clan and not by any individual, and in societies where property was owned by the woman. In the post-Roman West, women were not considered as property at all until the Early Modern Age.

    It would be more accurate to say that a woman was under the protection of her father(‘s clan) until she passed to the protection of her husband(‘s clan). In pre-industrial society, such protection mattered a great deal because otherwise women were at the mercy of any man strong enough to force her.

    Hubby then got exclusive rights to his wife’s uterus and anything that came out of it he put there.

    Prior to blood-testing, the child’s mother was always known with certainty, but there was no way to determine the father. By promising exclusivity, the woman ensured that the man had some reason for sticking around post-orgasm. This was an important consideration, as life could be nasty, brutal and short and the male tendency is wham-bam-thank-you-ma’m. Otherwise, you get, well, exactly what we’re getting today: single mothers abandoned with their babies and the re-appearance of the primate bachelor herd.

    He also got all property in the marriage, and this on his death passed to his legitimate heirs, not his wife.

    That’s more or less an Age-of-Reason/Victorian thing. In the Western Middle Ages, the husband had managerial responsibility for the family’s property, but not proprietary control. The legal maxim was mater maternis, pater paternis. What the mother brought into the family remained the mother’s property; what the father brought in remained his. This was important, since a woman who owned a spinning wheel (a “spinster”) owned the capital means of production and could earn income with it. Medieval legal documents tell us of women owning and opening businesses. Nor was the husband’s “permission” required to do so. The tax rolls of Paris (late 1200’s) list women as schoolmistress, doctor, apothecary, plasterer, dyer, copyist, miniaturist, binder, etc. And the ‘Inquiries’ of King Louis mention women as hairdresser, salt merchant, miller, farmer, chatelaine, and even a woman Crusader.

    This ended with the decline of the medieval world. The Age of Reason was not kind to women. Francis Bacon celebrated the new science in a book entitled “The Masculine Birth of Time.”

    Religion muscled in as it did with everything and claimed originality and copyright.

    Don’t know about Buddhists or muslims, but among the Christians, marriage was always acknowledged as a natural thing that pre-existed the Church. In fact, among the Orthodox and Catholics the ministers of the sacrament of matrimony are the marital couple. The priest is there as a witness for the Church body.

    The Church did implement some practices. Because “woods marriages” were such a scandal — the man and woman exchanged vows privately (often in the woods where no one could see them) and the man promised he would respect her in the morning, only to deny any such thing and label her a harlot — the Church insisted that the man make the offer in public and the woman give her consent in public. Hence, the “banns” of marriage. One of the primary concerns in those days was consanguinity because a fair number of young folks in the immediate vicinity were quite possibly relatives and large extended families often lived under one roof. The institution as a whole evolved as a means for protecting the interests of the woman.

    Fact is, marriage is just a property contract

    Actually, it is a contract between the coital couple and the State that they will care for and raise any children that might issue from their sexual activities, lest they become a burden on the King’s Purse. As has been in fact becoming more and more common.

    has been obsolete since woman got equal dibs on property in marriage and right of first refusal on the kids and the contract ceased to be ’till death do us part’.

    IOW, until it ceased to be marriage and became “playing house,” instead. Few pretended to be “married” when that meant the man was “house-bound” to the woman.

    The atomic theory has been very influential in the Modern Ages.

  73. Yes, Cl, with some people it’s easier just to give up. It has become brutally obvious that your goal is to badger me into giving the answer you want. Since what you want is not what my answer is, it’s easier just to walk away. If you had any interest in actually understanding my position, I would be inclined to answer.

  74. YOS, great response. You encourage us all to up our game.

  75. “Just to clarify, I answered your question and I’m not going to do so again. The fact that you do not like my answer is irrelevent. It’s my answer.”

    Not as fun when it happens to you. You lead me to similar path on many occasion. Asking yes/no question when the answer ambiguous and depends on several condition.

  76. No Sheri, I have no desire to make you mold an answer to fit my position. What is the value in that? I’m trying to understand the logical process behind your position, but it’s difficult to ascertain. As it stands, it appears that your position rests on 1) your belief that the subjective sense of morality rests only on your side, and this should drive legislation………and 2) you believe that in this instance [but not universally], it is best to restrict civil liberty based on an assumption some citizens might attempt to subvert the civil liberties of others.

    Am I wrong?

  77. Cl: All right, I will try.
    1. First, I don’t believe morality is subjective. Nor do I believe that religion alone can impart morality, since the church has shown tendencies to want to exercise more power than it should (and in very immoral ways). I believe that morality comes from the church, history and sociology. I usually start with the church, look at the history and then see what the outcomes in history were (if there were any examples). I rely heavily on all three. Also, morality should be logically consistent. (As to why I don’t think morality is subjective, in spite of the fact that my explanation here may seem to say so, that would take a much more detailed explanation too long for a comment box. Suffice it to say subjective morality is a quagmire if you truly follow it out to its end.)

    2. In this instance, in this time period, in this world, yes, I believe it is justified to limit the liberty of about 1% of the US population based on the very real probability that said allowance will result in revenge behaviour from than 1%. It is already occurring in other nations. There is no rational reason to think it will not do so here. There actually many examples of people fired or punished for voicing their beliefs that homosexuality is a sin. As this increases in number and reporting, gays will engage in the behaviour more often. How do I know that? Because that’s how human beings work. If someone can grab power and get even for whatever reason, then get away with it or even be praised for it, it tends to continue. It’s more than an assumption. It’s human nature and there’s plenty of examples worldwide to back it up. Unless you’re saying human beings are random in their reactions to things, it stands to reason certain practices will be repeated. I don’t oppose gmarriage because of the moral questions, but because it’s a stepping stone to allowing religious persecution and rewarding revenge behaviour. Why do you think a tiny fraction of the population was so vocal about being allowed to marry? Most states don’t allow siblings to marry, or parent/child, yet few are upset about that. (If it’s not already the case, I can certainly guarantee gays will start actively looking for anyone who might refuse service and testing out the business.) Looking at it from a purely pragmatic viewpoint, divorce lawyers will have a bit more business now. So will civil attorneys defending Christian businesses. I don’t think it’s worth the trade-off.

  78. Sheri, thank you for taking the time to better explain your position. I still disagree with it, but that can generally be chalked up to my inclination to more liberty as opposed to less….in almost every case not involving harm or theft.

    A coupe of points I find interesting, you don’t have to answer, but I wanted to give you take on them: “I don’t believe morality is subjective.”

    Then what is the metric for morality? If it is to be considered objective, then there must be a commonality generally agreed to by all. My morality guides me to not oppose what doesn’t harm me, steal from me or restrict my liberty [exclusive of the aforementioned].

    “Also, morality should be logically consistent.”

    This would be a topic all its own, but given no measurable method of determining objectivity, I would proffer that it is nigh impossible to consider it logically consistant.

    “….I believe it is justified to limit the liberty…”

    But you just realize that our system of jurisprudence simply cannot deny rights or social privileges common to all citizens, based on an assumption that some may subvert said rights or privileges, at some point in the future. This would be similar to saying in 1860 we shouldn’t free the slaves, because some might take revenge.

    “I don’t oppose gmarriage because of the moral questions, but because it’s a stepping stone to allowing religious persecution…”

    The prohibitions on gay marriage were based upon persecution by religion…so they should remain intact, again on the assumption, that some people may now be subjected to persecution of their religion? This is said without regard to your ‘guarantees’ of what will transpire….and you can only opine and assume…not guarantee.

    I think liberty always comes with risk, but liberty is always preferable to the absence of it….and our society will be the stronger for it.

  79. Cl: As I noted, my reasons for believing morality is not subjective are too complex for a comment box. One reason is if one calls morality subjective, it becomes impossible to call anything wrong. I’m not comfortable with the idea that Hitler was not morally wrong in what he did and the world was wrong in stopping him. Except the world was not wrong, since there is no right or wrong. I can’t understand how that would work. As for ascertaining what is moral objectively, again, very complicated. I apologize for not being able to adequately explain here, but it’s just too complex. (You mentioned slavery. My mother was from the south. She called the Civil War the war of northern aggression. The South viewed freeing the slaves as the North imposing their morality on the South. At least that was what my mother was taught.)

    Actually, I can guarantee. The evidence is already there, in the examples of people fired for saying they believed homosexuality was a sin (Atlanta fire chief–said to create a hostile workplace), teachers suspended for posting on Facebook their views on homosexuality, etc. There is no reason to believe this will not increase as gays feel empowered. It happened with race, it happened with feminism. It is happening in other countries. I would be foolish to ignore all of this evidence and just assume nothing like that will occur here.

    How do you reconcile businesses shut down for not serving gays with liberty? Businesses lost a great deal of liberty from this. The problem is when one group wins, another loses. There’s no way around that. I wish we could all do our thing and bother no one, but it just doesn’t work.

    Do I worry about loss of liberty? Sure. However, where you see more liberty, I see less. Only time will tell if 1% of the population can gain enough power to shut down religions that say homosexuality is a sin. The loss of liberty for gays not having gmarriage will look very small compared to the loss of religious freedom. I would really like to believe that things are not going to play out this way, but I have to go with the evidence.

  80. Again, thank you. I agree that morality is complex…..I think we could at least agree that it can either be objective nor subjective….in its entirety.

    “Actually, I can guarantee.”

    This may be a case of semantics, but you can’t. You stated that “gays will start actively…..”. You could easily assert that some gays will do such….but the problem lies in the fact that “some citizens” will engage in any and all sorts of actions contrary to the rule of law and the tenets of civil liberties. That premise doesn’t [and shouldn’t] restrict any and all manner of other civil liberties, no?

    “How do you reconcile businesses shut down for not serving gays with liberty? Businesses lost a great deal of liberty from this.”

    You could apply the very formula that you have used. You take the population of gay citizens who desire the same legal protections [not found universally in civil unions] as every other American citizen enjoys through the marital contract……and compare it to the number of gay citizens who would subvert the process for their own means [revenge as you state]. The math doesn’t work in your favor…..even IF the system of jurisprudence and Constitutional legislation provided a means to restrict liberty based on an assumption of how some people could subvert it….which you didn’t address.

    I would caution against using the Atlanta Fire Chief as evidence [or most Todd Starnes OpEds]….as he was not removed for his religious views, but for violating Atlanta City Policy.

    “There is no reason to believe this will not increase as gays feel empowered.”

    Again, you avoided my [6th?] paragraph. The religious have felt empowered for centuries….why should religious dogma rule in the face of liberty?

    I’m with you on the premise that the right to dispense of my labor is my own….but I’m at least consistent enough to include any personal rationale [race, gender, sexuality, etc]. Are you willing to be logically consistent and agree that I can refuse service to a citizen of another race, because I might be racist?

  81. Sheri,

    Is this moral: http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2015/05/28/jim-bob-duggar-state-trooper-josh-duggar-fondling-sex-abuse/28058841/

    Very religious family. My guess is that the dad reaction was thank god he’s not gay.

    Family very active against gay marriage, but pushed under the carpet what their son did.

    Do you think a black kid would have had the same chance.

  82. Cl: In answer to your last question, yes, I am saying you can discriminate based on race or for any other reason. I have said that here before (you may have missed it, of course). To me, laws prohibiting discrimination have lead to the belief that those who are discriminated against are helpless and have to have the government help them. It would have been far more useful to aid these persons in learning to run their own businesses, where they could feel free to discriminate against anyone they wanted. Same for gays. I’m fine with them starting an LBGT only cakes and wedding business. People who takes risks and run businesses should be left alone in who they serve or do not.

    From what I have read, the Atlanta fire chief was fired because he might discriminate or he might not be able to lead. Up until he wrote and distributed his book, there were no complaints. It seems possible future complications can be a reason to fire someone.

  83. Ye Olde Statistician

    May 28, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    If [morality] is to be considered objective, then there must be a commonality generally agreed to by all.

    Start here: http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.html

    But let me know when anything whatsoever is “generally agreed to by all.”

    given no measurable method of determining objectivity, I would proffer that it is nigh impossible to consider it logically consistant.

    This does not logically follow. A body of propositions can be logically consistent even if there is no “metric.” Is Riemannian geometry more “objective” than Euclidean geometry? By what metric?

    similar to saying in 1860 we shouldn’t free the slaves, because some might take revenge.

    More like: “this might result in a civil war in which hundreds of thousands will be slaughtered and half the country reduced to poverty for the next century, while the slaves themselves will be materially worse off.” This is not an argument for slavery, but it is surely an argument for the way in which its end might be carried out. It was far more deeply embedded in Brazil, but was ended there in 1888 by a more carefully considered path.

    The prohibitions on gay marriage were based upon persecution by religion

    By which religion? By devotees of Tammuz? By Buddhists? By devotees of Adonis? There was never any such institution anywhere as “gay marriage,” but not because it was “prohibited” as because it was simply impossible. Nor did anyone desired to be “tied down” with obligations as marriage imposed. (In this regard, some comments by Andrew Sullivan on the benefits of allowing gays to marry would be apropos.)

    citizens who desire the same legal protections [not found universally in civil unions] as every other American citizen enjoys through the marital contract

    Do a brother and sister enjoy such “protections”? (Protections against what? Marriage evolved for the protection of children, not the copulating couple.) The marital contract binds the man to stay with his wife, support her, and protect her with his life if need be, “forsaking all others,” until they are parted by death. [Details vary. In the Code of Khammurapi, a man could put his wife away if she was barren, but the Code required that he provide for her and not just dump her.] Society has enforced this contract in order to ensure that any children the couples marital activities may produce will not become a burden on the King’s Purse. Only to the extent that the institution has been destroyed does anyone else want to come and pretend to be married.

    why should religious dogma rule in the face of liberty?

    What makes you think the Chinese had no same-sex “marriage” because of “religious dogma”? What “religious dogma” prevented the ancient Greeks or the Romans from having such an institution?
    +++++

  84. Ye Olde……

    “By what metric?”

    Both can be proven, can they not?

    “There was never any such institution anywhere as “gay marriage,” but not because it was “prohibited” as because it was simply impossible.”

    Of course it’s not impossible. Marriage is a legal contract.

    “Nor did anyone desired to be “tied down” with obligations as marriage imposed.”

    This is nonsensical…..who is “anyone”?

    The evolution of marriage, and it’s varying degrees of definitions and inequalities, is interesting from a historical point of view…..but again, marriage is a legal contract unencumbered by the presence of offspring. The institution has been “destroyed” only in the minds of those who would restrict its availability based on gender/sexual orientation.

    “What “religious dogma” prevented….”

    You really needn’t ask this….merely look at the arguments proffered by the camp who wishes to restrict marriage. If you are required to bring in Greek, Roman, Chinese and Tammuz……it says something about the strength of your position, where this issue regards American contract law.

    Sheri, the Atlanta Fire Chief violated city policy, repeatedly. Would you stand with him, a government official in a position of leadership, were he an Atheist and written a similar tract towards Christians [again, by way of violating city policy]?

  85. Cl: It appears he failed to get in writing that he was allowed to print and sell the book. He says he did at least in part, but the department says he did not.

    However, from the investigative report:
    “There also is general agreement the contents of the book have eroded trust and have compromised the ability of the chief to provide leadership in the future.
    No interviewed witness could point to a specific instance in which any member of the organization has been treated unfairly by Chief Cochran on the basis of his religious beliefs.
    Union president Borders was unable to offer any examples of maltreatment.”

    It’s interesting that the policy of the Atlanta Fire Department is “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

    Can you honestly say had the book been pro-gay he would not been eventually fired? It seems highly unlikely. Someone might have mentioned he needed permission but fired, no. The content of the book is why he was fired.

  86. Cochran was fired for violating city policy, as an ‘at will employee’. Asserting that he was fired for the content of the book, is speculation…much like your previous “guarantees”. I’ll ask you again, if he had written a book comparing Christianity [instead of homosexuality] to criminal acts of abuse toward a non-consensual partner [as he did] would you still stand beside him?

    In the Cochran identified himself as Atlanta’s fire chief and says his first priority as chief is to run the department “to cultivate its culture to the glory of God.”

    If he had said that his first priority as chief is to run the department “to cultivate its culture to the glory of Allah, or Atheism.” Would you still beside him?

    You don’t really advocate for special privileges for Christians……do you?

  87. Cl: Okay, do you seriously think he would have been fired if the book was pro-gay? You didn’t answer that. Nor did you address the very clearly stated reason for firing was because “There also is general agreement the contents of the book have eroded trust and have compromised the ability of the chief to provide leadership in the future” which is firing someone based on anticipated future problems. You objected to legislation of that nature but you’re okay with firing someone for that reason?

    I will answer your question after I finish my errands. I am not ignoring it. I await your answers to my questions.

  88. You’d have to define “pro-gay”. Would the alleged book made similar accusations as Cochran did, comparing sexual orientation to non-consensual abuse? If so, then yes. If not then, no.

    I still object to legislation of that nature, because it’s un-Constitutional….equal treatment under the law. Cochran was an “at-will” employee, no legislation is involved here. Cochran was also a public official in a leadership position, and in charge of a group of professionals undertaking a hazardous profession, much like the military and LEO’s. Would you have stood by Cochran had he stated that his first priority as chief is to run the department “to cultivate its culture to the glory of Allah, or Atheism”? Or had compared Christianity to non-consensual, criminal abuse?

  89. Something I should have added above: You’ve stated your support for [un-Constitutional] legislation that would restrict the ability for a citizen to enjoy the same rights and privileges as the average American, based solely on an assumption that some people might use said liberty to infringe upon the liberty or labor of others.

    My question is, why would you desire to even set that legal precedent? If you are concerned about the health of religious liberty, why would you support precedent that would make it absurdly easy to bring similar legislation in the future, targeting for example, Christians? Much like in physics, actions have reactions.

    This is but one reason why I side with maximum liberty for the citizen.

  90. Cl: “You’d have to define pro-gay”. Is that a dodge?

    This is what I found on your question following the dodge:
    “Uncleanness,” in Cochran’s book, is described as “whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion.”

    Biblically, all acts of sex outside of marriage (man/woman) are considered sexual sins and therefore unclean. Society ranks these acts according to what is the currently endorsed sin versus those not endorsed. The anger comes from society applying its ranking to the list, not the Biblical interpretation.
    (I don’t know what you are referring to with non-consensual sexual abuse.)
    Cultivating the culture of Allah might involve stoning homosexuals, so that would definitely not work. Atheism is already cultivated, so far as I can tell. People have no fear of saying there is no God and laughing at those who say there is. Comparing Christianity to nonconsensual, criminal abuse–you really need to define that, considering you demand I define pro-gay, which is far less ambiguous– until you define the term, can’t say.

    I can’t really answer your other question because you refuse to admit that Christians are already targeted by certain laws. It’s now to the point the Bible cannot be mentioned on school grounds, you cannot wish classmates “Merry Christmas” because they might be offended, nativity statues cannot go on public land because it might offend, etc. Since you don’t chose to acknowledge the current status of this situation, I see no point in trying to answer. Nothing I say will make any difference.

    Note, too, that the reason the chief was fired was because people now believed him to be a bigot and not a good leader. His leadership up to that point was never questioned. As far as I can tell, there were no complaints. Now that they know what he was thinking, but never said, they’re afraid? Why? He’s no different now—the other employees are the ones who changed. This is more a case of people fearing a future reaction—in fact, some places it was suggested that firing him was a way to avoid future lawsuits. How’s that for a precedent? The city might get sued, so fire the guy.

  91. Ye Olde Statistician

    May 29, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    “By what metric?”
    Both can be proven, can they not?

    Not sure what this means? In what way is “can be proven” equivalent to “can be measured”?

    “There was never any such institution anywhere as “gay marriage,” but not because it was “prohibited” as because it was simply impossible.”
    Of course it’s not impossible. Marriage is a legal contract.

    No, marriage existed long before legal contracts of any sort existed. It is a naturally-evolved institution, not an intelligently designed one. Tribal customs only shaped around the edges. (For example, a man from one moiety might be required to marry into a particular different moiety; or prohibited from marrying his sister.)

    A better counterargument to There was never any such institution anywhere as “gay marriage,” would be to produce an actual example of such an institution.

    “Nor did anyone desire to be “tied down” with obligations as marriage imposed.”
    This is nonsensical…..who is “anyone”?

    Don’t worry too much about it. For just as long as marriage came with obligations, like faithfulness and lifelong commitment, no one else ever made an effort to get in on the act. That’s all. Oh, and men often had this deep reluctance to “get trapped.” (Remember, the institution was a safeguard for the women.)

    The evolution of marriage, and it’s varying degrees of definitions and inequalities, is interesting from an historical point of view…..but again, marriage is a legal contract unencumbered by the presence of offspring.

    But perhaps it is a potato. I mean if we are going to take a word that has a specific, millennia-long meaning and redefine it to mean something else, why not have it mean a potato? I say it’s unfair for the term “sunrise” not to include the moon, or for veterans’ benefits to be denied civilians. Why can’t a man and his sister enter into such a contract? Or a man and a teenaged boy? Or two sisters afraid of losing their house to British death taxes? Why cannot a woman marry a roller coaster, or a man his Labrador retriever? (Both these actions have taken place.)

    The presence of offspring certainly does not “encumber” many of our post-modern liberated males, who have left a host of single mothers in their wake to burden the public purse. Now the largest single category of poverty. It is notable that children are now considered an “encumbrance.” Part, I suppose, of the war against humanism. Hey, as long as you can stick someone else with re$pon$ibility for the kid, it’s all good,right? In the Sexual Revolution, women were the cannon fodder.

    But really, if there is no possibility whatever of offspring, what business has the government got nosing in your bedroom?

    The institution has been “destroyed” only in the minds of those who would restrict its availability based on gender/sexual orientation.

    Nah, it was destroyed first, and then people wanted to play dress-up in the ruins. Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor came long before Andrew Sullivan. Then came cohabitation, the pill to reduce women to sex objects, etc. etc.

    “What “religious dogma” prevented….”
    You really needn’t ask this…. merely look at the arguments proffered by the camp who wishes to restrict marriage.

    IOW, you cannot cite the religious dogma the ancient Greeks used when they did not recognize such partnerships as marriages.

    If you are required to bring in Greek, Roman, Chinese and Tammuz……it says something about the strength of your position, where this issue regards American contract law.

    Actually, it says something about the contention that “religious dogma” is the reason such partnerships have never been recognized as marriages.

    BTW, if it were simply a matter of contract law, why doesn’t some lawyer simply write up a standard contract that the two parties can sign?

    the Atlanta Fire Chief violated city policy

    “Everything within the state; nothing outside the state; nothing against the state.”
    What if in some time and place there were a policy against patronizing Jewish shops, and this fellow did so anyway and he got fired from his own job for doing so. Would you then contend that it was not a social coercion being used to impose a minority view on the population? It was merely a firing for “violating policy”? Surely, you ought not approve of brown-shirt tactics simply because the brown shirts support a policy you approve of!

  92. Sheri – Why do you keep insisting on making statements that aren’t true? “The bible cannot be mentioned on school grounds”? Of course it can. I can go on any school campus and say “bible”. What cannot happen, and for good reason, is the institutional endorsement of a religion by government. You keep ‘dodging’ precedent in it’s entirety. Why would you continue to endorse legal precedence that could quite easily be turned against what your perceive as religious liberty? It’s a position of self induced victimization to believe that the lack of institutional endorsement of religion is targeting Christians. I understand why t occurs…after such a long period of special privileges, the fear of losing that power and being treated equally under the law, and within society…must be uncomfortable. Why have you ‘dodged’ the question of legal precedent?

    “I don’t know what you are referring to with non-consensual sexual abuse.”

    You’re not familiar with the definition of pederasty and bestiality? Do you support the criminalization of sodomy as well? I asked that you defined ‘pro-gay”…I didn’t ‘demand.’ Please let’s dispense with reframing for no benefit. I would still ask you to define what you mean, but I am in no way ‘demanding’. I support the equal treatment of consensual legal contracts under the law; I have no personal investment in homosexuality whatsoever, other than seeing my fellow American citizens enjoy the same rights and privileges that I enjoy. Am I ‘pro-gay’?

    Do you only support the notion that a public official can publicly pronounce that his first priority for the public department is to “cultivate its culture to the glory of God”….where it concerns the Christian god?

    I will march alongside you anytime religious liberty is threatened, as it s a cornerstone of the tenets of liberty and freedom that we profess to endorse. But religious liberty is not special privilege or preferential treatment under the law.

  93. Ye Olde….:

    “Not sure what this means? In what way is “can be proven” equivalent to “can be measured”?”

    What I mean is that even though mathematics can be considered theoretical, it can be logically diagramed and tested against. Mathematics also has a baseline of consensus….though there continues to be exploration of the field, there remains a general agreement on the parameters. Morality has very little of that, beyond the consensus that one shouldn’t harm or steal from another. Further attempts to measure morality can only be conducted using subjective biases to frame the outcome.

    “No, marriage existed long before legal contracts of any sort existed.”

    Very true, but you used the term ‘impossible’, as it if were impeded by a natural obstacle. Now, you could argue that the need to procreate in the time of early man, was of such import, that any deviation was tantamount to a capitol offense…but it was not ‘impossible’.

    “IOW, you cannot cite the religious dogma the ancient Greeks used when they did not recognize such partnerships as marriages.”

    Probably not. I don’t need to. Our system of laws loosely draws from, but is not predicated on the laws of ancient man. Marriage is, in our current day, a legal contract….legally unaffiliated with race, class, religion or the issuance of offspring. To legally, and successfully oppose gay marriage, one is required to show [under varying levels of scrutiny] that the expansion harms the citizenry or the State. Even under the Rational basis test, that camp has consistently failed to do so.

    “BTW, if it were simply a matter of contract law, why doesn’t some lawyer simply write up a standard contract that the two parties can sign?”

    I fully support this notion. The State should divest itself from the business of marital contract, just as it should refrain from empowering the Clergy to act as agents of the State. Marital contracts should all treated as such, with equal protection under the law…and those that desire the religious sacrament as a blessing upon that contract in the eyes of their religion, are quite free to do so. I’m also absolutely supportive of calling these legal contracts by another name, since that is apparently quite an issue for some. Then those who pursue the non-binding religious ceremony are free to refer to it as marriage. Although the term itself has been expanded in our lexicon, beyond its original meaning, I doubt the usage for all contracts would end.

  94. Cl: I’m out of time to devote to this discussion. It has been interesting.

  95. Sheri, I understand and have time constraints as well. Thank you for the discourse.

  96. Ye Olde Statistician

    May 30, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    marriage existed long before legal contracts of any sort existed.
    Very true

    Then marriage is not a “legal contract.” This does not stop governments from butting in and imposing contracts over and above the simple act of marriage.

    you used the term ‘impossible’, as it if were impeded by a natural obstacle.

    In many cases, it is. The woman who married the Eiffel Tower, for example, is unable to perform the marital act with it, which means it is not a marriage.

    Now, you could argue that the need to procreate in the time of early man, was of such import, that any deviation was tantamount to a capitol offense…but it was not ‘impossible’.

    Capitol?

    You still have the matter backward. It has nothing to do with a need to procreate, and everything to do with the frequent results of performing the marital act being procreative. If a man having sex with a woman’s shoe were capable of engendering children, then society would have evolved with customs regarding retifism. It’s a bit like a dog humping your leg. It can be absurd and embarrassing, but it does not mean marriage with your dog is “possible.”

    “IOW, you cannot cite the religious dogma the ancient Greeks used when they did not recognize such partnerships as marriages.”
    Probably not. I don’t need to.

    You have stated that objection to gay pseudo-marriage is religious dogma. No society has ever institutionalized such a practice; which means that if the objections were “religious dogma,” it would have to be a dogma common to all religions in every society. I am asking you to cite that dogma.

    Marriage is, in our current day, a legal contract

    Just about everything in our “current” day is a legality of some sort. I sign a contract when I rent a car. That does not make me married to my car. I’m pretty sure that Sears and Roebuck signed a partnership contract with right of inheritance; but that didn’t make them a married couple.
    People are going to do the deed. See Darwin for details. The family, clan, or state has interests in it simply because of the natural outcome. Those who harp about marriage no longer being about children — the hell with ’em, right? — then insist that it is about “celebrating” two people having sex. But who needs it? If you’re in love with the Eiffel Tower or with women’s shoes, or even with hamsters — have at it. The only legitimate state interest involved is whether any children that might result from the marital act would wind up on the public purse. The ‘contract’ is thus not between the copulatory couple, but between the couple (considered as a corporate person) and the state, by which they pledge to raise any kids themselves.
    (Note that this does not mean their copulation succeeds in procreation. The woman may be barren; the man may be sterile. They may infuse the woman’s body with chemicals so that she may be sexually possessed without too much “risk” of pregancy. But as long as it is a fundamental possibility, society insists on safeguards for the kids. Hence, divorce law originally required the couple to live apart for a year, to ensure there were no buns in the oven. Of course, in the “current” day, contraception and “dump-a-wife” no-fault divorce have reduced women to sex objects in parallel with the wrecking of marriage.

    Even under the Rational basis test, that camp has consistently failed to do so.
    Nor will they be permitted to do so. The whole point of the pravda is to require for some reason, state sanction for two people to have sex together. Hooray. And if you insist that a man cannot marry a shoe, then you are a hater.

    empowering the Clergy to act as agents of the State.

    The ministers of matrimony are the couple. The clergyman is simply a witness. It was the totalizing State that stuck its nose in the tent and insisted that they be agents of the State. Anyone doing genealogy can tell you that you don’t need to go too far back before all marriage records are church records.

    the term itself has been expanded in our lexicon, beyond its original meaning

    The meaning has not been expanded. It has been gutted. Not the same thing. The test is whether you can speak more precisely or not.

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