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Is it hateful to oppose inclusion of “marriage equality” plank in Democratic Party platform?

Many on the gay slur Republicans as haters for opposing state recognition of same-sex marriage.  Guess that means that a Democratic president who opposes inclusion of a plank favoring such recognition in his party’s platform is also a “hater”:

In the past month, almost half of all Democratic senators, several of Obama’s national campaign co-chairs, the House Minority Leader and the chairman of the Democratic convention, among others, have said they support adding marriage equality to the platform. Were this the position that the president held, such proclamations would not be a problem. But Obama says he is still publicly “evolving” on marriage equality. And the wave of support to make it a component of his convention has both surprised aides and set off a private push to keep emotions and expectations in check.

Interviews with more than a dozen party officials and activists reveal that despitewidespread and growing support for marriage equality among Americans, the issue is still viewed as politically sensitive in the top ranks of the Democratic Party. While many high-profile figures have publicly advocated for including strong language in the platform, the Obama campaign and the allied Democratic National Committee are searching for ways to split the difference: showing support for equality but stopping short of a full-fledged endorsement.

“What would it take,” Allahpundit wonders, for Obama to back gay marriage “before the election“?

Well, for starters, he’d need to be worried about the youth vote. This is an issue that could get them to perk up if it looks like turnout is sagging; the question is whether it’ll cost him more votes in older demographics, where turnout is almost always higher, than it’ll earn him in younger ones.

When will all the dewy-eyed gay activists cooing before Obama’s magnificence realize that his concern for gay people remains subordinate to his reelection concerns.  Maybe had HRC conditioned its endorsement on securing an actual commitment from the administration, they  might have made the Democrat feel he couldn’t take gay voters for granted.

Bear in mind, were it not for the determination of gay left bloggers, threatening to withhold funding from the Democrats, the president may never have moved forward on repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell.  With this president, it’s all politics all the time.  And he knows that most gay activists won’t abandon him even if he opposes the inclusion of a “marriage equality” plank in his party’s platform.

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45 Comments

  1. It will be one of those cards he(obama) is holding, don’t be surprised. With Maryland and Washington having their referendums, Obama might just evolve faster than he wants to

    Comment by rusty — March 15, 2012 @ 10:41 pm - March 15, 2012

  2. It was not the gay left bloggers that moved Obama on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” It was the certainty that the Log Cabin Republicans were about to win their lawsuit to overturn it. The Democrats had to pretend they were leading the parade. Also, military leaders, seeing that DADT would be overturned, supported doing it legislatively rather than judicially so they could keep more control over the process.

    Gay left bloggers can only claim credit for Obama declaring that hospitals receiving federal money must honor durable healthcare powers-of-attorney for same-sex partners. Even Obama’s DOJ refusing to defend DOMA is more of a stall to keep it in place to appease its Democrat supporters and keep gay money rolling in by tossing gays a crumb, rather than actual prinicpled opposition that would get it repealed. Fox News has a list of other crumbs gay left bloggers have secured from the Democrat banquet table by threatening that gays will stop donating to Democrats and working to elect them:
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/21/gay-workers-reportedly-family-leave/

    Comment by Cynthia Yockey, A Conservative Lesbian — March 15, 2012 @ 11:56 pm - March 15, 2012

  3. With Maryland and Washington having their referendums, Obama might just evolve faster than he wants to

    Why give the whole steak when you can keep them under your thumb with a few scraps?

    Comment by TGC — March 16, 2012 @ 12:36 am - March 16, 2012

  4. How many Republican congresspeople are for gay marriage, again?

    Comment by Cinesnatch — March 16, 2012 @ 2:54 am - March 16, 2012

  5. Vince,

    Have you noticed that the Republican primaries are taking place? Have noticed that the fight is between Romney on the too left and Santorum on the too social conservative right? Have you noticed that polling shows Obama in a struggle in running against either of them? Have you noticed that the Republicans have not bothered to wave the traditional marriage flag?

    Do you think that Obama can run on free contraception, gay marriage, federally funded abortion, wind and solar power, the electric car, “I shot the bin Laden” and other such delivery of “hope and change” and parlay it all into a second term?

    Do you know that we have huge inflation in the grocery stores and at the gas pumps? Do you know that you can’t lay that off by playing the race card?

    How many Republican congresspeople are for gay marriage, again? How many Democrat congresspeople think this a campaign issue that will secure their reelection?

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 16, 2012 @ 10:25 am - March 16, 2012

  6. Someone tell me again why it’s so important to remake the whole of society in the image of a fringe sex group? Why must worshiping at the altar of gay marriage be the only way you can be a member of the human race in good standing? Someone explain, please, ’cause I don’t get it. (And no, you can’t explain it by comparing gays to blacks.)

    Comment by Seane-Anna — March 16, 2012 @ 9:29 pm - March 16, 2012

  7. Seane-Anna, I wouldn’t call it remaking the whole of society, as you put it. As you know, society has changed and continues to, as we attempt to root out injustices. Mainstreaming homosexuality, IMO, is just another example of that. From my perspective, it is only a total remake for those who are fixated too much on sex (and I suppose that could include some gay people).

    As to your second question, any person, gay or straight, can be a member of the human race in good standing without being married, right? But we do see value in marriage that is not limited to simply procreation. We encourage and value marriages even when the couple will not or cannot procreate. Since I don’t see homosexuality as sinful anymore than being left-handed (except for Livewire and my partner 🙂 ), I see value in encouraging stable relationships, and ultimately marriage for gay persons.

    Comment by Pat — March 16, 2012 @ 10:30 pm - March 16, 2012

  8. So, Pat, for you legalizing gay marriage corrects an injustice. So, it’s an injustice to prevent people from marrying whomever they love, is that it? Is that what you believe? If so, then do you also think it’s an injustice to prevent a straight man from marrying more than one woman? If not, why not? Because you consider polygamy morally wrong? According to what value system? And why is it ok for the law to reflect your value system but not mine? And how come you think it’s ok for you to pass judgment on other people’s nontraditional relationships, but it’s diabolical bigotry if anyone passes judgment on yours? I really want to know.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — March 16, 2012 @ 10:52 pm - March 16, 2012

  9. Seane-Anna, since I believe homosexuality and heterosexuality are not sinful, but some of the other types of relationships you refer to are either clearly morally wrong, or at best, types of behaviors that shouldn’t be encouraged, I support marriage between two consenting adults, and not marriage in the other situations. In my view, restricting it between persons of the same sex is not justified. You do, based on 2000+ year-old belief. We have abandoned a lot of Biblical beliefs that we view as antiquated, and I am adding homosexuality to that list. You don’t. So how do we solve this problem? I suppose this is where law comes in. While the law sided with your beliefs for a long time, the tide appears to be turning.

    We both can pass judgment on other people’s relationships (see Amendment I). But I suppose if a majority of people believe that marriage between a person and a rock is okay, and it becomes law, so be it. We will both be on the same losing side on that issue. Heck, I don’t believe anyone under 18 should be allowed to marry regardless of the circumstances (pregnancy, parental consent, etc.). But the laws on many states still allow such marriages. By the way, my reasoning here is that we shouldn’t encourage persons under 18 having sex. However, the laws say otherwise. Go figure.

    Comment by Pat — March 16, 2012 @ 11:23 pm - March 16, 2012

  10. I want government out of marriage, period. Hetero or homosexual, doesn’t matter so long as it is consenting adults. No tax breaks, no differential treatment, no “with dependent” pay. I want to file my taxes as an individual and keep the US gov out of my bedroom, tyvm.

    I personally do not believe the government should be in the business of legislating morality. When our elected officials assume that mantle, it opens the door to the ruling elite’s interpretation of morality. Whether it is abortion, porn, marriage “rules”…you are at the mercy of the rulers.

    Comment by hellocat — March 17, 2012 @ 1:03 am - March 17, 2012

  11. I personally do not believe the government should be in the business of legislating morality.

    Then you do not believe in morality.

    Nor do you believe that our government is actually of the people, by the people and for the people.

    Nor do you believe that the public square should be regulated in order to protect the concept of civility.

    Nor do you believe that “victimless acts” ever affect the general welfare.

    Getting the government out of legislating morality is the surest way to destroy morality. To depend upon the natural limits set by those who have no limits is sheer madness.

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 17, 2012 @ 8:48 am - March 17, 2012

  12. “…but some of the other types of relationships you refer to are either clearly morally wrong, or at best, types of behaviors that shouldn’t be encouraged…” But according to what and whose value system, Pat? For at least a thousand years homosexuality was “clearly morally wrong” in Western civilization. Now, as you point out, that view is rapidly changing. You applaud that change, Pat, because it benefits you and I think that’s the real “moral code” that determines your opinions. You support the ban on polygamy because it doesn’t prohibit anything YOU want to do. But the ban on gay marriage is horrible because it restricts you, not because it’s an “injustice”. It all boils down to that malignant narcissism that Tammy Bruce talked about. Principle has nothing to do with it. It’s all about what affects “tey gheys”. The gay tail is wagging the straight dog and in the end I firmly believe society will be worse for it.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — March 17, 2012 @ 3:57 pm - March 17, 2012

  13. I always find it funny, in this debate over the “legality” of gay marriage, that no one points out the obvious: it is the government that is banned from recognizing gay marriages. Gay folks get married, and have been getting married for decades. Gay folks can say “we’re married” all the live long day — there is no penalty or law to stop them. Churches that wish to say “this gay couple is married” may do so. A gay couple may have their families and neighbors recognize and applaud their marriages. The only one under DOMA who is prohibited from “recognizing” this reality is the government — to which we pay taxes. The government can’t stop gay couples saying their married, nor can it prevent churches or clergy from saying gay couples are married; there are no penalties in DOMA against individuals or couples. Gay marriage is not “illegal” nor is gay marriage “prohibited” — nor are gay folks or clergy liable for any action against them for saying they’re married. It’s the government that is enjoined from joining the reality.

    Again, what is outlawed is the Government’s recognition of the reality. Gay couples now seek recognition of our reality by the government to which we pay taxes.

    Comment by Jim Hlavac — March 17, 2012 @ 5:53 pm - March 17, 2012

  14. Jim in #13, pretty much summarizes argument I’ve been making on the blog for nigh on 8 years.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — March 17, 2012 @ 6:12 pm - March 17, 2012

  15. Has the liberal GOP been bailed out by Europe?

    Gay ‘marriage’ not a right, prohibiting gay adoption not ‘discrimination’: European Court

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/gay-marriage-not-a-right-prohibiting-gay-adoption-not-discrimination-europe#

    Comment by rjligier — March 17, 2012 @ 8:56 pm - March 17, 2012

  16. Seane-Anna, we all have our own values systems. Mine is based on Judeo-Christian ethics, just like yours is. I suppose you believe yours is more aligned with your religion, and thus, more valid. Fine, whatever. Out of curiosity, I got my World Almanac out a few days ago, just to see how many religions exist in this country. I can’t recall the exact number, but it was at least 200. And even if you count the different sects of a religion only once (for example, there is some 20 different Baptist congregations), it’s still at least 100. Oh, and about 90% of these are Christian religions. Yes, obviously there is a lot in common with their morals and values, but apparently, there are a lot of differences to account for the numerous religions. So I suppose your value system comes from one of these. However, I would be surprised if even within your religion, all adherents see things the same way you do. So while you believe you follow your religion’s moral code, you personally have decided exactly what you believe is right. In other words, you used your God-given brain to decide what is best, what is right, what is just, while others, who are just as devoted as you are, have done so as well, even though their value system may differ from yours.

    I know this is uncomfortable for people to admit, but morality hasn’t stayed constant during the past 5000 years. When I see people argue that, somehow, morality really has stayed constant, I almost feel like I’m reading 1984 again. Eating cheeseburgers used to be an abomination, but isn’t, at least for Christians. Slavery is not considered okay anymore. So what about homosexuality? There has been a clear change of attitude. In fact, you stated that you treat homosexual persons with love and kindness, and I believe that you indicated you have friends or acquaintances that are openly gay. This was not the case as recently as 50 years ago. Homosexual persons were treated with disdain at best, and there was still enforcement of anti-sodomy laws. If that’s love and kindness, I wouldn’t want to see what you consider hate.

    So, how should society treat homosexuals. Should we go back to the days of criminalizing sodomy? Or should we accept that morality regarding homosexuality has changed? Or do you have (what I believe is) the inconsistent position of saying no to both questions? If you do not believe homosexuality should be criminalized, should we encourage promiscuity or stable relationships?

    As to your questioning my principles, let’s look at it this way. It works both ways. First, I assume you are straight. As such, you, like any other straight person are able to stand on the shoulders of our ancestors who have challenged and changed the “traditions” of marriage to allow you to marry a person of a different race, different religion, different socio-economic class, to not accept an arranged marriage, etc. So, basically, unless you have an attraction to underaged individuals or close family members, you can marry any person you want. So, perhaps that’s what determined your moral code, and your claim that it is something more than that is just a ruse. Or you can at least consider that my moral code is no more than a convenience than yours is. Your choice. The fact that I believe homosexuality is no more immoral than heterosexual has increased precedence today.

    Further, my partner is the same race as me, the same socioeconomic class as me, and the same gender as me. But despite your perception of lack of principles on my part, I still support marriage for persons of different races, different socioeconomic classes, and different genders. So I don’t see how this makes me more narcissistic than you.

    I can’t predict with certainty how attitudes towards homosexuality will change in the next 50 years. Regardless, there is no gay tail wagging the straight dog as you put it. We are still and will always be a small percentage of the population. It’s up to all of us, straight and gay to decide whether society will becoem worse. But it’s really going to be up to the straight dog whether society will be worse or not. You can’t use homosexuality as an excuse for your own moral failings, even if all of us homosexuals become hedonistic pigs. Homosexual persons have been told we should get our own house in order to become more mainstreamed. Sounds like this should be true for straight people as well.

    Comment by Pat — March 17, 2012 @ 9:50 pm - March 17, 2012

  17. Pat–
    Let me blunt: 2 men shacking up as a monogamous couple is a delightful thing, and something to be celebrated and encouraged.

    Let me blunt: 2 women shacking up as a monogamous couple is a delightful thing, and something to be celebrated and encouraged.

    Neither one is a MARRIAGE. Get the hell over it and stop being such a self-obsessed NARCISSIST.

    Comment by Bastiat Fan — March 18, 2012 @ 12:20 am - March 18, 2012

  18. Wow, Bastiat Fan. That was a convincing argument. Seriously, your assumption is baseless and totally uncalled for. So please get over yourself. Thanks.

    Comment by Pat — March 18, 2012 @ 1:46 am - March 18, 2012

  19. sin of omission; that’s giving it the old catholic try.

    Comment by Kevin — March 18, 2012 @ 2:03 am - March 18, 2012

  20. AND, Two snaps to you PAT!

    Comment by rusty — March 18, 2012 @ 6:31 am - March 18, 2012

  21. Pat,

    You’ve hit upon something that I think too many people miss.
    Laws do not equal morality.
    I’ve come to understand that it isn’t hypocritical to say “I want Bill and Ted to be married, but not Bill and Ted and Rufus.” Just because something is legislated, it doesn’t mean it becomes moral.

    Now that’s not to say that we can’t or shouldn’t fight for laws that reflect our morality. Indeed, if people didn’t, then (non consensual) slavery would still be legal, and 10 year olds would be getting married in California.

    The problem isn’t whether the law defies my morality, the problem is when laws defy freedom. We (meaning society as a whole) ban certain substances (LSD, pot, heroin) and restrict others (Oxycodone) because we believe that allowing unfettered access to them harms society as a whole. You can use them, but you have to accept the consequences, like any law. If you believe LSD is bad, suddenly legalizing it doesn’t change that you believe it’s bad. We (society) restrict freedoms because we believe we must to keep a society.

    Aside: I read a piece a long time ago saying that DUI shouldn’t be illegal. If someone gets from the bar to home w/o causing any harm to others, why should he be punished? If he damages others property or kills someone, there’s laws for that as he now directly affected another. While I disagree with the logic, I understood it.

    As Dan pointed out, anyone can get ‘married’ or ‘fredded’ or what have you. It’s the government recognition people are fighting for. Ohio imposed Seanna’s morality on us, California imposed (from what I’ve read) my morality on its people. The Ninth circus, as is common screwed things up. (Seriously, from what I’ve read of their decision, they’ve put every single law ever passed up for review if it’s allowed to stand.)

    The thing is, there’s nothing to stop the polyamorous groups I know from living their lives and teaching their children that having a daddy and two mommies is alright. Or my cousin and her partner living their beliefs in a committed fashion. There’s nothing to stop me from telling my 15 year old Goddaughter that if a 40 year old takes an interest in her it’s wrong, doesn’t matter what the age of consent might be. It’s when that group asks the government to recognize their relationship, or when the 40 year old demands the government tell me to stop saying that he’s a pervert, that the issue of laws and consensus come into play.

    Aside the second: If any dirty old man (or woman) were to approach any of my godkids, it’s not me you’d have to worry about. Though when you disappear, you’d not be missed, you’d not be mourned, and you’d never be found.

    Comment by The_Livewire — March 18, 2012 @ 10:48 am - March 18, 2012

  22. Livewire, excellent points.

    I’ve come to understand that it isn’t hypocritical to say “I want Bill and Ted to be married, but not Bill and Ted and Rufus.”

    I appreciate that. I believe homosexuality is not sinful, and support same-sex marriage. Anyone can agree with one or both, or disagree. Fair enough. But I don’t get why these beliefs mean I must support interspecies marriage, polygamy, marriage between adults and children, etc. And how this necessarily makes me a narcissist. Heck, I lived 47 years without same sex marriage, and can live another 47 years without it. I’ll be fine either way.

    Comment by Pat — March 18, 2012 @ 1:10 pm - March 18, 2012

  23. @Pat

    Comparing SSM to Polygamy/andry does come into play in how we as a society ‘evolve’ towards these things. Legislation can be written to be airtight, moreso than court decisions. Anyone arguing to change a law should be aware of the possibilities of ‘corruption’ (best word I can think of) and even if not believing them, at least understanding the pathologies behind them. As a legal example, the fears of Connecticut v Griswold and Lawrence v Texas were brushed off. The former got us Roe v Wade and we’re still seeing the after effects of Lawrence.

    There’s also the essential difference between “Aw, that would never happen.” and “Let’s make sure that will never happen.”

    To return to the above vetting article, concerns about Obama’s past (associating with terrorists, racists, questionable ethics, support for murdering babies, etc) were ‘brushed off’ as being racist, rather than addressed, investigated and if appropriate dismissed.

    Now some things we’re not going to be able to prove or disprove. Will a President Romney take his orders from Utah? He says no, we can look to his governing record. Indeed, it is that very record that makes both So-cons and Fisical Cons nervous. Will a President Santorum take his orders from the Holy-C? How does his record both voting and proposing legislation support that theory? That’s for the voters to decide when they cast their votes.

    Comment by The_Livewire — March 18, 2012 @ 2:05 pm - March 18, 2012

  24. Comparing SSM to Polygamy/andry does come into play in how we as a society ‘evolve’ towards these things.

    Livewire, I don’t totally discount this at all. Heck, when interracial marriage* was no longer prohibited, maybe those who opposed interracial marriage were afraid what was going to happen next. However, those who want polygamy are going to have to make their argument as to why that would benefit society. It’s straight people mostly that voted to allow same-sex marriage in the states and countries that have it. Even if every single homosexual supports all sorts of expansion of marriage, it isn’t happening unless straight people come on board as well.

    As to CT v Griswold leading to Roe v Wade, I am no expert on Supreme Court decisions. But something tells me if members of the court invented constitutional rights (and auras and penumbras) in CT v Griswold, they could have easily done that to Roe v Wade, even if there was no precedence in CT v Griswold.

    I recall Scalia saying that Lawrence v Texas decision is going to lead to SSM. Does that mean if and when such comes to the Supreme Court that Scalia will have to follow such precedent and vote for SSM?

    * Disclaimer: I don’t believe interracial marriage and same-sex marriage are the same thing, and should not be inferred.

    Comment by Pat — March 18, 2012 @ 2:30 pm - March 18, 2012

  25. I’ve read about Griswold and it leading to Roe v. Wade.

    Basically, Roe was built on the ‘right to privacy’ from Griswold. Clear to the point of justices citing their own decisions.

    As to Lawrence, it depends on your definition of ‘originalism’. IMNSHO, the Supremes aren’t bound to preceding SC decisions, anymore than a congress cannot bind a future congress. (Thus budget silliness.) If they were, then bad decisions are tyranny. Since Lawrence struck down precedent less than a decade old, it appears the libs agree with me, when it suits them.

    I can see Scalia arguing against SSM (and thus his fears of Lawrence) by pointing to the 9th and 10th amendments and limited powers of the constitution. He could then reiterate that Lawrence was decided wrongly and ignore it.

    The Mischief comes from what lesser courts do holding to ‘bad decisions’ either rightly or twisting them to their own reasoning. That’s what causes the damage in the interim. To use SSM as a point, when someone challenges the state deciding its definition of marriage, the lower courts should honor Baker v. Nelson. If (when) the Supremes get the question, they *can* just say “Yup, it still stands.” But they aren’t bound to saying “We’ve already heard this.” They should view the challenge vs the Constitution. Not just where it was, but where it is now (with amendments). Why? Because sometimes people get it wrong.

    Asidem with Justice Scalia’s level of snark, I always wondered why his dissent in McCain Feingold didn’t read “What part of ‘Shall make no law did you people not get?”

    Comment by The_Livewire — March 18, 2012 @ 3:12 pm - March 18, 2012

  26. Pat,

    Back at the dawn of Progressivism and the field of sociology, the new age people (c.1910) invented a word: mores (pronounced: mawr-eyz.) It was a third leg the the morality/ethics study and it involved the folkways, culture and “popular” or conventional common practices and guidelines. It only brushed against morals and ethics in tangental ways.

    When progressives start going on about “diversity” they are nearly always making exceptions in the “mores” for new approaches to older customs and ideas.

    Customs, practices, conventions are basically habits that are accepted as a part of the societal status quo.

    Morals, however, have a far different grounding and they do not shift with the fads of custom and convention and common practice. Morality is measured by right and wrong, not tolerance or indifference or fad.

    The issue of “gay marriage” is a basic issue of “right and wrong” only if it is defined as a moral issue. So, if one is going to argue that it is a moral issue, than that person must be able to explain why “gay marriage” is wrong. Likewise, if the proponent of “gay marriage” is going to argue that it is a moral issue, then that proponent must be able to explain why “gay marriage” is a right and a “good” thing.

    However, “gay marriage” is not about the concept of marriage, it is about the definition of marriage. To that extent, it is a “more”: a convention, a practice, a custom.

    The public square is where such changes occur. So far, I believe the public square is fairly indifferent to two men or two women partnering up and calling themselves “married.” Therefore, I would suggest that the “tolerance” issue in the public square has been largely overcome.

    However, there is a continuing push for the definition of marriage to be altered to admit gays and lesbians, but not polygamists, children and near kin. From a statutory standpoint this is a typical legislative compromise process that does not involve morals or much of anything in ethics.

    I take exception to your idea that morality changes with customs and shifts in common practice. The third grade teacher may hang out at a nude beach, but she is not likely to last past a nano-second if she shows up naked in front of the classroom. Nor is she likely to last past a nano-second if she takes her class on a field trip to the nude beach. The custom of nudity may have changed under specific conditions, but the morality has not.

    For a variety of reasons I oppose the redefinition of marriage to accommodate gays and lesbians. I support civil unions to clear up problems created by the state as they affect gay and lesbian partners. My stand is not on the basis of strict morality. Until it can be explained to me why a redefinition of marriage is in order, I will stand my ground. I am fairly certain that a great many people in the public square share my views.

    As always, I am always open to arguments that show the benefit to society as a whole that would accrue from changing the definition of marriage.

    And, as always, if you think that respect, understanding and self-esteem can be legislated and realized by the force of law, I would caution you to get a more realistic understanding.

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 18, 2012 @ 3:49 pm - March 18, 2012

  27. Nor is she likely to last past a nano-second if she takes her class on a field trip to the nude beach.

    I’ll take, “Field trips I’d not have called out sick for, for 300 Alex.”

    🙂

    Comment by The_Livewire — March 18, 2012 @ 9:53 pm - March 18, 2012

  28. I take exception to your idea that morality changes with customs and shifts in common practice.

    Heliotrope, even if you are right doesn’t change the challenges posed. In fact, I think it makes things more convoluted. For example, let’s look at eating pork. Under your premise, it’s either always been immoral, or not. According to the Old Testament, eating pork is an abomination. My interpretation is that would make eating pork immoral. Now, most Christians, and many non-Orthodox Jewish persons don’t regard it as immoral today. In fact, somewhere in the New Testament (don’t know the exact details), many of the Leviticus abominations, including eating pork, were taken off the abomination list. So, if morality is non-changing, who is right and who is wrong? Is the Old Testament wrong? Or when it said eating pork is an abomination, that it somehow didn’t mean it was immoral?

    What about homosexuality? Again, assuming your premise, it was either always immoral or not. Which is it? Obviously, homosexuality was considered immoral in the past. It made the Leviticus abomination list. You indicated in another thread about mistranslations, and this may have been one of them. That the Leviticus verse may actually have been speaking to pedophilia. Regardless, it wasn’t taken off the abomination list in the New Testament.

    Today, there is a shift in attitude regarding homosexuals and homosexuality. Yes, there is the “love the sinner, hate the sin” mentality which I suppose is kinder and gentler than it was years ago. However, it’s more than that. More and more people, a majority, in fact, do not even regard it as immoral. So who’s right and who’s wrong?

    I realize this doesn’t prove your premise wrong. But it certainly means that we are no less confused or ignorant as to what is moral and what isn’t. We see that we can’t rely on the Bible as to what is or isn’t moral. And we’ve had scholars studying this for millenia, and we still cannot come to a consensus. The fact that we have hundreds of different religions, even within Christianity certainly speaks to that.

    Comment by Pat — March 19, 2012 @ 6:46 am - March 19, 2012

  29. Basically, Roe was built on the ‘right to privacy’ from Griswold. Clear to the point of justices citing their own decisions.

    Livewire, I understand that. My point is that the Supreme Court could have come to the same Roe v Wade decision, building on the “right to privacy” even if Griswold was never brought to the Supreme Court. And although we’ll never know for sure, my guess is the outcome would have been the same.

    Comment by Pat — March 19, 2012 @ 6:57 am - March 19, 2012

  30. @Pat,

    Possibly. OTOH, it does seem that when breaking new ground courts like to rely on ‘precedent’ whether it be actual or not. We’ll never know. We just know what did happen.

    Comment by The Livewire — March 19, 2012 @ 7:54 am - March 19, 2012

  31. According to the Old Testament, eating pork is an abomination. My interpretation is that would make eating pork immoral. Now, most Christians, and many non-Orthodox Jewish persons don’t regard it as immoral today. In fact, somewhere in the New Testament (don’t know the exact details), many of the Leviticus abominations, including eating pork, were taken off the abomination list. So, if morality is non-changing, who is right and who is wrong? Is the Old Testament wrong? Or when it said eating pork is an abomination, that it somehow didn’t mean it was immoral?

    Comment by Pat — March 19, 2012 @ 6:46 am – March 19, 2012

    That’s easy, Pat.

    Where do you allow an eight-year-old to travel alone, versus an eighteen-year-old?

    Why are they different?

    Since they are different, which is wrong — the limitations on the eight-year-old, or the eighteen-year-old?

    In processing through that, you ultimately might come to the point that, even though the limitations are different, the underlying point/”morality” of the restrictions remain the same.

    You do not treat an eighteen-year-old identically to an eight-year-old, and vice versa. Similarly, you do not take a people whose only real and consistent idea of organized religion was the idolatry and other practices of those surrounding them and treat them the same way as a people thousands of years later who have internalized the basic points and are on a different level of understanding/knowledge.

    Your response is instructively childish. You demand a degree of consistency and permanency that you would never deign to apply to your fellow gays and lesbians. You clearly do not understand several of the most basic points involved, yet you declare the entire structure flawed and failing.

    What that makes obvious is that this has nothing to do with the value of morality and everything to do with your need to rationalize why morality that you don’t like should be ignored and mocked. That is why you, instead of simply pointing out the virtues of gay-sex marriage, attack and belittle Heliotrope’s morality.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 19, 2012 @ 3:30 pm - March 19, 2012

  32. Pat,

    Perhaps you are familiar with the work of Lawrence Kohlberg who addressed “moral stages.”

    I hope you will look it over and understand that different people are at different levels of moral understanding.

    Your pork vs. homosexuality perhaps need some rethinking. Eating pork was prohibited. I would not choose the action of eating pork as parallel with the action of having sex in dead-end ways for the end result of satisfying lust.

    Producing children is not the highest moral order. If it were, I suspect the Bible would have encouraged men to impregnate as many women at hand as possible and as often as possible. The prohibition on pork and the prohibition of sowing your seed in useless places are not really too different in many respects. But they are vastly different in concept.

    However, your reference to pork becoming more acceptable and less of a moral stricture is useful. What you eat and do not eat is a strange sort of moral tenet. It is largely about how you, as a religious person, “do” religion rather than how you as a human interact with other humans.

    I suppose if eating pork or shell fish were really a big moral issue, we would find pork and shell fish wars fought between competing points of views throughout history. But, we don’t. (We do seem, however to have kept cannibalism high on the morality restrictions.)

    Can I respect a person who eats shell fish or pork? In many ways, but not if he professes to hold a faith that bans the action. It is not the pork, but the hypocrisy that is morally wrong.

    What is your understanding of why the sexual conduct of homosexuality is considered immoral by many? Why do you think so many prefer homosexuals to carry out their private life in their bedrooms and not confront the public square with actions of affection that draw attention to that with which the public square is not in full accord, let alone approval?

    In many respects, I do not understand why thoughtful, intelligent gays and lesbians do not create a positive religion for their specific minority needs and issues. Instead, there seems to be a lot of energy expended to try to reorganize existing religion to accommodate their wants.

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 19, 2012 @ 4:13 pm - March 19, 2012

  33. Heliotrope, you make mention of sowing one’s seed in useless places. Hmm I can see the reference to the gay dudes, but ya kinda leave out the dudettes. The Lesbos.

    It is also very interesting that over time women folk have slowly been finding their way into many of the the big Religions. Funny how that little change in mores certainly hasn’t ruffled many folk when it comes to being Progressive. Not a big fan of Cindy Jacobs. BUT, you still have small minority churches like Mars Hill towing the line keeping the folk on the alter intact with their penises.

    Seems like someone is more interested in the physical mechanics of insertive practices rather than looking at the loving caring relationships of monogamous gay and lesbian couples.

    Havent heard your review of Christopher Plummer yet either, Heliotrope.

    Comment by rusty — March 19, 2012 @ 4:56 pm - March 19, 2012

  34. H-m-m-m. You may have to Google Oscar Levant to know something of this man. But a thousand years ago he had a discussion with Jack Paar in which “gays” were discussed with some solemnity. (“Gay” was not in general use yet when the conversation took place. However, “lesbian” was the go-to word for women as couples.)

    Paar took in what Levant had to say about “gays” and then asked if the same observations Levant had made applied to lesbians. “Oh, no!” Levant replied, “they’re just cute.”

    In my book, Oscar Levant was one of the greatest minds on the planet in his time and he had an uncanny knack for reducing heavy issues to pithy, humorous light. I suppose that Levant was being a fairly intense hetero male who could accept fascination with a vagina, but was turned off by the fascination of the rear portal.

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 19, 2012 @ 7:32 pm - March 19, 2012

  35. Rusty,

    I am “home” and between funerals. Soon I will be back on the road until the end of June and then some serious eye operations that will knock me down for a bit in July.

    You have my word that I will view the movie and I value your (and Vince’s) recommendation. I just don’t know when I will be able to get to it. Perhaps I will have time when we transfer to our place In NYC. It should certainly be readily available. There. Thank you for asking and your recommendation.

    I have a list of films I turn over to an associate who sends me the discs when they are available. I will be sure she keeps up with this one.

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 19, 2012 @ 7:38 pm - March 19, 2012

  36. Open about his neuroses and hypochondria, Levant, in later life became addicted to prescription drugs and was frequently committed to mental hospitals by his wife. Despite his afflictions, Levant was considered a genius by some, in many areas. He himself wisecracked “There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.”

    Comment by rusty — March 19, 2012 @ 7:48 pm - March 19, 2012

  37. I would not choose the action of eating pork as parallel with the action of having sex in dead-end ways for the end result of satisfying lust.

    Heliotrope, I guess when you talk about “having sex in dead-end ways,” are you talking about most heterosexual sex (i.e., purpose to not procreate, which is probably at least 90% of the time) and homosexual sex?

    Anyway, my point wasn’t trying to make any parallel. We were discussing about whether morality changes or not, and I picked two different issues to see if that was the case.

    What is your understanding of why the sexual conduct of homosexuality is considered immoral by many?

    I would say mostly because that’s what they were taught as kids. That God supposedly “said” that homosexuality is a no-no. That there are apparently Bible versus that say so. Many who have heterosexual orientation cannot understand why or how a person could have a same sex attraction, or even believe that their own orientation is a choice. We know traditions can go unchallenged for millenia. As to why people prefer homosexuals to keep it private. I imagine because they are uncomfortable for a couple of reasons. If they were taught to be disgusted by it, well there you go. Or it may have them question their rationale for their dislike of homosexuality and see inconsistency in their position or question their own sexual orientation.

    In many respects, I do not understand why thoughtful, intelligent gays and lesbians do not create a positive religion for their specific minority needs and issues. Instead, there seems to be a lot of energy expended to try to reorganize existing religion to accommodate their wants.

    Perhaps many would, if there was a need. In this country, most homosexuals were brought up in Christian households. There are plenty of Christian religions that do accept homosexuals and their “sin.” Reformed and Reconstructionist Judaism is also very accepting of homosexuality. As you suggested, it’s not all about procreation. Further, for the most part, it’s not homosexuals that want such segregation. Now, it’s more and more heterosexuals that don’t segregation either. Sure, there are still some that are trying to split from religions that accept homosexuals, ordain priests, etc.

    Comment by Pat — March 20, 2012 @ 7:20 am - March 20, 2012

  38. If they were taught to be disgusted by it, well there you go.

    As opposed to being taught to celebrate homosexuality?

    In my experience, there is an untaught negative reaction to homosexuality that is much the same reaction as sex between a poppa and his children or brothers and sisters.

    If this were not so, I doubt we have so much chatter about “tolerance” and “acceptance.” Those are not positive words. They are words that challenge one to take a second view and to rationalize.

    Also, the truth that heterosexuals bang away with lust aplenty and protect themselves from procreation does not mitigate the fact that in most cases they are putting the functional equipment in the correct places and are otherwise able to carry out the biological functions intended. The sterile and infertile heterosexuals are exempt from the biological imperative. But I don’t see them as needing tolerance and acceptance or having to go political to become societal role models.

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 20, 2012 @ 9:15 am - March 20, 2012

  39. As opposed to being taught to celebrate homosexuality?

    Heliotrope, I’m not sure that it has to be one extreme or the other. From my perspective, teens should “celebrate” their sexuality, but also be taught to use it responsibly, as they become adults. It doesn’t make sense to have gay teens view their sexuality as disgusting if we want homosexuals to become responsible adults (and yes, I agree that adults are responsible for their behavior, no matter what kind of childhood they had).

    In my experience, there is an untaught negative reaction to homosexuality that is much the same reaction as sex between a poppa and his children or brothers and sisters.

    Your reactions are consistent with someone who was raised based on millennia of tradition. I sincerely doubt it was untaught, although I would understand your thinking that it is. Obviously, I have no way to say for sure in your situation. All I can say is that children who are brought up in a manner in which homosexuality is not viewed as sinful or negative, do not get the same sense of disgust that one would with incest.

    If this were not so, I doubt we have so much chatter about “tolerance” and “acceptance.” Those are not positive words. They are words that challenge one to take a second view and to rationalize.

    Homosexuality is obviously a matter of debate, so you could be right here. All I can tell you is, in my experience, when one was a long held belief, even not regarding morality, and are given irrefutable proof (not something based on subjectivity) it is still difficult for people to change their beliefs.

    Also, the truth that heterosexuals bang away with lust aplenty and protect themselves from procreation does not mitigate the fact that in most cases they are putting the functional equipment in the correct places and are otherwise able to carry out the biological functions intended.

    So? I’m not sure what you are saying here. That morality is based on x fits into y, and sometimes z occurs? I guess you are trying to say something else here that I’m missing.

    The sterile and infertile heterosexuals are exempt from the biological imperative.

    Exempt from what? Being allowed to have relationships, get married and still be allowed to have sex because, even though x fits into y and doesn’t produce z, it does for other x’s and y’s. But this means that you can’t have x into x or y into y even though for some, it’s a better fit? This is basically the logic you are using, at least as I see it. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    But I don’t see them as needing tolerance and acceptance or having to go political to become societal role models.

    Of course they don’t. They already have tolerance, acceptance, and then some. We aren’t taught that they are disgusting creatures. And many do become role models. No, they don’t have to “push” their infertility, because almost all of us are not oafs who degrade infertile people.

    It will take a while, maybe 100 years or so. By then, you won’t have people pushing their homosexuality, because there won’t be a need to anymore.

    Comment by Pat — March 20, 2012 @ 11:05 am - March 20, 2012

  40. Notice the hilarity in this one.

    Pat pretends to oppose and be disgusted by pedophilia, incest, and bestiality.

    But according to Pat, such disgust is merely bigotry and how one is brought up in a tradition where such things are sinful and negative, which could easily be undone by teaching children that their pedophilic, incestuous, and bestialist desires are normal and acceptable.

    Furthermore, according to Pat, failure to teach children to accept and not look with disgust upon their pedophilic, incestuous, and bestialist lusts means that they will not grow up to be responsible adults. So we should immediately remove the stigma so that they do, and furthermore acknowledge that any revulsion or disgust toward pedophilic, incestuous, and bestialist lusts are simply a result of outdated “tradition”.

    Here’s the thing, Pat. If you were willing, just a SMIDGE willing, to acknowledge that homosexuality is an abnormality in the human population and is something that we in general are wired to be averse to doing, you would be arguing from a far better position.

    But frankly, your argument that heterosexuality and homosexuality are the same is delusional. They are not. They both exist, as do other variants like pedophilia, bestiality, and incest, but their mere existence does not render them desirable.

    The problem is, Pat, you cannot settle for neutrality or tolerance. You want forced acceptance and glorification. You will not shut up until you force Heliotrope to admit that he is a bigot and that his parents are bigots. That’s why you stated that Heliotrope was taught to hate gays and lesbians.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 20, 2012 @ 12:22 pm - March 20, 2012

  41. You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear
    You’ve got to be taught from year to year
    It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear
    You’ve got to be carefully taught

    You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
    Of people whose eyes are oddly made
    And people whose skin is a different shade
    You’ve got to be carefully taught

    You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late
    Before you are six or seven or eight
    To hate all the people your relatives hate
    You’ve got to be carefully taught
    You’ve got to be carefully taught

    Good old South Pacific and this short lesson on how to remake the world.

    We are all just undereducated or miseducated or mal-educated and a little reeducation camp is all we need. But you have to get the young minds and indoctrinate them or they will escape the noose and go all bigot on you.

    Now, where shall we go for the reeducation? The church? No! Lots of bigotry there. The family? They serve transfats and are too often bigoted panderers of hate and speak hate speech. The schools? You mean vicious home schools and the voucher panderers? The government? YES!!!! A thousand times YES!!!! Only the government can set the tone, monitor the education, decide the truth and punish the miscreants who insist on thinking the wrong way.

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 20, 2012 @ 2:39 pm - March 20, 2012

  42. Heliotrope, I did not intend for our discussion to lead down this road. I apologize for my part in this. So let me tie up the loose ends from your post.

    As you stated, government is not going to change yours and my opinion on this or any other issue. I understand your fear. Homosexuals were penalized by the government for many years, and it is not going to do anyone any good to have the pendulum swing in the opposite direction.

    I was just giving my perspective on the issue, as you were on yours. I am sure you have given plenty of thought about this, and have come to your determination of what you believe is right and just, as have I. I can agree to disagree.

    Comment by Pat — March 20, 2012 @ 4:58 pm - March 20, 2012

  43. NDT, I think there actually might be a good point or two in your post. And while I am glad that you haven’t accused me of collecting welfare checks or petitioning to get rid of Happy Meals at McDonalds, your post is still laced with plenty of wild accusations and assumptions not based in reality. If you want real dialogue, try again, and be polite and respectful. Until then, please have yourself a wonderfully blessed day. Thanks.

    Comment by Pat — March 20, 2012 @ 5:02 pm - March 20, 2012

  44. Pat,

    There are parts of the country where homosexuals did not get due process and were subject to sodomy laws. Thankfully, we have by and large progressed beyond that.

    It is difficult to rationalize intolerance for anyone who is fully protected by the 14th Amendment and absolutely should be so protected. The mess in this is that homosexuals who have the right to marry, want the special right to accommodate the form of partnership they designate. In essence, that gives man with man and woman with woman conjugal rights as a “civil right” in addition to the civil rights that the 14th amendment assures each of us. This can only be accomplished by amending the Constitution to permit it or to redefine marriage in each of the states.

    That redefinition of marriage in each of the states is underway and making slow progress.

    The redefinition of marriage, however, does not “normalize” man with man and woman with woman in the view of the public square. For that “normalization” to occur, it will be necessary for the general public to equally esteem and value man and man and woman and woman conjugal activity.

    We will then have to adjust a very powerful history of the vices which include lust and license in particular.

    You posit that morals change over time. I hold that the Judeo-Christian ethic has been constant, but the societal emphasis has shifted in intensity according to the ebb and flow of cultural trends.

    Parts of our country are more attuned to certain moral watchfulness than others. This has always been true where one segment wails about “moral decay” while at the same time another segment chafes at “repression.”

    The family has been under continuous attack for fifty years. Dick and Jane were “unrealistic” role models for primary readers. The Cleaver family became near anathema to some liberals. The welfare state rewarded single parent households and actually penalized the household with a man present.

    So, just where all of this social engineering will lead us and what effect it will have on the public square and how the public square will respond to the Brave New World adventures before us is unknowable.

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 20, 2012 @ 6:46 pm - March 20, 2012

  45. Heliotrope, I appreciate your response and some excellent points. Just a couple of comments.

    The mess in this is that homosexuals who have the right to marry, want the special right to accommodate the form of partnership they designate.

    I’ve mentioned several times on this blog that I am nowhere near an expert on the 14th Amendment, so I can’t give a knowledgeable response how that ties in here. However, I personally am not asking for any special right. Yes, I have a right to marry a person of the opposite sex. If same sex marriage is approved, I wouldn’t want to deny a straight person the right to marry someone of the same sex either. Seriously, it’s almost like having a law that requires everyone to write with their right hand, and saying a lefthander wants a special right by wanting to write with their left hand.

    The family has been under continuous attack for fifty years. Dick and Jane were “unrealistic” role models for primary readers. The Cleaver family became near anathema to some liberals. The welfare state rewarded single parent households and actually penalized the household with a man present.

    I am old enough that I learned to read with Dick and Jane (and Spot too). And I still like watching Leave It to Beaver (although it was a little before my time when it was first run).

    To me this is another example of where the pendulum has swung too far. Personally, I don’t think it was such a bad idea to learn to read by showing there are families other than White nuclear ones with a white picket fence etc. I remember when the change occurred, in the early to mid 70s, and wondering what it was all about. It’s unfortunate that this turned into the reward system you described.

    Comment by Pat — March 20, 2012 @ 8:18 pm - March 20, 2012

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