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How telling stories helps us define the meaning of marriage

Back in February and March when I was re-reading and reading* Madeline L’Engle’s Time Quintet, I recalled the author’s bittersweet Two-Part Invention.  The subtitle helps show my interest in the book:  “The Story of a Marriage.”

At the time, I thought it was the best book on marriage I had ever read.  Later, when I re-read the Odyssey, I realized Homer’s epic still holds that title.  (And perhaps always will.)

Given that I underline in my books and often write notes in the margins and fly-leaves, I thought that by reviewing this book, I might quickly locate a few insights, a few conclusions she has made about that ancient and honorable institution to help me craft a post on gay marriage similar to that Megan McArdle, as Jane Galt, wrote eight years ago, A really, really, really long post about gay marriage that does not, in the end, support one side or the other.

But, L’Engle’s book was about marriage primarily in the sense that she reflects on her life, her relationship with her husband Hugh, farmed in part around his death from cancer in 1986 .  To write movingly about marriage, she deals not in abstractions, but in anecdotes, sharing certain experiences with us as she recalls her feelings and her reflects on her and her beloved’s interactions.   And as I reviewed my notes, I wondered if what has been bothering me so much about the debate on gay marriage is that most people do the opposite of what L’Engle did in this book, that is, they talk mostly in abstractions.

Marriage is about love, say the advocates.  Gay marriage will destroy the institution, say the opponents.  The former hardly discuss how love can sustain a life-long partnership.  The opponents don’t tell us how exactly same-sex unions will undermine the institution.

And their tired cliches sound increasingly empty each time another individual repeats them anew.   What L’Engle teaches us is that to really get at the meaning of marriage, you need do more than recite rehearsed bromides, you need to tell stories.

No wonder that when Homer reunites Odysseus and Penelope after twenty years of separation, he has Athene delay the dawn so that the married couple can both delight in the pleasure of love-making and share each other’s stories.

Now, to be sure, L’Engle does offer more than just anecdotes particular to her marriage.  And offers this one insight which, I believe, gets at the essence of marriage:

A love which depends solely on romance, on the combustion of two-attracting chemistries, tends to fizzle out.  The famous lovers usually end up dead.  A long-term marriage has to move beyond chemistry to compatibility to friendship, to companionship.  It is certainly not that passion disappears, but that it is conjoined with other ways of love.

L’Engle isn’t the only one to get it.  Amidst the flurry of bromides and nasty barbs on Facebook in the immediate aftermath of the Supreme Court decision on state recognition of gay marriage, a married lesbian friend shared this touching reflection on the meaning of the institution:

Those of you that are married will understand. When Susie and I were able to get legally married, it changed me in a way that was different from any other relationship I had been in. Being fully seen in the eyes of our family, our friends and the law and having no “easy” way out (I mean that in the best of ways), has made me a more patient, humble, loving, communicative, and gentle person. Marriage has made me a better woman. Congratulations to everyone that gets to experience this now.

Reprinted with permission, but with the name of her wife changed — and with emphasis added.

Marriage changed her.  Please do note how in this short reflection (fewer than one hundred words), she mentions that she has “no ‘easy’ way out”** — and how that aspect of the institution helped draw out — and strengthen — her good qualities.

Perhaps, it is due to their interactions with gay and lesbian married couples like my friend that Americans have, in recent years, come to embrace the idea of gay marriage.

Let this be the opening of that long post I have long wanted to write on gay marriage.

——

*The reason for this unusual construction is that I had, as a boy, read the first three books of the Quintet, but had not read the last two.  So I re-read A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet and read, for the first time, Many Waters and An Acceptable Time.

**This is one reason why those truly concerned about strengthening marriage should focus on abolishing “no-fault” divorce laws rather than blocking state recognition of same-sex unions.

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56 Comments

  1. If we could take the heartfelt sincerity and compassion of the above and combine it with respect for freedom of association, we’d be in a much better place. May that day come.

    Comment by Michael Knudsen — June 29, 2013 @ 3:27 pm - June 29, 2013

  2. Marriage is about love, say the advocates.

    Most of the statements I’ve read/heard re. SSM have to do with a lack of equality and discrimination rather than love. Though I don’t blame a lack of convincing, I’ve always considered the argument in favor of enlarging the definition of marriage as one of status and not love, that there has been an emphasis on what society must grant homosexuals in order to fulfill the promise of an equitable, just society and benefits that must be accrued to committed persons regardless of gender.

    I don’t believe that law should be written according to the intensity of a claimant’s relationship nor a series of personal anecdotes. Although it’s true that such stories are very much a part of love, they don’t make (to me) convincing arguments as to whether an ancient institution’s definition should be legally rewritten, considering issues such as child support, visitation, taxes, visas, and other minutiae. Emotions are strong on both sides, so there is no lack brought to this debate.

    While I agree that much of the conversation has occurred in the abstract, that is where legal arguments primarily reside and where the requested change must ultimately take place if it is to be meaningful. No set of laws can adequately perform particular benefit to any and every set of circumstances of the governed. For example, some might argue that a mature 17 year-old is inadequately served by a legal drinking age or age of sexual consent law that stipulates 18 years-of-age, but society must draw a line somewhere, i.e. must argue the abstract of societal and not personal benefit.

    Comment by Ignatius — June 29, 2013 @ 3:59 pm - June 29, 2013

  3. People will believe the stories they want to believe, and not believe the ones they don’t.

    In an essay in Liberty magazine, I recounted an incident when I scared off an intruder with a pistol. I was told, by an advocate of gun control, that this was “dishonest.” It didn’t say what this person wanted it to say.

    What we choose to learn from the stories of others is filtered past ideological blinders. This is true regardless of which “side” we’re on. But the stories have lessons to share with those willing to learn them.

    Comment by Lori Heine — June 29, 2013 @ 6:17 pm - June 29, 2013

  4. [...] at Gay Patriot has up a really interesting blog post on “How telling stories helps us define the meaning of [...]

    Pingback by Is Palin leaving the Republican GOP to start the “Freedom Party”? And Weekend Links! — June 29, 2013 @ 8:30 pm - June 29, 2013

  5. [...] GayPatriot: How telling stories helps us define the meaning of marriage [...]

    Pingback by Weekend Link Love: AC/DC Edition - All American Blogger — June 29, 2013 @ 9:20 pm - June 29, 2013

  6. Video: Thousands take part in Gettysburg Re-enactment:

    http://commoncts.blogspot.com/2013/06/video-thousands-take-part-in-gettysburg.html

    Comment by Steve — June 29, 2013 @ 10:02 pm - June 29, 2013

  7. One common thread I find in Official Sacred Victim Minority Groups is the immovable and entitled belief that their self-interested desires, wishes and demands are, by definition, good for everyone. Hey, 10% of 4% of the population requires that one of society’s fundamental and embattled institutions be further dismantled to satisfy their craving for “equality”, how could that possibly be a mistake?

    Comment by EssEm — June 30, 2013 @ 1:46 pm - June 30, 2013

  8. “Marriage is about love, say the advocates. Gay marriage will destroy the institution, say the opponents. The former hardly discuss how love can sustain a life-long partnership. The opponents don’t tell us how exactly same-sex unions will undermine the institution.”

    Great summary, Dan. It sounds like folks on both sides are assuming what they have wanted to prove… What are the underlying assumptions of marriage? And what are the assumptions in play regarding society and individual? Ignatius raised interesting points regarding that relationship between individual and society. The one thing I would say is that even if marriage is an “ancient” institution with utilitarian purposes, it has changed over time (to allow for concepts like “romantic love”). Look forward to the next instalment.

    Comment by Passing By — June 30, 2013 @ 3:34 pm - June 30, 2013

  9. how could that possibly be a mistake?

    Comment by EssEm — June 30, 2013 @ 1:46 pm

    To them, it isn’t and could never be, because, as you said yourself, EssEm:

    One common thread…in Official Sacred Victim Minority Groups (aka: the Left) is the immovable and entitled belief that their self-interested desires, wishes and demands are, by definition, good for everyone.

    Not to mention their very third grade level ‘ideas’ on what words like ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ actually mean, and when and how they are appropriately applied.

    Why, it’s almost as if Leftism is, with all of it’s ritual, cant, and faith, something oddly like a……religion (with the state/courts as it’s deity, 100 plus years of fables and fantasies chronicling it’s ‘successes’ throughout the world, and some unicorns and rainbows thrown in, to liven it up a bit).

    Now hold still for a short while, and the very acolytes of these secular congregations will be along to lavish the thread with their fact-starved and emotion-soaked paeans to their ‘higher powers’, the ‘inevitably’ of this most fervently desired hacking (same sex ‘marriage’) of centuries worth of foundation, tradition and practice (traditional ‘marriage’), and some hackneyed renditions of one of their favorite selections from the Leftist hymnals, the ‘two-minute hate’.

    Comment by Jman1961 — June 30, 2013 @ 3:37 pm - June 30, 2013

  10. And no sooner does my comment #9 post, when I see #8 from someone so drenched by relativism (moral and otherwise) that I could employ the same ‘logic’ (sorry for the bastardizing of that word here, but it can’t be helped) to make my case that she, in fact, doesn’t even exist (‘exist’, like all other things, being open to any number of interpretations and applications).

    You know, like “living, breathing Constitution” and similar bits of garbage that they’re so very, very fond of.

    Comment by Jman1961 — June 30, 2013 @ 3:42 pm - June 30, 2013

  11. Emboldened by gay marriage success, polygamists begin push for legal recognition.

    Worms. Can opener.

    Comment by V the K — June 30, 2013 @ 10:12 pm - June 30, 2013

  12. Emboldened by gay marriage success, polygamists begin push for legal recognition.

    And like Lucy ‘promising’ to hold the football for Charlie Brown, every single solitary one of their ‘promises’ and ‘assurances’ has an almost non-existent useful life before reaching their expiration date.

    Liars, one and all.

    Want to take bets on how long it’ll be before the issue becomes ‘redefining’ the age of consent (downward, of course)?

    Comment by Jman1961 — June 30, 2013 @ 10:18 pm - June 30, 2013

  13. Ah, the “inevitable slippery slope” argument. Also beloved by leftist disarmers-of-the-law-abiding who tell us if we allow Grandma to keep her .38 special, next thing you know she’ll have a nuclear bazooka.

    It’s an irrational argument, regardless of which side uses it.

    Comment by Lori Heine — July 1, 2013 @ 12:50 am - July 1, 2013

  14. Adding gay people to marriage is not redefining it, and more than adding blacks and women to the vote redefined that, or ending slavery redefined liberty — additions to a thing don’t redefine. In some ways you are missing some salient points.

    One is that there are so few gay people to imagine that anything will change for heterosexuals is frankly silly — not one heterosexual will change what they do — they don’t think about what we do. Nothing ever done to us by them or by us for ourselves ever altered the way heterosexuals conduct their lives. This will not change now.

    Two, we gays have gone through a major change in the way heterosexuals perceived us – and from 100% being against our existence it’s now maybe 50% — and we have gone through changes in the way we perceived ourselves. Before 1990 we thought of us in the same terms that heterosexuals did, after 1990 we got a positive view of us — this process is not complete.

    Three, forget “equality” — it’s Liberty — the liberty to pursue happiness within an easy legal regime. The idea that gay couples aren’t recognized is not true — only it’s done through commercial law and the taxes taken. It’s a hodgepodge — and moving it to family law makes it uniform. Those opposed to adding us to family law are still stuck in the pre-1990 view of us.

    This, and more still, has been a twisting change of a game between us and heterosexuals over the past 60 years — it’s not over yet, by any means — and perhaps it has 20 years to go — but in the end run, heterosexuals are going to just not care that a few guys are gay — which will never be more than 5% of the population, and what everyone will discover is that nothing will change for heterosexuals except the way they think of us. It’s always been up to them. But this idea that we’re going to affect heterosexuals is just not serious, there’s just not enough of us, and we’re too normal, in our own way.

    Comment by Jim Hlavac — July 1, 2013 @ 1:23 am - July 1, 2013

  15. Emboldened by gay marriage success, polygamists begin push for legal recognition

    Seeing as this was dodged (typical behavior of a notoriously reliable contributor to any and every thread that has anything whatsoever to do with this subject; a strange compulsion for one who misses no opportunity to remind everyone that she is not on either ‘side’, but traffics simply in lucidity, logic, and pragmatism):

    The linked article (at #11), tells of the onset of a phenomenon that, we were assured, would NEVER come to pass, and that ANY suggestion that it might was greeted with the same dismissive “Oh, that’s just a ‘slippery slope’ argument”. “The very suggestion. they maintained, “is ludicrous and insulting”.
    However, these same assurances were given 15-20 years ago, when the crusades for ‘civil unions’ (which I favor) were underway, and anyone who suggested that ‘same sex marriage’ was next on the list was dismissed with the same hand-waving and shouts of “irrational”. “No”, they told everyone, “we have no intention of going after THAT, so you’re just getting wound up over nothing”.

    Contrast that with the reference to the ‘leftist anti-gun zealots’ in the same comment:

    1 – Howls of “it’s gonna be like the ‘Old West’, with shoot-outs happening in our streets.”
    Strange, but those ‘Dodge City’ scenarios NEVER materialized (amongst the ‘law abiding’, that is).
    2 – Grandma (along with millions of other law abiding firearms owners) is still pleased with her .38, and has NEVER betrayed even a hint that she’s looking to add a bazooka (nuclear or not) to her weapons collection.

    But the very things that many people have suggested may come to pass, incrementally, as a result of this sea change in redefining marriage, have come to pass.

    So, at the risk of getting another evasive, dismissive or wise-ass response (big risk, as that commenter seems helpless in that regard) that avoids dealing directly with the article cited and the examples given:

    One set of predictions has, and continues to, become reality, while the other side is still riding the crest of an 0-fer.

    Who is it exactly, that’s being irrational? And how?

    Comment by Jman1961 — July 1, 2013 @ 2:03 am - July 1, 2013

  16. If government stayed the hell out of marriage, and stopped robbing one set of taxpayers to pay another, that would not make one person change his or her marriage plans. Whether the commenters here approve of said plans or not.

    All this nonsense about this group “pushing for” this or that one for that is intended to obscure the fact that THIS IS ALL ABOUT GOODIES they want other people to pay for.

    Government has no power to recognize a relationship. It only has the power to tax it.

    I have stated this opinion many, many times here and elsewhere. I have not “dodged” a damn thing. Statists still clamor for Mommy and Daddy Government to recognize (or not recognize) everything under the sun. I say get the government out of it.

    It is interesting that this has to be continually distorted into something else. Statists simply can’t imagine anything beyond more government control. If the government doesn’t do it, then to them, it must not be real.

    Comment by Lori Heine — July 1, 2013 @ 2:44 am - July 1, 2013

  17. …THIS IS ALL ABOUT GOODIES they want other people to pay for.

    That’s right. And I’ve said as much (in agreeing with you or in answering a question from you) on a past thread on this topic.
    If you doubt me, I can go back and dig it up.

    I say get the government out of it.

    The government can’t be completely out of it.
    Even if marriage were treated, apart from churches/religion, as another form of contract, then wouldn’t it still have to have some kind of ‘say’ in answering questions like these:

    Who gets to adopt?
    How are child support and child custody issues determined?
    Who will a private company’s health care plans cover?
    Who has legal authority to issue “do not resuscitate” orders to doctors?
    Who inherits in the absence of a will?
    Who is entitled to a person’s Social Security and Medicare benefits?
    How do you know if you’re divorced and able to remarry?

    Answering these in each case where they come up would have to be done by the courts, yes?
    The courts are a branch of state and federal government.

    So I agree with your ideal of how it should be.
    But what should be done in terms of how it’s done NOW?

    I believe that we don’t get to the point that you and I would both like to see by having more groups having marriage ‘rights’ conferred upon them by courts or legislatures.
    That just gets the government even more involved, not less.
    And that’s why, in this country, as things are now, it isn’t a ‘distortion’, in any way, to be concerned about the next group that comes to the head of the line demanding their marriage ‘rights’.

    And, thanks for your answer.

    Comment by Jman1961 — July 1, 2013 @ 3:40 am - July 1, 2013

  18. As far as my earlier comment about ‘age of consent’, I meant for that to be ‘semi-hyperbolic’.
    These are crazy times, and you can never tell……..

    Comment by Jman1961 — July 1, 2013 @ 3:53 am - July 1, 2013

  19. Those are all questions that need to be hammered out, though individual contracts could be made to specify many of them.

    I have one question. Who are all these polygamists who are demanding these “rights?” How have I missed this sudden mass, societal stampede toward polygamy?

    Some whackos on some commune somewhere want a group marriage? Muslims who want to practice Sharia law? There surely won’t be a change in marriage law to suit such people.

    In societies where women have a high earning potential and a lot of personal autonomy, there is very little polygamy. The only way there would be a dramatic shift toward polygamy would be if Sharia became the law of the land. If that were to happen, we’d all have a lot more to worry about that simply whether we had to pay for tax breaks for polygamists.

    Comment by Lori Heine — July 1, 2013 @ 6:27 am - July 1, 2013

  20. Lori, Re: Polygamy groups.

    It’s not that they ‘suddenly appeared’ it’s that they’re coming into the light from the shadows using (as is their right!) the momentum to ‘step into the spotlight’ as it were. They’ve always been there, nuch like committed stable gay couples have, but now are advocating changing the laws loudly and publicly, using the same arguments of ‘fairness’ and ‘equality’. (With the added bonus argument of “YOu already changed it once, what’s the worst that could happen?”)

    They’ve always been there. I’ve known, worked with, and been friends with polyamourous couples. I’ve known D/s groups that I’ve said “If you need a flowchart to keep track of who’s owning who, that’s a bit complex for me.”

    That you didn’t know of their existence doens’t invaldate it. Heck, look where D/s has gone, from the innuendo in Wonder Woman (another Polygamous relationship) to flat out being stated in prime time (CSI, Castle to name a few).

    THe key is, anyone who said “This would never happen.” and “Slippery Slope!” is a liar, and idiot, or both. Whether you believe in keeping the definition of marriage as is, expanding it, or getting the government out all together, this is what we knew would happen.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 1, 2013 @ 7:24 am - July 1, 2013

  21. Jman1961,

    When I was doing reseach on the ‘logic’ of the 9th circut’s decision, I found age of consent in California at one point was 10 years old. As I read the 9th’s ruling (that once a government gives a ‘right’ to a group it can’t be taken away/modified, it would invalidate raising the age of consent, since that ‘right’ was taken away from a group (10-13 year olds).

    So no, I don’t find it hyperbolic at all.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 1, 2013 @ 7:30 am - July 1, 2013

  22. So no, I don’t find it hyperbolic at all.

    The Netherlands was one of the first countries in the world to legalize gay marriage. Subsequently, they lowered the age of consent to 12. It isn’t hyperbolic at all; especially since morality is now defined as “whatever the Government legislates and pop culture celebrates.”

    it’s not over yet, by any means — and perhaps it has 20 years to go

    It’s an open question whether a society where gay marriage, free contraception and other left-wing social hot-button issues take precedence over fixing massive fiscal, economic, and entitlement issues can even last another 20 yrs.

    Comment by V the K — July 1, 2013 @ 7:47 am - July 1, 2013

  23. It’s cute the way people pretend there’s no such thing as a slippery slope. When the income tax was first proposed, the idea that it would ever rise above 5% was ridiculed. Less then a generation later, the highest rate was 94%.

    In the 1960′s, warning labels were put on cigarette packs. Now, smoking is all but outlawed and some jurisdictions are pushing to make it illegal to smoke in your own home.

    When the welfare state got started, it was intended to be temporary support for the truly needy; now it’s a full-time occupation for millions of recipients and the millions of bureaucrats that support them. This didn’t happen overnight, but gradually, as the welfare state expanded. Kinda like a… you know… like there was an inclined plane with a low coefficient of friction.

    The regulatory state expanded in a similar manner. As did the surveillance state. As has the militarization of police departments.

    Porn was once pretty tame and kept in the shadows. Now, because of a gradual expansion of the boundaries; porn stars like Jenna Jameson and John Holmes are household names and little girls dress in T-shirts with “porn star” spelled out in glitter on them.

    Slippery slopes are all around us; and yet people deny that they exist, deny that society will follow the path of least resistance, deny that pushing envelopes inevitably leads to a mainstreaming of what was once taboo.

    Comment by V the K — July 1, 2013 @ 7:55 am - July 1, 2013

  24. Legal Insurrection: Another love now speaks its name.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 1, 2013 @ 9:11 am - July 1, 2013

  25. Next Phase for Gay Marriage Activists: Attack, Sue, Intimidate and Bully churches and businesses who oppose gay marriage. Actually, those were pretty much the tactics used in Phase I, except now they have the Government to help them with the bullying.

    Comment by V the K — July 1, 2013 @ 9:57 am - July 1, 2013

  26. The Progressive Feminist Left’s War on Men and Boys Continues. Because, you know, that slippery slope thing that doesn’t exist.

    Comment by V the K — July 1, 2013 @ 10:07 am - July 1, 2013

  27. Some whackos on some commune somewhere want a group marriage? Muslims who want to practice Sharia law? There surely won’t be a change in marriage law to suit such people.

    Based on what, Lori?

    When Anthony Kennedy states in his opinion on California’s Prop. 8 something to the effect that people’s antipathy to ‘same sex marriage’ is motivated by nothing more than “animus” (Justice Kennedy also ‘doubles’ as a mind reader, it appears), and that marriage is a “civil right” (I can’t find a single word about ‘marriage’ anywhere in the Constitution), then on what grounds can the ‘right’, having (more than once) been proclaimed to exist, be denied to polygamists?

    The only way it won’t happen, with the legal groundwork that now precedes it, is for the court to judge it based on nothing more than their own whims and passions, with doses of mind-reading and ‘invention of Constitutional prohibitions’ (as opposed to inventing ‘rights’).
    But it’s those same whims and passions, and the shoddy and threadbare legal ‘reasoning’ that naturally flow from them, that account for the ridiculous decision in the Prop 8 case. Which decision, among other things, turns the Founder’s ideas of government’s relationship to citizens on it’s head, by virtually stripping citizens of their right (a REAL one, this time) to have their will expressed through the ballot box, and to have that will represented, as the law REQUIRES, by the appropriate elected officials, should merely a couple of those officals (i.e. – Arnold & Jerry) decide that they don’t like the law and that the state, as a result of their personal distaste for it, won’t defend it.

    To repeat what you said:

    “There surely won’t be a change in marriage law to suit such people.”

    And that surely isn’t a serious answer.

    It’s the same one we’ve been hearing for the last 20 years surrounding this issue, as The_Livewire has detailed.

    I take no comfort in yet another iteration of the same assurances that, taken together, have amounted to nothing more than a bucket of warm spit.

    Comment by Jman1961 — July 1, 2013 @ 10:18 am - July 1, 2013

  28. The_Livewire and V the K:

    Thank you, guys.

    Comment by Jman1961 — July 1, 2013 @ 10:19 am - July 1, 2013

  29. …we’d all have a lot more to worry about that (sic) simply whether we had to pay for tax breaks for polygamists.

    But it’s about a whole lot more than mere ‘tax breaks’, and if you aren’t able to see that it’s because, when it comes to this issue, you have a blinding passion, as you are fervently in favor it, and there’s a long, long trail of your commentary here and elsewhere to buttress that assertion.
    Aside from your previously stated doubts as to whether these pairing should even be called ‘marriage’, it’s now crystal clear that you will resolve those ambiguities in favor of MORE state/government involvement in the institution of marriage.
    Even your terribly weak rejoinder to the positing of polygamists ‘getting their turn’, that it “simply won’t happen” (read: “No way! Cuz it just won’t, that’s why!”), requires that the government involve itself yet again.
    And that’s because you’ll concede the principle(s) to get what you want, regardless of the chicanery deployed in furtherance of that effort.

    That’s not how the ‘rule of law’ is supposed to work.
    In fact, it’s completely antithetical to ANY and ALL notions of the ‘rule of law’.

    Comment by Jman1961 — July 1, 2013 @ 10:36 am - July 1, 2013

  30. The progressive left is already claiming that 11 year old girls should be given birth control and abortions without parental involvement and that kindergartners should get sex ed. Why is it so hard to imagine that they would push for legitimizing pedophilia?

    It’s not like it hasn’t happened before.

    The briefcase contained a stack of paper — the typewritten daily reports on educational work at an after-school center in Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighborhood, where up to 15 children aged 8 to 14 were taken care of during the afternoon. The first report was dated Aug. 13, 1969, and the last one was written on Jan. 14, 1970.
    Even a cursory review of the material revealed that the educational work at the Rote Freiheit (“Red Freedom”) after-school center was unorthodox. The goal of the center was to shape the students into “socialist personalities,” and its educational mission went well beyond supervised play. The center’s agenda included “agitprop” on the situation in Vietnam and “street fighting,” in which the children were divided into “students” and “cops.”
    The educators’ notes indicate that they placed a very strong emphasis on sex education. Almost every day, the students played games that involved taking off their clothes, reading porno magazines together and pantomiming intercourse.
    According to the records, a “sex exercise” was conducted on Dec. 11 and a “fucking hour” on Jan. 14.

    Progressivism has such a proud tradition, doesn’t it?

    Comment by V the K — July 1, 2013 @ 11:36 am - July 1, 2013

  31. Again, WHAT.ARE.YOU.SUGGESTING?

    We have more nasty cracks and verbal diarrhea from J about my low character. We have more smug assertions that slippery slopes do exist and must be feared.

    What are you people saying? Politics concern the workings of GOVERNMENT. What are you saying government should do about this?

    Are you advocating continuing the rigging of the tax code to favor married heterosexuals? I do not.

    Are you advocating changing the rigging to bestow these breaks on polygamous groupings? I do not.

    Does pretending I said polygamy does not exist (when I never said that) justify continuing the rigging of the tax code to bribe married heteros to stay together?

    Several people jumping in here, and between the lot of you you don’t seem to be able to articulate a clear thought.

    Comment by Lori Heine — July 1, 2013 @ 1:41 pm - July 1, 2013

  32. We have more nasty cracks and verbal diarrhea from J about my low character.

    Up on your high horse again, erecting straw men and nailing yourself to that cross you carry around?

    We have more smug assertions that slippery slopes do exist and must be feared.

    Whereas all of YOUR assertions are smug, diarrhea and smart-ass free.

    Sure they are.

    Are you advocating continuing the rigging of the tax code to favor married heterosexuals? I do not.

    I’ve answered that for you at least twice now.
    Are you stupid?
    Can’t you read?
    Is your ability to comprehend impaired in some way?

    Are you advocating changing the rigging to bestow these breaks on polygamous groupings?

    Same response as the last one: Grow the F up and learn to read, instead of putting words in everyone else’s mouths (another one of your cheap maneuvers).

    Does pretending I said polygamy does not exist (when I never said that)

    A blatant lie presented as fact.

    NO ONE here has said anything of the kind.

    Once again, when your position is challenged, you start the Joan of Arc shtick by putting on the 8,637th exhibition of your ‘Lori the Persecuted Martyr’ routine.

    You and Cas ought to get ‘married’, or start up some stand up comedy routine.

    Several people jumping in here,…

    Ganging up on you, is that what you mean to say?

    Grow a pair and defend your position.
    Because as you like to crow: “We’re not going to stop saying these things, not this time. And to effing bad if you can’t handle it, which you prove (yet again) that you CAN’T every time you’re challenged.

    …and between the lot of you you don’t seem to be able to articulate a clear thought.

    That’s rich coming from a known hysteric.

    Why don’t you do everyone a favor and nail yourself to your martyr’s cross permanently? At least you won’t be able to type anymore of these tiresome shrieking rants that are your trademark.

    Lori Heinous.

    NB – Lickety-split, Ms. Heinous will be back at her blog (Bitch_Fest_ for_GayPatriot_Refugees.Wordpress.com) to cry and bitch about how we’re all EEEEEEEVIL and MEAN to her.

    You’re a real ‘twisted sister’.

    Comment by Jman1961 — July 1, 2013 @ 2:18 pm - July 1, 2013

  33. Lori,

    Given the evidence of the slippery slope in this very thread, I find your unwillingness to address it… sad.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 1, 2013 @ 3:59 pm - July 1, 2013

  34. Perhaps she believes the slippery slope doesn’t exist for policies she supports.

    Comment by V the K — July 1, 2013 @ 4:21 pm - July 1, 2013

  35. There is a fundamental inability for some of the people who comment here to understand a libertarian viewpoint.

    If the government does it, it’s real. It government does not act, it is not real. This is what twelve years of public school indoctrination does to most people.

    Of course, J is back to behaving like a four-year-old. I will ignore its rantings and address those capable of reason.

    I don’t “address the slippery slope,” Livewire, because you have not stated what you think the government’s proper role in this should be. Do you believe that the State should address “slippery slopes?”

    Those who do not enter into group marriages are not responsible for the behavior of those who do. Nor can you provide one iota of proof that government can simply wave a wand and ban behavior its potentates dislike.

    What are YOU going to do about “the slippery slope,” Livewire? Besides advocate that the government wave its magic wand and ban them?

    Same with V the K. Who still hasn’t answered my question from many threads ago: What is your philosophy of government.

    Instead, the response with be…more blather about what Mommy and Daddy Government must do.

    Comment by Lori Heine — July 1, 2013 @ 4:57 pm - July 1, 2013

  36. One of the purposes of government is to provide societal guardrails, ostensibly preventing, among other things, descents down slippery slopes.

    It seems to escape many advocates of same-sex marriage that defining marriage as between a man and woman discriminates against many types of relationships, homosexual being merely one type. If such a definition cannot (or will not) be legally defended, then such a discrimination can no longer apply to consensual relationships of various types — that is, if the law is consistent. In this sense, advocates of same-sex marriage are indirect advocates of polygamy and incest.

    If you think going down such a slippery slope is a bumpy ride, I guarantee that climbing back up will be a bitch. Are you sure you want what you’re asking for?

    Comment by Ignatius — July 1, 2013 @ 5:15 pm - July 1, 2013

  37. I will ignore its rantings and address those capable of reason.

    Pound sand, witch.

    In your last post, NOBODY here “seem(s) to be able to articulate a clear thought.”

    You’re the only hysteric here who can’t articulate and lacks clarity.

    Go back to your rat’s nest of a blog and resume your clownfest with that idiot Vince.

    Same with V the K. Who still hasn’t answered my question from many threads ago…

    Why should he?: you never answer anyone here.

    You become more a leftist harpy with every hallucination fueled broadside you spew.

    Thanks for laughs, Hilarious Heinous.

    Comment by Jman1961 — July 1, 2013 @ 5:21 pm - July 1, 2013

  38. Perhaps she believes the slippery slope doesn’t exist for policies she supports.

    Comment by V the K — July 1, 2013 @ 4:21 pm

    That’s one reason.
    Here’s another:

    Whatever position she holds will be taken by her and wishcast into being some sort of sacred libertarian principle.
    As much as ANY other screeching howling denizen in the land of leftist lunacy, her big issue and greatest source of identity is having her entire pathetic life validated by the lawless pols and court justices who rubber stamp same sex ‘marriage’.
    The very application of the word ‘marriage’ to these arrangements is a FRAUD, and she’s amongst it’s biggest and most vocal boosters.
    Her donning of the libertarian robes is cheap cover for the fact that she’s as far left on this issue as ANYONE breathing, and she finds comfort and solace in naming other leftist twerps (like the late, great movie critic Vince the Moron) as her ‘soulmates’.

    She’s a leftist in libertarian drag.
    That’s why she won’t answer ANY challenges to her position.
    That’s why she mocks the notion of a ‘slippery slope’.
    That’s why, in the most odious of ways, she’ll put words in everyone else’s mouths around here, and mock them if they turn the heat up too high under her sainted ass.

    You’re a FRAUD.
    Lori the FRAUD.

    ‘L’ for Lori
    ‘L’ for Lesbian
    ‘L’ for Leftist
    ‘L’ for Lunatic

    Lori Heinous.

    As dishonest a ‘debater’ as this blog has ever suffered the presence of.

    And if you don’t like it, Looney Lori, that’s just too damn bad.

    Because I’m going to keep on saying it every time you come around.
    Why?
    Because it’s the truth.
    You’ve blown your cover, and everyone can see the dishonest, lying crapweasel you are.

    You’re a fraud.

    Comment by Jman1961 — July 1, 2013 @ 5:48 pm - July 1, 2013

  39. I will…address those capable of reason.

    The only problem you’ll have with this idea is that you’ll always be at least one person short……..and that’ll be YOU.

    Comment by Jman1961 — July 1, 2013 @ 5:58 pm - July 1, 2013

  40. May I implore the moderators to impose, say, a 7-day ban on BOTH Lori AND Jman?

    Comment by Throbert McGee — July 1, 2013 @ 6:19 pm - July 1, 2013

  41. May I implore the moderators to impose, say, a 7-day ban on BOTH Lori AND Jman?

    Comment by Throbert McGee — July 1, 2013 @ 6:19 pm

    May I implore YOU to mind your own business and get lost if you don’t like it here?

    Comment by Jman1961 — July 1, 2013 @ 6:23 pm - July 1, 2013

  42. I really don’t see how anyone who’s been paying attention could miss my political philosophy. I’ve stated often that I don’t believe Government should be involved in anything for which there is a viable private alternative. My ideal National Government would be limited to national defense (including border security), administering the court system, protecting the environment, and *maybe* maintaining the highways.

    FWIW, my score on the Libertarian Purity Test was 66

    http://www.bcaplan.com/cgi-bin/purity.cgi

    Comment by V the K — July 1, 2013 @ 6:39 pm - July 1, 2013

  43. May I implore YOU to mind your own business and get lost if you don’t like it here?

    I like it here fine. But if you and Lori are going to turn yet another thread into a two-person Tragedy Of the Commons, you make it other people’s business.

    Comment by Throbert McGee — July 1, 2013 @ 6:58 pm - July 1, 2013

  44. Incidentally, in my younger days I managed to get indefinitely banned from two blogs and one Listserv forum for this sort of thread-hijacking –and in retrospect I finally realized that the moderators had acted correctly by putting me on Ultra-Timeout. (I was formally banned from one blog until 2106 or until I apologize, whichever comes first. V the K will know the one I mean.)

    In brief, treating a multi-user forum as though it were a two-person phone call or a PVT MSG chat is an abuse of the forum. The blog owners here offer a free-of-charge service — not FREE, mind you, but free to guests — but some guests think it’s their perogative to shit on the living room carpet and rape the dog.

    Comment by Throbert McGee — July 1, 2013 @ 7:16 pm - July 1, 2013

  45. V the K will know the one I mean.

    Hm, that wouldn’t be the LGF spinoff blog that drove away everybody but about four people who now engage in a continuous Obama-lovin’ circle jerk?

    Comment by V the K — July 1, 2013 @ 7:35 pm - July 1, 2013

  46. Thank you Lori, for admitting you won’t allow yourself to see the slippery slope argument.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 1, 2013 @ 8:40 pm - July 1, 2013

  47. And I would simply point out that plural marriage has been an official ACLU position since 1991.

    The ACLU believes that criminal and civil laws prohibiting or penalizing the practice of plural marriage violate constitutional protections of freedom of expression and association, freedom of religion, and privacy for personal relationships among consenting adults.

    Ignatius hit the nail on the head. Marriage is a privilege granted on meeting a specific set of requirements. This is consistent with the reasoning in both Baker v. Nelson and Loving v. Virginia. The key difference is that the United States Constitution had already been amended to state that distinctions based on race, such as were being contested in Loving, were automatically voided. Loving did not restrict the power of the state to restrict marriage; it simply reconciled the fact that the state had declared that restrictions based on race were void. This is why the same Court found no “right to marriage” based on equal protection in Baker.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 1, 2013 @ 9:50 pm - July 1, 2013

  48. The opponents don’t tell us how exactly same-sex unions will undermine the institution.

    Actually, we have. I will explain it again. The things that make marriage valuable to society are commitment, monogamy, and stability. Gay marriage is not about any of those things; nor is there any expectation of them. Gay marriage is about getting benefits; pure and simple.

    Subtract commitment, monogamy, and stability and marriage is meaningless and useless. It no longer exists to bind men to their families and create safe and stable environments for raising children. Society simply cannot sustain itself without stable family units.

    Comment by V the K — July 1, 2013 @ 11:22 pm - July 1, 2013

  49. Thank you, Livewire, for admitting you are committed to societal control via State violence.

    Comment by Lori Heine — July 2, 2013 @ 12:20 am - July 2, 2013

  50. I must say, Throbert, you get the vapors very selectively. I don’t come here to engage the person who keeps attacking me. If you enjoy clutching pearls about other people’s behavior on this blog, one wouldn’t think you’d need to wait very long to do it. And if you think two people’s being banned would end the problem, you are worse than naïve.

    Comment by Lori Heine — July 2, 2013 @ 12:26 am - July 2, 2013

  51. Here’s a story: Gay couple pays Russian surrogate mom for boy; use him to make child-pron.

    It’s not exactly ‘When Harry Met Sally,” but isn’t it romantic?

    Comment by V the K — July 2, 2013 @ 12:51 pm - July 2, 2013

  52. I don’t come here to engage the person (1) who keeps attacking me (2). If you enjoy clutching pearls about other people’s behavior on this blog (3), one wouldn’t think you’d need to wait very long to do it (4). And if you think two people’s being banned would end the problem, you are worse than naïve (5).

    Comment by Lori Heine Cry Me A River — July 2, 2013 @ 12:26 am

    Taking the last one first:

    5 – Throbert, you are right, and hardly naive. I might get more mileage out of ignoring this shrieking, howling banshee, but I find the urge to castigate her both necessary and irresistible.
    However, as I said to ILC recently, while I am not proud of some of the things I throw at her, neither am I ashamed or regretful.
    This hag is yet another example of a long line of cowards (on or off the Internet), who delights in throwing her bull*** and bile whenever her inner psycho bubbles to the surface (is it ever NOT at the surface?), and the first to scream “FOUL!” when she finds that a few people here like to respond to her ‘in kind’.
    But, I take your admonishment seriously, and will resist, as often as possible, the urge to administer to this crone the doses of her own medicine which she so justly deserves.

    1 – You respond to me, directly and otherwise, nearly every time you show up. This statement is a LIE.

    2 – “who keeps attacking me.”
    This is another instance in the long, wearisome history of Ms. Heinous where she will, faster than greased lightning, throw out the ‘victim/martyr’ card.
    She needs to be told constantly that if she’s going to stage her attacks on others (and there’s a veritable mountain of these in this blog’s archives), then she shouldn’t be so taken aback when some of us return those gestures.

    3 – “Clutching pearls.”
    FrankenstHeine here has been clutching HER pearls for so long (being, as she obsessively reminds us) a ‘pure as the driven snow’ libertarian, that I’m amazed she hasn’t strangled herself to death or, at the very least, scarred her pretty little neck with permanent ligature marks.

    4 – He, and everyone else here, will never “need to wait very long to do it.”
    No, they’ll only have to wait for as long as it takes for YOU to show up.

    This blowhard has been, and remains to this very day, the reigning title holder in the LIAR, PHONY, and HYPOCRITE classes.

    Congratulations, champ!

    Comment by Jman1961 — July 2, 2013 @ 1:58 pm - July 2, 2013

  53. And if you think two people’s being banned would end the problem, you are worse than naïve.

    To be clear, I was proposing a (temporary) timeout, not a perma-ban. I don’t think the latter is a very good policy — I remember what a nightmare it became during a certain phase of LGF history — but I think that occasional use of 3-day or 1-week bans could sometimes be helpful. It gives the naughty puppies a shake by the neck without harming them, and may serve pour encourager les autres.

    The rationale for banning both/all of the persons involved in a prolonged flame war is that it spares the mods/owners the headache of having to adjudicate on claims like “I didn’t start it, HE did!!!” and “If you go back to this thread from two weeks ago and that thread from March, you’ll see that SHE was clearly the guilty party!!!” Instead, anyone and everyone who’s making bad trouble RIGHT NOW gets a brief suspension, without prejudice or favoritism, on the principle that it takes more than one person to make an argument or flame war.

    That said, of course, timeouts may not be technically practical to implement — it depends on the Web-fu strength of the owners/mods.

    Comment by Throbert McGee — July 3, 2013 @ 8:23 pm - July 3, 2013

  54. Hm, that wouldn’t be the LGF spinoff blog that drove away everybody but about four people who now engage in a continuous Obama-lovin’ circle jerk?

    I haven’t even looked in there for a couple years, but I assume we’re talking about the same place…

    Comment by Throbert McGee — July 3, 2013 @ 8:24 pm - July 3, 2013

  55. Hi Throbert,
    ” I was proposing a (temporary) timeout, not a perma-ban.”
    I liked the idea, once I read your explanation @53. I think that it still has some issues to work out–you get rid of the “he said–she said” issue; but then the issue of what constitutes a “prolonged flame war” in these circumstances would have to be hashed out; e.g., how many exchanges, etc. Even so, I hope the moderators give your idea consideration.

    Comment by Passing By — July 8, 2013 @ 3:19 pm - July 8, 2013

  56. Even so, I hope the moderators give your idea consideration.

    Comment by Passing By Constantly Sticking My Snotty Nose in Places Where it Doesn’t Belong — July 8, 2013 @ 3:19 pm

    They might also consider throwing your sorry a** off the premises, while they’re at it.

    Comment by Jman1961 — July 8, 2013 @ 5:52 pm - July 8, 2013

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