A Little Thought Experiment

Reading the flood of outraged responses by right-wing bloggers to Kathleen Parker’s suggestion that, if Republicans want to start winning elections again, they might want to start appealing to a broader demographic than far right religious extremists, I was struck with particular force by this comment [emphasis mine]:

… it’s not just Christian conservatives who line up together on issues like gay marriage, abortion, and not completely eliminating expressions of faith in the public square, but secular conservatives largely line up with them on those and other similar issues as well. You don’t have to be an evangelical voter to be able to see that gay marriage is bad for society or that abortion is wrong or that teaching explicit sex ed in the classroom is inappropriate. You don’t have to say your prayers every night to know that there is a moral component to almost every issue we face, and to understand that there is nothing wrong with taking moral considerations to heart when deciding how you feel about an issue. The bottom line is that whether a voter is a Christian or not, compatible secular arguments can be made for or against whatever social issues a Christian argument has been made for or against.

I agree that there is a moral component to almost every issue we face, and that a secular voter can take the same position on any issue, using a non-religious argument, that a Christian voter takes using a religious argument. But here is the problem: Whether one’s argument is secular or Christian, the moral position on any given issue is not always the position that far right Christians such as Sister Toldjah say it is.

Put another way, when ST says that “you don’t have to be an evangelical voter to be able to see that gay marriage is bad for society,” she assumes “evangelical voter” is the variable and “gay marriage is bad for society” is the invariable.

Put as politely as I can, however, that is bullcrap. Marriage in general, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, is a legal contract. It’s neither bad nor good for society. It’s value-neutral. Stable, loving families are good for society because (a) they provide a human framework to raise children and to pass on positive values to the next generation, and because (b) they help people manage and negotiate their lives by providing companionship, support, love, and someplace to go for Thanksgiving dinner.

Here is how Merriam-Webster defines “marriage“:

1 a (1): the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage b: the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock c: the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage

And here is the relevant part of Merriam-Webster’s definition of “family“:

5 a: the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children ; also : any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family b: spouse and children

Children are raised in families, not marriages. Values like love, faith, compassion, intellectual curiosity, loyalty, courage, honesty, and independence are modeled, taught, and passed down in families, not in marriages. The basic unit in society is the family, not the marriage.

And the difference between “traditional” marriage and gay marriage, other than a piece of paper recognized by the state as a legal contract?

Oceans of hatred, fear, and ignorance.

One Response to “A Little Thought Experiment”

  1. tas says:

    Sister Toldjeh’s blog is so consistently stupid that we should make a law banning her from marrying and breeding.

    Morals.. These people supported a war with Iraq for no good reason, and they want to lecture us on morals? Are you fucking kidding me? Sister Toldjeh and the rest of these fuckheads need to take a good, loooooong look at themselves in the mirror and wonder when they became so fucked in the head.

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