Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Viral Representative's Argument for Homosexual Marriage

No, this isn't about a sick representative, nor is the modifier "Viral" meant to demean him. Rather, the video I am critiquing has gone viral. State Rep. Steve Simon of Minnesota gives a little speech in the midst of debate on whether to put on the state ballot a measure that would amend their state constitution to prohibit homosexual marriage (*cough* oxymoron *cough*). Oooh, look at that. Liz Goodwin of Yahoo news calls the speech "eloquent" and "impassioned." Wowee zowee this must be something else then, right? Uh, no...


Right from the beginning, he asserts that we shouldn't rely on a religious argument. Why is the religious argument invalid (hint: because it doesn't agree with him)? He never extrapolates on this. Whether or not this country is a "Christian" nation or whatnot, it derives its freedoms from a divine source, and sets laws up around those. Marriage laws are of a certain interest to the state, and giving benefits to homosexual couples doesn't fit into the state interest.

At about 1:00, he states there's scientific data that sexual orientation is fundamentally genetic. First, there's absolutely no evidence that that is the case. Second, it's irrelevant to whether the state should actively support and endorse homosexual unions. There are known addictions and diseases that may have genetic roots, ie alcoholism and schizophrenia. In the case of the former, the government doesn't introduce legislation to encourage alcoholism because it makes some people emotionally fulfilled. Furthermore, people can choose to act against their alcoholism, as they can choose to not have sex. In the case of the latter, we medicate people who have this most likely genetic aberration. Simply saying you're born with something doesn't do anything to show it should be endorsed by the state.

At about 1:20, he asks about the moral implications if God were the one who determined people's homosexual proclivity, which is funny, because he stated 1 minute before that we shouldn't use a religious argument here. Obviously, he just meant the traditional and Biblical religious argument. But a liberal and pagan religious argument is clearly just dandy.

If one concedes that homosexual orientation is God given and innate, then it would have to be considered natural and therefore not a sin. I do not concede this, however, and the onus is on the the dear Representative to show us that God does in fact do that. Even if he could show that, something not being a sin doesn't therefore show that the state should actively endorse the behavior.

From the biological observation, as well as nearly all purported revelation from God, homosexuality is anything but natural. There's certainly no biological benefit from it. That being the case, there seems to be no benefit to the state in terms of continuing the species, which is the main reason they have an interest in marriage. In fact, it looks to me that homosexuality would be detrimental to the society simply because it would result in fewer children. But I digress.

At 1:30, he simply asserts that God is creating people as gay, and that this proves God approves of gayness. Of course he did nothing to show this at all. Then morons in the crowd who apparently can't think applaud. That's right, drink that kool-aid.

1:50, continues with his unsupported argument. Nothing eloquent or spectacular in the least about this segment. Frankly, it's pretty unspectacular.

I want to emphasise how absolutely silly this is. The guy starts by saying that the religious arguments shouldn't be considered because that's not our heritage, and then he gives almost solely a religious argument. I am baffled at how this video has gone viral. I suppose it shows the lack of the majority of the population to think logically about things. Lord Jesus, please help us.

2 comments:

bossmanham said...

To which I responded:

CL,



However, legislation against stealing isn't discriminating or withholding rights from one group, and therein lies an important difference IMO



I could respond to this two ways off the top of my head. 1) Defining marriage and the state determining promoting a specific definition isn't withholding any rights either. It's just saying this is what we, the government, think is beneficial to us and this is why we extend specific benefits to this situation. Homosexuals can get married. It just happens that many aren't attracted to the opposite sex, so they don't get married, just like people who end up not being attracted to anyone don't get married. I made this argument earlier. 2) Absolutely banning theft is withholding rights from one group of people. It's withholding the right to steal from thieves. But that's not really relevant because the right to marry is available to everyone.



I mean, think of it this way: the Bible condemns idolatry and the worship of other gods. Should we enact legislation to prevent Muslims or Buddhists from congregating?



This is irrelevant, because the primary argument I've made is irreligious.



Well, I thought the "reproduction" argument seems easily dispensed with. What was the other one?



No one has demonstrated the argument based on the benefit to the state of reproduction is faulty. In fact you said David's "arguments" floundered. I'm getting mixed messages here. The other one was on the definition of marriage.



I saw some persuasive arguments from both sides



You'll have to point it out to me. I saw only questions being asked to ridicule my argument until after I demanded some.



However, who's to say that a sexual heterosexual relationship provides practical gain? If you are implying that offspring are the "practical gain," I could turn around and cite the population problem as a potential reason for why offspring might not be that practical--and that could actually become an argument against heterosexual marriage. So, where do we focus, and why?



As far as the state is concerned, new citizens are far and away more often a gain than a drain for the state, and the latter is so rare that it's not worth the state stopping those, even if it had the foreknowledge necessary to do so. Read the argument, CL, please. Don't just dismiss it without understanding it.



Why not, and how so? Don't they pay taxes and fees just like a heterosexual couple?



Not as a result of their sexual relationship. See, you've got to understand the argument before you straw man it like this.



I mean, from a Christian POV, isn't it sufficient to simply say that this is what the Bible teaches, while maintaining a spirit of love and acceptance towards all people?



I've never said otherwise. You can love people and tell them they're wrong. The Bible also says to be salt and light to the world. Obviously the state doesn't always get it right, but it's the Christian's job to point that out whether people want to listen or not.

bossmanham said...

Since all of the comments are off of this site due to removing intense debate, I did want to repost CL's most recent comment and my response.

CL said:

Bossmanham,



Why is it wrong for a Christian to bring their beliefs into politics and not the secularist? Seems like a double standard.



What part of my comment left that impression? I agree that morality comes from God. As far as legislation goes, I'm not fully sure how to articulate where I stand right this minute. I'm tempted to say yes, we should incorporate beliefs. For example, the Bible says "thou shalt not steal," and I support legislation against stealing. However, legislation against stealing isn't discriminating or withholding rights from one group, and therein lies an important difference IMO. I mean, think of it this way: the Bible condemns idolatry and the worship of other gods. Should we enact legislation to prevent Muslims or Buddhists from congregating? I say no. I say live and let live, all the while having the best arguments we can to defend our positions--without compromising to the world.



...I offered two completely secular arguments against gay marriage.



Well, I thought the "reproduction" argument seems easily dispensed with. What was the other one?



Perhaps I should rethink the strategy, but it certainly gets repetitive and cluttered when the same thing is rehashed over and over again.



Oh, I agree, in fact I just went through this with dguller on my own blog, but really, all of us retain the option of silence at any given moment. In the end, I opted for that--despite the fact that it leaves one open to charges of evasion. Oh well. I'd rather be falsely accused of evasion than type 8 million words a day to no avail, you know?



David for the most part wasn't giving arguments, but was simply asking questions and ridiculing mine.



I'd have to respectfully disagree. I saw ridicule from both sides, I saw some persuasive arguments from both sides, and I saw some less-than-persuasive arguments from both sides. I mean, we're all human. Like I said, this debate seems irrevocably wedded to divergent belief systems.



With regard to what their sexual relationship provides it has no practical gain to society. I'm not saying homosexuals are useless or that their relationships are meaningless...



Okay, that clarification makes the statement far less offensive. Thanks for that. However, who's to say that a sexual heterosexual relationship provides practical gain? If you are implying that offspring are the "practical gain," I could turn around and cite the population problem as a potential reason for why offspring might not be that practical--and that could actually become an argument against heterosexual marriage. So, where do we focus, and why?



...I am saying they provide no incentive for the state to actively support and encourage them, and may in fact be more of a drain on the system than otherwise.



Why not, and how so? Don't they pay taxes and fees just like a heterosexual couple? It seems to me that Christians ought to just say, "because that's my belief" and leave it at that, and the same with secularists. It seems that we open a can of worms whenever we try to come up with justifications beyond God. I mean, from a Christian POV, isn't it sufficient to simply say that this is what the Bible teaches, while maintaining a spirit of love and acceptance towards all people? Sure, the Bible condemns homosexuality, but it also condemns dissension and factions, and instructs believers to make every attempt to live at peace with others. Of course, that doesn't entail that believers should abandon their scruples, but to me, it seems to be good reason for caution.



This whole issue seems like a wedge.