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Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Dignity

I was happy to hear that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of "same-sex marriage" in Obergefell v. Hodges. Not because I think same-sex marriage is a good idea. Not because I think there should be any sort of right at all to same-sex marriage. Not even because I will ever consider those of the same sex to be married (the word "marriage" has a specific meaning to me and it does not, nor will it ever, apply to non-heterosexual couples in my mind, and nothing the government does will ever change that).

Instead, I was happy because by itself, it's a non-issue. There aren't very many gay people (or people of the more than 50 other genders) and, based on every place same-sex marriage has been legal, very few of them actually want to get married. There almost certainly won't be an explosion of same-sex marriages so I figured that now that the whining gays have rammed their agenda down the throats of those of us who think the whole concept is absurd, maybe they'd STFU already.

Of course, nothing is ever easy. I see that religious conservative groups are mobilizing to turn this into a war. This is beyond foolish, in my opinion, not necessarily because they're wrong, but because there will be so few gay marriages that fighting it directly is going to be wildly counterproductive. If one must fight it, being subversive is a much easier and more effective way. For example, if you're a priest and don't want to do gay marriages, just don't show up and say you were sick with a last minute stomach flu. If you're a baker who's bothered by the profit potential of baking gay wedding cakes, deliver ugly cakes inconveniently late. There are plenty of other churches and bakers who will be perfectly happy to cater to same-sex couples and those couples will quickly learn to avoid your church or your bakery and go elsewhere.

I assumed that the Supremes would simply use the Equal Protection Clause and state that sexual orientation would be a new class that would have equal protection in order to arrive at their ruling. What could be simpler, more straightforward and more logical than that?

My assumption was wrong and now I'm dismayed beyond belief. Instead of using the Equal Protection Clause, the Supremes decided to create a right to dignity, kinda outta thin air (well, maybe thick air given that some prior cases sorta pointed this way, but still...).

I think that there are some serious problems with the concept of a right to dignity. For one, it's totally subjective, especially when needing to create priorities when there are conflicting dignities. For example, is it more or less of an indignity to be required to serve someone you consider to be reprehensible or to be refused service by someone?

For another, some people get themselves into states from which there simply is no dignified escape. Consider a drug addled homeless person in a soup line. Not much dignity there no matter how you slice it. Even if the food was delivered in a nice environment with servers in tuxedos, there would still be the core indignity of being so incompetent you need a handout to survive. Indeed, it could easily be argued that there's more dignity in starving than in accepting the handout and that soup kitchens should be shut down.

And how does this new right to dignity compare to other rights such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion. If dignity trumps freedom of religion, then clearly priests will have to perform same-sex marriages (though, as I noted above, nothing will prevent them from performing them very poorly). If dignity trumps freedom of speech, then everything I've written in this post (and in many others) will be illegal in the not too distant future; there's no dignity in debate.

Each of these questions, and many more, will have to be answered and will cause endless litigation, haranguing, and fighting and my bet is that it will further undermine the already thinning fabric tenuously holding our society and civilization together. Bummer!

93 comments:

Clovis e Adri said...

Ah, words and their meanings (or lack of)...

What I do not understand at all, really, is what the heck marriage (gay or not) has to do with cakes or priests. Only in the USA.

Peter said...

Who needs priests anymore? If I were getting married, I'd want Justice Kennedy to preside. He may be a little weak on law, but when it comes to tear-inducing poetry about marriage, he's great:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they dorespect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find itsfulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions.

Have you noticed how gay marriage is now regularly described in the most soaring, transcendental language? Record numbers of heteros are taking a pass on the whole boring schtick, which is often experienced as "settling down" sometime after the ethereal heights of boundless passion have been attained. But when gays talk about it, it sounds like a John Donne sonnet.

Bret said...

Peter wrote: "If I were getting married, I'd want Justice Kennedy to preside."

LOL.

Peter wrote: "But when gays talk about it, it sounds like a John Donne sonnet."

LOL part 2 (the John Donne part). Peter's on a roll today!

More seriously, that which is prohibited is always the most enticing. That's why everywhere it's been legal for a while, it's just as boring and unwanted for same-sex couples as well.

Peter said...

Bret:

When some lower court judicial activism first made gay marriage legal up here, there was much celebration among the beautiful people, but when the first gay couple to try and divorce went to court, the judge noticed our Divorce Act defined marriage as between a man and a woman and said he had no jurisdiction. Of course the gay lobby made sure that little bug was fixed PDQ, but for a while gays could legal marry but not divorce. I remember thinking "Ace Prank!!!"

Harry Eagar said...

A simpler road: the justices could have ruled: since the only arguments against homosexual marriage are based on cultic prejudices, the limitation is an impermissible estalishment of religion.

Peter said...

The problem there, Harry, is that you think elderly ladies serving coffee and cake in the basement of a Methodist Church after the service is a cultic practice.

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

Have you ever considered the possibility that prejudice against homosexualism can also be non-religious related?

erp said...

Harry, your last sentence is incomprehensible.

There is no limitation, permissible or not, on the establishment of religion.

The limitation is only on the state establishing a religion for us all.

Cultism! I like it. It has a nice ring to it.

Bret said...

Peter,

Canada is actually a great example of the non-issueness of gay marriage.

Y'all have a population of more or less 35 million. There about 20,000 same-sex married couples.

So about 1 in a thousand people is gay and married.

Tough to worry about that as a practical issue.

Bret said...

Harry wrote: "...since the only arguments against homosexual marriage are based on cultic prejudices, the limitation is an impermissible estalishment of religion."

That wouldn't work. There are plenty of irrational laws on the books that don't get struck down because they don't violate any constitutional based right(s). So it's not enough just to show a law has no justification. If that's the case, it's the legislature that must decide to change the law versus having the courts strike it down.

For example, courts don't strike down blue laws such as the prohibition of selling alcohol on Sundays. While that's obviously a "cultic" prejudice, there's no constitutional right to sell or buy alcohol on Sundays so there's no reason for a court to strike it down.

Peter said...

Bret:

I stopped engaging in this issue when it became clear that most people on both sides were buying into the proposition that marriage is primarily about love and individual fulfillment rather than taking care of kids and those who care for them. If that's the premise, there is really no coherent argument against it. Of course, minorities on both sides saw it left the question of what the hell the state was doing in the business of sanctifying love and individual self-expression. But Bruce and Tom had already bought their suits and reserved the church so it seemed churlish to spoil their big day.

Howard said...

I remember thinking "Ace Prank!!!"

Nailed it!

Just to add a little more humor: 2 old videos from Key & Peele legalized, wedding advice

erp said...

Howard I haven't laughed so much in a long time. Never heard of these guys (I almost never watch any TV), but they are hilarious. I downloaded some more of their videos.

The facial expressions of the "family" reminded me so much of when the relatives used to come over for name day visits to check if my mother cleaned the house properly and made fruit preserves (liko), pastries (te embla) to serve with Albanian whiskey (raki), and coffee (kafe).

Guests were treated with great formality and conversation was formal as well, but as in the video, try as they might, sometimes a snide remark made itself heard.

Harry Eagar said...

I disagree. Context counts. Since blue laws are cultic practices, they should not be sustained unless someone should show that there is a secular purpose in forbidding sales of alcohol on Sundays.

No one has ever thought of doing that.

There is also the fact that Christian bigots and enemies of the Constitution (pretty much the same group named twice) haven't even the honesty to stand up for their own crazy beliefs, so why should anyone else do it for them?

http://lasvegassun.com/news/2015/jul/03/constitutional-challenge-could-be-coming-nevada-pr/

I call your attention to:

"But advocates say just because a school is religious doesn’t mean the instruction is too.

“ 'It’s pretty obvious that the money is for an educational purpose,' said Michael Chartier, state programs director for the Friedman Foundation, which advised policymakers on the new law."

That was snot why the terrorist Bishop of Nashville told his victims they would go to hell if they did not send their children to to indoctrination schools.

Hey Skipper said...

A simpler road: the justices could have ruled: since the only arguments against homosexual marriage are based on cultic prejudices, the limitation is an impermissible estalishment of religion.

Simpler, only because you avoided all thought in taking it.

Note what Peter said: I stopped engaging in this issue when it became clear that most people on both sides were buying into the proposition that marriage is primarily about love and individual fulfillment rather than taking care of kids and those who care for them.

Now, think, if you can, how much interest society has in gay marriage. Or, think about why marriage exists in the first place. Doing so should, but won't, in your case, bring to mind Howard's latest post, the point of which is:

There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.

So why don't you go away and think about why marriage exists in the first place, and the interest society has in heterosexual marriage vs. gay marriage.

Then try and justify "... the only arguments against homosexual marriage are based upon cultic prejudices."

erp said...

... they are based on cultish prejudices, i.e., cults that succeed are prejudiced towards the care of children and the safety pregnant women, oh yeah, and on men wanting to be as certain as possible that the kids are theirs.

Homosexuality whether inborn or acquired is, for obvious reasons, unimportant to the success of a cult until it has reached the level of "fairness/decline" we in the west have finally achieved. s/off

The fence example is good, but might be confused with property rights, the evils of which we are currently being lectured about by our betters. A less confusing example IMO of this lesson is the behavior of the monkeys in the opening scene of 2001, A Space Odyssey.

Harry Eagar said...

Homosexuals can raise children, too.

As for reality, a check shows that the highest divorce rates are in the reddest areas.

I saw (but failed to keep the reference) a statement by a student of religion which noted that not so long ago, evangelicals were strong against divorce. Today, they divorce at enormous rates and the pastors have generally kept quiet about it, with the big exception of Calvary Chapel, a hate group (Catholics, Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists a specialty) that claims to be the fastest-growing cult in the country.

Base on evidence on the ground, I would not readily take advice about marriage from the people who claim to be its traditional defenders.

Hey Skipper said...

[OP:] I was happy to hear that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of "same-sex marriage".

I wasn't.

Not because I have strong feelings about gay marriage, one way or the other. As you say, there just aren't enough gays to make a difference, one way or the other.

What bothers me is the reasoning the majority made to reach their decision.

Caution: I am not a lawyer. I haven't even played one on TV. Oh, and I haven't read the SCOTUS decision, and am relying on a combination of journalists and memory -- hard to know which is the worst.

The decision relied upon equal protection reasoning. There are several problems with that. First, gays were already equally protected under the law when it came to marriage. Just like anyone else, they were fully entitled to marry someone else of the opposite sex. Obviously, that isn't what they wanted, but I can't think of any way that violates equal protection under the law.

Second, having gone that route, the SCOTUS has, in fact, left the door open to all manner of alternative domestic arrangements. Having failed to find heterosexual pair bonding in any way preferable to society, SCOTUS has left the US with nothing other than arbitrary reasoning as to why diads are preferable to triads, or any other concupiscient topography.

Finally, this was the perfect example of legislating from the bench. For better or worse, the term "marriage" had a specific, although unstated (why belabor the obvious?) meaning: marriage is the legal recognition of the smallest number of people that, in principle, organically contains the potential for producing life.

That is outside bounds of the Constitution. The SCOTUS had no more business ruling on that than they would the constitutionality of purple. IMHO, the SCOTUS had no standing to make any decision, and instead should have kicked it back to where it belonged: the realm of legislation.

IMHO, The Pill, in severing the connection between sex and pregnancy, was the single cause that got us here,

[Harry:] Homosexuals can raise children, too.

As for reality, a check shows that the highest divorce rates are in the reddest areas.


There is just no end of non sequitors with you, is there?

No doubt homosexuals can raise children, too. The question is, in the realm of adoption, should homosexual couples have equal standing with heterosexual couples? Now that SCOTUS has fallen upon equal protection arguments, then priority goes solely to who has been waiting the longest, not with what is best for the adopted child.

Insisting that, generally, children are just as well off with homosexual parents as heterosexual is an extraordinary claim absolutely devoid of evidence.

Yet that is the knock on effect of this ruling.

(BTW, there might, just might, be a connection between divorce rates and marriage rates, which are also highest in the reddest areas.)

Society has a specific and ongoing interest in heterosexual pair bonding. There is no remotely comparable interest in homosexual pair bonding.

As I said above: So why don't you go away and think about why marriage exists in the first place, and the interest society has in heterosexual marriage vs. gay marriage.

Then try and justify "... the only arguments against homosexual marriage are based upon cultic prejudices."


Bret said...

Harry wrote: "Homosexuals can raise children, too."

They sure can (this one gives me the heebie-jeebies): "Lesbian Couple Gives Son Hormone Blockers, Says The Child Is Transgender"

And so can wolves (Jungle Book) and Apes (Tarzan), but that doesn't mean it's optimal.

Harry Eagar said...

Oh, now it has to be optimal? So all those white heteros who abandoned their wives and children back where I grew up are to be cast out of the marriage club, too?

Speaking of which, if you want some real heebie-jeebies regarding child-rearing, try reading Howard Dully's "My Lobotomy."

Unfortunately, his parent/stepparent combo was white and suburban, gainfully employed, so inconvenient for drawing invidious conclusions.

Hey Skipper said...

Right on time: Is Polygamy Next?

Peter said...

To the extent that we are a bell weather (Blame Canada!), polygamy is probably a ways from legalization, in part because polygamists are few and aren't over-represented in artistic and popular cultural life. Today it's hard to imagine Hollywood stars and public figures marching in Polygamy Pride Days in the nation's cities. But there is no doubt the issue of whether it should be legalized has an intellectual respectability among the beautiful people that it didn't have before. We had a high-profile case here about four years ago and, while the ban was upheld, our Civil Liberties Union and legal scholars were on the legalization side. Once you define marriage as an expression of love and individual choice, you have a problem. Tick, tick, tick....

The current fascinating one is transgender activism spearheaded by the latest member of a certain appalling family who is well on his/her way to turning sexual dysfunction into gold. All the talk about heroism and bravery, as if she were just back from Tora Bora, leaves me bewildered. I've reached the age where I just hold my tongue, shake my head at the young'uns and recall David Cohen's sublime answer to the question of whether America is decadent---"If we're not, who is?"

It is interesting how often the warnings of traditionalists about what would happen if "blue laws" and moral legal prohibitions were abolished were proven right and liberal pooh-poohing was proven wrong. If Americans had known in the fifties that abolishing obscenity laws would lead to a multi-billion dollar exploitative Triple XXX porn industry everyone could access privately, we might still have them, but instead they listened to those liberals who said that was all fear-mongering and it was just about artistic expression and gentlemen relaxing in their libraries with a little innocent pleasure after a tough session reading Plato. What of the absurd amounts the poor spend on lottery tickets and what that means to their families? If Harry thinks there is no secular argument for banning alcohol sales on Sundays, he needs a new library.

But what conservatives failed to foresee is that so few would care when it all happened as predicted.

erp said...

Peter, laws against polygamy need to be changed in order for sharia law to be implemented and the beautiful people will come out in favor when it's presented as progressive rather than regressive ala Mormonism.

Bret said...

I think polygamous relationships (as described in my "War of the Sexes" series) are starting to happen and will happen in far greater numbers in the future. Since the primary purpose of those relationships is to have children (by poor women), might as well provide the legal structure to at least have the dads involved in some minimal amount of financial and/or emotional support for the children.

If I had to choose between polygamy and same-sex marriage, personally I'd choose polygamy.

erp said...

... and you can choose from among 57 different mixes and matches of sexes -- you're only limited by what you can imagine.

As Miranda said:

O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world
That has such people in't!

Hey Skipper said...

[Bret:] If I had to choose between polygamy and same-sex marriage, personally I'd choose polygamy

And I think you would be choosing very, very badly. Parity errors are not to be trifled with.

Which leads directly to this: [Peter:] Once you define marriage as an expression of love and individual choice, you have a problem. Tick, tick, tick....

Exactly. It is wonderful if successful marriage coincides with love and individual choice, but successful marriage is what it produces, not how happy it makes its participants.

Society's only interest is in what marriage produces.

In contrast, Harry says Oh, now it has to be optimal? So all those white heteros who abandoned their wives and children back where I grew up are to be cast out of the marriage club, too?

Did you go to school to learn how to mangle logic that expertly? In order: better, not optimal; what the hell does white have to do with anything?; and there will absolutely no way be anything remotely like homos abandoning their -- umm, words fail me here -- still failing -- right, got it -- spousal units. Right?

Peter said...

If I had to choose between polygamy and same-sex marriage, personally I'd choose polygamy.

LOL. Personally I'd choose the same. Intellectually I'm still working it out.

Bret said...

Hey Skipper wrote: "Parity errors are not to be trifled with."

First, homosexuality itself creates parity errors. Unless there are exactly the same number of lesbian women and gay men, it causes an imbalance.

Second, my guess is that parity errors won't matter as much going forward. With great video games, virtual reality, and other entertainment, men can remain docile and happy without women in their lives. Then the women are free to get pregnant by an alpha male. Everybody's happy! Yay!

Hey Skipper said...

[Bret:] First, homosexuality itself creates parity errors. Unless there are exactly the same number of lesbian women and gay men, it causes an imbalance

True. But. Men with an unrequited sexual urge are far more problematic than similarly frustrated women. Men create mayhem, women get cats.

Society has much more interest in the former than the latter.

Harry Eagar said...

Don;t fuss at me about optimization. I didn't bring it up, don't think it should be a factor. I was merely pointing out that the defenders of traditional marriage are not showing optimal behavior.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bja2ttzGOFM

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] I was merely pointing out that the defenders of traditional marriage are not showing optimal behavior.

What you were really pointing out is that your thinking is precisely that of a racist: because some people in an ostensible group do something, all members of that group do that thing.

Yes, of course some people who espouse traditional marriage don't live up to the ideal. But that's a long way from saying that the ideal isn't, of all the options now on offer, in fact, ideal.

It is beyond ironic that those who most loudly believe in evolution are the first to ditch its implications when they are inconvenient.

Hey Skipper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harry Eagar said...

Not some. Most. The redder the state, the higher the divorce rate.

Besides, even hypocrites change their mores when pretense becomes immense. There was a time when a divorced man could not hope to be president. But the rightwingers wanted their war antihero Reagan so bad, they overlooked the moral test for him.

Not a group I'd look to for ideals, and, besides, as I've noted before, I learned from Isaiah Berlin to distrust idealism and idealists.

Hey Skipper said...

Not some. Most. The redder the state, the higher the divorce rate.

I'm willing to bet that the redder the state, the higher the marriage rate, too.

Besides, even hypocrites change their mores when pretense becomes immense.

Harry, you have proven on many occasions that you cannot use the term "racist" properly.

And, on current form, your understanding of hypocricy is similarly non-existent.

Unless, of course, you can explain how someone who has been divorced cannot espouse marriage without being a hypocrite.

I already know the answer to that one: you can't.

Which leaves us with this: of all the options on offer, traditional marriage is more likely to yield beneficial results in the next generation than the other options on offer.

erp said...

Harry, I’ll follow my own rule by defining my terms lest there be confusion.

IMO this is an accurate definition of an idealist: ... a person who believes that it is possible to live according to very high standards of behavior and honesty...

In another example of left wing lunacy, the following is the first thing that Google spit out when requested to provide a definition for idealist: noun: a person who is guided more by ideals than by practical considerations. "he came to power with the reputation of a left-wing idealist"

'Nuf said.

erp said...

Skipper, perhaps divorce rates are lower in blue states because fewer straight couples get married and gay marriage being so new, their divorce rate hasn't had a chance to become a statistic yet. :-)

Harry Eagar said...

The hypocrisy was in considering divorce a moral failing, until it wasn't.

I didn't save the link, but recently I read a historian of American Christianity remark how evangelicals had moved, in the course of a generation, from a cult that condemned divorce to one that divorces freely. So much for that ideal.

If you'd grown up where I did, you'd have noted that. (There is one big cult, Calvary Chapel, that maintains the old standards, at least in its preaching.)

Hey Skipper said...

erp:

Harry is falling prey to, once again, simplism, the oversimplification of an issue.

This is a perfect example.

Assume that the social pressure, or expectation, to get married in blue states is much less than red states. I think that is so obvious that it goes without saying; however, a simple test should do. What other explanation is available for the differences in marriage rates (and ages) between blue and red states?

With that assumption in hand, then it is entirely possible that the older age, and decision to marry in the absence of pressure (or, indeed, despite pressure to the contrary) is correlated with greater maturity and commitment.

It should come as no surprise, then, that regions with lower marriage rates also have lower divorce rates for reasons having nothing at all to do with marriage itself. In other words, if the stats were to account for the age at first marriage, then I'd bet the difference would completely vanish.

But for haters such as Harry, such trifles are to be accorded leaden silence.

[Harry:] The hypocrisy was in considering divorce a moral failing, until it wasn't.

Bollocks. You have once again proven you don't understand the concept.

Where, oh where, is divorce considered a moral success?

Hilary Clinton's private email server is a perfect example hypocrisy.

Compare and contrast. If you can.

erp said...

Harry, I don't believe I have ever mentioned divorce as a moral issue because like abortion, I believe divorce is a personal issue and none of my business. I neither abjure them nor want to support them with my taxes.

Bret said...

Harry Eagar wrote: "The redder the state, the higher the divorce rate."

That's true and the reasons behind it are numerous and complicated. One can either say it's because of religion or not because of religion and in either case be right to some extent.

Clovis e Adri said...

I am with Harry on this one.

There is a great lot of hypocrisy going on in church circles on marriage and divorce.

The English Protestant tradition on that hypocrisy goes a long, long way - witness Henry VIII.

erp said...

Clovis, perhaps then you can explain what Harry's position is?

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] There is a great lot of hypocrisy going on in church circles on marriage and divorce.

Here is the dictionary definition for hypocrisy: the practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case.

In what way does the religious defense of constitute hypocrisy? Just one example would be nice. That would be one more than Harry has provided.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

I turn back the question at you. How can a group who highly praise the sanctity of marriage to be the one most ditching it? To preach to others what you don't practice yourself used to be "hypocrisy" in most dictionaries.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

As I understand it, Harry is pointing out that religious groups have been far from optimal behavior compared to their own standards of optimal.

It is a fair criticism.

He doesn't mention it, but progressive groups also show non optimal behavior compared to their own ideals: for all their liberal talk, higher middle-class and rich progressives tend to be more family-oriented than their discourse would show.

erp said...

Clovis, our position precisely. Human beings are individuals within the human family and why we conservatives want everyone to do whatever they want within the rule of law.

I don't think Harry would endorse your definition.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] As I understand it, Harry is pointing out that religious groups have been far from optimal behavior compared to their own standards of optimal.

Near as I can tell, and it is possible to do, you understand Harry fine. The problem here is that Harry has proven that he is no clearer on hypocricy than he is on racism. Quick to accuse, slow (to put it optimistically) justify.

What he is doing is insulting people for having standards. The religious tend to have very high standards for personal behavior; the higher those standards are, the harder it will be to meet them. Therefore, it is an observation both trivial and useless that the behavior of the religious is far from their own standards of optimal. They would be the first to tell you that.

So not only isn't a fair criticism -- how does one level it at progressives, whose standards of morality are very difficult ascertain -- he in effect is conducting an ad hominem attack: because some people don't live up to their standards, the standards themselves are worthless.

Surely you can see the mistake there.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] How can a group who highly praise the sanctity of marriage to be the one most ditching it?

Here is an excellent summary of why the answer to that question is far harder than Harry's simplistic notions.

It helps to keep in mind that without marriage, there is no divorce. After all, It isn't as if in areas with low marriage rates, people don't break up.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

Harry looks proud to be married for gazillion years to his wife, so I don't get why you place him as saying religious marriage standards are "worthless".

And I don't think he is insulting anyone for having standards, but for changing them whenever convenient, hence his accusation of hypocrisy.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

About the link, I've read it the first time Bret posted.

It helps to keep in mind, Skipper, that hypocrisy is measured by "the practice of claiming to have higher standards", per your own definition. It doesn't alleviate the hypocrisy to claim "I do have higher standards but the cultural and economical background of the South made me divorce!"

Hey Skipper said...

Oh yes it does:

Hypocrisy is the claim or pretense of holding beliefs, feelings, standards, qualities, opinions, behaviors, virtues, motivations, or other characteristics that one does not actually hold. Hypocrisy is not simply failing to practice those virtues that one preaches. Samuel Johnson made this point when he wrote about the misuse of the charge of "hypocrisy" in Rambler No. 14: acutely means you say don't do that when you are doing it yourself.

"Nothing is more unjust, however common, than to charge with hypocrisy him that expresses zeal for those virtues which he neglects to practice; since he may be sincerely convinced of the advantages of conquering his passions, without having yet obtained the victory, as a man may be confident of the advantages of a voyage, or a journey, without having courage or industry to undertake it, and may honestly recommend to others, those attempts which he neglects himself."
.

Just like "ironic" is often used incorrectly, so is "hypocricy".

erp said...

Clovis, it's religion Harry hates, not marriage.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

Some hate religion, others hate government, I guess you ought to hate something right?


Skipper,

I do not agree with you and Mr. Samuel Johnson. It boils down to how much you keep your ideals and failures to yourself, and how much you ask of others what you don't give yourself.

That journey analogy is a bad one, for usually people are in an eternal journey to that far away ideal place.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: " do not agree with ... Mr. Samuel Johnson."

Not quite LOL, but that gave me a bit of a chuckle.

Yes, English has changed a lot since Mr. Johnson's day so you have every right to criticize, but I still found it a little humorous for a non-native English speaker to disagree with the guy who singlehandedly created the reference English dictionary for a period of nearly two centuries about one of the words in his dictionary, and whose influence on English lexicography remains important to this day.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "...religious groups have been far from optimal behavior compared to their own standards of optimal."

Maybe. I think they have two conflicting optimal behaviors. The first is to get married young and have children early. The second is to stay married.

They've succeeded quite well at the first. Both their marriage and fertility rates are higher.

They've been thwarted by government (thanks to folks like Harry) regarding the second. 60 years ago it was extremely difficult to get divorced and the divorce rates were small. Now, government legislation has made it easy to get divorced. So when religious folk controlled the laws, they succeeded just fine at not getting divorced very often.

So, for Harry to essentially say, "I'm gonna ram no-fault divorce laws down your throats and then call you hypocrites after I've messed up your social order," is pretty humorous to me.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

Oh, but I am entitled to have my own opinion on "hypocrisy", the main reason being it is closer to my dictionary than to yours. You Anglos keep messing up our Latin heritage.

It is ironic - and I hope to be using the right meaning of "irony" here - to hear a Libertarian lamenting the laws are no longer rammed down their throats by Religion. Thanks for giving me back that chuckle.


Harry Eagar said...

'And I don't think he is insulting anyone for having standards, but for changing them whenever convenient, hence his accusation of hypocrisy.'

Very close, Clovis. I'd add: worthwhile standards. We had an example of hypocrisy last week from the pope, who called for somewhat less vindictive treatment of divorced Catholics (Thereby, when you think about erp's statement about what conservatives believe, making all Catholics not conservatives, a surprising result); while I am all for less vindictiveness, the church has always had an out for the rich that poor Catholics don't get, and the pope stuck with that: annulment.

'it's religion Harry hates' True dat.

'It boils down to how much you keep your ideals and failures to yourself, and how much you ask of others what you don't give yourself.; Bingo!

It wasn't that Christian bigots chose not to get divorced themselves, but that they imposed their beliefs (alleged beliefs) on everyone.

erp said...

Harry and Clovis, if you know your history, you know that the U.S. was settled by those who wanted to get away from state religions, not impose their religion on others, a point our FF's made sure to emphasize in our founding documents, so I have no idea who the Christian bigots are who fill Harry's nightmares ... and Harry, the vast majority of Catholics are Democrats, not conservatives.

That one is so loony, I can't imagine where it came from.

This Pope is a Jesuit, a sect closely allied with the left all over the world and which is largely responsible for the socialism rampant south of the border.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
This Pope is a Jesuit, a sect closely allied with the left all over the world and which is largely responsible for the socialism rampant south of the border.
---

I would ask you to try and justify that affirmation, please.

erp said...

Why? Don’t you know the history of the Jesuits in Latin America? Why do you think this pope was plucked from your part of the world?

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

I may know a thing or two, but I am interested on your take on this. Spell it out please.

erp said...

My take is what I said in my comment. You may disagree or demur as you wish. I am certainly not going to look for documentation or studies to prove my point. Jesuits were at work here among the French as well, but had little traction with the Protestants among our early settlers. They caused quite a bit of mischief among the Indians especially during the French and Indian War.

Here in the U.S -- I haven't checked the numbers, but I'd bet almost all the catholic colleges and universities are now Jesuit controlled and busy moving the narrative forward with the rest of the lefties.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

Hard to disagree with half thoughts and half words.

erp said...

Nothing halfway about my comment. In your opinion were Jesuits in a large way responsible for socialism in Latin America or not?

Harry Eagar said...

There are Catholics who are not American, erp. American Catholics voted Democratic because they wanted to booze and conservatives made that illegal; American Catholics were also largely McCarthyites.

McCarthy, in fact, was a creation of the Catholic bishops, who picked him as their most likely tool.

As usual, erp just makes shit up. There are 28 Jesuit colleges in America, out of 197 Catholic colleges.

erp said...

Harry, What are you talking about?

Catholics wanted booze so they supported McCarthy? PS: Prohibition ended in 1933.

Bishops picked McCarthy as their tool to do what? Get booze for the faithful?

Which non-American Catholics are conservative, surely not those in Europe and Latin America?

BTW -- you may have missed it (the media played it down), but McCarthy was right as documented by the Venona papers.

I'd like to see your list of Catholic institutions of higher learning.

I wondered how long it would take you to defend Jesuits and I'd not be surprised if you even had kind words for the Pope even though they are members of what is in your often stated opinion, the vilest of vile institutions, the Catholic church.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

No, the Jesuits had little, if any, influence on "socialism in Latin America". It is funny to see you trying to associate them to socialism, or the Left, when their order is centuries older than those concepts.

By the way, there are plenty conservative non-American Catholics down here. All right-wing dictatorships in LA had the Catholic blessing. The Liberation Theology priests you may be thinking about were always a minority.

Brazil had a strong initial influence of Jesuits on its begin, in the 1500's, since they were the only ones willing to travel so far for missionary life. They tried hard to free the indians from slavery (or from having the tribes they adopted taken for slavery), many times dying for that.

When Portugal started its Inquisition and banned (or burned) Jews, many could find refuge in Brazil - the Jesuits were not interested in ensuring their persecution here.

But keep on bashing Jesuits, Erp, and don't ever let facts get into the way of your narrative.

Harry Eagar said...

I am not defending Jesuits. They were suppressed in Enlightened countries for good reasons. But erp said Jesuits had taken over American Catholic colleges, which is typical bs.

You could ask Mr Google. He knows.

'All right-wing dictatorships in LA had the Catholic blessing'

Franco, too, of course, because the Catholic hierarchy is and always has been antidemocratic.

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

---
They were suppressed in Enlightened countries for good reasons.
---

Heh, way to go with your definition of "Enlightened".

Portugal, Spain and France must have been very Enlightened when they imprisoned and killed most Jesuits, reducing the whole order from thousands to a few dozen members languishing in cells.

Jesuits had a tradition of upsetting the status quo (somehow paradoxically, since they were very faithful to Papal orders). Be it renouncing Earthly possessions, defending slaved indians, siding against a few evil Monarchs, or more recently having their first Pope uttering criticisms to Capitalism.

You may say they were/are wrong at many things, but they used to be (and probably still are) the closest you've got to "Free Thinkers" among the Catholic hierarchy.


erp said...

Harry, again link to list please and answers to my questions would be a nice change.

Clovis, as I was pretty sure you would, you make my case for me.

The church has always followed Jesus' rule of rendering unto Caesar ... .

Jesuits took exception to that in the old days, but when Caesar became left wing dictators, they changed their tune and not only supported Caesar, but joined him in keeping the masses in check, Latin America being prime example and the new Jesuit pope's utterances leave no doubt of his proclivities.

Capitalism is the only hope of the downtrodden masses.

Socialism in all its many guises has been proved disastrous in so many different instances, it's amazing that anybody with any historical perspective at all can continue to champion it.

Harry Eagar said...

http://www.ajcunet.edu/institutions

and

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_Catholic_universities_and_colleges_in_the_United_States

erp said...

You might like to go over that list again.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
Jesuits took exception to that in the old days, but when Caesar became left wing
dictators, they changed their tune and not only supported Caesar, but joined him in
keeping the masses in check, Latin America being prime example and the new Jesuit pope's utterances leave no doubt of his proclivities.
---
You don't make any sense, Erp. Try harder, please.

I just told you the Church mostly supported Right-wing dictatorships in LA.

Take Chile, your preferred LA nation. Who do you think the Church there supported, Allende or Pinochet?

The Catholic Church may well be a force, culturally and institutionally speaking, working towards our Capitalism down here being so Crony. But they were even more of a force against Communism back then too.

Surely the Church ways are not favorable to pronounced individualistic lives as our Libertarian friends hope for, but that's true of every other Religion too, including the Protestant ones that founded your country. The difference being that Protestant ways led to less cronism and better disposition towards work and profit.

erp said...

Clovis, you are equating Jesuits with the Catholic church hierarchy. They weren't one and the same until very recently, i.e., when the new pope was installed.

Clovis e Adri said...

I see you understand very little of the Catholic church and its hierarchy, Erp. The nuns in your school must have neglected that part.

erp said...

You are mistaken on this point.

Harry Eagar said...

There was quite a bit of talk about 'traditional marriage' in this thread without anyone's ever specifying what the tradition was. The implacaion, I suppose, was that the traditions ended at one man/one woman.

However, as we should know, there were other traditions involved as well. For example, that a woman surrendered her property to her husband upon marriage.

I would have thought, on theoretical grounds, that among people who absolutely adore property rights as individual rights, this would stick in the craw, but, as usual when dealing with rightwingers, logical consistency is not a good guide.

erp said...

Harry, again, who or what are rightwingers.

Venona papers confirmed the existence in the U.S. of commie agents and provocateurs aka spies financed by the Soviets.

erp said...

Harry, I personally have spoken of women as property from cavemen times until my own childhood even in the west which continues in many other parts of the world specifically in the Islamic realms.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] I would have thought, on theoretical grounds, that among people who absolutely adore property rights as individual rights, this would stick in the craw, but, as usual when dealing with rightwingers, logical consistency is not a good guide.

Perhaps when criticizing people's logical inconsistency, it might be rewarding to reflect upon how completely you failed to take on board the point. Let me help:

The question is, in the realm of adoption, should homosexual couples have equal standing with heterosexual couples? Now that SCOTUS has fallen upon equal protection arguments, then priority goes solely to who has been waiting the longest, not with what is best for the adopted child.

Insisting that, generally, children are just as well off with homosexual parents as heterosexual is an extraordinary claim absolutely devoid of evidence.

Yet that is the knock on effect of this ruling.

Society has a specific and ongoing interest in heterosexual pair bonding. There is no remotely comparable interest in homosexual pair bonding
.

What was part of marriage when women could not control their fertility, and men had a very material interest in not raising others' children, is so far removed from what is at hand here that I'm astonished you brought it up.

Harry Eagar said...

Are you saying priority in adoptions is first come, first served?

Hey Skipper said...

No, Harry, I am clearly saying that in this brave new world after the SCOTUS decision, there is absolutely no reason to prefer heterosexuality as a criterium for adoptive parents.

Never mind that claiming outcomes for children brought up with homosexual parents are the same as those with biological parents is so extraordinary as to require extraordinary evidence.

Which is completely lacking.

But never mind that.

Harry Eagar said...

I find this thing incredibly weird. We are being asked to use government force to impose traditional marriage, but you are unwilling to consider what is traditional.

Many marriage traditions are economic, though sometimes authorized by revealed religion, like levirate marriage. Others are nakedly economic like bride price (and its odd American exception among the revoltingly rich, groom price).

Since the liberalization of mating practices, many of these traditions have been ditched, even levirate marriage despite its sacred character.

So why are some marriage traditions given up with so little concern that most people aren't even aware they have done it; while at least one is supposed to be so important that political force is justified to maintain it?

And isn't it odd that people who claim to despise government force in personal relations are making an exception here?

Then there is the issue that some of the loudest arguments for maintaining that one special tradition say that the nation will be supernaturally punished if it does not? And where is the evidence for that?

But until we are able to consider what traditional marriage is, it is pointless to argue whether the tradition is worthy or not.



erp said...

We are being asked to use government force to impose traditional marriage,...

HUH?

Who we and what government force?

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] We are being asked to use government force to impose traditional marriage, but you are unwilling to consider what is traditional.

By whom? Where? Please be precise.

If memory serves, and I think it does, my point was that the SCOTUS decision amounted to florid hand-waving, and that it completely failed to consider what interest the state has in traditional marriage. And by traditional, I don't mean any variety of your pettifoggery. I mean, and this has a great deal of precedence in the West (the only tradition I care about in this discussion) that marriage is (sorry, was) the smallest number of people that could, without outside assistance, create life.

That definition, until very recently, was so taken for granted -- how's that for a tradition? -- that writing down the definition would have been the a completely pointless exercise.

The State has no interest in gay marriage, because gay marriages, in and of themselves, produce nothing of interest to the state.

In contrast, heterosexuality does: new citizens.

So the state has an interest in heterosexual marriage that it does not in gay marriage, and it also has, or should have, an interest in traditional marriage that it doesn't in mere cohabitation.

Why?

Because fathers cause daughters to be tax payers instead of consumers: father absence was an overriding risk factor for early sexual activity and adolescent pregnancy. Conversely, father presence was a major protective factor against early sexual outcomes, even if other risk factors were present. These findings may support social policies that encourage fathers to form and remain in families with their children.

Marriage matters: Divorce is particularly harmful for children's mobility, and even more so for African American children.

At a societal level (which isn't where anecdotes live) households that contain both biological parents of all the children through the duration of their childhood have, on average, better outcomes than all other arrangements. Therefore, the state has, or should have, a particular interest in that arrangement.

Similarly, the state should prefer adoption by married heterosexual couples, because that is where the states interests are most likely to be satisfied.

And heterosexual marriage is the institution most likely to produce that outcome.


erp said...

Traditionally we all had an interest in family values for the reasons you state, but that had to be changed so as to allow the devaluation of us as We, the People and the U.S. as the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.

I'd say Mission Accomplished now.

Hey Skipper said...

erp, I don't think that was the goal.

After all, too many things happened that were outside anyone's control, or even anticipation. The Pill, all by itself, caused many of the changes. No one could have planned on that.

Ironically, when progressives get themselves into a lather over individual rights, they often have a point that, in retrospect, is impossible to deny: treating blacks and women as full-fledged human beings seems obvious now, but it wasn't before progressives made that their mission.

Good thing, too.

It's a shame they can't shuck all the collectivist claptrap.

erp said...

Skipper, I must, as I have in the past, disagree. The progs had nothing to do with the changes in attitudes between blacks and whites or women's change of attitude towards work outside the home.

Everything changed in the aftermath of the Second World War and would have continued to change in an orderly manner leading the way to a fully integrated society for all of us long before now. Instead, we are more fragmented now than we ever were.

In fact is was so much so, that it was necessary to have a martyred president, so the VP could push through the predictably divisive CRA amendments before the problem it was solving, solved itself.

Progs, mostly Moscow led commies at that time, led and financed the black riots and the anti-war riots, and also the leaders of the militant feminists.

Hey Skipper said...

erp, it certainly wasn't conservatives who were pushing civil rights in the 60s.

Getting rid of Jim Crow (and the manifold legal restrictions on women) were victorys for individualism, and against collectivism.

If they had stopped there, progressives could have rested on well earned laurels. Instead, they fed their own collectivist beast with forced integration, and hideous excresences like Title IX.

Also, I think we bought the black riots all on our own; no need to point the blame anywhere else.

As for Vietnam? I'm appalled at the Left's moral myopia on this. The US is roundly condemned, yet the North, backed by China and Russia, gets no so much as a glowering look for invading another country and wiping if off the map.

Hey Skipper said...

erp, it certainly wasn't conservatives who were pushing civil rights in the 60s.

Getting rid of Jim Crow (and the manifold legal restrictions on women) were victorys for individualism, and against collectivism.

If they had stopped there, progressives could have rested on well earned laurels. Instead, they fed their own collectivist beast with forced integration, and hideous excresences like Title IX.

Also, I think we bought the black riots all on our own; no need to point the blame anywhere else.

As for Vietnam? I'm appalled at the Left's moral myopia on this. The US is roundly condemned, yet the North, backed by China and Russia, gets no so much as a glowering look for invading another country and wiping if off the map.

erp said...

Skipper, I must not be making my position clear.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, nobody was pushing anything. Things were evolving on their own because the hot war and the war effort here in the U.S. forced people to work and live together allowing many/most of them to realize that some of the old ways needed to be re-evaluated.

This was true both for women and for colored* people and in IMO because this was really working, I was there remember, radical draconian measures had to be put into place to forestall it and put the narrative front and center. That's why Kennedy was killed. Cui Bono from that despicable act? Only the lefties in the form of Soviet let idiots here who jumped into the act and got things through congress that would have been unheard of even in the New Deal like dictating what citizens can do with their property ...

*Pace Harry. Colored was the preferred word then. It's even in the name of the premiere Negro association -- NAACP which you may have noticed, hasn't been political corrected.

Harry Eagar said...

Even the Catholic church recognized non-economic reasons for marriage, Skipper. I sat through many tedious hours of instruction on the subject at Cardinal Gibbons High School.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] We are being asked to use government force to impose traditional marriage, but you are unwilling to consider what is traditional.

[Hey Skipper:] By whom? Where? Please be precise.


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