Monday, September 05, 2011

Beating up a right-wing meme

There is a fairly standard homophobic meme, which says that decriminalizing homosexuality is a slippery slope which leads to all manner of interesting behavior. The most obvious example of this is our boy Rick "Man-on-Dog" Santorum; I talked about his use of this particular argument yesterday.

But how can you dispute this somewhat idiotic idea?

Answer: You can't. You're wasting your time. The people who find this kind of argument convincing aren't swayed by logic. But personally, I enjoy it, so let's press on.

Well, then, what is the danger, exactly? What is the inevitable result of all this brightly-colored gayness? The usual list includes two or more of the usual suspects.
1. obscenity
2. fornication
3. adultery
4. adult incest
5. bestiality
6. pedophilia (with or without added incestuousness)
7. bigamy
8. the complete destruction of marriage as we know it
And really, that last one, which occasionally stands by itself, is the easiest to rebut.

Just ask "how?" How will marriage becoming more available, to more people, destroy the entire concept of marriage? You'd be amazed how many people can't actually answer that.

Let's consider the rest of these ignorant concepts, in no particular order.

Obscenity: You don't see this one too often. "Freedom of speech" and all that. So fuck it. Let's move on.

Fornication and Adultery: Now, this is a slightly tricky area, and a vaguely sexist one, at that. Fornication is mentioned less frequently these days, but you might run across it. Sex, when not between two people married to each other, is "fornication" if the both partners are single. It's "adultery" if either partner is married.

(Really, it all goes back to the fact that, until fairly recently, women were property. The legal definition just tells you which property crime has occurred.)

But really, both of these are idiotic examples. Fornication isn't a crime, but the results of it can be. Spreading an incurable disease or not taking financial responsibility for the potential pregnancy? That's where the blame should be pointed.

And adultery is a civil matter. In most states, it can be cause for a divorce, but that's between the husband and wife.

So the right answer to this one is simply "You're saying that adultery doesn't go on now? And hasn't gone on since time immemorial? Are you going to claim that more men will fool around on their wives because some other men are in a committed, legally-binding relationship? Why?"

(Notice the pattern here? "How?" and "why?" are the two easiest crowbars to dismantle the argument.)

Bestiality and Pedophilia: You've got to remember that when our idiot wingnut friend try to start listing all the things that homosexuality will lead to, they often like to include these two. (Because, you know, if two men are attracted to each other, they'll be attracted to anything!)

These two examples are stunningly simple to rebut. Just point out the all-important word "consensual." Children and dogs can't consent to anything. If they don't immediately concede the point, go on the attack: "So, by your logic, because heterosexuality is legal, so is rape?"

Incest and Polygamy: Now, these are the only remotely tricky ground that's out there. Because it's true: once you widen the definition of marriage, you have to explain why you don't throw it open to practitioners of either of these activities.

This is particularly true of polygamy. My personal attitude toward polygamy is "why not?" Toss the idea to a couple of lawyers, let them draw up a standard boilerplate contract for multiple party marriages, and let people hook up in whatever polymorphic patterns they want. All kinds of good reasons that this would be beneficial: guidance for the kids, economic stability, and so on. But that's a much longer argument than I want to get into.

Incidentally, the most common polygamous "marriage" in America these days is the creepy cult-like one, with the ugly overtones of misogyny and rape. Those are bad. Of course, it's equally bad when dealing with an overbearing, controlling husband and his wife, too. So, really, that's another, longer discussion that I don't feel the need to open up.

As for incest, well, look into the health problems of purebred dogs: they're just a mobile mass of medical maladies, from hip dysplasia in German Shepherds and Labradors, to epilepsy in beagles, dachshunds and Dalmatians. It's the inevitable result of reinforcing genetic problems by breeding from too small a gene pool.

After all, as we've already shown, these people are making an openly false comparison, and really, there are only two types of people who’d use it:

1. People with limited critical faculties, who never actually think about the talking points they repeat.

2. People who know exactly the size of the lie they’re spewing, and don’t care.

In either case, when you’re faced with this level of lemon-scented bullshit, why should you feel constrained to stick with simple logic, when you can easily turn their own rhetorical style back on them? So, instead of getting completely sidetracked from the issue of gay marriage, I recommend, as I often do, the attack.

Just ask a simple question: Why do you oppose polygamy and incest? After all, the Bible is in favor of both of them.

First of all, Jesus didn't say that "Marriage is between one man and one woman." What he said was "at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female... For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate." (Matthew 19:4-6)

So, first, he wasn't defining marriage, he was justifying not getting divorced. And it's really rude to take your Lord and Savior out of context like that. Especially since you don't then go on one more verse to where He explains, "you shouldn't get divorced, you shouldn't get married,l and you shouldn't have sex at all." (Matthew 19:8-12)

It was the Apostle Paul who later added, "Well, if you can't keep your pants on, you should marry somebody." (1 Corinthians 7:8-9) And he never even met Jesus, so why are you taking his word?

The Bible can't even figure out what incest is. The definition comes from three different places in the Old Testament: Leviticus 18, Leviticus 20, and scattered around Deuteronomy. They're all very specifically written for men (remember, women are property), and the three sources don't even agree.

Best example: nowhere in the Bible does it say you can't have sex with your daughter. Both chapters of Leviticus tell you that your stepdaughter and your daughter-in-law are off-limits, but it's apparently open season on your own girlspawn.

(Also completely available as partners: all your cousins, your step-sister, your niece, any aunt on your mother's side, and Grandma.)

This biblical confusion about incest is emphasized with the fact that Lot, the only good man in Sodom or Gommorah, had drunken sex with both his daughters and conceived two sons: his son through his older daughter founded the Kingdom of Moab, and the one through his baby girl founded the Kingdom of Ammon. (Genesis 19:30-38)

More than that, though, Abraham, the holiest man in the Bible, is considered the father of all Christendom (and all the Jews, and Mohammed); he married his half-sister on his father's side. (Genesis 20:12) His son Isaac married his cousin Rebekah (Genesis 24:15). And both of the sons of Isaac married their cousins (Genesis 28:9, Genesis 29)

I'm not entirely clear what this says about the "Children of Abraham."

And most people already know that the Bible is full of examples of polygamy. Many, if not most, of the major prophets of God had two or more wives - Abraham and Jacob (obviously), Gideon (the guy who put all the Bibles in the hotel rooms), King David and the wisest of all men, King Solomon, are all fine examples.

And if anybody tries to claim that the Old Testament doesn't matter any more, thanks to Jesus? Well, you've just hit the jackpot.

First of all, Jesus said, over and over, that the Old Testament was still important, still valid, and, indeed, "all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16; also see Matthew 5:18-19, Luke 16:17, and Matthew 5:17, among many other places)

On top of which, and possibly more important, if the words of the Old Testament don't matter, then why is it they're opposed to homosexuals again?

Religion is fun.


Dudley the Fat Ass Liberal Beagle said...

Seeing as how religion says dogs have no soul, all I can say is I hope some of that stuff you mentioned leads to some beastiality. I would sure give that Kim Kardashian a good leg humping.

Cheshire Bitten said...

Incidentally, the most common polygamous "marriage" in America these days is the creepy cult-like one

While I don't have the numbers (or know if they have been done) I would be very surprised if this was true, given the large poly subcultures in many large cities, poly people are often not counted, but I suspect there are more people quietly having two wives, or more commonly in my experience two husbands than there are fundamentalist Mormons or similar groups.