Sunday, June 1, 2008

Why Conservative Arguments on Gay Marriage Fall on Deaf Ears: Kevin McCullough Demonstrates

Obviously the social conservatives are up in arms about the gay marriage ruling. But their arguments don't seem to have any effect on those who don't already agree with them. The reason for this is simple: they refuse to deal with reality, and instead insist on basing their views on premises that are laughably ridiculous to anyone who actually knows anything about gay people, or the animal kingdom at large. Garbage in, garbage out. If you refuse to deal with people as they are, and treat them instead as you wish they were, it is easy to see that results will be poor. Ironically, that is the very argument conservatives throw at liberals on issues like reform of prisoners, and here it comes home to bite the conservatives on the ass on the issue of gay marriage.

Enter Kevin McCullough, to give us a nice walk-through of all the fictions and inconsistent reasoning social conservatives hide behind when it comes to gay marriage. Right out of the chute McCullough hits us with a cornucopia of confusion.

"The sexual behavior that one chooses to engage in, will never be equal to the status of a person's race. Confusing these two truly different concepts is dishonest. And those who claim otherwise do so for manipulated outcome to redesign society.
Normal people have understood this since the beginning of time."

It is a testimony to the resistance social conservatives have to acknowledging facts that conflict with their ideology that someone in 2008 could still think gayness is based on chosen sexual behavior. One could make quite an effective case that homosexuals were all insane based on such a premise, given the drawbacks of such a choice. Oh, but then there's that little problem of a complete lack of evidence for that.

It is also a testimony to their logical deficiencies that they'd think it matters. The issue at hand is the attributes society decides should be off-limits with regard to discrimination in the law. There is nothing about this that requires said attributes to be immutable. After all, religion is another trait deemed so off limits. It would seem it is McCullough and his crew that are dishonestly confusing different concepts for a manipulated outcome.

And as if to cement the case that McCullough's is an ignorant, almost childish description of the issue, we get his "normal" crack at the end of paragraph one. I confess I don't think I've seen an appeal to "normal people" since the 3rd grade. Needless to say, McCullough and his cohorts have had no better luck over the years in defining such a term as my cohorts on the playground did. It's use is a confession of a lack of intelligent argumentation. The rest of McCullough's ill-thought out article follows in similar regard, using Coulteristic histrionics and worn out social conservative canards.

We get the civic court canard, as we are told the California court is an activist one, tyrannically forcing its view on society. Earth to Kevin: that's what courts do in a constitutional democracy. That's what the "constitutional" part means: limiting what the majority can do. McCullough and crew no doubt know this, since they never scream "activist court" when the courts rule in their favor. It's pure politics.

We get the "preventing my force is force" argument. McCullough would use force to prevent homosexuals from being married. The court now said this is not allowed. Thus, in typical theocratic style, McCullough and crew interpret this as inflicting force on them. The way he talks, one would think the ruling said that all people MUST enter homosexual unions. The idea of just leaving people alone to enter unions of their choice is anathema to McCullough.

We get the slippery slope canard, where this decision is going to lead to polygamy and/or group marriage. The questions never answered are "why, and what would be the harm?" Over and over again people like McCullough jump up and down about the horrors of having marriages other than one-man-one-woman, yet they are never, ever, able to objectively describe what those horrors are. Don't expect any different in this article, he never gets there either.

We get more of the lack of understanding of what it means to be a homosexual:

"Choosing to act on those urges - defines the individual's sexual orientation."

No, no, a thousand times no. It is the desire, the urge, the attraction to others of the same sex, that makes one homosexual, just like it is the attraction to those of the opposite sex that makes one heterosexual. A priest who is attracted to women but stays true to his vows of celibacy is just as much of a heterosexual as I am. On the other hand, an actor (say Heath Ledger) playing a gay character in a movie may make some of the choices in question, but that doesn't make him gay. This really is very simple, but again, the dishonesty abounds on the right side of the debate, simply for political purposes.

We get the immutability-from-god argument, with the usual scientific ignorance we've come to expect from the crew that thinks Intelligent Design is science:

"A woman who is African American, can no more be a white woman the next day regardless of how much she wished to (if she even would). Likewise a Latino man could not go to bed one night at 5'8" and wake up the next morning to find he was black, 7'2'', and the starting center for his local NBA franchise. Race and other truly genetic based parts of life - skin color, height, shape and forms of features are pieces of ourselves that only God Himself had the choice in determining."

McCullough, as he's shown in other articles, is completely DNA ignorant. The fact that it is conceivable that a black woman would undergo genetic manipulation and be a white women the next day is unfathomable to him, as is the medical operation done to potentially 8 foot tall people to keep them at a more common height. McCullough still lives in the dark ages, where animals have divine essence, and any tinkering with them is "playing god".

"Yet one overwhelming fact stares them in the face at every turn. God designed it so that only the sexual union of a man and a woman can create a life - and therefore extend society and civilization."

Ah, the ignore-reality canard. I guess McCullough has missed all the medical advances in the last, oh, 50 years or so that allow people to produce children with a variety of sexual unions, or none whatsoever. Or perhaps it is just another case of ignoring them because they run counter to his ideology. All it takes is an egg and a sperm and a warm place to grow, and even those barriers are liable to come down in the near decades.

Even granting the premise, perhaps McCullough forgot the fallacy of composition, that what is true for individuals is not necessarily true for groups, and vic versa. Human society only needs SOME people to form egg-sperm unions to extend society and civilization. Having some couples form that cannot bear children does not impede that, and given the problems with overpopulation the earth has, having more such couples might be optimal to the survival of the species.

And finally, in the spirit of Mark Foley, Larry Craig, Ted Haggert, and the many other rabid anti-gay proponents who turned out to be gay themselves, we get the ubiquitous "down the throat" analogy:

"Ultimately the citizens of California are smarter than the four arrogant black robes who sought to push an agenda down the throats of the voters."

I note with great interest the frequency of such vivid analogies in anti-gay screeds. It ranks right up there with Ann Coulter's obsession with anal sex and sex with animals. Perhaps they need to be told that if someone with an attraction to the same sex pretends it doesn't exist and instead chooses to engage in heterosexual activity, that does not make one a heterosexual. It makes one a homosexual in denial of reality. They've certainly got the latter down.


Anonymous said...

"It is the desire, the urge, the attraction to others of the same sex, that makes one homosexual, just like it is the attraction to those of the opposite sex that makes one heterosexual."

What if it's a one time urge (or a summer's worth), like some teenagers have, possibly because of the "forbidden fruit" aspect of it?

Anonymous said...

Many people who tend to lean conservative, such as myself, have no issues with gay people. I know that being gay isn't simply a choice. I'm also entirely anti-religious.

But I'm against gay "marriage" only in the sense that (look at the quotes) "marriage", is based on religion. In The United States of America, we protect citizens' right to religion. If someone's religion states that "marriage" is strictly between a man and a woman, then that's how it should be.

Now time to tell you about why I quoted "marriage" so much. Obviously, gay people want to be able to express their love for one another and reap the financial benefits of "marriage". Why not? I have no problem with that. But why should we overlook the rights of those who do not want their religious views trampled upon?

Gay people should be able to be joined like "marriage", reap the benefits of "marriage", but without having the religious ceremony (obviously a priest would probably not agree to it). They could have their own ceremony, and be joined by a government official like you currently can.

Bottom line: The people who are anti-gay marriage because they think being gay is wrong are ridiculous. But there are other reasons to be against gay marriage besides hatred or prejudice. Even though I don't believe in religion and in fact, dislike it all together, doesn't mean religious people's rights need to be overlooked any more than gay people's.

ScienceAvenger said...

"But why should we overlook the rights of those who do not want their religious views trampled upon?"

Because there is no such right. You can believe whatever you like, but you can't make other people behave that way too based on religion. That's the whole problem we are having with the radical Muslims. They think if they declare something forbidden based on ther religious views, that the rest of us have to stop doing it. It doesn't work that way, not in a country with a first amendment like ours.

I think you are on the right track though. Given our religiously diverse society, the answer is probably for government to recognize only civil unions, and leave all the marriage talk to individuals and their churches.