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More Marriage Responses

Continuing my discussion with POUNDS from yesterday…

So, absent the religious belief that the purpose of marriage is to procreate (and your very interesting assertion that it serves to “tame” the beast that males essentially are), what function is served by having the civil law decide who to include or exclude?

This question almost strikes me as a non sequitur. If we establish that society benefits from promoting the ideal of a mother and a father at the head of a family, then, absent any religious considerations, it makes sense that society should encourage that ideal in the civil law by holding to marriage’s current definition. What societal benefit comes from equating a non-marriage relationship – same sex, multiple spouses, or whatever – to marriage?

And you can spare me the response about incest.

I don’t have one.

(I mean half of the Oklahoma Panhandle would already be ……… no wait I better not finish that thought. Although, I am reminded of the old joke about “What do you call a 13 year old girl in Alabama who can run faster than her 14 year old brother?” ……. Answer: a virgin)

That’s the old face of Alabama. This is the new one:


The other question I have is: How do you determine which “foundational principles of civilization” are so immutable that they are beyond evolution, refinement, or even outright abolition? Certainly things like slavery, polytheism, women as chattel, primogeniture, and many other concepts were historically considered to be foundations of civilization. Later we came to realize that changing or eliminating them were the true measures of a civilized society.

This strikes me as a bit of a feint. Are you arguing that marriage is equivalent to slavery? You’re right that we shouldn’t revere marriage solely because it’s ancient, but it seems as if you’re suggesting tossing it out for the same reason. I think marriage’s long pedigree means it should not be tossed aside lightly, but I also think there are demonstrable societal benefits that argue in its favor. Antiquity is certainly a consideration, but not the only one.

Surprisingly, I really don’t feel that strongly, either way. I was just asking some questions. I would like to understand your perspective better. Personally, I think those with the most to gain from the legalization of gay marriage will be divorce lawyers!

Respectfully, POUNDS

Well stated, sir.

Now let’s move on to Abbot of Arbroath’s comments:

No your not a bigot or a homophobe or filled with hate – simply a reducationist.

I looked up “reducationist” and came up empty. Redactionist? Reeducationist?

Marriage existed before Christianity and before nation states – something people in the US get confused with since their country was formed after both ideas had taken ground.

Yes. Although I think this point favors my position – i.e. marriage is a fundamental element of civilization that should not be tampered with lightly.

Marriage is not immutable as a defined good: Women were material wealth once, some family connections through marriage are forbidden in come countries some not, inter religion marriage was illegal, inter racial marriage punishable by death, divorce was illegal or at other times divorce was easy.

All this is true, although I think it’s tangential to the topic at hand. Marriage has had much baggage attached to it over the years, much of it unpleasant, but the central nature of the institution has always been between a man and a woman.

Ironically to your case, polygamy is the GOLD standard of marriage and that is YOUR beliefs.

I, personally, am the preeminent authority on what I believe, and I can categorically state that I don’t believe polygamy to be the gold standard of marriage.

Marraige is between a man and women. Now, if you dont have the cojones to stand up and act according to your scriptural beliefs and fight the federal and state laws then thats your beans

You’re creating a straw man here, one who believes that polygamy should be legal. That’s not me. I’d be happy to discuss the theological issues involved, but you’re misrepresenting my position.

(it would also address the reality of decreasing attendance Roll as ineffective missions would be replaced by highly effective pregnancy!)

Again, you’re wandering far afield. Low conversion rates by Mormon missionaries are a separate discussion entirely.

I am sympathic to polygamy on religious grounds – does not mean I would ever want one! In South Africa, a liberl democracy it is a right and the President has 3 wives.


So pretending marriage arrived in 1620 or was revealed from heaven intact is wrong.

Again, by making that point, you’re arguing with someone other than me.

The LDS church has been against every form of social progress since its inception ( and same sex marriage is no different).

That’s certainly debatable, but it’s changing the subject. A topic for another day, perhaps.

Even the LDS church will whitewashes its past and adopt a different strategy. Mormons are survivors first and foremost.

Look, I know you’re no fan of the church, but my purpose in discussing these things is not necessarily to defend or even be consistent with any supposed LDS official position. I think there’s a reasonable, secular case to be made that redefining marriage is a rotten idea, and that’s the case I’m trying to make. You can maintain that what I’ve said is going to get me in trouble with my Mormon overlords, but I find that discussion to be singularly uninteresting.

Religion, Politics, and Holy Matrimony
Winding it Up

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  1. thansk for my typos riminder!!

    My problem with your opinions on same sex marriage is that you seem to think that you can separate your ideas on marriage from your religion and its cultural input. Everyone’s worldview is largely created for them and handed down and none more so than LDS.

    Contrary to popular opinion I am a fan of the LDS church- I made a choice to not be a member – what I am not a fan of is political stances which are contradictory to established and accepted doctrine. As for placing current events within a framework based on past events and patterns is not an attack but pretty logical. Addressing success or lack of success of LDS growth on the social stances and backwardness of opinions is NOT a leap from your posts but very much linked.

    But, I have an appointment with the Doctor – as in the Tardis version!

  2. You want to dismiss Stallion’s secular arguments because he can also come to the same conclusion on religious grounds. I believe Stallion has already explained the folly in that kind of thinking. (See his example of smoking and a Mormon Surgeon General from Wednesday’s post.)

    You also claim Stallion is trying to separate his ideas on marriage from his religious and cultural input. He stated very clearly that his opinions are (at least partially) informed by his religion. (Same post.)

    Regardless, it is troubling to me that it bothers you that someone’s opinions and thoughts (even on a seemingly secular issue) might be informed by their religion. How is religious influence any less valid than the influences that surround you?

    Why not just debate the merits of the argument, rather than getting hung up on the source of the argument? If Stallion’s arguments are bogus, the source of his opinions won’t matter much. Similarly, if his arguments have merit, why discount them because of their origin?

  3. “Everyone’s worldview is largely created for them and handed down and none more so than LDS.”

    That’s kind of funny. Sorry to go on a tangent, but I can’t ignore this. I mean, if you’re talking about pioneer stock Latter Day Saints, it might be a possibility. And yet, in this day and age, it’s not very likely that even their worldview is simply what was “handed down” to them. You chose not to be a member. Is that because your Mom or Dad said, “Watch out for those Mormons! They’re a big cult”? Or did you grow up a member (I don’t know your background), you studied it, and you were skeptical or concluded that you could not live by its precepts. Well, more power to you. Better that than to blindly follow circulating rumors.

    In turn, you might want to choose your words a little more carefully and give more credit to Latter-Day Saints (and other religious groups) in their doctrinal convictions. We don’t live in boxes. We read books, listen to the radio, watch TV, live among and love people of other faiths and lifestyles, and we take conflicting viewpoints into consideration at many times in our lives. For most Latter-Day Saints, from pioneer stock to first generation converts, there has been much questioning in the face of opposition, and the final conclusion to continue believing (or believe more) in based on personal experiences and logical conclusions in connection to those experiences. And those conclusions have nothing to do with the people who “handed down” the ideas to us. We actually come to these conclusions as powerfully as you concluded that you would not be a member.

    Besides, for many Latter Day Saints, the doctrines connected to marriage are not just a matter of faith and the accepting of commandments, procreation, etc. They are also logical and sociological. Men and women, who each come in a million different flavors, have great strengths that can strengthen the other sex and influence one another to stretch and grow tremendously. As has been asserted repeatedly, children benefit from the unique qualities that each parent brings to a marriage. Heterosexual marriage is usually not sterile, while same-sex marriage always is (without a 3rd party). Also, in the healthiest and best-developed marital relationships, love has surpassed the stage of compelling physical and emotional attraction and has entered the stage of decided and intentional love and service. Sexual fulfillment is not a matter of chance, but is created by a desire to give fulfillment to a partner who you love and respect.

    Now I’m not saying that such service and fulfillment is impossible in a same-sex couple. What I am saying is that such can be achieved in a heterosexual marriage where one partner has dealt with same-sex attraction at some point. All of the above is a matter of choice, of decision. Two men and two women can choose to love, serve, and fulfill one another; or a man or woman who has found themselves attracted to the same-sex can also find someone of the opposite sex who they can come to appreciate enough that they can create such fulfillment. The same sex couple which rejects heterosexual unions must admit that they are choosing to reject the possibility of loving someone of the opposite sex. They consciously close the door on the idea of creating children together as a pair. They are rejecting marriage as it was initially defined. They are choosing an alternative union. So why not celebrate that they’ve chosen an alternative? Why the need to redefine marriage so they can adopt the title?

  4. I think that this is not an issue of allowance or agency. This is not just about rights. It’s about advocacy. Redefining marriage to include same-sex unions advocates homosexuality in the state, courts, and schools. It will eventually eliminate the right of individuals or groups to openly state their contradicting viewpoints. I wonder if, and it would be understandable indeed, many homosexuals dream of a world where homosexuals are considered no different from heterosexuals. Again, this would be understandable. And frankly, as far as laws and basic civil rights (voting, freedom of speech, full protection by law from violence and discrimination, tax benefits, etc.), this is very reasonable. Actually, it is imperative. A person is a person is a person, and all are created equally. No group should be treated like second class citizens. But if parents are to eventually live in a world where it is illegal to teach your children that man and woman are meant for each other and that the greatest joys are to be found in a traditional marriage, then I’m scared. If young men and young women, who all reach delicate and confusing ages in their lives (I was kissed by a lot of boys AND girls as a little girl) are to be taught by society that they must conclude they are gay and forever close the door on the benefits of heterosexual marriage, then much will be lost. Because this may start as rights and benefits, but through political correctness, lawsuits, public education leaders, the media, and community movements, the right to gay marriage will eventually trump the right to traditional beliefs about gender and marriage. Do you think this won’t happen? It already has in some states.

    No, if the state and country must eventually redefine marriage, the rights of individuals and religious and social groups which do not encourage it must be protected in some way. Otherwise, the oppressed becomes the oppressor. Though the supposed “oppressor” in this case, religious groups including the LDS church, have no intention of being oppressors. Denying advocacy is not oppression. Denying membership is not oppression. You cannot have it all. Life is about choice, and you can unchoose your choices.