Monday, May 6, 2013

Like Rams Butting Heads (Part 1)

Commenting on internet blogposts can be a good thing, and they can also be a big time-waster. They can be good because I have learned a lot from other people, and they can sometimes be a big time-waster when people that you are commenting with don't read your responses and end up replying back to you with points that don't even address your main points or arguments at all. And it feels like rams butting their heads.
But, for the audience involved, I think that reading the exchanges can help, nonetheless.
I linked recently about the historical development of (R)2K (link), and about 100 something comments ensued. I had an exchange with "mikelmann", and it started off promising, but in the end, it was very disappointing.
(Mikelmann is talking about DTM's post about (R)2K).

mikelmann says: "I have previously reviewed your inability to discuss these things in a principled manner. This post is a new low."

(DTM provided an exchange in which Michael Horton said that he could possibly affirm civil arrangements for homosexual couples.)

CL says:     "Mikelmann, No doubt people have very vigorous feelings on both sides. I am always open for discussion and exchanging of ideas. In terms of DTM's arguments, it would benefit everyone involved if you could put forth an argument as to why you feel that he is wrong. I am always very interested in engaging and I feel that this would benefit all.
     In terms of Dr Horton's response, let's give him maximum benefit of the doubt when he says that he opposes homosexual unions, marriages etc... I have read his original article and to me, it is clear that he does oppose them. So, in that, if DTM did imply that Dr Horton does not oppose these acts, then DTM did err.
     The meat of Dr Horton's response is in the second to last paragraph. Dr Horton says: "Being open to affirming a civil arrangement that allows partners inheritance, insurance, and other economic benefits, is NOT being open to same-sex relationships."
     I can understand why Dr. Horton attempts to make this point. I could easily see of instances in which say, best (non-homosexual) male friends could fit into this "civil arrangement" for economic purposes. Part of the difficulty with this situation is that, for instance, economic benefits are specially tied to married couples and not to others. This suggests a temporal reflection of how people have originally recognized that marriage is indeed a special relationship, unlike other relationships. If these economic benefits did not exist, does this denigrate marriage? No, of course not.
     So, from a moral standpoint, MUST you be married in order to receive these benefits? No. I should be able to receive economic benefits from my best friend, sister, cousin, whomever, if that person should choose to give it to me.
     I can see how Dr Horton is trying to make a case for "civil arrangement" and trying to do it on the fact that the partners know each other, without having to affirm their homosexuality involvement.
     Even from a theoretical standpoint however, they are involved with each other not simply because they are friends, but because they are in a homosexual relationship. Their involvement is of an homosexual intent. So, the distinction that Dr Horton is trying to make is forced and artificial. He is trying to make a distinction between them knowing each other well and being in a homosexual relationship. Again, they know each other well **because** they are in that relationship together. There is no distinction to make. Those two people would never have been involved with each other if they were not in that homosexual relationship.
     Because Dr Horton does not recognize that a distinction cannot be made, he can of course conclude that his position on civil arrangements does not promote same-sex relationships. When you approve of a civil arrangement, you are by definition affirming the relationship that is brought about the civil arrangement. By affirming the relationship, you are affirming the basis that brought about the relationship.
     So, while I can understand Dr Horton's attempt, logically speaking, you cannot recognize the distinction that he is trying to make. And while he is saying that he is against homosexual unions, he is not taking the logic train far enough in understanding that civil arrangements by its very nature affirms the relationship between two lesbians and the homosexual basis behind it.
I do believe that he is against homosexual marriages and unions. However, he doesn't realize that his position on civil arrangements does logically lead him to affirm homosexual unions and activities.
     Now, from a practical standpoint: Even if we could logically make that distinction for civil arrangement purposes (which we can't for the reasons I stated above), the other problem is that the general homosexual community sees this as an opportunity in to "normalizing" the homosexual agenda.
     Dr Horton is correct that through the issue of homosexual unions, and now homosexual marriages, the lobby is not interested in equal rights. However, he then contradicts himself by saying that the issue is really about equal "affirmation" of both "types" of marriages. Those two concepts of "rights" and "affirmation" are really the same thing.
     Additionally, there is a broader issue at stake here, and that is that the homosexual agenda is really gunning for the silencing of any voice that is opposed to their agenda.
It isn't an issue of equal "affirmation".. It is an issue of using the state to force their agenda on everyone.
     Take a look at the GLAAD website and read their article about Jim Duggar's son joining some conservative ethics group. GLAAD was very adamant in seeing what they could do to bring a lawsuit against the TV station that airs their reality show. How is this a demonstration of being "tolerant" of other viewpoints if you are trying to sue someone?
     The homosexual agenda is not interested in equal "affirmation". They are interested in actively silencing any opposition. Just look at the news.. You will see reports of a bakery in Oregon being sued (and homosexual marriage isnt even legal in Oregon, yet......) because the Christian baker denied a lesbian couple a wedding cake.. Of course, the news doesnt tell you that that couple has been a client of the baker's for years before, and he knew that they were homosexual. He provided them their cakes for whatever other social (non-marriage) events that they were holding."

mikelmann says: "Christopher, I appreciate that you have put thought into this. The commenters tend to come off as fawners or crowds with pitchforks, so you are a bit of a surprise.      I think it's helpful to first delimit what we are talking about.  We are not talking about the legalization of homosexual behavior, which has been legal for quite some time.  We aren't talking about legalizing the cohabitation of gays either. As for gay rights in general - outside of what traditionally attaches to marriage relationship - I don't think (though I'm not certain) those are being affected either; my state already had gender alongside race, etc., as a protected civil rights status.  We aren't talking about gay behavior or marriage within the church. If one pauses to digest what we are not talking about it may be easier to talk about in a rational way.
     What we are talking about is a bundle of rights and obligations that the magistrate attaches to marriages.  As far as mere civil unions are concerned, we're talkiing about things like inheritance, tax status, and the necessity of divorcing to terminate the bundle of rights and obligations. The current case before the SCOTUS on the Defense of Marriage Act, for example, boils down to whether a lesbian will be heavily taxed on what she will inherit from her gay spouse.
     I oppose gay marriage in the church obviously and also oppose gay marriage by the magistrate. I believe "marriage" tends to give tacit approval of the relationship, and that giving that approval may make it more of a stigma than it currently to morally opposed homosexual behavior. But I could be wrong. It may well be the case that public opinion is moving fully in the direction of fuller acceptance and that label would do little or nothing that won't happen anyway.
But even given my opinions against gay marriage, I don't think it should be a test of orthodoxy. Consider the WLC on the 7th commandment:
     "The sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required, are, adultery, fornication, rape, incest, sodomy, and all unnatural lusts; all unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes, and affections;all corrupt or filthy communications, or listening thereunto; wanton looks, impudent or light behavior, immodest apparel; prohibiting of lawful, and dispensing with unlawful marriages; allowing, tolerating, keeping of stews, and resorting to them; entangling vows of single life, undue delay of marriage; having more wives or husbands than one at the same time; unjust divorce, or desertion; idleness, gluttony, drunkenness, unchaste company; lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays; and all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others."
     The moral law of God says a lot about what is forbidden in the broadly sexual realm. Is it a matter of orthodoxy that a man must be in favor of the magistrate sanctioning all of them?  If not, why is one being selected? Probably because "we" are taking our marching orders from the culture warriors and have become so politicized that we have lost the ability to consider things biblically.
As far as responded to Darrell - with whom I have had many conversations (some profitable) I am reminded of petitions that prisoners draft and send to judges. They raise, in rambling form, all kinds of legal issues some of which are outlandish and some of which are kinda sorta plausible. The judge has to address all of them. Well, DTM gets his pixels from a big barrel, and I just don't have the time to address all of what he says. Suffice to say I think his perspective is highly politicized and more intended to stir people up than to inform."
Part 2 next....

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