June 22, 2005

Yet Another Gay Marriage Post (Warning: Long with lots of Insane People)

This past Sunday NYT Magazine had an interesting (front page) article about the people who are in the anti-gay marriage movement. Not the leaders, but the footsoldiers - the people who hold local meetings, stand out and get signatures for petition drives and organize towns or counties. The article makes the case that the movement isn't really about preventing gay people from marrying, but is actually (gasp!) about a large segment of our population being blantantly homophobic and, well, unchristian. Some quotes:

But for the anti-gay-marriage activists, homosexuality is something to be fought, not tolerated or respected. I found no one among the people on the ground who are leading the anti-gay-marriage cause who said in essence: ''I have nothing against homosexuality. I just don't believe gays should be allowed to marry.'' Rather, their passion comes from their conviction that homosexuality is a sin, is immoral, harms children and spreads disease. Not only that, but they see homosexuality itself as a kind of disease, one that afflicts not only individuals but also society at large and that shares one of the prominent features of a disease: it seeks to spread itself.
''The gay activists are trying to redefine what marriage has been basically since the beginning of time and on every continent,'' she [Laura Clark, a local anti-gay marriage activist in Maryland] said. ''My concern is for the children -- for the future.''

That's right: gays have been trying for millenia to change marriage. It's a fairly well organized effort: meetings every second Thursday, small dues, a secret handshake and a decoder ring. Oh, and the knowledge that you've joined an organization that is as old as recorded history, but is still secret and still unsuccessful. Don't forget the punch and cookies!

Meredith Fuller, who is 37 and works as a comptroller for her church, said that it was in talking with Laura that she came to realize the dimensions of the issue. ''I used to feel that as a Christian my job was to deal with political issues from a prayerful standpoint,'' she said. ''Now I think this is the defining issue of my generation, and I want to take a stand.''

Yes, with war in Iraq, global Islamic terrorism, global warming, a moribund US manufacturing base, Social Security, Medicare and two consecutive Presidents that arguably did more to damage the US Constitution than Nixon ever did, the defining issue is gay marriage. That's real insight.

I found what Racer [Laura Clark's Pastor] had to say on the subject of homosexuality a clear and direct summation of the views of the others Laura had invited over that night and of the other anti-gay-marriage activists with whom I spoke. ''The Hebrew words for male and female are actually the words for the male and female genital parts,'' he told me. ''The male is the piercer; the female is the pierced. That is the way God designed it. It's unfortunate that homosexuals have taken the moniker 'gay,' because their lifestyle and its consequences are anything but. Look what has happened in the decades since the sexual revolution and acceptance of the gay lifestyle as normal. Viruses have mutated. S.T.D.'s have spread. It shows that when we try to change the natural course of things, what comes out of that is not joy or gayness.''

That's right, I forgot. The millenial old get-gays-married-secret-organization did have some success at destroying the social fabric of this country back in the 1960s and 1970s by convincing at least some people that homosexuals are, well, people and have rights too. Does that make the organization 1 for 2 or 0 for 2? (Destroying social fabric, except when it's old courdoroy, being generally a bad thing.)

The others in Laura Clark's living room, sitting with paper plates balanced on their laps, nodded and added supporting sentiments. Explaining how homosexuality resembles an insidious disease, Racer said, ''If you have a same-gendered union, you have no natural, biological way to propagate your philosophy.'' So, he explained, it seeks to spread itself by other means, including popular culture. Bryan Simonaire added: ''We have to recognize that they have a strategy to propagate their lifestyle. Think back 10 or 20 years ago, when you had the first openly homosexual person on TV. It was shocking to a lot of people. Now it's the norm on television, so you don't have the shock factor. Then they had two men with a passionate kiss on TV. That's the road they're heading down. They have a strategy.''

Seriously: think about the mindset here. Homosexuality is like a virus, using other life forms to propagate itself, since two gay people of any sex can't reproduce (well, except for all that technology that allows them to). If you understand that these people see homosexuality like AIDS - a deadly virus, one that they associate clearly with AIDS itself (read the article) - then it does make sense logically: viruses need other life to propagate. The gay "virus" takes over someone, then uses that person to form part of a movement (millenial old, still secret, no successes at marriage yet, but punch and cookies) that influences the mass culture to be more accepting of people with the "virus", so more people get taken in, which spreads the "virus", which is what viruses are genetically programed to do. These people are not fighting to keep marriage "traditional", but are part of a larger fight to save civilization from a malevolent virus that seeks to destroy "normal" civilization in order to propagate itself. Nutty, but logical. By the way, in this next passage the Pastor decends into outright insanity:

Her pastor, however, opened up in answer to the same question and told me that his early encounters with homosexuality had actually influenced his approach to the ministry. When he was 14, he said, his father worked as a route salesman for The Baltimore Sun, and he sometimes went with him on predawn deliveries. ''In West Baltimore, I saw transvestites for the first time,'' he said. ''It creeped me out. I had been taught in Bible school that there is an extended level of depravity, and this was it.'' Later, Racer was working for a greenhouse and got to know a lot of florists. ''You'd be amazed how many people in the floral industry are homosexuals,'' he said. ''And that's where I became curious. How do you put it together, that they've chosen to do something that I have such an aversion to, yet I'm finding I can see them as real people?"

Yup: transvestitism just means you're gay. Also, flowers make you gay. Is this part of the secret master plan? Take over the floral industry, then paralyze the country when...I dunno, how does this work?

To see marriage as in any way a secular or legal union of two individuals is to miss utterly the point and conviction of the Christian forces lined up against gay marriage. As Dobson [Head of "Focus on the Family", and a big-deal wacko] states in his book: ''To put it succinctly, the institution of marriage represents the very foundation of human social order. Everything of value sits on that base. Institutions, governments, religious fervor and the welfare of children are all dependent on its stability.'' Every activist on the ground I spoke with said something similar. ''Marriage was defined thousands of years ago and has served us well,'' said Rebecca Denning, a retired secretary in southern Maryland who volunteers alongside Evalena Gray. ''I think marriage is about procreation and families. And I think we're getting into something that we don't truly understand what the ramifications will be.''

See, marriage is the keystone to everything. I mean everything: governments, social organizations and civil society. Without those, we literally don't have anything: food, oil, electricity, water, everything (this is probably actually true). If you really believe that marriage is the foundation for everything else (like, say, Constitutions), then this might be the fundamental battle of out time. But that's a hell of an assumption (that isn't backed up by any scholarly or reasonable research that I know about). Finally, we get this bit of wackiness:

Once the definition of marriage is altered, in this view, you will have this group of people declaring they want to marry that group; middle-aged men will exchange vows with children or with Doberman pinschers. As the landscape of fear fills in, the picture comes into view. It is Hieronymus Bosch's ''Garden of Earthly Delights,'' a phantasmagoria of sin and a complete breakdown of the social order. As Bryan Simonaire, Laura Clark's friend, put it: ''Once you start this, you could have a 45-year-old man wanting to marry a 9-year-old boy. That could be O.K. in 20 years. That's what you get with relative moral truth. Whereas with absolute moral truth, what was O.K. 50 years ago will still be O.K. 20 years from now.''

Yes, another veiled reference to Senator Rick Santorum's famous "man-on-dog love" speech. That's right: the homosexual movement are just pawns for those with real power: the vast, silent hordes that want to make love to their family pets. Remeber, these people really believe this.

I also especially like the part about "absolute moral truth", and how it never changes. Oh really? Slavery? Martin Luther? Extending voting to women? Racism? These things were known with "absolute moral certainty" at one point or another. Should we change back, now?

My only caveat to this is the same with all stories that involve interviews with small numbers of people: do these attitudes really represent the views of the people behind the anti-gay marriage movement, or did the author meet with a skewed sample (or did the author pick these people to make a point, and intentionally bias the article). We have no way of knowing. The author argues that these people represented the average position of all the people he talked with, but we have no way of verifying that.

Still, these people vote. And they are, clearly, insane. Several hundred years of Liberal (Locke, Rousseau, Madison, etc.) thought have clearly not penetrated very far into these people's attitudes. How do you reach them? Is it worth the effort?

Posted by baltar at June 22, 2005 10:58 AM | TrackBack | Posted to Politics

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