View Full Version : MARRIAGE ON TRIAL: The Case Against Same-Sex Marriage and Parenting -Book Review
10-15-2006, 03:49 AM
By Glenn T. Stanton (http://www.family.org/welcome/bios/a0032215.cfm) and Dr. Bill Maier (http://www.family.org/welcome/bios/a0032158.cfm). Two Focus on the Family (http://family.org/) hacks.
This book is famous on all the anti-marriage web sites. I was originally expecting to find outrageous claims and Paul Cameron studies and stats tucked in amongst some gobbledegook of linguistic melee. To my pleasant surprise the book was written and formatted to be an easy read.
As the authors state: “We have designed Marriage on trial as an “equipping manual” that will prepare you to make a reasoned, persuasive case when defending natural marriage and responding to same-sex marriage arguments.” They also go on to state that “It will also provide you with accurate information on the nature of homosexuality...”
The good news is that it was that much easier to spot the double-speak, innuendo and outright dishonesty. To my chagrin however – bless my non-violence aspiring little soul – I now feel I have a better understanding of the rationale behind some of their arguments. And though I may disagree vehemently at times (most of the time), it does afford those like them an increased measure of respect.
One of the things that impressed me was that they addressed at least some of the typical oppositional arguments that we often make.
The book is definitely political, and to that extent it's rife with distortion and deception. So “measure of respect” is intended more for readers and those who may ascribe to certain perspectives regarding this issue yet are devoid of the hypocrisy and furtive conclusions that these authors and Focus on the Family are NOTORIOUS for.
To their credit however, they don't make the effort to portray us as pedophiles. I just wonder how much time effort and research was put into it before making the decision to not include that route.
I’d like to go through this book in-order and will hopefully finish by posting it piecemeal.
Please feel free to comment. I’m especially interested in any specific or substantial arguments or observations that I may miss, and I’ll do my best to ensure that integrity is not lost in translation. However, I am biased, so feel free to correct me or ask for clarification.
10-15-2006, 04:27 AM
Some of these names you may recognize.
Dean Byrd - University of Utah
Warren Throckmorton (http://www.drthrockmorton.com/) - Grove City College
Mark Yarhouse (http://home.regent.edu/markyar/) at Regent University
Stan Jones (http://www.wheaton.edu/president/cabinet3.html) at wheaton College
Joe and Linda Nicolosi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Nicolosi)- National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH (http://www.narth.com/docs/joe-why.html))
Pete Winn (http://www.family.org/cforum/commentary/a0040081.cfm) - Thinker
(Associate editor of Citizen Link)
Virginia Wing - Glenn's summer intern, assembled comprehensive index
Dr. Gary Deddo - Editor at Inter Varsity Press (http://www.ivpress.com/)
Special thanks to Dr. James Dobson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._James_Dobson) - “Our culture is indebted to his inspirational leadership in protecting and strengthening the family.” (family.org bio (http://www.family.org/welcome/bios/a0022947.cfm))
Finally, their wives. Jacqueline and Lisa - “you help us make sense of life, giving it fullness, perspective, meaning, and the sweet mystery of otherness. You are gifts and we honor you.”
And now onto legally ensuring that gays live a life devoid of sense, purpose and completion – oh, and screw their kids too.
10-15-2006, 08:47 AM
“Can we make the gay family just as socially necessary and normal as the natural family?”
-Yes, how can we "make" what already exists "necessary?" Furthermore, how can we do so without being redundant about it?
“To do so is to redefine a fundamental and historic human institution.”
-The inversion of: Everybody else didn't do it, why should we?
“To do so is to deconstruct humanity”
-What, no Hitler reference?
Nothing ominous sounding about any of that, what else can we expect to learn from this book?
“For most advocates the issue is about fairness and access to certain legal and financial benefits. ..for some it is about deconstructing or redefining the family."
Hmmm, so “some” want to “deconstruct the family?” Well since they didn’t use the word most, we can safely assume that the intention of upwards of 49% of gays who want to get married, is to “deconstruct" EVERYONE else's families. Got it.
Nope, nothing ominous or intentionally malicious sounding about that either.
They state rhetorically that if heterosexuals can marry and commit out of love and gain “legal, tax and health benefits,” why can’t homosexuals? and retort that our “case for same-sex parenting is that kids [just] need loving parents...” They go on to torch the place with the assertion: “Let’s be honest here, these argument serve the interest of those making the argument.”
“marriage is never only about the couple.” and “It is always about the larger community...an agreement between a couple and the larger society.” They say “In fact it always includes concern about the next generation as well.”
"Always?" As in just like "all" those Las Vegas and death row inmate weddings?
Well there you have it, the word "always" to Glenn Stanton and Bill Maier means "sometimes." -No relativism there..
-The reasons why “every society needs marriage:” (<remember, we’re trying to deconstruct humanity, deconstructing marriage is just the first step)
-regulate sexuality, keeping it confined to committed, loving, exclusive relationships.
-socialize men channeling their sexual and masculine energy in community building ways.
-protect women from being exploited by men.
-ensure that children grow up with biologically connected mothers and fathers.
First of all, DUH!
This is the strawman that this argument is based upon, the creation of same sex marriage = the destruction of ALL existing marriage. According to that logic I could say that to define Islam as a religion would be to redefine religion. Since Christianity is the only legitimate religion that exists, to legitimize Islam as a religion would destroy Christianity. Without Christianity there is no salvation. If there is no salvation, there is no God. If there is no god, there is no universe. Ergo, to recognize Islam as a religion would destroy the universe.
So technically none of the arguments against same-sex marriage that rely on the "benefits" of "natural" marriage even count. But just for fun let's review from above as to just why “every society needs marriage:”
-Because we all need someone to tell us the social appropriateness between humping a vending machine in public and an actual relationship with another human being.
keeping it confined to committed, loving, exclusive relationships.
-Because the invention of marriage has rendered divorce, remarriage, and cheating on ones spouse obsolete. And everyone who is or gets married loves and stays loved to their spouse.
-‘Cuz we all know how dumb they are.
channeling their sexual and masculine energy in community building ways.
-Mindless sex fiends they are, someone has to point their pointer in a creative direction.
-And just think of the destructive effects that "channeling the sexual energy" of those who actually “define” themselves by their sexuality would have on “community building.” Who would want that kind of societal progress?
protect women [who’s only purpose is to be subservient, barefoot and pregnant] from being exploited by men.
ensure that children grow up with biologically connected mothers and fathers.
-Which explains why divorce, separation, and single parenting are illegal in all fifty states.
Same-sex marriage is incapable of doing any of these things.
There is simply no social need for same-sex marriage.
-Gays are not a part of society. Better yet we don't exist because we're too stupid to recognize we're heterosexual by simply looking at our genitals.
Could society be harmed by too much same-sex marriage. Yes.
-Nice duck. Later they contend that only 1-2% of us are homosexual and that most of us don’t want to get married anyway.
This book then is centered around two fundamental questions.
1 what is the purpose of marriage?
2 are a male and female parent necessary for children?
these questions form the center of the debate.
-Therefore the CENTER of their debate is BASED on a STRAWMAN..er two strawmen..er I mean a strawman and a straw woman.. :rolleyes:
To be fair I can see the concern behind the argument to have a male and female parent, especially biological, but until we can take care of the kids who don't have ANY parents, the analogy comes to mind of a truckload of junk food in some starving villiage in Africa where people are literally dying by the hour. Chips, candy and soda, but because the food that will save their LIVES is not nutritionally "sound," or better yet, nutritionally "ideal," then the only responsible decision to make as a Christian is to let them continue to starve to death.
Even that analogy is too good for their argument against single sex parenting. They already allow single parent adoption!
...ok, deep breath...
Is this book [review] for you?
-Surely gays have the same right to marry as heterosexuals do?
-Isn’t banning gays from marriage, just like banning interracial marriage?
We will equip you to understand and explain how harmful same-sex marriage and parenting can be, and why natural marriage between one man and one woman is so important.
How this book is organized.
-The first section of this book examines and answers the most popular claims of same-sex proponents.
-The second section shows how marriage benefits adults, children and society.
-The final section explores the nature of homosexuality.
-Is it rooted in nature? Can homosexuals change?
-Is opposition to same-sex marriage and parenting rooted in bigotry?
They claim that this debate is NOT about, and notice the wording:
– whether homosexuals conform caring relationships.
– whether homosexuals can be loving parents.
– whether homosexuals should be treated with dignity.
As if those questions aren't dehumanizing enough there's this little topper-offer of a gem:
(We must remember that each of us is a prodigal son or daughter who needs forgiveness from the unbounded grace of the Father)
And as I posted recently, only those who consider themselves morally superior would make it a point to clarify their moral equality. What they "forgot" to add to that statement was their MOTIVE for saying it. -"Some of us are less prodigal than others." Meaning that it's up to those who are "less" sinfull to point out the sins of those who are "more" sinful.
I don't see any pride there in hiding one's own sense of superiority, do you?
Moving right along...
“We need to confront the accusation that if someone is against same-sex marriage than they are automatically homophobic and mean-spirited.” “Both sides can be guilty of this: charges of homophobia on one side and sexual libertinism on the other.”
-Perfect segue. "Both sides can be guilty of this" It's amazing how quickly those who are morally superior to us suddenly become equal when it comes to fault finding.
We're too stupid to realize we should be attracted to what revolts us the most, yet when we get angry about not being understood by those who know better than us, we are equal in responibility. Try it like this:
"Well yes I slap my three year old around, but they slap me too, so both sides can be guilty of this." That's not quite a fair analogy though – we're not even considered equal to three year olds...
“We must ask, is it possible to oppose homosexuality and still love people who are homosexuals?... Pro-gay rhetoric has made it seem nearly impossible for anyone to answer yes to this question...This shift in rhetoric was deliberately made to make any moral criticism seem unloving or cruel”
– Try it now:
“We must ask, is it possible to oppose left handedness and still love people who are left-handed?... Pro-left-handed rhetoric has made it seem nearly impossible for anyone to answer yes to this question...This shift in rhetoric was deliberately made to make any moral criticism seem unloving or cruel”
-Yes, that's the ticket.
Marc steyn notes how simple it was for the shift to take place rooted as it is in the use and power of language.
Stein explains that first same-sex sex was identified as sodomy, an act. Then it was re-described as condition and termed homosexuality. Then a few decades ago. It got “upgraded again.” To mean a person’s identity. Now, it describes who a person is.
“Each formulation raises the stakes: one can object to and even criminalize an act; one is obliged to be sympathetic toward a condition; but once it’s a fully fledged 24 / 7 identity, like being Hispanic or Inuit, anything less than wholehearted acceptance gets you marked down as a bigot.”
Soulforce poster and hypocrite critic Emproph “notes how simple it was for this shift to take place...”
Emproph explains that by equating a person’s sexuality with the physical act of sex itself, one can effectively redefine the person as being separate from their sexuality. The freedom of one’s conscience to judge the sin as opposed to the sinner hinges on this self confirming strawman – thus when the subject insists that their sexuality is a part of who they are, they confirm that they accept their sexual sin as natural and normal, evidence of their sexual confusion.
Emproph goes on to qualify his disembowelment of conscience with the disingenuous adage that "we are all intrinsically sinful," and that "the deviant factor here (homosexuality), is in believing that the nature of sin itself is an acceptable part of who they are." He says that "We must love them unconditionally," he goes on to state "..yet we must also realize that we are morally superior to them due to our uncanny ability to distinguish between accepting sin as acceptable, and rejecting sin as unacceptable." Emproph concludes with the wise admonition that "We must have compassion for those who cannot make this moral distinction."
(that was kinda fun ;) :D)
They go on about how pussyfooting around with this dilemma of theirs is one thing, but that “discomfort with opening marriage and parenting to same-sex couples does not equal bigotry!”
Let's see, you're a morally superior hypocrite who's calling me an idiot yet you don't have enough of a spine to actually say so. How could anyone construe bigotry from that?
They allude to fact that some homosexuals do not support same-sex marriage and that that’s not motivated by bigotry, but is motivated for the same reasons that everyone else has - that “marriage cannot be bent into anything someone desires it to be.”
what this issue is about.
In fact, this issue is not even about homosexuals or homosexuality at all is about the very nature of marriage. We must ask:
I just wanted to add something that occurred to me. Perhaps it’s my fault for not noticing this but the one man one woman definition would solve all of their slippery slope fears. I realize they mention things like polygamy but it comes across to me as a comparison with a gay couple rather than a gay couple being just one concern of many.
And second in that regard, I don’t think they’ve done enough to denigrate gays to warrant the legitimacy of their slippery slope arguments (I mean that). If they just came out and said outright that ALL homosexuals are just too stupid to recognize that they’re heterosexuals and we need laws defining them as such, as much as I obviously would revolt against that, I think their positions and arguments would be more credible and make more sense. Perhaps it's this cowardice on their part that fuels their need to deceive and lie in order to accomplish their ends.
(end sidebar pontification)
We must ask:
-Whether we have the right (or ability!) To redefine marriage so it is elastic enough to include any grouping of adults regardless of gender.
("any grouping of adults?" -And THEY'RE worried about a stretch?)
-Whether a husband and wife need each other.
(I'm going to guess 'yes' on that one, but then I'm gay, so maybe the answer is 'no.' I'm too stupid to know one way or the other. Good thing for this book eh?
-Whether a mother and father are both essential in the process of healthy Child development.
(That reminds me, Just in case our Global Warming plan doesn't pan out, shouldn't our "gay agenda" include the outlaw of all supplements and vitamins?)
-Whether being male or female means anything substantive beyond just body parts and sexual preference.
(of course, because it's not like "the parts fit" is one of their main arguments..)
-compelling societal reasons and public purpose of marriage. :rolleyes:
Let’s start by examining and answering the central claims of those who advocate redefining marriage to include same-sex partners.
Yes lettuce. Tune in again next week to see the harvest of "their fruits" that shall turnip.
10-15-2006, 12:31 PM
I'm glad ta seeya takin' Glenn Stanton on, E. . . .:love:
I find his discussion on marriage the more infuriating of the many I've seen, because he begins with the "fair and understanding" act, but utterly devalues PEOPLE, at the self-same time.
What comes through his subtext loud and clear every time is that he doesn't care a whit about actual human beings, actual families, or actual children, but his rhetoric would suggest that's all he stands for. He was flown out here over a year ago to do a radio debate on the "marriage" amendment, which was the first time I had heard of him - and it's even easier to apprehend his hypocrisy listening to him live.
I wonder what he means by marriage is never about only the couple. That's sure what my husband and I think it's about. . . unless he refers to the fact that since we've been married we've both been in a stronger position to give our energy and caring back to the community around us (which would by extension make Stanton's statement an argument FOR marriage equality instead of the other way round.)
Didja see the NY Times article a couple days back about the floundering condition of marriage amendments this fall? The interviews with voters who vote YES on these things had them quoting their reasons as being, essentially (to paraphrase them now): It just doesn't *seem* proper for a man to marry a man. It just doesn't *seem* right, somehow.
10-29-2006, 01:24 AM
I find his discussion on marriage the more infuriating of the many I've seen, because he begins with the "fair and understanding" act, but utterly devalues PEOPLE, at the self-same time.
What comes through his subtext loud and clear every time is that he doesn't care a whit about actual human beings, actual families, or actual children, but his rhetoric would suggest that's all he stands for. I know you said that before about him but this next one really brought it home. It's one thing to highlight a page and mull it over, but when I start writing it down and look at it, it really starts to unravel. I get these 'aha' moments of subtext, write that down, and then I'm like OMG there's more in there!!
I think that's why I try to be so thorough with my posts. It often seems like rambling, and sometimes I am, but I want to avoid ever being seen like the authors of this book.
I wonder how many die hard FOF fans read this book and were genuinely disturbed by some of it's logic.
I cling valiantly to the hope that they might just happen to be that stupid. Obviously not the case here though, again. They had the FOF empire at their disposal. God help them.
It just doesn't *seem* proper for a man to marry a man. It just doesn't *seem* right, somehow. I can imagine people feeling that way on the surface, but our counterparts are definitely capitalizing on it. Now it's all about supporting "natural" marriage.
I will say this much, they are slick – some sick pups but they do have talent.
10-29-2006, 02:21 AM
Wouldn’t Gay Marriage Make For A more Open And Equitable Society.
-I almost fell off my chair on several occasions while reading This chapter.. and I was in a recliner.
First they set the scene:
“Christopher and Greg live across the street from Lauren and Adam...”
They talk all about how they share common interests and activities. Greg and Adam ride motorcycles together, Christopher and Lauren do pottery together, Greg is teaching their kids to play the cello, yada yada yada: “these couples have a valuable friendship”
Cue dark clouds, thunder and ominous music.
But then Chris and Greg made it known (at the cookout no less) to Lauren and Adam that they were going to get married in “another state,” then come back and sue Florida to have their marriage recognized, in addition to that they wanted one of Lauren and Adam’s kids to be in the wedding. Needless to say, they felt “uneasy” about it and said so.
Several things here. First of all, If you’ve never even discussed same-sex marriage with people you know, no matter how sympathetic they are to your being openly gay, I’d say that’s a lot to spring on someone, especially on a social evening.
I’d be uneasy about it too – we’re all going to get on a plane – we have to because my kid is going to be in the wedding – to go to a Massachusetts courthouse to participate in a same-sex marriage ceremony, with the full knowledge that this is being done for political purposes, and that we may in the future be apart of some media circus depending on how their lawsuit against the state of Florida goes. But to be fair, let's see where they go with this...
As the story goes, Lauren and Adam felt “uneasy” because they wanted to support Christopher and Greg, but don’t support the notion of same-sex marriage. Why? Because if they support same sex marriage, especially in front of their kids, then “their own way of being married would be called into question in the eyes of their children. The meaning of their own family life would have to change...” Translation: Our kids would have to think about it, and we'd have to think about our kids thinking about it.
Oh they’re still friends, but the relationship is damaged. All because of Chris and Greg’s ignorance of their own straight friends' feelings about same-sex marriage, and also how they might feel about themselves and their own child being used as political pawns.
How do the authors portray it? It was Chris and Greg’s fault. "Adam and Lauren were being asked to betray their own understanding and conviction..." They then go on to ominously portend how this is exactly what will happen in “thousands of different ways..” if two people of the same gender are allowed the right to wed.
Let's get one things straight before moving on. By depicting Chris and Greg - a supposed normal gay couple - as wanting to get married for a political purpose, they have just equated ALL gay couples who want to wed as radical homosexual activists.
And now the consequences. Let's see "whether this will foster togetherness and understanding."
It would “alienate “married” gays from gays who don’t want marriage, and gay couples like Chris and Greg from much of the heterosexual community.” -The quotes around the word marriage are theirs. Meaning that they don't even consider gay marriage to actually be marriage, yet somehow this non-existent ghost marriage is going divide gays from gays and gays from straights.
That premise is based on an article they quote from written by Judith Levine to conclude that gay marriage would divide the gay community because it would literally PIT those married AGAINST those who are unmarried.
Got that everyone? Glenn Stanton and Bill Maier, from FOCUS ON THE FAMILY, are against gay marriage because they are genuinely concerned about the detrimental effects it would have on the overall UNITY of the gay community.
Now let’s see how this will separate gays from the heterosexual community.
First they make the case that a relationship “Is just what it is.” But a marriage essentially demands others to recognize that relationship (as being a relationship).
Essentially they can continue to pretend that we, our love, and our relationships are equal to theirs until they are asked to put their idea of marriage where their mouth is – then we’re just a bunch of sick perverts trying to force our idea of “equality” into their non-sick and non-perverted heterosexual minds.
Marriage means weddings, celebrations that require "invitations" to “friends, extended family, neighbors, coworkers...” etc. They go on to say that “..most will hesitate...struggle..but won’t be able to ignore the invitation...forced to have a confrontation...the relationship will suffer.”
So now they’re concerned about the health of our interpersonal relationships.
They go on to list dark and foreboding imaginations of things that might happen, like with invited heterosexual couples, where one spouse supports going and the other does not. Implying that any resulting friction is the fault of the gay couple getting married for sending the invitation. Or say you work with the person and your against gay marriage, you might actually have to tell your gay friend the TRUTH!
Those specific examples are mine but the authors contend and conclude that these potential and indirect consequences of a gay wedding are NOT ONLY the result of FORCE, but that ALL the implications that arise from the disapproval of someone’s wedding are UNIQUE to gay marriages, and thus the FAULT of those gay couples who would get married.
Ultimately what they are saying - without saying so - is that it would for all practical purposes "force" many people to be honest with others that they have not yet had to be honest with. Worse and even more sickening than that is the implication that we are not even worthy of such honesty.
Just another one of their “Christian” arguments in "support" of marriage. Remember, this ‘argument’ began by depicting a supposedly healthy gay couple as too socially inept to know better than to just thrust onto one’s neighbors the demand to fly with them From Florida to Massachusetts, so their child can be in their GAY wedding at a courthouse, in order to come back and sue the state of Florida for not recognizing their GAY marriage there – potentially involving not only the straight couple in a future political and media maelstrom, but also their children.
They ensured that Christopher and Greg – a 'socially acceptable' gay couple – would be seen as “radical homosexual activists,” in order to show that the desire for same-sex marriage is politically motivated, in order to justify depicting our desire to wed as an attempt to “force” them to believe something against their will.
Don't you know, Emproph, that what WE do for ourselves is really always about THEM? ;)
10-29-2006, 11:54 AM
This is the strawman that this argument is based upon, the creation of same sex marriage = the destruction of ALL existing marriage. According to that logic I could say that to define Islam as a religion would be to redefine religion. Since Christianity is the only legitimate religion that exists, to legitimize Islam as a religion would destroy Christianity. Without Christianity there is no salvation. If there is no salvation, there is no God. If there is no god, there is no universe. Ergo, to recognize Islam as a religion would destroy the universe/.
You've intimated a great deal beyond your original aim here. The point being that whatever religion or sexual orientation you are, if you have the hubris to think it's the be all and end all- you're cooked.
Got a match?
10-31-2006, 11:46 AM
Don't you know, Emproph, that what WE do for ourselves is really always about THEM? ;)
So you’re suggesting that I could make a living not playing the victim card exclusively? ;)
I call your wink and I raise you flower :flower:.
10-31-2006, 01:29 PM
This is the strawman that this argument is based upon, the creation of same sex marriage = the destruction of ALL existing marriage.
According to that logic I could say that to define Islam as a religion would be to redefine religion. Since Christianity is the only legitimate religion that exists, to legitimize Islam as a religion would destroy Christianity. Without Christianity there is no salvation. If there is no salvation, there is no God. If there is no god, there is no universe. Ergo, to recognize Islam as a religion would destroy the universe.You've intimated a great deal beyond your original aim here.Mayhaps so, but I just cracked the code to destroying the whole universe, oh it’s out there. We all now know how-to-destroy-the-universe, and there’s nothing any of us can do about it.. except perhaps to remember that fact.The point being that whatever religion or sexual orientation you are, if you have the hubris to think it's the be all and end all- you're cooked.
Got a match?
And here I was just wondering if these wet matches in my pocket would still light – I spilled gasoline on them earlier. Wouldn't it be funny if they did? 'Soon as I post this I'll check.*
Meanwhile I found this neato-cool wallpaper lying around here somewhere, and it reminded me of their straw-man argument, and my straw-man argument...oh here it is, right on my desktop.
I call it Gasoline Soaked Soul (http://www.soulforce.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=77&d=1150808278). It was a toss up between that and "I want a sip of your love, straw innuendo man." Which I thought was just a bit wordy. IMHO anyway.
H, who am I kidding? Should be "IMNSHO."
Yup, that's the one.. :D
On a lighter note, I’ve decided to donate 10% of my sarcasm to sincerities.
* I'm kidding, I'm kidding, I'm kidding
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