Erasing the "I" from Marriage

Conservative candidates pledge to uphold the Christian version of Shariah.

Every few years, the stars misalign and some social conservative comes out and does the political equivalent of baying at the moon. In the wake of 9/11, Dinesh D’Souza penned a whole book explaining that Osama bin Laden attacked the United States because Hollywood makes movies depicting America as a decadent, promiscuous country instead of a modest, God-fearing one.

And last week, an Iowa-based religious outfit, FAMiLY LEADER, asked presidential candidates to sign a pledge to defend traditional marriage and fight Islamic law, or Shariah. The trouble is that the steps that the four-page document lists to defend traditional marriage are tantamount to imposing Shariah.

Incredibly enough, only one candidate, Gary Johnson, has issued a statement condemning the pledge as “offensive” and “intolerant.” Two candidates, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, actually signed it, and Tim Pawlenty mulled it over long and hard and then released a video saying that he likes the principles in the pledge, but he wants to talk about them in his own words. (Nicely triangulated, Mr. Pawlenty! Positively Cintonesque.)

The pledge triggered an uproar because its preamble included a statement—now withdrawn—implying that black kids were better off under slavery, when they had a better chance of growing up in a two-parent family. But that is far from the only wacky thing in the document, whose author, Vander Platt, is regarded as a kingmaker in Iowa’s conservative circles despite being a three-time failed gubernatorial candidate.

Pledges can be useful devices to pin down politicians congenitally wired to evade and equivocate. They commit candidates to firm positions on specific issues—“no tax increases,” “no voting against a woman’s right to choose”—making it harder for them to sell out once in office. But the marriage vow is not really a pledge. It is a manifesto to turn back the clock to medieval times and remake America around “Christian and Jewish scriptures,” just as the Taliban seek to remake Muslim societies around Koranic scriptures.

Even its more innocuous elements betray a disturbing megalomania. It proclaims that “faithful monogamy is at the heart of a designed and purposeful order” and asks candidates to vow personal fidelity to their spouses. But that’s something the candidates are likely to have already done before priest and God at their nuptials, right? Making them re-pledge must mean that the group thinks it has powers beyond the divine. Talk about holier-than-thou.

But the personal vow is the least Talibanesque aspect of the document. It doesn’t recommend the stoning of gays and fornicators, but it lays out a multilayered plan to ensure their social and political marginalization.

It denies that “non-heterosexual inclinations” are genetically determined, which implies they are a matter of choice and therefore a sin. It requires candidates to “vigorously” oppose any effort at any level, statutory, bureaucratic or court-imposed, to redefine marriage as anything other than the union of one man and one woman. No same-sex marriage, bigamy, polygamy, or polyandry—just in case, you know, Lady Gaga decides to acquire a harem of boy toys.

It also requires candidates to engage in “earnest, bona-fide” advocacy of the Defense of Marriage Act so that states that don’t want to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states don’t have to. But since that would still leave room for gays to legally marry somewhere in the United States, it demands that candidates push for a constitutional amendment protecting the traditional definition of marriage. In short, it launches an all-out jihad against gay rights—to hell with niceties like state’s rights.

Moreover, since traditional marriage requires traditional gender roles, the pledge has many nifty ways to keep women in the kitchen, barefoot, and pregnant. It calls for a ban on women in combat—for their own protection, of course—and asks the candidates to recognize that “robust childbearing and reproduction” is good for the country. Meanwhile, it also wants to protect women and children from pornography, something that will require a ban, although the pledge, showing admirable restraint, only hints at one.

More fundamentally, the pledge shares not just an animus toward gays and a retrograde puritanism with Shariah. As under Islamic law, the individual is persona non grata. Just as Shariah elevates the religious community over the individual, the FAMiLY LEADER elevates the family over the individual. Notice the cute lowercasing of the “i” in its otherwise uppercased name. What’s more, it proudly calls its marriage vow “A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family,” implying that free, independent individuals are an impediment to healthy marriages and families, not their essential building block. As if to drive home just how inconsequential an individual is, it uses the term only once in the main text, leading to some rather awkward linguistic constructions.

The pledge asks candidates to “support the elevation of none but faithful constitutionalists as judges or justices.” But a faithful constitutionalist who doesn’t uphold the rights of individuals would be an oxymoron. The U.S. Constitution, after all, seeks to protect the life, liberty, and happiness of the individual—not the fecundity of the nuclear family. It says that all men—meaning individuals and not families—are endowed with rights.

FAMiLY FIRST would take the individual out of the Constitution—or perhaps, it would prefer, the CONSTiTUTiON.

Shikha Dalmia is a senior policy analyst at Reason Foundation and a columnist at The Daily. This article originally appeared at The Daily.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    I wonder if Bachmann will got to Hell when she finds out there are gays In Heaven.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    That's assuming there are no gays in hell. But if they're in both places, it's a wash.

  • ||

    SHiT!

  • SIV||

    SHARiAH!

  • Colin||

    +1

  • Hank||

    GIRL HYPERBOLE FIGHT!!!

  • ||

    Bachmann looks as crazy as Jared Loughner in that photo.

    Sue me.

  • SIV||

    That's why Michele is running. She saw one of those Sarah Palin maps with cross hairs on Pennsylvania Avenue!

  • ||

    Look at her poofter husband behind her going all Broadway.

  • Ska||

    The picture makes me think she would have made a great character on Arrested Development.

  • MWG||

    Brilliant!

    Her husband, OTOH, looks like he's getting a blow job... from a man of course.

  • OO||

    pray the BJ away!

  • Tricky Dicky||

    You're not gay if you only play from the pitchers mound!

  • OO||

    maybe but ur definitely in the game

  • wildbillnj||

    Apologies if I missed something...
    Where is this photo of which you all speak? I don't see it...perhaps my browser is fubar...

  • ||

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com.....wth/40117/

    Nothing to do with the article, but the double entendres that flow from an article that equates larger penis size with smaller economic growth is an important topic.

    Has US growth stalled because American men have ginormous dicks?
    discuss.

  • ||

  • ||

    South Park already covered this.

  • ||

  • Sudden||

    One has to wonder if the regularly impressive GDP growth rates in East Asia and the routine genocides, lack of basic civil institutions, and corresponding abysmal economic output of Africa might have skewed this analysis beyond any plausible causal relationship.

  • Amakudari||

    Countries achieve lower growth rates when they're already prosperous. They also have better nutrition. You'd probably find the opposite relationship between real GDP (not growth rate) and "male organ (cm)."

  • SIV||

    It denies that “non-heterosexual inclinations” are genetically determined

    Have you tried "praying the psuedo-science away" Shikha?

  • ||

    What the fuck are you talking about, Bachmann-slobberer?

  • SIV||

    Attributing "non-heterosexual inclinations" to genetics is pseudo-science.

  • Recessive Jean||

    ^^THIS^^

  • Tony||

    Even if being exposed to show tunes in the womb is what causes homosexuality, that would still mean that genes are the inherent cause--genes that express a reaction to show tunes. Everything is genetic.

  • Toolbag||

    Only if you choose to be a slave to your genes.

  • Tony||

    I've got blue eyes. When I successfully will them to be brown, I'll let you know.

  • Old Salt||

    You can keep your damnable blue eyes; I've been trying for years to will my genes to turn me into the Dos Equis guy!

  • Toolbag||

    Tony, Oour genes can drive us to do all sorts of things they don't just determine who we are physically. Genes also have an impact on how we behave. Your genes will tell you to have children, in your case I hope that you choose not to.

  • ||

    Everything is genetic.

    Because, if everything is not pre-determined by your genes then you might actually be personally responsible for the choices you make?

    Murderers and pedophiles are simply a product of their genes? Science H. Logic you are an imbecile.

  • Tony||

    However much you want free will to be a reality, nature doesn't really give a crap.

    Surely psychopathy is not something people consciously choose to suffer from. There's even evidence now that political belief is determined biologically.

  • Realist||

    "Everything is genetic."
    I pretty much agree with that, but you are responsible for your actions....genes or no!

  • Tony||

    I think human beings have pretty much figured out how to make people responsible for their actions. Our project now should be to figure out how much of that is misplaced--after all it's based on a heavily free-will-based concept of human action.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Damn it Tony, we went over this. "Genetically determined" is far too strong an expression. Biologically determined is true. Genetically predisposed probably is true also.

  • Zeb||

    Well, yes, until someone identifies genes that cause someone to be gay, it is not really scientifically established fact that it is genetic. It think it seems likely that gayness is to some extent genetic, but as far as I know no one knows for sure.
    But what difference does it make if it is? Even if it were a 100% conscious choice to be gay, people should be able to do whatever they want to if it doesn't violate anyone else's rights.

  • Realist||

    "It think it seems likely that gayness is to some extent genetic, but as far as I know no one knows for sure." This is true. But do you remember trying to decide whether you wanted to suck dick or screw??? Who would decide to be gay and be an outcast and possible be killed???

  • Metazoan||

    You won't find a gene that makes someone gay. Genes code for proteins, duh. There's no point in looking. Far more likely is that the regulation of genes, and the heritable methylation and chromatin modification patterns are a part of the cause for attraction to something other than the opposite sex. Nothing in biology is "always."

  • ||

    Let's say you're right and it is pseudo-science to say it's genetically determined. Let's say it is a choice. Does that mean it deserves any less protection under the Constitution? It's pretty amusing to see that people's opinions of issues in regards to their religious views are irrational because religion itself is inherently irrational.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MarylandMike,

    Let's say it is a choice. Does that mean it deserves any less protection under the Constitution?


    No, it means they do NOT deserve any special consideration beyond their rights as individuals.

    The problem with the language in the FAMiLY LEADER "pledge" is that it purports to determine what those rights are. This is where I agree with Shalmia's wariness, her obnoxious bigotry against traditional marriage notwithstanding.

  • Tony||

    Sounds like you favor special rights for heterosexuals.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Sounds like you favor special rights for heterosexuals.


    Sounds like you need glasses. WHERE am I leading you to think that, you moron?

    Point it out, and if sound, I will give you an effusive apology. I DARE YOU.

  • Tony||

    Your defense of "traditional marriage" against Dalmia's "obnoxious bigotry." Seems like you support marriage but want to keep its trappings exclusive to heterosexuals.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Your defense of "traditional marriage" against Dalmia's "obnoxious bigotry."


    AND? What the FUCK does that have to do with wanting special "rights" for heterosexuals?

    Seems like you support marriage but want to keep its trappings exclusive to heterosexuals.


    You made that one up, Tony. My comments on Shalmia's bigoted views on traditional marriage does not mean I purport to keep marriage as an exclusive contract for heterosexual people.

  • Tony||

    What is "traditional marriage"?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    What is "traditional marriage"?


    You're shifting the focus, Tony. My comments on Shalmia's views do not have anything to do with me wanting marriage to be ONLY traditional - again, you made that one up.

    Shalmia's views on Traditional Marriage can be bigoted and obnoxious, would you agree? And if so, can't I point this out without becoming the de facto defender of Traditional Marriage?

    Or the next time I defend a Latino, will you call me a Spic-lover? I mean, you would HAVE TO, for the sake of consistency.

  • Tony||

    Sorry for interpreting your hypersensitivity as evidence of a political belief. I get distracted from the obnoxious bigotry directed toward heterosexual marriage sometimes, what with the total denial of equal rights in the law with respect to gay marriage.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I get distracted from the obnoxious bigotry directed toward heterosexual marriage sometimes, what with the total denial of equal rights in the law with respect to gay marriage.


    You might learn something if you stopped being blinded by the "it's my right" canard.

    Traditional Marriage is between a man and a woman according to religious rites. That does not mean a) You can't marry someone or b) You have a RIGHT to a traditional, church marriage; the particular church has every right to deny you the rite, as their right to freely associate with whomsoever the church wishes.

    You CAN and SHOULD BE ABLE TO marry anyone you want: That's the libertarian stance. What you CAN'T DO is force a church to marry you and your partner which, unfortunately, is what some homosexual pressure groups want. The proof is in the many churches protesters have entered by force, despite the real fact there are other churches that will marry homosexuals.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Sorry for interpreting your hypersensitivity as evidence of a political belief.


    For you, everything is a political belief, even the holding of principles. That says more about YOUR character than mine, Tony.

  • Toolbag||

    So, if I interpret this correctly, what you are saying is the government should stay out of this whole marriage thing. Which I whole heartedly agreed with. So no more tax breaks. My only concern is how diorce laws will work as well a Military benefits for being married.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Toolbag,

    So, if I interpret this correctly, what you are saying is the government should stay out of this whole marriage thing.


    Not only out - WAY out. What is driving this Traditiona Marriage vs Homosexual marriage absurdity is the fact that government treats married couples differently than single people, despite the principle of "equal protection of the law."

    So it all comes down to money - who would've thunk it?

    My only concern is how diorce laws will work as well a Military benefits for being married.


    Well, most churches already annul marriages, including the Catholic church. And even if they were not granting annulments, one can perfectly take the other person to court to settle the terms of the contract between each other.

    As for the military, the government and the mercenary can perfectly strike a deal of protection of his widow (or her widower, as the case may be,) and children. You do NOT need government to determine who can marry and who cannot just to fix an issue between mercenaries and the State.

  • Toolbag||

    Military members are often granted extra money for housing. Rent in some of the places military are stationed is not affordable on a military pay check as well as healthcare. So if the solution is to pay military more then awesome. When it comes to divorce I am more worried about the laws that are on the books. Laws that determine what alimony may be or what the spouse recieves in the event of divorce. Things like that. But as with anything I am all about getting the government out of it. You would think the church would be all about it to.

  • Zeb||

    The military should give everyone the same amount of money for housing regardless of marital status. Why should an unmarried person be compensated less for doing the same job?

  • White Ninja||

    Maybe because a family of 4 wouldn't fit that well in a one bedroom.

  • Tony||

    What "homosexual pressure groups" want to force churches to perform marriages against their will?

    Now, many churches have rethought their position on this matter, and more surely will, and if activists want to engage in free speech in order to try to convince religious organizations to change their stance, I don't see why you'd have a problem with that.

    I really don't give a crap what particular sects of sky-god worshipers want to do in their own buildings. I really don't think there are gay activists out to destroy the 1st Amendment, but I could be mistaken. All I care about is equal rights under the law.

    Though you might find some who would take issue with your claim that traditional marriage needs to involve a church, particularly those in non-Christian sky-god worshiping sects.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    What "homosexual pressure groups" want to force churches to perform marriages against their will?


    http://www.soulwinning.info/evils/homosex/riot.htm

    http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/abbott/110214

    And it only took me a couple of minutes to find them.

    [...]and if activists want to engage in free speech in order to try to convince religious organizations to change their stance[...],


    Entering private (church) property is not exercising free speech, it is trespassing and bullying.

    I really don't give a crap what particular sects of sky-god worshipers want to do in their own buildings.


    Good! Many homosexuals do NOT agree with you, I am sorry to have to tell you. THEY DO CARE and have BULLIED churches in order to make them comply to THEIR wishes.

    All I care about is equal rights under the law.


    Then you're barking on the wrong tree. Government-sanctioned marriage, whether heterosexual or otherwise will NEVER guarantee "equal protection" for individuals.

    Though you might find some who would take issue with your claim that traditional marriage needs to involve a church, particularly those in non-Christian sky-god worshiping sects.


    Traditionally, marriage has been always a religious rite, whether vows are taken in front of a god or gods or the Good Earth; hence "Traditional Marriage is a religious rite."

  • Tony||

    Even those off-the-beaten-path examples you gave don't say anyone trespassed or assaulted anyone. Even gay people have the right to freely assemble and petition churches to change their views, don't you think? Whoever said churches had a right never to have their dogmas challenged?

    Government-sanctioned marriage, whether heterosexual or otherwise will NEVER guarantee "equal protection" for individuals.

    Meh, there are various reasons governments subsidize or encourage marriage. Some I consider valid, others not so much. But it's beside the point because it is very unlikely governments will stop doing so any time soon, so we might as well guarantee equal rights to gay people.

    Anyway, this is an individual rights issue--heterosexual individuals have the right to marry, while gay individuals do not.

    Traditionally, marriage has been always a religious rite, whether vows are taken in front of a god or gods or the Good Earth; hence "Traditional Marriage is a religious rite."

    Marriage has always involved the state, as it has always been a contractual thing. It's just that the state and the church were traditionally intertwined when such things were thought up. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make by distinguishing civil marriage from religious marriage--the latter is just a ritual some people like going through.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Even those off-the-beaten-path examples you gave don't say anyone trespassed or assaulted anyone.


    "La-la-la I can't hear! I can't see! It's not happening!"

    Even gay people have the right to freely assemble and petition churches to change their views, don't you think?


    They don't have a right to enter private property to demand something - you're equivocating. I can't assemble a group of malcontents inside a church to ask them to stop worshipping God and then claim I am exercising my "freedom to assemble." If that were the case, a rapist could perfectly allude to a right to reproduce.

    Whoever said churches had a right never to have their dogmas challenged?


    They have a right to private property and freedom to deny access to whoever they wish, just as you have a right to deny access to your house to anyone that requests it.

    Anyway, this is an individual rights issue--heterosexual individuals have the right to marry, while gay individuals do not.


    Anyone can marry. What you're talking about is State-recognized marriage. That is an entitlement, not a right.

    The problem with a State-recognized anything is that you give the State the power to control it, to exclude or include as political expediency dictates.

    Marriage has always involved the state, as it has always been a contractual thing.


    That's a lie, Tony. If a marriage contract is brought to a state official for arbitration, that would be a post facto event.

    It's just that the state and the church were traditionally intertwined when such things were thought up.


    Even when church and "state" were intertwined, State involvement in marriage agreements (and births and deaths, for that matter) is a relatively recent thing.

    I'm not sure what point you're trying to make by distinguishing civil marriage from religious marriage


    The point being that making marriage a right places certain churches at risk of being sued for non-compliance. The point is that marriage (the ceremony, the rites and pageantry) is NOT a right, it is a service. You can enter into a contract and call it a marriage, but you cannot demand a marriage from an unwilling church, which is what certain homosexual-rights groups want and the reason they have targeted certain churches.

  • Maya||

    Please name ONE "homosexual-rights" group that has demanded that the law force an unwilling church to perform a marriage ceremony.

  • Wiregeek||

    Citation Needed.

    Mostly because you're making things up out of whole cloth..

  • MJ||

    It is a denial that two people of the same sex can be "married" to each other. The word does not fit such an arrangement, it is a category error.

  • Tony||

    But that's blatantly false--gay people are married all the time in certain jurisdictions.

  • MJ||

    They are not married. That a juridaiction has ignored what the word "marriage" means does not mean that those couples are married in any true sense. Just as a juridations has declared pi to be equal to 3.2 does not mean that the areas of circles in those jurisdictions are equal 3.2*r^2.

  • Zeb||

    Sorry, MJ, that's a crap argument. The value of Pi can't change. The definition of a cultural institution such as marriage most certainly can. And guess what? It has!

  • MJ||

    No, it has not. Marriage has been bastardized in some places by people seeking cosmic justice. All that has been done is to remove the reasoning which justifies marriage's existance as a social instition, and replaced it with nothing.

  • Tony||

    married in any true sense

    True sense? As in, sanctioned by your imaginary friend in the sky?

    The only relevant issue is how law defines marriage. Increasingly it defines it to include gay couples. The word "marriage" has no rights, but people do!

  • MJ||

    "True sense? As in, sanctioned by your imaginary friend in the sky?"

    I have not justified my viewpoint with any reference to religion, so why the ad hominem? It shows that you know same sex marriage is a fraud and a lie.

    The arguments that justify same sex marriage are arguments against having an institution of marriage whatsoever. There is no reason for society to create an institution to regulate merely sexual relationships.

  • MJ||

    "The only relevant issue is how law defines marriage."

    So, in the jurisdictions which still use the sane definition of marriage, then homosexuals "rights" are not being violated because all that matters is what the law says? So all the juridictions which changed their definitions of marriage under court order are now illegitimate, like in Massachusetts.

  • Zeb||

    Have to agree with Tony here. If you think that marriage is only between a man and a woman, tough shit, take a look around. That ship has sailed already. Many countries and many states in the US now have legal marriage for gay people. Even before that happened, some religions did. This is now an argument that can easily be settled by looking at simple facts: marriage includes same sex couples now.

  • MJ||

    "Many countries and many states in the US now have legal marriage for gay people."

    And those places are wrong.

  • Tony||

    Wrong according to what?

  • Edwin||

    Tony I think it's fine you want the right to marriage/civil unions, but historically around the world marriage has the majority of the time referred to one man and one woman. The social/society arrangement is as big if not a bigger element in that word than is the actual relationship between the two people. Modern ideas about love and romance are also kind of ancillary - the whole point is that it's a universal set up among cultures to create social harmony in the realm child rearing and the household economics therein.
    So I would not call gay marriage "marriage" strictly speaking, even where a gay couple may be more faithful, in love, or devoted to each other (again, like I said, modern ideas about romance are kind of ancillary). Ditto mormons with multiple wives. Ditto swingers.

  • ||

    There is no such thing as "traditional marriage." There's only "marriage," which is definitionally what everyone always thought it was, until this last bit of neo-gramscian wordplay.

  • MJ||

    Saying that homosexuality is not geneticall determined is not the same thing as saying it is a choice. Genetics does not determine everything. That's the sophomoric understanding of science.

  • SIV||

    It's a profound misunderstanding of science.That the belief is widely held among the"educated" shows they are, well to put it kindly, DUMB AS ROCKS!

  • Tony||

    Do you contend that the heterosexual inclination is determined genetically?

  • MJ||

    Heterosexual inclinitions are functional sexual incliniations. Whatever has disrupted the useful sexual inclinations in homosexuals does not need to have the same origins as functioanl sexuality. Just as blindness or asthma does not need to have a genetic explanation to exist.

  • Tony||

    For something to be classified as a disorder it needs to inhibit normal functioning in the world. Homosexuality does not, and is not classified as a disorder by any respected scientific body.

    It's another gross misunderstanding of biology to say that heterosexual sex is the only legitimate kind, and anything else is a disorder. Do you suppose that any nonreproductive heterosexual sex has no adaptive basis?

    The fact is that human sexuality (and that of thousands of other species) is much more complex than "this fits in that hole and makes a baby." There's evidence that homosexuality and female fecundity are genetically linked. There are also possible social roles that homosexuals play that could contribute to the survivability of genetic kin.

    The bottom line is observation: homosexuality, in thousands of species, appears to be a normal variation on sexuality. That it persists in stable numbers is evidence that it provides some measure of adaptability.

  • Tony||

    Let's not forget as well that often, tribal cultures and many civilizations held homosexuality in much higher esteem than the dominant monotheistic ones do today. Homophobia is an artifact of, among other things, Abrahamic religion--particularly its obsession with patriarchy. In a real way homophobia is more unnatural than homosexuality.

  • MJ||

    Most of those civilations tolerated pedastery, but for a older powerful man to be in the "female role" was a scandal. The mores may be different from Christendom, but they also were not what modern gays mores would want it either.

    P.S. "Homophobia" is a null concept. When I see someone using it seriously, I know that I am reading the thoughts of propagandizing fool.

  • MJ||

    It inhibits normal functioning in the individual if the individual is exlcusively homosexual.

    To suggest that homosexual behavior has some sort of survival function and not a birth defect, you have to demonstrate that it does not merely speculate on such possibilities.

  • Tony||

    Homosexuality is more like red hair--a normal variant on a trait--than a birth abnormality.

    There are plenty of studies on this and I encourage you to look them up. There is evidence of a genetic link between homosexuality and higher female reproductive success. If this is so, then there is no call whatsoever to call homosexuality abnormal. It's simply a normal variation on a trait.

    What I hope you can agree with is that whether something provides adaptive benefits is not sufficient to treat it as valued by society, or to weigh it as important to the current understanding of marriage laws. We don't police nonreproducing heterosexual couples--they can get married for whatever reason they want. And we don't tell people with birth defects that they can't get married.

  • Sidd Finch||

    "Homosexuality is more like red hair--a normal variant on a trait--than a birth abnormality."

    This is retarded.

    "There is evidence of a genetic link between homosexuality and higher female reproductive success."

    No, there's not.

    "What I hope you can agree with is that whether something provides adaptive benefits is not sufficient to treat it as valued by society,"

    Everyone agrees with this, dipshit. We just also happen to know that very few traits are "genetically determined." Liberals normally blame environmental influence on everything; people are born equally smart, hardworking, and violent until teh evil capitilisms ruin the soul. But on the homosexual issue, you go from the absurd nurture is everything to the absurd nature is everything.

  • Tony||

    Sidd, I think political beliefs ought to follow scientific truths, and not the other way around, don't you?

    We just also happen to know that very few traits are "genetically determined."

    Is that so?

  • Sidd Finch||

    I think political beliefs should be informed by science. "Follow" and "truths" are too strong for most science relevant to public policy IMO.

    "Is that so?"

    Yes, I don't think you understand how strong an expression "genetically determined" is. Take height as an example. One might say one could be genetically determined to be very tall but not genetically determined to be 6'6". But even that is too strong. You still need pre and post natal nutrition along with avoiding numerous other problems, all of which are influenced by both the genome and the environment, to be just taller than average. There just aren't many things that are 100% genetic or 100% environmental.

  • Tony||

    Okay I think we're on the same page now... It is relevant that whatever the combination of genes and environment, there still is very little room for conscious choice.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Yes, you don't have a choice about what you like. If you like murder, the government should lock you up if you act on that. If you like non-hetero sex, it's none of the governments business how you act on that.

  • MJ||

    "There is evidence of a genetic link between homosexuality and higher female reproductive sucess."

    If so, then the higher female fecundity cancels out the reproductive failure of the homosexual males in those lines. The success of a genetic line is more limited by the numbers of breeding females than breeding males. That does not mean that such a trait is not a defect for the individual males. Comparison to red hair is incorrect. Having red hair does not impair a basic biological function like reproduction, being exclusively homosexual does. A better comparison would be to sickle cell anemia, which can be a reproductive survival trait in areas with a high incidence of malaria, but where malaria is controlled is view as a genetic defect.

  • Tony||

    If higher fecundity among female relatives makes up for the lack of offspring from gay males, then who are you to say it's a disorder? It's simply one among many genetic strategies. If a gay uncle can help raise more children than another family with no gay uncle, then that contributes to his own genetic success. There has to be a reason homosexuality persists despite it appearing, on the surface, to be quite maladaptive.

    Still, I fail to see the point of this. Do we forbid nonfertile heterosexuals from marriage? They suffer the same "defect" you're placing on homosexuals.

  • MJ||

    "If a gay uncle can help raise more children than another family with no gay uncle, then that contributes to his own genetic success."

    You do not understand. The homosexual males of such a line don't have to contribute anything to the raising of children, as long as the females are overproducing offspring. The trait would be superadaptation in females but a maladaptation in males, but as males matter less to the survival of a genetic line than females, the homosexual males of the line are a genetic write off. If homosexuality is genetic or enviromentally caused condition then it is potentionally treatable or preventable.

    Whether homosexuality is chosen, genetic or enviromental does not matter to whether same sex couples should be included under marriage. What society created the institution of marriage to regulate does not apply to same sex couples, because they are same sex. There are no reproductive issues, and there are no gender differences. There is no reason for society to care about what homosexuals do with each other, unlike heterosexual couples.

  • MJ||

    "...then who are you to say it's a disorder?"

    A condition that impairs a basic biological function like reproduction in an individual creature is by definition a disorder.

  • Edwin||

    "For something to be classified as a disorder it needs to inhibit normal functioning in the world. Homosexuality does not, and is not classified as a disorder by any respected scientific body."

    Oh yeah, let's see you say that when you get colon cancer!

    I KEED I KEED!!!

    sorry I just had to get that one out there

  • SIV||

    Let's say it is a choice.

    You said that, not me, bigot!

    I said science does not show a genetic cause for "non-heterosexual inclinations". That is a statement of fact, not opinion.

  • ||

    Wow! Reason has been on fire lately showing editorial independence (I never really questioned it).

    SIV would be unhappy.

  • ||

    STFU CHRISTFAG BUSHPIG!!!1

  • ||

    I should have trademarked those.

  • PIRS||

    Independence FROM who or whom?

  • SIV||

    TALiBANESQUE!

  • ||

    I hope I get to vote for your girl in the Georgia primary.

  • PIRS||

    Which one?

  • ||

    I meant Michele. If its Sista Sarah instead that will be fine.

  • Untermensch||

    What's with publishing the same articles multiple times lately? This one was published here a while ago (or at least linked to where it appeared on The Daily).

  • SIV||

    Maybe they didn't like the comments on the last one?

  • Old Mexican||

    Incredibly enough, only one candidate, Gary Johnson, has issued a statement condemning the pledge as "offensive" and "intolerant."


    See the cheap shot against Ron Paul?

    Ah, Reason, Reason... tsk, tsk, tsk.

  • ||

    I agree 100%. Reason is probably my favorite magazine because of the objective nature in which they look at things. However, there are too many articles that Dr. Paul is left out of. He is a true libertarian. This just goes to show you, that even while reading reason, at times you need to realize that you are reading the work of someone that has their own agenda, not a true journalist.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Libertarian guy,
    Agreed. And the problem is not pointing out that Gov. Johnson has spoken against the pledge, the insinuation behind Shalmia's comment is that one would have to SPEAK against the pledge to be AGAINST it, and not just NOT SIGN IT. Shalmia is thus needlessly raising the bar.

    I haven't spoken against the pledge because I don't need to: I simply have not signed [and I know I would not have been given the opportunity to sign it because I am not running for public office, but I am making a point here.] Does that mean I am giving my tacit acceptance?

  • -||

    the objective nature in which they look at things

    Libertarians don't believe that objectivity is real or possible. Which makes their arguments rather pointless, no?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Anonymous,

    Libertarians don't believe that objectivity is real or possible. Which makes their arguments rather pointless, no?


    Speaking of non sequiturs...

  • Bill||

    Michael Gerson had an article the other day that mentioned 3-4 people who refused to sign it and he did not mention Paul or Johnson.

    Gingrich also would not sign it, which raises my opinion of him a bit.

  • Brett L||

    Newt defending the Christian ideal of marriage might be the final straw that brings down the lightning strike.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Why is that a cheap shot?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Rev. Blue Moon,

    Why is that a cheap shot?


    I already explained it, BM, but here it goes:

    The problem is not pointing out that Gov. Johnson has spoken against the pledge, the insinuation behind Shalmia's comment is that one would have to SPEAK against the pledge to be AGAINST it, and not just NOT SIGN IT. Shalmia is thus needlessly raising the bar.

    I haven't spoken against the pledge because I don't need to: I simply have not signed [and I know I would not have been given the opportunity to sign it because I am not running for public office, but I am making a point here.] Does that mean I am giving my tacit acceptance?

  • sarcasmic||

    Both of those religions frown on murder.

    I suppose we should repeal laws against murder because they are examples of religious intolerance.

  • ||

    Both religions require the killing of non-believers - but just not murder.

    "If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you ... Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die." -- Dt.13:6-10

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm pretty sure the New Testament takes precedence over Deuteronomy.
    Not that I really care. I don't need an invisible friend to know the difference between right and wrong.

  • fyngyrz||

    "I'm pretty sure the New Testament takes precedence over Deuteronomy."

    Nope. Jesus, as reported in Matthew 5:17 "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."

    Also: 5:18 "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

    Seeing as how at least the earth has not passed, the OT is still fully authoritative for Christians who actually read the bible (a minority, I readily admit.)

  • ||

    Pledges can be useful devices to pin down politicians congenitally wired to evade and equivocate. They commit candidates to firm positions on specific issues—“no tax increases,” “no voting against a woman’s right to choose”—making it harder for them to sell out once in office.

    LOL! No, wait, you're serious? Hell, that doesn't make it harder on the politicians. Their PR people and their butt-monkeys in the media may have to work harder but that's what they get paid for.

  • Old Mexican||

    But the marriage vow is not really a pledge. It is a manifesto to turn back the clock to medieval times and remake America around "Christian and Jewish scriptures[...]"


    Uh, sure... So, I got married because I was suddenly nostalgic.

  • SIV||

    NOSTALGiC!

  • ||

    What is up with the husband? Is he remembering the time he finally accomplished the autoblumpkin?

  • ||

    *Googles "autoblumpkin"*

    I will thank you for increasing my word power once the nausea subsides.

    Also, I really can't wait until her husband is caught with a rentboy. It's only a matter of time.

  • ||

    I'm hoping meth, poppers and a big pair of lips drawn on someone's ass-cheeks in blood-red lipstick all play a part.

  • Bill||

    They're both F*&^%'n crazy. You can tell by their eyes.

  • ||

    Were black kids more likely to grow up in a 2 parent home when they were slaves? Just asking.

  • jtuf||

    *Sigh*

    Well, Bachmann is of my good list. That took less than a month.

  • ||

    She is a hell of a woman. The more I hear about her, the more I want her to be President.
    Remember, you've got to go through hell to get to heavan.

  • AustereAustrian||

    I hope you're joking

  • Quiet Desperation||

    Actually, I think he was dissing Palin.

  • ||

    I don't think I'd trust her to do my taxes.

  • Brett L||

    You think any auditor is going to want to spend days going through your records with her. Hell no. Audit complete by the end of day 1.

  • Number 2||

    "Just as Shariah elevates the religious community over the individual, the FAMiLY LEADER elevates the family over the individual. Notice the cute lowercasing of the “i” in its otherwise uppercased name."

    I thought the small "i" was just bad spelling.

  • ||

    "tantamount to imposing Shariah" Hyperbole alert!

    Are they going to force us to pray 5 times a day? Do I have to make a Pilgrimage? Will women inherit half as much as men? Can I marry up to 4 wives?

  • -||

    Just as long as they don't impose Sarah.

  • hazeeran||

    While I'm not convinced this actually will produce tangible anti-liberty effects if Bachmann somehow becomes #45, this really doesn't display a liberty-friendly attitude. She still believes in using the force of government to promote her view of morality.

  • hazeeran||

    To be as bad shariah, that would hinge on just how seriously books like Dueteronomy were taken seriously by the men with guns, and I don't know what either the Missouri or Wisconsin Synods thinks about Mosaic law.

  • SIV||

    My reading of the pledge is that the only overt exercise of political power called for is mounting a legal defense of DOMA.

  • Quiet Desperation||

    Are they stIll takIng volunteers for the one way trIp to establIsh a colony on Mars? What? That was just a wIld idea? Oh. Guess I'll just stay here, then.

    I need to have my DNA checked. I cannot possIbly be the same specIes as these people.

  • GregorySmith3||

    Christian version of Shariah? Are you kidding me? Does Shikkka even know what Shariah is? Why do they let a Muslim write here? For Chrissakes, Muslims can't be libertarian! The word Islam means submission, these people are basically slaves of Allah!

  • Colin||

    What makes you think she's a Muslim?

    'Cause she has a foreign-sounding name?

    Crawl back under your rock, you xenophobic fuck.

  • ||

    Because she lives in the Detrout area?

  • Max Stirner||

    How are Christians not slaves of Jehovah? Are you trolling? I could say Christians can't be libertarians but that would be wrong.

  • ||

    Because Christians have free will? - according to Saint Augustine of Hippo at least.

  • hazeeran||

    Even with different forms of election, a person choosing freely to be a Christian would be well aware of the glorification of the "servant's heart". At least, that gets big play where I live, and they aren't Calvinistic Determinists AFAIK.

  • Zeb||

    I would think that free will would be required for submission to God as well. Free will is a lot less interesting than people think.

  • ||

    Would you still have it after you submitted?

  • ||

    A B&Der; can't also be a libertarian?

  • ||

    If she is Muslim, wouldn't she know what Shariah law is? If she is Muslim or does know what Shariah law is really all about, then she was using hyperbole and is obviously worse than Hitler.

  • Colin||

    I'm just surprised the pledge didn't include a ban on women in politics.

    Bachmann is such a dingbat that she'd sign it anyway.

  • SIV||

    The pledge is largely a statement of belief, not action.Even SHiKHA acknowledges that.

  • ||

    The trouble is that the steps that the four-page document lists to defend traditional marriage are tantamount to imposing Shariah.

    So until about 1970, the United States lived under shariah? Who knew?

  • ||

    The good old days when we used to stone fornicators (and hippies) on Saturday nights.

  • Hayduke||

    I hear even cowboys are a bunch of sexually liberated sissies now.

  • Kroneborge||

    "But the marriage vow is not really a pledge. It is a manifesto to turn back the clock to medieval times and remake America around "Christian and Jewish scriptures"

    Umm, I'm not sure there is much clock turning back here. The majority of people still think marriage should be between one man and one women.

  • Tony||

  • Kroneborge||

    That poll is doubtful. Look at CA which is WAY more liberal than the country as a whole. They still passed prop 8.

  • Tony||

    A Gallup poll is doubtful? Where's the backup for your claim?

    Members of certain churches were heavily motivated to vote in the Prop 8 measure. The outcome was not necessarily a reflection of popular will, and that is changing inexorably toward acceptance.

  • Kroneborge||

    I just gave you the backup. When people actually voted even in liberal CA, it failed.

    It's well known that some people tend to shade the truth a bit when polling occurs particuarly if they think the answer will make them seem to be intolerant.

    But when they go to vote, it's a different matter.

  • Tony||

    So are you saying that majority support is necessary before equal rights are required in this country?

    I'm not sure what you want other than a poll if you're concerned about what the majority thinks.

  • Kroneborge||

    I didn't make a statment one way or the other about how I feel about gay marriage. I simply pointed out that the idea that this is some huge turning back of the clock several hundred years is bullshit.

  • Tony||

    I think that has to do with all the stupid patriarchal crap in the pledge.

  • Amakudari||

    Well, I will say this about Prop 8: many Californians opposed it, but it wasn't a defining issue for them. Many of them stayed away from the polls as it was obvious Obama would win. Single-issue voters for gay marriage are pretty rare.

    In contrast, those who showed up to vote for it cared deeply about preventing gay marriage.

    In other words, I doubt same-sex marriage will be legalized until we're well past 50/50 in any sort of poll.

  • Amakudari||

    And by "legalized" I'm talking about legalization by public referendum. The courts and state legislatures are different matters.

  • ||

    For my next hook-up, I'll try to get with a married woman. Just so I can feel like a bad-ass. Because I defied these people. Fuck yes, I'm awesome!!!1

  • OO||

    speaking as a single guy who dates, too many single women to bother w married women's neurosis...and they're usually outta shape & overweight

  • ||

    You've obviously never been to Charlotte.

  • ||

    This article is ridiculous. Reason Magazine should be the last place to find such a fallacious mound of rhetorical nonsense.

    First of all, homosexuality isn't genetically determined. If Mr. Dalmia did even some casual research, he would know that even the APA rejects that notion. Facts still matter when you're emotionalizing over a social issue that's dear to you.

    Secondly, comparing the protection of traditional marriage "Christian Sharia" is just embarrassing. As if heterosexual marriage was invented by white American protistants in the 1950s. Gay "marriage" has virtually no precedent in in recorded history. Heterosexual marriage is as old as history itself, and to say the tradition stretches beyond christianity would be a gross understatement. Not everyone is anxious for the government to render marriage meaningless by rejecting the only defining factor (gender) by which it has always been defined.

  • ||

    so, you are saying that for marriage to have meaning it must be narrowly defined to the things that you consider "normal". by the way, what evidence do you have that proves your statement that " Gay "marriage" has virtually no precedent in in recorded history. Heterosexual marriage is as old as history itself, and to say the tradition stretches beyond christianity would be a gross understatement."

  • ||

    I'm saying that for marriage to have meaning as it has always been defined, it has to be gender-based. What I "think" has nothing to do with it. Biology 101 and a millennia of social tradition bear out the fact pretty plainly.

    What evidence? Um, basic history and common knowledge. Feel free to research the long and extensive history of same-sex marriage throughout recorded history.

  • Mike||

    Do you disbelieve in evolution too?

  • Some Guy||

    If Gary Johnson runs attack ads against Bachman and Santorum saying that they pledged to impose Sharia Law, I'll donate $50.

    Who else is in?

  • coniefoxdresses||

    Yes,I don't belive Gary Johnson would runs attack ads against Bachman and Santorum saying that they pledged to impose Sharia Law.

  • TWylite||

    Anybody who has been part of a family knows that making it work requires a significant amount of self-denial and discipline. But I don't pay taxes for the government to teach me basic life skills I already know, and wrapped in a particular religious outlook that violates the First Amendment and basic constitutional and legal common sense. Pledges like this are politcal campaign toilet paper. Not worth a whole lot in themselves, but sometimes revealing about the health of the country.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Take away an extra "a" and "r", rearrange the letters, and you get "mirage". Ponder this.

  • Christian Libertarian||

    Homosexuality is definitely a choice. Just like heterosexuality is a choice. Every day I choose whether I'm going to be straight or gay. But because I'm a Christian, and the Bible tells us homosexuality is wrong, I make the choice to be straight. But Satan's influence is always present in this unsaved world. Sometimes when I see a strong young nubile man, Satan tempts me. I really want to be held in his brawny arms, smell his manhood, put my tongue down his throat and prepare my anus. But then Jesus reminds me of Leviticus 18:22. I then shake my head to clear it of Ole Nick's influence and continue on my journey to find a fertile woman. God bless the Constitution.

  • Chad||

    The only way to shield "traditional marriage" states from having to recognize non-traditional marriages from other states is through a Constitutional Amendment. State's rights are defined by the Constitution and may be changed or clarified through amendments to said Constitution.

    Mr(?) Dalmia's statement that an amendment is in violation of state's rights is nonsense. In the amendment process, each state gets a voice. Under the current regime, one single state can enforce its beliefs upon the rest.

  • Jason||

    There is no moral equivalence between Christian fundamentalists who believe in peaceful conversion and Muslim fundamentalists who believe in imposing the death penalty for crimes such as: being a rape VICTIM, refusing to accept an arranged marriage or even holding hands in public.

  • scarpe Nike Store||

    is good

  • nike shox||

    is good

  • قبلة الوداع||

    thank u

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement