Homosexuals and their rights

I posted a blog post earlier in which I argued that according to nature homosexuals cannot be married – that there cannot be homosexual marriage – because marriage is the name we give to the natural estate of bearing children. There were several comments made to the post that I would like to address as a sort of on-going debate, as well as bring to bear some additional arguments I did not make before (but have been made by others). You can read the comments on the previous post here, and I will try and be obvious what I am referencing throughout this post.

As in my previous post (although I was accused of giving false pretenses), I will not argue from the Bible or from any religion save the religion of reason and nature. (By the way, anyone who says we can have a society without religion is in fact promoting the religion of humanity. Don’t be fooled or scared by people shouting that religion has no place – humanity cannot help but be religious which is why even those who say they have no religion still watch beautiful sunsets and admire art and enjoy nature, and why they even have and use words such as “beautiful” “art” and “nature”. To argue that we can be free of religion is a stupid and uninformed argument if there ever was one.)

My argument that homosexuals cannot marry because they cannot naturally have children still stands. Only one commentator tried to refute it, but I will show why her counter argument doesn’t hold water. No one else challenged it. But they gave other reasons why homosexuals ought to be allowed to be married and enter marriage, especially challenging what I said, or didn’t say, rather, concerning taxes and being protected under the laws we currently have.

First to the challenge of my argument that homosexuals cannot marry because they cannot naturally have children. The challenge was put several ways, but it is basically this:

You fail to see infertility in females or males as a natural by-product, as well, meaning that Nature in and of itself does not define marriage by the ability to produce children.

The argument fails because infertility in males and females doesn’t preclude other, fertile men and women from conceiving. If it did, then no one could have children. But in a homosexual couple it doesn’t matter if they are infertile or are as fertile as rabbits, homosexual couples cannot reproduce. The very nature of the relationship prohibits procreation and conception. This is not so with infertile men and women. The nature of the relationship doesn’t prevent conception, the nature of the person does. Of course, this begs the question of whether infertility should disqualify someone from getting married. Of course not. Who knows that they are plagued with infertility until they try to conceive? To prove infertility a person would have to be subject to government tests with or without their consent. Suddenly, simply to lay the argument of fertility as the basis of marriage, all our personal freedoms and rights – heterosexual or homosexual – are at stake. After all, if a person is proved to be fertile, they should be forced to conceive, no? Even if they don’t want to. Sorry, infertility in men and women does not debunk the truth that nature shows us that homosexuals cannot – are not allowed to by nature – be fruitful and multiply (not a religious statement but a agrarian one).

Secondly, my argument was countered with the proposal that homosexuals are being discrimated against in the tax codes because,

In terms of taxes, the tax benefits are hardly just to benefit children. Take shared insurance for example. The way things are, if the partner in a homosexual relationship needs medical care, they are not covered under their partners plan simply because they are homosexual. There are many cases of homosexuals dying of illnesses which could have been treated if they could have been covered under their partners insurance. This is a right that is given 6 months after marriage to heterosexual couples, but even if the homosexual couple has been in a committed union for 10 or more years, they are still not capable of these rights. There are a number of other examples as well such as visitation rights and will’s.

The weak link here is in the third sentence. The homosexual partner is not denied coverage simply because he or she is homosexual but simply because he or she is not married. This is the play-ground “it’s not fair!” plea. Yes, it is fair. It is fair that my partner with whom I have children and who helps me raise those children is covered under my insurance (et. al.) for the sake of our children. The only way to refute this is to argue pure self-absorption and say that I deserve to be covered under my partner’s insurance (et. al.) because, well, they have it and I want it. It amounts to a person telling the law, “But they were my best friend and we did everything together. Why can’t I have their insurance?”

The argument is purely subjective. It’s strength lies in, “They have it, why can’t I?” And the reason you can’t is because you’re not them and you can never be and are not meant to be them. You’re not the same. It basis marriage on some fairy-tale that marriage is about loving another person and sharing with them. That’s not marriage, that’s kindergarten. Marriage is about having a specific role in society, the role of procreation. For those who cannot procreate because of illness or such, re-read the first part of this post. (By the way, to use the argument involving infertile heterosexual men and women as proof as to why homosexuals can marry really only stands to treat homosexuality as an illness, disease, abberation, abnormality, and the like.)

Then comes the argument of rights. Homosexuals, it is argued, have the same rights as heterosexuals. This is true. But much of what we take as rights aren’t rights at all. Our only real rights are those common to all humans by virtue of being human. One of those rights is the right to marry. But none of those rights are the rights to life insurance or health plans, even based on marriage. It is not a right to be treated the same as others. We treat people differently all the time. What if I argued that the LA Lakers have to hire me because they hire other people and I’m a person like them? I can’t jump, shoot, or really play at all, but since I like the jersey, the pay, and the life-style, then I have right to be hired by the team. Rights only cover what is natural to the estate of being human. Procreation among homosexual couples is not natural to the estate of being human, and so is not a right. Ergo, marriage is not a right.

Finally, the best for last:

Lastly, this same “logic” has been used for centuries for countless battles over basic human rights when a discriminatory group has power. It was always “better” for blacks to be “taken care of” by their slave masters (after all, they had inferior intelligence and everyone knew it). It was always “better” for the woman to leave the worlds’ dealings to the men and remain silent in the vote – I mean, surely she had enough on her plate what with tending the children and cooking all the food. It was “better” for the Native Americans to be rounded up and quarantined onto reservations. Do you see the pattern?

This is a straw man and a nasty one at that. Those who make these claims are cowards and ignorant and are of the highest form of bigotry. To suggest that I think that marriage is outside the preview of homosexuality is the same as giving small pocks to children and whole peoples is beyond ridiculous  The laws should – and for that matter, neighbors should – protect the citizens of the nation from abuse and physical hatred.

But for the sake of decency and good argumentation the world over, let’s still look at this argument. First of all, it doesn’t refute mine at all, it merely spreads fear (great tactic by those who are wrong but want others not to point that out). As an argument itself, that we should fight for homosexual rights, it is a perfect argument if we are fighting for the right of homosexuals to live, not be murdered, have jobs, and live otherwise safe and secure lives. Oh, wait, that’s already on the books. Criminals don’t respect the books. So a homosexual can be a murderer, too. Does that mean that all homosexuals will murder? What a stupid argument.

Okay, so I’m sure I have not covered all the bases. I would like feedback – positive or otherwise. I am not arguing to protect my religion (a counter argument I didn’t take up because it’s nearly as dumb as the one about oppression). I’m saying that homosexuals do not have the right to marriage. Not because there is something wrong with them, but because they have nothing that requires marriage or the benefits therein.

For those who might want to read a bit more on the arguments as they are presented by homosexuals, you might begin here.

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Homosexual Marriage is an Insult to Homosexuals

Before I begin, I will lay out some parameters for my position. I will not be arguing against homosexuality. I will not be arguing in favor of heterosexual relationships. I will not be arguing using the Bible or talking about God’s love or God’s purpose. In short, I will not here be making a religious argument as so many think of religious arguments. I will argue from reason, pure and simple. However, as optimistic as I am that reason will convince the reasonable, I am also sure that it will harden the unreasonable. Not because they do not agree or can’t see the reason, but because they will think they are being discriminated against.

To the matter at hand:

It seems to me that the general and oft repeated argument in favor of gay marriage is for our society to recognize and treat homosexual couples as equal to heterosexual couples. The way to do this, as the argument goes, is to make the two different relationships the same in the eyes of the law. So the pro-homosexual marriage camp says that homosexual couples ought to be able, as their heterosexual counterparts are, to receive tax benefits and have children. To deny homosexual couples these two rights is, in the homosexual argument, treating them as unequal or even worse, as illegitimate.

But let’s look at what’s going on in this argument. It seems to me that the homosexual camp ought to repel the idea that being taxed the same and having children should legitimize their relationship. After all, especially to the latter point of having children, this is something only a man and woman can do. A homosexual couple will never have children because they are homosexual. Their relationship will never produce a child. Their relationship to others might. They might gain a child by surrogacy or adoption or other ways, but it will not ever, ever, ever be because they are in a committed, monogamous relationship with one another.

On this point alone – an argument from nature – we see that homosexual couples and heterosexual couples are not equal. Nature says they’re not equal. To try and force the law to see them as equal is to insult the very thing that makes them different. Why not make laws that says men have the right to be pregnant or women have the right to impregnate? It’s insulting to both man and womanhood. Such an argument for the right to have children is illegitimate and makes homosexual relationships  illegitimate. After all, a woman isn’t legitimately a woman because she can do what a man can do. She is legit because she’s a woman. Homosexual relationships are legitimately homosexual because they involve two of the same gender. The law can only operate within the parameters of nature. To try to do otherwise is simply idiotic.

So what about taxes? The tax code that affects married couples was set up to help them with children. It may have evolved from that, but that was and is still the basis. Children are the future of our (and any) society, so the government helps and protects both them and those who produce them. Since homosexual couples cannot – remember nature – produce children, why would they need the same tax codes as those who can produce children? Taxes were not set up to benefit married couples EXCEPT THAT they might have children. So those married couples who cannot have children are still taxed like married couples because the estate of marriage is what legitimately produces children. So singles and non-married couples are not equal in the eyes of the law to married couples. Equality is a red herring.

So what benefit is there for a homosexual couple to be declared as married? They can already legally enjoy a committed, monogamous relationship until death do them part. The law already protects their persons because they are persons. Under the law they are already protected from discrimination in terms of employment, public facilities, and so forth. And under the law, companies are within their rights to cater their services and goods to whomever they choose. So a lodge for married couples is withing their rights to not serve a couple that is not married – hetero or homosexual. To force the lodge to do otherwise is not making homosexuals equal, it is promoting them as superior to others.

When it comes down to it, it seems that the real reason homosexual marriage is being pushed is to legitimize their relationship. But this only makes it seem as if they don’t believe they’re legitimate to begin with. Why not then make laws benefiting and recognizing best friends or boy and girl friends? Why not make laws benefiting or recognizing school and work relationships? Is it the law that legitimizes these relationships? What’s the fundamental difference between this and homosexual marriage? There isn’t one. Besides which, the law already allows people to benefit from their non-married relationships. A person can have life insurance and leave to whomever he or she wishes. A person can open a trust fund for whomever he or she wishes. This has nothing to do with marriage. Marriage is a recognized estate because of the possibility (and hope for) children. Period.

In the end, any reasonable person will see that heterosexual relationships and homosexual relationships are not the same. They are not equal. They do not deserve to be treated the same because they are not the same.

I want to conclude by drawing attention to the fact that I have not belittled homosexuality. I have not argued against homosexuality. I have not used the Bible. I have not argued from religion. I have simply argued based on what many see as the homosexual’s biggest ally: nature. After all, if they’re born that way, who’s to keep them from behaving that way? But their behavior, no matter how legit, cannot produce children of its own, and so will never be and cannot be equal to or the same as or even remotely related to heterosexual marriage. To argue otherwise is truly insult the homosexuals among us.

On Humility

Our Lord rode into the holy city in humility. But it wasn’t the donkey that made Him humble.

Most of us try to be humble. Most of try not to draw attention to our work or efforts. We try to be satisfied with a “well done” or “atta-boy” or “good job”. But this is really feigned humility. It’s not really humility at all. It’s false humility.

But it’s not false humility because inside we are really glorying in and desirous of the praise we get, even lusting after more praise and honor for our work and efforts. Our Lord wasn’t humble because He was satisfied with the praise He received and because He wanted no more praise, or because He was hoping to go rather unnoticed. Our Lord was humble because He was obedient.

True humility is in obedience. And true obedience is in submission.

Above all, the Lord rode into the holy city on a donkey, on a colt of a donkey, a beast of burden, because that’s the sort of King He is, not to show how humble He is, not taking power to Himself. It is what was written of Him, so He submitted to the Scriptures, to the will of the Father. Our Lord is humble because He always does what is given to Him to do. He always does the will of the Father. His humility is His obedience.

We are not humble. We do not do our duty. Consider your place in life according to the Ten Commandments. Are you a father, mother, son, daughter, husband, wife, or worker? Have you been disobedient, unfaithful, or lazy? Have you been hot tempered, rude, or quarrelsome? Have you hurt someone by your words or deeds? Have you stolen, been negligent, wasted anything, or done any harm? You have been and done all these things. And you have considered yourself humble because you have convinced yourself and others that you do not seek the praise of men.

But what father ought not be praised by his sons as a good father? What wife ought not be praised by her husband and a good wife? What worker ought not be recognized for being a good worker? To receive praise and honor is not to lack humility. After all, our Lord received much and great praise on honor when He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. He received praise and honor because of who He is and what He does. He is the King of Israel, and He comes with salvation.

He submitted to the Father’s will, not considering equality with God a thing to be stolen. He humbled Himself even unto death on a cross. He submitted. And He is glorified.

That nothing may be lost

I have always found it a bit odd that after feeding the multitudes with a few loaves of bread and small fish (John 6:1-15), the Lord tells His disciples to gather up the leftover fragments that nothing may be lost (v. 12). The disciples gathered up the fragments into twelve baskets full. But why’d Jesus care so much about the leftover bread and fish? What was He going to do with twelve baskets full of bread and fish? Surely it would have gone bad soon after that; if not the bread then surely the fish.

Now we can make much of – and rightly so, as theologians have done for centuries – that it was twelve baskets full. From these baskets the disciples would feed the people; from the hand of the Lord to the mouth of the people. Certainly it’s no accident that there were twelve baskets left over (just as in the feeding of the 4,000 in the synoptics, it’s no accident that there were seven baskets filled), and certainly the disciples fed the people from what the Lord gave them, feeding them His word and forgiveness. Not to mention (though I am) the parallels between this and the Lord’s Supper, not the least of which is that this narrative is followed by the famous (and famously argued over) bread of life discourse in John 6.

But back to the point. Why did Jesus concern Himself with saving the fragments of bread and fish? After all, He doesn’t tell His disciples to feed the people from these baskets, which would have been useful given the usual way this is preached – that from these baskets the holy Twelve were to feed the flock of God. He doesn’t say to give it to the poor. And He doesn’t let anyone take it home with them. No doggie bags for the multitudes. No one got to take a souvenir home with them, the miraculous bread (who’d keep the fish!?) that Jesus fed us with. Why did the Lord concern Himself with the leftovers so that nothing may be lost?

Perhaps it is tied up with the Lord’s words that nothing may be lost.

The oddity of the Lord’s command to collect the leftover fragments is not in the collecting of the leftover fragments. That makes sense, especially if it were followed by a command to give it to the poor or some such thing. But the whole reason for collecting it was that nothing may be lost. That seems odd. Until you consider what would have been lost. The bread and fish were meant to be lost: lost to the consumption of the hungry. They were created to be consumed, made to disappear. But the crowd was not. It was the crowd that Jesus did not want to lost.

Consider ancient Israel. In the wilderness without bread, and the Lord provides manna. He directs the people to gather all they want, all they and their house can eat that day. No one had any lack. No one went hungry. There was plenty. So much, in fact, that the left over melted. They couldn’t gather it all because there was so much. Yet some tried to gather more than what they needed or wanted. They gathered for tomorrow. They did not trust the Lord that He would provide for them tomorrow. What the Lord gave was not enough for them. So they collected more than for the day. And what they collected rotted and bred worms and became a stench (Ex. 16:20). Their fear of tomorrow, their distrust of the Lord, and their greed for their bellies made their houses stink.

So the Lord says to gather the leftover fragments that the people would not be lost. Gather the leftover fragments so that the people are not tempted to rely on the provisions rather than on the Provider. Gather the leftover fragments so that the people will look again to the Provider instead of thinking they no longer need Him. The Lord was protecting the multitude. After they’d had their fill, they knew that Jesus was the Lord (John 6:14).

The Lord provides all that we need to support this body and life. But our greed turns His blessings into worm-infested piles of stench. We fret and worry so much over tomorrow that we do not stop to give thanks for what we have today, but only hoard as much as we can in fear of having nothing tomorrow. We do not share what we have, we greedily squirrel it away for our rainy day. Never remembering that when the rainy day came the Lord provided the ark. We are afraid that on our rainy day He will be asleep in the boat.

But to speak of physical things is not good enough. We also squirrel away spiritual things. The Lord provides a holy bath by which our consciences are cleansed before God. Yet we worry it will not be enough and so we construct a righteousness of the law, thinking that we have to shore up what the Lord has provided. He provides His shepherds to forgive our sins and leads in the ways of life. But we are afraid of tomorrow, afraid that His forgiveness will not stretch over our evil sins and that the shepherds will lead us down false paths. So we invent lies that we are not all that sinful so as not to need so much forgiveness. Or we convince ourselves that we only need forgiveness for those sins we cannot rectify ourselves. We store up good works – like the monks of old – to cover when we do sin. Who has not confessed their sins and immediately excused it based on its size, insignificance, or the reason it came about.

The Lord provides His body and blood as a pledge and seal of His mercy and love toward us sinners, but we feel we must go out and find more than He provides. So we invent sacraments that will appease our conscience and convince us that God really does love us. Sacraments such as good feelings, emotive music, daring testimonials, and such things. Good things, to be sure, but not the provisions of the Lord.

When we are concerned with the provisions rather than the Provider, then they become to us a snare and temptation to hoard rather than to use them for the reason they were given. We become men who are lost, groping about for what is not provided. But when we give thanks and praise to the Provider, then there is always enough and we need not fear tomorrow. The Lord will provide.