Friday, July 11, 2008

Listening to Michael Medved


I often listen to some of the Michael Medved radio program as I drive to work on weekday afternoons. I disagree with almost everything he says, but I respect his intelligence, articulateness, and the respectful way he treats callers who disagree with him, and I feel challenged to examine my "liberal" views more closely.

Yesterday, I heard him say that it's "ridiculous" for government to provide meals for public schoolchildren below the poverty line. But is it "ridiculous" for impoverished children to be guaranteed a wholesome meal or two every weekday? I don't think so? Do you? And if government won't guarantee it, WHO will?

Later, in the same program, Medved argued that homosexual marriage shouldn't be allowed, because the "core of marriage" is "sexual intercourse between a man and a woman" leading to the procreation and raising of children. Yet, does this mean that people can't marry for other reasons? Maybe they don't want children. Maybe they can't have them. Maybe they marry because they love each other and want to honor that love with a formal lifelong commitment to be there for one another "in sickness and in health." Isn't this the real "core" of marriage? If so, why can't it extend to homosexual as well as heterosexual couples?

27 comments:

shirley said...

Uhhh, the parents?

shirley said...

"Maybe they marry because they love each other and want to honor that love with a formal lifelong commitment to be there for one another "in sickness and in health." Isn't this the real "core" of marriage? If so, why can't it extend to homosexual as well as heterosexual couples?"

Why stop there? How about siblings, or first cousins, a son with his widowed mother or a man and his dog? Then thre are the poligamists, what about intergenerational marriages between say a 50 year old man and a 14 year old boy. If a formal lifelong loving commitment ia all that is needed, all the groups I mentioned apply as much as gays.
Don't think this won't happen, these groups WILL be in court petitioning for their "rights" on the same grounds as gay people. For those reasons alone, I would think that any right thinking member of the gay community would give up the notion of equating their unions with heterosexual marriage for the unselfish reason that it will put an effective end to the literal zoo this society will become if homosexual marriage becomes mainstream.
It's as much a made up concept as polygamy.

Finding Fair Hope said...

Homosexuality has been with us from the beginning of recorded history. It was quite acceptable to the ancient Greeks -- a very advanced and functioning society. I never heard of it leading to polygamy or intergenerational anything.

If we could accept love as love and not consider same sex love a perversion, maybe we could accept homosexual marriage. Until that time we will have reactions like the ones from your commenter. It's idea whose time has not yet come, but probably in our lifetimes we'll see it. The day is just dawning and is still meeting with such resistance. Hold back that sun!

shirley said...

If you had acually read what I said and understood it, you would not have asked that question but would already have the answer.
The justifications for gay marriage when encoded into law will effectively lead to all the other "unions" which I described applying the concept of equal treatment under the law.
I'd rather stop it before it gets started.

shirley said...

Hope said,
"If we could accept love as love and not consider same sex love a perversion,"
So why wouldn't this also apply to the other groups I mentioned since it would would be love as defined by the individual as in homosexual love.

BTW my response is not a reaction but a reasoned reply to looking down the road in a legal sense by applying the principles which will be encoded in and enforced by law. Homosexual marriage is not a dawning but will help to result in a setting of western civilization.

shirley said...

And please return your original question and my answer to it.

Nagarjuna said...

FFH--
I think a growing number of us ALREADY accept homosexual marriage and that it may very well become commonplace in OUR lifetime, without it creating a slippery slope descent to legalized incestuous, pedophilic, or polygamous marriage.

Shirley--
If you could be certain that legalized homosexual marriage WOULD NOT lead to legalized incestuous, zoophilic, or polygamous marriage, would you still oppose it? If so, why?

shirley said...

BTW,

Fairhophopechange,

Are you capable of objectifying yourself and thinking beyond your emotions and into reality?

shirley said...

"Homosexuality has been with us from the beginning of recorded history. It was quite acceptable to the ancient Greeks -- a very advanced and functioning society."

How are they doing now?

Like I said.

Nagarjuna said...

Shirley--
I read your previous comment and think I understood it well. In response, I posed a hypothetical. Suppose you could be certain that homosexual marriage would NOT create the slippery slope you envision. Would you STILL oppose it? Well, WOULD you? If so, why?

shirley said...

"Suppose you could be certain that homosexual marriage would NOT create the slippery slope you envision."

Your hypotheticsl is stupid and emotional from a man who refuses to take this scenario of homsxexual marriage and carry it out to its logigal LEGAL conclusions.
It is I M P O S S I B L E to codfy gay marriage into law and not allow others with divergent views on what marriage should consist of to use the same laws to promote their made up concepts.
I M P O S S I B L E!
The law works on precedent NOT emotion.

shirley said...

Shirley--
I read your previous comment and think I understood it well.

Then how about posting it in order and context so that others will see a demostration of logic and self evidence.

Please?

shirley said...

Let me make it easier for you;

This,

FFH--
I think a growing number of us ALREADY accept homosexual marriage and that it may very well become commonplace in OUR lifetime, without it creating a slippery slope descent to legalized incestuous, pedophilic, or polygamous marriage.

Shirley--
If you could be certain that legalized homosexual marriage WOULD NOT lead to legalized incestuous, zoophilic, or polygamous marriage, would you still oppose it? If so, why?

Goes after fairhopes comment.

shirley said...

You can edit posts like you did when you took your question out from behind fairhopes so that my answer make sense without being an ass and posting my requests to put it back in order.

Nagarjuna said...

Shirley--
HOW is my hypothetical "stupid and emotional"? You are FALLACIOUSLY asserting that a CONCEIVABLE slippery slope will inevitably lead to an ACTUAL one. My hypothetical was meant to explore whether this was your ONLY reason for opposing gay marriage, or whether you had other reasons that we might examine. If your fallacious argument is your ONLY argument against gay marriage, there seems to be no point in proceeding further. On the other hand, if you want to amend your argument to something to the effect that you don't know if legalizing gay marriage would lead to the other kinds of marriages you fear it might but you don't want to take any chances, we can explore that fear together and see if it really seems justified.

But THAT would requite genuine and respectful dialog rather than what has, unfortunately, been taking place between us thus far.

shirley said...

Steve,

Given your premise,

"Suppose you could be certain that homosexual marriage would NOT create the slippery slope you envision."

How could you go about codifying in law (which is the way things work in a nation governed by laws) a way to make sure it stops at gay marriage.

Ummmmmm, maybe a Constitutional Ammendment?

Think about it

shirley said...

"You are FALLACIOUSLY asserting that a CONCEIVABLE slippery slope will inevitably lead to an ACTUAL one."

The door would be WIDE open legally. Do you deny that?

shirley said...

And concern for the future of this nation should not be constued as and called fear.
It is a rational reaction not a phobia so stop the projection.

Nagarjuna said...

Shirley--
I'm not "editing" your comments. I have this blog in "moderated comments" mode because of someone's repeated misbehavior here. So, when I check into Blogger, I see a list of comments awaiting my approval, and I simply review them and check them off for approval in the order in which they appear in the list, and they subsequently appear in my blog the way they do. I will look to see if there's a way of reordering the way comments appear here, but if I can't find one, please understand that I'm not deliberately misordering comments.

hoarhey said...

ou have the ability as the blog moderator to edit and put commentas in any order you wish. If you don't know how to do it, just ask Bob. Then you can't say that he never did anything for you.

shirley said...

"...if legalizing gay marriage would lead to the other kinds of marriages you fear it might but you don't want to take any chances, we can explore that fear together and see if it really seems justified."

Are you beginning your psychological practice, Doctor?

shirley said...

fairhophopechange said;

Homosexuality has been with us from the beginning of recorded history. It was quite acceptable to the ancient Greeks -- a very advanced and functioning society. I never heard of it leading to polygamy or intergenerational anything.


Talk to me about the commonplace practice of sodomizing young boys by the men in the society and how that enhances an advanced and functioning society.

I expect I'll get no response as the answer to that question will shatter the illusion you've built in justifying gay marriage.

Nagarjuna said...

Shirley--
Once again, if you could be certain that legalizing gay marriage wouldn't lead to legalizing zoophilic, pedophilic, incestuous, or polygamous marriage, would you no longer oppose gay marriage? If so, why? If not, why not?

Not only is this a hypothetical, but I think it's also something of which we ACUALLY CAN be all but completely certain, just as we can be certain that granting voting rights to women and blacks will NEVER lead to granting this right to babies and dogs. No doubt when voting rights for women and blacks and other kinds of rights that we all now take for granted as fair and just first came up for debate, there were people arguing that the granting of these rights would inevitably lead to some terrible slippery slope that never materialized and never will, even without there being a 'codification' or constitutional amendment prohibiting it from happening. I'd like to know if you honestly, in your heart of hearts, believe that if we allow gay marriage today, we'll also allow humans to marry dogs, mothers to marry sons, or men to marry ten-year old girls or boys ANYTIME in the future.

Nagarjuna said...

Hoarhey--
I've never said that Bob has never done (or at least tried to do) anything for me. But I wouldn't want to bother him by writing to him privately to ask him how to edit or order moderated comments. But, since you have come here and posted your advice here publicly, would you care to explain to me how I can do it?

Nagarjuna said...

"Are you beginning your psychological practice, Doctor?"

No, Shirley, I was more interested in us dialoging about whether your fear, concern, or whatever you wish to call it regarding homosexual marriage is FACTUALLY and PHILOSOPHICALLY well-founded. Sorry if I made it sound like I was trying to hang out a psychologist's shingle. :-)

As for referring to it earlier as a "fear," it seems to me that you DO "fear," by whatever name you wish to call it, the implications, as you see them, of homosexual marriage. That is, you are fearful of what would happen to society if homosexual marriage became fully accepted legally and attitudinally. Fear is not always unfounded or pathologically "phobic." It can be a "rational reaction" to a real threat, and certainly to a threat to the "future of this nation." The question is, Is your fear of homosexual marriage well-founded?

ned said...

Okay, my two cents here ...

I find it really funny that Shirley here has opposed homosexual marriage on such strange grounds.

Interestingly, Vedanta (a spiritual tradition which imho sets the bar for pluralism) has always accepted homosexuality, seeing it as just another human attachment, not better or worse, necessarily. Comparing homosexuality to incest or pedophilia or bestiality is ridiculous. Whether you are male or female, you have a soul which is free of biological sex (from the Vedantic perspective). Two consenting adults of whatever gender, in a relationship with one another, are two souls in contact with each other in an equal relationship. That's what counts. There is no such equality in either pedophilia nor in bestiality (animals do have souls according to Sri Aurobindo, but the soul isn't "active" the way it is in human beings). And incest is biologically dangerous, and seems to be a universal taboo in all cultures. I think that it is very dangerous to mix sex with the sort of co-dependent relationships that develop with family members.

But homosexuality really doesn't compare to any of these, it is a normal variation in human sexuality (as is bisexuality). In fact, Vedic India used to have a "third sex", the tritiya prakriti, which included transgendered, homosexual and bisexual people. Here is a website from the Vaishnava school of Hinduism on this subject:
http://www.galva108.org/index.html

The heterosexual opposition to same-sex marriage is very hypocritical from the Vedantic perspective. Why? Because, as Swami Prabhavananda, founder of the Vedanta society in the U.S., said when he heard of Oscar Wilde’s conviction: “Poor man. All lust is the same.”

To socially sanction one type of lust and forbid another type is really nothing but hypocrisy. We all have to deal with desire, and learn to tame it and conquer it. The highest state, whether one is homosexual or heterosexual, is a state in which sexuality has been transmuted and put to the service of the Divine (which results, externally, in celibacy).

Interestingly, if you look at the Hindu right-wing in India, you get a very complex picture. Many Hindu right-wingers actually are pro-gay, because there really isn't much in the Hindu scriptures to forbid homosexuality. In fact it is occasionally painted in a positive light. Also many Hindu temples showcase androgynous gods or homosexual iconography. In the Indian state of Kerala, same-sex marriages have been performed by Hindu pundits who argue using scripture that marriage is a union of souls, and the soul doesn't have a gender. There've been several books published on homosexuality in India and in Hinduism. Some of Vedanta's most ardent advocates were (and are) gay -- e.g. E.M. Forster, Edward Carpenter, Christopher Ishwerwood, Alain Danielou, etc.

Having said this, I tend to be conservative about sex, because sex is a powerful thing and probably the most abused and misused thing on the planet. Personally I really moderate my sex life, and I find that mutually agreed upon periods of celibacy actual heighten one's erotic life and strengthen the relationship.

ned said...

Some fellow sadhaks in the integral yoga community have pointed out to me that the increasing visibility being given to LGBT people today is easily explained in the light of Sri Aurobindo's vision. It is helping humanity grow out of its childish clinging to a binary gender system and pushing us toward a future where each being will be so unique that mental classification will be impossible. It is also a sign that humanity is no longer solely perceiving love as being wedded to physical nature and linked with reproduction. So for me the whole LGBT rights movement is just another evolutionary manifestation within a much vaster ongoing process.