CORRUPTED BY OUR SUPPOSED GENEROSITY — PART 1

In response to comments here and here, I decided to provide  ( joesix) a post. So here goes.

Most of us like to think of ourselves as a good person, and we like to be thought of as generous. We are neither good nor are we generous. That is why our nation risks descending into chaos. What we like to think is true about ourselves is not so. Even when we are supposedly trying to be generous, we tend to first think greedily of ourselves.

Robin Hood’s Merry Men

Most us have no idea how much of our tax monies go to fund government charity. What is worse, most of us never consider the corrupting influence of government-run charities. We have all the facts we need, but we never bother to piece them together. Why? The Establishment (What is the Establishment? See WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO CHALLENGE THE ESTABLISHMENT — PART 1.) does not want us to. No, I am not speaking of a deliberate conspiracy. None is required. All that is required is for “good” men to do nothing, and when we think doing nothing is in our own best interest, most of us will happily do nothing.

Where does the “charity” go? Consider the two charts below. The first shows Federal spending, and the second shows total government spending (Federal, state, and local).

 

Federal Government Spending in FY 2011

Total Government Spending in FY 2011

With any cursory investigation of government spending, what will you learn?

  • Total government spending is over 6 trillion dollars. That means we devote almost 40 percent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to our government.
  • We devote most government spending to “social programs.” That is, our government takes money from someone who earned it, and our government gives that money to someone who did not earn it.
  • Because of Social Security, the old live off the young.
  • Because of welfare programs, nonprofit organizations, government bureaucrats, and the poor live off the “rich”.
  • Because of educational programs, educators, education administrators, and their labor unions live off their students, their student’s parents, and the taxpayers.
  • Because of healthcare programs such as Medicare, the healthcare industry (and the old) lives off the taxpayers (particularly young ones).
  • And so forth.
  • And our government is running huge deficits (see here). We will leave the young and future generations burdened with debt.

That which we traditionally consider basic government services — national defense, police protection, the regulation of commerce, road construction…. — uses an increasingly smaller part of the budget. Most of the the activity of our government is now consumed by social programs. We have allowed time to turn our politicial establishment into to one vast band of do-good robbers. For all practical purposes, we are ruled by Robin Hood’s Merry Men, that is, ladies and gentlemen who make merry by benevolently dispersing taxpayer funds to whomever they choose.

What is to come?

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I am just an average citizen interested in promoting informed participation in the political process.
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21 Responses to CORRUPTED BY OUR SUPPOSED GENEROSITY — PART 1

  1. joesix says:

    Thanks again for the response and plug, [avatar of Thomas Paine]. I can understand your arguments about government not having to act as a “charity” (I might even have agreed with you 10 years ago), but you still seem to be picking and choosing when government is allowed to embrace any kind of morality. If government isn’t allowed to care for the poor or elderly, then they definitely shouldn’t be allowed to tell you who you can marry. As you rightly pointed out before, marriage started out as a religious contract and should thus be ignored by the state.

    Conservatives have no problem with government supporting the idea of Jesus Christ’s divinity, but when it actually tries to aid the less fortunate (as JC did and encouraged), that’s apparently socialism and the beginning of Nazi Germany. Luckily, I’m not a conservative or a Christian, so I have no problem with government embracing a morality shaped by the will of its people.

    I also see the global economy quickly changing — the few manufacturing jobs left are being taken by the Chinese, robots, and eventually Chinese robots. As technology improves, we have less and less real need for manual labor and therefore less real opportunities for work. We’re all going to be dependent to a government someday or another, and I prefer a shadowy “Establishment” beholden to voters over the United States of Walmart.

    I can’t wait to read the rest of this and finally find out your solution on how to provide children an education when their parents have no time, money, or nearby 1830s hippie commune in a country without public schools.

  2. Citizen Tom says:

    joesix –

    I can understand your arguments about government not having to act as a “charity” (I might even have agreed with you 10 years ago), but you still seem to be picking and choosing when government is allowed to embrace any kind of morality.

    What constitutes the legitimate role of government is unavoidably a moral decision. The main reason we have a government is because what some people think is perfectly okay, like murdering their neighbor for their wife or property, is immoral. Would you say that we prosecute murder just because murder is destructive to the order and prosperity of a society? Even then we still have to make a value judgment, a moral decision, that says threatening public order prosperity is wrong.

    Anyway, your arguments are going all over the place.

    Conservatives have no problem with government supporting the idea of Jesus Christ’s divinity, but when it actually tries to aid the less fortunate (as JC did and encouraged), that’s apparently socialism and the beginning of Nazi Germany.

    Accusing me of hypocrisy does not establish you as correct. Instead, constantly accusing me of hypocrisy just indicates you are more interested destroying my creditability.

    Your comments on Chinese robots suggest you believe in what some call the Luddite fallacy. So far there is little evidence to support the notion that technological advancement creates less work. What technology does is make workers more productive. We can things create things once did not exist and provide services that once kings could not receive. But that is not really the issue. I think it more appropriate observe the following. When something is wrong, such as stealing, difficult circumstances do not make what was once immoral behavior suddenly moral behavior. What is wrong in good times remains wrong in bad times.
    ?

    • joesix says:

      I apologize if it seems my arguments are all over the place. I tried to bring this back to the specific conversations we already had and not some vague philosophical ranting akin to something from my high school diary. I’m not trying to destroy your credibility by pointing out your hypocrisy, I’m just trying to understand how a sect of people who love blathering on about personal liberty can be so passionate about infringing on the rights of minorities.

      Try telling postal workers and toll collectors that technological advancement doesn’t create less work. http://articles.cnn.com/2011-09-07/opinion/rushkoff.jobs.obsolete_1_toll-collectors-robots-jobs?_s=PM:OPINION

      We prosecute murder because we as a society agree that murder is wrong. That’s a kind of democratic morality, so I guess you could say that although all morality is relative, the existence of government itself implies a morality for us to shape and evolve on our own. We still pick and choose when something like murder is moral (war, self-defense), or even stealing (starving family, George Clooney and Brad Pitt make it look cool). Now I definitely feel like I’m back in high school.

  3. Citizen Tom says:

    joesix – You are trying to understand someone by insulting them and their religious beliefs? That is an interesting technique.

    Have you ever stepped outdoors in the countryside on a cool night when the sky was clear? Did you notice that the heavens are filled with stars, too distant for us to see except as pinpoints of small colored lights. It is only in our recent history that we have begun to understand what those lights might be. And why? Men and women driven by curiosity set aside their preconceptions, even their point of view. They did their best to understand the universe as it is.

    When we speak of someone as being narrow-minded, what we are saying is that they are willing to see only from their own perspective, that they will not set aside their own pride and self-interest and consider another point-of-view? What you cite is an example of such narrow-mindedness. Yes, as technology advances, some jobs lose relevance, but invention opens possibilities. That is why there are numerous jobs today that did not exist at before the creation of the Internet.

    Want to stay profitably employed? Then be adaptable. Prepare to learn and do different jobs. Because we each work for someone else, we have to do work that someone else wants done. No one owes us the work we want to do. Therefore, if we insist upon doing work no one wants, we will not get paid for it — unless we steal a “paycheck.”

    Anyway, I will post the next installment on Monday, and we will address the subject of morality.

    • joesix says:

      I don’t believe I ever insulted your religious beliefs. I mentioned Mr. Christ in my first comment, but I have nothing against the guy. It’s organized religion and its narrow-minded zealots who swell with hypocrisy. As Ghandi (maybe) put it, “I don’t reject your Christ. I love your Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

      It’s entirely possible that everything from those pinpoints of small colored lights to the microscopic blood vessels within us all was created by a single omnipotent being who orchestrated a big bang that still affects the laws of nature 16 billion years later. I find it highly improbable that such a being cares at all about the petty political squabbles of a country that’s only been around for two centuries.

      That CNN article I linked to before said a lot of the same things about new possibilities, adaptability, and all that. The author imagines a world where manual labor is reduced to just a few humans while the rest of us are encouraged to pursue intellectual endeavors. It doesn’t matter if that world is fostered by the public sector or the private sector, but most new innovations (space travel, the Internet) seem to first stem from government intervention.

  4. Citizen Tom says:

    joesix – I doubt you have seriously studied the Bible. Nonetheless, you are partly correct. I will admit to being unlike Christ. I do try to be Christ-like, and I hope I will be trying to be Christ-like for the rest of my days.

    Otherwise, what you offer is a distinction without a difference. You don’t insult the Christianity, just Christians.

    Does God exist? Does He care about us? I suppose I can do a post about the subject. There is plenty of material, and that is the sort of thing I post about.

    I have said enough about the Luddite fallacy. That you would try to justify tyranny based upon such an absurity is not worth taking seriously. However, it is good for comedy.
    http://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2003/09/17/we_need_a_job-saving_law/page/full/

    In addition to reading the Bible, you might want to read a good book on economics.

    • joesix says:

      I studied and taught at Hebrew school for about ten years, but it’s hard to take any text seriously that condones slavery, rape, and indiscriminate murder. From what I’ve heard and read myself, the sequel isn’t much more promising.

      I understand the cultural belonging that’s a part of religion, I even revel in it myself from time to time. However, I can’t wrap my head around people who actually try to legislate their own beliefs on others. I keep trying to get a straight answer out of you about why the “personal liberty” Christians are the loudest voices against things like same-sex marriage or marijuana, but you continue to artfully redirect the discussion. I’d be impressed if I thought you were doing it on purpose.

      • Citizen Tom says:

        If you think the Bible condones slavery, rape, and indiscriminate murder; then you don’t understand the Old Testament. Moreover, since you just admitted you have not read the New Testament, you know little about what Christ taught. Since the principles upon which the United States was founded and is supposed to be governed are based upon the Bible, you are poorly educated, but that is not altogether your fault. This problem began when parents started handing over the education of their children to politicians. However, you are not absolved of responsibility. Nothing stops you from reading the Bible. Nothing stops you from investigating on your own what the people who founded the United States believed.

        Anyway, I define a right as something that somebody else can take away from you. I agree with the Declaration of Independence. We have rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Why does the Declaration of Independence use the phrase “Pursuit of Happiness” instead of property? The people who wrote and approved that document did not want to approve of slavery. What is slavery about? Slavery is what happens when we force others to give us our “rights.”

        Is same-sex “marriage” a “right”? Same-sex “marriage” is about forcing others to approve of what some people do in bed. When it’s worse than stupid, how can forcing people to approve of sodomy be a right?

        Marriage is about protecting the rights of children, and it recognizes the nature of the bond that a man and woman can create when they share a sexual relationship. When government recognizes a marriage, it does not create a right; it simply recognizes what you should have learned in high school, the facts of life.

        Frankly, I don’t know what to do about drug laws. What we currently have is not well considered. Why? I don’t think many of the people we have chosen to run our country have any idea what they are doing. For example, we have lawmakers who want to ban cigarettes and fatty foods, but they think it is okay to legalize marijuana.

        The fundamental issue is not a matter of law. Using the power of government to force people to behave properly has never been a good solution. It is better when people are properly educated and want to do the right thing. That includes holding each other accountable through peer pressure. Unfortunately, government-run schools don’t generally provide the students who graduate from them a good character education; they almost do the exact opposite.

        Nonetheless, even though they are flawed, drug laws exist for a good reason. We have no right to put ourselves in a drug-induced state that makes us irresponsible, dangerous both to others and ourselves.

      • joesix says:

        Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. Since I’m just a Jew from public school, please help me understand how these passages don’t condone slavery, rape, and indiscriminate murder:

        Exodus 21:2 — If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom.

        And the New Testament:

        Peter 2:18 — Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and equitable but also to those who are perverse.

        Deuteronomy 22:28-29 — If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on [rape] her, and lie with her, and they be found, then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.

        Exodus 21:17 — He that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

        You also say that our country was supposed to be governed based on the (Christian?) Bible, but the first amendment of the US Constitution still reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” My poor education leads me to believe that means Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.

        Is opposite-sex marriage about forcing people to approve of their sexual behaviors? Your argument about same-sex marriage is getting increasingly ridiculous. It does remind me of the curious fact that I hear conservatives talk about sodomy 100 times more than any of my gay friends.

        Plenty of rabbis, priests, and imams perform same-sex marriages on their own, government be damned. Plenty of same-sex parents raise mentally and physically healthy children, “facts of life” be damned. If you’re so passionate about marriage not being a right, why not advocate for government to stop recognizing all marriages? Aren’t the tax breaks and adoption rights just another way of government legislating morality and creating dependence on the state?

        I would use a similar argument for the legalization of marijuana, but add that the drug is far less dangerous than alcohol.

  5. Citizen Tom says:

    Getting somewhere? I suppose so. When some Liberals say we should not mix politics with religion, I wonder what they think they are doing. After all, have they not made their politics their religion?

    So what about those passages? Since I am not a Bible scholar, I fully expect you to take what I say with a grain of salt. I hope you will consult the works of scholars who have studied the Bible more carefully and with more inspiration. That said, here is my best shot.

    When we study any historical document, including the Bible, we cannot understand it if we take it out of context. To start with, it is not a good idea to read any Bible verse out of context from the rest of the Bible. Doing that we can get some rather silly ideas. There is, however, a more complex form of context. That is, we cannot read the Bible as if it was written to us. It was not. The Bible was written for us, but its various books were written to people and by people who lived long ago. Therefore, when we read a book in the Bible, we have to put ourselves in the position of the people who first read it. That requires study. Otherwise we cannot understand either the historical or the literary context. Only after studying the full historical and literary context can we begin to understand what God is telling us through the Bible.

    Christians believe God inspired the writers of the Bible, but Christians do not claim that God just handed the men who wrote the Bible the words they wrote (That is supposedly how the Koran was written.). Thus, what the men who wrote the Bible wrote they wrote from their own point-of-view. While God added to their perception and wisdom, they still conveyed a human understanding. Otherwise, neither the writers nor their readers would have any idea what God wanted them to understand.

    Exodus 21:2 and 1 Peter 2:18: Does the Bible condone slavery? Of course not. Otherwise, Christians would not have been the first people to condemn slavery.

    When the Bible was written — until just a few hundred years ago — most men did not question the right of men to own other men. To our ancestors, the relationship between master and slave was just another type of employer/employee relationship. In fact, sometimes, because they needed the protection of strong warriors, people willingly submitted to what amounted to slavery. Consider the perspective of a subsistence farmer with a wife and kids to feed. Would you rather be able to keep a percentage of your crop or none at all?

    In the past none fought over the ethics of slavery. What men fought over was who was to be the slave and who was to be the master. What the Old Testament did (via the Mosaic Code) is soften the condition of slavery. God reminded the Jews that they too had once been slaves; that they had no right to abuse other people, not even slaves. God reminded the Jews that He created us all, that we belong to Him.

    So what Peter is doing? First I suggest putting that verse back into the passage from which you took it. Note that Peter had no intention of either overthrowing the political system or justifying it. Peter was just a fisherman; he did not envision a new earthly political system. What Peter looked forward to was heaven, and he wanted to share the good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Peter’s message gave the poor and downtrodden, people such as slaves, a message of hope in the life to come. Peter asked the slaves who accepted Christ as their savior to inspire their masters with the power of their own example.

    Deuteronomy 22:28-29 and Exodus 21:17: Consider when Moses wrote Exodus and Deuteronomy. We are talking about people who spent most of each day laboring just to feed, cloth, and house themselves. Selling yourself or your children into slavery was their idea of an antipoverty program. So what would you do when someone commits rape or is just plain incorrigible?

    The Bible suggests solutions. If a young fool rapes a girl (vastly diminishing her parents chances of arranging a good match), and the girl’s father consents, then that young fool now has a wife, and he and his family now have no choice in the matter. If a young fool will not accept discipline and abuses his parents, then those parents could go to the priest (Israel was a theocracy.) for help. The vast majority of the time I suspect all the priest had to do was read Exodus 21:17. That would be kind of like what we do today when we show a troublemaker the inside of a jail.

    You also say that our country was supposed to be governed based on the (Christian?) Bible, but the first amendment of the US Constitution still reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” My poor education leads me to believe that means Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.

    What I said was that we have a form a government derived from Biblical principles. That, for example, is why we have 1st Amendment rights. Christians believe salvation comes a personal choice. We cannot force someone to have faith in Jesus.

    Anyway, the government did not define marriage. Politicians can only force us to accept a pretense. The use of such force would violate our right to refuse accept as real something that does not exist.

    • joesix says:

      You’re absolutely right that conservatives and liberals alike follow their ideologies to the point of religion sometimes. The difference is they at least try to base their political arguments on new facts rather than specific verses from a centuries old book written by a bunch of old men.

      I give you credit for recognizing that the Bible was written by man, as I’ve had far too many inane conversations with zealots who believe every word of that book to be the infallible will of God. But if we do have to take historical context into account to justify its (now considered) barbaric passages, why give any part of the book credibility? How can we determine what is prescriptive and what is descriptive? What if those passages that refer to homosexuality (which appear far less than the passages that condone slavery) are just reflective of society’s views toward that behavior?

      Many people did use the Bible to condemn slavery, just as many people used it to prove God’s acceptance of slavery. Even today, pundits and politicians alike use it to justify the subjugation of women. When a book is that old, that long, and written by that many authors, anyone can interpret his cause to be the only righteous one.

      You’re again implying that personal liberty is a Biblical principle, but all I see in religion is submission to a higher authority. You’re using the phrase “personal choice” and missing the irony. If you cannot force someone to have faith in Jesus, then don’t.

      Your denial of same-sex marriage being a marriage violates my right to practice secularism. It violates reform and conservative Jews rights to practice their religion. It violates other pockets of Christianity and Islam to practice their religion. By allowing the government to define marriage for just one group of people (in this case, heterosexuals), you’re creating a special right and infringing on that freedom you claim to hold sacred.

      • Citizen Tom says:

        I believe God inspired the Bible. Therefore, I consider the Bible the Word of God. Nonetheless, because we are fallible, we cannot interpret the Bible infallibly. That’s why we get different opinions on what the Bible says. Even the Constitution, a relatively simple document written very carefully by learned men, produces reams of arguments over different interpretations.

        For the sake of argument, why don’t you assume the Bible is the Word of God? Would you then expect everyone to agree upon how the Bible tells us to live? Would our differences of opinion come from a problem within us or the Bible?

        I am trying to force you to believe something? What if someone claimed the moon is made of green cheese? What if they said NASA’s claim that the moon is made of rock violated their religious right to believe otherwise?

        Same-sex marriage is equally preposterous, but when people sin and they have no shame, what they insist to be true — they have not sinned — must of necessity be preposterous.

      • joesix says:

        Even if I assumed the Bible was true, I wouldn’t put my faith above my nationality and try to force my idea of morality on others. For the sake of argument, why don’t you assume the Bible is just a book, and if there is an all-powerful god who created all space and time, He wouldn’t care about who ate shellfish and who married someone with the same genitalia?

        You’re not just forcing me to believe something, you’re supporting laws that would ban a specific group of people from starting families. You’re imposing your own sense of morality on other people who aren’t causing any harm to anyone.

        If someone claimed the moon is made of green cheese, or the universe was created in seven days, or depression is caused by an influx of thetans from Space Emperor Xenu, he’d be well within his First Amendment rights to disseminate those beliefs in blogs, churches, or clan meetings. If he tried to pass laws to make all of us believe that, then he might have a problem.

        “Sin” is completely relative and implies that your opposition to same-sex marriage is based entirely on religion. I personally think it’s sinful to prohibit consenting adults from marrying other consenting adults, though I would never try to stop you from preaching such a preposterous idea.

  6. Pingback: DOES GOD EXIST? | Citizen Tom

  7. Citizen Tom says:

    joesix – You would not put your above your nationality? If your politics is your religion, I suppose that makes sense. However, since I base what I believe about politics on my faith, I rate my nationality as less important.

    There is a certain irony in this debate. In spite of all my denials you keep insisting that I am trying to force my beliefs upon others. At the same time, you seem to quite an expert on what God does not care about. How do you know?

    Observe who insisted upon turning this debate towards same-sex marriage. Yes, I have written about the subject, but other than the fact some people insist upon using the government to redefine marriage, I have little interest in trying to regulate what two consenting adults do with regard to sex. My concern is being forced to condone an obvious perversion.

    Instead of trying to be cute, I suggest you try to crystallize our differences. Here is what is in Constitution of Virginia.

    Section 15-a Marriage.

    That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.

    This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage. (from http://legis.state.va.us/Laws/search/ConstOfVa.pdf)

    You don’t like that definition. Then please provide your own definition marriage.

    You say sin is completely relative. I am curious as to what you mean by that. Relative to what, for example? Without shared values, how does any society exist?

  8. joesix says:

    I’m no expert on what God does or doesn’t care about. Religious zealots do claim to be such experts, and that’s what pisses me off. On one hand they claim God didn’t approve of homosexuality because cultures in the Bible ascribed to that belief, and on the other hand they say He did condemn slavery even though cultures in the Bible embraced it and mentioned it in that book even more than homosexuality. How can we determine what is prescriptive and what is descriptive from an ancient book translated and interpreted over countless centuries?

    I keep bringing up the issue of same-sex marriage because it’s easy to highlight the hypocrisy conservatives have with it. I could just as tactfully bring up the legalization of marijuana and prostitution — in fact, it would probably be easier as we’d run into less religious arguments. Same-sex marriage is one of the last civil rights issues for our country to face, however, so I tend to bring it up more often.

    I’m forced to ask the cliched question, “What does same-sex marriage do to you?” You don’t have to condone their sexual behaviors, just as I don’t have to condone organized religion, Will Farrell, and reality shows. Just because we disagree with the merits or morality of some things doesn’t deny their right to exist. What seems like a perversion to you is actually a common occurrence in the animal kingdom and is now approved of by over 50% of all Americans.

    “That only a union between two consenting adults may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.”

    That seems like specific enough of a government definition of marriage, if government needs to recognize marriage at all.

    Jews see eating shellfish and cloven-hoofed animals as sinful. Muslims see eating pork as sinful. Mormons see drinking alcohol as sinful. Do you want these people to impose their personal ideas of sin on you?

  9. Citizen Tom says:

    joesix – You have little reason to be pissed off about what you would call religious zealots. You live in the nation that first practiced freedom of conscience, and what do you do? You complain about the religious zealots, the Christians, who beliefs most affirm freedom of conscience. And how? You quote out of context verses from a book you either don’t understand or you have not read.

    So what is wrong with your definition?

    “That only a union between two consenting adults may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.”

    Our nature defines marriage. Our nature does so because that is how we produce the next generation. The union of a man and a woman provides the basis for creating the basic building block of our society, the family. Because healthy families and well nurtured children are so essential for a healthy society, any competent government protects the security of the family unit. A government that abides by its charter to protects the rights of the people goes further. By supporting parents in fulfilling their obligations to their children, it protects the rights of children.

    What does your definition have to do with families? Nothing.

    So why have you fabricated such a definition? Consider what your definition accomplishes. It allows those who would pursue their own selfish fantasies to pretend they are doing something noble.

    Look again at that Bible passage in my last comment. Marriage is about a lifelong commitment. When a man and a woman have sex without marriage — without making a commitment to each other — the fact one is a male and the other is a female does not lessen their sin. What matters is the fact they have treated their sexual relationship solely as a matter of frivolous entertainment. Instead of trying to serve each other, they use each other. Moreover, they thoughtlessly risk having a child they are not prepared to raise.

    Because they cannot produce a functional family, when two people of the same sex have sex, government has no legitimate interest in either encouraging or endorsing their relationship. By endorsing of same-sex “marriage”, government just confuses the traditional purpose of of marriage, providing a safe haven for raising children.

    Same-sex “marriages” would and do serve children poorly.
    • Without resort to artificial means, such couples cannot have children.
    • A same-sex couple cannot properly model the roles of both a father and a mother. Therefore, when as an adult a child raised by a homosexual couple decides to have children of his or her own, that adult will be more likely to experience role confusion.
    • Same-sex relationships are notoriously unstable.

    Does the traditional definition of marriage serve children well? Do human beings do anything very well? No, but at least traditional marriages can work. Such a couple can do more than just pretend.

  10. joesix says:

    As I stated before, I have no problem with religious zealots practicing their beliefs. However, when they support state and federal laws to make everyone align with those beliefs, then I’m going to complain. “Freedom of conscience” means letting people use their own judgement to decide what’s right for themselves.

    Your definition of marriage implies that its primary purpose is to create children. What about a heterosexual couple that physically can’t have children — are they not a family? What about a couple that adopts children — are they not a family? What about single parents — are they not a family? What would a true Christian theocracy do with such sinners?

    Of course, homosexuals can and do raise children, be it from IV fertilization, adoption, or other means. I already directed you to the recent study that found children raised by same-sex parents turn out just as physically and mentally healthy as other children, if not more so. I can’t remember if I made you watch Zach Wahls’ address to the Iowa House of Representatives, but it still deserves mention as one of the most powerful arguments I’ve heard on this subject.

    Your idea that government should recognize what is “sin” or “selfish” continues to fly in the face of your original argument in this post. If a government can impose a sense of morality on its citizens and say who is sinful and who is righteous, what’s to stop it from saying who deserves whose money?

  11. Citizen Tom says:

    joesix – When you try to redefine marriage to suit your own religious beliefs, why doesn’t that make you a zealot? When your purpose is to use the force of government to force others to approve of same-sex marriages, how do you justify that in the name of freedom of conscience?

    You want to believe me the zealot? What that requires is that you ignore the character of your own conduct. To condemn what I believe you must first find something upon which to base that belief. Logic and reason? I don’t think so.

    So what should we make of your video? Just because one guy makes a three-minute speech about his personal experience we are suppose to fundamentally alter the entire institution of marriage? Does he know what he is talking about? Love holds marriages together, but does love establish the purpose for marriage? What if marriage is about forming families to raise children?

    What we traditionally call marriage is based upon the facts of life. When a man and a woman have sex, they may or may not be able to produce a child. When two people of the same sex try to have sex, however, they have no chance of producing offspring. Thus, we distinguish between opposite sex and same sex unions, and that is why throughout history people have not thought it pertinent to marry two people of the same sex. In addition, we do not condone Polygamy, Polyandry, Group Marriage, child marriage, marriage with beasts, and so forth. Yet some would have us believe love supports many such odd arrangements.

    Times have supposedly changed. Today we have some experts lauding the virtues of old sins and other experts lauding new technologies that suggest “new” possibilities. Moreover, we have excited journalists happily preaching the virtues of families of every description. Thus, we have the speaker in your video. Well, let’s consider his birth. What is the problem with our government encouraging the artificial insemination of a woman by a man she is not married to? Does it not open new opportunities to father children anonymously? What is the moral difference between a man taking money for his sperm and serving a paid stud for a woman who wants a child. Not much, right? So what is the problem?

    You know what a liger is? It is the cross between a lion and a tiger. We get the same sort of thing with a mule, which is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. Like animals, we too can be encourage to set aside all restraint for the thrill of the moment. As our technology progresses, we can only guess what kind of crazy things some people will try, but artificial insemination is most likely just a start. Why don’t we make it easier on the sinners by altering the definition of marriage so it accommodates every stupid whim? Why shame people? Doesn’t freedom of conscience permit people to do what they want to do just because they want to do it? Is it really necessary that the institution of marriage serve the needs of children? Wouldn’t that be religious zealotry?

    • joesix says:

      Again, I’m not (and I can’t) force anyone to approve of anything. Though I disapprove of organized religion, Will Ferrell, and reality shows, my devotion to the US Constitution compels me to allow my fellow Americans to use their freedom of conscious to decide for themselves if those destructive forces are right for them. If I don’t like church, I don’t have to go. If you don’t like same-sex marriage, you don’t have to have one. There’s no reason to ruin everyone else’s life just because we don’t see the merits in something that aids them in their pursuit of happiness.

      I apologize if you take offense at the word “zealot.” I used to use the word “bigot,” but bigots seemed even more offended with that one.

      I realize Zach Wahls’ speech is only anecdotal evidence of the harmlessness of same-sex families. You’re more than welcome to provide your own anecdotal evidence refuting it. If you need something more concrete, I guess I’ll again refer you to the recent study that found same-sex parents raise children just as physically and mentally healthy as other children, if not more so ( http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1994480,00.html ). You’re again welcome to show me any non-biased study that refutes those findings.

      If an infertile heterosexual couple tries to have sex, they have no chance of producing offspring. I don’t think you’re heartless enough to deny them the right to marry, are you? Call me a romantic, but I don’t believe sex defines marriage. I believe love, commitment, and respect is what keeps those unions strong even when a couple reaches the age when sex is not an option. Whatever the case may be, those philosophical discussions aren’t something the government should be legislating. The more I debate this with you, the more convinced I am that government should just stop recognizing all marriages.

      “Doesn’t freedom of conscience permit people to do what they want to do just because they want to do it? Is it really necessary that the institution of marriage serve the needs of children? Wouldn’t that be religious zealotry?”

      Are you screwing with me here, or actually agreeing with me?

  12. Citizen Tom says:

    joesix – You are devoted to the Constitution? I do believe that qualifies as sarcasm. Sarcasm, by the way, is what I attempted with that little section you quoted. Nevertheless, you could try answering those questions and see where that gets you.

    Anyway, it has been a long week, and I am tired. Since this thread is getting a little bit old and stale, I will post something on Tuesday that I think will revive it.

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