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05/20/2008

Wherein Prager twists rather than embraces truth

by Jeremy Hooper

2 61 Prager DennisOf the "ills" that the CA Supreme Court's marriage ruling will supposedly wrought upon society, conservative radio personality Dennis Prager says the following:

Outside of the privacy of their homes, young girls will be discouraged from imagining one day marrying their prince charming – to do so would be declared "heterosexist," morally equivalent to racist. Rather, they will be told to imagine a prince or a princess. Schoolbooks will not be allowed to describe marriage in male-female ways alone. Little girls will be asked by other girls and by teachers if they want one day to marry a man or a woman.

The sexual confusion that same-sex marriage will create among young people is not fully measurable. Suffice it to say that, contrary to the sexual know-nothings who believe that sexual orientation is fixed from birth and permanent, the fact is that sexual orientation is more of a continuum that ranges from exclusive heterosexuality to exclusive homosexuality. Much of humanity – especially females – can enjoy homosexual sex. It is up to society to channel polymorphous human sexuality into an exclusively heterosexual direction – until now, accomplished through marriage. But that of course is "heterosexism," a bigoted preference for man-woman erotic love, and therefore to be extirpated from society.

So just like the best of the worst socially conservative arguments, Prager cleverly sell his predictions by presenting a mixture of both semi-truth and flat-out fabrication. The truth part? Yes, hopefully kids will be taught that marriage is open and available to both those who love members of the same-sex and those who love someone of the opposite gender. But the fib part? Well, virtually every other other point that Prager piles upon this notion!

No child is going to be discouraged from marrying either a prince or a princess charming, and no gay activist worth their weight in pride flags would consider it heterosexist to promote heterosexual marriage to heterosexual people. Our campaigns for inclusivity are not a negative scenario in which we're trying to deprive anyone of anything. It is a grossly unfair leap in logic to act as if by opening up marriage options to both gay and straight kids, we are somehow limiting the joys of childhood imagination.

For another one of Mr. Prager's unfair assertions, look at how he takes the idea that sexuality is somewhat of a continuum, an idea that is not without merit, but then translates that into the flawed idea that society must only promote heterosexual marriage so as to keep folks from "choosing" other options above heterosexuality. This is a common "pro-family" tactic -- to use the full spectrum of sexuality against LGBT people in a way that makes it sound as if orientation is nothing more than a club into which folks opt-in. It's a gross bastardization of the truth! By acknowledging that in this world, there are some who fall in love with someone of their own gender and some who fall in love with someone of the opposite gender, sexuality is not being channeled in a detrimental way. The detriment is to try and funnel ALL sexuality through a sieve that doesn't allow for everyone's reality!

If you read Prager's full piece, you will see that the main problem in his arguments is that he, regardless of how he qualifies it, essentially holds the flawed view that civil marriage should be defined by commonly-held Judeo-Christian principle. Plus he thinks that using a gay-supportive secular rights argument, even if it holds legal merit, is going to futz with the little minds of future generations. But both the exclusive definition of marriage and the fear-mongery predictions regarding child welfare simply cannot hold up under scrutiny. For we are to be a reasoned people wherein church and state are to be separated. We are also to be a fair society that accommodates all of the individuals and families who make up this great land. Mr. Prager's ideas just plain miss these marks.

We totally understand why folks like Mr. Prager continue to tow the line on this issue, because their conservative credentials depend on it. However, their arguments serve not to embolden their side's sought-after bans; they serve only to reveal just how swiss cheese-like their talking points truly are!

California: Where compassion replaced wisdom [WND]

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Your thoughts

So basically they think that gay people are going to force straight people, to suppress any natural feelings, much like they want us to suppress our feelings. I did wonder about the 'Cruise with Dennis' advert on the Dennis Prager Store website though....

Posted by: johnozed | May 20, 2008 11:49:06 AM

Jeremy, I would make one little correction to what you wrote.

You said, "...no gay activist worth their weight in pride flags would consider it heterosexist to promote heterosexual marriage." I would qualify this statement by adding "for heterosexuals" to the end of that sentence.

I am a gay activist and I WOULD consider it heterosexist to PROMOTE heterosexual marriage for EVERYONE. It is particularly heterosexist to promote heterosexual marriage to homosexual people. In fact it is heterosexism at its very foundation to assume that every child and every adult is a heterosexual to whom heterosexual marriage should be promoted.

Posted by: Zeke | May 20, 2008 1:24:24 PM

Zeke: Hmm..I though it was pretty obvious what I meant. But I'll add a word or two to clarify.

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 20, 2008 1:28:03 PM

OH! I love SWISS CHEESE! I will never again be able to eat it with the same fondness.

Posted by: Dick Mills | May 20, 2008 3:24:53 PM

My GOD! What will happen next Mr. Prager? Will the sky fall? Unbelievable. So if the Cal Sup Court left gay people with DPs, none of what he said is going to happen will happen? Giving us the title of marriage all of sudden changes how the entire world operates? Who knew we had so much power!!??

If you really want to get a laugh, read Janet Folger's article this week. Gay marriage literally means the end of the world according to Janet. Not that it matters, but is Janet an "ex"-gay? I know she is heavily involved with the movement and seems kinda butchy.

Posted by: stojef | May 20, 2008 3:43:28 PM

Jeremy, thanks for the clarification.

Though it may be clear to you or to those who know you, it may not have been clear at all to some of your visitors.

Posted by: Zeke | May 21, 2008 8:19:06 PM

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