The first step, Mr. Mohler, is to start listening to us. No, we mean actually listening. Like with your ears.
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler has written a four-part piece covering what he thinks is "at stake in the 'gay marriage' [his fearquotes] debate." But really, all you need to know about the anti-gay side's views on this topic can be gleaned from this one paragraph assessing the "fight":
Those opposed to "same-sex marriage" see marriage as an essentially heterosexual institution that is fundamental to human happiness and the well-being of civilization. Those who support "same-sex marriage" see limiting marriage to heterosexuals as a way of exercising patriarchal oppression against sexual minorities. Marriage is seen, therefore, as an obstacle to human happiness and autonomy that must be either destroyed or radically revised. The quest for this radical revision is seen as an act of human liberation. To the conservative, this is a mortal blow directed at the very heart of the culture.
Okay, so Mr. Mohler is pretty accurate in presenting the anti-equality side. Most of them do seem to think that their "victory" in this whole to-do is essential to society's well-being. We believe that.
But as for his assessment of the pro-equality side? PUH-LEEZE! While some who support marriage equality might see a minority's triumph over the patriarchy as the guiding force, the vast majority of same-sex marriage proponents work from a far simpler place. Most see it as a basic matter of fairness. Since gay people live, love, and pay taxes like their hetero counterparts, their government needs to respect them in the same fashion. If marriage is to be the currency through which we civilly recognize heterosexual commitments, then commitment-seeking gay citizens best be having the same right! This push for liberty has little to nothing to do with patriarchy, and everything to do with fair and decent treatment.
Also, Mohler falsely attributes a desire to "destroy" or "radically revise" marriage as a pro-equality community goal, presenting the current system as "an obstacle to human happiness and autonomy." Well he is kind of right about the obstacle part, as there has been an unfair roadblock placed on our road to happiness. But he's 100% wrong when it comes to our need to "revise" or "destroy" the custom in order to remove the firewall. The system, as is, works quite well for us, thanks. It is the limitation that sucks poopy crap. Fortunately the limitation, like so many short-sighted limitations before it, can be surgically excised without the custom even feeling a ripple. That is, if those who are responsible for the limitation would stop rocking the damn boat!
So in conclusion: Albert Mohler can never pen a truthful piece on the subject of marriage equality because he refuses to accurately acknowledge the arguments and goals of the side for whom this "culture war" debate holds real and great personal implications. A 4-part piece or a 400-part piece -- Mr. Mohler's ink will be a total waste until he realizes that the gay community's one true, guiding goal is to have our fair and equal piece! Peacefully.
"Most of them do seem to think that their "victory" in this whole to-do is essential to society's well-being."
I'm going to play the Devil for a minute (I'm taking it one step further beyone Devil's Advocate), and say that, that statement is absolutely false. There may be a couple of little old ladies who are so deluded that they quietly believe that, but they are not the ones waging war here. This feigned "essential to society's well-being" is just the false public face that they put on the ugly underbelly of fear and/or loathing. They put that same face on the war waged against equal rights for African Americans, and they are doing the same thing here.
Posted by: Dick Mills | Oct 28, 2008 6:52:21 PM
I'm not so cynical on that point, Dick. I think a fair number truly do believe this. And even if they don't, it is the argument that fuels their movement, which is what we are discussing in the post.
Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 28, 2008 6:57:57 PM
Well, it certainly is the public face that they put on it, because, let's face it, the truth doesn't sell very well. But, if you scratch into that crusty surface, all of the ugliness just becomes apparent. Just remember back to the LA Times article where the group of reporters / editors gave those guys a fair hearing and came away with the same (although maybe with a slightly softer glove) assessment. If their true motives were the good of society, then they didn't convince the LA Times staff of that.
Posted by: Dick Mills | Oct 28, 2008 7:31:11 PM
I would say a lot of people believe this and if the latest polls are correct unfortunately after Nov. 4th it will a bitter-sweet celebration for a lot of us in CA.
Posted by: Alonzo | Oct 28, 2008 7:44:06 PM
I guess my fear, Dick, is that painting the other side with a broad brush that says that they don't really believe what they are doing is good for society, it's sort of doing what I am criticizing Mohler for doing. Eventhough he doesn't acknowledge our true arguments at all, what Mohler is essentially saying that underneath our public front is an attempt to "destroy," "revise," "oppose the patriarchy," etc. What I'm saying is that no, underneath our public front is juts more of our personal goal: fairness, decent treatment, equality, etc. And I'm also saying that even if their "hidden" goal is much different than their public one, it doesn't really matter to me all that much -- their public goal is bad (and flawed) enough.
But yes, they are of course the ones waging war.
Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 28, 2008 7:47:54 PMcomments powered by Disqus