Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Matt 24 watch, 62: Prager's remarks on homosexualists' fallacious analogies to objections to inter-racial marriage

The well-known American talk show host and commenter, Dennis Prager [a conservative Jew], has published a very important "food for thought" column today, "On interracial and same-sex marriage."

He begins:

The most effective of all morality-based arguments for same-sex marriage, the one that persuades more people than any other argument, is the one that equates opposition to same-sex marriage with the old opposition to interracial marriage.

The argument, repeated so often that it sounds incontestable, is this: Just as parts of American society once had immoral laws that forbade whites and blacks from marrying, so, today, society continues to have immoral laws forbidding men from marrying men and women from marrying women. And just as decent people overthrew the former, decent people must overthrow the latter . . . .

But the equation is false . . .

In discussing why that equation is an instance of the fallacy of unwarranted [im]moral equivalency, he notes that:

1] Race and sex bear no equivalence, as skin colour does not mark the same level of innate difference that sex does. For instance -- and indirectly rebuking an astonishing recent court ruling in Colorado -- "Separate bathrooms for men and women is moral and rational; separate bathrooms for blacks and whites is not."

2] Racism -- being based on superficial characteristics such as skin colour or shape of facial features or hair texture etc -- is plainly a moral aberration, while objection to the attempted "redefinition" of marriage to include men "marrying" men and women "marrying" women, is based on a longstanding moral consensus of great civilisations and religions around the world; not just that in Western culture.

3] So, implicitly, there is a serious "who is more likely to be right?" question that must be faced:

advocating same-sex marriage . . . advocates something that defies every religious and secular moral tradition. Those who advocate redefining marriage are saying that every religious and secular tradition is immoral. They have no problem doing this because they believe they are wiser and finer people than all the greatest Jewish, Christian and humanist thinkers who ever lived.

4] Of course, however improbable, it is logically possible that that is indeed so. But do we see the required case being patiently made, step by persuasive, and convincing step? Sadly, just the opposite:

Comparing the prohibition of same-sex marriage to prohibiting interracial marriage is ultimately a way of declaring the moral superiority of proponents of same-sex marriage to proponents of keeping marriage defined as man-woman. And it is a way of avoiding hard issues such as whether we really want all children to grow up thinking it doesn't matter if they marry a boy or a girl and whether we really want to abolish forever the ideal of husband-wife based family.

5] Prager therefore throws down the gauntlet:

Those who wish to redefine marriage for the first time in Jewish, Christian or secular humanist history may offer any honest arguments they wish. Comparing the prohibition of same-sex marriage to prohibiting interracial marriage is not one of them.

Sobering words, and an invitation to serious discussion on matters foundational to our civilisation and its moral underpinnings.

A serious discussion that must address the point that it is self-evident that maleness and femaleness are complementary and fundamentally so in a way that maleness and maleness or femaleness and femaleness are not.

So much so, that as our Lord observed about creation order on being challenged about easy divorce and remarriage:

3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?"

4 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,'[a] 5 and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

7 "Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?"

8 Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.


Matthew 19:4 Gen. 1:27
Matthew 19:5 Gen. 2:24

If this is so for easy divorce and remarriage, how much moreso is the implication that marriage is embedded in the Creation order for humanity relevant to an attempt to say that Adam and Steve -- or Eve and Sue -- are equivalent to Adam and Eve? END

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