A civilized debate on marriage with two opposing sides…

The debate over marriage is a hot topic today with a varying degree of opinions and passions. One of the problems with this debate is a lack of civility on both sides. The following is a reposting from a Facebook post my friend Kevin Kerr put up shortly after the SCOTUS decision. I decided to engage him in an exchange that I feel represents two opposing sides. I enjoyed this debate for many reasons, mainly because Kevin is an adept debater, but it also shows how discourse can be intelligent and respectful. He definitely kept me on my toes. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have. Remember that no matter what side you’re coming from, respect and love the other. Public discourse will determine the future. Let’s go.

Kevin Kerr – (Original post) Marriage equality wins. But seriously, can you really argue against it? I mean, beyond personal feelings or opinions, just straight up logical argument, how could you possibly deny marriage to only certain pairings of consenting, adult humans?

Kevin Kerr –  I’m openly welcoming polite discourse. Let me exercise this brain of mine.

Adam Jarosz  – Hello good sir, I’m back! I love me some polite discourse. 

This is the biggest change in human society and family make up in possibly, forever. This is a Christian, Judeo, Islamic, (insert any other non-western culture) foundation that has been the cornerstone of all societies for all time. Marriage as defined between man&woman has been the optimal creator of the family unit, which progresses the survival of the population.

With the age old standard out of the way, any love is up for grabs. It’s all relative. Who’s to say you can’t marry more than one? It’s love. Marry a relative? It’s love. Marry an underager. It’s love. Marry a shoe? It’s love.

I don’t think anyone is prepared for the ramifications of this. You won’t be able make a logical argument against any of them in the future. As long as you say it’s a civil right, tell anyone against you that they’re a bigot, and get enough people on your side you can get anything done.

We believe marriage is more than just a feeling of love. It’s the gold standard for procreation, society, and a sacrament of our Creator. I think the biggest question out of all of this is, what is truth?

Kevin Kerr – The slippery slope arguement is null when marriage equality is viewed in this way: Two male consenting, human adults A and B and two female consenting, human adults C and D are available for marriage. Does it seem logical to say that only the combinations AC, AD, BC, and BD are permissible while AB and CD are not?

Your tradition cannot dictate the behavior of others who do not keep that tradition.

If procreation is the intent of marriage, then the infertile and the elderly could not marry.

Adam Jarosz – I appreciate your feedback. You make good points that I enjoy reflecting on. I want to clear something up, no one is looking to keep homosexuals from having a fulfilling life as they wish. I’m certainly not advocating a second class citizenship. Homosexuals do contribute to society in positive ways. No one serious is saying to ban gays or keep them in the closet. I wish nothing but the best for LBGT but I do take issue directly and specifically with the role of marriage.

Here’s what I don’t understand, you are taking something that was objectively true, marriage as known through history as between m&w and making it subjective. It’s been that way through every major religion and culture. A horse is called different names in various cultures but it’s still a horse. Where the LBGT movement all of a sudden comes in with a cow and calls it a horse. Sure it has four legs, ears, and eats grass, but it still moos.

I understand that gays want to love the way they wish, no one is saying they can’t do that in society. They could spend the rest of their lives together before all this was in place and I applaud the move from the shadows. I was ok with civil unions to equal out insurance and benefits for partners. Yet the movement wanted something that was intrinsically different and by calling the cow a horse, they got what they wanted. Thousands of years changed in a matter of a decade or two by one of the smallest percentages in the population. Who are they to change it? As a strategist, I applaud the design. Make it civil rights issue, again another cow. Push it through media and youth and make it a populist movement. Call out those in opposition intolerant to neutralize them. Who wants to be intolerant?

Instead of owning the differences and claiming that it’s the same, the movement burned a lot of bridges by encroaching on something sacred held by religions. That’s not good enough however, lawsuit after lawsuit for those who hold on to those beliefs in the wedding business and more create animosity. How did less than 2% of the population all of a sudden command the beliefs of the faithful and expect respect?

I think you are underestimating the slippery slope. If everything is subjective, then anything is permissible. I just read article on polygamy as the next horizon. There is always a next horizon. If you make the case for gay marriage, the case can be made for polygamy and more. But if you disagree with it you’re intolerant.
(http://www.politico.com/…/gay-marriage-decision…)

While I wouldn’t say two men or two women couldn’t raise successful children, research has shown that children are more successful when raised by a mother and a father. A real gender equality has significant benefits for the growth of a child. Simple online research will give you what you’re looking for in favorable samples to your cause but broad samples do show this as true. http://www.familystructurestudies.com/summary. Now I don’t believe that a homosexual couple couldn’t raise a home. Like a single parent home or foster parent home it’s the exception to the rule, a child benefits from it’s genetic parents being engaged from birth. A man and woman alone can make that child, and that engine is optimal not the exception.

Kevin Kerr – You have a sacred religious viewpoint on something that is a civil matter. Religions did have a definition of marriage for a long time, but that definition was definitely subject to change over millennia, but that’s another story.

My point is you might get married in a church, but it is the state that provides the legal definition of your marriage and the benefits inherited. Your religious definition is irrelevant in the eyes of the civil courts. And inversely, allowing two people of the same sex to marry doesn’t diminish your religious definition.

Romans 13, bro. If you have to follow the laws of the government, because all governments are placed by God, then this decision is God still speaking. A reminder that the real purpose is to love one another, because love is the fulfillment of the law.

Kevin Kerr – As to the polygamy thing, I personally cannot find a moral argument against it. I can’t see why I should be against it. Polygamy was a bad practice because of the cultural aspect of it, not the moral implications of multiple spouses. The cultural practice was one of the enslavement of young girls to a figurehead husband who according to biblical scripture was the master of his household and his wives.

According to the modern customs of the polyamorous movement, men and women are held in equal regard and relationships are formed as an expression of romantic love that exceeds monogamy. I’m not talking swinger communities either. A free and equal exchange of love between multiple committed partners. I have no moral objection to that practice, as it is respectful to all parties.

Currently, though, I doubt that the definition of marriage will change to allow multiple marriages. Legal code, tax code, etc are all tied to single marriages. Allowing sane sex couples the same right to marry the people they love doesn’t shake the foundations of the laws marriages were built on, it simply broadens who gets those same rights and privileges. Shifting to a polygamous definition of marriage would require a complete overhaul of our legal code regarding marriage. Therefore it is incredibly unlikely to happen.

Kevin Kerr – And the data that children raised in households with a male and female parent have been refuted many times by science, but continue to be cited. There is no evidence that children in same sex parent households are worse off that in opposite sex parenthouseholds. In fact, some studies found the opposite correlation. Since the rate at which opposite sex couples have accidental children nears 50% and same sex couples only get children when they are emotionally or financially ready, the degree of care and happiness of the children in same sex parent households is statistically higher. ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/…/children-of-same-sex…/).

Furthermore, the study you reference was funded entirely by the conservative organisations that oppose same sex parenting, who needed “scientific evidence” to back up their claim. The methodology was innately biased because the data was cherry picked to support their hypothesis. (http://www.minnpost.com/…/critics-challenge-findings…) I think the survey pool was 3000 individuals and the survey was designed to attack the deck toward their hypothesis. I’d compare it to the study that supposedly found evidence linking the MMR vaccine with autism, which was done by a man who had a patent for a different vaccine and funded by people who had a lawsuit regarding the vaccine. It’s unethical science, but because of the internet the studies keep getting used even though they’ve been proven false.

Adam Jarosz – I dare say ol chap, you are doing a service to your side. Thanks for delivering decent arguments. I appreciate you using scripture to engage from my perspective, however it is taken out of context. St. Paul is building off of Wisdom 6 when Hebrew kings and magistrates ruled by consent of God. Romans 13 is in response to a message that declared people free from law. If you check the chapter before, Romans 12:2, “you’ll see that we’re not called to conform to this age but to be transformed by the renewal of our mind, so we may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 13 isn’t applicable in every subsequent scenario, like we certainly wouldn’t conform to Hitler’s Germany and explains our opposition to abortion. 

I can go on from there, but you’re not interested in hearing scripture. However you do bring up a good point I would like to elaborate on. Using that scripture does bring a great point about love. We are all called to love one another. Absolutely right and I want to make clear because this point isn’t always clear, that my opposition to gay marriage isn’t opposition to gay people. You may think the two are intrinsically linked but they’re not. We would never wish harm, physically, mentally, or otherwise to anyone of homosexual orientation and really hope for them to thrive as created. But love also doesn’t mean we accept everyones actions. Changing the definition of marriage is that action. If you want to understand the perspective of this, read the Theology of the Body.

In my research I’ve found plenty of stats and articles that can be found in favor of both ways when it comes to raising kids. Because a piece is funded by conservatives doesn’t automatically discredit them, the quality of research does. Liberals also throw an extraordinary amount of money looking for numbers to support their claims. The difference is the gay family movement doesn’t have much data to work from where there is a lot of data on the benefits of having a mother and father.

Going back to the slippery slope and polygamy because I think the perspective you’ve shared really highlights the issue at hand. What is best for society and how should it be determined? From the Judeo-Christian perspective, which the country was formed, is centered around the belief that there is a Creator. Short changing the introduction, there is an order to this culture that has been well formed and its evidence makes up this society. “Traditional” ideals such as religion, promotion of life, family structure, justice, governance, and others are fairly predictable and well established. If you share a belief in said Creator, these make sense. The order is logical.

In closing, when you remove the Creator from the equation, that order becomes disordered and may appear illogical. With the popularity of atheism rising or the growing segment of “nones”, there will be a growing conflict of world views. A culture clash. We know what a Theist America looks like. We know the bounds. You know what we stand for. An atheist America scares many because you can make the case for anything, especially given time. The US formation and manifesto doesn’t make sense. Rights are granted by men and are alienable. The old adage, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything” is true.

I’ll leave you the last word good sir. The following is what I believe the conversation boils down to and starts a bigger one. I enjoyed sparring with you and I hope I made the case that there is a logic to one m&w marriage. A logic I’m sure you don’t agree with but just the same. I do respect your argument and your ability to articulate it. Cheers.

Kevin Kerr – I hold your opinions and your arguments in deep regard and respect. You’re good people, Mr Jarosz. You know the old (totally not Voltaire) quote: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”  

Change can be scary, I get that, especially when it shakes at the foundation of the orderly structure you build your life around. I hope that if changes continue, you don’t feel too much turmoil, just as I hope to not feel the same if the rubber band of (let’s call it progress just from perspective) snaps back.

I really don’t know if you’re still local, but if you are I’d love to catch you for a “no politics and/or religion” lunch or something. You have to meet the kiddos.

Adam Jarosz – I’d love it, what are you doing on Monday for lunch?

Special thanks to Kevin for allowing me to repost. Cheers – Adam Jarosz