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Andrew Sullivan vs. John Waters on gay marriage.


fergalr

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He must have some crack team of researchers working with him, because nothing escapes Sullivan's notice.

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Spawned by this blog post

normblog: Marriage as a right and as a meaning

On this column

Gay lobby mangles meaning of marriage - The Irish Times - Fri, Jul 31, 2009

Gotta hand it to John Waters. When it comes to abysmal and insulting logic, he goes for broke.

Heterosexuals, like homosexuals, are prohibited from marrying people of their own sex. It is no more valid to allege wrongful discrimination in this context against gays than to argue that cycle lanes “discriminate” wrongfully against wheelbarrows.
Ignoring the rather salient point that heterosexuals don't want to marry people of their own sex.
 


TommyO'Brien

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Waters really is one of the dumbest columnists around. But that column even by his standards plumbs new depths of stupidity and ignorance, which is quite an achievement for Waters.
 

oceanclub

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A national embarrassment, really. His "speech" at the debate with Hitchens was excruciatingly trite.

P.
 

Mercurial

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Props to the blog for invoking the Hohfeldian distinction between claim rights and liberties.

I'll just paste a letter I sent to the Times about it, since it sums up my thoughts pretty well:
John Waters (July 31st) demonstrates a remarkable lack of understanding in arguing that Ireland’s marriage laws do not discriminate against homosexuals since “heterosexuals, like homosexuals, are prohibited from marrying people of their own sex.” Whatever about the other arguments for or against extending marriage rights to same-sex couples, this particular line of argument needs to be put to rest for the sake of those of us who are offended by sloppy logic and bad reasoning.

Prior to the 1967 ruling of the US Supreme court in Loving V Virginia, it was illegal in some US states for individuals to marry someone of another race. Would anyone have seriously considered as legitimate the argument that a white man who is prohibited from marrying a black woman was not being discriminated against since everyone was equally prohibited from marrying someone of a different race? Such an argument is patently ridiculous, whether as presented above, or in the guise employed by Mr. Waters with regard to same-sex marriage. What gay people are seeking is the right to marry the individuals they love, regardless of gender. If Mr. Waters has good reasons for denying this, let him present them, but to frame the issue as though discrimination is not present is both absurd and insulting to the intelligence of his readers.
 

20000miles

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Props to Mercurial for posting that pithy letter.

Waters appears to be reusing a common argument, one that's popular in one form or another. The more correct view, IMO, is not that gay lobbies are bending the meaning of marriage out of shape, but that the initial problem is the State's monopolisation of the word "marriage" and what does or does not constitute a marriage. Unsurprisingly any institution the State touches immediately becomes a politicised struggle.

Being the hardcore guy I am, I take a more extreme position: there should be no marriage laws.
 

Factorem

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Anyone see that RTE program on Waters there the other night? I thought it was hilarious.
 

cyberianpan

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Waters rarely relies on logic - usually just a rambalog that

1) evokes some symbols/totems
2) prides itself in being contrarian/asserts victimhood (though is actually on examination reactionary)
3) is extraordinarily vague ... trying to catch the sense of what he is saying is like trying to recreate that epiphanical thought you had last night whilst stoned

If religion is the opiate of the masses : Waters is the cannabis for "Non Dublin "Celts" who feel hippy but are in fact reactionary bigots at the core"

cYp
 

Trmr09

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His "review" of the Brüno movie on Pat Kenny a few weeks ago literally made me angry, with the number of half-truths, fallacies and incoherant arguements he made all the while not really listening/remembering/twisting what the other panelist was saying. He's the one columnist that brings down The Times' high standards. If the editor had any sence, he'd fire him immediately.
 

Trmr09

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I honestly think he tries to be the Ann Coulter of Ireland.
 

Aj1990

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This may upset alot of people,but it is the wiset and most morally correct way I can think of a solution to the "gay marriage" issue.

No one is considered married by state officials for official purposes. Marriage is just the religious ceremony and religious unionship.

A Civil Union is what the state recognizes. It consists of two persons who are of legal age and can legally make decisions.

To me marriage is a religious union,and the state should not get into religious matters. It should be up to the individual priest,pastor,minister on who he or she is going to let get married in their church.
 

Trmr09

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This may upset alot of people,but it is the wiset and most morally correct way I can think of a solution to the "gay marriage" issue.

No one is considered married by state officials for official purposes. Marriage is just the religious ceremony and religious unionship.

A Civil Union is what the state recognizes. It consists of two persons who are of legal age and can legally make decisions.

To me marriage is a religious union,and the state should not get into religious matters. It should be up to the individual priest,pastor,minister on who he or she is going to let get married in their church.
That's exactly what I believe and it's obviously the most rational, progressive, logical, sane approach - but what the hell would Christian conservatives know about any of that.
 

Aj1990

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That's exactly what I believe and is obviously the rational, progressive, logical approach.
At one time,I was brainwashed by the neo-cons,and it took a few years for me to awaken from it.
 

fergalr

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I thought he wrote with great eloquence at Easter last year about the power of Christianity in "defeating death".

Bump, in any case for, the morning's readers :)
 

iartaoiseach

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I thought he wrote with great eloquence at Easter last year about the power of Christianity in "defeating death".

Bump, in any case for, the morning's readers :)
I assume you are being ironic. defeating death indeed. what a notion.
 

Fr. Fahey

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Waters makes a good point about Amnesty whinging on this issue. What does it have to do with Amnesty's alleged function as a human rights body?

Bearing in mind that Amnesty refused to say anything about real human rights abuses in this country in the 1970s and 80s related to what was happening in north.
 

TradCat

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Being the hardcore guy I am, I take a more extreme position: there should be no marriage laws.
I think that is an increasingly reasonable solution. We have to have equality under the law and there is no agreement now on what constitutes a marriage. Why should either party to this dispute foist their definition on everybody.

The legal standing of your arrangement with another person should be based on a contract if you both so choose and the state should have nothing to do with it.
 

fergalr

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I assume you are being ironic. defeating death indeed. what a notion.
Not in the slightest. I thought parts of it were beautifully written

Know Your Faith: Good Friday to Easter Sunday

This, he told me, is both the meaning of the Resurrection and the central idea of Christianity: that death has no dominion, that beyond the end there is a new beginning. Christianity, he said, is the announcement to the world of the death of death.
 

Mercurial

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I don’t think that some sort of modus vivendi can ever be an acceptable long-term solution when it comes to matters of human rights since you end up with “separate but equal” type solutions which only gloss over the real problems. Better to confront them. Yes people disagree with how marriage is defined, but this disagreement is not one which is necessarily irresolvable for many.

Civil marriage is already a concept in law, that is what the government currently recognises, not the religious aspect. Changing the term to “civil union” in my opinion is both unnecessary and disrespectful towards gay people (not to mention the fact that there are probably a lot of married heterosexuals who would prefer the term “married” and have no problem extending it to gay people also). The government has been recognising atheist marriages for decades without anyone getting hot and bothered about the religious dimension of marriage.
 

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