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Reynolds: Won’t Someone Think of the Anti-Gay Youngsters?

With the polling data showing that young people are overwhelmingly in favor of marriage equality, the religious right knows it has a real problem. John Mark Reynolds of Houston Baptist University has a truly bizarre take on that problem at Patheos. He quotes, and is ostensibly responding to, this quote from Republican political consultant Reed Galen:

Regardless of party affiliation, young voters view gay marriage as utterly uncontroversial. With all of the other problems the country has to solve, the freedom of individuals to live their lives as they see fit seems a foregone conclusion.

Opinions are unlikely to change over the course of two days this week. The high court will take its time to decide the merits of the cases. Whatever the justices decide, we should look in our collective national mirror and ask ourselves : Are we a country, and a party, of more freedom or less.

And here is Galen’s really weird response:

We are told that people strongly homosexual are roughly six percent of the population. It is interesting to observe that the young adults who view homosexuality as a sin and support traditional marriage are at least three times their number. Evidently, however, these young adults are to be forced into a political closet and told to pretend to agree or Mr. Galen merely pretends they don’t exist.

Such young adults should start wearing shirts that proclaim they are “one in five,” that they too are children and grandchildren made as invisible in the media as the millions who still pray before their meals.

In fact, even those young Americans who, with great moral difficulty, are able to concede civil marriage rights, though they wish they did not have to do so, do not exist. All the Americans who favor “gay marriage” view the right to vice as utterly uncontroversial!

Whiskey tango foxtrot? This is really a tortured response. Who, exactly, is saying that the minority of young voters who are opposed to same-sex marriage “don’t exist”? And it just gets weirder after that:

If you are a poor person, then good luck to that. The best thing about gay marriage is that at least someone is wanting to get married.

I would rather live in Vanity Faire than Mordor.

Nor should we panic about the future. We are declaring a vice a right, a sin a virtue, but then Americans have often done this. Slavery was after all a “property right” and we survived this morally depraved judgment.

But slavery was, of course, defended with many of the same arguments now used against marriage equality: “But this is tradition and God has declared that it be so! If we alter this God-decreed institution, we are shaking our fist at God and we will suffer his wrath!” Lather, rinse, repeat with giving women the right to vote, ending official segregation, passing anti-discrimination laws, reproductive rights and now gay rights. They only have one script.

This intellectual fad, despite all dangers, will fade just as other fads labeled “science” or “progress” have done many times in the history of the Christian church. I am not likely to see it, but it will happen.

This is the immemorial refuge of the Christian apologist: We will win in the end! God is on our side and we cannot lose! Sorry, but that’s wrong. You’ve lost over and over again throughout history. But rather than admitting that, you just reinterpret your holy texts and pretend that you were on the right side all along.

Comments

  1. Chiroptera says

    Slavery was after all a “property right” and we survived this morally depraved judgment.

    What? Slavery was about owining people who didn’t want to be someone else’s property.

    Same sex marriage is about people being married to each other who want to be married to each other.

    Once again, we have a religious nut who doesn’t understand their own morality; in this case, Reynolds doesn’t really understand why slavery is wrong.

  2. matty1 says

    This is another example of the weakness of divine command morality. Good and bad are seen purely as a matter of following the rules and there can be no question of why something is bad beyond “Because God says so”.

    If I make a moral argument based on utilitarianism or Kant you might disagree with me but you could at least see the basis of my claims and either criticise those or try to show my conclusion doesn’t follow. If I made an argument based on the will of God it can’t go beyond “Is not” “Is so” and that approach is rarely convincing.

  3. Sastra says

    Regardless of party affiliation, young voters view gay marriage as utterly uncontroversial.

    Technically, Reynolds has a point. To be accurate, Galen should have said that “most” young voters view gay marriage as utterly uncontroversial — or maybe it’s “many.” A teenager who was against gay marriage would indeed think their existence is being ignored and they’ll feel ill-used. And even though these teens are going to end up on the wrong side of history it’s just never a good idea to give a teenager a legitimate excuse to feel ill-used. As a general rule, derived from experience.

    Of course Reynolds then goes off the rails and makes stuff up and says dumb things. I only concede a small point.

  4. Doug Little says

    This intellectual fad, despite all dangers, will fade just as other fads labeled “science” or “progress” have done many times in the history of the Christian church.

    Sure, solely from within the christian church I can see that science and progress are labeled as fads that wax and wane overtime. Unfortunately for him the way the church interprets the world is far removed from reality.

  5. Randomfactor says

    science and progress are labeled as fads that wax and wane overtime.

    We’re better off when they wax on and religion wax off, though.

  6. Red-Green in Blue says

    John Mark Reynolds:

    This intellectual fad, despite all dangers, will fade just as other fads labeled “science” or “progress” have done many times in the history of the Christian church. I am not likely to see it, but it will happen.

    To me, this seems to be argumentum ad ambultum bibonis (appeal to the Drunkard’s Walk). In other words, just as in mathematics, it can be proved that a random walk (e.g. of a drunkard staggering at random around a city) is certain to return to its origin given enough time, there is bound to come a time in history when GLBT people are forced back into the closet, if only we wait long enough.

    * Of course, as mathematicians will know, this is only true for one- or two-dimensional space: a concept which is quite a good metaphor for such thinking. :D Thankfully, human history is far from two-dimensional, both physically and metaphorically, which bodes well for the future of marriage equality and other social progress…

  7. says

    I would rather live in Vanity Faire than Mordor.

    That’s some middle school level language arts, right there. “Write a persuasive essay.” Receive a C minus.

  8. kantalope says

    ooo ooo T-shirt: Science: Just a Fad
    on the front

    Stupid makes a comeback
    on the back

  9. says

    ‘fade just as other fads labeled “science” or “progress” have done many times’
    Huh??
    I suppose that one could say that as the Roman Empire fell science faded (though there were interesting developments in ploughing and wind-powered technologies during C5-C10) but apart from that: Huh??

  10. Synfandel says

    And here is Galen’s really weird response

    Shouldn’t that be “And here is Reynolds’ really weird response”?

  11. fastlane says

    How is it that some of the other bloggers at Patheos can blog there and not get infected with the stupid?

    I do hope some of the former ftbers will take this clown to task.

  12. says

    He may need to re-read his Bible passages that refer to slavery. And I mean really, really read them. Like reeeaaalll slow, so he understands which side of slavery his imaginary friend’s on.

  13. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    This intellectual fad, despite all dangers, will fade just as other fads labeled “science” or “progress” have done many times in the history of the Christian church. I am not likely to see it, but it will happen.

    bwahahhahah….

    If we look at historical precedent and current tendencies, it’s way more likely that it is his whole yahwe thing that’s going to end up in the cemetary of gods that is mythology. Who prays to Zeus and Odin nowadays ?

    That’s not to say the idiocy that is religion will disappear, it’s just certain that religions, like other things, y’know, evolve. Very often beyond all recognition. Their own xianity is a highly mutated form of what was a middle-eastern jewish sect, members of which probably wouldn’t recognize any of the modern version as their own.

    No matter how much they might wish to the contrary, they are of a dying breed.

    And the hilarious thing is that however much they might reproduce, it won’t make a dent in the problem, since their own kids leave in droves as soon as they are able to.

  14. dingojack says

    This intellectual fad, despite all dangers, will fade just as other fads labeled [sic] “science” or “progress” have done many times in the history of the Christian church….”

    In the history of Christian churches, perhaps, in the history of society generally, not so much…*

    Dingo
    ———
    * and Christians wonder why their institutions are seen as backward-looking and out-of-touch.

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