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Apr 12 2013

McManus: Gays Trying to Destroy Marriage

As it becomes more and more clear that same-sex marriage is going to be a reality in this country no matter what the Supreme Court does, the Christian right is pulling out all the stops and ratcheting up their rhetoric to absurd levels. Mike McManus of Marriage Savers went on Bryan Fischer’s radio show and declared that gays want to “destroy the institution of marriage.”

So again I’m left asking the obvious question, which no one can ever answer: How is same-sex marriage going to destroy the institution of marriage without having any effect at all on any actual marriages? There is no answer to that question.

25 comments

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  1. 1
    Matt G

    They keep braiding the rope with which they will hang themselves as a force in society. Keep at it guys!

  2. 2
    jamessweet

    Actually, Ed, it’s not that difficult: For some people, marriage is still an institution that is defined by proscribed roles. The man has certain rights and responsibilities (mostly the former), and the woman has certain rights and responsibilities (mostly the latter), and these are handed down by God and should not be questioned — and even if you don’t agree with the theological angle, our culture has defined it that way, so you’ll be safe from Jeebus’ fig tree-hatin’ wrath either way.

    Same-sex marriage, by not filling the “appropriate” genders, challenges the notion that proscribed gender roles are necessary for a successful marriage. If two men can have an effective relationship, and one of them fulfills the role that was “supposed” to be assigned to the woman (or, GASP, even more sinful, if they work out their own individual division of responsibilities in an equitable and loving way, that doesn’t necessarily conform to 1950s gender stereotypes — oh god I can’t believe I typed that GET THEE BEHIND ME SATAN!) then the next thing you know, women in heterosexual relationships will be wavering on the whole “unquestioned obedience” principle. It’s a slippery slope, you know?

    Despite some sarcasm in that last paragraph, I’m not joking at all. Marriage equality poses a direct threat to the patriarchy. So in that sense, the wingnuts are dead-on accurate: If you’re definition of the institution of marriage inherently requires a patriarchal arrangement, marriage equality is corrosive towards that institution.

  3. 3
    Gregory in Seattle

    @Matt G #1 – I like that expression, “braiding the rope.” People like Fischer and McManus don’t need to be given any rope, they are delighted to make it themselves.

  4. 4
    Ben P

    They keep braiding the rope with which they will hang themselves as a force in society. Keep at it guys!

    You know what we need? Some rope

    Absolutely, what are ya, insane?

    No I ain’t, charlie bronson’s always got rope.

    Wait, that’s a different McManus.

  5. 5
    hexidecima

    same sex marriage *is* a reality in this country, it simply hasn’t yet been recognized by the gov’t. And suprise, no sky has fallen, no marriages have been destroyed, as the lies of the Christians keep claiming. If they are so “biblical”, they should be stoning each other to death by now because of their failed prophecies.

    hmm, I’ve been married to my husband for 22+ years. And these lying Christians insist that suddenly my marriage will end because someone else gets married. They are pathetic people, dependent on lies and ignorance to keep spewing their nonsense.

  6. 6
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Meh. If I’ve learned anything from the Christian god, it’s this: non-existent things are far more fragile than actual things.

    Also, related: what’s up with the reification of social constructs? I’m no philosopher, but I thought we’d tossed Platonic idealism long ago.

  7. 7
    cswella

    NOW: “Homosexual marriage is going to ruin america!”
    Legalized: “Just wait for it, america will fall!”
    10 years later: “…”
    20 years later: “We always supported gay marriage, we’re pro-family.”

  8. 8
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    jamessweet:

    Marriage equality poses a direct threat to the patriarchy.

    QFMFT.

    It’s not the only reason they oppose marriage equality, but I suspect that’s the real meaning of the dog-whistle of “institution of marriage.”

  9. 9
    Gretchen

    jamessweet @2, as one of my favorite movie characters Mona Lisa Vito would say, that was dead-on balls accurate.

    One internet hereby awarded to you.

  10. 10
    Gregory in Seattle

    @nigelTheBold #8 – Even a cursory glance at their rhetoric makes it clear that their homophobia is based squarely in misogyny. How often do they bring up lesbians, for example? Their almost exclusive focus is on men, usually effeminate men. These men illustrate how their black and white view of gender roles — specifically THEIR gender roles — is incorrect and it scares the crap out of them.

  11. 11
    democommie

    Ed:

    I think that there may have been an error in translation of the fucktardese of the Religidiot ReiKKK into standard english:

    That description of marriage that we THINK we’re familiar with was actually misundertranslated. In fucktardese it is written.

    “Marriage is a union between ONE MAN and one woman (at a time)”.

    See how much more sense it makes when you have the decoder ring?

  12. 12
    raven

    I don’t think they really give two hoots about gays or gay marriage.

    They just need someone and something to hate. Fundie xianity is based on hate. No hate = No fundie xianity.

    They never have let go of their old targets. Women, nonwhites, nonxians, scientists, atheists, other xians. But these targets aren’t really socially acceptable any more. And some of them have other disadvantages.

    If they kick women out of the cults, there goes half their membership. Racism still exists and they have more than their share. But nonwhites will be a majority in a few decades. Other xians were a great source for hate, heretics and apostates are very traditional future dead bodies. But these days, they need them because all xian sects are declining rapidly.

  13. 13
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Gregory:

    These men illustrate how their black and white view of gender roles — specifically THEIR gender roles — is incorrect and it scares the crap out of them.

    I reckon I’ve been a bit naive about this. I was once married to a fundamentalist Christian (long story), and I’m fairly confident I understand some of the thinking that goes along with that. In the long discussions about same-sex relationships (my favorite uncle was gay, which prompted some of these discussions), I guess I always accepted my then-wife’s assertion her views came from the Bible.

    Which I guess it does, as the patriarchal bullshit encoded in the Bible would be part-and-parcel with that.

    I guess I saw the rabbit hole, but just never went down.

  14. 14
    raven

    I don’t remember this anti-gay crusade from fundieland in the past.

    It’s pathetic.

    US xianity is dying. The xianity that is left is hollowed out. The fundie version is just right wing politics with a few crosses stuck on for show and hate, mostly these days for gays.

    This is all they have? Toxic politics and hate? It’s a religion but not much of one and one not likely to appeal to a lot of people.

  15. 15
    John Pieret

    How is same-sex marriage going to destroy the institution of marriage without having any effect at all on any actual marriages?

    Well, you see … all the Talibangelical males will realize that they are part of the same institution as all those icky gays, their brains will lock on “eeewwww,” and they won’t be able to get it up anymore. Their marriages will break up, their children will make fun of them and they’ll have an overwhelming urge to wear pastels.

  16. 16
    Scr... Archivist

    Raven @12,

    Thanks for using the word “cults”. It puts me of mind of those odd, mostly-forgotten cults of ancient times, and that reminds me that the same will fate happen to these worshipers of The Fundamentals.

  17. 17
    Taz

    I think they should apply this logic to their defense of voter suppression efforts. Clearly, minorities are trying to destroy democracy by attempting to vote.

  18. 18
    Doug Little

    Same sex marriage won’t destroy marriages to will only create them, not only is there one marriage being created when 2 gay people marry there is also a lot of meeting new people going on as well when the two participants bring their extended groups of friends together. This increases the odds that the singles might actually find someone and get married themselves down the road.

  19. 19
    elusedated

    Does anyone know of scholarly articles or other resources that discuss the question of the relationship between homosexuality and the experience of traumatic childhood abuse? I’ve heard a relationship proposed between the two multiple times by right-wing Christian sources and my family has used it to explain why two of my family members are gay.

  20. 20
    Doug Little

    elusedated,

    see here

    Your family and the Christian sources you are referring to are full of crap.

  21. 21
    Sastra

    So again I’m left asking the obvious question, which no one can ever answer: How is same-sex marriage going to destroy the institution of marriage without having any effect at all on any actual marriages? There is no answer to that question.

    No, there IS an answer to that question. But it’s either wrong or nonsensical, depending on your take.

    Religious thinking is top-down, not bottom-up. And at the very, very top lies the essential nature of what exists: God and what God embodies. Love, Justice, Reason, Morality, and all the other things which Nigel the Bold #8 astutely caricaturized as “the reification of social constructs.” This predates Plato, I think, as ordinary people try to wrap their minds around the reality of abstractions by thinking about them as if they were concrete things out there in some higher realm. “Marriage” is one of these reified abstractions.

    One of the cardinal rules of magic is that the effect runs both ways. Gay marriages will corrupt the perfection of the Divine Ideal. This will then trickle down into the marriages which were formed from the formerly perfect image. Little by little, marriages which had been perfectly fine will start to have problems. Couples will look in vain for the earthly cause. The real cause will not be in that realm. It will be the sinfulness of man damaging the ideal form and the effect tricking down from above.

    It’s all connected. But it’s connected vertically, not horizontally. Poor Ed is stuck thinking about the material world and thus can’t see the answer to his question. And thus we are left wondering: is this way of viewing things wrong? Or is it just too stupid to be wrong?

  22. 22
    Trebuchet

    @14, Raven:

    I don’t remember this anti-gay crusade from fundieland in the past.

    That’s because in the past, gays kept in their place closet. The fear and hate were always there but the threat (as they see it) was not. Once gays started coming out and asking to be treated like normal human beings, the fear and hate ramped up and the threat became a big deal. It’s a lot like the ramping up of the KKK in the ’60′s. The racism was always there, but it took blacks asking for civil rights to make it visible.

  23. 23
    elusedated

    Doug : I was aware they were, but hadn’t been able to make much headway in finding good research on the question. I doubt evidence will actually affect them in any way, seeing as how they’re a particularly nutty brand of Pentecostal, but it’s good to have the ammo.Thanks so much!

  24. 24
    twincats

    …the next thing you know, women in heterosexual relationships will be wavering on the whole “unquestioned obedience” principle.

    This has been going on for decades already. I noticed it in the 70′s as a kid when it became a staple of sitcom weddings. By the late 70′s, it was a “thing” where women were cutting “obey” out of their vows left and right, mostly among my peer group’s older siblings. Granted, this was in Southern CA so YMMV.

    20 years later: “We always supported gay marriage, we’re pro-family.”

    I think they’ll probably flip it, as in: “We’re pro-family, we’ve always supported gay marriage.” Minor tweak, but the former is more like something a SSM supporter would say right now, the latter makes it seem like a no-brainer, as in “We’ve always been the pro-family party, so of course we’ve always supported SSM, silly!”

  25. 25
    Johnny Au Gratin

    Also, related: what’s up with the reification of social constructs? I’m no philosopher, but I thought we’d tossed Platonic idealism long ago.

    Philosophers may have tossed Platonic idealism, but theologians are still all over it. Christianity is largely based on the concept of a world created as a Platonic ideal that was corrupted by humanity’s fall in disobeying the ideal provider of this ideal world. This ideal creator then came to the fallen world in the form of an ideal man who died to redeem the fallen provided they accept the sacrifice and follow his teachings.

    Christian attitudes to gender roles reflect this reliance on Platonic ideals. The woman was, in their view, the cause of the fall from the ideal and so must take on the subservient role. I suspect a lot of the support for gay marriage among self-styled liberal Christians is based on an idea of homosexual relationships still having separate dominant and submissive partners. They hear there is a “top” and a “bottom” and think top = man, bottom = woman. Seeing the writing on the wall (Gay marriage, coming to a ballot near you!), they decide they can support equality of access to marriage as long as they can convince themselves it doesn’t imply equality within those marriages.

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