Vote pro-gay slavery in this poll!


One thing never changes: the ability of Catholic leaders to say incredibly tone-deaf stupid things. The latest comes from Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who compared gay marriage to slavery. Yes, because entering into a mutual partnership based on love and respect is exactly like being shackled at gunpoint in a noxious overcrowded boat and being forced into a perilous and often lethal journey far away from your home, your family, and your friends, and then spending the rest of your life in backbreaking menial labor under the threat of the whip. I don’t think Mr Keith has any kind of reasonable understanding of “marriage” in the first place.

He also claimed that homosexuality is against “natural law”. Natural law seems to be very poorly enforced in this case, then, and besides, you want to know what really defies natural law? Celibacy.

Anyway, it’s in the Telegraph, the compost heap of stupid stories, and it’s also got a poll — a poll cunningly designed to split our votes, those wretched rascals. I think we should aspire to get both of the last two answers to dominate.

Do you think gay marriage should be legalised?

No – It would be too offensive for many religious people 12.94%

No – And I think that even civil partnerships go too far 16.72%

Yes – Gay people should have the same rights as everyone else 45.48%

Yes – Religious considerations have no place in a modern society 24.85%

Comments

  1. says

    Yes, because entering into a mutual partnership based on love and respect is exactly like being shackled at gunpoint in a noxious overcrowded boat and being forced into a perilous and often lethal journey far away from your home, your family, and your friends, and then spending the rest of your life in backbreaking menial labor under the threat of the whip.

    Maybe the whip part, but fuck the rest of that.

  2. janine says

    PZ, you are mistaken in this. The idea is not that LGBT marriage is like slavery, that is absurd. The idea is that one should avoid the subject, just as most people from this time period will avoid the subject of slavery. One is not supposed to spend anything on the topic, it is not fit for polite company.

    A Cardinal says a homophobic thing? Color me shocked. I have Cardinal Francis George in my little corner of the world.

  3. says

    Imagine for a moment that the Government had decided to legalise slavery but assured us that ‘no one will be forced to keep become or remain a slave against their will’.

    FIFY, dumbfuck. also, I think we call that “internships” now.

  4. Dick the Damned says

    The stupidity & sheer nastiness of O’Brien’s statement will, no doubt, lead to many more defections from the Catholic Church.

  5. raven says

    He also claimed that homosexuality is against “natural law”. Natural law seems to be very poorly enforced in this case, then, and besides, you want to know what really defies natural law? Celibacy.

    QFT.

    Jet airplanes are against “natural law”. If god had wanted us to fly, he would have given us wings.

    Natural law = whatever the voices in someone’s head says
    It doesn’t otherwise exist.

    PS Giving tithe money to the Catholic church sounds like a violation of natural law too. It is a violation of common sense for sure. Same for bothering to listen to the warped old men AKA “priests”.

  6. Matt Penfold says

    The stupid thing is that the UK has de facto gay marriage now, although under a different name. Civil partnerships confer the same rights and obligations as marriage does. The public and the media refer to civil partnerships as marriage.

    The difference this law will make is that same sex couples will be able to get married in venues that are licensed for civil weddings, and religions will be able to, but not be obliged to, offer same sex marriage if they are currently allowed to offer different sex marriage. Another difference is that the proposes change will make it easier for couples to get their civil partnerships recognised abroad. Currently some countries treat UK civil partnerships as marriages and some do not. The law will retroactively change all civil partnerships to marriages.

  7. janine says

    Perhaps this should be the standard response when PZ dares to be an ally of people who are not straight white lower middle class (Sorry, you are college professor. *raspberry*) male.

    PZ should stick to his core competencies, at least insofar as this blog is concerned. As of this moment, there is nothing of greater political significance than opposing the malign effects of “religion” upon the flourishing, even upon the very survival, of the human species. That other stuff – sex, race – it’s trivial by comparison.

    Sorry, it is just that is one of the purest example of a troll nugget that has been dropped here.

  8. says

    I hate when they split answers up in ways that are not exclusionary.

    Gay people should have the same rights as everyone else
    Religious considerations have no place in a modern society

    BOTH! Screw ‘em, I’ll vote once for each.

  9. GrudgeDK says

    Interesting anecdote, amongst the many rights, slaves did not enjoy, one was the right to freely marry. Oh dear, oh dear. That analogy backfired hard.

    Just to Godwin the discussion already, what was the first Section of the Nuremberg Laws signed into Effect by one famously Catholic Reichs Führer On Septemer 15th 1935? If you guessed aome thing other than “The right to freely marry”, you don’t get to play along any more, because you aren’t paying attention.

    So being in opposition to free marriage, clearly puts you in the same camp as Nazi’s and slave owners.

    Also make note that it wasn’t until 1938, nearly three years later that Jews where not allowed to own guns, and somewhat later property entirely. So clearly marriage is more important than gun ownership, and property rights, but conversely less important than serving in the military and government.

  10. quoderatdemonstrandum says

    So Cardinal O’Brien is against “redefining marriage” to include gay marriage and worries about a slippery slope descending into polygamous marriages and slavery.

    Why is this a problem for the Cardinal? The bible explicitly condones both polygamy and slavery. Solomon had 700 wives (1 kings 11:13). As for slavery, God gives very specific rules about the keeping and selling of slaves see, e.g. instructions on selling your daughter (Exodus 21:7-8)

  11. Trebuchet says

    Perhaps the good cardinal should vote for the Natural Law Party, founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi!

  12. karamea says

    From 1753 to 1836 Catholic marriage wasn’t legal in England and Wales. One of those little facts people like the Cardinal probably like to forget when they’re trying to claim there’s a singular definition of the word.

    He also claimed that homosexuality is against “natural law”.

    Homosexuality is like antigravity? Does this have something to do with how fucking magnets work, by any chance?

  13. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    Ugh. Just don’t read the comments over at that poll unless you need an example of why the Telegraph is a worthless rag.

  14. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    Karamea, I could show you (and anyone else who wants) how fucking magnets works, but you have to read this sentence very carefully first.

  15. screechymonkey says

    There is one sense in which slavery is analogous to gay marriage: eventually, Christians will pretend that they were on the right side of the issue all along.

  16. quoderatdemonstrandum says

    Dear cardinal O’Brien,If you had taken an evidence based approach to your predictions about the horrors of gay marriage,you would have recognized that your arguments are demonstrably false based on observable precedent (for truth values limited to the real world). Neither polygamy, slavery or “shame” has taken hold in any of the 10 countries that have enacted gay marriage legislation, including some historically catholic ones:

    Argentina
    Belgium
    Canada
    Iceland
    Netherlands
    Norway
    Portugal
    South Africa
    Spain and
    Sweden.

    Also, none of these countries has been smote by God (unless God now uses financial instruments rather than plagues of frogs and locusts for smiting, in which case, Iceland was definitely smote but they were always pagan heathens anyway)

  17. Gregory Greenwood says

    In a series of controversial comments, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that if same sex marriage were legalised, “further aberrations would take place and society would be degenerating even further than it already has into immorality.”

    What an utterly repellant cretin O’Brien is. He casually dismisses the love shared by people of the same gender as an ‘abberation’ – when there is no reason to suppose that it is anything other than a beautiful expression of human intimacy and affection – and in order to attempt to justify his bigotry he seeks to invoke the meaningless, ascientific shibboleth of ‘natural law’. He then has the sheer gall to claim that gay marriage will accelerate some notional slide of society into ‘immorality’ – this from a catholic bishop. You know, a bishop in a church that has engaged in a concerted coverup of epidemic levels of priestly child rape to protect its own reputation and social authority. Hardly the kind of man to be lecturing anybody about issues of sexual morality…

    “Imagine for a moment that the Government had decided to legalise slavery but assured us that ‘no one will be forced to keep a slave’.

    “Would such worthless assurances calm our fury? Would they justify dismantling a fundamental human right? Or would they simply amount to weasel words masking a great wrong?”

    One really gets a feel for how sick this guy is here. He really does seem to view legalising gay marriage as morally equivalent to legalising slavery. It leads me to wonder what other paranoid delusions occupy that twisted mind of his.

    Describing same sex marriage as the “thin end of the wedge,” he also used the Abortion Act as an example of what could follow, claiming it had let to about seven million abortions and “further aberrations”.

    Oh look, it’s a two-for-one; homophobia and misogyny in one little sentence. Trust the church to let no opportunity slide to attack the bodily autonomy of women.

    “We’re taking standards which are not just our own but standards from the Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations where marriage is defined as a relationship between man and woman and turning that on its head.

    Oh, I don’t think so, Keith. Here is the actual text from Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

    Article 16.

    (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
    (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
    (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

    At no point does it define marriage as between men and women, it simply staes that both men and women have the same standing in regard to marital rights. The sexuality and gender of the parties entering into the marriage is not specified as a factor at all. Even the last provision about protecting the family unit does not specify that this protection extends only to the heteronormative family group – there is no reason to suppose that it does not also cover same-sex relationships and same-sex parentage familes and single parent families.

    Now the question is – Cardinal Keith O’Brien; a liar, too stupid to read the UN Declaration for comprehension, or both of the above?

  18. saguhh00 says

    Did no one tell Keith O’Brien that miracles are against natural law? For example, dead Jews can’t come back to life and fly to beyond the Universe. It would take an awful lot of time too, the Universe is 93 billion light-years wide, even if you could fly at 5 times the speed of light, it would take 20 billion years just to get there.

  19. Duncan says

    I made the mistake of reading the comments and I’m procrastinating right now so I did a meme generator about daily telegraph readers – http://ru.memegenerator.net/instance/15662070

    PS – posting links doesn’t seem to be working for me right now – is anyone else having problems, or is it just me being bad at typing?

  20. scorpy1 says

    I just can’t get over the shamelessness of the Telegraph for trying to squeeze an article out of a response that was in response to BS that the Telegraph originally published.

  21. truthspeaker says

    screechymonkey says:
    5 March 2012 at 12:33 pm

    There is one sense in which slavery is analogous to gay marriage: eventually, Christians will pretend that they were on the right side of the issue all along.

    +1

  22. Rich Woods says

    I heard the interview with Cardinal O’Brien on Radio Four this morning. The “further aberrations” the Telegraph article mentions were suggested by him to be marriages involving three men, or maybe two men and a woman.

    I notice that he stopped there, because if he’d also suggested one man and two women, a significant proportion of his followers would have thought, “Whoa, let’s stop there and think about that one for a bit.” But for all I know, maybe he’d already got a lot of them thinking!

  23. leonpeyre says

    screechymonkey says:
    5 March 2012 at 12:33 pm

    There is one sense in which slavery is analogous to gay marriage: eventually, Christians will pretend that they were on the right side of the issue all along.

    +2

    I think we should aspire to get both of the last two answers to dominate.

    Already done, as of now–the last two are easily higher than the first two. Go Pharyngula!

  24. coelsblog says

    PZ, aren’t you being tad harsh on the Telegraph by gumbying their poll? By US standards the Telegraph is centrist to centre-right (much further left than most Republicans), and their story is a genuine story in the UK (being reported by other newspapers also), and, while they report the Cardinal’s views, that doesn’t mean they side with them. Lastly, while the poll does split the pro-gay-marriage vote with the last two questions, it also splits the anti vote with the first two, so is actually neutral.

  25. Phledge says

    OP: Yes, because entering into a mutual partnership based on love and respect is exactly like being shackled at gunpoint in a noxious overcrowded boat and being forced into a perilous and often lethal journey far away from your home, your family, and your friends, and then spending the rest of your life in backbreaking menial labor under the threat of the whip.

    Don’t forget about lookng forward to the generations-long substandard treatment after the criminalization of slavery, wherein you and your progeny still remain second-class and have institutionalized obstacles to your success. While your oppressors ask you why you’re so angry, but compliment you on how articulate you are and tell you that they don’t “see color.”

    Karamea: Homosexuality is like antigravity? Does this have something to do with how fucking magnets work, by any chance?

    Only if they’re gay magnets.

  26. Duncan says

    I voted “Yes, Gay people should have the same rights as everyone else” since this issue is about rights and not about spiting religious organizations (that’s just a bonus). Also, I disagree with “religious considerations should have no place in modern society” – religious considerations should just be judged by the same standard as any other consideration (although I know by this standard most religious considerations would be dismissed out of hand).

  27. Duncan says

    @ 27 coelsblog

    http://twitpic.com/8si0tg

    That’s tomorrows daily telegraph front page (provided by @suttonnick on twitter). The newspaper itself not only quotes Christian theocrats – it actively endorses Christian theocracy.

    Also, the daily telegraph puts forward almost identical opinions as to those of the daily mail and daily express, just with a greater lexical density than the latter two newspapers.

  28. coelsblog says

    30:

    “The newspaper itself not only quotes Christian theocrats – it actively endorses Christian theocracy.”

    While I’m not particularly a fan of the Telegraph I think it’s a bit more nuanced than that, take for example this piece. I’ll be interested to see what their editorial tomorrow actually says.

  29. penningtrap says

    “Imagine for a moment that the Government had decided to legalise slavery but assured us that ‘no one will be forced to keep a slave’.

    “Would such worthless assurances calm our fury? Would they justify dismantling a fundamental human right? Or would they simply amount to weasel words masking a great wrong?”

    (emphasis mine)

    … well … there goes another perfectly good irony-meter

  30. says

    Or would they simply amount to weasel words masking a great wrong?

    Like when people say that gay marriage is not an issue of discrimination because a gay man still has the right to marry a woman?

  31. Aquaria says

    #27:

    1) You’re new around here, aren’t you?

    2) Fuck off. We crash online polls for fun–because they’re ALL stupid. That’s what we do. Don’t like it? Go fuck yourself with one of our infinite supply of decaying porcupine corpses ready to meet your head up your ass.

    3) Fuck off.

    That will be all.

  32. JimB says

    coelsblog

    PZ, aren’t you being tad harsh on the Telegraph by gumbying their poll?

    Why? It’s a public fucking web site. With a public fucking article. And it contains a public fucking poll.

    Where do they have a line of text saying you shouldn’t vote in their fucking poll unless you’ve had the Telegraph delivered to your fucking house since the day your were fucking born?

    Fuck your gumbying. I’m part of the fucking public.

  33. says

    I shall have to pop over to that other thread – but are not the malign effects of “religion” upon the flourishing, even upon the very survival, of the human species found very directly present in that [trivial] other stuff – sex, race?

  34. changeable moniker says

    Oh, dearie me.

    Showing 1-25 of 3110 comments

    I think that’s a record–forgive me if I don’t read them all. (On recent form, by tomorrow half of them will be “Comment Deleted”, and the subsequent replies will make, devoid of context, very little sense.)

    Anyway, voted. For the currently-winning option. ;)

    Only if they’re gay magnets.

    They attract what they’re supposed to repel! *mock shudder*

  35. StevoR says

    Pharnygulated – Latest figures :

    ***
    Thank you for voting!
    No – It would be too offensive for many religious people 7.65% (2,437 votes)

    No – And I think that even civil partnerships go too far 10.13% (3,226 votes)

    Yes – Gay people should have the same rights as everyone else 44.27% (14,105 votes)

    Yes – Religious considerations have no place in a modern society 37.95% (12,090 votes)

    Total Votes: 31,858

    ***

  36. StevoR says

    Voted : Yes – Gay people should have the same rights as everyone else

    btw.

    Also I’m only seeing 44 comments there.

    Oh wait that’s just on the poll – 3,144 comments on the article at the end.

  37. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    Voted.

    Reading the troll article in The Telegraph:

    “We’re taking standards which are not just our own but standards from the Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations where marriage is defined as a relationship between man and woman and turning that on its head.

    Fuck, what a lying fuck!

    The goddist bigot troll misrepresents what Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights actually says:

    (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

    Men PLURAL and women PLURAL for FSM’s sakes! It does not indicate in what fucking order, does it?

  38. coelsblog says

    To (35) Aquaria and (3) JimB.

    No I’m not new around here. And could you consult your Pharyngula glossary regarding the difference between “gumbying” and “pharyngulizing”. I said I didn’t see why it should by gumbyed. I didn’t object to and have no objection to the pharyngulizing.

  39. Paulino says

    Wait a second! I’m an atheist, my great^5-parent owned slaves, and I support marriage equality. Richard Dawkins is an atheist, his great^n-parent owned slaves and he supports marriage equality! See? The cardinal’s argument is starting to make sense, isn’t it?

  40. grumpy1942 says

    Jet airplanes are against “natural law”. If god had wanted us to fly, he would have given us wings.

    Damn straight! And if he wanted us to be nudists, we’d be born naked.

  41. carbonbasedlifeform says

    When I was a Catholic, I felt that “natural law” arguments in theology were crap. From the first, it seemed to be saying “I don’t have a real argument, so I’ll say it’s against the natural law.” IOW, it’s nothing more than hand-waving.

    Pope Paul VI used natural law as an argument against contraception in his encyclical Humanae Vitae, I suspect to cover up that he did not have a real argument against it.

    Now that I am no longer a Catholic, I still feel that natural law arguments are crap.

  42. says

    coelsblog:

    Lastly, while the poll does split the pro-gay-marriage vote with the last two questions, it also splits the anti vote with the first two, so is actually neutral.

    This isn’t true. Someone who is okay with civil unions but opposes marriages would probably vote for the first, while someone who thinks that (as the response itself states!) “even civil partnerships go too far” will instead vote for that one. At best, you could argue that the second answer technically includes the first one, but that’s still not the same as the situation for the “pro” side. The third and fourth answers neither include one another nor stay completely separate, but involve two overlapping sets, hence splitting votes.

    The first two answers are pretty dumb as well. For example, even religious people wouldn’t say that gay marriage is “too offensive for many religious people”. “Offense” is not usually part of their arguments, and is in fact something conservatives often sneer at. (They would instead suggest that homosexuality simply wrong, or that it goes against God or nature or whatever.) It’s like having an an answer that says “Yes, gay marriage should be legalized, because the alternative offends gay people.” No one talks like that.

    As far as I can tell, professional non-online pollsters usually know better than to bundle a bunch of unrelated premises into one poll answer, rather than have something that puts words in the respondants’ mouths, like:

    Which candidate will you vote for in the primary?
    A. Mitt Romney. I always vote for the richest guy. Also, “Mittens” is an ideal presidential nickname.
    B. Rick Santorum. He’ll clean up Washington, and “Santorum” sounds like a highly trustworthy brand of cleaning fluid.
    C. Someone else, because my religion forbids voting for anyone who has only married once.
    D. I’m a Democrat. I hate puppies.