Monday, February 28, 2011

How the next civil war will begin

On April 12, 2011, it will be 150 years since the opening shots were fired on Fort Sumter, marking the beginning of the bloodiest conflict in American history—the Civil War.

Today we stand poised on the brink of an even greater disaster. For over forty years, the pro-life movement has largely defined itself in its opposition to abortion, although a host of other issues have come in its wake, issues the movement was prepared to fight: euthanasia, assisted suicide, eugenics, in vitro fertilization, fetal stem cell research. But it appears now that the knock-out punch, the key victory the “culture of death” needs to reign triumphant, is going to come from the direction we were least prepared to fight.

That issue is gay marriage.

During the Illinois mid-term election season of 1858, incumbent Stephen A. Douglas regularly charged that Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans, by championing emancipation (for the most part, they didn’t), were actually pushing for a society with mixed marriages. In one of their debates, Lincoln replied, “Because I do not wish to have a negro woman for a slave, it does not necessarily follow that I must have her for a wife. I need have her for neither the one nor the other; I can just let her alone.” This clearly sensible reply never stopped the Democrats’ accusations; while the Republicans won the Illinois legislature, they didn’t carry by enough seats to replace Douglas with Lincoln.

Something of the same weakness attends the pro-marriage argument. It can be summed up in this fashion: We can put a thief in jail for stealing, but we can’t punish a man for kleptomania.

Many of us who grew up in the 1970s and ‘80s were unaware that the American Psychiatric Association had taken homosexuality off of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1973. Rather, we became adults wrapped in the comfortable fiction that homosexuality’s dysfunctionality was too obvious to be denied.

The idea that homosexuality was natural was, as Dr. Peter Kreeft said in another context, “so stupid that you have to have a Ph.D. to believe it.” “If God had meant for man to be gay, He would have created Adam and Steve,” we quipped.

However, we also grew up knowing that the homosexual orientation wasn’t a matter of choice. We didn’t necessarily buy into the argument that homosexuals were “born that way”, but we weren’t equipped to dispute it. So far as gay sex was between adults and consensual, it was a “victimless crime”; it no longer made sense to deprive gay men and women of jobs and homes, or to exclude them from fellowship and friendship. Because we didn’t want to celebrate homosexuality, it didn’t follow that we wanted to punish gay people … we could just let them alone.

However, in the years between the removal of homosexuality from the DSM and Lawrence v. Texas (2003), gay activists within the APA had successfully created and strengthened the myth that homosexuality was natural and normal, that it neither needed nor admitted of a cure. We were unaware that decades of research and case work had been jettisoned and that all research in opposition to the myth was squelched so far as possible. We were unaware that homosexuals were using the myth to create a false “protected class” out of the homosexual orientation, a class equivalent to race and sex.

Thus, it was inevitable that, when the majority decision was handed down in Lawrence, supporters of the decision such as the Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick would argue that the right to gay consensual sex gave homosexuals no basis to claim a right to marriage. And, indeed, A.J. Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion claimed that the decision “does not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter.”

However, in invoking “substantive due process”, the majority opinion in Lawrence could not help but create a protected class out of homosexuals. Nor did A.J. Sandra Day O’Connor’s use of the “equal protection” clause avoid such a result.

The Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 both depend on the ability of the pro-marriage argument to pass a “rational basis” review by the Supreme Court. That is, the Court must concede a legitimate state interest in defining marriage as an “opposite-sex only” arrangement.

This is where we have our weakest link. As Judge Vaughn Walker argued out in his ruling on Perry v. Schwarzenegger, if we allow elderly and sterile heterosexual couples to marry, then it’s inconsistent to claim that procreation is a rational basis for discriminating against same-sex couples.

The defense of DOMA and Prop 8, then, has to rest on two arguments: 1) Lawrence didn’t intend to establish homosexuals as a protected class; rather, it intended to include a particular decision—whether to engage in gay sex—as part of a class of protected actions. 2) The concept of homosexuality as a protected class rests on a bogus claim that Science has proven what individual scientists have been discouraged from even questioning: that homosexuality is innate and immutable.

This gives us little grounds for optimism. As Dr. Jeffrey Satinover explains, recent SCOTUS jurisprudence has accepted the essentialist position without question.

It’s not quite true that, as Eric Sammons has argued, we lost the gay marriage battle fifty years ago. We simply didn’t recognize that gay rights was part of the battle … until it was too late.

Like slavery a century and a half ago, the culture of lies has polarized the nation between two irreconcilable value sets. Whatever SCOTUS’ decision is on DOMA, it will likely trigger the cascade failure of democracy in the US. The civil war that will ensue then will be a war without defined physical borders, without pity, without charity, without restraint.

It may not be a war with recognizable armies. But it will be bloody nonetheless.


  1. Very true.

    No longer are gay members of a family ostracized, their preferences are accepted and encouraged (don't they deserve love too?). So we find ourselves not only arguing with the gay population of the country, but their hetero family and friends who are outraged that anyone couldn't see the "decency" and "humanity" in their loved ones. Arguing they're mentally warped is a tough sell, especially when those same family members may have some responsibility for the mental aberration.

    I base the last sentence on personal observations of gays I've known. Every single one seemed to have "issues" of one sort or another with their families of origin. Just as alcoholism is often considered the outward manifestation of an inner problem, so it would seem that same sex attraction is more of the same.

    And it's gotten ridiculous. One of the gripes my wife had with her former denomination was their failure to condemn homosexual behavior in a manner consistent with Biblical teaching (St. Paul's letter to the Romans being where it begins for her.). When confronted with that fact her minister at the time cited one of the church regulars had gay children. So much for speaking the truth in season and out of season.

    The real irony is that my wife has several aunts and at least two cousins who are gay. Loves 'em dearly but thinks their behavior is sinful. That was all BEFORE she converted to Catholicism.

    IMO we've lost this particular battle, perhaps the entire war. Trying to reason against "feelings" and faux tolerance will be damned near impossible. We'll find ourselves increasingly ostracized and marginalized solely due to our stand on this issue. Don't mistake me, we're in the right and should have the courage to stay the course on this one.

    But oh boy, is it ever going to be tough! Stand by for the persecutions to start as we're told our freedom of worship doesn't include being judgmental of others. There will be more than enough Catholics In Name Only (CINO) to provide cover for our future oppressors.

    In the meantime, I'll be getting ready to explain to my kids why Eddie having two daddies is a bad thing. There's no "Eddie" in their lives yet, but I'll bet he's on his way.

    I used to think my rapidly approaching old age would be a time for quiet reflection and a slow easing into that good night which awaits us all.


  2. Oh! I forgot to mention one more thing! If you are a person who is willing to go to war against people simply because of who they love, it shows how sad of a person you are. To hate people so much, not because of who they hurt, but simply for who they love... just pathetic. I pity people like you. Homosexual, and Bisexual,people being treated equally harms no one, but the evidence is quite clear, people who are against LGBT do in fact cause unjust harm to such innocent and loving people.

  3. part 1 of 2

    There are many intros to start off an oppositional piece to those refusing to accept the “inconvenient facts.” I take the direct and dirty approach, meaning here are the facts and only the facts.

    Over the years religious individuals have spent their entire lives trying to disprove what scientist have discovered. Incarcerating those like Galileo, laughing at those like Columbus, and slaughtering those like Giordano Bruno, all because they brought up, what we in social psychology call, “inconvenient facts.” Now this whole notion of homosexuality being Natural has come about. Sadly, all of the data brought forth is not falsified by the “homosexuals” who “infiltrated” the science community. All of that data stretching back farther than 55 years, has be tested and proven over and over again. So to start off this little paper, let me tell you how science works so you have a better understanding.

    Unlike religion, science observes things. Science doesn’t, out of the blue, think of something and then make a snap judgment on it. Instead science spends its time watching natural phenomenon in its natural state, then making, what we call, an operational definition. From there we then formulate a hypothesis, which is a general statement to describe said phenomenon. After we create a hypothesis we go about testing that hypothesis to see if our observations are correct, in what is called a study. Here we look for correlational data. If something is related or unrelated. After our hypothesis is tested, and if a correlation is found, we then test our hypothesis again, and again, and again. Then we have other scientist look into our data and test out hypothesis. If our data is correct, and they get the same results that the original researchers got, it moves into its next phase, which is laboratory experimentation. Here causation is found.

    To keep from boring you I think we should stop here because the point is already made. But if you decided to skip the above paragraph because of “jargon” here is a laymen breakdown. The religious approach “here are the conclusions, what facts can we find to support them;” The scientific approach, here is the evidence what conclusions can we draw from them.” In science there are many steps that are taken and years of work that go into a study. Unlike religion, our findings are not shaped by tradition, dogma, or society. Our findings are created purely based on what the evidence says. With mountains of evidence on animal biology (showing homosexuality occurs in every animal species in nature that we have studied thus far), Genetics (twin studies, finger length, and brain structure), and psychology (studying the psychological aspects of sexual orientation in all individuals as well as gay people from all different cultures) it is clear that homosexuality and bisexuality is a natural, normal, positive variant of sexual orientation in humans and animals.

  4. Part 2 of 2

    Firstly you I ask that you please read the work of Dr. Evelyn Hooker 1948, where she asserts that her findings on homosexual males conclude that they are no different and just as healthy as heterosexual males. It was work like hers, and a revaluation and removal of religious dogma from the APA, that led to homosexuality being removed from the DSM. Secondly I suggest you please research the work of Dr. John Gottman, of the Gottman Institute on Relationships, on same-sex relationships. Finally research the work of Dr. Judith Stacey on LGBT children, yes Children, teens, and families. After you do that, then I think it will be very hard for you to argue that gay people should not a protected class, and that a heterosexual orientation is in some way superior to homosexual or bisexual sexual orientation. Furthermore the whole notion of it being a choice is ripped to shreds on the observation of Homosexual, and Bisexual individuals living in countries that openly advocate for their murder and do murder them in public.

    To get you started here is a link from Dr. Catlin Ryan on the direct link between Parental Acceptance and Healthy LGBT teens.

    Here are more links that kind of sum of everything you need

    History of homosexuality in the realm of psychology:

    What the science says:

    Finally what the bible says about homosexuality from well-respected theologians (doctors of religion):

    If after reading these publications, which are certified by the International Review Board, you still wish to argue against gay people being treated with the same dignity, equality and respect that you demand from them and everyone else I and the rest of the educated and rational world can simply call you what you are, Bigots, and idiots. Why? Because after reading all the work posted here, which is a simple fraction of all the work that has been done in the field of sexuality sciences, you will be unable to claim ignorance to the facts without being laughed at, or dismissed. Have a swell day now.


    Chris Marshall

  5. @ Chris: For some reason, your first two replies didn't post; however, I did receive them in my mailbox.

    It's just as well your first part didn't post, because all in all it was a wasted effort. I know what science is; I know how science works—my major was in sociology. I also know—in fact, it was one of the first things I learned in my Intro to Sociology course—that the social sciences, UNLIKE THE PHYSICAL SCIENCES, are too easy to rigging for results that fit a desired conclusion. The preconception that people against gay marriage are all anti-science may serve as a comfortable illusion to you, but that's all it is—a fantasy.

    I'd go further into the links you provided on your second post. However, having already indicted the social sciences as open to political manipulation, what would we have left except "my psychologist can beat up your psychologist"? All we have left is biology, as a natural science, and biologists have yet to find anything that makes homosexuality innate and immutable; not even the so-called "gay gene" makes homosexuality a foregone conclusion.

    I don't hate gay people; I've been blessed in my life to call many gay people friends. I don't want there to be a war. But if you're thinking I'm simply talking about a "straight vs. gay" war, you're mistaken, mostly because you want to believe I hate homosexuals. No, the civil war I consider to be a very possible future will be about a lot more than just who has sex with whom. I'm sorry your self-pity insists on seeing it solely in terms of gay persecution.

  6. Oh, Chris, I found your first two posts in my "spam" folder. Be advised that, if you go posting in the combox on a Blogger site and your comment includes more than two links, Blogger will see it as spam and file it thus. Pax tecum.


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