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  1. #1
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    Default The Law of merited Impossibility

    Rod Dreher from The American Conservative has a great response to DOMA's repeal delving into the cultural shift from sex(ual preference) being an aspect of a person to being their lodestar in much the same way religion is for others.

    Frightening the horses

    In this article Rod expands on an excellent article from Ben Domenech of The Transom. They discuss how the arguments surrounding SSM aren't really about SSM but about the culmination of the sexual revolution.

    So the real issue here is not about gay marriage at all, but the sexual revolution’s consequences, witnessed in the shift toward prioritization of sexual identity, and the concurrent rise of the nones and the decline of the traditional family. The real reason Obama’s freedom to worship limitation can take hold is that we are now a country where the average person prioritizes sex far more than religion.
    The inertia of a cultural shift like this unstoppable, and that doesn't bother me as much as it does both Rod and Ben (although I understand why it bothers them to the extent it does).

    Where I begin to get worried is where Rod explains the narrative frame used by cultural elites (in this instance the some of the MSM and our urban elites).

    One of the underestimated aspects of the one out of five Americans (and one out of three Millennials) who are now thoroughly religiously unaffiliated is that, according to Barna’s research, they aren’t actually seekers. They’re not looking or thinking about being part of a community focused on spirituality, in prayer, fellowship, worship, or anything else. Their exposure to faith is diminished because they want it to be.

    In a nation where fewer people truly practice religion, fewer people external to those communities will see any practical reason to protect the liberty of those who do.

    This is perhaps the most remarkable thing about this entire debate: how so many who favor gay marriage — including, apparently, five members of the US Supreme Court — see absolutely no reason why anybody could oppose it in good conscience. We trads are not just wrong, but wicked. We are entering a dangerous world for believers. Expect to see the Law of Merited Impossibility fulfilled a lot more in the years to come. I defined it once as:
    The Law Of Merited Impossibility is an epistemological construct governing the paradoxical way overclass opinion makers frame the discourse about the clash between religious liberty and gay civil rights. It is best summed up by the phrase, “It’s a complete absurdity to believe that Christians will suffer a single thing from the expansion of gay rights, and boy, do they deserve what they’re going to get.”
    You can replace religious liberty and gay civil rights in that statement with several things. Being for and against immigration for one. Being for and against the EPA regs Obama articulated recently.

    Now I would be intellectually dishonest if I didn't mention that we did this during the first days of the war in Iraq, by casting those against the conflict as not patriotic.

    However, that use was extremely limited compared to the shaming of all that disagree with the New York Times editorial board these days. In fact it seems the preferred method of argument from the left these days.

    To engage us substantively legitimizes our position. Why do that when you can just demonize us as moral failures and let the MSM run with that.

    This way, you've completely deligitimized all dissenting opinions, and you get to skip merrily into the group think hall of fame.

    I'm curious to see if this type of narrative frame will run out of gas with the populace. So far, with the media playing its role so well, that hasn't happened.

  2. #2
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    What I read here is a claim that the left is being more unfair than the right has ben, and that the "we" you refer to yourself as is some kind of underdog victim to an "overclass" that apparently somehow involves law makers, the media, and maybe academia (not clear on that). I guess the accuracy of all of this is to be taken on faith?

    I'm not sure what the point of this thread is except perhaps to raise a general grievance.

    And I have to say, your habit of always referring to yourself in a group, and always referring to your debate opponents as being representative of whatever group you assume they are a part of, really weirds me out.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  3. #3
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    What I read here is a claim that the left is being more unfair than the right has ben, and that the "we" you refer to yourself as is some kind of underdog victim to an "overclass" that apparently somehow involves law makers, the media, and maybe academia (not clear on that). I guess the accuracy of all of this is to be taken on faith?

    I'm not sure what the point of this thread is except perhaps to raise a general grievance.

    And I have to say, your habit of always referring to yourself in a group, and always referring to your debate opponents as being representative of whatever group you assume they are a part of, really weirds me out.
    Victor does that too. I've always assumed its a need to identify an "us" and "them", an adversarial frame like in sports, to feed a need to simultaneously "belong" and "resist".

    I'd agree with you in your analysis, it does look like a tacit admittance that both political sides of the argument use these sorts of tactics but then there's the idea quickly added that the left wing do it more often or are more insidious about that, which I agree seems a little unsupported.

    Although regardless of its source there's some good, or at least interesting, points here, it seems like the article is suggesting that not all minorities are equal and that those which people will not identify with they will not defend in any general, non-partisan way, that's my reading of it at least.

    That is interesting because I have read pundits in the UK, from the left of the political spectrum, talk about how they believed the welfare state would struggle for legitimacy in a diverse society which lacked homogenity for the same reason, why would someone support redistribution of their wealth to sections of the community that they do not identify with and do not consider deserving? In the context of NI I've known some sectarian campaigning to take place on the basis that conservative reforms attacking welfare are legitimate because more roman catholics claim benefits or utilise paid sick leave or whatever than anyone else, I could see that narrative adjusted to suit any divided or devisive identify politics.

    The final line about "this will do no harm, they have it coming" is something I've seen time and again, I've seen it in a lot of free market ideology, you get the promises for what the free market will deliver, you get the "in any case" TINA (there is no alternative) and finally the free market will have its revenge narratives in that order. In which case the free market (or whatever it is that's being talked about) is a really bad spouse, almost a domestic violence one.

    On the topic of promoting homosexuality through legislation, I still find this a strange thing to do given that there's such a small percentage of the population inclined that way, its not going to change opinion or culture I dont believe, not any longer, perhaps a few years down the line its going to feed into the backlash which I think is coming to these kinds of things, maybe not, there's a great deal of apathy but its not going to produce the sort of "queering" effect some of its more shady pundits hope for, nor the "universal peace, love and acceptance" a lot of its naive hetero supporters hope for either.

    That its continually being articulated as a religious identity vs. sexual identity thing I think is highly, highly unfortunate, its effectively tapping a lot of (especially young people's) bad feeling about religion to push forward a social or sociological agenda or change, I think if the emotion about religion could be drained out of this, all the feelings surrounding that could be expunged and this be looked upon rationally and logically as a question of sociological implications and consequences it would be much more interesting and, probably, a very, very different discussion altogether.

    I feel the culture wars need to end, they need to end so that partisanship can make and exit from what are pretty major issues of social importance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    What I read here is a claim that the left is being more unfair than the right has ben, and that the "we" you refer to yourself as is some kind of underdog victim to an "overclass" that apparently somehow involves law makers, the media, and maybe academia (not clear on that). I guess the accuracy of all of this is to be taken on faith?
    To quote Ben's article from The Transom:

    The problem with gay marriage is not about gay people getting married -- they've already been doing that, or living that way. The problem with gay marriage is not that it will redefine marriage into a less valuable social institution in the eyes of the populace -- that is already happening, has been for decades, and will continue regardless of whether gays are added to it or not. And the problem with gay marriage is not about the slippery slope of what comes next -- though yes, the legal battle over polyamory and polygamy is inevitably coming, as the principle of marriage equality demands it does (these relationships already exist below the radar, albeit with more poly than amory involved -- of the 500 gay couples followed in the respected San Francisco study, about half of the partners have sex with someone else with their partner knowing).

    No, the real problem with gay marriage is that the nature of the marriage union is inherently entwined in the future of the first line of the Bill of Rights: our right to religious liberty. Orthodox believers of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish faiths were slow to understand this. I'm talking about something much bigger here than the discrimination lawsuits brought across the country against bakers and photographers: I'm talking about whether churches will be able to function as public entities in an era where their views on sin, particularly sexual sin, are in direct conflict with not just opinion but the law -- and proselytizing those views from the pulpit or in the public square will be viewed as using the protection of religious expression to protect hateful speech.

    We saw this problem already in Illinois's marriage law, where churches which do not allow same sex unions would essentially have to close their doors to full participation in civil society. We see it as a constant issue regarding Canada's hate speech laws, where courts must discern whether quoting Bible verses amounts to "harming the public discourse." We will see it more here. That obvious oncoming clash strikes me as the most troublesome aspect of this, and the one that has received the least attention in the rush to legalize. The argument has been more about benefits and social outcomes and "won't somebody think of the children," ignoring the core problem, which raises challenges to the freedom of speech and expression the likes of which led to the pilgrims crossing the sea in the first place.
    I'm not sure what the point of this thread is except perhaps to raise a general grievance.
    Raising concerns for religious liberty, and any other position that deserves representation in our society, but with which the prevailing winds of the cultural narrative disagree with.

    The conflict between sexual liberty and religious liberty is unlikely to be one the religious will win, in large part because of the broad and increasing acceptance of an idea President Obama has espoused more than once in public: that the religious have a freedom to worship, and that's where it ends. When you leave the pew, you must leave your faith there. Among the religious, this is absurd -- their entire lives are defined by their faith, in ways large and small. For both Christianity and Islam, the core of their faith is built on a call to take the message to the world, spreading it through public witness and preaching. Yet this belief in the limited freedom to worship is what led Obama's administration to argue that faith-based hiring and firing is a discriminatory act for religious entities. It will lead to similar cases in the years to come regarding the marriage issue, but not just focused in that space -- expect it to factor in divorce proceedings, custody battles, and more points involving the nice folks from Child Protective Services. Expect it also to factor in dramatically expanding the scope of these discrimination lawsuits -- think on the doctor in California who was brought up on discrimination charges for referring a lesbian couple to a colleague for artificial insemination.
    Without religious liberty, there really is no such thing as free speech. When government can pick and choose which form of expression is religiously defensible and which is unjustified hate, it fundamentally alters the relationship between state and citizen.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Victor does that too. I've always assumed its a need to identify an "us" and "them", an adversarial frame like in sports, to feed a need to simultaneously "belong" and "resist".
    I discuss plenty of things in a nonpartisan way.

    But when discussing politics, especially here where the POV of the right gets almost no play, I find it important to support my team. I'm also part of the party, and hooked into politics in a way none of you are.

    We all have our tribes. I don't try to hide mine.

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    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I discuss plenty of things in a nonpartisan way.

    But when discussing politics, especially here where the POV of the right gets almost no play, I find it important to support my team. I'm also part of the party, and hooked into politics in a way none of you are.

    We all have our tribes. I don't try to hide mine.
    Whole lot of me-talk there, with the characteristic 'better than y'all', standard DB produce

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Whole lot of me-talk there, with the characteristic 'better than y'all', standard DB produce
    Not better just with equally valid opinions.

    PS - this ain't about me. I think there's a lot to delve into on the subject which you were doing.

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