Thursday, September 9, 2010

Questions regarding the Brave New Definition of "Marriage"

Take the Halpern definition of marriage as a "union of two persons." Not only is this definition new, lacking any historical or legal pedigree, it is also vague to the point of being unsustainable in public policy. Certainly we must ask many questions of it that are difficult to answer. Exactly what sort of union does it have in view? Given that the union no longer answers to a procreative norm, what marks it out as something of particular value to society, worthy of public recognition and support? Is there even a standard against which it can be measured? If it is a union based on love, how shall we define love, and is the mere profession of love sufficient? Need the love, or at all events the commitment, be sexual? Sexual or otherwise, why should the union in question be a union of only two? And if a union of two, why should it continue to be exclusive? Why, for that matter, should it be for life? Such questions are not merely hypothetical. They are being put, and they will be put, not only in civil discourse but if necessary also in the courts.
--Douglas Farrow, Divorcing Marriage, "Facing Reality", pp. 155-6

Friday, September 3, 2010

What Theism does not require

The purpose of this post is not to argue against the Atheist that God exists. The point of this post is simply to remind certain Theists in this country that belief in God does not imply other beliefs. For instance, belief in God does not imply belief that America is His special messenger or His special Angel of Vengeance. From this it follows that a Theist need not believe that it is America's divine mission to spread its version of democracy throughout the world or to kill millions of people to do so. Theism also does not require belief that the free market is God's way of rewarding the righteous on earth. In fact, nothing about Theism prevents the devout believer from thinking insanely successful Capitalists are not righteous at all but thieving bastards, whose outrageous larcenies and depredations cry out to God for sulfurous vengeance. It should also be noted that whereas it is possible to defend Theism with philosophical argument (e.g. the Five Ways of Aquinas), the beliefs in the divine mission of American Imperialism and the virtue of Capitalism can be held only by a willfully blind faith.

Other examples of beliefs commonly mistaken to be corollaries of Theism are: the notion that Israel has the absolute right to treat Palestinians like pieces of shit, the idea that Chastity Balls really prevent fornication and do not indulge the incestuous fantasies of really, really creepy dads, the belief that Glenn Beck is NOT a certifiable lunatic, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Theism is merely the proposition that there is a personal, almighty being that created the universe and sustains it. Such a proposition has NOTHING to do with murderous American Imperialism, Capitalist Catastrophes, the fascist state of Israel, the sleaziness of Chastity Balls, or Glenn Beck's hyperventilating histrionics. And for this only one thing is appropriate to say: Thank God!