Thursday, August 27, 2015

Another Letter the Post-Dispatch will not print

Dear Editor,

According to an AP Story which the Post ran yesterday, many couples are using the penultimate paragraph of Anthony Kennedy’s Obergefell decision in their ceremony readings. Apparently, many regard this paragraph to be the Epithalamium, the “marriage” poem of our time. But we should be wary of poems. Thinkers from Plato to H.L. Mencken have warned us that Poetry’s power to dazzle is also its power to deceive, and the penultimate paragraph of Obergefell is certainly dazzling. Apart from its dazzle, however, it is simply nonsense.

Kennedy claims that no union is more profound than “marriage”. How does he support this claim? He simply asserts without argument that “marriage” “embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family.” This is just piffle. This does not separate the profundity of “marriage” from other relationships at all. One can easily say--and philosophers throughout the centuries have, in fact, said—that friendship embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, and sacrifice. But I’m omitting “family”. I don’t have to. If we can re-define “marriage”, I don’t see why we can’t redefine “family” as well. “Family” is simply a cognate of “familiar” and friends are familiar with each other. Close friends are very familiar with each other, often more familiar than many spouses. So, it can easily be said that friendship, too, embodies the highest ideals of “family”, thereby completely undermining Kennedy’s claim of the uniqueness of "marriage’s" profundities.

Furthermore, Kennedy’s claim about the profundities of "marriage" shows how utterly clueless he is to the arguments for “marriage equality” that have been rammed down our throats this past decade. “Marriage equality” advocates have argued ad nauseam that “marriage” can’t be about what marriage law does not require. Marriage law does not require that the couple procreate, therefore, marriage cannot be about procreation. Marriage law does not require that the couple be fertile, so marriage cannot even be about the potential to procreate. Marriage law does not require the act of coitus or even the ability to perform coitus, therefore, marriage cannot be about encouraging the responsible use of coitus, and so on. And yet Anthony Kennedy in his decision ignores all this and rambles on about the ideals of marriage: love, fidelity, devotion, etc. When a couple applies for a marriage license, does the clerk have them take a “love test”, a “fidelity test”, does the clerk require a demonstration of devotion or sacrifice? No, and so if marriage law does not require it, then it cannot be necessary in any way for a valid civil “marriage”. All that "marriage" law now requires for a valid “marriage” is two consenting adults to sign an application to enter into a financial contract. That’s it, and so all of Kennedy’s blather about love and fidelity and endurance past death is as irrelevant as the insistence by all those stupid, illogical Bible-thumping bigots of the connection between marriage and procreation. “Marriage” is now nothing more than a business contract between two consenting adults, and there is absolutely nothing uniquely profound about that, Kennedy’s purple prose notwithstanding. It is as banal and as humdrum as any business contract is.

Monday, August 24, 2015

A question for my Russian Orthodox Stalker

What the deuce is "semi-modalism"?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Another mere detail of History

The Front National has expelled its founder Jean-Marie Le Pen in an act of political parricide today.  Yeah, good fucking riddance.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I am not a responsible person

I really should mow my lawn, but I love my library too much.  In fact, I'm having an orgy with it right now.  And orgies are more fun than mowing the damn lawn.  Mowing the lawn is so goddamn bourgeois, anyhow.

Another thought on Obergefell

Justice Kennedy should have cited Jacobellis v. Ohio in his Obergefell opinion.  If he had, he could have spared us much prolixity in his strained attempts to explain how the court ascertains a fundamental, yet constitutionally unenumerated right and merely wrote, "A fundamental right is like pornography.  I know one when I see it."

It's that simple

If the law is going to hold thirteen year olds responsible enough to be tried as adults, then the law should at the very least hold them responsible enough to vote as well.

Progress!

Yesterday, the doorman at the Maryland Entrance to the Chase Park Plaza Hotel was actually white.  Wow!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Trial of Socrates

Are things just because the law says so, or does the law declare things just because they are just? If the first, then justice is whatever legislators say it is, which makes justice a creature of whimsy. If justice is a creature of whimsy, then the objection to jury nullification on the grounds that it is whimsical is no objection at all. If the second, then justice exists independently of the law, and law’s purpose is simply to acknowledge it, if the law fails to do so, then jury nullification must step in to do so.

The Euthyphro dilemma, which Atheists love to hurl at us Theists, can also be applied to something as thoroughly secular as legal positivism—with the same devastating effect.

An idea for an existentialist Romantic Comedy (or a twist on the typical Woody Allen Film that Allen has not done yet)

A perpetually lonely middle-aged virgin becomes so desperate that he pretends to be gay and seeks out a reparative therapist in the hope of finally, finally getting some nookie. Of course, he realizes that he must really make the fundamentalists think he really is NOT attracted to women. Otherwise, they'll kick him out of the program. So, while he's busy pretending to be a struggling gay guy, his reparative therapists have him read the Bible, assign him various prayer exercises, and so on. The man may be a pathetic loser, but he isn't stupid. His encounter with Fundamentalist Christianity makes him realize that it is really silly. He soon realizes that not just Fundamentalist Christianity is silly, but all religion. He becomes a militant atheist, and the reparative therapists kick him out of the program. He never gets nookie, all he got was an awareness that the godless universe does not give a shit about him. So, he eats himself to death while watching Internet Porn.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Yesterday's Sermon

Father Jeff, as we casual surbubanites have come to know him, read to us some moving pet obituaries that he had found on the internet. Then he mentioned the global outcry and mourning over the murder of Cecil the Lion. We wanted to read to us some of the obituaries of the babies whose tissue Planned Parenthood sells but, alas, could not find a single one.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

My Dad was an English Teacher, Goddammit!

Hey, Emma Green of the Atlantic, it's "different from", NOT "different than".  "Than" is used for comparisons, not contrasts.  Just repeat this, "Contrasts are not 'differenter than' but simply different FROM comparisons."  Got that?  I hope so.