Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Schlock Scholarship: Robert P. George Does it - AGAIN!

The great Catholic thinker doesn't seem to do so very much.

Writing again for "First Things," George has penned: What Few Deny Gay Marriage Will Do. Robby's premise is:
... it is no longer uncommon for advocates of redefining marriage to acknowledge that the effect—for them an entirely desirable effect—of redefinition will be the radical transformation of the institution. The objective is not merely to expand the pool of people eligible to participate in it, as was long claimed. In conceding (and celebrating the fact) that redefining marriage will fundamentally alter the institution, transform its social role and meaning, and undermine its structuring norms of monogamy, exclusivity, etc.
In other words, George's hypothesis is a) that gays want to marry in order to wreck marriage and; b) that few deny that this is what gay marriage will do. I'll get to Robby's theory in a moment but first; As proof, George offers the writing of Russian (her permanent residence is in Moscow) lesbian Masha Gessen:
She is a self-identified lesbian and a leading activist in the U.S. and Russia. (She holds citizenship in both countries.) Although she is anything but a fringe figure within the movement, she is notable for her candor in discussing its beliefs and goals. At last year’s meeting of the Sydney Writers’ Festival (audio here) she spoke plainly:
It’s a no-brainer that (homosexuals) should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist. . . . Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there—because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie.
First the obvious:  Gessen's views are Gessen's. They are certainly not my views. In fact, I don't know any US gay who has expressed anything even remotely similar to what Gessen said. Furthermore, the only people who claim that gay marriage will destroy marriage are those with a religious objection to equality. That would apply to Mr. George.

  1. To claim that few people deny that the purpose of marriage equality is to destroy marriage is absurd.
  2. To claim that "it is not uncommon" for marriage equality advocates to admit that the purpose of marriage equality is to destroy marriage is preposterous. That is a deliberate lie.
  3. To claim that the destruction of marriage is an "entirely desirable effect" for LGBT advocates is spectacularly stupid.
  4. To claim that this is verified by something that Masha Gessen said makes me further wonder how this guy has an endowed chair at Princeton.
George has the benefit of having a large staff of full time employees and graduate students. He has enormous research resources at his disposal. Surely, if the purpose and effect of marriage equality is the destruction of marriage, Mr. George could produce evidence of this in, say, Spain or Massachusetts.

Where is the scholarship Dr. George?
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