Monday, July 8, 2013

Ryan T. Anderson attempts to redefine logic (among other things)

Mr. Anderson takes to Glenn Beck's TheBlaze to complain. He leaves himself open to considerable warranted criticism.

Ryan Anderson continues to confound me. Anderson is an extraordinarily smart young guy. Yet, he is consumed by extreme conservative Catholicism to the point of sacrificing not only his intellect but his integrity and dignity as well. According to Anderson:
... the Left also has deployed three distinct tactics: First, they’ve been successful at oversimplifying the issue, personalizing it and refusing to engage the complexities of social reality. Second, they’ve implied that the LGBT community speaks in one voice. And third, they’ve demonized their opponents as “bigots” and “haters.”
I'll take the third of these first because that is the most intellectually dishonest. I find it amusing that Anderson cites an article by Jessica Gerson in the Huffington Post titled Dear Opponents of Marriage Equality: Here's Why I Call You a Bigot. Had Mr. Anderson bothered to actually read this piece he would have a better understanding.

Christians love to complain (ad nauseum) that they are being labeled as "haters" and "bigots" for their religious beliefs. That is simply untrue. There is a very bright line that exists between religious belief and imposition. Mr. Anderson and his cohorts wish to impose their religious beliefs and the teachings of the Catholic Church, by force of law, on everyone else.

In 2003 then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) wrote that we are not only "disordered" but we "do violence" to children when we take them into our homes. I am willing to give them a pass when people accept the underlying teachings in spite of the fact that they are an expression of bigotry per se. Those and similar teachings are at the core of denying my friends the right to marry. They are the cause for denying their children the right to have married parents. Thus it is their actions, in contrast to their beliefs, that cause me to consider them haters and bigots.

Ryan T. Anderson
With respect to Anderson's first statement (that we oversimplify the matter), I would argue just the opposite. Mr. Anderson, in painfully verbose polemics, has over-complicated the issues surrounding marriage equality. He has attempted to secularize Catholic teachings (including the previously mentioned treatise by the former Pope). These are offered as essays in opposition to equal marriage. They fail because they are a dishonest attempt to obfuscate the underlying religious objections which are not admissible as legal arguments.

In contrast, we have taken a logical approach to marriage equality. Like most decisions we want to weigh benefits against harms. If that "over-simplifies" the matter, perhaps it is because the issues are rather simple. There is no coherent secular argument that even reasonably points to any effect that same-sex marriage has on so-called traditional marriage. We have argued about the many benefits to society, gay couples and the children of gay couples that accrue through marriage equality.

Mr. Anderson's second statement ("they’ve implied that the LGBT community speaks in one voice") is simply untrue and, frankly, irrelevant to the issue.  Indeed, within the same article, Mr. Anderson has implied that Jessica Gerson speaks for the LGBT community. He also linked to a diary on Daily KOS (written by someone I never heard of) suggesting that person speak for the LGBT community. On April 17, Robert George claimed that he had proof that gays want to destroy marriage. His proof was found in a misconstrued comment by gay Russian journalist Masha Gessen. NOM recycled this nonsense repeatedly. The underlying premise was that Ms. Gessen speaks for the gay community.

In point of fact we are many individual and collective voices of numerous organizations. We are not in complete agreement and have not implied that we are. It's not only false but irrelevant.

The bottom line, however, is that none of this nonsense has anything to do with the issues associated with marriage equality. I wonder why that is.
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