Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Andrew T. Walker adapts to the pseudo-intellectual style of Witherspoon's pseudo-intellectual blog

Andrew T. Walker
Another pompous intellectual impostor makes another logic-challenged critique of marriage equality.

In a piece published last evening, Andrew T. Walker writes about marriage in Witherspoon Institute's pseudo-intellectual blog. Walker bills himself as  the Director of Policy Studies at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. I am surprised that they didn't give him a pretentious academic title. He is also a policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation.

In the way of background, Walker has a BA in religion from Southwest Baptist University and a master of divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

I don't know what it is about Witherspoon's blog. Perhaps it's the Opus Dei connection. Perhaps it's the Robby George association. In any event it causes reasonably intelligent people to write essays like they were authoring an ostentatious undergraduate term paper.

Walker's first mistake is that he cites the Regnerus "research." If anyone still has any doubts about how thoroughly demolished this study is, they can read the review (via an amicus brief) by his own professional organization, the American Sociological Association. The good stuff starts on page 15. It's obvious that Walker has probably failed to even read this study let alone appreciate it or question it. He certainly hasn't read the ASA review. He also points to a Heritage website similar to National Organization for Marriage. The site is not a presentation of scholarship; It's advocacy.

Walker goes through the whole tedious litany of the procreative marriage drivel, trying to make it sound different from Ryan T. Anderson. Accoding to Walker, non-procreative marriage doesn't serve society. Walker stresses that society needs marriage — which is true. However, he doesn't seem to appreciate the fact that married gay couples make a contribution to society and that many of them do, in fact, have children. They always seem to omit that part. We finally end up with this:
While marriage is a good in itself, marriage’s ontological nature is intimately linked to its social purpose.
"Ontological nature" is redundant and also nonsensical. Marriage is inextricably linked to its legal purpose. In the real world, the purpose for marriage is to create a marital estate for the protection of each other and their children. It is the legal reality that, for example, now allows married gay couples the option of filing joint returns and to leave assets to each other without being taxed.

Then we get to this:
If we grant kinship’s centrality to marriage, same-sex relationships not only fail as to what constitutes a marriage, but same-sex relationships also fail the kinship test. Redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships enacts a legal fiction that the organic contours of society neither intuitively recognize nor posit. Same-sex marriage does not contribute to the kinship model. If natural marriage bestows life in way that is socially-oriented and centrifugal, then we might say that same-sex marriage is centripetal. In same-sex marriage, the emotional, non-generative unions of adults become the center.
The kinship test? Seriously? Where legally recognized, same-sex marriage is a legal reality — not “legal fiction.” The “organic contours” (oy veh) of society don't "posit" anything (oy veh) and communities familiar with married same-sex couples seem to have no problem recognizing the legal bond as a marriage. For the most part, the kids all play with each other and the parents socialize. It might take some getting used to but it has been a rather quick adaptation.

About the biggest shocks are the realizations that not all lesbians drive trucks and not all gay men have meticulously manicured shrubbery. For me, plants have a singular mission; To come to my home and die. But I digress. Marriages aren't really "centrifugal" and same-sex marriage is not "centripetal." Walker, presumably a Baptist. is just trying for a grandiose means of repeating the Catholic Church talking points about procreative marriage.

The bottom line is that this is one big steaming pile of bullshit.

For a decade now, religious people have been torturing logic, pretending, lying and even deluding themselves that there is a secular reason to oppose marriage equality. It still does not exist. The citizenry isn't buying it anymore and the Supreme Court didn't buy it either.

The condition remains unchanged:

Nobody has ever been able to make a coherent argument that same-sex marriage has any effect on anyone other than those thus wed.
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