Monday, January 6, 2020

Anderson and George are as Odious as Ever

“Now they are trying to say, in effect, that marriage equality creates gender dysphoria. It defies common sense.”
Ryan T. Anderson and Robert P. George
HFNY: Happy New Year from Ryan T. Anderson and Robert P. George, Defenders of the Faith™. USA Today provided these two Catholic warriors with space to recite the same idiotic arguments about marriage equality that lost at the Supreme Court. The title is Decade in review: Marital norms erode. The meta-title (what you see on the top bar of your browser and the tab) reflects what was probably the original subtitle: Sexual norms erode in wake of gay marriage rulings.
The original title of this diatribe is reflected in the URL which includes this text:
The real title of this preposterous tirade should be: How Same-Sex Marriage Created Transgender People.

Ryan T. Anderson is an over-educated idiot. However, Robert P. George is smarter than this. In 2015 George had an Obergefell breakdown to the point of organizing an unconstitutional nullification effort. Over the last four years George seemed to have come to his senses, even coming to the defense of gay affirming priest, Fr. James Martin.

Given the chance, George proves to be the same odious bigot that he was when he co-founded National Organization for Marriage in 2007. George has now managed to make himself look stupid — again.

The hidden agenda
Same-sex marriage advocates told the public that they sought only the “freedom to marry.” Same-sex couples were already free to live as they chose, but legal recognition was about the definition of marriage for all of society. It was about affirmation — by the government and everyone else.

It’s unsurprising that once a campaign that used to cry “live and let live” prevailed, it began working to shut down Catholic adoption agencies and harass evangelical bakers and florists. This shows it was never really about “live and let live” — that was a merely tactical stance.
Right. It was all a ploy. We devoted enormous energy to effect marriage equality so that we could put Catholic Charities out of business. Less important was legal recognition allowing us to create marital estates. Less important was the security of the children that gay couples were already raising. Sure. That makes perfect sense to these two geniuses.

The history tells a different story. In Massachusetts, Catholic Charities had been quietly placing children with gay couples for years. That all changed in 2004 when the Commonwealth legalized same-sex marriage. The bishops meddled and ordered Catholic Charities to close down rather than continue the practice. In other words, they disingenuously manufactured a consequence of marriage equality.

The first relevant case to make its way to the Supreme Court was Elane Photography v. Willock which began in 2006 — nine years before Obergefell. In fact, it involved a commitment ceremony, not marriage. In 2014 the Supreme Court declined to review the case. The message was unambiguous. State and local nondiscrimination laws prevailed without religious exemptions. This was consistent with the precedent established in 1990 with Employment Division v. Smith. In that case Scalia authored the majority opinion.

Years before the decision in Obergefell v. Hodges it was clearly established that state and local nondiscrimination laws were valid and enforceable. We already won that battle. In other words, Mr. Anderson and Mr. George are desperately in need of laxatives as they are full of crap.
Rinse; repeat
… the more profound consequences will be to marriage itself. Law shapes culture; culture shapes beliefs; beliefs shape action. The law now effectively teaches that mothers and fathers are replaceable, that marriage is simply about consenting adult relationships, of whatever formation the parties happen to prefer. This undermines the truth that children deserve a mother and a father — one of each.
Mr. Anderson and Mr. George define “truth” differently from most people. Most of us define truth as facts supported by evidence. Anderson and George define truth as the teachings of the Catholic Church. According to the science, repeated over and over and over again, the children raised by gay couples are as healthy, happy and secure as those raised by heterosexual couples.

Laws that legalized same-sex marriage, and ultimately the ruling in Obergefell, do not “teach” anything other than the simple fact that gay couples can legally wed. Parenting; whether through adoption, surrogacy or as a result of divorce; is a separate issue.

For years the religious set used children as a means of arguing in opposition to marriage equality. They do so because there does not exist a coherent secular argument to support marriage discrimination. Same-sex parenting is unrelated to same-sex marriage.

When they are not arguing about parenting they are arguing through self-manufactured victims. These are people who wrongly believe that public accommodations can violate valid nondiscrimination laws. These folks do not approve of Jewish, Muslim and interfaith marriages either but they wouldn't dare discriminate.

They are knowingly serving previously divorced couples, couples with children prior to marriage and couples who insult religion in innumerable ways. Gay people are fair game. If those who discriminate are victims they have been victimized by their own stupidity and hypocrisy.
Ice on the slippery slope
It also undercuts any reasonable justification for marital norms. After all, if marriage is about romantic connection, why require monogamy? There’s nothing magical about the number two, as defenders of “polyamory” point out. … blah, blah blah]

Marriage redefiners could not answer these questions when challenged to show that the elimination of sexual complementarity did not undermine other marital norms. Today, they increasingly admit that they have no stake in upholding norms of monogamy, exclusivity and permanence.
Please provide the MiraLAX. What looked like ice on the slippery slope turned to muddy slush in which the two simpletons are trapped. We answered these questions innumerable times. In fact, quite effectively at the Supreme Court. Polygamy, for example, has to be defended on its own. There don't seem to be any cases challenging the 1882 Edmunds Act federally outlawing polygamy.

Anderson and George are dishonest. The link that they provide (to an article in the New York Times) doesn't say what they claim it says. The intended inference is that people who supported marriage equality are indifferent to polygamy. The article does not bear that out in any way whatsoever.

For the record I have no opinion about polygamy. The reason that I have no opinion is that I do not know enough about it. I have not considered arguments for and against plural marriage nor the evidence in support of those arguments.

The polygamy argument goes on for several paragraphs. It does not improve with verbosity because it has nothing to do with same-sex marriage.
The remarkable transition to transition
The monogamy argument ends with:
But same-sex marriage is a catalyst for further erosion. Already, we see respectable opinion-makers mainstreaming “throuples,” “ethical nonmonogamy” and “open relationships.” This was predictable; we and others predicted it.

Something we didn’t predict are the headlines about transgender and nonbinary “identities.” A decade ago, few Americans had given much thought to the "T" in "LGBT." Today, transgender identity seems to dominate the discussion of sexuality and sexual morality.
There is no evidence to support the proposition that same-sex marriage is a catalyst for polygamy. They are indulging in a purposeful confusion of correlation with causation. How the hell did they suddenly switch to transgender people?

If these people would only shut the fuck up about transgender people then they would not dominate discussions over sexuality and morality. Moreover, gender dysphoria is not immoral.

Mitigating the effects of gender dysphoria through gender affirmation is not immoral. Claiming otherwise is an attempt to support the ignorant dogma of the Church which is based on the notion that the existence of transgender people conflicts with Genesis 1:27.

What happened is this. Over the last few years the treatment of juvenile gender dysphoria changed because of a mountain of evidence-based research. Only ten years ago parents and therapists did everything possible to prevent children from transitioning. That didn't work. Children were in extreme distress and self-harm was rampant.

Rejection was replaced with gender-affirming care. More children were presenting as transgender. These are the kids who are in the most distress. They are not those children who see their gender dysphoria resolve or diminish. These kids would have transitioned as adults (desistance rates at this stage are minuscule).

More trans kids in public schools led to the Obama administration issuing guidance that trans kids should be accommodated. Religious conservatives (who were already predisposed to loathe anything Obama did) had a shitfit. That is why there has been so much discussion about transgender people who continue to comprise only 0.5% of the population.

Mr. Anderson and Mr. George come to a remarkable conclusion:
There’s a logic here. If we can’t see the point of our sexual embodiment where it matters most — in marriage — we’ll question whether it matters at all. Hence the push to see gender as “fluid” and existing along a "spectrum” of nonbinary options.
I find it hard to believe that Robert P. George would sign on to something that stupid. People are transgender because they have gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is no more related to marriage than colitis. It is Christian conservatives who claim that we claim that the driving factor is gender fluidity. While there is some fluidity in gender identity it is generally unrelated to transgender people.

“Push?” Transgender people become agitated when there are laws to prevent them from using facilities consistent with their gender expression. Transgender people believe that they should not be discriminated against because of their treatment of a medical condition that conservative Christians disapprove of. The parents of trans kids want their children to be treated, in the public schools they help pay for, according to their gender rather than their natal sex.

In business I identified people as either philosophers or doers. I avoided the philosophers. This kind of gibberish explains why:
Implicit in the push for same-sex marriage was body-self dualism — the idea that we’re actually nonphysical entities inhabiting physical bodies, or ghosts in machines. That’s why the "plumbing" in sexual acts seemed not to matter.
That is not to say that Plato (underpinning the above) authored gibberish. However, using Plato to argue against same-sex marriage produces drivel.
Back to trans children
Children burdened by our mistakes

Nearly unthinkable a decade ago, certain medical professionals tell children experiencing gender dysphoria that they are trapped in the wrong body, even that their bodies are merely like Pop-Tarts foil packets, as one expert explained.

Some doctors now prescribe puberty-blocking drugs to otherwise healthy children struggling to accept their bodies. They prescribe cross-sex hormones for young teens to transform their bodies to align with their gender identities.
The expert they refer to Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy who is quoted out of context in another obnoxious polemic. Remember: This is not about genuine concern for children. This is about concern for scripture.

A diagnose of gender dysphoria in children is extremely objective. It requires meeting six of eight criteria. The use of puberty blockers and hormones (in later teens) is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Endocrine Society. Their support is based on peer-reviewed research. If it was your kid would you treat him or her according to scripture or medical science? With these two crusaders it might be scripture.
After all the usual blather about Hollywood's portrayal of LGBTQ people and business leaders across the board who support nondiscrimination:
Having lost at the ballot box over and over — even in California — activists found new avenues: ideologically friendly courts, federal agencies, big corporations.
Yeah, well, the last time marriage equality was on the ballot (2012) we won four out of four. Proposition 8 was 11 years ago and featured a campaign based on fear mongering. The bottom line is that (at the risk of repeating myself) there is no secular argument to coherently support the notion that same-sex marriage has some mystical effect on heterosexual marriages.

Anderson and George are simply repeating the nonsensical arguments that they made in amicus briefs in United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges. No matter how hard they try, they cannot obscure the fact that they have a religious objection to same-sex marriage. These arguments have not improved over seven and five years respectively.

Now they are trying to say, in effect, that marriage equality creates gender dysphoria. It defies common sense:
Having secured a judicial redefinition of marriage, they pivoted to the “T,” with the Obama administration redefining “sex” to mean “gender identity” and imposing a new policy on all schools.
“They?” This is a deliberate confusion of correlation and causation. The rooster crows. Sunrise. The rooster causes the sun to rise. There is no relationship between same-sex marriage and transgender accommodations in public schools. Earlier in this post I explained the progression. Medical science has advanced:
The medical consensus in the late 20th century was that transgender and gender incongruent individuals suffered a mental health disorder termed “gender identity disorder.” Gender identity was considered malleable and subject to external influences. Today, however, this attitude is no longer considered valid. Considerable scientific evidence has emerged demonstrating a durable biological element underlying gender identity. Individuals may make choices due to other factors in their lives, but there do not seem to be external forces that genuinely cause individuals to change gender identity.
Back to victimization
And having won government support, activists turned to eliminating private dissent. Former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke wants to yank the tax-exemption of noncompliant churches. Megadonor Tim Gill vows to spend his fortunes to “punish the wicked.” Who are “the wicked”? Those who refuse to accept the new sexual orthodoxy.
O'Rourke posed something that made no sense and would be unconstitutional. Tim Gill is quoted out of context. Anderson and George provided the link but they know that it will not be read. In any event these are two individuals with individual opinions. Anderson and George want to punish those who refuse to accept the religious “orthodoxy.”
A conclusion with the usual insipid pablum
All of us, including those identifying as LGBT, are made in God’s image, are endowed with profound dignity and thus deserve respect. It’s because of this dignity and out of such respect that the institutions serving the human good — like the marriage-based family — should be supported, not undermined or redefined. That basic rights like religious freedom ought to be upheld, not infringed. That a healthy moral and physical ecology — especially for children — must be preserved.
Respect starts with referring to “LGBTQ people,” not “those identifying as LGBT.” In context what they are essentially saying is that their bigotry is a means of conveying dignity and respect to LGBTQ people. Not only is that nonsensical but this entire tirade has nothing to do with what is best for anyone. This is about defending the teachings of the Catholic Church.

It is more than a defense of the catechism. Given the opportunity to do so, Ryan T. Anderson and Robert P. George would impose the catechism of the Catholic Church on public policy. People grasp that reality. Anderson and George are responsible for creating the activists that give them so much dyspepsia.

All the more infuriating is the behavior of USA Today. The post is littered with links to other bigotry that the outlet has provided. Moreover, Anderson and George are not responsible spokesmen. They do not deserve the megaphone that USA Today has provided.

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