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View Diary: Pure and Simple: Equal Rights (196 comments)

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  •  Nope (none)
    You're filtering this through a contemporary understanding of race as nothing more than skin color.  At the time, race was constitutive--the races were different kinds of people.  Arguments against interracial marriage were the same as arguments today--they were arguing that this was an actual change in what a marriage is.  Go back and read the decision of the VA judge that led to Loving.  Race meant different kinds of people, in their essence.  The history of race shows this to be the case.  It wasn't just they have a different skin color--it was they are different.  We must keep them separate because they are different, and inferior, than us.  That was how it was understood.  Race as a concept has changed.  To say this isn't the same issue is to misunderstand how race has been understood and constructed in this nation.

    There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action. *J.W. von Goethe

    by MAJeff on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 02:01:45 PM PST

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    •  Nothing of the kind (none)
      You're filtering this through a contemporary understanding of race as nothing more than skin color

      Not at all. I'm taking a global view because marriage is a global institution that is supported by all major cultures as between a man and a woman. Yet I clearly showed that interracial marriage, while subject to social discrimination, was only rarely legislated against, anywhere. Hence, this was a problem particular to the US, and a part of the US to boot.

      You will find the cultural basis to Gay Marriage to be far weaker around the world. It isn't even commonly accepted in Europe yet, and Europe usually leads in this kind of thing.

      We must keep them separate because they are different, and inferior, than us.  That was how it was understood.

      By whom? You are basing your entire argument on the history of Southern segregation. Segregation in the southern United States was an outlier condition within Western culture, not the norm by any stretch. I mean, we are talking about the only culture in the industrialized world that to this very day is unable to accept the theory of Evolution.

      Still for Dean, after the scream.

      by M Aurelius on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 02:17:53 PM PST

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      •  There were other social arenas (none)
        Science, for instance, attempted to show the ways that the races were different (Stephen Jay Gould's The Mismeasure of Man illustrates this brilliantly) and to place them in hierarchies.

        There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action. *J.W. von Goethe

        by MAJeff on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 02:21:40 PM PST

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      •  Oh Really? (none)
        I'm taking a global view because marriage is a global institution that is supported by all major cultures as between a man and a woman.

        You will find the cultural basis to Gay Marriage to be far weaker around the world.

        S'funny. I'm in the middle of reading Joseph Campbell's Hero With a Thousand Faces right now, and I don't know that he would agree with you there. The mythic/cultural foundation for the blurring of gender roles is present in just about every people on the face of the Earth -- it was most obvious and striking in the initiation rituals of the Australian Koori.

        To say that inter-racial marriage was a taboo limited almost exclusively to the American south is just ridiculous though. Christians and Jews could not marry in pre-Constantinian Rome, for instance.

        Besides which, the whole premise is flawed. Cultures didn't legislate against interracial marriages because women were property anyway, and it didn't much matter what race they were. Should we be upholding that part of the ancient tradition too? Of course not.

        "I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs." "I find the puppet on the left more to my liking." "Hey, there's one guy holding both puppets... SMACK!"

        by Anton Sirius on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 03:23:25 PM PST

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        •  I didn't realize (none)
          Christians and Jews

          I didn't realize Chirstians were a race. I won't get into Jews because that depends on how orthodox you are. But your example is simply not relevant to interracial marriage.

          Interreligious marriage is a problem easily solved even 2000 years ago: one of them converted.

          Today it is strictly a matter of choice as well: It is perfectly obvious that if you belong to an orthodox religion, you are going to have problems. You must either change your belief or not marry. But it's your choice.

          More mainstream religions generally tolerate and some even support interreligious marrying today. But in so far as religion is a choice, religious restrictions have little bearing on the issue.

          Still for Dean, after the scream.

          by M Aurelius on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 03:55:03 PM PST

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          •  Ummm... (none)
            I didn't realize Chirstians were a race. I won't get into Jews because that depends on how orthodox you are. But your example is simply not relevant to interracial marriage.

            Orthodox? It was 350 AD. Jews most definitely were a race. And 'Christians', at that point, was pretty much synonymous with 'Roman'.

            "I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs." "I find the puppet on the left more to my liking." "Hey, there's one guy holding both puppets... SMACK!"

            by Anton Sirius on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 05:59:27 PM PST

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            •  You can't be serious (none)
              It was 350 AD. Jews most definitely were a race. And 'Christians', at that point, was pretty much synonymous with 'Roman'.

              By 350 AD there were millions of Roman citizens from the provinces, ethnically and racially identifiable as of non-Roman origin, who spoke Latin as a second language. The Romans did not have race requirements for citizenship at that time and hadn't for years.

              That should be the end of that particular argument.

              Still for Dean, after the scream.

              by M Aurelius on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 01:57:39 AM PST

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          •  Race is a social concept, not a biological one (none)
            Throughout most of European history, Jews were seen as a race of people distinct from other Europeans. Yes, one could convert between religions, but if you had matrilineal descent from a Jew you were a Jew. And conversion didn't happen often anyway, except as a tactic by Jews to avoid open persecution.

            Bans on marriages between Jews and Christians were certainly bans on interracial marriage by the standards of the time.

            As for religion being a choice, that's a very modern view. For most of history, you were born into your religion, and that was that. Religion, government, and ethnicity were closely tied and many people in earlier times would not have recognized a significant distinction. Those who formed new religions or simply tried to leave the religion of their birth were violently persecuted, in large part because they had attacked the fundamental social fabric of the time. They might as well have grown horns or turned a different color.

            •  Not true (none)
              Yes, one could convert between religions, but if you had matrilineal descent from a Jew you were a Jew.

              No you weren't, except to other Jews. Only Jews defined their heritage this way, not Christians. The fact that many conversions were insincere proves nothing in terms of racial politics, quite the contrary, as a converted Jew, honestly so or not, adquired all the rights of a Christian.

              Obviously, if the falsely converted Jew was caught, all bets were off. But they could convert, they had the option. So this was, by definition, a religious and not a racial issue.

              As for religion being a choice, that's a very modern view ... Religion, government, and ethnicity were closely tied

              Not at all. For the Jews they obviously were not, as their government was never Jewish in Europe. For the Christians the idea is also relative. Christianity was the official creed everywhere in Europe. Hence, an ethnic German and an ethnic Spaniard shared their religion despite differences in language, culture, and physical appearance.

              And all European colonizers in America, from Spain to Portugal to England, were quite happy to convert indians into Christianity.

              Likewise, Islam has always evangelized and accepted converts, and succesfully so. In fact, both Islam and Christianity have come to be the religions of over a billion people through hundreds of years of conversions under all conceivable circumstances. They are both absolutely untied to ethnicity and this has always been so.

              Of the three, only Judaism tautologically mixes race/ethnicity with religion, which is why the Jewish population does not grow very quickly, if at all. Even today, you can't convert into Judaism and be accepted as a Jew by all other Jews. If you read orthodox literature concerned with the decline in the number of Jews in Western countries, you will see that they propose all solutions (education, community activities, etc.) to keep existing Jews from straying or intermarrying, but never consider encouraging the spread of the Jewish faith to new converts through evangelical action.

              Still for Dean, after the scream.

              by M Aurelius on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 02:19:51 AM PST

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