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I've seen some contorted arguments against legalizing gay marriage, but one proffered by the Discovery Institute's Jay Richards takes the cake.  Richards appeared on Phyllis Schlafly's radio show on Monday, and argued that marriage equality would actually trample on individual rights (h/t to PFAW).

We argue that there are other pre-political realities besides just the individual that a limited government has to recognize and marriage is one of those realities, it’s a universal human institution, we find it in every time and place, in every culture, every religious tradition has this basic concept of marriage as between one man and one woman with a special connection to children. So a limited government is going to recognize that institution rather than try to redefine it, so that’s why we think, in fact, if you believe in limited government you need to believe in laws that protect marriage as it actually is historically. The institution of marriage is one of those things that is outside the jurisdiction of the state, so quite apart from the consequences, we think, if you believe that government should recognize individual rights, then you need to believe that the government is also going to recognize the rights and realities of this institution which it can’t dictate.
Richards and Schlafly were in a larger discussion about how to "save America" after losing the culture war.  Listen to the whole thing (if you can stand it) here.

Am I the only one wondering what planet this is from?  Granting people rights--or more accurately, recognizing rights that we already have--is a violation of individual rights?  The mind reels.

Richards' argument also makes me wonder ... is this the same line of reasoning the segregationists used back in the day?  It's hard not to think so.  After all, they contended that integration violated their right to associate with whom they chose.  And we know how patently loony that sounds now.  Hopefully sentiments like Richards' will sound just as loony as time goes on.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Waitaminute!!! (11+ / 0-)

    This doofus actually said:

    So a limited government is going to recognize that institution rather than try to redefine it, so that’s why we think, in fact, if you believe in limited government you need to believe in laws that protect marriage as it actually is historically.
    Whoo-hoo! I'm goin' out and get me a passel of wives to subjugate like teh Hole-y BUY-Bull says I can!!!!! Thank you, limited governmentTM!!

    And yes, these idiots used precisely these same ideas to prop up slavery, Jim Crow laws, segregation, denial of equal rights for women, everything. God-Given RightsTM mentioned in teh Hole-y BUY-bull trump civil law for these people. Always.

    And that's why these people don't need a public forum for their views. They need medication and 24-hour attendants armed with Thorazine.

    -8.75,-8.00. "Liberal" ain't a dirty word. "Indifferent" IS. Our enemies want us dead. WE WILL VANQUISH THEM.

    by CajunBoyLgb on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 03:14:26 PM PDT

  •  Trying to unbend my brain after reading this (15+ / 0-)
    we find it in every time and place, in every culture, every religious tradition has this basic concept of marriage as between one man and one woman
    All those cultures that practiced polygamy (or still do) were figments of your imagination!  

    And yes, segregationists tried to dress u their hate as a matter of "freedom of association" and whatnot.  Because there's no freedom like the freedom to deny other people's freedom.  Or something.

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 03:16:23 PM PDT

  •  I guess there is a gawd-given right to be a bigot (5+ / 0-)

    I really had no idea.

    •  Yes, we are infringing on their (3+ / 0-)

      individual right to be dripping in fear and loathing of the other...

      When do I get to vote on your marriage?

      by jarhead5536 on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 03:31:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Remember way back when (4+ / 0-)

      it first started to become unacceptable to use demeaning sexist language to women in the workplace?  

      All the time the old guard were fuming, "Listen, ladies, there is NO SUCH THING as the right not to be offended".    

      Now that my gay marriage is all the time offending them, they are suffering a curious amnesia about that principle which they once found so self-evident.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 03:37:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The golden rule for understanding Repub argument (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp

        You are assuming they argue their way to a conclusion starting from data.

        They are actually starting from the conclusion and using whatever comes first to hand to slap together something that resembles an argument.

        They consider themselves consistent because this manner of "argument" always proves them to be right.

        "Given the fact of servitude, the feudal relationship is the only tolerable one." (George Orwell)

        by sagesource on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 08:47:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Planet repug. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea, CajunBoyLgb

    God given right to be a bigot, not force your bigotry on the population at large.

    Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

    by Smoh on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 03:28:09 PM PDT

  •  However, in Other News... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge

    The sitting president is still waffling over whether to issue an Executive Order barring employment discrimination against LGBTQE U.S. citizens by Federal contractors.

    If the President starts "evolving" on LGBTQE issues instead of expressing full-on support for our rights to exist and share equally in U.S. citizenship, then he risks losing our support.

    Just because we have nowhere else to turn....

    -8.75,-8.00. "Liberal" ain't a dirty word. "Indifferent" IS. Our enemies want us dead. WE WILL VANQUISH THEM.

    by CajunBoyLgb on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 03:35:22 PM PDT

  •  If your marriage is threatened... (5+ / 0-)

    ...by gay people getting married, then you have a pretty fucking weak marriage.

    Jay Richards, I strongly suggest that you and your wife begin marriage counseling immediately if you don't want to get divorced. Gay weddings are happening right now, all over the place, so your marriage is being ripped asunder as we speak! Hurry! It's coming apart at the seams!

    •  Actually, sitting here in Iowa, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave in Northridge, SCFrog

      I have heard of exactly NO marriages torn asunder by marriage equality.  Neither has there been a huge rush of teh gays coming here to overwhelm us so they can get married.  There were quite a few couples the first week, and then we stopped hearing about it.  

      I do feel bad for the judges who heroically followed the law and Constitution rather than caving in to the bigots.  Three of them lost their positions on the IA Supreme Court in the same election that brought us round four of Gov. Braindead.  I am still reeling from that one.  Having gotten rid of him after three terms years ago, people voted him back in.  2010 was not a good year for Iowa...

      -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

      by luckylizard on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 04:23:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  believe it or not these same folks would (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        luckylizard

        also happily return to the days when God fearing husbands murdered their wives since divorce was out of the question

        •  Oh, I believe it! (0+ / 0-)

          I always knew there was at least a core of believers out there who'd love to reinstate Leviticus as our only body of law.  With the recent contraceptive nonsense, it looks like that core is more than a bit larger than I thought...

          -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

          by luckylizard on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 08:53:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  as an example to hear Bishop Dolan (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            luckylizard

            no good Catholic would use bc though it seems 99% of them have. In the meantime Dolan is silent about his slander of gays or his protection of pedophile priests or trying to hide church assets from suing victims...............

            •  Dolan is doing his job. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              entlord

              Or he thinks he is.  Now, don't yell at me.  Those guys take an oath when they become bishops.  They have to "protect" the Church at all costs.  I would argue that his recent statements and any obstructions he's put in place to protect pedophile priests or hide Church assets does NOT protect the Church.  Those things put it in greater jeopardy.  

              That's part of the problem of insisting on reverting to ancient methods.  It wasn't all that long ago that sweeping things under the rug actually worked for the most part.  In my lifetime, saying mean things about people who didn't toe the line often made them straighten up and fly right.  By denying the massive changes that have taken place in the last 50+ years, the bishops have left themselves open to the prying eyes of the media, especially social/political media.  

              Their threats of eternal damnation may have worked before, but the people of the church have moved on without them.  I will never forgive John XXIII for dying before the Council work was finished.  Had he been able to wind things up properly, we might have been spared this relentless onslaught to return us to the Dark Ages.

              -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

              by luckylizard on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 09:50:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  That's too bad about the judges... (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not an Iowan, so I didn't even know that. History shall be on their side, but that doesn't help them in the meantime, while they're still alive and stuff.

        I'm from a state that, barring federal legislation, probably won't allow gay marriage until the year 2137. So as unfortunate as the Iowa situation may be, I must say, your state seems cutting-edge progressive compared to mine!

  •  Since Their Religion Teaches Ruling Others, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard

    exempting people from their teachings violates the religious rights the Pilgrims came here to impose on North America.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 03:47:36 PM PDT

    •  they grant people the right to not believe (0+ / 0-)

      as they believed, like the Spanish who drove the Moors out of Spain.  You were free to follow your own religion so long as you did not mind dying in painful and bizarre ways

  •  Bizarro-world, perhaps (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skrekk

    I'm still trying to get over this:

    The institution of marriage is one of those things that is outside the jurisdiction of the state
    So it was NOT the state that prohibited interracial marriages?

    Sophistry, if I'm being kind.  Making shit up, if I'm not.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 04:56:26 PM PDT

  •  Really? They're still around? (0+ / 0-)

    I thought the Disco 'Tute shriveled up and died after their pet cause, Intelligent Design, went kablooey in a Pennsylvania courtroom.

  •  DI is the one who claims humans and dinos (0+ / 0-)

    played together and that the world is 6000 years old; they are also a perennial punching bag for PZ Myers and other intelligent homo sapiens.

    What these people cannot wrap their heads around is that freedom of religion does not mean you can enslave your neighbor, you cannot rape his daughter and pay him 30 pieces of silver in compensation, you cannot sacrifice virgins on your altar and you cannot kill your neighbor, his wife and manservants and carry off his nubile daughters to be your concubines.

    You are also not free to force your narrow religious views on your neighbors.  You are free to worship as you will, until your worship intrudes upon your neighbor's ability to practice the same freedom.  What is so hard about that?

  •  And, as always, (0+ / 0-)

    he was 100% wrong.

    had he done more than 5 minutes of research on Conservapedia, he would have found many, many, many examples of marriage that were not just the vanilla "1 man/1 woman".

    What a douche!

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 01:03:11 PM PDT

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