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I only took two books on my vacation to Puerto Vallarta. I must admit that one of them had me so irritated because of the nonsense and right-wing crap that I was tempted to just put it down and count it as a loss. This was the case with “Legislating Morality”.
I am not going to enter into the details of why this book is so right-wing and tries to justify askew morality. At least that morality that is perceived to be correct by most Republicans and religious fanatics.
The premise is simple, these two authors are assuming that America is on “a moral free-fall” as well as saying that America has been experiencing a moral crisis. It even holds discredited Judge Robert Bork in a high place of esteem. Yes, the same asshole who was not confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice because of his radical extremist right wing ideology.
I happen to disagree with that, America has been evolving, it has found its way to be more inclusive and fairer, it has been able to celebrate diversity and at the same time retain the concept of “the melting pot” where each new addition to our society becomes an ingredient that enhances the stew in the melting pot.
Where it gets complicated is when these authors attempt to convince us that morality can be legislated and that it is done because of what they perceive to be an absolutist view of what is moral. They call it “natural law”.
Here again, I find myself in disagreement with all that. I don't think in terms of absolutes, I am more inclined to think that good and evil are relative. For example: to a lion a gazelle is good and to a gazelle, a lion is bad. But let's not go there, allow ourselves to be guided by common sense. I know that if I kill your brother, you will retaliate and kill my daughter. I employ the more common rule; that one called “The Golden Rule” and I do right by my conscience rather than doing what I am told by society or religion.
I am also guided by the idea that most everyone has goodness, compassion and goodwill within them. To those who are maladjusted or just plain insane, the rule can't apply. But I include in this category those who are misguided by greed, lust, power and even stupidity.
As I said, I was tempted to just put the book down and toss it in the garbage bin at the resort hotel. But I was by the pool, had no other reading material and continued the tortuous reading of right-wing crap.
They go about saying the old, tired concept that the Federal Government has been taking power from the States and blaming the Supreme Court for it. Never mind that the Supreme Court presently is a right-wing dominated court and we've seen the activist conservative judges hand us decisions like “Citizen's United” that have inflicted lethal wounds to our democratic process.
Then they embark on hypotheticals involving abortion. I am not going to dwell on that much either since I am a firm believer that life does not begin at conception (an acorn does not a tree make) but that if the fetus is not viable outside of the womb, then it is not a human life. There are instances where abortion is preferable; like when the life of the mother is in danger, when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest or even when the child being carried is not going to live or will be so seriously flawed that it will not have a chance at a normal life.
“A fetus is to a person as an acorn is to an oak. Sure, one has the potential to become the other, but is not that other in its current state. The rules governing the cutting of mature trees is not the same for gathering acorns for good reason; the potential to become something does not make you that thing.
You might counter than a baby is not an adult but both deserve the same moral treatment. Or that since the acorn and tree share the same DNA that they cannot be distinguished. Both counter arguments fail. Taking the last first, if I just died, I have my full complement of DNA. Do I deserve to continue enjoying all the benefits of a living person? Should I still collect my social security? After all, I've still got my DNA. And a baby and adult are indeed the same, simply an immature form of one to the other. A baby needs only nutrients and time to mature into an adult . An acorn is a different cycle of life; it must transform to become a tree, not just grow bigger. An acorn is not a tree as common sense would dictate.”
But it get better, the authors even go after Darwin's theory of Evolution and it had “replaced God”. I find this so typical of the religious fanatics that is laughable.
Where it gets into “THE SPREAD OF SECULAR HUMANISM” The concept that man as part of nature has emerged as a result of a continuous process and that “Humanism asserts that the nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantee of human values”
You're damn right, I'll be dipped if at any time I will discard science and accept talking snakes, walking on water or virgin births. The ark is a bit hard to wrap my mind around, as is a 6,000 year old planet; and a vengeful God who makes us in his own image only to destroy us time and time again, to send his supposedly only son to redeem us and then allows him to be morbidly sacrificed on a cross is a bit too far-fetched even for some religious and Biblical scholars.
That is when I got to Chapter IV (How should we legislate morality on the tough issues) This is where the authors totally screw up their argument.
This is where the authors come out with egg on their faces in my opinion. They claim that we are “tolerating ourselves to death” and that “sexual behavior is beyond the ability or mission of government to influence”
Yet, these two are perfectly comfortable with the idea that for centuries, it has been the government who has been complicit with religious organizations in instituting “morality laws” ranging from out of wedlock offspring, adultery, racial apartheid, slavery, polygamy and homosexuality; all of them based on erroneous interpretations of the Scriptures with the unfortunate results of millions of people killed or imprisoned.
Then these two authors come up with the icing on the cake: how unhealthy homosexuality is, citing some debunked study published on the Omega Journal of Death and Dying” citing obituaries of homosexual deaths to be alarmingly higher than their heterosexual counterparts.
I should have stopped reading when the authors called it “the homosexual lifestyle” but I kept on reading and found out that they don't accept the concept that homosexuals are “born that way” as well as claiming that whether homosexuality is acquired or learned is irrelevant to the question of what the law should be”
Sadly, the authors make the fatal flaw of comparing criminal behavior to a homosexual condition. They ascertain that regardless of what gays are, they have to be subjected to the discriminatory and humiliating laws the religious fanatics have instituted through the ages.
The argument in this book is completely lost when the authors go into “anatomy, organ function and biology” because homosexuals are contrary to the facts of life.
This is where it really gets good...they go on to say “think about what happens during the act of male homosexuality” and then cop out by not going into explicit detail as to “not risk offense”.
No, they don't want to go into it but pose the question that such an act is a “natural act”? Because the design of the human body doesn't fit the traditional sex act.
The argument that the anus is designed for defecation and for that purpose only is flawed. If one is to employ that argument then neither the penis nor the vagina should be a “natural” organ for procreation because they are organs that serve the purpose of urination.
My question is this: Did these two bother to ask a gay person what is involved in the actual sex act? Did they consider that there is the possibility that there is also a great deal of intimacy and affection which is enjoyed by both?
Obviously these two authors did not, any gay person could have told them that it is perfectly normal to love another human being and express that love through the intimacy of sex. Any gay person could have also told them that the pleasure derived from the sexual act itself is just as intense and satisfying if not more than with heterosexual sex.
The misconception that anal sex is unnatural and unclean is also one of the flaws of these two. It can be unclean, it can also be painful, it can cause damage, but if it is done correctly, the pain will turn into pleasure and the addition of lubricants will facilitate coitus as well as preventing damage.
Why do these two authors think that gay sex exists? If it wasn't pleasurable nobody would do it. If the only criteria to avoid gay sex is that it does not help in reproducing then that too is misguided because there are millions of heterosexual couples who are barren.
However, these two go on about how regardless of whether it is acceptable for two consenting adults to engage in a homosexual act that it goes beyond that. They claim that homosexual acts are inherently selfish acts and not consistent with MORAL LAW.
|How can this little adorable child be gay?|
|Why would he be killed by his own mother?|
They claim that homosexual acts hurt and kill people and that the nation will not survive long if we encourage its people to engage in harmful behavior.
Let's put that idea to a test and look at Massachusetts where same sex marriage has now been legal for some time. I don't see a crack in the sky or a tear in the social fabric. I don't see a deterioration of society, and I do see a rise in committed relationships therefore strengthening the “sanctity of marriage”. The persecution and discrimination of LGBT people does nothing to enhance our society, just the contrary.
Remember what Eleanor Roosevelt said: “Nobody can humiliate you without your consent.”