The Gay “Marriage” Slippery Slope

One common logical fallacy is that of the slippery slope. It goes something like this, “If we allow X, then Y, which is much worse, is soon to follow. This will be followed by Z, which is even worse.” While this is a logical fallacy (in part because you assume a worst-case scenario in predicting the future), on occasion it does represent the actual order of events in real life.

Here’s an example of a slippery slope. In 2000 the Vermont legislature approved civil unions for same-sex couples. While some were content with the law, others kept hoping it led to a new definition of marriage. They wanted to be fully “married” and not just “unionized.” They were honest about the slippery slope – they never denied it exists, although many downplay the significance of redefining marriage (civil unions are just a small step away).

In one news article back in 2000, we read: “‘All of the horrible things that opponents say will happen are not going to happen,’ adds David Smith, a spokesman for The Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay rights group in America. ‘Hopefully, by example, many parts of the country and many people will become more comfortable with the idea.'” This reminds me of Alexander Pope’s immortal quote: “Vice is a monster of so frightful mein, as, to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace.” That’s what same-sex “marriage” advocates want. They want the public to be familiar with the idea of gay “marriage” then we will eventually embrace it fully.

Here’s a similar quote in a New York Times article: “Gay rights advocates say they are eager to show that the sky will not fall. ‘Same-sex couples will be forming civil unions and the state’s not going to fall apart,” said Beth Robinson, a lead lawyer in the case that prompted the civil unions law. ”It’s just going to be better, and that’s going to be the most helpful part of this dialogue. Because the longer we go with the law in effect, the more incredible the claims of our opponents will be exposed as being.” Yet, proponents of same-sex “marriage” have no problem trying to force acceptance of their immorality on society as a whole.

Now the Vermont senate just approved gay “marriage”; it is expected that the bill will pass through the house without a hitch. The governor may veto the bill though – he supports traditional marriage. However, it is likely that the legislative branch could override the veto. This case of the legislative branch trying to redefine marriage is different from what has been done in other states – the legislative branch, for once, is actually making the law; it’s not a court ruling legislating from the bench.

However, a caption from the CNN.com article about the issue is a little misleading though: “Vermont could become the first state to legalize same-sex marriage without prompting from courts.” Even though the courts were not involved directly, they were in the 2000 legalization of same-sex civil unions. Back then the state supreme court forced the legislature to pass something on the matter; instead of gay “marriage” they allowed civil unions. So, it really was court action that lead to the recent passed bill allowing same-sex “marriages”.

We just need to hope that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) stands so other states (and the federal government) are not forced to recognize same-sex “marriages” (or even civil unions). We also need to deliberate very carefully about same-sex civil unions because a slippery slope really does exist in this case. As a nation, we’ve slid from view marriages as sacred institutions for raising children, to viewing them as little more than legal arrangements then to not really valuing them other than as self-serving ways to enhance personal satisfaction (hence all the divorces when people feel justly or unjustly victimized), then to inconveniences (and we certainly can’t have any inconviencing children!), and lastly to any relationship between any two (or more, in some cases) people, regardless of gender. The majority of people in the U.S. still believe that marriage should be just between a man and a woman but the times, they are a’changin’, as Bob Dylan sings. This change is not progress; it’s immoral.

Change in Illinois

The recent scandal involving the governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, who tried to sell or trade the Senate seat vacated by Pres. Elect Obama, just goes to show that someone other than Obama wanted “change.” In the governor’s case, the change that he sought was illegal, unlike the change that Obama wanted.

On a serious note, this scandal shows a few things about politics in America. First, this corruption is far from the norm. There are quite a few corrupt politicians in America but the U.S. has some of the lowest rates of corruption in the world. Second, this shows there are corrupt politicians here in America. Such corruption should never be accepted nor tolerated. Such behavior is in opposition to all that democracies (or democratic republics) stand for.

The governor was trying to sell Obama’s old Senate seat. It’s not that different from politicians spending as much money as they can to get elected. One is legal and the other isn’t, but the ethical line between the two acts is quite tenuous. This is one reason I’m in favor of adding drastic restrictions on campaign spending. Obama probably raised upwards of $600 million during his campaign, maybe close to $1 billion! That is an obscene amount of money. I know a lot of it came from fairly small donations from a lot of people but that much money, regardless of the source, is still a lot of money. With how the money is spent on advertising and a lot of other things, candidates effectually buy themselves their seats. Now, a lot of other things factor in, such as their message, their charisma, their political party, their religion, and their age, but money has a huge impact on outcome. Further, if we expect our government to be more frugal in its spending, we should greatly reduce the amount of money candidates are able to spend on their campaigns.

Experience and the Presidency

One frequent criticism of Obama by Republicans (and many Democrats, especially before he received the nomination) is that he is inexperienced. I’ve never bought that argument because experience does not imply competence. Experience might help in some cases but I believe a president will be good regardless of past political experience. I’m also biased against career politicians because I really don’t think we should have as many career politicians as we do have. I would be happy to vote for someone for president who has zero past political experience, as long as that person seems competent and has similar social, economic, and political views to my own (at least as far as possible). I would also be happier if our Congressmen and Senators served a maximum of two or three terms (Congressmen could probably serve 5-6 terms). I don’t think we should legislate term limits; I think it should just be the “right thing to do.” This would keep Congress fresh and would hopefully reduce corruption. Experience doesn’t matter, aptitude and personality do.

Some from Obama’s campaign (including himself) and many outside his campaign compare Obama’s experience (or lack thereof) to Abraham Lincoln’s experience (or lack thereof) before being elected president. This comparison is great for Obama because Lincoln is widely viewed as the best president the U.S. has ever had. I agree (although I might put Washington first) but this view is a little ironic because Pres. Lincoln had very low approval ratings during his presidency and he was just barely re-elected. His greatness was only widely apparent in hindsight. “Lack of experience” is about the only thing Obama and Lincoln have in common.

Obama and Lincoln have very different views on social issues and government. Lincoln would be known as a social conservative today – he based many of his policies on his personal moral and religious beliefs (his personal religious beliefs factored very heavily into his policies; it is ironic that so many Democrats and liberals hold Lincoln in such high esteem as a president yet are disdainful of modern politicians who allow their personal religious beliefs to influence their policies).

Lincoln also suspended civil liberties (suspended habeus corpus) during the civil war, which any self-respecting Democrat today would be abhorred by (isn’t that the reaction to some of Pres. Bush’s “restrictions” on civil liberties?). Lincoln also vetoed very few bills because Congress made the laws and he should only rarely veto (sound familiar? – Pres. Bush has the same philosophy).

Lincoln was fairly moderate (Obama certainly is not moderate, no matter what his campaigning makes him sound like). Lincoln was also a firm believer in economic liberalism (which is a free-market hands off approach; it’s basically today’s libertarianism). Obama’s economic policies are nothing like that. I could keep going with the differences between the two but will end there.

McCain Temporarily Suspends Campaign!

Sen. John McCain, in a move that shows integrity, announced that he would suspend his campaign until a deal was reached concerning the proposed bailout of Wall Street. Some Democrats, typically, are criticizing him for this move saying that it is much more important that a debate between McCain and Obama take place. That’s more important than a senator doing his job?! Obama’s response was: “It is going to be part of the president’s job to deal with more than one thing at once. It’s more important than ever to present ourselves to the American people.” In other words, “Look, I can deal with lots of things at once like a President has to.” The problem is that he isn’t dealing with a lot of things at once – he’s campaigning but not doing his job as Senator. Of course, Obama historically has mainly just worked with his party on issues so maybe he really isn’t needed in Washington for a bipartisan effort. McCain has worked with those not of his party a number of times over the years and is known for “crossing the aisle” if needed. I applaud McCain’s move – it shows that he is committed to his job, even if it costs him the Presidency (of course, he might have done some informal polling to see how this act would be viewed but that still doesn’t mean he isn’t doing the right thing for the right reason).

Obama’s DNC Speech

The more I listen to Obama, the less I like his views on policy. He sounds great when he doesn’t talk about policy but once he starts talking about ideas that will make America strong or help out the middle class, he just sounds naive. In his DNC nomination acceptance speech he criticized Pres. Bush for just talking tough without doing anything. This was shortly after he criticized Pres. Bush for – get this – starting the war in Iraq. Yeah, that’s just tough talk with nothing to back it up. I think he meant to criticize the U.N. but slipped and said Pres. Bush instead (sorry, that was my own jab at the U.N.). You may disagree with one or both wars that started during Pres. Bush’s administration but you can’t say he just talks tough and does nothing to back it up. Pres. Bush gave teeth to the U.N.’s resolutions – he tried to uphold the integrity of the U.N. by actually enforcing their resolutions. There were a few other times that what Obama said was just plain disingenuous.

I like Obama. I think he’s honest and would be a good president. I just disagree strongly with many of his policies (as an aside, I have to say though that Obama is far better candidate than John Kerry was). Obama voted against the ban on partial-birth abortions. He’s only recently even started talking about “looking into” nuclear energy, when the technology is ready to go. Nuclear is the way to go now, especially if we couple it with electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars. Electric cars would then be powered by all the new nuclear power plants we could build – cheap energy! Obama also wants to just pull all the troops out of Iraq (even though tonight he talked about pulling out of Iraq “responsibly”). Just pulling out is not responsible. The Iraqi government and current U.S. administration both want U.S. troops to leave but only when milestones are made and maintained.

Obama’s whole platform is one of bringing change to Washington yet he picks someone as a VP who’s been in Washington for a long time. That undermines his message. While I’m rambling I just have to say I love Obama’s sob stories about all the poor suffering people in America. Yes, there are a lot of poor suffering people in America but every time he did that I couldn’t help but to think about “injury attorneys” ads and tort lawyers. Pathos gets people excited and riled up but excessive use of it usually signifies a lack of anything substantive. As I said in a different post, just ignore what candidates say during campaigns because it’s just advertising. Obama’s a good and exciting speaker but much of what he says is just fluff. There was so much fluff that Obama could start a pillow manufacturing company and provide pillows for every man, woman, and child in America.