21 December 2008

Sex vs. Morality (Warren was right)

  • Dec 21, 2008

Sex vs. Morality (Warren was right)

The Warren controversy is over the following statement:

"But the issue to me is, I'm not opposed to that as much as I'm opposed to the redefinition of a 5,000-year definition of marriage. I'm opposed to having a brother and sister be together and call that marriage. I'm opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage. I'm opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage."

People are, of course, up in arms about this, as apparently comparing gays to people who commit incest or polygamy is extremely offensive.

Why is it ok to claim incest and polygamy are inherently immoral or unacceptable?
There have been, and currently still are, a great many cultures where polygamy is practiced, accepted, and legal.  Obama's father, in fact, was married to more than one woman at a time, which is legal in Kenya. 
We are talking consenting adults.  You personally may not want to share your spouse.  What reason do you have to deprive someone who does? 
It is legal, right here in California, for first cousins to marry.  Siblings are slightly closer than cousins genetically, which makes it slightly more likely that certain genetic illnesses which reside on regressive genes could surface if they had children together - but we aren't talking about having children.  Our sexual morays were developed long before the advent of accessible, safe, effective birth control.  Set aside that its gross and weird, and that you personally would never want to do it.  There is no objective reason why two siblings, who are consenting adults, shouldn't have sex if they so choose.  No one is harmed.  It isn't immoral.  Its unusual, (because our brains evolved before birth control. We naturally feel its gross, because its better for the gene pool to be mixed up), but there is nothing wrong with it.
So then, seriously, why shouldn't siblings be allowed to marry? 
When I first began a relationship with my ex-wife she was, technically, a child.  I was an adult, and in CA it was, technically, illegal (had I been 20, instead of 21, however, it would have been legal).  Of course, with a parents consent, a 17 year old can get married, and the age of the other party isn't relevant.  In different cultures and different times, what age is considered a "child" has varied.  There are a great number of countries - as well as most US states - which currently allow marriage at age 16, several at 14 (including 3 US states), and a few at 12.  In many cases (including in the US) this is below the age of adulthood.  Warren did not specify pedophilia (which implies a prepubescent child) nor the age of the older person.

The real issues are about sex - in general - and whether it is inherently immoral when used for pleasure; and about tradition and whether it is a legitimate basis for, well, anything.

Warren was not necessarily talking about morality.  As a Christian pastor, his beliefs, "morality", and understanding are all influenced by, if not directly based on, some book written thousands of years ago.  Essentially, tradition for tradition's sake.  It has nothing to do with reason, or actual morality (based on the harm or good done to real people), or common sense, or modern reality.

That is not an issue of Warren himself, or of conservatives, or of Christians.  Really, its an issue of having ANY tradition or text, religious or otherwise, dictate truth to you.  The real issue is faith verses reason.  If you accept a Christian as legitimate leader, you don't get to line-item-veto those things you don't like.  The Bible is not ambiguous on homosexuality.  (In fact, its rather more ambiguous on incest and pedophilia, and clearly accepts polygamy). 
Instead of demonizing one individual, why not focus on the source?

I happen to agree with pastor Warren 100%.  Those things he mentioned ARE similar to homosexuality.  They are different than normal, different than what most people do.  They are about sex, and as such are automatically pushed toward being considered immoral in many peoples eyes, independent of whether or not anyone actually gets hurt.  And they are not actually immoral in any way.  Creepy, maybe, but not immoral.

I find the response to his comments to be far more offensive than his comments themselves.
Prejudice is prejudice.  Progressives are supposed to be the enlightened ones.

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