So, as I mention in the following chat exchange, I've wondered whether any good can come of further discussing the issue. And I've had additional feedback from emails and facebook messages that I've wanted to address, and I have my own sentiments on the issue, which I haven't even really expressed here. Maybe that will come in time. For now, here's a discussion I had this evening with Rob about it:
Rob: btw, you never gave us all a response to your controversial blog post
me: i know. i am a bad blogger. i've been stewing on it, and debating whether anything good can come of further discussion
Rob: i know what you mean. At the same time, i've had to have proxy arguments with megan in order to satisfy me need for further discussion (with her playing the role of your particular viewpoint)
me: did megan and i win?
Rob: no :)
once she got what i was trying to explain, she agreed with me
on the logical/moral scale as opposed to the legal arguments i was trying to make
me: we kept our tax-free status as a religion that doesn't recognize gay marriage forever even in a state that recognizes gay marriage?
btw, that's not a viewpoint i'm actually interested in defending, just one i was pointing out.
Sent at 10:20 PM on Tuesday
Rob: the main gist of my argument with her was that if you believe that the government should not impose a specific set of moral principles on it's people, then you shouldn't support prop 8...
me: or, in fact, oppose it!
Rob: if you believe the gvnmt should be dictating morallity (a perfectly valid and acceptable viewpoint), then by all means support
me: no, I don't believe they should, and so I can take NEITHER side!
Rob: i mostly took umbrage with the people who said they didn't think the gvnmt should be dictating morality, but supported prop 8
me: because if I oppose it, I am supporting the idea that moral acceptance of homosexuality be taught in public school. Which is also dictating morality.
Rob: no, no, no!
prop 8 was not a referendum to set the curriculum!
me: no, it wasn't. but it's failure to pass would have done so nonetheless.
the curriculum isn't put to referendum.
Rob: it could be, if people's concern was with what is taught in school, than that is what the referendum should have been written to disallow
in my opinion :)
which, by the way, would have been much easier to pass i bet
me: well, you're right, but of course referendums are written by the passionate, not the moderate.
Sent at 10:28 PM on Tuesday
me: besides, (a supporter could argue that) the referendum only legislates the centuries-old legal and cultural precedent, not any particular morality. It was not, after all, a referendum to officially recognize gays as sinners.
Sent at 10:29 PM on Tuesday
Rob: i have to argue that no one is standing up to say that gay marriage should be banned because of precedent
me: what ? that's exactly the argument!
Rob: i doubt that is figuring very prominently in most debates on the issue
me: that the 'definition of marriage' is what's being defended!
Sent at 10:32 PM on Tuesday
Rob: i don't know what you mena by that
i was refferring to precedent as an argument
and saying that is not what most people seem to care about
me: right. perhaps neither do the people defending it. but they claim what they're supporting is keeping the word 'marriage' defined as a union between a man and a woman. Which, I'm saying, is claiming that the precedent of that definition should remain.
Sent at 10:34 PM on Tuesday
Rob: yeas, they're claiming the precedent should remain, but i don't think anyone is arguing the precedent should remain BECAUSE its the precedent
the'yre arguing it based on morality, or the arguments you put forth in the blog post, which i find specious
me: ah, well their reasons for arguing it are, I will admit, not grounded in linguistic conservatism.
Rob: ok, now you're just throwing out words
me: you're the one who drew first blood with specious.
So, if I were a bit more conscientious or devoted, you would get more response on this from me in a timely manner. But I rationalize not providing that by saying to myself that it is unlikely to produce, in the end, anything but hurt feelings, as these types of things have a tendency to do when conducted over the internet. I'd love to be wrong about that, but civil internet discussion is a rare and delicate flower. Nevertheless, if you would like to comment further, I am sure you will do so with respect.
4 days ago