American Scapegoat

“When will people begin to realize that homosexual marriage just doesn’t work?”

“When the taxpayers get tired of taking care of people that never had children of their own…”  God’s design is for children to take care of their “decrepit” parents.  Old people who did not have children will be too much of a burden to the government.

At least that’s what my former pastor said in one of his recent sermons.  There is no better way to incite hatred against people than to blame them for a nation’s economic troubles.  Ring a bell?  I’ll give you a hint: Germany’s economy in the 1920’s was not so hot.

I was taken aback by this initially.  I have heard plenty of moral and “slippery slope” arguments against same-sex marriage but never a fiscal one.  I wanted to dismiss this idea as one belonging exclusively to old, uneducated fogies who use the Bible to justify their prejudices, until I stumbled across this article in The Tech, MIT’s oldest and largest newspaper.

The Secular Case Against Gay Marriage

Now I faced a seemingly more respectable and current opponent. Granted, this article is slightly different from the sermon in that it addresses the future ramifications of allowing same-sex marriage instead of the current effects of people not having families, but the two underlying reasons are the same – burden on the taxpayers and decrease in population.

Are we really worried that not enough people are bearing children?  The United States of America is the 3rd most populated country in the world and has one of the highest population growth rates of the industrialised world.  Some scientists warn that the world’s population is growing too fast to be sustained.  I don’t understand Kolasinki’s concern about population.

Anyway, gays will be gays.  Disallowing gay marriage will NOT force LGBT people into heterosexual marriages with children.  No fewer people will have children because of gay marriage.

Kolasinski emphasizes that “the good of the children [and] the social order” and “state interest” should be the primary goals of marriage, not the happiness of the married couple.  It is my opinion that the State should serve the people’s interests, not the other way around.  That aside, the happiness of couples is absolutely primary.  Studies show that what is important for the development of a child is NOT the sex of the parents but the quality of the relationships around which the child is raised. (Patterson, 1995; Perrin, 2002; Stacey & Biblarz, 2001)  Happy parents raise happy children.  Unhappy parents raise unhappy children.

So how did this parochial mentality creep into academia?  I was curious about David Popenoe whose book Kolasinski cited.  The first thing I discovered about him is that he founded the National Marriage Project, now based at the University of Virginia.  Though the project claims to be “nonpartisan, nonsectarian, and interdisciplinary,” a closer look reveals that it is quite political and suspiciously friendly towards faith.  (One of its research projects, “Religion and Marriage among African Americans and Latinos,” strikes me as a bit suspect.)  The NMP handles social science irresponsibly, pointing to a handful of studies which seem to help their cause while ignoring many other stronger studies which conclude the exact opposite.  The literature spawned by the NMP is littered with old adages about marriage, flirting, and the roles of men and women that most modern-minded people would find laughable.

Perhaps the foundation of the article is not as secular as the writer would like to believe.

What about the claim in the sermon?  Besides its eyebrow-raising silence about infertile people, religious abstainers (whom the writer Paul commends), married people who choose not to have children, etc., it is a flagrant misrepresentation of reality.  According to ssa.gov, “85 cents of every Social Security tax dollar you pay goes to a trust fund that pays monthly benefits to current retirees and their families and to surviving spouses and children of workers who have died.”  It seems that all people, married and single, gay and straight, with and without children, receive Social Security.  How are childless or homosxual people in particular draining taxpayers?

Please, if you wish to condemn people for whom they love (I hope you don’t), do so with your religious book, not a spurious “political theory.”

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~ by falleninparadise on July 11, 2011.

One Response to “American Scapegoat”

  1. Great post! This is also the first time I have heard this fiscal argument against gay marriage. Sadly this argument and arguments similar to this one convince people only because of their emotions and their lack of reasoning skills. I would hope that if more people learned real logic (not just what sounds “right” to them), they might understand why these arguments are not arguments at all. Although recently I’ve seen evidence as to how a person can shield a part of their mind from logic…and I just don’t understand it. This lack of reasoning ability is almost like a mental defect to me. It certainly isn’t beneficial to the survival of our species…

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