10 thoughts on “The Wrong Side of History?

  1. This reminds me of JMax’s blog post on people putting more stock into what they *think* future prophets will tell us, than what the current prophets are telling us right now.

    This was really good. Thanks for putting it together.

  2. I think the abortion comparison is especially good. There are hundreds of potential scenarios that could change the current support of SSM. I agree with you that arguing that public opinion is against you is a very bad argument. Public opinion (and especially elite opinion) was overwhelmingly in favor of eugenics 100 years ago. Public opinion can be very fickle.

  3. It’s a good argument, but more needs to be done to separate it from the civil rights comparison, since it seems so much more similar to that than abortion. People are falling all over each other trying not to be perceived as backwards on civil rights, because being backwards on a modern day civil rights gives the impression, both internally and externally, that one would have been backwards on civil rights for blacks too, had one grown up in the 40s and 50s. This is why trigger happy liberals are so quick to accuse conservatives of racism today. They are assuming what they percieve as narrowmindedness today is an indication that they WOULD have been full blown racists in those days. We don’t look kindly on people on the wrong side of history, and the thought that we might be is terrifying.

  4. A challenge for some of us is that we work for or with organizations that now have policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Thus discussing the relative merits of different schema for sexual interaction where a tradition model is found to be most beneficial to society, etc., could be perceived as latent or even overt harrassment of those who are not engaged in traditional relationships.

    A schema is “a mental structure of preconceived ideas, a framework representing some aspect of the world, or a system of organizing and perceiving new information.”

    I would suggest that the debate regarding marriage schemas is more akin to the debate regarding the benefit or harm of genetically modified organisms, specifically whether crops engineered to withstand Round-Up are beneficial or harmful.

    Those who propone GMOs claim they are able to produce more food with less environmental damage. Various markets have become so reliant on GMO crops that it is increasingly difficult to find seed for traditional farming.

    Those rejecting GMOs claim Round-Up (active ingredient, glyphosate) causes secondary problems, both due to the chemical action of glyphosate, the fact that this chemical is liberally sprayed on GMO crops, and the behavior of Monsanto in prosecuting farmers attempting to grow using traditional methods (e.g., suing those engaged in “seed saving” for their client lists, suing non-GMO farmers for allegedly saving Monsanto patented seeds even if the seed merely blew in from elsewhere and are an insignificant percentage of the total seed saved).

    The marriage schema that advocates embracing all forms of marriage has had an economic aspect. Those sexual liaisons/marriages that do not naturally produce children, for example, have been seen as being headed by adults with significant expendable income. This could include either relationships that don’t naturally produce children as well as patterns of association where children are not a desired outcome.

    Those who are not engaged in traditional marriages might wonder why those in traditional marriages feel threatened. After all, most marriages do involve monogamous unions between individuals of opposite genders.

    However the battle is over the cultural schema of marriage. Schemata influence and hamper the uptake of new information (proactive interference), such as when existing stereotypes give rise to limited or biased discourses and expectations (prejudices). This may lead an individual to “see” or “remember” something that has not happened because it is more believable in terms of his/her schema.

    Thus even in a population where the vast majority are in heterosexual, monogamous relationships, the overarching schema or paradigm matters.

  5. The “wrong side of history” argument always makes me think of this Firefly quote:

    Commander Harken: “Seems odd you’d name your ship after a battle you were on the wrong side of.”

    Captain Reynolds: “May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

  6. I honestly expect this debate to pan out much like the Abortion debate has been panning out. The Activists win short term and think they have one long term, but they aren’t thinking in the loooooong term. One could give many reasons for why the Abortion debate has changed, but I think the simplest is as follows: the people who opposed abortion had kids, those who favored abortion did not.

    Often when we think about the future of a debate we forget that the people of today are not the ones who will be having the debate tomorrow. The people having the debate tomorrow are the children of today. So when predicting the future of a debate one should seriously consider which side of the debate is having kids.

    The portions of American society that are having kids are the portions of American society that ether have strong traditional values (devote Mormons, Catholics, Baptists, etc. who will effectively pass these values on to their children in spite of the influences of the surrounding culture); or are portions of society that have a long standing animosity towards homosexual culture (i.e. ethic and immigrant communities).

    So while in the short term the Gay activist may win, they will probably lose the long game. They aren’t the ones contributing the bulk of the next generation, their opponents are.

    You also have the fact that some of these activist aren’t actually pushing for the “right” to marry, they are pushing for general approval of their life choices. Honestly that isn’t something that will happen, but they will keep pushing for it. We will probably reach a point where they push to far for the general populace to support them.

    I think I am starting to ramble at this point, so I will end here.

  7. Marriage reflects the natural moral and social law evidenced the world over. As the late British social anthropologist Joseph Daniel Unwin noted in his study of world civilizations, any society that devalued the nuclear family soon lost what he called “expansive energy,” which might best be summarized as society’s will to make things better for the next generation. In fact, no society that has loosened sexual morality outside of man-woman marriage has survived.

    Analyzing studies of cultures spanning several thousands of years on several continents, Chairman of Harvard University’s sociology department, Pitirim Sorokin. found that virtually all political revolutions that brought about societal collapse were preceded by a sexual revolution in which marriage and family were devalued by the culture’s acceptance of homosexuality.

    When marriage loses its unique status, women and children most frequently are the direct victims. Giving same-sex relationships or out-of-wedlock heterosexual couples the same special status and benefits as the marital bond would not be the expansion of a right but the destruction of a principle

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