Saturday Open Thread

If you haven’t read this — rectify that right now.

68 comments to Saturday Open Thread

  • Texacalirose

    I’m going on a trail ride today. It’ll be my first for the year.

  • Texacalirose

    Not prudent to beat a dead horse right before a trail ride, but I like #4 a lot.

    • Rufus

      I think it completely misses the point.

      I’m still waiting for someone to explain what place any government has in heterosexual marriage, or marriage period.

      I’ve written about this at great length before, but for most of history the vast majority of married couples didn’t go to a church and throw a party for 300 of their closest friends.

      My wife and I are committed to raising our children. We have a bond with them. We love them. We care for them. We make decisions on their behalf. We share our wealth with them. We didn’t file any paperwork with a state or federal organization to commit to those things. We didn’t petition the state to ask for permission to have children.

      Where in the Constitution or our Founders’ words do any of you pretend to see a government that over-reaches to the point of telling people how to marriage their personal relationships with other consenting adults? How is that Conservative, traditional or Constitutional?

      Everyone keeps going back to the question, “Should gays marry,” while refusing to go to the source of the problem and answer the question, “Why do we look to government to define our personal relationships?”

      Isn’t that the literal definition of a Nanny State?! C’mon people! You’re smarter than this!

      If a State or Federal government passes a law tomorrow that says Mrs. Firefly and I are not married I could care less. Her and I define our relationship. Not Senator Portman. Are you people so weak that you must give others this power over your life?

      Get Government out of the marriage game! Take the argument away from them.

      • Scott M.

        Pretty much true,Rufus,but you said “consenting adults”,and the law decides who adults are,so you can’t expunge the government entirely.And then you have the whole question of ending marriages,and all that messy custody and financial stuff.

      • Texacalirose

        Should we expect government to determine who is “legal” and “illegal,” you know, that whole citizenship thing? We’re talking human beings here. What right does any government have to tell one person he can live on a certain plot of dirt but the guy over the river cannot?

        Regarding your actions toward your children? Try not doing all (most) of those things and see how fast the government becomes involved in your childrening. And there is a strong argument to be made – and is being made – that the right to have children should be regulated by gubmit. Octomom, anyone?

        And who has answered my question about marrying my consenting adult Sun with proof that there will be no genetic offspring (although Loyal Goatherd asserts that it’s not so bad for the gene pool after all).

        It is irking that the Father/Daughter dance, a long tradition that has been a wonderful rite of passage for our young women, has to be cancelled – Get the schools out of father/daughter stuff!! – because someone’s family doesn’t conform with the father/daughter thing. When I was a grade schooler, we used to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. The Jehovah’s Witness boy in our class was not required to stand. OK. But of course, it was later determined that the JW’s rights were being violated. Our right to stand for our beliefs and demonstrate our patriotism had to be extinguished because the JW boy who should have been taught that he was sitting for his beliefs, was made to feel … OMG … different (what about that diversity stuff?)

        It’s not a question of equal rights; it’s death by a thousand cuts. It’s a war of attrition. We’re losing.

        • Rufus


          Of course the government should have jurisdiction over borders and citizenship. There is no question that should be an enumerated power. What does that have to do with what consenting citizens do under a ceiling fan in a Motel 6?

          And regarding my not supporting my children, the same is true for my wife. If I abandon her she has recourse in the courts based on my obligations to her and our children. I’ll give some examples a bit further on that explain why that is meaningless to this debate.

          And, a bit further on, I’ll explain why I have no problem with you “marrying” your adult son. People do it all the time in the sense that matters to me.

      • you missed number 4 completely Rufus. It’s a contract. Go read the cases of Fletcher v. Peck, Dartmouth College v. Woodward, Lochner v. New York. the raison d’etre of government is to protect contracts… if government doesn’t regulate contracts (even if only to moderate disputes in court) — and marriage involves money and property don’t forget — then chaos and might makes right will ensue. What was the first act of the Founders after the Constitution? The Judiciary Act of 1789 creating federal courts to regulate private disputes. Each State also had its own courts to moderate those disputes. Read Morse’s pieces… such an attitude as yours sounds good on paper — but will wreak danger on women and children in the long tun.

        Gov’t also has a huge interest in making sure — incentivizing it if you will that citizens make more citizens. We can argue about how, but about whether has an interest in some regulation is YOUR burden of proof — not mone. You want to make the change and all you offer is slogans and no proof that society will be measurably be better off.

        Industrialized nations have been getting out of the marriage game for decades with no fault divorce, etc. Result? Short term gains for women professionally, but birthrates are declining (for a variety of reasons, but this is one of them) and that is NEVER a good thing in human history.

        • Texacalirose

          Number 4 is a good one, huh? :)

        • Rufus

          No, I didn’t miss 4. I’ll answer you and Texicali together, in a separate comment. Of course the state has a role in regulating contracts, and, of course there are commitments consenting adults enter into that fall under contract law. What does that have to do with who is putting what body part where?

          What is it about gay sex that muddles the thinking of you and so many other, otherwise intelligent people?!

          “Help me, Uncle Sam?! Save me! I don’t want to catch ‘Teh Gay!'”

          • Texacalirose

            β€œHelp me, Uncle Sam?! Save me! I don’t want to catch β€˜Teh Gay!’”

            Fail. I’m outta this one now. I don’t argue with Andrew Sullivan or Perez Hilton either.

            • Rufus

              That was a joke aimed at Floyd.

              Unlike Andrew and Perez, I want the same things you want and I think we share similar morals and ethics. And, as I just wrote to -fritz, I share his concern that Uncle Sam is headed towards making homosexual marriage the law of the land. Look at Europe’s speech codes. After World War II it seemed like a good idea to have government stop people from saying evil, dishonest things about Jews. Over the years the speech codes have “progressed” to limiting discourse and discussion on all sorts of things. Government worsifies everything it touches. It will destroy marriage if we give it jurisdiction over the institution.

              You and I want the same result, we disagree on the most effective way to get there. You think you can empower legislators and politicians to make good decisions regarding our relationships on our behalf. I think they are mostly idiots and crooks.

      • Because society figured out long ago that men *don’t want to marry.* They want to play and drink beer and watch sports. We discovered that the only way to get most men to bond is to give them special societal rewards, which were then enshrined in law.

        When those special rewards go away — when male/female marriage is not longer privileged — then more mothers end up having to raise their babies alone. And then society has to raise them. Which is what’s happening now. Hello, bigger and bigger welfare state.

        A second consideration, which weighs with me, is that once we have normalized “gay” marriage, and everybody agrees that it’s OK and great, and all the children are taught to think that way, what happens to those religious organizations that condemn it? We’re reduced to the status of hate groups. And there’s always a reason to shut hate groups down. Freedom of religion won’t protect us — the “right” to gay marriage will trump it, if the courts say so.

        • Rufus

          Lars, I agree, and I don’t want gay marriage normalized. I belong to a church that still doesn’t allow women to hold its highest office and won’t run businesses where birth control is distributed.

          How much clearer can I be? Government cannot “normalize” gay marriage if you accept that Government cannot marry individuals; any individuals.

          Regarding the privilege of heterosexuality and parenting; there is much society does not honor or respect that I wish were different, but I’m pretty sure we don’t live in a totalitarian state, or a theocracy. Like you, I am regularly woefully disappointed in how folks squander freedom and liberty, but that doesn’t mean we ought to limit either.

      • Daniel

        Apparently you didn’t bother reading anything I posted yesterday from Jennifer Roback Morse. She is a libertarian, btw, and even she recognizes you can’t “privatize” marriage.

        • Rufus

          Daniel, I will bother. I’ve been busy. I gave you my word and I will read what you linked. However, I don’t want marriage privatized.

          I’ll try to state it even more clearly. I don’t care if this means you’ll slot me as a Libertarian or a Conservative or a Constitutionalist or a Rastifarian, and, frankly, I don’t care about any of those labels:

          The Government created by our Founding Fathers is not structured to regulate matters of the heart, or spirituality or love or passion or whatever else you want to call it. Individuals are sovereign. They are free to make mistakes. Horrendous, even vulgar mistakes. Mistakes that may damn them to Hell for all eternity. Individuals are free to associate with one another. They have a right to privacy. They have the right to do what they want in privacy as long as it does not materially harm others. Even if what they do is against your code of ethics, or morality, or religion.

          More in a separate comment…

        • Rufus


          I just read the article. I agree with her on pretty much everything except the part on contractual marriage. That’s not what I’m looking for. I would hope the vast majority of people would belong to a faith community and seek to define their marriages by that community. I want heterosexual couples to marry. I want lots and lots of them to marry and raise lots and lots of the types of kids she is hoping to develop. I think hetero-sexual couples forming a pact with one another before God is a wonderful way to bring that about and I hope the majority of Americans follow that time-tested model. I believe my church’s definition of marriage is a very good one, and I recommend it. I’m not sure what Uncle Sam’s definition is, and if he has one I’m not interested in learning about it. Mrs. Firefly and I took a vow before God, not Uncle Sam.

          That’s what I want. Will everyone do that? Sadly, no. Can I force my dream on others? Sadly, no. For those who choose another path the government has jurisdiction over laws involving the property my wife and I own in common, and they can even force me to pay to support my wife and children. That’s where the contracts come in. Is it fear of a judge that keeps me faithful to my wife and spurs me to provide for her and my children? No. It’s love and my duty to her, my children and God.

          I don’t want to do away with marriage. I just want to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Mrs. Firefly and I didn’t consider ourselves married to one another until we had a church wedding, but is it Government’s role to force that stipulation on everyone? Or, are people free to interact with one another with Government’s role to step in when people fail to assume their duties and obligations?

      • Daniel

        I’m very happy and have absolutely no doubt, Rufus, that you and your wife work very hard at raising good kids.

        Think, however, when marriage is privatized – the State’s no longer involved and only churches, mosques, temples, Wiccan gatherings, etc – ad nauseum – each conducting its private religious ceremonies unrecognized by any form or branch of government – not town, city, county, State – no one. … Then down the road some of those “marriages” – group or otherwise, as you would have it – fall apart. And the wife … or wives, or cousins, or whatever … want the children’s father – or fathers or brothers or whatever – to support his – their, whatever – progeny. And he – they, whatever – says, “Go pound sand, woman. I don’t love you. I don’t want you. And I wholly reject those children.” … Then what? … She goes to the courts seeking some justice, some redress.

        What does she get? The court looks hat her and says, “Go pound sand. Hey, it was none of our business that you got married. It’s not our business with whom you had children.” … Yeah, what a way to build a civilization, a society, a community.

        And as to this: “If a State or Federal government passes a law tomorrow that says Mrs. Firefly and I are not married I could care less. Her and I define our relationship. Not Senator Portman. Are you people so weak that you must give others this power over your life?” … Are you so selfish that you can’t see there is a world beyond your front door. You accuse all of us of not thinking, and yet you seem to not think at all about the community around you. Your world, like a lot of amoral, dogmatic, ideological libertarians, seemingly ends at the edge of your property.

        • Rufus

          No, no, no. The state can regulate contracts. That has nothing to do with marriage. I have the same legal requirements to honor my commitments whether I enter into them with someone I am sleeping with, or not, even if I share a gender with that person. More on that coming soon…

  • Texacalirose

    Oh, snap! I’m watching FNC coverage of CPAC 2013 and there is Eric Metaxas, author of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, introducing Dr. Ben Carson, slamming Hillary Clinton … I love the book all the more! Yay for our side.

  • -fritz-

    Coffee, krullers and corn flakes! I know…dull & boring, but being -fritz- isn’t always about excitement!

    • INFJ

      In a nutshell: St.Patrick was born in Dunbarton in the West of Scotland in the fourth century. He was captured by Irish raiders when he was around sixteen and worked as a slave in Ireland. He escaped, went back to his family, became a Christian convert, returned to Ireland and eventually became the Patron Saint. So I guess he was Irish/Scottish. The Irish played a different type of bagpipe which was not suitable for carrying around, so they chose the Scottish bagpipe for parades. Anyway, St. Patrick never had a parade in his honor until the Irish Immigrants in Boston started that tradition and what’s the difference, he was a great saint and the Irish, Scottish and most other Americans enjoy the day. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

  • Daniel

    Pope Francis ends the speculation concerning why he chose ‘Francis’ as his name, for which saint.

  • Rufus

    Alright. I hope I can limit this to a few thousand words, but I’m taking it from all sides!

    I know Greg Gutfeld says were not supposed to use “slippery slope,” but I can’t avoid the analogy. For a bunch of Conservatives you all are quick to throw your principles out the window when it comes to a few men or women getting horizontal.

    As good Conservatives you all would agree that the 1st Amendment is vital to our liberty. You would also agree that people have, and will in the future, used speech to hurt others, to debase culture, to coerce others to break laws, to coerce others to sin. People have and will use speech to harm. There is vile speech. There is vulgar speech. There is harmful speech. Hitler’s speeches rallied a nation to commit horrendous, murderous acts on millions.

    Look at the degradation of speech over time. Ever since the Founders gave us free speech we’ve been on a slippery slope towards Perdition. Culture has coarsened. Discourse has coarsened. Youth speak disrespectfully to their elders.

    Yet every one of you understand that is a price of liberty. Some, like all of you here, will choose to perpetuate the speech of Lincoln, Plato, Caesar, Shakespeare, Jesus, Chesterton… And others will use speech to make gangster rap songs. It’s a shame, but it’s not government’s place to interfere (When it comes to consenting adults. The Government can and should limit speech “sold” to minor children.)

    If you understand that concept with speech why can’t you understand it with bodies? Not everyone is going to do with their body what you wish they would. Not everyone is going to do with their body what the Bible dictates. It makes Mayor Bloomberg so mad that people defile their bodies that he is attempting to legislate what they can put in it, and what amounts, even non-toxic substances.

    Like everyone of you I loathe the degradation of our culture. The coarseness of our discourse. The vulgarity of the human form in our media and popular culture. I wish people would choose to work towards higher, loftier, more intellectual and spiritual intercourse, in all manifestations of that word.

    But if some choose to waste their time listening to 50 Cent rather than Vivaldi are we to cede our right to listen to music to Uncle Sam?

    And if some choose to play video games and watch Jersey Shore with all their waking hours rather than read the great philosophers, novelists and scientists are we to cede our right to what we do with our leisure to Uncle Sam?

    And if some choose to consume tens of thousands of calories of snacks and soda a day, and deform the healthy bodies God has given them are we to cede our meals to Uncle Sam?

    And if some choose to enter into physical relationships with others that are spiritually harmful, rather than to seek partners whom they can build a lasting, loving relationship with are we to cede our sex lives to Uncle Sam?

    Freedom is a bitch. Not everyone takes advantage of it. Many (most?) use liberty to destroy themselves. And many people far greater than me work tirelessly to get people on the right track, and to save themselves from destruction and ruin. Those people work in churches and schools and shelters and meeting halls and on the streets and some of them even comment and post here.

    Government does have a role in relationships, and I’ll cover that next, but hopefully this helps folks understand why I see bans on marriage as anti-Conservative and anti-Liberty.

    • Texacalirose

      You mean that I could have jumped on gotten horizontal with that cute 12th grader in the HS English class I taught when he turned 18 right before finals? He would have consented, too. Damn! Now I’m going to have to try to hump my psychiatrist just to get over the feelings of regret about the 12th grader I missed. Damn!

      I see bans on marriage as anti-Conservative and anti-Liberty.

      May I please marry my Suns? Please?

      • Rufus

        Did I miss something? As far as I know California and the Fed have no laws that would make jumping on any consenting 18 year old a crime. Is it morally wrong to take advantage of someone when you are in a position of authority? Yes. Clinton was Monica’s boss, and for that alone every woman should loathe the creep, but is it illegal?

        You can enter into every commitment I have with my wife, contractually, with your sons. You can own property with them. You can give them power of attorney, control over your health decisions if you are incapacitated. In every matter society should be concerned with relationships between individuals you can, legally enter into those agreements with your sons.

        Remember, I want the right to marry taken away from Government. With that out of the way, all the rest is property and contracts.

  • Rufus

    Many of you have listed some valid reasons why Government needs to be involved in relationships, and you’re correct.

    I didn’t see anyone address my “Sister Wives” analogy yesterday, but, as I wrote, that guy supports his wives and children. From a civic standpoint I see him as a better citizen than men or women who abandon their children. A fair amount of my taxes go to support children other than my own because the people who produced them have abandoned them. Civilly, those people ought to be prosecuted. But a guy who lives with his wife (wives) and children and gets up every morning and goes to work to feed them? I think he’s weird, but he’s not bothering me. If Child Services can’t prove he’s creating a harmful environment for those kids, who am I to get in his way?

    Now, there was much about commitment and contracts. I own two businesses. One is all me, but the second is a partnership. My partner (an adult male whom I have not had sex with) and I have pages and pages of legal paperwork on who has what obligation, who controls and owns what assets, etc. If, one day, he determines he doesn’t agree with where I want to take the company and he wants to break out on his own, and we cannot reach agreement on what to do with our communal property (inventory, customers, ideas…) we’ll go to court and a judge will sort it out.

    A wonderful, beautiful woman (an adult female whom I have had sex with) has bore us several wonderful, beautiful children. She’s so much better at raising them than me we decided we ought to maximize the time they spend with her, so she gave up her very successful career to be with those kids. So far, so good. If I ever fail at my duties to them she can haul me into court and ask a judge to sort out the things we own in community. That judge will give her more than half of what we own and the vast majority of my future earnings will go to her and those kids. That judge will probably even order me to spend specific amounts of time with those kids, etc.

    That’s all well and good. That’s what judges do. Can a judge order someone to love someone? He can order someone to support someone, but love? Can a judge order someone not to love someone? He can order someone to stay away from someone, but not love them? Do we want to empower our judges with that ability?

    Let’s say I have two brothers. The oldest has two children. For their tenth wedding anniversary he and his wife fly to Miami. The plane goes down and they both die in the crash. Me and my other brother are single and we petition a court who awards us custody of our niece and nephew. My brother and I buy a house in their old neighborhood so they can go to the same school. My brother has a better job than me, so I quit mine to stay home and give our niece and nephew as much stability as possible. Is that O.K. with you all? Should society not allow that? Let’s continue… after ten years my brother and I disagree on where our niece and nephew should go to High School. We cannot reach agreement, and the argument grows so heated we cannot even live together. We ask a judge to settle the dispute for us. The judge decides what’s in the best interests of the children and even divides up our assets, etc.

    An odd scenario, but it could happen. See how slippery this slope gets? What if, rather than brothers we are the deceased couples best friends, and their will made us custodians? If we’re heterosexual males we can live together and raise their kids, but if we’re not we can’t? Or, maybe both men are heterosexual, but one night, five years into raising the kids, one guy gets really drunk and does something regrettable with another guy. Does he lose his custodial rights because of that act? What if he’s sincerely sorry? What if a man and a woman are raising kids, their own kids, and the husband goes on a long business trip and the pool boy looks really good cleaning that pool and the wife strays? One time? Does she lose custody? Can she not be married? If her husband forgivers her does she still have to leave him and her children? She violated a commandment. Not just some phrase in a few books of the Old Testament, an actual commandment. One of the top 10. Is she unfit to be “wed?’

    It’s not a Government’s role to determine matters of the heart. We are facing this gay marriage debate because we agreed to allow the Government where it doesn’t belong. And, previously I’ve cited many other examples; heterosexual couples living together in celibacy, heterosexual couples living together but eschewing children, heterosexual couples who “swing…” and on, and on, and on…

    Let’s give the Government jurisdiction over free speech. From now on you have to take potential screenplays to a government body to get a certification as a valid screenplay. Great. And, for the first 50 years all of the screenplays presented to the board that deal with adult, physical relations contain hetero couples. But wait?! Someone wants to submit a screenplay with a gay couple. Your answer, “Let’s make laws to restrict what that government body can do!” You can see how quickly that slope gets slick. My answer, let’s get the government out of the screenplay approval business.

  • -fritz-

    In part, I agree, Rufus, with practically all that you’ve said. Where it all becomes a problem to me is, much as I said on the gay post yesterday, when the government, which for all intents and purposes gets out of control, as it’s getting now, forces Pastors or Priests to marry those whom their faith deems to be in an abominable relationship, as with gays, animal relations, multiples of more than two, or multiples of any kind. We have a hill to overcome in those cases, and laws can and should be enacted to prevent such things even though it is none of the government’s business, which scenario is so out of control that there may have been a line in the sand that has been crossed many years ago! When people who lose sight of God’s intended purpose and desires for their lives, they beg for more laws, and they become necessary as a result. The left is good at that because they are anathema to Godly living for the most part!

    • -fritz-

      Rufus…this was supposed to post under your 6:14 pm comment above this one. I don’t know how it ended up down here after this comment.

      • Rufus

        Well, as fast as I’ve been commenting it’s probably all the software can do to keep up! I’m giving Texicalirose a run for her money! Oh wait, today it would be a gallop for her money!

    • -fritz-

      Your right to punch me in the nose ends where my nose begins! I know…tell it to the gubment! :-)

    • Rufus

      If we stay on the course we are on I predict that will happen, -fritz. That’s why I say take the reins of marriage out of the government’s hands.

      We understand separation of church and state. Why don’t we understand separation of love and state?

  • Texacalirose

    Hey! Where’s Loyal Goatherd? Does he have an alibi?

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>