Monday, 4 February 2013

Unfree to marry?

I thought it would be a good discipline to read a reasoned exposition of the case for same-sex marriage today. So I clicked on Norm's post. To be told that the time for reasoned exposition is past. Norm's patience is at an end, and it's time for the reductio ad Hitlerum (copyright Ed West). Being against same-sex marriage makes me like a slaveowner and a Nazi. Because the differnce between instrumentalising marriage laws for some vile economic or political purpose and insisting that marriage as a good in itself must have a non-arbitrary definition is way too subtle for a humble emeritus professor of politics. "Marriage" can mean whatever Norm wants it to mean and so can "Nazi". I am a Nazi because it is politically expedient that opponents of same-sex marriage be so stigmatised.

Well, you really know how to win friends and influence people, Norm. Next time you're looking for support from folk like me over, say, the demonisation of Israel, you just might find us a little less than enthusiastic. After all, what do you expect from a Nazi?

As an aside, it may be noted that historically the Jewish community itself has not been over-keen on those who "marry out", and not without reason. Jews who take for granted their entitlement to marry wherever lurve leads them are, one might think, responsible for diluting Jewish culture to a degree that would have dear Adolf grinning in his grave if he had one. It's maybe none of my business, but I think it will be a tragedy if Jewish culture ends up reduced to strident fundamentalism on the one hand and a handful of Unitarians with special dietary requirements on the other.

I digress. Let me close with a couple of pictures of people who, by Norm's lights, must be accounted no better than slaveowners. Here's slaveowner Lilian Ladele:

and here's slaveowner Gary McFarlane:

What do you mean, thy're not slaveowners? If Norm wants to call them slaveowners, he can. Because words can change their meaning, you know.

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