August 23, 2012

"3 Interesting Moments From Dan Savage's Debate With a Gay Marriage Opponent."

Conor Friedersdorf selects some morsels (and has embedded video of the entire 1-hour debate). I've listened to the whole thing and found Savage's opening statement quite well done. The same-sex marriage opponent, Brian Brown, mostly fails to address Savage's presentation and goes on about the importance of civility (which had more to do with an earlier incident in which Savage called some students "pansies" for walking out on him after he said the Bible contained some "bullshit"). Savage has apologized for the "bullshit"/"pansies" incident, and Brown had accepted Savage's invitation to talk about same-sex marriage after dinner at Savage's house, moderated by journalist Mark Oppenheimer.

Here's Oppenheimer's write-up in The New York Times. He begins:
The ancient Greek symposium, which combined drinking with elevated discussion, was often held in a private house; at Parisian salons, conversation frequently took place in the bedroom. Once upon a time, intellectuals knew they could do their best thinking at home, not in a public venue, and that debate would be helped along by food and drink.
But Oppenheimer was actually not hoping for vigorous, deep debate. He imagined home (and drink) creating an atmosphere of warmth and affinity:
It was my hope, of course, that Mr. Brown might witness a sane, functional, happy family in a bourgeois home, and consider it as another piece of evidence, something more for reason to operate on.
Savage himself thought the home setting made him to "solicitous and considerate" — since it was his home, and he was therefore the host. And it's not surprising that Brown didn't cave on his principles when confronted with the reality of gay partnership in a nice home. So that was that.

By the way, Savage's newest podcast, #304 (downloadable in the sidebar here), begins with a discussion of the shooting at the Family Research Center, which he condemns while standing by the characterization of the FRC as a "hate group." In the course of making the argument — too bad there's no transcript — he quotes this quote:
"I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix...."
He mocks that, but says that's not enough to count as hate. He then stuns us with the revelation that the speaker of the quote is...

Barack Obama.

49 comments:

Tim said...

"He mocks that, but says that's not enough to count as hate. He then stuns us with the revelation that the speaker of the quote is...

Barack Obama."


There's nothing Obama won't lie about.

Anyone "stunned" by that really shouldn't be voting.

AJ Lynch said...

America used to ostracize outrageous people[no matter their political leanings] like Savage.

Now it only ostracizes the outrageous conservative people [i.e Trent Lott] while the librul ones[Savage, Jesse jackson, Al Sharpton, Biden] get another chance over and over and over.

rhhardin said...

I wish somebody would do the preservation of the word argument.

First, bring out how nobody knows what a word means. See Stanley Cavell on "chair", which you'd imagine you'd know and it turns out that you don't.

Furthermore a definition seems to be impossible, and this is connected with the workings of the word. A definition would kill it.

Marriage is analogous. People are driven to say that it's between a man and a woman, but the important thing is that it has an undefined internal dynamic that makes it possible to think about marriage and its varieties.

If you kill off that dynamic - in particular by shoving gay marriage into its grammar - then it's no longer possible to think about what used to be marriage. They dynamic is gone.

It's nothing more than friends with benefits and legal complications.

Chase said...

I personally know the student who walked out of the talk Savage gave. You mischaracterize it as Savage only making an offhand comment. The young man who first stood up did so after continued hateful anti-Christian comments made by Savage. When Savage gives these talks on bullying, he always disparages the church and Christians. He is an anti-Christian bigot, a man full of hatred.

Why you don't recognize that Ann is despicable. I assume you are so blinded by your support for same-sex marriage you can no longer recognize hate when it is expressed by a supporter. I t falls directly into your support of Andrew Sullivans' hateful term :Christianist".

rhhardin said...

Hate is getting bad press recently.

If grudge is next, what will women do.

wv: ???????

Palladian said...

I wonder if Savage forced his doormat husband (who he openly cheats on) to cook dinner?

After the doorknob-licking stunt, I wouldn't eat anything cooked, especially if I was a gay marriage opponent.

Robert Cook said...

Obama is probably no more lying about his being a Christian (as he understands what that meants) than are most Americans (as they understand what it means), but the ostentatious sanctimony in his remarks about marriage is sick-making.

AJ Lynch said...

I am very tired of librul tirades for gay marriage. The Dems best beware a voter backlash on this issue combining with Seven Machos' trademarked voter "blacklash".

Palladian said...

Why does anyone consider Savage, who has an "open" relationship with his partner, a good spokesman for same-sex marriage? I have friends who've been monogamous for 25 years, through sickness and health, that would make far better spokesmen.

Robert Cook said...

"I wonder if Savage forced his doormat husband (who he openly cheats on)...."

How do you know his husband is not also having affairs? There is a name for such arrangements: open marriages.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Why does anyone consider Savage, who has an "open" relationship with his partner, a good spokesman for same-sex marriage?"

-- The best spokespeople for any cause rarely are the ones who actually get to do the speaking.

ricpic said...

You're full of hate. Now that that's been established by my saying so let's have a civilized debate.

Palladian said...

I'm tired of anyone, straight or gay, pretending that the secular government has any authority or legitimate business defining or regulating marriage at all.

End that usurpation of the religious/personal union and the stupid issue evaporates.

Robert Cook said...

Palladian, why is "monogamy" a criterion for a good marriage, gay or straight?

Why does same-sex marriage need a spokesperson at all, other than to point out to those who are obtuse that it provides legal protections to the parties involved that straight married people have long enjoyed and taken for granted?

Palladian said...

You're right, Matthew, the best theoretical spokesmen for the cause have lives and can't be bothered being "activists".

Marshal said...

"I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix...."
He mocks that, but says that's not enough to count as hate.


Savage evaluates everything based on whether he agrees with the speaker. He's despicable on politics.

Michael said...

In our current system of marriage/government involvement it works like this. A woman married to a man for ten years or more gets the same amount he does in social security if they are divorced when he begins to receive ss benefits. If he was married three times to three women each for ten years or more all three of them will get the same amount as the man. This system will be tweaked in what way to accommodate gay marriage? I am seriously interested in the answer if anyone has considered this.

Robert Cook said...

"I'm tired of anyone, straight or gay, pretending that the secular government has any authority or legitimate business defining or regulating marriage at all."

State regulation of marriage has a long history, as marriage is as much (or more) a financial arrangement than a "love match."
State-sanctioned marriages provide built-in legal protections that would otherwise be costly for persons getting married to arrange and insure for themselves, (via private legal representation and contract negation with one's intended partner).

bagoh20 said...

Those three guys are like from central casting. I think 99.9% of people could pick out who is who just from looking at them. It's surprising that people's beliefs would have so much influence on how they look. Try to imagine the roles reversed. It's impossible to be that person and look like the other.

Who's in charge of making sure these rules are followed so reliably? When we find out, we should put them in charge of everything.

furious_a said...

State-sanctioned marriages provide built-in legal protections that would otherwise be costly for persons getting married to arrange and insure for themselves, (via private legal representation and contract negation with one's intended partner).

...or that in the absence of state sanction would be mediated by religious authorities (e.g., Sharia).

Pastafarian said...

Robert Cook: "Palladian, why is "monogamy" a criterion for a good marriage, gay or straight?"

Oh, don't worry, Bob. I've been assured by leftists many times that even if we define marriage to include gay partnerships, this will never lead to an extension of marriage to cover polygamy, or fuckfest free-for-alls like this appropriately named Savage apparently engages in.

In fact, many leftists have shrieked that such an implication is offensive. "Polygamy? Why not compare our relationship to man/sheep love?!!"

I had no idea you were such a Rethuglikkkan hack, Bob.

bagoh20 said...

" the best theoretical spokesmen for the cause have lives and can't be bothered being "activists".

Man, ain't that the truth. All my gay friends are very different from one another, but none are this angry political type that piss people off instead of convincing anyone.

This thing of normal people being to normal to be activist is true in a lot of areas, where we have to listen to our points of view being cartooned by people who do it for a living. There are just too many talkers now days.

Now the rest of you need to shut up and listen to me. Shhhh!

William said...

I think the debate about gay marriage is mostly between gay activists and religious fundamentalists. That's because they're the only people who care about the issue. I'm tepidly in favor of gay marriage, but there are few issues on earth that will have less impact on my life. I long to see this badminton scandal resolved. All these moralists make their overwrought arguments about gay marriage while at the same time ignoring the cynicism and corruption that happened at an Olympic event.

furious_a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
furious_a said...

why is "monogamy" a criterion for a good marriage, gay or straight?

Because otherwise it would just be "roommates", in which case it's clear why the priviliges/claims of the institution should apply.

bagoh20 said...

A simple generic marriage contract could easily handle everything important that the state confers on marriage. It could be done on line, for less than the cost of a cheap wedding cake. The problem is what people get, not how it's guaranteed.

Peter said...

'Robert Cook' said, "why is "monogamy" a criterion for a good marriage, gay or straight?"


The reason why marriage is found in all cultures is presumably because sex tends to produce babies, and babies and children benefit from parental support. The fact that less than 100 percent of heterosexual relationships produce children is beside the point- but the link between paternal support and an expectation of sexual exclusivity surely is not.


Which is to say, after you remove both sexual exclusivity and the possibility of reproduction from a relationship, why would you still call it "marriage"?


Why not just go with "pairriage"- defined a durable, legally recognized bonding of any two persons for the purpose of mutual comfort and aid (which might or might not include a sexual component, but if it did would carry no expectation of exclusivity)?



"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master. That's all."


-- Lewis Carroll, "Through the Looking Glass"

David R. Graham said...

Hinderaker: "If the Democrats want to define themselves to voters as the party of abortion and gay marriage, please, God, let them do so!"

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/08/are-the-democrats-delusional-on-abortion.php

DADvocate said...

There's nothing Obama won't lie about.

Anyone "stunned" by that really shouldn't be voting.


Tim hits the nail on the head right at the start. At best, Barack Obama is an amoral narcissist. At worst, ... Who knows?

n.n said...

This is not strictly a religious issue. It is principally about evolutionary fitness; about classifying behaviors for normalization, tolerance, and rejection; about the value engendered by a behavior for individual development and societal viability. The criticism of religious dogma is a prop to distract from the issues of merit. It is a distraction from recognizing a behavior which has no redeeming value to either society or humanity. The only reason to tolerate it at all is because we also recognize and consider the dignity of the individuals involved.

n.n said...

DADvocate:

Obama is an opportunist. He exploits dreams of instant gratification to advance his own political, economic, and social standing. He promises his supporters anything and everything without perceived consequences.

Marshal said...

Pastafarian said...
In fact, many leftists have shrieked that such an implication is offensive. "Polygamy? Why not compare our relationship to man/sheep love?!!"


The argument that if the constitution mandates gay marriage it also mandates polygamous marriage says nothing about anyone's relationship. It speaks only to the legal process and the inherent dishonesty of the activists pushing for and deciding such cases.

Lyssa said...

Michael said: A woman married to a man for ten years or more gets the same amount he does in social security ... This system will be tweaked in what way to accommodate gay marriage?

I don't think that it would have to be tweeked much at all. As far as I understand it, these laws are written in a gender neutral fashion - that is, if my husband (who I significantly outearn) and I divorced, he would be entitled to SS in the same way as the woman in your hypothetical. It makes no difference that the majority of the time, the sexes fall as you said; the law is written for both situations (it is the same for alimony - when it applies, it is paid by the higher earner, not just by the "man").

Therefore, why would a change be significant? It would continue to be applied in a gender neutral way.

Luke Lea said...

Oh, goody, now we celebrate pederasty Afghani style?

Joe said...

A woman married to a man for ten years or more gets the same amount he does in social security if they are divorced when he begins to receive ss benefits.

Simply not true.

The lesser earning spouse who is still single has the option to take 50% of their former spouse's benefit if their own doesn't exceed that amount. The twist is that the lesser earning spouse can start taking reduced benefits early, but as soon as the former spouse starts taking benefits the amount is locked in.

So, if I retire at 62 and take reduced benefits, my ex is locked into 50% of that amount when she gets to 62. However, if I hold out to 70, my ex could start taking reduced benefits at 62. Her amount would be locked in, but mine would not.

Ann Althouse said...

"Why does anyone consider Savage, who has an "open" relationship with his partner, a good spokesman for same-sex marriage? I have friends who've been monogamous for 25 years, through sickness and health, that would make far better spokesmen."

Savage's biggest theme is "monogamishness" and I think he forced his husband into accepting it. You maintain your devotion to your spouse, but you get to have casual sex with others. Savage continually recommends this as a solution to unsatisfying marriages. His advice column has always been about helping out heterosexuals from the perspective of a gay man. Anyway, the spouse that is asked to agree to the monogamish relationship is basically given an ultimatum: Either you let me do this or I'm probably going to have to leave you.

Savage is extremely smart and articulate, and he makes these arguments persuasively. You might have thought of that monogamish idea on your own, but he gives you the nerve to think you have every right to present this intention forthrightly and to get get results.

Ann Althouse said...

"Why does anyone consider Savage, who has an "open" relationship with his partner, a good spokesman for same-sex marriage? I have friends who've been monogamous for 25 years, through sickness and health, that would make far better spokesmen."

Savage's biggest theme is "monogamishness" and I think he forced his husband into accepting it. You maintain your devotion to your spouse, but you get to have casual sex with others. Savage continually recommends this as a solution to unsatisfying marriages. His advice column has always been about helping out heterosexuals from the perspective of a gay man. Anyway, the spouse that is asked to agree to the monogamish relationship is basically given an ultimatum: Either you let me do this or I'm probably going to have to leave you.

Savage is extremely smart and articulate, and he makes these arguments persuasively. You might have thought of that monogamish idea on your own, but he gives you the nerve to think you have every right to present this intention forthrightly and to get get results.

Marshal said...

You might have thought of that monogamish idea on your own

Or cribbed idea from Ayn Rand and put a psychbabble title to it...

Jay said...

Savage continually recommends this as a solution to unsatisfying marriages

So Savage's marriage is unsatisfying?

Jay said...

Those sweet, tolerant pro-gay marriage folks are at it again:

The Family Institute and the Family Research Council are affiliated organizations created to press agendas that include opposition to abortion and to marriage other than that between a man and a woman.

Sarno, 53, admitted orchestrating a letter-writing campaign that began in November and ended in May when U.S. postal inspectors tracked the letters to his house, an official familiar with the matter said. All the letters were addressed to Family Institute Executive Director Peter Wolfgang.

"No mercy for homophobes," said one letter, obtained by The Courant. "I suggest you make your funeral arrangements real soon, Mr. Wolfgang. (Trust me. I know.)"

Sarno pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of mailing threatening communications.

chickelit said...

Althouse opinions: Savage is extremely smart and articulate, and he makes these arguments persuasively.

Smart, articulate people don't lick doorknobs. They may ride bedknobs and broomsticks and write about it as Allen Ginsberg apparently did, and that's NTTAWWT. But they don't intend physical harm towards others. In doing so, Savage crossed a line that intellegent people don't cross.

So Savage is to minds what MILK was to movies for you--brilliant! articulate!

Baron Zemo said...

"Althouse said...
Savage is extremely smart and articulate, and he makes these arguments persuasively. You might have thought of that monogamish idea on your own, but he gives you the nerve to think you have every right to present this intention forthrightly and to get results."

This my Dear Lady is only a good idea for someone without a moral compass. Someone who continually mocks and denigrates religious people and their most sacred beliefs and totems. A person who thinks so little of the sacrament of marriage should be granted to anyone regardless of the individuals involved. A man and a man. A woman and a woman. A man and his dog.

Tell me what does Chance say about your desire to get the forthright result of a monoagamish marriage.

I do think it would make the butcher boy very excited.

Freeman Hunt said...

Why does anyone consider Savage, who has an "open" relationship with his partner, a good spokesman for same-sex marriage? I have friends who've been monogamous for 25 years, through sickness and health, that would make far better spokesmen.

This.

They way he treats his spouse is deplorable. He's more a model of marriage in letter but not in spirit.

Freeman Hunt said...

Savage is extremely smart and articulate, and he makes these arguments persuasively.

Corruptio optimi pessima.

TMink said...

What Palladian said, but I did not know Savage mistreats his partner.

I just cannot for the life of my muster any respect for the thoughts of a man who licked doorknobs in an effort to make people sick. That is just too pathological and infantile to get past.

Trey

Brent said...

Savage is extremely smart, but he is glib Ann, and I would think you above all would know the difference.

He is a hateful man and I am ashamed for you that you defend this hate-filled Christian hater.

Piss on you.

Brent said...

Actually, I believe you do treat Savage like all immature gay men - you don't have the courage to hold him to the same standard you hold straight men to.

Nick Carter M. said...

If there are any God fearing Democrats left, they should be worried that God will judge them.

Probably by helping Republicans win many, many elections.

tiger said...

Savage is a pretty vile human being based on his own descriptions of his current relationship.

For starters apparently he is in an 'open relationship' but his partner isn't.