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Old 10-01-2012, 09:03 PM  
KChiefer KChiefer is offline
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Birk/Kluwe Gay Marriage Debate

NFL's Matt Birk: Let's protect marriage -- and speech

It should come as no surprise that the National Football League supports the right of its players to share their opinions on important public matters, nor should it come as a surprise that I personally support my colleagues' rights to voice their opinions.

But the conversation during the last few weeks on the subject of same-sex marriage has told a different story -- one that appears to be drawing a false connection between supporting true American values like free speech and the institution of marriage, our most fundamental and important social institution.

I think it is important to set the record straight about what the marriage debate is and is not about, and to clarify that not all NFL players think redefining marriage is a good thing.

The union of a man and a woman is privileged and recognized by society as "marriage" for a reason, and it's not because the government has a vested interest in celebrating the love between two people. With good reason, government recognizes marriages and gives them certain legal benefits so they can provide a stable, nurturing environment for the next generation of citizens: our kids.

Children have a right to a mom and a dad, and I realize that this doesn't always happen. Through the work my wife and I do at pregnancy resource centers and underprivileged schools, we have witnessed firsthand the many heroic efforts of single mothers and fathers -- many of whom work very hard to provide what's best for their kids.

But recognizing the efforts of these parents and the resiliency of some (not all, unfortunately) of these kids, does not then give society the right to dismiss the potential long-term effects on a child of not knowing or being loved by his or her mother or father. Each plays a vital role in the raising of a child.

Marriage is in trouble right now -- admittedly, for many reasons that have little to do with same-sex unions. In the last few years, political forces and a culture of relativism have replaced "I am my brother's keeper" and "love your neighbor as yourself" with "live and let live" and "if it feels good, go ahead and do it."

The effects of no-fault divorce, adultery, and the nonchalant attitude toward marriage by some have done great harm to this sacred institution. How much longer do we put the desires of adults before the needs of kids? Why are we not doing more to lift up and strengthen the institution of marriage?

Same-sex unions may not affect my marriage specifically, but it will affect my children -- the next generation. Ideas have consequences, and laws shape culture. Marriage redefinition will affect the broader well-being of children and the welfare of society. As a Christian and a citizen, I am compelled to care about both.

I am speaking out on this issue because it is far too important to remain silent. People who are simply acknowledging the basic reality of marriage between one man and one woman are being labeled as "bigots" and "homophobic." Aren't we past that as a society?

Don't we all have family members and friends whom we love who have same-sex attraction? Attempting to silence those who may disagree with you is always un-American, but especially when it is through name-calling, it has no place in respectful conversation.

A defense of marriage is not meant as an offense to any person or group. All people should be afforded their inalienable American freedoms. There is no opposition between providing basic human rights to everyone and preserving marriage as the sacred union of one man and one woman.

I hope that in voicing my beliefs I encourage people on both sides to use reason and charity as they enter this debate. I encourage all Americans to stand up to preserve and promote a healthy, authentic promarriage culture in this upcoming election.

-----------------------

Matt Birk, a native Minnesotan, is a former center for the Minnesota Vikings and current center for the Baltimore Ravens.

http://www.startribune.com/opinion/c...=y&c=n&refer=y
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:03 PM   #2
KChiefer KChiefer is offline
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Author’s note: Any grammar fails in this are on you Mike. ON YOU! (please don’t hurt me)

Full disclosure: I know Matt Birk, having played with him for multiple years in the NFL. I think he’s a smart, funny person who has done both good things in the community here in Minnesota as well as with the concussion issue facing disabled players. I respect Matt, and I respect his right to his own views and ideas.

However, in this instance, Matt I think you’re wrong. This is not an attack on you as a person or your beliefs, but the argument you presented in the Star Tribune simply does not stand up to logical inspection.

Problem the first – Your argument lacks facts, sources, or statistics. You can’t just say “Same -sex marriage is bad for kids because I think it’s bad for kids, and I think it’s bad for kids because it’s bad for kids”. That’s called circular reasoning and it’s a logical fallacy. If you want us to understand why same-sex marriage is bad for kids, you need to provide some sort of substantial evidence. Tell us that children from same-sex couples are more likely to grow up broke and miserable and alone and will end their days starving in a gutter. Just don’t use a study like this one, which displays clear source and confirmation bias (as outlined neatly in this article from Slate). Use something like this (sadly behind a paywall, but the abstract should give you the high notes). I’ll sum it up for those who don’t want to click on links: there’s no difference between children raised in heterosexual relationships and same-sex relationships, as evidenced by a meta-study of nineteen different LBGT studies.

Problem the second – Your argument that “government recognizes marriages and gives them certain legal benefits so they can provide a stable, nurturing environment for the next generation of citizens: our kids” is flawed on two counts. The first flaw is one of simple mathematics – if “marriage” is so necessary to the proper raising of children, why are we not passing an amendment to outlaw divorce? Current statistics from the CDC put the national divorce rate at approximately 50% (of roughly 2.1 million marriages a year, 1 million will end in divorce). They also put the number of same-sex couple households at 685,000, and those with children at 160,000. Let’s say, purely for the sake of example, that every single one of those same-sex households got married. You’re telling me you’re more concerned with the impact of those 160,000 households, as opposed to the 1 million heterosexual couples getting divorces? If this is truly about the children, shouldn’t divorce be first up on the constitutional amendment list, in order to save more children?

The second flaw is that you’re actually arguing in favor of same-sex marriage. If children having a stable home is the main crux of your concern, then denying gay couples the benefits of 1100 federal laws can only harm the children they will raise. Not allowing those children the same health benefits, family care benefits, survivor benefits; that can only be a detriment to the upbringing and care of a child, correct? Or do you propose that same-sex couples should be unfit for adoption, should be unfit to raise children?

Problem the third – You’re conflating “‘if it feels good, go ahead and do it’” with couples that want the stability and benefits of marriage and just so happen to be gay. There’s plenty more heterosexual couples that marry because “it feels good, go ahead and do it” with no intention of ever having children than there are same-sex couples (again, simple mathematics). Should we deny marriage to anyone who doesn’t plan to have kids? What about the infertile couples? The old people? You yourself say “Marriage is in trouble right now — admittedly, for many reasons that have little to do with same-sex unions.” So why the discrimination? Why should we be passing a constitutional amendment denying legal rights to American citizens who pay taxes and serve in our armed forces? If “marriage” is so important, why aren’t we going after all those “many other reasons” first?

Problem the fourth – Marriage has already been redefined multiple times over the years. Marriage used to be one man and multiple women. Marriage used to be a way to exchange property between two families. Marriage used to be between brother and sister to keep the royal bloodline pure. Marriage used to be between children. Marriage used to be only for people that were the same skin color. Marriage used to be a lot of things, many of them oppressive towards women and minorities. I think I’d rather marriage be between two people that love each other and are committed to each other no matter what combination of fleshy bits are hanging off their bodies; not a reality TV show.

Problem the fifth – You’re trying to raise a religious argument in a secular matter. The First Amendment isn’t just about the freedom FOR religion, it’s also about the freedom FROM religion. The word “marriage” appears in thousands of legal documents and laws in this nation, and to attempt to narrowly define it through a religious application means you’re trying to assert a religious viewpoint on those who may not necessarily hold the same views. Our founding fathers knew quite clearly the dangers that state sponsored religious persecution could inflict (they lived through it!), and the First Amendment is worded in favor of state neutrality for a reason. I will support your right to worship at whatever altar you choose, but I will not support you trying to force it on someone else, or to deny someone else legal benefits due to religious reasoning.

Problem the last – The only impact same-sex marriage will have on your children is if one of them turns out to be gay and cannot get married. What will you do (and I ask this honestly) if one or more of your kids ends up being gay? Will you love them any less? What will your actions speak to them, 15 years from now, when they ask you why they can’t enjoy the same relationship that you and your wife have now? And if your response is “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it”, well, for a lot of people that bridge is here right now. They’re trying to cross it, but the way is barred, and I will do my best to tear those barricades down any way I can because I believe that we are infringing on the free will of other human beings by denying them their basic right to live free of oppression. I love my daughters for their minds and their personalities, not for who they love as adults. That’s none of my damn business, and I will support them in life no matter who they want to marry.

Ultimately, while your letter is respectful and polite (and I’ve tried to keep mine the same way, no SPARKLEPONIES in this one), I remain unconvinced by any logical reasoning you have so far brought to bear on the subject. I encourage you to keep speaking out, as we should never be afraid to espouse our views, but from a rational standpoint I simply cannot agree with discrimination against a subset of our citizenry.

(Miss you at the crossword puzzles)

-Chris

http://blogs.twincities.com/outofbounds/
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by KChiefer View Post
Problem the first –
Problem the second –
Problem the third –...
I want to strangle this asshole over this "Problem the first" bullshit, but I agree with pretty much everything else he said. (I might quibble over his definition of discrimination, and whether discrimination is necessarily a bad thing, for that matter.)

As long as legislatures or the people legalize same-sex marriage (and not the courts), I'll be very pleased.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:39 PM   #4
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One thing I don't really get:

This isn't really related to the topic of whether gay marriages should be recognized by the state...

I have trouble with the idea that a gay couple can give a child the kind of upbringing a loving, successful heterosexual marriage can. Aren't we saying, if we say that two men can do just as good of a job, that there is nothing essential or important about the role of a woman and mother in a child's life? That a true mother is unessential and replaceable? Sure, you can honestly love a child just the same as an uncle or cousin or family friend can, but not the unique way a mother can. Neither can you provide mothering if you aren't a mother.

We have already begun to see in the schoolhouses and prisons what, in my opinion, is the effect of most of a generation growing up with partially or totally absent fathers. Do we really want to further the incidence of children growing up without one parent? Will we be well off in the end for this?

This hasn't anything to do with religion, it's the tried and failed formula of half-parenting we are working through in our culture.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:44 PM   #5
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One thing I don't really get:

This isn't really related to the topic of whether gay marriages should be recognized by the state...

I have trouble with the idea that a gay couple can give a child the kind of upbringing a loving, successful heterosexual marriage can. Aren't we saying, if we say that two men can do just as good of a job, that there is nothing essential or important about the role of a woman and mother in a child's life? Sure, you can honestly love a child just the same as an uncle or cousin or family friend can, but not the unique way a mother can. Neither can you provide mothering if you aren't a mother.

We have already begun to see in the schoolhouses and prisons what, in my opinion, is the effect of most of a generation growing up with partially or totally absent fathers. Do we really want to further the incidence of children growing up without one parent? Will we be well off in the end for this?
I'm pretty sure that the plan is to leave the kids that are in stable households right where they are.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:01 PM   #6
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Problem the first – This really isn't an issue that can be proven through statistics since we don't have much experience with same sex marriage in this country yet. And by the time we do, the impact of same sex marriage will be only one of many factors that either damage or enhance the welfare of our kids.

The kids of same sex couples are not the only ones that Matt Birk is worried about here. His thesis is that all children, not just those of same sex couples, will be more likely to suffer if we water down the incentive for child bearing/rearing couples to be married and fewer of them will be raised by a father and a mother.

Ultimately, neither side has reliable statistics to bring to bear on this issue. At this point, it's a matter of conjecture based on our understanding of human nature.

Problem the second – After complaining about Birk using circular reasoning, Kluwe does something very similar here. Essentially he argues that just because we haven't fixed a problem (with a constitutional ban on divorce) that it must not be a problem. Indeed, Birk points out that easy divorces are one of many reasons unrelated to same sex partnerships that marriage is in trouble.

And again, Birk is worried that the weakening of marriage (both through same sex marriage laws and through other factors like no fault divorce) is potentially harmful to all children, not just those of same sex couples.

I happen to agree with Kluwe's contention that same sex marriage would help provide a more stable home for many of the kids of members of same sex couples, but I don't think Birk is unwittingly making that argument as Kluwe contends.

Problem the third – Birk doesn't list his priorities, but I wouldn't be surprised that if we told him he could wave a wand and require only one of the social results he prefers, he would pick elimination of no fault divorce rather than prevention of same sex marriage. I could be wrong, but I don't think Birk is being inconsistent by publishing an argument focused on one of the many things he thinks is wrong with our marriage culture.

Problem the fourth – While this is true and seems like a reasonable argument against those who want to prevent same sex marriage using arguments of tradition, Birk's arguments are mainly about utility and the impact on our children.

Problem the fifth – I didn't see any religious appeals in Birk's argument. He refers to the fact that he's a Christian, but he doesn't make an argument based on Christianity.

Problem the last – The only ways in which the lack of same sex marriage recognition impacts the relationship of same sex couples are in convenience and administrative matters as opposed to matters of love and companionship. Same sex couples may find it more difficult to cover the household with health or auto insurance or to execute contracts on behalf of the family unit or to adopt (and these aren't insignificant), but they're free to live and love together. If our kids decide to remain single or to shack up instead of getting hitched, they'll face different life experiences from those who choose to be married too.

My personal view - I think the benefits of stable, loving relationships among homosexual couples far outweighs any degradation of the incentive to marry. I'd rather see a reversal of the no fault divorce movement than a ban on gay marriage. Easy divorce seems far more damaging to our kids than I think gay marriage would be.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by qabbaan View Post
One thing I don't really get:

This isn't really related to the topic of whether gay marriages should be recognized by the state...

I have trouble with the idea that a gay couple can give a child the kind of upbringing a loving, successful heterosexual marriage can. Aren't we saying, if we say that two men can do just as good of a job, that there is nothing essential or important about the role of a woman and mother in a child's life? That a true mother is unessential and replaceable? Sure, you can honestly love a child just the same as an uncle or cousin or family friend can, but not the unique way a mother can. Neither can you provide mothering if you aren't a mother.

We have already begun to see in the schoolhouses and prisons what, in my opinion, is the effect of most of a generation growing up with partially or totally absent fathers. Do we really want to further the incidence of children growing up without one parent? Will we be well off in the end for this?

This hasn't anything to do with religion, it's the tried and failed formula of half-parenting we are working through in our culture.
I tend to agree that if all else is equal, a kid is probably better off with both a father and a mother than with two of one and none of the other. But would you agree that a kid is likely better off with a loving same sex couple than with an indifferent or incompetent mother and father or even with a well-meaning but stretched-too-thin single parent?
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:44 PM   #8
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Problem the second – After complaining about Birk using circular reasoning, Kluwe does something very similar here. Essentially he argues that just because we haven't fixed a problem (with a constitutional ban on divorce) that it must not be a problem.
Kluwe doesn't appear to be arguing that or even implying that. What Kluwe is doing in that section is calling into question the priorities of Birk and those of like mind. He's targeting Birk's rhetoric.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:48 PM   #9
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Kluwe doesn't appear to be arguing that or even implying that. What Kluwe is doing in that section is calling into question the priorities of Birk and those of like mind. He's targeting Birk's rhetoric.
OK, maybe you're right. I bet Birk would support making divorce harder to get, but that wasn't what his article was about. So I don't really think it's much of a point, but you're probably right that it's not be the illogical argument that I initially thought it was.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:53 PM   #10
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Gay's raising kids. You want an example. Joey AKA Kurt Cobain & his childhood.
If he were still here. he would tell all of you that support this
TO GO TAKE A FLYING LEAP INTO AN AIDS TREE
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:56 PM   #11
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Gay's raising kids. You want an example. Joey AKA Kurt Cobain & his childhood.
If he were still here. he would tell all of you that support this
TO GO TAKE A FLYING LEAP INTO AN AIDS TREE
There are lots of screwed up kids who had heterosexual parents or heterosexual single parents too. I think drug abuse was a big part of Joey's unfortunate circumstance.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:00 PM   #12
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There are lots of screwed up kids who had heterosexual parents or heterosexual single parents too. I think drug abuse was a big part of Joey's unfortunate circumstance.
He was picked on ruthlessly & shunned as a kid because he was being raised by two female switch hitters. Drugs were an escape that came late in his life
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:05 PM   #13
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There are lots of screwed up kids who had heterosexual parents or heterosexual single parents too. I think drug abuse was a big part of Joey's unfortunate circumstance.
Patty and I are in complete agreement on this one.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:06 PM   #14
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He was picked on ruthlessly & shunned as a kid because he was being raised by two female switch hitters. Drugs were an escape that came late in his life
So you are saying bigots and racists like you are the problem.

Noted.
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High Tech is Sorcery and the people who are really powerful are literally telling people to commit crimes using the psychic interspace created by the WWW and Wireless. They are controlling peoples actions like drones . The two things are deeply intertwined. The more man's brain interfaces with machines the creepier it gets. They use brains separate from a human body in a supercomputer and you have The Image of the Beast. The military has been doing this since the 50s
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:13 PM   #15
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So you are saying bigots and racists like you are the problem.

Noted.
Just what the **** makes me any more racist than you Dave? Do I have to like all humans not to be a racist? **** THAT!
Yes I hate.
But it aint got god dam thing to do with skin color.
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Ever laugh at a good Christians joke. Your a Joke DAVE!
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LiveSteam is obviously part of the inner Circle.LiveSteam is obviously part of the inner Circle.LiveSteam is obviously part of the inner Circle.LiveSteam is obviously part of the inner Circle.LiveSteam is obviously part of the inner Circle.LiveSteam is obviously part of the inner Circle.LiveSteam is obviously part of the inner Circle.LiveSteam is obviously part of the inner Circle.LiveSteam is obviously part of the inner Circle.LiveSteam is obviously part of the inner Circle.LiveSteam is obviously part of the inner Circle.
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