Comments about ‘Defending the Faith: A case for the traditional view of marriage’

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Published: Thursday, May 23 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

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American Fork, UT

Sorry, but the faith argument is bound by one problem. I don't buy into it. I don't have to. It's just your religion, and I'm not into having any of it. You can keep the tenets of your religion as you choose, within the context of law, but if that's the argument you're going to make for this, or any other point, it's not going to wash.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA


Did you even read the article? The whole premise of the book is that there are reasons BESIDES FAITH to opposed gay marriage. Faith isn't even discussed.

Honestly, this is one area where the anti-gay marriage side has really shot themselves in the foot: There are many rational secular arguments as to why gay marriage should not be allowed, but all the anti-gay marriage lobby can do is scream "because God said so!" Don't you people realize that argument carries no weight with the largely atheistic pro-gay marriage side?

Lebanon, TN

" legal recognition should be limited to marriage as marriage has been universally defined for millennia."

One glaring problem with this proposition is that marriage never actually had a "universal definition" in the first place.

Many cultures have practiced polygamy.

Several cultures have practiced polyandry.

Ancient Greece and ancient Rome both encouraged homosexual relationships. At least two Roman EMPERORS married men.

Same-sex unions have been known throughout history, in many cultures.

This supposed "universal definition" for marriage is nothing more than an imaginary and false construct.

As for that "conjugal view" of marriage -- it is easily dismissed once one actually applies logic to the concept.

1. No, same-sex couples can not biologically produce children who share only the couple's DNA.

Neither can millions of other infertile couples.

Nonetheless, we legalize infertile marriages every day.

2. No, two people of the same gender were not biologically designed to produce children together.

Humans are also not biologically designed to fly.

Nonetheless, we fly in airplanes every day.

The fact is, we human beings overcome our biological limitations every day. There is no reason to suddenly declare that same-sex marriages are somehow ineligible for the benefits of civilization.

Hyrum, UT

To Hutterite:

You obviously didn't read the article very well. The referred to defense of traditional marriage in the article is based on the scholarly work (book) written by Ivy league schooled doctors whose primary premise of argument is philosophically and socially based... and not faith based, as you are asserting. That book is based primarily on common sense, not the tenets of anyone's religion. The only way for you or anyone else to even attempt a valid rebuttal would be to first the read the book, something you obviously haven't done. And until you do (and hopefully with an open mind) it's your argument that isn't going to wash.

Castle Valley, Utah

Mr. Peterson and Sir Robin,

We are waiting. What are the many rational secular arguments for opposing gay marriage? The article so accurately describes what is trending and why, but doesn't expose a single argument for the prohibition of gay marriage while claiming that volumes exist. Please don't tease us, we want to know the rational reasons you claim exist.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA


Read the book...that's what it's there for.

Columbus, OH

All the claims that marriage must be intact for reasons of producing children, etc, completely miss the point. Besides the logical problems with that laid out nicely by Contrarius, gay marriage in no way will reduce the number of heterosexual marriages. Society will produce the same number of children, and there will be the same number of "traditional" families. However, there will also be the existence of non-traditional families that can provide supportive homes and further increase domestic coherence within society.

Again, gay marriage in no way reduces the number of heterosexual marriages producing children. Thus, all the warning about how families are needed to do so for society are nothing but a smokescreen for the ignorant.

Orem, UT

Finally, the smoking gun!

Watching the comments to Peterson's articles (and certain other articles) over the past couple of years, I've suspected that at least some of the commenters haven't even bothered to read the articles to which they're responding.

EDM, above, illustrates what I mean. Peterson's article calls attention to a book in which, he says, rational reasons are laid out. So EDM writes in, ostentatiously demanding to know where such rational reasons are laid out (and insinuating that Peterson can't actually point to anything).

But Hutterite confirms my suspicion, in her case at least, beyond any doubt: She dismisses Peterson's "faith argument" when Peterson didn't make one, and despite the fact that he plainly says that the book he's talking about doesn't rely upon religion or revelation either.

In other words, she -- and this applies, very possibly, to EDM, as well -- is responding reflexively to the issue in general, rather than reasonably, to Peterson's article.

Hyrum, UT

To Contrarius, EDM,OHBU and the similarly minded:

You are still missing the primary premise of this article. It's not about faith, religion or the ability to have children. And with a limit of just 200 words in this comment section, there isn't room to list and explain and expound the reasoning behind the referred to book in a justifiable manner.
Until you actually do read the book, you are simply trying to make arguments for your preexisting feelings, and nothing more. Please, please actually read the book “What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense” and its accompanying website at whatismarriagebook.com so that you actually understand what it is you are trying to argue against. None of you yet has indicated that you have.

And by the way, Contrarius, and perhaps not just coincidentally, the once great ancient Roman Empire soon fell after it became liberalized enough to espouse homosexual marriages and similar practices. It's all part of history and once again, something easy to read about. Do some research with an open mind for learning... and not just for arguing. Are we smart enough to learn from history?

salt lake, UT

How do you know if the book makes a rational argument? Have you read the book? If so then you should be able to respond to EDM.
The book lays out the same false premises that have been articulated over and over again in the in these threads and in the courts. The scientific evidance does not support their claims of the effects of being raised by opposite sex parents and same sex parents.

A Man's Perspective
Salt Lake City, UT

I suggest people read a portion of the arguments in the book before making assumptions. Please do the following Google search for the 50-page PDF in "Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy":

"What is marriage? Sherif Girgis Robert P. George & Ryan T. Anderson"

Columbus, OH

re: Tators

Sorry, I am actually familiar with the book. The book is full of a lot of fallacies. For one, that marriage has always been regarded as a conjugal relationship between a man and woman. Marriage has been variously defined throughout history. Secondly, the authors seem concerned with investigating what marriage is, and they settle on the idea that it is a comprehensive union between man and woman in both body and mind. They also rely heavily on the flawed assumption that children raised by same-sex couples are at a disadvantage--something that has not been supported by the research on the matter. Finally, the book falls into the slippery slope mentality that if we allow gays to marry, we must consent to all sorts of variations.

Here's where it all falls apart. The debate in this country is about legality and constitutionality. None of the authors arguments provide a reason why it should not be allowed legally. They bracket religion, but then rely on shaky evidence to assert that certain things are "better" for society, with no evidence to back it up, appealing to logic only comprehensible to a certain religious mindset.

Columbus, OH

(ran out of words)

In the end, the authors do indeed point to the idea that marriage is primarily about children, only arguing off the points about infertile couples, etc, as necessary to establish a healthy set of societal norms.

Despite all their efforts to the contrary, the premises of the book in question come back to the same things being argued about more explicitly elsewhere--that marriage must be about raising children (when in practice, it has a lot to do with things like taxes and medical benefits) and that being raised by heterosexual parents in inherently better, of which there is no evidence.

Lebanon, TN

@Tators --

"And by the way, Contrarius, and perhaps not just coincidentally, the once great ancient Roman Empire soon fell after it became liberalized enough to espouse homosexual marriages and similar practices."

Errr, no.

Actually, both the Roman civilization and the Greek civilization lasted for roughly 1000 years each.

In fact, Edward Gibbon -- the historian who wrote The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, widely regarded as the definitive history on the subject -- believed that Rome fell in significant part because of its overdependence on Christianity, in addition to its excessive use of mercenaries.

Speaking of learning from history....

LDS Revelations
Sandy, UT

I actually agree with Dr. Peterson in that I think people should look at non-religious arguments for traditional marriage AND for marriage equality as well— and that they should also read multiple and opposing arguments on the topic rather than just from one viewpoint. Certainly the book and article he refers to deserves consideration as do numerous others that disagree with them.

Salt Lake City, UT

My support for gay marraige has nothing to do with my belief in traditional marraige. I think INCLUSIVENESS is the word. Both traditional (man-woman) and gay marraiges can exist in the same world. I believe that it is more important that we have good people in the world. The only fear I see, coming from straight, traditional couples, is that gay couples, tend to do it better. My own traditional marriage was never threatened by any body but my husband.

I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Salt Lake City, UT

I used to spend all day giving rational arguments for why I believe in giving special recognition to the Family and traditional marriages (as I understand those to be).

I learned to argue on political, legal, constitutional, biological, and philosophical grounds. I learned how to argue alright. What I never seemed to learn is how to make people see sense. It's cause it's not possible. Whether you hold my own position or an opposing one, there is no way to 'make another see reason'. The Greek philosophers knew that people had to obtain for themselves, that it couldn't simply be shown to them. I have learned this principle to be true.

For for those crying "give me rational grounds", I have only this to say.

To assume that an opposing opinion is without grounds for reason is either a display of intellectual infancy or blatant contention. Those who are willing to exercise themselves unto intelligence may readily find good reason on both sides of a debate. What is required? The will to listen. You can't demand others to brighten your intelligence and raise your understanding, you have to search it out for yourself.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Religious reservations, for instance, don’t translate well into discussions with non-believers. "

Plus it'd be unconstitutional.

"Perhaps they’ll even change their minds."

Pretty much nobody ever changes their mind going from support to opposition? Well... except for politicians half a dozen years ago who ran away from their support because it wasn't politically expedient enough at the time like Obama did with that "evolving" nonsense. Here's the thing, even if you convinced me that marriage was primarily for the raising of children... infertile and elderly couples (and couples who choose to not have children) are still allowed to marry and in-vitro and adoption are options so that's not a good reason to use it to ban only same-sex marriage. If you convinced me that children with same-sex parents do worse on average with things like juvenile detention or SAT scores (this isn't even shown to be the case in data but for sake of argument let's pretend it is) then I could easily point out we let poor people marry even though their kids do worse on average in these categories too so why only ban same-sex marriage?

Salt Lake City, UT

@Brave Sir Robin
"Don't you people realize that argument carries no weight with the largely atheistic pro-gay marriage side?"

Roughly 50% of the nation supports same-sex marriage but only around 15% are atheist-agnostic. The majority of people who support same-sex marriage are religious.

"the once great ancient Roman Empire soon fell after it became liberalized enough to espouse homosexual marriages and similar practices."

There is no logical connection between social acceptance of homosexuality and Rome's fall. The empire got too big and unwieldy and was attacked from many different angles from many other groups. Also didn't help to have a massive slave population that can be liberated by invading forces.

Phoenix, AZ

When the obvious is inevitable the smart thing to do is learn to accept it and work to make the best of it. It is here, it is now and it is here to stay. So why make the suffering any worse.

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