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David Salaverry

Haynes v. Hrabe and Dog Marriage

An interesting argument has sprung up on FlashReport between Ray Haynes and John Hrabe about gays.

Haynes went first in a long article that tried to make a libertarian case for two social conservative causes, pro-life and pro-traditional-marriage.

Haynes said:

“The pro-life position is the more difficult position to defend… because the pro-abortion lobby has seized on the liberty agenda to promote abortion.”

But the usurpation of the liberty argument isn’t Haynes only problem.  It’s not even the biggest.  Haynes’ first problem is weak assumptions, like:

“Government is created to protect the weaker members of society from the involuntary intrusions on their personal security or property interests by the more powerful.”

And like:

“Families were developed to create as safe an environment as possible to raise children. Marriage was created as an institution to grow and nurture children, and protect women, who are the usual caregivers to children, from economic harm as they are raising children.”

We don’t know who created government.  Somewhere in the mists of history governments began, evolved and now exist in complex forms that are difficult to penetrate.

Likewise, we don’t know why families were developed or marriages created.  Again, the primeval mists.  Haynes’ generalizations are ill-informed; it’s not “just that simple.”  If it were simple, we’d all agree and get on with whatever else we were doing before the argument began.

Haynes jumps from assumptions to an attack on “homosexual activists” lumping all gays into a single category as The Enemy.  Then saying, “don’t get me wrong,” he gives homosexuals back the libertarian right their sexual choices.  The Catholic Church is at least consistent, calling homosexuality “disordered.”

Next, John Hrabe jumps into Haynes’ thicket of libertarian vs. religious conservatisms.

Hrabe outs Haynes’ inconsistencies on private contracts and takes issue with Haynes pro-traditional-marriage bill in 2004 which (according to a gay activist) violated the contractual rights of gays.  Fair enough.

But Hrabe then does a philosophical fence jump and goes dashing into the daisies with an argument about intersex biology which though creative, is irrelevant.  We need to argue from moral and political universes, not get into the often murky biology of sexuality.  So far, no one has found the “gay gene” but so far, no one has proved it doesn’t exist.

In his rebuttal to Hrabe, Haynes makes stronger arguments that have more clarity.  He argues that government force is being used to coercively re-educate religious people and drive their world view underground.  This is a strong argument that needs to be taken very seriously.

But Haynes doesn’t see what I see, that by welcoming the Log Cabin Republicans fully into the party the coercion he rightly fears becomes less likely.  Haynes sees gays as a monolithic force.  To him they are all “homosexual activists” trying to hollow out the Boy Scouts, change the textbooks to glorify sexual perversion and force employers to accept cross dressing.  This is nonsense.  This is veiled bigotry from ignorance.

The Log Cabin Republicans Haynes refuses to name— the real targets of his arguments— are the conservatives in their communities, the ones in long term common law marriage relationships, the ones who own property and businesses or have steady high paying jobs and advanced degrees.  This isn’t the radical bath house brigade Haynes rightly fears.

These are the guys who will help us—as fellow conservatives—by fighting against the gay radicals and their coercive social engineering agenda. And guess what Ray?  Many of my friends among the Log Cabins are ex-military men who fought our wars back in the days when the military actively persecuted them.  Their patriotism is not to be trifled with.

Churches have an absolute moral right to discriminate against gays.  The religious should check their Scripture and their hearts and make the choice freely.  But politics is impure and requires coalitions.  If we open our party fully to the gays who are the most conservative members of their communities, we loosen the grip of the sexual-political radicals on a substantial community that will bring passion, creativity, money and votes to our party.  If not in church, at least in politics we can and must finally welcome them.

Let’s continue to argue from principles.  Let’s debate with a sense of humor, with camaraderie and with the kind of practical wisdom of those old hands like Pastor John Stoos who quipped on Flashreport, “Just because we can marry our dogs doesn’t mean we should.”

I heartily concur.  So do my Log Cabin friends.