NOM BLOG

National Organization For Marriage Announces Damian Goddard as Spokesperson of the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 16, 2011
Contact: Mary Beth Hutchins (703-683-5004 x.105)


WASHINGTON – "Today we are proud to announce that Damian Goddard has joined NOM's Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance (MADA), to speak on behalf of the rights of decent, loving, law-abiding citizens to speak, to write, to donate, to organize and to act to defend marriage," stated Brian Brown, president of NOM, announcing a new spokesperson for the group whose goal is to create a supportive community for those who have been threatened for standing for marriage.

Damian Goddard, a former sportscaster for the Canadian network Rogers Sportsnet, lost his job after tweeting his support of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. After a career of nearly 20 years spanning both radio and television sports broadcasting, and at the time one of the leading anchors on Sportsnet, Goddard was immediately fired for voicing his view on marriage.

"I expected that they would try to force me to recant, write an apology, would threaten a suspension, or give me a 'slap on the wrist' of some sort. Instead, just seconds into our meeting, I was told I was out of a job." explains Goddard. "We cannot stay silent on this, we have hope and a message and we cannot just sit back and be silent. Marriage is a unique institution and we must become involved."

Now Goddard has taken on a new role, as spokesman for MADA, giving a voice to others who have faced pressure to remain silent on the marriage issue. "In the sports world, no matter the sport, if you sit back and relax and you are going to lose. The National Organization for Marriage and MADA are giving people the voice they need to fight back, and, while I wish I had not been fired from my former job, I am thrilled to be able to be a part of this effort," said Goddard.

See Damian Goddard tell his story in his own words here.

To schedule an interview with Damian Goddard, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x.104), [email protected], or Mary Beth Hutchins (x105), [email protected], at 703-683-5004

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24 Comments

  1. Posted November 16, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Great news. We must not be afraid to speak up.

  2. Little man
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    He really hasn't done anything improper or illegal. It is reverse discrimination. Now we will denounce homosexuality and same-sex civil marriage more. There's no such thing as a gender-less society, and if there was, who'd want to live in it?

  3. QueerNE
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Gay people didn't fire him. The company that he represented did. Regardless of how anyone here feels about it, the company had the right to sever ties with someone drawing negative attention to himself (and thereby the company with which he was affliated; being a broadcaster cast a brighter light on him, being a recognizable figure)

  4. Louis E.
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    QueerNE,so people who draw negative attention by supporting "gay rights" deserve to be fired?

  5. Little man
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    'Gay' people didn't fire him. 'Gay' people GOT him fired. What's so gay about that?

  6. Leo
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    LM NICE! LOl

  7. Barb Chamberlan
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    A great addition to MADA!

  8. Fluffywalrus
    Posted November 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Gay people didn't get him fired, the company's HR department did. Numerous public figures have gotten away with much worse than what Goddard tweeted(note: Goddard didn't write anything vitriolic, just something a bit misguided). From Don Cherry to public TV hosts, to newspaper writers, etc.
    So let us not jump to the conclusion the gays got him fired. There was very little pressure placed against Goddard. The company made the decision. I don't agree with their decision, but they made it. I don't think they should be able to fire someone over something like this unless an employee is raising a huge deal about it across numerous avenues of communication in a sustained manner, which would tie them to their employer by proxy at that point, in which case one could make the argument the employee would be representing the company in an impactful way.

    Now, again, I don't think he should be fired. He's catholic, he can believe this. However, I'm of the mind that religious rights should never trump personal rights. This is my way around the issue. I see no reason why freedom of speech regarding religion can't continue, but at the same time, religion should have no place in secular law, and hold no precedence over personal rights. Pretty simple, to me. This way, people can believe whichever religion they like, but if they put up a bill to ban same sex marriage based on religious morals, it would immediately crash and burn from lack of objective perspectives.

    Goddard is not fully innocent in this. As someone working on a degree in numerous social sciences, I'm aware he's making a violent assumption that there is one true type of marriage. The word "true" is contestable here for me, simply because power is created and managed through the creation and enforcement of knowledge. In the past, many "truths" have been incredibly harmful and used as tools to 'other' entire groups of individuals who don't meet certain requirements of personhood. To assert one perspective is an objective truth is an attempt to erase other realities and perspectives.

    The moral of the story here is to check your privilege at the door, for companies to lighten up and get training programs for individuals like Goddard who may not be aware how is statement may affect not just his audience, but the children and friends and family of his audience.

    There's nothing lost by showing numerous perspectives and giving them all time in the sun, so long as the messages aren't so discursively violent. Yes, you may be a devout Catholic or Presbyterian, or what have you, but that does not mean the cultural guidelines that dictate your life are present, wanted, or needed in anyone else's lives.

  9. Louis E.
    Posted November 18, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Fluffywalrus,those of us who see statements that same-sex sexual relationships are unobjectionable as "discursively violent" don't seem to have much freedom of speech under your guidelines.(I am not religious myself,I see the matter as one of standards of conduct in the public interest).To deny the presence of objective truth is to remove all purpose from and defense for existence itself!

  10. bman
    Posted November 19, 2011 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    Fluffywalrus->Gay people didn't get him fired, the company's HR department did.

    That's a bit like looking at bullet hole and saying the bullet is to blame for it.

    Your comment is flawed because it does not look at who or what pulled the trigger, as it were, but only focuses on the end result and the most immediate cause, which is like blaming the bullet only.

    The key question to ask is whether "same sex marriage is incompatible with a free society," and whether the firing can be traced to that.

    Before same sex marriage came on the scene, a person could speak about traditional marriage and not be at risk for some kind of retaliation. Now, however, one is at considerable risk for retaliation from various angles.

    Firings, school expulsions, lost contracts, denial of counseling licenses, low test scores for disagreeing with the gay agenda, boycotts against companies that support traditional marriage, the indoctrination of elementary school children with gay beliefs, losing the Miss America contest, lawsuits against Christian business owners, public harassment of objectors, and more, can't be blamed on "the HR department."

    There is something much larger here. The HR department is only an extension of that something which is attacking freedom of speech and freedom of conscience in the society under the name of same sex marriage.

    Your post is like someone looking through a straw at a single bullet hole. The straw has to be removed. All the devastation created by the advance of same sex marriage must be taken in.

    As we look around at the devastation, we can see a totalitarian counter-morality is trying to unseat Judeo-Christian values in society by suppressing freedom of speech and freedom of conscience with despotic measures.

    If a SSM law was legalized, the same despotism we have already seen would use the full force of law against Judeo-Christian speech and thought in the same despotic fashion.

    A same sex marriage law, then, is like a Trojan horse that beckons to be brought inside the city so the city can be attacked from the inside.

    Whoever votes for a same sex marriage law, effectively votes to bring the Trojan horse into the city. Its a vote to replace free society with a despotism that will force the suppression of Judeo-Christian values, speech, and thought by means of law, government, and public policy.

    The firing by that HR department is just a part of a larger picture that shows, "Same sex marriage is incompatible with a free society."

  11. Fluffywalrus
    Posted November 19, 2011 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Louis E:
    I disagree with your notion that an objective truth must exist...or rather, I am of the mind that we simply cannot know an objective truth. It is very much subjective whether SSM is right or wrong, or whatnot.
    I have family who disagree with SSM. I do not wish to revoke their right to support this. However, and this tends to be an issue when looking at this in a religious context, seeing one single way as "the right way" and "the only way", "the true way" is an act against all other perspectives. Saying something is right, and making it exclusive places all other perspectives on the margins and inscribes them as "wrong".

    So my issue is not with the belief that SSM is wrong, but in the enforcement of such beliefs on others, whether through legal avenues or social avenues, some violence is occurring as a result.

    If people thought about their wording, this wouldn't be an issue. Same Sex Marriage is a social construction, just like marriage is a social construction, so its meaning and value cannot be factual, set in stone, etc. Our definitions of constructs are fluid and vary across time. Once upon a time heterosexuality and homosexuality were both considered deviant behaviour. In the present day, this is obviously not the case.

    So yeah. Say what you will, just don't toss a moral slant on it, don't try to make it objective, because by definition it cannot be. It is subject to cultural norms, which change across time, region, and other influencing elements. All that does is raise potential for harm.

    As an LGBT-identified person, I don't see same sex marriage as right or wrong. It's a practice, an event between two individuals. It has religious and social influences manifested within it. It's a social construct.
    I don't see any religion as right or wrong, I don't see atheism as right or wrong. I just kind of wish people would just stop trying to police each other through religion and atheism, through culture, gender, our bodies, etc.

    This conduct of policing is just a miserable way of going about providing good lives for the population, it's a way of restricting citizenship and nationhood to those who meet specific criteria that many simply cannot follow. There are a lot of issues much, MUCH more important than same sex marriage, in my view. Poverty is one. The 'productive'/'healthy' body is another. The economy, and working to provide a more stable, balanced system. The slave trade, which today is worse than it likely ever was in history.

    Why get hung up over same sex marriage when so much worse is undermining our societies? So children and adults identifying as gay/lesbian are being more accepted. Some may not agree their behaviour is appropriate. That's fine. I feel that there's far too little focus on critical thinking in our Global North society, but I'm not trying to legislate that all citizens of my country must pass a strenuous critical thinking course before being awarded their GED/High school diploma/etc.
    I think it would be nice, and helpful, but at the same time it would override the realities of others who may not deem it necessary.

    I'd just like for people to think about others for one...not through their own lens like usual, but from another group's perspective. I think that would reduce harmful dialogue.

  12. Fluffywalrus
    Posted November 19, 2011 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    bman:
    I would say that the business might have feared a rebuke from various LGBTQ groups and citizens, but it was entirely their decision to make. Like I said, other public figures have made worse remarks regarding homosexuality, same sex marriage, etc. and have not been fired despite whatever pressure was applied by whichever groups and people.

    You ask whether "same sex marriage is incompatible with a free society," and I return to you the question of whether marriage itself is incompatible with a free society. Certainly, Damian Goddard felt that there is only one true form of marriage, which in fact 'others' everyone who doesn't fit his definition. If Goddard's definition of marriage was legally enforced in society, only those who met his criteria would be free to marry. Religious institutions wouldn't be free to decide who they could marry.
    The only way for marriage to be truly compatible with a free society is to remove restrictions on who can participate.

    One used to be able to speak about traditional marriage without scrutiny before because traditional marriage was normalized and naturalized within society. There was no backlash possible, it was engineered that way over time.

    Only after social groups pushed for visibility of their exclusion, due to these traditional practices, was this privilege challenged. When legislation passed to allow same sex couples to take part in marriage, the opinions of those who prefer "traditional marriage" were placed closer to the margins. I would not say this sentiment of preferring "traditional marriage" is in the minority, but there are social pressures to prevent it from gaining a foothold.

    The fact is that very rarely is privilege challenged, and now that it's challenged, you think there's an imbalance. Maybe now you have a glimpse of what it felt like back in the 40s when same sex couples would be put in asylums for wanting to be in relationships. That, or they'd get 'cured' by lobotomies.

    Freedom of speech and conscience has been under attack by science and religion for decades, centuries. You're only upset now because this time, on this small matter, you aren't on the side that currently holds the most legal and social support. My freedom of speech, conscience, identity and body faces both actively and passively stifling behaviour and dialogue on a daily basis. So legal marriage has to include same sex couples now. WHy are you so upset? Both sides(for and against) have seemingly agreed to a qualifier of "same-sex" being added to a specific type of marriage, which just others them and places that type of marriage on the margins. As a construct, straight marriage, or "marriage" is culturally normalized and naturalized, and will always be so long as that qualifier exists. I doubt that qualifier will ever go away, so congrats on the victory by default!

    You raise the idea of indoctrination of gay agenda/beliefs in schools...what about indoctrination of faith? Why are children exposed to religion during a time of their lives which they can't possibly fathom an understanding of it, and are more likely to just follow it because it's what their parents follow, thus, religion becomes a parental connection rather than a one on one connection with God.
    How is teaching children that homosexuality (a problematic term in its own right) isn't something anyone need feel shame over? What is so wrong about informing children that there are many ways of expression? That intersex individuals exist and aren't these mythic freaks? That maybe, just maybe, there are different ways of being men and women?

    You see things like this as devastation, and challenging judeo-christian values. I was raised in those judeo christian values and my best friend wasn't. We're both rather nice, accepting people. My family goes to church each weekend basically, his grandparents do, but not his parents. Does that make my upbringing morally superior, despite that I'm LGBTQ-identified and he isn't?

    You cry of despotism and can't see the forest for the trees. Look around you! There's been one united, systemic force running western society for ages now. You cry of despotism, well, there's your entity. It's being challenged in the most minute way, in a way where the challengers will eventually agree to be good little citizens after winning the battle of their crumb of a social construct.

    If same sex marriage is a trojan horse, it's filled with candy and birthday cake. The fight for same sex marriage is creating the "good gay citizen" who fits into heteronormative practices, contributes to capitalism, allows itself to be tokenized and made into a commodity for entertainment, etc. etc.

    Barely anything is changing. You say a vote for SSM is a vote for despotism and against a free society?
    I'm thinking no. I do not live in a free society. I have the freedom of choice, but not freedom from retribution due to my choices.
    If you're willing to place responsibility on Judeo-Christian values, "free society", free speech and thought for the mauling my friend received from a number of rather normal individuals a few months back, then by all means. Her punishment for being herself resulted in her being called: "fake", "disgusting creature", "abomination", "vile piece of ****", "unnatural", "wrong", etc. and getting hit with a plethora of punches, kicks, etc. until she was on the ground choking on her own blood and likely would have continued except someone walking nearby noticed what was happening, so they took off. She was pretty lucky(considering the circumstances) there was a girl with them, because they might have raped her otherwise.

    I don't think a free thinking society, a society with good values, a society with proper protections and education would allow this to happen to people like her on a fairly regular basis. Yet it does. As much as the church, and much of the scientific community, say this is abhorrent, their practices, teachings and social methods promote this. When you tell people that someone is wrong for X, that Y is unnatural, an abomination...that Z is a lie and is an attempt to abuse *enter group of people here*, and you put concrete revisionist religious morals and determinist scientific slants on it, you're actively othering individuals to the margins, dehumanizing them and constantly placing blame on them for not being good citizens, for not being normal.

    Check your privilege. Otherwise, you're working for exclusionary, harmful processes. I think that people as a whole are good enough not to be like this, but it will take some effort. Unfortunately, I'm not quite sure this website is the best conduit for that, but I like to have faith in humanity.

  13. Louis E.
    Posted November 19, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Fluffywalrus,marriage derives its entire useful purpose from the restrictions on who can participate.If it does not unite males to females it does nothing useful.

    I am not a religious person,and the obligation to penalize and exclude certain behaviors is not a religious issue.You seem to think chaos is paradise?

  14. Fluffywalrus
    Posted November 20, 2011 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    Louis E.:
    No, I don't think chaos is a paradise. I do think, however, that there's incredibly little scrutiny on how we all work as a society. People tend to want to be right, so who is going to scrutinize the social norms we have today?

    I know that in life, there will always be an "other". However, that "other" need not always be disadvantaged. A friend of mine doing a masters on disability studies brings up the notion that at some point in everyone's life, they'll struggle with some form of disability, visible or not. Having a society catering to accessibility for disabilities would normalize disability and 'other' those not currently having a disability...but those without disability wouldn't be disadvantaged. For instance, ramps can be used by everyone, stairs cannot be.

    My take on marriage is that it's a silly institution with a really spotty history. I don't know why anyone would want to be associated with it in a historical sense. I can understand those who see it on a religious basis, I guess, but it's been at arms length from religion for a very long time now. To tell gay and lesbians that they're not allowed to marry, that their relationships aren't as valued, is kind of petty. Marriage, for centuries, has been used as a tool for exchanging property and wealth while ensuring succession and inheritance. Only recently in history has this notion come into question, and I don't see why it hurts marriage to include groups that would help further distance marriage from that tainted history and improve its reputation.

    I don't see the harm in including gays and lesbians within marriage. Marriage is not a religious endeavour for all, so it's policing identities to deny people on religious grounds. Atheists get married all the time, but they don't do it before the grace of God. I don't see the difference between that and GLB individuals marrying. Some religious institutions support marriage to those groups so it in turn stifles their religious freedom.
    And no one is getting hurt from this. It's harmless to include them. If you don't support it, you don't support it, and I respect anyone's ability to say their opinions freely. Let churches that don't want to perform those marriages deny them. That's well within their religious practice protections. I can't go up to a stranger on the street and force them to praise me about how great I am for 20 minutes, nor should I be able to. Nor should I ever be able to legally silence them from doing such. :P

    Like I said at the start, I don't support the firing of Goddard. I wish he used his words more carefully, but ultimately I'd prefer he be educated rather than silenced.

    Now to get back to my paper :P Hope your weekend has been enjoyable thus far.

  15. bman
    Posted November 20, 2011 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    I would say that the business might have feared a rebuke from various LGBTQ groups and citizens, but it was entirely their decision to make.

    Clearly, it was their decision to make, but their decision still fits a much larger pattern that you can't blame on the HR department.

    The question remains, "Are despotic measures repeatedly being used to attack freedom of speech and freedom of conscience under the banner of same sex marriage?"

    The question calls for a "yes" answer.

    Like I said, other public figures have made worse remarks regarding homosexuality, same sex marriage, etc. and have not been fired despite whatever pressure was applied by whichever groups and people.

    That suggests the despotic principle is still being restrained by something.

    You ask whether "same sex marriage is incompatible with a free society," and I return to you the question of whether marriage itself is incompatible with a free society.

    Society needs a public form of marriage that is officially recognized and based on commonly held values in order to maintain ordered liberty.

    Certainly, Damian Goddard felt that there is only one true form of marriage, which in fact 'others'[disadvantages]everyone who doesn't fit his definition. If Goddard's definition of marriage was legally enforced in society, only those who met his criteria would be free to marry. Religious institutions wouldn't be free to decide who they could marry.

    This seems true. The early Mormons were restrained from polygamy, for example.

    I see that as protecting "ordered liberty" and the character of the society.

    The only way for marriage to be truly compatible with a free society is to remove restrictions on who can participate.

    Remove the white lines from the center lane and let people drive on any side they want, and you get "freedom," but you also get a hazardous road.

    Some will want trio marriages, or sibling marriages, or whole village marriages, or bride for a day marriages, or rotating marriages, or underage marriages, or harems, and so on.

    That sounds like a formula for anything goes, social disorder, anarchy, and a lack of authority that something else will try to fill.

    Europe pushed aside Judeo-Christian values, which created a moral-authority gap, and now Islam is starting to fill that gap.

    If you take down the restrictions you also remove the protections they provided.

    Judeo-Christian values are protecting us from anarchy, totalitarianism, and from political Islam.

    If society jettisons its Judeo-Christian values, it invites something else to take their place.

    The only question is what would that be.

    I am fairly certain its not something Americans would deliberately choose.

  16. Louis E.
    Posted November 20, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Fluffywalrus,I think it vital to the well-being of society to place an explicitly lower value on same-sex sexual relationships,which have an innately lesser importance to the species as a whole.This isn't a religious evaluation nor am I religious.On this issue,it's not Goddard,but those who disagree with him,who need to be "educated".

  17. Fluffywalrus
    Posted November 21, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    LouisE.,

    I think the reproductive potential of humanity should be a focus within society for sure, but I don't enjoy the idea of a connection with marriage as a symbolic ritual for it.
    Marriage used to be for strictly reproductive purposes to produce an heir for families to pass wealth onto the first born male, and to continue the family lineage in the feudal era.
    Now, in the capitalist era, marriage is to ensure the division of labour and the reproduction of tomorrow's workforce. Over time, various government benefits have become attached in order to support this effort.

    Yet, in the end, it still remains a social construct, and totally separate from the fact that humans will reproduce. They don't need to be taught(although it certainly helps, in order to spread awareness of safe sex, varying body types, STIs and other diseases, reproductive biology, etc.) , and marriage won't ensure a couple will reproduce. Marriage also won't ensure a couple will raise a child.

    I think pretty much anyone who goes through school has at least a vague understanding that sex = potential for pregnancy.
    I don't think many who go through school have an inkling of understanding about the magnitude of violence language can reproduce. That is what I meant by educate and I think you can at least acknowledge this issue.

  18. Fluffywalrus
    Posted November 21, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    bman:

    You ask:
    "Are despotic measures repeatedly being used to attack freedom of speech and freedom of conscience under the banner of same sex marriage?"

    I will say yes, to a degree. I am a fair person, I attempt to approach these subjects from a neutral ground. Now, have there been attempts to silence religious POVs? Yes, absolutely. Do I forsee a future where no one can object to same sex marriage without scrutiny? No, I do not. Now, by this, I mean that there will always be people who do not support the idea of same sex marriage. Just like there will always be those who DO support SSM. Long gone are the times when you could say that heterosexual marriage is the only true marriage without someone openly disagreeing with you.

    My issue with the measures that companies and services adopt is how visceral and silencing they are. A company firing Damian Goddard for speaking out against SSM is no different in my mind than the army discharging gay servicemen over their sexual orientation. Both are overboard, and both are exactly the same type of violence against freedom of speech. Neither case allows the subject of silencing to defend themselves. I believe we can agree on this.

    You say:
    "Society needs a public form of marriage that is officially recognized and based on commonly held values in order to maintain ordered liberty"

    Society does not need this. You seem to be speaking from a religious perspective. Within the religious context, marriage is a sacred symbolic ritual due to the emotional investment that specific religious population have in it, and the symbolic values they attach to it.
    It is only deemed necessary to you because all sacred rituals in religions are deemed in the 'right', and 'necessary' and 'moral'. If you deconstruct marriage down to its base, there is nothing there which society NEEDS. Society has existed without marriage as we know it today. It has barely been over a century and a half since marriage was cemented in concepts now deemed entirely secondary, if thought of at all.

    The notion that we need marriage in order to maintain liberty is unstable, as liberty is currently undermined by various systems of power which abduct authority over oneself; some of which are related to the current understanding of marriage.

    We will most certainly disagree on this notion, I predict, as you seem to speak from a religious perspective while I am more of a skeptical agnostic that's always looking for some neutral, non-violent middle ground.

    Your later notion that current marriage protects the "ordered liberty" and "character of society" is relatively confusing.
    What exactly do you believe should have a hand in ordering free will, alongside the ability to govern and have authority over oneself?
    I can see some overseeing collective that helps ensure personal responsibility is enforced, but apart from that, liberty is liberty to me. The only conditions I would place on it which some to mind right now is whether an action, ritual, construct, etc. is like to reproduce or result in some form of violence or breach of human rights regularly.

    I personally don't understand polygamy and I'm not about to go make explicit judgements on something I'm not well versed in, but I have heard many discussions on abuse and neglect of rights within some polygamous relationships, so certainly it is worth investigating to determine if it is stable enough.

    However, the "character" of society is and always will be controlled by those in power. It is understandable that if you are a privileged individual, that you would seek to retain such a position over others.

    You say:
    "Some will want trio marriages, or sibling marriages, or whole village marriages, or bride for a day marriages, or rotating marriages, or underage marriages, or harems, and so on. "

    Well, currently we already have bride for a day marriages, we have open marriages and "swingers", we have loveless/resource-based marriages, we have a huge divorce rate due to a culture that tells kids not to have sex until marriage but also doesn't provide a culture which fosters proper communication. I blame Disney, personally. I'll never show those movies to my kids if I ever have any.
    In short, there are a lot of wild card and outlier marriages. To me, marriage is a hollow institution. It is purely a legal contract now. I understand some of your concerns, and I don't believe letting marriage be unrestricted is particularly a good idea, I'm just saying that is the only context in which marriage can be spoken of when it comes to being in a truly free society. There will be restrictions on marriage, it's a social construct. I'm just inferring that restrictions on same sex couples simply don't make logical sense in the current, secular context.

    Then you say:
    "Europe pushed aside Judeo-Christian values, which created a moral-authority gap, and now Islam is starting to fill that gap. "
    And you talk more fear-mongering of Islam.

    I understand. I look at some of the behaviour of SOME muslim individuals over there, and SOME fringe movements, and I cringe, hoping that I never live in a society like that.
    However, that is also not me saying "Oh man, I'm so happy I live in this perfect utopia of Canada where everything is wonderful". No. It isn't. There are many systemic and institutional issues I have with directly affect my state of being and prevent me from having full authority over myself.

    The main difference between this Judeo-Christian led society and those Muslim led communities of varying denominations is that there is generally a different racial makeup involved. That's it. Aside from that, both religions are fairly similar, though depending on the denomination, different translations and restrictions(and consequences) apply.
    Cultures are built to be ethnocentric, to assume one's ways are "right" and others are generally lesser at best, or wrong at worst. Eurocentric cultures have a history of colonization and brutality linked to them. It would be kind of silly to shake one's fist at another culture for doing radical things like raising minarets when Eurocentric cultures are still colonizing and destroying aboriginal societies and knowledge across the globe in various areas. So there's new competition now. I don't want to play down Islam as some peaceful ideal religion, their communities have done some quite bad things as well. All religions have communities which tread past the boundaries of what is acceptable, treading on human rights. It's in the nature of religion, the moralistic approach of deciding via emotional experiences what is right and what is wrong.

    In other news, I'm friends with a few muslim men and they are possibly the sweetest dudes I've met in my time of studies. Of course, our cultures don't mix easily and generally I have a hard time relating to some of their heritage, but eh. Nice people. Volunteered with me at some shelters near Canadian Thanksgiving (Christian-run ones, if I recall), no issues there.

    I think this is just another case of orientalism. It used to be the 'germans', then it was the 'soviets', and now it's the 'terrorists' (who are, sadly, arab-appearing individuals racialized with the stereotype of the fringe Muslim radical terrorist). It seems every era needs a group to target and dehumanize.

    A major court case is happening here in Canada over the "honour killings" that a muslim couple inflicted on their family members.
    Weird, last I checked, it's not called an honour killing when a white christian man kills his wife for cheating on him.

    But hey, what can I do about all this? I can just hope to provide perspective. Take it or leave it, really.

    I'll try to check back in this page,but I'm pretty busy the rest of the week with essays. Clutch season in University, and I want to get my work done early so I can have extra study time.

  19. bman
    Posted November 22, 2011 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    Fluffywalrus->You ask: "Are despotic measures repeatedly being used to attack freedom of speech and freedom of conscience under the banner of same sex marriage?" I will say yes, to a degree.

    It seems we agree in principle, but not on the "degree."

    Do I forsee a future where no one can object to same sex marriage without scrutiny? No, I do not. Now, by this, I mean that...Long gone are the times when you could say that heterosexual marriage is the only true marriage without someone openly disagreeing with you.

    I understood the above to be "the degree" you had in mind.

    If so, then you went from agreeing that "despotic measures" recently occurred to portraying the future as only having "scrutiny" and "someone openly disagreeing with you," which sounds milder and non-despotic by comparison.

    In other words, you changed the "degree" in mid stream, as it were.

    Certainly "scrutiny" and "open disagreement" would occur in the future, but the issue is whether "despotic measures" would intensify if gays were given the legal power to enforce their will.

    Given the fact despotic measures are being used now to attack freedom of speech and freedom of conscience under the banner of same sex marriage, I think even more should be expected if gays gain additional power under an SSM law.

  20. Fluffywalrus
    Posted November 22, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    bman:

    Well, do I expect that in the future, that it will be faux pas in more secular businesses and events to proclaim SSM is not an acceptable form of marriage? Yes. In more religious companies and events and areas, not so much.

    You should be able to understand that while you're worried about despotic measures raining down on those who support "traditional marriage", those same measures were being used against those in favor of SSM in the past, through social and legal frameworks. , in the name of 'righteousness' and in the attempt to 'retain the character of the society.'

    It is very much the same in how many lobbyist groups have gotten momentum behind getting people with solely religious perspectives on marriage to be reprimanded for speaking out in such a way.

    I see a future where saying "Marriage between a man and a woman is the one TRUE form of marriage" will take a backseat to people saying "Marriage between two men or two women should not be as socially valued". This way, at least SSM is validated as marriage in the statement. But it would still likely face some pressure, just nothing as intense.

    As someone identifying under the LGBTQ banner, and who has networked with plenty of gay and lesbian individuals, most of them just want to be treated fairly. Here in Canada, they have marriage rights, they have workplace discrimination protection. Is there pressure from them to quiet some more violent statements? Yes, but Canadian LGB communities aren't the most vocal about it because they're treated really well here in Canada and generally they have more important concerns such as minimizing the bullying of LGBTQ youth. I mentioned the Goddard statement to them when I last met up with the local community Monday night. There were some confused faces(wondering who Goddard was), and generally those who spoke up on the issue thought it was a bit overkill by Sportsnet and that maybe a clarification or a private sit-in with a local LGBTQ community leader could help patch things up.
    But there were more pressing matters at hand, so not a heck of a lot of discussion was had on it. Maybe 10 minutes. I would hardly see any of my community wanting to hammer out any religious support of traditional marriage, that is, unless such support is going towards the repeal of SSM (which honestly will not and should not occur).

  21. bman
    Posted November 23, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    A company firing Damian Goddard for speaking out against SSM is no different in my mind than the army discharging gay servicemen over their sexual orientation. Both are overboard, and both are exactly the same type of violence against freedom of speech. Neither case allows the subject of silencing to defend themselves. I believe we can agree on this.

    For me, the issue is not whether "the same type" of measures are used, but whether the punishment is proportional to the offense.

    We agree the firing of Damian Goddard was disproportionate. In that case, a man was punished for defending moral excellence.

    Although I agree the military scenario you describe involves "the same type" of measure, I view it as proportionate because its important to deter the prevalence of homosexuality in the military environment.

    I think you need to compare Damian Goddard's case to a recent civilian case that most would agree is similar, rather than a military scenario which most would not view as similar.

  22. bman
    Posted November 24, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Fluffywalrus->You say: "Society needs a public form of marriage that is officially recognized and based on commonly held values in order to maintain ordered liberty" Society does not need this. You seem to be speaking from a religious perspective.

    I intended that as a neutral statement since it did not specify what the commonly held values were.

    Its general enough to apply to all cultures where different forms of marriage exist than here.

    There is a unique form of marriage practiced in a region of Sudan that is based on local values, for example. There, an elder woman with wealth can have her male relatives mate with young women she married so she can raise a family. They use that instead of adoption.

    Your call for same sex marriage is similar in principle to saying Sudanese marriage should be recognized here.

    Both are alternative forms of marriage based on values alien to American society.

    No civil right exists, however, to have an alien form of marriage publicly recognized.

    The New Funk and Wagnalls 1955 edition says,

    "Marriage is essentially a social practice, entered into through a public act, and reflecting the purposes and character of the society in which it is found."

    That, by the way, is their description of marriage for all societies.

    You say "society does not need this."

    You appear to want marriage based on your values instead of values held by the society.

    Doesn't that turn majority rule on its head and reduce to a despotic government?

    The question comes down to who or what decides the public form of marriage for a society.

    My answer implies majority rule while your answer seems to reduce to minority rule.

    Overall, I think my answer would naturally have a strong presumption of validity "by default" and without need of proof. That is, it should be presumed correct that, "Society needs a public form of marriage that is officially recognized and based on commonly held values in order to maintain ordered liberty."

    And your claim, that "society does not need this," should be presumed false by default.

  23. Fluffywalrus
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    bman: (Re 1st response)

    I think this is generally where we'll have to agree to disagree. To say Goddard is promoting moral excellence, and that the army is right in deterring homosexuality...it's totally fine, but it's very obvious you're infusing your values of what's right and wrong into the situation...which is generally what people do by default.

    Yet it raises an issue as what is "moral excellence"? Something can be moral without being "right" or "just". Something can be "right" or "just" without being moral.

    This is where I felt you were coming from a religious standpoint, because your basis of common values and ordered liberty falls in line with sociological religious theory (see: Durkheim).
    It's basically an individual or group's idea of what "good" living and behaviours are, yet morality is not static. It is not singular in form. Gangs have their own very strong morality. Religions obviously have morality. Cults often have intensely strong morals.

    But that doesn't make them just. It doesn't make them right. It's simply within the context of the group that person subscribes to. If you want to assert that America as a majority holds fairly similar values on some things, I'll agree. That's what makes a nation.
    However, it's not about overriding the majority with some despotic agenda. Every time the majority is upended doesn't signal that something wrong or evil is happening, or that intense restrictions are being placed on the majority.

    Majority rule is a nice democratic idea, but luckily, the constitution(and for myself, the Bill of Rights) aims to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.

    I don't want marriage to be anything. I won't take part in the ceremony, ritual, etc. I don't ever plan to.

    I don't want marriage to be bound to my values. I just question the reasoning and value behind denying a group of individuals from participating in a legal contract, which, under secular law, holds no religious link. I can see the argument on the religious end of it, and by all means support the right of churches to deny service of SSM, or deny calling it SSM, but legally, in secular ideology, there's no reason other than to actively exclude for the benefit of having a restricted participant base. That, to me is unacceptable.
    It could also be seen as unacceptable that these individuals are barred from ceremonies tied to their religion, as many religious institutes are open to allowing SSM ceremonies. Yet, they cannot legally, so is this not a form of despotic measure to eliminate freedom of religion? When church leaders are spoken out against for supporting SSM, is this not attacking their freedom of conscience?

    I understand marriage is not officially a civil right. It's a legal contract, written in secular law. There are merely restrictions on who can apply. I don't see gay/lesbian/bi couples as having inherent character flaws because of their sexual orientation, so naturally I don't see the point in excluding for the sole reason that it would be a change in tradition. Traditions change. Standards change. Definitions change. Marriage 150 years ago is quite different than what we know marriage to be today. " 'Til death do us part" meant something back then. It doesn't really, anymore, yet most people I know are of the mind that marriage promotes commitment and working through hardships in relationships, so would it not be positive to allow GLB couples to marry in order to promote increasingly stable, healthy relationships?

    I aim to seek what is taken for granted in society, who has power in society, and what can be done to be more inclusive and welcoming rather than exclusive and dismissive.

    Which is why I feel that, at a secular level, there's no reason to deny SSM. I can understand objecting from a religious stance, but even then there are some issues I find.

    And that's why I don't see my idea of marriage as false by default. I simply want to assess who's being excluded, why they're being excluded, and whether there are reasonable changes that could be made to reduce the amount of exclusion to a minimum.

    Now, if you feel that SSM is not in line with the character of American society, and thus should not be instituted in law, then I can respect that.
    However, I would also have to ask if, in 30 years, SSM is accepted by over 51% of the population, whether you'd support it being put into law, as the majority would be willing it.

  24. bman
    Posted November 27, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I think this is generally where we'll have to agree to disagree. To say Goddard is promoting moral excellence, and that the army is right in deterring homosexuality...it's totally fine, but it's very obvious you're infusing your values of what's right and wrong into the situation...which is generally what people do by default.

    Ultimately the issue comes down to values.

    More specifically, which values should a society hold up as the expected norm to guide children to follow and pass on to the next generation when they reach adulthood?

    Clearly, the principle of "who says so" should not be used as the guiding principle for future generations to follow. That's a formula to eventually degrade the society.

    The principle of "who says so" is what has given us declining marriage rates, increasing rates of adultery, divorce, abortion, unwed child births, teen pregnancies, single parent households, burgeoning welfare roles, juvenile delinquency, unwanted children, pornography, increased prevalence of homosexuality, general sexual irresponsibility, and more.

    Too much of that can overwhelm the capacity of government to keep order, and so the trend needs to be reversed.

    Bride-groom marriage deserves to be called "moral excellence" because its based on the principles that say "no" to the social ills listed. That's in addition to it being the model that agrees with the dominant religion of the nation, Christianity. To uphold the bride-groom model instills right moral principles, to include respect for God.

    However, promoting same sex marriage as a norm tells children that "who says" is the principle of choice, and it teaches children to practice and pass on "who says so" to future generations. As noted already, that's a formula to eventually degrade the society.

    Society needs to pre-condition children with a moral system that says "no" to the social ills listed. That way, they can say "no" as well. We do them great harm, and the nation's future also, by not giving that to them.

    Same sex marriage does the opposite. It would precondition society to engage in the social ills because its based on "who says so" and would make that principle the preferred principle of government, law, and education.

    Are children more secure if the social ills listed are increasingly practiced by society around them? Or, are children more secure if they are decreasingly practiced by society around them?

    The answer is obvious.

    Public policy needs to decrease these social ills which means it can't afford to promote "who says so."

    Instead, it needs to promote, "here's the right way, walk in it" to guide children in the right direction, and for the future well being of the nation.

    Marriage is not just about two private individuals. Its also a public policy that contains guiding principles which children need, and which the nation needs children to follow and pass on.

    Same sex marriage is simply unqualified when it comes to guiding society in the direction children need, and which the nation needs.

    Its wholly unequal to bride-groom marriage when compared in that context.