To catch up to this discussion quickly, one has to but read this post and the comments.
And then this post, and the comments. If you do that, you should be all caught up.
In response to my previous post, “In Defense of Love”, I also received an email on the subject from a friend of mine who wishes to remain anonymous. That email will not be shared in full, but I will quote portions of it here.
As I asked for his permission to share that email, under that condition, and he acquiesced, I will be combining both responses to my “gauntlet” in the response posted here.
Sorry, if this gets a bit confusing, but it is often difficult to catch up to a conversation already in progress, as the Dude once said “Donny, you’re out of your element!”
Once you have caught up, feel free to click/scroll past “the jump” and continue reading…
I would also like to say in preface that discussions such as this one can often descend into what I call “semantic hell” where people are using the same words to describe different things.
One of the major themes of my first book is about creating what I call “The Model.” The Model was created for precisely this type of discussion, and can be used to help avoid that place of linguistic suffering. As this post is an adjunct to that book, I will refrain from restating the logic and method of creating an iteration of The Model here (I begin to describe it in Chapter 2, but don’t complete it until later in the book. Yes, I know that’s annoying, but it’s why I’m not using the full model here, and only using the one I have in my head).
I will try to do my best to identify terms that I believe to be the source of confusion (the reason we are engaging in debate), and offer, or ask, for clearer definitions. (The Model is used to create unambiguous, iconic, and graphical definitions of terms that don’t requires human language to convey accurately. Once both parties use and understand The Model, the meaning, and differences of connotation becomes clearer.)
With that being said, let’s continue, shall we?
I had originally, in my opening salvo in that first round of discussion, hoped to limit this argument specifically to the teachings of Jesus Christ. As of yet, no one has been able to provide a copy of his sermon on the subject of “gay marriage [GM]” or as I think of it “a legal and spiritual contract between two adults of the same sex who love one another [GM].” I knew this to be impossible, which is why I started the discussion off by trying to limit it to a field of battle where I knew I could win easily (learned that “trick” from Sun Tzu).
This discussion has since ranged far beyond my initial attempts at limiting it, which is why this post will probably be quite long (and I prefer to be very economical with my typing and my time). However, since this is an important question of our age, I feel it would be worthwhile to attempt to address it in full.
I am AGAIN trying to limit the scope of the discussion, and people have already tried to introduce incest, beastiality, pedophilia, and murder into the discussion. None of those terms have any place in this discussion, as far as I can tell, as none of them fit my definition of terms as described above (in bold).
IN ANYONE WANTS TO CHALLENGE THIS (and talk about other “sins” in the context of GM), YOU MUST FIRST CHALLENGE MY DEFINITION OF TERMS. (I’m only yelling to make it clear as possible how we need to proceed, in order to keep this discussion civil). If you wish to challenge on these grounds, do so, and we’ll hash that out first. If we cannot agree to basic defnitions of terms, there is no reason to proceed and we will simply call it a day and agree to disagree about what the terms mean. Hence, we can, at the very least, leave one another in an agreement (to disagree).
[an hour passes…thinking about where to begin…]
I was gong to write five or ten more pages here, but I”m still working on the book and only have five-thousand more words and five more days to write for it. So, I’m going to ask you to make a choice.
Can you agree to the terms as stated above?
Do we we agree that “Gay Marriage” is equal to, and could have an expanded definition of, “A legal and spiritual contract between two consenting adults of the same sex who love one another.”
I want to do this now, so I don’t go too far in wasting my time with this discussion. We need to hash our terms now, or shake hands and agree to meet again and discuss something we might agree on. We’ve done pretty good so far, and I don’t want to spoil it.
I don’t want to go so far as to post Chapter 3 as I was thinking of doing in my response. If I do, and we let this discussion get to far, and too personal, you are going to feel horrible. Horrible.
Just another warning. And honest one 🙂
So, can we agree on terms?