Mike HuckabeeThis is a tired, old argument that religionists often make against gay marriage. So perhaps it’s not really news, when a religionist like Mike Huckabee, failed presidential hopeful and former governor of Arkansas, declared that gay marriage is the equivalent of incest. But MSNBC reports on his idiotic, illogical, and irrational remarks (WebCite cached article):

Mike Huckabee, a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2012, says the effort to allow gays and lesbians to marry is comparable to legalizing incest, polygamy and drug use.

Huckabee also told college journalists last week that gay couples should not be permitted to adopt. “Children are not puppies,” he said.

Huckabee visited The College of New Jersey in Ewing, N.J., last Wednesday to speak to the Student Government Association. He also was interviewed by a campus news magazine, The Perspective, which published an article on Friday.

Huckabee is falling for the fallacy of the slippery slope. The fallacy here is an obvious one: Legalizing gay marriage does not also force society to legalize other things which are — currently — criminal. And that, of course, is the salient point here. Right now — even if gay marriage were not permitted anywhere in the country — it is still fully legal for two adults to be engaged in gay relationship, if they wish to be. (The last remaining sodomy laws in the US were struck down by the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case.) Legalizing gay marriage merely extends an added right to people who are already doing something which is legally permissible. Legalizing incestuous marriages is therefore not an equivalent, because incest is illegal in the first place!

But the ferocious religionist Shucksabee doesn’t stop there. Oh no. He blathers on like a buffoon, revealing his raging ignorance with every syllable he utters:

Huckabee told the interviewer that not every group’s interests deserve to be accommodated, if their lifestyle is outside of what he called “the ideal.”

It’s interesting he’d bring up the notion of “ideals.” I could be wrong, but I think it would be “ideal” if Christians who ostensibly are against divorce, stopped divorcing. But the truth is that they do get divorced. According to the Barna Group, they get divorced at a higher rate than most others, and at a much higher rate than non-believers. See this page at Religious Tolerance (cached) and this page at Adherents.Com (cached) for more details on these statistics. And it’s Shucksabee’s own denomination — i.e. Baptists — who at one point had led the nation in divorce!

So let’s talk about marriage, and especially “ideals.” Definitely! Huck, let’s also talk about how your own fellow Christians, particularly Baptists, refuse to live up to the ideals of their own religion. We should talk about that … and we should mention that there’s a word for people who complain about other groups not living up to “ideals,” while one’s own cohorts simultaneously refuse to live up to them: That word, former governor, is hypocrisy.

Yes, hypocrisy. You may remember that word from your Bible, Huck, specifically the parts of it where the founder of your own religion ordered you and all the rest of his followers never to engage in hypocrisy. Jesus’ orders on that issue were clear and unambiguous.

I suggest you obey them, and stop being a flaming hypocrite. Try it sometime. Just once. OK? It won’t hurt you, Huck, I promise.

P.S. Huckabee’s use of an old but fallacious argument, is itself a fallacy, called argumentum ad nauseam. Repeating a demonstrably false claim — in this case, that gay marriage is the equivalent of incest — does not magically make it come true if it’s repeated often enough. All it does is make those who continue to spew it, look like the juvenile morons they actually are.

Photo credit: Jonathan D. Blundell.

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