NZ Marriage Equality Debate (MP Louisa Wall v Colin Craig) Att: Dr Matt Flannagan.


Christian Philosopher and Blogger Matthew Flannagan.

I am not Homophobic yet I must say my skin crawled watching the Affirmitive ‘Liberals’ in action .
University is truly a heinous place… full of lefty-ness!
I shudder to think these people will one day be in Parliament as Labour/ Green MPs.
The Opposition clearly won the debate… but…

I do have a few issues with what Dr Matthew Flannagan said.
1. You played the paranoia card… raising the specter that the bill may be used to compel people/ ministers/ churches to perform or make their facilities available for Gay Weddings against their will, even though you know The NZ Human Rights Commission has issued a statement which refutes this possibility.
The Affirmative team clearly stated the bill could not be used in such a way.
I say that an amendment could easily be added to clarify this point.
If this was done it would nullify this portion of your argument.

2. Though it was a clever argument to show that the proposed bill was ‘anti-equality’ in itself, you rely upon ‘populist opinion’ which riles against incest, and Polygamy to carry your point.
That is a very flimsy arguement!
The reality is if we separate your personal religious beliefs, and those of your two team mates whom share the same religion as you… and definition of marriage, then the principle of equality still holds good as an argument not only in favor of the bill, but also in favour of legalizing Incestuous and Polygamous marriages… which incidentally both have historical and cultural histories.
That the bill only seeks to legalise Gay Marriage, and not the others is not a valid reason to reject it, *and you know this*… and I argue that this understanding is why you are so desperate to insist the Law upholds *your narrow religious definitions* of marriage (and what constitutes a Family), because if these are overturned by the Gays, then you realise this opens the door for further challenge to legalize polygamy, etc.
The reality is any reform bill which introduces more justice/equality before the Law is worth supporting even if it does not go the whole hog. (eg a bill to legalise Pot still ought to be supported even if it leaves Ecstasy Illegal)

In relation to this, I think your teams argument regarding Civil unions was clever too… only because civil unions do ‘seem’ to cover the same legal/ contractual aspects as marriage and appears to negate the claims by gays that they have less legal rights.
Yet again I see through this as nothing more than a ruse to protect your religious restrictions upon the definition of marriage.

If we are to accept the line of reasoning of the opposition then of course any future activism for legal recognition by the polygamists, etc could also be directed down the same path … Legal polygamous civil unions.
Is all this merely semantics?
Is that all that is at stake here?
Are the Gays being ‘gay’ about this?
Ought they to be satisfied with ‘Civil Unions?
Ought we to put much weight on international conventions and rulings… UN declarations etc????
I think not!
If this issue was merely semantic there would be no opposition to the bill!
This Opposition is a struggle by a particular religious sector of the community… conservative Christians… to maintain a religious law.
That some gays may oppose the bill may indeed logically remove the legitimacy of calling opposition to the bill ‘homophobic’, yet this does little more than that.
This ‘convenience’ in reality cannot negate the truth that Homophobia and religious bigotry does indeed have a lot to do with opposition to the Bill.

I say the Opposition won because they were more sophisticated debaters and managed to deflect the focus away from their personal religious definition of marriage and family…. Yet pure Religious bias it remains.

And it is upon this basis that I… though I am a Christian, cast my vote *for the Bill*, and am happy for the term ‘Marriage’ to be legally broadened.
Why?
Because how the State defines the legal contract of marriage to include homosexuals, does not in any way affect my personal religious belief about ‘marriage.’
Allowing Gay people to legally call themselves ‘married’ does not impinge upon my rights in any way, nor does it mean I must teach my kids that Gays are ‘really married’ in the eyes of God.
I see no valid reason why the Bill ought to be opposed.
Passing the Bill will improve equality before the Law *by removing a religious prejudice.*

This is about principles! And principles Matter! Even of the Opposition thinks it’s trivial.
I despise any Law which imposes the religious values of others upon me, and so to avoid hypocrisy I must defend the Liberty of others to live free of religious values they reject… even if those values are dear to me. By protecting the Liberty of others from State oppression and favouritism, I am protecting my own religious liberty, and defending my values from being devalued and corrupted via compusion.
Real Christianity is not about forcing others to conform.

This entry was posted in Christian Libertarianism, Faith, Freedom, Gay, Justice, Prohibition, Religious Toleration, Totalitarianism, Tyranny. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to NZ Marriage Equality Debate (MP Louisa Wall v Colin Craig) Att: Dr Matt Flannagan.

  1. reed says:

    You played the paranoia card… raising the specter that the bill may be used to compel people/ ministers/ churches to perform or make their facilities available for Gay Weddings against their will, even though you know The NZ Human Rights Commission has issued a statement which refutes this possibility.

    The Commission’s statement was misleading and has no legal weight. The law is clear – if you discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation you are subject to the Human Rights Legislation unless there is a specific exception. There isn’t one for marriage celebrants (religious or otherwise).

    The Affirmative team clearly stated the bill could not be used in such a way.

    They are misleading everyone. What they said was true – A marriage celebrant doesn’t have to marry any specific couple under the Marriage Act – but if they refuse for discriminatory reasons then they are subject to the Human Rights Act.

    I say that an amendment could easily be added to clarify this point.
    If this was done it would nullify this portion of your argument.

    These aren’t the droids you’re looking for…
    Don’t fall for it Tim – it’s not just marriage celebrants that will be subject to laws from this legislation change. Everyone would need an exception – but that would defeat the reason for the change. Forced acceptance.

  2. Kevin Campbell says:

    And gay adoption?

  3. reed says:

    Tim
    Your position makes no sense to me.

    If there were no marriage legislation would you think it necessary for government to create marriage legislation?

  4. Rosjier says:

    Why are you so obsessed with religion?
    Just because Matt is religious doesn’t mean it is the basis of all he believes.
    Stop judging people’s motives, and face their arguments instead of attacking them.

    “the principle of equality still holds good as an argument not only in favour of the bill, but also in favour of legalizing Incestuous and Polygamous marriages”
    Is that what you are in favour of?
    Matt obviously was catering to his Audience, if he was debating you – he would have used different tactics… Basically you agree with his statement and conclusion – you simply disagree with his opinion of the conclusion. The affirmative team didn’t – that’s why he didn’t need to go further. It’s not about playing “the paranoia card” it’s about realising you don’t have time to address issues that are not raised. (The affirmative team seemed to have enough time to do this over and over again.)

    This post is quite odd. Why is it focussed entirely on Matt and not the other two debaters in his team – were there arguments sound?

  5. Daniel Bell says:

    “I despise any Law which imposes the religious values of others upon me, and so to avoid hypocrisy I must defend the Liberty of others to live free of religious values they reject… even if those values are dear to me. By protecting the Liberty of others from State oppression and favouritism, I am protecting my own religious liberty, and defending my values from being devalued and corrupted via compusion.”

    Good point and well said Tim!

  6. Tim says:

    Thank you Daniel.

  7. Tim says:

    Yes Reed…. I am…. (2). A person who is afraid of being perceived as a homophobe.

    I see Homophobia as a form of hypocritical/ self righteous/ Bigotry.
    I still believe homosexuality is perverse, Yet I don’t hate homosexuals, don’t believe I am morally superior to them because I harbour my own sexual impurities, nor do I believe Homosexuality ought to be prohibited by Law.
    I believe Homosexuals possess the same God given rights as Heterosexuals, and that they ought to be accorded the same treatment as heterosexuals before the Law.
    I reserve my rights to Liberty of religion, freedom of association, free speech, and liberty in education, thus maintain my right to be vocally critical of homosexuality, yet I will defend them from Persecution, esp if such persecution is committed in the name of Christ.
    All these things are very important to me.
    I want Homosexuals to understand that I am their friend.
    That not all Christians wish their harm and suppression.
    And that Christ died on the cross for their Salvation… as surely as for the sins of Heterosexuals.
    Thus I take great pains to avoid being labeled a homophobe, and take umbrage at being so called.
    Of course many Homosexuals whom hate Christianity will still tar me with that brush… out of a bigotry they Harbour against the Bible, yet That is an injustice and smear on my character, and a blind hatred on their part which keeps them in darkness.
    Of course many Christians will also hate me for defending Homosexuals, and will use this as a reason to reject Libertarianism, yet they too will be doing this from a blindness and a bigotry…. Sadly many Christians are hypocritical/ self righteous/ Bigots, and they bring the faith into disrepute, and shame… esp when they pretend that Christianity vindicates legal persecutions and oppressions of Gays.
    They must carry the blame for why many People reject Christianity as tyrannical, unenlightened, and Barbaric.
    I have been called by God to testify against such perverse and apostate doctrines.

  8. Tim Wikiriwhi says:

    I am obsessed with religion… and freedom… and justice… Rosjier.
    In particular I am obsessed with insuring my religion (Christianity) is not twisted into a fraudulent vindication to commit injustice or transgress the legitimate liberty of others.
    I was up until nearly midnight last night writing this post.
    There are plenty more things I want to say about this debate, yet I simply ran out of time.
    I do plan to update it… yet because I also have other matters to blog as well, it remains to be seen what extra time I will have to expand on this.
    Also Matt is a personal associate with whom I enjoy discussing such matters.
    I like Matt, and Madds.
    He’s a big boy, and so you ought not be too concerned.
    I present my criticism in this open Forum gives him opportunity to ‘dismantle my argument’, and surely you must grasp that such a dialogue is helpful to everyone interested in this topic.
    Should Matt undo my arguments I will happily modify my position accordingly.

    No I am not ‘Into’ Homosexuality, Polygamy or Incest. I am ‘into’ creating a free and just society in which our Personal morality has the maximum scope for self government, and thereby maximizing personal integrity and real virtue.
    People whom don’t commit immoral actions only because of prohibitive external forces (Laws, Police, courts, jails) are not virtuous people… but caged animals.
    I want to live in a voluntary society where true charity and community goodwill are the modus opperandi for helping those in dire straights.
    I want to live in a free society which maximizes the benefits of maintaining high personal ethics, and removes artificial/ political interventions which prop up immoral behavior. (Socialism, welfareism, nannyism, etc)
    I believe maximum freedom for peaceful people… under equality before the Law is the best social conditions most conducive to reducing poverty and crime.
    I believe a Free market economy to be the most conducive to raising living standards, and conducive to the practice of Real Christianity… which is a voluntary association of individuals whom voluntarily embrace Godly values and promote them and the gospel via free speech, and by being a living example for others to see… this is a faith with absolutely no need to lobby the Government to compell others into compliance.
    Ie I believe this is the most humane and just form of society possible for sinful mankind … while we await the End of this Age.
    Of course The AntiChrist cannot tolerate such freedom and restraints on Political power, and will set up a Totalitarian system the exact opposite of the one I have expounded.
    Then Christ the King will come…

  9. Tim says:

    Reed.
    I would be very happy if Marrage was completely dropped out of legislation and that to take care of the contractual/ legal aspects of ‘commitment’ everyone entered into ‘Civil unions’. This would leave Marrage completely outside the business of the state. And thereby allow everyone to define Marrage, however they please. There is nothing unchristian about such a reform.
    Christian Marrage is between the participants and God.
    This is central to this debate, yet never raised.

  10. reed says:

    Tim – I mean no marriage legislation and no civil union legislation. I don’t care if marriage is legislated but I am opposed to civil union legislation and gay marriage legislation.

    The absence of legislation is not persecution – it’s only persecution for those with a victim mentality.

    What about homophobes? You are favouring a real legislative enforcement on homophobes with punishment to prevent an imagined legislative persecution of homosexuals.

    Not all homophobes are Christians – why do you favour homosexuals over homophobes?

  11. Tim says:

    I dont favour any form of bigotry, esp political bigotry.
    Defending homosexuals from homophobic oppression does not mean i ‘favour’ them at all. I have already stated that I believe Private individuals have the right to descriminate. It is Political descrimination I am opposing.
    I support Equality before the Law.

  12. Tim says:

    Reed, I am struggling to figure out how you can believe I am giving favouritism to the gays?

  13. rosjier says:

    Ok. Thanks for clarifying; your position is a lot clearer to me now.
    Recently I have been learning and leaning more and more towards a libertarian position myself (more economically than anything else though).
    However I do not agree with this idea of legalising everything under the sun. I mean where do you draw the line?

    Should we arrest people and imprison them for rape, murder and assault?
    If not then how can you possibly promote a truly free and just society without some order?
    If so why not also apply that to incest, polygamy and homosexuality? (when I said “for them” I meant for there acceptance, more than for there promotion)
    and then why not Prostitution, Adultery, and other things that are “perverse”?

    I think if you were to draw a line it would be arbitrary, should we simply legalise things as they become socially acceptable, or is there a principle we should apply?

    At the moment my position is that we should keep things that are immoral as illegal.
    The prudence on if/how to police/enforce these is a different matter entirely.

    I appreciate that this is my first time commenting on this blog, and that such issues may have been raised here before, and that no one has all the time in the world. So I appreciate your response, and am happy to be patient in awaiting a second reply.

  14. Reed says:

    rosjier
    Great questions.

    I recently put up this post to help people think about where the line should be drawn.

    Every person’s politics is defined by what that person thinks justifies using force on others.

    Should we arrest people and imprison them for rape, murder and assault?

    If your neighbour were to commit rape, murder or assault do you think using force on him would be justified? (I say yes.)

    If so why not also apply that to incest, polygamy and homosexuality?

    If your neighbour were to commit incest do you think using force on him would be justified? (I say yes.)
    If your neighbour were to commit polygamy do you think using force on him would be justified? (I say no.)
    If your neighbour were to commit sodomy do you think using force on him would be justified? (I say no.)

    I think if you were to draw a line it would be arbitrary, should we simply legalise things as they become socially acceptable, or is there a principle we should apply?

    Justice is the principle. Where one person wrongs another punishment proportionate to the offense is justified.

    At the moment my position is that we should keep things that are immoral as illegal.
    The prudence on if/how to police/enforce these is a different matter entirely.

    What would be a just punishment for buying or selling sex?
    What would be a just punishment for idolatry?

  15. Rosjier says:

    Like I said if and how it is policed is a different matter entirely, but to you it seems to be the key. I don’t, I think in principle it should be illegal.

    If your neighbour were to commit incest do you think using force on him would be justified? (I say yes.)
    If your neighbour were to commit polygamy do you think using force on him would be justified? (I say no.)

    But why? What’s the difference?
    If both are ‘two consenting adults’ would you intervene if you thought they were related?

    As I said if you draw a line like that it becomes arbitrary and too subjective. You have reasons behind you “think justifies using force.” and those reasons need to be analysed and looked at objectively.

  16. Tim Wikiriwhi says:

    Good question Rosjeir!
    There is no difference!
    I say it is wrong to use legal compulsion in both cases.
    Incest between two consenting adults does not involve the violation of other peoples rights any more than polygamy does.
    Reed will no doubt head down the ‘Incest produces handicapped children’ road yet this has been debunked, and even if it were true… Reed would also have to prohibit people with congenital conditions like Down syndrome from having sex (let alone getting married!)
    Reed is in error.
    It may interest you to understand that Richard, Reed, and I share this blog, yet often disagree on subjects leading to interesting dialogue. We also practice Tolerance for dissenting views and argue our positions… letting Reason win the day.
    In this case you will have to decide whether Reed or I presents the Best arguments… or perhaps you can produce a third argument?
    This is how disputes are dealt with in a free and equal society.

  17. reed says:

    Rosjier (how is that pronounced?)

    But why? What’s the difference?
    If both are ‘two consenting adults’ would you intervene if you thought they were related?

    The difference is that I presumed you were talking about incest involving a minor. If there were no minor involved then I wouldn’t intervene. Abraham and Sarah had the same father (but I wouldn’t have called their marriage incest).

    As I said if you draw a line like that it becomes arbitrary and too subjective. You have reasons behind you “think justifies using force.” and those reasons need to be analysed and looked at objectively.

    No. Not arbitrary or subjective at all. And I expect most Christians (and some others) to reach the same conclusions – when they think it through.

  18. reed says:

    Like I said if and how it is policed is a different matter entirely, but to you it seems to be the key. I don’t, I think in principle it should be illegal.

    So, you’d be happy if, for example, prostitution were illegal but there was no punishment?

  19. Rosjier says:

    Imagine saying Roger with a French Accent.

    So Tim – you would also believe in legalising assisted suicide?
    if so – Even for teenagers?
    Basically – is it possible for someone to violate their own rights?

  20. Rosjier says:

    “It may interest you to understand that Richard, Reed, and I share this blog, yet often disagree on subjects leading to interesting dialogue.”

    Thanks – I was getting a bit confused…

  21. Tim says:

    No a person cannot violate their own rights because they are sovereign over themselves. They own themselves, their lives, and their bodies.
    The age when any state recognises a Person as an independent adult, fully responsible for their own lives is an arbitrary decision Rosjier.
    Our society tends to spread this out, eg a Person can have Sex at the age of 16, but not buy alcohol until they are 18.
    Does any of this make sense? Not really. It’s discriminatory… ‘Age-ism’.
    None the less it does behove society to set a legal age for Adulthood/ legal self responciblity.
    You must also appreciate that laws which ban suicide are absurd laws as well as unjust because they attempt to deny your own sovereignty over yourself. They are absurd because People whom as suicidal simply ignore any prohibitive Law.
    There is a current debate over assisted Euthanasia, which is slightly different because it can involve another person doing the killing/ assisting, and this complicates the issues because society must be sure that the victim wanted to be helped to end their lives, and that they were of sound mind/ fit to make such a judgement, and that there was no coercion/ pressure from others to end their own lives, thus even if Euthanasia is legalised there would still be certain conditions under which a second person may find themselves in court defending themselves from the charge of coercion.
    For Christians the issue of Euthanasia does present ethical conundrums because of the special sanctity of Human Life. Ie Many Christians will Bravely dispatch a family pet to reduce it’s suffering, when it comes to Grandma… Its not so easy… for fear of God.
    I myself, though a Christian whom understands the arguments of the opposition in respect to the sanctity of Human life am in favour of legalising Euthanasia. Firstly because I don’t believe it’s the states Job to impose the Religious values of one sector of society upon the other, and that I believe The individual is sovereign of their own lives, and does not need the permission of society in respect to such matters. It is private business. And secondly As a Christian, I don’t believe God cruelty demands that we suffer absolute loss of dignity and pain.
    I trust in the grace and mercy of God… if it is sinful to euthanize yourself… I trust in Gods forgiveness.
    Also Medical modern interventions prolong agony… ie the suffering is ‘un-natural’… Man in his cleverness has in many cases increased misery.
    I also am appalled at the lack of humanity in respect to the prohibitions and restrictions on drugs etc which alleviate pain. Left to our selves, we may ‘medicate our selves to death’ simply in the process of overdosing on pain relief… and to my thinking this is not a suicide unless it was done intentionally… and even then… who can be so heartless as to condemn someone whom is suffering medicating themselves away????
    To my way of thinking a Free society which respects your sovereignty over your own body and life is a far more Humane and compassionate society.
    It takes away tyrannical laws which enslave the individual to society, or the state.
    And because Freedom works in this manor and increases self responsibility, I believe it is closer to the Christian Ideal of how things ought to be.

  22. Rosjier says:

    “The age when any state recognises a Person as an independent adult, fully responsible for their own lives is an arbitrary decision Rosjier.”
    Fully agree. Although they need to draw the line somewhere, however a just law shouldn’t inhibit a just man.

    “and that they were of sound mind/ fit to make such a judgement, and that there was no coercion/ pressure from others to end their own lives, thus even if Euthanasia is legalised there would still be certain conditions under which a second person may find themselves in court defending themselves from the charge of coercion.”

    That’s pretty much the key.

    No-one in their right mind would want to kill themselves; the very fact that they are suicidal shows that they are not of “sound mind.”
    What about mental institutions?
    Does someone need to be so messed up that they are a danger to others before you try and give them medical help – or is the fact that they are a danger to themselves enough?

    Sure there may be a case where one can morally give someone who is in pain and dying morphine even though it may have the unintentional negative effect of quickening their death. However this is different to doing it to kill someone.

    Again here it seems you are too obsessed with religion.

    Do you not believe that murder, suicide, adultery and homosexuality can be shown as wrong a part from religion?

  23. Rosjier says:

    Looking back on the discussion – Did you ever answer this:?

    “Tim
    Your position makes no sense to me.
    If there were no marriage legislation would you think it necessary for government to create marriage legislation?”

    I fully see where he is coming from. I think the government should stay out of this and not legislate for any marriage. I can’t see any reason for them to need to legislate/govern/whatever (ok – I’m not a lawyer) my marriage -> I’m 100% confident in my own church giving me a marriage valid marriage certificate; I mean after all, they gave me a valid Baptismal certificate.

  24. Tim Wikiriwhi says:

    Rosjier….Under that comment from Reed I wrote…
    ““I would be very happy if Marrage was completely dropped out of legislation and that to take care of the contractual/ legal aspects of ‘commitment’ everyone entered into ‘Civil unions’. This would leave Marrage completely outside the business of the state. And thereby allow everyone to define Marrage, however they please. There is nothing unchristian about such a reform.
    Christian Marrage is between the participants and God.
    This is central to this debate, yet never raised.”

    Thus I have already made that clear…

  25. Tim Wikiriwhi says:

    As for the religious aspects of my comments Rosjier.
    I am actually attempting to present a counter theology/ Christian doctrine/ ratonale to thwart the Christian conservatism of the Three Opposition debaters.
    Thus I hope Rationalists will appreciate the Reasoning of my position, and the Theists appreciate the Theological Purity I am attempting to Expound.

  26. Reed says:

    Tim
    You answered a different question than the one I intended.

    The question…

    If there were no marriage legislation would you think it necessary for government to create marriage legislation?

    The clarification…

    I mean no marriage legislation and no civil union legislation. I don’t care if marriage is legislated but I am opposed to civil union legislation and gay marriage legislation.

  27. Rosjier says:

    Reed if there was a ‘Like’ button I would have hit it for your last comment.

    Tim – the reason I say that is because for those three debaters it was never about religion, although you keep crying ‘witch’ and blaming religion for their views unjustifiably.

  28. Nona says:

    so Ron,how would you define maarrige? like if you were engaged to a girl could you and her just make a promise before the two of you and God and then call yourselves married and have sex then? does a couple have to sign the maarrige certificate before they are officially allowed to have sex? or when you have sex does that make you married to the person you had sex with? the question isn’t just should you have sex before you’re married because the issue is, what does it mean to be married? and what does sex have to do with it? what was sex intended for?

  29. Great info! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  30. I truly enjoyed reading this, thanks!

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