Asked by agentlemensviewpoint
I’m not saying, of course, that he’s been amazing but just simply that he’s not like the antichrist. He’s not ruining the country or anything. Progressives thought Bush was the worst president of our time and I’d say that was an unfair judgment too.
"Blah blah blah, your opinion is wrong and unfair simply because I disagree; plus, because liberals don’t like Bush, Obama and Bush are of equal badness."
Asked by Anonymous
Dunno. I wasn’t there and honestly haven’t paid much attention. I agree with the video I just recently posted that all this uproar is BS. Like, I just don’t even care anymore. People get shot all the time, but only black people getting shot by white guys garner any horror.
Dashboard and wear cameras sound like a fantastic idea. I don’t trust either side implicitly, so more evidence to back up the facts definitely sounds helpful. I can’t think of why more transparency in law enforcement would cause harm.
You are a white Christian female. I think it’s best that you just shush and not dismiss the issue as “people get shot all the time” smh fucking white conservatives
Ah, hello self-righteous racist.
And goodbye, self-righteous racist.
Asked by agentlemensviewpoint
Since when did the fact that I hold an opinion against Obama automatically mean I’m being unfair?
Also, did you miss the part about big government abusing its power?
Click for the full article. Some excerpts below.
This essay is a criticism of recent expert opinion on marriage and, more broadly, of expertise rooted in social scientific understandings of marriage. In making this criticism, I will consider two questions: First, what story do experts tell us about the meaning and purpose of marriage? If the expert literature represented our only cultural narrative on marriage, how might we regard the institution? And, second, how does expert opinion, rooted in the tradition of scientific inquiry, shape our contemporary thinking and discourse on marriage?
The expert story of marriage, as told in the scholarly and textbook literature, represents a failure of critical thinking, a betrayal of the intellectual’s role, and a destructive departure from a long-established tradition of thought on marriage. The result is an impoverished body of thought and an enfeebled public discourse on marriage.
Pervading Bernard’s argument is a boundless optimism about the plasticity of human nature and human institutions. She asserts that "human beings can accept almost any kind of relationship if they are properly socialized into it." Moreover, marriage is an institution in motion: “there is no Ideal Marriage fixed in the nature of things that we will one day discover … Every age has to find its own … any form of marriage is transitional between an old one and a new one.”
The second governing idea is the notion of marriage as one of several equally “valid” options available to men and women. This idea demotes marriage into the same arena as other private matters dictated by individual interest, preference, and choice. Additionally, the marriage-as-option idea flattens the distinction between marriage and non-marriage. Marriage no longer is an honored estate, invested with special privileges as well as special obligations; increasingly, it exists in the same domain as singlehood, cohabitation, and “alternative lifestyles” such as open marriage or group marriage.
Missing entirely is the notion of marriage as an institution devoted to purposes larger than the self, or, even more fundamentally, the notion of marriage as the source of social, rather than merely personal, goods. Missing, too, is any serious consideration of how dependent children fit into the marriage “option.” Indeed, children represent the aspect of marriage most problematic to these thinkers. As Elwood Carlson points out, “a newborn does not make a good ‘partner.’” Children do not fit the model of free-standing individuals exercising their lifestyle options according to limited, easily terminable, voluntary agreements. In short, parenthood raises once again the stubborn questions of dependency, gendered division of labor, hierarchical and asymmetrical spousal relationships, and limitations on personal growth and freedom — questions that the proponents of lifestyle options are all too ready to avoid.
The third idea is that marriage in the future will be better than marriage in the confusing present or the mythic past. If marriage is always “in transition,” then marriage as it exists in the present, not to mention the benighted past, hardly merits attention. Rather, social thought and energies must be directed to realizing the future of marriage. This notion encourages a speculative, utopian disposition and a fascination with the experiments in marriage alternatives. The idea that there can be equally satisfying and personally rewarding “alternatives” to marriage is, in itself, a startling notion and a dramatic departure from earlier sociological thought.
Indeed, it is hard to convey, without seeming to exaggerate or distort, the nearly voyeuristic focus in the literature on “marriage alternatives” such as “swinging,” group marriage, open marriage, and the like. During the l970s, the Journal of Marriage and the Family devoted three special issues to “Alternative Lifestyles”. Similarly, the Family Coordinator, the journal of the National Council on Family Relations, considered “variant marriage styles” in several issues dedicated to exploring alternative lifestyles. A new academic journal, Alternative Lifestyles, appeared in the late 1970s, carrying articles such as "Pedophile Relationships in the Netherlands: Alternative Lifestyle for Children" and “Polyfidelity: An Alternative Lifestyle without Jealousy?”
This discussion on marriage alternatives is accompanied by an Orwellian transformation of language. What emerges is a kind of sociological Newspeak, designed to establish equivalency between marriage and non-marriage. This radical revision of the traditional vocabulary is accomplished in much the same fashion described in Orwell’s classic: certain key words, endowed with inherited meaning, are simply used less frequently or are replaced with new words and phrases. Chief among these words is “marriage” itself. Reading through the journals and textbooks of the period, one can’t help but note the dwindling use of the word “marriage.” Marriage becomes just one form of “coupling and uncoupling” or one possible “intimate lifestyle.” Even the words ”husband” and “wife” are not used as routinely as one might expect. Instead, “domestic partners,” ”pair-bonds,” or simply “relationship” begin to denote the conjugal roles. Similarly, any language that stigmatizes any behavior threatening to marriage is altered or, more commonly, excised. ”Adultery” vanishes altogether, to be replaced by “comarital sex” or “sexually nonexclusive marriage.” Exotic neologisms proliferate. For example: neogamy - intimate pair-bonds beyond monogamy; intimate friendship - friendship which allows for intimacy on several levels, including sexual; and multilateral marriage - groups involving three or more partners each of whom is married (or committed) to more than one of the other partners.
Obviously, not all these words found a permanent place in the sociological lexicon. But the general impulse is clear: the marriage critics seek to devalorize marriage by stripping away its inherited mantle of meaning and by erasing the linguistic boundaries between marriage and non-marriage. This amounts to cultural hardball. For language — or, more precisely, a normative vocabulary — is one of the key cultural resources supporting and regulating any institution. Nothing is more essential to the integrity and strength of an institution than a common set of understandings, a shared body of opinion, about the meaning and purpose of the institution. And, conversely, nothing is more damaging to the integrity of an institution than an attack on this common set of understandings with the consequent fracturing of meaning. (Consider, for example, what might happen to the institution of private property if we set out to scramble the meanings of “theft,” ”ownership,” and “property rights.” Or the institution of the military if we blurred the distinction between “sergeant” and “private.”) In altering the vocabulary, therefore, these critics are not only playing with words; more fundamentally, they are purposively disturbing what might be called the moral ecology of marriage — the largely informal, sublegal, self-sustaining code of regulations and restraints that defines and governs the institution itself.
What’s more, the new scholarship increasingly betrays its own standards of social scientific inquiry. Expert opinion on marriage derives its authority from the authority of the scientific method and the belief that objective, factual, empirical investigation can expose the faults of existing institutions, produce new knowledge, and contribute to social progress. Consequently, one of the traditional missions of social science is to engage in enlightened social engineering. Yet, while sociological investigation often challenges the status quo, its ambitions are necessarily modest, limited by its own scientific standards of truth-seeking. Therefore, while it is one thing to seek to improve marriage through patient research, it is quite another to propagate a futuristic, speculative vision of marriage, unsupported by research. As Peter Rossi noted in his l980 presidential address to the American Sociological Association, applied social science is not the occupation for would-be philosopher-kings. It is essentially the fine-tuning of existing social policies.
Yet Rossi’s modesty was far from the spirit that animated the critique of marriage in the l970s and l980s. Social fine-tuning was remote from the concerns of the critics. Rather, their emphasis was on devising transformative new blueprints for the future, a future that could only be discerned by visionary social thinkers. By removing the inquiry from the realm of empirical testing and placing it in the imagined future, this futuristic and speculative approach eviscerated traditional modes of scholarly investigation. At its most extreme, this critique resembled science fiction more than social science.
Historical evidence was also evicted from this new debate. Since marriage, like human history in general, is evolving in a progressive direction, the past is suspect. It exists principally as the repository of myth, nostalgia, and retrograde sentiment. The task of the marriage scholars, therefore, is to serve in part as nostalgia police — to issue warnings against the common but dangerous tendency of ordinary people to trust in memory, tradition, and the inherited wisdom of parents and grandparents. As these thinkers argue, it is necessary to see family crisis, conflict, and change as healthy signs of progress and growing social complexity. Marriage breakdown is not deviant, as early thinkers claimed, but adaptive, even innovative, marking a painful, but ultimately essential, step toward greater personal freedom and happiness. This notion persists. Consider the following titles of recently or soon-to-be published books: Brave New Families: Stories of Domestic Upheaval in Late Twentieth Century America; The Way We Never Were; Young, White and Miserable: Growing Up Female in the Fifties; Embattled Paradise: The American Family in an Age of Uncertainty.
In appropriating a special role for themselves — social scientist as social visionary — these thinkers depart dramatically from the traditional model of the unbiased social scientific investigator.More than a few writers unabashedly offer up their own personal experience as evidence, even as working models, of new lifestyles. Behind the academic researcher you frequently glimpse the campus adventurer, caught in the midst of a sexual revolution and eager to engage in some lifestyle experimentation himself. In short, the new marriage critics retreat into private values and into what Michael Walzer describes as the dangerous habit of seeing “their blemishes as everyone else’s, their aspirations as universal ends, their soul as the world-soul.”
In the aftermath of this attack on marriage, we have become increasingly tongue-tied in our public discourse. At a time when our divorce rate is one of the highest in the world, there is still no broad public debate on how we might strengthen marriage, nor is there so much as a well-funded public advocacy group for marriage. In contrast to other post-industrial democracies, we have never convened a national governmental commission on marriage or marriage law. And even within the debate about family and child well-being, marriage gets far less attention than family planning, foster care, and divorce mediation. We seem to accept, virtually without challenge, the idea that marriage — like our personal checking accounts — is nobody’s business but our own. This represents an astonishing neglect of everything we know about the social purposes of marriage and the importance of marriage as a mainstay institution in the civil society. That we no longer see marriage as the source of social goods or the legitimate focus of broad public concern may be the final measure of how well the new critique of marriage has succeeded.
Like the sexual orthodoxy on college campuses, the new story of marriage brings “freedom with a male bias.” The story promotes alternatives to marriage such as cohabitation and casual sexual relationships, and such alternatives are far more likely than marriage to lead to violence against women and, importantly, against children. No-fault divorce has been far more economically damaging to women and children than to men. Moreover, the new story forgets one of the fundamental purposes of marriage. Across time and across cultures, marriage has provided the institutional means for attaching men to women and children and for requiring the donation of the male self (and his income) to his related others. Marriage thus provides the basis for enculturing males, for locating men within a context of obligated relationships. The new marriage story does quite the opposite. It loosens the ties to family; releases men from the role of husband and father; and removes the binding obligations and duties imposed through marriage. Finally, if emotional intimacy, relatedness, and nurturing are values traditionally emblemized and embraced by women, it cannot be said that the new marriage story — with its emphasis on individual freedom and choice — brings us closer toward a feminist ideal of marriage.
Beginning in this century, social scientists began to stake a claim to marriage as an important new field for scientific inquiry. Their main purpose was to rescue marriage from the mystifications and superstitions of the moral tradition and to place it securely within the rational realm of science. Historically, this moment marked the emergence of a class of marriage experts, well-schooled in scientific methodology and techniques, affiliated with academic rather than religious institutions, and committed to reforming and improving marriage through enlightened social engineering. A science of marriage, rooted in an analytic, objective, quantitative set of ideas and principles, promised to bring about improvements in spousal relationships, in marital happiness, and in the overall functioning of the institution.
To an impressive degree, the new social scientists were successful in their epistemological claimstaking. Today’s marriage experts are drawn from the ranks of sociology, psychology, and the therapeutic professions; their opinions are treated as authoritative by media and policy elites. Even religious opinion increasingly draws upon social scientific teachings and insights. Talk of “roles and relationships,” “singlehood,” and “gender identities” not only fill the pages of The New York Times; they are also the stuff of Sunday sermons and inspirational bestsellers.
As a result, our thinking on marriage is increasingly shaped by credentialed experts. And, increasingly, we think about marriage in the way that experts do. In short, what now prevails is the objective, factual, rational, and analytic. While I do not wish to disparage the virtues of scientific thinking nor to ignore the many practical contributions it can make to our understanding of marriage, I do wish to point out the ways in which contemporary social scientific epistemology limits, inhibits and even harms our moral and public discourse.
Leon Kass reminds us that scientific modes of inquiry are antiphilosophical in spirit, “at best, neutral to the large human and metaphysical questions that dominated ancient philosophy, and which human beings still ask and will always ask — questions about meaning, being, ultimate causes, the eternity or noneternity of the world, justice and injustice, the good, the true and the beautiful.” Within the scientific tradition, Kass observes, “opinions about good and bad, justice and injustice, virtue and vice have no cognitive status and are not subject to rational inquiry — they are, as we are fond of saying, values, and therefore, merely subjective.”
Simply put, the expert tradition of thought is rendered silent on the most fundamental questions: What does it mean to be a good husband or a good wife? Is it possible to be a good man but a bad husband? How does marriage instruct us in the larger meaning and purpose of life? In the place of normative judgments, the expert tradition offers faith in technical competencies: the mastery of cognitive skills and techniques. However, values such as marital permanence, fidelity, obligation, sacrifice and commitment cannot be reduced to matters of technical competence, nor are they particularly susceptible to rational analysis and debate. Rather, they are grounded in a body of nonscientific moral opinion and practice.
By looking at the moral tradition and ecology of marriage, I do not mean to suggest that folk wisdom is always wiser than expert opinion. I simply wish to make the point that there are heavens and earths not dreamt of in the expert philosophy. Marriage, after all, constitutes more than a disciplinary field. It establishes the very boundaries and geography of our everyday life; it provides the context for our most enduring and important relationships; it defines the nature and content of our affections, obligations, and sorrows; it guides and instructs us in the meaning and purpose of life; it undergirds the social order itself. In important respects, therefore, marriage represents a terrain poorly suited to colonization by experts, a territory that should be dotted with “Go Slow” signs. Yet, once introduced, expert knowledge has aggressive, proliferative habits. Like kudzu, it can overwhelm the landscape and choke out more delicate, indigenous species of moral thought and action.
Daniel Yankelovich notes that expert opinion plays a central role in raising the public’s consciousness about a particular concern or issue. Experts help shape public thinking about the importance of a problem, its likely social consequences, and possible ways to address the problem by serving as a source of credible information and empirical evidence. When it comes to the social benefits of marriage and the social impact of marriage break-up, expert opinion surely can contribute to greater public awareness and understanding. To do this, however, experts must do more or less the opposite of what they have been doing for at least three decades. Instead of attacking marriage as a sick and failed institution, they must instead treat marriage as an important subject for serious scholarly attention and debate. This alone would have the positive effect of signaling the social significance of marriage, not to mention generating knowledge that might contribute to a greater understanding of marriage.
Equally important, expert opinion can call attention to the harmful effects of marriage break-up and the overall deinstitutionalization of marriage. In the current climate of opinion, where marriage is viewed as competitive with other attractive lifestyle options, it is important to know how marriage compares with non-marriage in fostering social and individual well-being. Experts can provide this kind of social accounting and evaluation. Experts might also criticize and reform their own canon. Perhaps they should begin by taking a second look at the textbooks on their shelves. More affirmatively, expert opinion can make the arguments for marriage as an essential institution in a well-functioning, well-ordered democratic society.
Expert thought, particularly therapeutic thought, promotes the idea that individuals can bend marriage to fit their purposes. The moral tradition offers the opposing idea that marriage bends individuals to its purposes. Implicit in this idea is the notion that marriage must be stronger and less changeable than married individuals themselves. The fit is not always comfortable between the institution of marriage and the married couples who inhabit the institution. Difficulties and unhappiness inevitably arise along the way, the moral tradition tells us, but individual unhappiness itself is not sufficient cause for ending a marriage. Moreover, these difficulties can be endured, the fit sometimes improves, and the evidence for this is that many married couples, including most of our own grandparents and parents, stay married for a lifetime. Of course, this does not mean that we should endorse marriage at the cost of physical abuse or even at the cost of extreme emotional torment and suffering. Nonetheless, as a corrective to the current understandings of marriage, we should promote the now vanishing idea that marriage confers social and personal benefits beyond privatized, therapeutic understandings of happiness. Right now, there are more advocates arguing for the benefits of sugar cane subsidies than there are making the case for the large social benefits of marriage. Indeed, absent this argument, we must resign ourselves to the continued erosion of the marriage institution, with all its immediate and long-term negative consequences.
We know that religious faith and observance correlate positively with marital success. Moreover, churches have long regarded marriage preparation, marriage counseling, and support to married couples, not to mention religiously-based social movements like the Catholic Cana Conference, as central to their mission. Equally important, churches connect individual married couples to a larger group, thus strengthening the commitment to marriage as an institution. Finally, some churches actively engage in outreach work, particularly among young people who are unchurched. These ministries, though not necessarily focused exclusively on marriage, do provide a religious and moral vision competitive with the dominant secular vision of expressive individualism. This religious vision has the potential for shaping marriage commitments later on and should be supported. There are also nondenominational community organizations that reach out to unmarried youth; an outstanding example is the National Institute for Responsible Fatherhood and Family Development, based in Cleveland. This grass-roots organization is working with unmarried teen-age fathers in the inner city in order to encourage these young men to marry their children’s mothers, or, at the very least, to build regular, responsible relationships with their children and their children’s mothers.
There are cultural stirrings today which suggest that the moment has come for a rethinking of marriage. Clearly, in the past few years, there has been a turning away from the extreme forms of expressive individualism — as well as from its most famous exponents, many of whom are in jail — and a sober consideration of the social and personal costs of an era of self-indulgence. There is a reawakening of that classically American quest for greater spiritual meaning and shared purpose. There is also widespread concern about the fraying of the social fabric and the declining well-being of families and children. Perhaps it is time to concern ourselves with the imperiled state of marriage as well.
Asked by Anonymous
What? No. What???
First of all, I don’t live by a label. I am attracted to whoever is attractive to me. I don’t pursue lust or sex with those it would be sinful to do so with—meaning anyone I’m not married to or any female. It’s simple, honestly, and there is no shame or guilt involved.
Second, Jesus never told us not to eat figs, what.
Asked by Anonymous
Some republicans are big government, because they naively think they can use such power for good. One good thing I suppose Obama has done (by his horrendous example of how bad it can get) is show me how power needs to be limited in all areas, during all Presidencies, to prevent future abuse.
Asked by Anonymous
I can’t read this sentence.
Asked by Anonymous
also I think they would keep cops from getting away with things they shouldn’t cause I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen cops run red light by turning their sirens on then off as soon as they pass so they can get through which just seems dangerous and not to mention cops are some of the worse drivers cause they can get away with it but mainly cameras would keep police brutality down still you should check out some of thes videos people take the cops are really out of hand there
I guess invasion of privacy would be an issue, if they were raiding private property? Dunno. But cameras in general still don’t seem like a bad idea.
Asked by Anonymous
But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-8
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
2 Peter 3:10-13
I don’t really have anything to add to this.