Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Ah, The Puritan Mind

Every so often, my random wanderings through the web lead down some rather odd little paths. This morning was one such day. I had started out thinking I was going to write a bit of an analysis of the Gomery Report this morning, but that got sidetracked by an article that another blog pointed me to.

Shakespeare's Sister had a rather interesting rant that pointed to this article in the New Yorker. It turns out that "Scooter Libby" is every bit as bent as those that his party brethren would condemn. (an interesting insight into the mind of Cheney's right-hand advisor)

One of the things that has always bothered me with "conservatives" (or at least the theo-con variety running around these days) is their predeliction for proscriptive legislation on topics of morality. Whether it is Bishop Henry on homosexuality (or sexuality in general), or the anti-abortion crowd, they all seem to have this idealized fantasy world where morality is uniform (and biblical) that they want to legislate into being.

Closer to home, conservatives in Canada have begun to express worry that cases like this could become topics of Charter challenge in light of the recent changes to our marriage laws to allow for same gender marriage.

The rationale goes like this: Since we have removed the concept of reproduction as a criteria for marriage, it is quite reasonable to assert that an incestuous relationship should be treated as a legal marriage.

The flaw in this line of reasoning is the black-and-white view they take of the picture. They miss the subtle notion that rights are legitimately bounded by the rights of others.

Their relationship only came to light after their third child, a 2-year-old girl, was rushed to hospital under suspicious circumstances in June 2001. The girl died from dehydration.
Her illness was later linked to an underlying medical condition -- common to children of incest -- called adrenal gland atrophy.

In this situation, we have a classic example of the issues that incestuous relationships bring to any offspring that may result.

The second point is that of individual equality. In broad terms incestuous relationships are inherently unequal. A marriage is a partnership between equals. Incest is typically - like rape - about power and control.

Regardless of the ability of the victim to consent, both of these seriously breach aspects of our charter and criminal laws. I simply cannot see any reasonable judge accepting the blind argument that ignores the harm to various parties.

I find it fascinating that on one hand, they worry incessantly that any change in social structures and rights could enable others, and yet, they can be the same people whose written works and deeds seem to include those that they are so dead set against.

Perhaps looking in the mirror is more discomforting for them than we might originally think. (A bit of "do as I say, not as I do"?)


Anonymous said...

The Puritan Mind...

Christian enough to let all live and let live, unless it goes against their own narrow pre-conceptions of moral good as dictated by an outmoded religion created by a church corrupt with greed and deception.

Yeah. Let's put it into political power.... GOOOOD idea.

Did you notice the news story yesterday about the recommendation of removal of US Judge Walter Steed because he is a polygamist (three wives) in Hildale - can you say Fundies? A fundamentalist sliver Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Strangely enough, Judge Steed's serves a Judicial riding in "the polygamous border town of Hildale". The argument of the Judicial Commission is how can an elected judge live in contravention to the law (of the USA, not any "greater" law given by Joseph Smith, or any other self-styled god), which he is sworn to protect and uphold.

Grog said...

No, I hadn't seen that bit - but it does tie in nicely, doesn't it?