FauxPolitik

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Santorum Aftershocks: I know that this subject is getting stale, but the silly right keeps wading into it. Stan Kurtz's latest offering is an absolute manifesto of idiocy. He's now pulled down every pretense of the Santorum flap being about sodomy law. At least he's being honest now that this is all about gay marriage for the religious right. Here's an idea of how far he drifts from making sense. He's making a speculative case that gay marriage will cause a breakdown of the incest taboo:
The reason we need an incest taboo is because there is no effective way for the state to protect children from sexual abuse by family members. Children are essentially at the mercy of the adults who care for them. So only by building into adults a psychological mechanism of disgust and horror at incest can society protect children from the psychological harm of abuse by close relatives.
Society builds this mechanism? Stan is now a postmodernist, it appears -- society creates the organism. Do you suppose that we have incest laws and taboos to "build" the revulsion into society, or do those laws and taboos eminate from a revulsion already "built" into us by natural selection, whereby those organisms less likely to engage in closed-pool reproduction had better chances for successful reproduction? Stan stakes his case on the first. He's wrong, in fact doubly wrong; he mixes up cause and effect, then postulates a "slippery slope" based on that error.

Stan is right about one thing: This issue will only grow in importance. The arguments you hear from Kurtz are the arguments you'll hear at the Supreme Court a few years from now when the gay marriage cases get to that level. They don't work now and they won't work then.

More: Radley fisks Kurtz.

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