Editor’s note: The opinions expressed here are those of the authors. View more opinion on ScoonTV.
Recently, political and social commentator Matt Walsh was a guest on “The Joe Rogan Experience.” Walsh is best known for his documentary “What Is A Woman?,” a film that challenged the transgender issue by interviewing proponents of gender ideology and asking them a basic biological question they simply couldn’t answer. This pushed Walsh to the forefront of the culture war that seems to dominate conservative headlines as of late.
The first half of the 3-hour interview, which I encourage you to watch, is Walsh and Rogan discussing the controversial topic of transgender people. Rogan himself has history with the issue when he opposed a biological male fighting against women in the UFC because “she” identified as a woman. So, there was common ground between the two and the interview went relatively smoothly for Walsh. That is, until Rogan switched the topic to gay marriage and homosexuality as a moral issue.
Walsh is a staunch conservative and speaks openly about his Catholic faith and Christian values. Needless to say, he opposes same-sex marriage. He named marriage as a “big pillar issue,” along with life (abortion) and gender.
Rogan spent the next hour pressing Walsh on his position, stating that marriage between two men does not affect, nor harm traditional marriage in any way. Walsh’s position is that marriage is the fundamental building block of the family, a union whose primary function is to procreate. Because only a male and female union can produce life, it is therefore the only viable option for marriage. Of course, Rogan pushed back with a solid argument.
Rogan’s push back consisted of arguing that some heterosexual married couples either can’t, or don’t want children, should they too not be allowed to marry if the primary function is procreation? This argument had Walsh on the ropes. Normally, he’s relatively confident and sure of his position, but not here. He stammered over his words, at times giving long pauses as he tried to work through his reasoning that never seemed to hit its mark.
Walsh stood on the procreation aspect of the argument, but was obliterated by the practical element that he never recovered from. What I suspect happened is that Walsh fell victim to his own religious ideology, something that happens to most faith-based arguments. When asked to explain his views in a non-religious context, he simply couldn’t.
All through this portion of the interview it was as if he wanted to scream, “Because it’s a sin!” but knew that would be walking right into the very trap that was set for him. Even when Rogan asked if he felt that “gay sex” or “being gay” was wrong, Walsh did what a lot of religious people do when confronted about their moral stance from a non-religious person: they deflect to the doctrine instead of just saying “yes, I believe it’s wrong.”
The real issue in question was morality. Marriage being exclusively between a man and woman is an issue of morality. That’s the crux of the argument that Walsh doesn’t properly address. I believe the reason he doesn’t address it properly is because he doesn’t actually know. Most religious people can’t actually articulate this point because they rely solely on belief in the doctrine. The book says it’s wrong, therefore it is wrong. That’s fine on a personal level, but that doesn’t explain how we arrived at this point.
This brings up an important, yet rarely explained point: what is the origin of morality? Religious people will say morality comes from God and is explained in the prescribed “Holy book.” “Thou shalt not kill” is in the Bible, therefore killing is wrong. But that doesn’t actually explain why.
Now, although it might seem obvious that killing another human being is wrong, have you ever really contemplated why? And what’s the underlying objective that these moral regulations are trying to meet?
This does not negate religion. In fact, I believe it strengthens it because it explains the “why” in God’s moral compass. There are reasons for everything, especially if you believe in creation. Our job is to understand it and then teach it so that it can be properly internalized and implemented.
Life on earth is constantly evolving. As individuals we grow, we die, and new life is created. As a species, we want to pass our DNA onto the next generation so that we, as a species, can continue to exist. This is true of all species in the universe.
English philosopher and sociologist Herbert Spencer first coined the term “survival of the fittest” to expound upon Charles Darwin’s evolutionary mechanism “natural selection.” The biological concept of fitness is defined as reproductive success.
In Darwinian terms, the phrase is best understood as “Survival of the form that will leave the most copies of itself in successive generations.” This literally means that our objective as humans is to survive and leave behind more efficient copies of ourselves. Therefore, when we look at morality, we view it as a code of conduct we as a species must follow to better ensure that objective is met.
“Thou shalt not kill” is obvious. If we killed other humans and were permitted to do so, we end up with one human, the one most skilled in killing, thereby killing (literally) subsequent generations. Most of our moral laws lead back to this one. “Thou shalt not steal” because stealing is taking from another person unjustly, that which was gained on someone else’s merit. This will lead to discord between individuals, which, if allowed to persist, will lead to bloodshed.
Other moral codes also disrupt the chain of subsistence. “Thou shalt not bear false witness” i.e., lying. How can lying be detrimental to our survival? We are dependent on each other to some extent to meet our needs, especially in this modern world we have created. We need to trust the person serving our food, delivering our packages, even driving on the road. The same is true in nature as different species depend on each other for food, shelter and reproduction. These relationships are built on trust. The flower needs the bee to pollinate and the bee needs the flower for food. If the flower feigns like they’re giving food and instead gives poison, the bee will learn not to trust that particular flower. Therefore, the flower will cease to exist as it needs the bee for pollination.
If we can’t trust each other to drive properly on the road, cook our meals, and deliver our packages among other things, we begin to become distrustful of every human. This makes us less efficient. This lying also leads to resentment, spite and ill feelings that disrupt the harmony of society which ultimately leads to the inevitable bloodshed and loss of life. It is in our interest to be honest and transparent with each other for practical and harmonious reasons.
We then see that our moral codes lead back to the facilitation of life. What does this have to with “gay marriage,” “homosexuality,” and the argument Walsh was trying to make? Walsh was on the right track when he discussed how marriage between a male and female is the foundation for procreation. He just didn’t elaborate on why.
Sexual intercourse between a male and female is obviously necessary for our survival. Marriage is a socially constructed union that codifies this bond and ensures that the mother and father are obligated to each other and the family. Only the union of male and female can produce offspring forming a family. Same-sex humans can have sex with each other but cannot produce life. This means that the sanctity of marriage for the purpose of procreation can only be between a male and female.
However, marriage isn’t just about procreation as Rogan argued. This is true. But, the fundamental purpose of marriage is to form a bond between two human beings of the opposite sex to bring forth life.
The next logical argument is “how does two humans of the same sex forming a union with each other hurt humanity?” This is where the objective of morality comes into play. In and of itself, two humans engaging in sex does not hurt humanity. However, if this notion becomes the norm, if it gains popularity and grows to the point where it replaces heterosexual relationships, then it becomes problematic.
Some will argue that this is a farfetched argument to justify getting rid of people’s civil rights. But that is exactly what moral laws and codes are meant to do. They prevent behavior that is not conducive to survival from reaching that point.
Just like not all people steal and not all people kill, we still believe these things to be wrong because, ultimately, if these behaviors are practiced on a mass scale, we, as a species, will not survive. Nobody fears a world where we make stealing normal, yet we still have accepted that stealing is morally wrong. The same goes for homosexuality. It may not be feasible to think the whole world will become gay, but that doesn’t mean the practice is not inherently wrong if the basis for our moral code of conduct is survival.
In the interview, Walsh looked stumped and desperate because he did not base his moral principles on anything other than what he has been inculcated with. Either that, or he knew the stage he was on and the nature of the audience and didn’t want to offend anyone. I personally believe the former.
We get stuck in our doctrines. I’m not sure if this is due to a lack of faith in our own doctrines, or we don’t actually believe anything can be real outside of them. Most religious people shy away from science, believing it will disprove their faith. I think the opposite.
Science, in this sense, the science of evolution and evolutionary practices, doesn’t do anything. It can strengthen your faith if you so choose. If you believe in a creator, then you are only exploring why your creator did certain things. Why did your creator implement certain moral codes and laws? This is how that is explained.
Logic should be the basis of all our arguments whether one is religious or not. I am in no way trying to disparage gay people, only shed light on why it is important to understand my morale compass.
New technology is making it possible for gay couples to utilize surrogacy to have a family. This still does not happen outside the union of male and female. The ramifications of using this technology to replicate the family brings with it a new set of questions and arguments to be debated at a later time. But the fundamental question as to why marriage between a man and woman should be exclusive is simple: because it meets the objective and the parameters that morality seeks to provide.
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