Baseball91's Weblog

November 5, 2008

The Food and Drug Administration and Gay Marriage

Filed under: Marriage Amendment,Minnesota — baseball91 @ 2:08 AM
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On MORAL RELATIVISM…It was election day in this country.  In the past week or so, Catholic bishops have tried to have a say in the world of politics and how their people voted.  Their reign was in a day where more and more Catholics have been schooled in public school, exposed to the ocean air of moral relativism.  Some just called it relativism.  In that environment, in the age of diversity, kids are taught not to judge right and wrong, and no one has a special claim to authority.  Thus the nation is split over issues like abortion, gay marriage. 


Saul Friedlander in The Years of Extermination discusses “the centrality of ideological-cultural factors in moving of Nazi policies.”  He talked about the period from the end of the 19th Century to after World War I as the age of ideology, when the world was in upheaval that eventually would involve every home in the world.  The period involved the identity of women and women’s rights and women suffrage.  The period involved the invention of the radio.  The period involved greater education for the masses.  The period involved the revolutionary right in Italy and in Germany, the Bolshevism of Russia, communism in the rest of the world, and, what Friedlander writes, liberalism was caught in between.  Friedlander’s thesis was that the battle over ideology between the left and right was not just restricted to Germany and Italy.  Identified with liberalism and the revolutionary brand of socialism, targeted, instigators, carriers, as Jews became the scapegoat as representatives of world views everywhere. 


The age of ideology never really took a vacation.  With the end of the Cold War, most visible through the ongoing war of Islamic fundamentalism with the secular world, which filled the void when the ideology of communism seemed to burn out, historians will continue to write of the age of ideology and its affects on humanity.  In the aftermath of the Cold War, diversity was taught in public school curricula.  A vacuum has developed over a land of pluralism on the question whether there is an absolute moral authority. 


In its wake, relativism is the new ideology which demands that no one be judged.  In effect a generation had been educated where all were just bystanders on questions of right and wrong.  This was the conflict in California on Proposition 8.  The ocean that we all lived in, listening to media present the daily news, was not much different than living in Europe in the 1930s.  The losers in this election were taking to the streets to protest, not respecting the vote totals.  In one sense the protesters had my sympathy.  In the current age, in the democratic process, the majority rules.  We actually vote on moral issues.  That is the astounding thing. 


Community norms are established by vote?  If there was such a thing as community norms left?  What exactly are community norms?  They surely do not reflect morality.  I am not sure in the discussion whether gay marriage in a secular society is wrong.  I think gay marriage is a form of shoplifting of a valid concept when presented in an orthodox world of morality, by a peole in need.  It is an honest attempt to make a relationship sacred in a world where never before have more couples lived together outside of marriage.  And with a generation taught not to judge the rightness or wrongness of that relationship, never before have there been more bystanders.  Never before has there been more indifference.   


Law about gay marriages never creates anything that is long-lasting.  And that was the real challenge in a relationship.  To overcome differences and create the next generation.  The law really was never about judging others, other than to set a standard from age to age, for something long-lasting.  The debate over gay marriage misses the part about inheritence.  What exactly is gay marriage passing on?  When a gay relationship was over, nothing was left.  No family.  No future.  And that was the outcry of the sensitive gay person over their perdicament.  The issue of significance.  The search for it all along.  A celibate world was afraid to talk about significance.  That had been the struggle all along for a celibate pope, a celibate nun, in their own personal quest for meaning.  Some, created equal, went about their quest loudly.  Others, created equal, went about their daily quest silently. 


Significance.  The significance of passion.  If nothing was passed along, if there was no inheritence, if there was no significance, humans felt angry. 


The younger generation in western culture has sided with gay rights.  They grew up in the world of media, where the media seems each day to be screaming about their own insignificance.  What had television done to help civilization?  Selfishness had increased in the age of media built upon materialism.  At a price of the real significance of passion.  Law is about the past and the future.  It was not supposed to be a battle over ideology.  And I am not sure if this was ever meant to be an issue changed with each generation, determined by elections. 


In the debate over gay marriage, the argument itself breaks a society apart.  Never before have there been more people who wanted to home-school their kids so that their children did not have to be exposed to “bohemian” ideas.  In a time forty years ago, adults thought they could move to the suburbs and avoid the problems of drugs and gangs.  The temperature of the world’s bathtub however was felt by all.  The water temperature was the real global warming we all lived with day in and day out, and those problems followed their way to the suburbs and farm areas.


In the debate over gay marriage, I would equate the argument “for” as no different than an argument promoting the norms espoused by the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). Or, an argument for polygamy.  I found a paragraph dated June 1, 2008 from Stanley Fish’s blog of the New York Times, which is listed below that might well address a vote over Proposition 8 in California. 


Speaking of norms, The New York Times also did a magazine piece on October 31st about the FDA and the uphill battles they are up against as they attempt to oversee an industry that over the last 30 years has moved to China, in which the FDA maintains two separate data bases which indicate either 3,000 foreign drug plants exporting to the United States or as many as 6,800.  In the age of diversity, the Chinese do not use many different names and it is hard to distinguish what constitutes a separate plant.  And you thought identity theft was a problem here?  When it comes to quality contol, when asked, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association was “largely silent on the issue of the difficulty of regulating factories across several times zones, 6,000 miles, and a vast linguistic and cultural divide.”  And the unregulated drug industry now in China would result in death through toxicity, in places that the FDA regulated, based on American law. 


In China, in the wake of the melamine-tainted baby formula scandal.  In China, where thousands of drug manufacturers sell products in the local markets, where profit margins are razor thin.  In China, where contamination  and counterfeiting are common, with the Pharmaceutical Association estimating that as much as 8 percent of over-the-counter drugs sold in China were counterfeit in 2002.  In an age of relativism, how could the United States impose FDA standards in China?


On MORAL RELATIVISM … in China where it was all about survival and getting wealthy, perhaps not much different than on Wall Street.  In China, where abortion was mandatory after a woman had her one child.  This was public policy, and kids were taught not to judge right and wrong.  Kids who were not much different than those educated in the American public school system over the past 25 years.  The new culture everywhere promoted a society with no right and no wrong, a culture that determined elections.  In the debate over “choice,” as pluralism lapsed into relativism, there were no strong convictions.  Anywhere.  It was all about not making judgment, when a generation was  taught not to judge right from wrong.  And right and wrong was a generational thing?


So these were just opinions?  The philosophy of the New Age was “You have yours, we have ours.  Why can’t we just get along?”


What if the discussion was not about gay marriage or even abortion but about the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), or polygamy?  Would the logic of the discussion change?  To quote Mr. Fish’s blog from The New York Times:  “Exposing that norm as a mere artifact of history with no special claim to authority means first that it is no longer obligatory to honor it, and second, that the community’s norms are worthy of both loyalty and protection.  What was once seen as a deviation or something to be eradicated is re-characterized as a culture, and in a short time the culture has a lobby and is demanding respect, representation and even reparations for opportunities denied and rights withheld. Once the norm has been relativized… there is no obvious way to declare a way of life beyond the pale.  Polygamists claim that they more than any honor family values (theirs is a big love); their critics talk about forcing young children to marry long before the age of consent, and polygamists come back with the observation that the ‘age of consent’ is a political construct and certainly wasn’t honored in the Bible.   Maybe you apply the universal outrage test which, one presumes, would put pedophiles and serial killers in the class of those whose actions no one could possibly justify.  But the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) advertises itself as fighting for personal freedom and ‘for the empowerment of youth in all areas.’  NAMBLA believes that any child, regardless of age, should have the right to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a sexual relationship. It’s only because there are more of you that you can consign us to the margins and refuse us respect.  Armed with this argument (which flourishes in some versions of multiculturalist and deconstructive thought), there is no form of behavior that cannot make a case for its legitimacy and for its right to be free of external coercion, whether it takes the form of legal sanctions or a forced ‘cure.’ ”


Law and its claim to authority.  It was Election Day 2008.  Democrats were not tolerant of Republicans.  The Republicans were not tolerant of Democrats.  The battle over gay rights and abortion was a fight for personal freedom.  Roe v. Wade established the law of the land.  It would soon be the national law that allowed gay marriage.  Whether it was abortion or gay marriage, the subject really was one of freedom and sex.  And “government did not belong in the bedroom” was proclaimed.   Was there no right and no wrong in the bedroom?  I don’t think it inconceivable that a generation taught without a moral weather vane would drift to approve one day polygamy.   


In the era of MORAL RELATIVISM, could I demand community norms in the drugs I was taking?  If you were over the edge in the arguments in support of MORAL RELATIVISM, what possible right did the FDA have in a sovereign land to oversee and then police deviations of the drug factories in China.  What right did Americans have to discuss the regulation of drug manufacturing in China or any community norms?  Or what right did the United Nations have to seek verification within China of compliance on air quality, in the battle over climate change?


(….As a post script to the election results)   At least for the most part, Americans were at least still discussing the issues here, if not more with passion than with logic.  I have seen the articles about the protest outside of churches and temples.  I am not sure if the protests over the outcome of the vote is directed at the congregations, the ministers, or at God.  If it was at God, I think that is understandable.  If it was at God, is very understandable and I am not surprised.  And it gives me pause to consider bringing signs of protest over other news to God.  Like what happened in the days leading up to and after the election about what has happened to my IRA, my 401K.  But if this protest was at the people inside the churches or temple, then there was cause for great concern.  When protests after an election end up in front of religious institution I get frightened, where bystander go looking for scapegoats.  Especially in an environment with a moral vacuum, in the ongoing age of ideology.   


I am not sure if law, establishing some authenticity, establishing an order, was ever meant to be an issue changed with each generation, determined by any one election.  I never saw law as a battle over ideology. 


1 Comment »

  1. WHAT THE WORLD HAS COME TO, when a generation grows up so split over right and wrong, in the Age of Divorce:

    Comment by baseball91 — January 10, 2016 @ 2:51 AM | Reply

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