Reductio ad Absurdum

9 May, 2009

Over the years, I have heard religious fruitcakes (usually Christian as they are the dominant theists in America) use reductio ad absurdum quite often.  Rick Santorum claimed that gay marriage would lead to man-on-dog sex.  Not to be outdone, professional asshat Pat Robertson has tossed his ass into the ring.

On 06 May, Robertson spoke about Maine’s approval of human rights for all humans, and of New Hampshire’s governor’s agonizing over signing a gay marriage bill.  That is, of course, one of the perks of owning your own network:  no matter how stupid the drivel dropping from your lips, you can get on TV.

Of course, he did face a hostile interviewer.  Well, not really.  It was his own employee who tossed him this softball over the center of the plate  (you can see the video at Media Matters (not recommended (it is, after all, Robertson)) or read a transcript provided by Think Progress): 

HOST: Meanwhile, the New Hampshire legislature has also voted in favor of gay marriage, but Pat, the governor there still isn’t sure if he will approve that bill.

And Robertson stepped up to the plate and hit a nice, fat, reductio ad absurdum right out of the studio:

ROBERTSON: Lee, we haven’t taken this to its ultimate conclusion. You got polygamy out there. How can we rule that polygamy is illegal when you say that homosexual marriage is legal. What is it about polygamy that’s different? Well, polygamy was outlawed because it was considered immoral according to biblical standards. But if we take biblical standards away in homosexuality, what about the other? And what about bestiality and ultimately what about child molestation and pedophilia? How can we criminalize these things and at the same time have constitutional amendments allowing same-sex marriage among homosexuals. You mark my words, this is just the beginning in a long downward slide in relation to all the things that we consider to be abhorrent.

Wait.  What?  Polygamy “was considered immoral according to biblical standards”?  So then the bible is fallible?  After all (from the Skeptics Annotated Bible):

Genesis 4:19
And Lamech took unto him two wives.  
Genesis 16:1-4
Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai … gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived.
Genesis 25:6
But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had….
Genesis 26:34
Esau … took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite.
Genesis 31:17
Then Jacob rose up, and set … his wives upon camels.
Exodus 21:10
If he take him another wife….

Click to the site to read many more examples.  Odd.  The bible seems to have no problem at all with polygamy.

Of course, he then refers to the biblical injunctions against homosexuality (I would assume from Leviticus).  Is that a wool-blend suit you are wearing, Mr. Robertson?  Do you eat shrimp or clams, Mr. Robertson?  Do you work on the sabbath?  Damned hypocrite.  That damned Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13  are the only part of Leviticus that the fundogelical asshats even notice.

Apparently, relativism concerning shellfish, mixed fabrics, polygamy and working seven days a week is okay.  But realizing that myths from 2500 years ago are just as applicable to homosexuality as they are to the rest of the abominations is beyond imagination.  Why?  Well, because it will lead to the legalization of “bestiality and ultimately what about child molestation and pedophilia.” 

Check me on this:  Robertson equates a relationship between two consenting adults, legally binding, is the same as an adult taking advantage of an animal or a child who cannot legally give consent?  Is he out of his fucking mind?  Okay, I think I know the answer to that one.

Listen up, Pat.  Marriage is a civil contract recognized by the state.  It is only a religious ceremony if the couple desires it (my (((Wife))) and I were married by a Justice of the Peace in her parents living room (no god(s) or religion involved)).  It is a contract between consenting adults.  There is no reason to discriminate against a group of people because of sexual orientation.  And to equate a civil contract, recognized by the state, between two adults, with bestiality or paedophilia is scare-mongering, religious abuse, dishonest, and reprehensible.



  1. If the Bible really is the word of God, you know GOD, the almighty, the omnipotent, the creator of the universe, why then do so many fundamentalists not actually read it completely? What could be even one nanomillionth as important as that?

    Apparently, berating perceived enemies is.

    • Rob: Thanks for stopping by.

      Over the past year or so, I have found that there are some Christians who have a thorough grounding in both the bible and the bible within its historical context. Many, however, have no clue what is in their holy book except the few things that their pastor tells them.

  2. I’m sure Lee then nodded approvingly as Pat delivered this sage advice, his eyes glazed over like a deer caught in the headlights.

    I can’t abide sycophants and enablers. The slack-jawed cretins who’ve sacrificed all independent thought and have made a career out of validating authority figures like Pat sicken me.

    But then, Lee has probably made a very nice living as Pat’s news director these past twenty, thirty years. If he has any misgivings, I’m sure he keeps them to himself.

    • Jeff: Welcome to my blog.

      I suspect that, for him to have lasted longer than a month or two, he must be both a true believer (in the same narrow vein as Robertson) and a champion ass-kisser. Robertson is a perfect example of the corrupting influence of money in religion. He has become so incredibly wealthy fleecing the sheeples that he has completely lost touch with the outside world. Unfortunately, the 1 or 2% of Americans who worship him are more than enough to keep him rich for the rest of his grandkid’s lives.

      • Agreed. These guys are like rock stars; they become completely isolated from the wider reality – and they’re already borderline personalities to begin with. The tragic irony is that their followers convince themselves that they’re credible because they’re “one of us”.

        I’ve been watching Lee kiss Pat’s ass for decades. He’s lasted, while Pat has gone through several co-hosts, usually glassy-eyed blondes who hang on his every word.

      • You watch that dreck? Damn. You have a strong stomach.

        And I knew a kid in high school who lost his college savings, via his mother, to Robertson back in the 80s. They are predators.

      • I used to watch a bit, now and then – just for aggravation.

        Now, I notice occasionally while surfing.

  3. Nicely said! I’ve read that argument so many times that I can just feel my blood pressure rising now due to the sheer stupidity of it.

    I would expect it from Robertson, but hearing it from Santorum when he said it was just beyond compare.

    I love how people who make the argument seem to honestly not understand the difference between a same-sex relationship and a human-animal relationship… or even a relationship with a 9-year-old. It just re-emphasizes the lack of honest thought that they’ve put into the issue.

  4. Well, all I know is that a lot of folks are going to start fucking squirrels if gay marriage is legalized. I mean, when you think about it, that’s the only thing that’s been holding people back.

    And if cannabis is legalized, well, I don’t even want to think about the crazy shit people will start doing. Maybe laughing a lot, eating copious amounts of ice cream, playing video games, sleeping!!!

    Needless to say, it’s a complete logical fallacy that Robertson is using. Gay marriage has nothing to do with bestiality or pedophilia. And you’re absolutely right about polygamy in the Old Testament. Big time. Hell, Solomon had over 1000 women in his concubine. And David had his captain and close friend killed so he could hook up with Bathsheba.

    “If the Bible really is the word of God, you know GOD, the almighty, the omnipotent, the creator of the universe, why then do so many fundamentalists not actually read it completely? What could be even one nanomillionth as important as that?”


    • why then do so many fundamentalists not actually read it completely?

      It’s part and parcel of the authoritarian personality. Pastor tells them something – so it must be true.

    • Plus I’m unsure as to how many of them can actually read!

  5. Dan: Well, they know they cannot effectively argue against human rights, so they invent horrific consequences and hope that no one notices just how absurd they are.

    Jonah: The anti-cannabis argument is that, if pot is legal, people will start using harder drugs so they can feel like lawbreakers. And I’ve heard that one from law enforcement officers.

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