Letter to the Editor

Our president Ben Koons and vice president Christian Say had their letter to the editor about the Daily Princetonian’s print edition headline of Ryan Anderson’s talk published today.

Here’s the Prince’s headline:

Anscombe Supports (Media) Equality! This headline is absurdly biased.

Anscombe Supports (Media) Equality! This headline is absurdly biased.

Here’s Koons and Say’s letter in its entirety:

Letter to the Editor: Anscombe supports (media) equality

Regarding “PEP supports equality at marriage talk” (Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013)

The Anscombe Society would like to thank Regina Wang for her well-balanced piece covering our event last Thursday with Ryan T. Anderson ’04 speaking about marriage. We believe, however, that the editors of The Daily Princetonian did a poor job of respecting Wang’s balanced news coverage in the framing of her story.

Unfortunately, the print edition’s headline following Anderson’s lecture misleadingly read, “PEP Supports Equality at Marriage Talk.” Had the editors paid any attention to the event itself, they would have known that Anderson observed up front that both sides of the marriage debate are in favor of marriage equality — contingent upon what marriage itself is defined to be. The headline pushed through by the editors of the ‘Prince’ was the mark of a biased editorial staff.

Further proof of this lies in the discrepancy between the headlines of the online and print editions. Online, the Anderson article has the much more balanced title, “With demonstrators in the audience, Heritage Foundation fellow Anderson ’04 urges traditional understanding of marriage.” This headline was released soon after Anderson’s lecture, and the discrepancy between this balanced title and the biased print version reveals a conscious editorial decision to manipulate the coverage.

This poor framing of an otherwise generally well-written story should come as an embarrassment to the ‘Prince.’ We hope to see better editorial decisions in the future.

Ben Koons ’15 and Christian Say ’16

President and Vice President of the Anscombe Society

News Coverage: Anderson Talk

Our school’s main daily paper the Prince has written a news story about Ryan’s great talk last night. Click here for the full article.

Our event last night was today's headline!

Our event last night was today’s headline! But what an awfully biased headline.

Here’s the meat of the article:

In a philosophical vein, Anderson used an Aristotelian analysis involving the terms of action, goods and commitment to arrive at a definition of marriage. He also said that the definition of marriage between a man and a woman is found in many different cultures at many different periods.

“There’s something about this understanding of marriage that resonates with human nature,” he said.

Moving on to the realm of public policy, Anderson argued that the government should regulate marriage and noted the benefits for children who grow up in households with mothers and fathers.

The article also mentions the protesters at last night’s event:

Before the event, members of the Princeton Equality Project gathered at the building entrance handing out pins and posters to arriving audience members. A number of students came draped in rainbow flags.

One of the event’s goals was to keep the marriage issue live, and a quote from the article indicates we may have been successful at that:

PEP [Princeton Equality Project] member Kelsey Dyer ’17 said many members of the LGBT community had come to respectfully hear what Anderson had to say while also making their presence known in hopes that the event could be part of an ongoing dialogue about the meaning of marriage.

 

What is Marriage?

For a more complete case against same-sex marriage than is typically offered, take a look at the recent piece by Sherif Girgis, Robert George, and Ryan Anderson (former Anscombe president, and friends of the group respectively):

http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/GGA%20-%20What%20is%20Marriage.pdf

Once I have a little more time on my hands (read: during break), I’ll look at this a little more closely and parse through some of the arguments as they apply to related issues/look at the responses offered to particular objections.

The Manhattan Declaration

Last week, Christian leaders gathered at the National Press Club to
sign the Manhattan Declaration, a statement affirming Christian views
on life issues and marriage. While such a strong and public
pronouncement on these issues by representatives from so many
denominations was itself news, the most striking aspect of the
declaration is its section on religious liberty at the end of the
document. There, the signatories recall that “[u]njust laws degrade
human beings. Inasmuch as they can claim no authority beyond sheer
human will, they lack any power to bind in conscience.” The
declaration, then, calls for civil disobedience should the U.S.
government impose laws forcing religious institutions or devout persons
to violate the precepts of their faith by compelling them to sanction
abortion, embryo-destructive research, same-sex relationships, etc.

The
declaration, which was co-authored by Princeton’s own Professor Robert
P. George, received both local and national coverage. You can read the
full text of the declaration here.

A short news clip about the declaration can be seen here.

See the Daily Princetonian article after the jump.

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“Gay Marriage, Democracy, and the Courts”

Princeton Professor Robert P. George writes in the Wall Street Journal on the definition of marriage and the influence of the Court:

Following California’s Proposition 8, which restored the historic definition of marriage in that state as the union of husband and wife, a federal lawsuit has been filed to invalidate traditional marriage laws.

It would be disastrous for the justices to do so. They would repeat the error in Roe v. Wade: namely, trying to remove a morally charged policy issue from the forums of democratic deliberation and resolve it according to their personal lights.

George writes that if marriage is redefined, then

…there is no reason that primarily emotional unions like friendships should be permanent, exclusive, limited to two, or legally regulated at all. Thus, there will remain no principled basis for upholding marital norms like monogamy.

But even beyond the societal impact of a redefinition of marriage, the very nature of our democratic system is at stake. By allowing the courts to decide the issue rather than the legislatures, the issue would be removed from the democratic process and would be decided instead by the personal policy preferences of a few.

Writes George,

Because marriage has already been deeply wounded, some say that redefining it will do no additional harm. I disagree. We should strengthen, not redefine, marriage. But whatever one’s view, surely it is the people, not the courts, who should debate and decide. For reasons of both principle and prudence, the issue should be settled by democratic means, not by what Justice Byron White, in his dissent in Roe, called an “act of raw judicial power.”

Read at the Wall Street Journal’s website here, or find it after the jump.

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