Ben Shapiro Clarifies Gay Marriage Stance | Joe Rogan


5 years ago



Ben Shapiro

4 appearances

Ben Shapiro is a political commentator, host of "The Ben Shapiro Show," and author of "The Authoritarian Moment: How the Left Weaponized America's Institutions Against Dissent."


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So the other thing is same-sex marriage. So the other thing that I think that we disagree with. Well, we agree with the marriage thing. Right, on a governmental level. I don't think the government should be involved. I think where people should be protected is through assets and, you know, that... Contract. Yes. I think that all makes sense to me. All that stuff in terms of like alimony and child support and all those things make sense to me. And the idea that the community reinforces it, which would then become the government reinforcing all that stuff, that all makes sense to me. I understand it. But why do you care if two gay guys want to get married? So from a religious point of view? Sure. Let's go from a religious first. So, you want me to do a secular point of view first. So the idea is not that I care deeply whether two gay guys want to get married to each other. The idea is that do I prefer traditional marriage to same-sex marriage? Okay, well let me phrase it this way. What do you think a gay guy is? Do you think someone's...they're making a choice? Or do you think that this is how they were born? So the religious point of view on this, and I think this is actually just the general conservative point of view on human action generally, is I don't know, meaning that for the vast majority of people I would assume that they have a biological drive to engage in that behavior. But the traditional sort of will point of view is that biological drive does not necessarily match up to the activity you ought to engage in. Right? So, for example, have a biological drive to impregnate many women. That's not something religion is cool with either. All right, so the idea is that… Right, but religion is cool with a man being with one woman and impregnating her, but you're not cool with a man being with a man. So I can give you the religious explanation and I can give you the secular explanation. Okay. So the religious explanation is that there is something different about a woman than there is about a man, and a man is made better through his union with a woman, and that if you pervert the sex drive to pursue mere pleasure instead of a lasting relationship upon which the basis of society is built, then you are foregoing the proper use of your sex drive. Right, but if you wanted to step in and argue against that, you would say that just because someone can't get pregnant doesn't mean that they don't have a loving relationship that contributes to society. Well, that's true, but it is also forgoing the more productive relationship of being able to bear and rear children and also recognizing that the sexes are not different, right, and recognizing also the sexes are not the same. So being with a man is in a relationship different than being with a woman, I would assume. I mean, I assume that's why gay guys are gay. If it weren't, then I assume that they would be fine with being with a woman. So that relationship from a religious perspective is more valuable because women have different qualities than men. You round off each other's harsh edges, it changes you. I mean, you're married. Being married changes a man in a different way than being married to a member of the same sex would. Right, but I don't want people to have to do it. But if you're… I mean, either I'm not forcing anybody, right? But I want them to have the option. If you're a gay person and we… We're talking illegally? No, I mean, of course legally. We agree, right? Yeah, legally. And I keep making this distinction because whenever I talk about my moral perspective on things, then people immediately assume that I'm a theocratic fascist and I just want to keep underscoring, like, my personal views on Dave Rubin's marriage. I have no consequence to public policy in any way whatsoever. Right. But I agree with you on that, and I don't think it should be a part of public policy. And I think people should absolutely be allowed to marry and divorce and do whatever the fuck they want to do, no matter who it is. But why do you care? Like, as a person who's a rational thinker, it's pretty clear that people are gay. And I don't really think that this is a decision they make in terms of, like, I'm going to make a clear choice to defy God and be gay. Well, again, I think that's a conflation of – And I don't think it's everyone. It's a conflation of identity and drive with activity, which is something that religion fundamentally rejects. Okay. Right. So religion fundamentally rejects the idea that you are driven to do something. Therefore, it is your identity. Therefore, you get to participate in a behavior. That's a chain of thinking that religion does not accept. So in religion, if a man is gay, in your religion, if a man is gay and they're in love with another man, they should just squash those thoughts and find a woman. Well, ideally, they would be honest with the woman they marry. Obviously, they're not, like, messing up a woman. But they would want to go and get a woman. Ideally, you would still get married and have children in a heterosexual relationship. If you're not up to that, then you wouldn't get married at all. When you describe this to a gay man, they will tell you, imagine Ben Shapiro. Someone said to you, you should stop being with your beautiful wife, and you need to now marry a man because this is what God wants you to do. So you're going to have to shtup this man, and he's going to shtup you, because this is how the rules are set up. So far, this sounds pretty terrible. Right. Well, this is how it sounds to gay folks when you're telling them they have to find a woman. Like, I like dudes. I'm not saying you have to find a woman. I'm saying you can't do X, right? I'm not saying you must find a woman. But say can't by whose determination? If you decide to participate in this religion, then there is a buy-in to the precepts of the religion. And the buy-in is you can't be gay. Well, no. The buy-in is that you can have whatever sexual orientation you please, but there's certain activity you can't participate in. So you can be gay, but you can't have gay sex. Correct. By the way, that's what the Bible – I mean, if we want to go direct to the text of the Bible, that's what the Bible actually says, right? I mean, even the parts of the Bible that people really hate, those parts say that a man shall not lie with a man. It doesn't say a man can't be attracted to another man. That's Old Testament, right? Yeah. That's our stuff, right? New Testament – it gets a little harsher in the New Testament in some places, Romans, Corinthians. But in any case, again, when it comes to – this is – what I'm puzzled by is the idea that this is a unique area of human behavior that religion is supposed to treat differently. I mean, religion treats virtually every human activity like this. Sin is a failure to abide by a covenant, right? That's the definition of sin, right? When you commit a sin in Judaism and Avera in Judaism, what you are doing is failing to do a mitzvah, which is a commandment. You're violating a commandment. Well, there are lots of commandments that go directly against what people are driven to do. That's because the drive is stronger, does not make it morally – more morally non-culpable to violate that commandment. So when people pick this one out and they say, well, this one is particularly intolerant, for example, I don't see why it's more particularly intolerant than saying to a man that you have to marry one woman or saying to a Jew that you are not allowed to eat this stuff. Or like it's – it may be harder. I don't think there's any question. It's harder to abide by those commandments. But it is well within religious tradition, like literally every religious tradition, that there's a bunch of stuff you are driven to do that you can't. Now, again, you don't have to agree with my program. I'm not trying to convert you. It's one of the nice things about my religion. I don't give a crap whether people are Jewish or not. We actively discourage converts. But if you're going to proclaim that you are abiding by traditional Judaism, this is the buy-in, right? There's lots of buy-in. You have to wear a funny hat sometimes. You have to go to shul on Saturdays. You have to keep Shabbat. There's a lot of buy-in. And as long as I'm not bothering anybody else, I frankly don't see what business it is of legitimately anybody is, what I think about personal relationships. I'm not imposing my view on anybody else. Well, I do acknowledge that out of all the religions, Judaism probably makes it the most obvious they don't give a fuck what you do. Go ahead. Do your thing. Like they're not trying to – You're doing your business. My uncle converted. And when he converted – it was a grind, man. He had to learn a lot of shit. It's like three years of a grind. For a long time. Yeah, for sure. It's a long time. So that was the religious perspective. And the secular perspective, when it comes to valuing traditional marriage over same-sex marriage, that's a very simple calculation, which is one type of marriage produces traditional children – produces children in the traditional biological way, and then you have both parents in the house to take care of the kid. That's the value of marriage. And I fully acknowledge that when the value of marriage shifted from it's about production and rearing of children to it's two people who love each other, the case for same-sex marriage against same-sex marriage went completely out the window. Right. So you are just sticking to your rigid ideology in terms of what you believe to be a sin and not believe to be a sin based on your religion, based on this very strict moral fiber that this religion is operating on. In a religious context. Meaning it applies to me. In a religious context. It applies to my family. It doesn't apply to you. Right. But is there any room for growth in that when people have a better understanding about biology? Like it's – if it was proven, if there's proven like, oh, this is why a person develops blue eyes. This is why a person is gay. This is why – there's nothing wrong with it. It's just a variation. No, it's – it's – yeah. It's red hair. It's freckles. It's gay. It's straight. You can tell me that homosexual orientation is 100% biologically driven. And I will almost completely agree with that. I think that there are some cases where it's not, but those are rare. But do you think that – This is particularly true – by the way, the research tends to show that there's more sexual fluidity among females than males. Males tends to be either heterosexual or homosexual. That research is all done by dudes who want their wives to hook up with chicks. But keep going. Don't let me stop you. Honey, let me just show you the paperwork. There's nothing wrong. But again, that – it's a question that I've always found actually not particularly interesting simply because it doesn't take into account the worldview generally, which is that a biological drive does not equal excuse for behaving in a certain way. But that's where it brings me back to this. Like, is it possible that these laws in this religion were written when they're – I think – who do you think wrote the stuff? Do you think people wrote the stuff or do you think God wrote the stuff? I think either way, even if it were – I mean, because I am an orthodox Jew, I believe that at the very least it's God-inspired and God-written, right? But even if I believed on a secular level that human beings wrote that stuff, do I think that people 3,000 years ago had never seen a gay person before? Do you think that they understood? Or a person who had homosexual tendencies? Like, the very reason to have a commandment is because certain people in your community are behaving in a particular way, presumably. Right. There's no commandment not to take your head and shove it into meat grinder. Well, this is also the argument against pork, is because they didn't understand trichinosis. They understand you have to cook the meat to 145 degrees and pork parasites, which are very dangerous for people. So I'm not a huge fan of naturalistic explanations for a religion. Do you think that's a good one, though, for pork? I mean, I don't know – like, I think you could make an argument maybe that – This kid had just died in India and there was horrific x-rays of his head. He had parasites from pork that had gotten into his body and they had nested in his brain and started developing all these cysts inside of his head. And they couldn't do anything about it because it was so deep in his head that if they gave him the anti-parasitic medication, it would cause swelling of the brain. And they were like – it was so – So how are you feeling about bacon right now? Because you tell the story. It's actually pig shit, apparently. Oh, that's – People accidentally coming in contact with pig shit produces this particular type of parasite. Yeah, that's not kosher either. It's more rare. But trichinosis was pretty common for a long time. Well, again, there are attempts to sort of paint back into the Bible certain rationalistic explanations like this. Doesn't that make sense, though? I think – Why else would it be bad to eat pigs? Like Jesus loves pigs. Is that what's going on? Well, I think that the reversal of the kosher laws in the New Testament, you know, from a Jewish point of view where we don't believe in the divinity of Christ. I think that there you can make an argument that the gospels, which were written – He was just a prophet. Signif – No, no, no. We don't even believe he was a prophet. What do you think he was? What do you guys think he was? I mean, what I – I think he was historically. I think he was a Jew who tried to lead a revolt against the Romans and got killed for his trouble, just like a lot of other Jews at that time who were crucified for trying to lead revolts against the Romans and got killed for their trouble. So he became legend in story and it became a bigger and bigger deal as time went on. Yeah, he had a group of followers and then that gradually grew and then – Do you think he resurrected? No, that's not a Jewish belief. Okay, I just want to check. Yeah, no. We're not into – You're not into the miracles? We're not into the miracle stories. No, that's – No? Do you not have any miracles? No, not by Jesus. They're ones in the Old Testament. Yeah, you've got Moses splitting the sea and all that. What do you think happened there? What do I think happened there? Yeah. Well, I'll go with the Maimonidean explanation that there was – I mean, it says in the Bible there was a strong east wind. So there was a naturalistic explanation for a physical phenomenon. That makes sense. I mean, that's what Maimonides is constantly trying to do, is read nature. Yeah. That is the problem with these texts, right? Is that you're trying to decipher translations from original texts which were written in ancient Hebrew thousands of years ago and were told in oral tradition for longer than that. Right. I mean, this is where – you know, my book, which I always hesitate to pitch my own stuff because it sounds gauche. Pitchway. But the new book, The Right Side of History, number one New York Times bestselling, a nonfiction book – Wait a minute. You got number one in the New York Times bestselling – really? Yeah. We sold enough that we knocked Michelle Obama out of the number one slot for a week, so that was nice. Is there protests? Well, no protests yet, but suffice it to say The New York Times book reviewer didn't like it, but I'm not super shocked by that. But the basic contention that I make is that Judeo-Christian values on the one hand and then human reason on the other, Greek reason really, that that tradition is a tension and that that tension is where Western civilization lives, that basically civilization is a suspension bridge. It's a fundamental precept of Judeo-Christian values on the one hand and then takes Greek reason and they're pulling against each other. And sometimes reason feels like it's going to dominate religion and sometimes it feels like religion is going to dominate reason. But in the best of all available worlds, you have a bridge that is capable of building a pawn where you can actually have a functional civilization. And if you lose reason in the name of theocracy, then you end up with tyrannical theocracy. And if you lose religion in the name of reason, you end up in some pretty dark places because human beings don't have a very good track record of creating their own purpose, creating their own meaning, creating their own systems. We tend to get very utopian very quickly and things get really ugly, which is sort of the story of the – particularly the first half of the 20th century. So this is the benefit of sticking to the rigid ideology that's prescribed by religion is that you don't allow the human beings to keep updating it and changing it because if you do, they will eventually slide into chaos. Well, yes, but there's – which is not to say there's not play in the joints. But certainly religion has morphed over time. I mean Judaism as it was practiced originally probably in many ways does not resemble Judaism as practiced now. I mean in fact the Talmud even says this. I mean there's this kind of fascinating and counterintuitive section of the Talmud where Moses is – it's what is called the Gadotah, which some of these stories that are just kind of put into the middle of the Talmud, where Moses comes back and he's watching from on high as a bunch of rabbis in second century Palestine are talking about Judaism. And he's like, I don't recognize any of this stuff. Like I brought down these books from the mountain and I do not recognize any of this stuff. And God says to him – God says to him, right. I mean this is how this is morphed and Moses is pleased. In other words, he's not – Judaism has always had a common law tradition where you're using reason to try and develop the ideas behind the commandments and then try and extend them or broaden them. And I think that's a good thing, but you have to be careful not to completely undermine fundamental roots or get rid of basic precepts. In other words, you have to acknowledge there are certain fundamental truths that exist there and then there's play as far as how those are implemented. Does Judaism have one of those pray the gay away traditions? No, that's not a thing. I mean it's – What do they want guys to do? Like what – say what would you do if you were – Not to sin, but again sin is a thing that everybody does, meaning that masturbation is not okay according to Judaism. I assume that a vast majority of young Jewish men, even the Orthodox, are masturbating. So people sin. I mean that's a recognition. It's always – again, I think I can speak on behalf of – I will audaciously speak on behalf of both Jews and Christians here. I think that religious people are told that when they say that something is a sin, this means that they are looking askance at the people who are committing the sin. And that is not correct. I mean what Judaism and Christianity say is that we are all committing sins on a fairly regular basis. Where we get uptight is when people start saying, because I have a desire for the sin, the sin is no longer a sin. Hmm. Yeah. The real problem is like why is it a sin? Like who says it's a sin? So again – Who – again, these rules you were assuming are influenced by God. Right. But clearly written by people. Well, this one you would say if you're a fundamentalist or at least somebody who believes in the idea that the Torah was given by God, was given literally by God. But again, that doesn't – the logic behind the rules, which people like Maimonides have tried to explicate, the idea is, as I said, a second – this you can do without God, right? This part you can do without God. The human sex drive was made to procreate within a stable relationship in order to progenerate and have future generations of people. Misuse of that sex drive in any way, whether you're talking about from masturbation to homosexual activity, is therefore a diminishment of the use of that drive. That's the natural law case against homosexual activity. And again, I will reiterate for media matters for the one millionth time, I'm not in favor of any of this being encoded into American law because freedom is freedom. People should be able to sin how they choose so long as they're not harming anybody else. Right. But what about people that have had vasectomies? And what about women that also – Judaism is not cool with vasectomies. Not cool with it. And neither is Catholicism, from what I understand. Right. Right. Yeah, well, I'm not a big fan of that one either. That one I have more experience with. But so if – what if a man is sterile and the woman's sterile, are they allowed to have sex? Do they both know? So yes, because there are ancillary benefits to married couples having sex, like relationship building. It's not a generalized case against the favored view of sex. Right. That's sort of like arguing that intersex people mean that there's no such thing as two separate sexes. There are two separate sexes, and also there are intersex people who have a condition. Yes. Right. And that's the same thing here. The case in favor of heterosexual activity does not change based on the fact that some people can't actually participate in that. What would you do if a young gay guy came to you for advice if someone said, hey, Ben, I'm an admirer of yours. I love the way you think and follow your philosophies, but I've got a problem. I'm a young Jewish man, and I'm gay, and I don't know what to do. What would you tell them to do? I mean, I can't tell them to do anything. Right. What would you advise? Would you tell them to not act out on those feelings? I would say you do the best you can as a human being, and from my moral perspective, you try to avoid sin as best you can. But everybody sins. The problem with that sin, though? It seems to me that it was defined by people that didn't understand biology because they were dealing with humans that existed thousands of years ago, no books, no real understanding of why people were gay. I mean, again, I really don't think that biblical commandments are linked, and religious commandments generally are linked to a view of biology, meaning that… You don't think so? No. I think that all sin is a recognition that we have drives that we are supposed to forego. Okay. That's pretty much – I mean, that's fundamental to certainly Judaism. To Christianity as well, I would say. Islam even has this basic precept. Right. I think we can agree that there's some real benefits to discipline. There's real benefits to having structure, and it doesn't mean that you can't be creative. It doesn't mean that you can't be free and do whatever you want some of the time, too. But I think we can both agree that this is one of the best benefits of an ideology, hopefully a positive ideology. Right. And one of the things that I – the reason I keep coming back to the governmental regulation point is because my view is that if your view of discipline is not my view of discipline, good on you. Right. Like, go do what you want to do. Like, I've never had a conversation with Dave Rubin about him being a gay guy. Right, but you did say that you, like, wouldn't go to his marriage, right? Well, I said – right. As a religious person, I can't say – I can't actively participate in something that I consider to be a sin, but I would go out to dinner with Dave and his husband anytime. Like, my wife and I would do that, of course. We'd have him over to our house with his husband. Just note, you don't find any contradiction between your religious perspective and your personal perspective in that regard, that you wouldn't be there for religious reasons, but that you would be there for personal reasons. Like, if it wasn't – would you go to the after party? Like, if you wouldn't go to the wedding, would you go to the after party? Anything that was a celebration of same-sex marriage, no. Wow. So anything but, like – You didn't even go to the party? No. I mean, that's it. What if there's a barbecue the next day? We'd consider it a tag on. And again, like, I'm not sure why – I'm not a good party person, so I'm not sure why anybody would want me at their party, frankly. I'm kind of a buskill. God, you'd be a great party. I haven't been to a party with you, but I went to a dinner party with you. That's true. We had a great time. That was a good time. That was a good time. That's a funny picture, man. That is a wild picture. People don't know what the fuck to think about that picture. That is certainly true. Eric and Jordan and Sam and Dave and you and I, it's like, what in the fuck? All the white supremacists in one place, right? Yeah. All the white supremacists.