Thomas Martin is the O.K. Bouwsma Chair in Philosophy at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Along with his fellow colleagues who are dedicated to the study of the Great Books, he teaches the works of Plato, Aristotle, G. K. Chesterton, Dostoyevsky, and Solzhenitsyn, to mention a few.
The latest saga of the sexual revolution, of man's right to expresses his sexuality with whomever he pleases, is hot off the press. The BBC recently reports, "Animal Welfare: Germany moves to ban bestiality," and how the German parliament's agriculture committee is considering making it an offense not only to hurt an animal, but also to force it into unnatural sex.
Germany legalized bestiality (zoophilia) in 1969, except when the animal suffered "significant harm."
There is no mention of humans suffering "significant harm" when coupling with animals.
An animal rights group in Germany, the equivalent of P.E.T.A. in the United States, has campaigned for a change in the law. It is advocating legislation banning Zoophilia, fining its practitioners 25,000 Euros, if someone forces an animal to commit "actions alien to the species."
In response to the animal rights group protestations, Michael Kiok, the chairman of Zoophile Engagement for Tolerance and Information [ZETA], said:
It is unthinkable that any sexual act with an animal is punished without proof that the animal has come to any harm . . . animals are capable of showing what they do, or do not, want to do.
Kiok further argues:
We see animals as partners and not as means of gratification. We don't force them to do anything. Animals are much easier to understand than women.
The final vote on the bill will be in the Budestag, the lower house of the parliament, on the 14th of December.
We are living in a relativistic age where the prevailing philosophy is that when it comes to morality there are no absolute truths. No longer is marriage, for example, recognized as a sacred union, instituted by God, uniting two souls into one as the sanctified place for sexual union. Now, whatever a person values is valuable because he chooses to value it. This philosophy plays itself out in man's sexual relationships.
Relativists do not recognize any absolute truth and argue that marriage, for example, is a matter of individual choice and matrimony between two consenting people is their choice. Furthermore, what takes place in the privacy of the bedroom between two consenting people is a personal preference.
So, while Zoophilia is seen by its detractors to be bestiality, the zoophiles are right to argue that this is simply hate speech. No one has the right to impose his values, his notion of morality - all things being equal - on them.
To argue, for example, that zoophiles are forcing an animal to commit "actions alien to the species" assumes that there is a prohibition in nature - an absolute! - governing sexual relations between the species.
Mr. Kiok may well argue that a male donkey and a female horse are different species, with different numbers of chromosomes, and there is no natural prohibition forbidding their mating. Mules attest to this.
Therefore, Mr. Kiok notes, "animals are capable of showing what they do, or do not, want to do."
Mr. Kiok has the consent - tacit though it may be - for his sexual relationships with animals. A man has the tacit consent of horses when he mounts them for a ride. Everyone can see that the horse does not mind.
There is no such thing as an unnatural sexual act for the relativist.
Whatever goes on between a man and his pig in a farrowing house stays in the farrowing house.
The next logical step for ZETA and its practitioners, and perhaps Americans as we ape progressive Europeans and are liberated from traditional values, will be to recognize intermarriage between the species.
While human mixed-species relationships will not produce offspring, like a male donkey and a female horse producing a mule, adoption will be the option for these newly defined families. All their dependents will surely qualify as income tax deductions.
And so it goes when man descends to the nature of animals or becomes one with them. *