I'll be the atheist who explains Biblical metaphor.
Ed Morrisey, aka "Captain Ed" of Hot Air has this to say about the California Supreme Court's ridiculous compromise position on Prop 8 announced earlier today.
In what looks like a Solomonic and almost unavoidable conclusion, the California Supreme Court acknowledged that voters in the state properly amended the Constitution to bar single-gender marriage. The ruling signals a victory for democracy over judicial fiat, as Proposition 8 reversed the same court’s declaration of the right to gay marriage. The court split the baby, figuratively speaking, by reaffirming the marriages conducted by California in the interim:So let's get this straight--Captain Ed is saying that the California Supreme Court made a good decision because they "split the baby," by giving the right wingers the Prop 8 holding they wanted, but by keeping the marriages that occurred while they were legal as valid.
Let's look at the Solomon story, though, to see what the real point was. 1 Kings 3:16-28:
16 Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 One of them said, "My lord, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was there with me. 18 The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.So what are the major differences here? In Solomon's case, there's one baby that's being fought over--it's a zero-sum game in the sense that only one person can actually have the baby--and the question is over which woman deserves the child. Solomon's job is to determine who the child belongs to, not come up with a compromise. His decision to threaten to split the baby is a thought experiment, not an actual solution, because a split baby doesn't satisfy justice. Solomon uses the threat to discern who the actual mother is, assuming that the mother would rather lose a live child than see a dead one split in two.
19 "During the night this woman's son died because she lay on him. 20 So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. 21 The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn't the son I had borne."
22 The other woman said, "No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours."
But the first one insisted, "No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine." And so they argued before the king.
23 The king said, "This one says, 'My son is alive and your son is dead,' while that one says, 'No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.' "
24 Then the king said, "Bring me a sword." So they brought a sword for the king. 25 He then gave an order: "Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other."
26 The woman whose son was alive was filled with compassion for her son and said to the king, "Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don't kill him!"
But the other said, "Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!"
27 Then the king gave his ruling: "Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother."
28 When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.
So what does this have to do with same-sex marriage in California? Not much. Captain Ed seems to be claiming that same-sex marriage is the baby being split in two. Why doesn't that work? Well, in the Solomon case, the woman who isn't the mother wants the baby cut in half, but Prop 8 supporters didn't want that. They wanted the baby cut into tiny pieces, spat on, burned, kicked, burned again, crapped on, and then force-fed to gay people while they sat around and looked pious. In the Solomon case, the real mother of the child was willing to cede the child to let it live, but if same-sex marriage is the child here, Prop 8 opponents weren't willing to cede anything of the sort, and in fact, the reaction of Prop 8 opponents to today's decision has been overwhelmingly negative. Next, Solomon used the threat of splitting the baby to try to elicit a reaction from the parties that would help him make his decision, but the California Supreme Court didn't do that. It wasn't acting as an arbiter in a property dispute here, trying to determine who had a legitimate claim to ownership.
But most importantly, Solomon didn't split the baby in half. He didn't compromise in his search for what as fair and come up with a nonsensical decision like the California Supreme Court did. If Solomon had done what the Calfornia Supreme Court had done, the baby would have lost a couple of limbs and been given to both women in a joint custody agreement, with the real mother only getting supervised visitation for an hour once a month. That's how one-sided this ruling is.