In the following two examples, we are faced with the same category of flawed reasoning.
A) Statement- "I think Same- Sex Couples should have the same Rights and Opportunities as Heterosexual Couples."
Answer- "So I guess we have to allow Brothers and Sisters to get married, or let children get married no matter how old they are. Even worse, such a thing as Bestiality must be legalized."
B) Statement- "Churches enjoy Tax Exempt Status, that is why they cannot endorse any Political Party, Candidate or Platform."
Answer- "Really, Priests and Ministers can't be allowed to vote. If they do, it would be illegal, and the State will shut them down."
The above are actual examples I took from talk radio, but this Logical Fallacy can be found all across the Media. They are both examples of STRAW MAN ARGUMENTS.
A Straw Man argument takes a proposition or assertion, and refutes it by misstating or misapplying what was said. Often this is done by claiming to argue against something that was not part of the original content, and attempts to create a position that the opposing side never proposed, endorsed or even addressed.
In the first example, the initial statement only proposed that Same- Sex couples be given status equal to that of Heterosexual couples. Since Heterosexual couples have restrictions that may or may not allow them to Legally Marry, ( i.e. Age, Bloodlines, Freedom of Choice without Coercion, Bigamy etc.), these would also apply to Same- Sex couples. There is no reason to think that legalizing Homosexual Unions would exempt them from the guidelines already established for Heterosexual Couples.
The second example applies to Public Political Behavior that occurs at Church Sanctioned Activities, and behavior that is private in nature. Church officials can express their opinions freely, and legally comment on any part of the Election Process, as long as it is not done at an official event that acknowledges their Authority or Capacity within the Church. Also, I am unaware of any Law that prevents a member of the Clergy from voting, apart from guidelines established for every citizen.
(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON 5/22/2014)