Thursday, June 27, 2013

Equal is Equal.

I have this cheesy (read fantastic) idea, Kyle and I should do blog battles, some way some how blog the convos that we have back and forth. I may be partial, but I think our dinner discussions and chats that we somehow manage to have over the roar of six kids are pretty damn interesting. Kyle brings the brilliance and I bring the emotion. Last night's discussion that continued when he got a chance to call me at lunch morphed into him writing this blog post, without further ado... 

(PS. I said every good blog post needs a pic, he firmly requested a baby squirrel.) 

A guest blog from Kyle:

I do not often post my thoughts publicly; preferring, instead, to share them in more personal conversations with those close to me. The recent rulings by the Supreme Court and the ensuing uproar have spurred me to depart from that behavior.

Up until maybe two years ago, I identified as Republican. Then I realized that the Republican Party as an organization no longer believed or practiced the ideals that I believe in: limited government, fiscal responsibility, personal accountability, adherence to the Constitution, and freedom of the people to name a few. Instead, Republican politicians proclaim these values to get elected and then abandon them once they are in office (massive expansion of govt, massive debt, out of control departments and programs, bills that are voted on without anyone even READING). To be fair, I think the same situation exists for the Democrats as well – espousing principles of helping the poor and needy, equality for all, fairness, etc… - then legislating nothing but more govt and power for themselves. I still tend to vote Republican but identify as Conservative or Libertarian.

So it has been with mounting disgust and embarrassment that I have read the comments on various news sites from ‘Republicans’ / ‘Conservatives’ regarding the gay marriage decisions. These comments run from ‘homosexuality is a sin’ to ‘gays will burn in hell’ to ‘why do they have to do that in public’ to ‘they just want to shove this down our throats’. The amount of hatred and vitriol is barely kept in check by many of these people and I have yet to see any of them approach the issue with a rational defense of their position based on the law, the Constitution, or anything other than their personal beliefs. I am embarrassed that these comments are coming from the same people who would identify as the same political philosophy I do.

Putting the vitriolic nature of these comments aside and looking at them based on their (lack of) merits:
The arguments based on the Bible (ie: it is a sin / abomination):
            - First of all, religion should not dictate laws. ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…’ To my knowledge, this is the only mention of religion within the Constitution or its Amendments. Nowhere does it state that laws should be established based on the beliefs of a particular religion. Frankly, that would be really bad because…
            - Which religion should we base our laws on? Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Mormon, Lutheran, Presbyterian… What about Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist... This is exactly what the section of the Constitution above is designed to prevent – any religion, no matter how prevalent in the current society, from becoming the law of the land.
            - Which Bible? The wiki on Bible editions shows 96 different versions classified as ‘complete translations’. 96!!! I knew there were a lot but seriously? How can any person definitively state their version is the absolute undeniable word of God when there are so many different variations? And to not only say that your version is correct but to then use that to condemn a person based on it? I am sorry but that is not what I think Jesus would do. I was going to break down the few (3) actual scriptures I have seen quoted but that seems irrelevant at this point. Judge not lest ye be judged.

As for the arguments based on society/culture (for lack of a better classification) (ie: ‘Why do they have to be in public like that?’ and ‘Eww, can you believe they actually expect us to be okay with them calling it marriage’). While it was slightly before my time, these arguments sound remarkably similar to those made by the ‘moral authority’ during a different issue. Let’s change them just slightly and see what we think: ‘Why do they have to be in the same public places as us?’ and ‘Eww, can you believe they actually expect us to be okay with them eating in the same restaurants as us?’ Too much? Maybe, but society wouldn’t condone those statements today so why do we condone similar ones just because it is a different classification of people? Equal is Equal.

Before seeing these comments and, frankly, before actually writing my own thoughts down, I never would have called myself a ‘supporter of gay rights’. But I can find absolutely no justification in the opposite argument and the attempts by those in that camp to justify their position only make their position weaker. For those of you that know me and my recent departure from faith, you may be thinking my opinions are based on that change. You would be wrong. Even when I was a self-proclaimed Christian (LDS), I had trouble supporting the opposition to gay marriage. Basically, I asked myself this question: ‘How does the marriage of two men or two women cheapen or in any way negatively affect my own marriage?’ The only honest answer I had was ‘It does not’. So how could I possibly stand for denying the same recognition of love that I have enjoyed for many years with my wife from any of my fellow human beings?

(p.s. I do have a major issue with the WAY in which the court handled Prop8 but that could be an entire book on its own)

- Kyle.


Cathy said...

And as someone posted today - if we are going to use the Bible as our basis for law, then we have to deny divorce, as the Bible is definitely against divorce. As usual, people use whatever ammunition they think of to justify their position. For most of my lifetime, I would not have been able to marry Tony because "God" didn't want the races "mixing". Thank goodness we all - well most of us anyway - grew up.

Nana to Oz said...

Amen Cathy! And well said son!! I have never had an issue with "gay" folks, some of my best friends have led and are leading that lifestyle. It doesn't diminish them as a person and it certainly doesn't take away from them being my friends and really good people. Love is love, and if you are lucky enough to find it in whatever way, good for you!!! We make our own choices and if you believe we must answer for the choices we make, then so be it. It is not our place to judge. This world would be a better place if we could just "live and let live" -- and let love!! PS - love the squirrel! :)