Charlie, I recognize that there are differences of opinion out there, on a myriad of topics, and I'd be foolish to believe that any opinions might be swayed in a venue like a newspaper's blog.
What has ticked me off about so many opponents to same-sex marriage is their inability to articulate their reasons. I just don't feel compelled to respect "Because the institution of marriage will be irreparably harmed!" without some concrete backup material.
Quite a number of opponents brandish the Bible as the argument-squasher, when in fact, they are cherry-picking passages that suit them. The Bible contains passages that allude to polygamy, slave-holding, and violence in the name of religion. So does the Koran. Does that makes these types of behaviors acceptable? My point (and yours, actually, in your second to last paragraph) is that reading the Bible does not release one from critical thinking.
I would not want to live in a society where everyone is of one mind, with no dissension or opposing views. It's a foolhardy vision of utopia that does not include disagreement.
I may not agree with you, Charlie, but I respect your thoughtful defense of your views and your right to hold them. I always look forward to our interactions!
P.S. As for Manny Pacquio, isn't he a Filipino? Isn't he, actually, a Filipino office-holder? Why should his opinion of our political affairs hold any weight? Rather than waste precious media attention on the thoughts of a boxer, where was their outrage against the Virginia legislature who voted down the nomination to a judgeship of a decorated Navy veteran and state attorney general because he's gay?
There are Bible passages that I feel are outdated and others that I feel are still current and applicable, but I don't think I 'cherry-pick' them. I will concede when a scripture hurts my argument just as quick as I will cite one that helps. I agree that there are people who do 'cherry-pick' on both sides of the argument. I don't have much use for any of them.
I have a theory of sorts - that an oppressed group/people will often exact revenge on their oppressors, which just continues the oppressive cycle. I was disappointed (for example) in Iraq, when the Shi'ites allowed the formerly well placed Sunnis to be abused as a group. So much for the religion of peace. The same goes for the former Yugoslav republics.
Lastly - yes, Manny Pacquiao is a Filipino. Why do we waste precious media attention on him? I don't know the answer, but at least he is an elected official in his country. Maybe a better question is why does the media give so much attention to entertainment celebrities and their political opinions? Even the ones from other countries seem to carry more weight than many members of our own gov't.
A recent poll (and I despise polls and the pundits who continually analyze them - but I can cherrypick them once in a while) found that gay marriage was an "important" issue to only 7% of the respondents. So, if true, why does the media interminably harp upon it as they have done and continue to do? Because it's easy! Put a few talking heads together and they can bore you for hours on the REAL IMPLICATIONS.
Charlie, I agree that it often seems the oppressed (whomever they may be) do exact retribution once roles are reversed. Hutus vs Tutsis; Shiites vs Sunnis; Hindus vs. Muslims; and on and on ... I support gay marriage, whether it is called that or civil union or whatever. But I would never trivialize or demonize someone who did not - as long as their objections did not trivialize or demonize the desires of gays. You're not a troglodyte (neccesarily) just because you don't support gay marriage. But if you oppose it out of some misguided, homophobic passion believing gays whould be stoned or segregated or relegated to second class citizenship, then you might be a troglodyte.
Why I detest this discussion in the national media, is because it is a distraction. And both candidates welcome it. Neither has a realistic plan to address the burgeoning Federal deficit. Romney's yammering about tax cuts and "job creators" is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. The economy has improved under Obama - there can be no argument. The Dow has gone from under 8,000 to over 12,000. Job creation is up and unemployment claims are down. But, it is still fragile; the costs to taxpayers to attain the improvements have been high; and, Obama has no clue nor plan to address the deficit either.
I agree, Bryant, that both political camps are not beating their gay-marriage drums from any altruistic stance. Especially since the right of gays to marry is a battle taking place on a state level, not federal. This issue is not a matter of policy; it's a matter of political expediency and, as you say, there are meatier (and far less "sexy") issues I'd rather see the two parties addressing--and not with attack ads.
When was the last time we, the electorate, saw an honest-to-gosh, do-able PLAN for getting out of this fiscal quagmire that didn't involve a slash-and-burn mentality?
Who, exactly, is being silenced? Who is not being allowed to have a voice? Pacquiao spoke out and other's responded to disagree with him. Charlie appears not to have liked how those who differed with Pacquiao's opinion presented (and I apologize if this is a misrepresentation of your stance, please correct it if it is) their opinion, but no one's voice was barred from the conversation.
I chewed and mulled on this point yesterday, but did not have a chance to comment.
I think the base issue of this is a person's right to be who they are, correct? So... why is all the attention on homosexuals?
I believe I am correct in saying that prostitutes are pretty despised around the world - whether it is legal or not. In most US states, it is illegal, so why are these women denied an opportunity to pursue their 'economic' opportunity? I will likely be criticized about pimping and beatings and the degradation of women, but the fact remains that these women sell themselves, it is not sex against their will, is it?
I will use Walmart as a common square environment - I would be roundly criticized if I commented negatively on an effemininate, openly gay man, but let a known prostitute stroll through and NO ONE would have a kind word for her, and not one spectator would dare chastize her tormentors, likely because they also hold a low opinion of the woman.
I could go on with drug addicts, promiscuouis people of both sexes, alcoholics, and thieves (it's a living, ain't it?). Why do we (me and all of you) criticize and condemn these people with impunity, but because I disagree with a homosexual lifestyle, I draw an extra ration of abuse.
Personally, I believe (I really do) that homosexuality is the "cause du jour" for many folks - especially young people with interest in the arts who are also internet savvy. Is this group - barely in their adulthood - the best group to drive a major change in legal and social policy?
Oh, Charlie. I'm afraid you've made a number of assumptions in your last post that just don't hold water.
I think I understand what you're trying to state, but bringing prostitutes, drug addicts, alcoholics and thieves into the discussion as being on a par with gay people totally undermines your argument and reinforces the perception, on so many levels, that this is not a subject you'll ever really "get." All that will happen is that you will (unwittingly?) unleash exactly the sort of barrage you are protesting and no one's going to come out the wiser.
I don't get black holes; I don't understand the first thing about matter and anti-matter and dark energy and no matter how many times patient people try to educate me, I remain clueless. Ergo, you will never find me immersed in a conversation about black holes.
And, oh, Charlie--that last paragraph? Lordy, where ARE you getting this stuff? The group wanting a major change in legal and social policy consists of 30- and 40-somethings, highly educated, employed in honorable professions, who have for decades been contributing members of their communities. To state that homosexuality is just some crazy kid phase is to display a profound ignorance of the subject.
No one can deny your right to say idiotic things--but don't expect to be respected for them. Do expect to be pilloried.
At risk of digging a deeper hole, I brought those other subjects into the conversation because (at one time) homosexuality was right in there with them. Homosexuality was illegal and considered immoral behavior for most of the 20th Century. Somehow, homosexuality is no longer considered either.
I might be incorrect, but I am trying to understand (I think) a basic sociological / anthropological concept - in this American culture, why is this (prostitution et al) considered illegal/immoral, while that (homosexuality) is not. That is, I believe, the crux of my predicament.
I am in conflict with those who feel homosexuality is just fine, when I do not believe it is. Like most people, I really do not care who does or does not engage in homosexuality (or the other activities), but I do not feel I can support giving it legal status any more than I (or perhaps you) can support the others.
There was a time when it was immoral and illegal for people of different races to marry. Interracial marriage was illegal and considered immoral behavior for most of the 20th Century. Somehow, interracial marriage is no longer considered either.
I might be incorrect, but I am trying to understand (I think) a basic sociological / anthropological concept - in this American culture, why is this (prostitution et al) considered illegal/immoral, while that (interracial marriage) is not. That is, I believe, the crux of my predicament.
I am in conflict with those who feel interracial marriage is just fine, when I do not believe it is. Like most people, I really do not care who does or does not engage in interracial marriage(or the other activities), but I do not feel I can support giving it legal status any more than I (or perhaps you) can support the others.
- comments from 1967
First to respond to FrankCostanzasLawyer comment from 23:02 on 15 May. “Who, exactly, is being silenced?”
Manny Pacquiao, I answer. Check the link from the LA Times, but I will give you the gist of it with this quote –
“On Monday night, the Grove, owned by shopping mall magnate Rick Caruso, posted a statement on Twitter saying Pacquiao is not allowed on the premises.” It continues, ““Boxer Manny Pacquiao is not welcome at @TheGroveLA. @TheGroveLA is a gathering place for all Angelenos, not a place for intolerance."”
That would fit perfectly at a Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, NC circa 1960.
katieog, I guess you are right – maybe I just don’t get it. But I think FrankCostanzasLawyer illustrated my point perfectly – twice. Manny is being discriminated against because he dared to voice a dissenting opinion. Later, FrankCostanzasLawyer chose to mock and mimic my statements like a 19y/o college freshman rather than offer a constructive comment.
If intolerance, ridicule, and sarcasm are the values that FrankCostanzasLawyer wants to pass along to his son… well, I wish him well with that. But he has no grounds to criticize me.
Being discriminated against does not equal being silenced unless there's a new definition of those words that I'm unaware of. African-Americans were being discriminated against in the 60s, yet they were able to march and hold demonstrations advocating their views. Can you clarify for us how being discriminated against equals being silenced? Pacaquiao is still free to hold any marches or rallies he desires. He's not being silenced, regardless of what you believe.
Simply because you appeared to miss the constructive aspect of my comment (that opposing gay marriage because of, as you wrote, it was "illegal and considered immoral behavior for most of the 20th Century," is akin to opposing interracial marriages in the 1960s based on the same criteria) doesn't mean the point wasn't there.
Mr. Pacquiao wasn't silenced; we were all able to hear his opinion. He's both a world-class boxer and a beloved member of the Filipino legislature. Pretty sure he's going to be able to slog through the rest of his life without any regrets about one Los Angeles nightclub's boorish behavior towards him.
Can the same be said for LPGA pros denied membership in the Augusta National Golf Club?
Back to Pacquiao: I see that he's apologized. He may even be sincere, but he's following a trend now current among newsmakers: Say something outrageous, crass, uncivil, utterly untruthful, wait a day or until the news frenzy abates, then "apologize."
These apologists are not the least bit contrite; they are simply following a sure-fire political script designed to rouse the base, inflame the opposition and garner as much media coverage as possible, before they hit the "reset" button with a mea culpa.
Our leaders think we're idiots with short-term memory loss issues. Are they right?
I assure you that I have a bright and retentive memory!!
About a LOT of things....
katie - LPGA pros and Augusta National? That's pretty far afield from the discussion and not relevant.
Speaking of far afield, Charlie you did go a little off kilter with prostitutes and drug addicts. Although I would support legalized, regulated prostitution because it has always and will always exist. Same with lgalization of marijuana; regulate it, tax it, and use the tax proceeds for anti-drug efforts aimed at crystal meth, heroin, etc. abd drug rehab programs.
THANK YOU, BRYANT!!! for seeing my point, mostly. I do not think it is that far afield.
Prostitution is illegal in most states. Why? Regardless of the reason, I feel safe saying that most people do not like prostitutes / the practice of prostitution and would not support the legalizational of prostitution.
So, please explain the legal and moral distinctions between prostituion and homosexuality.
I see both as a preference of sexual taste not generally accepted as a practice of the general public, population or the species. Hence my question - Why would katieog support a gay couple but not (most likely) a prostitute?
I would use the same structural argument for legalizing drugs? WHY is this drug ok, while that one is not? Why are homosexuals accepted, but drug users are not?
Simply because you appeared to miss the inquisitive (help me understand) aspect of my statement (that supporting legalization of a former illegal/immoral activity without being able to articulate how it differs from other illegal/immoral activities seems hypocritical) doesn't mean the point wasn't there. See my comment to Bryant.
INTERRACIAL marriage between a man and a woman is fundamentally different from HOMOSEXUAL marriage, in my opinion. Race is not an absolute / mutually exclusive condition – that is to say a person may be of mixed race. Biological sexual configuration IS mutually exclusive with rare exceptions. I certainly could explain that rationale further, but I realize that it could be terribly offensive to some, perhaps even you.
Whoa, there, Charlie. Be careful with your assumptions!
I don't disparage, disapprove or hold in judgment women who sell sex for money. As far as I'm concerned, they're in the service industry and not for nothing is it called the world's oldest profession.
I was appalled to see the mug shots on the front page of the Herald of the men who got "stung" by law enforcement. If they're willing to put money on the barrelhead for goods received, where's the crime?
If prostitution were legalized, both the pros and the johns would be safer.
Mea culpa. However, in my own defense, I mistakenly included you in the same group with Angie and a host of other wives and significant others who do not / would not approve of prosititutes in the neighborhood.
Having said that, I personally agree with you and Bryant concerning regulation of prostitution on for a safe 'working' environment. Regulation would make it safer from a health perspective.
Now to bring it back full circle - I would not support legalization of prostitution because of the moral implications and societal concerns. I believe a man, once committed to a woman, should remain faithful to her, or they should un-commit. I do not believe legalized prostitution would promote that - either from men straying or women soliciting. Unattached people are free to do what they do, but there may be a certain stigma for 'paying for' what others get for free.
Hence, by my reasoning, prostitution is not 'just' a business deal between a customer and a service provider, but it is also a tear in the fabric of society as I perceive it. Hence, prostitution should not be legal, in my opinion. However, we all know it is there, and we all know the risks and rewards - but making it legal just does not seem to be in the community's best interest.
I believe I used, "...a tear in the fabric of society ..." in your blog related to same sex marriage.
Can't agree with you, Charlie. If prostitution represents a tear in the fabric of society, yet the profession has been around since history started being recorded, wouldn't the fabric be in shreds by now?
Like so many other perceived threats to society, prostitution is a threat with no teeth...and a helluva lot of staying power!
(chuckle) I am tempted to comment on the 'no teeth' and 'staying power' clauses, but no.... (chuckle)
Ha! Then you understand how hard it was for me to type that phrase and just let it lay there...(step away from the innuendo, Katie!)
may I say something...as a gay man celebrating my 15th year with my partner, yes, I feel like a second class person...I pay the same taxes, put into the system, and have higher morals than most people out there...yet I can not have the same legal rights as others...case closed...
Why not call it a civil union to make it legal and reserve the word marriage for religious ceremonies? Problem solved.
In my opinion, the fabric of society IS in shreds and prostitution is the least of the culprits. But I digress.
I actually had a student-led discussion about "gay marriage" in my high-school Sunday School class recently. Very intelligent too. It dealt less about homosexuality and more about LEGAL rights. Still, homosexuality is a sin but so is prostitution, lying, cheating on your taxes, stealing office products from work, premarital sex, coveting, etc. We all fall short and sin, whether in the eyes of God or the eyes of man. No one is ever going to be "perfect." BTW, what is "perfect?"
@cityslicker - As far as paying taxes into the system and not receiving the same benefits, this argument does not hold water for gays so please don't use it. I pay plenty of taxes into the system and don't partake of them...I pay school taxes and even though I homeschool I don't get any kind of credit for them on my tax returns. I don't (and never have) get food stamps, medicaid or subsidized anything even though I pay for them. Et cetera....
@Hutch - What is "perfect"? Did you seriously put that? If you teach a H.S. Sunday School class I would hope you know that it means striving to be as much like Jesus as humanly possible. (Unless your a Unitarian Universalist, then your views may be crazy.)
Yes, I seriously put that. Striving to be perfect is just that....striving. That's not a definition. 'Perfect' is something no one will ever attain (there hasn't been a perfect human being in a long, long, long time and never will be) but what about a thing. When I was umpiring fast-pitch softball yesterday, I had a catcher tell me that "my pitcher's screwball was perfect." Was it really? The perfect cheeseburger...a perfect game in baseball...a perfect taco...the perfect dress...the perfect diamond. Without imperfection, flawless