Between the discussion over same sex marriage and the discussion over Gun control and assault weapons ban my Twitter account has been blowing up. I should point out that as I was writing this I was breaking away frequently to respond to discussions via Twitter. I noticed that the style was very choppy when I re-read this piece.
I also want to be clear, while I was participating in the discussions I was not initiating them. I follow a number of people, some conservative, some liberal. It’s my attempt to see both sides of any issue that gains traction. Twitter often leads the normal news reporting agencies by hours if not days.
There have been some very interesting and informative discussions over the past few weeks. I’ve learned a lot of new things.
For example while I know that the AR-15 isn’t a machine gun, I didn’t know that it was the M-16s Papa.
I’m unconvinced either way about the background checks.
Not because I’m being purposely obtuse but because I am convinced that criminals will find a way to arm themselves regardless of the law.
That is after all the point of being a criminal – you don’t obey the law.
I believe that the current bloviation on the part of our politicians about and assault weapon ban is nothing more than window dressing. The ban isn’t going to address the real issues, it’s a dog & pony show to give the American People the illusion that our representatives are actually doing something.
Before you start getting the wrong idea, I take nothing at face value that I read on Twitter, or on the internet for that matter.
What I can say is, the people who are willing to have a discussion have, in some cases challenged my beliefs.
As I’ve examined those challenges and verified the information some folks have presented, I’ve been learning.
I’ve been privileged to participate in discussions about same sex marriage and constitutional law.
I’ve noticed that more often than not, the Ultra Liberal elements on Twitter are the least capable of defending their positions.
In the Same sex marriage discussions it’s the radicalized gay ultra liberals that start the name calling first. Bigot & Homophobe are the first two words they’ll choose to defend themselves when they can’t make headway in a discussion with Opponents of Same Sex Marriage.
Shortly after, the Liberals will take their marbles and go home by blocking, then unfollowing people that don’t agree with them.
It’s interesting that the conservatives will hang in a conversation and actually exchange ideas without resorting to the name calling. Oh they may disagree vehemently but name calling is generally not part of the conversation.
This other thing that’s interesting is that I’ve seen many of the “ultra liberals” engage in bullying tactics where they attempt to silence any differing opinions. I thought these people were supposed to be the “Nice” ones about freedom and rights and all that. Apparently that characterization only applies if you keep to the party line.
Amazingly, I’ve found myself defending religious zealots, not because I agree with their stance against gay people (I don’t) but because they were being denied their opportunity to express themselves.
I’ve at least been successful showing that not all supporters of Same Sex Marriage are rude thoughtless assholes.
I’ve been involved in a number of marriage discussions, and while I don’t believe you can truly “Win” a debate with someone who believes that being Gay is a sin and a choice…
I have at least been able to make some of the more reasonable people in the bunch, pause and reconsider their positions. That is enough, because pausing and reconsidering is the first step toward changing a long held belief.
As part of both of these discussions I’ve been re-acquainted with my old friend the United States Constitution.
That document is amazing simultaneously in it’s complexity and simplicity.
Have you considered how short the constitution is (In terms of page length) and how far reaching it’s power is?
It’s a document that can be read, and was meant to be read by common people. I marvel at how we go from the few pages of the U.S. Constitution to the thousands of pages of Obamacare.
It’s amazing that you can found a country with a few handwritten pages and you can’t reform healthcare with less than thousands or hundreds of thousands of pages.
If you’ve never taken the time to read the U.S Constitution do so, it’s worth your time and you might be as impressed as I am. It’s available online at many locations including Here
As I’ve read and watched both sides of the two arguments I have come away realizing that both sides have polarized extremists on either side, strangely the arguments after a while begin to sound the same.
For example, both arguments use the safety of children in their justification.
Ban guns to protect to children
Ban Same sex marriage to protect the children
Both arguments use constitutional grounds in their justification
The 2nd amendment insures the right to bear arms
States rights trump the constitution with regard to marriage. Unless it’s DOMA then it’s ok to listen to the Feds
Thankfully both discussions dont use the religious arguments.
However there have been enough of those regarding same sex marriage to last me a life time.
Here’s a sampling.
If we’re going to allow same sex marriage we might as well allow polygamy.
We don’t mind if the gays have unions but don’t call it marriage, marriage is sacred and defined by god
Next thing you know some idiot will be wanting to marry their dog or horse.
Churches will be forced to marry Gay people.
I love the polygamy argument. Simply because they tend to get real quiet when you point out that it’s been done.
Yep in UT by the LDS church from 1852 and was officially stopped in 1890 after a considerable amount of legal wrangling. If polygamy is a tenant of the church, doesn’t the provision for freedom of religion protect it?
I’ve also pointed out that Solomon is reputed in the bible to have had many wives.
Sadly the religious people don’t call me on my bluff. I suppose I’ve poisoned the well a bit by pointing out that the very thing they are citing as an evil result of same sex marriage they themselves have already done.
All they’d have to say is “Well we don’t do that anymore” and my argument falls apart.
However that admission opens the door to my pointing out that they can’t stand on religious tradition because once again they themselves have chosen to break with tradition.
I’ve enjoyed pointing out that civil unions and domestic partnerships don’t really work and are simply a redux of “separate but equal”. different/separate but equal NEVER works.
The real irony here is how many African Americans suggest it.
What’s the old saying? Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it?
We have abundant cases where gay people had done the union, the domestic partnerships, spent thousands of dollars in attorney fees trying to protect their partnership and then lost everything when one of them died.
The worst of these cases I know of was where two elderly gay men were sent to different nursing homes because someone decided they were incapable of caring for themselves anymore. Their home was seized by the state, then sold, as were all their possessions at a state run estate sale while the two men were still alive and fighting what the state was doing. “Different/separate but equal” isn’t a solution it’s a trap.
The saddest part of the example above is that had the couple been a man and woman simply living together the state wouldn’t have been able to get away with it. Which says that even when the conditions are the same, a heterosexual couple has more rights than a homosexual couple.
The bestiality argument is also one of those you hear a lot. But if you point out that the language and acts described in bestiality laws somewhat assume straight folks, then they tend to not press the point.
The churches being forced to marry gay people is an unfortunate side effect and I can see that concern might have some merit.
You just know that a gay couple is going to feel that their right to marry is being infringed upon if they go to a beautiful Catholic church wanting to be married and are told that the church won’t allow it.
That’s got little to do with them being gay or straight that would have more to do with if they were both Catholic or not. The fact is a religious practitioner doesn’t have to perform a marriage of two people.
If a clergy member refuses to marry a couple, it’s usually something to do with their assessment of the couple and what they perceive to be the odds of a marriage lasting.
That doesn’t prevent a couple from getting married, it simply says that the clergy person won’t be performing the wedding and that the bride to be may not get to walk down the aisle of her church.
If a church rents it’s space for public events then I foresee it being a whole different ballgame.
The truth of the matter is that most gay folks don’t attend churches where they don’t feel welcome. It’s likely that most of them will prefer to be married in their own churches, in front of their own clergy and that is likely to be just fine.
The gay community in my opinion must stand ready to stop frivolous law suits brought against churches.
It’s simply about respect.
The gay community must respect that simply because you have a right, doesn’t mean you’re entitled to use that right to cause harm.
I’m probably fighting a losing battle but at least I’m occasionally causing someone to stop a moment to think about a different point of view.
Who on Earth would ever have predicted that I might actually become interested in politics?
I guess stranger things have happened, but not recently!