Sunday, January 6, 2008

Regarding bigotry

There is a great conversation happening over at Preemptive Karma on "civil unions" vs. marriage. I found myself swept up in it in the comments section. There are elements of states rights, and separation of church and state, and legal rhetoric around the phrases involved being discussed.

In the end, to me, this is a simple issue. Either you are for the same legal rights for all Americans or you are not. If you are not, you hold a bigoted stance.

Here is Merriam-Webster's definition of bigot:
a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

Take away all the obscuration and diversionary discussions, remove all the fluff, and bigotry is what I find under the anti-gay-marriage side of this discussion.

If I'm being too simplistic, enlighten me please.

Enjoy civil discourse when you can find it,



Kevin said...

Thanks for the mention, Bp. Your contributions to the discussion have been much appreciated.

On the Senate race... I would caution you to not take any given candidate's support's view on who is bigoted on this issue and who isn't. Nor for that matter would it be wise to take any supporter's interpretation of what a given candidate actually believes without massive doses of salt.

As I said over at my blog, I don't honestly believe that any of them are bigoted on this issue... except Gordon Smith of course. What they differ on, as best I can discern, is the best way to achieve equality for the LGBT community.

Stu Farnham said...

Regarding bigotry -- it is doubly offensive when it is exploited for one's own benefit, whether that be political, economic, or, as is so often the case, both.

While it is not the first time in our history that an issue has been so exploited, it is distressing to watch how this one has been and still is being used to shape a political process to which it should not be relevant.

The Republicans used it adroitly in 2004. However, it can just as easily be exploited in the other direction: a false support can be used to garner votes as well.

I am tempted to say that the best candidate to support is the one who says "this is not an issue in which the federal government should be involved, and I will therefore not take a position beyond that."

However, the reality is that we must be vigilant, and must actively oppose that which is hateful to us, or it will prevail.

There is another issue here besides bigotry, and that is freedom of belief. The OED defines santity as "The quality of being sacred or hallowed; sacredness, inviolability". It follows from this that the "sanctity of marraige" is a religious belief, and, as such, one which the government has no right to impose.

Of course, given the cynical pro-business posiitons of the current administration, there is also a possibility that costs are an issue as well; if gay marraige, or even civil unions, are allowed, the cost of the associated benefits would be borne in part by business.

Bpaul said...

Kevin, I will be careful with this regarding politicians. But it is a very important issue for me, as some of my favorite people on the planet are of the LGBT community. My best friend since kindergarten is for crissakes, he's like a brother to me.

I'm in Stu's camp, if they aren't actually bigoted but positioning carefully due to politics, then that's B.S. I vote for backbone, thanks.

Kevin said...

It hits close to home for me too, Bp. My oldest daughter Kandace (from comments at my place) to be more precise. Carla's (also from comments at my place) brother too.

From where I sit it seems to me that positioning due to politics is often highly nuanced. For example, I cited polling numbers in a comment at my place. When the polling question is "gay marriage: yes or no," gay rights go down in flames. Open it up with the option of civil unions in addition to gay marriage and the bigots go down in flames. So obviously I see a distinct political advantage to what I've proposed, even though that's not the impetus for it.

And of course there is the obvious fact that I never brought any political candidate's name into any of it. That came via a supporter of someone that I don't support and he promptly sidetracked the entire discussion into bickering over candidate's positions from which he obviously sought some sort of advantage for his guy. Clearly an example of someone with a massive axe to grind. Hence my reference earlier to massive doses of salt...

I just wish this idea would get out into the mainstream. I don't give a whit about traffic for my blog. I'm just frustrated with the staleness of the ongoing stalemate over gay "marriage." So I'm trying to make some noise in the perhaps naive hope that someone with real connections will be intrigued enough to expose it to a much larger audience than my piddling blog reaches. Well... that and I really do care a great deal about Church/State separation.

Stu... if you're still reading this... I read your blogger bio. Small world. I had the honor of getting kicked out of Walla Walla College, not once but twice! LOL

Stu Farnham said...


Nice blog...

I hope you were kicked out of WWC (now WWU, BTW) for a good cause LOL


Bpaul said...

"So I'm trying to make some noise in the perhaps naive hope that someone with real connections will be intrigued enough to expose it to a much larger audience than my piddling blog reaches. Well... that and I really do care a great deal about Church/State separation."

Here here brother.

Great to make your acquaintance, I'm sure there will be more cross commentary to follow.

Well met.