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Is Gay Marriage a Slippery Slope?

I’ve actually been mulling this question over and over in my head for months now. This evening I found an article on Digg (O’Reilly’s Ark: Gay marriage leads to goat, dolphin marriage) that I think helped me see a little more clearly. This frustrates me because we have experts discussing these matters in the media, and the public forming and shaping their opinions based on these discussions, and the arguments are so weak and illogical. I’m freely admitting I think it’s a hard question to answer, I would just assume (or hope? perhaps naively) that the talking heads, who are getting paid all that money, know what they’re talking about.

OK, so here’s where the argument starts to fall apart:

OK, but then you have to explain why two and not three.

They’re talking about being on a slippery slope, and this question about why two and not three. This is when it crystallized in my head, and my answer to the question is another question: when exactly do these talking heads think we took the first step onto this slope anyway?

We sometimes, but not always, allow two today. We used to allow more than two and now we don’t. We allow more combinations of two today than we did 50ish years ago, and now we want to add the rest of the combinations. Someone else can do the research for me, but I remember reading that these arguments are not new – that people said something like, “if you allow blacks and whites to marry then you’ll have to let the polygamists marry too.” That didn’t work out so well for the polygamists.

Before I wrap this up, a quick aside. It’s hysterical to me that O’Reilly mentioned Big Love. I remember that the show’s creators are actually gay and have been romantically involved. You might call it ironic that O’Rielly picks this show as an example when I think that’s exactly what the producers had in mind. I don’t think their point is that polygamy should be generally acceptable in society, but the love that fictional family shares, and the difficulties they go through, is compelling.

How does changing the definition from “between one man and one woman” to “between two people” fundamentally change the definition of marriage anyway? More importantly, how does it change what part of the slope we’re already on?

1 comment Political 05/13/2009 at 18:21 ET

Who Would Jesus Bomb?

…my new favorite bumper sticker.

I don’t have many favorites — no favorite movie and no favorite candy bar. Yet, I have, from time to time, had a favorite bumper sticker. Most of you probably don’t know about my old favorite bumper sticker, “Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing their idiot.” That one still gets me if I see it, although it’s been a while. It’s also been a while since I designated it as my favorite bumper sticker, so now seems like a good time to update my choice. “Who would Jesus bomb?” definitely takes the cake.

Honestly, in the current political and social climate, I was a little shocked by the bumper sticker at first. I couldn’t believe that someone would be so audacious to suggest that there is an answer to that question. People wearing W.W.J.D. bracelets who spout hatred against gays and talk about the necessity for capital punishment are the all-too-common popular stereotype of an American Christian. (Seriously, are they concerned that in a wold without capital punishment there wouldn’t have been a vehicle for salvation?) Crazy Christians who are too concerned with the ways and dogma of the church to spend any time understanding Jesus are one thing — the half-second I thought that someone would invoke the persona of Jesus to justify war boiled my blood.

After I took another half-second to calm down and realized the question was rhetorical, I did a little searching on the internet and confirmed the message the driver was trying to convey was likely more enlightened. There are some people who have taken up this slogan and I’m very proud of them. Here’s a good one: David Rovics Sings “Who Would Jesus Bomb?”

Add comment Political,Spirituality and Faith 03/07/2008 at 17:39 ET

Happy Holidays

I don’t pay enough attention to the mass media sometimes — and certainly not the religious right — so you’ll have to excuse the lateness of my “too” politically correct greeting. I just today noticed a news story about this new national debate. This is absa-frickin-lutely ridiculous, and I think it’s important enough to mention (apparently) yet again. I weigh-in mostly because I don’t want anyone to not know exactly where I stand. Happy Holidays!

Let’s ignore for a minute the absurdity of suggesting that retailers, by not specifically saying “Merry Christmas,” are de-emphasizing the religious aspects of the holiday season (Orlando Sentinel, 18 Dec., “Tackling seasonal war of words”). Seriously, thats the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever pondered. I’m quite-sure that less than a decade ago people were on the age-old debate about Christmas presents at all — plenty of people aught to rightfully still feel that the commercialization of Christmas in general has done plenty to de-emphasize the religious aspects of the holiday despite the greeting on the advertisements, on the websites, on the signs, or coming from the salesperson’s lips. I don’t know about your Christmas mornings, all ye who are Christian, but in my house gift giving was never quite an “in remembrance of him” sacrament. Aren’t some of these people the same who argue against images of Santa Claus during the holidays? Ask any American child and they’ll be happy to tell you that shopping for presents is much more about Santa than our Lord and Savior.

Let’s instead call this what it is — a feeling of religious, and more importantly cultural, dominance and superiority felt by some extremist Christians. As I’ve started to grow up and talk about such things I’ve felt it in religious and legal rap sessions and I’m sure that it is by no means something new. I’m talking about people who pull out U.S. currency and point out “in God we trust” as evidence of the fact that our country is actually Christian, the First Amendment be damned. Don’t get me wrong — the holiday greeting is not a question of law, the shopkeepers can say whatever they please. I just think that by trying to raise the point of what holiday(s) large retailers mention some nutjobs are trying to leverage other followers’ buying power for a little more influence and some free advertising. If you’re not like minded, don’t kid yourself, they wouldn’t be making such a fuss about it if they didn’t expect it to pay off.

Me, I’m going to try to celebrate holiday gift-giving as what it is — a gigantic retail driver in our economy — and follow what I think Santa would do. He’s got billions to buy for — I’m going to the place that will sell me the crap that I want for the cheapest price possible.

Happy Holidays!
~Jed

Add comment Political 12/18/2006 at 08:11 ET