Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Supporting Fire for Triple A

"Wherever I have been, I am back," and into the fray at Residual Forces on this posting by Triple A, "A Little Clarity for Everyone." I want to post here a comment I left, (increasing the readership by at least three), and add a few words.

Once again the irrationality of people is staggering. "It's common knowledge to virtually the entire planet.." "If this isn't about gays, then why were there signs ..." Etc. etc. I think, not feel, think, the issue here is twofold. Does the state, and I'm using that word in general terms, State governments, the Federal government, do they have the authority to decide the definition of an institution over which they have some regulatory and statutory influence, but which they did not create? It is a yes or no question. I think they do not, anymore than they can redefine water into H3O, or decide that popsicles are cheese. The opposition leads with its moral outrage, insisting by the superiority of their tolerance and inclusiveness that everyone who loves should be invited to the party. It is purely a feel good about themselves proposition. The incendiary invective spat at their opponents make this self evident. Otherwise we should see genuine arguments. And we would see a chance for the people to decide. Which is the second issue, who decides? When the opposition to the people voting on this are certain that all those opposed are motivated only by hate, contempt, bigotry, religious conviction (read, prejudice), and their favorite catch-all, (drum roll please) homophobia, they must, to preserve their own self-certain piety, deny the ignorant masses a vote.
The gist of arguments I've read so far in the comments make little reference to the commitments of marriage, and have leaned heavily on tropes about rights, and hospital visitation, and insurance benefits. If this is so, then I'd suggest working for those things, and quit heaping inflammatory bile on those who just want to maintain a several thousands year old status quo.

When Harpo Marx, late in his career began touring, (and talking), his show was called, "As I was saying." Groucho said, "Once he started talking, we couldn't shut him up."

As I was saying, marriage is an institution preceding government involvement in its creation. They should have stayed the heck out. They have not, and that horse has left the barn. I must take agreement with the Catholic viewpoint of marriage as a Sacrament. That this sounds foolish, preposterous and ridiculously out of step with 'modern thought', as if the brief half-life of 'modern thought' were its greatest virtue, only shows how far we've stepped, even run away from what once was normal, common sense. And to try using as "normal, common sense" arguments such tin boiler plate as, "same love, same rights" misses the point twice. Rights are not granted by the state, through legislative legerdemain, and Marriage is and institution not a right. Granted, people may believe they have the authority to amend the participants of the contract, and the People may even vote to do so, or not. That we do not have the authority to do this does not change. That the law overrules what it lacks authority to define forces those of us opposed to such a change to adopt the tactics and strategy of the law as well, voting to enact and codify what should be self-evident. That certain legislators deny and obstruct the Right of the People to make this decision, deciding the People be damned...those legislators should be damned right out of office! I think they know any vote will go against them. Thus the issue is their own power, and holding onto a sense of superiority. That ought to be enough to condemn them to the outer darkness of electoral defeat. (Interesting that I've written "go against them" and not "against the issue. " The issue for me is a moral one, not one of identity.)

Some side notes. If homosexuals want to secure the privileges of power of attorney, insurance equality et. al. , in a secular society, with secular laws, go for it. Notice I've not come out advocating stoning in public (see Afghanistan, The Taliban in-), but if we give in to arguments about hospital visitation and the wonderfulness of homosexual affection, what arguments shall we use when two male cousins want to marry your brother-in-law?

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