Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Adam & Steve

"God made Adam and Eve - not Adam and Steve"

No redneck quote on the planet pisses me off more than this one. All in one comment I am informed that (a) you object to homosexuality; (b) you are a "Christian" and (c) you believe in creationism. Furthermore, those who voice this idiotic idiom are communicating to me, in the most trite way possible, that they expect me to believe in and be subject to these very same premises.

Let me state for the record that (a) I have no objection to homosexuality or homosexuals - what makes your heart go pitter patter or your genetalia perk up is your business and does not completely identify and pigeon-hole any one individual; (b) I am not a "Christian" but I do respect your right to be one and I do not make an effort to cram my religious beliefs down your throat (although I am happy to share them if asked); (c) I believe in the science of evolution - I do not believe that God created Adam and Eve or Steve (other than indirectly through a philosophical belief I have heard called "original motion" - but I promised I wouldn't cram that down your throat).

I am a registered Republican and, today, I voted. I did my civic duty. One of the issues on the ballot was a proposition to make a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. A "Yes" vote was a vote to approve the constitutional amendment. A "No" vote was a vote to maintain the statutory ban on same-sex marriage. The result was the same - the only difference was whether it should be added to the constitution and thus made significantly more difficult to overturn later.

I mentioned in passing in my one year anniversary post my position on this issue. This set of a series of debates between and among some of my peers. I am stubborn, but not irrational. Generally a good healthy debate will result in a thought or an issue that I had not considered. I left this debate even more convinced that two adult, consenting individuals should be permitted the legal benefits afforded a married couple.

Why can't we separate the issue of where one man puts his penis from the issue of whether that man can check the married box on his taxes, inherit (by statute) from his significant other and have other rights afforded any married man and woman?

Back in the good ole days, the Republican party stood for something completely different than it does today. It stood for small government. Republicans believed that government should stay out of the individual's private lives and certainly out of their bedrooms. The Republican party has been taken hostage by the Wal-Mart shoppers and the ultra-right wing Christian movement. It is now dead to me.

Where have you gone Barry Goldwater?


Blogger PDD provided this enlightening comment...

God I love you!

The statement "God made Adam and Eve - not Adam and Steve" is just flat out embarrassing at this point. And don't you ever notice, everytime one of these idiotic rednecks makes this statement they act as though they alone came up with it - that no one else has ever heard of that before. Like revelation #3049. What a humiliation!

I thought God made Saddam and me?

9:06 PM, November 07, 2006  
Blogger Eve provided this enlightening comment...

And THAT my dear, is the reason why a lot of frustrated Republicans have become switch hitters.

Not that the disjointed Democratic party is much better?! But the lesser of 2 evils.

Many of my views tend to be conservative, as well. THat being said, I do NOT believe that a government has the right to dictate what the citizens moral and ethical code should be across the board, particularly as their tactic is stuffing a cross down my throat.

The gay marriage amendment is embarrassing. I say that, the citizen of a state that passed one.

Bigotry. Judgement. Horrifying.

WHo GIVES a shit who you like, love, kiss, fuck, marry. Who makes you happy?! I don't get it.

Political debate has become theological debate.

I share your frustration.

Lets' get to the REAL issues.

8:13 AM, November 08, 2006  
Blogger FLAMINGO1 provided this enlightening comment...

I am pleased to announce that the NO vote actually carried the day in Arizona.

We will not have a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Thank you, Kevin, for not voting!!!

8:57 AM, November 08, 2006  
Anonymous Kagemusha provided this enlightening comment...

Once more unto the breach, dear friends. Once more.

Flamingo wrote:

"Why can't we separate the issue of where one man puts his penis from the issue of whether that man can check the married box on his taxes, inherit (by statute) from his significant other and have other rights afforded any married man and woman?"

Because I think this is a terribly simplistic (NOT simple-minded) position. Simply stating in effect that “I think this is right" fails to contemplate the inevitable clash between various other liberties guaranteed under the laws and constitution of the US.

Start with the assumption that same-sex marriage becomes law. Now, given that the majority of states have laws stating that you cannot discriminate against someone because of their marital status, what happens when gay marriage conflicts with religious liberty?

Take a religiously run school which is opposed to same sex marriage. One of the teachers at this school decides that he/she is going to marry their same sex partner. The school administrators learn of the marriage and terminate the teacher. The teacher sues the school because he/she has been terminated “based upon their marital status” in violation of the state’s anti-discrimination laws. The school defends based on its rights of freedom of religion/association in the First Amendment. Who wins? Take this scenario and multiply it by any number of religious, social, charitable or other groups which oppose same sex marriage and the legal clashes may equal or dwarf those of the abortion debates over the past thirty years.

That is why I think it is short sighted to simply say “I think this is right” without at least trying to consider the ramifications of the position. Nor do I think such opposition to same-sex marriage reeks of bigotry or hatred.

Yes, there are simple-minded (NOT simplistic) people who make the Adam and Steve argument. I also cringe when I hear those types of statements. There are also people on the other side of the debate who make equally cringe-inducing statements. However, simply because people oppose same-sex marriage does not mean they are hate inducing, fear mongering people.

(I will now seek the refuge of an asbestos pillbox in order to withstand the salvo of flame e-mails. As you know, I do not have the regenerative abilities of Wolverine with his Adamantium skeletal structure….you know Adamantium, the virtually indestructible metal in Wolverine’s body. . . . Adamantium. Gah, why do I even try!!!)

10:49 AM, November 09, 2006  
Blogger Erin O'Brien provided this enlightening comment...

God created me, baby.

Then he went out for a drink.

Or was it the other way around?

1:47 PM, November 09, 2006  
Blogger FLAMINGO1 provided this enlightening comment...

I still do not buy your slippery slope argument - because same-sex marriage is legal they will use it to force the Catholic Church (example only) to do something against their system of belief.

We have been round and round on this subject and you know exactly where I stand on separation of church and state.

If a private entity accepts public funds to operate, they lose their status as a completely private entity and may then be forced to provide non-discriminatory services. But if the entity is truly private, that group has a constitutionally protected right to freedom of association that will not be disturbed due to the recognition of same-sex marriage.

In your example - what that teacher does in her private time away from her employment is her business. They should be sued for firing her for her marital status.

Your problem is that you want to eat your cake and have it too. You want the benefits of the government funds without all those pesky strings.

Erin, I am certain that God celebrated AFTER creating you.

2:27 PM, November 09, 2006  
Anonymous kagemusha provided this enlightening comment...

I never referred to any type of government funding in the private school example.

Would you agree that in a private school context the school could terminate the employee if their same-sex marriage violated a core tenant of the private school founding body's beliefs, or would the individual be entitled to sue for discrimination?

As for Erin, I love your writing so I am pretty sure God only got ripped post creation.

2:52 PM, November 09, 2006  
Blogger FLAMINGO1 provided this enlightening comment...

What does said teacher's marital status or bedroom activity have to do with her ability to teach math, science, history, etc.?

If you are truly a religious person, Kagemusha, you will leave such vengence to the Lord. Is it for the trifles of men to decide who should be punished and when? This poor lesbian woman wants merely to perform her duty as a school teacher. Meanwhile, your parochial school Nazi's want to peer into her bedroom to find out who her significant other is and terminate her employment based on activity in her private life.

Yes, I have a problem with that.

I will concede only this - if she brings her outside life into the classroom as part of the curriculum, then the school has the right to remove her.

3:15 PM, November 09, 2006  
Blogger FLAMINGO1 provided this enlightening comment...

I was a little glib in that last message.

Generally, private industry should be entitled to hire and fire people as they see fit. In our system of government, there are protected classes of individuals. We protect classes of people based on race, sex and age.

I don't believe marital status is a protected class as of today - I am not certain of that point and I am not about to spend any time researching it - but I don't recall marital status being among the special classes.

Thus, your hypothetical school could fire the hypothetical teacher because she married a woman. I think that is assnine, but I don't think it is illegal.

3:24 PM, November 09, 2006  
Blogger garrett provided this enlightening comment...

People the problem is government. Let's use Occam's Razor and stay focused on that simple and elegant truth. Everything else distracts us from what is in fact the essence of all our worldly troubles....the government.

If the government wasn't out there taking money from one group of people to pass it along (net of transaction costs) to another group of people (or to NOT pass it along to a particular group of people in this case, I guess), no group of people would have legitimate (sp?) grounds to complain about the actions of any other group.

It's the freedom thing, babies.

When the government is using my money to benefit a group or a cause or a movement or an activity I am morally opposed to, I have legitimate ground sto complain.

But if my money isn't being used to support things with which I disagree, then I'm just an asshole if I complain about it. Then I'm anti-freedom, etc.

3:46 PM, November 09, 2006  
Blogger FLAMINGO1 provided this enlightening comment...

I agree Mr. Garrett - to an extent.

But in the instance of recognizing same-sex marriage is the government taking money from you to support it?

I happen to know that you are married - as is Kagemusha - if you object to the government taking your money to support same-sex marriage - with which (in this hypothetical) you disagree then can we not make the same argument that the government is taking money from that sweet lesbian school teacher to support YOUR marriage? That is equally immoral under the Garret system.

3:53 PM, November 09, 2006  
Anonymous Kagemusha provided this enlightening comment...

Having privately expressed my dismay at the Flamingo mud slinging ("If you are truly a religious person" or "parochial school Nazi's"--indeed), I will try to stick to the argument.

First, marital status discrimination laws are indeed commonplace among the states. It is not a constitutionally protected class (as defined by SCOTUS) rather discrimination based on marital status is a legislatively protected class. Thus, my question regarding whether an individual could sue based on state discrimination laws or whether constitutional protections like freedom of association/religion would trump.

Your contention that this is simply a "slippery slope" argument completely ignores the historical lessons from the abortion rulings. Again, the original Roe v. Wade decision (broadly stated) only provided that the government could not unduly restrict a woman's ability to get an abortion. Thirty years of litigation has followed interpreting whether this ruling can be used to compel hospitals, individuals, charitable organizations or others who oppose abortion to provide them regardless of their personal beliefs. The recent example being the pharmacist who refused to proscribe the morning after pill on religious grounds being threatened with the loss of his license by the state’s licensing board. Should he lose his license or stick with his beliefs?

4:22 PM, November 09, 2006  
Blogger FLAMINGO1 provided this enlightening comment...

Roe v. Wade proves my point.

A hospital that accepts government funds is subject to non-discriminatory practices and may indeed be required to provide all services mandated by the government and/or the courts.

A hospital that conducts its business without federal funds is free to turn away whomever it desires - and would not be required to provide abortion services.

I'm glad you raised that point, Kagemusha because it confirmed that you had raised a poor argument.

I am not familiar with all of the facts related to the Pharmacist that was forced to dispense birth control - accordingly, I will dismiss that portion of your argument entirely.

4:45 PM, November 09, 2006  
Anonymous kagemusha provided this enlightening comment...

So once you touch the "forbidden fruit of tax dollars" (to continue your Adam and (St)eve theme) forever will it control your destiny (shout out to big G!)? That position is not only unrealistic, it runs contrary to established law (dude, Con Law was required at your law school right?)

Many of my tax dollars are given to causes or projects I do not personally support however I cannot compel those projects to abide by my personal views. Furthermore that precise argument has been rejected by SCOTUS (see the long line of tax cases regarding use of a pacifist's tax dollars to support a military, the line of cases objecting to how taxes are used in civil law enforcement, the "tax objector" cases saying the income tax is an unconstitutional taking of private property, taxpayer objection to pork spending cases, the eminent domain tax credit cases, etc.). Wow, to simply "dismiss out of hand" any argument because you have not taken the time to familiarize yourself with it is hubris in the extreme ("if I haven't thought of it, the argument must not be worth my time").

Even more troubling than this riveting (yawn) legal discussion is the practical, real-world impact of your argument. Turning to the abortion cases again as an example, when forced to choose between providing abortion services or adhering to their religious views, many health service clinics shut down, believing that they should abide by their particular articles of faith. This resulted in many (particularly rural) hospitals/health clinics shutting down. So the net effect was an overall decline in the amount and quality of health services for a large number of people, based on the desire of a few for a particular service. I don’t think, on balance, that is a desirable outcome.

I can envision the same withdrawal from the public sector of a number of necessary services/organizations in the event they are forced to recognize same sex marriage under the threat of losing any governmental funding.

Perhaps the way around this is a "domestic partnership," or a revocation/modification of the marital status "anti-discrimination" laws, I don't know. All I do know is that we are in for a long ride on this one.

Oh, and a final note, even hospitals which are privately run are not allowed to "turn away whomever it desires" right now. There are certain services which must be provided by a hospital regardless of whether they are private or public. Do you stand by that position that if they are entirely private they cannot be forced to do anything they do not wish to do and you would repeal those laws? What about in the cases of emergency medical treatment to a homeless, uninsured man? Can the hospital turn him away like a cold hearted capitalist dog simply because the homeless man has no means of being able to pay? Or what about a private hospital that only receives public funds for cancer research, must it now provide abortion services? If one whiff of governmental funding, in any form, subjects you to the "Flamingo line" you would be hard pressed to find any truly private entities anywhere in the U.S. (police, fire protection, roads, sewers, water--all taxpayer/governmentally funded).

7:19 AM, November 10, 2006  
Blogger FLAMINGO1 provided this enlightening comment...

Too grumpy to respond this morning - kids didn't have school today and kept me up until almost 1:00.

BUT - I'm going to respond with this.

You appear to be muddling my comments with Garrett's comments. Garrett is a brilliant man but we do not converge completely on the topic of tax dollar use - and I believe Garrett was speaking about how he would conceptually like to see the government and the economy structured from a solid Libertarian viewpoint.

Again, we are chasing red-herrings of hospital care - but it is an absolute truth that a hospital can be forced to take patients without insurance who are on federal programs if the hospital gets federal funds.

If a hospital is operated without federal funds, it is free to turn away those patients.

The only patients a privately run hospital are forced to take are in emergency circumstances.

Now, I return to the more-mainstream (yet still off the original point) discussion - Private entities such as the Boy Scouts - are free to discriminate. We know that. They stood up for that right and they won.

What they are not free to do is to discriminate and use state/federal resources. That is not contrary to the law and not contrary to the Constitution.

I did not go back to research the Catholic Charities issues in Massachusetts - but my guess is that this group was nearly (or overtly) replacing the Massachusetts state adoption agency. As such, they were performoing a quasi-governmental function and OUR GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT DISCRIMINATE BASED ON COLOR, CREED, SEX, RELIGION OR MARITAL STATUS.

If private groups chose to muddle the lines between a private and government entity - then they must accept the strings that go with the benefits they receive from that relationship.

Otherwise, self-fund and do your own thing.

9:18 AM, November 10, 2006  
Blogger garrett provided this enlightening comment...

Flamingo, I am really just guessing here. But I think yes if the "government" recognizes any union as "marriage" there is probably some benefit or support that the government is offering to people in exchange for people asking the government to recognize their union. This is the case of breeder unions and non-breeder unions.

And generally speaking, yes, I think the "government" recognizing unions as "marriage" and giving benefits or support as a result of people asking the government to recognize their union is immoral.

Whether the couple is breeder or non-breeder.

I don't want or need anything from the government with respect to my marriage. I don't want to be able to "file jointly" and get a bigger standard deduction. I do it because they offer it and I'm not fiscally an idiot and I hate to pay the government any money so I do everything I can to lawfully pay them less, but I don't want that benefit. I would prefer that benefit go away so long as my overall tax burden was massively and appropriately reduced.

Kagemusha - I couldn't follow all your points so forgive me if this nonresponsive or indirectly responsive or even just plain rude. I wasn't trying to say that the federal income tax is unconstitutional. I do think a federal income tax was probably not something of which Thomas Jefferson would approve. And I don't approve of it. That's different from me arguing that it's unconstitutional. That's a different question.

The federal income tax begat all kinds of fiscal and moral woes the whirlwind of which we as a nation will reap for the next several decades. And the federal income tax and the "fiat money" created at approximately the same time (1910s or thereabouts) are the great tragedies of the 20th and 21st centuries. The combined impact of those treacherous programs will be recorded in history as harbingers of doom. Or something like that. Seriously.

3:51 PM, November 10, 2006  
Blogger Sudiegirl provided this enlightening comment...

Great post!

Can I link to you?

Please let me know...I don't want to link without you saying it's OK. Please feel free to check out my "pad" anytime.

7:31 AM, February 08, 2007  

Post a Comment

<< Home