By Way of Introduction

You can lead a horse to the polls, but you can't make him vote. They would have to modify the booth to accommodate his horse shape.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Newsflash: President Thinks All Americans Should Have Rights

We've all heard the phrase "I don't have any skin in the game," and I'm tempted to use it here, in reference to President Obama's revelation that he believes gay folks should be allowed to marry here in the Land of the Free.  However, my recent decision to run for my local district's seat in the Michigan House makes it a bit tougher to do.  People expect their elected officials to have opinions on everything, regardless of the bearing on local issues.  Upon closer scrutiny, I have come to the conclusion that we all have some skin in this one, but not for the reasons that some might think.

I like you too Old Ironsides, but you are not relevant to this post.
Allow me to elaborate.  I am a fan of the U.S. Constitution, and I'm not referring to Old Ironsides. That would require another "S."  I will address gay marriage first as a matter of law, since that is the tack most states are taking in attempting to modify their own individual constitutions to ban the practice.  We all know that State Constitutions are subordinate to THE Constitution.  We also all know that our founding document guarantees equal rights for all, even if it did take some amending to get there (women, black folks).  So, what on Earth makes anyone think they can deny another group the same rights they enjoy?  Apparently, it's the Bible.  I'd like at this point to refer the reader to the infamous "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment.  Rick Santorum, you may feel free to vomit now.  Bags for such have been provided for those of weaker constitutions.*  No offense, but a religious basis for creating laws, especially exclusionary ones, is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

Now, as far as I'm concerned that should be the end of the discussion.  You are free to have your own opinions on whether things are right, moral, etc., but you are not allowed to deny someone else their rights because of your religious beliefs or tomes.  Simple.  Some of the same people who would march on Washington, rifles in hand, should anyone suggest altering the Second Amendment to exclude, say assault rifles, will stand there with a perfectly straight face and sense of moral superiority and in cavalier fashion talk about trampling the First Amendment - because they disagree with what it guarantees ALL Americans.

We all know we can't have this discussion without addressing the Bible specifically, even though that should NOT BE THE CASE.  So I will address it.  Christianity is the religion based on the teachings of Christ.  The teachings of Christ are contained exclusively in the New Testament.  We've adopted the Old Testament as a  preamble of sorts to the New, but Jesus wasn't alive for any of that.  Jesus didn't hate anyone, he didn't exclude anyone from His salvation, and he was not judge and jury for anyone.  He preferred to leave those things between God the Father and the person in question.  Nowhere does He personally address homosexuality, nor does He ever condemn anyone for anything.

Religious talking heads will scrape about for any sign that Jesus condemned homosexuality, but the proof just isn't there.  Jesus didn't endorse the law of Moses, He just said that if someone wasn't religious, or didn't believe the law of Moses, how would they believe Him, as He was speaking from the standpoint of the religious-minded.  For such an important topic, one would think the Son of God might make specific mention of it.  Of course, we as mere mortals cannot truly know what the divine mind thinks, but all evidence suggests that He was not the type to single out a group for derision or exclusion, and it's getting a little old listening to people who want to put such words into His mouth and thoughts into His mind.  As if you could possibly fathom the motives of God.  "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" is one of my favorite sayings of His.  He also excoriated us to follow His example - to love our neighbors and treat them as we would like to be treated.  End of discussion. Seriously.  Now get on with making your own life reflect that of Christ's as He asked you to do.  That is the commitment you make when you call yourself Christian.

If none of this has convinced you that you have no business in other people's business, then you are not the type that changes their mind based on valid argument, but that is not going to stop me from taking one last stab at it.  If marriage is an institution of religion, and you think the church should have a say in matters of the state (outlawing gay marriage) then what gives you the right to tell churches they cannot marry gays?  Sounds to me like you're okay with infringing not just on the rights of a whole class of Americans, but also on the churches that do accept and welcome them.  Something's rotten in Denmark, I say.

On the side of the Constitution yet?  One last try:  Suppose a whole mosque-load of Americans got together and voted to institute Sharia Law in their state.  Since the people voted "yes" would it be okay, even though to do so would directly contradict the principles of equal rights, not to mention the establishment of religion clause of it is again, the Constitution?  Methinks an ugly double standard would rear it's head here because of the insertion of a non-Christian religion's beliefs into the equation.  Take a long, hard look in the mirror, and ask yourselves, WWJD (What would Jefferson do?)™
*pun fully intended.


robyn said...

News flash, indeed - when did we start letting every American have rights??? As a lady, all I cared about was getting women's rights. You mean other people want them too? Bogus.
No, seriously, spot on. I'm sick to death of people acting like they have the right to deny other people their rights. I'm hoping that soon this debate will seem as ridiculous as the idea of denying rights to any other group (ahem, ladies, black folks).

Cat said...

Ok, I just found you through your comment left on MY comment about the macadamia nuts in my trail mix that I wrote after reading your wife's post about not having anything to eat in her former home.

I loved this post. It's exactly how I feel and I will have to share it on my FB page. Also, I think I might have to send a bag of my trail mix to you. Will that help your campaign? A bag of "trail" mix...for the campaign trail? Heh, weak attempt at humor...