Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Defending the Family

Another rant about gay marriage, and the religious Right in America.  This one comes on the eve of the 9th Circuit ruling against the right of states to define marriage as the union between one man and one woman, and the vow of certain state governors to fight this decision.

It seems to me that the surest way to destroy authority (and tradition) is to invoke it in ways that are patently absurd (and in this case, unjust).

The greatest enemy to heterosexual marriage and family, in any traditional sense, right now, in the United States, is the political movement that wants to strengthen these by attacking things outside them. Burning your garden down does not make mine grow better: in fact, if you look closely, you will see that while I have been wasting time and energy trying to kill yours (in vain), mine has become a neglected sea of weeds and garbage. "It's the gays' fault!" No, morons. It is your fault for wasting time attacking the gays instead of minding your own garden, your own business, your own family, your own tradition.

If I want a good garden, I have to go out and work--not find somebody else to blame. If I want to make myself strong, I have to go out and work--not punish you for going to a gym I don't like. If I want a good education, I have to go out and work--not punish you for studying something I wouldn't study. If I want to wear a burkha, I put one on: I don't come to your house and make you wear it against your will, no matter what the majority of people in our area believe about anything.

The worst thing about this political putsch from the Right is that it is so blatantly anti-American (in the old sense: it ignores the separation between church and state and makes "religious freedom" a piece of specious rhetoric). Essentially, these people want to enact their own brand of sharia in the US, and call this "religious freedom" (it is my religious freedom to make you wear a burkha, because if you don't, Satan wins; if you dispute this, it is because Satan owns you, and you cannot be trusted--you must be burned at the stake as a heretic). Hello, Inquisition! Hello, fascism! This is simply absurd (without rational standing) and dangerous (likely to break society more than defend it).

My final word on this nonsense from the Right is that even if letting gays marry did create opportunity for really bad things to happen (somehow, in ways I have yet to perceive), I would be for it. The same way I am for allowing heterosexual, traditional marriages that end in crime (or just divorce, pain, and suffering). You don't ban things simply because somebody somewhere might conceivably get hurt doing them. Eating is dangerous, but we all have to eat--and we don't all have to eat the same thing, the same way, at the same time: that would be bad. Kind of like we don't all have to marry the same way. That would be really bad, for everyone--straights included. But who is going to protect us from that? Who will defend us when one of Jesus' American mullahs receives a revelation commanding us to participate in the one true order of marriage or be damned--in this life and the next? I will take any defense I can get from this dangerous bullshit, including defense from "activist" judges (who in my view are simply doing what we created them to do, i.e. rule on problems within the historical legal framework that constitutes the official life of our society).

Here's a thought. Maybe, just maybe, people will have the moral fortitude to live decent lives on their own, without the mullahs--without a bunch of external "defense" (that seems not to do anything besides grind on the face of those unfortunate enough to appear untraditional from some narrow, hypercritical vantage-point). Maybe my marriage needs to live on its own, without taking yours (or a celebrity's) as some kind of fixed reference point (which it never was anyway). Maybe the best way to strengthen my marriage is to make it owe as little as possible to the kind of culture that values tearing others down more than allowing them the chance to make something beautiful of their lives--something that they choose and do for themselves (with success or failure: the outcome is irrelevant; what matters is that they have the option, the choice, the capacity to try something they want to try).

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