Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Bittersweet Victory

Last night, for the first time in years I felt proud to be an American. Unfortunately, about an hour later, I was utterly ashamed to be a Californian:

How can a state be more concerned with the welfare of its chickens (Prop 2 overwhelmingly approved by 63.2%) than the fundamental rights of a human being (passage of Prop 8)?

I am all for freedom of religion - but when your religion tells me what I can and cannot do, infringing on my natural right to be free and independent, to enjoy life and liberty - that is where I draw the line.

Marriage is sacred in your religion and is defined as being between a man and a woman? Great! Have all the religious ceremonies full of scripture and symbols and weird blessed liquids and ointments that your heart desires! Just leave me and my friends out of it.

I have a friend of the Hindu faith. He believes the cow is sacred (I admit here that I am part Hindu: the part that thinks highly of the cow, but not the part that refrains from eating it). Should he start a campaign to add an amendment to our Constitution banning the consumption of veal and beef on the grounds that it is immoral?

That scenario sounds absurd and even laughable, but is directly analogous to what occurred in California under Proposition 8. The only distinguishing factor between the two is that my dear Hindu friend is probably not in the majority, therefore his Prop probably won't pass.

But that distinguishing factor leads me to even more anguish. Since when is it O.K. for a majority to gang up on a minority to rape them of their inalienable rights? The fact that a majority of our nation (or state, in this case) is Christian does not assume that we follow their rules. Equally wrong is the justification that because our founding fathers were Christian, our laws should emulate Christian tenets. First, that fact is debatable, and second, it leads us directly down the same legislative intent path that justified the abhorrent Dred Scott decision.

History is an excellent tool for learning from our mistakes, but to blindly use it as a crutch to validate religious beliefs does nothing but slow our progression towards a true liberty. If anything, history should show us that we have a penchant for discrimination, and that realization, in turn, should expedite our evolution of social mores.

There is still hope. USC Law Professor David Cruz is a leading expert on same-sex marriage issues. His latest blog entry explains, at least legally, our next step.


a work in progress said...

Well Said Cap't. I like reading your blogs, they're so smart. I turned from "smart" to "re-active" to pen my last blog. You're one of those smart kids those, probably why you're in law school - all that good thinkin' isn't gonna be wasted.

As for my blog . . .It was a reaction to someone else's blog. Oh my silly blog-friends with their claiming Christianity and taking away the important parts (like the things Jesus talked about) and focusing on the little things that anger them. They would probably be happy about Prop. 8.

Not that what they talked about wasn't important, but it is like this issue, not something that government or church should control.

I do not understand - do not - the people who are against same-sex marriage. I mean I get what they deem as a "biblical/moral" conflict - but it isn't supposed to be about their "values/morals."
Why not get angry about non-Christian's marrying? Or how about teens marrying? Why not get mad about divorce rates? Or really come down on those cohabitators?

No, take a minority of people who already have people labeling them (like I am right now), who want to express their love through a marriage - like so many people choose to - and refuse them that right.

Did I tell you the terrible joke the plumber who fixed my bath tub told me? He said, "You know any other institution that failed as often as marriages would be abolished. With such a low success rate that government or any business owner would never support something like that." And yet . . .

Anyhow, sorry for the rant. But I hear you and last night was the first time in a really long time that I too felt proud to be an American. Don't know about being an Oregonian, our ballots are still being counted. :)

And oddly we didn't have anything about chickens and we're a largely agricultural state.

When do you get a new governor by the way? I eventually want to move home but refuse to live there while he is in office (even though I hear he was against Prop. 8 - still a bastard).