Thursday, July 15, 2004

About the marriage amendment

I think the concern I have is that people are saying this is a decline in society. Historically, the forcing of one belief on society, no matter what that belief is, has consistently meant the decline of that society. For instance, in the 14th Century, Islam was essentially an open society with Christians and Jews treated fairly and allowed to live their own lives and the Islamic society flourished and kept alive the traditions of the Greeks and Romans and created some of the great science of the time, including arabic numerals which have enabled mathematics and science to flourish. At that time, the Christian repression of the Middle Ages was retarding, although not stopping, similar growth in Europe. When the enlightenment came about during the renaissance, some of the great artists are thought to have been gay but circumspect about it: Da Vinci and Michelangelo come to mind. But the fact of being gay is not what it's about. It's about the openness of society that encourages the flowering of thought and expression. When a particularly religion begins to enforce its beliefs with the sword, the society begins to die as thought, science and free expression begin to die. It is this form of religion, whether it be Christian, Islamic or Communism, that curdles a society. In other words, it is about control, not belief.


Blogger Eric Coobs said...

Chuck, you overlook the basic point.

The family is the basis of our modern society. And few will argue that the ideal family is a Father and Mother taking care of their children.

A legal-definition of what marraige is should not be necessary, because it's been an established institution for a millenium, and it's worked very well.

Let me ask you a question, and see what you think about this 'control' you discuss;

(1) Do you believe that there are naturally Men & Women, or should you decide what sex you should be when you wake up in the morning? Maybe the 'control' starts at conception?

(2) Tom Green, the famous polygamist has appealed his conviction, saying that polygamists should not be discriminated against, and that polygamists should not be forced out of their way of life. How is this different than the arguement you apply to gays?

(3) I estimate the gay community at less than 1% of the population here. Why do you think that is?

10:01 AM  
Blogger Chuck Rightmire said...

Ah, but Eric, the figures indicate that the gay population ranges up to about 10% of the population and it seems to be genetic rather than learned or chosen. Even the American Psychiatric Association no longer classes it as an aberration. And to say that marriage has been one man and one woman for more than about 200 or 300 years is inaccurate. The bible has it that many families consisted of one man with several wives and even in the world today many cultures consist of more than two people. And to equate gay marriage and polygamy is just out of bounds. Gay marriage is a choice that will allow two people to care for each other and to be responsible and committed to each other in the eyes of the law. They can, as I think I said before in response to a posting by you, be accepted by insurers and others who might otherwise fear getting ripped off, as they are sometimes by husband/wife teams. Polygamy, on the other hand, is illegal not so much that it is not natural, but that it is corrosive to the society by placing one subgroup, women, in a slave-like situation (not an original comment by me). If you look back at the history of the western world, the nuclear man/woman family is basically a recent development. Mostly what we had until the industrial revolution was an extended family. And if you read some of the scientific speculations of the last few weeks that may have been why humanity survived, the fact of grandparents. So don't be so judgmental based on inadequate facts. Marriage has survived the nuclear holocaust that eliminated day-to-day contact with grandparents. It will survive gay marriage if the control-minded stay out of it.

1:46 PM  
Blogger The Liberal Avenger said...

Both the "decline in society" and "destruction of traditional family values" arguments are simply and thoroughly incorrect.

The fact is that our society already entertains millions of gay families. It always has and it always will. Is there an "ascension" of society that that can be attributed to the lack of gays?

As far as family values go, where does a gay family fit in vis-a-vis a working single parent household? Are all working single parent households inferior to all heterosexual Husband/Father-Wife/Mother households?

The mighty gears of the world turn on with no regard for who is at the helm of the American family.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Chuck Rightmire said...

I think you're right, Avenger, but you must understand that, at least out here in the home of those who like to think of themselves as the great unwashed, the single, female head of family is less than the nuclear family. And an extended family is unthought of as well, just as it is on the coasts.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Eric Coobs said...

I'm not trying to sound like a bigot, or a homophobe, but in my opinion, the ideal environment to raise a child in, is the traditional two-parent family.

Anybody willing to argue that point?

5:58 PM  
Blogger Chuck Rightmire said...

Eric, I think when you say the traditional two-parent family you're talking about a tradition that goes back no farther than the Industrial Revolution of the late 17th to early 19th century. Somewhere in there when families moved into industrial cities, we moved from the extended family, where the grandparents might raise the children into the nuclear family with two adults. Often there was just one adult since marriages tended to last an average of about 12 years because of death or desertion. Indeed, the Gazoo carried the story earlier this week which was reported more widely in Science News that grandparents may have been what helped Homo Sapiens become dominant because they did raise the children while the parents brought home the roast beast. In some Indian tribes even today, particularly in the southwest, the uncles raise the boys, not their own parents. Ask what some of the relationships mentioned in the obits of Crow Indians in the Gazette and you'll see some of what I mean. I'm not going to say that children to not need the influence of both sexes to develop properly, but I am going to say that there are a lot of ways to make that occur other than the nuclear family.

9:01 PM  

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