Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. education and free discussion are the antidotes of both. - Thomas Jefferson
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A recent Gallup poll showed that, when Americans were asked (without any prompting) what the top issue politicians should be concerning themselves with, do you know where gay marriage ranked?
No where. Not even in the top ten.
But don't tell Bush that. According the the president, stopping the gays from getting hitched is Priority Number One.
"This national question requires a national solution," Bush said, "And on an issue of such profound importance, that solution should come not from the courts but from the people of the United States." [this from CNN]
Profound importance. Gotcha. Where did that "from the people" part come from, though?
If you're a political junkie, you can see this type of political, election-year swagger come around every two or four years. Like clockwork. Usually, though, it's bone-head issues like flag burning (Allah forbid) - designed to stir up a politico's hand-wringing base into stepping into polls and Taking Their Country Back.
What's really sad, though, is this issue actually affects living, breathing, tax-paying Americans like you and I.
There are few issues that will get me as fired up as this one.
Let me say it simply: there is no homosexual "agenda," there is no "attack on marriage" (just like there was no "attack on Christmas"), and there is no threat to our "way of life." Gays, bisexuals, and trans-gender folks just want to get hitched, and suffer like the rest of America, and live out their lives quietly, with maybe a few adopted rug-rats hitting baseballs through the neighbor's window.
But to hear it from the mouths of Those Who Care, you'd think there was an all-out war on this country - rivaling the degradation of the environment and the terrorism threat that's so often held above our heads. And who's leading the charge?
Gays. You know, those guys all the chicks like to hang out with because they're non-threatening? Yeah, those guys.
Why does one major political party find it necessary to pick on a harmless, minority population when the rest of America thinks it should be focusing on the mess in Iraq or the economy?
Part of me thinks it's because they find the whole idea ("They stick what WHERE?") revolting.
In which case: don't knock it before you try it.
The other part of me thinks it stems from a religious point of view. And I can respect the idea, to some degree, if you think god destroyed a city because two chicks got it on in their private bedchambers. Hell, I'd be scared of that kind of god, too.
But if you're Christian, I really think you have bigger issues to worry about. We have many more sick, wounded, hungry, and poor in this country and around the world that deserve more attention that Big Gay Al and his blouse. Feed the hungry, tend to the sick, and nourish those starving souls that have yet to receive His Grace. That's what Jesus said - the same Jesus who played poker with prostitutes and the "lesser" segments of society. Treat them with kidness, with compassion, and with the love they deserve - and tell them to pass it on, while they're at it.
But no where have I read of the angry Jesus that would stand at a press conference and denounced a lifestyle that harms no one, like Bush did today.
And if you think what Those Folks do is "nasty" or "inappropriate," then I suggest you grab your husband or wife off the computer, away from the porn sites, and spend some time doing what you think IS appropriate.
Frankly, I find the idea of sitting and watching TV every night repulsive. Millions of Americans do it. But you don't see me legislating my disgust.
You'll never hear me use a slippery slope argument, but look at the road we could be heading down. A century ago we found the idea of a black man and white woman (or vice versa) having sex absolutely indecent. Hell, there are still a great many folks who are turned off at the very idea. Blacks would be beaten, hung, and burned because a group of people thought it was (a) outrageous or (b) against His will that he or she should be in love with a white him or her.
Luckily, we've gotten over that 19th century frame of mind. Some of us have, at least.
But now we're faced with a similar line of reasoning, and the Party in Power is trying to pass laws to make sure Billy and Jenny are safe and sound from the Homo Menace.
Do you want only straight couples to marry? Fine. Pass a church ordinance that says so. Don't let the gays joint together in your place of worship. In the eyes of the law, however, such bigotry is unlawful and - I believe - unconstitutional.
We used to pass laws that were racist and that restricted freedom, not so long ago. The Taliban and the Iran government have done the same just recently, right here in our own time.
So pick your path, but pick it cafefully. If you're not careful, the "morbid minds" may ultimately have their way with you.
And how dirty would THAT feel?