Huckabee in La-La-Land

Standard

Mike Huckabee has threatened to “Leave the Republican Party” if the GOP does not actively, openly and loudly oppose gay marriage.

It wouldn’t be a big loss for the GOP if Huckabee leaves and takes his few thousand homophobic followers with him. In fact it would be a plus for the GOP to be rid of someone who is so blind to America’s problems that he is willing to desert the party that is America’s best hope over a non-issue like Gay Marriage.

Hey Mike, how about pushing the GOP to take meaningful positions on stuff like the threat of radical Islam, American terrorists, the potential Ebola crisis, the disgraceful National debt, America’s ever weakening military might, the growing distrust of our allies (if we have any left after 6 years of Obama), the government’s rejection of the Free Market (the very system that once made us the most powerful nation on earth), the massive influx of illegal aliens that is being ignored by this administration when it is not being encouraged by this administration, or the government’s refusal to take advantage of our natural oil and gas resources to free us from dependence on foreign energy, Or maybe you could urge the GOP to do something simpler like getting Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi freed from the Ciudad, Mexico jail where he’s been rotting away for the past four months for no real reason.

No Mike, gay marriage will not destroy America but people like you will unless you get your heads out of the sand and focus on real problems.

The social issues and religious mandates you push don’t belong on any national agenda. All the Christian values like worship, respect, humility, honesty, morality, generosity, forgiveness, and all the other Christ-like virtues are absolutely wonderful for personal and spiritual growth and personal relationships but our country is dealing with brutal enemies, deadly disease and poor leadership; things that we can’t pray away. You are a politician, you should know better.

Advertisements

The Social Conservative Mindset

Standard

Arthur Brooks[Author’s Note: This is my 350th post on this blog — a milestone of sorts — and the topic of this 350th post is appropriate because it touches on and delivers thoughts that were important enough to me to set the tone for many (perhaps most) of those posts.]

Early Tuesday evening I had a chance to tune in briefly to the Michael MedVed (spelled with a V as in Victory, as he loves to say) Show on Dallas radio station 660 AM.

Let me say right off that Michael Medved, along with Dennis Praeger, Mark Davis and J.D. Wells, are my favorite talk show hosts because ‘most of the time’ they present logical, reasoned, intelligent arguments for (or against) the policies or propositions that are topics on the show. I stress “most of the time” because there are certain topics that cause the three of them to get off track — into their Social Conservative mode — and when they, you or I are in Social Conservative mode logic and rational thought go out the window in favor of religiosity (they call it “morality)”. In this mode they are not only supporting THEIR religious beliefs (which they should always do) but they are are implying and often mandating that other views are wrong or “un-American” or “morally bankrupt”; they go into an “I’m right because my religious training taught me that I’m right and therefore those who don’t agree with me are wrong” mode.

I can certainly understand that, I kinda feel the same way on most issues but what separates us is the fact that they are arguing for THEIR religious principles above everyone else’s principles/beliefs while I argue for freedom from other people’s religious principles. To me religion is a PERSONAL belief system that guides our PERSONAL actions and it is not something to be used as an ‘iron debate gavel’ against those who have different but still logical and rational principles.

I often refer to myself as a Libertarian because I share the Libertarian’s core belief in the principle that free people should be able to do whatever they feel like doing . . . as long as no laws are broken and one is injured (physically or economically) by their actions. Most Libertarians actually BELIEVE that this is a free country.

Is there any possible way for Social Conservatism to allow free people to ACT like free people? Some say yes!

A “must read” article at Wikipedia titled “Libertarian Conservatism”, explains that:

“Libertarian conservatism,” also known as conservative libertarianism, includes political ideologies that meld libertarian politics and conservative values. Libertarian conservatives’ first value, like libertarians, is liberty but they would use negative liberty — freedom from interference by other people, to achieve socially and culturally conservative ends.”

It is an interesting proposition but the underlying naivety makes a possible compromise unrealistic. Libertarianism is, by it’s very nature “flexible”, at least up to a point, and religion is, by it’s nature inflexible. That, if my analysis is correct, does not sound like a recipe for compromise.

Back to today’s Michael Medved show, where I began: One of today’s guests was Arthur C. Brooks, author, professor and current president of the American Enterprise Institute. Michael Medved began the core dialog by posing the question ‘how can we get the opposition to agree with us that gay marriage is a bad thing?’ That was not exactly how the question was presented but that is basically what Mr. Medved asked Mr. Brooks.

There are so many major problems and items of political disagreement in the United States and the American Enterprise Institute has such a wide range of expertise, the choice of this question gives you a good perspective into the mind of Michael Medved. The problem is, like most Social Conservatives, he cannot really separate what is important to the People of the United States and to the United States itself from what is important to the cause of Social Conservatism.

I’m sure Mr. Medved would argue that without Social Conservatism to keep all of America “on the same moral page” the country would collapse. Think about that, I have and forcefully disagree. When Social Conservatism becomes law (as the Social Conservatives are striving to make happen) and not just a political/religious position among hundreds of others, we will have returned to the theocracy and the iron fist that our forefathers risked their lives to escape.

The answer that Mr. Brooks gave to the ‘gay marriage’ question indicates a typically inflexible mindset (he is also a Social Conservative and an opponent of gay marriage). He could have pointed out that the institution of marriage itself is not a blessing but a ‘burden’ on the married (or to-be married) couple. Marriage partners (whatever their gender) need to make significant lifestyle changes, they need to take the trouble to actually understand the wants and needs of their partner, they need to “bend”, they need to BELIEVE that they can trust their partner, they need to give up the notion that they still ‘pilot their own ship,” and they need to understand that entering into a marriage is entering into a legal contract. But instead of taking that tact, he simply, boldly (and unthinkingly) stated that gay marriage hurts the children.

I’ve heard that before and I wish someone could come up with a rational argument to support that position. Does gay marriage have ANY effect on the children of a married couple or a single parent? NO! Of course not! If a same sex couple decides to adopt a child that is otherwise unwanted, isn’t that a very good thing for the child; giving him or her a stable, loving home environment? Any harm to the child of a gay couple will be caused by Social Conservatives, bigots and homophobes. Responsible, mature parents (straight or gay) will be able to help a child understand that there is evil in the world and a lot of that evil is a result of the actions of unthinking people who hate because they they are afraid and because they don’t understand how anyone could be or think differently than they do. And, the most evil thing is, they pass that hate and blissful ignorance along to their children.

Social engineering ‘in the name of God’ is still social engineering

Standard

The RNC Convention left me feeling great about our country’s future, IF Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are successful in November . . . but, at the same time, the frequent heavily Social Conservative messages I heard leave me feeling less than great about OUR personal futures.

Social engineering ‘in the name of God’ is still social engineering and when the prospective leaders of our country are the ones engaging in that social engineering, OUR personal futures are worrisome. The primary role of government is (or at least should be) to protect the rights of American citizens’ — those basic inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those right were not granted by the Constitution (they are “inalienable,” i.e., natural and inherently legal) and cannot be taken away by the government. Yet Social Conservatives have taken biblical moral imperatives and are attempting to fraudulently insert them into the Constitution.

My problem with Social Conservatism really has nothing to do with being an atheist (I am) — it has to do with the Social Conservative’s lack of respect for people who believe that their personal lives should be insulated from our government’s interference — interference by any level of government — as long as they are obeying existing laws. This level of ‘insulation’ is not a whim or even a personal belief; it’s specified in the Constitution.

The first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, were written to protect the freedoms and liberties OF the people FROM government overreach. Yet Social Conservatives try to use part of the Fifth Amendment (“No person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”) as a legal justification for outlawing a woman’s freedom of choose to terminate a pregnancy. Properly stated, this phrase in the Fifth Amendment should read: ‘The government shall not deny it’s citizens the right to life, liberty or property ownership without due process of law.’ By trying to deny a woman’s freedom of choice in matters of abortion they are, in fact, denying that woman’s “liberty.”

Back To Religion

Social Conservatives are not only try to subvert the Constitution by denying the real purpose of the Bill of Rights (to protect YOU from THEM), they whitewash their real motivation to try and remove a woman’s freedom of choice; the real (and only) motivation they have is their personal and religious belief that abortion is ‘sinful.’

They might be right that every abortion is a ‘sin against God’ but that (fact or not) has absolutely no relevance to our laws — laws that clearly recognize every citizen’s right to manage his or her own body and it’s functions — law that, by their absence, do not make “sins against God” illegal.

From here the case against Social Conservatives naturally turns to their other pet “sin,” gay marriage. There are, no doubt, many bible verses that can be used to show that religions are justified when they call gay marriage an abomination — but there is not one phrase, in a fair reading of the Constitution, that outlaws it.

Could it be that Social Conservatives have edited their copies of the Constitution to include biblical admonitions?

The concept of separation of church and state may not be written into the Constitution per se but the spirit of that concept is very clearly embodied in that document.

Proposition 8: Symptom of a REAL Problem!

Standard

California’s Prop 8 is nothing new. Other states have essentially banned gay marriage by “defining” marriage as a union between a man and woman. The question is: who gave them the right?

I fully understand that most religious organizations and other organizations consider homosexual relations to be immoral. That’s their prerogative! No one has to approve of (or engage in) homosexual relations unless they want to! Somewhere along the line, however, governments got involved. Now stop and think about that for a minute! We are in a society where the governments are into the business of who can marry who. I don’t know about you, but to me that seems like something a government should keep at arms length.

I’m a pragmatist, however, and understand that that’s the way it is — and the way it has been for literally hundreds of years: you need government permission (state, county, city — whatever) to get married. Some say there are good reasons for government involvement in marriage: to track who’s married to who — for income tax purposes being the chief one of those reasons. OK, I guess I can buy that . . . even though the reason the income tax code needs to differentiate between married people and unmarried people is very fuzzy.

What’s not fuzzy is the fact that our governments (states as well as Federal) are fully invested in the business of bringing religion into the marriage licensing process; and I say that because the main reason those who are opposed to gay marriage are so opposed is because they say homosexuality is “immoral”! Where do you suppose they got that idea? Could it have been from mainstream religions? The other argument against gay marriage is that it “redefines” marriage . . . well I guess that depends on whos definition you are using.

Going beyond Proposition 8: such a proposition should not have been necessary because the original court ruling, allowing gays to marry, should not have been necessary; because the basic definition of marriage is simply two people falling in love and vowing to spend their lives together. That arrangement, regardless of who the two people are, should automatically be accepted by every government! Rejecting that arrangement should not, in fact, be a government option.

Essentially, state governments by adopting rules against gay marriages are adopting religious teachings and beliefs and codifying them within their state Constitutions. That represents everything that the Founding Fathers, the framers of our constitution, did NOT want to happen. Freedom of religion means just what it says and if a religious organization wants to bless a marriage between two men or two women the government should not only stand back and not interfere, the government should remain completely uninterested.

Keith Oberman, the MSNBC news commentator, presented a beautifully logical, yet impassioned dialogue berating those who had the nerve to vote FOR Proposition 8; that dialogue has been captured on YouTube — I strongly urge everyone on either side of the issue to click this link and watch it.

News Links:

International Herald Tribune: After Calif. loss, gays get right to wed in Conn.

San Jose Mercury News: California may vote on gay marriage again in 2010

Blog Links:

Sweat Tears or the Sea: Traditional Family DOES NOT Equal Homophobia

Instant Pride: Proposition 8 protests planned across the US