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Posts Tagged ‘north carolina election’

This is a nonstandard rant because it addresses a socioeconomic topic and it doesn’t “fit” with anyone.  I usually stay away from those. I usually stay a LONG way away from those. I find that it’s usually a waste of time.  Anyone activist enough to cause me to respond has almost always been absolutely not open to thinking about it, other than to think of why he’s right and I’m wrong.   Ah well, maybe some uncommitted thinker will stumble by.  Let’s see how good I am at assigning tags.

My Twitter timeline cannot escape anti-North Carolina vitriol today.  Just when it seems a phone screen is clear of the mention of it, someone re-posts their anger.  I find it a shame that the anger of otherwise intelligent people is so easily hijacked by a concept many of them would deny that they support.  However, they do.

Firstly, sociopolitical topics should not exist.  They can only be a valid topic in a country where society and politics have become FAR to entangled.  This is a fact of life in America today, and a sad one.  I believe that the social engineering that has resulted in America having to look to Congress to see what is acceptable to believe started with the Great Society effort in the 60s.  That is when government started the path to shaping the social values in America by codifying them.  If these values were not codified, individuals would have to stand before and/or with their neighbors and defend/persuade.  THEN (and only then) would it be valid to say “most Americans believe” this or that.”  As it stands, whatever it is that most Americans believe is either defined or overruled by law.  It is a stupid situation and allowing it to continue only demonstrates more stupidity.

On to the topic at hand: the codification of who we are supposed to celebrate being married. “No, man,” I suspect some of my Twitter friends would say, “nobody cares about celebrating it, just about giving them the same rights that straight people have.” The fact is, that’s not so, although many of my well-meaning friends won’t realize that.

The legitimate complaint here is that without marriage, two people who wish to obtain the legal advantages of marriage cannot do so.  This is fairly obviously a violation of equal protection under the law, and ought to be dealt with immediately.  It should be dealt with in the courts, every time two friends say they want to have the same tax benefits that married people get, or the same protection from testifying against your spouse, or the same legal recognition in health care decisions.  In order to establish equivalency, they should have to demonstrate the same longevity intent and commitment that marriage carries, and the standard of proof required of them should be the same level as for married people (often, no more than “is she your wife?”)

That, however, is not the question here.  This is not a fight for legal equal status, this is a fight for the availability of a status with a particular name, with a particular history, with a particular significance.  Don’t make the mistake of confusing this with the “equal but separate” lip service of the American south during segregation.  Equating these two situations is a red herring in the first degree and it relies on the inflammatory nature of sympathy with the civil rights history.  That “equality” still kept separate, still did not allow actual equal treatment.  That “equality” was about calling it equality, but not letting it be actually equal.  This equality is about legal equality.  Just as a woman should be treated equally with a man before the law but should not have to tell the law she’s a man for that to happen, likewise non-marriage legal arrangements (by whatever name one wishes to call them) should be treated exactly the same before the law, without claiming that they need to co-opt the ancient religious status of marriage to do so.

Yes, marriage is a religious status.  It has been folded into our civil laws, and now we act as though it is really only a civil status, but that’s stupid, frankly.  Our acting that way is an outgrowth of the modern (and relatively ignorant) notion that “separation of church and state” (more correctly, the notion of Congress making no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof) is better understood as meaning state pretending that church does not exist, and church not doing anything to attract the attention of state.  The state recognized the status of marriage in several ways connected to “these two shall become one” a very long time ago.  A few of those ways are listed two paragraphs above this paragraph.  The precedent being set, and firmly so, it is incumbent on the state to be sure that all persons have the same legal benefits that people who fit into this state-recognized religious status have.  However, the state is under NO honest, sensible, common sense defendable, constitutional onus to steal this religious status from religions.

Many of my friends will no doubt argue that the state has no business having anything to do with any religious status.  Perhaps not, today, now that the same power centers that pound so loudly for this “right” that they create out of thin air (by twisting the real right that really does exist) have been successful at (1) engineering society by the government (which removes all religious influence by constitutionality) and (2) therefore marginalizing all Biblically oriented belief; perhaps now that government is supposed to actively teach the population to fear religion; perhaps that is sadly true today.  Teaching the population to fear religion is not far-fetched.  I have heard many, many left-leaning posters over the last several years, whether blogs, forums, or social media, propound exactly that, and if not that, at least keep the churches out of the way, and essentially out of the sight, of “normal” people.  Yes, I’ve seen that term used that way too many times to honestly call it an isolated usage.

So where we are, honestly, is that the insistence that occupying the state-recognized religious status of marriage is a “right” of everyone (note (1)) is not actually about obtaining the actual right that is being denied (equal treatment under the law, that’s TREATMENT not equal TERMINOLOGY), rather it is about isolating religion further from any influence (that is NOT control) on any part of government and elevating government further into the slot that religion occupied formerly, when society was society and government was government.

In some ways, I’m not even sure why I bother.  Very few will read this far, fewer will seriously consider the fairly obvious reasoning, and it will not change.  It will not change for a reason that has nothing to do with the “gay marriage” question.  It will not change because human nature is fundamentally selfish and self-satisfying.  It says, in short, “I want it all for me” and this path that the opponents of North Carolina’s ballot question have taken moves the US a little closer to that being the prime directive “nobody can say no to you.”

If you think I’m nuts, think about this.  Civil unions were not enough; it had to be the thing called “marriage.”  This insistence for the obtaining of a religious approval of a union comes from people who almost universally disdain religion.  Why?  Why is the status of marriage itself so important?  It has nothing to do with equality because it is neither the only nor the most expeditious path to equality.  It is a path that puts these people in concert with religion, yet they insist on it.

This is about marginalizing religious belief, people, and about replacing church with government in the sphere of public influence of morality and values.  Plain and simple.

Liberty for the brave,

Al

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