Quick Hit: This

I’ve been wracking my brain – again – to try to come up with ANY reasonable excuse to oppose marriage equality.  I just can’t do it.



Filed under compassion and connection, critical thinking, duh!, family matters, frustrations, GLBTQ/Ally issues, politics, social issues

16 responses to “Quick Hit: This

  1. Improbable Joe

    But you think people who oppose marriage equality can be decent human beings. So how do you cross that gap? Seriously, if you think that marriage equality means something, how can you embrace people who oppose it?

    Ultimately, if you are a decent human being, and you actually and really care about any issues at all, you will have to reject people who stand against the issues you care about. Otherwise you’re a complete fraud, you’re lying about the things you care about, and you only take public positions in order to bolster your self-image and not because you give a damn.

    I care about marriage equality. I care about all of the issues that I take stands over. Are you willing to take a stand on those issues? Even if they cost you friendships? Let’s put something on the line here. I’m willing to be your friend if you’re willing to take a stand and reject people who stand against the principles we share. I’m unwilling to be your friend if you can’t take a stand for what you claim to believe in, if you can’t take the risk of losing ‘friends’ who don’t share your values.

    If this is goodbye, I wish you well and hope that you get everything you want out of life. It has to be goodbye if you think that seeing the potential in people is worth more than calling out the ways that they fail to meet that potential.

  2. Let’s see. I know someone who is kind to me and my loved ones. They are polite to others, honest in their dealings, and are the kind of people I wish there were more of. Somehow, I find they disagree with me about something. Although my life is not overrun with friends, I must part ways with them. There is no chance that, as with many other folks on earth, certain ideas take longer to settle in with them. They have been fed a lot of bullshit as children, and a fair number of adults have been only to happy to reinforce that bullshit. If they haven’t gotten, in terms of intellect/acceptance, to the point I have in life, then off to the outer darkness with them. People I know who disagree with me about subjects I hold important don’t cast me off, but they are just moral weaklings, hypocrites.

    Not my job to fight your battles, Chili, but I smell the smell of zealotry in the wind.

  3. Claiming a bunch of bad stuff will happen if a certain decision is made (like law is passed, or a court decides something), based solely on one’s desire that the decision shouldn’t be made, is called, in the world of law, a “parade of horribles.” People who employ that rhetorical device have a strong tendency to be wrong. It is a sad attempt to maintain the status quo, basically it is verbal terrorism.

  4. Joe, you’ve known me – at least, though the computer – for a long time now. You know that I’m not an either/or, all-or-nothing person.

    I feel compelled – at least, to the point where it begins to do me harm – to try to engage people whose views are different from mine. I’m a teacher, for crying out loud; leading people to (what I hope are) correct conclusions – and teaching them to take in as much information as possible and to think critically about things – is what I do. I’m not willing to simply write someone off because they happen to believe something that I think is false. Deep down, I believe that all people can change for the better, and I try to exhaust all my resources on helping someone do that before I give up on them.

    I HAVE given up on people; I have beaten myself bloody over them and come away with nothing but the scars to show for it. I AM willing to call people out on their shit – I do it all the time, both here and in my real-life, 3D world; sometimes I get engagement, sometimes I get derided and abused, but the idea that maybe, just maybe, I’ve wedged a door open a little wider for my efforts is what keeps me from dismissing people out of hand.

    I don’t see it as a compromise to engage people on the gay marriage debate, or to argue with them about the treatment of women – or any other issue – for two reasons. The first is that I’m not backing down on what I believe; I’m not risking or cheapening my position by explaining it to someone who doesn’t agree with and/or understand it. The second is that I know that *I* don’t like being treated like an idiot who doesn’t think; the fastest way to shut down communication is to tell someone they’re useless or dumb or whatever. By engaging with (some of) these people with respect, I’m keeping the channel open and, however slim the possibility may be, I’m keeping open the possibility that something in what I say or do might dig in and take hold, and that someone might see things differently for having talked with me about it.

    I can’t give up on that possibility – that ONE person might think differently about something because they knew me – and that one person might go on to engage others with that new thinking. It’s how the world changes.

    • Improbable Joe

      I’m fine with “engaging”… I’m worried about “embracing.” Maybe I’m reading you wrong(more than possible), but I’m feeling like you’re more involved in the latter than the former. What I’m thinking about are these things:



      Sometimes, incrementalism isn’t enough. Sometimes it is a betrayal of principles to pretend that the other person means well, or to accept their “yes, but” answer as a real and honest response. And, well… Brandon at least has the courage of his misbegotten convictions, and CV Rick is probably a worse person because he appears to have no convictions at all.

      I dunno. I know I try to have principles instead of just paying lip service to them. I’m my own biggest critic on it, but I TRY. I know you see people as being fundamentally better than I do, but I need to really be shown attempts to try before I give people a chance.

  5. Laurie B

    Really Joe? I had thought and hoped that you were throwing some sarcasm there.

    Really, you’d walk away from an ongoing honest dialogue because your standards and expections are “better and perhaps more honest”? Well when I grow up I want to be just like you, being the judge and jury and all.

    I have indeed written people out of my life, for reasons of trust, primarily. Not usually because we hadn’t agreed on any given point of view or thought process though, usually, it’s been due to my not trusting them with making decisions for me in my life, mostly due to what I perceived as making poor decisions in their own lives. Dialogue has always been my “go to” place to begin discovering the questions, perceptions, misconceptions, answers, and consequent actions. The “Oh, you cheated on your spouse and now you want keys to my house so you can use the hot tub” .. No.. ..Not..Goodby.

    Throwing stones at each other because we each have standards the other can’t or won’t sign blood oath too? Not my style. Really, I assume you’ve got that old blue face paint and the off colored kilt ready to go? “My way or the highway” is not a conversation. It’s a mandate and in general a mandate get’s the “there’s the gurggler, just throw it in there. Now, let’s talk” response. from me. So what’s going on with you that you feel that you have to draw the line like that?

    If what you served up wasn’t sarcasm, well then, enjoy your honorable ethics and your small island. I’m going to miss you.

    I’m with you Mrs. Chili, keep the conversation going, if one little light starts to shine, what joy that will bring to the world that I live and love in.

  6. Improbable Joe

    On some level, I think most of you folks see these issues as being academic. As such, they can be discussed with cold rationality, and politeness is more important than winning on the issues, because none of it really matters that much.

    I see issues like marriage equality as being more than an exercise in debate strategies or subject to formal debate rules. So I’m not capable of pretending that real people aren’t being really hurt when one side wins over the other. Read that again: real people are being really hurt. This isn’t a game to me, where we should pretend that there’s no more at stake than a discussion about football or music or movies. There IS a moral/ethical stake involved that isn’t about “Oh, there’s Joe again being absolutist in his ideology, I’m superior because I sit in my ivory tower and don’t get all worked up”… it is about people’s lives, and some people in the “debate” want to hurt other people.

    So if it is absolutist to not want to see people be hurt for no good reason, then I embrace it.

    • Joe, in 1776 there was a moral and ethical stake as well. Men (yes, wealthy landowners one and all) were sneaking in and out of Philadelphia under the cover of night and the threat of imprisonment or death. Arguments were heated and raged between groups at each other’s throats. Yet they never stopped talking and negotiating and compromising and one by one they agreed on a declaration of independence. That is the example I’d prefer to follow – that horrible disagreements can result in acceptable and even inspirational results through discussion and compromise. It’s how we started and it’s how we’ll continue to progress. It’s the model for every advancement we’ve ever had in legislation and even in court rulings (those 5-4 decisions don’t happen in a vacuum).

      You are being pompous, arrogant, and intolerant. Sure there are real lives affected and there are mighty injustices at stake – but so have there always been. Accusing others of diminishing the importance or of academically sterilizing the issues with emotional distance is ridiculous. You’re just blustering. You aren’t more important. You aren’t more righteous. And you don’t understand the stakes better than anyone else – – all you’re actually doing is removing yourself from the debate because you can’t stand to give an inch in your belief system and your myopia won’t let you think beyond a set intellectual perimeter.

      I don’t respect you for your moral highground when all you use it for is to beat the backs of your allies.

      • Improbable Joe

        I know you don’t respect me. You’ve never acquitted yourself in a way that would inform me as to why I should care.

      • You’re right – I’ve acquitted myself by being logical, thoughtful, and forming complete and cogent arguments. I can see why you’d distance yourself from that.

      • Improbable Joe

        And you’re a liar too. You’ve called names a whole lot, though. I guess that counts for something.

      • Way to avoid responding to my comment, Joe. You keep diverting and avoiding. I’ve come to expect it of you.

  7. Improbable Joe

    It IS interesting though, how actually holding progressive values is unacceptable to “liberals” if I use harsh language and hold strong positions, while holding the opposite of those values is fine, period. I can apparently hate gay people, minorities, the poor, and women… as long as I’m polite about it.

  8. Laurie B

    Joe, I understand your postion. I do believe that you are an honorable person (although one unlikely to clean the dead flies off of the windowsill of your own office). Somebody else is paid to clean up your shit? Yup, I’m support staff at the local U and for sure Dude, you’re crap isn’t any more of a rose than anybody elses. You are just one of us, shocking as that might be.

    I know that you are taking a stand for the right thing here but as an academic, really, have you shared any experiences of this with anybody? For me, until the federal law changes, there is no such thing as equal marriage. Sure, my sweetie and I, thirty years together could get “married” in Massachusetts. Big friggen’ deal. That’s a feel good moment and a family party. Yippee. We have all of the legal papers we need to protect each other unless one of us forgets to carry them at all times. Yup, it’s like that. Brother in law, aka, “Born Again and better this time” brother could step in at any time unless I’m packing the paperwork. Now that is something that a federal law could fix. I love that you are involved. So much for your opinions. Work for actual cange in the federal law!

    Until we have an equal marriage act at the federal level, there is no equal marriage law. I thank you for your unwavering support and advocacy of that.

    This sort of politics is always about finding some common ground and Brother, I would rather have you on my side than have you walking away.

    Just don’t shit the nest no more, ok? And hey, give a little, why be such a hard ass?

    Thanks Mrs. C for allowing this on your site. I’m hoping that we’ll all find out something, but who knows what that might be.

    • Improbable Joe

      I’m glad you think so highly of me, seriously. I’ve always cleaned up after myself, thanks very much. I’m pretty sure no one has ever been paid to clean up after me specifically, although I’ve had plenty of jobs where cleaning up after others has been part of my duties. I’ve ended work days covered in sweat, mud, steel and aluminum shavings, cutting lube, engine grease, fryer grease, chicken blood, and even chicken shit… I’m not some coddled ivory tower pseudo-liberal academic who doesn’t have anything at stake.

      My concern about marriage equality is grounded in my personal experience of being discriminated against for race from the time I was a little kid. I’m Hispanic, and when I was 10 my parents decided to move us from NYC to Mayberry. I used to get in fights on a regular basis for being a “wetback” even though I’m not even Mexican. I was always a scrapper and gave as good as I got, but there were days that I came home with both eyes swollen almost shut and the skin under my eyes split open and bleeding. I had to deal with adults treating me like I couldn’t even speak English at all even though I spoke better than they did. Almost every year I went to school I had to go through the same treatment from teachers who were surprised that I wasn’t in a remedial class instead of the honors classes I was taking.

      So you want to talk about common ground? Common ground requires the other person to move too, and requires that the ground they choose doesn’t involve me getting the shit kicked out of me. Where do you find common ground with people who think that women who want an abortion, a completely legal medical procedure, should submit to a sexual assault with an object to get that procedure? Or that claim that homosexuals should be imprisoned? You show me how well THAT common ground works for you, because that’s the ground that Republicans have staked out and refuse to budge from. Yeah, I’m rude and rough around the edges, but I don’t think you’re a tiny step away from bestiality, or vote for people who think that way.

  9. Improbable Joe

    Oh, and BTW: Gov. Christine Gregoire just signed marriage equality into law in the state of Washington. Good effing news!

    We can only hope that the rest of the country joins Washington and a few other states in the 21st Century sometime in our lifetimes.

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