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Bigot? I’m not even a little ot….

February 10, 2012

I’ve been called a bigot again. Boy that cheeses me off.

A bigot is someone who forces their narrow-minded, negative opinion onto other people and/or treats people they disagree with in a pejorative manner.

I am neither one of these. I only share my narrow-mined opinion if I’m specifically asked to share it. In such a case, the other person is a bigot for calling me that.

Per usual it was around a conversation about gay marriage and gay people in particular. Personally, I don’t like the term “gay.” It lacks description, and worse, it lacks parallel structure. Gay and straight doesn’t work. The term used to be “bent” with a double meaning and strong parallel structure. Bent and straight. See? It works.

Now, do I insist on using that term? No I do not. I can see how it might be offensive and that is never–okay, rarely–my intent.

I can be an exhaustive conversationalist, I know. It’s annoying but maybe not a weakness. In many discussions that become combative, the other discourser makes assumptions about what I believe. Abhorring erroneous assumptions, I get exhaustive and try to only discuss what has verbally been placed on the table.

Like yesterday when–because I was asked–I defended marriage being reserved for a man and a woman, preferably in agreement. I was bashed as a bigot because none of my arguments held water. Color me surprised, I hadn’t made any arguments. Mentioning that, I was told she’d “heard them all.” So I posited something: Find an average ten-year-old kid and ask “what is the relationship between a husband and a wife?” The answer will be “married.” Then ask, “what is the relationship between a husband and a husband?” After some initial confusion, the answer will be “friends?” Kids know what marriage is. “They’ve just been trained that way,” I was told. You can train your kids to think left is right and right is left, but that doesn’t make it so. You break the definition when you make marriage anything other than a man and woman. After that, you need modifiers. “Gay marriage” “multiple marriage.”

No disrespect intended, but this is a group who are adept at coming up with creative names to define themselves. Why is marriage such a sticky wicket? I agree “civil union” is a bit cold. How about “gaygement”? Or “gaymon” (say it out loud fast)? Why must it be “marriage” when the word must be radically redefined to fit (not to mention the problems with the meaning of the world “husband”)?

Because marriage isn’t the issue; justification, validation, acceptance are. “You’re intolerant” I was told. Again my opponent had definition problems. No wonder she argues a lot. To “tolerate” is to put up with. There is no acceptance involved, just no active opposition.

I’m all about tolerance. Seriously. It’s none of my business what two consenting adults do unless it’s made my business by invitation. I consider “gayness” to be a sin and sin is best dealt with by God. He certainly deals with all of mine, with no end in sight. I want no laws restricting consenting behavior if no fraud or violence exists within it. No jobs restricted, no hostility presented. God is big enough to deal with it, and as long as no one specifically asks for my input, I won’t volunteer it. Heck, it doesn’t help even when asked; it certainly won’t help if I’m not.

All I ask is that you not be intolerant of my tolerance.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 13, 2012 5:07 pm

    Well, whether you’re an intolerant bigot is an issue I’m not going to touch. 🙂 I will say that this seems to be a ship that has already sailed, like it or not–polls indicate that over half of Americans now say they favor legalizing gay marriage, and that number seems to get higher with every poll–which most likely means it will be the law of the land more sooner than later. Particularly since the particular bloc of voters it directly affects tend to be well-educated, affluent, vocal, and active at the ballot box.

    I will say, however, that I find your stance on same-sex marriage inconsistent with your espoused belief that it is government’s place to secure its citizens’ rights, not abridge them. You and I, as heterosexuals, have the right to select one person we love and intend to spend the rest of our lives with, stand up in front of our friends and family, and bind our lives together in a way that the law recognizes and provides additional benefits in terms of taxation, property rights, medical guardianship, inheritance, and probably a few more things my mind is skipping. Why should the government then deny that same right to any two consenting adults (who aren’t already closely related)? Why must the word “marriage” be “radically redefined” if it is to include any two consenting adults who have pledged before the law to bind their lives in that way, regardless of their genders? Perhaps you’re right with the bit about the average 10-year-old, but how many 10-year-olds have ever seen anything BUT a husband-and-wife scenario? Why don’t you ask that same 10-year-old how many wheels a car has? I’m pretty sure he or she will say four, having never seen, for example, any Morgan F-series autos. Whether a 3-wheeled car is a good idea is another debate entirely. 🙂

    Maybe it’s all a matter of semantics anyway, since you say you’re fine with civil unions for homosexuals, apparently just not with calling it marriage. I don’t see much of a difference personally, nor do I think it damages the institution of marriage if it’s expanded to include same-sex couples. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I look around, I see a world that is sorely in need of as much love as it can muster. If some of that love is between same-sex couples (and, yes, the children they might adopt and provide a home for), it’s still love, and it still makes the world a better place. Whatever label is applied to it doesn’t matter to me, but love is something I want my government to support, not to erect walls against.

  2. February 13, 2012 6:47 pm

    At first I was thinking you hadn’t read my post, since I’m fine with civil unions that don’t have to be based (or can be) on sex. But just for argument’s sake, as you pointed out, we can’t just marry anyone we want. As the law stands, they can’t be related, must be of a certain age, not already married, and must be of the opposite sex… so government can make regulations regarding marriage. Nonetheless, your popping up a straw man, because I’m find with the government allowing civil unions, I never said it threatens marriage. But a male/male or female/female relationship is not marriage, by definition; it can be a civil union (or made up word of choice). You can say I can have a hysterectomy, even protect my right to have one, but I am missing the part that makes a hysterectomy possible.

    Okay, the semantic argument, which I hear way too often. Precision of language precedes precision of thought. This willy-nilly redefining of words is partially responsible for the sharp decline of critical thought that clouds discussion (not referring to you, but several conversation I have with friends and extended family).

    If the label doesn’t matter, then let’s call it something else. Then I’m fine with it. The government gets more money through the license fee, lawyers make more money through the divorce fee, and the language isn’t fractured.

    Or better yet (and I mean this), have government get out of marriage entirely and let churches perform weddings while the state streamlines the legal contract, opening it up to anyone and everyone who want to bind their households for economic or congress reasons. Also, since the tax break is meant to enable family, if anyone gets divorced without kids, the divorcing party should be charged for the tax not paid (this would prevent people from getting temporarily bound just for economic reasons).

  3. February 13, 2012 7:21 pm

    Also, marriage isn’t a right, it’s a contract from the government’s perspective, and a sacrament in the spiritual sense.

  4. February 14, 2012 12:48 pm

    I don’t know, I’m just not as hung up on the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. It’s pretty easy, in my mind, to broaden the definition of that word to include any two consenting and qualified adults who wish to enter into the legal arrangement we presently reserve for opposite-sex couples. But again, since you’re okay with civil unions, I won’t fault you for wishing to hew to a strict diction.

    The ‘right’ thing strikes me as more than a little semantic too, though, and misdirects the argument. Yes, marriage, as a noun, in and of itself, is a contract and a sacrament–but as a verb, we have the right to marry. As I said before, you and I can legally choose an eligible spouse and enter into a marriage contract with that person. We therefore have the right to marry that person, yes? Same-sex couples can’t presently choose to marry the spouse they want. They therefore are denied a right you and I possess, by both church and government. I think there are good, logical reasons why the law denies EVERYONE (emphasis because that word is crucial here) the right to marry certain people: minors aren’t regarded as capable of giving their informed consent and therefore can’t enter into the contract; close biological relatives present potential genetic anomalies; and thus far our society has embraced polygamy only in certain religious sects, outside of the law. Religious opinions aside, however–and please realize that not everyone puts much stock in religious opinions–there are no such logical grounds why unrelated consenting adults of the same gender should be denied the right to marry, and the fact that the law denies only SOME otherwise qualified consenting adults the right to marry another otherwise qualified consenting adult, merely because of their gender, makes it discriminatory. And again, isn’t such a discriminatory and explicit denial of a right by the government inconsistent with your stance on government’s role in securing the rights of its citizens?

    • February 15, 2012 8:50 am

      I still don’t think it’s a right, but eligibility for a contract. It would be infringement if adults weren’t allowed to do as they wish such as living in a committed relationship, but an entity gets to offer whatever benefits they want to offer to whoever they want to as long as it’s equitable to everyone in that class, in this case a man and a woman. I think civil unions are fair, but not a right. I am a stickler for definitions. If the word has to include a modifier to make sense then it’s the wrong word. Call it something else and I’m fine with it.

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