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How Will the World Ever Find Its Marbles?

March 10, 2015

On the hunt for marbles

Common sense has been thrown out with the morning coffee grinds in America. We are so deeply invested in malarkey that we may never get out. Political Correctness makes common sense off-limits. We’re not even allowed to talk about it without being ridiculed. They wackiness is so taken for granted that anyone who would question it is considered a crackpot.

The problem is so deep that if a political leader arose who was willing to decry that the king is naked, he/she will be vilified. (Typically, I’d suggest Ben Carson as that candidate, but he made a really stupid comment about the-subject-that-shall-not-be-discussed that probably killed his chances. He also doesn’t believe in all aspects of evolution because he’s, you know, sensible. The dark horse just became darker.  It also doesn’t help that people touted to be that leader SO aren’t. Sarah Palin is a joke; Michelle Bachman is also whacky. Sigh.)

If I had a deep-rooted belief that I was a dog, my mental health would be rightly questioned. But if I, a male, decided I was a female with the wrong parts, people will line up to “empower” me and surgeons will happily say they can correct God’s mistake.  Thus allowing men to walk into a ladies changing room and it’s the women who object who are punished (see the Planet Fitness nonsense).

Questioning any of the following topics will immediately disqualify a political candidate, especially in our sound-byte society:

  • Anything to do with LGBTQ (I still don’t understand what Q is. I thought Q was a slur? Is it like N, where it’s okay for some people to say it and not others?)
  • Recognizing abortion is actually killing a human being
  • Evolution
  • Global Warming
  • Entitlement
  • Statism vs Federalism
  • Muslim terrorists

In fact, one could argue (and should argue) that the government has broken the first amendment by establishing a new religion.

If we can define religion as a collection of faith-driven beliefs with no basis or highly questionable basis in provable fact that drives behavior, and that the government is demanding we adhere to one over our own, then they have indeed established a religion.

Case in point: The florist in Washington who happily served a gay man (thus proving she was not discriminating on a personal trait), but gracefully declined to provide her services at his gay wedding (a behavior and an ACT contrary to her faith). She was sued by the state and is in the midst of a legal battle. The state is enforcing their unsupported belief that gay marriage is morally sound over her belief that it is not. That’s establishment. She should sue the state.

So, my take on the above list:

LGBTQ: People should be allowed to do what they wish in the case of LGB (and maybe Q). It is wrong to sum up a person by a single aspect of their personhood that is no one else’s business; that includes employment, with one exception that should apply to everyone: If one’s personal behavior (outrageous, swishy, whatever (is that the Q?)) will adversely affect business, then it shouldn’t be discrimination to not hire such a person (that applies to straight people, too; preachy at work? Foul-mouthed? Bye-bye.) The T? I’m sorry, but that’s a mental health issue.

Abortion: “It’s my body and no one can tell me what to do with it.” Yeah, well, it’s your car, too, but that doesn’t mean you can kill people in it. You can’t even push them out of the car if you’re speeding along. Legally, you have to wait until you’ve stopped and the person exiting the car isn’t killed by doing so. Give the baby the same right, please.

Evolution: This subject is so broad and complex that you can believe in a lot of it and disbelieve in some of it and still be called a heretic. The bits I disbelieve had so many holes that I feel perfectly fine in disbelieving in it. Cosmology-wise, I believe in the Electric Universe and Plasma Theory over gravitation as prime mover. The existing models are so ingrained that they are taught as fact in school, even though other theories work better (note: Plasma Theory and the Electric Universe are not Creationist theories; they fit the data better than any other theories; that they require far less time makes no difference).

Global Warming: Such an eco-friendly topic that paints people as evil, I should love it. But I don’t. Maybe it is a real problem, but we simply don’t have enough historical data to make the conclusion that this is anything other than cyclical. We tend to believe that humanity is an overwhelming presence on the planet, but we’re nowhere near as powerful as people think. Vulcanism, plant life, insects, multi-stomached animals, all have a bigger impact. We are the stewards of the planet, though, so I think behaving responsibly is a good idea; to that end, I’m okay with environmentalism and the green movement, just not the hysterics that accompany it.

Entitlement: We are hugely entitled – all Americans. Let’s admit it. I believe we should all benefit from the work of our hands (skills), should take care of people less fortunate with a hand up and not a hand out.

Statism vs. Federalism: I’ve made my argument before on this blog.

Muslim Terrorists: Most terrorist are Muslim extremists. It’s ok. We can admit that. Many Muslims are peaceful, but some of those fund the terrorists either on a personal level or unknowingly through their mosque. We need better solutions to root such people and mosques out, but I am against the NSA invasive policies. Treat everyone with respect, catch the bad guys and put them away. Leave the peace-loving ones alone.

What other topics are out there that PC-police make unfashionable? We can discuss them here (politely).

8 Comments leave one →
  1. kverdeck permalink
    March 10, 2015 2:23 pm

    Just a few thoughts, though long-winded as usual:

    -I dunno, I would say there are plenty of politicians and candidates doing just fine by denying climate change, and being anti-gay and anti-abortion, and even anti-evolution and anti-science in general. Whether they can be viable in a national election is probably doubtful, but at least on a local and statewide basis, these beliefs are as often features as they are bugs.

    -Conservatives are often accused (rightly, I think) of being exclusionary, in that they base their beliefs and hence policy predilections on their own experiences, without stopping to consider that others may have differing experiences. It’s why FoxNews is correctly ridiculed when they host a panel of 5 wealthy white guys discussing how there’s no such thing as racism in 2015 America. Just because they’ve never experienced it doesn’t mean it isn’t very much real to those it affects.

    I submit that your perception of transgendered persons is similar. And I can certainly relate–as a male who is perfectly content with the parts he was born with, my first reaction upon considering transsexuals is one of skeptical incredulousness. But that doesn’t mean that the experiences of transsexual/transgendered individuals are less valid than my own, or less deserving of consideration and accommodation. They are not necessarily “broken,” and they are not necessarily “deviant” or “perverted” or any other pejorative we might apply. It could just be that their experience of gender, both physically and culturally, is different than yours and mine. Different, but no less valid.

    -To my mind, your argument about establishment has horse and cart reversed. You suggest that if the government makes a law or regulation that runs counter to a given religion, then they are effectively legislating against that religion and creating their own religion in its place. I understand the establishment clause a bit differently, in that it says the government shall make no law endorsing a particular religion, and no law whose basis is primarily religious. And I think the opposition to homosexuality in general and gay marriage in particular, no matter what clothes it’s wearing (it alters the definition of marriage, it’s denigrating to traditional marriage, it doesn’t encourage reproduction and family stability, it’s a slippery slope to men marrying sheep and toasters, what have you), is ultimately based in a religious disapproval. Therefore it is right that the government should recognize that opposition for what it is–discrimination directed at an immutable characteristic of a population–and take steps to prevent it like we do any other similar discrimination.

    And yes, Ben Carson certainly did wade into a deep pit in his recent interview, and it may well haunt him. I did love his response after the fact, though, which I paraphrase: In the future I just won’t allow myself to get baited into talking about these terrible and ridiculous things I believe, even though I still very much believe them.

    -And finally, “Most terrorist[s] are Muslim extremists.” Not true. “Most terrorists we hear about in the American media are Muslim extremists” would be a true statement. But statistically, no. As an example, of 152 attacks considered acts of terrorism in Europe in 2013, exactly 2 were motivated by religion; 84 were committed by nationalist or separatist groups (ethnically-based, in other words). The worst European terrorist attack in recent history was the 77 people killed by Anders Breivik in Norway in 2011. Muslim? Quite the opposite, he was (and is) an anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant Christian extremist.

    Here at home, our most recent terrorist attack with widespread media coverage was the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, in which 3 victims were killed by 2 Chechen brothers (Muslims, yes, though it is questionable whether they were motivated by their religion). Meanwhile, 5 Americans were killed that same year by gun-wielding toddlers. Since the day 2,977 innocents were murdered by Islamic terrorists on 9/11, over 190,000 Americans have been murdered, mostly by other Americans. If there’s anything approaching an epidemic of terrorism in the US, it’s this: since 1995 there have been over 4,700 incidents of violence at abortion clinics, the vast majority of which were committed by pro-life Christians and quite a few of which can only be classified as faith-based terrorist attacks (including murders, bombings, and arson). But the media doesn’t cover those with nearly the same fervor as when Islamic extremists attack, because that makes for a much simpler good-guys-vs-bad-guys story.

    You didn’t mention the decriminalization of marijuana, but like gay marriage I think those dominoes are already toppling, so you’re probably right to leave it out. 🙂

  2. March 11, 2015 9:06 am

    Excellent response. I’ll take the correction on Muslim extremists. I’d need to look into those 4,700 incidents (I’d actually call it 4 million plus acts of violence at abortion clinics by doctors). I would call people who murder and bomb places as not-Christian, though, since our scripture forbids it and the Koran doesn’t.

    Please note, I think EVERYONE is broken, not just transgendered folks. I do think the surgery is mutilation, though. YMMV.

    And I was talking on a national level (president, mostly).

    Ben Carson’s trap was giving a sound byte to what I’m sure is a more nuanced stance than you’re giving him credit for.

    I do think the government should protect against discrimination against anyone, but a behavior and a class are two different things. Marriage is a behavior.

    • kverdeck permalink
      March 11, 2015 9:56 am

      As is often the case with politicians in general and (oddly?) Republican politicians in particular, I suspect Carson’s latest mistake was not one of phrasing (as was, arguably, his previous gaffe of mentioning homosexuality and bestiality in the same breath, which many took as him equating the two) but instead of being too candid about something he truly believes but would be wiser not to voice. I mean, it was a remarkably simple exchange. Cuomo: “You think being gay is a choice?” Carson: “Absolutely.” Forget the prison sex nonsense that came next, that was a very simple question and an unequivocal answer, which for me and many sums up Dr. Carson’s stance on homosexuality. I for one am glad he said it, because it would be nice if candidates for public office were that clear about what they believe on all issues.

      And along the same lines, okay, I agree that marriage is a behavior. But when we permit a behavior for one class of people, yet deny that same behavior to another class based on an immutable characteristic, that is the very definition of discrimination, is it not? Of course we can argue whether homosexuality truly is as immutable a characteristic as race, or whether gay marriage is exactly the same behavior as heterosexual marriage. Personally I think the first is a scientifically-settled question and the latter is a red herring. But it seems the courts are finally coming around and SCOTUS is nearing a ruling, so hopefully by next year it will be a moot point anyway.

      For the sake of argument, also consider this: our government prohibits discrimination on religious grounds, and has of late even enforced that notion at the corporate level in rulings like Hobby Lobby. Yet religions are often seeking to convert others, which strongly implies that even religious individuals agree that religion is not an immutable characteristic. So if any class could be argued as being less worthy of protection, wouldn’t it be the religious, who themselves implicitly admit they could easily and at any time choose a different religion, or none at all?

  3. March 11, 2015 2:29 pm

    I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been scientifically settled, but ultimately it doesn’t matter. Can it be a conditioned choice? Certainly. Genetically influenced? Possibly. His or my stance on such a question has nothing to do with legislation, however. No one (okay, few) want to make laws restricting gay people from much of anything. I don’t think it’s marriage when same-sex couples make lifelong commitment (hence the need to modify it with an adjective), but if they want legal documents, cool by me.

    I think it’s perfectly acceptable for a gay florist to refuse to do a straight wedding, however. And vice versa. I’d prefer anyone be able to refuse service to anyone and let the market chastise immoral behavior, but that’s just me.

    Having thought about the earlier point, I’ve decided to accept that there is non-Muslim terrorists, but reject some of the examples as terrorism. “Terrorism” is using terror to hobble an enemy. The majority of the bombings (wrong in every way), were of empty buildings, were not to provoke terror, but to stop abortions. Two wrongs don’t make a right, Not terrorist, though, just criminals.

    • kverdeck permalink
      March 11, 2015 5:01 pm

      I would agree, the 4,700 total is likely an exaggeration if it includes instances in which a single individual harrassed or assaulted another individual. Even if politically motivated, that’s really just criminal mischief and generally being a jerk. 🙂 But I like the FBI’s definition of terrorism, which is “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.” Empty buildings or not, direct harm to persons or not, if it was violence and destruction motivated by political beliefs, I think the label fits.

  4. March 12, 2015 7:52 am

    I don’t think so. I think it was desperate people who don’t understand God’s timing who were trying to shut down a single abortion mill. I could be wrong, but that’s the gut feeling. Not sure how many there have been, though. I didn’t think very many, but I’m not plugged into news sources as well as I should be.

  5. March 12, 2015 7:53 am

    (And as an aside; WordPress’s new interface is hosed. It isn’t notifying me of comments or showing how many comments are attached to a post. Sorry if I’ve missed some.)

  6. kverdeck permalink
    March 12, 2015 8:16 am

    Perusing the Wikipedia article on the topic of abortion-related violence ( led me to an interesting connection. In 1998 a Birmingham, Alabama clinic was bombed, resulting in the death of the off-duty police officer working as a security guard, and serious injury to a nurse. The man responsible was the same man who executed bombings at an Atlanta abortion clinic and a lesbian bar–and also a little incident in 1996, the Atlanta Olympics bombing which killed 1 and injured 111. His stated reasons for that attack: global socialism and the United States’ “abominable sanctioning of abortion on demand.” With friends like this, etc., right?

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