Tremble as you look upon me, underlings. The power rankings are in and I am number one. I now lead the league in points scored for AND I am second in points scored against. And yet I am merely ONE game back of first place. Todd and Bryce may have better records, but with the cream puff matchups they’ve been feasting on, their ranks are merely a house of cards. You hear that boys? It’s called strength of schedule*.
My challengers bring their “A” game every week and still cannot take me down. Danny only leads the league in points against because HE PLAYED ME LAST WEEK. I took pleasure in stopping his best week of the season.
But do not abandon all hope yet, inferior league members. Nothing is certain in life. You may still find a way to the championship, but beware: your road must go through ME.
*While on the topic of Bryce’s and Todd’s soft opponents, Bryce picked the perfect week to play me. It just so happened to be when two of my regular starters combined for 80 points ON MY BENCH. And I stand by that benching. They needed to show me that they were committed to this team. It may have cost me a few trifling stats in the short term, but the long term reward for their renewed spirit will be SWEET.
Not to get political but can we just cool our jets on the gay marriage debate and look at it from a different perspective? This isn’t an argument for or against; this is an argument in support of points that no one seems to be making. Or, at least, no one I listen to. OK, so five people haven’t been making this point, and so it’s up to me.
You may have heard some of this before, but bear with me. I think I will get around to something kind of unique.
Where, as a society, are we basing our position that gay marriage is morally acceptable? Why, when we define the right to marry, do we have to stop at gay marriage? Why can’t we include incestuous marriage or polygamous marriage? “Oh, we can’t do that! Those things are wrong! Those things are unacceptable in our society!” Why? What makes gay marriage morally acceptable but polygamous marriage abhorrent?
The whole contention of the gay marriage advocates is that gay marriage is only outlawed because it is in opposition to traditional societal norms. They contend that gay marriage should be acceptable in a tolerant, civil society because the people practicing it have the same human rights as heterosexuals. Fine. But who decides what is right and wrong in any society? From where do we get our standards of morality? Do we as a people decide this? How do we make it known? By voting? But that doesn’t provide a good answer, because gay marriage advocates do not usually accept this point. They contend it should be a right – not something left up to the whims of the voters. Look at the lawsuits that result when the people vote down gay marriage. Look at the politicians that defy their own laws and grant gay marriages and then are praised around the nation. Again, this is not an argument against gay marriage – I am trying to better define gay rights advocates’ arguments (that’s right – three words in a row ending with the same sound; go ahead, read it out loud and enjoy).
So where do we get our societal morals from? God? Not to go Bible-trump-card on you, but I think God has been fairly clear on the matter. And, in our current society, we tend to resist using traditional religious morals as a basis for our policy (at least officially). So let’s take God away from the debate.
Then we ask again: where do gay people derive the right to marry? There doesn’t seem to be a well-defined standard. On second thought, let’s not stray too much into a debate in philosophy, because that argument is centuries old. Instead, we’ll just suppose that the gay rights proponents are correct and gay marriage is a human right. But without a standard like religion or tradition, drawing the line at gay marriage seems every bit as arbitrary as drawing the line at straight marriage. If gay people are given all the same human rights as straight people, why not people who practice incest or polygamy? *
The point is, by their own argument, people fighting for gay marriage should be in favor of marriage between any two parties, even if those parties include multiple people or are blood relatives. If we argue in favor of human rights and, by this argument, desire that the government - as the enforcer of our societal morals, independent of tradition or religion - define marriage, we must then allow everything.
This begs the question: Is gay marriage really about human rights or is it about “getting in the club” and forcing everyone else to accept the chosen lifestyle by the government (as a proxy for society) giving its stamp of approval? Because the thing about getting in the club (as opposed to “da club” where we be drankin’) is that it’s no longer cool if everyone is in it. If gay marriage advocates will support incestuous and polygamous marriage, I’m cool with what they say. If not, they are hypocrites… and uncool in terms of this article.
Like I said, all of this (including the charge of hypocrisy) is contingent on the argument being that gay marriage is a human right, regardless of what our traditions or our voting majorities say. As I see it, the only other solution if the government defines what is marriage, is to define what is socially acceptable by our votes. But then everyone has to accept the outcome! Don’t take it to the Supreme Court or call people bigots unless you are going to fight for marriage of all types. Because people who vote against gay marriage are no more homophobes than you are an incestuaphobe (I just made that up!) – unless, of course, you argue for marriage for all.
So then, if everyone can get married, what’s the use of the government defining marriage at all? Isn’t marriage about two parties getting together and pledging their love for each other in front of their friends and loved ones? Isn’t marriage only as important as the devotion the participants give to it?
Conclusion: As a society, we are left with three options. 1) Grant government-sanctioned marriage to any and all willing parties as a human right. 2) Define marriage state-by-state through voting based on how individuals define morality on a personal level, whether it be religious or whatever. 3) End government sponsorship of marriage all together and allow free people to form clubs, churches, or other associations in which they recognize whatever form of marriage their fellow members deem acceptable. Lastly, if we chose option (1), isn’t it just easier to go straight to option (3) via the argument in the preceeding paragraph?
For those of you wondering about the gaping hole in this article that should have addressed all the benefits granted by the government to married people (like tax breaks or hospital visits), let me sum it up briefly: If we replace the word “marriage” with “civil unions” above and grant those benefits through civil unions, the argument is almost identical, only now we just have options (1) and (2). The logic is the same. In mathematics we would say the remainder of the proof is trivial and is left to the reader.
Equilibrium: Combining civil unions and marriage we have four worlds. 1a) A world in which marriage is defined state-by-state and civil unions are given to all. 1b) A world in which both marriage and civil unions are defined state-by-state. 2a) A world in which there is no government definition of marriage and civil unions are given to all. 2b) A world in which there is no goverment definition of marriage and civil unions are granted state-by-state.
(1b) is how we currently live. I think (2a) results with the highest number of people going home happy.
Mostly, I’m just tired of the hate that has filled this debate. It need not be so.
Yes, I know much of this reads like it was written by a libertarian-minded conservative who opposes gay marriage. Cut me some slack - it’s really hard to control tone. Notice that there is no conclusion as to which side is right or wrong - just an attempt to reframe the debate around more sensical talking points. I also use lots of dashes, colons, and statements phrased as questions – most of the time used correctly. You’re welcome.
These thoughts were almost completely fleshed-out one night through a long discussion with my brother, Keith (http://keithandportland.wordpress.com); someone thinks clearly and logically enough that I can always solidify my thinking just by talking to him.
* Don’t talk to me about studies or anecdotal stories that may show negative results for polygamous or incestuous marriages because I don’t think anyone wants human rights defined based on some statistical analysis. Extend that idea to all our rights and that’s a dangerous place to go.
“How can limited government and fiscal restraint be equated with lack of compassion for the poor? How can a tax break that puts a little more money in the weekly paychecks of working people be seen as an attack on the needy? Since when do we in America believe that our society is made up of two diametrically opposed classes – one rich, one poor – both in a permanent state of conflict and neither able to get ahead except at the expense of the other? Since when do we in America accept this alien and discredited theory of social and class warfare? Since when do we in America support the politics of envy and division?”
No need to rip this show apart with some snarky comments about how it’s sanctimonious horse-drivel. I don’t even know what that means. The following will suffice as my review:
Ever in a conversation and there’s this incessant noise in the background that you ignore so as to not break your conversation? And as that noise gets more and more intrusive you naturally get louder and louder trying to ignore it and even as you do so you don’t give the noise conscious attention? And when you finally tune into it and freak out and turn off the noise you get the greatest satisfaction and relief? That show was this noise. And there was no conversation. And that’s how I felt when I turned it off 29 minutes in.