Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A dose of common sense

About 5 years ago I was talking with my nephew and said that I could not marry. He was genuinely shocked. He did not realize that laws prohibited same-sex marriage. It made no sense to him. I believe his reaction reflects the predominant view of his generation. They ask the same question he did, "Why? That makes no sense."
As marked by the increasing number of states voting in favor of gay marriage, lawmakers are finally realizing it makes no sense.
New York was interesting in that a Republican dominated legislature voted in favor of marriage equality. They made sense in terms of their principals as they explained why. Supposedly deep rooted conservative Republican values drive toward less government intervention in our lives - less regulation. I also respect their helping religious groups feel less threatened by offering protection from being forced to conduct gay marriages. In reality, that amendment was probably not needed but it helped legislators get beyond the religious issue.
We need to watch. It's no secret that the Republican party has been held in a choke hold by evangelical Christians. They may share fiscal conservatism but the approach on social issues is a bit odd.
Christian conservatives have latched onto Gay rights and Women's rights. Their objective is to eliminate or highly regulate the rights of both gays and women. They want to eliminate abortions but in the process, work to de-fund the best program in the world for eliminating unplanned pregnancies - Planned Parenthood. "Why? That makes no sense."
If it's all about ensuring that Christian values are part of our government, that's not constitutional. And then I would ask why other Christian values are not part of the agenda. What about feeding the hungry? What about healing the sick? Conservative Republicans are working to eliminate funding for widespread programs to serve these needs. Is that a Christian value? I think not.
If, across the board, the conservative position is that the government not intervene in peoples lives, I can respect that position. I may not agree, but it makes sense. But what they do has to be consistent.
I have a very difficult time with the idea of mixing religious values and views with government. Despite how the Tea Party wants to re-write history, that's not how this country was founded nor intended to be. We need a big dose of simple common sense, an awareness of common good, and an ability to walk a mile in someone else's shoes.

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