Thursday, November 11, 2004

Bush and Moral "Values"; Inseparable?

There is yet another conservative journalist who will simply not stop spouting the same self-serving, yet faulty, logic as to why President Bush won reelection (talk about people who love to rub someone's nose in something). And I simply cannot resist arguing with people who have self-serving agendas (as you read all of my future entries, I suspect you will conclude that I don't have any self-serving agendas; if you see some indication that I am wrong about this, you are welcome to enlighten me; if you're right, I will concede and then make really good excuses for myself; if you're wrong, you will have inspired a rant to end all rants :-).

Shades of Gray
For those of you who are able (or willing) to see the vast and varying shades of gray between pure black and pure white, here's a novel approach to the issue of voting for "moral values" and voting for President Bush. No, I don't mean general "moral values," but rather only those moral values held in highest esteem by conservative Christians. Do not confuse theirs with the apparently illegitimate moral values of everyone else in America. Self-serving conservative journalists are still excitedly and self-righteously telling us that we cannot have the one (moral values) without the other (Bush). If you listen to them without thinking too hard (in other words, only in terms of black or white), you might -- very reluctantly -- admit that they have a point. But don't to that. Instead, think hard. Be brave. Dive into that vast, uncharted gray area between the two extremes -- in between the twin worlds of Either and Or.

Voters Prove the Strength of States' Rights
Legislation banning gay marriage was on the ballot in eleven states in November 2004, and in every case but one, that legislation was approved by roughly 70 to 80 percent of the voters (and in the one exception, Oregon, it was also approved, but by a smaller percentage). Now, tell me: Did we really need to reelect President Bush at the same time in order to send democrats the message that we don't approve of gay marriage? Nah, we didn't need to vote for both at the same time. The voters in those states sent an extremely clear and concise message to democratic candidates everywhere (most of whom had never threatened to try to legalize gay marriage, anyway). Even John Kerry had the same position on the issue as President Bush -- they both approved of civil unions only.

But They're Still Not Satisfied
The voters' extremely clear and concise message to politicians and gays is that the people of this nation do have the power at the state level to prevent gay marriage. Nonetheless, beating a dead horse has always been a popular sport in some circles of society. In spite of their overwhelming victory, these voters still want Bush and other born-again conservatives to create a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage nationwide (phrased differently, of course). Please forgive me for descending briefly into the vernacular once again, but I must ask: What in the hell for!? (I shall now quickly re-ascend from the vernacular before I resort to name calling). Are conservative voters so incredibly blind to their own power that they still need their trembling little hands to be held by our big, moral government ("big" being the kind of government that conservatives -- and I, for that matter --, despise)?

That Document for Self-Serving Conservatives
If I am never known for anything else for the rest of my life, I want to be known as a defender of the original and traditional spirit of the United States Constitution. With only one short-lived exception that I know of (prohibition), that spirit has always been as a guarantor of a long list of freedoms, NOT OF RESTRICTIONS! If petrified religious people, who don't know (or don't want to recognize) the extent of their own local power, allow passage of even a single RESTRICTION into the Constitution to protect themselves from harmless people with biologically abnormal lifestyles, then they will have set a trend that will be impossible to stop forever after. If the original and traditional intent of the Constitution is corrupted even once, especially for something that is succeeding overwhelmingly without such help, then it will show future generations of Americans that they, too, can corrupt the Constitution in order to get what they want. And then the point of the Constitution (and, thus, of our "American experiment") is lost.

I'm sure some of you are also thinking that there are other moral values on the table, such as abortion and stem-cell research. As the majority spoke with regard to gay marriage, so the majority has spoken with regard to their right to choose (for over 30 years now). The majority of Americans do not want abortion made illegal. Just as Americans are bound to respect the will of the majority that voted against gay marriage, they are equally bound to respect the will of the majority that supports legalized abortion.

As for stem-cell research, I believe the vast majority of voters on both sides are still not well informed on this relatively new matter, including me. From what I've heard of both sides, though, I suspect that conservative Christians may be slightly less well informed than proponents of research (call it instinct). As it is with children, so it seems to be with religious people: They absolutely love to anthropomorphize non-sentient matter, even going so far as to ascribe to it conscious human thoughts and emotions, two conditions which are impossible to achieve without having had actual worldly human experience. They also attribute a soul to this non-sentient matter. This is, without a doubt, a religious view, not a political one. If abortion is banned on the presumption that a fetus (or even a recently fertilized cell) has a soul, then we are truly bending democracy to the will of theocracy. Never mind the will of those who may have a different religious view on this matter. Only the conservative Christian view is valid according to conservative Christians, as well as the self-serving conservative media and now (probably) the ratings-driving mainstream media.

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