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Defending Tradition The Bigot’s Way


Defending traditional practices is and of itself nothing that warrants the label of bigotry or narrow mindedness.  However, the defense of traditional practices that are steeped in prejudices and discrimination by the segregation from, or exclusion of, people who may think differently from traditional ways of thinking can be considered bigotry and narrow mindedness.

Case in point, a person can say that they believe that the traditional concept of marriage is where a man and a woman are joined together and their union is endorsed by some state government is perfectly understandable.  But when someone says that the only form of marriage is the one where there is a man and a woman and same sex unions should never be recognized as marriage and should never enjoy the rights and benefits of being recognized by the state is something different.  These people want to take their traditional way of thinking and mandate the imposition of their concepts on others.  These people will work hard to pass laws that bar homosexual couples from being recognized by the state.  This type of behavior is no longer a defense of the traditional way of thinking but an attack on the unorthodox.

Social conservatives see the mere existence of the unconventional as a threat to their way of life.  It is pretty much a given when laws designed to illegalize homosexual marriage as the Defense of Marriage Act.  The title of such a law rings of oxymoronic concepts like peacekeeper missiles and compassionate conservatism.  And when the narrow mindedness of such regressive thinking is called out to the public, these über social conservatives want to pretend that they are the ones who are being unfairly harassed.

An attack on the traditional concept of marriage would be someone coming out of the woodwork and saying that the union of a man and a woman cannot be recognized.  To tolerate such a union would be an attack against the very foundation of all that is unorthodox.  But nobody is making such a blatant statement.  However, such a decree would be the equivalent of the mindset of the conservative.

Some social conservatives are so ingrained with religious fervor that they actually believe that to tolerate people who so openly embrace their homosexuality is to openly invite the wrath of the Supreme Being.  Such silly superstition ranks right up there with the island people who throw virgins into the loving arms of lava to appease the volcano gods.  Now that we know a little bit more about the cause and affect of volcanic eruptions we know that throwing the young maiden into the lava was tantamount to community sanctioned murder.

The mere existence of something is not an attack on something else.  It is when we put what we believe as the driving principle that guides our actions instead of depending on that which we see.  To say that same sex marriages are bad for the community simply because we believe they are bad without any real evidence to support such a contention is classic bigotry.  To judge other people as unworthy simply because they think differently from us is classic narrow mindedness.

The subject here is the traditional thinkers who want to use their right to free speech to infringe on the rights of their philosophical opponents.  But the same is true to anyone who thinks people who simply have a different way of seeing the world are not entitled to the same rights.  Denying people the right to marry because of their sexual orientation serves no real purpose other than to foster hate.  Denying people the right to housing, employment or any of the things that we should be able to take for granted simply because they don’t fit our personal definition of right and wrong is wrong.

Make no mistake in what I’m trying to say.  Everyone is entitled to their beliefs.  People might believe that homosexuals should not be allowed to marry because it might be an affront to their religious beliefs.  And if that’s true then those same people should believe that those homosexuals have to face whatever judgment awaits them in the hereafter.  If homosexuals believed that people who practiced opposite unions were an insult to all that is holy then they are more than welcome to believe what they want as well.  A mutual respect for each other despite our beliefs is the key to social harmony.

But it is when we put narrow minded beliefs of intolerance into narrow minded actions of intolerance that we start to become too big a bigot for our own good.  For me to say that you don’t deserve what I have simply because you are different than me simply doesn’t work.  Conversely, you shouldn’t be so quick to put me down as well.  Despite all our different beliefs we should be able to mutually exist as equals.

Sunday, November 1, 2009 - Posted by | Homosexuality, Life, Thoughts

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