Monday, November 24, 2008

Equality Hanging by a Thread

I can't remember exactly when this incident took place. It has been within the last two years I'm fairly certain. The hanging of two teenage boys in Iran. Their crime; being gay. Was it easier to end their lives with them blindfold, because the crowd couldn't see the life, the hope, the dreams fade from their eyes as they hung there dying? Were the executioners not proud of doing their religious duty so they hid behind hoods? This is the end result of religious intolerance, bigotry, and discrimination when allowed to fester unfettered. How many other lives were cut short because it didn't conform to someones beliefs? In Iran? In Iraq? In America? Across the globe?
The passing of Prop 8, the ensuing exposure of Mormon church documents, the astonished feelings at the backlash toward Prop 8 supporters should alert everyone in this country what is at stake. I have posted before on this. Now more information is available about donors and what groups are involved and to what degree. I feel it is worth repeating.
I do not begrudge anyone their religion, whether I understand it or agree with it. That is their personal belief. I wouldn't dare dream of taking that away from anyone. However, when your personal belief effects the quality of my personal life, then I have a problem. Personal beliefs are just that, personal. They have no place in public policy. Civil rights are for everyone. They should be applied evenly across the population spectrum. My right to marry another consenting adult and live my life accordingly is private. Your right to worship as you choose and live accordingly is a private matter as well. You may exercise your right according to your religion of choice. You can exercise your civil rights however mine are extremely limited. Your personal beliefs should not interfere with my civil rights to be treated equally.
There was a time when the majority of people on the planet thought that the world was flat. It turned out not to be true. There was a time when the majority thought that blacks should be property, shouldn't vote, or marry. It turned out that was wrong too. Just because the majority has a louder voice, doesn't mean the whisper doesn't have value. The purpose of government is to ensure that whisper is heard. That they get a fair share of the American pie. The courts are to enforce what was set forth over 200 years ago to ensure that equality, whether the majority agrees or not. Seperate is never equal.
The danger now is will America become as bad as Iran or Iraq? Will the majority be allowed to stamp out all those who do not share their ideals, their vision, their goals, their morality? Will the government step in as it is duty bound to do and protect all its citizens equally? Will the people understand that what happens to minorities, can happen incrementally to them as well? This November Americans voted for change on two fronts. A new President and Congress with a mandate. The other, the ability for the majority to remove civil rights from a group of taxpaying citizens. Which change takes this country in the direction it needs to go as we face the 21st century head on? Which change shows a true United States of America? It is difficult to be united when part of your citizens are not treated equally.


rptrcub said...

I would love to think that the President-elect could help deprogram this country from its fundie-cult-like thinking in the cores of some people. But I don't think that will happen magically, and God help us if the economy is not any better by the 2010 midterms, much less the 2012 election, because the morons will run back into the arms of the oogity-boogity (as Kathleen Parker called it) base of the GOP to save them.

Ur-spo said...

Read The Handmaiden's Tale by Margaret Atwood if you have not already. It answers your question for you.

Ultra Dave said...

Thanks for the tip, Ur-spo. I'll get a copy.

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