Who am I?Where am I?

26 November 2008

Prop 8

Please note: Please read the two posts below before reading this one as they form the crux of this debate.

My View

I have many random thoughts on this issue. So let me just put them out in no particular order.

1. Let me just say that after reading my father's views again, I do disagree with him on some points. I understand his background and make-up lead him to take a very Christian view of the world and try to analyze things from that point of view. That is his bailiwick and not mine. Mine would be in the historical context and area and I feel that my Dad brings up many good points.

2. I feel that homosexuality has unjustly become the sobriquet of modern America. As I stated in the first post in this series, Barack Obama would not have been President in the 1700s because he is not a white, landowning, male, from one of the 13 original colonies. Thankfully, the USA has outgrown this mode of thinking and clearly, though racism still exists, the color of one's skin, amount of owned property, and state of residence (except in the case of Washington, DC...but that's another issue altogether) is no longer the sole determining factor in how far one can advance. The Declaration of Independence defined certain unalienable rights: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. I believe that Proposition 8 violates a homosexual's right to all three of these rights. Thus, this is wrong.

Notice that I did not say morally wrong. I do not care what one's views are personally on homosexuality, to limit a person's right to choose is wrong. Morals implies religious and the United States Constitution implicity separates church and state, which is why we do not have a national religion. The United States prides itself on being a bastion of "freedom." I challenge that by posing the question: Free to whom? Historically, every single group within the United States has been oppressed, including the Founding Fathers, and by extension, "free white men" of the colonial era. Everyone has wanted freedom. This right has been fought for. Gay rights is merely an extension of this process.

3. By what right does any American justify a yes vote on Prop 8? There are generally two arguments. The first is moral and the Bible is often used. Again, this is not my bailiwick so please read my Dad's post for a discussion on that front. The second arguement is legal and historical. This too is bogus because by assuming that we can limit the rights of others by voting is to assume that we know better how to achieve happiness for another person than that person himself would know.

What strikes me as ironic is that those who most voiciferously argued for Prop 8 were the conservatives who feel as though the American way of life is somehow in danger because of this issue. Conservatives who worry about American liberalism. Conservatives who take stands that are akin to those taken by a young Austrian in the 1920s who later became the leader of the Facist world. Is Nazi Germany the ideal goal of conservative leaders? I doubt it, yet these arguments and limits on one's personal freedom are the first step towards a fascist state.

4. Most of the arguments proffered by the religious right sound as if they have been concocted by a flibbertigibbet. These arguments use circular logic that make no sense. (As I'm sure some of my arguments do likewise!) However, the fact of the matter is that the religious right is trying to impose its values and norms onto other Americans and in the case of California, many Californians allowed it to happen. This is an unfortunate state of affairs and undermines (albeit only marginally) the joy and pride I felt on election day watching Barack Obama win the election. We as Americans need to recognize that the rights of individuals apply to everyone and not try to summarily limit these rights.

5. I hope this issue at least makes you think and evaluate why you have your own views. Again, I really do not care what your views are on any subject. I simply do not want you to enforce your views on me nor anyone else.

Kind regards,

Richard the Nomad


Anonymous said...

Quite interesting. I do agree with your dad's view.

Anonymous said...

I feel that homosexuality is morally wrong from a christian point of view.

God created man and woman for a purpose.
- Procreation
- Companionship


Anonymous said...

I do agree with your dad's view.Since it is not accepted in my country and it is wrong for man and another man to co-habit each other as it was planned by God,if some people think it is accepted and brings happiness to them and allowered in America let them choice what is good for them.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rich,
God created man and woman for procreation.it means the Gay people have change the meaning of Marriage,since it is the way of exericing freedom and to make one's happy.it is achoice for every American to decide weather to have the same sex partner, so the Church should not Condemn people's while they are trying to bring happiness in their life.

Anonymous said...

OK, i read the blog and honestly i really dont care what the next person does with his life as long as it does not put me in danger.
And a person's sexual orientation is a personal and private thing and does not harm any one.People have committed so many atrocities all in the name of love, religion, God etc.Like the saying goes "two wrongs dont make a right". and trying to oppress homesexuals all in the name of legality,morality is also wrong.My motto is live and let live. Unfortunately we never seem to learn from the lessons history is trying so hard to teach us,trying to force one's ideals, views, morals on others or trying to make others to be like you, always brings trouble,A few good examples are First it was the Nazis trying to elimate the Jews,the Whites on Blacks, xenophobic attacks, Tribalism and now Homophobia. Fisrt it will start with simple voting ,next who knows? A concentration camp for Homosexuals? SO what if Mike and John are attracted to each other? or Jane and Mary? Why should this give me sleepless nights? Why should this spell the end of the world? Who cares? LIVE AND LET LIVE!!!!!!! I personally dont believe in the notion that being homosexual is a choice, neither do i believe I chose to be Hetrosexual,I just am!I dont think anyone would choose to be in the minority,if we had a choice on such matters,no one would be in the minority and i dont think there would be need for the word minority.We were all created equally and its us,people who make others feel as lesser human beings because they do not fall in what we perceive as the norm,eithe by tribe,race,creed,sexual orientation etc. Silly as it may sound or is but i would like to compare sexual orientation to race. No one was given a choice on what race they wanted to be ,I didnt choose to be Black. Certain things we choose but not our sexuality nor our race.So last words, It boils down to tolerance and treating others the same way you would want them to treat us.Scary thought what LIVE AND LET LIVE.

Yve said...

Nom, this is an interesting topic that I should definitely comment on. I can’t afford to be too lazy for this! First it is not my intention to state whose views I agree or disagree with. I only intend to state my views from a point of rationalization (while unpacking issues of perception and rights from a humanistic perspective). I start from the premise that I do not support homosexuality. Having said that, I will be quick to add that my position should not be construed to mean that I do not support gay rights or human rights for that matter. If anything, universal human rights as stipulated by the UN human rights charter apply to all, whether black, white or green, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist…and all other forms of identity. In my opinion, adopting certain principles or ideologies or choosing a certain way of life does not in any way take away one’s inalienable right to exist, neither does one cease to be a human being. We as human beings can therefore enjoy equal rights without taking away other’s rights to do the same be they gays, animists etc.

How then do we take away or limit “other” people’s rights? This can happen through action or purely through cognition (thoughts, perceptions, feelings, attitudes)… These are then translated into actions and bear a lot on how we relate to this “other” group of people. Looking at others as sinful and wishing they would burn in eternal sulphur is self-righteousness in the strictest form. For us to advance these kinds of perceptions would indeed mean we are beyond reproach and therefore in a holy position to condemn. I’m not a Biblical scholar but I think the Bible is clear on homosexuality and just to reiterate, that’s where I base my viewpoint on the issue. I will not attempt to make any theological arguments beyond this point though. That notwithstanding, let me make this more controversial by asking how many men out there are having sex with their daughters? How many women out there are enjoying sex with their fathers? How many wives are marrying their fathers-in-law? Are they perceived in the same way as homosexuals? At least from where I come, such things honestly happen…shameful as that is, so lets not pretend that homosexuals are the sorriest accident to have happened in this planet. How can we then base our morals and values based on what society deems to be “right” if the same society condones other forms of despicable behaviour like the ones I have highlighted?

Values can be societal but they can also be individual. This brings to question how we can measure right and wrong values? And from whose perspective? How about matters of objectivity? And who decides who is sinning and who is not? Just let these people be! Let them be. Since I want to be controversial, let me advance another argument by being more pragmatic. Let’s be realistic. Can you honestly say, “I really dont care what the next person does with his life as long as it does not put me in danger”? That’s interesting. I hold the view that if something does not infect you, it will affect you in some way. Dear men and women out there, have you ever been seduced/approached by a fellow man or woman? It’s really disgusting especially if you are not inclined towards homosexual orientation. I think homosexuals can do their thing so long as it does not infringe on the next person’s values or directly offends them. The other reason why I think some of these things may eventually catch up with us is, how many parents out there have tried to raise their children good in Christian, Islamic, Buddhist ways yet they walked up to them one day and announced they are homosexuals? Thing is, if you are not a homosexual, someone else is. And this could be someone you dearly love. How do you get to reconcile with that? Would you treat them differently? My point of departure is, lets not be quick to judge. Leave it to God. Lets be realistic. I don’t want to know if am right or wrong. This is just my humanistic perspective. Mind your business…until it minds you.


Vera Ikeji said...

I totally agree with Anon 5, 'Live and Let Live.
People should be able to choose their sexual preference, however, I do not appreciate gay people flaunting their 'gayness' in public places and I do not support gay couples adopting kids. What are they gonna teach the kids? What kinda orientation are the kids gonna have? What kind of life will they lead, especially with other kids making fun of them in school?
"Hey, come and meet my parents Mr and Mrs ABC", while the kid with gay parents respond "Hey, meet my dads, Mr and Mr ABC",terrible!
I also don't think it's nice for gay people to kiss in public places like restaurants etc. cos they have 'freedom of choice'. I hate to say this, but i don't see the sense in trying to be like heterosexuals in public places. People don't feel disgusted when they see heterosexuals making out in some public places. However, the sight of gay people making out is ......
Penalty for being openly gay in my country, Nigeria, is 6years imprisonment, with hard labour.
My two cents.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, just want to comment on the second comment here from 'Flo', Companionship is not just a purpose for man and woman but for anyone... human or animal.

Very interesting,!!! very interesting!!!!... I personally couldn't careless what another person does for whatever reason he/she may have.

Moving on... I am quite torn by your Dad's views and to some extent I do sympathise, however, my views are my only and not to be imposed onto others.

My view why I don't agree with the way some homosexuals behave is the fact that they flaunt their sexuality, and making it a big deal. Now, I wonder why this is so, when they actually want to be treated the same way as everybody else..i.e. the hetrosexuals.

Wouldn't it be a good idea perhaps if they did not try to make such a big statement every time, to be recognised?..i.e dressing up and so forth. The fact that they try to differentiate from the rest of us, with i.e clothing, the way they talk, etc...This only in itself has made it difficult for society not to notice that Mike and John have sex together and Mary and Jane... do it together.

I could careless, when I meet someone, I take them as they are...i.e if I meet Mary, all I know it's a she and not trying to be a he and vice versa...

What I am tired of is the many who simply enjoy flauting their sexuality, I don't so why should they? I guess that's none of my business, however I believe that if you alienate yourself then perhaps you should expect to be treated differently in society because it seems like you have actually advertised yourself and what you do in your bedroom..

I do feel that the few who go out to seek a fashion statement being homosexual spoil it for others who simply want to live a 'drama free' life like the rest of us... But then again what do I know...nevertheless this is how I see things.


Lucia said...

I’ve been reading all your comments and the blog and I find all very interesting and valid… If only the whole World would do this exercise more often this openly and peacefully…
I come from a traditional/conservative European Catholic background and have been living in an Arab society for the past 7 years… Just like everything in life, my views on different aspects have been changing, or let’s say, evolving and I’m glad that I acquired this ability to easily find ways through constant questioning curiosity to broaden my perspectives in life…
I always accepted Homossexuality from a distance, as in, it never mattered much to me personally, never affected me, I always considered that everybody is just free to make their own choices and that is none of my business to interfere… My perception and tolerance was stretched and broaden in an amazing way when I met Mimo (not his real name) an Arab gay man that kinda opened my eyes to see the truths hidden in this society but most importantly he made me learn a lot about myself.
The more I knew Mimo and his tendencies and the humanity of his personal struggle to follow his heart the more I admired him, for everything that he stood for, I learned to absolutely adore him and it wouldn’t make me prouder to hear him call me Mummy, as the amount of humanity in him is rarely found in most people I meet and what was more amazing, was that the more I would accept him as he is and adore him including him as my extended family, the more I gained an immense love for myself for stretching my tolerance and acceptance levels.
What I learned is that we tend to criticize more about others what we lack in our own selves, I learnt that when we talk about someone’s particular attribute, we’re really talking about our particular limitations. And if we bend those limitations and just simply accept ourselves and others we will live as lighter and happier souls…
After all marriage is supposed to be an ode to love, are we going to punish somebody to love someone else and their wish to settle down just because they’re the same sex?