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As I pondered the subject for this inaugural diary, the story of Coy Mathis broke on the news feeds. If you have not read or heard the story, this CNN report may help. I've heard random people questioning the parents for allowing the kid to choose something else besides what God intended, in the name of morality. Since the story centers on a 6-year old, perhaps visiting the core definitions surrounding the subject of what is moral may be helpful. More past the Orange Spinner of Enlightenment.

All definitions put forth in blockquote are from

mor·al [mawr-uhl, mor-]
1. of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical: moral attitudes.
2. expressing or conveying truths or counsel as to right conduct, as a speaker or a literary work.
3. founded on the fundamental principles of right conduct rather than on legalities, enactment, or custom: moral obligations.
4. capable of conforming to the rules of right conduct: a moral being.
5. conforming to the rules of right conduct ( opposed to immoral ): a moral man.
ma·jor·i·ty [muh-jawr-i-tee, -jor-]
noun, plural ma·jor·i·ties.
1. the greater part or number; the number larger than half the total ( opposed to minority ): the majority of the population.
2. a number of voters or votes, jurors, or others in agreement, constituting more than half of the total number.
3. the amount by which the greater number, as of votes, surpasses the remainder ( distinguished from plurality ).
4. the party or faction with the majority vote: The Democratic party is the majority.
5. the state or time of being of full legal age: to attain one's majority.
No, it's not my intention to teach English class. So why quote a dictionary, whose sole purpose is to define the meaning of and usage of words in our language, in a diary of this nature? Because something rather odd happens when the two are combined - a brand new definition comes about.
Moral Majority
a political action group formed mainly of Protestant fundamentalists to further strict conservative aims, as strong antiabortion laws, the restoration of school prayer, the teaching of creationism in public schools, and the curbing of books and television programs considered antireligious or immoral.
Well how about that. Apparantly the total of two words is indeed greater than the sum of those two words individually. We've just gone from "ethical" and "more than half", to an entirely new term concerning fundamentalists with a political action group aimed at furthering strict conservative aims. English truly is an odd language.

But wait a second, that would mean Protestant, by word association, is the majority religion in the country. Not quite true, according to the Census Bureau. Although prohibited from specifically asking religious association, the latest estimates from 2008 as seen here tell quite a different story; Protestants (no specific denomination supplied) are estimated to be 2.27% of the American population, hardly a majority. Yet this term is often used by conservatives as the reason for their views, beliefs, and justification of proposed laws. Unless said conservatives are Protestant fundamentalists, it is unlikely they are speaking or acting as any real authority on whatever subject being espoused - at least according to definition.

So how has it come to pass that the judgements of so few hold such sway in our society? Although tempting to blame complacency, dis-information and prejudice are the likeliest culprits; thankfully neither hold relevancy in the Age of Information. Where individuals were once embarrassed by and rebuked for differences, we are now finding those "differences" to be shared by more people than previously thought, and therefore, perhaps, not so different after all.

Our Founding Fathers were indeed nothing short of genius. In the Declaration of Independence, it was written "...that among these (inalienable rights) are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." They were so smart and forward-looking, in fact, no definition of the pursuit of happiness was ever given; they knew there would be as many definitions as individual people. Perhaps the conservative right wing should remember that when espousing religious belief and biased law proposals while simultaneaously idolizing the founders. And we, modern society as a whole, should attempt to emulate the wisdom of those long-passed geniuses.

Originally posted to Sex, Body, and Gender on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 10:50 AM PST.

Also republished by Angry Gays.

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