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I once advised people that if they found themselves uttering the phrase, "I'm not a racist," to stop there and ask why they felt the need to say it.  Apparently, they have taken my advice and have gone a step further.  Not only have they decided that it is preferable to be a bigot than a racist (even though it's still not a good thing), they are defining the parameters of bigotry.  Preemptively, they are letting us know what is not bigoted behavior (i.e, "Just because I favor traditional marriage, doesn't make me a bigot.").

They're right, and they're wrong.  I favor traditional marriage and I am not a bigot.  I say this because I only favor traditional marriage for myself.  I personally don't care what kind of marriage anyone else wants.  Well, I should qualify that by saying I hope the woman I fall in love with also favors traditional marriage.  They're wrong because when they talk about traditional marriage it is with the express purpose of denying the right to same-sex marriage.

The recent DOMA ruling has not cost the right a single right.You still have the right to speak out against same-sex marriage.  You have the right to call it immoral and a sin, or even just plain icky.  You have the right not to enter into one.  The only thing you lost was the right to feel legally superior in your marriage, which, I would argue, you never had constitutionally speaking.  You even get to maintain your religious right to feel morally superior if your church, synagogue, mosque, pasta bar, or other religious institution continues to uphold your traditional definition.

During the oral arguments (and does Clarence Thomas consider Oral the same as traditional?) Justice Scalia asked when exactly did same-sex marriage become un-Constitutional.  I may have gotten this question backwards, as I was having difficulty searching the pdf document and therefore I am operating from memory.  He asked if it was 1791 or with the 14th Amendment or some other time.

I would like to pause for a moment to reflect on the fact that the 14th amendment is where the "Equal Protection" clause resides.  In 1776, we asserted that we had the right to sever ties to England because government's are instituted to secure the unalienable rights of their citizens, that these rights are afforded all in equal measure, and that King George III had failed in this duty.  It took 92 years more, before the government we instituted in his stead affirmed this in law.

It has often been said that we are a nation of laws, not of men.  Of course, if we were merely a nation of men, would there be any other kind of marriage than same-sex?  From a legal standpoint, marriage is a contract.  As such, there is no fear of someone (Other than Elaine Chao) marrying a box turtle, because animals cannot give consent under US law.  Likewise, declaring that one can only be in one marriage contract at a time does not violate equal protection.

The Constitution, as the Supreme Law of the Land, sets the rules by which we agree to live.  Its primary purpose as mentioned before is to secure the unalienable rights of the citizens of the United States.  Any law, any ruling which violates the principle that "All men are created equal," (and as an enlightened culture women, too) is by definition un-Constitutional.  Ironically, by enshrining slavery, that makes the Constitution itself, un-Constitutional.  Dred Scott, Plessy v Ferguson, Bowers v Hardwick, were all un-Constitutional and they were ultimately overturned.

The long arc of history does indeed bend towards justice, and you traditional marriage bigots are on the wrong side of it.

Originally posted to Woody25 on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 03:44 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kossacks for Marriage Equality and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think my response would be "I don't think I'm (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Susan from 29, k9disc, wader, Siri, Tonedevil

    a bigot". Because I'm working on my attitudes as I find them coming up, but I don't know what hasn't been triggered yet.

    That said, a minor quibble of style.  In the first paragraphs you use 'they' and 'them' to describe the objects of your diary. Afterwards, you switch to using 'you'. I was left, at the end, wondering whether you were aiming at DKos members, then decided that you'd simply shifted without realizing it.

    I don't know whether it's fair to ask that you edit to keep your target subjects consistent, but if it is, I do.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 04:00:05 PM PDT

  •  Just an observation here. (4+ / 0-)

    It seems to me that a person, not necessarily the diarist, is on a rather shaky moral footing if they assert the "can't give consent" argument then go home and eat a pork chop for dinner.  

    The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

    by Pirogue on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 04:24:35 PM PDT

    •  Surely that would be turtle soup rather than (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      pork chops?

      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

      by serendipityisabitch on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 06:13:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Are you saying (0+ / 0-)

      that the pig consents to his slaughter?

      •  No, only that we missed you for the last couple of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        white blitz, mikejay611

        hours. The animal may not be able to give consent to a marriage (or slaughter), but assuredly its owner could - one only need go back a century or two to when marriage was in many ways only a transfer of ownership between two contracting parties.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

        by serendipityisabitch on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 07:09:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, just the opposite. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        futurebird, Kevskos

        I am just saying that it hardly seems consistent to think it morally necessary to obtain an animal's consent to marry it while not having a similar view about killing it and having  it for supper.

        I don't think this is a very compelling counter argument against the ultra-conservative fear that gay marriage will lead to inter-species wedlock. There are other arguments that do work but this is one that is difficult for a meat eater to invoke.

        The "competence to give consent" argument does work against the hysterical ultra-conservative fear that same-sex marriage would open the floodgate to child marriage, but is a rather shaky one for meat eaters to advance.

        The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

        by Pirogue on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 09:16:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the fact that people aren't consistent (6+ / 0-)

          doesn't make the argument invalid.

          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 01:23:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, no. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mikejay611, JerryNA, citizen dan, Kevskos

          Adult humans can give consent to marry, but I'm pretty sure they can't legally give consent to be slaughtered and eaten (i.e., if one seriously made that request it would probably be sufficient to have them committed for psychiatric care). But the "can't give consent" argument is fully consistent with eating meat--what it comes down to is that animals are not people. Granting different people, i.e. people of different races, people of the same sex, etc., the right to marry (or any other right) has no implication for anyone's relations to animals.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 06:32:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The contractual argument holds (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          A marriage to an animal is impossible because the animal cannot consent to a contract and does not understand the meaning of a contract. In the same way, you cannot marry a child because a child is presumed to be unable to fully understand, and thus consent, to the contract.

          Slaughtering and eating animals is not a contractual matter. The animal does not need to consent, indeed it cannot consent at all, because it has no comprehension of not consenting. Or of life and death. No understanding of language or law. You cannot ask a cow if it does or doesn't want to be slaughtered because it won't understand the question. It cannot even understand that you are asking a question or what a question is. A cow doesn't understand death any more than it understands life. By any actual definition of understanding, it understands nothing. It has only instincts and behaviors. It doesn't think about tomorrow, it doesn't reminisce about the past. It has no sense of self or mind. It's a cow.

          In the grand scheme of things a cow is food. If not for us, then for a mountain lion or a wolf. After that for crows and buzzards, beetles, worms and, ultimately bacteria. For that matter, we are all food for worms and bacteria.

          I have no qualms about eating meat because meat is food, it is natural, and it is healthy (if you want to argue about the dangers and unhealthfulness of modern factory farming, I'm there, but that's not an argument against eating meat, it's an argument against eating bad meat). Human beings evolved as people because we eat meat. Meat allows us to acquire energy faster than eating vegetables. It provides needed proteins and other nutrients more easily than vegetables (and cooked meat provides 10-30% more calories by volume than raw meat, so fire also helped us become people). We are people with houses and bluejeans and cars and the internet because our ancestors ate meat. We are people with big brains and thus Shakespeare and Voltaire and James Joyce, and Danielle Steele and Stephen King and Harlequin romances because our ancestors ate meat.

          Meat is human food and we know this because of the shape of our teeth and the anatomy and function of our gut, specially designed to digest meat protein. We evolved to eat meat. There's no reason to stop now.

          •  Let me start by saying that I think the (0+ / 0-)

            conservative "slippery slope to animal-human marriages" argument is farcical on a number of levels and is easily defeated, but not, IMHO, by the consent argument.

            In your discussion of the intricacies of contractual law I fear you have lost sight of the broader context, which is the attempt to examine the validity of the no-consent argument.  In truth an animal can be contractually bound by its owner, for instance you can rent me your mule if we are of like mind, so the contractual necessities are not, per se, an impediment to animal-human marriages. The only way I can see that such an argument might be invoked is in the same spirit as the legal reasoning that prevents minors from joining a contract, that is, as protection for those not competent enough to avoid being taken advantage of.  But of course the problem of legal theoretical consistency immediately arises because it would be difficult to claim a need to protect the animal from the vicissitudes of a bad marriage while being indifferent to its being sent to a packing house where they will be hit by a stun gun, and hopefully killed (although it is far from guaranteed) as the first step toward being cut up and packed in crates before becoming someone's evening meal. This is all I am saying.

            As for your spirited defense of meat eating I should first say that my original comment was not intended as a condemnation of the practice of eating meat but was only an attempt to discuss the validity of the consent argument. However, since you brought the subject up I do feel obliged to make an observation or two.

            Firstly, although I am saddened by the practice of meat eating, I do not condemn those who do. This is for a lot of reasons not the least of which is that I have been a meat eater myself for most of my life. But I do want to say that I don't find you argument that we evolved as meat eaters to be a terribly compelling defense of the practice. Surely we do not have to look very hard to find many aspects of human history, both political and anthropological, that shaped us into the beings we are, but are no longer morally defensible. Clearly we have a genetic propensity to engage in warfare and it is an deeply seated, inherent characteristic. Surely in the stone age period of our existence the waging of aggressive warfare and the attendant physical, mental, psychological and technical changes that derived were conducive to genetic success. But I think most morally mature people will agree that warfare, if engaged in at all, should be undertaken only as a matter of the direst necessity. In short this is a clear instance of our moral sense over-riding propensities that have arisen out of our evolutionary and anthropological heritage. Similar points could be made about the practice of taking slaves from subdued adversaries and the practice of killing deformed infants along with any number of similar historical items. Whether or not meat eating can be justified is, for me, problematic and I can't rule out the possibility that there are good arguments justifying the practice. I just don't think the evolutionary argument is quite quite up to the challenge.

            I am not even sure about your nutritional arguments given that the meat we evolved to eat was that which had been living wild and had been taken as game. Such meat is considerably different from the fat-marbled meat of farm-raised animal, especially those that live in a factory environment. But, as you said, the fact that most meat is bad for you is not an argument against that which is good for you and this is true on a theoretical level, however on a practical level in a world where few people have access to healthy meat it does have a good deal of weight.

            On another note, I would dearly like to see you a little less comfortably certain about your knowledge of the subjective lives of animals and what they can and can't perceive. It is an area of knowledge where we can have no certainties and must rely on educated guessing. In fact in recent years studies are beginning to show that many animals have surprisingly variegated and complex subjective lives.  

            If I am allowed one last note on the question of the morality of meat eating, I would observe that anyone who is determined to eat meat has, IMHO at a minimum, an obligation to actively determine that the animals he uses as nutriment are subjected to the least amount of suffering possible. I think that special attention should be payed to the practices in factory farms and their implication for the well-being of the animals being raised under those conditions.

            The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

            by Pirogue on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 06:43:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your social arguments are not convincing (0+ / 0-)

              Issues of warfare and slavery are not germane to the eating of foodstuffs. We did not evolve to keep slaves, there are no genetic markers for slavery or organs in the body which are designed to be either slave or free. Neither did we evolve to make war. Animals may fight to establish dominance or territories, but they do not engage in warfare. These are human species-destructive behaviors that emerge from human intelligence. Only a human thinks that enough is not enough and that more, more, more is their "right."

              On the other hand, human teeth and the human gut are specific for the consumption of and digestion of meat. We are omnivores. We naturally eat meat, among other things.

              The fact that bad capitalism (another species-destructive emergent behavior) has resulted in the creation of bad meat does not erase the basic evolutionary fact that humans are meat eaters. I am not "determined" to eat meat. I eat meat because it is healthy and I am a meat eater by genetic, evolutionary development.

              As I suggested in my original comment, factory farming is an awful way to produce meat (both for the animals and the humans who eat such meat) -- and I do take action, such as I can, to attempt to ameliorate such practices through the political process. But it is ridiculous to demand that one never eat meat until meat production can be made perfect. I do buy my meat from small sellers who provide better quality meat than the supermarkets that sell pink slime as though it were food.

              The production of vegetarian food under factory farming conditions is also horrible. I, frankly, worry a bit more about frankenwheat than I do about meat.

              I also find your "obligation" argument spurious and one of the ways people set standards for "other people" which cannot be reasonably met in order to curtail other people's behaviors. I might point out that millions of people believe that plants feel pain. Would you suggest that people who are "determined" to be vegetarians actively determine that the plants they eat did not suffer? And if you are so concerned for suffering, what are your active determinations regarding the suffering of humans forced to do stoop labor in scorching fields harvesting the plants you eat? It's easy to find fault in OTHER people's actions and set unreasonable standards for THEM in order to advance one's own personal agenda.

              At best, all anyone can do is the best they can do under existing circumstances. So unless you are arguing that people only ever eat the food they raise themselves, both plant and animal, to ensure the minimal amount of ALL suffering possible, I think your stated positions need to be a bit more deeply examined.

    •  No, in fact, it supports the diarist's assertion (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, wader, Debby, futurebird, gustynpip, Kevskos

      to bring up the pork chop.  Because in both cases, the animals could not give consent under law.  Both cases show that animals are not considered within our system as beings endowed with the legal capacity for consent and contract-making.

      That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

      by concernedamerican on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 04:23:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well it's certainly unbiblical (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 06:43:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dinner is not a contract. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos, ModerateJosh

      Get old and do lots of stuff in the process. Half of the fun is trying everything out. --Noddy

      by Debby on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 07:04:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One of the most powerful things I've heard (0+ / 0-)

      on this subject recently went something like this:

      Comparing same-sex marriage to marrying a dog (or a kitchen appliance or a pizza), as many opponents of same-sex marriage have done, makes sense only if you think of marriage -- consciously or not -- as something that happens with one person and the thing he wants to marry.

      When you think of marriage as something inherently mutual, between two equals, it would never occur to you to raise the question of "what if somebody wants to marry his teddy bear" because you are fully aware that the teddy bear cannot want to marry him in turn, and that it matters.  When you think of marriage as one human being and the bride of his choice, then obviously if we don't restrict "bride" to "woman," people could decide to marry all sorts of things.

      And ... people can decide to eat all sorts of things for dinner.  Because dinner is a matter of one human being and the meal of his choice.  Dinner is not mutual.  The consent of the pig, or the pizza, or the whole grains and leafy greens, is not required.  (Which is a good thing, because it would be impossible to get.  Those leafy greens can be real jerks about it.)

      Dinner is not marriage.

  •  I think they know (15+ / 0-)

    Deep down, they know they're bigots. That's why, when called on their bigotry, they always whine "That's not what I said!" when it's exactly what they said.

    Notice I am not referring to the classic Southern Strategy here. The Southern Strategy is where you only imply the bigoted comments. While you are guilty of connecting all but one of the dots and pointing the listener in the direction of the last one in that case, at least those who are guilty of it are technically correct when they say they "didn't say that". But for quite some time now, I've been noticing a certain breed of wingnuts has given up on the code words and presenting messages between the lines; now they just flat out SAY the hateful things, and stick to their denial after the fact.

    Certaines personnes disent qu'il y a une femme à blâmer, Mais je sais que c'est ma faute sacrément.

    by RamblinDave on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 03:08:17 AM PDT

    •  Does intolerance towards bigots make one a bigot? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mikejay611, serendipityisabitch

      Just a hypothetical, but it seems not all values that one group abhors conforms to the others values. Say you hate communism can a socialist consider you a bigot. There are conflicting values inherent in one or the other that are matter of degrees. Seems to me one can be intolerant of racists without being a bigot but intolerance of meat eaters clearly makes you a bigot. Much of this labeling of people and to what degree they say something or value something which is different from what you would say or value diminishes the meaning of racism or bigotry or discrimination. I would say you know one when you see one and it is not as insidious as implied.

      "Mais n'enculons pas des mouches." (Let's not split hairs) Ian Fleming, Casino Royal.

      by Kvetchnrelease on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 06:14:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are you trying to deny rights (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JerryNA, gustynpip

        to any people?

        The bigots in the post are using their bigotry to pass laws enforcing it.  I leave them free to spout their bigotry.  Bigotry against communism was widespread in the 50's- are you familiar with hollywood's blacklist?

        •  Depends upon where the rights originate. Did Nidal (0+ / 0-)

          Yes. I would  deny some "rights" to anybody. who wouldnt?Does Nidal Hasan have a right to his facial hair? I say no, I would have continued the forced shaving. There is policy supporting the shaving but it runs against certain 1st Amendmend rights. As far as blacklisted communism in the fifties, it's similar to what was found in Korematsu v US. Does the security need outweigh the individual rights. Not too distant from what is being debated today with the NSA.

          "Mais n'enculons pas des mouches." (Let's not split hairs) Ian Fleming, Casino Royal.

          by Kvetchnrelease on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 08:33:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  lol no. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JerryNA, serendipityisabitch

        I see where you are coming from here. But being a bigot is about how you judge and treat others, it's not an identity and it is something that people can change through education.

      •  You seem to be confusing quite a lot of concepts (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JerryNA, Kevskos


        Communism and socialism are not rights - they're merely economic and social theories.  So hating a theory doesn't make you a bigot.  However, if you hate Communists or Socialists, then you're a bigot.  Hating a person over one aspect of them, without knowing anything else about them, makes one a bigot.  If you don't "hate" them, but just want to deny them their rights, you're a bigot.

        If you're intolerant of someone denying others rights, you don't become a bigot.  If you're intolerant of someone for exercising their own rights, you're a bigot.

        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 11:01:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What Rights: Inaleanable, Natural, Property? (0+ / 0-)

          Religious Rights? Certainly there are rights not delineated in the Constituion as the diarist points out. Again, the framework you outline dilutes what is a bigot. You say anytime you deny someone THEIR perceived rights makes you a bigot.

          By the way, Castro, Stalin, Mao are not theories. Nor are the lives they destroyed as communists theories.

          "Mais n'enculons pas des mouches." (Let's not split hairs) Ian Fleming, Casino Royal.

          by Kvetchnrelease on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 02:48:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What about the millions of lives destroyed (0+ / 0-)

            by capitalists and fascists? Communism doesn't destroy lives, any more than capitalism does. Leaders and armies do. It matters little to the people who die the justifications or excuses  for their murder, only that they are dead.

            Communists and capitalists, feudalists and nationalists, religious leaders and atheists have all destroyed life by the millions upon millions. No ideology can claim superiority or denigrate another in the matter of destruction of human life. All are complicit and all are guilty.

      •  I think the issue isn't the issues... (0+ / 0-)

        when considering bigotry. It's the sense of superiority. No racist wakes up in the morning saying, "Gosh, I wish I was that other, better race. My race sucks. We're so inferior." Just as no bigot ever says, "You people are so much smarter than I, so much better in all ways. You deserve to be on top, not me."

        All bigotry is a way of assigning unearned and undeserved superiority to oneself and denying equality to others. Cooter doesn't get to be sheriff unless Boss Hogg lets him be. When Cooter objects to racial non-discrimination, he is, by extension, favoring the nepotistic system through which he got his job.

        You see this reality in the way bigots talk about equal opportunity: "You were the best qualified for the job. But they had to give it to the less-qualified black applicant. Vote for so and so..." The presumption, of course, is that the white guy is always the best qualified and the black guy always the lesser.

        Note that this sort of thing never (or seldom) affects jobs where actual performance is both required and measurable. Jackie Robinson didn't get to play major league ball because he was black, he got to play because he kicked ass on the field. Yes, prior to him, qualified black players were denied opportunity because of racism. These days, however, few managers care about skin color and everything about on-field performance. Such examples prove that race is a bullshit qualifier for anything. A motivated black man is just as valuable as a motivated white man. A lazy white man is just as much a detriment as a lazy black man. Skin color is irrelevant, except to a bigot. Which is why bigots are idiots. A bigot will lose value simply to preserve his own sense of superiority. That's just stupid.

        The issue that motivates bigotry is less relevant to understanding it than the actions and mindset of bigotry. Just as, in politics, it is seldom necessary to do much more than follow the money, so it is with bigotry: All that it necessary is to follow the false sense of superiority.

    •  Of course they know they are (5+ / 0-)

      bigots. Otherwise, they wouldn't feel a need to defend themselves before uttering something bigoted.

      I remember a guy coming up to me at a gas station. He looked like he had a drug problem and it was clear he was going to ask me for money. He lead off by putting his hands up in a gesture of innocence and saying "I'm not a beggar but (blah blah in a band on my way to a gig and ran out of gas blah blah)." I said, actually you are the definition of a beggar and I'm not giving you money. He called me a bitch and I guess at that moment I did fit the definition of the word.

  •  I've been thinking about this a bit (11+ / 0-)

    The key with bigotry generally and racism in particular, is that people view it as a personal issue; some flaw in your heart or your soul or your psyche.  Therefore, if you can present yourself as basically unflawed - Paula Deen tries - you can say that any racist acts are not the real you, but a momentary lapse.  You're not a bad person, you heart is pure as driven snow.

    But the thing is: who cares?  I don't care about what's in your soul.  I don't care if you break out in a cold sweat when you see a bunch of Latino teenagers across the street, get nauseous when you see two men kiss, or get irrationally angry when you see a black man dating a white woman.  You can't always control those thoughts.  I care what you do with that.  If you can say "yes, this was my reaction, but this reaction is based on bias and bigotry that has been baked into my mind from an early age, and I'm going to resist it" then you're on my side.  

    I'm far more bothered if, despite having no such reaction, you laugh at your boss's homophobic jokes because you know ingratiating yourself will help get a promotion.  

    Bigotry is what you do, not who you are.

    •  Wish I could rec this 1000 times. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos, Batya the Toon

      This is true in so many aspects of life.  I remember telling my ex-husband years ago that I really didn't give a shit if he FELT love for me; I only cared if he ACTED like he loved me.  

      The only unbigoted people are those who stand up for anyone who's rights are being denied or who others are treating badly.  

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 11:07:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  OK, I'm not a bigot then? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I recently realized that when I find out someone is a libertarian I immediately lose all interest in hearing or reading anything they have to say about any topic whatsoever. I no longer read Michael Shermer's pieces in skeptic blogs nor his column in Scientific American, and wouldn't care at all if he lost those gigs because of declining readership. But I'm not doing anything at all, besides not reading him, to bring about his loss of venue, so I guess I'm not interfering with his freedom of speech.

      I had decided that I am, at the very least, prejudiced against libertarians, and had begun to entertain the idea that I'm bigoted against them. So are you saying that while I might indeed be prejudiced I am not a bigot, even though I refuse to read or listen to libertarians? Isn't that kinda doing something? Or not doing something I might otherwise do because of my prejudice? Isn't that bigotry? I'm just so confused!

      If your internal map of reality doesn't match external conditions, bad things happen.--Cambias

      by pimutant on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 11:54:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bigotry is about what you're against. If you're (0+ / 0-)

        not sure in any given case, then you need to ask yourself what it is you're for.

        The prescription is simple. Following it, not so much.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

        by serendipityisabitch on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 03:30:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You're required to love everyone (0+ / 0-)

        you are not required to have lunch with them.

        The point being that how you react to people is more important than what you think about them. If you saw a man wearing an "Ask me about libertarianism!" tee shirt collapse on the street, would you rush over to help, or walk on by? Are you deliberately (unnecessarily) rude to people you know to be libertarians? Do you advocate the killing of, social exclusion of, or other mistreatment of libertarians?

        It's OK to object to libertarianism. It's a social theory. It has its flaws. Some libertarians are jerks (so are lots of non-libertarians). I, personally, prefer to avoid social conservatives. I was at a dinner the other night and a guy sat down at our table declaring, "Who here isn't a conservative republican, because you're not welcome!" and proceeded to sit, smugly gazing around with a big smile on his face. My wife grabbed my hand under the table and squeezed whispering "We can leave at nine o'clock, just don't say anything!" I held my tongue and, luckily, the table was large and the music loud. The idiot sat chatting with a small group of cronies and I couldn't hear what they were saying so it wasn't that bad. But it slightly spoiled the evening. The point is, I wasn't rude, didn't start anything. I don't object to this man's physical presence in the world. I just think he's an idiot. He would probably think the same of me. If I saw him lying, inured in the street, I'd help. I wonder if he, under those conditions would, seeing my Greenpeace tee shirt, tell me to go away and not help him. Thus proving that bigotry is ultimately self-destructive.

    •  This part actually pertains to me. (0+ / 0-)
      "yes, this was my reaction, but this reaction is based on bias and bigotry that has been baked into my mind from an early age, and I'm going to resist it"
      Years ago when I was in the Marine Corps reserves, I was against gays in the military. I would lie about why, to myself most of all. I later came to grips with the fact that, at the heart of my opposition to equality, was societal programming. I was more worried about the image. I didn't like the thought of a warrior class being seeing by society as "feminine".

      It wasn't even that it bothered me personally. I was really worried about what others thought, and I suspect that's the case for a lot of bigots today. They don't really oppose equality, they just worry about they themselves will be seen treated if they don't.

      I can tell you from seeing society from a straight man's perspective, one of the worst perceived insults is the mere suggestion you could be gay.

      Please proceed, Governor.

      by USArmyParatrooper on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 10:07:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just as your opinion on gay soldiers evolved, (0+ / 0-)

        So can the perception that the suggestion you could be gay is an insult.

        I used to think that way, too.  Recently, somebody at a bar said that I was gay, and he didn't mean to insult me.  I told him that he hadn't insulted me, he was just wrong.  A little later he said it again.  I repeated that I wan't insulted, but he was not listening to me and that was insulting.

  •  Rec'd for three reasons (9+ / 0-)

    First, I agree: Marriage equality infringes no one's rights, and the resistance to it is principally by people who are bigots in that they want to determine normative standards for everyone else.

    Second, for mentioning that Elaine Chao married a box turtle.

    Third, for including "pasta bar" in your list of religious institutions.

    Well done.

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 06:06:53 AM PDT

    •  Heck yeah! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos, BocaBlue

      All of that! But I rec'd and tipped for Elaine Chao and the box turtle. That was sufficient unto itself. The point of the diary, and the pasta bar, were just icing on the cake for me.

      If your internal map of reality doesn't match external conditions, bad things happen.--Cambias

      by pimutant on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 11:59:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm more of a traditional divorce person myself... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debby, gffish, JerryNA, JosephK74, Kevskos

    Interesting how those "defending" traditional marriage (whatever the Hell they mean by that), seem to have no problem with all the divorces that follow.

    Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 06:19:35 AM PDT

    •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

      And I include examples like Britney Spears' 55-hour bungee stunt marriage which was completely legal and "Holy."

      "Traditional" marriage is such a train wreck, how can anyone object to gay people sharing? We should have pity that fast on the heels of gay marriage will be acrimonious gay divorce.

      I must note that my wife and I have been married for thirteen years and I love her more than life itself. Our dear friends, a lesbian couple we have both known for decades introduced us and they have been together for going on thirty years and married in Massachusetts since 2003 (A committed loving relationship that has lasted lot longer than many "straight" couples). At least half the people we know are either divorced or actively despise their spouses. How can people live like that?

      I sometimes think that marriage licenses should need to be renewed every five years. I would happily re-marry my wife over and over. I wonder how many people advocating "traditional marriage" could say the same?

  •  I think there's still some room (0+ / 0-)

    but agree for the most part.  

    One thing we do with these types of labels like racist or bigot is try to expand the defenition to fit our own purposes over time.  

    I can't really call someone a bigot who doesn't think the law should be changed.  If they don't think the law should be changed and also thinks there is something fundamentally wrong with "actually being gay" then that is clear bigotry.  

    It is splitting hairs but eventually the defenition of bigotry will be watered down as is the defenition of a racist person.  

    I've been on a bit of a tear about this but I firmly believe that racism is a dead concept and that bigotry and prejudice of all kinds is what really causes most of the cultural clash issues in all countries not just our own.  Not to say that there isn't some racial undertones to some issues.  I no longer believe that racism is the culprit in most of them.  

    Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

    by mim5677 on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 06:20:58 AM PDT

    •  And this is where you'd (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Reepicheep, gustynpip

      be wrong...

      Racism involves the belief in racial differences, which acts as a justification for non-equal treatment (which some regard as "discrimination") of members of that race.[11] The term is commonly used negatively and is usually associated with race-based prejudice, violence, dislike, discrimination, or oppression, the term can also have varying and contested definitions. Racialism is a related term, sometimes intended to avoid these negative meanings.
      As a word, racism is an “-ism”, a belief that can be described by a word ending in the suffix -ism, pertaining to race. As its etymology would suggest, its usage is relatively recent and as such its definition is not entirely settled. The Oxford English Dictionary defines racism as the “belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races” and the expression of such prejudice,[17][18] while the Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines it as a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority or inferiority of a particular racial group, and alternatively that it is also the prejudice based on such a belief.[19] The Macquarie Dictionary defines racism as: "the belief that human races have distinctive characteristics which determine their respective cultures, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule or dominate others."

      At the end of the day - the ingrained system of White Superiority permeates every facet of American life. To ignore it is to be delusional, i.e. White...

      No star is lost once we have seen, We always may be what we might have been. Adelaide Proctor -7.25/-5.64

      by mikejay611 on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 07:02:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To put it another way, (3+ / 0-)

        just because a white male does not experience or observe racism or sexism, does not mean that racism and sexism aren't there.


        "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

        by Reepicheep on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 08:23:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Reepicheep, mikejay611

          Of course the typical tea party bigot only sees racial discrimination where white guys are not automatically placed at the top of the heap. "It's racist to presume that white men are not automatically superior!"

          "I'm better because I'm white and male. I demand preferential treatment or I'll hold my breath until I turn blue!!! Waaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh! Wait, if I'm blue that means I'm not white! I hate myself! Waaaaahhhhhhh!"


      •  I'd have no idea what that's like (0+ / 0-)

        as I am a black person.  So prejudice, bigotry, and racism aren't concepts that are always linked to me.

        The definition of racism and how people indentify racism are often two different things.  

        You may disagree but your talking in absolutes about a country with 400 years of history and 300 million people.  I make a habit of not doing that.  

        Is it not possible for an American black man to know the difference between genuine racism and someone who doesn't know better?  Or do I need the Oxford English dictionary to tell me what the deal is?

        How about you tell me what I need to know?

        You didn't prejudicially assume I was white did you?

        Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

        by mim5677 on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 09:57:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ramen from the Pasta Bar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sybil Liberty

    "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

    by Siri on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 06:29:27 AM PDT

  •  Reminds me of Nixon (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    saying "I am not a crook"...  

    "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

    by Alice in Florida on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 06:38:38 AM PDT

  •  Last year... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikejay611, gffish, JerryNA, pimutant

    ...when we here in North Carolina were busy enshrining homophobia and bigotry into the state constitution, I asked supporters of Amendment One to fill in one blank. "I support Amendment One because it protects my right to ____".

    The Constitution, and by extension statutory and common law, is intended to protect the rights of the citizenry, not to deny rights to certain segments of it.  This gave rise to the argument that "marriage is not a civil right".  But if that's true, then it has no place in the Constitution at all.  Which may be exactly why the framers never mentioned it in the first place.

    But try selling that in the Deep South.

    PS: Mad props x2 for including "pasta bar" as a house of worship.

    I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

    by mojo11 on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 06:46:55 AM PDT

  •  "Traditional marriage" is just a code phrase (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scott5js, JerryNA

    not so much for bigotry, because that's an emotional condition/characteristic, but for exclusivity, which is what the person uttering the phrase really wants.

    "I support traditional marriage" means "I support reserving 'married'/'spouse' status exclusively for myself and people like me," viz., opposite-sex couples and individuals in opposite-sex relationships. It means, "I support exclusivity, and oppose equality."

    That really is, or at least should be, the proper framing of this issue: equality vs. exclusivity. Not gay vs. straight, "traditional" marriage vs. non-"traditional" marriage, &c.

    The recent DOMA ruling has not cost [anyone] a single right. You still have the right to speak out against same-sex marriage.  You have the right to call it immoral and a sin, or even just plain icky.  You have the right not to enter into one.  The only thing you lost was the right to feel legally superior in your marriage, which, I would argue, you never had constitutionally speaking.
    I made the same point recently, albeit much more succinctly (something to the effect that legal recognition of same-sex couples as "married" imposes nothing on the person I was addressing). Here was the response I got:
    Are you really that dense? It puts an extraordinary heavy burden on me in numerous ways. It is in direct opposition to everything natural as well as to everything I hold dear as a man and Christian. ... I have Constitutional rights too which are being threatened directly by homosexual marriage. Homosexual marriage also changes the tax structure and poses a heavier load on me and my family. No, you are 100% wrong-homosexual marriage does impose on me, very much so in fact.
    It's hard to know what to do with that, except call it what it is: A narcissistic hero-fantasy. It's hard to feel heroic without feeling put-upon somehow, but the "extraordinarily heavy burden" and "impos[ition]" this man feels are wholly illusory and imaginary. He wants to feel extraordinarily-heavily burdened and imposed-upon. That's the only explanation.

    Thankfully more and more people are realizing what the diarist realizes and articulates: Striking down DOMA, and eventually striking down state-level marriage laws that restrict marital status to opposite-sex couples, doesn't cost anyone a thing.

  •  Hmm this made me think of something. (3+ / 0-)

    Should churches still be able to be tax exempt if they will not marry gay people? It might be a windmill not worth tilting yet... but, as a Baptist and a rather liberal person I think it's just like integrating churches. They should not be able to have rules to stop it anymore than they can bar my brown self from waling in the door to pray. Not if they want the tax benefit.

    Though I find tax benefits for religious intuitions kind of questionable anyway.

  •  "Traditional marriage" has become a code phrase. (0+ / 0-)

    Just like "pro-life" is a code phrase excluding a grown woman's right to life, making it a mockery, "traditional marriage" is a mockery as well.  Which old and hallowed traditions have our ancestors already discarded and substituted new ones to arrive at this newest version of "traditional" marriage?  The right for a woman to choose whom she will marry, instead of being given from one family to another to seal an alliance.  The right for a woman to own and inherit and share property.  The right for either party to divorce.  The limitation for only two people to marry, instead of as many as the man could afford.  These were all once pretty radical notions, and opposed by the 'traditionalists' (usually men with power, no shock there).  

    Our using their term "traditional marriage" lets the other side get away with propaganda.  Our using it gives up a part of the debate from the beginning by ceding the implicit weight of history and implicit morality.  They have narrowly defined the term to mean only what they want, but we don't have to accept it.  There is no "one true" marriage any more than there is "one true" house construction style, or "one true" religion on the planet, or "one true" automobile.  They'd just like you to think so.

  •  Aren't there animal psychics? "Fido, do you take (0+ / 0-)

    Joe to be your lawful wedded husband?"

    Fido snuffles. Psychic: "He said, 'I do'."

  •  How to tell if you're a bigot: (0+ / 0-)

    Did you agree with the outcome of a the Zimmerman trial? If the answer is yes, then you are a racist.

    Do you oppose allowing gays to marry? If the answer is yes, then you are a phobe.

    This really isn't that hard, cons.

  •  I support traditional marriage. (0+ / 0-)

    I also support many kinds of marriage that aren't traditional in the slightest.

    I also support non-marriage.

    Basically I support pretty much any way of life that people choose for themselves and are happy with, so ... yay?

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