JABbering Stooge

Sunday, November 06, 2005

My prediction for the fight: pain

Last week, the student newspaper at Texas State included in its Wednesday issue an election guide discussing the statewide ballot initiatives and local elections that Texans will be voting on this Tuesday. The feature peace was a point-counterpoint on Proposition 2, complete with boxing-themed graphics. Though the newspaper's website declined to post the debate, I have it archived in my personal web space (anti-Proposition 2, pro-Proposition 2). I would like to take this opportunity to rip the pro-Proposition 2 piece to shreds.

Texans have the opportunity to vote on amendments to add to the Texas Constitution this week and then on Nov. 8. The one being discussed around the dinner table is Proposition 2, an amendment that will define marriage as being between one man and one woman. Some people can discuss this issue around the table, while others end up in a food fight.

Is Bousman suggesting that only liberals would end up in a food fight, and that conservatives would be ultra-polite?

On opening day of early voting, the area surrounding The Stallions was full of people against Prop. 2. They had a pledge drive for people to vote against the measure. Even Associated Student Government, which is supposed to represent all of Texas State and not just the left side of the university, has passed a resolution to state that the university opposes Prop. 2.

Ummm...last time I checked, The Stallions was a First Amendment Zone where anyone who wanted to could speak his/her mind without fear of retaliation. That said, the Associated Student Government does indeed represent all students (not just the right side of the university).

People were comparing the so-called struggle for same-sex marriage to the civil rights movement, seeing how fast they could make Martin Luther King Jr. spin in his grave. This all begs the question: Will the supporters of Prop. 2 demonstrate in support of it, or will we hide as usual?

It amuses me that someone would think they can read into the mind of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and tell me with a straight face that he wanted to treat homosexuals like second-class citizens, especially with the FBI investigating him for being too liberal.

Yes, I am for Prop. 2. But why would I be for a measure that would not supposedly intrude on my personal beliefs? Same-sex couples just want to be married, right? Let’s take a stroll down History Lane to answer the questions asked by many.

The first three reasons why many, including myself, support Prop. 2 will be left short to focus on my fourth reason.

Oh this should be interesting.

The first reason is because marriage has been defined as being between a man and a woman for years on end.

LOGICAL FALLACY: Appeal to Tradition.

The second reason is that polygamists have already begun to demand their rights to marry. What’s next?

LOGICAL FALLACY: Slippery Slope. Besides, there are perfectly good reasons for not allowing polygamy that don't apply to homosexuality.

The third reason why is because the nation was founded upon Christian principles; therefore the founders would vote an emphatic “YES” for Proposition 2. The framers of the Constitution believed that laws should be centered on the precepts of the Bible.

This is patently false. If it were true, why would founders such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison say the things that they did? Why did Congress meet on Christmas Day in 1789? For that matter, why was Christmas not declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870 (five years after the Civil War)?

And according to Genesis 18-19; Romans 1:18-32, and I Corinthians 6:9, homosexuality is a sin, not something one is born with.

Every time someone brings up Bible quotes "condemning" homosexuality, I am tempted to break out my copy of the "Letter to Dr. Laura."

Incidentally, Bousman might want to get his nose out of his (heavily redacted) Bible for more than 0.00000000000000001 seconds and mosey on over to this article which suggests that, scientifically speaking, homosexuality may not be a choice after all.

What our country needs now more than ever is to return to the principles it was founded upon. Same-sex marriage would do just the opposite.

Considering that the country was founded upon religious freedom (because, you see, the colonists were more often than not fleeing religious persecution, and wanted to make sure that it didn't happen to them in their new refuge), Bousman's position, and the amendment itself, are inherently contradictory of that principle.

The main reason why I am for Prop. 2 is because I don’t want the government and the homosexual lobby forcing same-sex marriage upon the church.

So, let’s get this straight (no pun intended). Because you don’t want to be forced into something you don’t believe in, you want the government to force others to believe something they may not necessarily believe in (i.e., that merely being homosexual is a stoning offense)? Can you possibly get more hypocritical than that?!

You don’t believe that can happen? You don’t believe the gay lobby is after that? Think again. All we have to do is look at the news that the mainstream media refuses to report to know this. Starting in Switzerland, a pastor was arrested for referring to scripture and stating from his pulpit that homosexuality is a sin. His crime? Hate speech. Canadian pastors have been fined a large amount for doing what this pastor did.

Here we go again with the persecution complex. I had a hard time finding evidence of this one, trying several different search strings in Google. It didn’t help that the pastor in question was Swedish, not Swiss, as Bousman indicated (the link I found is here; alternate sourcing here).

Now, to the United States. It wasn’t long ago that gay activists tried to get the non-legislative branch of government – the Supreme Court – to pass a law prohibiting the Boy Scouts from considering sexual orientation when hiring scout leaders.

Ahh, yes. If you can’t beat ‘em with logic, resort to bashing the courts. Did Tom DeLay teach you that one?

The gay lobby did not respect the fact that the Boy Scouts are religious and opposed the lifestyle. Luckily, the high court did something right for a day to vote in favor of the Boy Scouts.

And the Boy Scouts don’t like anyone who isn’t a straight conservative Christian. As far as I’m concerned, that makes it even. But we’re talking about larger principles here. Religious the Boy Scouts may be, they present themselves to the public as a non-sectarian group open to all boys who wish to participate. If they point to some minority group and say “everyone but you,” they are falsely presenting themselves. Would you be so defensive of the Scouts if they were hiding behind their religious beliefs to exclude, say, blacks or Asians? We regulate private enterprise to make sure they aren’t discriminating against minorities in hiring because it’s the right thing to do. Why should the Scouts be any different?

This past January, the governor of Illinois signed a bill into law making it illegal for church officials to discriminate against employees based on their sexual orientation. United States Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-New York, has introduced a bill in Congress to make it a federal law.

We give churches in this country lots of advantages that even other non-profits don’t get simply for the sake of religious freedom (it’s very expensive for any organization that runs off the generous donations of its membership to do much charity work – just ask any church administrator) – yet this is somehow not enough for religious conservatives. I sometimes wonder if they would be satisfied with anything less than turning this country into the Christian equivalent of Iran.

The church would have to rip out certain parts of their Bibles to comply with such a law. You don’t hear the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State going up in arms about this. I wonder why.

I don't think "the church," as Bousman puts it, has any leg to stand on, seeing as they've already effectively ripped out certain passages from their Bibles in accordance with their unholy alliance with the Republican party and the conservative movement. Particularly conspicuous by absence from conservative Bibles are Micah 6:8, Matthew 25:34-46, Matthew 6:5-6 and the Beatitudes, among others I could name.

Last week, in San Antonio, Pastor Narciso Mendoza demanded to know where the city council stood on Proposition 2. They refused to answer, and Pastor Mendoza refused to leave, demanding the city government do their job and represent the people instead of themselves, by answering the question. Mayor Phil Hardberger had the police arrest him on $900 bail. Where is the "First Amendment loving" American Civil Liberties Union when you need them?

Sorry to burst your “poor, persecuted Christian” bubble, there Brett, but Pastor Mendoza engaged in civil disobedience which, while a valid form of protest (cf., Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), is bound to get you arrested. Just ask Cindy Sheehan. Is Bousman going to demand restitution for Sheehan’s arrest, or is he merely projecting onto the ACLU the same callous contempt he may be harboring for any liberal arrested for civil disobedience?

The ASG says they represent the students at Texas State by declaring opposition to Proposition 2. The only deal is that some Texas State students support it. If you support it, here are some ways you can let the ASG know you support the measure.

Send an e-mail to ASG President Jordan Anderson at [REDACTED] or flood them with phone calls at [REDACTED], and let them know your tuition is paid here as well.

Oh yeah, that's just great. Encourage the thugs on campus to flood the ASG with hate mail and death threats. I believe that sort of thing has been tried before.

Another way is you can demonstrate in favor of the proposition. Make some signs and go out there anytime this week as early voting is taking place. Especially go out there on Nov. 8, the last voting day, and show your support. Be diplomatic, but firm. Be bold, but not cocky. Be willing to have a conversation with anyone who supports, opposes or is undecided about the proposition. Ignore those who want to scream in your face. Don’t believe those who say the wording is too confusing. Read the complete language of the amendment in this election guide. Most importantly, know why you support Proposition 2.

Brett Bousman is a history and mass communication senior.

Those are some good suggestions for those who wish to support Proposition 2. It would be nice if they were actually followed. (I'm not holding my breath.)

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