When the Supreme Court granted women the vote in 1920, our culture did not collapse. When the Supreme Court ruled in 1967 that anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional, the fabric of society did not unravel.
Using the coercive power of the law doesn't resonate for me. But, when it comes to social change and fighting injustice, the time comes when it is absolutely essential. If blacks and women and mixed-race couples had waited for good people to change their minds, blacks would still be slaves, women without the vote, and interracial couples forced to live without the benefit of marriage. There are still people who would own slaves if they could, be content with no women voters, and totally happy with no marriage for black and white couples. There are people would turn back the clock if they could. Delayed justice is injustice. And all this using the Bible as leverage...It is time to move on-enough is enough-.
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Gandhi
"Such evil deeds could religion prompt" Lucretius
Pastors and parents say they don't hate homosexuals, and insist they only hate the “lifestyle,” that is, they only hate homosexual sex acts. Then Christian kids, gay and lesbian young people, sons and daughters, commit suicide. I can only say that those brave, defiant pronouncements on behalf of God based on the Bible are hateful. Are they protected speech? Yes. Is it the free exercise of religion? Up till now, yes. However, when we casually disavow responsibility for the impact of our words on the innocent, and the innocent take their own lives because of those careless, literally irresponsible words–well, if that doesn't constitute hate, let's look for something else.
I will no longer listen to that pious sentimentality that certain Christian leaders continue to employ, which suggests some version of that strange and overtly dishonest phrase that ‘we love the sinner but hate the sin.’ That statement is, I have concluded, nothing more than a self-serving lie designed to cover the fact that these people hate homosexual persons and fear homosexuality itself, but somehow know that hatred is incompatible with the Christ they claim to profess, so they adopt this face-saving and absolutely false statement. I will no longer temper my understanding of truth in order to pretend that I have even a tiny smidgen of respect for the appalling negativity that continues to emanate from religious circles where the church has for centuries conveniently perfumed its ongoing prejudices against blacks, Jews, women and homosexual persons with what it assumes is ‘high-sounding, pious rhetoric.’ The day for that mentality has quite simply come to an end for me. I will personally neither tolerate it nor listen to it any longer. The world has moved on, leaving these elements of the Christian Church that cannot adjust to new knowledge or a new consciousness lost in a sea of their own irrelevance. They no longer talk to anyone but themselves. I will no longer seek to slow down the witness to inclusiveness by pretending that there is some middle ground between prejudice and oppression. There isn’t. Justice postponed is justice denied. That can be a resting place no longer for anyone. An old civil rights song proclaimed that the only choice awaiting those who cannot adjust to a new understanding was to ‘Roll on over or we’ll roll on over you!’ Time waits for no one.”
“Bible-Minded”, “Christ –Centered” Cities …intersection of faith & culture.
“Bible-Minded” Cities & government brought us slavery a stain that took blood to cleanse. A change in morality brought forward a change to that practice that once upon a time was legal as legal can be. Formerly Legal by God & Legal by Man-not anymore-.
Let’s see how about local laws from the historically point of view, take a gander: The segregated schools & transportation facilities of the South were explicitly decreed by state legislatures. Virginia courts maintained, for example, that "the preservation of racial integrity is the unquestioned policy of this State, and that it is sound and wholesome, cannot be gainsaid."
It took Dr. King and a lot of suffering vs. Police hoses, Dogs you get the picture… But thanks to DR. King & his team for reminding us how skewed is the road from justice to action, and morality shifted once more.
But it keeps on giving, “laws” to protect “racial integrity”- whatever that may be-, are those which make miscegenation (intermarriage of races) a crime. Typical of anti-miscegenation legislation is the Constitution of Tennessee, Article 11, Section 13, "The inter-marriage of white persons with negroes [sic], mulattoes or persons of mixed blood, descended from a negro [sic] to the third generation inclusive or their living together as man and wife in this state is prohibited." This offense entails a prison sentence of one to five years. For the same crime a sentence of two to seven years can be given in Alabama and up to ten years in Florida, Indiana, or North Carolina. Many states also penalize the minister or official who performs the marriage ceremony and the clerk who issues the license. In Wyoming the guilty minister will receive a fine, or one to five years in prison, or both.
Or for example, in 1869, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that:
"...moral or social equality between the different races...does not in fact exist, and never can. The God of nature made it otherwise, and no human law can produce it, and no human tribunal can enforce it. There are gradations and classes throughout the universe. From the tallest archangel in Heaven, down to the meanest reptile on earth, moral and social inequalities exist, and must continue to exist throughout all eternity."
"Eternity" came to a crashing halt 98 years later, in 1967.
All backed up by good “Bible-Minded” folks in “Christ-Centered” Cities from sea to shining sea.
Same Sex Marriage vs. “Bible-Minded” folks: The stage is set: inequality has a propensity (as shown on account) to implode, it crumbles under its own weight and not even the “Good Book” can quarrel victoriously against awareness, education & common sense forever. I predict if History serves me right that this too shall pass, sooner or later. And finally in the words of President Franklin Roosevelt on March 22, 1933: "I think this would be a good time for a beer."
Just my opinion
Is Free Speech Sacred & Absolute?
Free Speech has become way too lax in the popular “Jargon Americana”. “My Free Speech Rights” is thrown as a mindless excuse for anything, thus losing meaning.
We mustn't silence opposite views, hence the magic of the free market of ideas and -may I dare say- Natural Selection. What cross are you willing to die on? Free Speech can be used to defend truth, protect the weak; It can be used to talk truth to power to hold the powerful accountable. It is a tool that bears risks & power. Free Speech is worth defending-but not unconditionally- it's way too complex for that. Free Speech needs to be defended from those who will cheapen and corrupt it as well as those who would silence it. Some promote Free Speech others poison it for the rest of us.
Free Speech carries a responsibility some of its advocates aren't primarily concerned about being able to say what they think, but want to be able to say what they want without consequences. This isn't part of the deal: Free Speech is not just a privilege, but a responsibility.
And that said what we all need to understand is that the right to express offensive views is at the very heart of the principle of Freedom of Speech. Truth is, every conceivable opinion about every important subject will always be offensive to someone. “If Liberty means anything, it means the right to tell people what they don't want to hear” G Orwell.
Now hate Speech is a problem-certainly clear threat of violence or incitements to violence should be treated as crimes. I also believe it is appropriate for institutions and organizations to implement their own individual policies against hate speech, e.g. for an organization to refuse to rent space to a speaker or group that promotes hatred, or for a website to refuse to post submissions promoting hatred. But that is different from laws against hate speech.
And watch out for the marginal cranks: the smart hate-mongers know how to code their message in ways that don't cross the line while still making the intent clear. The answer to Hate Speech is to cut the oxygen supply by exposure to the bright sunlight.
The state is far too blunt and dangerous an instrument to be used to ordain our individual and collective responsibility, that is, to treat others with respect and decency (Is such intricate brocade). Hate Speech should not be an excuse to expand governmental control.
“Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage.”
― Winston Churchill
“What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.”
― Salman Rushdie
“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”
― Søren Kierkegaard
Just my opinion, that’s all
Our justice system is secular in nature and loosely based on Judeo-Christian ethos. In the volatile subject of same-sex marriage (ssm) the conservative right powered by Evangelicals are losing their margin due to the vitriol implied in its message that paints homosexual couples as some sort of aberration, an anomaly that requires fixing psychologically as well as spiritually.
Those voices in opposition to SSM try to pin the argument from a Biblical and traditional point of view as whereas the Pro-SSM camp uses a secular argument based on "equal rights".
The old coalition of social and fiscal conservatism is not enough to win national elections ( X 2 !! X 3 ? ) Even some high ranking republicans are jumping off the boat and commit in favor of SSM.
Some within the GOP have even hinted that the Evangelicals on the right are now dead weight, prompting the likes of M. Huckabee to state that the Evangelicals will form their own party, if as group they feel outcast-ed by those in control of the GOP agenda.
Has the concept of marriage evolved in the USA? Could've a Native American had marry a pilgrim? Could've a slave marry a-let's say a non-slave? Was interracial marriage legal at some point? So despite conventional tradition and religious certainty, marriage did evolved and it keeps doing so.
Most arguments against SSM would state that:The government should protect he "sanctity" of marriage, which is a sacred institution handed down by God. Now, we know that the government is definitely not into the "Holy business" (think of Senators and Presidents left & right) and it cannot hand you either a death certificate to the pearly gates or a marriage certificate that grants a "Sacred Union"-Theology is beyond the competencies of politics-.Our religious convictions are practices beyond the purview of politics.
There is more, a vote in favor of SSM will probably require a new dimension in expanding government, you would see legislation both left & right redefining what it means to be a parent and what it means to be a child ( California ) and a myriad of education programs and more (Taxes$$).
Beyond the equality issue looms large the shadow of a government that can shape & redefine (via legislature & Courts) under this social contract called United States of America.
"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them"- A. Einstein
Just a thought, Salud !