Thursday, October 4, 2012

Being conservative while being liberal – and vice versa

A friend of mine wrote in his column today about his fear of a lobbying group for people who prefer the homosexual lifestyle. He called himself a homophobe. I don’t think he is and I postulated it was more likely he was afraid of change, rather than afraid of gays. He is not afraid of people who are gay, just their lobbying group.
This is just another reason I am hesitant about calling myself a conservative-liberal, or maybe a liberal-conservative, I’m not sure which one is more accurate. Either way, I’m focusing on just one aspect in this column.
We can argue the bible until we’re both blue in the face and flopping on the ground like a fish, and neither of us will convince the other what God wants. One will say “but the bible says” and the other will say “but it also says this” and we’ll go back and forth until the score is tied at 10-10 and we’ll both be back where we started.
So instead, let’s look at us more as Americans rather than biblical scholars.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” -- The Declaration of Independence.
We were tired of England levying taxes on us, making us buy goods made in England, and other mean things they were doing so we said in one voice “No!” and we became Americans.
We became independent from England and now all men who owned land and were in good standing with the church could vote. The women couldn’t, non-land owners couldn’t, blacks couldn’t, but that’s okay, white men could and dangit, that’s the way we liked it and that’s the way it was going to stay.
Years passed and all was good with the world. We had our slaves which we could do pretty much anything we wanted with and we had our women under control. They were making us fresh bread, ironing our clothes and raising our children so we could work the land, break horses and go on long cattle drives with other hardy men like ourselves.
That is until those uppity white guys who didn’t own land got all shifty and in 1856, the last state in the union at the time, North Carolina, allowed white men who didn’t own land, to vote.
And with that, life was good. No more changes had to be made to civilization because civilization was good and that’s the way we liked it.
Well, almost.
In the Roaring 20s women were tired of not having a say in government and how our country was being run. I’ll tell you what, piss off enough women and I don’t care how manly of a man you are, other women are going to band together and make life miserable for everyone in the country. Women banded together and lobbied for the right to vote and in the 20s, the United States passed the 19th Amendment and women were allowed to cast their ballot for office.
Once that amendment passed everything was good. The United States was perfect the way it was. So what if the black man’s vote was only worth 1/3rd or 1/5th of a white man’s vote? Don’t worry about it. We’ll work it out and finally in the 1960s all those grandfather clauses and partial votes were eliminated and blacks had their vote count too.
And now, here it is closing in on 2013 and we’re arguing over whether gays and lesbians have the same rights as us straight people. They want to marry and have children and get divorced and fight with their ex like everyone else.
So we come back to what really irks us -- which is some people who are different than others want to do something some of us find abhorrent. We’re upset that people who are citizens of the United States want the right to enter into a contract with someone else of the same sex.
They want their rights. I say let ‘em have ‘em.
But, but, but, the bible says…. I knew you were going to say that.
I can't argue your beliefs, but let’s dissect them a little bit. First, I am a child of God and I worship Him. I believe He created All and that He sent His son to live among us and teach us. I believe His son died for our sins and was resurrected. So before you get on my case for being sacrilegious, remember that.
You want to spout “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. -- Leviticus 18:22” and another dozen other passages bible thumpers like to throw around. If you’re gay, you deserve death. You do not deserve the right to live, not deserve the right to be happy, not deserve the right to grow old, do not deserve anything but a needle in the arm filled with barbiturate, paralytic, and potassium solution.
Leviticus was written by a man, some believe it might have been Moses (the same guy who got commandments from God written in stone) while others are not so sure. Leviticus is in both the Christian bible and the Jewish Torah.
Man is not God and should not, in my belief, try to be the conduit from God. We have enough history filled with man saying they knew the will of God. We should listen to Him from our knees not from other men who say they know what God wants.
Moses was Jewish prophet, Buddha was the founder of Buddhism, Confucius the founder of Confucianism, Martin Luther the primary founder of Protestantism, Loyola a theologian and founder of Jesuits, Calvin founder of Calvinist branch of Protestantism, George Fox founder of Quakers, John Wesley the founder of Methodist movement, Brigham Young said he was the 2nd prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mary Baker Eddy the founder of Christian Science and Gandhi was a Hindu reformer. They were all people, human of flesh and breathed air  and all were very religious and had beliefs of what was right and wrong and died like we all will.
I do not know the will of God on this issue. I have read the bible and heard the interpretations of it. Honestly, when I am on my knees, I’m thanking Him for what He hath provided. I am not asking him if it is okay for Jim to enter into a contract with Keith. (Marriage in the United States is a government contract and that’s why you have to get a license to do it. If you really want to mess with someone’s head, get married by a minister without getting a license and you’ll be married in the eyes of that church, but not the state…it’s a real hoot and not illegal.)
My faith is between God and myself and comes before my being an American, but being an American is high on the list as well. I served in our armed services because I love this country and I believe in this country and I believe in the Constitution and our Bill of Rights.
I’ll defend a gay man’s rights, I’ll defend a lesbian’s rights, just the same as I’ll defend the rights of every straight man and woman. While I do not agree with their lifestyle, they have the right as Americans to live that way. It says so in the Declaration of Independence.
Why? Because I am an American!
See what I mean? I’m conservative in my beliefs, but liberal in my thinking. A conservative liberal.