The Week of Being Happy and Pissed Off

The week of 21 June, 2015 is likely one of the more momentous of the past several years or more that I am aware of.  It was a week of amazing and impactful news, incredibly GOOD news from where I sit, news which will be far more benefit than detriment in the long haul or so I’d be willing to wager.  Though all of those stories are important and worthy of comment, it is one in particular on which I wish to record a few thoughts.

And that is the confirmation by the United States Supreme Court that marriage between partners of the same sex has the same standing as heterosexual marriage, that indeed now there isn’t straight marriage and gay marriage; there is just MARRIAGE.  I find that I am ecstatic about this development, even as I have watched the progress of gay and Lesbian rights advance over the past five or six years.  While it is conceivable that one day I might avail myself of such a rite, my happiness is more vicarious, more aimed at those who have longed to formalize their love and relationships with their significant others with an action now recognized and acknowledged nationwide.  More importantly, they now have access to automatically assigned rights, such as those of inheritance and medical care decisions which heretofore had to be asserted in separate legal documents which could cost a considerable amount, yet might still not be practically recognized, despite their legality. To see those couples exchanging vows and joyously celebrating their legally endorsed unions was a most premium delight to me, and I am happier for them than words can do justice.

In the midst of that happiness, I am also livid … at Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, hell, I might as well name the entire current GOP presidential field, for their mean-spirited, miserly and generally ill-considered attack on the granting of RIGHTS represented by the decision of Obergefell v. Hodges.  “The democratic process should have been allowed to run its course,” says Ken Blackwell on ABC’s This Week; “The law of god cannot be overturned,” complains Huckabee, and people of supposed faith in their hearts but apparently little generosity whine and complain about a change which will likely have NO IMPACT ON THEM.  What Huckabee and Blackwell fail to recognize or acknowledge is that their god was never in charge of this country or its laws to begin with.  The ultimate boss in this nation is “We, the People,” not Yahweh or Jesus or Mohammed or any other imagined authority.  I can’t help but notice that these same bible-believing politicians are doing nothing about the spread of seafood restaurants or fashion houses which boldly promote their multi-fabric clothing lines or the general failure of state or federal legal statues to conform to Mosaic Law.  For the umpti-umpth time, they fail to recognize that our government’s disassociation from religion is what gives them the freedom to practice their religion as they see fit and vent their opinions regarding others’ practices which they dislike.

Sure the bitching and moaning amongst the Christians will continue and (I hope) fade to the background, while people continue to get married: men to women, women to women and men to men.  Eventually such events will be so commonplace that no comment will be necessary, except for those few who still carry the chip on their shoulder.  In this moment, though, the decision rendered by the Supreme Court is worthy of remark and celebration, along with the affirmation of the Affordable Care Act and the actions taken against the Confederate flag.  Such good news is sometimes rare.  What say we take note and do a bit of heel-kicking!

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Comment by Loren Miller on June 30, 2015 at 8:17am

Joan, I very much appreciate your input, especially here.  I had some idea of Jefferson's attitude regarding slavery, but did not know the depth of his revulsion at it.  Thank you a LOT.

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 30, 2015 at 8:13am

Celebration is in order, indeed! The failure of Founding Fathers to build a nation on a foundation of equality of blacks continues to this day. Little did they realize the opportunity was upon their words to create a new government, free of religious indoctrination. 

"In his original draft of the Declaration, in soaring, damning, fiery prose, Jefferson denounced the slave trade as an 'execrable commerce ...this assemblage of horrors,' a 'cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life & liberties.' As historian John Chester Miller put it, “The inclusion of Jefferson’s strictures on slavery and the slave trade would have committed the United States to the abolition of slavery.”

The Dark Side of Thomas Jefferson

The barriers continue to fall but fall only as long as we set the principles of "sacred rights of life & liberties" for all. Something happened in the thinking of Jefferson when he changed the words in the Constitution. This article explains his change. As happens too often, the profit motive takes those sacred rights away. 

Standing tall, head held high, shoulders back, feet planted firmly on the ground of peace founded on justice can happen. The fight for justice, impeded by archaic beliefs, will be our nation's ruin. Peace with justice will not happen until enough of us

"recognize that our government’s disassociation from religion is what gives them the freedom to practice their religion as they see fit and vent their opinions regarding others’ practices which they dislike."

~ Loren Miller 

Comment by Loren Miller on June 29, 2015 at 4:07pm

Bluegrass, I'm reminded of that line from the intro to Seth Andrews' Thinking Atheist podcast of Sam Harris: "We see religion on a hundred fronts, losing the argument."  A great deal of the hate and nay-saying you're seeing I suspect is a direct result of their own observations that they are losing ground more and more as time passes and the baselessness of their belief system is being revealed.  They're coming to the conclusion that their dominance is ending, and I suspect it scares them shitless ... and it should, at least so long as they want to cling to it.  Some like us will be able to drop it and, I suspect, find the same release and freedom we've found.  Maybe, as things progress, those who continue to stick with the old program will have enough bravery to look at their fellows who joined us and realize that the sky hasn't fallen for them.

I'd like to think that, eventually, most of them will get the word, if not all of them.  Maybe that's excessively hopeful.  Maybe not.

Comment by Michael Penn on June 29, 2015 at 3:47pm

Hucklebuck and the rest of them need to understand that "laws of god" had nothing to do with it. Moreover, they need to understand that laws in the United States have nothing to do with the percieved laws of their imaginary god.

Comment by Bluegrass Skeptic on June 29, 2015 at 3:19pm

I tell you, Loren, I have about had my fill of the absolute hate, naysaying, and doomsday calling, that has been going on. I wrote ONE article about a dissenting opinion by a lawyer from a Christian lawyer network. That's all I'm writing. He summed up all the arguments I have been hearing in one essay, and it's the last one I'm going to respond to at this point. I refuse to let these people steal away the jubilation.

Comment by Loren Miller on June 29, 2015 at 3:09pm

Slowly but surely, the facts are piling on those who want to cling to the bible or the quran or whatever as the ultimate source of truth, and those who are on the fence are seeing more and more that those people simply don't have leg one to stand on.  I would like to think that, at some moment in time, there will be a paradigm shift in the US where religion in general will fall out of favor and we can get a lot saner and a lot more productive as a direct result of the rejection of religion.

That day may be coming, but it isn't here yet.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on June 29, 2015 at 3:03pm

My hope is that when the sky doesn't fall as a result of the ruling, more and more people will be discerning enough to see how completely full of crap the hate- and idiocy-spewing demagogues are.

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