Redefining Human Freedoms
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14-09-2013, 12:59 PM
Redefining Human Freedoms
I spent an awful few minutes at my workplace a few days ago, arguing on behalf of human rights, against a very entrenched religious republican. I made a comment about gay rights off hand, and he was unable to restrain himself from confronting me, and demanding that we have it out right there.

It didn't take long before I knew that I was facing down a lifetime of religious indoctrination, and an unhealthy dose of conservative republican ideology. In short, what I said meant little, perhaps nothing at all, to this person. He merely wanted to have his opinion heard.

After presenting my idea of reason and morality, I allowed him to vent his concerns, and then work went on as usual. As I returned to work, I found myself unable to stop thinking of that conversation, and unable to recover from the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Aren't we tired of hearing the same old entrenched, unrelenting, black and white, arguments in this country yet? Aren't we sick of being told, that the government can decide who we marry?

Why is it more important for some of us, to force the tenets of our religion on the nation's public policies, than it is to support the cause of freedom? Since when does America stand for division and prejudice, rather than freedom and tolerance?

How can we call ourselves the Land of the Free, if we do not support our people in their freedom to marry whoever they wish, regardless of their gender? How can we call ourselves the Home of the Brave, if we do not have the courage it takes to put aside our prejudice, and have a real, human, connection?

Are we so afraid to talk to our children about the world, that we shelter them from reality itself? Are we so paranoid of what our young people may learn, that we need shut them off from the issue, and the discourse in public schooling?

Are we so naive as to think it is a threat to our very survival, when millions of us, even billions, reproduce successfully every year?

Are we such arrogant hypocrites as to believe that a same gender couple is any worse as a parent than half the ridiculous, awful, abusive marriages that heterosexuals so proudly end, in a flurry of court activity?

Isn't it time, that we redefined human rights. Isn't it time, that we stopped resorting to old biblical text, and pompous virgin priests, for guidance on sex, and reproductive freedom?

Is it possible that the pious christians of America, can show a little Christ like compassion, and humility, and allow us to follow our hearts, as we freely allow them to practice their faith. Surely in a truly free nation, we can have same gender marriages, and also faithful christian marriages side by side.

Sometimes, there is simply a right, and a wrong choice. It is clear to me, that choosing sexual and marriage equality in America, is the right one. It is moral, patriotic, and humble.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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14-09-2013, 01:43 PM
RE: Redefining Human Freedoms
@Dark Phoenix , would you mind answering a few questions that reveal if you're REALLY “sick of being told that the government can decide who we marry”? Are you really tolerant? In which case you are taking a moral standard. Or is it just that you like gay people and he doesn't, in which case you two are simply arguing over a matter of taste, like “Is lasagna tasty”?

Tolerance is shown in how you deal with people you strongly disapprove of. Tolerating people you like doesn't show tolerance. So what about all the other non-traditional marriages? The FLDS (fundamental Mormons) who require a man to have lots of wives so he'll be given his own planet when he dies? What about the Islamic definition of marriage, that it's the union of one man and 4 wives, which is actually legal in most of the Muslim world? What about incest, provided they're unable to have children and burden children with defects?

Q: Are you REALLY saying the government should stop using force to decide who can and cannot marry? Or you still want the government to decide who can marry—you just want it to make a decision you agree with?

Also, consider how self-proclaims “liberals” are the ones who created marriage inequality. Remember, the US President before Lincoln, Buchanan, was openly gay. He lived with a man who was introduced as “his wife”, and they actually COULD have gotten married if they wanted to—it was a purely private contract between consenting adults—no marriage license required. When his partner went to France, he talked about how alone he was and how hard it was for him to “woo other gentlemen.” He was teased by Congress for it. But ultimately he was judged on his actions, and what went on the bedroom was nobody's business. Fast forward 100 years and Clinton is brought up on impeachment charges for not giving the details of a blowjob, in 1986 the US Supreme Court ruled that it was appropriate to imprison gay people simply for being gay saying it's an "infamous crime against nature", worse than rape, and "a crime not fit to be named.". The majority opinion was written by a Democrat-appointed justice. And in the 1990's opinion polls showed the majority of people would never vote for a gay man, or even a non-Christian, under any circumstances. How did the country go so far backward in 100 years? It started in the 1920's with the belief that the government should play an active role in deciding what people can and cannot do. Marriage licensing laws were part of the liberal, scientifically-approved “Eugenics” movement, to create a superior (ie white) race. This was NOT like the KKK or other uneducated racist movements—this was an academic, progressive movement backed by intellectuals and universities. The laws stated whites couldn't marry blacks, chinese, etc., and a prospective couple needed to appear before a government agent to decide if they were fit to marry. As part of the movement, the US also arrested scores of people that were deemed 'inferior' and banned from participating from the gene pool. California led the way, with 60,000 castrations. North Carolina maintained a eugenics program until 1979. And the US Supreme Court ruled in 1927 (Buck v Bell) that it was the government's proper role to decide who could form a family and procreate. The head of the American Eugenics Record Office, with the Supreme Court victory in hand, went to Europe to spread this new, progressive, scientific way of improving the human race. When the Nazi's passed their Eugenics laws, which were direct copies of the US laws, the US praised the Nazi's for such a progressive stand. The US State Department said the US MUST support the Nazi's and defend the program. Only after people saw how it turned out did the US collectively wipe the history from it's mind and pretend like it had nothing to do with it. Few people remember the Nazi's defense during the Nuremberg Trials that the Germans were simply following an American program—they were just more efficient.

Q: So, with that history, are you willing to accept that no matter how good we may think a progressive policy is at the time that you could be wrong, and that 50 years later history could look back at the policy in horror?

Q: Thus do you agree the government must always restrain from using force to coerce people into doing things against their will, provided they are not themselves initiating force against others?

My observation is that the people who call themselves “tolerant liberals” are nothing of the sort. They're just ok with gays, a purely subjective opinion. To me, a sign of tolerance is when someone like Ron Paul, a homophobic Christian conservative who believes gay relations is a vile sin, was facing the first vote of the '12 Presidential race with the Iowa straw poll. The GOP called on all the candidates to vow to push for a nationwide ban on gay marriage. All the candidates said “yes”, except Ron Paul who said he would veto any such law. He knew this meant the party leaders call for a boycott of him, which they did. And he lost the vote by a tiny margin, <1%, meaning he would likely have won had he not stood up to defend a group of people he, personally, cannot stand. Which is why his biggest contributor, Peter Thiele, is a gay atheist.

I'm as offended as you are by the religious right, the FLDS, and the idea of incest makes me want to vomit. But, I would never vote for a Congressman that tried to pass a law that forced them to give up their appalling family arrangement.

Q: Would you?
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14-09-2013, 02:10 PM
RE: Redefining Human Freedoms
(14-09-2013 12:59 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Isn't it time, that we redefined human rights.

That sentence alone shows why you have such problems in the US. You've built this narrative about being the leaders, the best country in the world, so advanced and so universally superior that you take it as a prerogative to define human rights, not american rights, human.
With that mentality, it's obvious that every group will try to enforce their point of view into others, because they've been told they can and they should, because they're 'muricans!


I know that you don't mean it that way, it shows from the rest of your post, but I believe it's of great importance to know our own mindset, specially when we find ourselves in impossible situations like the ones you describe. Knowing the structure of our own culture gives us a great clue about what we should do to change it.

When a society decide it's the best, it stops fighting to improve, and then it starts losing what it achieved.

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15-09-2013, 09:41 AM
RE: Redefining Human Freedoms
(14-09-2013 01:43 PM)frankksj Wrote:  @Dark Phoenix , would you mind answering a few questions that reveal if you're REALLY “sick of being told that the government can decide who we marry”? Are you really tolerant? In which case you are taking a moral standard. Or is it just that you like gay people and he doesn't, in which case you two are simply arguing over a matter of taste, like “Is lasagna tasty”?

I am taking a moral standard. Every human being should be free to marry, or mate with who he or she wishes, provided it is consensual.

(14-09-2013 01:43 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Tolerance is shown in how you deal with people you strongly disapprove of. Tolerating people you like doesn't show tolerance. So what about all the other non-traditional marriages? The FLDS (fundamental Mormons) who require a man to have lots of wives so he'll be given his own planet when he dies? What about the Islamic definition of marriage, that it's the union of one man and 4 wives, which is actually legal in most of the Muslim world? What about incest, provided they're unable to have children and burden children with defects?

Q: Are you REALLY saying the government should stop using force to decide who can and cannot marry? Or you still want the government to decide who can marry—you just want it to make a decision you agree with?

I see no issue with either polygamy or incest, provided no one is abused, and they are all consenting adults. However, I admit that incest in particular raises the bile in my throat.

(14-09-2013 01:43 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Also, consider how self-proclaims “liberals” are the ones who created marriage inequality. Remember, the US President before Lincoln, Buchanan, was openly gay. He lived with a man who was introduced as “his wife”, and they actually COULD have gotten married if they wanted to—it was a purely private contract between consenting adults—no marriage license required. When his partner went to France, he talked about how alone he was and how hard it was for him to “woo other gentlemen.” He was teased by Congress for it. But ultimately he was judged on his actions, and what went on the bedroom was nobody's business. Fast forward 100 years and Clinton is brought up on impeachment charges for not giving the details of a blowjob, in 1986 the US Supreme Court ruled that it was appropriate to imprison gay people simply for being gay saying it's an "infamous crime against nature", worse than rape, and "a crime not fit to be named.". The majority opinion was written by a Democrat-appointed justice. And in the 1990's opinion polls showed the majority of people would never vote for a gay man, or even a non-Christian, under any circumstances. How did the country go so far backward in 100 years? It started in the 1920's with the belief that the government should play an active role in deciding what people can and cannot do. Marriage licensing laws were part of the liberal, scientifically-approved “Eugenics” movement, to create a superior (ie white) race. This was NOT like the KKK or other uneducated racist movements—this was an academic, progressive movement backed by intellectuals and universities. The laws stated whites couldn't marry blacks, chinese, etc., and a prospective couple needed to appear before a government agent to decide if they were fit to marry. As part of the movement, the US also arrested scores of people that were deemed 'inferior' and banned from participating from the gene pool. California led the way, with 60,000 castrations. North Carolina maintained a eugenics program until 1979. And the US Supreme Court ruled in 1927 (Buck v Bell) that it was the government's proper role to decide who could form a family and procreate. The head of the American Eugenics Record Office, with the Supreme Court victory in hand, went to Europe to spread this new, progressive, scientific way of improving the human race. When the Nazi's passed their Eugenics laws, which were direct copies of the US laws, the US praised the Nazi's for such a progressive stand. The US State Department said the US MUST support the Nazi's and defend the program. Only after people saw how it turned out did the US collectively wipe the history from it's mind and pretend like it had nothing to do with it. Few people remember the Nazi's defense during the Nuremberg Trials that the Germans were simply following an American program—they were just more efficient.

Q: So, with that history, are you willing to accept that no matter how good we may think a progressive policy is at the time that you could be wrong, and that 50 years later history could look back at the policy in horror?

No. Some policies are simply better than others. Some are simply more moral. Regardless of this shameless pile of historical meddling, I feel it is simply more moral to allow people the freedom to marry and reproduce as they see fit. It may be true that future citizens might look back on a moral law, and be horrified by it, because they themselves are immoral people.

(14-09-2013 01:43 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Q: Thus do you agree the government must always restrain from using force to coerce people into doing things against their will, provided they are not themselves initiating force against others?

I agree.

(14-09-2013 01:43 PM)frankksj Wrote:  My observation is that the people who call themselves “tolerant liberals” are nothing of the sort. They're just ok with gays, a purely subjective opinion. To me, a sign of tolerance is when someone like Ron Paul, a homophobic Christian conservative who believes gay relations is a vile sin, was facing the first vote of the '12 Presidential race with the Iowa straw poll. The GOP called on all the candidates to vow to push for a nationwide ban on gay marriage. All the candidates said “yes”, except Ron Paul who said he would veto any such law. He knew this meant the party leaders call for a boycott of him, which they did. And he lost the vote by a tiny margin, <1%, meaning he would likely have won had he not stood up to defend a group of people he, personally, cannot stand. Which is why his biggest contributor, Peter Thiele, is a gay atheist.

So essentially you are telling me that you are more impressed when an immoral person chooses to behave morally on an issue for once, than you are with those who behave decently in the first place?

(14-09-2013 01:43 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I'm as offended as you are by the religious right, the FLDS, and the idea of incest makes me want to vomit. But, I would never vote for a Congressman that tried to pass a law that forced them to give up their appalling family arrangement.

Q: Would you?

No. I would support no such law.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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15-09-2013, 09:49 AM
RE: Redefining Human Freedoms
(14-09-2013 02:10 PM)nach_in Wrote:  
(14-09-2013 12:59 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Isn't it time, that we redefined human rights.


That sentence alone shows why you have such problems in the US. You've built this narrative about being the leaders, the best country in the world, so advanced and so universally superior that you take it as a prerogative to define human rights, not american rights, human.
With that mentality, it's obvious that every group will try to enforce their point of view into others, because they've been told they can and they should, because they're 'muricans!

The United States is hardly the only country with moral social problems.

It is the prerogative of the human race, to define its freedoms and rights. The United States is not a superior nation when compared to other nations in practically every field of discipline other than military might. This is where I live, so this is where I will start. The rest of you can keep bitching about American arrogance, but in the end that is time we could have all been spending collaborating and making the world as a whole a better place to live.

(14-09-2013 02:10 PM)nach_in Wrote:  I know that you don't mean it that way, it shows from the rest of your post, but I believe it's of great importance to know our own mindset, specially when we find ourselves in impossible situations like the ones you describe. Knowing the structure of our own culture gives us a great clue about what we should do to change it.

When a society decide it's the best, it stops fighting to improve, and then it starts losing what it achieved.

It isn't about being the best country to me. It's about being better people, and living up to the standards that we have created for our nation. If we are going to walk around the earth and call ourselves freedom loving, and full of courage, than we need to act like it. We should support world policies that increase freedom, and we should courageously oppose those that do not.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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15-09-2013, 10:24 AM (This post was last modified: 15-09-2013 12:56 PM by frankksj.)
RE: Redefining Human Freedoms
@Dark Phoenix, thank you for the reply. I agree with you 100%, and think your answers show genuine tolerance. The only part I disagree with is: "So essentially you are telling me that you are more impressed when an immoral person chooses to behave morally on an issue for once, than you are with those who behave decently in the first place?"

I assume you're reference to "immoral person" means Ron Paul. I have nothing in common with him, other than that we both agree using force to coerce people into doing things our way is wrong. So I'm obviously not defending his world view--mine is the exact opposite. However, if he personally sees gay people as 'sinners' but refuses to act on it, how is that immoral? Isn't it his right to have his own opinion? To me it only becomes immoral when you use force against others to make them follow your opinions.

In fact, during the campaign, if you went down every one of his policies, the _only_ difference I saw between him and anybody else is that he rejected the use of force. Monetary policy: the only change he wanted to make was stop hauling people off at gunpoint for peacefully using alternative mediums of exchange. Foreign policy: stop invading countries and killing people. Entitlements (social security, welfare, etc.): He was the only candidate I heard of who said that it was immoral to take these away from people who had paid into the system their whole life based on a promise the system would take care of them. The other candidates, even Democrats, said we needed to consider cuts to those programs. His only policy change was giving people the option of 'opting out' and not using violence to force them into a system if they didn't want it. Gay marriage: His only policy position was that he would veto any attempt for the government to define marriage. Abortion: Although pro-life, he said he would veto any nationwide abortion ban since it's a moral judgement. Transparency/anti-corruption: He's the only former candidate from either party who praises Manning and Snowden for reporting crimes and corruption in the government. He's also the only one who wasn't taking campaign money from big corporations and special interests.

The only immoral thing I saw attributed to him were those racist newsletters from the 80's and 90's. In his defense, the most inflammatory ones DID have bi-line showing somebody else wrote them, and the media, when showing reproductions, cropped the newsletters to remove the bi-line and accused him of writing them. And, those working on the newsletters said he was working full-time as a doctor at the time and was only involved in writing the economics-related articles. However, even if you accept his claim that he didn't write them and never read them and wasn't aware of them until years later, it was still immoral for him to let people write in a newsletter bearing his name without any sort of control over the content.

So, I'll give you the newsletters as an example of immoral. Besides that, what else did he ever say that was immoral? Can you think of one policy position he advocated during the last Presidential campaign where the only difference between him and the mainstream was something other than his refusal to use violence?
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20-09-2013, 09:31 AM
RE: Redefining Human Freedoms
Quote:...Is it possible that the pious christians of America, can show a little Christ like compassion, and humility, and allow us to follow our hearts, as we freely allow them to practice their faith. Surely in a truly free nation, we can have same gender marriages, and also faithful christian marriages side by side.

Sometimes, there is simply a right, and a wrong choice. It is clear to me, that choosing sexual and marriage equality in America, is the right one. It is moral, patriotic, and humble.


At what point in all of current christian history did they ever allow others this?

for hundreds of years conquest was done in gods name called crusades, there were the dark ages in which the church used fear and persecution simply to control the people and as far as I can tell zero other reason. It surely was not to bring them to god but rather to kneel at the feet of the king and cardinals...

You are asking a lot out of a religion basically formed in violence and atrocity but then preaching you should practice the opposite until god tells you to kill and shame others in his name.

I say why can't they let go of their ancient superstition and join the rest of us in the survival and growth of our race?
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25-09-2013, 12:47 AM
RE: Redefining Human Freedoms
(15-09-2013 10:24 AM)frankksj Wrote:  @Dark Phoenix, thank you for the reply. I agree with you 100%, and think your answers show genuine tolerance. The only part I disagree with is: "So essentially you are telling me that you are more impressed when an immoral person chooses to behave morally on an issue for once, than you are with those who behave decently in the first place?"

I should have read that portion of your comment more carefully. You make your position clear, and I failed to see it correctly the first time around. I drew an unsupported conclusion. Thank you for your clarification.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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