Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stewart Gets It; Huckabee: Not So Much

Regular readers know that I'm a supporter of gay marriage rights and that I think the passage of Prop. 8 here in California was a travesty of justice for the gay community at large. True to form, Jon Stewart champions the cause in his interview with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (full disclosure: I like Huckabee more than most conservatives on the right, regardless of his views on social issues) so articulately that I can only post the second half with the utmost respect for his political acumen:

The one line I take away from this exchange more than any other is this: "religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality". And yes: I'm linking to my conservative counterpart's post on the subject; not to increase his meager blog traffic but rather to draw attention to the neolithic views he and his acolytes espouse. It's only by exposing these close-minded individuals to the light of day that we'll eventually win this argument.


Anonymous said...

Good points. I agree with you about Huckabee. Seems like a decent chap, despite his incorrect politics.

Speaking of your neolithic counterparts at American Power, remember the bulk of his traffic doesn't even recognize that the neolithic period existed. We came down from the heavens fully formed, and Adam and Eve lived in paradise for a short time. The arguments there against gay marriage are so weak, it only comes down to their religious beliefs, and the idea that gays have no civil rights. The progressive argument is so much broader and nuanced, you can't really argue with this people and I don't know why I even try!

Ask someone to define tradition, and then go further and ask them how something is established as tradition. Use an analogy -- something used to clarify an argument -- and you will be called names. When backed into the corner of logic, they strike out with names. I know, I've been called enough, and yesterday I was told I would burn in hell for not speaking out against abortion.

JBW said...

Yeah Tim, I saw Don tell you about your imminent burning; I was going to say something but you seemed to handle yourself over there just fine. I personally think that you'd have better odds of bailing out the ocean than actually convincing one of Don's mindless followers of anything but hey, keep trying; it's good entertainment if nothing else.

JD said...

I am enjoying your sparring with Douglas the neocon on his American Power blog. Keep it up!


JBW said...

Thanks, JD; I'm having a good time as well. I suppose I'll keep it up until I tire of it again. Thanks for the words and visiting my site.

Anonymous said...

I think Jon Stewart did a wonderful job in holding a civil interview. I also think Huckabee came off very well.

When you look at America and its laws through a strictly secular set of lenses, I agree 100% with your opinions on this entire matter.

When you look at marriage as a whole, based on a strictly biblical analysis, I agree 100% with Mike Huckabee.

Does there come a point where people can segregate politics from religion? You'll get a bunch of different answers to that. I don't think nontheists should demand religious folks not allow that to influence their politics any more than I think religious folks should demand that nontheists conform.

I don't know how to resolve this issue as long as it is in the hands of the people. Seems to me that the nation is split (slightly leaning right) when put to a popular vote. I suppose our elected officials could boldy take a stance on this, but would they be listening to the people? Is this an(other) instance where an exception should be made?

Only things I can say for sure are:
1. It should be a state's right
2. It should be possible to give gay folks the same tax advantages/living will privileges/whatever else I'm missing without declaring them "married".
3. If these rights are still not enough, then I don't understand why we're arguing so vehemently about the definition of a word OR the definition of a relationship. At that point I'd have complete tired-head and tell all parties involved that they need to get lives.
4. You do an awful lot of 'passive' campaigning for a guy whose vested and relative interest in the subject is admittedly equal to my own.

Anonymous said...

It comes down to the bible, doesn't it? People go on an on about gay marriage and why God hates it, and that must come from the bible. I'm not a bible scholar, though I do believe in God, but I struggle to understand how christians can definitively say that God belives being gay is a sin. There is a bunch of stuff in the bible (admittedly mostly in the old testament) that nobody wants to talk about, but everyone loves to pull out any semblance of an anti-gay comment. I find it so hypocritical for people to so firmly "know" God's intention. We're all sinners, any christian who claims not be a sinner is smoking crack (is that a sin too?). Why is it okay for me to sin, yet I'm somehow above a gay person? I know a lot of christians say that gays who don't admit to their sin are different because sinners of other walks of life do acknowledge their sin. So if a gay person says, "I know I'm sinning, but I'm going to keep sinning" (not that anyone has proven to me homosexuality is a sin) then they're wrong, but if I say, "being beholden to material items is sin, and I do this, but i don't want to do this, but I keep doing this," then it seems I'm okay. Whatever.

Hell if I know. Hell if anyone knows. Can't we all get along?

JBW said...

BD, I agree that most of the anti-gay sentiment comes from the bible-thumpers, which makes it so hard to come to a consensus on what's right: how can you ever be open to any new data or ideas if you are absolutely convinced that your side is right/infallible?

I'm sure many Christians will get upset with me for making this comparison but I liken it to the Taliban or Al Qaeda or any of the other religious nuts in that part of the world; If my god says that this is the way things should be then no more discussion is required, regardless of any arguments anybody else makes to the contrary.

I also don't claim to know any secret truths or have any super powers that allow me to know what's right in this situation, I just know what I think is right.

One L:
1. I'm not sure if I would relegate this to the status of solely a state's rights issue (I'll explain why below).

2. I agree that gays should have every one of those benefits enjoyed by straight citizens.

3. I agree that if the rights are granted then the use of the word "marriage" is not that big a deal but the gay folks and the religious folks are both convinced that it is for very different reasons. Again, I don't know what's right here.

4. The Prop 8 battles probably don't make that loud a noise out in Texas but here in Cali it's something we see and hear about every day. Add to that the fact that one of my favorite bloggers is a married gay man, which keeps me fairly well informed about the subject, and also that I know gay people who are married or would like to be, hence my repeated posts on the subject. I'm obviously not out marching in parades or protesting but I still think it's important.

The reason I'm not sure if this should be solely a state's rights issue is because I believe the right to marry the person you love is a civil one, hence I don't think it should be up for a vote by the state's population; the rights of a minority should never be voted on by the majority.

Anonymous said...

I'm no bible scholar either. I'm a lot better off than I was 10 years ago, but I still have a long way to go.

I think your argument carries great merit, but I also think it's the wrong argument. I am the first to recognize the hypocrisy of church-going folks. Many of them refuse to humble themselves to the point of admitting that they're flawed. I think this is one of the greatest underminings of religion out there.

That said, there are certainly some things in the bible that send different messages. Some of these can be cleared up by looking at historical context, timeline, etc, but there are probably some that can't. "Laying with a man" seems to have a pretty consistent position though.

That said, I wish more people would spend their time improving themselves and giving to the world than concerning themselves with political battles and arguments. This goes for all walks.