Should They?

Should ________ be allowed to ________?

On one hand, the citizens of the world and the leaders who supposedly represent them are obligated to enforce and dictate law of protection and decency. To that end…

Should pedophiles be allowed to view child pornography? Obviously not, since pedophilia is universally recognized as criminal and destructive, even by pedophiles themselves.

Should gays be allowed to marry each other? Ah, the real gist of this post. Two things make this question fundamentally different from the first one. 1) Is it universally held that gays marrying each other is criminal and destructive, and 2) Would the public and its leadership be protecting anyone from a crime by preventing gay marriage? No to both questions.

Or consider this: less than 100 years ago, this question would be in play in America, and it was essentially the same question:

Drawing by Justin "Bro" Lofton
Drawing by Justin "Bro" Lofton

Should women be allowed to vote? You think I’m kidding? There was a time in our country when the ruling class, men, thought it absurd to let women vote. They thought it as strongly as today’s gay marriage opponents.

My point is that everyone, from the white, married, Christian, middle-class man to the black, gay, Islamic woman, and everyone in between, deserves equal rights and equal freedom.

It should never be the government’s job to decide who deserves what, unless the government and those who run it actually believe they are gods. (Sidebar: that is sometimes the case.)

I should state that I am against any laws, any at all, that dictate or decide how anyone thinks, believes, and behaves, as long as that behavior doesn’t harm others. (Sidebar: Christians, gays marrying each other does not harm you. The harm you are feeling comes from your childish fears and the mistaken belief that the behavior of other “undermines” your “way of life.” Your way of life, of course, is the only right way in your view. It takes a pretty myopic world view to think that you and only you know what’s best for the entire world.)

Or how about this: people who worry about gay marriage don’t have enough to do.

By that I mean this: about 20,000 children starve to death every day. About 1500 people are murdered each day. Approximately 112,000 people have died so far in the war in Iraq. More than 700,000 people, mostly children, die from malaria each year. Nearly 2,000,000 people died from tuberculosis each year. About 7,500,000 people die from cancer each year. 112,000 people in America die from obesity-related illness every year. There are more than 440,000 deaths caused by tobacco each year in America.

But with all this and much, much more, your biggest concern is preventing two people who love each other from being married. This is a crippling distortion of reality. Get. Over. It.

I’m going to add something here that may get me in hot water with the gay community, and say that no, I don’t think that anyone is “born” gay. This isn’t because I don’t think people are hard wired to be straight or gay, which I do. It’s that I don’t think anyone who is healthy at birth is born to be anything. I think that hard wiring mostly happens in the first five years of a child’s life. I have personally witnessed how lives have been enriched or ruined as a direct result of these first five years.

I am open to reasonable comments on that last point, but as always I won’t approve angry or insulting comments.

In conclusion, “Should ________ be allowed to ________?”

Yes, everyone should be allow to shut the f*ck up as much as they want.

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5 Comments

  1. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like shutting up (re: your last line). ;-)

    The key phrase for me is “as long as that behavior doesn’t harm others”. A law protecting gay marriage doesn’t harm anyone, while a law banning gay marriage could certainly be said to ‘harm’ someone.

    And here’s a thought (at the risk of alienating everyone I know): I don’t even see how a pedophile viewing child pornography harms anyone. Isn’t it the *making* of said porn that’s harmful? I’m not convinced that the *viewing* is harmful.

    Also, while pedophilia may be ‘universally recognized as criminal and destructive’, there are certainly different definitions around the world, especially regarding age limit.

    As to the voting question, I’m becoming increasingly convinced that many people (male and female) should not be allowed to vote. Often, the results of those elections *are* harmful.

    * ‘gay, Islamic woman’

    I’m sure this is much tougher than being a gay Christian…

    * ‘I am open to reasonable comments on that last point’

    I’m withholding comment on that point, simply because I don’t think enough evidence is present to support any side: ‘born gay’, ‘it’s a choice’, or ‘influenced early in life’.

    Of the gay people I have known, most are convinced they were born that way and only discovered it later. That’s fine, but it’s not evidence. Of the people I know who are against gayness (both Christians and Muslims), they really don’t care whether it’s a choice or hard-wired in; they just believe it’s sinful to practice it. Also, not evidence.

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  2. the part of the bible that calls homosexuality a sin is in leviticus. it is followed by some ground rules on beating your slaves. paul also refers to homosexuality as a sin in the new testament.

    leviticus is an outdated law book and should be used only for historical reference. if you eat pork, wear clothes made of more than one fabric, or have multiple breeds of cattle on the same field, shut up about laws in leviticus. you can’t pick and choose the laws you want to apply today.

    as for paul, sometimes i agree with him and sometimes i don’t.

    constitutionally, if the government allows anyone to have certain legal rights due to a union, the government must allow the same legal rights for EVERYONE. homosexuals should be allowed a union of some kind. i’m not saying ministers who disagree with homosexuality should be forced to marry gay couples. that’s up to the individual ministers. because freedom is awesome, damn it.

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  3. >>I don’t even see how a pedophile viewing child pornography harms anyone.<<

    You can call me reactionary if you like, but I believe that the mere existence of child pornography, and by extension the viewing of it, is an insult to human dignity. I accept that a lot of human sexual practices are outside the boundaries of "normal" for a lot of people, and I don't have any problem with any consenting adults engaging in any sexual practice they like. But children are not able to give consent, and are therefore, in my view, entitled to every protection we can afford.

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  4. >>I’m becoming increasingly convinced that many people (male and female) should not be allowed to vote.<<

    You and I are in agreement. Wouldn't it be utopian if citizenship was decided by meritocracy instead of mere existence?

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  5. “the mere existence of child pornography, and by extension the viewing of it, is an insult to human dignity”

    We agree on the existence part. (And it surely wouldn’t exist if no one was viewing it — supply-and-demand, right?) And viewing it is surely an affront/insult to our humanity. But viewing in and of itself isn’t *harmful*. That’s all I meant. ;-)

    “decided by meritocracy instead of mere existence”

    Ah, I love it! Sounds perfect. But then who would decide which of us has merit? Sigh. They probably would decide I can’t vote because of my ‘viewing isn’t harmful’ argument above. ;-)

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