ArLyne's Diamonds

A running commentary of ideas

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Liberty - for all

I recently attended a political event. The keynote speaker emphasized that we were the party of liberty - libertarian - republican - Lincoln - free the slaves - equality for all - free choice - "In liberty and justice for all."

Prior to the keynote speech, someone came up and asked the audience to sign a petition. He was adament in his belief that we should stop any possibility of gay marriage. In his strident and repeated talk, he talked about being a good Christian - with Christian values. I always thought Christian values included tolerance and kindness.

I was offended for several reasons, not the least of which is because the speaker was Jewish, there were many Jews (including me) in the audience and this guy kept talking about "Christian values".

Doesn't the notion of liberty for all mean tolerance and acceptance of people who believe differently from us? Doesn't that include a gay couple's right to marry?

I can understand the church, temple, or mosque refusing to marry anyone they don't choose to marry. That's ok...but the government?

The legal status of marriage is for the protection of health, insurance, financial rights, right to inherit, etc. It's a business contract for heaven's sakes. Why deny gays this right?

Didn't our ancestors take the same offense position about inter-religion and inter-racial marriage? Haven't we gone far beyond this????

While he was spouting forth his beliefs - I found myself wondering why he, and others signing his petiion, were so afraid. It takes a lot of fear and energy to actually create and promote a petition. It's one thing to have a private opinion - but to go these lenghts? What's the fear?


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