American values

Some (opposite-sex) couples in California are upset that marriage licenses no longer list “bride” and “groom”:

Bird’s father, Doug Bird, pastor of Roseville’s Abundant Life Fellowship, said he is urging couples not to sign the new marriage forms, and that he is getting some support from congregants and colleagues at local churches.

“I would encourage you to refuse to sign marriage licenses with ‘Party A’ and ‘Party B,’ ” he wrote in a letter that he sent to them. “If ever there was a time for the people of the United States to stand up and let their voices be heard – this is that time.” [emphasis mine –jr]

No, when the United States invaded another country in an act of aggressive warfare – that was the time.

When Clinton and Bush made torture of prisoners official U.S. policy, that was the time.

When the Bush Administration claimed the right to detain people indefinitely without due process, that was the time. When they claimed the right to spy on U.S. citizens without a warrant, that was the time.

I read quotes like the one from Doug Bird, and I’m reminded that we are not living in the same world. My “American ideals” and their “American ideals” describe two completely different countries.

6 thoughts on “American values

  1. I agree with Doug Bird very strongly. The attack on marriage and the family is insidiously detrimental to society. I don’t know what the war or due process for suspected enemy collaborators or the the other problems mentioned have to do with it. Gay marriage is still wrong regardless of whether the war is right or wrong.

  2. What I’m saying is that different groups seem to have very different ideas of what constitute core American ideals (those ideals that are most worth standing up for). I don’t think these different groups are even speaking the same language when they talk about American ideals and values. For example: take a person who protests against the U.S. torturing people. That person is considered anti-American by many (for criticizing the U.S.), but she probably sees herself as upholding the American ideal of protecting human rights. The two sides just aren’t speaking the same language.

    Bird says, “If ever there was a time for the people of the United States to stand up and let their voices be heard – this is that time.” He’s placing this issue at the forefront, making it the most important issue for “the people of the United States,” who are assumed to share his stance. And that’s just so orthogonal to my idea of what core American ideals are supposed to be (democracy, civil liberties, human rights, equal justice) that we’re not speaking the same language. It frustrates me and it worries me, because I don’t know how we’re all supposed to continue to run a country together when we so fundamentally disagree on what that country is.

  3. Now I happen to firmly support gay marriage…but I would imagine that its opponents also would recognize that this issue is not quite the same as our one and only government engaging in torture and violently trashing the entire Iraqi society.

    Gay marriage is not a matter of hurting or killing anyone. Indeed, the argument can be made that it affirms people’s rights over their *own* bodies. (Abortion is often conflated with the gay marriage issue, but it is vastly different matter because pregnancy is a matter of a mother’s and a baby’s two interconnected bodies and lives.)

    And an LGBT-friendly society prevents harm and death by keeping LGBT youth off the streets, preventing suicide, preventing the substance and HIV infections and unintended pregnancies and abortions that result when LGBT people internalize the homophobia all around them….Among many other things…

  4. When a candidate for President supports leaving vulnerable infants to die — even going so far as to lie about the women who are bearing witness to his iniquity — that is the time for all of America to stand up and let their voices be heard.

    Breaking news: Obama attacks Gianna Jensen ad
    http://www.jillstanek.com/archives/2008/09/breaking_news_o_1.html

    Look, I know that you disagree with the GOP. You aren’t going to vote for McCain. I get it. I disagree with you, but I get it.

    I am utterly baffled that a pro-lifer would support Obama. He is the most pro-abortion (and I don’t use that term lightly) candidate in modern history. This isn’t a matter of supporting a moderate pro-choicer because you like the rest of his politics. You’re supporting a candidate who is a consistent advocate for abortion under any circumstances. He is willing to leave abortion survivors to die rather than annoy NARAL. Obama is 100% devoted to a woman’s “right” to kill her child.

    It isn’t even a question of ignoring the Life issue. Abortion has been thrust into a major role in this campaign, much more so than in most campaigns. Obama has had one opportunity after another to soften his position, “clarify” his vote, or otherwise backpedal away from abortion-at-all-costs. Each time, he has stood firm. Barack Obama has become the Abortion Candidate. Perhaps he didn’t mean for it to happen … but it has happened, and Obama has embraced it.

    How can a pro-lifer support this man? I truly don’t get it.

  5. Marysia: Hear, hear! I’d say that far from an “attack on marriage and the family,” legal recognition of same-sex marriage strengthens relationships and families that are themselves under attack.

    I certainly understand the argument that strong family structures are important to society. I just can’t get from there to the idea that promoting a particular kind of family structure (to the detriment of others) is of paramount importance to “the people of the United States”, and that people who were not moved to action by the numerous documented abuses of our government (“If ever there was a time…”) should nonetheless be moved by the words “Party A” and “Party B” on a form.

    Naaman: I doubt that you will find this answer satisfactory, but here goes. First of all, it’s important to note that I don’t just “disagree with the GOP.” I think they are inflicting severe, lasting, perhaps permanent damage on this country and its people. I don’t want my daughter to grow up in the kind of country we’ll have if they stay in power.

    I strongly believe that fewer people, both born and unborn, will die premature and unjust deaths under an Obama administration than under a McCain administration. Too many people, but fewer.

    I think the political wing of the pro-life movement, as currently constituted, can achieve little more than driving the practice of abortion underground (in some places (temporarily)). In fact, I think they stand an excellent chance of discrediting the pro-life cause, and triggering a backlash that will make the last 35 years look like a fond dream of National Right to Life in comparison. (I can get into detail as to exactly why I think that, if you’d like. Can I ever.) So I don’t feel too many qualms about voting against their candidates, especially when those candidates are anti-life in so many other ways.

    I’ll continue to work against Obama’s terrible views on the humanity of the unborn. I hope that people who are voting for McCain due to his abortion stance will challenge his many terrible policies. We all have our jobs to do.

  6. Perhaps the silliest thing about the state DOMA’s is that they do not take away a right from gay people that they had previously, but DO take it from straight people that have had it up until now…

    These amendments all define a male as someone with “XY” chromosomes; but medically speaking there are several medical conditions that will cause an XY person to be born female. Androgen Insensitvity Syndrome is one, Swyer’s is another… there are many more.

    In one fell swoop these women have had there marriages invalidated… women who have never thought of themselves as gay (and why should they? but for there chromosomes, they’ve never been anything but female) many of whom were kept ignorant of there chromosome status.

    There are an estimated 7,000 Complete AIS’ers in the USA today, and an unknown number of the rest of these intersexed people who would be affected by state DOMA’s, But one thing is clear…

    In an effort to prevent the POSSIBILITY of FUTURE unions the religious right does not like, they have torn apart REAL families NOW.

    How can these supposedly “pro-family” pro-lifers possibly justify this mean-spiritedness?

    “OOPs! We meant to kill gay people and got you instead. Oh well, every holy war has collateral damage.”

    I don’t know. If you engage in war and only kill people on your own side, we don’t call that collateral damage…

    We call it suicide.

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