Tag Archives: SJR6

Public Duties, Private Rights

It’s a bitch having to share the country with other people. Especially when so many of them are so wrong about everything.

A friend of mine just sent me the most recent tantrum (excuse me, newsletter) from the Indiana Family Institute’s Micah Clark, and that’s pretty much the message. According to Micah, those of us who don’t share his belief that “kids do best with a mom and dad”–that is, those of us who oppose a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions –are thereby labeling people like him “bigots.”

I realize that needs a bit of deconstructing. Or, perhaps, psychiatry.

Here’s what Micah and his fellow “victims” don’t get: we live in a society with a lot of other people, many of whom have political opinions, backgrounds, holy books, and perspectives that differ significantly from our own. The only way to govern such a society–the only “social contract” that allows us to coexist in reasonable harmony–is by respecting those differences to the greatest extent possible. That requires treating everyone equally within the public/civic sphere, while respecting the right of individuals to embrace different values and pursue different ends in their private lives.

I know this is hard for you to understand, Micah, but a refusal to make everyone live by your particular interpretation of your particular holy book is not an attack on you; it is recognition that we live in a diverse society where other people have the same rights to respect and moral autonomy that you claim for yourself.  Ironically, a legal system that refuses to take sides in your religious war is also the only system that can safeguard your own religious liberty. I know you don’t want to believe it, but most Americans really don’t share your religious certainty and belief in your own moral superiority. If your right to live in accordance with that certainty had to be put to majority vote, you might find your own “lifestyle” legally marginalized.

As I’ve noted previously, poison gas is a great weapon until the wind shifts.

As to your accusation that those of us who support marriage equality are calling you a bigot–well, here’s the dictionary definition of the term: “a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group.”

If the shoe fits…..