So there's this blog site called "Free State Blogs." Its description is "chronicles of progress toward freedom in New Hampshire." Sounds nice. And there's this guy named Steve Mac Donald who posted something. The subject? ...My blog post, apparently. Thank you, Steve. I'm flattered. (For those of my readers who are curious, see this link. I want this to be an open debate in which everyone's voice is fairly heard, so please do take the time to check it out.)
Mr. Mac Donald seems intelligent and brings up some questions about my position that are worth answering. A few that I'll argue with, sure, but good points, generally speaking. Good enough that I will now take the time to rebut or qualify some of them.
Steve accuses me of being under the sway of the "collective unconscious of entrenched liberal thought about governments role in regard to rights and religion." By this remark it seems he means to discredit this "collective unconscious of entrenched liberal thought" as some kind of propaganda indoctrinated into good, redblooded American citizens. Thank you for being concerned for my welfare and vulnerability to scary liberal propaganda, Steve, but I have a mind of my own. This debate isn't about automatically following the liberal agenda. This debate is about doing the right thing- about making it possible for American citizens to pursue happiness, in this case through the option of gay marriage.
Mr. Mac Donald also states that marriage is not a right. Well, to answer this point I'll simply ask a question: Wouldn't you object, Steve, if you couldn't get married due to a governmental decree? I think you would. I think all we heterosexuals would. Marriage is something heterosexuals take for granted. Why deny this right to other citizens?
As for what seems to be a very controversial point, even in this very controversial debate: Quite a few commentators have remarked on this illustrious site that they object to my qualification of marriage as a religious construct. Steve, however, seems to agree with me in that "marriage is... a religious ceremony." He takes the view that since it is religious the officials of religions (priests, etc.) should have the right to refuse to marry gay couples. And, well, we'll deal with that part of the argument when we come to it.
Steve misleads readers here, or perhaps is simply misled himself. He insists that a governmental decree on this subject would be a horrible thing. And I agree. Because the ban on gay marriage is that decree. So, lift it!
My point at this time is not that the government should decree that gay and lesbian couples are allowed to get married at any church they like. My point is that the government should not FORBID gay and lesbian couples to get married at any church they like. That way, no one is forced to do anything. I'm not advocating a governmental decree! I'm advocating its absence! More freedom-- not less.
Mr. Mac Donald is a bit unclear at several points, one of which admittedly makes me a little angry. He responds to my assertion that gay and lesbian couples should be able to enjoy their rights and not have them infringed on with this:
"homosexuals should just enjoy their right to civil marriage if they have it (one they share with heterosexuals) and stop infringing on my protected religious right to decide who can be joined before god"
I'm sorry, Steve, but it is NOT your protected religious right to decide who can be joined before God. That right would belong to God, if anyone. Why are you so all-fired important that you can decide who is allowed to get married and who isn't? Shouldn't that right belong to, well, someone a little more heavenly?
Talk about assuming authority where it isn't due-- I don't want either Steve or the government telling me I can't get married. Let's lift the ban on gay marriage. It isn't fair and it isn't right... And you can tell me that I don't know what's right but, hey, can't we err on the side of happiness? Gay marriage won't hurt you. The ban on gay marriage, though, will (and has!) hurt many people.
Please, just let gay and lesbian couples be happy...