I’m really glad that New Zealand passed the same-sex marriage bill. It means we can all stop arguing and misunderstanding each other. It means all of us can finally shut up about “us” and “them” and start getting along like normal people again. It means that the loud and angry idiots on both sides of the issue have substantially less to be loud / angry / idiotic about.
Yes, I’m glad it passed. G*D is Love – and all the people angrily screaming otherwise will have good reason to stop and reconsider now. On the flip side of the same token, I’ve been continually horrified at the incredible conceit and condescension among supporters of this movement. That holds true not just in NZ but everywhere you look. People all over FaceBook are talking about this as if it were an “idea whose time has come” and as if it were exactly the same as women’s suffrage or the abolition of slavery. Almost every AP article I see about it says “New Zealand is the 13th” and “France is the 14th” as if it were some kind of race to the finish line of marriage equality. The assumption behind all of this is that it’s a human rights issue and anyone with an opposing view must be:
A. backward and stuck in the past
B. bigoted and intolerant toward homosexuals
C. using some narrow-minded interpretation of religion to justify discrimination
Nobody wants to be backward / bigoted / narrow-minded, do they? So let’s all push onward to the wonderful future where everyone can live in equality before the law.
Sounds great, right? I mean, it’s not like this is an extremely deep and multi-layered discussion involving several of the most complex systems in our known universe. It’s not like ALL of the fundamental facts surrounding this are still very much open to debate. Never mind those decades of research aligning with conventional wisdom and giving us all kinds of very good reasons to be hesitant about this. Never mind the millions of people out there who are not in a big hurry to jeopardize anyone’s kids in the name of social experiment. Never mind the fact that we may easily be causing enormous harm to the causes of justice and equality by doing this. No, it’s basically just a few enlightened, progressive thinkers bringing the shining path of progress to legions of the backward and narrow-minded.
This could be just my bad luck, but I’ve only seen one single news article in this entire week that even bothered to (very briefly) mention any other side to this story. I’ve checked Stuff. I’ve checked Al-Jazeera. I’ve checked all over the place… and I get the feeling that it’s actually really intentional. A one-sided approach to any controversial issue like this is NOT an accident for any organization which claims to be unbiased. Such is life when just a few enormous media conglomerates control 90% of the outlets in the English-speaking world. Such is life when those same conglomerates are made of struggling news agencies that are essentially paid to play politics and create controversy – not to spread truth. They’ve decided that we won’t care about Ron Paul, that we will care about Kim Kardashian, and that marriage will be the next great frontier in civil rights – amidst a lot of juicy controversy and dramatic sacrifice for a noble cause (of course.)
I’m just saying: unless we take the time to look up facts and start thinking for ourselves – we will only ever know what they want us to know. We will only ever see what they want us to see. And it will only turn out bad for us and for society as a whole. We have an enormous responsibility to promote equality and justice for everyone in our society, full stop – not just whichever special interest group is shouting the loudest this week. If we allow ourselves to become products of a system that cares nothing for the good of society, then we have completely failed to do that.
Care about these celebrities and these politicians… becaues they tell you to. Be sad about the Boston bombing but not all of those other far more destructive and horrifying world events of this last week… because they tell you to. Support gay marriage and equal rights instead of being a backward and narrow-minded bigot… because they tell you to. Do as they say and don’t worry about it. Go with the groupthink. You don’t want to look bad, do you?
Small wonder that we start out as kids being taught en masse to prefer memorizing and regurgitating instead of thinking critically. We end up as adults who are controlled en masse by that same preference.