New Feature: Week in Review
Today, I’m going to start what will be a regular Friday feature on My Case Against God. It’s called Week in Review, and will include a few notable news stories from the past week. I’ll provide a snippet of the story, and offer a few hundred words of commentary. Topics covered will range from atheism to science to politics. Since this was a big week in terms of political news (at least with respect to the issues about which I care most), this edition of Week in Review will be dedicated to the latest happenings in
“Senate panel backs US gay marriage ban” was the headline that most caught my eye on Thursday. Here’s a snippet of the report:
A Senate panel approved a controversial proposal to write a gay marriage ban into the
The proposed amendment will go to the full Senate on June 5 for what is expected to be a heated debate on a ban backed by President George W. Bush.
"The American people support protecting traditional marriage, and we should give this amendment due consideration through the full legislative process," Republican Senator Sam Brownback said.
"We must continue to fight for the protection of traditional marriage."
The proposed constitutional amendment faces an uphill battle as it must be passed by two-thirds of senators, two-thirds of representatives in the House and then approved by two-thirds of the 50
However, the numbers of legislators, both for and against gay marriage, who say the matter is better left to the individual states, are too many to allow passage.
A previous attempt failed in Congress in 2004.
This disgusting, shameful bigotry represents one of the main reasons I refuse to support the Republican Party in any elections, be they federal, state or local. The head of the GOP, George W. Bush, has explicitly endorsed a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. With that, Bush, through his own intolerance, has tainted his entire party. As long as an anti-gay bigot heads the GOP, I will not vote for a single member of that party. Of course, Bush’s apparent homophobia isn’t exactly unique among Republicans. Senators such as Sam Brownback and Tom Coburn have long records of making venomous remarks against homosexuals.
Here’s the plain truth: There is no rational reason to oppose gay marriage. The most commonly cited objection is the religious one; that is, The Bible condemns homosexuality and thus the government mustn’t endorse it. Separation of church and state issues aside, that argument might work if The Bible had credibility, but it doesn’t. With respect to matters scientific, historical and logical, The Bible has proven reliably faulty. Many of my previous posts have touched on The Bible’s innumerable flaws, the most notable post among them being my de-conversion story. I won’t rehash all the same arguments you’ve read there, but I encourage you to refresh yourself. Suffice it to say I don’t take my moral cues from a book that alleges the reanimation of hours-dead corpses.
The other argument is that, if gays are allowed to marry, heterosexual marriage somehow will be subverted. I won’t waste too much time on this ludicrous argument, either, as it’s generally just a cover for the previously mentioned Bible argument. Does interracial marriage subvert same-race marriage? Does inter-religious marriage subvert same-religion marriage? Of course not. The notion that gay nuptials will harm straight unions is analogous to fearing square hamburgers will harm circle-shaped ones. As long as your version of marriage is incorporated within the definition, who cares what other unions also are included?
There’s nothing wrong with broadening the definition of marriage. Indeed, over the decades, it has been broadened beneficially on several fronts. The most notable, of course, is with respect to interracial marriage. Without definition broadening, the term “marriage” still might exclude interracial couples. That’s why the analogy between interracial marriage and gay marriage is legitimate. If black men marrying white women didn’t interfere in Sen. Brownback’s marriage, on what basis does he think one man marrying another would harm it?
Here’s a list of the committee members who, by vote, endorsed homophobic bigotry:
Orrin G. Hatch
Charles E. Grassley
They are embarrassments to public office. They should be ashamed.
The other story in this edition of Week in Review relates to naming English as the
The White House Friday backed a
Following emotionally charged debate, the measure was approved Thursday on a 63-34 vote. It now goes to the
It declares that except for that which is already guaranteed by law, no one has a right to federal services in a language other than English, The
"You want to make sure that people are fluent in English because you want them to be able to enter the mainstream of society, and you want them to do well," White House spokesman Tony Snow said.
Opponents warned the measure could negate a number of executive orders and multilingual ordinances not officially approved by Congress.
On this particular issue, I side with the GOP. Let me be clear: I do not support the idea that immigrants must “assimilate” into American culture. I view that as racist, since it clearly implies that American ways somehow are superior to the practices of other cultures. I do not believe the
But people must be able to communicate. I cannot have a real relationship with my neighbor if he and I speak different languages. A national language doesn’t have to be a means by which assimilation is achieved. It can, and should, be a means by which people from different backgrounds communicate with, learn about and grow to understand each other. Clothing, practices and beliefs do not impede relationship building; on the other hand, inability to have a conversation halts it in its tracks. On this basis, I support the proposal, even though I remain wary of its supporters’ intentions [After all, many of them are the same folks who quake in fear when statistics are presented indicating Caucasians one day will be a minority in the US.]. I support a national language in the name of multiculturalism. Whether the result will look more like I hope it to be or James Inhofe hopes it to be remains to be seen.