Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wow! Transitional Fossil Featured in Time Magazine!

Okay, not specifically. Not by name. But Time columnist John Cloud did mention the "legion of bloggers" who have attacked Larry Craig and other Republicans for their hypocrisy in figting against equality for gays while secretly being gay themselves. Cloud says that what we're seeing in these "family values" Republicans is not hypocrisy, but weakness. Why can't it be both? Cloud is willing to forgive Craig for his weakness, and recognize as human his cognitive dissonance.

Perhaps we should forgive Craig and the other hypocritical Republicans for their "weakness." But we shouldn't forget that whatever we call it--cognitive dissonance, weakness, hypocrisy, political expediency--the result has been to deny equal rights for American citizens, and that is unforgivable.

17 comments:

Keifus said...

Don't forget the little people Arch.

Catnapping said...

damn. another boat i've missed.

Archaeopteryx said...

Yes--this should make me even more popular among my millions--I mean hundreds--I mean dozens--I mean dozen of readers.

Sona said...

I wonder if Craig believes that there is no such thing as bad press?

Archaeopteryx said...

Sona, I'm guessing he doesn't believe that anymore...

KevClark64 said...

So, it's your belief that it is imperative to treat all human beings absolutely identically, regardless of the circumstances?

Archaeopteryx said...

Kev--of course not. However, I do believe it is imperative that the government gives the same rights to all Americans. If they can deny anyone's rights, anytime, then eventually, they can deny my rights. And that is what is really important.

KevClark64 said...

What do you mean by "same rights"? If I pay 15% of my income in federal taxes and you pay 31%, do we have the same rights? Are we being treated equally under the law?

KevClark64 said...

By the way, of course the government can deny your rights, depending on what you think your rights are. I think I have a fourth amendment right to drive in my car without my seat belt. The government think otherwise. I think I have the right to keep a machine gun in my house. Another rights violation. I think the good people of New York City ought to be able to eat as much transfat as they like, but the government doesn't agree there.

Archaeopteryx said...

Kev, of course you're talking about a completely different situation. The amount of money one makes is not a quality of the person involved. The government doesn't charge more taxes to people who are black, or female, or Armenian. Your right (or lack therof) to drive a car or own a gun is not predicated on your race, or religion, or sex.

KevClark64 said...

But there are all kinds of marriage laws which limit who you can marry. You can only marry one person at a time. You can't marry people who have a certain relation to you. You can't marry if you are under a certain age. Are all those things violations of your basic human rights?

Marriage law does apply equally to everyone in the sense that everyone can marry someone of the opposite sex. There isn't one marriage law for homosexuals and one for heterosexuals. It is applied equally to everyone, just the same way as tax law is applied equally to everyone but may burden some people more than others.

People may have a fundamental human rights to have whatever relationship they desire with another human being, but the question is whether the government is required to recognize that relationship. It doesn't strike me as a fundamental right that government recognize in law whatever relationship people may want.

Archaeopteryx said...

Kev, in each of the cases you cite, the state has an interest in keeping the marriages from happening. In the case of underage people, the persons involved can't make informed, intelligent decisions about their own best interests. In the case of several people wanting to be married, there are financial and legal ramifications (how can two different people have power of attorney of an ill person, etc.). In the case of gay people getting married, there are no such reasons; the only reasons to deny those rights are religious.

Pretending that gay people having the right to marry heterosexuals is the same thing is a bit disingenuous, don't you think? Having the right to marry somebody you have no interest in marrying is no right at all. It would be like you living in a state where the law said you could marry all the men you wanted, but no women. (By the way, my understanding is that the name of that state is "Vermont.")

Think of it like this. Thirty years ago in the state where I live, if I had wanted to marry a black woman, I would have had no right to do so. The state had no compelling reason to keep that from happening, except that some people found it distasteful--some went so far as to claim that the Lord didn't want mixing of the races. It seems like a very similar situation to me.

KevClark64 said...

First off, I don't think that history supports your claim that the only reason not to have gay marriage is religious. If you look back through history, you'll see societies, such as ancient Greece and Rome, that were not particularly "homophobic". Even so, they made a distinction between homosexual and heterosexual sexuality and the purposes of each. They had no religious views, that I know of, against homosexuality, so how do you explain the fact that they didn't have homosexual marriage?

"Having the right to marry somebody you have no interest in marrying is no right at all." Sort of, but it's also the case that people generally don't have unlimited options of who they might like to marry. They usually want to marry a particular person, not a class of people. So, if the only person I want to marry is my sister, and the state prevents me from doing so, then it has prevented me from marrying anyone that I would like to marry. I think the situation with homosexual marriage is analogous to that. My point is just that the law is generally applied, unlike laws in the past where blacks were singled out for bad treatment.

I think the statistics point out, however, that most homosexuals have also had heterosexual sex. You take someone like Anne Heche, who was famously with Ellen DeGeneres, but then went on to marry and have a child with a man. So, I'm not sure that even for most people who consider themselves homosexual whether all possibility of marriage is really cut off for them.

Don't you see a bit of a difference between a mixed race couple marrying and mixed-sex couple marrying? A marriage between people of two races is essentially the same in all respects as a marriage between people of the same race. A marriage between a man and a woman, and two men, is not essentially the same thing at all.

Archaeopteryx said...

Kev, I think you're drawing distinctions between gay couples and straight couples that don't necessarily exist. I also don't think that all straight marriages are the same. Would you really tell me that the most important thing about your marriage is what body part goes where?

KevClark64 said...

I think you have to draw a distinction between the personal and social purposes of marriage. I would assume that if you asked any married person what the most important part of their marriage is, they would say it is the love they share with their spouse. In that purely personal way, I don't doubt the love that homosexual couples have for each other. But that has nothing to do with the social utility of marriage, which is what should concern the government. It does have something to do with the social utility of marriage that combining one pair of body parts brings human life into the world, while combining other body parts does not. Having sexual intercourse and shaking hands both join body parts, but I think almost anyone would say that these are two very dissimilar activities.

By the way, I finished writing and am now editing the first draft of that book I mentioned. I'd love to get your perspective on it, but I don't know how I could get it to you.

KevClark64 said...

Here is an article you might find interesting: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20071008/hacking

Archaeopteryx said...

Kev,

1) I don't think you can limit the social importance of marriage to just production of children. A huge percentage of children are produced outside of marriage, and a huge percentage of marriages produce no children.

2) That's an excellent article. I especially appreciate Hacking's tone.

3) Drop me an e-mail at my g-mail account: archaeopteryx2@gmail.com. I'll give you my address and you could send a copy of that draft. I'd be tickled to death to read it.