>> Saturday, August 7, 2010
Before I delve into the discussions of God and what I think is rational or not, I thought I'd take a trip in the wayback machine to a post I wrote on this same topic (Prop 8) back in November 2008. What do you know, my opinion is the same. You may be seeing that quite frequently. Just goes to show the more things change...
Our new President-elect and the different statewide referendums against gay marriage got me to thinking. Actually, it doesn’t take much; I like thinking. See, I’m like completely colorblind (race-wise) and have been since childhood, in fact, ever as far as I know. Couple reasons for this, not the least of which is the logical way my mind processes things (like why I never smoked. High school friends ask, “Hey, want a smoke?” I respond, with perfect sincerity. “Inhale smoke. On purpose?” - my lack of popularity is probably pretty easy to explain by now.). Why treat any human being different based on something as unimportant as race?
But it occurs to me that there might be some other factors. One of them could be my interest as a youth in science fiction. Think about it. Growing up on Star Trek (the real one) and Heinlein and other science fiction tales, where races of sentient beings extend beyond human, where marriage can be considerably more complex than the standard here, why would someone being dark or tall or oddly hued or mixed race or anything else throw one. Remember, Kirk made it with a green girl. Everything we see in reality is relatively tame by comparison.
It should probably not surprise you, kind reader, that I favor any human being having the right to choose their own life partner. I feel very strongly about a separation of church and state and I’m at a loss as to why people think they have the right to vote away the rights of others. When I’ve discussed this on gather, where I often discuss many of the things I rarely discuss here, I was challenged if we allowed this, what was to stop incest or polygamy?
What indeed? My line is and has always been: consenting adults choosing a lifetime companion hurts no one. Incest has two problems, the genetic one and the fact that, in general, incest involves an adult and a child. I sure as heck don’t condone that, but there are cases where everyone involved is an adult. As for the inbreeding and reinforcement of bad alleles, but steps can be taken to preclude harm. Why, then, must it be precluded automatically if we meet those criteria?
Polygamy/polyandry has a similar problem. The examples we currently see can involve underage girls, pushed by parents, oppressed by men, or situations where one spouse secretly has more than one household. But does it have to be that way? If a group of consenting adults are so close they consider themselves a family, where everyone is cognizant and agreeable to the situation, where’s the harm? The key for me is consenting and adults.
I do read a lot of older and/or classic novels. There’s a tendency to think they’re all clean and filled with regular marriages. Well, not so much. It wasn’t that long ago when first cousins often married and infidelity was considered standard operating procedure.
Then there is science fiction and fantasy. I think back to The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein with its polyandries and line and clan marriages. Heinlein was nothing if not unconventional and many books included “marriage contracts” of a limited duration and creative marriages. It didn’t faze me. Star Trek, as mentioned, has half-breeds and all kinds of race interactions, none of which cause me the slightest hiccup. One of my favorite series of books of all time are those in the Liaden series by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (which I highly recommend) where matters of race and the mixing of said race are repeatedly a topic, where marriages are nominally contracts and “life-mate” means something special. Other books I’ve read and movies I’ve seen blur the lines frequently. J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) mixes heterosexual and homosexual relationships almost indiscriminately and includes people of all shapes, sizes and proclivities. Actually, the kinds of books I read frequently challenge what’s “normal.” I presume some people like that sense of difference, but, for me, I feel at home. Apparently my “normal” is a little different than many.
Now that I’ve thought about it, it occurs to me, I’m not sure if I’m open-minded because of the books I read or if I read the books I do because I’m open-minded. But I do believe, absolutely, that the world would be a better place if we would stop getting worked up on things that other people do that don’t hurt anyone and could be tolerant of people that might be just a little bit different.