Once again politics trumps logic and relationships. And despite my poor attempt at a pun in the headline, this one makes me sad because the person this affected is someone I care about, a wonderful young mind and individual I’ve always admired. But what hurts the most in this exchange on — you guessed it, Facebook — was it shows me that our young folks today have only one way of handling diversity in thought or tolerance of others: Shutting people out who disagree with them.
And all because I stated an opinion.
And just what was the offending remark? I simply said marriage isn’t an unalienable right. Well, actually, I first said marriage isn’t a right. To which the young poster, who was in an emotion-filled rant about how someone is setting up laws to prevent people who love each other from being together (none exist that I know of, but if they do or did, Democrats wrote them) or would stop all LGBT activity in the country, came back with this thought, “Craig, you don’t think marriage is a right?”
And here came my mistake in today’s world of the right to never be offended. I simply responded, “No, I don’t believe marriage is an unalienable right.” And, to the best of my recollection, you’ll see why in a sentence or two, came this immediate response, “Well you and I have very different ideas about what’s right and wrong in this world and I cannot have someone like you on my Facebook as a friend.” Before I could respond, I was “blocked.”
Such is our world today. I’d say the world of politics, but I think we’re at a point now where it’s all politics. And I think that’s because every time someone feels wronged or has a problem they now look to the worst possible way to have it rectified, and that’s through politics or a politician. But I also say politics because there has to be the reason a wonderful, bright person who should be full of inquiry would have that as their only response. A response to completely remove me, and much worse, my thoughts from participating in the conversation. So much for tolerance and diversity of thought from tolerant and diverse folks.
In this situation, many politicians rejoice and, of course, pounce on the opportunity. You see, us fighting over the meaning of a word is perfect fodder for them. On the left they scream, “They don’t want you to get married, so vote for me and send me money and I’ll pass a law where you can marry!” On the right they holler, “Marriage should only be between a man and a woman, so send me money and vote for me and I’ll pass a law saying it should be so!” And we get so caught up in the word we forget the main point: Which is that unalienable rights don’t need laws or changing meanings of a word to exist. And more important, unalienable rights are individual and not doled out by government and politicians.
It’s too bad my young friend didn’t take the time to do the one thing I wished for; and that is to inquire about what I said. I think my response would have been surprising. But hearing diverse opinions isn’t allowed any more. Tolerance, true tolerance, is no longer celebrated in
so-called arenas of tolerance. And that results in the most dangerous thing in politics today: People who think differently should be shut out of the conversation if not outright punished.
So for the record, my young friend, who I still genuinely admire and hold out great hope for the future, here’s my response had you asked what I meant.
Besides the above, I would have said marriage is simply a word that has an established meaning throughout the centuries. But that is beside the focal point to make here: The Constitution gives everyone the right to spend their lives in relationships with those they choose, including intimate relationships. And as the individual owners of our unalienable rights, we retain this right along with all of our rights to our personal, monetary and intellectual property, and they can’t be taken by law or politics.
I don’t have the right to tell you who you can or can’t love, nor do I wish to do so. And I certainly would not grant some politician know-it-all to force how I think upon you in any way. I don’t have a problem with you considering any loving relationship a marriage, nor do I have a problem with a church deciding it will marry people of the same sex. These things are for individuals to decide, not some popular vote or something rammed through the courts. And as long as my rights don’t affect yours or yours mine, I just don’t see why we’re all fighting over a word.
But perhaps now you can see why a politician or political sycophant would want control of, and have us fight over, the meaning of a word. I mean, besides revenue. And then, hopefully, you’ll see the vast majority of us are indeed tolerant and we have much more in common than we think.
But you have to talk to people and engage in differing ideas to do that.