Our American spring: Shining a little light on discrimination (COMMENTARY)

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Spring's sunlight shines on dandelions.

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Spring's sunlight shines on dandelions.

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(RNS) The fight in Indiana isn't just about a piece of legislation. It's about fair-minded citizens speaking out against discrimination and for the common good.

  • Aynak Mes

    Whenever we shed “light” on something, it’s always important for us to pause and think. Are we getting carried away by our emotions? Is there any validity to age old wisdom? What does the ‘pop culture’ euphoria of the present moment look like for the society of 2100 A.D? Is it beneficial in the long run? Does the choices we make as a society have any impact on the future? Is it okay to beget children who don’t know where their DNA came from? Is it fair on those children to not know where their ‘X’ or ‘Y’ chromosomes came from. Is it okay to be raised by a single parent? Is it okay to be raised in a divorced home? Is it okay to have never experienced the love of a ‘mom’ or ‘dad’? Tough questions, tough call. Disregarding ancient wisdom in that sense sounds foolish!

  • Pingback: A wolf speaks: Episcopal priest says Bible believing Christians and republicans are in “Darkness” | Laodicean Report()

  • Larry

    ” Is it okay to beget children who don’t know where their DNA came from? Is it fair on those children to not know where their ‘X’ or ‘Y’ chromosomes came from. Is it okay to be raised by a single parent? Is it okay to be raised in a divorced home? Is it okay to have never experienced the love of a ‘mom’ or ‘dad’? ”

    If your answer to such questions is to shun and attack people in such situations and waving a self-righteous finger at them, then feel free to disregard as much “ancient wisdom” as required. Plenty of things which are old are not worth keeping alive.

  • Kai Mana

    Bingo! Well stated.

  • Barry the Baptist

    Good questions!
    I agree: we should wonder whether these movements are a fad not. But I wonder if the answers lie in a direction other than conventional wisdom would dictate.
    What if we keep one piece of conventional wisdom, such as “a healthy environment makes healthy children,” and disregard another: “children need a mom and a dad.” There are numerous instances of happy, healthy children raised in unconventional homes: what causes that success? Is it solely up to the parent(s)? Or is it a function of communities and ideologies?
    Is it necessary to know from whom one’s genetics came? How many people truly know from where their genetics originated? Does it make them better off to know? Are they worse for not knowing?
    Genetics informs our bodies: seldom does it inform our minds and attitudes. That is molded by the cultures and subcultures we live in.
    Ancient wisdom applies to ancient people; if a wisdom is timeless, it can be properly integrated into modernity.

  • Shawnie5

    “Is it necessary to know from whom one’s genetics came? How many people truly know from where their genetics originated? Does it make them better off to know? Are they worse for not knowing?”

    Excellent. When you and the missus go to the hospital to have a baby be sure to tell them not to bother with the three name tags meant to guarantee that you leave with the right child. As long as you leave with one and can give it a “healthy environment,” I’m sure that’s all that matters.

    And be sure and sign a waiver of your right to sue the hospital for giving your baby to someone else — a right made law by ordinary people who do care very much about their genetic heritage, thank you.

  • Larry

    Like that HASN’T happened before? Switched at birth stories are not just the thing of sub-par screwball comedies.

    What’s next a talk about “bad seeds”?

  • Aynak Mes

    Aside from the emotional and psychological issues, didn’t Angelina Jolie recently make a call on having preventive surgery based on family history for falling under the category ‘high risk’ to cancer.How could she have known this if she was the product of an unknown donor? Also, in the future, people would have no clue if their dating their own brother or sister if they are a product of an unknown donor.There is a reason why the original design was intended a certain way, tinkering with that design causes all kinds of complications for society. Only God knows the full impact all this will have on the future.

  • Shawnie5

    Of course it has happened, and in every case the families involved recovered damages for the harm suffered, which Barry has just argued is no harm at all.

    Perhaps you’d be on board with this too? Maybe we could just mix all the babies up at the hospital and randomly distribute them…that way everyone gets an equal shot at a good home or a bad one, a rich one or a poor one, and so on. Sounds very progressive.

    If biology doesn’t matter, that is.

  • Sam Spade

    What an appalling display of self-righteous bigotry this article is. Stops just short of hardest of the hard-line communists who sent dissenters to the gulags. Stops just short of the old-time Catholics who sent heretics to the stake.

    Only a hive mind could consider biting off the heads off these Christians—or any others—who lives the life they believe. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Federal and the states) forbids government from interfering with the constitutionally protected right of people to practice their religion without interference from the state. Now you think the government should make them kowtow to your whimsy of the moment. Horrible.

  • Larry

    No sense of perspective whatsoever. Somehow opposing legalized discrimination in open commerce is just shy of hard line communist autocracy? On what planet?

    The RFRA was a poor response to a legitimately decent SCOTUS decision. It wreaks havoc on legitimate 14th Amendment issues and covers far more than anyone’s conception of free exercise of religion. Essentially license to run amok as long as you claim God is your motivation.

    “Stops just short of the old-time Catholics who sent heretics to the stake:

    Which would have been considered OK under Indiana’s RFRA on general principle. After all your religious belief is license to harm the general public under it. The government would have to justify the least restrictive method of dealing with it. So i guess you would only be partially burned at the stake and maybe put on the rack.

  • Larry

    I don’t think he was saying that all. But you gotta have your snark.

  • Shawnie5

    Of course he wasn’t saying that, but that’s where his premises ultimately lead.

  • Greg

    The standard thought some years back was that homosexuality is part nature, part nurture. Many today claim nature only; however, if nature only, then we’d have just a handful left in society, as over the years, most homosexuals did not reproduce, and the genes would have long since worked their way out of the gene pool (Darwin). So we must conclude it to be a behavioral choice in most cases, and specifically, the behavioral environment in which children are raised. A person who believes in strict evolution would have to agree. And if so, the nature-only angle cannot be pursued by those wishing to proceed with discrimination on the basis of nature. Of course a person might “believe” in their heart that they’ve always felt they were homosexual, but how far back can one truly remember? The question I have is how is this article even the slightest bit fair or neutral? It was politicians correcting an unconstitutional bias, then retreating in an act of political cowardice?

  • Ted

    If a Christian gun shop owner sells a pistol used to murder someone, are they complicit in murder?

    Why do I somehow know RFRA-supporters would say “no” to this, yet “yes” to a supposed violation of religious if some baker had to bake a cake for a couple of [expletive deleted]?

  • Larry

    The success rate of “ex-gay” therapy is about zero. The divorce rate among “mixed orientation” couples is about 90%. Even the Bible thumper funded Regernerus study found such families were fraught with severe stresses among its members.

    The pretensions of many religious types that homosexuality is purely one’s choice has nothing to do with reality and more to do with rationalizing behavior to the public. By making claims that it is a choice, they can pretend to the public that bigoted attacks on gays is “combating sin” and “upholding religious conviction” rather than the honest admission of their malicious ostracizing a group of people (preferably to their deaths).

    The recent upturn in anti-gay sentiment among the “Christian” set has more to do with political expedience in finding groups to hate together. Racism and sectarianism no longer are socially acceptable and nobody takes sexual mores seriously. The need an outside cause to feel relevant.

  • Greg

    Actually I’ve read some very interesting stories of men who were previously gay, and changed to either asexual, or heterosexual, due to a calling by Christ. The idea is that when God is in the mix, then anything is possible (Mark 10:27), but when He is not, then our past sin, experienced in our developmental years, is very hard to shake. Sin becomes part of our psyche, becoming part of our very person. That is when the Devil has his claws in you, and he knows it is nearly impossible to break free from a life of sin. But, that is the challenge, and is why Jesus says to “repent,” and believe in the gospel. Repent means to turn away from our sinful ways. And with God’s help, nothing is impossible!

  • Jack

    Well, as Chesterton wrote, “tradition is the democracy of the dead.”

    But of course, radical-left Episcopal priests know better. They care about tradition about as much as my Labrador cares about quantum mechanics.

  • Jack

    Sam, welcome to the surreal world of Ehrich-Land, where the world is neatly divided into shiny, happy, angelic leftists and dull, dark, grunting, demonic righties — and salvation is through political correctness, registering Democrat, and renouncing critical thought.

  • Jack

    Ted, you’d be right if the issue was simply selling a cake to a gay person or couple, but the issue appears to be selling a cake as part of a gay wedding ceremony. In the second instance, to use your analogy, they’re telling the owner what they’re going to do with the gun.

  • Jack

    Larry, that’s silly and dishonest. You’re changing the rules in the middle of the game. You can’t assert an equal protection claim unless you have a constitutional amendment that redefines marriage to include a same-sex union. Absent that redefinition, the 14th amendment pertains to the operating definition of marriage. And even if the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in your favor, that wouldn’t make SCOTUS right, anymore than its mistakes of the past made it right back then — from knocking down minimum wage laws to declaring black people the property of other people.

  • Jack

    Larry, even you know that in the column above, there is no semblance of critical thinking. It’s pure rhetoric and preaching to the choir…..Ehrich assumes he’s right on everything and doesn’t even attempt to provide arguments for his positions. And this is his modus operandi no matter what the issue is.

    Every one of his articles is question-begging.

  • Jack

    Aynak, you’re asking too many searching questions for fragile lefty minds to process. If you keep asking them, they will have to re-educate you, so you’ll become like Ehrich and fill the air with question-begging rhetoric.

  • Jack

    Larry, you’ve obviously answered none of his questions. All you’ve done is name-call…..so as to discourage him and others from asking any more.

  • Jack

    Larry, nobody said that homosexuality is “purely one’s choice,” but nice try at dragging in the old straw man. Better luck next time.

    Actually, though, the opposite is the case….Plenty of people are trying to bully society into agreeing that homosexuality is either 100% genetic or 0% environmental….even though such claims are demonstrably false. No identical twin study shows anything like it. Old figures that put it at just 50% genetic, but newer figures put it as low as 20%. Even if we grant that hormonal changes in the womb play a role, they cannot make up for the remaining 80%. Thus,post-natal environmental factors play a serious role. Anyone who claims they know these factors is mistaken. But to deny them is to deny the validity of all the studies, as well as simple addition and subtraction.

    Obviously this doesn’t prove it’s a “choice,” but it does disprove the unscientific myth that it’s all genetic.

  • Greg

    Homosexuality was only declassified as a “mental disorder” by the American Psychiatric Association in 1773. This change was purely political in nature; it was not the result of a study, or any in-depth work, but rather strictly by a panel vote. And we are continuing to see the political side of this panel vote decision play out here. Even though we supposedly have a wall of separation between Church and State (Jefferson), these days that amounts to only a one way separation. The State for its part feels they have every right to shape Church beliefs and practices.

  • Larry

    Larry, nobody said that homosexuality is “purely one’s choice,”

    That would be a flat out lie. Why am I not surprised?

    The main point of ostracizing gays by Christians is by claiming their choice to be gay makes them sinners worthy of sanction. This is why you get all that ex-gay nonsense and how you justify discriminatory behavior against LGBT people.

    Admitting homosexuality is something innate to the person would remove any pretension of bigoted Christians as having a plausibly reasonable position. Putting it akin to how the Mormons used to claim that dark skin was a curse by God and deserving of ostracism.

    But then again, having a position rooted in religious belief means never having to be rational, consistent or honest in one’s approach.