Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Right-Wingers on Sand

How hard it must be to keep your reactionary views today. Perhaps the most insecure right-wingers deserve prayers.

Maybe not.

That risible Liberty Sunday spite fest illustrated several of those conundrums facing the folk who would fear and even hate liberals, homosexuals, tax reform, and the like. In the same period, other news, like the continuing drop in U.S. marriage rates hit the papers.

The marriage coverage in the New York Times covers how fewer Americans are marrying, a steady trend since WWII. Now more adult Americans are not married than are. Of course, this occured long before the first legal Massachusetts gay wedding. It is yet another proof of the lie of SSM endangering marriage in this country.

Oh, how can an anti-poor, anti-gay, anti-marriage-equality winger to keep it all straight? Lackaday.

The problem was perhaps clearest during the simulcast in a pre-taped diatribe by older Black ministers. It illustrates what they face when they put their emotion up against reason, science, public opinion and even Biblical teaching.

The conceit is a simple and oft-iterated one. Gay rights and same-sex marriage are not civil-rights issues to the men on the tape. They aver or feign indignation at any comparison. Their sole argument here is that their skin color is immutable and homosexuality is a choice. Ergo, blah blah.

Yet for decades the evidence has piled up that for virtually all homosexuals, their status is also immutable and almost certainly innate. It is not an oh-I'll-be-queer-this-week choice as those ministers would have it. Reputable scientists worldwide have measured, tracked, analyzed and tested many thousands to come to the same conclusion. You would have to search far and wide to locate a tiny handful of easily discredited pseudo-research to read otherwise. Visit any library or follow the research in scientific journals or the popular press to see that the old guys are misinformed.

Key Questions

The questions then come:
  • Why do the wingers hold to the disproved?
  • When it is obvious that these are in fact civil-right issues, what will it take to sway them?
  • Will they forever cling to only the few lines in the King James Bible that they say let them discriminate?
  • Will they ever really believe in and act for liberty and equality?
Alas, it seems unlikely that what they can see before them in human terms will sway them any more than mounds of scientific findings. We see that also in the child-rearing myths. The same folk still hold that homosexual parents are inherently inferior to straight ones.

Even if you set aside the millions of straights who beat and even sexual abuse their kids, examining and tracking thousands of kids for many years shows what they don't want to accept. Gay parents are at least as good at raising kids. There are far more important factors in what is good for kids than whether their parents' genitals fit in certain ways.

As Maine Goes

It looks unlikely that the preponderance of evidence will change the statements, behavior and voting patterns of those heavily emotionally invested in their myths. On the other hand, Maine may show the future here.

The old saying about Presidential elections was "As Maine goes, so goes the nation." That doesn't seem to be true consistently. Yet, their gay-rights struggles seem to mirror this winger conversion issue.

Mainers voted against gay-rights protections for many years. Their local anti-gay groups included some ministers, professional anti-gay lobbyists, help from national anti-gay groups, and bitter, deceptive emotional scare campaigns.

Eventually, they passed simple anti-discrimination protections. The reports of observers and those who interviewed voters suggest that this occurred also on a personal and emotional level. It seems when enough gay parents, couples and singles came out, the fear and hate left with the ignorance. Enough voters saw that coworkers, relatives and neighbors were, well, Mainers, plain folk.

Of course, Maine doesn't have 90% acceptance of homosexuals and still has a bias against marriage equality, but the difference is dramatic and likely prophetic.

The reactionaries and fear-mongers eventually overplay their hands. After so many calls to panic, their lies fail to elicit more than yawns from most.

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