Mon, 01 Mar 2004 13:36:21 GMT

Twisted: there's an ad in the New York Times today congratulating President Bush for backing an amendment to the Constitution to deny marriage to gay and lesbian people. The ad compares him to President Lincoln, and is signed by many of the groups and people that I have pledged, for Lent, to study and try to understand.

So, please help me understand this: President Lincoln strove to protect the rights of a minority at the costs of thousands of lives lost in the Civil War, and indeed, of his own life. President Bush is the first President ever to attempt to restrict the rights of a minority group with a Constitutional amendment.

The link, I guess is the courts: Lincoln defied the Supreme Court's infamous Dred Scott decision, whereas President Bush styles his initiative as opposing 'activist judges.'

I find this an incredibly twisted comparison: pandering to prejudice takes no moral courage, in my mind. Standing up for a powerless minority takes enormous moral courage, the likes of which we see perhaps a handful of times in a century, if that. Please, help me, understand this. Am I wrong? Is this just not meanness and hate? [ – words and pictures from Silicon Valley]

I think you really have to try to understand the other side of the argument before you call it meanness and hate. It certainly is exceptionalism and bias, but i don't think that all of the people that believe this about marriage are mean and hateful, but i do think that some are, but there are mean and hateful people on the other side too, that's just the way populations are distributed. Contrarily, i think that anyone that wants to marry another person of reasonable responsible age should be allowed to, but that marriage in that case is a state-union, and that limited gender marriages should be the provenance of religion. Let the church say you can't get married in our building, then go get married elsewhere, that is what freedom and equality conveys as citizens of the u.s. I don't think that i would be a citizen in the same way if the religious rule was constitutionalized, in fact, i would generally feel oppressed, because one freedom that i had, but did not use woudl be removed from me.