Some parting thoughts on this thread (because it wouldnâ€™t surprise me if itâ€™s closed) --
Several posters complain that their questions werenâ€™t answered. This reminded me of â€œThe Hitchhikerâ€™s Guide to the Galaxyâ€ by Doug Adams. On a certain planet, the inhabitants wanted to know the â€œanswer to life, the universe, and everything.â€ So they built an extremely powerful computer called Deep Thought. This computer started computingâ€¦.and computingâ€¦.and computing. This went on millions of years. Finally, to the great surprise of the people tending the computer, it came alive. (paraphrased) â€œI have the answer.â€ â€œThe answer to what?â€ â€œThe answer to life, the universe, and everything.â€ â€œWell, whatâ€™s the answer?â€ â€œThe answer is 42.â€ â€œ42? What kind of an answer is that? Are you sure?â€ â€œYes, Iâ€™m sure, the answer is 42.â€ â€œWhatâ€™s that supposed to mean?â€ â€œWell, Iâ€™m not built to answer any other question. Perhaps the problem is that the wrong question was asked. You have to ask the right question.â€ â€œAnd whatâ€™s the right question?â€ â€œI donâ€™t knowâ€¦.youâ€™ll have to build another computer to ask that question.â€
Perhaps the story is slightly mangled (my apologies, Doug), but I think the reason these posters havenâ€™t had their questions answered is not because there wasnâ€™t an answer, but because there wasnâ€™t an answer they found acceptable.
You canâ€™t ask a question and then have a short list of answers youâ€™re looking for because the answer might not be on your short list. Furthermore, you canâ€™t ask a question in terms that frame the expected answer. â€œHave you stopped beating your wife yet?â€ makes a person guilty of beating his wife in the eyes of whoever hears the question. You have to ask the right question. And then be open to whatever the answer might be. The real question underlying this whole thread is not â€œshould gays be able to get marriedâ€ itâ€™s â€œis homosexuality immoral?â€ Most agree on the civil rights issues. But when it gets to â€œwhy not marriageâ€ then you bring inâ€¦â€¦
â€¦..the â€œbâ€ word: belief. One side accuses the other of injecting belief into a topic that should be just on the legal issues. But what underlies the legal issues? One side believes homosexuality to be a normal, morally acceptable behavior. The other side believes it to be immoral. But lookâ€¦â€¦BOTH sides are operating on the basis of belief. The one side can no more prove their case absent of belief than can the other side. But what have we seen in this thread? The onus and the accusations of interjecting belief is directed only at one side. The whole context of the discussion is framed in such a way that beliefs have to be discounted only on the one side. And thatâ€™s the point Iâ€™ve tried to make in many posts is that the whole context is slowly being shifted, such that the starting point and basis for the discussion is that the California Supreme Courtâ€™s ruling is a good thing. Itâ€™s about civil rights. Homosexuality immoral? Noâ€¦.keep that out of the discussion because itâ€™s a religious issue, and weâ€™re arguing legal issues here, not religious issues. But for some of us, it IS a religious issue as well as
a legal issue. Repeating an analogy from one of my posts: you canâ€™t have a discussion about the effects of ice cream on your weight unless you acknowledge the fat content of cream. If the context of the discussion presumes that cream has no fat content, then how can a discussion of ice cream proceed? Itâ€™s not possible to discuss homosexual marriage without bringing in the â€œbâ€ word.
OK, Iâ€™ll wrap it up. The other thing Iâ€™ve noticed in this thread is that the angry remarks and accusations have come mostly from those who favor gay marriage and oppose religion. Iâ€™ve been told I should be arrested, that Iâ€™m a bigot, etc etc. Why are these posters so angry? Weâ€™re just expressing our beliefs and opinions, same as they are. My thought on this is that theyâ€™re uncomfortable. They donâ€™t want to discuss a topic where religion comes in to the topic because religion makes them uncomfortable. Well, guess what? Itâ€™s supposed
to make a non-believer uncomfortable. Itâ€™s supposed to make them evaluate and scrutinize their own beliefs. And some donâ€™t like doing that; I think theyâ€™re afraid they might come to some point they donâ€™t want to be at. So they donâ€™t want the discussion to bring up religious or belief-oriented questions; the answers they get might not be the answers on their short list of acceptable answers.
Iâ€™ve used a lot of one side/other side references, Iâ€™ve used the â€œtheyâ€ word. These words are used for my convenience. Iâ€™m not pointing any fingers. I realize everyone here has their own opinions and freedom to voice such. These observations are my observations and mine alone. Iâ€™d like to say that most of the posters in this rather extraordinary thread have posted extraordinarily well-written, well-spoken, and well-reasoned posts. This board has any number of highly intelligent and knowledgeable members who are able to eloquently and coherently express their thoughts. And I really do appreciate it. I may not agree with many of them, no, heck I know
I donâ€™t agree with some of them, but itâ€™s wonderful to even be able to hold a discussion like this. But itâ€™s taken up so much of my time, and Iâ€™m getting behind on things that need to be done, so itâ€™s time to wrap it up for me. My best wishes go to everyone, even the ones who donâ€™t agree with me, and keep defending what you believe in. Oh, oh, thereâ€™s that â€œbâ€ word again!!