Bad Laws from the Blue and the Red (a post-election rant)
Technically, I’m retired from blogging, but yesterday’s election results have managed to irritate me enough to prompt a brief return to this forum. Two jurisdictions, one “red” the other “blue”, passed laws that are just plain foolish and demonstrate the narrowing of thought that can occur no matter where people fall on the ideological spectrum.
The first case comes from San Francisco where the city’s residents passed a law banning the possession of handguns and ammunition within the city. Residents will not even be allowed to have a gun in their own homes.
I am continuously amazed with liberals who will scream bloody murder anytime they see the First Amendment being infringed but pretend like the Second Amendment doesn’t exist. We can’t pick and choose which amendments we like best. And while I know guns are pretty dangerous things and that the Second Amendment is oddly worded, any serious study of that amendment will reveal that our Founders wanted to ensure we could own a gun. Free speech is dangerous too. So is giving violent criminals fair trials where they can get off on a technicality. Our Founders knew that freedom comes with risk and enshrined that balance in the Constitution. The people of San Francisco have no authority to override the Second Amendment anymore than early twentieth century Mississippi had the authority to override the 14th and 15th.
I could go on about the ineffectiveness of such laws (see: Washington, DC) but there’s more irritating election results to discuss, so let’s move on.
Good ole’ San Francisco also passed a measure encouraging high school and universities to ban military recruiters. I have no problem with people who protest the war. But this kind of action (and this is hardly the first case of it) is abhorrent. First, it assumes that young men and women are too stupid to make up their own minds and have to be “protected” from the big bad military. Secondly, it is a clear violation of freedom of speech and association to ban one employer but allow all others access. What would San Franciscans say if a conservative city banned Disney from recruiting because of that company’s gay-friendly attitudes? They’d be outraged. Just as those of us not trapped in liberal groupthink should be outraged that San Francisco would approve of such a measure.
Finally, let’s move on to my home state of Texas where my friends and neighbors just passed an amendment to the state constitution banning homosexual marriage. This was clearly a very pressing issue that had to solved before the state addressed our crumbling public health system and piss-poor schools.
I know I’m in a minority here, but how in the world is gay marriage a threat? Really? And don’t give me that b.s. about “slippery slopes” and how gay marriage would lead to polygamy and bestiality and god-knows-what. All those other examples involve exploitative relationships where one person is exercising depraved power over another. That’s not the case with homosexual relationships which are formed through mutual love.
Do we as a nation not support mutual, loving relationships? Is commitment between two people that abhorrent that we have to run out and ban the act? Our culture is not threatened by accepting loving, committed relationships. Our culture is threatened when we pretend such relationships are evil—when we exploit religion and inflame prejudice and pretend we are saving ourselves. We are saving nothing.
And don’t tell me the Bible condemns homosexuality. The bible condemns loaning money too and we aren’t rushing to the polls to ban banks. In fact, the Bible barely mentions homosexuality and, when it does, many Biblical scholars will tell you that the references were directed to the Greek and Roman practice of older men coercing adolescent boys into sexual relationships. That clearly is immoral. But consensual love between two men or two women is not a sin and is not condemned in the Bible.
Outside of scripture itself, why would anyone want to believe that God would let two people fall in love and then condemn that love as sin? Where does Jesus or any of his disciples ever claim love to be a sin? They don’t. And that’s the moral guidance I choose to follow.
I may be wrong. Who knows. But if I’m going to err in this world, I’d rather err on the side of mercy and grace. I wish the people of my state felt the same. Apparently, there’s still a lot of convincing to do.
Thank you for reading this rant.