I have soooooo much I want to comment on. (in fact, as I have said before - my lack of posts is usually not because I have nothing to say, but that I have too much to say) I am going to try to do a few posts to address these issues over the next week or so. I have decided to first comment on another timely issue, the Chick-Fil-A, gay marriage/rights issue.
I can sum up my thoughts in a few words - acceptance and tolerance are not the same as approval and support. Neither are disapproval and lack of support the same as hate and condemnation.
Although I said I could sum things up in those few words, you know there is more...
It seems that today if one does not take a position that totally and unequivocally supports a position of alternative lifestyle, you are a "hater", an uneducated dolt, or worse. You are subject to disdain and ridicule by those that have the position (typically a minority position/opinion) and in a majority of cases, by the established media. Our society is being taught that all manner of aberrant behavior is not only to be tolerated but embraced and approved. As I said above, I can accept and tolerate your beheading of chickens in the name of your religion. That does not mean I should have to approve and support it - or accept it as a normal activity. (I am not equating gay/lesbian activities with chicken decapitation, I am making a point using the ridiculous)
I have the point of view that if you want to have a sexual partner of the same sex, or set up a household with someone of the same sex; that is your business. But, as I (and most other heterosexuals) do not make a public display of my lifestyle and bedroom activities, neither should you. (parental warning - somewhat graphic phrasing coming up) If you want to go home at night and grease yourself and your mate up with Crisco and plug bratwurst in various orifices while fondling the genitals of gerbils - hey, keep it behind closed doors. (and watch out for the animal rights people). Also, unless I ask you specifically about your Crisco and gerbil usage - keep it to yourself.
I, as a majority of people have shown in every vote ever taken on the subject, do not support gay/lesbian marriage. I have no problem with gays/lesbians living together and having whatever sexual liaisons they desire (among consenting adults - and gerbils); but not marriage. Thirty-nine states have laws and/or a constitutional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. The Defense of Marriage Act at the federal level has done the same. Gay/lesbian activists would have you believe that the majority of people support marriages, but like I said - EVERY time it has come to a popular vote (even in that haven of "progressive" thought - California) it has been voted down. As much as a lot of people don't like to admit it, marriage (at least historically) is a religious ceremony. I know it can be performed in a totally civil setting now, but it is a religious based ceremony just the same. Marriage and the definition of same is based on one man and one woman. The rights and privileges applicable to those that enter into marriage should not be diminished by allowing them to be granted to anyone that uses the term marriage. There are financial and societal costs involved with widening the definition of marriage that I do not think people have thought through.
That brings us to freedom of speech. I have been appalled at the deterioration of this right over the past decade. This was one of the freedoms that the founders and writers of the Constitution believed was worth defining in no uncertain terms. As Americans, we have the constitutional right to say what we believe, even if it is hurtful, damning, bigoted, politically incorrect, or whatever. The only limits legally are that they be true (no slander or libel) and not endangering public welfare or safety (like yelling "fire" in a crowded theater we hear about) However, it has become the norm today to persecute and condemn anyone that makes a stupid or offensive statement. If the statement is made with conviction and belief, I believe it is their right to do so under the Constitution. Condemnation and/or punishment should be meted out by their peers and social group - not public opinion. Hurtful, bigoted, offensive statements are covered by the right of free speech as is politically correct speech.
Now to the specifics of the Chick-Fil-A statement. There was nothing hurtful in the statement by Mr. Cathy when he calmly and politely stated he supported the traditional definition of marriage. He said nothing derogatory about gays/lesbians except he did not support their right to marriage. That statement was turned into an example of "hate speech". It was condemned and vilified by all the "gay rights" activists and most media alike. It was presented as tantamount to a declaration of war on the gay/lesbian community. There was nothing in the statement that threatened the existence or even the lifestyle of that community. It was just a statement from an individual (with the authority of a large corporation that he and his family control, granted) that he did not support something that is illegal in thirty-nine states and by federal law anyway!
Tolerance and acceptance is something that needs to be studied and practiced by the gay/lesbian community and their supporters as well. I acknowledge your right to live your life the way you want as I want you to do for me. You should acknowledge my right to speak my mind on what I believe as I do for you. Tolerance cuts both ways.