Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tyranny

The aftermath of the post I wrote yesterday about Chick fil-A went far towards proving my point about how the conversations on the subject turn horribly ugly. I didn't need to engage anyone, as those who read it took their stands, hopped up on their respective soapboxes and the argument spun out of control.  The one time I pointed out scientific fact, it was immediately dismissed by those who disagree, regardless of the magnitude of that truth.  The discussion, if one can call it that, ended in personal attacks.

A social experiment, so to say, played out on my Facebook page.  I haven't deleted the entire thread, as ridiculous as it got, because it makes my point so beautifully.

That, and it's happening on a much larger scale every day in this country.

It will only get worse this year.  The Democrats have already announced that they will be adding same sex marriage to their platform for the first time.  This conversation is not going away anytime soon.  It would be nice if it could play out in civilized manner, but I don't expect that it will.

Issues as divisive as this are the type of issues that people rarely change their opinions about. The opinions of others, no matter how loud, will not sway them.  In my personal experience, those who do usually do so only as a result of having a person close to them come out.  Not everyone changes their opinions, though, even then.  Clearly.

Which is fine.  And which only serves to further reinforce my point that each and every person in this country is entitled to have those opinions, and to voice them.  Which is precisely why the Chick fil-A issue has nothing to do with the 1st Amendment.

It has to do with the 14th Amendment.  The one that guarantees due process and equal protection. That is the real core issue here, and the opinions of any one person or corporation are irrelevant.

It doesn't matter if everyone agrees.  It will never matter.  Part of living in a democracy requires debate.  Demands dissidence.  Without it, there would surely be a tyranny of the majority.  There has been a tyranny many times in the past.  I'd argue there is very much still a tyranny today when it comes to the issue of gay rights, though it's slowly changing.

There will come a day, not too far from now, when every person in this country, regardless of race, religion, gender and sexual orientation will be guaranteed the same rights under the law.


Including marriage.

To say that civil unions and other incarnations are equivalent to marriage smells an awful lot like a phrase that the majority once used before.  Separate but equal.  It's a fallacy.  There is no such thing.  The court knew that, and struck it down, even if the majority disagreed because it was the right thing to do.

The reason we have three branches of the government, the reason we have courts specifically, is to ensure that the will of the people alone cannot dictate our laws.  Just because a majority believes something should be one way or the other doesn't make it Constitutional.

Popularity means nothing in the eyes of the law.  Equality does.

2 comments:

  1. Beautifully said. The whole "separate but equal" argument should give everyone pause. Well, everyone on the right side of the political spectrum. Us liberal commies already recognize it. ;)

    ReplyDelete

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