Land of the free and home of the brave. These words were distilled into me at a young age; almost like the dogma of the twentieth century. We had our democracy and never left home without it. The problem, it seems to me, is that in a way we never grew up, we never reached maturity, and most importantly, we never learned to share. But it isn’t as simple as not supporting the rise of democratic societies in other parts of the world, we actively pursue the undermining of freedom in our country, all in the name of safety, success and our moral superiority. We spend a disproportionate amount of time declaring our rights to each other, yet, we hardly ever enunciate our obligations to others, the claims that they may make against us. And there are several reasons for this, one being that if we have to recognize the claims of others against us we might have to curtail our assertion of our own rights; in short, if we allow that they have rights and claims against us, it possibly could limit our actions or the exercising of our perceived liberties. And we have reneged on our obligation to our neighbor and the world that has been imposed upon us by virtue of our liberty, we don’t bring peace quite as often we just bring hell.
The persecution of difference resonates with our intrinsic need to displace guilt and responsibility. It’s easier to blame, to point the finger, than it is to reflect upon the implications of the praxis of our actual rather than ideological view of the world and our place in it; because often the difference between what we think and what we say and do can be the difference between heaven and hell. To have our publicly marketed vision of what it is we are all about in society called into question by others and in some instances, by our own conscience, can be jarring to the point of denial and dismissal. Facing up to our sins against others as individuals and a society isn’t simple, as it often leads to the revelation that satisfaction and fulfillment, success and responsibility don’t always coincide or serve the same master.
That someone embraces the world with a different set of eyes doesn’t dismiss or marginalize what you believe to be true and real. The diversity of ideas doesn’t imply a diversity or plurality of truth, it doesn’t afford all views co-equal authority. The very notion of truth implies an ultimate exclusivity of perspective.
And this, in a roundabout fashion leads to the war that is being waged in the culture, a contest where the prize isn’t the mere triumph of an idea or belief but is in actuality for the power to impose an ideological hierarchy upon society that provides for the homogenization and suppression of all objection and thought; for the de-democratization of a people on the verge of socio/economic schizophrenia. No more clearly is this seen in America today than in the contest to define what constitutes a marriage between politically/morally conservative Christians and the homosexual community. Now, I know that there are other groups that can listed, and in a more thorough conversation should and would be included on both sides, but for the immediate purpose, these are the two groups with the most significant vested interest in the outcome.
The reality is that whether the State recognizes the union between two men or two women and extends to them the privileges of the tax code and health insurance classification has little to do with my belief or the strength of the American family. Now, as a caveat I would like to mention that in conjunction with this I also believe that it is imperative that we bar the State from becoming the pedagogues of morality and religion. A state recognized marriage doesn’t, by virtue of legal recognition, walk with the same swagger into and through the halls of faith. Religion is under no and should never be under, any compulsion to recognize any marriage which violates its own understanding of the world.
If we are to be those who champion the Constitution, then we must trust in its protections. We established a nation where religion is free of intrusion and regulation, a place where conviction is left to its own devices. And accordingly, the danger that we all face as responsible members of society is the challenge to defend the right to believe. Too often, we only organize for the defense of what it is that we believe, not fully realizing the implications. You see, if we only stand up and cry foul when we are threatened, then the real enemies of freedom need only to move against us one at a time; with no organized defense of liberty, we might as well give it up now. Our posterity will know only shame if, in our quest for legitimacy ( and we’re all on one), we pave our way with the bones and blood of any who did not fall into line.