Same-Sex Marriage Part IV: The Inevitability of Reason

peace on earth

“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle. You don’t have to know Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Reflection on this quote from the greatest voice of peace and the foremost-leader in the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. makes me hope for a time similar to the one that Dr. King fought for.   His, a utopia where color was not seen, but people were people.  Mine, a time in which a person may openly express who they are, who they love, and how they feel; a time in which people are not believed to be lesser for qualities they hold.  This is my dream.

I have examined a brief history of the homosexual social taboo, stated and rebutted the arguments against same-sex marriage, and presented a case for marriage equality.  It is clear to me that revocation of the rights of homosexuals, including the right to be recognized under marriage, would be a violation of the innate rights understood by our species.

We are all members of the same species, made of the same matter, with the same physical properties.  It seems to be that petty differences in lifestyle, hope, fear, education, etc. are minuscule.  And yet, amplified they remain, as a vessel by which the greedy will take control over the passive, the violent will harm the peaceful, and the wicked will rule the good.

“Cannot swords be turned to plowshares? Can we and all nations not live in peace? In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world. And yet, I ask you, is not an alien force already among us? What could be more alien to the universal aspirations of our peoples than war and the threat of war?”

– Ronald Reagan

The time is now.  The United States Supreme Court will rule on the cases presented to them in March of 2013, and they will decide that a person’s sexual orientation is not a means by which it is acceptable to deny marriage rights to.  The Defense of Marriage Act will be lifted and, like No Child Left Behind, there will be no place for misleading and heinous legislation in our country.

We cannot allow petty differences in lifestyle to give rise to the destruction remaining in foundation of liberty that we enjoy, and yet, allow to fade away in times of need.  We cannot allow bronze-age literature to control legislation.  We cannot advocate the demise of progress.  The time for meaningful rhetoric is now.  The time for change is now. The inevitability of reason arising is at hand. The world is evolving, and our social values are no different.  It is only with the acceptance of alternative lifestyles as normal that we can lift the veil of deceit from over our eyes.  We are not different.  It is only through peace

Twitter: @dustin_mcmahon

Advertisements

Cloudy With a Chance of Acid-Rain: How to Turn Our Blue Planet Green

Image

It is hard for many to take environmentalism seriously.  Even the term ‘environmentalist’ lends itself to harsh and humiliating social terms that make the practice seem unfashionable.  The public’s perception of environmentalists always ties into ‘liberal’ agendas.  This misconception is a dangerous idea that has been allowed to fester and will be the death of the planet and all living organisms on it, unless it is changed.

The issue of protecting the ecosystems, the inhabitants of, and the planet itself is not a political issue.  It is an issue of humanity, and an obligation of the rational-beings we have evolved to be.  Homo sapiens are the most successful macroscopic being on Earth, and have developed the ability to reason (though some choose not to), and therefore, have the duty as apex-species to protect the ecosystems that we are destroying with our gross overpopulation and the consequences of our advanced societies.

I submit to you, a plea to actively pursue a change in mindset of how the average person affects the habitat in which they reside.  Americans in particular are extremely passive in attempts to minimize the harm that they do.  To change for the better, we must have a reform of the way we live our lives, as well as supporting funding for clean resources and energy requirements for the technology we use.

Human beings are the most harmful thing to ever happen to planet Earth.  We are one of the most adaptable organisms on the planet, we are an apex-species, and our brains are developed to the point in which we can affect the entire planet as a collective, be it for good or harm.

Cane toads were introduced to Australia in 1935 with the aim of eliminating an insect that had been effecting sugarcane growth in parts of the country.  The effects of the toads on the ecosystem were unprecedented.  Now, almost three quarters of a century later, the toads are overpopulating and killing many large predators that have not had time to adapt to the toxins in the toad’s skin.

These toads do not have the mental ability to understand the harm that their presence is doing to the ecosystem.  Human beings do, and yet, choose to abstain from real solutions.  With our ability to rationalize actions, we have an obligation to protect and preserve the land and species we affect.

The problems of our overpopulation of the planet are much more wide-ranging, but just as harmful as the Cane toads in Australia.  Human beings are polluting the oceans, destroying the atmosphere, and pushing species that are unnecessary to our survival into extinction.  It is no coincidence that populations of cows, chickens, and pigs are booming, while the populations of snow leopards, giant pandas, and white rhinos are dying out.  These are not a result of natural selection, but of our infringement into the territory of those species, as well as the selfish slaughtering of those animals for parts.  It can be debated if the end to Darwin’s natural selection inevitably comes with the destruction of all species on the planet, except one op species, and a few others that are allowed to continue as sustenance, but does not have to be that way.

Outside of the challenges our species causes to other living inhabitants of the planet, we are pushing gases into the atmosphere that destroys our only protect from the sun, while defiling our planet’s natural sources of drinkable water, and condemning the rainforests, which are the planet’s source of 80 percent of its oxygen.  As a result, we are committing a mass murder/suicide.  Humans are destroying their own sources of water, oxygen, and cosmic protection while simultaneously condemning any creature that still lives, or would continue to survive after we perish.  It is impossible to morally justify these actions.

Whether one chooses to ‘believe’ it or not, scientists in all fields agree that global warming and the greenhouse effect are occurring.  Cosmic rays from the sun are becoming trapped inside our atmosphere, causing rapid changes in the temperatures and weather conditions of our planet.  Whether global warming is happening rapidly or not, immediate actions are necessary to prevent any more damage, or one day soon, our beautiful blue planet will be as desolate and as uninhabitable as Venus.  We caused this process to accelerate, with the air pollution we allow (and I’m not talking about Justin Bieber).

It was not until the 2000s that recycling became ‘fashionable’ in American society.  Though European countries have been recycling since the 1970s and in some cases longer, it is not enough to stop the destruction that the materials we use and pollutants we throw away cause.

Big business markets ‘green’ materials to consumers because those items sell, not because those items are better for our planet.  Companies are still largely unregulated in the products that are manufactured, the pollutants from machinery that are spewed from factories, and the materials used in many household products like Styrofoam.  Citizens must actively support legislation and legislators that will endorse regulations on companies large enough to affect the planet on a massively-negative scale.

We, as consumers have been fed the idea that ‘buying green’ or reusing grocery bags is enough to protect our planet and its resources, but that is false.  These are passive activities that, while mildly-effective, do not give substantial support to the wildlife and natural resources on Earth.

The mindset of “I will help the environment when it is convenient for me,” must change.  Support regulation on the largest producers of pollution.  As electors, we do have the power.  If it is the focus of the vast majority of constituents, the elected officials will follow or they will be unemployed.  Help control human overpopulation, in any way you can and curve the destruction of our ecosystem for artificial growth.  The power is in our hands.

Every person must take responsibility for the consequences of their actions.  The human mind is not often used to look at the world in a broad spectrum, and I fear action will not be taken until much more luminous problems arise from our actions.  By then, it will be too late.  Look beyond yourself and strive for humanity, not the individual.  Advocate clean energy, low-emission transportation, and reusable materials.  Support those who would do well for the environment.

The planet will be here tomorrow, whether or not you are.  It is imperative that you live proactively to ensure the continuation of our personal cosmic wonder.

 

Twitter: @dustin_mcmahon

Hyper-Conservatism and the Christian Republican Paradox

The Hyper-Conservatism Movement

As I sat, eagerly awaiting the results to come in to the CNN newsroom on the night of November 7th, still uncertain whether or not the country would re-elect President Barack Obama, I began to wonder: Why are there so many Republicans?

It is important to make the distinction between Republican and Conservative.  A Republican is a member of, follower or supporter of the Republican political party in the United States.  A Conservative is one that seeks to retain traditional institutions or values. Many times, these two terms are linked, or tied together, however, the sort of Hyper-Conservatism that the modern Republican Party preaches is far from what many Conservatives may wish adherence to.

The results started coming into the CNN newsroom and States were being called as falling to Mitt Romney or staying with Barack Obama.  Every hour, excitement would fill the air as polling places closed and viewers were treated to a new set of exit-poll data. As the night went on, it became more and more clear that Mitt Romney would not be going to bed that night as President-Elect Mitt Romney.  As CNN called the race, a rush of cool relief blew through me and I was able to sleep soundly.

It took a couple of weeks for all of the votes to be counted.  President Obama finished with over 60 percent of the electoral vote but only 51 percent of the popular vote over Mitt Romney’s 47 percent.  Though Mitt Romney was not the ideal candidate for the Republican Party, (he was too moderate for many of the party leaders) Romney was believed to be the best choice for the Republican’s if they wanted to unseat the powerhouse Obama.

The number that haunts me from that election: 47 percent.  My perplexity comes not because of Romney’s priceless ’47% gaffe’ a few weeks before the election, but because the Republican candidate received 47 percent of the popular vote.

I digress to my question from the first paragraph: Why are there so many Republicans?  To understand why I ask this question, you must understand some of the Hyper-Conservative values that the political gurus and special interest leaders that are currently harnessing the Republican politicians in Washington and at the State level lobby for.  This is a short list of social platforms(with the exception of the first bullet point) that Republican politicians are/have been pushing for in the last few years:

  • Little-to-no central government control
  • More guns (per the NRA)
  • Lower taxes for the ultra-rich (per the Bush tax cuts)
  • No more immigrants, especially the brown-skinned ones
  • Woman, blacks, legal immigrants, gays, the poor, and non-Christians are unequal to rich, respectable white men.
  • Keep the citizens unhealthy unless they are wealthy enough to buy health care from a monopolized system
  • Offer the poor no help, for they are nothing
  • Keep the rich prosperous and the poor starving
  • Jesus, Jesus, Jesus

The first thing you may notice is that my observations are slightly biased and almost certainly a bit facetious.  Secondly, these views are not those of any respectable Conservative, which is the main demographic that the Republican Party hopes to represent.  These are the views of a political movement led astray by power and money hungry men that seek the regress a Country of the People to a place in which oppression, violence, and discrimination are fair occurrences and the hope for a bright future is nil; it is the imprisonment of any man, woman, or child that is not of uniformity with those in power.

The Hyper-Conservative push in the Republican Party is what makes the statistic of 47 percent so baffling.  Is it really true that 47 percent of Americans hold these Hyper-Conservative ideas?  The percentage of Americans that these views actually support (super-rich, white, male, Christians) is only about 0.2 percent.  It is important to note that by super-rich, the salary standard used here is about $1,000,000 per year.

How then can the Republican Party still con so many people into voting for their side, even though Hyper-Conservatism is so radical and unsettling to most?  The answer is simple: Christianity.

The Christian Republican Paradox

The answer to the million dollar question is so surprisingly simple; the ape that humans didn’t evolve from could answer it.  How do you continue to receive almost half of the votes in national political campaigns while still running on platforms that would make any radical squeamish?  Pander to the largest demographic in the country: Christians.

I am not going to distinguish different Christian sects from one another, for they all have a simple proposition in common: Jesus Christ was the one true prophet of God’s chosen people.  They may have disagreements as to how the church is led, but that does not come into politics, provided the candidate doesn’t bring it up.

It is ingenious: ally with, and in some cases, control the Christians and you will be alright.  About 75 percent of Americans identify as Christian.  This overwhelming and troubling ideological base is the perfect outlet for radical alignment.  This is where the majority of the fleeting Republican vote must come from.

However, this axis of ideological evil seems to be married under a false presupposition; I guess it takes an outsider point out the adultery: Jesus Christ was a solid liberal, not a staunch conservative.

I know, this may come as a shock to many Christians, mostly because Christians don’t read the Bible, but Jesus overtly spoke out against many things that the Republican party stands for.  In addition, Jesus was silent about many of the things that Christian’s disapprove of now.

While hurling around too many Biblical references without proper context can be shaky for an argument, it is a necessity to understand the words that are placed in Jesus’s mouth by his authors:

About the poor:

Luke 6:20-21 Then he looked up at his disciples and said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

‘Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. ‘Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.

Help for the poor:

Luke 18:22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Healing the sick:

Matthew 4:23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

Jesus was a champion of the poor, sick, and hungry, he advocated pacifism (rather than arming yourself against your neighbor), and he helped liberated minorities and women from tyranny of powerful, money-hungry men.

Not enough?  How about some things that Jesus didn’t mention but are still vital to the Republican Party and the American Christian church’s abilities to oppress:

  • Homosexuality
  • Abortion
  • Marriage
  • Believe this way or be oppressed
  • It’s okay to dislike people that are different than you

If you don’t believe me, or think that I am misrepresenting your ‘savior,’ I challenge you to read the Bible.  Stop arguing with each other about what Jesus would do and read the book.  Yes, this presupposition is that most Christians do not actually read the Bible.  Many may challenge this statement but if it were false, than Christians would not be swayed by false statements and quotes that are used to entrap the mis/uninformed.

The paradox is that the man that 75 percent of Americans base their lives on is misrepresented and used to enslave millions of people that would otherwise be free of tyranny if they would just open the book they swear their own lives on.

Hyper-Conservatism and the Republican Party are ruining the voice of reasonable Conservatives and making it taboo to hold any traditional value.  Though it may seem to be a step towards utopia to see Conservatism abolished (at least my more liberal contemporaries would say so), it is dangerous.  There must be a balance between reasonable conservative values and liberal ideas to achieve progression as a nation.

The only reasonable course of action is the abolition of the modern Republican Party.  In its place, bring forth a reasonable conservative platform that leaves out the radical notions.  Let those that would have sought to oppress others who fall lower than those they once wished to oppress beg for forgiveness; and forgiveness will be granted.

Twitter: @dustin_mcmahon