Wanderwolf wrote:To start with, the ban is universal in nature; no religious material may be brought to school. It's been that way since I went through private school back in the 70's.
So oppression isn't oppression if it's done equally to all? Is my coloring book fine so long as it concerns the philosophy of Ayn Rand instead of religion?
That said, coloring is not a tenet of any known religion.
Hair-splitting. The observance of any given religion isn't limited to that religion's official "tenets". And barring material on basis of its religious content --- especially something as innocuous as a coloring book --- is a political decision. There's a dozen similar things you could ban with religious significance on this basis, such as T-shirts and music CDs.
Censorship, not religious persecution.
Censorship has often been defined as
persecution. It is the function of the act that determines the definition. Squelching a person's desire to engage in an activity that relates to their religion, so long as that activity is not inherently disruptive to school functions, is persecution. Unless the school is prepared to declare ALL coloring books, regardless of content, disruptive, then it is the religious content that is being targeted.
Beaten up for being a Christian? Not in my neck of the woods, nor any place I ever heard of. Tell me where you went to school
All over Southern California, in Los Angeles and San Diego Counties. I grew up in the group home system, so I moved around a lot. Many of these were run by fundamentalist Protestants, so I often wore a cross on my neck and was readily identifiable as a Christian. I was commonly derided with the nickname "Preacher" and repeatedly attacked. A common taunt was "why doesn't GOD save you, Preacher?!". It wasn't until I turned violent and began hammering my assailants with anything from garbage cans to bicycles and school desks that the beatings stopped...and then restarted when I was shuffled to a new home with a new bunch of ignorant thugs to bully me all over again.
I had about sixteen different schools that I attended at one time or another from age six to sixteen.
1) Where did I say otherwise?
2) So what? None of this began before the Mayor of San Francisco began abusing his authority to unilaterally make changes in state law without the input of the Legislature. Several judges followed suit, forcing several State Legislatures to clarify their positions to eliminate the "wiggle room" the judges had abused. Bush didn't create the controversy, as much as I disagree with his proposed solution.
It's been a constant state-by-state battle on the subject; have you been out of the country for a few years, or is there just more talk about it down here in Texas?
Hardly. I recall quite well, thank you, that in the space of a bare three months, I went from being considered "forward-thinking and considerate" by those gays I know to being "a Bible-thumping jerk" without once having changed my support for civil unions and opposition to gay marriage. They, not I, became more radical.
You do realize that there's little material difference between welfare for two individuals and welfare for one couple, right?
So if two Mexican individuals jump the border and apply for food stamps of a category intended for married American couples, we just go ahead and give them the stamps, right?
Sure, WIC's allowance for children is restricted to couples with actual children
Which means it's not one of the programs I'm referring to, since it obviously isn't going to be exploited by a non-childrearing couple, so that whole argument's a red herring.
A real issue, and one that's repeatedly brought up by gays, is the ability to have their SO sign a mortgage as a "spouse", which increases the likelihood of approval and lowers the interest rates. What they ignore, because they don't even think in these terms, is why
the mortgage company gives those terms to married couples.
It's because the actuarial tables they spend so much time and effort compiling show that married heterosexual couples are far more likely than single individuals living together to stay together in the same residence for an extended period. Married couples with children, or the intent to have same, are increasingly tied to their house and thus can be considered more dependable than singles to pay their mortgage on time and regularly.
Gay couplings, however, have a long track record as being fractious and tenuous. For every "front page" gay couple that's been together twenty years, there's a thousand that haven't been together twenty days. And getting married has only a slight effect on that issue, insofar as divorce proceedings force a couple to remain together for a few extra months until the paperwork is complete.
With gay couples, there is no "bonding" that hasn't already taken place. There will be no children to create ties to the neighborhood and house beyond those created by the couple itself. Long-term commitment becomes a serious issue when you're dealing with loan terms of twenty and thirty years.
All of which means gay marriage will force a shakeup in how credit is issued nationwide, and sexual preference WILL become a standard credit form issue. People who got married just to get a few extra points on their house deal will find they have the same door being slammed in their face as when they weren't married at all.
And the you-can-call-this-one-a-mile-away reaction? they're going to scream "oppression" and we're going to be right back to Square One.
3. Income tax. Yes, there's a break for married couples that you don't get otherwise. It's irrespective of children, however (they're dependents, listed separately), so has nothing to do with promoting a childbearing environment.
Sorry, wrong. Tax breaks for married couples are on record as being there to promote the establishment and maintenance of the nuclear family. Read just about any Congressional debate on record on the subject and you can't avoid that fact. Even if they have no children at the time taxes are filed, that can change during the fiscal year. And as you've already pointed out, actual children do indeed net a tax break on an individual basis. Plus, giving the couple itself an extra break acts as an incentive for a single parent to remarry.
Moreover, the biggest concern of the average gay man or lesbian woman is the first: Being allowed to visit your sick and/or dying partner in their hospital room like any "straight" spouse.
Then why is the single most common reason I
hear bandied about is that they want access to benefit programs? I've heard of hospital access as an issue, but not THE issue. And even if it were, friends AREN'T prohibited from seeing friends in hospital; the only regulation I know of is that family takes precedence
. So unless the family is mounting a 24/7 bedside vigil...mind you, I wouldn't put it past some families, just to keep the "gay friend" away...
If you have a problem with caring that much about someone...
Sorry, but I don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Hospital access is clearly a minority issue, not THE driving force behind gay marriage. And it's one that can be corrected by directly addressing it on its own merits, rather than trying to tack it on to larger concerns.
As a side note, allow me to state that I'm in favor of gay adoption rights.
So am I.
But because they're gay, they have to be ten times the parent of a straight couple.
When my mom and dad got divorced, mom won custody of all four children even though she had no job, no income, and no real means of raising us. Why? Because she was a woman, and California state policy of the time said that mothers were the best option for rearing children in single-parent homes. Also, my father had had occasional issues with drinking, so he was effectively blackballed from any consideration.
That's why I went into the group homes and got savaged by dozens of group home parents over the course of ten years...because my father wasn't considered "fit" to be a parent by the state. Don't tell me gays have it any harder: my mom ultimately had to sign a document surrendering custody to the state just to give my dad a chance
to pull me out of what we all knew to be an abusive system. If anything, gays have to jump through the same hoops as any straight single man trying to adopt, for the same reason: they can't provide a mother for the child.