Tuesday, December 11, 2012
My (not so) Clever Retort to a Supreme Court Judge
article that started it all
It might be a tad presumptuous to say that I'm opening a can of worms. That infers that my written words make anyone think about anything. When you live most of your life as the clown, you can't really expect folks to give take much notice when you're not being a clown. Let's just say that I find when my brain is expending great energy wrestling with anything more serious than chicken wings, beer and football I find it necessary to take it out for a jog so that it will settle down and let me sleep.
In my seventh grade Social Studies class at Rockbridge Elementary School in Stone Mountain, Mrs. Crowe told us that "freedom means the opportunity to do anything you want...as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else." It's an elementary definition of freedom and one that doesn't come near approaching all the implications of what it means to be free. But it might be one that comes close to addressing Judge Antonin Scalia's question "If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against other things?" This was in response to a question from a gay student on why the judge equates laws banning sodomy with laws against murder. I'm not real bright and I may be reading this wrong (which I often do in matters of "legalese." The service contract I sign when getting an oil change baffles the hell out of me.) But a discussion of governing sodomy and a discussion on governing murder are discussions that go back to the "as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else" clause of the freedom definition. One is a matter of how you live your life...one is a matter of someone making a decision to end my life. What am I missing? We NEED legislation to deter someone from putting a piece of lead behind my ear. But do we need legislation to legislate sexual preferences? The judge can have his own moral feelings regarding homosexuality but just don't bring them to work please. (and I'm not even getting into a discussion of how short-sighted it is that someone in 2012 still feels the word "sodomy" is synonymous with homosexuality..puhleeeeeeeeeze.)
Perhaps it was when Farrah Fawcett ran across that television screen with a gun in her hand chasing down bad guys with lots of blonde hair and lots of jiggling. Maybe that's when I realized that I was a flaming heterosexual and really appreciated the femine form (especially if they were carrying a gun and yelling "FREEZE!" to a dastardly no-gooder.) Maybe before that - maybe when Elizabeth Montgomery crinkled up that cute little nose to throw a spell down on someone. Maybe then I realized that I really, really liked girls! And I COULD like them without having to keep thoughts of pretty hair and feminine jiggling to myself. I didn't have to wander through my formative years acting like something I wasn't, mostly in attempt to avoid the brutality that scorn from other children can bring. I don't envy someone that lived through that type of youthful existence. Surely now that we're adults we can be who we are and celebrate personal freedom without the scorn of others. Judge Scalia says "no...you need ME and others like me to make sure we tell that blind chick wearing the blindfold and holding the scales that you live a life that's just not normal!!"
I generally detest someone who takes up causes that have absolutely no bearing on them. I usually let folks fight their own fights. But there's some folks on this earth that I care about who have to fight this fight. I might even know others who - still in adulthood - are living something they aren't to avoid blatent discrimination. And, who knows, one day this could be MY fight. One day, someone could decide that prohibition was a good idea and base it solely on their own moral principles. Suddenly, my dry martini on the patio makes me a filthy sinner. Books have been burned and music has been banned before. I think we might be kidding ourselves if we think there's not a contingent of very powerful folks who think God has given them dominion over what I do, say and think. And I KNOW that somewhere, somebody is reading this and I've just been given some label that has to do with bleeding hearts. They would, however, be surprised to hear how conservative my rants on other issues might sound. I'm all over the map, I know. But I thought that's what being American afforded me - the opportunity to be a collage.
(damn...my dearly departed mother would say I've quit preaching and gone to meddlin' )