Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hot Buttons are Hot...duh

So, there's some controversy a-brewing in the blogosphere/interweb between Perez and the First-Runner Up in the Miss America pageant, Carrie Prejean.

Lacy said it rather succinctly. If you expect others to hear your opinion, then you must be willing to allow the opinions of others to be expressed without fear of repercussion. Carrie Prejean stood up for what she believed in, and I applaud her. I disagree with her views, but she was a beautiful girl that answered a tough sociological question with poise and dignity. She did not engage in mud-slinging or dirty tactics. Perez went overboard, and now he's on every news show in the country.

Bullshit!

Without writing an entire blogpost on this subject, I'd like to talk about hot topics in general. The hot buttons that we must tread upon lightly lest we upset an entire segment of society are always going to be hot buttons. These topics typically involve, in some way, our life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness - or whatever you consider your inalienable rights. Torture is good/bad. One side says it protects our life so it's good, and the other says it harms others so it's bad - too extreme. Abortion is a selfish act so it's bad, but it allows a
woman to take charge of her body and her life so it's good.

The book Ishmael summed up these kinds of arguments best. The problem with certain arguments is that both sides have points based on their own beliefs. These arguments will continue into perpetuity, because there will never be one argument that comes along that is so great that it puts to rest one side or the other.

There will never be an argument concerning gay rights that is so great and profound that it puts to rest the debate forever. Some cling to religion as their reason, some hold to sociology, some say it's good, and some embarrassed clergy attempt to make the argument that the plumbing just doesn't fit. There are a plethora of arguments, and they're not all from religious, right-wing, extremist nut jobs like many would have us believe. The people that are against gay marriage are just people like any other. They have their reasons for and others have their reasons against, but a lot of it comes back to the idea of in-groups and out-groups. Since gay people make up a minority of the population, it is statistically impossible for every straight person to have a real, true, good experience dealing with gay folks. Thus the in-group - the majority of the population; i.e. heterosexuals - does not truly know nor understand the out-group - the gays. Psychologically speaking, a person in an in-group can never fully understand a person in an out-group until they integrate that out-group individual into the in-group.

I know we've all heard people say, "I'm against gay marriage, and I have gay friends. I don't have a problem with gay people." Ok... Really... This is where I wonder exactly how close these friends are. Many of the folks that have used this phrase with me, turns out, usually only work with their "gay friend" or are barely acquaintances. It is difficult to have an actual friendship with someone, to truly want their best interests, and believe fully that they should have less rights than you do. I cannot fathom this possibility.

I digress. The issue is hot buttons. They're always going to be hot, because there will never be an argument so wonderfully insightful that it puts the issue to bed. I got so exhausted towards the end of the 2-year political cock fight. No matter when you turned on the tv or radio, or what station it was tuned to, you could not get away from some pointy-talking-head yapping on about how the other candidate was the antichrist, and they could prove it to you. I realize this kind of thing makes good television, but I cannot stand it. Sure, it's fun to listen to and get hyped up about, but after 2 years? Really? It gets old. Nobody is going to change my opinion by telling me I'm stupid for believing the way I do, and that's the way many of these arguments end up: name-calling and finger-pointing. I would love to see a day where these hot buttons were just kept to a minimum. I realize we cannot get rid of them, but I'd like it if they were drowned out among the voices of current, important topics. Let's debate something that is not endless, that has a more attainable answer.

That being said, yesterday was Earth Day! I watered my plants and walked my dog in the sunshine. I am told this is good enough. I hope so... Wouldn't want to piss off the Earth Day Hippy In Charge.

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

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