The Substrate Of My Beliefs

I like to think that most of my decisions in politics and life are informed by defensible positions and beliefs.

I believe that LGBTQ people are, first and foremost, well…people. I believe that the love between two people is fundamentally no different, regardless of the sexual organs and gender expression. I’m not always great with using the right words, but I also grew up when referring to friends as “gay” as a term of endearment was commonplace. I still try to get things right, most of the time.
I believe that there is literally mountains of scientific and sociological data supporting the argument that gender is a sociological construct that varies dramatically from culture to culture and that the biological/chromosomal nature of “sex” is nowhere near the binary thing a lot of people cling to out of stubborn resistance to waking up and embracing new knowledge that transforms our earlier assumptions. I like the use of binary in those terms, though…because 1 and 0 could be seen as phallic and vaginal, respectively.
I believe that Black People and other minority groups are arrested, incarcerated, and killed at an improportionate rate because of a series of systems that are geared for inequity and inequality. In other words, I do believe that systemic racism is a very real, life threatening issue in America.
I believe that women are no less capable and valuable within our society, and that there are numerous hurdles and double-standards in place that make things more challenging for women than for men in almost every arena that matters.
I disagree with regime-changing conflicts that aren’t specifically and intentionally for the purpose of mitigating actual human suffering and torture.
I believe that we already spend altogether too much on military and defense, and that we could easily scale things back and do a better job of repairing failing infrastructure at home.
I believe that, aside from the indigenous people, every single person here in America is here because of immigration over less than a thousand years…and that we don’t get to simply say, “no more immigrants,” because they aren’t the right color of skin or believers in the right form of superstition. Most of our ancestors came here with little to nothing, but the dream of a different life. There have always been a small number of bad people who slip through, but the majority of immigrants all along have simply been people who want better for themselves and their loved ones.

I have plenty of other beliefs that are more debatable and more a matter of my personal outlook on things…but the ones I laid out here are the core of what I base my judgments upon.

As to my less concrete beliefs and influencing perspectives:

My views on climate change (I do believe we have had a negative impact that we can–and should–work to remedy) are open to disagreement. I’m no fucking climate scientist, but I’m inclined to trust those who are.

My pro-choice perspective is one based on the fact that it is not up to me to impose my own morality onto others or to have them impose their morality onto me. Additionally, the thought experiment is a solid one. If a fertility clinic were about to explode and I could either save a five-year-old child or a tank containing hundreds of viable, frozen, embryos…I would choose the child 10 times out of 10…unless they were particularly annoying. That, to me, showcases a very real distinction between which is a child and which is not.

I believe healthcare is a right and that no one should go bankrupt or have their lives destroyed because of the skyrocketing costs of healthcare in America.

That list could go on and on…but I would change those assumptions if I were supplied with logically consistent, rational, and well-informed arguments to the contrary.
The ones in the main post…those aren’t going to be changing.


Discussion Regarding Indiana

The following conversation took place between myself and a couple of my friends between April 2nd and 3rd of 2015, initially started because one of the friends in question (Friend #1 for the sake of anonymity) decided, not ironically, to share the statement, “Funny how you never hear about leftists forcing a Muslim to bake a cake.”

I am not a fan of the law in Indiana or similar laws in other states. Bigotry masquerading behind religious freedom is a sham of the worst kind. Being the largest minority in the United States by a wide margin, Christians are not being oppressed or having their liberties infringed upon, no matter how much the most vocal jackasses within the ranks would like to have us all believe otherwise. These laws only serve to shelter them from the consequences of bigotry and ignorance so that they can behave towards homosexuals the same way that these same sorts of people used to behave towards African Americans until that civil rights movement actually made enough headway to put that sort of segregationist bullshit to an end, or something of an end, since institutional racism is still a pretty major problem all over America.

I’m sharing this conversation because I feel that it helps to show precisely how much of an uphill battle there is in reaching a point where homosexuals have the same rights and standing in society as heterosexuals do.

I have taken the liberty of correcting as many spelling and grammar errors as I can pick up on a cursory inspection, because it is not my goal to make anyone look stupid due to faults like that in the conversation. It’s not the purpose of this post to make anyone look stupid because of grammatical or spelling errors. The focus should be on the things that are being said and the thoughts that inform those words, not flaws in the communication itself. This is the conversation that transpired:

Friend #2: I would never buy a cake from a Muslim. They don’t believe in sugar. I won’t ever purchase anything in Indiana. Because I hate fake ass Christians.

Friend #1: The Indiana thing has little to do with Christians. It does however have everything to do with homosexuals shoving their agenda down you’re throat whether you like it or not.

Friend #2: Seems like the opposite.

Me: I’m with Friend #2 on this; this Indiana situation is definitely quite the opposite of homosexuals shoving an agenda down anyone’s throat.

Friend #1: Okay then I can have my opinion that my religious rites should be protected and I can think homosexuality is a sickness and in no way okay???

Me: You are free to think that all you like…but people being gay doesn’t infringe upon your freedom to believe whatever you want. Similarly, gays being able to get married doesn’t infringe upon your religious beliefs or practices.

But you sure as hell support infringing on their rights to be who they are…and not based on something they choose to believe or practice, but something they are. Literally no different than people using religious beliefs to hold African Americans back from the same rights that gay people are trying to receive now.

What you have expressed support for, multiple times, are quite literally the equivalent of Jim Crow laws, just applied to homosexuals rather than African Americans.

How does it feel to be in the same camp as George Wallace? I keep waiting for you to suggest that homosexuals are “separate but equal.”

Friend #2: Friend #1. I’ve known you since before I had pubes. I really find it hard to believe that you feel this way. DUDE. These people are the enemy. Now just as much as when you were with us. If you are trying to save your soul. You are doing the opposite. If you really feel this way I love and support your decision, but DUDE!!!!!!!

Friend #1: Quite the opposite Friend #2. Nik not once have I ever said a homosexual can’t be a homosexual. But they do not equate with a man and women in marriage. Adoption and insemination do not equal natural childbirth. There are two kinds of people on this planet men and women that’s it. It is a sickness. Yes they are telling me I cannot believe this. Yes they do have an agenda yes it is sick and warped beyond what you think. Yes you are not awake to it. Next you will be telling me I am a bigot because pedophilia is natural. No I am not as smart as you but I am smart enough to se through this BS. A man has a penis a woman has a vagina. End of story. Grow out of fantasyland already.

Friend #2: Whoa dude. Don’t even try to put that pedophilia shit in my mouth. I NEVER said that was cool. And I never will. WTF dude?!

Bullshit you aren’t as smart as me. ***** said you were smarter.

Me: Pedophilia is actually natural, in that it isn’t something anyone chooses for themselves. Decades of psychological study has very clearly shown that people who are pedophiles are not choosing to be attracted to exclusively or almost exclusively children. None of us, not even you or I, have control over what we desire and what we are attracted to. You seem to be mistaking natural for acceptable. Murder over territory and resources is natural too, animals of almost every variety do that…but for us to commit murder is not acceptable, regardless of how natural it actually is.

Another thing…regarding your perspective on adoption/insemination…does that same thought process apply where one or both parties in a heterosexual relationship are unable to conceive naturally? Is a child born of artificial means somehow less of a child in your eyes and the family somehow less of a family? If that holds true for homosexuals then it would just as validly apply to heterosexual relationships…being an unnatural means to bring about a child.

Friend #2: Whatever… Still not cool… Children aren’t done growing yet. That’s why they aren’t legally allowed to give consent. We don’t live in the middle ages. A 12 year old doesn’t need a husband to survive. In this time it is a disease.

Friend #1: Don’t try to shove a BS lie like homosexuality down my mouth either. And ***** never would say that. LOL!!! Love that lady!!!

Friend #2: No. You were supposed to be the trophy success story from that group. That program still turned into the RC academy system. I might have been a serial killer without her

Me: Hell yes it is a disease, pedophilia…not homosexuality. Pedophilia is wrong because it doesn’t involve two consenting, equal partners. For Friend #1 to draw a correlation between homosexuality and pedophilia is a desperate attempt to create a false equivalency.

Friend #1: You have no control over what you’re attracted to????? What a sheepish copout. Dude really maybe I am smarter then you?

Me: What is this homosexual lie that you are talking about in the first place? The only gay agenda out there is for them to be treated like equal participants in our culture and society, to not have rights restricted based on religious bigotry that isn’t relevant in the first place. Marriage is not a religious institution unless you are a practitioner of a particular religion and get married within that religion. Marriage is a legal and social contract, that is the part that carries over from religion to religion or to the non-religious.

Friend #1: You can be attracted to sheep and just not fuck them. I am attracted to money yet I have never had any and I still haven’t robbed a liquor store.

Me: Yeah, because equating sheep with money and someone of the same sex is perfectly legitimate.

Friend #2: I played truth or dare once and had to French kiss a dude. If that is the way a gay dude feels when he tries to kiss a girl…………… #notachoice

Fucking gross. Never been so grossed out in my life. Still can’t get the whiskers out of my head

Eeeeeew gooosebumps. Fucking gross.

Friend #1: You’re mistaking humans for animals bro.

Me: I am not mistaking humans for animals…I am not the one who suggested that being attracted to a sheep is in any way similar to being attracted to a person of the same sex.

Friend #1: You suggested that murder us just as natural for humans as it is for animals. Even the Vikings eventually figured out they were human.

Me: What feels natural to a homosexual is to be with someone of the same sex just like it feels natural for you and I, and Friend #2 as well, being with a woman.

Friend #1, you and I, are just like anyone else…we don’t choose whom we are attracted to. There is no conscious process involved in attraction and desire. You look across a room and one person appeals to you where another does not, that isn’t because you picked that one…they are the one you desire.

Friend #1: You’re saying that you cannot control what you’re attracted to. Such BS

Me: I am saying that none of us choose who/what we find attractive…because it is true. No amount of trying to convince myself that I should find Kim Kardashian attractive has made her even remotely attractive to me, though I know that she is considered quite attractive to clearly most people. Just like how the three of us participating in this conversation could walk into a bar and be drawn to entirely different women, to the point where we wouldn’t understand why the other two were attracted to the other women instead of the one that we are. We don’t choose that. No one does. At no point in my life did I decide that this or that would attract me…at best, I began to recognize the trends so that I had a better understanding of what was in common between the women I find attractive.

We learn what we like and what we find most attractive in potential partners, but at no point in your life did you decide what those things would be. They just happened to be what you did find attractive. Some guys like blondes or redheads and just don’t find other hair colors attractive, some guys like tan girls or pale girls, some guys like large breasts and others like small…at no point did any of them make a conscious decision that those were the things they wanted.

Friend #2: IDK about all that. I am saying that I couldn’t be gay and enjoy it for all the money in the world.

Friend #1: Nik I love you just as much as I love my lost homosexual brothers and sisters man. Does not mean it’s okay.

Me: And I love you too, Friend #1…hell, there’s a reason we are still friends even when we clearly are never going to see eye to eye on some serious issues.
I wish you could wrap your head around the fact that being gay is no more of a choice than being a boy or a girl or being a certain skin tone or being a certain height. They aren’t lost. They are just not like you or I…that doesn’t make them bad or wrong or unnatural. The exact same type of arguments were used to dehumanize African Americans less than a century ago, that they were unnatural and somehow less than the whites…and interracial marriage was condemned for the same reasoning that you and others are expressing where gay marriage is concerned. It doesn’t impact you if they are allowed to marry; no one is being forced to perform gay marriage ceremonies if it is against their religious/moral code.

Friend #2: And if a gay dude gets as grossed out when he kisses a girl as I do when I kiss a dude then hell no it’s not a choice. I could never choose to be attracted to men.

But when you are playing truth or dare and there are only 2 dudes there…………… you do the fucking dare.

Friend #1: They don’t want to get married that’s a copout as well I am privy to their lies. They feel it is unnatural for one person to be with one person for life I know the lie well. Also I do not hate them or want any harm. But it is a sickness that’s no lie. Just like liberalism is.

Me: There are plenty of heterosexuals who feel it is unnatural to be with one person for life…in fact, I am almost willing to bet that the proportions are higher in heterosexuals than homosexuals where that is concerned.
You talk like there is some homosexual conspiracy, and there isn’t. They are human beings, just like the rest of us…and there will be those within the homosexual community who fall at different points in the spectrum regarding thoughts on marriage just like with heterosexuals.
But damn right the ones who don’t ever want to get married still want that right to not be infringed. I don’t ever want to be part of a gay marriage myself, but I think the right for them to be married should not be infringed.

Friend #2: I want to be with one person until I die……………….. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. Am I going to hell because they always left? Have you even considered all the gray area?

Friend #1: There is no doubt there is a homosexual conspiracy. No doubt about it. Most people don’t know they are a part of it but yes there are certain organizations that have perpetrated it and set it into play over the years. To deny that is in fact the real conspiracy.

Me: I sincerely have no response to that.

Friend #1: Friend #2 what??? No man you’re going to hell because you don’t believe that’s the only reason you would go to hell. I am not saying you don’t believe, that’s between you and God. No one person can be the reason you would go to hell but only one person can save you from going to hell.

That’s fine it’s okay to think you’re above it but you’re not.

NAMBLA … Harvey Milk was in NAMBLA and he was a pedo. As well as many other such organizations.

I mean are you that inept to think that all movements are not started they just happen for no reason out of the blue. Really you cannot be that ignorant.

Third Participant In Conversation: Oh… It honestly took me a bit to get it (I haven’t kept up on the news much) No one should have to bake a cake for any one they don’t want to, ever!

Friend #1: Agreed

Friend #2: I agree with that statement. We are all free to do whatever we want. I have freedom of speech also. I’m not gonna come up to your family in public and call your grandmother a smelly old cunt though. I wouldn’t want to deal with the consequences. Just like if let’s say……… I owned a bakery………Long story short. You ARE free to do anything. As long as you are prepared for the consequences.

I think we should leave the North American Marlon Brando Look Alikes out of this. What have they ever done to hurt anyone?

Is NAMBLA really real though?! The chomos?

I’m just gonna leave this here………. Friend #1 if you think this is part of the homosexual agenda you have been mislead……… I know more than one homosexual and not one supports pedophilia.

Harvey Milk had a consensual relationship with a 16 year old. In SD I can do that right now. There is no mention of him being a NAMBLA member or of him supporting NAMBLA.

Friend #1: The boy was 11 and it was in NY. Not sure you’ll ever understand. That’s okay because when they walk that elephant out of the closest I’m sure you’ll go right with it. I will be considered more of a bigot. I am okay with that. It’s my choice I will live with the consequences. Problem is that I have to live with the consequences of the faggotry and the abortion and all you’re bad choices as well.

Friend #2: You could go be a Muslim. They kill homosexuals and abortion is illegal.

I can’t find anything about him being with an 11 old either. Not even on all the right wing hate monger sites.

Me: Yeah, I looked into that too. Even on the sites that are dedicated to drawing a correlation between Milk and NAMBLA the only “underage” relationship regarding Milk is with the 16 year old.
Also, something that Friend #1 seems to be overlooking is that every gay and lesbian rights organization had cut even the loosest ties with NAMBLA more than 20 years ago…most of them had done as much more than 30 years ago.

And 16 is the legal age of consent in even South Dakota…and it wasn’t long ago that it was low as 14 in plenty of red states too.

Friend #1: The fact is that you have bought into the lie that gay rights and civil rights are one and the same. When they couldn’t be further apart.

Me: People quite literally said the same thing barely more than half a century ago, but with “negro” in place of “gay.” How is it that you don’t recognize that? Pull up some old interviews with George Wallace and others from the 1940s through 1960s…and you will see them using pretty much the same statements and arguments you do, just where African Americans were concerned instead of homosexuals.

The rights of any group of persons in America or elsewhere in the world is a civil rights issue…first and foremost. That is the definition of civil rights.

Friend #1: Here is what I have to say about that; not being able to marry and not being able to go to school, go to work, sit on the front of the bus, get hired for a job, enter a restaurant, or drink out of a drinking fountain is way different. You can’t deny it.

Me: If anyone here is buying into lies it would be the one who seems to be proposing some widespread, insidious conspiracy that involves groups of people that are absolutely not connected with each other, such as NAMBLA and any other gay rights organization. Besides, I don’t see you lumping all of us heterosexuals in with the men who take advantage of young girls (or the older women who take advantage of boys)…which, I feel I need to add, is far more common in the heterosexual community than in the homosexual one.

Yes, and the law that you were originally posting about is promoting a backward step towards exactly that sort of segregation relating to homosexuals. Gays can’t eat here, can’t shop here…and is it really such a stretch to feel that could extend to saying that they can’t attend this school or that, that they need a different mode of public transportation because this bus company or cab company does not serve homosexuals?

Take a moment, don’t just offer up a knee-jerk response…seriously take a second, maybe read a few articles that aren’t on some hate mongering anti-gay agenda site…and really think about what Friend #2 and I have been saying here. Don’t shut off your brain and spit out a preprogrammed response…actually listen to what is being said and compare it to what you are being fed full of. When has a single conspiracy theory ever been true? Men did land on the moon, numerous times…9/11 was not a controlled demolition…and there is no pederast-controlled conspiracy to do whatever the hell it is you seem to think the outcome of gay rights might be.

A Little Something To Think About

The current political climate is a horrifying thing for anyone who is capable of rational thought, neither of the major political parties inspire much faith or hope in the nation we live in today or for the future that expands before us.

What scares me most about the Republican Party as it exists today is the trend towards devolution that is so seemingly pervasive. The rhetoric that is spewed is something that should make us all laugh at the sheer ludicrous nature of it; and it might if it weren’t so truly terrifying, and made all the more terrifying by virtue of the fact that so many people are altogether too willing to accept it as fact instead of the theatrical nonsense that rhetoric (by nature) always is.

Beyond the rhetoric, though, is the subtext, and that is what is most mortifying. Racism, homophobia, and sexism abound in ways that should be appalling to everyone, not just those who are of the opposition. I used to be proud to say that I am a Conservative (capital letter intended), but there is nothing that I want more these days than to sever all ties with that hate and fear mongering culture that has devoured and transformed what was once the Republican Party.

I’ve seen Republicans point fingers at men like Robert Byrd and George Wallace as examples of the racism that was once associated with the Democratic Party, and they aren’t wrong in doing so. There is ample evidence of racism and sexism within the Democratic Party during the civil rights movement. They, of course, choose to ignore men like Jesse Helms who may have started out as a Democrat but was happily accepted into the Republican Party during the 1970’s, the party where he spent the majority of his political career. As appalling as I find any of those particular views, I also recognize that, at the time, they were pretty damn common. It was a different nation, and a different world, 40 years and more ago. That doesn’t make it acceptable by any stretch of the imagination, but it does make it a bit easier to understand. A few bad apples (or even a few dozen) decades ago doesn’t spoil the bunch today.

The Republican Party lost my support and my votes in any instance where it is pandering to the lowest common denominator like the tea party and fanatical religious right, and I’ve been hard pressed to discover any place where that is not the case. It’s fucked up that, as my Republican friends gleefully point out, during the civil rights movement it was the Democrats who were notably racist and sexist, but are now championing the rights of homosexuals and women…how times have changed. Both parties have changed since then, but only one of them seems to be changing in a positive manner anymore. America, as a whole, has been circling the drain for a good, long while, I have no doubt about that. But the GOP deciding to turn their back on progress and reality by stupidly picking up the banner dropped by men like Robert Byrd and George Wallace might be a sign that they will reach the drain ahead of the rest of us.

I’m not a huge fan of the Democratic Party, I disagree with a lot of the policies that are promoted by the party leadership, but at least they want people to be treated like people. There isn’t a widespread assumption within the Democratic Party that God has delineated certain people and lifestyles as being subhuman, and that alone is enough cause for me to throw my lot in with them in the coming election, and it should be enough for you too.

The only valid issue I’ve ever witnessed any of my Republican friends complaining about with respect to the Democrats was their short-sighted, knee jerk stance on gun control. It’s exceedingly rare that the gun violence which perpetuates their stance is perpetrated by legally obtained firearms, thus tighter restrictions are of little to no value. However, the insipid Second Amendment argument does not make their case at all. Seeing as how none of these mouth breathing, brainwashed jackasses are members of a “well regulated militia,” the right to bear arms does not apply to them. The wording was very clear in our Constitution, and it did not even ambiguously indicate that it was meant to be interpreted as a right for any Tom, Dick, and Harry to purchase and bear arms. What scares me, and makes me desire stricter laws where firearms are concerned, are these religious nut, tea party idiots having guns. I wouldn’t place a firearm in the hands of a severely mentally challenged child, and the same basic reasoning applies here.

A good friend of mine optimistically believes that all of this appalling shit (from racism to fanatical Christianity) will be ground under the feet of reason and science within the next 50 years. “Don’t hold your breath there,” is what I have to say in response. He has far more faith in human nature than I do. You can force feed facts and reality down people’s throats and it doesn’t hold a candle to feeling like they are special and that every action that they commit, no matter how heinous, is ultimately forgiven by the only judge that matters even if no other human being would ever provide said forgiveness.

The reality that we are all mortal, insignificant creatures who will be utterly scoured from the face of the universe in another couple of billion years when the atmosphere and everything else is burned away simply lacks the appeal of being eternally loved, special little beings for whom the whole universe was assembled. There’s simply no way to compete with that. We’re arrogant little fuckers, human beings, and when it comes to a choice between being special or being little more than a dust mote, most of us are going to choose the former.

I made my choice.