The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The furor regarding Miss California

Carrie Prejean, who holds the title of Miss California, made some comments on the subject of gay marriage that have led to quite a controversy. Now that she is opposed to gay marriage may be a fact, but the important facts are:
  • She is a beauty contest winner, not a politician who may be running the country,
  • She is an American citizen, with First Amendment rights, and
  • She is clearly a homophobic bigot.

Nobody need apologize for calling Carrie Prejean a bigot. She has clearly expressed herself, and demonstrated this. But calls for her to give up her Miss California title, which I saw after she had made the comments, are clearly unjustified. To my knowledge, the only qualifications for the title she holds are beauty and perhaps some entertainment-related talent. That she is a bigot doesn't disqualify her.

On the other hand, this doesn't make her a great person. She is (I hope you do not mind my repetition of these words) a homophobic bigot, and she deserves criticism over this. Anyone criticizing her has, just as much as she does, a First Amendment right to express himself.

This blog has not advocated gay marriage, and in fact I believe that at present a civil-union option is probably the best idea, but not because I oppose the idea of gay marriage. I merely think that the rights and privileges of a married couple are far more important than the actual word you use. And it is going to be easier to get civil unions in a lot of states than marriage by that name. If there are people who (for Biblical or other religious-based reasons) cannot support gay marriage but will accept civil unions, it's better to have them on your side than opposed to what you're trying to do. So this is my reason, and certainly the actual institution of marriage in states from Maine to Iowa gets no opposition from me; if you have the votes to get marriage legalized in your state, go for it. But a lot of effort was spent getting marriage in Vermont, which already had civil unions, and I think it would have been used to better effect getting civil unions in states that had no recognition of gay unions at all.

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