An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Posts tagged ‘Shame’

North Carolina, Bigotry and America’s Shame

There has been a new Amendment that has been passed to North Carolina’s state constitution.  It hasn’t done much now, but it could potentially do some absolutely horrible things later.  It isn’t so absolutely huge that it will change the fabric of the world forever, but what it is is a mark upon this country.  It is a mark that will forever scar this nation, and while it doesn’t, it should make not just the people who were for it, but also those who are against it hang their heads in shame.  They should be ashamed.  All over America, we should look in the mirror and realize that everything wrong with this country is our fault.

For the two people who don’t know, there has been an amendment to the state constitution of North Carolina.  It puts a ban on gay marriage.  Now, gay marriage already wasn’t legal in NC, but they wanted to etch it into law that it is illegal.  However, the language of this amendment, Amendment 1, is so vague, that the consequences of it could extend to domestic partnerships and civil unions.  A child born to unmarried parents may not be elligible for health insurance.  Couples living together but not married may not be able to get domestic violence protections.

There was a photo of the reaction to this Amendment passing, which I think sums up everything about this entire situation.

This kind of thing should make me angry.  On some level, it does.  But rather than feel anger, this whole affair has transcended that.  This whole miserable affair, along with one that has happened here in Alaska regarding equal rights for sexual orientation (Proposition 5 here in Anchorage) has got me to feel something beyond anger.  It goes beyond the primal urges to be filled with rage and pain.  Instead, I am filled with something new – shame.

Not shame for the people who were trying to hold up this amendment.  Not shame for the people who fought against it, because they don’t deserve that.  No, I feel shame for this entire country.  America is a nation which openly advertises its bigotry.  Billboards all across America show messages of hate and intolerance, saying that if you don’t believe as the people who put the billboard up, you will burn forever in Hell.  If you are gay, God hates you.  These messages are on church signs and billboards, telling anybody who passes by that hate is the key thing that resides in the walls of the religious insitutions which propogate that worldview.

Then there is shame for the absolute horribleness of our species.  We are given, time and time again, a chance to move forward as a culture.  To embrace a better state of being and to make life better for everybody.   But you have people like Tami Fitzgerald saying stuff like this –

Marriage is between one man and one woman…you don’t rewrite the nature of God’s design based on the demands of a group of adults.

Faith, the single most destructive element of society today.  Where once it was able to create society around itself, today it does nothing but bring progess to a halt, and all because somebody believes that this kind of thinking is correct.  There was a rather poignant quote floating around a Facebook meme.  It read –

If you have to make a law that hurts a number of people, just to prove your morals or faith, then you have no true morals or faith to prove.

How elegantly put.  How absolutely true.  These people are given the chance to embrace progess, and they instead choose slavery.  To be slaves to their ideals, and to never, ever listen to anybody who has a different point of view.  They want to subjugate to the views that they have.  Though never themselves.  They never want to give up on their own.  They never want to embrace the views of their savior and to help all people, regardless of whether you like them or not.

Instead, they will deny those people.  They will wear their bigotry on their sleeve, and sing it to the hills.  Meanwhile, the real masters of this country, the corporations, Washington, and the banks are laughing.  They are laughing because while people are focusing on these worthless issues, they know that all it takes is to play to people’s bigotry and you will get to see them turn on one-another like dogs.  That is what these people are, in every sense of the word – dogs.  And when their masters calls, they bark.  Actually, scratch that.  Even dogs give more love than these people.

America, we should be ashamed, because this is our fault.  We let these people call the shots.  We let them have their way, and every time that somebody tries to bring up an agenda against it, they are the bad guy.  “Only bad guys have agendas!” they say.  Yeah, that’s absolutely right.  The bad guys are the only ones with an agenda, because the good guys are too cowardly to fight.

Don’t feel angry because of what has happened.  Feel ashamed.  Totally and utterly ashamed.  Not for North Carolina, but for America, because while we wear our bigotry, the rest of the world looks at us and feel disgusting for having to know us.

Is it any wonder why?

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