Consenting Manufacture

Dear Citizens of the Earth

If you think about it – it is clear to all of us that anyone who calls for the slaughter of any group of people because of their religion or ethnicity – and that this is the definition of genocide.

Then why are Christian religious leaders at all being tolerated within America for calling for the starvation or fencing in – aka concentration camps – of gays and lesbians?

It is clearly a mental health issue that people become convinced that they are a moral authority with the right to demand executions of other people or groups of people.

That these Death Mongerers and Haters are in positions of authority – not just in small churches but also mega-churches – because the scare mongering about gays and lesbians being responsible for the heterosexual divorce rates, or crime or 9/11 or whatever else they are trying to blame on gays and lesbians.

I mean, that’s what Germany did to pass all the laws before World War 2.0 against the Jews.

They banned marriage to Jews, preventing Jews from operating their businesses and made them identify themselves and be registered.

The idea that a government would execute citizens for belonging to groups – this is what America was founded to stand against.

Remember?

Give us your tired huddled masses yearning to be free.

America was founded on the idea that the individual had the choice to determine their own live -free of government and religion.

That the individual was and IS the SOCIAL UNIT OF CONSEQUENCE.

with the FREEDOM and the LIBERTY to PURSUIT HAPPINESS

and that’s what pursuing happiness is.

The freedom to take liberties with what – and who – makes you happy.

Abortion

Over on one of my fave blogs, Misplaced Grace, George has provided some interesting thoughts on the abortion choice public debate: Part 1 and Part 2.

What I enjoy most about George W’s posts is that he is emerging with a new abortion position, pro-choice with moral limits – which is a refreshing change from absolute no to choice. My own position is total choice without restriction and without interference.

I think it’s appalling that there is even a public debate – this is not anything that is anyone’s business other than the people who are directly involved.

At a minimum, the pregnant woman and at most, her and the father – unless she’s a minor, in which case, her parents get added to the mix.

There is simply no one else who as the authority – legally or morally speaking – who should have any say and especially not decision capability.

In a society where the individual is the social unit of consequence – as opposed to cultures where it is the family or tribal unit – there is simply no way for an unconnected person to make such personal sovereignty decisions for other people – and this should not remotely be tolerated – no matter which side of the debate

Wait, there is no one demanding abortions be had so the debate isn’t a zero sum either side – it is between no and your choice – there is no strictly yes side to the arguments.

So, really, it’s the people who would deny the option are the ones who need the smack down to shut up and realize that they can choose for themselves and influence those they are connected to – but they have no place deciding what strangers and people who do not take their views into account get to do.

Legally speaking, the unborn are not persons under the law and are not protected under the law – to do so puts the unborn’s “rights” in direct conflict with the woman/mother’s rights – and since she is the one to make The Decision, to grant legal rights to the unborn is to put the mother in the conflict of interest position of having her rights clash with the rights of the unborn for whom she is the guardian.

Legalized abortion is the mechanism to avoid pitting those rights against each other as the lesser of the evils and harms of illegal abortion. The legal, safe and rare argument.

It comes down to are you prepared to tell a woman that she can’t have an abortion because she is not the legal guardian of her unborn offspring?

If her rights in that arena are removed, then the case can be made to remove more and more rights; and, as a woman who lost all her civil rights when she came out as a lesbian in 1992 and did not have them all restored back to her until 2003, that’s a dangerous precedent to head down.

In Canada, gender equality is the supreme right above all other charter rights – being treated equally under the law means that no one else is entitled to limit your access to law – meaning that our own personal sovereignty is the biggest right.

Our own personal sovereignty does not include forcing our beliefs and opinions onto other people or into law. Other people get to determine for themselves at the age of majority.

Aside: Curious that expression – age of majority – is that intended to be a particular age as defined in law or the age at which one finally becomes a member of the majority of society? In which case, in a sense, members of minority groups would never reach it, until their group(s) were no longer minorities – or perhaps there’s degrees of majority – so you could be in the majority on some matters but not others.

The legal guarantee of freedom of religion, beliefs, opinions and creeds does not entitle the holder to impose those beliefs on others or into law – especially when they are at odds with the foundational documents – such as a bill of rights or charter of rights.

In many ways, I expect that it is religion that is still  why in the US, gender equality or the Equal Rights Amendment remains unratified since, religion is a major driver of inequality between the genders – and having lost the major battle of denying women the ability to vote and limiting their direct participation in society by allowing women only the access determined by fathers and male spouses – even into the 1970’s, women were restricted in clothing options (dresses and skits, no pants at school) that are of little significant difference in the current Burka Debate going on in Western countries, women weren’t able to obtain bank loans without a male co-signer and the glass ceiling is still a reality in many industries.

Abortion is just a last gasp effort to continue to assert religious – read: male – dominance over women’s bodies and usurp who has control. Moreover, the other driving of the anti-abortion debate is racism – some white people are just afraid of being out-bred by non-whites – if you push many anti-abortionists, you discover that they object more to women from their own ethnic background having abortions than other women….

It’s not really enough to understand the debate, but to understand what’s driving the debate and judge the arguments from there – and the reasons for opposing abortion stem primarily from usurping women’s personal sovereignty and controlling their lives (subtext: religion), and reinforced by religious thinking which is purity as expressed by xenophobia/racism and terror of contagion – which explains resistance to interracial and mixed faith relationships/marriage.

Once you understand the motives, it becomes easier to dismiss the arguments, which are really just justifications for the motives and are based in cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias and magical thinking.

Our Brain Reward System

Our brains are working against our ability to make and carry out good choices.

It turns out that when people in a restaurant are offered a choice of salad or fries, merely considering salad as an option causes our brains to release the reward chemicals and sensations as it would if we actually selected the salad.

So, considering a good choice acts as permission to make the bad choice.

We don’t seem to consider that we may later regret that bad choice, because we tend to prefer to avoid or delay harm or bad consequences, even when we bring them on ourselves. There’s a little bit of Scarlett O’Hara in all of us.

This made me realize why so many high-profile people are so righteous – arguing for restricting gay rights and condemning gay sex as immoral is basically giving yourself permission to head to the nearest cruising zone to get yourself some.

I don’t think it’s a “do as I pray, but not as I do” situation or even arrogant risk taking anymore.

People really are not good or bad, but a neutral balancing act between the two things – I have done a good thing (condemn gays) so now I can or must do a bad thing (gay sex) in order for good and bad to be in balance.

Which really puts a new perspective on all those arguments in Dungeons and Dragons game about what actions are within any given character’s alignment. We all tend towards neutral by doing both good and bad actions and choices to create a net zero balance.

Aside: for the non-geeks – Character alignment is a character’s worldview of lawfulness (lawful, neutral, chaotic) and fairness (good, neutral, chaotic). A character can be any combination of one from the law column and one from the fair column.

Here’s an alignment quiz you can take.

I’m Lawful Neutral.

The only way to move away from these sorts of choices would be to consider future consequences instead of instant gratification.

Although in the extreme cases of dramatic differences between a person’s public morality and private activities, is probably more in need of serious therapy for the high level of self loathing the person is compensating for. Given how completely normal racism used to be (just watch any 1940’s cartoons), it’s really a matter of time before anti-gay public statements stop driving public policy.

So if you are trying to improve your health, it’s not enough to consider salad and order fries – order the salad and get the reward of considering a good choice and carrying out that good choice into future benefit. Remembering that fries may be the better option if the “salad” is soaked with fatty dressing, cheese and lunch-meats. That’s not really a salad, that’s a submarine sandwich minus the bun.

If you really don’t want to have gay sex, then stop talking against it so much in public. If you slip up and have gay sex, then instead of talking, lobbying, drafting legislation and voting for it (or the politician), make a donation to a charity instead – Doctors without Borders is about as good as it gets.

At least that way, when you get caught – and you will be – in the gay bar or outed by your lover – there’s not really a scandal because you’ve not had a public record on the matter.

Better yet, stop thinking about sex – any sex as a bad thing – sex is a good thing, it’s good for stress release, creates intimacy, feels good and is a great cardio workout. So, if you shift your framework just a bit, the sex (gay or not)  can be the neutralizing act in and of itself – the perceived immorality is balanced by the health benefits.