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Archive for Thursday, January 12, 2012

Change overtaking bigoted views

January 12, 2012

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We gather here today to parse the meaning of “boo.”

Not “boo” as in the greeting of ghosts and goblins but, rather, “boo” as in the chorus that drowned the bigot Rick Santorum last week after he defended his opposition to gay marriage before an audience of college students in Concord, N.H. Santorum took the same header into non sequitur and illogic that gay marriage opponents often take, i.e., if we legalize this, then we must also legalize polygamy.

It is a line of “thinking” that conveniently ignores a glaring fact. Namely, that there is not and never has been a large culture of people who felt biologically driven toward polygamous behavior, much less who seek social sanction for it. Santorum raises a classic straw man argument, tries to win the debate by stoking fear of what has not and will not happen.

And as you watched him washed from the podium by that song of opprobrium (i.e., “boo”), there was to it a certain sense of last stand, last ditch, last bitter dregs of resistance before the coming of a change that now feels inevitable as the dawn. The former senator and would-be president tried to minimize the question by noting the youth of his questioners — “I’m surprised I got a gay marriage question at a college crowd,” he quipped. “Really, that’s a shock to me.” — but in so doing, he manages to simultaneously make and miss the point.

There is an absolute historical pattern to the bigotry of social conservatives. They rally using terms of moral Armageddon against the freedoms sought by some despised or condescended to Other, whether that be a woman wanting to work outside the home, a Jew seeking to join the country club, an African-American trying to get home on a city bus. Then the freedoms are won, and people — even socially conservative ones — realize the world kept spinning after all. Armageddon did not come. Only change.

The point is that change is usually spearheaded by the young. They are the ones who are quickest and most likely to reject lame arguments built of straw and fear. So while Santorum tries to laugh off the youth of those pressing him about gay marriage, he might be well advised to ponder the deeper implications thereof.

A 2010 survey by the Pew Research Center found support for marriage equality on the rise among all age groups, but noted that the support is highest among the young. Among those born after 1980, 53 percent approve (as opposed to 39 percent who do not).

Santorum seems to believe the children will grow out of their foolishness. Actually, the truth is probably closer to what the songwriter said: “I believe the children are our future.” Consider that prominent conservative blogger Meghan McCain, who is not yet 30, dubbed Santorum’s views “dated” and “gross.”

The trend lines are clear. As children, even children of the right, now find it hard to fathom there was ever a time women could not work outside the home or Jews were banned from the country club, so will there come a day when they will marvel that once upon a time, gay people could not be married.

The future is coming and not all the frothing and spewing of people like the bigot Santorum can deter it. Or, to put that another way:

Boo.

Leonard Pitts Jr., winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a columnist for the Miami Herald. He chats with readers from noon to 1 p.m. CST each Wednesday on www.MiamiHerald.com.

Comments

Ray Parker 2 years, 3 months ago

Romney supports same-species sodomite partnerships, adoption of children by sodomites, open sodomy in the military, and does not think states should prohibit sodomy. This Massachusetts flip-flopper is pro-sodomy. Everywhere that sodomite civil unions or domestic partnerships have been allowed, leftist, activist, pro-sodomy judges have used that weakening, citing an unequal, if illegitimate, institution as a crowbar to force in the legalized sodomite mockery of marriage into a state. We cannot allow a Republican nominee for President who endorses, condones, or tolerates any kind of sodomite partnerships or unions.

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Timothy Eugene 2 years, 3 months ago

Dictionary says: Bigot - a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from their own.

Guess that makes us ALL bigots, doesn't it?

It's just another over-used, over-hyped word liberals use when they disagree with someone. Only the liberal left uses this word anymore......because they themselves are the most intolerant of all.

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 3 months ago

The laws against polygamy are based in fact and experience.

There is, on the face of it, nothing wrong with consenting adults entering into polygamous relationships.

The "consenting adults" part is key. Polygamy has a tried and true history of abuse associated with it. Abuse of young girls taken as brides. Abuse of young boys to prevent them from usurping the bigamist. Abuse and disempowerment of women.

From biblical times to the present, polygamy is always associated with abuse. Recently, Warren Jeffs is the example of this.

There is no history or record of abuse in homosexual relationships that goes beyond heterosexual relationships, as abuse in polygamous relationships does.

Reason 1, straw man 0.

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its_just_math 2 years, 3 months ago

The left trying to claim the right is angry and that they're not...priceless. The left is in a constant state of paranoia/panic/hate/hysteria.....completed with a cherry and whupped cream on top with their hypocrisy.

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beatrice 2 years, 3 months ago

If we allow a man to marry a woman, what is stopping that man from marrying three women? Since he might attempt it, we shouldn't allow men to marry women.

That is Santorum's argument, but without switching genders. One man marrying one man (or a woman marrying a woman) does not mean that he or she would off and marry three. It also doesn't mean we need to change the numbers of people allowed to marry. Marriage would still involve two people, just as it does now. Santorum's is a silly argument.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 3 months ago

conservatives who are the problem flipping the hate issue on the people they offend.... priceless...

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Milton Bland 2 years, 3 months ago

Pitts is a real hate-monger. I have to wonder what it was in his childhood that leaves him with so much anger. Maybe if he had known his father he would have taken a less hateful path in life.

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Satirical 2 years, 3 months ago

A few quick points:

(1) Santorum is not going to win the nomination, so who cares what he thinks?

(2) "(T)here is not and never has been a large culture of people who felt biologically driven toward polygamous behavior, much less who seek social sanction for it." - Pitts

Exactly, because the evidence is clear that no one has ever felt biologically attracted to more than one person in their entire life....and polygamy wasn't criminalized in order to discriminate against a small unpopular minority....

(3) I am against polygamy because of the social consequences. There wouldn't be enough women to go around after George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and I split up the world's women. With each of us getting 1/3 of available women, all the other unwed men would start wars and Armageddon would ensue.

(4) Pitts only has one method of writing articles (when he isn't claiming your dog is a racist). Find a statement made by one individual, apply it universally in non-relevant contexts, then claim moral superiority of the Left. Yet for some reason people think he has something relevant to add to the national discourse. He needs to stick to his bread and butter of claiming everyone who doesn't agree with his point of view is a racist.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 3 months ago

some people try to bait fish in ponds with dumb comments. let those people starve from their dumb comments.

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rockchalk1977 2 years, 3 months ago

A national effort to dump Obama in 2012 in exchange for Hillary Clinton is turning to South Carolina and Nevada as their best targets to get her on those states' primary ballots.

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2012/01/12/draft-hillary-effort-targets-sc-nevada

Hope & change. Yes we can!

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goodcountrypeople 2 years, 3 months ago

If only the title of Pitts' column spoke to a more local trend. It would create a true motive to cheer!

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Fossick 2 years, 3 months ago

So Meghan McCain is now a "prominent conservative blogger"? It's nice to see Pitts' grasp on reality is as tenuous as ever.

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Ragingbear 2 years, 3 months ago

Guiltyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy,

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mustrun80 2 years, 3 months ago

"Namely, that there is not and never has been a large culture of people who felt biologically driven toward polygamous behavior, much less who seek social sanction for it."

Says who? Pitts argument is really weak. I thought the whole argument about gay marriage was about individuals rights? Not what a "large culture of people" want? If an individual wants marry another, we are told, it is there right no matter what I think. So who is Pitts to stop an individual who feels "biologically drawn" toward a married person?

Oh, and another of his dynamite, logically vapid points; "It won't happen." because pitts says so.

One of the biggest problems with his argument is his "biologically drawn" line. Did scientist find a "DNA Strand" that's Gay? Of course not. Nor does it matter. We live in a free country right - if people (as I do) believe others can choose who they want to be with - it's irrelevant why they choose that person.

Are we going to have rights for Gays that Bi-sexuals don't enjoy? Mmm, just how would that level of "gayness" be determined by the government?

I actually agree with Pitts on Gay marriage - this column however shows how stupid that guy is - Him simply saying polygamy "won't happen" doesn't cut it.

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Getaroom 2 years, 3 months ago

A very well placed article and great points made once again from Pitts. There must be some truth to the saying "ignorance is bliss" because there sure is a lot of it flying around amongst the wannabe GOP Presidential hopefuls(reminds me of that cloud swirling around pig pin). And then of course there are The Tea Party supporters who so fervently feel the need to chose one of them and anoint him as most Conservative Christian. There have been a throng of Republican Christian Values politicians passing through the door of "THE HOUSE" on "C" St. Enough of 'em to see how that works out as a measuring stick of morality and ethics.

And since it seems clear that one of the driving forces behind those Conservative Christian values are Corporate PACS, Here is something else that is spot on: Bill Moyer's Texas friend commenting on Corporations being hailed as persons via the Supreme Court, "will believe Corporations are people when Texas executes one of them". That sums it up well. Anyone noticing the increase in noxious odors coming out of FOX NEWS lately?

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Liberty_One 2 years, 3 months ago

"They rally using terms of...Armageddon against the freedoms sought...Then the freedoms are won, and people... realize the world kept spinning after all. Armageddon did not come. Only change."

The exact same thing can be said about economic freedoms as well. The leftists proclaim that society will end if we have economic freedom--there will be elderly and poor people dying in the streets. In reality the world will keep spinning, Armageddon will not come and things will actually get better if we had economic freedom.

This is why I'm a libertarian. We are consistent in that we see reality no matter what the issue is. When it comes to things like gay marriage or a muslim community center, the conservatives think the worst will happen. When it comes to economic liberty and a decentralized economy, the lefists think that the worst will happen. You're both wrong. The world will keep spinning without Big Brother controlling everything and everyone. People can self-organize. It's amazing, I know, to think that individuals can appropriately run their own lives, but they actually can.

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beatrice 2 years, 3 months ago

Pitts is absolutely correct here. The same arguments being used against gay marriage are the same conservative arguments that were used against racial integration. Social conservativism is wrong on many issues again and again.

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

What's wrong with polygamy? If consenting adults choose to enter into that sort of relationship, that's their business.

And, he's wrong about there being no evidence of it - isn't the Bible filled with patriarchs and their multiple wives?

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jaywalker 2 years, 3 months ago

Ten years. Another decade and I'm bettin' the ridiculous opposition to homosexuals garnering "real people" status will be in the minority. Thank God. Pitts' is right that hope lies with our youth.

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its_just_math 2 years, 3 months ago

Pitt's column would've been better rounded out if he had said who it's now OK to be bigoted about: Christians and the wealthy. Oh, and those extremely evil social conservatives.

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Abdu Omar 2 years, 3 months ago

The people of New Hampshire spoke quite loudly to Santorum on Tuesday.

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JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 3 months ago

It is part of their "cultural revolution" and "great leap backward." If he gets his way, schools will be teaching that the earth is flat and less than 6000 years old.

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JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 3 months ago

Santorum claims to be for getting government out of our lives. Radical right is wrong whether it is Nazi Germany, Taliban Afganistan or Fundementalist Christians in the US. What Santorum really wants is to use the government to impose his worldview on the rest of us just like the Nazis and the Taliban did.

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