Is it hate?

The Indiana legislature is working on a bill to ban gay marriage.  On my “real me” facebook, several of my friends characterized this as an act motivated by hate:  “Stop the hate!”  “Boy, they really hate us.”  “Could they be more hateful?”  I found this formulation interesting, perhaps because semantics has been such a big issue lately, what with the liberals  trying to redefine Reagan so that they can redefine Obama.  (For two excellent articles on the politics of semantics, check out this and this.)

Saying that people are motivated by hate is a very powerful and demeaning argument.  Most everyone at whom such an argument is aimed reacts instinctively to deny that he or she is hate-filled.  Often, to prove that there is no hate, the person will back of from the allegedly hate-filled position.

I’m wondering, though, if there is any merit to the “hate” argument when it comes to gay marriage.  I don’t like gay marriage because I’ve increasingly come to believe (here come the semantics again) that it would be better if “marriage” was kept to religious institutions, with civil unions belonging to the state.  The state can then decide how best to advance the goal of stable two parent families, which are the backbone of every growing, healthy society.

To allow state gay marriages as a civil right raises the horrible specter looms of a gay couple being denied a Catholic marriage, only to sue, alleging that the couple is being discriminated against under the Constitution.  The Church, of course, reasonably responds that, under the same Constitution, the government has to stay out of its doctrinal practices, and where are you then?  In other words, I don’t hate gays; I just hate the idea of gay marriage.

Those who oppose gay marriage for other reasons also don’t seem motivated by “hatred” for gays.  They may believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman; they may believe gay marriage is a slippery slope to polygamy; they may believe these matters should be put to the popular vote, not the courts or even the legislatures; they may believe that their religion prohibits gay marriage; or they may believe something else entirely.  But what one hasn’t heard from the majority in the gay marriage debate is personal animus towards gays.  Ignoring the fringes, one hasn’t heard “hate.”

Or am I misdefining hate?  Is it hatred if you place obstacles in the path of a specific group, without explicitly demeaning, deriding, insulting or attacking that group?  What if you justify those obstacles on grounds unrelated, or reasonably unrelated to the group?

I actually don’t have answers, just questions.  Nor am I seeking to open a debate about gay marriage.  I’m simply wondering about politics, semantics, and identity groups.

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  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Danny Lemieux: Incidentally, which party’s overwhelming votes of support  made it possible for the Civil Rights Act to pass?

    Zachriel: Both parties supported the bill.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964#By_party

    SADIE: NO, Zach – not a minority, a majority.

    Civil Rights Act of 1964

    The original House version:
    Democratic Party: 152-96   (61%-39%)
    Republican Party: 138-34   (80%-20%)

    Cloture in the Senate:
    Democratic Party: 44-23   (66%–34%)
    Republican Party: 27-6   (82%–18%)

    The Senate version:
    Democratic Party: 46-21   (69%–31%)
    Republican Party: 27-6   (82%–18%)

    The Senate version, voted on by the House:
    Democratic Party: 153-91   (63%–37%)
    Republican Party: 136-35   (80%–20%)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964#By_party
     

  • Charles Martel

    Danny, as you know, Zach has a problem with language (the definition of “overwhelming,” for instance) and the ability to actually answer a question without misdirection (offering “both parties supported the bill” as a refutation of the overwhelming percentages posted by the GOP legislators).

  • SADIE

    Charles, you sly dog – you hit the 100th post and I forgot to award a prize.
     
    A duchy sounds ducky and we shall make it a z-free zone, too ;)

  • SADIE

    Charles Martel #102
     
    When one is on auto pilot, they should also visually look down to check if they’ve already landed – otherwise they just drone on and on and on and on.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Charles Martel: offering “both parties supported the bill” as a refutation of the overwhelming percentages posted by the GOP legislators).

    We answered this more completely above, but will repeat it here. The difference was regional. If you notice, Southerners of both parties voted overwhelmingly against the bill, while Northerners of both parties voted overwhelmingly for the bill. It is not in dispute that Southern Democrats, especially in the Senate, bottled up civil rights legislation for generations.

    The original House version:

    Southern Democrats: 7–87   (7%–93%)
    Southern Republicans: 0–10   (0%–100%)
    Northern Democrats: 145-9   (94%–6%)
    Northern Republicans: 138-24   (85%–15%)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964#By_party_and_region

    The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 solidified African American support for the Democratic Party and began the transition of white Southerners to the Republican Party.

  • Charles Martel

    Danny, as you know, Zach has a problem with language (the definition of “overwhelming,” for instance) and the ability to actually answer a question without misdirection (offering “both parties supported the bill” as a refutation of the overwhelming percentages posted by the GOP legislators).

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Charles Martel: Zach{riel} has a problem with language …

    It’s quite alright that you pretend not to notice the point raised, and try to divert with personal attacks. Our readers can read for themselves the distinction that was drawn, and check the facts for themselves.

  • Charles Martel

    Zach, I just had a nice, simple dinner of beans and franks, something my wife and I eat every so often to remind us of simpler days when we were in our 20s.

    May I recommend the Hebrew National quarter-pound franks? Those bad boys are great on a fresh bun, slathered with mustard, onions and relish. Yum! Hebrew National used to sell some great knockwurst, but we’ve been having trouble finding them at the store lately, so the quarter pounders are a fine substitute.

    I’m going to go watch “Smallville” now. Used to be a great show, but now I’m just putting in the hours until the sorry thing drags itself across the finish line.  

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~nooriginalthought/ Charles

    Ouch!  the finger on my mouse’s scroll wheel just cramped up.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Charles, wise man say…”when lose point of argument, submit more mosquitos to circumcision.”

  • Danny Lemieux

    Charles M…a satrapy ruled by the Duke of Hammer and the Duchess of Awesome?

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Martel, I’m sure I can find something that would cater to your particular individual tastes.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Even if one accepts Z’s point concerning the politicians ruling over the South, how does that nullify the issue of Democrat complicity?
     
    When the Democrat party elects Jimmy Carter, a Southern Democrat, when Ted Kennedy of the Kennedy clan goes into “women’s rights”, and when Robert Byrd of the KKK is respected and feared as a powerful member of the Senate (for Life crowd), we’re supposed to believe Zach that it was just a “regional issue”?
     
    If it was a regional issue,  California must be being destroyed due to a space-time warp to the South then.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Ymarsakar: Even if one accepts Z’s point concerning the politicians ruling over the South, how does that nullify the issue of Democrat complicity?

    It doesn’t. But the Democratic Party went through a period of change that left it fractured. Southern whites moved to the Republican Party, and African Americans moved to the Democratic Party. 

     

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Charles Martel: I just had a nice, simple dinner of beans and franks

    Mark Twain had dinner with U.S. Grant, saying it was like eating beans with Caesar.
     

  • Danny Lemieux

    Southern whites moved to the Republican Party, and African Americans moved to the Democratic Party
    Obviously, Southerners Robert Byrd, LBJ, Orval Faubus, Sam Ervin and Jimmy Carter didn’t. The Democrat Party didn’t really lose the South until after Ronald Reagan’s ascent and the descent of the Democrat Party into hard-left socialism. Blue-Dog Democrats today are a rare breed indeed.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Danny Lemieux: Obviously, Southerners Robert Byrd, LBJ, Orval Faubus, Sam Ervin and Jimmy Carter didn’t.

    Not the best examples, but as you suggest, and as we mentioned above, it was a transitional process.

    Danny Lemieux: The Democrat Party didn’t really lose the South until after Ronald Reagan’s ascent and the descent of the Democrat Party into hard-left socialism.

    That’s just silly. There are virtually no socialists in positions of political power in the U.S. 
     

  • Danny Lemieux

    If it looks like a socialist, walks like a socialist, quacks like a socialist…it’s a socialist.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Danny Lemieux: If it looks like a socialist, walks like a socialist, quacks like a socialist…it’s a socialist.

    There is no support for such a statement. Are you using some odd definition of “socialist”?

  • suek

    Do socialists = progressives?
     
    Do progressives = socialists?
     
    If not, what are the differences?
     
    Maybe better, how do you define a socialist?  What would be their goal, if they were in a position to set the goals?

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    suek: Do socialists = progressives?
     
    No. 
     
    suek: Do progressives = socialists?

    No.

    suek: If not, what are the differences?

    Progressives believe in reform through government action, such as outlawing of child labor or limiting pollution. Socialists believe government should directly control the means of production.

    suek: Maybe better, how do you define a socialist? 

    Conventionally. That way people know the meaning of the words.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Let’s see…Google…Democratic Socialists (members of the Socialist International).
     
    find “Young Democratic Socialist” website here: http://www.ydsusa.org/Home
     
    click on “what is Democratic Socialism”.
     
    scroll to bottom and what do we see?
     
    “Through the socialist movement and the Democratic Socialists of America you can help build a progressive majority and become part of the solution to social and economic injustice here and abroad.”


    Then cross-link with Vermont Progressive Party statement of principles, found here:http://www.progressiveparty.org/issues/principles
     
    Hmmm….not much difference between the two, is there? They both think they have a right to what I earn.
     
    There, that was easy enough!

  • Danny Lemieux

    Here’s a screen shot of a Democratic Socialist of America (DSA) web page listing of Democrat members of the DSA in Congress. There’s quite a few.
     
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/35733956/DSA-Members-American-Socialist-Voter-Democratic-Socialists-of-America-10-1-09
     
    Of course, the page was scrubbed before the last elections.

  • suek

    >>Progressives believe in reform through government action>>
     
    To achieve what goals?
     
    You mention two specifics, but if those specifics were their end goal, then there would be no further need for their political action.  Yet they still exist.  That assumes that they have other goals – what are they?

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Danny Lemieux: Here’s a screen shot of a Democratic Socialist of America (DSA) web page listing of Democrat members of the DSA in Congress.

    We could make a website and list you as a member of the Smokey the Bear Club.

    The images indicate this url: http://americansocialistvoter.com/demsocofamerica.htm. The domain is registered to CRYSTAL COAL INC., possibly a nonsense organization to hide the actual identity, and doesn’t appear to be active. The Democratic Socialists of America is at http://www.dsausa.org and is registered to Democratic Socialists of America. They’re not hiding.

    Anther clue, the top of the page says “How the Democratic Socialist of America self-describes its organization.” The third-person is a tell.

    In other words, it doesn’t appear to be screenshots from the DSA. But if you Google for “How many members of the U.S. Congress are also members of the DSA?”, you’ll find it echoing all through the right-wing blogosphere.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    suek: You mention two specifics, but if those specifics were their end goal, then there would be no further need for their political action.  Yet they still exist.  That assumes that they have other goals – what are they?

    Progressives are not a single political entity, and have a variety of views. Most support laws to provide universal healthcare, fair trade, living wage, right to unionize, openess in government, protecting the environment, ending the war in Iraq, ending violations of due process in the war on terror, ending corporate welfare and limiting corporate influence on government, more help for the poor.