Abortion. Antiracism. Antisemitism. Separatism. Evolution. Creationism. Intelligent Design. School prayer. Atheism. Socialism. Libertarianism. Universal Healthcare. Socialized Medicine. Climate Change. Antitobacco activism.. Smoker's rights. Hunting rights. Gun Control. Zionism. Islamism. Border rights. Immigration (illegal or otherwise). States' rights. Religious tax-exemption. Gender rights. Father's rights. Gay rights. Transgender rights. African-American rights. Marriage rights. Tea Party. Occupy. Rock the Vote.
The list goes on.
What these all have in common are that they share the characteristic of being what in the political circus are known as "special interest issues" or "hot button topics" or some such similar label. They are all backed by one or more allied political lobbies in Washington, with even the most seemingly fringe special interest group having some level of support in one NGO or another.
Some of these special interests are socially and/or politically legitimate causes with genuine support . Others are simply useful idiots, pawns in the larger game of political cat-and-mouse that has become the status quo in most so-called "democracies" (and even in countries not generally considered as such in the West, such as Russia, Iran, and China.)
Most activists of these special interests would consider their concerns to be on the level of genuine civil rights, which is defined by Cornell University Law School's Legal Information Institute as being "an enforceable right or privilege, which if interfered with by another gives rise to an action for injury."
This week America celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. Though there were many then and even many today who either disagree that Johnson truly deserves credit for the Civil Rights Act or that the legislation itself was flawed and would not likely pass into law today, the definition of what actually constitutes a legitimate "civil right" has always been in contention.
Civil rights, then and now
We've come a long way over the years since the 1990s when politicians, both liberal and conservative, referred to sexual preference, which today is virtually unthinkable. That was the politically correct term then. Today, it is sexual orientation, and it is no longer considered a social issue involving choice but rather a biological issue that is assigned at birth, despite there being not a single shred of viable concrete evidence for either theory.
When it comes to human sexuality, most of what we know is subjective. It isn't on the same level as something like evolution, which though technically remains a theory, is all but considered a fact by the vast majority of the global scientific community. In other words, there is an overwhelming scientific consensus that there is more than enough concrete evidence to support the view that evolution is a fact, rather than a still unprovable theory. This is considered one of those politically "inconvienient truths," a phrase popularized by Al Gore's climate change documentary of the same name.
Is climate change truly a man-made and thus artificial phenomenon, or is it simply a natural shift occurring once every several millennia? A large majority of scientists argue the former, while a fairly sizable and growing minority of scientists argue the latter. What is the ultimate truth? They've all got a long way to go before climate change can be conclusively proved or disproved as being man-made to the extent that politicians and public policy makers can reach a wide enough consensus that will stick. In the meantime, lacking sufficient evidence either way, billions are being spent (wasted?) every year trying to figure it all out and to finance all this political bickering.
Then there are issues such as abortion and gun control, which are more social rather than scientific, in the sense that they are issues of ethics and morality. With abortion, for example, there are religious concerns in addition to existing medical and biological issues. Whether an individual should have the right to bear arms is obviously constitutional (and still legally protected by the Second Amendment), but is also an ethical one as there are just as many people who oppose this right as there are who support it. A closely related issue is that of hunting rights—is it morally defensible to hunt animals for recreation and/or food, and should people have the right to hunt animals for one reason or another? Unlike climate change, these are matters that most agree are more subjective rather than scientific, and less an issue of civil rights than cultural mores that fluctuate over time.
Other issues, such as slavery, while similarly social and cultural, have become firmly accepted as being absolutely taboo by most civilized societies today, even though some countries, such as India, China, and the Salafist regimes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates still practice scertain forms of slavery, including both forced labor and sexual slavery. In the case of Salafi regimes, slavery has generally been justified on religious and racial grounds, as Salafism views the Arabic-speaking tribes of the Najd as racially and religiously superior to all other peoples, including other Arabic-speakers—it is yet another inconvienient truth that the vast majority of Arabs are oppressed by other Arabs, just as the vast majority of Indians are oppressed by other Indians, and the vast majority of Chinese oppressed by the People's Republic.
As America celebrates the victories of the Civil Rights Movement of the sixties, it is a rarely noted irony that despite their history, many African-American celebrities, most recently Tyrese Gibson of The Fast & the Furious fame, have spent a significant amount of vacation time in slave states like Dubai, which is just as popular, if not more so, among White American and European celebrities and elites. The now deceased global pop icon, Michael Jackson, was a regular and long-time visitor to Bahrain, the Salafist regime of which was notoriously alleged to have regularly supplied him with young children kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery, mostly from the Indian subcontinent.
Today, there is not a single sane, civilized human being who would argue that something as morally and ethically reprehensible as slavery, of any form or kind, is in any way, shape or form defensible. It is the penultimate cultural taboo of the modern age. Yet there are clearly many individuals, particularly among the global elite, even in Hollywood, who turn a blind eye to the continued existence of slavery and human trafficking for the purpose of sexual slavery and forced labor.
And this is to say nothing of the ever mounting issue of global poverty, disease and famine, which even right here in the United States remains an unresolved and growing dilemma.
Same-sex marriage: a civil right or social distortion?
The irony is that Eich, like many individuals, does not necessarily oppose same-sex marriage, but rather may or may not be critical of certain aspects and legal language of such proposed laws. What is known is that in 2008 he did contribute approximately $1,000USD to the Prop 8 Campaign in California, a relatively minor amount and also taking into consideration that Eich remained largely quiet on the issue and was not an activist on the issue aside from this particular donation.
At the time, and in the years that followed, this did not appear to be a serious issue for those who knew and worked with him. It certainly did not at any time appear to be a serious issue within Mozilla, especially considering the fact that Eich does not harbor any bigotry towards sexual and gender minorities and as with most Internet pioneers, has been very progressive on such issues. During his time at Mozilla, and Netscape prior to the corporate restructuring, Eich did nothing to oppose or in any way limit the rights of LGBTQ employees. This is especially key, as both Netscape and Mozilla have consistently been highly regarded, as with most other pioneering Internet and high technology firms, as being one of the best places to work at for LGBTQ individuals.
However, like many pioneering tech professionals, and in fact the vast majority of the population, both in the United States and abroad, Eich does have personal beliefs which may or may be considered politically correct. If he does oppose same-sex marriage and believes that marriage is between one man and one woman, then today this is absolutely not politically correct. However, up until the middle of the first term of the administration of President Barack Obama, it was in fact the politically correct position of the status quo in Washington. Most Democratic politicians and presidential candidates up until 2010-2011 or so, consistently supported the traditional legal definition of marriage.
There has obviously been a sea change in this opinion within the Democratic Party since that time, as President Obama has long since reversed his position and now supports same-sex marriage (which he opposed throughout both his State Senate and Congressional Senate careers and even during his 2008 presidential campaign), though many Democrats still remain in opposition.
This mirrors a similar situation in Canada in the early 2000s, when the Canadian government and several provincial governments, began quickly pushing into law the legalization of same-sex marriage, beginning with Ontario in 2003 and finally at the federal level in 2005. Contrary to what many actvists claimed, however, this was not a democratic process as it involved the courts rather than democratic polling among the citizenry and was actually opposed by many, if not most Canadians, and to this day remains a controversial, but politically untouchable decision.
In spite of the immense opposition to same-sex marriage throughout Canada, in particular outside the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, the unusual decision of the ruling Liberal Party to make same-sex marriage legal at the federal level in 2005 was widely viewed as an attempt to distract the populace and media away from several serious and highly embarassing scandals, including the extraordinary rendition of Maher Arar (which was mainly the fault of the incredibly incompetent and pathetically stupid RCMP and Canadian authorities, rather than any agency of the United States), the Sponsorship scandal, which still remains the most controversial financial scandal in Canadian history to date, among several other financial and international scandals involving embezzlement, money laundering, extraordinary rendition, massive and extremely illegal financial concessions to the People's Republic of China (which continues to virtually own the Canadian economy), the support of foreign terrorist groups, and illegally allowing the United States to conduct widespread covert mass surveillance operations, mirroring the free reign the Canadian government gave to the CIA during the 1960s and 1970s when MK-Ultra was being illegally conducted in Montreal by Donald Ewen Cameron.
In South America, where some countries have legalized same-sex marriage (Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay) and others have attempted to follow suit, this has been largely viewed as an attempt to stem the tide of the political and religious right and permanently institute progressive socialist governments that cannot be later reversed. In Europe, the view is quite different, being interpreted more as an attempt to dissuade Muslim immigration and prevent current Muslim residents and citizens from attempting to institute Sharia law, which is absurd, as in reality it is impossible for any Muslims to institute any form of Islamic law among the non-Muslim majorities In the United Kingdom for example, there has been some success among some Muslims to institute Sharia law in their own communities, but even then this has been overwhelmingly opposed by Muslims themselves as creating permanent ghettos that would be impenetrable by non-Muslims and government authorities.
What we're demonstrating here is that however which way you want to interpret same-sex marriage, it is virtually impossible to separate from the issue of religion and tradition. This is an absolute fact, and indeed, one of the very few absolutes that exist in the annals of human history. There is not one single precedent for any form of same-sex marriage in history, and marriage equality activists themselves do not deny this and accept that it is a revisionist and secularist interpretation of marriage, which up until the modern era was solely the domain of religious authorities.
Only recently in the United Kingdom, for example, has it been possible for members of non-theistic religions, such as Scientology, Buddhism, and Jainism, to marry. As difficult as it may be for some to accept, if you happened to be a Buddhist or Scientologist in the UK, you could not get married in a religious ceremony. This reversal itself was brought about as a result of a lawsuit by a (heterosexual) Scientologist couple, and the decision was controversial and opposed by a minority of Christians and those opposed to the Church of Scientology. Most Americans do not realize that unlike the United States, there is no separation of Church and State in the United Kingdom, and the state religion is the Church of England, of which the reigning Sovereign, currently Elizabeth II, is the Supreme Leader. In virtually every monarchy throughout Europe and the rest of the world, including Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, there is no separation between the religion and the State as the Sovereign (who is, of course, the head of state) must be a member of a particular religion. For example, even in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, upon the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, her successor must absolutely be a member of the Church of England. Of these three, Australia is the most independent in terms of its relation to the monarchy, while Canada is the least independent, not only in the sense of its relation to the monarchy but also in relation to the fact that it is one of the least democratic and free of the so-called First World nations, particularly in comparison with the United States, which despite its many shortcomings, remains the most free of Western nations.
Thus, it is not unusual that given the fact of the United States offering the most freedoms and liberties of any country in the world, that there would be a very strong and active movement to legalize same-sex marriage. But, most would agree that is absolutely not a black-and-white issue, so much so that even in France, that most staunchly secular of states, only legalized same-sex marriage in 2013 amidst widespread hostility to passing such legislation. In Turkey, which is a Muslim-majority country but like France legally enshrines secularism as official state policy, opposition to same-sex marriage is likewise strong, while in Israel, which is unusual as being both a secular and religious state, it is virtually impossible for same-sex marriage to achieve legal recognition due to the powerful Orthodox Jewish religious lobby.
Now, here we begin to arrive at something that is literally stranger than fiction: of those countries and localities that have legalized same-sex marriage, there are virtually no cases where a person working in the private sector has been harassed or forced to resign from their job. There may have been a few isolated incidents here and there, but even in Canada, where the majority of not only the current Canadian government, including Prime Minister, Stephen Harper (who himself, like most politicians, claims to be Christian, but behaves in very un-Christian and irreligious ways), strongly oppose same-sex marriage, but also in the private sector. But nobody has been getting fired or being forced to resign because of such opposition. At least none that have been notable enough for us to take notice of.
The atmosphere of hostility that was created against Brendan Eich at Mozilla by both his executive colleagues and subordinate employees defines all common sense, logic and reason. We have previously asked the question that if a woman who happened to be a radical feminist and opposed all forms of marriage on the basis of opposition to patriarchy (and marriage being a historically patriarchal institution, not existing during early and prehistoric matriarchal eras), would she be fired or forced to resign? Or what of a gay man or lesbian woman who opposes marriage on the basis of marriage being an originally heterosexual institution? We have many friends and associates who refer to marriage, any form of marriage, hetero or homo, as being inherently "heterosexist." They are all mostly artists, and artists whose works are considered very high value on the contemporary blue chip market. Should they all lose their jobs and livelihoods and not have anyone purchase their art simply for their personal beliefs, which by the way, they have never attempted to impose upon anyone, let alone (at least for the most part) propagate in a public form?
Brendan Eich donated a bit of money to a mainstream cause that is not illegal nor considered morally indefensible by the vast majority, including many advocates of same-sex marriage. Yet he has been vilified and treated in a way that rivals the treatment in the media of brutal dictators and war criminals.
Even among more moderate critics of Eich there were calls for him to simply apologize and let it go at that, but this would be just as absurd as calling for his resignation. Why should anyone apologize for harboring a personal belief, particularly one that they do not personally impose on anyone and have no such authority to do so. Harassing a man not so much for the belief, but for donating a paltry sum to a pro-Prop 8 group back in 2008. I mean, really? This is what our society is becoming, less free and just as absurd as the authoritarian nanny states of Canada and Europe?
What is wrong with this picture?
It has been asked before, and it is well worth considering, the question as to whether or not same-sex marriage can be compared to issues of racial and gender equality. We thoroughly disagree. There are many issues we are neutral or on the fence about. This is not one of them. We absolutely reject any attempt to conflate the concept of same-sex marriage with racial, ethnic, gender or even sexual equality. We find such a mentality to be offensive and repugnant to the extreme.
None of us have been married, many of us are not likely interested in marriage or will ever get married, thus we have no official position on the matter itself other than to state that we don't consider it a civil rights issue, but a social distortion being used by politicians to distract away from more pertinent and immediate issues, such as poverty, famine, disease, genocide, and war.
There are more poor people in the world today than ever before. Poverty is not declining, it is spreading like wildfire across the world, including right here in the United States. There are more people dying of famine and disease than ever before, with many countries having little to no infrastructure to allow for clean drinking water, efficient and productive agriculture, or even proper education. There are still countries where children have no rights, where little girls and women can be forced into marriage and/or sold into sexual slavery, the latter also applying to boys. There are societies in which if a boy or man is raped or sexually assaulted, no one, not even the authorities, will do a single thing and will instead chop their heads off for having their "manhood" violated.
Right here in the United States there are communities—White, Black, and Native American—that are mere shanty towns, lacking running water, sewage and waste systems, regular employment, and other luxuries and privileges most of us take for granted.
We live in a society where rapists, sexual predators and child molesters are rarely given stiff or long-term sentences. There are vastly more individuals in the American prison system for drug use and petty thievery than there are for sex crimes. More women, men and children are raped and sexually assaulted with each passing year, while the statistics for rape and sexual assault in prisons are even worse.
There are more political dissidents in American prisons than at any other time in US history, the most recent widely known example being that of Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning. Radical advocates of open societies and government transparency like Julian Assange are routinely hunted and demonized by our government and others.
School shootings, mass murders, child kidnapping, forced prostition, and domestic assaults have been on the rise since the late 1990s.
Our government sells billions of dollars a year to state-sponsors of terror like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain, all of which have close relations with Al-Qaeda and its affiliates, including the Taliban. The People's Republic of China effectively dominates the American and Western economies, while the vast majority of Western aid aid to African nations ends up in the the hands of genocidal warlords and despots.
There are countries where those who are or are considered to be homosexual (even if in reality they are not) are routinely imprisoned, tortured and executed. Even in countries where same-sex marriage has been legalized, violence and discrimination against LGBTQ people remains high—there is likewise a world of difference between tolerance and acceptance. There is not much point in legalized same-sex marriage when the vast majority of any given population remain opposed to LGBTQ identities and relationships.
Many, if not most, large gay and lesbian civil rights organizations actively discriminate against bisexual, intersexed and transgendered individuals. Many gays and lesbians themselves, as well as feminists (mostly of the second wave), discriminate against intersexed and transgendered individuals to the extent that under other circumstances would be viewed as constituting hate crimes. Transgendered and bisexual individuals are violently and/or sexually assaulted ten to a hundred times more often that gay and lesbian individuals, yet most gay and lesbian activists do little to nothing and often trivialize such matters. Even in our present "progressive" era, intersexed and transgendered individuals are forced to undergo often harsh and brutal psychiatric "evanluation and treatment" before being allowed to legally transition to the opposite gender.
In many Western countries, an individual publicly identifying themselves as being of a particular faith tradition or wearing religious clothing or ornaments can be legally fired or forced to resign without being able to sue for discrimination. Even though in the United States religious people constitute a majority, there are more laws prohibiting and negatively regulating religious practice than there are protections. Outside of the United States, genuine religious freedom is rare and more often than not, non-existent. In many countries, including many European states, minority religious groups and even mainstream Christian denominations are actively kept under surveillance and prosecuted for even harmless religious practices, and often prevented from working as civil servants or holding political office.
Is this all a bad joke? Is this the "democracy" we are all paying for with our tax dollars, the kind of "democracy" we want to forcibly export to foreign nations?
The case of Brendan Eich highlights not only the further decline of Western civilization into debased political correctness and Kafkaesque absurdity, but proves the fact that life is, more often than not, stranger than fiction.
When will we awaken from such dystopian daydreaming and finally establish a civil society wherein respect for the inalienable right to freedom of thought is enshrined as a basic and inviolable human right
We are human beings. We have the right to think and believe what we want, so long as we are not murdering, imprisoning or sexually violating each other in the name of such beliefs.
There is no legitimate comparison between a person who advocates racial hatred and/or violence and someone who opposes same-sex marriage. Such comparisons are not only criminally absurd, but nauseating to anyone with a brain.
Before we can take on such issues that are the product of Western affluence, jaded hedonism and privilege, is it possible to first solve the problems of poverty and establish a truly open society based upon social justice and true social equilibrium?
Is marriage a right or a privilege? Is the issue of marriage more important than the issues of poverty, disease, genocide and perpetual war? Is it more important to debate marriage and spend countless tax dollars debating it or to debate more vital and pressing issues and using our tax dollars to solve the most critical and existential problems of society and the world at large?
At what point do we not only say, "Enough!" but put that statement into action and first fix what is broken before attempting to set into motion radically new social and cultural paradigms?
This is supposed to be America, so let us at least pretend it is and that we are actually Americans who have the freedom to be free.