Of late, there has been a great deal of talk about the intent of the Founding Fathers of our country, particularly as it relates to the Constitution. To some, the Fathers were infallible and divinely inspired.
While I have great admiration and am grateful that those Patriots brought to birth our nation, I do not share in the deification of the Founding Fathers. When this nation was born, women were still second class citizens and non-whites weren’t even citizens at all. Slavery and the genocide of the Native Americans were the law of the land. All men were not created equal.
The progression of a society is a slow process and sometimes that progression is accompanied by violence and even war. Some of the progress is prompted by court decision, other by courageous and principled legislative activity and more yet by seminal changes in attitudes within society.
Sometimes, the leadership that is required to facilitate progress is not recognized as such at the time. Today, we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr., but in the Sixties, he was vilified by a good portion of society. The FBI had an extensive file on him and many were convinced that he was a communist. MLK did not change – society’s attitude towards him changed.
Most take for granted the progression of society wrought by the Civil Rights Movement, but that progression came with a horrible price tag and virtually split the country in half once again.
It is said that opposition to Gay Rights is the last “acceptable” form of bigotry. I feel for those that are hurt by the lack of progress towards equality for our gay brothers and sisters, but I also remember that it was just a half century ago that racial discrimination was rampant.
That is scant consolation for those damaged by sexual orientation discrimination, but with time comes progress and time is greatly compressed in this age of high speed communication. I am not preaching patience, I am preaching hope.
The day will come when, truly, all men and women are created equal.
William Stephenson Clark
24 responses to “The Progression of a Society”
I once compared the struggle for Gay marriage to that of equal right for non-White and how long that took.
It did not happen over night or without a good deal of resistance now it seem like “Well dud!”.
Yes it does take a change of social and reality to change a society and what is considered norms.
A hundred years ago a female if not married by the age of 18 was considered a spinster.
It was quite common for girls to marry well below the acceptable age they do now.
But then the average life expectance for the male was forty, the death rate was much higher in general from illness and injuries. The species had to get a running start and get in as much life as it could early.
If today you heard of a 13 years old girl to be married it was would be shocking.
Some times it is life itself that determines what is acceptable and normal.
Some times it is simply that reason prevails, after a time it finally occurs to everyone that there is no logical reason for the why’s and the why not wins out.
With each generation, the younger people take on their views of what is right and what is wrong. With the gay marriage issue, the younger generation overwhelmingly does not see anything wrong with it. And with the decline in church membership, I have to see this as a sign that the younger people are not into all that I’m holier than thou crap.
Or maybe it is because we have seen the Catholic Church finally become financially liable for their covering up of the child molesters and since they also preach that homosexuality is wrong – why would anyone believe them?
And the numerous Evangelical Christian leaders who all preach against homosexuality but they are caught with their pants down (literally) and are disgraced. And then to make matters worse, these same snake oil salesmen come back to pick up their preaching a few years later.
I guess what I’m trying to say is – the younger generation knows hypocrisy when they see it and hear it.
For that reason, I think that is why Conservatives are so hell bent on changing the school textbooks and to get rid of the public schools.
Conservatives want to present history as they want it told and, of course, they want all the tax dollars to go to their private schools (that is why they hate the public schools – has nothing to do with education – its the money they want).
When home schooling became such a big thing – it started in the Religious Conservative population. And I think that was by design by the likes of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.
Bottom line, as each generation comes and goes – our society will take many twists and turns. But I hope to God that our country will finally get it through our heads one day that homosexuals are American citizens and should be guaranteed each and every right that any heterosexual American citizen is guaranteed – and that is marriage, if they choose to do so.
Some general thoughts:
The Founding Fathers were not interested in a Democracy. The tenor of the Constitution makes it quite clear that a Democracy was not sought; a Republic was what was wanted, and so designed.
“All men are created equal” is a phrase that sounds good, but in reality, we are not equal in many ways. The important thing is that all persons be treated as equal under the law, a great goal yet to be obtained. By the way, this stirring phrase appears in the Declaration of Independence; it does not appear in the Constitution. In fact, the first appearance of that principle in the Constitution comes to light in the 14th Amendment equal protection clause.
W.S. is on point; the generational attitudes are slowly changing. This is what is so troublesome to those social conservatives who are trying so desperately to bar “equal rights” for gays; they know it must happen very soon, else it will not happen at all.
Well said 617, as usual. You should be a lawyer….HA!
I’m not as optimistic as WSC.
When we conquer this ‘last bit of bigotry’, mankind will find new things to discriminate about. It’s just human nature to have an “us and them” attitude.
I’m reminded of George W. Bush when he flippantly laughed about the ‘haves and haves more’.
That is the next bigotry in my opinion – it will be economic class to an even deeper level than we see today.
Us and them attitude – isn’t that preached every Sunday in church and by every television preacher?
That Us and them attitude is always a winning strategy when used to beat the masses up to a frenzy to get whatever the powers to be want.
Bush used it on the run up to Iraq War. Palin used it on the presidential campaign trail and she is still using it.
There will forever be an Us and Them attitude to deal with – if you doubt that, look at the escalation of the bullies in the schools.
‘they know it must happen very soon, else it will not happen at all’
6176 – I also think another reason we are seeing such an intense hatred of Obama by these same Social Conservative Republicans is because Obama won by such a large percentage and Obama is a threat to their narrow agenda because he is popular. Obama is especially popular with the younger voters.
In any given poll, even those folks that do not agree with Obama’s politics will state that they like Obama. I don’t hear the same thing about any of the Republican leaders.
“There will forever be an Us and Them attitude to deal with – if you doubt that, look at the escalation of the bullies in the schools.”
And thru the archives of this blog, and others. Not meant as a slam, but as a recognition of the trueness of your statement, and the universality of it. It is indeed unfortunate.
There have always been bullies in schools – but only now it seems like it is the so-called adults that seem to condone the bullying.
In my school years (50’s and 60’s), the bullies were the ones held out as being in the wrong.
Nowadays, those bullies are the admired ones and usually are on the sport teams with some coach bullying them on the field and/or locker room.
Bullies are everywhere in life – but that does not mean society has to tolerate it or put it up on some pedestal.
“There will forever be an Us and Them attitude to deal with – “if you doubt that, look at the escalation of the bullies in the schools””
Sadly there has been no “escalation of the bullies in school” it has always been that bad.
For some it was always more a sense of punishment then fawn memory.
The reason why it seem to be a escalation is the news cycle and now it takes far more to fill it.
Simply that the stories are finally making it into the news.
” isn’t that preached every Sunday in church and by every television preacher”
Not in my church, and I don;t pay any attention to television preachers.
Did I say in every church? No, I did not.
But I think politics has been tainted since Reagan first invited the Religious Right (Moral Majority back then) into the Republican Party and let them think they are in charge.
Religion and politics should never be intertwined IMHO.
As has been discussed here previously, in 1994 when Newt Gingrich and his fellow Social Conservatives swept into power – they were the ones that considered compromise a four-letter word and a sign of defeat.
This was also the group that pointed the finger of shame at Bill Clinton (and deservedly so) but at the same time themselves were carrying on their own little dirty affairs down the street.
Us and Them? Yes, you’re right. But when one group deliberately covers their ears and constantly yells NO at everything the other group proposes – that Us and Them becomes a very, very big problem!
I agree Indy that how much or little money you have is another measure used for comparing and judging people. Guess more of us are coming up on the unworthy side since the wealth divide is much wider.
I read yesterday where a blogger was saying only Republicans and only those who attend church give to charity. I agree they may be the ones we hear about most often, but I think that’s because much charity is given without a desire to have it acknowledged or even known. Another way to separate us.
It’s along the line of somebody has to be wrong in order for the other person to be right. Guess there are some people who can’t feel the superiority they value without someone else being less worthy. Instead of blacks being only 3/5th human, now it will be those who don’t talk about what they give, or the very poor who give up a meal in order to help someone who has no meal to give up.
I always thought the Bible taught that Christ set the example of a charitable person by being forgiving, understanding, humble, always willing to help, and seeing people in a tolerant or favorable way with empathy for all. Didn’t He say something about storing up treasures on earth? I even thought that Christ taught that it is God’s role to judge, not man’s.
Well, if only Republicans and church goers give to charity, then I guess I’m a closet Republican because the last time I went to church was October 2005. So far this year I have given blood once, given to Habitat for Humanity, given to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, given to the Red Cross, and given several times to Goodwill Industries.
And, never forget, fnord, that you and I are not qualified to know what the bible teaches–that’s why we are supposed to go to church and be told what to think. Don’t overstep! LOL! Have a great weekend!!
I’m an over stepper, Paula. Among many other unsavory titles. 😉
Hope your weekend is exactly what makes you happiest!
“The full Senate will soon start its debate on repeal. But some Republicans are digging in their heels. Senator John McCain said, “I’ll do everything in my power” to block a vote. And Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker called the repeal bill “a major mistake” — announcing that the GOP plans to filibuster.”
Dear John and Roger, please report to the Customer Service counter for a swift kick in the nuts.
There goes Johnnie again – groveling for that Religious Rightie Republican vote.
When will Johnnie learn that RR’s don’t care about him – they only want to use him for what they want and then they will throw him away like yesterday’s garbage.
I think DADT should be repealed, and that gay/lesbians should have the right to serve in the military openly (they have served not so openly for decades).
However, I think the current legislation is just smoke and mirrors and the time is not right.
Why do I think it is smoke and mirrors?
Because while it technically repeals the legislation, it allows the military to continue DADT until the military decides it’s okay to stop DADT. Either have the courage to stop it, or not.
Why do I think the time is not right? Because we already told the military that we would take their views into account, and gave them a timetable to complete a feasibility study. Now, before the study is completed, the message is…We do not care what you say, we are going to repeal the law.
It seems the politicians are talking out of both sides of their asses on this one.
Me, I would either amend it with a structured timetable, and tell the military this is the way it’s going to be, or drop it until the studies are complete.
The study was how to implement the repeal of DADT, not whether TO repeal.
The repeal is a done deal, screw McCain, the only thing that remains is the timing.
That’s what I thought also – the military has been told to do it and now it is only as to how to do it.
What is so hard about telling these Neanderthals they are no longer running the show?
What is so wrong with telling the heterosexuals in the military that homosexuals are afraid of them and want the heterosexuals kicked out of the military?
Would the heterosexuals get all bent out of shape about that? Let’s try banning the macho Neanderthals for the next 200 years and then we’ll hear them talking out the other side of their mouth.
Well, I could always be wrong about the study. Anyway, I still think it is smoke and mirrors, trying to make the gay/lesbian community think that they are actually doing something, when they aren’t. In any case, it is time to repeal DADT. Has been for awhile. I thought it was a good compromise at the time, but it’s time has passed.
BYE BYE DAT
Everybody else, Have a great Memorial Day Weekend. And remember to “Memorialize” someone, even if it was a stranger serving in a conflict in a far away place.
While we are talking about how to implement DADT – I would like also like to try to implement something totally new to these politicians in Washington.
Every time any politician votes to go to war, they and their family members (wife, son, daughter) have to go to the front line for 2 years.
When all these politicians see that their own butts are on the line and the butts of their family members are on the line – maybe they won’t be so quick to vote to invade any other country again.
‘I read yesterday where a blogger was saying only Republicans and only those who attend church give to charity.’
I wonder how much these same folks would be giving if it was not tax deductible?
Hell, with some churches why not just call it what it is really is – country club dues!
“Hell, with some churches why not just call it what it is really is – country club dues!”