Tag Archives: God

Authority Rules (or does it?)

Yesterday I gave a talk on political framing, the audience was mixed, but leaned heavily toward favoring environmental protection – which likely meant there was a majority of progressives in the room. One of the comments and questions that was put forward was, “is authority truly the ultimate conservative value?”

Those that are familiar with this blog or the works of George Lakoff know that authority and tradition are stated to be the primary and highest priority of values of conservative opinion. A few people questioned whether the word “authority” has positive or negative connotations itself – the word “authoritarian” seemed to lean negative, while the word “tradition” seemed to lean positive in the general frames they evoke. Labeling a school of thought -conservatism- with a word that conjures up negative feelings, might not be the best way to get folks from that school of thought to start talking, so it is worth a look.

First of all, when we talk about the conservative view on any issue, it is not necessarily describing the person with that view. You may have a conservative opinion about a particular policy, yet overall describe yourself -and behave as if – you are liberal, libertarian, or another political orientation. For any issue that “authority” does not feel right, I would propose that one is not very conservative in their stance.

For instance… Continue reading

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Does the Bible Justify Bullying Gay People?

This spring Dan Savage, a leading gay rights and sex positive advocate, spoke at a conference for high school journalism students. He addressed the issue of folks pointing to the Bible to justify the bullying of gays. He did a great job of making his case with two exceptions: he used the words “bullshit” and “pansy-ass”, which weakens the argument- even if he was describing written words and actions (not people). He could have omitted those phrases and his speech would nearly have been worthy of carving in stone; the nation is sick of hypocritical “logic”. Even though I am not a fan of the use of cursing to make a point, I will concede that when people are suffering and dying at the hand of those who supposedly follow God, there is reason to be upset. There is reason to curse and gnash your teeth and pull out your hair. Hate begets hate and last time I checked, Jesus did not advocated hating anyone. Continue reading

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Amendment One Passes

North Carolina just passed Amendment One. Unofficial results are that 2,135,740 voted, approx 61% voted “for” and 39% voted “against”. Here is the language of the amendment:

Sec. 6. Marriage.Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.

I was reviewing the election results and my boys were looking over my shoulder. Here is the conversation:

Me: So, this is the one that is a bummer (pointing to the results).

Kid 1: Which one is it?

Me: It’s the one that says families with two moms or two dads will not be recognized by the state of North Carolina.

Kid 2: That is so wrong.

Kid 1: It’s not fair.

Me: I know.

Kid 1: Why didn’t you vote for this one?

Me: I did.

Kid 1: Why don’t you disguise yourself and vote for it again?

Me: Because that’s illegal. Everybody is supposed to have one vote.

Kid 1: Its not fair.

Kid 2:Why does it matter to them if somebody has two moms or two dads?

Me: Because some people feel like marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

Kid 2: Not cool man.

Kid 2: If the mom gets sick, they already have a person to take care of them. Why do they send ’em to an orphanage?

Me: They won’t go to an orphanage, but if something bad happens to one mom, so that they can’t take care of the kids, we don’t know what will happen to the kids.

Kid 1: Why don’t people like the people who marry a boy and a boy or a girl and a girl?

Me: I guess a lot of them think God doesn’t like it, or maybe they just don’t like the idea.

Kid 1: That’s not nice.

Kid 2: God loves love, so why would he not like it if it was two boys or two girls?

Me: It doesn’t make sense to me either.

Kid 1: Why do they think God likes them better? ‘Cause they think their opinion is right and the other people’s opinion is wrong.

Kid 2: Well God should just, like, I think he’d be madder at the people that didn’t want the people to get married.

Kid 1: Two boys to get married and two girls.

Me: Did you know that it also is about two grown-ups that are boy and girl that might have kids or property that they share, but now, the state doesn’t recognize that they are together if they aren’t married.

Kid 1: yeah

Kid 2: What’s wrong with not getting married?

Me: I don’t know. I think people are scared to change the way things have been. They think all families should look a certain way and do certain things to be legitimate. But we know a lot of families that don’t have one dad and one mom married together.

Kid 2: yeah, I think I’m gonna go get myself some breakfast.

Kid 1: What’s legitimate? (yawn)

Me: It means that everyone recognizes that that is what’s right. It’s like everyone knows the same thing is right or wrong and they’re saying only marriage is right. How do you think you would feel if the state told you your family is wrong?

Kid 1: I would feel really bad and feel like my family was bad, but it really isn’t.

Me: yeah

 

 

 

 

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The Facts Always Fit the Frame

“Speak truth to power!” – a common mantra to any justice seeking, accountability lovin’, truth teller out there. A typical scenario would go like this, Citizen A decides to get active around a certain issue, maybe they have a personal experience with it, maybe it just strikes their passion. No matter; Citizen A usually tries to get at least a bit educated about it. Citizen A then often tries to spread awareness and information about their selected issue. They have a laundry list of facts and figures that support the necessity to change the behavior of others – let’s say they want you to write a letter to Congress or stop buying bottled water. Citizen A might have an exhaustive list of facts derived by the best of scientific methods and all information points to the need for you to do this change in behavior, what is it that could actually make you do this new behavior? Continue reading

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“Get a Job” and Other Cruel Jokes

“Get a Job”, is a common thing to hear when you are demonstrating against anything. If you protest the high level of unemployment, there will still be oblivious hecklers that scream “get a job”, as they tear by in their gas guzzlers. I guess the irony is lost on them. The meme is a common one, many conservatives believe that if there are any jobs available, there should not be unemployment. They paint a picture of entitlement where the job seeker is lazy. Speaking from experience, being unemployed is one of the more exhausting occupations I’ve ever had. Continue reading

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