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Aphelion Editorial 079

March 2004

by Dan L. Hollifield

The Usual Rant from the Aphelion Senior Editor

What? An editorial? Again? All right, but I'm gonna need some coffee first. Ahh, that's better. Coffee really is the rocket fuel of the information age. I thought I heard a synapse or two fire up after that first sip. So what is going on in the world? Its an Election year in the US and the mud-slinging is in full throw. Yawn. Same old song and dance that it always is. None of the candidates seems good enough to me, but I do still urge everyone to go on out and vote anyway. Apathy is the surest way of getting stuck with something you didn't want- or even need. Like a constitutional amendment that makes the morality of one religion or another into the law of the land. Now look, I'm all for morals and family values, but a line has to be drawn somewhere. The US is supposed to be the land of misfits, malcontents, victims of intolerance, rugged individualists, and all other kind of folks who just couldn't fit in back in the old countries. The US is supposed to be the place where people who are persecuted can find sanctuary. This is the land where we're all supposed to get along, to value the differences between people rather than despise them for being different. When did we get lost? Just when was it that the great nation that rejected slavery, established racial and sexual equality, literally fought each other to establish civil rights that were meant to apply to everyone- Where did we lose touch with what it really means to be an American?

Better yet, how do we get back on track? How do we regain our greatest strength? Our sheer diversity should be the mortar that binds us all into a great nation of strong and free individuals, not the quicksand that mires us down- to drown in our own filth. And make no mistake, the notion that any perfectly normal person is somehow inferior or degenerate because of their race, gender, country of origin, sexual preference, level of income, degree of education, lifestyle, religious beliefs, or lack of same is the vilest filth imaginable. Oppressing people is un-American, unworthy of any civilized nation. We're supposed to have higher standards than that, people. This is the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, not the Land of the Zealot and the Home of the Bigot. Freedom and Justice for All means exactly that, for All- not just for the members of some narrow-minded little cult. And just because someone is different, doesn't automatically make them a threat. That's tribalism, narrow-mindedness, and it gets passed down from generation to generation in family attitudes and prejudices.

But what is it that is so horrible about gay people wanting to have the same rights as straight people when it comes to insurance, inheritance, taxes, divorce, property settlements, and all the other little details of being devoted to a relationship when they wish to make a lifetime commitment to a lover? My parents have been married for 50 years, my sister and her husband lived together for over 25 years before they got married. I defy anyone to tell me that my sister is somehow less moral than my Mother. I made a lifetime commitment over a dozen years ago to a woman I love with all my heart and soul, yet we remain unmarried. I am also unable to cover her on my insurance, unable to claim her on my income taxes even though I am her sole means of support, and if I die without a will she will be hard pressed to make any legal claim on our home and property. How then are we different from any gay couple in the eyes of the law? Except for the minor detail that we aren't gay, I can't see any difference. My relationship with the love of my life ought to be just as repugnant to the Zealot as any gay couple's relationship.

And if a law that restricts the rights of gay people is passed, who much longer will it be before someone proposes a law against any form of co-habitation not sanctioned by some religion or other? And furthermore, just what is it that gay people have been doing recently that they haven't been doing for the last 50,000 years? What's changed in the last year or two in order to make them a threat to civilization? Or is this all Election-year hype?

No, the US federal government has no right to favor any religion's morality. Neither do the individual state governments, for that matter. That's one small part of why there is supposed to be a separation of church and state in the US in the first place. Freedom for All, not just the elite few. Not just the rich, not just the religious, not just the politically correct, but for everyone. True freedom has to apply equally, even to those who aren't like you, otherwise its not any kind of freedom at all.

So get out and vote, no matter who you choose to vote for. Get involved! Make a choice and let your voice be heard. If you sit back and wait, you'll lose out. Stand up and be counted, no matter what you believe in. Even if you disagree with me, don't sit back and let someone else make your choices for you.

The future is in your hands. Shouldn't you do everything you can to make the future a better place for your own children?


I now return you to your regularly scheduled reading...


2004 Dan L. Hollifield

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