There’s a big debate going on right now on another of my blog entries (and this one has nothing to do with local theatre, for a change!) On the topic of armed protestors at political events, several of my friends have gotten up in arms (so to speak) about their views on gun control and those that oppose it.
I’ve replied to some of the comments to express my own views on the right to bear arms vs. gun control, so I won’t go into too much detail about it here. Click the link above if you’re curious. But it did raise an interesting point… Intelligent debate can sometimes be very difficult about certain core emotional topics. One commenter brought up a few that often provoke extreme reactions in people: gun control, abortion, and gay rights.
“The Constitution says you are allowed to bear arms!” vs. “Two hundred years later, the average citizen shouldn’t need a lethal weapon, which can be a threat to me and my family!” are two strong arguments and both have merits. I like to think I’m SOMEWHAT in the middle ground between the two. I think gun ownership should be allowed, but it should be subject to certain safeguards and controls. There are plenty of people that have an opinion that is balanced between the two sides, but there are lots more that turn into chest-thumping Neanderthals on both sides when the topic comes up.
Abortion is similar… “Don’t tell me what to do with my body!” vs. “That’s the beginning of human life that you’re getting rid of!” are also two polar opposites, both of which have merit. I’m more on the pro-choice side of this argument; I don’t think there should be free reign to aborting a fetus up until the moment right before actual birth, but I don’t know exactly where that line should be… I suppose the legal definition of “when the fetus would be able to potentially survive outside the womb” is as close as I can get. I personally would hate to ever have to consider abortion, but would want to have the option early in the pregnancy.
Try making that statement to somebody on either side of the picket line at your local abortion clinic. Go on, try.
And gay rights? Obviously that’s an important one to me… It comes down to two very core beliefs: my personal life, social life, and sex life are between me and the consenting adults that I share them with, versus “God says sex should be between a man and a woman who are married, and you’re going to Hell if you disagree.” This one I have basically NO wiggle room or neutrality on.
People want gun control because they want to be safe, so I can understand them clashing with those that advocate the right to bear arms. And people who believe abortion is murdering a human life have an understandable desire to prevent murder. I understand both points of view on both issues, and find them all separately reasonable in absence of context or nuance. But my relationship with my boyfriend doesn’t affect you AT ALL unless you’re trying to hook up with one of us and we’re not obliging.
Your views of what God wants me to do with my penis don’t interest me in the least. I don’t care whether you think God made Adam and Eve, or if there was a Steve in the mix. (I normally even refrain from pointing out that the same chapter of the Bible you reference with “Adam and Eve” goes on to implicitly suggest that the original family was incestuous… But God didn’t make anyone else for Adam and Eve’s kids to breed with, now did he?) I don’t care if you think marriage should be between a man and a woman because they’re supposed to make children together, but if you do then I WILL ask if you think couples who cannot have children should therefore be barred from marriage.
See, wow. I can handle gun control, and abortion… But get me talking about gay rights, and I get all kinds of pissy. I’m a perfect example of how some people just can’t calmly express themselves about subjects that hold a lot of personal meaning to them.
So you tell me: what are your “hot button” issues that get you riled up? What beliefs of yours are so deeply ingrained that you flare up when challenged on them? And more importantly, why do you think that is? Comment below (on gatoruptown.com not Facebook please!)