Emotional debates

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!)

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3 Responses to Emotional debates

  1. eric cassell says:

    Ok, just to make one quick remark about the abortion and gay part of your blog. To me it is very funny when the people that cry about the government interfering with their “Right to Bare Arms,” and that say nationalization of health is socialism etc – you know the type. These same people are also the first to proclaim that it is justified for the government to interfere with the life of a gay person or to interfere with the privacy rights of a women. I’m a true democrat in the Jeffersonian sense, I believe in small government (as the current right claims, however, Bush is a complete contradiction of that. So, as a true political conservative, I believe that the government has no grounds to tell me I cannot fuck you in the ass and then spend my afternoons giving women partial birth abortions(you know I like to be shocking). If the right is going to consider themselves conservative then how can the promote things such as DOMA? The last rightest movement that carried most of these same values were molded into a machine of nationalism and occultism and all that got us was a whole bunch of dead people and some really good war movies. I would prefer to do with out the later if it is only accompanied by the former. The right needs to actually wake up, stop loving the science that brings them TV and GPS and hating the same science when it disproves that their little black book is a hoax. Fuck… Im just stopping now. Sorry for syntax errors I didnt edit

  2. Joey says:

    Great points Kevin and Eric. Just reading the post and comment made my heart start beating faster. My “hot button” issue is separation of church and state, and I think it relates to a lot of the other social issues we’ve been discussing. I can’t speak intelligently about all conservative fundamentalist religions, but being raised as a Southern Baptist, I can speak from experience to some extent. Some of these churches are the most backwards, sexist, money hungry, homophobic, science-denying, hypocritical institutions imaginable. And the kicker is that, like a giant pyramid scheme, they are not satisfied simply maintaining their beliefs – it is their sacred moral obligation to spread the word and convert as many people as possible to save them from the fires of hell. The effect of this motivation on otherwise intelligent and compassionate people is staggering. Many of these folks also feel it is their divine duty to impose these twisted standards on the rest of the country, and having George Bush in the White House was their wet dream come true. As for Republicans versus Democrats, I think the best thing Republicans as a party could do would be to cut loose these nuts instead of continuing to pander to them. Then, unless the Lady Palin can work a miracle, these people would no longer be in a position to dictate their religious, moral and social standards to the rest of us through government. Of course they would still be free to live their lives – choose not to have abortions, choose not to have gay sex, choose not to teach their kids about science, and even take them to a nice home-school field trip to the evolution museum, where cavemen put saddles on dinosaurs and take them for a ride like on the Flintstones (no lie, a museum like that just opened outside of Cincinnati). Enough ranting for the morning, I guess.

  3. Trent (Benny) says:

    oh ho ho! (intended)

    These are the kind of topics that I have wet dreams for. Even though I know for a fact I probably haven’t changed anyone’s minds, I do know that I have more than riled people up, frustrated them to no end, pissed others off and taken great joy in the perturbed responses of many people when it comes to these “hot issues.”

    I have many hot issues, but my personal favorite is probably Creation vs. Evolution debate. (I honestly should say Creation versus Science as the proponents of Creationism are about as anti-science as you can be, and it is these same people that revel in all the technology that science gave them. Irony. I love it) However this mainly does seem to fall under the realm of church/State separation.

    First I must state that I am a de-converted christian, now atheist (though Secular Humanist or P.E.A.R.List would do a better job of describing how I actually am.) So maybe religion in general is my “hot button.” There are reasons for this though. I remember growing up in the church and how everything in the bible was lauded as the true word of god and that he and jesus christ are ultimate sources of logic. I also fondly, though somewhat sickeningly, remember how ooey gooey all those nice little stories used to make me feel. And then something came to challenge my beliefs and on would go the faith goggles!! I did what I imagine around 99% of all chritians do. Listen to all the “hooray jesus!! go god go!!!” texts and then ignore the others that made god look like the psychotic, genocidal, schizophrenic asshole that he really is.

    It is this very same attitude that keeps so many people held back from becoming the logical, reason minded people that they should be and has frankly allowed for so many pointless and utterly useless debates and talking points to be carried over into the 21st century when they should have been buried decades ago. And it is the same loud mouths that want to force the bible into schools and education which allows dimwits like Stein, Hovind, Comfort and may others to have credibility when they should be laughed at for being the charlatans and liars that they are.

    Hmmm… I guess I just have a problem with religion in general these days… Perhaps this is a subject for another time.

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