The fallacy of a "For or Against" mentality

Have you ever had someone make a comment towards you that, though completely in jest, you're sure would not have been made had their not been actual judgement behind the thought in the first place? I recently fell victim to just such a comment. What was said wasn't what bothered me. Instead, I was annoyed that someone had made an assumption about by beliefs followed by a snap judgement and offered no recourse for retort. The statement was made, passed by, and accepted as fact.

The issue arose because of content discovered during a "random" google search result that links my employer (a christian company) and a MySpace profile(specifically my profile). Now while there isn't anything overtly offensive on my profile, I do have a badge displaying the changes I support. This, my friends. Is where the Googler took issue.

Among the changes I support, there are three that someone of strong religious convictions might (or will probably) take offense to. Those changes are "Separate Church and State", "Allow Gay Marriage", and "Protect Women's Right to Choose".

Now righting these three changes, I almost had to laugh. Here I am writing a post about the trivialness of these issues, all the while knowing that these are some of the most controversial issues around. Issues that, in my opinion won the last election. That being acknowledged, lets move on to the point of this post.

With these issues, it's not a matter of being "For" or "Against". It simply does not work that way. Being "pro choice" is a far cry from being "pro abortion". In fact, I'm not a huge supporter of it. Furthermore, I can think of far more situations for which it should not be considered a solution than I can for any solution where I would even accept it.

Moving on to the Gay Marriage issue. I can't think of a single [legitimate] reason why a homosexual couple should not be afforded the same rights and perks guaranteed to a heterosexual married couple. As such, I don't think we as a country or a people have a right to lock them out of those benefits simply because it's "weird" and "foreign" to us. I mean hell, it wasn't too long ago that it was just as "weird" and "foreign" for interracial couples to marry (or even date). Why can't we evolve to the state of acceptance of same sex couples? If we're so worried about destroying the sanctity of marriage, why don't we outlaw divorce, shotgun weddings, and chapels in Vegas.

Just because I don't support something, doesn't [in my opinion] afford me the right to outlaw or stop others who support it. Which brings me to the last and final controversial issue. I believe that the Church and the State must remain separate. Beyond the fact that our government was set up this way, the Church [in general] does not share my "I can't stop someone else just because I wouldn't do the same thing" philosophy. It thinks that it's way is the only way, all should obey it's rule regardless of their own beliefs. For this reason, the two must remain separate until the day the church can separate what one is allowed to do and what [it believes] one should do.

Now I am fully aware this post could have the potential to spark a small flame war. Just please understand that I am not anti-church. In fact, since January I've been regularly attending church under my own accord and am completely open to the church for the first time in nearly 10 years. So please take that into consideration before posting comments. My only intent in the posting was to encourage people to realize that just because you allow something to happen, does not automatically equate to supporting it.

Image for this entry is licensed under Creative Commons (Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0) and was photographed by mad paul over at flickr.

posted by Christopher Schnese