'Peg City Kid, a frequent commenter on my site, has posed challenges to my post "Myth of the Moderate".His comment was long, and passionate. I intend to divide his challenges into 8 individual posts, in which I will answer each of his concerns, two in each entry. The numbered, italicized portions are 'Peg's unedited comments, under which is my response.
3. Yes, whether or not you can accept it, the Conservatives ARE far Left. You have a very skewed view of where the "Centre" is. It's almost as though you think the world revolves around you.
Again. I am to the right of centre. My argument is that the centre has shifted. You can agree or disagree with my opinions, but to argue that the centre position in this debate has not changed is just wrong.
In 1999 the House of Commons (including the majority of Liberals) voted overwhelmingly in favour of maintaining the traditional definition of marriage. At the time, they called this the 'moderate' position. Most who voted 'yea' were in favour of establishing some form of civil union to protect the rights of gays and lesbians in committed relationships.
You can't argue that this position wasn't the 'mainstream', 'moderate' position just six years ago. What's changed? The Liberals are embroiled in yet another scandal. Unlike HRDC, Somalia, APEC, EI, etc. This one is not going away. They have a formidable opposition now, demanding answers and accountability. The Liberals have not changed their views on SSM (people of principle don't change their views like they change their socks, something momentous must have happened for them to throw away their entire belief system and do an about-face) So, if the Liberals have not been suddenly enlightened. The only other explanation is that SSM is politically expedient. By shifting the debate, they can make everyone who disagrees a bigot, worthy of scorn and ridicule. They keep their clutch on power by squelching debate and calling anyone who disagrees 'unCanadian'. Gays and lesbians are being used as pawns in this power struggle because if you ask most Liberals what they personally believe about SSM, most haven't changed their opinions.
4. Since, I obviously don't understand your point if view, maybe you could explain to me how allowing same-sex marriage is detrimental to me. How does re-defining the definition of marriage effect me in a negative way? in anyway? How is this idea "radical", since church and state have theoretically been several for quite some time now?
In you previous statement, you suggested that I thought the world revolved around me. Apparently, you were wrong. It revolves around you. Are we to start legislating and believing in things only when they affect ourselves?
SSM is radical because it deviates from a universal, societal and cultural norm, established in all civilizations, and by all cultures before there were things like nations. Marriage goes beyond religion and is consistent in one aspect in every culture and religion --- that one thing is the opposite-sex requirement. Some religions/cultures allow polygamy, some allow child marriage, some allow marriage to close family members --- but universally, marriage requires the opposite-sex component. Moving away from that is definitely radical.
As for how it affects society? Countless ways. Once same-sex marriage becomes federal law, it follows that teaching against it will be illegal. What does that mean for parents who are religious but not covered by the tenuous protection offered to clergy under the law. And what about public schools. They teach sex education. Gay sex will inevitably be part of the curriculum, and the only option for parents who disagree will have is to pull their kids out of public school. And there is no guarantee that the teaching and learning of gay sexuality will not become manditory. Think 'sensitivity-training'. Alarmist? No. Pragmatist.
You also assume that anyone who disagrees with SSM is doing so on religious grounds. My religion has deferred opinion of SSM. They have taken no moral or spiritual leadership on this issue. My concern is that anyone who dissents on this issue is being branded as bigots, and you are proving my point.
You (and other like minded people) are proposing a major change to the fundamental understanding of marriage --- an understanding that has endured centuries and civilizations. The onus is on you to prove to me that this change will not adversely affect society -- not for me to prove that it will. Sorry, but your assurance that 'it won't', just doesn't cut it.
Challenges/responses continued on the next entry.