Thursday, November 06, 2008

Critical Issues

Yesterday I called a boyhood friend (we went to the same Chicago Grammar School and High School together). He is now living in North Carolina and I called to get his take on the Presidential Election. Barack Obama was leading by a thin margin in a State that I thought would definitely be a Red State.

It didn’t really matter because Senator (now President Elect) Obama already had enough electoral votes to be the new US President. I was just curious and he was the only person that I know in North Carolina that would be home at one in the afternoon. He is retired.

He is also a lifelong Democrat that did not vote for Obama. I asked him if it was a race issue, as we were both reared to dislike people of different races and of certain nationalities. We were carefully taught by our families, at an early age, to dislike the same people that they disliked. He said “not really”.

His major concerns were gun control, abortion (he is a good Catholic, who hasn’t been inside of a church for years) and gay marriage. We discussed, at length, these three issues. I disagreed with him on two out of three.

The one issue that I agreed with was gun control. I’m anti gun control. Of the thousands of friends and family members I have known to have firearms; not a one has ever committed a crime or intentionally killed a person with a gun. I’m an adherent of the philosophy that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. Criminals will get weapons even if guns were made illegal.

I am in a quandary about the abortion issue. I believe in “the right to life” but I am also “pro choice”. This dilemma makes it hard for me to argue in either direction on this subject. But I am against the “Religious Right” attempting to dictate their morals onto the general population. There is a reason that our “founding fathers” believed in and advocated the separation of Church and State.

Finally we come to “gay marriage”. I know a gay couple that has been together for more than 35 years. One is in his early 80’s and a WWII veteran; the other is about to turn 60. They own several properties together (as joint tenants –survivorship rights) but they have separate bank accounts. They are beyond the point that where money is a concern, so they do not see the point of being married (did I mention that both are Catholic and attend mass on a regular basis).

But there are younger gay couples that would benefit by “Gay Marriage”. I have always accepted Gay people (especially women); although it was against my beliefs (I believe that homosexuality is nurtured not natured).

As a good friend once said “Let them get married so that they can suffer like us heterosexuals”.

The Beach Bum

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When you have a gay relative, the issue of gay rights becomes more important. I want my sister in law to have the same rights as I enjoy.

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