Letters and comments for March 15, 2012

By Observer Upload March 15, 2012 01:37 pm
Letters and comments for March 15, 2012

Two sides to issue


To the Editor:

Mayor Pokorney’s “gay marriage” Facebook posts have been well reviewed and critiqued. At the end of the day, it appears to come down to two sides.

Side A believes that gay marriage is still problematic and “sinful” in its moral assessment. Side B says we have “progressed” in moral thinking and gay marriage needs our societal blessing.

Side A represents the traditional and religious views of marriage as a contract and covenant between one man and one woman. Side B seems equally definite in its views, in pronouncing the moral legitimacy of gay marriage, typically on the basis of equal rights.

So, who has the moral high ground? Who is right? What knowledge discipline do we have to determine the moral qualities and characteristics of a rather important social issue?

Is the current standard of morality determined by the vote, the majority? Is it based on total self-autonomy? Is moral decision-making simply whatever the law says? Where’s the reference point to even start a moral decision-making process between differing views?

Both A and B appeal to a higher authority. Side A uses an outside reference guide to moral decision-making. In this case, the Bible and other monotheistic mainline traditions.

Side B claims a higher, progressive guiding moral light on the issue.

Both sides use rather harsh labels and stereotypes. While Side A uses such terms as “abomination,” Side B retaliates with “homophobic,” “intolerant” and “bigot.” Certainly, such labels do not convey a tolerant, inclusive attitude, either.

So, what to make of all of this? The minimum one can say is that we are still infantile in our ability to think morally. 

With our enlightened “spiritual awareness” and our enlightened “rational progress,” we still act like cavemen when it comes to relationships with those who see things a little differently than we do.

Maybe one thing coming from such discussions is realizing I still have much to learn.

Maybe, there will be a bit of self-inspection and self-reflection to see how I have participated in making an enemy out of my neighbor.

Tim Gleeson

La Grande


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