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

 


Letters From Readers

The Observer welcomes letters to the editor. Letters can be no more than 350 words. All letters must be signed by the author and carry the address of the sender.

The Observer edits letters for brevity, grammar, taste and legal reasons. We will not publish consumer complaints against businesses or personal attacks against private individuals. Thank-you letters are discouraged. 

Include a telephone number and address for verification purposes only. Letter writers are limited to one letter every two weeks. Writers of longer Community Comment columns are limited to one every three months.

Send your letters to: The Observer, 1406 Fifth St., La Grande, OR 97850, or they can be emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , or faxed to 541-963-7804.