Saturday, December 31, 2005

INTOLERANCE

Intolerance - want of toleration of the opinions or practices of others.

I have been following a comment thread these past few days about gay marriage and civil unions and another on how much racism there is in Australia. I have come to the conclusion that what we have to guard and fight against is intolerance.

The first thread was not homophobic in the true sense of the word and I found the commenters revealing the usual reasons for their intolerance. "I don't understand it - it's not natural - children need a mother and a father - marriage is special between a man and a woman" and the old standby, "I love my dog, why can't I marry it" firmly putting homosexuals down there with animals.

Kelly from "The Muriels" blogspot, Anonymous Lefty, Sam from QueerPenguin and others all had logical and clear arguments for civil unions, marriage and equality. I didn't comment because these bloggers said everything and better than I could. The main commenter kept saying he had answered all the questions but he didn't, all he showed was his intolerance to gay and lesbians, an unquestioned belief in his idea of marriage and disregard for any major research showing that children of gay and lesbian couples can flourish and become fully functional adults.

So I announce here like a member of AA that I am intolerant as well. I have zero tolerance for people who have fixed and inflexible ideas "loitering with intent" inside closed minds. I am also biased, admiring Kelly and Sam's intellects and counting both as friends. Everyone who comes here knows I am not gay, just a straight divorced grandmother. I have members in my extended family who are just family, not 'gay' family. It was not until the gay marriage ban that I began to realize how the bias against a group of Australian citizens could be made into a law.
I was offended that this could be done in my name and without my vote.

The second thread on racism is also close to me as my granddaughters are part Sri Lankan along with several other nationalities. My father-in-law, a true racist and bigot of the old school, would look them over carefully to see if their skin was darkening as they got older. He also disliked the fact that my son had no objection to them being brought up in the Catholic Faith. I'm not sorry he died before the girls became aware of his subtle hostility.
So if we don't have overt racism in country we certainly have intolerance to other races because of skin colour. I have said it before that people ask me what nationality the girls are which I always think is strange as they are asking an anglo-saxon me. They have not, for the most part, been subjected to racial slurs and hopefully as they get older, intolerance will fade out of our society.

So here I go again saying I am intolerant. I have zero tolerance for any person judging another on the basis of skin colour. So am I any better than the commenters I have been criticising? I think so because I've changed my views as I've grown and I'm still willing to listen and change more. As we go into the second half of the first decade of the 21st Century, I'm sad that this sort of discrimination is still going on but happy that it can be discussed by everyone with an opinion.

12 comments:

Ron said...

Well, Jahteh, it looks like you attracted a real piece of filth, unless I am completely misunderstanding anon's reasoning in posting those links.

Thank you for your post. After following the 'christian' links on the My Gay Marriage blog, I was in a real downer. I wonder if we have to aim higher than tolerance though to some kind of child-like acceptance of difference where we don't notice the difference. When I say child-like, I remember when my children first went to pre-school and then to the early years of primary school: they did not notice difference until they were taught about it.

Ron said...

Trackback

JahTeh said...

It's not the first filthy comment.

Gerry said...

JahTeh, re: that comment you removed (but left a trace of). Are you aware that if you tick the "remove forever" box (after clicking on the trash can icon) the whole lot disappears, and you aren't left with this "comment removed by blog adminstrator" crapological crap?

JahTeh said...

Thanks for the tip, Bear, have a great party.

JahTeh said...

Ron, that is something I have always felt about children but then a pack mentality seems to take over and it takes a lot of courage to not join in.

Gay Curmudgeon said...

JahTeh,

I support your Zero tolerance policy 100%.

I came to a decision recently that my silence in many debates was tacit assent to what is being done in my name. No more.

Btw, here is a quick list of the 'reasons' that people cited in that comments thread to oppose gay and lesbian marriage:

1. Civil marriage is against the “laws of god”
2. Civil marriage is against my religion
3. Civil marriage is against my personal beliefs
4. Civil marriage is the first step towards allowing people to marry animals
5. Civil marriage is the first step towards polygamy
6. Homosexuality is against nature so therefore; Civil marriage is against nature
7. Marriage is only for raising children (and you can't, so there)
8. Children need a mother and a father to grow up healthy
9. Marriage as an institution has been the same forever and has never changed
10. Marriage is sacred
11. Marriage is a building block of civilization
12. Marriage is an ancient law
13. Marriage is a long held tradition
14. Civil marriage is a new and untried idea
15. Civil marriage will destroy the institution of marriage
16. Civil marriage will destroy my marriage
17. Civil marriage will destroy civilization
18. Civil marriage is being pushed by activists just to annoy us
19. Gays and lesbians don't really want to be married, they just want to destroy my marriage
20. Gays and lesbians don't need civil marriage to get equal access to entitlements and services
21. Gays and lesbians are free to live the way they want to
22. Gay and lesbian relationships are just like de-facto relationships so they don't need civil marriage
23. I'm entitled to my opinion and you are entitled to yours

-GC

JahTeh said...

GC, isn't it convenient for the objectors to forget that marriage until recently was for forging alliances, merging land and/or fortunes and begetting an heir. Love, affection or respect rarely had a place.

Gay Curmudgeon said...

Very convenient indeed.

They also forget that women were property, that brides and grooms were purchased for each other and a labyrinth of inheritance law intended to maintain patriarchal power.

Ah, the good old days.

People seem to thing civil marriage is just about money and rights. This is the point I was making in a recent post "Gay Marriage: It's the love, stupid!"

-GC

JahTeh said...

GC, It's nice to be able to marry for love even if it doesn't last and I believe everyone should have that chance of happiness.

single-woman said...

Intollerance? Marriage is for man and women!

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