Idiots in Love

So, it’s Valentine’s Day, a celebration of love, romance and all those “feelings” we as Americans seem to suck at.  America loves its huge gestures, hell in the last ten years we have had at least two shows about grand ways to ask someone to marry you, or to ask someone to prom.  Let’s put on a production in a public venue, involving thirty some odd people, to ask a question that you are absolutely going to feel massive amounts of pressure to say yes to after a five-minute song and dance routine and sixty people (including your family) watching.  It’s no surprise that love stories involving huge sinking ships or meeting at the top of the Empire State Building are our favorites.  Well since we love grand gestures so much, I’m going to gift to you all my opinion on the grandest gesture of love: Marriage.  Specifically, the subject of same-sex marriage.

Let me start right off by saying there are two separate issues here, but it seems that our lobbyist and politicians can’t seem to separate the two.  There is legal marriage and there is religious marriage and yes Virginia there is a Santa Clause, errr I mean they are separate issues. Last I knew, despite our President’s comments at the National Prayer Breakfast last week, we try to have a separation of Church and State in our country.  If we can wrap our Idiot minds around that, let’s discuss legal marriage first.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Thomas Jefferson used this iconic phrase to help explain to Britain why we needed to break up and it has been used in almost every anti-discrimination argument since then, with very good reason.  We have expanded the meaning of “men” in that sentence to legally include all US citizens and that they should all be afforded that same rights under the law.   Marriage in legal terms is a contract that, in it’s basic form, binds two adults into one entity under the law.  You count as one household for taxes, loans, insurance, paying for your kid’s sports banquets, etc.  Depending on local laws you must go to the courthouse or city hall to get a marriage license, you need to have witness signatures on your marriage document, and you need to have someone officiate.  It’s the last bit that starts to muddy the waters a bit.  In most places in the US a marriage can be officiated by a Judge, Justice of the Peace (a legal position that doesn’t have all the powers of a Judge but can perform some legal actions, like a marriage), a Captain at Sea, or an Ordained Officer of a Church.  The clergy position is of course the one used in every sitcom when a friend goes online and gets ordained for $24.99 just so they can officiate a wedding.  To me what this boils down to is this, marriage is a legal contract, we aren’t supposed to discriminate between consenting adults based on race, gender, disability, or SEXUAL PREFERANCE, why the hell is this still an issue?  Every single consenting adult of legal age should be allowed to get a legal marriage and suffer just as much as I do! (Shhhh, my wife doesn’t read this blog so I’m safe.)

On to religious marriage.  This is actually a lot less murky then legal marriage.  Though a lot of marriage ceremonies are similar, each religion has its own requirements and processes to go though to have a ceremony and have the blessings of their respective deity conferred.  These stipulations are set by the organization’s governing body, H.M.F.I.C. (Head Mother-Fracker In Charge), or whomever runs a website that will ordain you for $24.99. (A running gag, I’m on a ROLL today!)  What all these institutions have in common is that the Federal, State, and Local governments CAN NOT tell them how to marry someone, or who they can or can not let marry.  As long as an organization’s practices do not cause harm to people or break any public decency laws (No public nudity in a non-nudity area, no underage marriages, no ritual sacrifices, that kind of thing) our governments are required on a Constitutional level (Number 1! Number 1!) to keep their collective noses out of it.  Summary?  Each religion needs to make up its separate minds about whether to perform a same-sex ceremony or not, and the government needs to keep out of it.  And do not drone on about the sanctification of marriage.  According to the American Psychological Association, 40 to 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce, is marriage in this country was held on such a high pedestal, idiots would be making more thought out decisions.  I should know, I’m on my second marriage and I make no qualms about being an idiot.

So, let’s bring what I am saying together here.  Legal marriage should be available for all consenting adults of legal age.  This makes sense under that whole “Equal in the eyes of the law” thing we love to talk about.  There should be no legal reason why Adam and Steve, or Andrea and Eve can’t go done to the Courthouse with a few friends, sign some paperwork, pay the licensing fees (Government has got to get paid Yo!), and have the Judge marry them.  The local church however has to make its own decision on if it would be willing to perform the ceremony, and the Government can’t influence that choice.  Yes, this does mean that two very religious individuals might be legally married but still living in sin in the eyes of whatever powers they worship, but that would have to be a choice made up by each individual.

Alright so now we have the issue of “my religion does not allow me to do part of my job like issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples” or “my religious views do not let me make a cake for a same-sex wedding.”  Again, two separate issues.  The first is dealing with a government office.  If you have a job upholding the laws of your city, county, state, or federal government you are signing up to put the law over your personal opinion.  If you agree to do a job and for whatever reason can’t do part of it, you should make arrangements to see that the law is fulfilled or step down.  Government positions, like the government itself, have to be impartial to personal feeling so that everyone is treated equally under the law.  Now private businesses are different.  A private business can refuse service to anyone for any reason.  It’s their right.  Now their reason might be a crappy one, maybe even discriminatory, in which case let’s use word of mouth to run that business down.  We live in an age where any Idiot can rant on the internet, (Hi, there!) so spread the word that you where refused for whatever reason, if enough people agree with you that it was a crappy move on the businesses part, they lose money for their choice.

We all like to say we are decent human beings, so my question to you is simple: When it comes to the differences that really mean nothing (Race, Gender, Choice of Sexual Partners, Whether you’re a Ginger), are we really decent human beings?  Or is it just lip service?  I don’t know, I’m just an Idiot.

 

The Idiot

Hello World, I’m an Idiot

I figured that an introduction was the way to go for our first get together.  That way you learn a little about me, what I intend this blog to be, and decide you can’t live a happy and fulfilling life without visiting my little soapbox every week.

“A Blue-Collar Idiot’s Opinion on Everything.”  A very lofty and ambitious title that might make you wonder about my qualifications.  For blue-collar I am referring to the more modern definition that means “any job that does not require a college degree.”  In high school I was a stock boy at the local supermarket, moved to truck unloading at the local department store after high school, eventually moving out to the floor stocking shelves in the early morning hours.  I changed department stores and sold furniture for a while, helping to make deliveries and did a brief stint in management there.  Retail eventually got sick of me and dropped me like a lover with an undisclosed STD.  From there I turned to factory work to fill the void in my heart and wallet.  My first factory was a good mistress, starting me on the shipping docks, giving me some training on basic metal presses, and eventually letting me move to the receiving docks.  This time I thought I was better and needed more so I left.  I did a year of truck driving before coming to my senses. (Ok, ok, I actually missed my wife and kids, but don’t tell them that.)  Since then I have worked the last 10 years for a major manufacturer in town on both the shipping docks and as a material mover within the plant.  At the beginning of this year I moved into an office area where I help with import and export of material and product.   Needless to say, I think I have the blue-collar part covered.

Now let’s talk about being an Idiot.  Yes, I’m an Idiot, but it’s ok because you’re one too. Hell, some of you are thinking it’s idiotic of me to be insulting you in my first post.  Let me tell you a phrase I love to tell my kids. “Everyone is an idiot about something.”  We can’t know it all and we should all be brave enough to admit it.  You could be a world leader in neuro-surgery (in which case what the hell are you doing reading this? Don’t you have lives to go save?) and know absolutely nothing about how to change your car’s oil.  That is something your mechanic could do in his sleep.  So, to him? You’re an idiot.  Let’s go bigger, for those of you that have kids, remember being a first-time parent?  Not only where you an idiot, but you were probably scared stupid too.  But most of you were able to admit that you knew nothing and leaned on your family, colleagues, robotic overloads, and friends for knowledge and support.  So, let’s just all admit that we are idiots, it’s ok no one here will judge you for that. (other things are fair game though.)

On the subject of opinions?  Let’s put it this way, I’m an American and we are well known for having opinions on everything and being damn loud about them.  Well, except for when our spouses ask us a question.  Then we are firm believers that the only correct answer is “Whatever,” because true interfamily communication is for more civilized people.

Alright, enough about my stellar and overwhelming credentials.  My plan for this blog is to give you all a piece of my mind.  I’m going to give all of you returning idiots a shiny new, awe inspiring BCI opinion every Wednesday starting February 14th.  Very few subjects will be off limits and I will always take suggestions on a topic, if I don’t already have an opinion, with a little research I can form one damn quick.  Oh, to give you all fair warning right now, I love my country, but I hate our government.  I don’t mean just one part of it, I believe every single aspect has problems that need to be addressed, so expect a lot of opinions about politics and what I deem is stupidity in action.  I won’t pretend to know all the answers, but I will pretend that it will be an entertaining idiotic rant every week.  Let’s buckle in and hope you enjoy the ride.

 

The Idiot

 

Oh, and to start us all out on the right foot, I’ll give you my opinion on blogging.  It’s all bull-crap.  It’s for folks that think highly of themselves (hey that’s me!), folks too scared to try and write for publication (hey that’s me too!), folks that just want a soapbox to spout off from (hey what is this a checklist?), or folks that just want a creative outlet to try and entertain the masses (whew, dodged that one!).  So yeah, it’s all bull-crap.  But hey, at least I let you know that upfront.