Monday, April 24, 2006

It's late!

So now that I’ve got a moment to write in this thing, Blogger’s down. C’est la thing.

Some updates in what’s going on.

I’ve just given my group meeting, which means I can stop freaking out about giving my group meeting until, oh, late September. There are some things I’ve got to work on, but overall, things are going well with research. Until this weekend. We’re moving, you see, to the building across the way where I’ll have a seat next to a ground floor window, a desk much closer to where I’m actually doing research than I’ve got set up right now, and the most incredible lab chairs in history. The downside is that the next week is going to be somewhat hectic as we try to pack up the entire lab and move it, while cleaning. And that this weekend, vacuum lines were shut down, meaning I couldn’t do much. Sadness. On the upside, once again, chairs.

I have quite a lot to complain about with my current domicile (and will probably have about the same luck when I move into a new place this September) but at least the Earth has not yet opened up to devour my building. Knock on wood. Or particle board. Whatever the hell this thing is.

It appears a new petition has been drafted calling for what would essentially be a revival of the Federal Marriage amendment though this time it’s not evangelical Protestants, but Catholics that have signed this petition, which seems like it's a bit of non-news, at least in the sense that yes, we were already quite aware that same-sex marriage is against the beliefs of several churches, and that's cool. While I understand and certainly respect the right of those that believe homosexuality is evil to hold that belief, I just cannot comprehend the idea of then effectively legislating that belief. I have absolutely no problem with individual churches deciding that they’re not going to grant marriages to same sex couples. Any law that would grant homosexuals the right to marry one another that would force any church to do so is clearly unconstitutional, and that’s not what anyone’s talking about. That’s entirely their prerogative, and if it’s their belief that to do so would be directly contradictory to their faith, that’s cool. They’re not hurting anyone, really, as in becoming a member of a church, you're accepting its beliefs, and if one of their beliefs is that gays can't marry (or form relationships), it's kind of nonsensical to call yourself a part of that church and then prattle on about them being discriminatory. By somewhat, I mean completely. If you're not down with how a church views gays, then don't be a part of that church. I have, however, yet to hear a solid argument that entirely avoids both the arguments of religion and tradition and gives me a good reason why Jack and Bill shouldn’t be able to get the whole power of attorney deal.

Why would I require that the reasoning be non-religous and non-traditional? Because atheists get married all the time as long as they're of opposite sexes (as do billions of people of any number of faiths, so tying it to a single faith or even a subset is silly), and when you start applying tradition to things like who's allowed to date whom, things get prejudicial.

I’ve heard arguments from both sides, and I just can’t get past the whole “legislating religion” deal that must go along with this. It’s not a matter of letting people run rampant with all sorts of crazy marriages. Presumably, just the opposite, allowing homosexual marriage would allow for at least some shedding of the conception of gays as people who have sex with anything and everything. As William Saletan argues, it’s not akin to allowing polygamy, as marriage between members of the same sex is not the arbitrary decision to stick marriage at “two” but rather to put it at “one”, as in “devotion to one spouse”, which is what it is now. Frankly, I’m not so sure banning gay marriage is about that so much as it is the ability to control and wield power over a decidedly small portion of the population. In the political sense, not the religious sense. In the religious sense, it’s simply “we don’t do that.”, and I’m down with that.

Summary: Some religious leaders have petitioned for the banning of same sex marriage. I support their right to do so, believe it’s a perfectly rational extension of their beliefs. I think they’d probably be remiss if they didn’t. At the same time, I don’t believe that banning gay marriage is the right course of action, at least from a completely secular, "go down to city hall and they let Frank visit Alexei in the hospital when Alexei falls ill" standpoint. To me, from a strictly non-relgious standpoint, it appears to be the same as being allowed to marry anyone else. And I can't quite see how chromosomes (or genitalia, though I'm not certain about what the current legal state of marriage between a man and a male-to-female post-op transsexual is) should decide whether one can put one down on their insurance.


Damn Pirates. I don’t know what kind of state of mind you have to be in to consider putting Jose Hernandez at third over both Joe Randa (who has had some good defensive work this year, and hasn’t been sucking out loud at the plate really) and Freddy Sanchez (who I’d like to see out there from the start, so that the first inning is only a three run Astros lead, as Berkman doesn’t reach on something Hernandez would have had if he weren’t daydreaming about why Jack Wilson is so completely non-photogenic. Going onto the Pirates message board on right now is like entering into a battlefield. A battlefield with incredibly low morale where the infantry has decided to shell itself for kicks.

Who knew.

I’m going to bed.

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