Today’s letter – Pat Robertson’s slippery soapbox undermines freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Televangelist Pat Robertson weighed in on the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Law that Maine’s Governor John Baldacci signed earlier this week with the tired “Slippery Slope” argument:

We haven’t taken this to its ultimate conclusion. You got polygamy out there. How can we rule that polygamy is illegal when you say that homosexual marriage is legal? What is it about polygamy that’s different? Well, polygamy was outlawed because it was considered immoral according to biblical standards. But if we take biblical standards away in homosexuality, what about the other? And what about bestiality and ultimately what about child molestation and pedophilia? How can we criminalize these things and at the same time have constitutional amendments allowing same-sex marriage among homosexuals. You mark my words, this is just the beginning in a long downward slide in relation to all the things that we consider to be abhorrent.

Saying marriage is between two people is not a slippery slope. Two people who are worthy of marriage ought to be able to marry each other, without interference from the government.

The real “slippery slope” is certainly not polygamy, but rather it is the next thing that the Opponents of Equality will take away. Will it be divorce? How about the ability to teach science in our schools? Or the freedom to choose our own religion?

As a parent I am much more terrified of what a Robertsonocracy would do to this country: replace what the Bible actually says (“treat others as you would like to be treated”) with whatever Robertson says it says. I mean, Governor, do you want Pat Robertson to have more power than you?

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – resistance is futile

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

American Physicist reflected on his experience with the Los Alamos bomb-building program in his 1985 book Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! and came to a realization about the futility of existence:

I sat in a restaurant in New York… and I looked out at the buildings and I began to think, you know, about how much the radius of the Hiroshima bomb damage was and so forth… How far from here was 34th street?… All those buildings, all smashed — and so on. And I would see people building a bridge, or they’d be making a new road, and I thought, they’re crazy, they just don’t understand, they don’t understand. Why are they making new things? It’s so useless.

But, fortunately, it’s been useless for almost forty years now, hasn’t it? So I’ve been wrong about it being useless making bridges and I’m glad those other people had the sense to go ahead.

The Opponents of Equality say that a storm is coming, that gay marriage will destroy civilization. As Mr. Feynman pointed out, people have been predicting destruction for a long time. When I see a gay couple holding hands, or a lesbian couple holding their newborn child, I am so glad that people had the sense to go ahead when those around them were telling them that they were less worthy of marriage or doomed to failure because of their “disease.”

Will marriage apartheid be around in a few years? Of course not. Only the regrets of those who thought it was useless to pursue love because of what Opponents of Equality told them.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – Girlie-men Against Equality

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I’m pretty sick of these conservative whiners. We can’t do stem cell research, we can’t drink or gamble, we can’t give citizenship to immigrants, we can’t have sex out of wedlock, we can’t get married – or the terrorists will win, society will collapse, and the world will end.

Normally I just ignore people who pretend to speak for God, but when they use the Bible as a weapon and aim it at helpless innocents, I have to step up and say something.

We don’t know what God thinks of gay marriage, but I do know that my life would be profoundly better if I could wed. Not one person would be harmed in the process. The terrorists won’t win, society won’t collapse, and the world will go on – perhaps a little bit better without the whining from Girlie-men Against Equality.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Slippery Slope or Final Step towards Freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

It’s Elephant in the Room week. The first I would like to tackle is the “slippery slope.” In 2005 when I was calling your office to ask you to sign AB 849, the 2005 Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, one of your staffers said that “if gays can marry, there’s nothing to stop people from marrying their pets.” I was astonished that anybody would still think this way – but out of respect for their belief, I feel compelled to respectfully crush it.

There are many logical consequences of redefining marriage to accommodate a group, such as polygamy, incestuous marriages, marriages of convenience and human-animal marriage. This would be a concern – if we were redefining marriage.

But we’re not redefining marriage. We are simply ending the special exclusions that have been written into marriage over time, like we did with interfaith couples in 1905 and interracial couples in 1948, and we should do with sexual orientation.

Ever since Ruth and Naomi vowed “until death do us part,” marriage has always been just “an exclusive contractual relationship between two persons.” Pets, minors and multiple people are in no danger of entering into a contractual relationship now or ever.

What is far more dangerous – the real “slippery slope” – is creating the right to exclude groups from marriage. Once we start down this slope, we will quickly be able to ban foreigners, the elderly, prisoners, Protestants and Britney Spears. Some will argue that this might be a good idea, but that is a separate slope and a different discussion.

So you can see that allowing all couples access to marriage is not a march down a slippery slope, but simply the final step toward freedom. I wish you would get on board and support the freedom to marry instead of the right to discriminate.

Yours,