Sunday, June 28, 2015

SCOTUS Scribblings

Q: Editor - I see from your social media feed that you're pretty upset about the two Supreme Court rulings this week. Would you care to expand your incoherent tweeting into some equally incoherent writing?
A: One benefit of the fact that I'm my own editor is that I can ask myself leading questions. Yes, this is cheating and no, I don't care.

First let's talk about King vs. Burwell. After a day of time to reflect about this ruling I've got a few thoughts:
1. Chief Justice John Roberts believes that the Legislative Branch should fix Legislative Branch problems. This is why the fact that the ACA had some language in it that basically said, "only state exchanges are eligible for tax credits" doesn't matter. If the court had said, "you're right, only state exchanges can give tax credits" then peoples' health care expenditures would have increased overnight. The court didn't want to be responsible for that, so they ruled that the federal exchange should be able to be substituted for state exchanges. I take that as a message from Chief Justice Roberts to the Congress that if they want this fixed, they need to fix it.
2. Obamacare is now a major chain around Hillary Clinton. Every failure, every rate increase, every premium hike, everyone who loses their doctor, they now have an enemy to point towards.
3. I hope that the 2016 election will start a national conversation about entitlements and the entitlement society, and this ruling makes that conversation more likely. Unfortunately, health insurance now equals health care in most peoples' minds so replacing the ACA with something else is going to be a tough fight.

Now, for the legalization of same-sex marriage. I believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. What I'm coming to grips with is that this objective truth is now an opinion. "Believe" is the operative word. The cultural majority now "believes" that marriage is one man and one man, one woman and one woman and one man and one woman. Does that change what marriage is? No. What has changed is the fact that the word "marriage" has no meaning. It's whatever the will of the cultural majority says that it is. Are we as a society OK with that?

I've been married for just under two years and my wife and I recently had our first child. I've already seen how we both bring different things to our daughter's world but with this ruling I have been told that my wife and I bring exactly the same things to our child. That if you replaced me with a woman or my wife with a man, our daughter would turn out the same. I disagree. Men and women are different and bring different things to parenting. But now that belief is, like the definition of marriage, just a belief that is now overtaken by the culture. Are we as a society OK with that too?

So where do we go from here? This ruling means that all 50 states must conduct marriages between any combination of two consenting adults. What will that mean? My predictions for the next few years in no particular order:
- There will be a lawsuit filed this summer against either a church as an institution or a priest as a person for not performing a same-sex wedding. The outcome of that lawsuit will be to force the church to perform same-sex wedding. I cannot predict where that will lead.
- Same-sex marriage advocates will target the wedding service industry, specifically businesses owned by people who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. Any business that does not service same-sex weddings will be driven out of business, either by lawsuit or public shaming. It will make headlines but ultimately be met with a shrug from the media and popular culture.
- Adoption agencies will no longer be allowed to prefer opposite-sex couples to same-sex couples. This will cause agencies run by religious institutions to shut down.
- The first divorce proceeding involving a same-sex couple's fight over custody over their children is going to be fascinating reading.
- The first polygamy case will be filed before the 2016 election. The Supreme Court, using the same logic, will grant the right for marriage to be expanded to more than two people. After all, it's about love, right?

In short, I'm pretty worked up today, but the positive impact is that I'm stepping into the game much more than I ever have. I'm inspired and I'm motivated. More on this to come.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Personal Note About Moving On

On Friday I made a series of tweets and retweets on the official Twitter account of the Answer Boss regarding the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. I received a response tweet from a friend saying that one post was in poor taste, and afterwards that friend went to the online community where this feature was born and commented on it there. Below are those posts.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:26 am
tim boss on twitter (tweeted an article saying this is a "dark week")

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:49 am
link plz.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:51 pm
sorry my quote should say "these are dark days"

he retweeted this one: ... 6623517696

and he has been tweeting up a storm. i called him on it.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:13 pm
You did :-)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:45 pm
i don't understand what is so divisive about coming out publicly and saying "i am a bigot who hates gay people" or "i am really stupid, and don't care to learn about any of the issues i parrot about on social media." then you can more easily join into hate groups and be shunned by actual people, employers, and society at large (although this might lead to a SCOTUS case regarding the rights of the criminally stupid...)

this shit is just straight baffling. it's a failure in democratic process because the Supreme Court upheld a right which is supported by 63% of Americans? lol nope. we don't even have a direct democracy (American History: F-) and if we did, your opinion would have lost out to the actual majority.

you aren't a "true American patriot" for standing up to the Liberal democrat moslem scum who passed this law in the face of overwhelming opposition. you're a backwards fuckwit who doesn't understand the law, doesn't understand government, and hasn't bothered to read the court's opinion on this matter (which has nothing to do with any of these bullshit conservative talking points).

i wish the worst on people like him for hiding their heads in the sand (err, Twitter) so they can circlejerk about being bigots, and be butthurt that other people now have the same rights as them (which is in fact, a thing literally written into the Bill of Rights).

I will not comment on the content of the above other than to say that the opinion above (opposition to same-sex marriage is bigotry) is that of most members of the community. What caught my attention was that I was personally being called a bigot. That affected me a lot more than I expected it to. I was furious as I read the words, and my anger did not subside. After that post a few more were made, and what I found interesting and disheartening was that there was no commentary on the charge of bigotry. Just a casual acceptance. And that was what told me that it was time to walk away and not look back.

I'm a little sad since that community is where I started and developed the question-and-answer column that now lives here. But if I am not welcome in a community then I am not welcome, and it is time for me to leave it. I write about it here only to remind myself of why I am leaving and to document it for posterity. 

Below is my final contribution to the site.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:25 am
Thank you for your post. You have made it clear that I am not welcome on this site and so my time here has come to an end.

Being called a bigot is something that I will not tolerate. You do not know me, have never (that I can remember) met me, yet you presume to know what is in my heart and in my head. You don't, but if that is your opinion of me, and if that opinion is shared by the members of this community, then it is time for me to spend my time somewhere else.

I will not be back to read any responses to this post. I will not be back at all. I wish you all the best with the rest of your time on this site. Goodbye.