After waking up and seeing that Maine didn't vote for Gay Marriage Rights under Prop 1, something clicked in me. I've never felt that love for an institution. Conservatives claim to want to protect the "institution" of marriage. They want to protect the traditions of America. They want to protect the way we are and always have been. I don't believe we have always been any particular way, and I don't find myself supporting any of these notions.
When I was in 1st grade back in 1980, stop laughing ya bastards, wearing my Buster Brown Shoes and being cool, I remember not wanting to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. I didn't get it. I rejected the notion of belonging to the country.
Today I realized that while part of who I am is dissociative, it's more than that. There are no institutions that i care about. Take Marriage. I'm married because my wife is from another country. We wouldn't have married otherwise. I'm happy to be with her, but I could care less about the marriage or marriage in general. I just want to be with her and help each other find happiness. For me the institution of marriage is a written legal document of convenience. Why would I care about that beyond the legal benefits?
But this applies to a wider picture, and that's where I wonder, "Am I alone in this? Is this common of Atheists?" Of course I'm not alone, but where is the commonality that makes me tick? The bigger picture is that I could care less if Washington DC never existed and the US Government didn't exist. The same is true of my corporation. You name a "institution" and I'll show you something that is nothing more than a tool for me.
I've changed from supporting institutions to supporting people. You say Gay Marriage and I think about the people and not about how to protect the historical definition. You say US Government and I think how do we use them to be sure that my neighbor has equal opportunities. I don't think of how do we protect the Constitutional Definition thereof.
People who protect institutions are against Gay Marriage. They think that prosecutors that "frame" people ought to be protected. They think that if you are found guilty of a crime, but there is evidence that proves your innocence, it's still ok if the state executes you. Holding on to institutions over people is yet another tradition and institution that I look at and say, 30 years later, I don't want any part of this.

Views: 20

Comment by CJoe on November 5, 2009 at 1:46am
First of all, I agree with you about marriage. There's nothing about it that appeals to me; however, I hadn't thought of the way you've stated it. I never realized that these people who support these institutions or the Constitution to the letter aren't concerned about the people for whom these institutions were created for. The Constitution contains amendments; in other words, it's meant to be amended if ever there are better ideas. I've read bits and pieces of America, by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, and it states that the Founding Fathers meant for ours to be a progressive nation; one that could improve upon their ideas. They knew it had to be fluid and evolving and, in their wisdom, knew they were not the wisest the world could ever produce.

It is pretty amazing that people forget that government is actually meant to protect people, and preserve their rights... ALL people, not just the conservatives.
Comment by Daley on November 5, 2009 at 5:40am
Right, CaraColeen. I've realized more and more that is isn't even really about the 'instituation'. It's about hatred, fear and control.

I've been with my partner for over 7 years and we've discussed marriage. To be completely honest, neither of us care about the 'institution' part of it all, but we can't negate the more than 1100 rights and privileges that a married couple has in our country. The closest thing that I could do in a hospital if he were injured would be to claim to be his brother and hope that nobody checked up on us. One of his family members that hate him because of his sexuality would have the say-so in an emergency while the man he loves and wakes up to every morning would just be a stranger.
It's degrading and sad. For me, thinking about those things makes it feel a lot more than unfair. It's pure torture.
Comment by Steve on November 5, 2009 at 9:24am
It is the same dogmatic behavior that thinking people(even religious ones) have to push against. The institution of marriage was put in play for land rights and property ownership, now as you said it is not much more than a legal document that allows us to share insurance and other legal benefits. If two human beings want to be married than why should thy not have the same rights as all of us. We have made the LBGT community second class citizens by denying their rights as humans. If a church as a private entity(should they be private since they are tax exempt) wants to deny a couple marriage well.... our government does not have the right to deny anyone a civil union. People are always going to be attached to their institution it makes them feel safe if nothing changes around them. I feel sorry for them because the day is coming slowly when I can go to a gay wedding smoking a joint :) I do not feel any attachment to an institution especially if it is no longer useful or has become dangerous.
Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on November 5, 2009 at 9:53am
Find me one argument against gay marriage that wasn't said for interracial.
In a few decades, these judgmental old bigots will be regarded in the same light as the civil rights abusers of our (well, at least MY) parents time. History will record them as the disgusting, hate filled fucks that they really are.
I can't wait.

Constitution as an involving document- Absolutely and of course, however... I don't think there is a whole lot of room for talk of improvement until the amendments we already have are you know.... followed and respected? Either that or pull them out. I've got a hard time revering anything that is inconsistently applied. Fair is fair. Don't make rules unless you intend on backing them up.

Back to marriage- If my boyfriend and I have to get married so he can get his green-card, I'm going to be PISSED. Neither of us believe that it's the governments business who we sleep with. Neither of us believe we need a piece of paper, and personally I'm not OK having a legal benefit that my cousin can't have, just because his love interest has a penis.
That said, we have exhausted our legal options on living and working in the same country......what a screwed up world, huh?
Comment by Doug Reardon on November 5, 2009 at 11:03am
I think, to be an atheist, one must be somewhat of an iconoclast, the exact opposite of a conservative. I love that which is new and different, the conservative fears it. The conservative is comfortable when things are constant and codified, and he knows what to expect and how to react. I am excited my new ideas, and look forward to new experiences, change does not threaten me. But I don't believe that it is a choice, I think you are somewhere on a continuum from one to the other simply because of the genes you inherit.
Comment by Wassabi on November 5, 2009 at 11:40am
Institutions are meant to serve people- not the other way around.

A country, any country, is basically no more than a large municipality. it's an institution which takes care of garbage collection, public transportation, tax collection and more things of the like. there shouldn't be anything "sacred" about it.

the problem begins when the people in power stop treating all parts of the population equally, whether by direct descrimination, or by un-equal resource allocation. Hell- if robots were ever to take charge of day to day opreations i'd do away with the government conpletely (matrix here I come).

In essence, there is no real need for "national pride", "national affiliation", or Nations at all.

hopefully these institutions will disappear with time as technology blurrs borders.

And i agree on the marriage as well- silly idea.
Comment by CJoe on November 5, 2009 at 11:07pm
Right, Yonny! I'm completely with you on the fact that there is no need for "national pride". Like John Lennon says in his song, Imagine:

"Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace"

People should consider themselves brothers/sisters with all of humanity. In fact, treating animals with a similar respect would be great, though obviously we can't treat them exactly as we would people. We're all in this together; we all want our rights preserved and our lives protected. It's ridiculous to think being a patriot is a virtue! Obviously, we should protect our own, but we can't passively or brainlessly go along with whatever our country claims to be for!
Comment by Gaytor on November 5, 2009 at 11:09pm
We all must be on the same page in general. I thought about posting Perfect Circle's version of Imagine.
Comment by Reggie on November 6, 2009 at 1:15am
Skipping all the comments right now because it is late.

Marriage is just a label and legal rights. You may not feel it is important because you are focused on things that are more real, like your relationship. I don't see marriage as anything special. Commitment and loyalty are what make long term relationships special and marriage does not guarantee that in any way.

I know plenty of adulterers and divorced people.


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