Are “Traditions” Laws?

According to the link below, opponents of same-sex marriage will argue before the Supreme Court heterosexual marriage is the traditional definition of marriage, gay marriage is not.  They will argue tradition rules, laws don’t.

It is true, for most of U. S. history the concept of marriage has been between heterosexual people, but many other things we would call tradition have been cast aside in favor of equal treatment.

Some of us are old enough to remember a phrase that was once so important it was thought to be more important than law.  The phrase was, “Our Southern way of life”.

This phase was code language for segregation.  The “Southern way of life” was separate schools, water fountains, swimming pools, churches and black people eating in the parking lots of restaurants instead of the dinning rooms.

Equal treatment under the law is in the Constitution, segregation is not.  But, from the Southern point of view,  something called the”Southern way of life” trumped the Fourteenth Amendment.

Today’s version of “Southern way of life” is “marriage has always been between one man and one woman.”  That the financial and social benefits of marriage are not available to gay people is less important than this new version of the “Southern way of life”.

I would guess it is this argument about “tradition” that motivated President Obama, the Clintons, Republican Senator Rob Portman and others to endorse gay marriage.  These make the case straight marriage is not seen by everyone as the only tradition in town.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/supreme-court-expected-to-decide-whether-constitution-requires-states-to-legalize-gay-marriage-92223/

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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42 Responses to Are “Traditions” Laws?

  1. Les says:

    Very well-said, Jon. Hopefully today’s version of “the Southern way of life” regarding marriage will end this year. After that, maybe atheists will be the next Americans to gain equality.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Les; Re. Your; “After that, maybe atheists will be the next Ameicans to gain equality”. Please calrify what you mean by that. Thanks.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Sorry; Clarify.

      • Jeffrey Eide says:

        Atheist are, by far, demonized in the United States more than any other developed country. It is not so much equality as acceptance that people aim for. There is not much equality if an atheist wants to run for a higher political office. Much like a homosexual, they will be encouraged to stay in the closet.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          Thanks Les

          • Jeffrey Eide says:

            Oh, I am sorry, next time I will keep this open Forum to you guys.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            You are free to contribute, but since Les introduced the “…Atheists will be the next Americans to gain equality”, I was interested where he was coming from. He after all didn’t mention acceptance. Equality only.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          I noticed yesterday in the Christian Post, an article by Stoyan Jaimov, entitled; “Fla professor makes class trample on Jesus’ name: suspends student who refused”. Is this the kind of “equality” you talk about? Looks like atheists have more than their fair share of “equality” in some environments. According to the article, the college stands behind the professor.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 1:06 I saw that headline and read the article after you mentioned it. It does seem like a practice that could be accomplished in some other way, but that’s how that particular prof does it, apparently. I did not see that either the prof or the un. offical were atheists nor that the exercise had anything to do with atheism.

            “Looks like atheists have… ‘equality’ in some environments.” It doesn’t seem to be the case here where I live. So far, we have not been able to get even one book on atheism, Buddhism or any faith view other than Christianity into our local jail library.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Yes. I wonder what would have happened if it was Muhammid instead of Jesus, and it got out in the news media. Or Martin Luther King?

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 6:02 re: Muhammid, MLK?

            They are minorities, not good subjects for the point of the excercise. The point is to step outside current reality and offend the BIG majority, like burning the flag during the Vietnam war. Maybe someday Jesus followers will be perceived as a minority and she will have students walk on someone else.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Minority? I know it’s a dumb question, but ever been to the deep South?—–or North Mpls? “Minority” can be/ is locational. As for the rest, an insult is as insult does. Answer the question—-what would happen if the prof. had the students write Muhammed on the paper, then intimidated/forced the students to stomp on it? Ever hear what happened when the Danish cartoonist did something with Muhammid, The Satanic Letters, or the results of WBC’s insults to the Koran? “minority” is not the issue. Purposefull insult is. Freedom of speach is discretionary. The Fla. prof. did not use freedom of speach, but forced, coerced, or intimated students into submission. Not much different from a priest, peacher, or teacher exercising a position for sexual favors.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 8:16 I’m not disagreeing with you things might have gotten ugly is she had used MLK or Muhammed for the exercise. I think it is terrible if she punished a student for not wanting to participate.

            I would still guess the choice of Jesus was not an atheist thing but a choice based on intellectual challenge. As I mentioned, the story does not say the prof. or admin. were atheists.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            If as the article stated, the object of this prof.’s exercise was;”a lesson in debate”, he could easily have chosen a different subject. Cats, parsnips, tapioca pudding, or honey wine, (meade). It has been my observation most people either love these, or hate them. Not much middle ground. His choice of Jesus, and his chosen punishment for not complying indicates a strong anti Christian bias. He should have been laughed out of the class room, but the Fla. State University system reveals it is just as complicit.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            So this Norwegian walks into this pub with an accordion. Orders a plate of parsnips, a side of tapioca pudding, a glass of mead, and starts to play a waltz tribute to his short haired feline domesticus. In Memphis.————————

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            I’m pointing out the reason Jesus might have been chosen for the exercise based on what my wife used to do in her sociology classes. There was often a section on social norms. For students to understand what a social norm was, there needed to be a violation of one. She would routinely do something or say something outside the norm to illustrate. I’m sure she never used religion, however.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; re. your 8:38–last paragraph: If I were a betting man, I’d give you big odds.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Or he/she could be Jewish or Muslim. That would make it interesting.???????

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Looked a little farther. Asst. professor Mr. Deandre Poole. “A local Democratic activest”. That particular local Democratic organization has had a history of national/ethenic insensitivities, with others forced to resign due to questionable activities. You can bet your sweet ass he wouldn’t have chosen MLK to stomp on. Google images.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          Florida Atlantic University; Part of the state university system of Fla. Not an independent college. Systemic? I’d say so.

  2. Henry says:

    Jon: “I would guess it is this argument about “tradition” that motivated President Obama, the Clintons, Republican Senator Rob Portman and others to endorse gay marriage.”

    President Obamba – He is bisexual by some accounts, and we know he is unprincipled. http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/List_of_Barack_Obama%E2%80%99s_gay_lovers He often abandons the law (his inner moral law or US law) in order to achieve political means.

    The Clintons – They are recent converts to accepting homosexual “marriage”. They set the homosexual movement back in the military with DADT. Now, they are championed by the homosexual movement. They have abandoned their supposed inner moral law to benefit a political movement. Or at the very least they have always been populist and go with the flow.

    Rob Portman – Unprincipled. A recent convert when circumstances in his own life affect him, he adjusts his principles. He didn’t owe compromising his principles to his son. He apparently felt he did. Truly, this is more of a case of moving towards “the southern way of life” in that his inner moral law is compromised in order to appease a political movement contrary to the law.

    An equivalence of “the southern way of life” is actually being embraced by some of the political liberals and moderates.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Henry 3:03
      1.) If President Obama is bisexual, does this make him “unprincipled”? Why?

      2.) An “equivalence of ‘the southern way of life’”? I’m willing to bet you are playing games with words again. What, exactly, is the “equivalence” you speak of??

      • Henry says:

        1) Yes, but that wasn’t my claim. Obamba being perhaps bisexual and unprincipled are not necessarily mutually dependent. However, being bisexual would make him unprincipled as it compromises his wedding vows and perhaps his religion as defined by Jerimiah Wright.

        2) “Equivalence” in this case has already been stated by me. Read through again.

    • Jeffrey Eide says:

      What a hateful, miserable little man you must be Henry. His heart shrunk three sizes that day…

      • Henry says:

        JE: “hateful, miserable little man”

        Namecalling so soon? I am not concerned about your namecalling, and like I told someone else the other day, I am not concerned about size. Some people have a syndrome over this. Perhaps you qualify.

    • Jeffrey Eide says:

      Let’s follow Henry’s Logic:
      1) Gayness is wrong because I interpret the bible that way
      2) Obama is evil, Henry wants more ways to hate on Obama without understanding politics
      3)Obama must be gay! That would explain why I hate him so much!
      4)Google Obama is gay and link to the first website confirming my hate, regardless of veracity

  3. Buzz says:

    if you want them to be.fake it till you make it .grow a pair. who gives a rats ass.grow up for gods sake.get a fricken job.quit being a victim you sorry ass poor me babies and especially all you wanna be educated egomaniacs.get a life and stay out of mine.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Buzz 4:43 “Get a life and stay out of mine.”

      Trying to follow you here, friend. How am I getting into your life–I don’t think I even know you.

    • Jeffrey Eide says:

      I will be satisfied with being educated, Buzz. In the meantime, think of how you portray all of the other poorly-spoken illiterates out there. Some of them are decent people who enjoy concepts such are compassion.

  4. Buzz says:

    Jon 5:10 of course you don’t know me. I would’nt allow it. I am just as selfish as you or any other human and thus vulnerable to any machinations you may or may not harbor.I was just responding to all the goodie goodie bullshit and arrogance that occurs when people want their way and think I should change to facilitate your sick agendas.I trust public opinion for the most part and thank GOD for majority rules. Think I will join Ed in bidding you Adieu.I wonder if you aren’t pulling our Leg.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Buzz 8:20 This blog post, “Are ‘Traditions” Laws?” was about laws, in general, and the role of what is called tradition in laws. I don’t see what it had to do with your views on anything. But, you are free to interpret it is whatever way you wish. Though I like having you as a reader and commenter, this blog is not assigned reading to anyone.

      Cheers.

    • Jeffrey Eide says:

      Buzz, all that ‘pulling on leg’ stuff, I am starting to think you are hitting on Jon. I have tried to cut down on harboring machinations, but old habits die hard. Good job spelling adieu, by the way, you must have Googled it! At least you care about learning somewhat.

  5. Buzz says:

    Jon A Law is a Law and a Tradition is a Tradition.that blog does not make sense.if that is what higher education gets you no wonder the world is f—ed up.you been on the taxpayer dole to long

    • Jeffrey Eide says:

      yu been on hte couch a bit to long (sic), time to dust of those reading glasses, because it is time to go back to the basics. Let’s see, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Buzz 10:22 “Jon, a law is a law and a tradition is a tradition. That blog does not make sense.”

      I agree with you. I apologize if my writing led you to think I meant something else. It was redneck Southern Democrats, until the 1960′s, who used “tradition” (“Southern way of life”) to justify segregation, saying or implying it trumped equal rights.

      Today, the same argument is being presented in the Supeme Court by religious conservatives. Only now, instead of being called the “Southern way of life” (meaning segregation), it is being called “traditional marriage” (depriving gays or marriage rights). I hope this version of the “tradition” argument does not prevail. But, the old one used to keep segregation was successful for 150 years.

  6. entech says:

    We have Henry and Buzz to demonstrate that blind, mindless hatred of the other is a tradition to some.

  7. Buzz says:

    entech,how you spin disagreement into hatred is a far stretch.

    • entech says:

      If you consider your posts on this topic to be just disagreement, I can’t imagine what it would be like if you had simple dislike.
      your 4:43 is a good example of blind and mindless abuse with no relevance to anything at all; except maybe your failure to accept anything with which you don’t agree – pretty close to blind hatred actually.
      Disagreement is when I suggest that your scriptures might not to be entirely inerrant, or invite you to consider the possibility that you are wrong. Then the invective comes pouring out and hard to imagine where you get this spin from and have to think that how you spin disagreement into hatred is a far stretch.

  8. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

    Yes, I too was one of those who cringed at President Clinton’s advancement of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

    And then I remembered that he was a politician who knew that negotiation and compromise was how we advanced ideals in America. The compromise was that gays could in fact serve in the military, as long as they didn’t tell.

    That much hated compromise (by both sides of the argument) led to today’s demise of DADT. We waited 20+ years to learn that in fact, fags in the military didn’t have an effect.

    And then we decided that fags (and dykes) could serve without repercussion.

    I didn’t like it in the 80′s, and yet now I’m agog at the brilliance of the strategy.

    Since I haven’t thrown this out in a while on TGA: I’ll give one million dollars in cash to anyone who can offer documentation that allowing gays to serve in our military has caused harm since the demise of DADT.

  9. Wolfy32 says:

    I find it amusing.. My Gf and have discussed a simple question. “Why the heck would either of us ever want to get married again?” And I made the statement “Here all these gays are fighting for the right to Mary, and here we are straight, wondering why the hell would anyone want to get married anymore?”

    If we’re trying to remove tradition from laws.. Maybe we should remove marriage all together…. It just seems to cause so many problems, why bother?

    • entech says:

      I can think of one good reason. Adultery is such a nice mature word, fornication simply sounds ugly.

      Just a little jokey remark on your typo. Not too many gay men would be after the “right to Mary”. ;)

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