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December 04, 2003

The enemy of my enemy

Is it ok for people to oppose gay marriage? For sure. Is is ok for people to oppose gay marriage on religious grounds? Of course. Is it ok for reasonable people to disagree on this subject? I should certainly hope so. Is it ok to make common cause with a Hamas front-group? No. That is not cool (via Daimnation!).

I can see three reasons for making such a choice. The first might be ignorance as to just who some gay marriage opponents have decided to get into bed with (pun fully intended). I would hope that organizations making common cause with Hamas would disavow the relationship once it was made clear to them. The second is a failure to appreciate gay people only happen to be standing toward the front of a line of islamist targets. See those people standing just behind them in line? They include devout Christians and Jews. My hope is that Martin Niemöller's explanation of this process would make people rethink their own prejudices. Third, and most distressing, is the possibility that for some people opposition to gay marriage is of such overwhelming psychic import that they would rather make common cause with a terrorist front organization than risk losing the argument on its merits. Niemöller is quoteworthy. So are many characters in the Buffyverse and I quote one now.

The enemy of my enemy... Can kiss my ass too.

Niemöller's rather more temperate words are worth quoting in their entirety.

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

And then... Something I should have made clear is that I think I know who is standing right at the front of the line of islamist targets: Muslims who disagree with them. I know my brand of Christianity is small in numbers and has little of the political and social influence it did in colonial times. That said, I can now enter the state of Virginia without fear of execution by my fellow Christians so on balance we are in the plus column. My hope is that all of us in the cross-hairs of the suicidists can agree that no matter our disagreements that the right to have such disagreements is worth defending.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at December 4, 2003 09:00 AM


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