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Unclassified Info: Gay marriage and rational debate

May 17, 2012|By Gary Huerta

WARNING: I am about to render an opinion on gay marriage.

It may be unsuitable for audiences who are unwilling to entertain a rational debate. But before I dive into yet another liberal rant, it might be good to preface my opinion with some thoughts about rhetoric and steadfast beliefs.

Rhetoric and unbending will destroy the ability to have a proverbial “aha” moment where an opinion can be expanded or changed and perception can grow.

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It's unfortunate that we have become a nation of sound bites and slogans. And it seems the more accustomed we become to having complex concepts and positions condensed into a convenient catchphrase — or even worse, a buzzword — the more outrageous and inflammatory those simple ideations must become in order to have effect.

There are a million examples of this and I'm sure there's one in particular that sticks in your head. For me, it was the recent positioning surrounding the one-year anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death.

While one side was using it to gain political leverage, the other side was acting as though the very notion of taking credit for authorizing the use of military force was itself a heinous act against humanity. As is so typical, during the flurry of biased mud slinging, facts on both sides were conveniently overlooked.

While Republicans talked about how tasteless it was to use bin Laden's death as a political tool, they failed to mention how often a similar tactic had been employed by the previous administration. And while the current administration said it didn't really intend to use the event for publicity, it did so nevertheless.

In the end, it becomes akin to school children bickering, with no one willing to budge.

Social media can also be one of the most perverted platforms for rhetoric, with many people reposting opinions they like without taking a lot of time to check for accuracy. This brings me back to my own opinion on gay marriage.

When I first heard that President Obama had taken a position in favor of gay marriage I was happy, but also concerned about how people would respond. Knowing how easy it is to toss a one-sided insult using platforms like Facebook, I was actually apprehensive about checking in to see what people were saying. I even commented to a friend that it would be hard for me to tolerate individuals who were in opposition to my own beliefs.

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