Thursday, February 3, 2005


I don't have a television, so I didn't watch the State of the Union last night (and I was busy doing a lab for my math class). Fortunately, Think Progress has recorded the important bits.

And speaking of important (if not so well-advertised) speeches, here's one by Kansan state Representative Paul Davis (found on filkertom's blog [yes, that's Tom Smith] and originally from here):

Mr. Speaker:

My core beliefs and my conscience call me to this podium today. Every
day, this body makes important decisions that affect the lives of many
Kansans. We make decisions about whether an elderly person will
receive home health care, we make decisions about how much in taxes a
businessperson is going to pay, and we make decisions about whether a
highway worker is going to have a job next year. But very rarely are
we called to make decisions about the fundamental rights of our fellow
human beings.

Over two centuries ago, our founding fathers in declaring their
independence from the King stated that "all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
They also said that it is the responsibility of Government to secure
these rights. However, this Government, the State of Kansas, that was
empowered by our founding fathers to protect the rights of all
citizens, is now proposing to strip away the liberty of a segment of our fellow

I must confess that I have reservations about the concept of allowing
people of the same sex to enter into the time honored institution of
marriage. This is a question that I have struggled with. However,
subsection (b) of this resolution troubles me greatly. Like many in
this Legislature, I have gay and lesbian friends. I've worked with
gay and lesbian persons, gone to school with gay and lesbian persons,
and worshiped in a church with gay and lesbian persons. Are they a
little different from us? Yes they are. But fundamentally, they are
human beings, just like everyone of us.

Woodrow Wilson said in 1912 that "the history of liberty is a history
of resistance.....a history of limitations of governmental power, not the
increase of it". What is being proposed today is a governmental
infringement upon the liberty of a segment of our fellow human beings.
By disallowing them the ability to share insurance policies, rights of
survivorship and other benefits that a heterosexual couple may obtain
by entering into the civil contract of marriage, we are in essence saying
"you are second class citizens". And make no mistake, that is
the message that this Legislature is saying to the thousands of gay and
lesbians that live in our state.

There are reasonable people on both sides of this issue. I do believe
those in this chamber who have brought this issue to the House floor
have good intentions. They want to do what they believe is right for
their state and their communities. But this vehicle is sorely
misguided and the result has prayed upon the worst of all human characteristics:
Hate. The hatred for homosexuals that I have seen displayed in the
many emails and letters that I have received is beyond belief, particularly
in this day and age. I hope this Legislature will see fit in the
future to promote policies that bring people together and help us all
understand and appreciate the differences among us, instead of
exacerbating the chasms of intolerance. We would be wise to heed
the words of the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spiniza, who said "the
object the government is not change men from rational beings into
beasts or puppets, but to enable them to develop their minds and bodies in
security, and to employ their reason unshackled; neither showing
hatred, anger or deceit, nor watched with the eyes of jealousy and injustice.
In fact, the true aim of government is liberty".

When I walk out my front door, I frequently see the lesbian couple, who
have an adopted child, that live across the street from me. They are
delightful people, good parents and I'm proud to have them as my
neighbors. Whether a gay person lives in your neighborhood or not,
they are all our neighbors because they share in this place we call Kansas.
And we must always remember what the gospel of St. Matthew teaches us
"thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself".

In 1924, the Virginia Legislature enacted a law saying that only
persons of the same race can enter into marriage. 43 years later, the
Supreme Court of the United States said this act violated the Equal
Protection Clause of the 14th amendment to the Constitution. I think
it is safe to say that we all look upon this act of the Virginia
Legislature in 1924 as being morally wrong. This is a judgment that
history has made as we have evolved as a society. I have no doubt that
we would all feel some degree of shame if it was our father or
grandfather who served in the 1924 Virginia Legislature and voted for
this Act.

As you cast your vote today, make sure it is one that your conscience
can live with. And make sure it is one that your children and
grandchildren can live with, because history will be judging this vote
more than any other you will cast.

And as long as I'm putting up various things, some of you will find this exchange amusing:
Heh, so I was complaining to moshez about how annoying studying Talmud is.

SKYBSUNNY (3:06:00 PM): no idea wtf is up with these old rabbis
SKYBSUNNY (3:06:06 PM): cant they just agree on anything?!
themoshez (3:06:28 PM): dude
SKYBSUNNY (3:06:31 PM): every two lines, there's another machloket
themoshez (3:06:33 PM): we invented the flamewars
themoshez (3:06:46 PM): did you ever see two jews agree on anything?

Haha. Jews inventing flamewars. Oddly, it fits.

Rabbi 1: I declare these figs holy.
Rabbi 2: Are you kidding? Those figs aren't fit to wipe a mule's behind.
Rabbi 1: Your mother looks like a mule's behind.
Rabbi 2: Well, I'm excomminucating you.
Rabbi 3: Stop spamming my flist. I'm defriending you.

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