December 12, 2006


A person sent out this essay on a mailing list I'm a part of. Not surprisingly, lots of people agreed with it.

This was my response:

Hmm. I've been trying to come up with a "moderate" response to this, and I'm not sure I can.

"Live and let live?" Great. I have absolutely no problem with that.

Want to worship your particular rock, or no rock at all? Fine.

Want to tell me about why you worship your particular rock, hoping that I will also want to worship your rock? No problem. Want to tell me the same information over and over, convinced that if I just hear of the greatness that is your rock, I will worship it? Something of a problem.

The real problem comes in, there's a group of people who want me dead, because I'm gay, I'm American, and because I don't worship their particular rock. And over the past 10, maybe 20 years, that group of people has gained the ability to kill more and more people like me. Abilities that until recently required the resources of a state, and more particularly of a well functioning state, to gain.

Self defense is a right. Defense of its population is a basic reason, if not the basic reason, a nation exists.

I want to either remove the ability of that group of people to kill me, or do something so that they won't kill me, or won't want to kill me. While preserving my ability, my right, to be gay, to be American, and not to worship their particular rock.

Now, there's still lots of unanswered questions. How big is that group? Are there particular grievances that group has, that if fixed, will remove their desire to kill me? What I think the answers to those questions are, is quite likely different from the answers a lot of you reading this would give.

The real problem is, history will be able to give definitive, or pretty close, answers. These are not issues that we can vote on. No matter how large currently the number of people who want a particular answer, or who believe a particular answer, an answer currently exists.

So, who's a moderate? How do I know if I'm one or not?

Posted by Owlish at December 12, 2006 12:52 AM | TrackBack

For my money - you asked these questions, which means you are thinking, which these days seems to make you moderate.

Likely, if it came to it, you would ask yourself how much of what is commonly known as your "humanity" you would be willing to lose to various degrees of defending yourself/the nation and whether or not it would even be effective in said defense.

You are willing to consider the idea that you may not be correct in your first impressions, the information you have on hand, your immediate impulses.

Again, extremists, fundamentalists, zealots and fantatics of any stripe do not ask these questions or consider that they may be in the wrong in any given situation, much less that there may be alternate points of view.

While we may disagree on a number of things, the fact that you do ask, in my mind, at this time, means you fit my idea of "moderate" (derived from the Latin "moderat" for "controlled").

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