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Thursday, October 30, 2008

What Is Truth?

[title link here]

This is not a political post. The politics are merely here for illustrative purposes.

Not a political post.



So, yesterday I bumped into a video that I thought was noteworthy (guess where it ended up? got it!).

The video is a fairly straight-forward explanation of why it's a good idea to vote Yes on Proposition 8.

But then I read a post by one of my friends about why you should vote No on Proposition 8. Please at least browse through it.

[NB: Highly cut down, but my friend said that was okay]
Mike and I got married on June 28th. We want to remain married on November 5th. And without your help, we won’t.

8 has nothing to do with education

Did you see that ad with the little girl talking to her mom about what they taught her about marriage in school? Total fabrication and fear-mongering. Do you remember being taught anything about marriage in school? I remember eating paste and learning my multiplication tables. But that’s the story they’re trying to sell. Fortunately, the state superintendent of schools and every teacher’s group you can think of came out very strongly against this inflammatory untruth.

If the backers of this proposition were worried about education, they should have sponsored a ballot initiative about education, rather than trying to strip away rights from thousands of California families.

8 has nothing to do with taxes or religious freedom

One of their early ads implied that churches would lose their tax-exempt status if they refused to perform same-sex marriages. Think about that for a moment. Are Catholic churches required to perform Jewish weddings? Would you go to a Mormon temple for a Indian wedding? No. You would not. Churches have always and will always be able to choose whom they wish to marry, thanks to the First Amendment. (You know, that one before the awesome “right to bear arms” one.)

“Activist judges” are the new “terrorists.”

You’ve seen ads arguing that the Supreme Court ignored the will of the people by ignoring Prop 22, which was passed in 2000 with the exact same wording. But consider that nearly every major civil rights issue in our history has come as a court decision. In fact, it was the California Supreme Court that overturned the ban on inter-racial marriage, almost twenty years before Loving v. Virginia. Few reasonable Americans would argue that blacks, Latinos and women should have waited patiently until the majority of voters felt comfortable giving them rights.

Vote No on 8, because “domestic partnership” is not the same thing

You’ll hear, “Couldn’t they just settle for civil unions?” Or, “California already has domestic partnership.” So let me set you straight on these terms. They’re meant to be comfortable replacements for the word “marriage.” But they’re not the same thing. If they were, Bristol Palin would be getting civil unioned. The word marriage matters. If it didn’t, they wouldn’t have spent $40 million putting this ballot issue together.

The other fundamental problem is that separate-but-equal has never worked out that well, historically or now. For example, before we got married, Mike and I were domestic partners. It’s supposed to give us all the same rights as marriage, but in practice, it’s basically roommates with hospital visitation privileges. Companies can happily ignore our joint status. Mike and I get challenged on the paternity of our daughter. It sucks. So what’s meant to be a parallel system inevitably becomes a second-class system.

What would you do if the government tried to take your marriage away?

The Yes side seems to cheerfully ignore that we’re not talking about a hypothetical right to get married. Eleven thousand couples have gotten legally married in California since the court’s decision came down. What happens to those people? There’s no clear answer. If that sounds scary, it is. So Vote No on 8.

Odd, he's saying the opposite of just about everything on the little video.

How can that be?

I doubt my friend is totally ignorant. Of course, I don't think the makers of the video are either. So, how can we have two conflicting sets of facts?

The tendency, for me, is to write off one of the sides as just plain, flat-out wrong. So we're certain that:

  • Education is being affected.
  • Churches aren't likely to be affected, but no one is sure.
  • ...but Civil Rights?
  • Marriage is important, even to homosexuals...
  • ...who are real people with real marriages.

I can't just write that off.

So how do we get to the truth of this matter?

My solution would be to take each of these arguments to the ridiculous extreme, but that really won't help me answer my friend. See, he's married, and he's also pretty smart and could easily respond to several of my attempts of making his side look ridiculous.

I'm a black and white kind of guy, but we live in a world that is far from perfect so black and white doesn't work.

And I think it was last night that I finally actually heard the other side.

Not that I'm going to even try to discuss this with my friend, but if he ever asked me, what should I say?

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Friend, Expectant Father

P.S. Sorry. I hate writing long posts like that, but there was too much information to do otherwise. Thanks for taking the time to read.


Ganeida said...

Besides eating the paste did you ever spread it over yourself, wait for it to dry then peel it off as if it were part of your skin? Sorry ;) I was majorly bored in school. We entertained ourselves a lot with this sort of drivel. Can't comment on the political thing. I think your politics are weird.

Craig and Heather said...

I finally finished mulling over your post. And had far too many thoughts to simply comment here.
If you happen to check in here again, you can link to my post at

Not sure if my considerations would be of any help to you but I wanted to thank you for raising the question and let you know it made me think :)


Luke Holzmann said...


<laughing> I don't think I ever ate paste--paint chips with lead, perhaps--but I did let it dry on my fingers. Very cool second skin you could peel off. And, yes, our politics are pretty screwy here.


Thanks again for writing up your comments. Very insightful and interesting.

If you haven't popped over to read them yet, I suggest you do. There is a link below the comments area.

Thanks again, both of you, you made my day!


Meg_L said...

Thank you.

I'm too often around long-skirted, closed minded Christian homeschoolers that I tend to forget there are some that are willing to consider the other side.

It's too easy to put someone in a box and check them off.

Luke Holzmann said...


Personally, I hope I'm never the one in the long skirt <smirk>. I also hope that I am never closed minded, even when I hold to something with strong convictions.

And you are right: It is far too easy to just put people in boxes and leave them there... even the long-skirted, closed minded folks <smile>.

Thanks so much of taking the time to comment!



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