To the editor:
I feel compelled to defend my high school civics teacher, Mr. North, who, if alive, would inform Mr. Martin Bales (Daily Journal, Jan. 15) that I was one of his best civics students. I fully understand the concept of representative government and constitutional conventions.
The purpose of my previous letter was to address another lesson in civics that Mr. North taught us. It is that representative governments and constitutional conventions can be abused. To date, most people who read my letter understood that point; however, I will be glad to offer further clarity and clear Mr. North’s teaching credentials.
My aforementioned letter (Daily Journal, Dec. 31) took Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma and Gov. Mike Pence to task for their justifications for addressing same-sex marriage in Indiana.
Bosma stated that a small group of people in a boardroom should not dictate Indiana laws. I gave three current examples (Sunday sales of alcohol, exemption of religions from day care safety laws and antiquated sex education guidelines) of how Bosma was contradicting himself.
In other words, how representative government was not deciding issues for the benefit of Indiana citizens, but for vocal minorities who had aggressive lobbyists. In my letter, I subtly addressed another contradiction. Have you noticed that the lobbyists fighting same sex marriage are the same lobbyists who are supporting the exemption of religious organizations from day care safety laws? Family values, indeed!
Back to Mr. North. Since we were in the 1970s, our civics class discussed the most recent attempt at abusing our representative government, Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy.” The Southern Strategy’s goal was to tap into the people who did not approve of the recent civil rights legislation. In other words, people who thought it was OK to extend to non-whites “almost every right” that whites had. Having “almost every right” is not the same as “having every right,” which is the basic definition of discrimination, not validation.
An interesting byproduct of the Southern Strategy is today’s social conservative movement which is the source of initiatives banning same sex marriage. Today’s social conservatives are utilizing many of the same tactics that were used to fight the civil rights movement.
In his letter, Mr. Bales states “they have almost every right that every other married couple enjoys.” His definition of “almost” is very generous and the examples he states are not seamless, requiring additional steps that every other married couple does not have to observe. These extra steps are very similar to poll taxes aimed at minorities during the days of segregation.
So in reality, yes, Mr. Bales, HJR3 (previously HJR6) is a discrimination issue after all. That is why most level-headed people do not want broadcasted to the entire world that we are even considering voting on an issue of discrimination.
I trust my letter gave additional clarity to this matter. If it appears that this was filled with pomp and circumstance, please forgive me. All of us who grew up in the farming community of Remington are cultural elitists.