Monday, December 19, 2005

The Triangle in Green (and Orange)

What's the best way to tell that the United States is a politically backwards place? It's not that our President thinks torture and open-ended warrant-free surveillance aren't just useful but also legal -- but hey, good guess.

No, it's that today, Northern Ireland began recognizing gay unions. Northern Ireland? Homosexuality wasn't even legal in Northern Ireland 25 years ago. In the Catholic parts, contraception is still frowned upon. Not that the Protestants are much better -- as the AP writer notes, "Here, Roman Catholics and Protestants sometimes overcome their political hostility to protest jointly on traditional family issues." These people don't overcome their hostility to one another to celebrate Christmas.

Northern Ireland -- despite all of its problems, divisions, and fierce religious and moral opposition -- somehow figured out how to make unions for gay couples work. And despite what seemed like a brief and hopeful window for Americans a few years ago, we're not even close.

Excuse me.


Gavin said...

I don't know if you remember from our all-too-brief time spent in Great Britain, but the general attitude there was that it is insane that there's a debate over teaching evolution in our schools. The United Kingdom has an established religion and yet they still seem to understand the difference between what is science and what is not better than we do.

I can't help but think that gay marriage falls into the same equation. After all, we all know that God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. What more could one possibly have to say?

Anonymous said...

Tim, in your first paragraph you clearly forgot to mention that the President is on record as saying he does not rule out the use of an atomic weapon, all the while doing God's work of trying to rid the world (or, at the least, oil-producing countries) of (a conveniently vaguely defined category of) WMD ... ya' know: nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, shoe bombs, roadside bombs, pea-shooters, and the like.