Civil Rights

I’ve always felt guilty because I’ve never liked doing community service very much.

That’s probably why I practically haven’t done any of it since I was required to in high school.

With the exception of Habitat for Humanity, community service always felt boring and inconsequential.

But with the incredible number of calls to violate civil rights in this country, I think I’ve found my calling. Maybe I can volunteer at the ADL. They advocate equal rights, right?

It wouldn’t appear so, based on their press statement that states that the so-called Ground Zero Mosque should not be built.

Oh well, there’s always the ACLU.

This Park51 controversy has been joined by equally egregious calls to amend the 14th Amendment made by Senators McCain, Graham, Paul, McConnell and Kyl.

And on top of that, Prop 8 is back on our consciousness, as California still hasn’t decided whether it’s constitutional to prevent 2 people of the same sex from marrying one another.

Here’s the essence of how I feel about each of these civil rights violations:

  • Opposing Park51 is conflating Muslims with Muslim terrorists.
  • As a country of immigrants, why are we always feeling so threatened by the ones that come here illegally?  Or in this case, their American children?
  • Gays getting married have no negative consequences on the functionality of society.*

I could argue in detail about each of these points, but I think most of my readers agree with me and it would take too long anyway.

The point is, I prioritize civil rights before almost all other political issues.  The recent news has made me realize this.  How is it that a shocking number of people in this country unabashedly ignore what is legal and what isn’t?  How is it that they allow their anger and fear to cloud their rationality?

Freedom to worship freely is constitutionally protected, as is the 14th Amendment itself.  People are just too incensed by 9/11 and a wretched economy to value those laws. But wait.  I support gay marriage even though it’s illegal.  Isn’t that because I don’t value the current laws myself?

In fact, people want to change the 14th Amendment for the same reason that gay marriage supporters want to change marriage laws: because the law doesn’t fit into the way they see the world.

My best response to this incongruity is that one policy seeks to deny people of the rights granted to others and the other seeks to grant them said rights.  And personally, I can’t fathom being a citizen of a country that prefers to deny equal rights than to grant them.

*If you think of a negative consequence, let me know.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Civil Rights

  1. sara

    my biggest problem with illegal immigrants is that my taxes go to support them while they don’t pay into the system themselves. it’s the same problem i have with the majority of the haredi population in israel and they’re here legally.

    • throwinginthetowel

      Yes, it’s true that we’re losing money by not taxing illegal immigrants. But maybe, instead of denying illegals an incentive to come here (by removing automatic citizenship for their children born in the U.S.), we should figure out a way to get them to pay taxes. After all, illegal immigrants are generally hard workers and take up jobs that American citizens don’t even want to be doing. From what I’ve read, there’s little to no data that and influx of illegals is driving up crime rates in states like Arizona.
      This in addition to the fact that their higher birthrates prevent our population from shrinking, overall illegal immigrants are a pretty good thing for our country.
      So if the problem is that they don’t pay taxes, it’s preferable to make them pay taxes than to discourage them from coming.

      • Hannah

        They don’t pay federal income taxes, but they do pay all sales taxes added on by cities and states..which obviously adds up into the coffers of Arizona and other such places…which is to say, they do not totally game the system, if that’s what you think they are doing.

  2. Jon

    Most illegal immigrants pay income/medicare/social security taxes, they just do it by using fake social security cards. Even those whose jobs only pay cash still pay sales and (indirectly) property taxes.

  3. Pingback: Haters, they gonna hate | Throwing in the Towel

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