Target: Dr. Ben Carson
Goal: Oppose Republican media darling’s hypocritical comments about same-sex marriage damaging the “pillars of society.”
Dr. Ben Carson is one of the newest faces in Republican politics. Such famous fixtures of the Republican Party as Karl Rove have praised Carson as a new and visionary leader who will save the party from stagnation and regressive ideals. In practice, however, Dr. Carson is proving that he holds many of the same irrational and bigoted beliefs as other conservatives.
On Fox News, Dr. Carson had this to say about gay marriage rights: “My thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman, it’s a well-established uh, fundamental pillar of society. No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA [the North American Man/Boy Love Association], be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn’t matter what they are, they don’t get to change the definition.” He went on to claim that this was nothing against gay people.
Firstly, this comparison is problematic on the surface. Although Carson did not actually say that consenting adults of the same sex engaging in a relationship is equivalent to bestiality or pedophilia, his mentioning all three in one sentence cannot be an accident. His comparison implicitly links consensual same-sex relationships to non-consensual sexual practices such as bestiality and pedophilia.
Secondly, Dr. Carson is himself a person of color, and without society having made changes to the “pillars of society” that were segregation laws, Jim Crow, and slavery, Dr. Carson would not be where he is today. As a matter of fact, the Supreme Court has overturned similarly problematic “traditional” restrictive marriage laws pertaining to race. The 1967 Loving v. Virginia ruling overturned laws declaring interracial marriage illegal. Sign this petition to implore Dr. Ben Carson to consider history before he talks about “pillars of society.”
Dear Dr. Carson,
I am writing to you concerning your comments on gay marriage rights. On Sean Hannity’s Fox News program, you have been recorded as saying that you have nothing against gay people, but that no one should be able to overturn traditional “pillars of society.” I am highly curious as to how you reconcile this belief with the fact that the definition of marriage has already been amended and altered at several points in history. For instance, at one point, laws throughout the United States barred interracial marriage. This has since been changed. Do you believe that this was for the best? I assume that you do.
Societies, by nature, are always growing and progressing and adopting new ideals. Institutions change. Laws change. One hopes that these changes will be for the better. Once, the United States upheld segregation. Many who supported segregated schools and institutions appealed to the same arguments for “tradition” that you and other Republicans are now appealing to. Obviously, we view this as very problematic in retrospect, and for good reason.
Bigotry has historically not announced itself as bigotry; it has hidden itself behind claims of “tradition” and protecting one’s own. However, time and the view of history always reveals it for what it truly is. As an intelligent person, I implore you to realize that these arguments are nothing new: at every point in history, people who were trying to keep others out of something due to their prejudices always framed their stance in terms of safeguarding tradition or “pillars of society,” as you have done, and every time, time has shown that this was simply regressive thinking.
Please do not simply reiterate what those in your party are saying without taking a critical view towards history.
[Your Name Here]
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