Saturday, May 5, 2012

Amendment One - Polls Indicating Another Temporary Setback for Justice

First, 19th Century Unitarian minister Theodore Parker said it in his 1853 sermon "Justice and the Conscience", then Dr. Martin Luther King said it, and then Barack Obama expounded upon it. ........"the arc of the moral universe bends towards justice."  Recent polling analysis by the New York Times  indicates that the proponents of Amendment One will likely prevail.  This will be a setback for the cause of justice, but if history is any indication, and it most assuredly always is, it will be only a temporary setback for justice.

Opponents of the discriminatory amendment should be disappointed but not disheartened if the misguided amendment to deny basic civil and human rights passes.  Just as with woman's suffrage and with civil rights for African Americans, it took many decades for justice to prevail.  This amendment, as one friend implied, is a last gasp by the same ideology and same segment of society which denied woman their rights and denied civil rights to blacks for so long.  It is a one last ditch effort to deny basic human rights to yet another segment of the population.  That some use Holy Scripture for the basis of their bigotry is most disturbing, but it is the same tactic used by so many to deny women's rights and civil rights to black Americans.

So much has been written and said about this abhorrent and ill-conceived amendment that I will just leave you with this statement by my creative, thoughtful, and good friend Jim Scott on the subject:

“We’ve come a long way. 50 years ago, our state’s voters were asked to support the notion that the purpose of our constitution was to deny rights, not to defend them; to separate rather than unite; to parse into equal and not-so-equal, gauged not by who we are, but by what. Today, that sort of legalized inequity seems not only unjust, but incomprehensible. How could we simultaneously honor the words of our state's founding documents and also demand to change them? Were the self-evident truths of our nation’s independence, that all are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, not so self-evident, after all? If so, how could the Founders forge such a great Republic from such a flawed premise? If not, why were we trying to redefine their impression of Providence as it applied to our state? How could those entrusted with our democracy ever believe it best exercised by entitling the Many to indelibly cloak fairness from the Few? Those days are behind us, and that’s a good thing. Because today is one fine day in the fine state of North Carolina. And I’m glad I’ve lived to see it.” ---- From the future Jim Scott, May 8, 2062, on the 50th anniversary of the defeat of Amendment One.

We can only hope, Jim, but if bigotry's head arises once again on May 8, based on the reliable history of a good and fair America, just as in the past, it will most assuredly only be temporary. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive