SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


RE: "Hate, Greed, and Fear"
By Robert Freedland


October 30, 2006

Steven McLaren has written That he strongly disagrees with my letter: "Hate, Greed, and Fear." Within that letter, I advocated for the expansion of the understanding of marriage and family by including Civil Union Couples and same-sex couples within that tradition. I believe strongly in the institution of marriage and the stabilization of families that results. I understand that many benefits of marriage include hospital visitation, insurance coverage, inheritance for children, child support and custody of children in the case of divorce. There are other well-known benefits to marriage.

But Mr. McLaren has tried to use the powerful emotion of FEAR to dissuade the readers that what I said was reasonable. He brings up false issues, what are called "straw-man" arguments that are not even being considered as possibilities. He states my argument amounts to " Well, using this same philosophy/logic, let's be fair to every American and approve (among other things) PLURAL MARRIAGE and BEASTIALITY (sex with or union of man and animal). Don't tell me you don't approve! "The glue that holds these 'unions' together is not sin but love." We may get sick to our stomach thinking about it, but isn t this another non-traditional household?"

Did I suggest that multiple people should be considered marriage? Did I or anyone really advocate for marriages between farm animals and people? Of course not. But maybe it scared you just a little.

I do not necessarily approve of any couple's sexual habits and preferences. But that is a matter of privacy between two consenting adults. Does Mr. McLaren wish to have the government spy on people in the privacy of their bedrooms? I don't think so. Mr. McLaren finds same-sex activity disgusting. He writes: "Well, join the club, I also get sick to my stomach when thinking about same-sex unions."

Fortunately nobody is asking Mr McLaren for an endorsement of their sexual activity. Nor do I think he would like us to review and judge his sexual activity.

But unless Mr. McLaren is not aware of what is going on in America, the traditional marriage unit of biologic father, biologic mother, and biologic children is becoming more rare daily. And legislation to declare that a marriage is only one man and one woman will not improve this statistic. We can all share concerns about this fact; but we need to live in reality, not on a 1950's sit-com like "Father Knows Best" or "Leave it to Beaver".

The fact remains that today's family units often consist of just a single mother, a single father, mothers and fathers bringing children from prior marriages together, parents with adopted children or foster children, and yes families headed by same-sex parents. In the United States, as of the 2000 census, there were 701,733 same-sex parent households. (

So what are we as a society to do with these households which often include children? Should we attempt to harm them? Should we pass Constitutional Amendments to deny them legal status? To deny them insurance? To deny those children in these homes benefits?

We do not need to approve of these households, but these homes are real and they exist in Alaska and Wisconsin and every state between. Decency demands that we extend love and not hate to these people. That we work to pass laws and Amendments that help children and not hurt them. That we do not succumb to fear and ignorance and act in a shameful fashion that we shall regret in the future.

And what about morality? Morality demands that we have laws that respect the rights and privacy of every American citizen. Morality is not about your sexual orientation no matter how you want to spin it. Morality is about love, respect, decency, and yes concern about children. It is a moral thing to allow two people who love each other the right to be married. It is immoral to place laws to keep people apart and deny them legal benefits you reserve for yourself.

We will not improve the sanctity or morality of anything by passing additional laws to ostracize, demean, and hurt people who are different than us. And yes, I believe we will be damned not by what we tolerate but by how we respect our fellow human being on this planet. God, if anything, is about love and understanding. Those that distort his teachings to promote hate are misguided and unfortunate.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and for encouraging others to do so as well.

Robert Freedland
La Crosse, WI

Received October 29, 2006 - Published October 30, 2006

About: "I am a physician who advocates love instead of hate, respect instead of intolerance, and optimism instead of pessimism."


Related Viewpoint:

letter RE: Hate, Greed, and Fear By Steven McLaren - Ketchikan, AK



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