The Legalization of the Pursuit of Happiness

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It’s a good night.  The fact that President Obama has been re-elected is only part of it.

In our nation, right now, three states have moved forward in legalizing gay marriage, two more have moved towards legalizing recreational marijuana.  While I do not consider the latter a civil right, the prior most certainly is.  However, the two initiatives share a common message: it is time to lighten up.  No longer can we, as a nation, rail against that which does not harm our people.  It can be argued that marijuana is detrimental – but no more than, and perhaps less so, than alcohol.  Gay marriage, by contrast, hurts no one.  Of course, the religious right will argue that it does: that it redefines marriage as defined by the lexicon, and by antiquated doctrines.  The fact is the only thing that gets hurt is the feelings of those who have been taught to be bigoted.  Those bruises appear on the surface of zealous skins, or the skins of basic intolerance.  The more we – as a nation of thoughtful people, a nation of people who willfully, and willingly, grant civil rights to our fellow Americans, despite our own feelings – the more we come together as a people.  The more we come together as a people, the more a common vision comes into focus.  The importance of this should be obvious: before we can tackle the issues of dollars and cents, we have to first be a unit of individuals, all with the same privileges and rights to fairness and happiness.  Until then no truly common goal can be shared.  Lightening up on the issues of marijuana and gay marriage is a good step.  I am happy that marijuana is now legal in my own state.  Not because I smoke marijuana – because, I don’t – but, because of what it represents.  It shows that people have a voice to change uptight rhetoric and legislation.  And I am happy for friends who can now have the same rights as everyone else in this nation, at least in three more states.  It’s a start.  And it proves our voices matter.

1 comment:

  1. While i absolutely agree that both the civil right of marriage and the "weed" "right" are awesome things to uphold, i think it is a misfortune of our society that these have been the things made most significant. The dollar, our economic lifeline, is losing worth. For all the advances in civil liberties we create, if we are the nation leading that advancement, how will it look when the country collapses because we cannot support all of our commitments (not that the newest civil liberties are the ones to abandon)? Will it not become leverage for a more aggressive rule else-where?? It will be "proof" of the invalidity of the values we all embrace so much. I would never be in favor of a rule that is prejudicial based on sexual orientation or gender or income, but the fact that these advancements are the only way we can define progress... well its good - that is, they are not bad advancements, but isn't there a huge storm brewing that may be more important to address? For all the victories won tonight, there was also a huge endorsement to the ignorance of our nation, like ALL things have moved forward. I do not mean to say Romney had anything better to offer, i would never vote for him in a thousand years. But I also did not vote for Obama - i think he has too many failed attempts. The problem is in the way we are all addressing the issues, we need to focus on whats going to keep this country alive when making our decisions, not what sub-issue we know people are entitled to. Sure, if we didn't push the measures they may have taken a few more years, but the social issues definitely would have happened eventually and soon, without handing over that power to the federal government. Without providing distractions to the dire issues at hand..

    Best,
    Chris.

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