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The Journal of Brian Francis

Cuddlefish
01/07/2010 05:02 p.m.
I’ve been told that I’m a good listener. While I am not sure why, I have always been a person others turn to for an opinion or outright guidance. I am generally willing to hear a person out -- since I like also to vent at times. One of the things that I find curious is personal perspective. Perspective is a very unique thing. Every individual has a history and that history often is the filter through which we perceive our reality. This, I think, is why two people can heatedly argue about things that are in reality unimportant. We all want our perspective to be validated; we all want to believe that we are basing our opinions and ideas on what is a true reality. Perspective, I believe, is the most ill-considered aspect of our personal lives. We all have one, colored by our past, giving reality our own personal sepia tone.
I am currently Weird
I am listening to AN angry cockatoo screaming her demands

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Thoughts on Marriage
11/18/2008 12:35 a.m.


When the first European settlers (pilgrims) came to the North American Continent they were fleeing their homelands, because, in those homelands they were denied the right to live their lives in freedom and forced to suffer under an imposed way of life. It was not because they chose to suffer the trials of a foreign, wild, and distant land, but because they had dreams and beliefs that were incompatible with the majority in their homelands. Not wanting to endure that tyranny, they sought a place where they could live their dreams and practice their beliefs without shame or the potential of imprisonment simply because others held differing beliefs. Out of the communities that they established grew a nation that was founded on the principles that each person has a right to live their lives in freedom without the fear of oppression. That nation recognized the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for each individual citizen to be indelible - a gift from God.

We the people are the words that mark the beginning of the most dramatically different and exceptional declaration of the rights of the individual the world has ever known. It is true that every man among the framers of those words was a Christian and practiced their personal beliefs without oppression from their neighbors. Yet the idea of guaranteeing all future generations that same right was paramount to their endeavor in that small building in Philadelphia. Each though from different sects holding differing beliefs stood side by side and signed a document to guide the descendants of that nation in maintaining the rights they found important -- the rights of Life, liberty, and the individual pursuit of happiness.

Throughout the history of our nation we have struggled with the questions of applying those ideals to different groups of people the American Indian, women, black Americans, Chinese Americans among countless others, and now we are confronted with those same issues regarding Gay Americans. Today we are faced with the question of either guaranteeing the ideals that we cherish or denying a small minority of people, of fellow citizens, the right to pursue their own happiness. Many claim that allowing marriage rights to gay individuals will in some way deface their own personal religious beliefs. Others claim that it will destroy marriage as an enduring cornerstone of our society. Somehow the idea of allowing that small group the right to be bound in a loving relationship is seen as a grievous threat to America itself.

A small majority of the citizens of three states recently voted to deny their fellow citizens equality under their respective state constitutions. The motives are unquestionably driven by their personal religious beliefs and a desire to impose their ideas of how one should live on others. It is regularly suggested that marriage is a religious institution, yet, a license is required, a license granted by the government without which a marriage in a church is not even possible. It is also implied that allowing this group to enter into the contract of marriage will in some way diminish or destroy the institution of marriage. If this is the case then should we not do away with the process of divorce? Divorce seems a greater threat to marriage than is marriage itself.

Now on the eve of inaugurating a black man to the presidency of our great nation we are disputing the guarantees inherent in our constitution to some of our fellow citizens. Of course, there is the argument that the forefathers never intended to grant such rights to gay people. Does that mean our new president will only be three fifths of a president? Was he voted into office by the illegal votes of so many black Americans who should never have been allowed to vote in the first place? The simple answer is no. Our constitution is a living document meant to guide us and allow us to grow as our nation matures and becomes what the original drafters truly intended a free and open society where individual rights are paramount and all people can live free of oppression. God Bless America; and please teach us how to truly love and respect each other.

I am currently Amazed
I am listening to Supertramp

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