Archive for January, 2009

Intimations of Spring

22 January 2009

Last week we had one or two of those days where the temperature does not get as high as 0 degrees F. Snow covered the roads and walks. Today, it was forty degrees and sunny and and I rode through puddles. I love it here.


Same-Sex Sex

14 January 2009

I read a lot of blog posts and comments from people who align themselves with “liberal” or “progressive” ideology. I cannot say I line up that way, not really closely anyway.

I am not in favor of equality as a general policy driver. I agree that solving inequality between blacks and whites in Usamerica is a good and worthwhile goal, and I think it serves us well to avoid religious favoritism. I did tell my wife, though, that I would be fine with a state religion as long as it was Catholic. I opposed the Equal Rights Amendment; I reasoned that men and women are different and there are going to be situations where the law treats them differently, even if we declare otherwise. That does not mean I do not want my daughter to have the chance to go to the top schools or get into a male-dominated profession or become a priest, for that matter. It is just that political agitation aimed at making sure females as a class have half of everything and get paid the same in the aggregate as men, everywhere and at every job, seems wrong-headed. I want fair opportunities for individuals within the framework of our society. The framework can sometimes be unfair to some classes of people, but it is an expression of our individual freedoms to tend toward some common preferences.

I do not want there to be an affirmative action program for short people, even though I do not think they are fairly considered for leadership positions.

So what about same-sex marriage? Are same-sex couplings about to become equal to opposite-sex ones in our society? I doubt it. States can enact laws or have court rulings saying it should be so, but it will not be so.

Nevertheless, I can go along with “marriage equality” where it may come to pass. It might be the only way to make most gays and lesbians feel secure in their rights, and the kind of rights that marriage entails seem right enough for same-sex couples, for all practical purposes. I might be prejudiced, but I am not a bigot.

Why did I title this post “Same-Sex Sex” rather than “Same-Sex Marriage”? I made that choice because I was thinking that the resistance to same-sex marriage really comes when we focus on what we are saying about the sexual relations between spouses. It is indelicate to focus on the physical love-making, but at some point we have to do this to confront what bothers people about same-sex marriage.

I will have more to say along these lines. In short, I think lots of different kinds of sex can be good for different people, but I do not just say this kind and this kind and this kind are all good, while that kind and that kind are bad. I am not going to be driven, either, to accept the principle that if one kind and another kind are both good, then they must be equally good.


11 January 2009

I thought I was wisely diverting my sixth-grade son from the online world of role-playing games when I got him the Warhammer Battle for Skull Pass starter set and pledged to play it with him one night a week. No computer, no internet, just neat little figures on a tabletop, and you actually move them around with your hands, instead of pushing buttons.

On another front, I got an Xbox 360 for the house, as a venue for video games. This gives in to the allure of electronic entertainment, but it takes it off of my computer, and I hope it will not be as eye-warping as a hand-held game.

However approving my son was about these developments on Christmas Day, it did not take him long to find a new fascination on the Internet, the massively multiplayer role-playing game Runescape. He asked me to check it out, and I did, and I gave him the green light to play himself. He is demanding that I play it, too, and I have to say I am annoyed with this, but if he wants me to be involved, I guess that is a good thing. If he abandons Warhammer for this, though, I will be bummed.