The Confederate flag issue may come to an end this week in Columbia…but will the flag coming down from the Statehouse grounds really be the end? Of course not. Now, I’m in favor of bringing the flag down, but we know that there will be calls from other groups asking that other symbols from our past be done away with. Some may have merit, like the removal of portraits and statues of former SC Governor Ben “Pitchfork” Tillman…a man who not only was a racist and segregationist, but who also openly called for the killing of blacks. Other people may float ideas that will ultimately get laughed off….like removing George Washington and Thomas Jefferson from history because of slave ownership or doing away with the US flag because it flew over the Indian massacres, wars and other basic history. I rarely fall for the ‘slippery slope’ argument, and I’m not going to this time either.
Even though the flag needs to come down from the Statehouse grounds, there are other places that it should stay because of historical context…like at Fort Sumter or Confederate graveyards. Those are truly the definition of ‘heritage’ that so many argue in favor of when speaking of the flag.
We’re heard the same arguments for years, both for and against the flag, but let me address what I’ve been hearing since Dylann Roof shot and killed 9 people in a Charleston church last month:
1) It’s really not THEE Confederate flag. Moot point. It may be the flag of Northern Virginia, but if you ask 1000 people, 999 will identity the same flag as being ‘thee confederate flag.” Perception is reality, so even though it may not be historically accurate, it doesn’t make a bit of difference in this argument.
2) Will bringing down the flag end racism? Duh…of course not…but it’s a good step in the right direction.
3) It’s Heritage not hate. Actually, it CAN be both and in this case, it is. To the majority of flag wavers, it simply means Southern Pride or Proud to be a Redneck. To a few, it DOES have significance to an ancestor who fought in the war. To many, it’s a symbol used to denigrate an entire race.
Many people equate this flag fight with the current fight against gay marriage. I can see a connection, but probably not in the way you see it. For both, many have said it’s just one more way where rights are taken from one group and given to another. In my mind, both cases are about giving a group something the majority has enjoyed for a long time. For marriage, it’s giving equal rights while taking nothing away from you. For the flag, it’s allowing a large portion of the population to be able to walk past the state capitol without seeing a symbol you view as hate-filled flying in your face.
For everyone who says the removal of the flag tramples on your rights…just remember, the people who flew that flag originally were trying to break away from the United States and their Constitution…the document that gave the rights you’re asking for. So which is it?
Whether you get married by a Justice of the Peace or a priest or you just go to city hall... whether you have a reception, go on a honeymoon or get a bite for lunch afterwards... any way you cut it... you are married with a marriage license that's recognized in every state.
Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships stop short of allowing same sex couples marriage rights and it's not recognized across statelines. All they want are equal rights when it comes to marriage rights.
Call it something else. "Wife" and "husband" should be reserved for heterosexual marriages. "Partner" was working all these years for homosexual partners. "Marriage" for heterosexual couples and "Civil Unions" for homosexual couples.
Just change the parameters of a Civil Union, and the problem would be solved. End of story.
It's not about religion. It's about rights. It's not about moral decay. It's about two people that love each other.
Today's Supreme Court case is about two women who are in love and raising a family together... three kids! They want to protect their family. That's far from moral decay.
Whom am I to judge who one loves and why? I'm not perfect at it either... neither are half the married couples in this great nation.