Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Salt Lake City Liberals and Gay Marriage

It is a truism to say that we live in changing times. but there are times when the changes are greater than others, and now is clearly one of them. A black man sits in the White House, Wall Street companies that had survived the great depression no longer exist, and Utah is moving toward support for gay marriage. An article in the Washington Post stated that a recent survey showed that 49% of Americans favored gay marriage, an all-time high. Clearly, the winds of time or changing on this issue.

"What's the matter with Utah? The most Republican state in the nation is drifting to the left. In the last few months, Gov. Jon Huntsman, a Republican and a practicing Mormon, has come out in favor of civil unions for gays and repeated his support for
government action on global warming. Meanwhile, the Republican-controlled
state legislature has liberalized Utah's notoriously arcane alcohol laws. The
punishment for this apostasy has been record-high approval ratings—for both governor and legislature."

In 1963 Bob Dylan wrote the following words.

"Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to youIs worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'."

For those of us old enough to remember those days, the words are as appropriate now as they were then. For those of you not familiar with them, think about what is happening in the world. Much of the rancor and verbal confrontation that takes place in the country stems from the fact that enormous social and economic changes are taking place. Ideally, we would have a spirited debate about them, but the nature of these changes are such that core values of life are at stake and the strongest of emotions rise easily to the top.
There are also those that make a living stirring up emotions and anger. I refer you to my last post. The potential changes to the health care system are enormous as are changes in how we produce energy. But I don't think the fundamental nature of the society will change. Obama was very clear when he stated that he didn't want to run automobile companies and he didn't want to run the banks. The problem with resisting, or postponing, change is that when it finally occurs it is greater than what you fought against 10 years ago. The UAW is finding this out the hard way. Many evangelical churches are rethinking what the church's mission should be. Heavy church involvement in politics is often counterproductive.

Lastly, I think many people are simply overwhelmed by the nature of the economic crisis and all the changes that they are currently experiencing and future changes they are told to worry about. While the political pendulum will eventually swing back towards the middle, society always evolves in new directions, even if in a glacial manner. Unlike Michael Fox in the movies, we can't go back to the past.

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