My first published letter in the USA, opinions please?

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    Nov 11, 2008 12:40 AM GMT
    Okay so I've gotten several articles printed in the two college newspapers back at my home university in Ireland and in several other publications. I wrote this and submitted it for publication here, never expecting them to print it and they did.

    America just thinks a different way to europe so I wasn't sure how it was going to be received but so far it's been positive among my friends.



    AMT87It has severely dented my faith in humanity that in the 21st century, California, a state which I would consider representative of one of the most progressive, educated and liberal populations in the United States, attained a majority in favor of legislation based on discrimination.

    What I have observed is people congratulating each other and saying they have done a great service for the children of America.

    Sometimes the best way to win an argument is to make a perfectly valid argument about an irrelevant point, particularly one involving children or puppies — basically anything cute.

    People become irrational when you put a child in front of them. As a scientist I understand; it’s animal instinct, there’s 400 million years of evolution behind a drive to protect our offspring at all costs. Put the welfare of a child, particularly a girl — given a natural male tendency to protect the female sex — into an argument and you can illicit an irrational response. Then you can attack the moral conscience of anyone who opposes your position regardless of the debate, and it’s no longer a debate about equality, it’s “Do you hate children or don’t you?” I don’t know about you, but I don’t hate children. Hating children is just immoral.

    Picture the scene. You’re on the 7 a.m. flight, you dealt with traffic, having your personal space violated by security and have the misfortune of being seated next to a screaming, banging, spitting little creature. The rational part of your brain says this is a six-hour flight and it has already reached over and yanked out my earphones three times. But instinct takes over. I don’t hate children, I don’t want everyone to think I do, so I’ll force a smile and tolerate it, irrationally so, until the end of the flight or the little so-and-so dumps grape juice on my laptop, whichever comes first.

    To the population of California who voted yes because you were convinced it served to preserve the welfare of your children, I hope in 15 years they thank you for doing what you were most likely falsely convinced into thinking was best for them. One thing I would like to witness, however, is that little girl turning around to her parents and saying, “You claimed it was detrimental to my welfare to be exposed to same-sex marriage before I could understand it, yet you exposed me to it when you made me an unwilling participant in a campaign I neither understood nor supported.”

    Finally, a note on morality: I find it hypocritical for organizations claiming to conserve moral and family values in society to misappropriate millions of dollars, to conduct a campaign of lies, with the intent of legalizing discrimination. But that’s just my opinion, and if they believe that they can rationalize their actions by taking a moral high ground and saying they are pursuing what they believe to be a moral cause, well, that’s called denial.

    — Andrew Telford
    EAP student from Ireland


    http://ucsdguardian.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10542&Itemid=3
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    Nov 11, 2008 12:44 AM GMT
    Great letter. Too bad people from outside the US have a better understanding of this issue than do 52% of the voters in California, or 62% of the voters in my own state of Florida.
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    Nov 11, 2008 12:53 AM GMT

    Your letter is excellently and succinctly put!

    Would you consider this?

    "turning around to her parents and saying, “You claimed it was detrimental to my welfare to be exposed to same-sex marriage before I could understand it, yet you exposed me to it when you made me an unwilling participant in a campaign I neither understood nor supported.”

    ...adding something like "Even worse is the real possibility that this little girl may turn out to be gay and her parents have unwittingly compromised her future potential for a widely desired type of relationship, not to mention her rights to equality in society at large."

    You letter is well rounded and makes the reader, this reader, think. I like it.

    -Doug of meninlove

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    Nov 11, 2008 6:05 AM GMT
    Well put..I would add something about divorce. Not sure how you could word it..after all, nothing is more damaging to children and family than divorce, right?
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    Nov 11, 2008 10:44 AM GMT
    It's too late to add anything it was printed in the newspaper this morning.

    There were a lot of things I disliked about the campaign I just tried to pick one and focus on it rather than keep adding points.

    Thanks for your guys opinions, means a lot to meicon_smile.gif
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    Nov 11, 2008 7:12 PM GMT
    I think the most salient point of your letter is the fact that those who professed to be doing what was "morally right" lied to accomplish their goals. The idea that same sex marriage would be taught in schools seemed such a red herring and so clearly aimed at the irrational heart strings of uninformed parents, that it made me want to scream.

    And, while it did not quite rise to the level of a lie, the "robo-calls" to Black church-goers that included an incomplete fragment of an Obama statement seemed so calculating and cold, that I wanted to scream -- not just at those who used it, but at those who fell for it. (The quote was "I don't support gay marriage". The part they cut off was "but nor do I support amending the constitution to ban it".)

    To me, a married man (not sure what, exactly, the status of my marriage is!), the vote on H8 was a sobering reminder that we have a long way to go, but I was very heartened that 4.9 million people voted against hate. I found other interesting tidbits in the demographics of the vote, but more on that another time!