Tahlequah Daily Press

Editorials

July 10, 2013

Some attitudes are changing

TAHLEQUAH — Polls taken over the past couple of weeks on the Daily Press’ website and Facebook page suggest that here, even in the deepest recesses of the Bible belt, collective attitudes are shifting a bit about same-sex marriage.

The Supreme Court justice may have sensed this as they focused on the constitutional aspect of whether the federal Defense of Marriage Act should be allowed to stand. They decided 5-4 that DOMA violates the Fifth Amendment by seeking to deprive personal liberty. Indeed, for that same reason, the Press has long opined that to permanently ban same-sex marriage in wholesale fashion, another amendment would have to be added to the Constitution.

The “collective” qualifier about changing opinions is important, though, because most folks who have been raised to believe same-sex marriage is morally wrong – especially those 50 and older – aren’t likely to change their minds. However, some are beginning to view the gay marriage through a different prism.

While they may still consider it a sin, or  problematic in other ways, they want to funnel their energies into other issues they now consider more pressing. Some people suspect the ongoing public clamor is doing more harm than good to the social fabric of the country. Or, in some cases, they simply see it as a question of Big Brother’s interference: If the government can tell us whom we can marry, what other ways will it find to further intrude upon our lives?

Online polls like those mentioned may give a somewhat warped view of any issue – especially in Cherokee County, where a significant number of rural and older folks still do not have internet access. Younger people, who statistically are more accepting of same-sex marriage, may be skewing such surveys. But talking one on one to local residents who have staunchly opposed it in the past can reveal an interesting perspective.

As an example, one reader who describes himself as a devout Christian said that essentially, no other issue really matters until abortion is eliminated. He didn’t say he approved of gay marriage; he merely said it’s not the most important dish on his plate. Another older couple said that while they worry about the souls of gays who choose to marry, it’s ultimately not their business – any more than any other transgression that doesn’t seem to harm anyone else except possibly the transgressor. And they admitted they can’t see how same-sex marriage ultimately harms the institution of marriage itself.

Finally, there is the most frequently expressed twin sentiment by people of faith: They don’t want to be seen as judging another person and falling short of the command to “love one another.” There’s no qualifier in that mandate.

Regardless of how we view this issue as individuals, how we treat others is ultimately the test of our own character. As people struggle to come to terms with the world’s changing mores, we owe it to our fellow human beings to treat them with dignity – even if we object to the essence of who they are.

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Editorials
  • Tourism Council and chamber should cut the proverbial cord

    They are defined by two separate purposes and operate under two distinctive sets of bylaws, but years of conflicting opinions have left lingering questions and confusion over the relationship between the decades-old Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce and the younger Tahlequah Area Tourism Council.

    July 30, 2014

  • NSU needs to be more candid when its plans go awry

    Many area residents were disappointed to learn this week that the NSU Fitness Center, and its all-important indoor lap pool, won’t open next month, as originally announced.
    This latest delay is no surprise.

    July 28, 2014

  • Higher premiums a just reward for drunken drivers

    Over the past several years, Oklahoma has slipped in many of the polls that count. This week, we learned Tulsa is No. 4 on a list of cities with high rates of fatal DUI accidents. Is anyone really surprised?

    July 25, 2014

  • Maybe it’s time to think about having another BalloonFest

    The 18th annual BalloonFest was the last one held, in 2010. In summer 2011, when the Daily Press staff hadn’t heard anything about the much-anticipated event, we started asking questions.

    July 23, 2014

  • If you see a drunken driver, take the time to call in a report

    If you see something, say something. You’ve heard the warning, and seen it imprinted on placards at airports. In the wake of 9/11, it became a national mantra, mainly aimed at spotting potential terrorist activities. But it’s good advice anytime, and for any reason, even at the local level.

    July 14, 2014

  • City officials should stop squabbling and try to work together

    It’s bad enough that the Chamber of Commerce scandal has given Tahlequah a black eye. But if the bickering among city officials doesn’t stop, the community will have a complete set of shiners for its public face.

    July 11, 2014

  • Only full disclosure will restore trust in the chamber

    Despite pressure from some quarters, neither the Press nor anyone else who values full disclosure will be clamming up until all the facts are known, and those who are responsible meet with justice.

    July 10, 2014

  • Only full disclosure will restore trust in the chamber

    A few board members for the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce are saying they’ve heard nothing but positive things lately – about the chamber itself, and presumably, about themselves.

    July 9, 2014

  • Employer-sponsored insurance may now be a ‘hostage’ situation

    When the fallout settles from the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, many Americans might decide they’re better off with health insurance that doesn’t come from their boss.

    July 7, 2014

  • With confidence in Congress at 7 percent, time for a new slate

    Note to Congress: We don’t like you. Not at all.
    A Gallup poll released Monday, June 30 confirmed what most of us already know: the American public is disgusted with the House and Senate. The survey recorded the lowest level of confidence since Gallup began asking the question in 1991: a whopping 7 percent. That’s not a typographical error; it’s a single digit.

    July 2, 2014

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