Tahlequah Daily Press


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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    The words “God” and “governor” may share the same first two letters, but the two are hardly interchangeable.
    But let’s assume Gov. Mary Fallin really isn’t deluded enough to place her powers on the level of a deity. What rationale would a woman who has championed smaller government and local control use to explain her hypocrisy in banning individual Oklahoma cities from raising minimum wages in their jurisdictions?

    April 18, 2014

  • Community cleanups a good way to ensure our collective success

    This is our community – and it’s no better than what we make it. Let’s make it look great.

    April 16, 2014

  • Attack at school in Pennsylvania: Mental illness root of problem

    Washington’s crusade against guns was dealt a severe blow on Wednesday. No, it wasn’t the Supreme Court curtailment of the Second Amendment right of all Americans to own firearms. It wasn’t an executive order handed down by the administration. It was the brutal assault by a high school student in Pennsylvania against his fellow students – with a knife.

    April 14, 2014

  • People with faulty zippers should be booted from office

    We may forgive, but we shouldn’t forget, because there’s serious work to do in Washington. That work will never be accomplished as long as flawed zippers - literally or figurately – are a pervasive problem.

    April 11, 2014

  • Do your part to fight animal and child abuse

    It’s hard to change the habits of an abuser, especially when mitigating factors – such as alcohol or drugs – are involved. And these patterns tend to repeat themselves in successive generations. But all of us can take one small step to help eradicate this epidemic, and that is to report it when we see it.

    April 9, 2014

  • NSA head lies to Congress, and seems to get away with it

    Is there an obvious pattern of criminality within these governmental agencies? If so, why isn’t the Judicial Department investigating?

    April 7, 2014

  • Pass for rich kiddie rapist proves that justice isn’t blind

    Someone in Wilmington, Del., needs to keep an eye on Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden for the next few months, because she might improve her standard of living due to a sudden influx of cash.
    There’s no other way to explain why Jurden would have sentenced an ultra-wealthy heir to the du Pont fortune to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter. It’s an outrageous miscarriage of justice that once again proves when it comes to the U.S. justice system, the elite get a pass almost every time.

    April 4, 2014

  • Maybe it’s not $3.2B, but state should still account for tribal cash

    In an editorial published last week, the Daily Press said that through tribal compacts, the state of Oklahoma received about $3.2 billion in annual revenue, partly attributable to the 117 casinos (or 118, in some reports) run by 33 tribes in the state. The information we accessed for that piece was confusing, and had a typo or two, which may have led us to overstate – to a considerable degree – how much money the tribes actually give the state.

    April 2, 2014

  • Tribal compacts should mean state has money to perform its functions

    Oklahoma should be rolling in the dough. The statistics bear that out. Thirty-three American Indian tribes operate 117 casinos in this state. Thanks to “compacts,” these tribes have been sharing the wealth with the state of Oklahoma. And thanks to the casinos, that wealth is substantial.

    March 28, 2014

  • It’s time to turn in your candidate announcements

    If you are running for a political office for which Cherokee County voters can cast ballots, it’s time to turn in your announcement. We’ve already run a few, and expect several more. The primary elections are Tuesday, June 24, with the registration period to vote in this election closing Thursday, May 30.

    March 24, 2014


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
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