Imagine All the People

unitystrength

I’ve been watching the political race for the US Presidency unfold, and I’ve been thinking about some of the topics that have dominated US news for the past few months and I’m struggling to understand why we as a nation, as a species even, cannot seem to agree on certain issues that seem to me to be very plain and not controversial at all.

For instance, let’s take the popular topic of the hour: Cecil the Lion and the backlash against trophy hunting. I can’t see anyone making a reasonable, rational argument to support  killing endangered or nearly endangered species. Setting aside the discussion about shooting deer as a supposed method to thin the population to prevent starvation in the winter months when food is scarce, (that’s probably another topic altogether), hunting for sport is cruel and serves no purpose. As Ricky Gervais said recently:

“It annoys me that it’s called ‘trophy hunting’ because it has nothing to do with hunting. There’s a big difference with, you know, hunting for food cleanly and honestly, as we said before, and wanting to know what it’s like to murder a majestic animal for no reason other than the thrill of what it’s like to murder something… Why is bullfighting fun? Why is torturing an animal the fun bit? It’s not fun to do, it’s not fun to watch. I wonder about the psychology of the people that like seeing an animal in fear or tortured or its life snuffed out for no good reason.”

Isn’t this something that we could all agree upon? Is banning trophy hunting really controversial?

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A Slice of Tolerance

two flags

In recent weeks two stories in America dominated the headlines. At first they might seem unrelated, but closer examination reveals a few philosophical connections. The two topics of which I speak are the controversy over the Confederate flag and the Supreme Court ruling about marriage equality. Let’s take a look, shall we?

In the wake of the tragic shootings of nine people in a black church in South Carolina, public attention was once again directed towards a symbol that many feel represents hatred, oppression, slavery and treason: the Confederate flag. There is no end to the disagreements about the origins and history of this flag, and certainly a great deal of misinformation is flying around the internet. Two things, however, are painfully clear and cannot be disputed:

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I’m a Victim, You’re a Victim, Wouldn’t You Like To Be a Victim Too?

Jon Stewart religion

I’ve been told by numerous Christians that they are the most persecuted group in America and after checking the facts on this, I have to agree. For example, though it’s hard to imagine, there are still places in this country where loving heterosexual Christian couples are not allowed to legally marry. This is due to extreme intolerance from the gay community who feel that heterosexual marriage defiles the very sanctity of the institution and claim that marriage should be defined as one man and one man or one woman and one woman ONLY! The result of this is that many straight couples are unable to enjoy the legal benefits of marriage that their gay counterparts enjoy, such as being able to cover a spouse under health insurance and… wait… hold the phone. Let me just check something… Oh. Oh crap. Ok well… nevermind. Forget that first example. It seems I got my facts mixed up. Turns out it’s the other way around. It’s gay couples that can’t get married in some places and it’s Christians that are intolerant. Whoops. My bad.

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