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Welcome to my blog. Essays on my thoughts on anything and everything, original photography, philosophical musings, spiritual beliefs, political rants, and shameless promotion of things I think are good for us individually, collectively as citizens of the United States of America and good stewards of the planet Earth. We must honor our higher lights and face our inner demons in the diverse forms they appear in our world. The more people with whom we can share common awareness, regardless of our egocentric perception, the larger our personal share of the Human Spirit.

Many of the photographs on the blog are original photography taken by me with my trusty cell phones and now BlackBerry. Some others have been with an array of off the shelf digital cameras. The subtle double rainbow on the title was photographed east of my home on 10/15/2010 at 6:23 PM on my BlackBerry. For a campy, tongue in cheek look at the meaning or non-meaning of double rainbows, check this out, or if you're more interested this...

Thanks for visiting. Feel free to leave comments, pro or con. It's how we learn from each other. Peace


-Gerard


6/30/2011

Every American Has A Right to Equality.

Stop Institutional Discrimination

Stop Individual Discrimination

"...our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation,
conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that
all men are created equal. "

Abraham Lincoln
Thank You @BrainyQuotes

A message from the US Senate:
It Gets Better


6 comments:

  1. No one “has a right to equality,” as everyone is inherently equal in the sense of being a human. That means that everyone deserves to be treated with the same basic dignity due to a human being.

    This does not mean that everyone must be made equal in the sense of economic status or ability. Abe Lincoln, whom you quoted, understood the meaning of equality as the Founding Fathers understood it. He knew that equality didn’t mean that we’re all the same, because we’re clearly not.

    Equality of opportunity does not mean equality of result. I may just be splitting hairs here, but I don’t want to live in a world where “equality” means we’re all the same. Should college be made easier so more people can have a degree? Is that equality? Is that justice?

    Equality to me means that everyone is allowed to reach his or her maximum potential without anyone stopping them based on their race, gender, or beliefs. Of course we should help them reach their maximum potential, but often times that has led to lowering standards rather than helping them come as close as possible to existing standards.

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  2. Always good to hear from you Mr. Camwell. I agree with your first comment, but unfortunately there are those who think that some inherent qualities like equality and freedom come with some kind of moral qualifiers. Equality, I don't think should be applied to the results of effort and achievement. But there are those that want to remove any semblence of competition from the equation of personal achievement, especially in education.
    I agree that not everyone is equal in that respect - the aptitude and ability to achieve at the same levels. That doesn't mean, though that we should discount those that achieve at lower levels, which I understand you to also mean.
    I agree with most of the premise of your final statement also. There was a move at one time, one I hope we're moving away from, to lower the standard instead of lifting the person.
    That all said, the post is about achieving dignity, respect and tolerance for GLBT youth and adults. Have a good 4th, Jack!
    Thanks again for visiting and responding.
    Gerard

    ReplyDelete
  3. In my view, we don't have to be 'the' best -- to be 'our' best. How do we inspire more people to be their best without compromising or being unfair to those who already act on those aspirations?

    Thinking back to my childhood in the 60s, my mentors were my mom and dad. Today’s kids should have the same experience. Unfortunately, counselors, teachers, coaches and mentors (bless them) outside the direct family are taking on this challenge. It is incredibly difficult to sustain (in many ways). Gerard, in your view, where does family fit into to all of this? Is a crumbling family ethos a real event?

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  4. Thanks for your comments on this post KP. There definitely has been a change in family dynamics over the last 30 or 40 years, and I think a lot of it is just the natural progression of our culture and society. We are both of an age that we can remember when family values meant something different than it means today. I was fortunate to be raised in a two parent home, where we sat down for dinner every night, my parents encoarged my development, in whatever direction it went, and they seem to have provided me with a good moral compass without locking me into a fundamental nightmare.

    I think that technology and ease of travel have changed the dynamic of all of our interpersonal relationships, especially how we related to our children/parents/siblings.

    Unfortunately, in my experience in family services and community based kids' mental health, I've seen a lot of kids damaged by faulty, spirit crushing parenting. In my observations, I've seen lots of screwed up parents that unfortunately pass their craziness onto their kids, often unintentionally - or even with good intentions (see my post "Helping or Hurting," a few weeks ago about passing our craziness onto our kids cloaked in good intentions).

    This is very prevelant for GLBT kids being raised in families who are not tolerant or accepting, and who can be outright rejecting. Kids still end up on the streets not because of their behavior, but because of who they are. That's plain wrong, but I'm not sure how to convince a parent with a hardcore, unhealthy, fundamental life view. Sometimes, if you can start from a position of love, it's possible to change a parent/child relationship, but it takes a lot of work and a lot of give from both sides.

    As I said in the response to the comment above, EVERYONE deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, even if on doesn't necessarily ascribe to that individual's lifestyle.

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  5. I carefully read your article "Helping or Hurting" and I commented a few weeks ago. Great stuff. We agree.

    "Kids still end up on the streets not because of their behavior, but because of who they are."

    We agree, but isn't this a small percentage of kids and families? Is it possible that the majority of families are no longer two parent and that in many cases childhood discipline or structure is lacking -- making bad behavior one of the major obstacles?

    I defer to you, but it seems to me that crumbling families and lack of parenting, not ideological parenting, is resulting in bad behavior.

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  6. I think that we're in agreement, KP. Although it's probably (hopefully) decreasing, there are still too many kids kicked out of their homes because of their sexual orientation. A few years ago someone made the observation that we've become a throw-away culture. Use what you have and throw it away. When you need more, run to the local big box store and replace it. While I hope we don't treat our kids so cavalierly, it does happen.

    I didn't mean to imply that there is some sample of "ideal" parenting. Everyone has to apply the sum total of their own upbringing and personalities to the task. I admit though, that for whatever reasons, and I personally believe a lot of it has to do with our own parents, my generation produced a lot of selfish, immature adults trying to parent kids. Over the years we've become more engrossed in our jobs, technology, world affairs, etc., and the family has taken a back seat.

    In principal, I think we both agree. "...discipline (and) structure are lacking," leading to the bad behavior that often becomes an obstacle for the rest of society. Maybe I didn't express it clear enough, but generally I think we both agree on the premise that parents make a big impact on kids, and some of that doesn't have the desired effect.

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