A friend coined my favorite saying about expressing opinions: “Put your balls on the table, and pass out hammers.”
This is a highly charged political season, and I’ve struggled with how publicly I should swing my balls around, as it were. I’m a writer and an entertainer — not a politician — so why should anyone care what I think about gay marriage? And why should I risk alienating potential readers?
Well, because I’m an American, goddammit.
But I really don’t want to spend from now until Election Day reposting every halfbrained link and vitriolic bone making the rounds on Facebook. I don’t care what Orson Scott Card, a great fiction writer, thinks about politics, and I don’t expect you to care what I think about politics, either.
So I’m just going to try and get it all out of my system now. Feel free to skip the rest.
By the Numbers
- I don’t believe sexual orientation is something you can control. It’s like skin color. It’s not a lifestyle choice. So I support gay marriage. The gay people I know are some of the nicest, most responsible, intelligent, loving people I know. They deserve to be parents and enjoy all that life has to offer on their own terms. (Added later: and now that I think about it, even if sexual orientation were a choice, I would still support gay marriage. Being gay is harmless. The only time harm comes in is when people react negatively to the fact of it, and that’s something that can change.)
- Infidelity is a moral crime. It’s destructive to families and does permanent psychological damage to spouses and children.
- Given what I said in #2, this might blow your mind. I think pornography, when consumed responsibly, like junk food, can be a useful release. People who repress their natural sexual curiosity in an attempt to avoid infidelity are probably the most likely to commit infidelity. So I support fantasy, especially when it’s shared between partners.
- Given what I said in #3, you probably won’t be surprised to learn I love violent video games. The gorier the better. Again, when used responsibly, they’re a safe release.
- Seat belts are good, and likewise, so are contraceptives. People should only assume the mantle of parenthood when they’re ready, and not before. Deena and I were married for four years before we judged we were fully prepared to become parents. Did we use contraceptives during that time? Hell, yes.
- Given what I said in #5, I think Roe v. Wade was a good decision. Does this mean I go so far as to support “partial-birth abortion” barbarism? No. Past a certain point in pregnancy — and I don’t know exactly where that line should be drawn — abortion can justifiably be called inhumane and cruel. But earlier in a pregnancy, I don’t see why a woman who has simply made a mistake in getting pregnant — or worse, been forced by rape into it — should have to endure the hardship. Also, if the prospective parents learn reasonably early enough that their child will come out horribly handicapped, then they should be able to spare themselves and the nascent child a lifetime of misery.
- I don’t think guns cause crimes. People cause crimes. So I think the Second Amendment was a good one. Responsible people should be allowed to own guns.
- Some criminals are too heinous to be allowed to live, so I support the death penalty.
- It’s irresponsible, self-destructive, and selfish to consistently spend more money than you take in. So I think our national debt and the nonstop yearly deficits that add to it are reprehensible. If there’s one thing guaranteed to eventually destroy our country, it’s our national fiscal irresponsibility. But this topic is too intellectually nebulous for most people to get worked up about it. It’s going to take a major crisis — such as a debt default — for us to really wake up and smell the red ink. And I’m worried this will happen in my lifetime.
- I think if Piers Morgan doesn’t start sitting up straighter, his chiropractor will become a wealthy man. It drives me crazy to watch him lean over like that.
- The Establishment Clause was a wise addition to the First Amendment. Theocratic enthusiasts like Rick Santorum scare the shit out of me and would probably be more comfortable living someplace else like, say, Iran.
- I’m not religious. Too much about religion, like what I wrote about in #11, turns me off. Life and the universe still hold a great deal of mystery for me, however, and I feel I’m part of something larger than me. I’m particularly interested in the ideas of an organic universe, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s “noosphere,” and Julian Jaynes’s theories about the evolution of consciousness.
Okay, I’ll shut up now. It’s out of my system. I think.