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Thank you Steve for the heads up that the report is available. I reviewed the whole thing and found it wanting.
The conditions identified as meeting the standards for blight were only present in very limited locations and extent, except for sidewalks. Hardly enough to declare blight exists by a reasonable standard, only that some conditions associated with it are to be found by very close scrutiny.
The photos lack proper identification, both of location, date, and condition observed. In the case of my house, I believe it must have been no later than March of 2013, though the file ID said August 2014. With a little research I could confirm it to within 2 months.
The descriptions also failed to give specific locations of the conditions identified as potentially contributing to blight, nor the date. It only stated such had been found within "super blocks", but did not even give the number of instances of a condition within that block.
The assessed value of my property was described as under $100,000. I realize it is not an appraisal, but the County records have a figure many times higher. It seems misleading in that regard.
It appears that the report was deliberately crafted to produce the desired result, and borders on fraudulent.
To further clarify, my position is a support for the traditional family, not a prejudice against homosexuals. My relationships with family of those inclinations are close and loving, and friends and associates respectful.
But it is by these intimacies that I have come to my understanding of the malleability of human sexuality. One sister who had decades of wonderful relationships with men, and a marriage with offspring who thrived, then after the divorce came to find sexual and emotional satisfaction with women.
One brother who encountered sexual predation as an adolescent then continued that practice, after a decade of abstinence, as the predator, with adolescent family members the prime targets. He later reformed, regretted the actions, and went on to marry and raise a family who came out well adjusted.
A more distant relative who was abused by her husband took up with a kind and supportive woman, and raised her daughter in that unofficial marriage, who confided to me after a long defense of her actions that she wished she had had the ability to provide a man for the daughters benefit in growing up, that she did not consider herself a lesbian, but the relationship with her partner provided support and comfort, the sex was gratifying, and she just could not be intimate with a man again.
I also know a few who always found themselves aroused by the same sex, some who resisted it, but at least two who always found the other sex repulsive. That is what I think is meant by being born gay. But it is clear that for many others it is a choice or a reaction.
I used to visit Provincetown frequently (a town noted for a concentration of same sex practitioners, a resort town on the Cape). The culture was interesting and entertaining, the people happy that they could express themselves openly. I had many informative discussions there. Given the culture of extreme promiscuity, I was always happy to hear that one of my acquaintances had found a partner with whom they could build a life based on love, respect and fidelity. My lasting impression was how much harder it was for them.
My plea is that we maintain respect for the Natural Order. Let the children have a mother and a father.
Man and woman fit together, literally, like a lock and key. Under normal conditions we are absolutely necessary for each other, Nature has decreed it thus, one does not function fully as a family without the other, we are the Yin and Yang. We supplement, complement, and complete each other to form the Whole.
I reiterate that the difficulty of perfecting the relationship confers tremendous advantages to the children of those who so. We owe it to our children, to our society, to do so even at tremendous sacrifice of self interest and gratification. The ultimate happiness, the success of our lives is measured by how well we have raised our children, as evidenced by how well they raise theirs.
I will try again to avoid misunderstanding. But first to respond to other posts:
Thank you Cindy for your kind words. I know you get it.
Phoebe, polygamy does involve a man, a woman, and their children. A generation is usually considered twenty to thirty years, you calculated twenty generations per year. I was referring to a time span of over 200,000 years that the man, woman, and their child family has been recognized. And I have read estimates that nearly half of the people in western cultures have had some sort of same sex sexual interaction. That is of course a hypothetical figure because it takes into account how many may be denying and what exactly constitutes a sexual encounter.
Scott, there are many present and past troubles with marriage. My point is that the institution has always included a man, a woman, and their children if they produce any. That is all I mean by traditional marriage. But the changes in marriage laws of the past few generations have resulted in the current widespread disrespect for that once cherished covenant as evidenced by the numbers of out of wedlock births. That is the great tragedy of the decline of marriage and has had widespread consequences similar to the increase in trauma caused when divorce became an easy option and children suffered the results.
I will have to clarify later, family duties call.
One of the challenges that must be met to create a stable, successful family is the control of sexual appetite. If the motivation is simply sexual gratification, it can be achieved far more easily with same gender partners. If it must be with opposite sex partners to be satisfying it is much easier to achieve without a committed relationship.
That is giving the self so much importance that it tips the balance away from building stable families.
I the parallel thread that spurred my letter. I was asked if I could imagine becoming suddenly gay.
No, not suddenly, but given time, and adequate incentives both positive and negative, I can imagine the conversion of many if not most people to participation in same gender sexual relationships.
If having had sexual relations of some kind with a same gender partner means one is homosexual, there are few among us who are straight.
While we each may well have an inborn attraction preference, our ability to adapt is tremendous. A near relative of mine engaged in sex with adolescent boys for years before marrying and raising a family.
An embrace of gay culture will certainly result in more homosexual activity.
OK, never mind, no new name needed. it is already called gay marriage.
The point is simply that for all time and all cultures marriage involved a man and a woman and their children. Some slight variations in minor tribal societies, but by far the norm is one man, one woman, and their Children.
So the definition of the word has changed. Therefore, those who wish to identify their relationship as one that fits the traditional definition should chose another term. Covenant marriage is a good one.
If you want your marriage to have the legal status of that which prevailed until a generation ago, it now will require an additional contract, a prenuptial agreement. In that you can agree to such things as divorce only for breach, not convenience, penalty for divorce, and other components that have been removed over the years.
A marriage is what the partners make of it. If easy exit is denied (which in cases involving children it should be), the partners have greater incentive to do the hard work needed to achieve harmony.
Men and women are very different in many ways, but obviously designed by Nature to form a complete Whole together. There is even probably an evolutionary advantage to the level of difficulty that attends perfecting that union. Once you have accomplished it, it is very strong, and so more likely to provide well for the children and teach them how to duplicate that relationship.
Ten thousand generations of traditions can't be all wrong.
And human sexual malleability is especially prevalent in adolescents. Children who otherwise would have little inclination to deviate from the traditional male/female model may very well be willing to do so if there is a generalized atmosphere of acceptance, if there is not pressure to self regulate their sexual appetites. A society that encourages homosexual experimentation by young people will certainly have more who make that their regular practice. Young males in particular will quite readily engage with a wide variety of partners, (anyone who is willing), and likely have powerful and satisfying experiences, thus imprinting for future stimulation. This is the reasonable fear of many parents.
And the encouragement to cross over the conventional bounds of sexual identity is growing exponentially in this country. Sexual amorphism is presented as a normal condition to children in elementary schools. Choice of restroom is by how you feel today. While some of this is to help people with deep genetic gender dysfunction, much of it is apparently designed to promote increased diversity of sexual interest, to the benefit of those who engage in those practices.
Rejection of sexual norms coincides with rejection of traditional religion. And while there are many good reasons that dogmas from ancient scriptures should be viewed as potentially destructive if not interpreted in perspective of the culture that wrote them, to reject the convention that predated even the oldest religious tradition is to "throw out the baby with the bath water".
While consenting adults should have the right to contract anything they like, there should still be a respect for the tradition of the Mother, Father, and their Children Family unit formerly described as bound by marriage. It just can no longer be the province of the State to respect it.
Dan S posts " Marriage is a contract between two consenting adults in the eyes of the law, nothing more and nothing less". That is truly the heart of this matter. That is about all that is left of marriage, and if that is in fact what it now is then there is no reason to deny it to anyone old enough to enter into a contract. That may well be why there is such a disdain for marriage, why nearly half the children born today would have been termed "bastards" until recently.
But that is not what it once was, (the bonds of Holy Matrimony) and thus those who try to hold on to its former significance oppose extension of that status to homosexuals.
It was once a contract between the two people and Society. The couple would declare in the most binding manner conceivable that they would serve the (Natural Order) Lord by establishing themselves as an inseparable unit for the propagation of the species, that they would not engage in sexual relations with any others (thus making the responsibility for the children indisputable), that they would not severe the union until death except under extreme duress which would have to be accepted as sufficient by Society.
Such a union between a man and a woman became viewed as the Will of the Lord because it did serve the Intent of Evolution, the use of sex for procreation being then and now obvious to all. The need of the children for the services of both the father and the mother to have complete nurture was also obvious.
And so, in that regard, homosexual union was a threat to the success of the Family and hence to Society. That is of course no longer as applicable as it once was.
The more current threat, as viewed by many reasonable and knowledgeable people, is that of contributing to the decline of sexual fidelity and commitment that has had such a deleterious effect on society. While there are surely genetic components to sexual attractions, there is also a great flexibility within the general parameter. Sexual interest can most certainly be cultivated, can be drawn into practices that are beyond the imagination of the majority of humans. Fetishes for inanimate objects, interests in incest, mortification, the list is long. If you don't think so just visit a porn site and look at the list of specialties.
The factor that has gone awry is the responsibility of the father. Marriage was, more than anything else, a requirement for the husband to provide for the wife and children, a commitment he could not forsake. I support a re-institution of paternal responsibility, one which even a single mother cannot reject without due process and compelling circumstances. The child has a biological mother and father, and is entitled by its natural rights to the support of both, and unless in exceptional circumstance to have access to the nurture of both.
I should probably stay out of this one but oh well here goes.
There is something beyond the old conventional religious positions that comes into consideration in defining marriage. There is the Natural Order, a fundament that is cherished by many who eschew anything having to do with Biblical tenets.
It is clear to any observer that the Family, consisting of a mother and father together with their children is the basic unit of human existence. The human race as it has evolved will not be continued if that Order is not maintained.
Marriage was enshrined and sanctified in recognition of that Natural Principal, for the protection of the Family, to require a permanent commitment in order to procreate (or even to engage in sanctioned sexual relations).
It is also clear to any observer that human sexuality was intended (by Evolution, Nature, God, Gaia, or whatever you wish to call the Creative Force) to have its function as a reproductive and bonding mechanism. Sexuality in nearly every other multicellular species on Earth follows the same basic pattern of the male and female uniting their genetic components. It is the Natural Order.
That said, there is plenty of basis for sexual inclination to follow paths that will not lead to procreation, no harm no foul as long as there is enough of the "Right Kind" of sexual intercourse. And people whose inclination is to pair bond (or menage a trios?) with another of the same gender should have a right to do so.
Perhaps all it needs is a different name to satisfy the wish to protect the oldest and most basic human relationship. Let us come up with a differentiation in naming that will still not deprive those with unconventional sexual attractions from enjoying a legally recognized status. I propose" Traditional Marriage", or "Conventional Marriage for the old institution, and "Alternative Pair Bond" or "Legal Life Partner" for the new variety. Each would have identical legal ramifications, and when applying for a license the clerk just asks, Regular or Alternative?
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