Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Gay rights

Gay Marriage, Obamacare, and the Moral Implications of other Recent Supreme Court Decisions

The Supreme Court has recently issued a slew of interesting and important decisions, and I want to make a point to talk about them, their consequences, and the merits of the arguments and judicial philosophies to which the various justices appealed.

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Candidate Evaluations: Rick Santorum

The list of presidential candidates has expanded again–Rick Santorum has decided to join the mess. This forces me to return to the Candidate Evaluations series, where we examine a US presidential candidate’s background, policy history, and explicit statements in an attempt to figure out whether the candidate would actually be any good at being president, rather than focusing on electability or likeability, as is common in the mainstream press. When I started this series, I did not imagine I would be made to do so many of these, but here we go again. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law is a Big Deal

There’s a lot being said about Indiana’s recently passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Some people believe the law is innocuous–many other states (and the federal government) have religious freedom laws with seemingly similar language. Others claim the law is a naked endorsement of discrimination against LGBTs. I’ve spent much of my life in Indiana, and even I was not initially sure what the law actually does. So I’ve done some research, and I’m now prepared to share it with you. Read the rest of this entry »

Rethinking the Word “Privilege”

The word “privilege” has become ubiquitous in the United States, particularly among politically active left-leaning college students and graduates. Many different people are said to be “privileged”. There’s white privilege, rich privilege, male privilege, straight privilege, and so on down the line. We are frequently encouraged to “check” our privilege, to be more aware of the extent to which racial minorities, women, LGBT people, and the poor are denied the same access to resources and social treatment we enjoy and take as given. I agree with the social justice movement that it does people born into affluence some good to remember the widely divergent environments and social circumstances their fellow citizens must endure, but I absolutely hate the use of the word “privilege” for this purpose. Here’s why.

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Macklemore and Philosophy

I’ve been hearing the song “Same Love” by Macklemore for a while now. I agree with the song’s central message–that gay people should be afforded equal treatment by the state and in society. I also quite like the song, in no small part because unlike most songs, it’s very direct with the point it intends to make. The lyrics make clear arguments without hiding their messages in metaphors and other methods of obscurantism. There are entire websites devoted to helping music fans come to understand the veiled messages in their favorite artists’ songs, and it’s nice to not have to have inside knowledge to get the point being made. That said, it also illustrates one of this blog’s running themes–lay people lack expertise. While Macklemore makes a point I firmly agree with, the argument he uses to reach our shared conclusion is not very good.

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