Commissioners Go Off the Deep End
The state DOT could decide to bulldoze hundreds of acres in Horse Country for a bypass. The energy industry wants to “drill, baby, drill” in our backyard. We’ve got budget issues and water issues and jail issues.
Yet Moore County Commissioners Nick Picerno and Larry Caddell are wasting their time and ours worrying about gay marriage?
In the first place, same-sex marriage is already against North Carolina law. But Amendment One is being pushed by opportunists from the ideological fringe who are eager to (1) make the matter a political issue in this red-hot election year, and (2) see to it that their wishes in this regard are written in constitutional concrete so they will prevail even into future decades, when attitudes on the issue will have moderated.
In Wake County, a Republican majority on the Board of Commissioners recently approved a resolution endorsing Amendment One. And now Picerno wants to see the same thing happen in Moore County at April’s board meeting. Interestingly, the rest of us might not have known that if Picerno hadn’t bragged about it in a Facebook response to another posting on the general subject.
(This comes on the heels of the board’s totally meaningless vote to oppose “Amendment 21,” which is supposedly a tool by the U.N. to condemn us all to a nightmarish collectivist future through environmental legislation or something. This is a bogus right-wing cause that the county also should steer clear of.)
Even if you accept that it is proper to inject religion into board deliberations, the next question is: Which religion, or lack thereof? We live in an increasingly pluralistic society that includes not only Christians of every kind, but also Jews and Muslims and Hindus and nonbelievers, who vote and have a right to expect that their local government will represent them without discrimination.
Straying From Their Knitting
Picerno and Caddell happen to be fundamentalist, evangelical Christians — which is fine. What’s not so fine is trying to impose those particular views on the rest of us. The Bible may specify that marriage is between a man and a woman, but it also specifies a great many other things that rational modern humans all ignore. How do we decide which of these dogmas local governments should wade into, especially in a society that is supposed to keep church and state apart?
For that matter, what if a Muslim should happen to get elected as a commissioner? How would his colleagues react if he started preaching that the state should invoke the tenet of his religion which holds that women should cover themselves from head to foot in burqas? Suppose a Jewish commissioner wanted to impose Hanukkah celebrations on the schools?
Surely such lofty subjects as marriage and U.N. resolutions are above the pay grade of county commissioners, who have enough to keep them busy worrying about tax rates, zoning, solid waste and fracking. Let them stick to their knitting.
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