In what Mayor Michael Bloomberg called “a historic triumph for equality and freedom,” New York joined the growing number of states that have legalized gay marriage, including: Massachusetts (2004), Connecticut (2008), Iowa (2009), Vermont (2009), New Hampshire (2010), and Washington, D.C. (2010). Modern, postmodern and integral thinkers nationwide celebrate New York’s decision to take its place on the “right side of history.”
Traditional thinkers obviously don’t agree with this view—which I will elaborate on below.
Bloomberg also offered support to the Republicans who voted for the measure, stating that he believetheir actions were consistent with GOP ideals of liberty and freedom, “The Republicans who stood up today for those principles I think will long be remembered for their courage, foresight and wisdom” He added, “Ten, 20, 30 years from now, I believe they will look back on this vote as one of the finest and most proud moments in their life.”
The Human Rights Campaign released a new video in the “New Yorkers for Marriage Equality” campaign featuring Barbara Bush, the daughter of President George W. Bush. In the video she says, “I’m Barbara Bush and I’m a New Yorker for marriage equality. New York is about fairness and equality and everyone should have the right to marry the person that they love. Join us.”
HRC President Joe Solmonese, said “Americans from all walks of life are increasingly supportive of the basic right to equal marriage, Barbara Bush’s advocacy shows that equality knows no party label.”
True. Marriage equality is not the exclusive domain of either American political party but it is certainly a reliable test for a “Traditional worldview.” Unlike her father, Barbara Bush does not share the Traditional view that discrimination should be written into the U.S. Constitution.
Several courageous Republicans supported the predominantly Democratic lawmakers who voted for the bill. Senator Mark J. Grisanti, a Republican from Buffalo who had sought office promising to oppose same-sex marriage, told his colleagues he had agonized for months before concluding he had been wrong. “I apologize for those who feel offended,” Mr. Grisanti said, adding, “I cannot deny a person, a human being, a taxpayer, a worker, the people of my district and across this state, the State of New York, and those people who make this the great state that it is the same rights that I have with my wife.”
The reaction from people with Traditional worldviews is, of course, predictable. New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan and bishops around the state released a statement condemning the passage of the law by the Legislature, saying they were “deeply disappointed and troubled.” The statement read, “Our society must regain what it appears to have lost—a true understanding of the meaning and the place of marriage, as revealed by God, grounded in nature, and respected by America’s foundational principles.”
I can hardly wait to hear what the Traditional worldview pundits (Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Pat Robertson, Ann Coulter) and many socially conservative American politicians (e.g. Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Michelle Bachman, and Sarah Palin) will say about this marriage equality progress. Upon reflection, it has become clear to me that as much as any other topic I’ve come across recently, a person’s reaction to marriage equality is a solid litmus test that accurately detects a Traditional worldview.
A Traditional worldview can cause pre-rational fears and prejudice to override rational thinking and common sense.
Most Americans, including those with traditional views, hold freedom and liberty as core values and high ideals. This country was founded on these values and people with a traditional worldview tend to be highly patriotic. Yet, the Traditional worldview is a powerful lens capable of distorting reality to the point of overriding not only these deeply held values but also rational thought and common sense. Under the influence of traditional beliefs, some otherwise intelligent and compassionate human beings actually think that freedom and liberty only apply to people who adopt their chosen lifestyle, and that prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination is somehow justified.
So pay attention to people around you and how they react to this idea of marriage equality or gay marriage. It is a very clear indication of worldview. Positive reaction to marriage equality reflects a Modern or Postmodern worldview. A negative reaction is a reliable indicator of a Traditional worldview.
Many readers of this blog are already familiar with worldviews. In case you are not, here is a very brief primer….
Worldviews can be thought of as lenses through which we perceive and interpret our subjective experience. These crucial lenses are a primary way human beings filter subjective experience (of objective reality) and interpret those experiences in terms of:
- how things appear to be;
- how things should be;
- what’s right and wrong with how things are, and
- what, if anything, should be done about it.
The world is governed by scientific principles revealed through rational thought
People who see the world through this lens tend to value scientific progress, opportunity, achievement, and success, and tend to follow leaders who are perceived to have the most expertise and ability to strategically leverage rational thinking to achieve worthwhile goals. (See wikipedia “Modernism” and “Modernity” for historical perspective.)
The world is a complex, diverse ecosystem that thrives on cooperation and synergy
People who see the world through this lens tend to value human rights, inclusivity, sustainability, and interdependence, and tend to follow leaders who are perceived as being conscious, treat others as equals, and are concerned for the wellbeing of others (including those who don’t share their beliefs). (See Wikipedia “Postmodernism” and “Postmodernity” for historical perspective.)
The world is an ordered existence governed by a higher authority
People who see the world through this lens tend to value stability, order, security, conformity, belonging, and socially conservative morality as defined by tradition (in whatever tradition they were socialized into) and tend to follow leaders who are perceived as having positional and/or moral authority based on the traditional belief systems of their ancestors. (See Wikipedia “Traditional Values” or “Traditional“ for historical perspective.)
For more information about worldviews:
See my humorous introduction to worldviews here, or
A listing of all Integral Thinkers posts related to worldviews here, or
Read my more in-depth description of how worldviews relate to leadership here