This week, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a bill that would have allowed businesses to refuse to serve gays for religious reasons.

The question that has always fascinated me about Gay Rights controversies like these is: why is it such a huge deal?  There are not really that many gays in the population, and yet Conservatives make it sound like (for example) allowing gay marriage would mean the end of civilization itself.

Personally, while the anti-gay groups frequently resort to citing scripture, I have always believed this is simply a red herring.  The Bible is one of the most-read (and believed) books in the world, and happens to have a few passages forbidding homosexuality, which are convenient for them to cite.  If it had nothing whatsoever to say on the topic, I think they would oppose gay rights just as vehemently. (The same thing goes on with the NRA and the Second Amendment–if it didn’t exist, they would be no less zealous in their opposition to gun control laws.)

My reason for thinking this is that the Bible also forbids, for example, the loaning of money at interest, and yet I haven’t seen any preachers holding rallies to condemn banks.  Indeed, the Republican party as we know it would likely destroy itself within a day if the social conservatives ever decided to enforce that particular point with the same force they do the issue of homosexuality.

So, if not religious, what exactly is their reason for opposing gay rights so strongly?

In the past, I’ve occasionally mentioned how nationalists (which I believe is what the Republican rank-and-file is) believe in a society based on blood and heritage.  Naturally, this prejudices them against gays, since by definition they cannot contribute to the heritability based society.

I bring this fact up not because it is terribly significant in its own right–the social conservatives oppose gay rights, nothing new here–but rather because I think it helps give the interested political observer a better idea of the logic behind the social conservatives’ policies.  Contrary to appearances, I don’t believe they just picked a random part of the Bible to passionately uphold, but rather, it is part of their larger worldview.

eviljwinter at Edged in Blue has a good post about how the two-party system is bad for political discourse in this country. I can’t argue with that, and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve posted much the same thing.

Where I have some disagreement with him is his support for the multi-party system. The problem is that eventually the two-party system will effectively be reborn through “coalition building”. eviljwinter is right to say that it’s odd that libertarians and social conservatives should find themselves in the same party, but he neglects to consider how this came about. The libertarians and the social conservatives both consciously chose to join the Republican party, after all. Nobody forced them.

Suppose that all the libertarians went and formed a real, honest-to-God Libertarian party, and not just the shade of one that exists now. Suppose also that the social conservatives went and formed their own party, as well. This sounds very well, but eventually some of the parties would begin to chat with each other. And then they would soon begin to make alliances against other parties. Eventually, it is quite likely that the Social Conservatives and Libertarians would rebuild the old Republican  voting coalition under a new name, and then we would be back where we started.

I’m no expert, but I think “coalition government” of this sort is how politics works in Europe. Actually, it’s the way almost all Democracies end up working out of necessity. It is only a curious anomaly that in the United States, these coalitions are but rarely granted the status of “party”, and are instead known as the “right-wing” or “the Reagan Democrats” or whatever.

Still, while I feel that the multi-party system would be of limited help to our political system, it’s still a very good post; and I’m wholeheartedly supportive of attempts to consider such alternatives.