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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:52 AM
Original message
Let Me Show You Another World
In this loopy land, it's taken as read that gay people have as much right to love and be happy as everyone else. Their bonds may or may not be called "marriage" but they are recognised by the state and held as legally indentical in all respects except the very, very technical (like what exactly defines consummation). They have non-discrimination and hate crimes laws that include sexual orientation. People are still fired for being gay on occasion but they can sue and win. Transgendered individuals can have their birth certificates changed to reflect their change. Law-enforcement bodies have official liasons with LGBT groups and with most sizeable ethnic minorities, listening and advising them to matters of law which are likely to affect them. Some bigots still decide to stomp gay people but law-enforcement makes a real and serious effort to catch them. In this crazy world, gays can serve openly in the military, never having to lie about who they are. They can even adopt if they pass the usual checks! Won't someone please think of the children?

In this mixed-up madhouse of a country, the abortion debate is largely over. Some tinkerng with existing laws is done from time to time as new medical techniques make revision necessary but for the most part, people accept that abortion is a decision best made by a woman and her doctor. If that doctor has a moral or ethical objection to booking an abortion, he will refer his patient to someone who has no such objection. Often, that's just a case of asking another doctor in the surgery to actually sign the form. For such a small inconvienience, a few minutes in most cases, most patients are willing to respect their doctor's beliefs. Virtually no-one even harasses these hussies as they make their way to the hospital!

In this morally confused morass, faith is something which most feel is best kept between the individual and their god. While many hold faith dear to them and are extremely devout, they recognise that faith is about how you live your own life, not how you tell others to live theirs. Their children learn Darwinism and only hear about creation in Religious Education classes! Most of these heathens do not even know which One True Faith (tm), their national leaders follow! And few of them even ask! They elect Christians and Muslims and Jews and athiests and agnostics and women and treat them just the same! They don't care who their leaders pray to or even if they pray at all! Surely, such a nation is tempting God's holy wrath!

In this socialistic dystopia, no-one ever goes bankrupt over medical bills because everyone is covered by, at least, the state's system. Some even have short waiting lists for elective surgery. If they would only pay a king's ransom, they could dispense with that waiting!...

Sod it, this faux-outrage style is too bloody difficult to write. The nation I am describing above could be Germany or France or my own England or most countries in the western world, it fits most of them to some extent. My American friends, if you've ever asked yourself why the rest of the world seems to not understand you, it's because we don't. So many of the questions your society divides itself into ever-smaller factions over simply don't exist here. It's not that we want to make you like us (although we worry that you want to make us like you), it's more that things which seem so utterly obvious to us; things like medical privacy, universal rights and the privacy of faith; divide your society so completely, if the solutions have even occured to you at all.
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Louisiana1976 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:20 AM
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1. This "other world" makes too much sense to be workable in America.
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litlady Donating Member (360 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:45 AM
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2. Free health care and college education...
those are the first things I noticed when I studied abroad in England. I noticed that there was a racist nationalistic party (the BNP) that most people laughed at, and they were not embraced. In England there appeared to be a "state religion" and yet I saw few zealots. Of course I saw some negatives as well, as is expected in any nation.

In the US, there is such a diversity of people and that is great. I love the ideals of freedom and opportunity. Yet here education costs are exorbitant and so many don't have health care. Religious groups trample on the very base of freedom by attempting to quash abortion, sex education, gay marriage, and freedom from religion in school.

We could learn a lot from other nations and not even become "socialist" or any other term we are afraid of but don't understand.
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