A number of years ago one of my distinguished wider philosophy colleagues, Tom Nagel (NYU University Professor), did an article in which he made the obvious, but all too often lost, point that it is the quality of human relationships (respect for persons), not genders, that makes us decent humans.

I have been joyfully married for more than a half century, but my oldest and dearest friend (now deceased) was Dan Huden. We met at a summer camp as kids, spent a number of summers on jobs together in our early years until our academic careers separated us, looked forward to carrying on our conversations in retirement — unfortunately he died too soon for that.

Again my wife and I have more gay friends and neighbors than we can readily count — or even think of as different from our other friends and neighbors. Some are happy and decent people. Some are not.

Still again the latest stats indicate that only a minority of adult Americans live in standard marriages. What could be more reasonable than people living alone joining up with a good friend of whatever gender? Some time back I was a member of a faculty seminar. Some of us were married and some not. Others had been married and had had children, but now shared life with people of the same gender.

As it took us a time to end off the miscegenation laws, so I hope soon whatever-gender marriages will be universally legalized. As one who has studied both theology and philosophy, I am aware, as most are not, that anti-gay biases were spawned by cultures (particularly the ancient Hebrews) who were threatened by the Hellenic tolerance for gay relationships (Socrates and all that). St. Paul unfortunately co-oped the Gospels of Jesus with his convert’s hatreds — anti-Semitic, anti-gay, anti-young widows, etc. See particularly his vicious Letter to the Romans on such topics. Unfortunately our theological illiterates have become Paulines rather than Christians.

And so it then went. But it’s time discard such cultural trash!

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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