I just finished listening to Judy Collins singing "Amazing Grace" from her 1970 "Whales and Nightingales" album, and I am always delighted at how crisp, clear and perfect her voice is. It's a song written by a former slave ship captain, John Newton, who at age 23 had some amazing experiences, then found religion and became a hymn writer. He was "blind but now I see."
It got me to thinking about this whole LGBT issue swirling around with a frenetic life all its own, and there are things I don't understand. I want to "see" and welcome intelligent help.
Newton and others campaigned for abolition and got it, some more-than-equal-to other black men voted from the 1770s and "possessed the franchise of (voters) on equal terms with other citizens."
Jan. 31, 1865: The 13th Amendment abolished slavery, and the world didn't stop on its axis.
Feb. 3, 1870: The 15th gave all black men (and every other male) the vote. No major cities were destroyed by bolts of lightning. Pretty peaceful for the next 20 years as we attended to other conflicts.
July 4, 1919: The 19th and women finally caught up, became full citizens and could vote. World War I happened prior to this - so it was not considered Wrath of God over letting them vote. The Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1919 might have been a candidate. But it killed 50 million worldwide, so that might be biblical anger at Europe for starting World War I and letting the Jehovah's Witnesses out of the box, but this is religious speculation, and I have no intelligent basis for those thoughts to guide me.
What is clear is the Christian temperance movement got the 18th passed; shortly thereafter the National Prohibition Act of 1920 (until repealed in 1933) gave us organized crime.
Then the Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave black folks (and everybody else) full and equal protections. It outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
We gave 18-year-olds the vote in 1971 with the passage of the 26th Amendment, because they were getting their collective butts shot off in Vietnam, so no wrath from God, but instead a prolonged period of relative U.S. peace from 1975 to 1989.
It took some time, but we got better at changing the law, waiting, and looking around to see if fire rained down from the sky, earthquakes toppled our great cities and Armageddon came a-crashing down on us, all sent by an Old Testament deity. Instead, all we've heard are the crickets.
I am calling on Gov. Butch Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden to follow the advice of a great American, patriot, POW, Republican leader and presidential candidate, John McCain, and "get on the right side of history on this thing." Solid advice from a victim of horrible discrimination and abuse he suffered based upon his nationality and occupation.
Federal courts are all lining up in agreement. U.S. Judge Candy Dale spelled it out for us while patriotic Idahoans are going to jail begging you to open your eyes and see.
"Add the Words" and we can all see again. We can watch from the Anne Frank Memorial to see if allowing "those people" to live among us as equals is the final brick on our collective "Road to Perdition" or if we can bear honest, patriotic witness and save a few million in legal fees, then hire some LGBT folks to plant a garden of tolerance and reconciliation along the Greenbelt.
Mike Sciales, of Boise, is a retired USAF Judge Advocate General, patriot and currently a Middle Eastern consultant. He is a proponent of unqualified fair and equal treatment of all Idahoans.