April 24, 2005

Michael McG seems to want to start something involving GOD.

Got a slightly snarky comment on this entry which really, to my eyes, wants to take me to task for my attitude about this GOD person but doesn't quite know how to go about it, and hence tries to make a link between my comments in that entry and the people who fought for civil rights in the U.S.

I have never claimed that God was unknown to the civil rights fighters. Quite the contrary. I know many of them to be and to have been people of deep faith in both their causes and in various religious ideas. Nor have I ever claimed that was a bad thing. In fact, this post had nothing whatsoever to do with civil rights fighters - and I have never claimed, throughout this debacle, to have an understanding of their point of view or their situation, because I wasn't alive then. The only point of view I claim to have any special understanding of is my Uncle's, because he and I had many long conversations about it. That's it.

In this particular post, my annoyance and derision over the citations of 'GOD' in the email from the person on the other end of the message chain involve the fact that our interaction has nothing whatsoever to do with God. It has to do with the entirely secular laws of the United States of America. Whatever rights that person feels 'GOD' gave them are irrelevant to me in this case, and therefore, explaining them to me not only doesn't move me but loses them massive amounts of credibility for attempting to convince me through completely specious argument.

Finally, to the best of my ability (and eBay's) to determine, the United States Code says they are wrong. This is the entirety of the matter under debate, given that my sending the VERO notice to eBay was based entirely on that point- that I was identifying the item they were attempting to sell as an illegal copy of Eyes on the Prize. Whatever my disagreements with Downhill Battle and the rest of the Copyfighter movement, I will state this unequivocally: none of them have ever claimed, or even hinted, that anyone else should have the right to transfer copies of these films for commercial gain. Period. We are all in complete agreement about that, as far as I can tell. What we do disagree about is the ability and 'rights' of my Uncle's estate to restrict the use and transfer of the films and contained content.

I do have some strong opinions about religion in specific cases. Some of them are strongly positive. Some of them are strongly negative. One thing I am firm on, however, is the following: anyone should be free to worship whatever they so choose - so long as their worship, belief and practices does not in any way impinge on my choice of what to worship or in fact whether to worship at all. That is was the United States Constitution's separation of church and state is, in my mind, for: to provide a framework for governance and management of affairs between men and women that explicitly does not rely on the differing beliefs of those men and women on how the universe 'is' - rather, one that relies on a secular set of codes and rules in which we can all point to and affirm our participation.

So, on that note, nope, I don't care what they think GOD gave them - the U.S. code doesn't give them the right to sell that DVD, and hence, as far as I'm concerned, they're not selling it. End of story. What that position has to do with the faith or lack thereof of the civil rights activists, I have no idea - unless you are trying to make a value statement about people (i.e. me) based on whether or not they believe in God. Are you? Or worse, are you trying to imply that I was making a value statement about people based on whether or not they believe in God? If so, pppptptptptptppttbt, 'cuz you're wrong. I was making an evaluative statement on the persuasive skills demonstrated by the person on the other end of that email - i.e., poor.

Posted by jbz at April 24, 2005 11:32 PM | TrackBack

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