Here's a Great Truth that I share with some trepidation:
The past is a myth, the future is unknowable, and the present is an illusion.
Consider: Numerous studies have demonstrated not only do we recreate our memories to support what we currently believe, but researchers can create false memories by manipulating subjects. The future, well, we know we don't know it. As for the present, it just passed us by & is now the past. Oops, did it again. There is never a now that lasts longer than a moment.
So the painful reality is that we're adrift in a world of our own creation that may or may not resemble the world of another. And the question is not, "Why can't we all just get along?" It is, rather, "How in the world do we ever talk to one another?" And "how can we reach agreement about things when we can't be sure my idea of the thing resembles yours?" Pretty cool, eh?
Just for kicks, let's apply this view of reality to gay marriage. For all intents and purposes, the issue is already being decided as young people grow older & bring their more liberal, pro-gay views with them. But after reading what anti-gay marriage people have said, I realized that the religious folk who oppose it honestly believe that gays getting married somehow violates their core values; even worse, their spiritual lives will be diminished by two guys or women exchanging vows. For many, it's not being a bigot or anti-gay; they're afraid of losing something or having their world tainted. Their fear is real just as their belief in the importance of sustaining their values.
Those in favor of gay marriage often have no idea what those religious folk are talking about. How can two people of the same sex getting married in any way diminish the values of other people? In fact, the denial of the right of gays to marry violates the values of those who support it. The religious arguments don't make sense to the pro-gay marriage forces; worse, it seems to bring out the most repressive part of organized religion. "This is my point of view, and it will control your life...like it or not."
Like many social issues, gay marriage is a battle between two deeply held world views; it' transcends the political into something deeper, more fundamental. The two sides live in completely different realities.
Let us climb down from the mountain for a moment, because this phenomenon also works its wonders on a less global scale. When my bride & I have an argument, we almost always discover it happened because of confusion about something we saw differently. We're not disagreeing about "x"; it's that one of us saw "y" & the other "z." Once we recognize the two points of view, the argument goes away. All along we thought we'd been seeing the same thing, but we weren't.
The Tower of Babel isn't a myth; it's the reality in which we live. As Dylan sang, "Pretty scary."
And that's the truth. And...
In Jameson Veritas
(By the way, the links below show up on my blog service; I have no idea if they're any good, but I tried to give all sides of the debate.)