Gay Bless America

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Tim

    I liked the video creators sentimentality towards the USA even if it is misplaced and idyllic. S/he seems oblivious to the fact that we (GLBT people) continue to be relegated to the status of second class citizens & until DOMA is repealed, same-sex marriage in these states is tantamount to pissing in the north Atlantic. If this sounds un-American of me all that I can say is that I’ll start acting like a proud American when I’m treated like one.

  • Daniel Fincke

    I don’t see sentimentality, I see an assertion of gays’ rightful place as part of the American community. It’s an insistence (and model) of how we should see America, or at least what we should readily construe America as rightfully including. I don’t get the impression it’s at all meant to claim to document the achievement of the ideal.

    I don’t suffer the prejudice you do, so I only cautiously say, while you are rightfully not entirely proud of America for its treatment of the gay community, I would suggest also being proud of America for what it gets right. With our country, as with any other people with whom we are tied, we should be proud of them in the ways they warrant it and not proud in the ways they don’t. For all the freedoms you do have and for all the allies on behalf of your full civil recognition and social and moral acceptance, I think you should be proud of America. For all of your fellow gays who have helped trail blaze strides for gays, sometimes by doing nothing less courageous than insisting upon being who they are against tremendous pressure not to, you should be proud of America.

    Pride does not have to be an unqualified emotion and I don’t think it should be rejected in an unqualified way simply because those of whom you should be proud have other things about them that about which you should not be proud.

    My general account of pride is here http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers/2010/06/23/rightful-pride-identification-with-ones-own-admirable-powers-and-effects/ for any interested.

  • http://atheists-and-christians.blogspot.com/ Mike AKA MonolithTMA

    Cheesy MIDI track aside, it’s a nice sentiment. To me it’s something else that can let people know that gays are out there and that they are perfectly normal, wonderful Americans. The USA is a work in progress, I just wish certain things would happen faster.

  • Tiffany

    Perhaps living in NYC someone’s sexuality’s about as much a non-issue like being a brunette or a blonde. The term pride though is a dangerous word where people get carried away to the point that it further separates rather than signify a positive opinion of one’s own dignity & background.

  • Daniel Fincke

    The problem to me though is that people who misuse the word pride to describe what is really jingoistic, reactionary, arrogant, racist, traditionalistic, irresponsible nationalism should not be entitled to the word. What they have is not morally proper pride, it’s those other things. What we should insist on is pride which is appropriate, which is only in things which are genuinely excellent and which is proportioned to the degree that it’s deserved.

    You cannot concede all the good terms and traits to your enemies, you have to fight over what possible valuable meanings patriotism or pride in country can have and wrestle them from people who turn those values into propaganda for some really regressive and dangerous things.


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