I’ve picked just three topics, Gay Marriage, Alternative Medicine and Alternative Dispute Resolution Mediation and placed them in the Gordian Knot category of ongoing and “polarizing” modern day issues that cannot and will not ever be resolved… legally or with legislation. I enjoy this type of debate very much and what is prompting me to write about this now is the recent “discussion” on another blog in relation to certification of mediators in the ADR, CM & Ombudsman professions. My own “ombudsman” sword now falls on the Gordian Knot of these 3 “modern problems” while holding to the independent, neutral and impartial cornerstones of my professional “best practice”.
- Gay Marriage – you cannot legislate away the rights of any individuals under the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, period. Gay people can marry if they want to in a form of both legal marriage and faith based marriage. Don’t expect though to force anyone else to recognize your gay marriage from a traditional “faith based” perspective as freedom of religion allows “like faith” practitioners to worship as they see fit too. Create your own “church”, you have the “right” and then form an LLC in Maryland, California or Oregon where “domestic partnership” for gay couples is legal and contract for employment benefits (medical insurance etc) through that entity. There, everyone happy?
- Alternative Medicine – the freedom of choice regarding the form and type of medicine that you wish to use has long been suppressed by the American Medical Association which has always leaned towards allopathic versus homeopathic or naturopathic forms of medical practice. It’s been a slow process, but it wasn’t too long ago Chiropractic “medicine” was illegal. Now you can go to a DO on your health care plan or even go to an “old school” bone cruncher if you “choose” it. Cut the knot, let “freedom ring” and let anyone use the type of medicine they wish. All that matters is that informed and educated decisions to make a choice be empowered and enabled for each individual; and the respective professional associations can contribute to that.
- ADR Mediation – Certification is an attempt to “push competition out” of a market place and make your groups self interest “the only choice”. The legal profession and associations with money, political power and “leverage” have increasingly positioned themselves as “the final authority” over other professional associations in the field and leveraged their “nation of laws” into every aspect of life in America. Drop the sword firmly on this knot and allow freedom of choice again to have anyone mediate that you choose as long as the professional mediator presents their credentials so you can make an empowered and informed decision. An “inclusive” approach works since the main forms of mediation from the legal and ombudsman perspectives have the place and value concerning specific applications towards “positive” outcomes. If we all hold to ombudsman ethics and standards we will, upon initial consultation, be able to provide feedback for the client in selecting which form is best for them. The basic two choices, two edges of the blade, are legal ADR or Ombudsman ADR where legal ADR can progress to arbitration and litigation and Ombudsman ADR refers the case into formal legal arbitration if informal mediation and self directed problem solving fails.
Again, I debate this type of thing all the time with people, but it becomes very clear how the sword falls on the knot if we keep in mind that we are all human beings, we live in a free society, free to make choices and create the pursuit of happiness for ourselves. Any authority that wants to certify or license someone needs to do so only in that they “govern” those of like mind and that they do not deny rights of individuals who don’t. The moment a group takes it upon themselves to be “the authority” over “all the land” and others, polarization begins. Gays do not threaten or deny traditional marriage or move to legislate it away. Homeopathic practitioners do not deny or advocate rights to use and practice allopathic medicine and sometimes refer out to it if needed. Legal mediators and professional legal associations cannot deny, legislate or govern “in total” the mediation profession and ombudsmen so as to form a monopoly and deny “freedom of choice” and the power to self govern in a non-polarized, informal and peaceful way.