Friday, September 04, 2015

A triumph for gay rights but a major loss for freedom

After many years of contentious national debate, and without any reference at all about gay marriage in any of our founding documents or in any of the writings of our founders, our highest court judges have created a new right which now is conclusive, absolute, indisputable, undeniable, incontestable, unarguable, and settled by law.

And, contrary to over 200 years of legal precedent, wherein ambiguous, poorly written statutes have been overruled and sent back to the legislature for clarification by our supreme court, judges now assumed the right for themselves to rewrite such a law themselves in favor of a prince.

However, it is still not clear to our judiciary, legislature, and President what "shall not be infringed" actually means.

I worry about the course that the right to govern ourselves is taking. That was probably the single most fundamental right for which the Revolution was fought. Yet in making its decision yesterday the Supreme Court privileged same-sex marriage, about which there is nothing in the Constitution, over the right of We the People to decide our affairs.

Same-sex marriage was well along on its way to being resolved in the states' legislatures in full accord with that most precious of liberties, the right to govern ourselves. Now that right has been lost to a committee of five.

Whatever you think about the policy, it is a huge loss for freedom. It could and should have been left to play out and have the people have the last word. However, we know liberals don't know about freedom, they just care about their way and if not it's the highway.

The main point is a question of jurisdiction though. States decide whether cousins can marry. Some allow it, some don't, and some do so conditionally.

If states can decide whether or not to issue marriage licenses to cousins, I'd think they would be the appropriate authorities to decide whether to issue marriage licenses for gays. But the Supreme Court has decided otherwise.

Marriage should be a state issue. States decide what the legal age for marriage is, with and without parental consent, and whether cousins should marry. Tradition is on the side of the states on this one.

Is it really an issue that required being nationalized by the Supreme Court?

Ireland decided the issue in a better way by putting it to a popular vote referendum. The gay marriage referendum won with 62% of the vote. When gay marriage wins that handily in a Catholic, tradition-bound country like Ireland, then it clearly has the wind at its back. I don't agree with it, but many people --- from Liberals to Libertarians do.

Still, it isn't something the Supreme Court should have involved itself in deciding.

This decision is a dangerous slippery slope that threatens freedom at its core. Social mores and culture in general change over time, and this is to be expected.

I have a big problem with an unelected, unaccountable judiciary defining what marriage is and thereby not allowing the states and their elected representatives to decide that. This is judicial activism at its worst.

The bigger issue that is coming into focus here is the viability of our constitutional form of tripartite government.

As we have seen over recent years, the President has assumed more dictatorial powers through the use of executive orders. Subsequent Presidents often sustain in order to have their executive orders maintained by future Chief Executives.

The Judicial branch, where Federal judges are appointed by the President, has assumed the powers of a ruling council, much like The Supreme Cultural Revolution Council in Iran.

The Legislature, faced with a President that can rule by executive orders and can largely ignore laws passed it doesn't agree with, has become mostly a training grounds for future lobbyists.

This is what Benjamin Franklin must have been concerned about when he responded to a question at the end of 1787 Constitutional Convention, "Well Doctor what have we got, a republic or a monarchy.”  Franklin replied, “A republic . . . if you can keep it.”

The Supreme Court apparently did not even consider gay rights under the secular civil union umbrella.  Instead, these activist judges have purposely pitted gays against religious groups that believe that marriage outside of one man-one woman is in consonance with Holy Scripture and the only acceptable interpretation of "marriage".

Had the Supreme Court interpreted gay rights as having the ability to bond in a civil union, which affords them complete legal parity with straight couples who do get married, I don't think we would be headed for an enormous showdown rife with civil suits against churches who refuse to marry gay couples.

So, we will "progress" from suing bakeries to suing churches.  The damage done by this ruling is immense and is another data point on the war against Christians in particular who will bear the brunt of this.

Will churches and mosques and temples be protected by the first amendment? That is something that we still have to see how it plays out.

You will recall that religious based hospitals that wouldn't perform abortions were threatened with having their federal funding denied and among more punitive measures.

What will occur now if a religiously orthodox individual refuses to perform services seen to be in support of gay lifestyles? Will they be prosecuted for denying public accommodations to gays?

These are the practical issues that will come about which could end up as restrictions of freedom of religion in much the same way that we have restrictions on freedom of speech.

Frankly, I see nothing being settled here.

What effectively has happened is that the blunt instrument of the law that formerly was used to suppress gays has now been ripped from those hands and given to gays who, judging by what happens in revolutions, will use the same blunt instrument to now punish and suppress those who don't accept gays.

In practice, that will mean that the concept of religious freedom will come under attack as the orthodox among, for example, Christians, Muslims and Jews who resist acceptance of imposition of gay values on their own beliefs will be legally attacked and, if necessary, punished for those views.

Some will call this unintended consequences, but as we have seen in other revolutionary movements, among the hard core the suppression of opposition was always intended. Everything has a dark side to it.

The next thing that we could see now is a legal challenge to the idea of a marriage only constituting a couple. In this regard there is more historical and religious precedent for marriages involving multiple partners than there are for gay couples.

After that combination and permutation of people assemblage my imagination wanes, but I'm sure others will come up with some novel coupling that a future Justice Kennedy will be anxious to bestow acceptance.

America should not forget that both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton adamantly, and within the last few years, opposed gay marriage.  Obama embraced the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) early on, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.  He then reversed under LGBT pressure.

Hillary just looks at which way the wind is blowing.

Both Obama and Hillary will call it "evolving" and the rest of us are "bigots", but it points out the true state of the Democrat Party.  It should be known as the "Populist Party", whereby the noises made by fringe groups supersede the majority will.

There's an enormous push to become Euro-secular, purging the country of its foundations, true history, culture, and even religious beliefs.  Unfortunately, the silent majority has remained silent too long.

Unraveling this travesty will take courageous, charismatic leaders who are willing to take on the media bias and reach the people.

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