Sunday, April 5, 2009

Iowa Supreme Court Joins Judicial Insurrection

This week the Iowa Supreme Court issued an opinion declaring its view that a state law banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. News articles reporting the opinion state that "the ruling becomes effective April 24." Many news services and publications reporting the story use language that suggests that this opinion makes same-sex marriages legal in Iowa.

The Iowa Court's opinion, like all such rulings, constitutes a judicial insurrection that assaults unalienable right in a fashion that threatens the existence of democratic self- government in the United States. (I have elsewhere made the arguments, based on American principles of justice, that support this conviction.) More immediately insurrectionary than the Court's opinion, however, is the notion that in and of itself it somehow establishes what is lawful in Iowa. This notion overturns the republican form of government required by the Constitution of the United States, substituting in its place a form of tyranny all the more dangerous because it is imposed by abusing the forms of legality.

From the beginning of the United States it has been universally acknowledged that the republican form of government mandated by the U.S. Constitution requires "a division of the government into distinct and separate departments. In the compound republic of America, the power surrendered by the people is first divided between two distinct governments, and then the portion allotted to each subdivided among distinct and separate departments." This language in Madison's famous article number 51 of the Federalist describes the twin safeguards of liberty we call "Federalism" and the "separation of powers." The sovereign power of the people is divided through a specified delegation of limited powers to the United States government. But in both the State and U.S. governments it is also divided among three separate branches, the legislative, Executive and the Judicial. Of these, only the legislative branch, composed of elected representatives of the people, has the power to make laws. Only the Executive branch has the power to carry out the laws. Only the Judicial branch has the power to render judgment on specific cases arising under the laws. As Hamilton writes in Federalist 78 "The Executive not only dispenses the honors, but holds the sword of the community. The legislature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every citizen are to be regulated. The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments."

Obviously, the separation of powers requires that, with respect to the power allotted to it, each branch has an independent obligation to the constitution from which its authority is derived. Thus those elected or appointed to participate in exercising one of the powers swear an oath to uphold and preserve that constitution, and consistently with this oath they may do nothing that violates its terms. The Executive is therefore required to obey laws constitutionally enacted by the legislature, and to carry out judgments constitutionally rendered by the judiciary, and so on. However, none of the branches can have the power by itself to decide for the others what the constitution requires. To presume such a power in the hands of any one of the branches would be to acknowledge that branch as the Supreme Arbiter of the whole power of government. It would thereby hold despotic sway over the other branches and the people themselves. This would defeat the main purpose of constitutional government, which is to prevent such unchecked tyranny.

Instead of this irrational presumption, the American republics reflect the essential unity of sovereign power by explicitly acknowledging the inherent power of each branch to check (that is hinder and oppose) and neutralize any unconstitutional action (that is, any action it considers unconstitutional) taken by one of the others. Such generally recognized inherent powers include the veto power of the executive (refusal to execute unconstitutional laws and judgments); the impeachment power of the legislature (action to override the Executive veto, and to remove officials of either of the other branches when a sufficient majority of the legislature believe they have acted contrary to the laws or the constitution); and the Judiciary's power to adjudicate specific cases arising under the laws or the constitution. No such inherent power operates automatically, however. In no case can one branch be required reflexively to accept the constitutional opinion of another. Indeed they stand apart and are separate from one another only to the degree that they each have the inherent potential to refuse what they conclude are unconstitutional demands.

Of course, it's not hard to imagine situations in which the three branches arrive at a stalemate. For example. the Judiciary issues a constitutional or other judgment which the Executive, on constitutional grounds, refuses to implement. Members of the legislature may be inclined to side with one or the other, but are so divided as to prevent effective action (impeachment for example) against either. In such cases, the issue must be decided by the people (they can elect a legislative majority sufficient to act against either the Executive or the offending Judges; they can elect an Executive that agrees with the Court, etc.) Though it may temporarily or even permanently affect the government's ability to act in a given area, such inaction precisely corresponds to the overall intention of constitutional government, which is to prevent the consolidation of effective, arbitrary (that is, governed by no will but their own) power in the hands of any individual or group of individuals. On the issues most essential to the maintenance of liberty, this includes anything short of a constitutionally overwhelming majority of the people themselves. Ordinarily, however, it simply guarantees that elite groups are restrained from acting in the people's name while really disregarding their views.

Of course, this latter result is exactly what the promoters of gay marriage seek to achieve. Time and again the people have expressed their opposition to the implementation of a concept of marriage that in principle disregards its connection with procreation and the attendant natural rights of parents. Now the elites seek to force the issue, making use of arrogant judges willing to reach for tyrannical power. People who read my last post on this blog, and understand its implications, will realize that this elite assault against the crucial pillar of the people's moral sufficiency (the natural family) is no accident. Neither is it merely a coincidence that the chosen weapon for the assault involves overturning the constitutional mechanism that prevents elites from wielding power without formally consulting the wishes of the people.

The wisdom reflected in the constitution of the American Republics goes beyond some merely mechanical arrangement of government institutions. It reflects the insight the American founders would have derived from reading Machiavellian philosophers like Thomas Hobbes, whose work on citizenship is introduced by a letter in which he writes: "It was the speech of the Roman people (to whom the name of king had been rendered odious, as well by the tyranny of the Tarquins, as by the genius and decretals of that city)…that all kings are to be reckoned amongst ravenous beasts. But what a beast of prey was the Roman people…so that…Pontius Telesimus…cried out, that Rome herself…was to be razed; for that there would always be wolves and depradators of their liberty, unless the forest that lodged them were grubbed up by the roots. To speak impartially, both sayings are very true; that man to man is a kind of God; and that man to man is an arrant wolf." (Hobbes, De Cive, The Epistle Dedicatory) By preventing the consolidation of sovereign power, except under the most extreme provocations, the separation of powers assures that the wolves (elites inclined to act without regard to right) keep one another at bay unless and until one pack (branch) or another of them convinces the people that their action accords with the natural disposition to do right that aligns human action with God's will.

Of course, it is the constant effort of the ambitious elites to distract people from this overriding purpose of constitutional government, until eventually the people forgets it altogether. Demagogues, like Obama, use plausible rhetoric to convince people that the most important thing is to get things done. Therefore we must make sure government has the power to act immediately, even though this means acting without respect for the constitutional structures that ultimately call for the mediation of the people themselves. Because it effectively camouflages tyranny with the outward appearance of lawful process, the judiciary is the perfect implement for this elite effort. Pretending that acceptance of gay marriage can be imposed by judicial dictation adds the force of passion to the intended distraction, by dangling before minds weakened by corrupted appetites the titillating prospect of officially licensed sexual indulgence, unburdened by respect for its natural consequences, which include the responsibilities of procreation. (The movement for gay marriage pretends to be about homosexuality, when in fact it's main objective is to remove the last trace of guilt or shame from heterosexual selfishness so as to destroy the moral prerequisites of the natural family. Thus, on the specious grounds that it somehow demeans homosexuals, the forces of political correctness seek to eliminate the very idea that the family takes a form that reflects natural, and therefore unalienable, right.)

The people of Iowa, and of any other state where the Judicial branch is used for this maneuver need to know that it is simply an abuse of power. Courts cannot fabricate and then impose new law, nor can they unilaterally decide what is constitutional. The elected representatives of the people in the Executive and legislative branches have the power to object, and to oppose or nullify such court opinions. They therefore have the responsibility to use this power to defend the conscience of the people they are supposed to represent. They are not bound to respect or obey court judgments they believe to be unconstitutional abuses of power. They are in fact oath bound to resist them by all the constitutional means at their disposal.

People who say this somehow overturns the rule of law are actually themselves cooperating in the overthrow of constitutional self-government. In Iowa this means that Iowans who oppose the Iowa Supreme Court's abusive judgment have the right and duty to bring maximum pressure to bear on their Governor and legislators to do what their oaths require in order to defend the laws and constitution of Iowa from this attack upon the people's right of self-government. They should demand that the Governor and all state and local officials refuse to implement the decision. They should demand that the legislature threaten and then act to impeach the usurping Judges. If their representatives fail to act accordingly, at the next opportunity they should be voted out of office. The people must speak and act until they get the attention of their representatives. If they fail to do so their inaction must be construed as acquiescence. Like their representatives, citizens of Iowa who support the natural family have a duty to perform. For the sake of right and liberty, all who are loyal to liberty should pray they will not fail in it.

Worth considering? Then don't forget to DIGG IT!!!!

33 comments:

chiu_chunling said...

It is also wise for the people to consider all their natural rights, expressed in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, as they move to call for a return to rule of law in government. Though caution forbids this injunction, prudence dictates it. Those who have usurped the authority of government will not easily relinquish it upon mere protest. Consider what you will do when, not if, your petition falls upon deaf ears.

If you would retain the blessings of liberty for yourself, you must be prepared to defend it. If you believe that the family is a natural right, you must be prepared to choose defense of your family over deference to the government.

I believe that there is still a considerable number of the American people who yet retain that spirit of liberty and religion which moved their forebears to establish the greatest nation in human history. They did it in the face of their presumed masters, with their own hands and hearts. The cautious will never emulate such a deed. The prudent will prepare well to accomplish it.

Terry Morris said...

As has been said before, "they've made their decision, now let them enforce it."

The Silent Consensus said...

If your problem is with an activist juiciary, then why don't you just say that? Why are you dragging homosexuals into this?

Equal treatment under the law is a legal right. If you want marriage left to civil society, fine, I can agree with that. But I won't entertain the notion that the government ought to discriminate on the basis of gender (yes, gender. It's not sexual orientation because a homosexual could supposedly marry someone of the opposite gender). Legal definition =/= civil definition. No one is talking about imposing on a religious institution a definition of marriage.

As far as the natural family, if it's so solid then why does it need the support of government? It doesn't. We have had marriage equality in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and guess what...the sky is still above us. The natural family still exists. People haven't gone off and married someone of the same gender for the sake of it. I know Sam Brownback claimed the amount of children born out of wedlock has gone up in countries that have marriage equality, and while technically right, is wrong in the implication. Not only because correlation doesn't mean causation, but the decline in marriage started before marriage equality even started. Nothing about homosexual unions hurts heterosexual marriage or tells them they can't have kids. I assure you, our species will continue to procreate.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, a mom and a dad are not automatically better parents than two gay parents. I'd take two loving gay parents over Britney Spears and K-Fed anyday. Their gender, or amount of parents, matters nearly nothing compared to the amount of nurturance and care they provide.

I know the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, but this country was not founded according to religious doctrine, and is not run according to religious doctrine. Yes, some American principles have been in the Bible, but they have much more of a justification than that, and they aren't laws just because they are in the Bible. We run this country according to a set of principles of freedom, equality, and liberty.

iron chef klingon said...

I am convinced that "gay marriage" began as an April Fool's joke to which someone forgot to append the traditional "April Fool!" It's hard to believe anyone is actually serious about this.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

Dear Dr. Keyes;

If all three branches of the Government continually usurp powers not given to them by we the people, and if they continually abuse the Constitution of the United States (the Supreme Law of the Land), then what remedy do we the people have?

I was always taught that we have the power of the ballot box, but that is no longer true since both political parties have more or less morphed into one, and when we vote the garbage out, the new representatives, senators, presidents all pick up where their predecessors left off and continue the usurpation's and constitutional violations, with absolutely no regard for the will of the people. So what remedy is left for us?

The Silent Consensus said...

Is it Dr. Keyes or Ambassador Keyes? Or both?

chiu_chunling said...

Didn't someone ask that before?

Obviously both are correct. Further than that I shall not bother to say.

Discrimination between men and women...I'm afraid that we really have no choice. Men and women are different, and the law must treat them differently, particularly when it comes to matters of procreative import. We implicitly accept this when the problem is rape or alimony (just imagine for a moment what would happen if we treated women like men in such cases, then try and pretend "equal rights" aren't downright misogynistic). And all cultures (not just Judeo-Christian ones) have accepted that since prehistory at least when it came to marriage.

Which is not a small point. This is in no way a question of "Biblical" morality, but of nearly universal human morality. All human societies have some arrangement in which the community recognizes the procreative bond between certain men and women who have entered into it, and none of them have ever thought before to let men or women join such an arrangement without members of the opposite sex.

Probably just because it never occurred to anyone before. Homosexuals don't want to be married, they want to destroy marriage. It just took them until now to figure out that the best way to destroy such a universal institution was to redefine it to absurdity. Or perhaps it took the rest of the community until now to be so utterly foolish as to entertain this idiocy for half a second.

What can one do when a society has become this depraved and concupiscent? Prepare for the end of that society. Gather to yourself what you need to live without the benefits of widespread law or commerce. Keep your gas tank full and have a destination of resort in the countryside where you are known as an honest, decent person. Because civilization cannot long continue its outward forms when it is utterly lost from the heart and mind of the majority of the people.

And make no mistake, the majority of urban America is composed of savages who honor no law except their own lusts. Don't think that you can fight them there, prepare yourself to flee to where decency still holds some sway.

There are still Americans who adhere to the fundamental principles by which liberty may be preserved. Find them where they are to be found.

The Silent Consensus said...

Chiu,
What proof do you have that homosexuals want to destroy marriage and the traditional family? You're making a big statement that your entire argument is based off of

jnewl said...

Let me put it in terms maybe you can understand, Silent. What would you think if the government came and took your kids on the grounds that they were ponies and you did not have the proper zoning permit to allow horses on your property? Absurd, right? Your kids aren't ponies. Well, the sodomites are arguing that the government has the right to define anything any old way it wants to. Therefore, your kid is a pony if and when your government says it is. It is a very short road from the absurdity of "gay marriage" to the absurdity of human ponies.

Why is "gay marriage" absurd? Well, just as a human child is a human child, so is a marriage a marriage. "Marriage" is the term we apply to the enduring, monogamous union of a man and a woman, which union humans have considered since time immemorial to be the ideal arrangement for the begetting, nurturing, and education of children. Even today, free love is frowned upon, as we urge the natural parents of human offspring to "take responsibility" and do what we consider to be their natural duty to those offspring. Such duty is not limited to sending a check every month...what we want, ideally, is for the man and the woman to move in together, live together monogamously and provide all the benefits a nuclear family is thought to provide. We think it's good for the children, and we think it's good for the couple--in short, we recognize that there is something naturally "right" about that particular arrangement, which no other arrangement can duplicate.

The problem for sodomites is that neither two men nor two women can even potentially beget children. Therefore, a true marriage cannot be achieved by them. At best, they can mimic marriage by cohabiting and raising someone else's children. The thing is, we can completely leave aside the question of whether that's a good thing or not when we ask whether there can be such a thing as "gay marriage." The simple fact is that "gay marriage" is a logical impossibility. Period. It's an Orwellian attempt to call a man a pony that does immense violence to right reason. Give in on that point and you will tomorrow find yourself being ordered to call the adoptive homosexual parents the kids' "natural parents." The sky's really the limit on all the absurdities that will follow, yet you seem prepared and even eager to take off blind into that long, dark goodnight.

Oh, and incidentally, here is the "proof" you asked for that homosexuals want to destroy marriage: calling such unions "civil unions" and granting them all the same tax benefits and so on that accrue to marriages would allow sodomites to hang together without doing damage to common sense. Unfortunately, that's been tried and failed. We have such an arrangement right now, in California, and have had it for something like six years. But that's not good enough for California homosexuals. They want the word "marriage" itself, which is what our recent Proposition was about. Thus, inasmuch as I've already shown that to attempt to redefine "marriage" is to destroy it (i.e. make the word meaningless), it couldn't be any more obvious that homosexuals are literally out to destroy marriage. That is their primary object. It is an obvious and irrefutable fact.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

JNEWL; Amen to that. You put it even better then I could.

The Silent Consensus said...

jnewl,
Marriage started out as one man and many women, in other words polygyny. So that argument is self-defeating not only because it tries appealing to tradition, but the tradition it tries appealing to is false. Marriage used to include only people of the same race and religion. Thankfully we've gotten past that. While people can procreate interacially an interreligiously, those same people who opposed breaking those barriers would have an argument that we were destroying the definition of marriage for an entirely different reason.

That aside, separate but equal is not equal. A word implies a class, and is a soft form of discrimination which is completely inconsistent with the Equal Protection Clause.

I think we ought to divorce marriage from government, leave it to the churches and other institutions, and just have government recognize such partnerships as civil unions. But absent that, I will support government giving equal treatment under the law.

You are welcome to your definition, and I don't know why you need the government to force it on everybody else. Only error needs the backing of government, truth can stand on its own. If you want the government to back your definition of marriage, then you are saying your definition of marriage doesn't have a solid enough foundation otherwise.

chiu_chunling said...

Hey, you stole my lines...I mean the ones that I was going to write.

The "human ponies" thing...it is important to remember that the driving impulse behind the elite support of these redefinitions is nothing less than the goal of redefining the rest of humanity as property of the all-powerful State, run by those elites who now push their "progressive" ideas through control over the government and media. Silent Consensus hopes to be one of them...the primary qualification, a disbelief in the sentient potential of humanity, is already clearly evident. These people want to reduce all of you to chattel, even at the cost of their own souls.

My sin is greater than that, though. I enjoy humans without regard to their potential sentience. Perhaps I even enjoy them more in exclusion of the possibility of sentience. The truth is that I only value the sentient potential of others because doing so is essential to my own sentient development. If it were possible to rule over a world of human cattle without destroying my own self-awareness, I'd probably do it.

So now you know. I'm not a good person.

I'm just unwilling to disparage my own existence.

Okay, enough confession. The point is that I understand well what Silent Consensus and those of like mind are about, and know it for a false hope. The destruction of freedom ends badly for all involved, and the only other option is to be active in defending freedom. Marriage is a critical institution for teaching men and women to live together in love, despite their substantial differences. The loss of such a school for appreciating the personhood of a dissimilar being would be a terrible blow to individual potential for men and women to improve themselves, even absent the social impact.

The Silent Consensus said...

Marriage doesn't "teach men and women to live together in love, despite their substantial differences." Upbringing does that. Example does that. Marriage is people who have already learned that agreeing to it.

Furthermore, and most importantly, if the only thing holding two people together is something other than love, then that relationship is on shaky ground anyway and to suggest that marriage is the only thing that holds them together is advocating a solution that fails to address the core problems of the relationship.

An notice I haven't questioned your motives. I've found that if you stop acting as if everyone who disagrees with you is antiAmerican, you get through to a lot more people

chiu_chunling said...

Yeah, taking your advice on the gentle art of persuasion. That's gonna happen...not. You should note that I only question your motives when I'm genuinely puzzled by what you assert. I guess mostly because you keep saying things that don't seem very intelligent. But you probably mean to include cases where I point out your motives for advancing clearly flawed arguments.

"Marriage doesn't "teach men and women to live together in love, despite their substantial differences." Upbringing does that. Example does that. Marriage is people who have already learned that agreeing to it."

Are you...this sounds an awful lot like an argument in favor of ensuring that traditional marriage remains the norm both for childrearing and society at large. I don't think that was your intention...if you'll forgive me questioning your motives again.

Putting that aside, whether or not we are now agreeing that homosexual marriage is a non-starter, I have to dispute the idea that anyone really understands the difficulties and joys of practicing marriage just from seeing it done by others. I have seen no evidence in the available literature on the subject to suggest that it is possible for humans to learn the practical discipline of a loving marriage by observation. On the contrary, almost everything I've seen on the subject highlights the steepness of the learning curve involved in marriage or even non-abusive cohabitation.

Putting aside the very reasonable argument that male homosexual cohabitation is inherently abusive (given the associated reduction in span and quality of life alone, it seems like an odd thing to inflict on someone you claim to love), the accompanying evidence suggests that such relationships do little or nothing to develop a mature complex of interpersonal relationship skills. Which is to say that such relationships seem to run (and falter) mainly on passion and "chemistry" rather than commitment and common goals. Admittedly, I don't fully trust the literature available on homosexual relationships, there may be a tendency to emphasize the "fun" aspects of such relationships as a propaganda tool. But evidence to the contrary remains exceedingly thin.

Back to confession time, I...just don't care that much about homosexuality. I get that it's wrong and all, but as long as I don't promote it myself, it's no skin off my nose, eh? America, on the other hand, used to have a real hold on my heart. Now I look at it from the outside, metering the degree of its destruction without a tear. If you claim to be representing American values, I will simply dispute you factually, it doesn't actually bother me. In fact, I don't even care that I no longer care.

Is this a betrayal of the country to which I first pledged my allegiance? Yet I offered the full measure of loyalty in good faith, America betrayed my trust long before I ever thought to slacken my efforts in its behalf. For many years later I ached with the loss of my faith in America. When did it stop hurting? I still love America, but my grief somehow has passed.

Now I watch events unfold and do nothing, even when it would satisfy my intellectual curiosity to meddle and experiment. Of course, that is due to the constraints under which I operate. Still, my feelings have changed, it is not just an external imposition. I love humans, including Americans, but the flag and the anthem of the nation no longer have a hold on me. They once moved me to tears, now there is only a sense of nostalgia.

Do I want to "get through to a lot more people"?

If I accidentally provide assistance by exercising my sentience, that pleases me. But to be perfectly honest, it was never my role to save others. I once wanted to be a savior, even a hero. A culturally ingrained response, perhaps. As I came to understand what a hero is, I also came to accept that I'm not one.

I'm so far gone I won't even tell you what I am.

The Silent Consensus said...

Chiu,
You're confusing motive and intent. Intent is what one intends to occur, motive is why one has the intent.

I don't dispute that a married mom and dad can be better than other situations. A trust fund for every child can be better than other situations as well. But, not everyone can be born rich and lucky.

In the end, all loving families, regardless of composition, deserve support from government. By only supporting a married mom and dad, we are neglecting many other families. And, most importantly, the gender of the parents matters little in comparison to the amount of nurturance and support they provide to the children. If all else is equal, yes, I think a married mom and dad is the best option, but so many other variables exist that we cannot say in practical terms that a married mom and a dad are inherently better.

Marriage is not a cause of what I said, it's an effect, that's my main point.

male homosexual cohabitation is inherently abusive (given the associated reduction in span and quality of life alone, it seems like an odd thing to inflict on someone you claim to love)

Where have you heard that? I have heard no such thing. They want to live together, they love each other, nothing is abusive about it.

such relationships do little or nothing to develop a mature complex of interpersonal relationship skills

Therefore? It should be illegal? I don't even believe such is the case, but that's not enough to make something illegal. Forcing them to be with someone they don't love does little to nothing to develop a mature complex of interpersonal relationship skills as well.

They don't want to marry someone of the opposite gender. They want to be with the person they love, who happens to be of the same gender, and who are you to tell them they can't? Who are you to impose your demands on others? Who are you to deny people the experience of love and commitment because of your self-righteousness?

chiu_chunling said...

Self-righteousness?

I am what I am. You will know soon enough what I am. Compared to that, it hardly matters who I am.

Sorry for confusing your "intent" and "motives". I sometimes forget that these are entirely distinct concepts to the deeply irrational.

The Silent Consensus said...

I'm done with you. You clearly have nothing better to say than attempts to ridicule and personally attack me. Terry and others on here, they haven't attacked me, they've attacked my arguments. Until you realize the difference, or if you realize the difference now, start attacking against my arguments instead of me, please don't bother. For example, I have said that faith is devoid of reason, which does not mean all people of faith are devoid of reason.

Until you stop the personal attacks (let alone trying to employ the bandwagon argument about me, when you're not even in a position to say anyone's opinion but your own) and start attacking my arguments, you will not get a response from me. I don't have to accept your analysis of me, which is based on something you've seen very little of and assume a great deal about, and I don't accept it. I've seeked civil debate with you, and you've thrown it in my face every time

The Silent Consensus said...

Actually, I'm going to borrow from Terrell Owens and just say "N.C." (no comment) to anything you say against me

chiu_chunling said...

Very well. Frankly your comments haven't really been that interesting to me for some time now. I do find it useful to see for myself the terrible cost of the progressive tactic of simply asserting a novelty till it becomes normal. You can't even tell anymore how silly you seem to anyone with a shred of analytic ability.

Back to the topic, I'm struck by the lack of comment on the necessity of legal discrimination between men and women. I seem to be the only one that has noted that in this discussion. But it is not a small point. Women are, by nature and temperament, subject to a number of dangers and responsibilities that do not directly affect men. Many of these are associated with human sexual reproduction and associated biological dimorphism. A few may be emergent effects or cultural accretions. I believe that there is some definite difference spiritually, that women are inherently more religious and turn to God more readily than do men.

All of these differences, and it is at least useless to deny the biological ones, make laws specifically protecting women among the most necessary of laws. If one admits that any laws are needed, legal discrimination between men and women is almost as critical as legal discrimination between children and adults (I would prefer that there be an additional category for adolescents, just to widen the gap, but such an innovation might well be subject to abuse--fortunately it is not normal for men and women to gradually change to the opposite sex).

Consider the recent introduction of a law that forbids "gender discrimination" in any public accommodation (in a given locality). This law does not exclude toilet and showering facilities. Now, what must the practical effect of such a law be? It subjects any woman using a public bathroom to the danger of having a man walk in on her, with no legal recourse on her part. This basically closes all public bathrooms to the use of any woman who isn't fully comfortable with that.

Now, I suppose men may suffer some embarrassment or anxiety about the reverse situation, but the available evidence suggests it isn't nearly so great. I have no such qualms myself (though I do regard such intrusion as an affront), so it isn't easy to judge from my own experience. Still, the preponderance of recorded evidence is so great that almost nobody would suggest (except in jest) that women are not more afflicted by this situation than are men.

I spoke of marriage as being beneficial because it teaches men and women to live together in love, both by experience and example. And I did not make a distinction about the benefit for men and women. But I probably should have.

The immediate benefit is greater for men. Men are less inclined to love women than women are inclined to love men (in the sense of valuing and nurturing sentience and freedom). So men gain materially from the marriage relationship faster by receiving more nurture, and they gain more 'spiritually' because they have more to learn about love through marriage than do women.

But the social benefits of the western marriage arrangement flow almost entirely to women, both materially and spiritually. Because the western marriage arrangement encourages a partnership between a man and woman where each is fully essential to their common task, it teaches men to trust and nurture women as people. This is not a simple matter of equality, but of valuing women as individuals, starting with the lesson of an irreplaceable, indispensable woman in a man's life.

That we have, in the name of equality, decided to eliminate the irreplaceability of marriage partners is particularly hard on women. Should we disparage their indispensability to marriage as well, women will suffer even worse ills. Nor are these ills merely material. Economic freedom is an excellent school for spiritual liberty. The experience of working towards a goal and enjoying the fruits of one's own labors enjoys a high regard in many religious teachings for a reason. That society which reduces the economic freedom of women generally will inevitably limit their spiritual opportunities.

And, whatever the plausible arguments to the contrary, western marriage does give women far more economic freedom both individually and socially. First off, a woman who has the option of using her natural gifts as a woman to secure marriage is economically more free than a woman who does not have that option, even should she not choose it. Second, the improved economic and personal security of being married improves her options, whether to bear and raise children or work outside the home to supplement household income (there is also the option to work from home, which is a good deal more realistic for a married woman). And generally, a social climate where most men are married (in the western tradition) improves the personal security of all women substantially.

One could go on at length, a library of books could be written on the subject. Suffice to say that the western tradition of marriage is very good for women, and law must protect women if it is to protect anyone.

The question is, do homosexual men require that same protection, and does "homosexual marriage" offer it? At the most basic level, that is, biology, the answer is no. Homosexual men are still men, they do not suffer any distinct or identifiable physical dimorphism from other men. Culturally the answer is a qualified yes...because while there are negative cultural effects, it is easier for a homosexual man, being physically indistinguishable from other men, to avoid any negative cultural effects. In many of the highly publicized cases of "homophobic crimes", the assailants were entirely unaware of the homosexual orientation of the victim. The spiritual dimension will have to remain a matter of individual opinion. While the evidence suggests that homosexual men are generally even less religious than other men, let alone women, one can simply opine that more religions are not sufficiently accepting of homosexuality (this does not seem to stop women, but then again it is difficult to make accurate comparisons).

A more compelling argument can be made from the fact that homosexual men suffer such high rates of mental and physical disease compared to the rest of the population. Indeed, not only does this impair their quality of life substantially, it makes their lives quite a bit shorter as well. But is homosexual marriage likely to alleviate this suffering (for the moment we shall disparage any argument that homosexuals "deserve" it)?

Almost all of these effects are the direct result of engaging in homosexuality. A 'repressed' homosexual, one who privately entertains homosexual inclinations but remains 'in the closet', will avoid nearly all the negative effects, just as he can avoid the cultural effects. It is the practice of homosexuality which exacerbates or causes many of the worst impacts. What about encouraging sexual fidelity to a single partner? Unfortunately there is no provision in the suggestions of "homosexual marriage" for any such thing. It is a demonstrated demographic fact that greater openness about homosexuality always increases the number and frequency of homosexual contacts. Homosexuals who openly live with another man generally have far more sexual partners than do those who live singly (this is in contrast to other men, where living with a woman or other men generally reduces sexual contacts). "Homosexual marriage" has no provision to change this pattern, it would only encourage more homosexual men to cohabit and thus increase their vulnerability to diseases (some of which are fatal).

Indeed, if our goal were to commit genocide against homosexuals, it would seem that promotion of "homosexual marriage" would be just the thing. And the fags are begging for it. Ha ha ha! Let 'em all kill themselves! Well, my virulent hatred of gays notwithstanding, I think I'm going to give this idea a pass. Just like I don't advocate giving out samples of crack to inner city minority youth, despite my intense racism and desire to exterminate all non-...um, Asians. The destructive social effects are simply not worth the 'benefit' of guilt-free genocide.

I like my genocide with a healthy dose of blood on my own hands, thank you very much.

The Silent Consensus said...

If all you were saying is true, then Massachusetts and Connecticut would be in a much worse situation than they are in now. They've allowed homosexual marriage, and nothing you have implied has happened due to it.

"In many of the highly publicized cases of 'homophobic crimes', the assailants were entirely unaware of the homosexual orientation of the victim"

then they're not homophobic crimes.

As far as your notion of mental and physical disease, I'm going to leave aside the fact that correlation isn't causation. People are gay regardless of whether they can marry. That's not an opinion, it's a fact. Even assuming your notion is true, allowing or disallowing them to marry does nothing about this. If the only thing stopping you and others from being with someone of the same sex is that you can't get married, then the Church has bigger problems than what anyone knows about.

And your notion that homosexuals aren't monogamous, simply refuted by reality. I really wish anything is true just because I said it's true, and that would really help my arguments, but it's not the case. Homosexual marriage IS to have single fidelity to a sex partner.

Society is not a victim. It's not an extra being, it's a collection of individuals who interact with each other. Unless an individual is infringed on, which no one is by homosexuality, society cannot be harmed.

If homosexual marriage harms your marriage, then something is already wrong with your marriage and I'm glad it does

chiu_chunling said...

You are being rather sloppy again.

I'm not sure how the situation of Massachusetts and Connecticut could be worse, but perhaps you don't see it yet. Not that I would expect you to admit it if you could.

My point was that actual homophobic crime is so rare that homosexual activists have to claim crimes that could not have been motivated by 'homophobia' in their quest to validate the perception that homosexuals suffer significant discrimination.

Leaving aside mental diseases, for which causation is impossible to prove, the mechanisms by which physical diseases afflict practicing homosexuals are very well understood. That you would deny this is...not remarkable, given your history here. Likewise for the idea that homosexuals are, in "reality" generally monogamous, or that some provision in the suggested "homosexual marriage" would make them so.

Society is, as you say, a collection of individuals. Society cannot be harmed if none of them is harmed. But it has not been demonstrated that homosexuality does no harm. Indeed, I'd say that homosexuality costs a few hundred billion dollars in direct economic costs borne by Americans annually. There are also issues of quality of life and risk of disease, and the little issue of your entire country being on the verge of violent overthrow.

These things do real harm to individuals.

Thank you for your honest imprecation, at least.

The Silent Consensus said...

No Chiu, it's clear that you just hate gays and you're looking for anything to justify it. You can only rely on religion for so long until people get tired of such justification as they did with its justification for slavery and not allowing women to vote. What has happened in Massachusetts and Connecticut since marriage equality? Name me one tangible decline.

And mental diseases, again, spare me. Homosexuality is not a disease or the result of a disease.

Do you believe that AIDS is God's punishment for being gay? That would put you in line with other religious rightists.

Have you been to a same-sex wedding? I have. Not only are the vows the same, it IS for monogamous relationships. Certainly, nothing about homosexuality is inherently more promiscuous than heterosexuality. Your notion that gay marriage increases gay adultery and promiscuity is simply unfounded.

And now you're blaming homosexuals for a coming violent overthrow? Is there anything they can't be blamed for. Seriously, this sounds like pure homophobia

These are not people who want to destroy my and your way of life. They are not people who want to destroy the country. They are simply people who, like you and me, want to enjoy the same rights and equal treatment under the law that you and I take for granted. The idea that allowing them to marry infringes on your rights is one of the most ridiculous ideas I've heard. As if you have a right to stop them, you don't.

Oh, and lastly, your bathroom analogy isn't analogous at all. It would be analogous if the government only provided bathrooms for one gender

chiu_chunling said...

It doesn't matter whether I believe that God created AIDS and other STD's. They exist, whatever you believe or don't believe about them.

Your contention that somehow the simple imitation of marriage ceremonies makes "homosexual marriage" actually identical to marriage is so bizarre as to again force me to wonder what on earth you're really trying to say. Does the uke suddenly develop female anatomy and the ability to bear children at the altar, too? I must admit I'd be very interested in seeing that, though perhaps I shouldn't.

As for the bathroom, issue, by saying that those providing public accommodation cannot discriminate based on gender...that is exactly what the government is doing. This point should be rather obvious. The law could have insisted that all public facilities include a third-gender option for all who consider themselves neither men nor women. It would have had a crippling effect on all businesses which provide gender-segregated facilities, but that wouldn't have been the worst cost imposed on society in the name of "gender equality".

I haven't made any argument about my rights, by the way. I could point out hundreds of specific cases of people who have had their lives or livelihoods ruined by this pointless experiment already. But I won't, partly because it would take up a lot of space, and anyone that cares can find this information with a little digging.

And...I don't really care. I'm here to engage in interesting debates, like over the social mechanism by which marriage improves society and freedom, or the tension between freedom of conscience and secular rule, or even the proper (or most effective) course of action to take regarding an judicial tyranny.

Trading barbs with you is a rather poor substitute, which is why I just don't put in the effort I might for something more intelligent.

The Silent Consensus said...

There you go again, contending homosexuality inherently harms those who practice it. That argument simply doesn't hold. Even drugs has an argument, since drugs are intrinsically bad for you. Homosexuality is not intrinsically bad for anyone. I know people who are homosexual and whose lives are enhanced with their significant other, who happens to be of the same gender. Way to go stereotyping everyone in how you perceive homosexuality.

Unlike Reagan, I believe AIDS exist and I do realize its importance. But, suggesting people should not be able to engage in homosexual acts (or heterosexual for that matter, as they DO spread that way as well) is like amputating my fist so I can't swing it at anyone's nose, or outlawing horror movies because they may cause someone to kill. Way to try reversing the denial your side had for many years and making it out to be on my side.

Those who have been harmed by homosexuality, it likely has little to do with homosexuality and a lot to do with the ostracism promoted by people like you, their perception that it's something which has to be changed, and if you're talking about physical, unprotected promiscuous acts.

Freedom of conscience vs. secular rule? They go hand-in-hand. Only by not imposing conscience on others do they have a freedom of conscience.

Your claims of homosexuality and problems reminds me of claims that more access to porn increases the rate of rape. Not true. Places with the most internet access (and guess what the most popular thing on the internet is) have lower rates of rape than places with less. Correlation doesn't prove causation, but it does disprove causation the other way.

Somehow, on here, self-government means allowing people to govern themselves by governing people more. It's contradictory. Trust them enough to govern themselves, but not enough to make their own decisions about what they put in their own body, do in their bedrooms, and watch or listen to for entertainment. I respect people enough to let them make their own decisions, and any possible correlation we worry about that may infringe on another can be dealt with by holding people accountable for their actions. Drinking's not a crime, drinking and driving is a crime. Owning a gun isn't a crime, murdering people with a gun is a crime. Sex isn't a crime, knowingly spreading an STD is a crime. The same principle should apply forother things.

chiu_chunling said...

Your tired arguments about "legislating morality" and so forth ignore that it is the advocates of "homosexual marriage" which want to extend the reach and power of the law.

As of right now, homosexuals are free to pretend to be married, and almost nobody is arguing that this not be allowed or be punished by law. You are suggesting changing the law so as to mandate punishment of any who refuse to recognize "homosexual marriage" as being identical to marriage. To argue that this is rolling back some oppressive current law is simply ludicrous. More alarming is your contention that no one will be, or has already been, directly harmed by enforcement of this new law where it has been imposed.

I have no idea what your definition of "no one" might be, but I suspect that it includes the vast majority of Americans who will be subject to the broad new anti-discrimination authority. By your way of thinking, anyone that would be adversely impacted by legalization of "homosexual marriage" is "no one". I can see that in your view, these non-entities deserve no rights. Nor do their views deserve serious consideration...which is fortunate, seeing that you aren't capable of supplying it.

The Silent Consensus said...

The advocates of homosexual marriage wish to end governmental discrimination. Period

You are suggesting changing the law so as to mandate punishment of any who refuse to recognize "homosexual marriage" as being identical to marriage

Wrong. I've never advocated imposing on marriage institutions. I have simply said that the GOVERNMENT, if they wish to hand out marriage licenses, may not discriminate. Such is the case in places where homosexual marriage is legal. Churches and other institutions are not obligated to perform any marriage they don't wish. Is this not registering with you?

There you go again, putting words in my mouth with regard to "no one"

chiu_chunling said...

One post you claim you aren't trying to eliminate the law's protection of marriage, in another you claim that you aren't trying to have the law enforce recognition of "homosexual marriage", and yet somehow marriage and "homosexual marriage" are to be made legally the same.

Don't worry about government discrimination, it should end right along with the government itself. But maybe I can get the government to hand me some of their trillions of dollars in handouts, while we're not discriminating. I'm not sure what I'll buy with all that colored paper, but maybe I could just make a big rat's nest for myself. They could hand me a commission as a general while they're at it. I could order my little brother around, that would be kinda fun. Heck, now that I realize all the things that the government could hand me as long as they aren't discriminating, I totally see your argument.

I know I've said this before, but I really have trouble believing you're really that stupid. But I guess in practical terms it doesn't make much difference.

The Silent Consensus said...

what a great response to something I never said, but more importantly, I said I was done with you whenever you resorted to personal attacks, so I'm going to keep my word

chiu_chunling said...

Am I a bad person? No, don't answer that.

The question is, putting aside the fact that I am a bad person, does the fact that I rather enjoy this conversation reveal that I'm a bad person? It's like going to the rigged fight club and beating on some poor guy who just wants a sandwich. I would never do something like that, but maybe I should. Or...maybe I shouldn't use this forum for the moral equivalent.

And yet, having said that, I am a bad person, am I not?

The Silent Consensus said...

nice try

chiu_chunling said...

Nice try at...me being a bad person or you keeping your word?

Just because, you know, I doubt either of us really count as trying.

Conservative Poet Tom Zart said...

POLITICIANS


Most of the time as a politician stands up
Along with the truth, their brain sits down.
Promising anything and everything to anyone
While posing to the public, to be on common ground.

The higher the office the greater the corruption
As candidates compete for those dead presidents of green.
While we're taxed to death to fund their pork
Our cost for everything has become obscene.

Thank God there are some better than most
Not squeaky clean, but more honest than others.
Regardless of party, they deserve our vote
For they share our thoughts like sisters and brothers.

Politicians who wish to be revered by history
Must earn their fame by living the truth.
Any who continue to mislead and deceive
Must be shunned by the voter at the booth.

By Conservative Poet
Tom Zart
Most Published Poet
On The Web

Conservative Poet Tom Zart said...

STRESS


We're a nation of frazzled families
With little time for personal affection.
As the treadmills of tension keep us hostage
We're losing our perspective of direction.

Racing to get the kids off to school,
Navigating the madness of bottleneck traffic.
Fearful of our own job-loss and income,
While the newscasts get more hopeless and graphic.

Helping our children with their home work
Scrambling to prepare their dinner.
Having family spats with loved ones
And being told on Sunday, we're a sinner.

Worrying about crime, taxes, cancer and terrorism
Infectious disease and paying next months bills.
Saving for college and our own retirement
It's no wonder we drink, smoke, pray and pop pills.

By Conservative Poet
Tom Zart
Most Published Poet
On The Web

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