Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Something to Ponder

                The fallout from the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage continues.  While millions of Americans are rejoicing that the Court legalized their perversion, others – including myself – are still caught in the whirlwind of the decision but recognize problems coming from it.  Columnist Christine M. Flowers is one of those people.  

                “Supporters of same-sex marriage push back and say that it is wrong to deprive people who love each other of their right to `be happy.’  …But being happy at the expense of others was not what the framers meant when they talked about that cherished pursuit in the Declaration of Independence.  And make no mistake that this ruling is coming at the expense of others.
                “As many have already noted, it could come at the expense of those who follow a creed that still, touchingly, venerates the union of man and woman.  But even beyond the threat to religious freedom, it comes at the expense of individual liberty.
                “… But the truth is that when we deliberately twist the laws to satisfy a social movement, when we turn our constitutional integrity into food for some culture war beast, we have demeaned and diminished those who do not share that sweeping view of entitlement.
                “… As a nation, our greatness has always derived from two things, the sense that our capabilities are infinite and the concomitant wisdom to impose limitations on that Promethean fire.
                “Now, we have snatched a constitutional right from a void, untethered to legitimate precedent (no, Loving v. Virginia isn’t controlling if you consider its context) and common sense.  There will be lawsuits, and the name-calling has already begun for those not yet on board with the same-sex juggernaut.
                “We have upended the social structures so that one group can continue to pursue its happiness while others try and find solid ground in the whirlwind.”

                Another of those people is RyanT. Anderson, PhD., of The Heritage Foundation who researches and writes about marriage.  He
believes that the majority “ruling written by Justice Anthony Kennedy will likely cause four distinct types of harm to the body politic.  The activism of the majority of the Justices will harm (1) constitutional democratic self-government, (2) marriage, (3) civil harmony, and (4) religious liberty.  He has even written a book about this theme entitled Truth Overruled:  The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom.

                Anderson explained that the arm to constitutional democratic self-government was pointed out by Justice Antonin Scalia in his dissent:  “It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me.  Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court.”

                After much discussion, Anderson summed up the first harm done by unelected judges by stating:  “No social transformation without representation:  Our constitutional democracy in a nutshell.”

                Concerning the second harm done by the ruling, Anderson quotes Chief Justice John Roberts who noted that marriage “arose in the nature of things to meet a vital need:  Ensuring that children are conceived by a mother and father committed to raising them in the stable conditions of a lifelong relationship.”  The decision of the Court declared that the rights of children are no longer important but only the romantic desires of consenting adults.

                Justice Roberts continued, “One immediate question invited by the majority’s position is whether States may retain the definition of marriage as a union of two people.  Although the majority randomly inserts the adjective `two’ in various places, it offers no reason at all why the two-person element of the core definition of marriage may be preserved while the man-woman element may not.  Indeed, from the standpoint of history and tradition, a leap from opposite-sex marriage to same-sex marriage is much greater than one from a two-person union to plural unions, which have deep roots in some cultures around the world.  If the majority is willing to take the big leap, it is hard to see how it can say no to the shorter one.”

                The truth of Justice Roberts’ statement has been proven.  A man from Montana has already applied for a marriage license to make his union with a second wife legal.

                Continuing on to the third harm done by the Court’s decision, harm to civil harmony, Anderson wrote, “The ruling will undermine civil harmony.  When fundamental policy changes are made by court rulings that have no basis in the Constitution, it makes change harder to accept – because it casts doubt on the change itself.  Scalia notes that American self-government was working:  `Until the courts put a stop to it, public debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at its best.  Individuals on both sides of the issue passionately, but respectfully, attempted to persuade their fellow citizens to accept their views.  Americans considered the arguments and put the question to a vote.  The electorates of 11 States, either directly or through their representatives, chose to expand the traditional definition of marriage.  Many more decided not to.  Win or lose, advocates for both sides continued pressing their cases, secure in the knowledge that an electoral loss can be negated by a later electoral win.  That is exactly how our system of government is supposed to work.”

                About the fourth harm, harm to religious liberty, Anderson wrote, “The ruling, as Roberts notes, `creates serious questions about religious liberty.’  He observes that `many good and decent people oppose same-sex marriage as a tenet of faith, and their freedom to exercise religion is – unlike the right imagined by the majority – actually spelled out in the Constitution.’  When marriage was redefined democratically, citizens could accompany it with religious liberty protections, but `the majority’s decision imposing same-sex marriage cannot, of course, create any such accommodations.’”

                Summarizing this procedural point that courts cannot forge compromises, Anderson then quoted Justice Alito as pointing out that activists will use the Justices’ words to attack religious liberty:  “It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.  In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women.  The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.”  
                “America is in a time of transition.  The court has redefined marriage, and beliefs about human sexuality are changing.  Will the right to dissent be protected?  Will the right of Americans to speak and act in accord with what the United States had always believed about marriage – that it’s a union of husband and wife – be tolerated?

                “Most Americans say yes, they want to be a tolerant, pluralistic nation.  They want peaceful coexistence.  I agree with them.  It’s only ideologues and activists who want to sow the seeds of disharmony by threatening those with whom they disagree by revoking their tax-exempt status, taking away their government licenses, suing them out of business, or stripping them of their legal protections.

                “The First Amendment Defense Act would achieve civil peace even amid disagreement by protecting pluralism and the rights of all Americans, whatever faith they may practice.  This act is a good policy and liberals committed to tolerance should embrace it.”

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