The Supreme Court Abuses Power Yet Again

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English: The United States Supreme Court, the ...

English: The United States Supreme Court, the highest court in the United States, in 2009. Top row (left to right): Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Bottom row (left to right): Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Antonin G. Scalia, and Associate Justice Clarence Thomas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although I can understand why the Supreme Court would invalidate the Defense of Marriage Act (marriage has been traditionally a state, rather than a federal, matter), I do not understand its voiding of California’s Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage. That act was passed by the majority of the people of the state of California–yet the majority of the Supreme Court (with Justice Kennedy getting up on the left side of bed this time) once again imposed its radical view of morality onto the American people.This ruling is a clear violation of state’s rights (if the term has any meaning left after being gutted by the federal courts). With the 14th Amendment imposing de facto slavery on the states to federal decrees, any other state that tries to ban same sex marriage will probably not be able to do so without its law being overturned by dictatorial decree. Any attempt to defy federal law via nullification will result in a stiff monetary–or worse–penalty by the overarching federal government onto the states. The United States is, in effect, a dictatorship in which the majority of people have been overwhelmed by elitist academics, Hollywood radicals, and their supporters in government. The federal government has the long arm of power enforced by tax policy, by federal law enforcement agencies, and by perhaps one of the greatest threats to American freedom, a large standing army.

The Supreme Court ruling affirmed a lower court ruling that described moral views on marriage as private matters not to be imposed on all people. To call marriage, a fundamental institution of all human societies, a private matter and not a matter of public policy is absurd. The radical individualism ensconced in the Enlightenment has finally come home to roost.

Traditionalists of all religions and ideologies who oppose this ruling may find themselves subject to persecution in the future. In academia, such persecution is already in place in some colleges, universities, and in the public school system. The radicals who, since 1969, have been pushing a homosexual lifestyle down the American people’s throats (pun intended), have won politically. They should focus on changing the culture, and if persecuted, pray and live virtuous lives, as the ancient Christians in the Roman Empire attempted to do. At least Christians know that evil–whether it be the evil of federal abuse of power or of radicals finishing off the destruction of traditional marriage that had already begun with easing divorce laws in the nineteenth century–will not finally triumph over good.

In a fallen world, even the best of intentions for good government go wrong over time. The United States has outspent its time as a republic, and with the virtue of people falling and the family failing, the end of the nation as those of my age has known it is only a matter of time (and a short time, I believe). May God strengthen those who have not bowed their knees to Baal.

Why I am Eating at Chick-Fil-A Tomorrow (August 1)

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Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dan Cathy, owner of the Chick-Fil-A chain of restaurants, recently voiced support for the traditional view of marriage as being only between a man and a woman. Because of this, some supporters of same-sex marriage called for a boycott of Chick-Fil-A, and the chain has been banned in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and at Indiana University South Bend–those are the places about which I know–there may be others. Now any citizen who wants to boycott Chick-Fil-A because they disagree with Mr. Cathy’s views may do so–that is that citizen’s right as an American. Any citizen who wishes to eat at Chick-Fil-A for the food or to support free speech can do so without penalty. Frankly, I am tired of the intimidation tactics used by some supporters of same-sex marriage to try to close any public debate on the topic by force. Any officer in any company has the right to state the principles behind the organization. The attempt by some governments to punish Chick-Fil-A is the product of the totalitarian view that government can force a private business to go against its fundamental values–or at least to remain silent. One good thing about the backlash is that it has finally awakened not only conservative Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others who oppose same-sex marriage; it has also forced secular civil libertarians to rethink their views or at least squirm in their seats when they support a forced ban of Chick-Fil-A. The problem with traditional Christians is that too many are not willing to make the same effort in the culture wars as those who support sexual immorality and a false view of marriage. Perhaps from now on they will be more alert to the threats to their freedom of expression by the secularists and revisionists “Christians” who support same-sex marriage.

It is to support freedom of expression for Mr. Cathy and others in business that I will follow Mike Huckabee‘s lead and purchase food at Chick-Fil-A tomorrow. Those on the other side of the issue who wish to peacefully protest without harassing customers may, of course, do so. This is a small step for traditional Christians who are in more danger of having their freedoms taken away than they realize, not only by politicians in the Obama administration but also by means of intimidation and bullying by opponents of traditional Christianity. I am proud that Mr. Cathy has been open about his Christian views. Other Christians should follow his good example–and I encourage all people who support freedom of expression to eat at Chick-Fil-A tomorrow, August 1.

The Whining of the “I’m Outraged” Crowd about North Carolina

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State seal of North Carolina

State seal of North Carolina (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

North Carolina voters passed the marriage amendment with a vote of 61% in favor and 39% against. In my own county (Cumberland) the vote was 69% for and 31% against. With the cry from the Left and from many of the “intelligentsia” (notice the quotation marks), one would think that the world is coming to an end. To the elites of society, North Carolina is full of backwoods people who are not enlightened enough to support same-sex marriage. To the majority of the people of North Carolina, the “elites” are out of touch with natural law, with Christianity, and with their fundamental values, values that would have been accepted by the majority of the “elites” only forty years ago. Calm down, ye “outraged.” What has happened in North Carolina is in the state constitutions of thirty states; this is not some new thing that makes North Carolina unique. Instinctively, the majority of people now and throughout history have recognized that marriage is only between a man and a woman. “Oh, the horror,” say the elites. “An appeal to nature is a fallacy.” Really, now. To the modern and contemporary worlds, nature is considered to be infinitely malleable by human will, so it would not make sense to modernity to appeal to a stable natural law. Beliefs do not change facts. Only a man and a woman can produce a child. Appeals to the possibility of cloning do not suffice to argue against the view that in human nature, without massive technological intervention, only a man and woman can bring a child into the world. Usually it is the biological parents that rear the child, and in order for the child to have a stable home, a permanent bond, marriage, has been established by almost all known human societies. There may be differences in the number of spouses allowed and in other details, but all such arrangements are between men and women. Even an enlightened ancient Roman who was tolerant of homosexuality would be horrified at the contemporary attempt to legitimize what cannot be legitimized. Most people recognize this unless they have had this belief educated out of them by liberal and radical elites.

The reason for the vicious anger and personal attacks by supporters of same sex marriage on decisions such as the one the voters made in North Carolina is not mere disagreement. After all, people disagree over many things, but do not post a message on a blog calling the blogger a f….g a…..e, as someone posted to me a couple of weeks ago. This is an issue involving world views: one world view affirms natural law, the other denies it. There may also be a sense among some people that their actions are wrong, and it infuriates them when someone challenges their lifestyle. If they were secure in their beliefs, why would they become so angry? Who knows–judging motivations is risky, but I do know that I am proud of my adopted state of North Carolina for doing the right thing and adding the provision in the state constitution affirming that marriage is only between a man and a woman. If whiners, the outraged, and those who are the real haters wish to attack this vote (and those who supported it) with viciousness, so be it.

Defending Marriage: The North Carolina Marriage Protection Amendment

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Topographic map of North Carolina

Just because the suicide of Western Culture has weakened the institution of marriage does not mean that Americans can do nothing to stop its decline. Advocates of same sex marriage have been aggressive in promoting their goal of the legal acceptance of same sex marriage by all states. Such a view of marriage is a radical break from all previous human cultures–for good reason. Although the ideal is not often reached in real life, a marriage between a man and a woman is the best way to bring children into the world and rear them. Multiple studies by sociologists and psychologists, no friends of traditional institutions, have shown this to be the case. Only a man and a woman can make a baby through the act of sexual intercourse. Attempts by same sex couples to rear children occur either by adoption or by a woman offering an egg as a surrogate for one of the partner’s sperm (in the case of male same-sex couples; in the case of female same sex couples, one of the partners would offer her egg and donated sperm would fertilize it). Such practices go against the fundamental ends of human families and human societies to bring the next generation into the world in a way consistent with human biology. Supporters of same sex marriage ignore biology, as if human beings could be separated from their bodies, or as if maleness and femaleness is somehow not part of one’s personal identity. Even apart from same-sex marriage, homosexuality is unnatural in orientation and morally wrong in practice. To fully embrace homosexual practice in the context of marriage is a violation of natural law so severe that it can only bring irreparable harm to society. The decline of marriage in Western Culture, its separation, in the public mind, from bearing children, and later from permission for sexual intercourse, has produced a society that is promiscuous (why be married when you can enjoy sex before marriage without worrying about having children) and one in which marriage is considered to be only a legal contract instead of a sacred vow. Same sex marriage would put the nail in the coffin’s head of marriage in any meaningful sense–and with activist judges threatening state laws, defining marriage as between a man and a woman via state law alone is inadequate. Moves to pass state constitutional amendments defining marriage as between a man and a woman are welcome, giving the people as a whole the chance to save what is left of traditional marriage.

As part of the North Carolina Primary on May 8, the voters of North Carolina will decide whether to pass the “Marriage Protection Amendment” to the state constitution that would define marriage as between a man and a woman. I strongly support this amendment and encourage the citizens of North Carolina to vote in its favor. If it passes and opponents go judge shopping to find a liberal federal judge to try to throw out the amendment, this would make it clear that the judge is attempting to thwart the will of the people, . It would also allow appeals up the federal court system so that eventually the sovereign right of the people of a state to define marriage might, hopefully, be affirmed. At the very least, this amendment grants the voters of North Carolina the opportunity to do their small but vital part in defending a sacred institution and in slowing America’s attempt at cultural and moral suicide.

Marriage between Cousins and Same-Sex Marriage: A False Analogy Fallacy

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US Map of Same Sex Marriage Laws

Image via Wikipedia

Consanguineous marriage (marriage between people who are second cousins or closer) is common in some traditional societies. It used to be common in small farming communities in the United States when the number of men and women available for marriage was small. My grandparents on my mother’s side of the family were second cousins. There is a slight increase of risk for recessive gene disorders, but the goods of social cohesion are considered worth the risk in traditional societies. First cousin marriages are legal in twenty states.

Today I saw a poster on a colleague’s door with two maps of the United States. One map colored in the states allowing marriage between cousins. The other map colored in the states allowing homosexual marriage (five states). The import of the poster is that homosexual marriage between people in love is no more problematic, and most likely less problematic, than marriage between cousins–and that this is unfair.

However, this commits the fallacy of false analogy. Marriage, even in ancient Paganism that accepted homosexuality in general, was only between a man and a woman. Marriage between cousins is only thought to be problematic because of the slight risk for recessive gene disorders, and these can be serious. However, traditional societies prefer stronger social bonds in tight communities. There is nothing “unnatural” about cousins marrying–the number of “degrees of affinity” is great enough that even Catholic and Anglican canon law do not forbid first cousin marriages. It does forbid marriage between siblings, between a parent and his or her child, and between uncles and aunts and their nephews and nieces. Opposition to marriage between first cousins is primarily an American phenomenon resulting from the greater mobility of American society. Such marriages fulfill the proper ends of marriage for conjugal love and the procreation of children. Homosexual marriage is by nature barren, and one cannot change that by adoption or by cloning (that is, manufacturing) a child for a homosexual couple. It is not that love itself is bad–not even the love between homosexuals. What makes that love inordinate is that it is directed toward the wrong goal and does not fulfill the proper ends of a sexual relationship between man and woman. The fact that some couples are past childbearing age or some cannot produce children due to physical problems beyond their control does not change the usual order of nature.

The poster is more like a slogan, something to move people emotionally in a certain direction. It has no logical force, for the analogy it purports to find is false, making any “argument” implied by the poster a weak inductive argument. This is consistent with debate in the United States on both sides of controversial issues such as abortion or euthanasia–or homosexual marriage. There is an abundance of emotion but precious little reasoning about these issues. I realize that many people do not agree with the natural law perspective I espouse (in agreement with the Roman Catholic Church and with my own church, the Anglican Catholic Church). Opponents of natural law should put forth their best arguments from reason and experience rather than resorting to emotional screeds like the implied screed in that poster.

On Being “Divisive” on Marriage

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ancient roman marriage

Image via Wikipedia

A local newspaper described the proposed state constitutional amendment in North Carolina banning homosexual marriage as being “divisive.” Not only does this reveal the lack of integrity among journalists, who claim to be unbiased but reveal their bias in their terminology, the word “divisive” can cut both ways. It is divisive to push a lifestyle on people (sometimes openly and in public) that offends the moral sensibilities of the majority of North Carolinians. It is divisive to oppose natural law and to support a practice that violates the fundamental ends of marriage, which not only include companionship, but also include bringing children into the world. Yet those who want a state constitutional amendment to recognize what has been recognized as law in all cultures for thousands of years are called “divisive.”

This attitude reflects a trend in mainstream media coverage of social issues. Those who support the right of an unborn child are called “divisive,” while those who support the act (abortion) that kills an unborn child are not. Those who oppose a physician helping someone to kill himself are divisive, while those who desire the medical profession to be involved in the business of killing are not. The press’s double standard is appalling. ANY social issue is going to be divisive, no matter what side a person takes on it. There are deep divisions in American culture, and to label one side or the other as being the only “divisive” side is inaccurate and dishonest.

Judge Walker’s Decision on Same-Sex Marriage

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Wedding cake of a same-sex marriage, photo tak...

Image via Wikipedia

U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker has ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage, approved by California voters in a referendum, violates federal equal protections and due process laws. This is not the first time a federal judge has tried to override the will of the people in order to push his own moral and legal agenda, and it will not be the last. For many years the federal courts have trumped the authority of the states, violating the tenth amendment to the U. S. Constitution with impunity. This usurpation of power by the courts, as Thomas Jefferson noted, results in a judicial dictatorship that violates the fundamental principles of the republic. It is for this reason that Jefferson disagreed with Chief Justice John Marshall on the issue of judicial review. Even if there are situations in which judicial review has been used for a good moral end, the power judicial review grants to judges allows them to also use that power for bad moral ends. The rights of the people of each state to legislate is thereby cut off by raw judicial power that is backed up by the machinery of the federal government—and sometimes, by means of the military.

Besides the constitutional issues involved in this case, a ban on same-sex marriage is in line with the natural law. Of course most people today, especially among the scholarly elite, do not believe in natural law. Most American philosophers are utilitarians, and most judges accept a legal positivism that separates law from nature. But natural law argues that moral principles are derived from the kind of beings human persons are—rational animals. To separate law from human nature ultimately makes law subject to the arbitrary whims of the judiciary. In the case of same-sex marriage, a ban is in line with natural law due to the goal or function marriage serves in human life. Contrary to some naïve critics of natural law, the problem with same-sex marriage, and with homosexuality in general, is not merely a matter, to put it crudely, of a bodily organ going into a place on another person where it does not belong. The issue is teleological—what is the proper function of sex and marriage in human life? Even into the modern era, sex and marriage were understood primarily (though not exclusively) in the context of procreation, of bringing children into the world, with marriage providing a stable household for the moral development of such children. This does not imply that this is the only function of sex and marriage—love, companionship, and in the case of sex, physical closeness and great pleasure are obviously goods that result from sex and marriage. But all these goods are subsumed under the fundamental human need to pro-create, to bring new life into the world, and to nurture that life to fulfillment by moral training. Practices that oppose such ends result in social chaos, as is empirically shown by the social disorder in communities with high rates of illegitimacy. Encouraging homosexual practices also thwarts the natural human goods of reproduction and family. Adoption of children by homosexual couples, or, God forbid, in the future, cloning, will not change this fact—children need exposure to both a man and woman to receive the unique insights of both.

This point is not original to me, and I do not remember who brought it up, but our society began by separating marriage from procreation with the invention of the birth control pill. Now I do not have a problem with a couple using the pill as long as (if the couple is married) they are open at some point in their marriage to having children. But as a matter of empirical fact, both marriage and sex were separated from procreation. With the sexual revolution, marriage was no longer considered a moral requirement to have sex. With both sex and procreation separated from marriage, it was a small step for contemporary liberal culture to say that marriage is a private contract between two individuals, and it does not matter what sex they are. But encouraging this societal down slope by legalizing same-sex marriage will only accelerate the breakdown of the traditional family structure that is essential for human flourishing. The voters of California were wise in approving a ban on same-sex marriage, and Judge Walker’s decision, sadly, was wrongheaded and foolish.

This is not to say that there should be a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage—the decision should be in the hands of the people or their representatives in each individual state. It is almost certain that Judge Walker’s decision will eventually reach the Supreme Court after its journey through the Ninth Circuit, and hopefully the Supreme Court will recognize the rights of the people of California to make their own decisions in this matter.