Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Criminalizing Sin

With the nomination of John Roberts, Jr., the government is again misleading the public with cliche phrases such as "strictly interpreting the Constitution, not legislating from the bench." Although I know nothing about Roberts and have no opinion about the propriety of choosing him as a nominee to the high court, I am surprised that the President did not choose a woman and chose such an inexperienced judge when there are far more experienced jurists on the Circuit courts of the nation.

That said, the rhetoric of the Religious Wrong regarding abortion and gay rights illustrates that, contrary to its rhetoric, they are looking for someone who will legislate from the bench and will not follow the Constitution. Albeit, only if that jurist legislates in a way they like. For example, there is no dispute that the Constitution does not mention anything about gay marriage. It says nothing, in fact, about heterosexual marriage. The argument from the Wrong then goes that, because it is not mentioned, it is not allowed and should be banned nationwide. While this contention may be appealing upon first glance, a cursory review of the Constitution belies the argument.
Amendment IX

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

Amendment X

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

Last I checked, the power of marriage was not delegated to the United States by the Constitution and, thus, it is reserved to the states to decide. Once the states decide to weigh in on the gay marriage issue, a jurist must then whether gay marriage is a privilege and whether the equal protection clause protects the right to marriage for everyone.
Amendment XIV

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The Constitution forbids discrimination among citizens with respect to privileges and equal protection of the laws, which presumably includes marriage. In order to deny gay marriage based upon Biblical mandate, one must venture outside the Constitution, thereby becoming a "judicial activist" who legislates from the bench. Without the Bible, there is no basis to deny that right.

What seems to be happening with GW and his posse of religious warlords is that they want to outlaw sin (although one person suggested that the fight against gay marriage is a manipulation of religious people to protect insurance companies from having to insure more people). They want to turn the American justice system on its head by banning anything that the Bible regards as sinful. What will be next? Will adultery become a crime like it is in Iran, although that would probably cast a net too wide for the comforts of most politicians. As GW and the Religious Wrong continue to pick and choose sins and arbitrarily terrorize and criminalize those who would otherwise be protected by the Constitution, the U.S. will become ever-closer to resembling Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Democracy consists of choosing your dictators after
they've told you what you think it is you want to hear.
Alan Corenk

27 Comments:

At 5:02 PM, July 20, 2005 , Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...

It's amazing how buzzwords like "activist judges" enter the American lexicon. Repitition is a key tactic in trying to persuade someone, and Fox News, CNN, NBC, etc have done a great job assisting the Right Wing on this issue.

I have a friend who used to be a very reasonable man. He was in the political Center. In the last few months, he's began ranting about Terri Schiavo and "activist judges" and it's far from funny to listen to. It's pathetic.

The "Originalist" interpretation of the Constitution is the biggest bunch of baloney I've ever heard. It's a pretext for making America into a feudal society. The "strict constructionist" model is equally ludicrous. While I agree that the Court should not be "creating new rights," certain actions not mentioned explicitly in the Constitution should be out of the reach of the Courts, unless some countervailing interest exists.

 
At 7:10 PM, July 20, 2005 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Speaking of Terri Schiavo, I saw an article the other day about a family who sued the State of Utah because of efforts by the State to take custody of the child in order to give him chemotherapy that the parents refused.

The religious nuts didn't make a stink about the state's interference with the parents' right to decide how a child should be cared for even though it's the exact same issue. Probably because Rove and the Supreme Court are distracting everyone from the disastrous war.

 
At 7:25 PM, July 26, 2005 , Blogger chad said...

Many of your posts have been discussing the issue of politics and religion recently. I think we are all going a little overboard with our polarized politics lately. In my estimation, non-Christian moderates, and Christian moderates still make up the bulk of the body politic. It seems like we are being polarized by the few in the name of religion, but as usual...it's political maneuvering that's behind it all. I won't fill your blog with my rhetoric, but I did comment on this today, and invite your response.

Your brother in seeking common ground,
chad

"It is difficult to discern a serious threat to religious liberty from a room of silent, thoughtful schoolchildren."
~Sandra Day O'Connor

 
At 12:13 PM, September 05, 2005 , Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

ii,

Marriage is a definition. It is a State Supported Licensed priovilege, not a right.

Driving is a priviledge not a right. Blind people can not drive. Married people can not marry until they are divorced. Licenses have restrictions, and rightly so.

The 14th Amendment is being enforced. The last time I checked Homosexuals are either 1. Male, or 2. Female.

All males have the same rights and all females have the same rights.

Marriage is licensed by the State with a few restrictions. The restrictions are "equally" applied to all males and all females. Notice Homosexuals are not another sex.

Restrictions for all males and all females:

1. Above a certian Age.
2. The other partner must be single.
3. The other partner must not be a very close relative, such as mother, father, sister or brother.
4. The male must marry a female.
5. The female must marry a male.
6. The partners must be human.

There is no need to mention all types of life styles, because saying things like...all males that fly airplanes, all males that like dogs, all males that like guys, all males that like blondes, all fall under "all males."

We can't change the definition of marriage becasue of statements like..."I like blondes and therefore I should be able to marry any blonde I love." There are no lifestyle restrictions. Straight and gay males can marry any qualified female regardless of thier likes or dislikes.

All males and all females have these same restrictions applied, therefore the 14th amendment is enforced. There is no mention of a third sex, just males and females of which we all apply equally.


FAR.

 
At 7:58 AM, September 06, 2005 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

A state definition of marriage does not trump the Constitution.

The 14th Amendment says that "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States".

Whether marriage is a privilege or not doesn't change the fact that a privilege for one person is a privilege for all people unless there is a legal basis to deprive it. Remove religion from the equation, and there isn't a legitimate basis to deny gays the right to civil marriage.

It is understandable that a religious gay marriage is objectionable, but there is nothing in the law to prohibit civil unions.

 
At 2:33 PM, September 06, 2005 , Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

ii,

My argument is that the 14th amendment is not being violated since all males are treated equally under all state marriage contracts.

Life styles are not mentioned. The license does not discrimnate on any life style choices. Gays can like whomever they wish, but that does not mean that anyone can marry anyone they wish.

Guys that like Ice Cream, Guys that like Blondes, and Guys that like Guys are all treated equally...they can marry any qualifed female they wish.


FAR.

 
At 7:04 PM, September 06, 2005 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

FAR -

That is the most clever argument I have heard on this issue. EVER! You should be a lawyer.

While I am chuckling at your argument, I offer the reverse perspective. If the state offers a privilege to its citizens, the qualifications to receive the privilege must have a legitimate basis so as to avoid discriminating against certain members of the population. Without religion, there is no basis to deny a man the right to have a civil union with another man.

 
At 4:37 PM, September 09, 2005 , Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

ii,

It's all about group rights. Do individuals have rights? Yes.

Should groups have rights, or should they be inherent in their individual rights?

My argument is that if you start giving "groups" rights, then you start reverse discriminating, because not all groups can be equal in ability or qualifications.

For example: should jet pilots be allowed to fly commercial airplanes without qualifing? No. Should they have rights that others don't have? No.

Should Mormons be allowed to have polygamy, but others not? No. (BTW, this is the crux of the real argument right here....Ploygamy, etc. Mormons and gays can not be allowed to change the definition of marriage just because they happen to belong to a group.)

We must all adhere to the law of the land.

We can not grant special rights to people just because they belong to a certian group!

Mormons are a group, Gays are a group, and Dog Lovers are a group. We must not grant group rights that are different from individual rights.

All males and all females have the same rights. Gays are a group of people who have a peculiar like or taste. They are not another sex. They are still males and females.

The reason my argument has such power is because it is truth and truth has a certian genius appearance to it.

Is your name Dina? For some reason I thought you were a guy.


I'm Gary. :)


FAR.

 
At 4:54 PM, September 09, 2005 , Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

ii,

I guess I didn't answer your counter argument, so let me do that now.

The single most common thread in prison is the criminals had no father in the family. It's like 80%.

It is logical to deduce that since males and females have different traits, it should be important to society for children to receive the best of both traits from their parents.

From Fathers, children learn sterness, authority, and "manly" stuff...hunting and fishing, etc.

From Mothers, children learn compassion, a love only a mother can give, attention to details and other "motherly" stuff.

It should be easy to see the fact that men and women are really different and nature must have had a reason other than pro-creation to make them so. It is for the well-being of society that the normal family unit of male and female is charged with "on-the-job-training" for life's challenges with a little bit of both sexes input.


FAR.

 
At 5:02 PM, September 09, 2005 , Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

P.S.

Mark my words, after a small group of guys, (two), demand to be married, next will be a larger group of guys, (three or four), that will demand to be married.

The main reason it is a big deal to the normal, straight side is the problems with divorce is bad enough now, imagine if we unleash Pandors's box and allow groups of guys (two, three, four, etc), or a group of gals, (two, three or four), or a guy and two girls, to marry, just because of group rights.


FAR.

 
At 4:28 PM, September 12, 2005 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

You raise a good point about Mormons. I have a question that will get me through this puzzle. What is the reason to legally outlaw polygamy? What is the purpose behind the laws that outlaw it?

 
At 9:41 PM, September 13, 2005 , Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

ii,

Both the reason and the purpose has to do with Social Order.

While my Bachelor's Degree is in Information Technology, I changed Majors at least 3 times and at one point started looking into getting a Law Degree.

First it was a BSEE, then I switched to a degree in Business Administration, next I started studing law before deciding upon Information Technology which was my greatest love at the time.

My weak understanding of Constitutional law is that the government must step in
"when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order."

I am really on shakey ground here because I think Polygamy has more right to exist than does Civil Unions.

I think Civil Unions cause a break in good order while Polygamy doesn't.

The state must support which ever it deems safe for society.

Utah was O.K. with Polygamy because they knew that the Mormon Religion would police itself.

Also, while homosexuality is not a religious practice, Polygamy was, and the government was very slow to interfere, but they reasoned that "suppose a religion practiced human sacrifice, should the state step in?"

While Polygamy is far from murder, they reasoned that it would harm the fabric of society.

I am not sure we as a society are ready to accept either Polygamy or Homosexual marriage.

Probably both would be seen as harmful to society.

I did a search on Polygomy and found this interesting article.

FAR

 
At 9:49 PM, September 13, 2005 , Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

P.S.

While at the bottom of the article the lawyer argues that...
"Such cohabiting is the crime of polygamy. Such a choice is a private sexual decision which is protected by Lawrence v. Texas.
"When Lawrence is applied to our facts case, we hope the result will be different."

The law has said that a Married Man can have a mistress live with him and not be breaking the law because the law of Polygamy has to do with "Marrying two women" not living with two.


FAR.

 
At 5:17 PM, September 19, 2005 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

The polygamy answer has actually made this more confusing. First, I don't understand why "Civil Unions cause a break in good order while Polygamy doesn't." Seems like it should be the other way around, although I don't see why polygamy should be illegal under that analysis.

With respect to government sanction of activities, if the government is going to sanction an activity, it must do so in a non-discriminatory way (which takes us to the beginning of this discussion). So, how does sanctioning gay civil union destroy social order?

 
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