Same-Sex Marriage, Paganism, the Founders, and Natural Law

SameSexThumbby Trevor Thomas   1/18/14
In the ongoing debate on the definition of marriage, I have made it clear more than once that both sides are making a moral argument, and thus it is futile for anyone to decry the “legislating of morality.” I have also made it clear that, whether the issue is marriage or homosexuality, and whether one appeals to Scripture, Natural Law, or science, the morally superior position lies with the conservative Christian views on these matters.

When I ask a liberal upon what moral authority he relies when he reaches his pro-homosexual/same-sex marriage conclusions, inevitably the answer is the U.S. Constitution. No doubt, throughout our history, in order to further the pagan liberal agenda, liberal jurists have “interpreted” the U.S. Constitution nearly beyond recognition.

If you doubt my use of the word “pagan,” consider that, in order to understand properly how we’ve gotten where we are when it comes to marriage and the homosexual agenda, one must first understand that this drastic change from long-held attitudes towards sexuality and family is not as sudden as it appears. Our obsession with sex and the attacks on the City of God (as Augustine put it) did not begin with the 1960s sexual revolution in America.

For millennia human beings have sought to shed the tenets of our Creator and go our own way. This is especially true when it comes to our sexuality. Much of the history of ancient Israel, as described by the Old Testament, included the struggle of the Jewish people with idolatry, false gods, and sexual immorality. Chief among these false gods which often drew Israel away from the God of Abraham was Baal.

Baal was the proper name for the most significant god in the Canaanite pantheon. When the judges ruled Israel, there were altars to Baal in Palestine. During the notorious reign of Ahab and Jezebel the worship of Baal was prolific. In spite of the warnings from the prophets (including the dramatic demonstration on Mt. Carmel by Elijah), the struggle between Baalism and the worship of God continued for centuries.

The worship of Baal included offering of incense and sacrifice—including human sacrifice. However, Baal worship was chiefly marked by fertility rites. It was believed that Baal made the land, animals, and humans fertile. In other words, Baal was seen as the god of “sacred sexuality.” To encourage the god to carry out these functions, worshippers would perform lewd sexual acts. Baal temples were filled with male and female prostitutes for such purposes.

The female consort to Baal was Ashtoreth. This goddess was also associated with sexuality and fertility. The worship of Ashtoreth also included obscene sex acts. Israel forsook the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and served “Baal and the Ashtoreths.” (Judges 2:11-23).

A third rival to the one true God was Molech (or Molek), the god of the Ammonites. The worship of Molech included the fire sacrifice of infant children. Ashtoreth is also seen as the female consort to Molech. Dr. Jeffrey Satinover describes the relationship between the “virgin-whore who copulates and conceives, but does not give birth (Ashtoreth) [and] the god to whom the unwanted offspring of these practices were sacrificed (Molech).”

With the rise of abortion (in lieu of sacrificing unwanted children at the altar of a heathen god, we do it in the hygienic atmosphere of a clinic), adultery, divorce, fornication, homosexuality, pornography, prostitution (especially the child sex trade), and so on, modern American culture makes the misled ancient Israelites look rather righteous. The same philosophy that led Israel astray is well at work in the U.S.: paganism.

Occultist, bisexual, and habitual drug user Aleister Crowley described the creed of paganism well: “Do What Thou Wilt.” As Satinover notes, whether expressed openly or tacitly working behind the scenes (with many individuals completely unaware of the philosophy to which they’ve surrendered), pagan principles are quickly coming to dominate our public morality, and “Do What Thou Wilt” is a guiding philosophy for one of the major U.S. political parties.

Thus, displays of the Ten Commandments on public property are ruled to violate the U.S. Constitution, while businesses peddling pornography are seen to be protected by it. When ruling on a matter pertaining to the Constitution, courts ultimately will rely on the words and deeds (though often rather selectively) of our Founders as evidence to the correct interpretation of the words of the Constitution.

One would have to have been raised by squirrels (or be a cast member of an MTV reality program) to be an adult in the U.S. and not at least have heard of the “Separation of Church and State.” In declaring government religious (mainly Christian) expression unconstitutional, the courts refer to the First Amendment, and they interpret that amendment through the words of Thomas Jefferson in a letter that he penned to the Danbury Baptists, which declared “a wall of separation between Church and State.”

For over 70 years, time and again U.S. courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have referenced Jefferson’s “Wall” in order to restrict religious (almost exclusively Christian) expression in America. Thus, as we weigh and debate marriage in the U.S., it would be an ironic travesty not to consider the words and deeds of our Founders as we draw our legal conclusions.

I submit (with sad and stunning trepidation that such a submission is even necessary) that not one single Founder would give the notion that marriage is anything other than the union of one man and one woman more than a half-second’s thought before (rightly) concluding that such an idea is either a terrible joke or spoken by a lunatic.

First of all, forget marriage; the idea that homosexuality should be considered normal and acceptable behavior would be deemed a wicked and ridiculous conclusion by our Founders. Under British law, sodomy was a capital crime. Sir William Blackstone, a renowned and favorite English jurist of our Founders, and his Commentaries on the Laws of England served as the basis of legal jurisprudence in America.

As David Barton remarks, “In addressing sodomy (homosexuality), [Blackstone] found the subject so reprehensible that he was ashamed even to discuss it.” Nevertheless, Blackstone declared:

“What has been here observed…the infamous crime against nature committed either with man or beast. A crime which ought to be strictly and impartially proved and then as strictly and impartially punished….I will not act so disagreeable part to my readers as well as myself as to dwell any longer upon a subject the very mention of which is a disgrace to human nature [sodomy]…A taciturnity observed likewise by the edict of Constantius and Constans: …(where that crime is found, which is unfit even to know, we command the law to arise armed with an avenging sword that the infamous men who are, or shall in future be guilty of it, may undergo the most severe punishments).

“THIS the voice of nature and of reason, and the express law of God, determine to be capital. Of which we have a signal instance, long before the Jewish dispensation, by the destruction of two cities by fire from heaven: so that this is an universal, not merely a provincial, precept.”

Following the same moral precepts, each of the original 13 colonies treated homosexuality as a serious criminal offense. Thomas Jefferson himself authored such a law for the state of Virginia, prescribing that the punishment for sodomy was to be castration. (You think modern courts will look to this for guidance?)

New York’s law read, “That the detestable and abominable vice of buggery [sodomy] . . . shall be from henceforth adjudged felony . . . and that every person being thereof convicted by verdict, confession, or outlawry [unlawful flight to avoid prosecution], shall be hanged by the neck until he or she shall be dead.”

Connecticut’s law read, “That if any man shall lie with mankind as he lieth with womankind, both of them have committed abomination; they both shall be put to death.” Georgia’s law (surprisingly—at least for today’s liberals) did not call for the death penalty, but stated, “Sodomy . . . shall be punished by imprisonment at hard labour in the penitentiary during the natural life or lives of the person or persons convicted of th[is] detestable crime.”

It is also noteworthy that the due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments (the Fourteenth Amendment being ratified in 1868) did nothing to prevent all 50 U.S. states, including each state that entered the union after 1868, from enacting laws against homosexual behavior. As recently as 1961, sodomy was a felony in every state in the U.S.

In other words, for nearly 200 years and without any Constitutional conflictions or any serious debate, homosexual behavior in America was seen as immoral and therefore illegal. Thus, we see that the Founders do nothing but support the traditional (biblical) view of marriage.

Sadly, this history has escaped many of our current jurists and politicians—even so-called conservatives. For example, last year Ohio GOP Senator Rob Portman, who, for several years was frequently in the conversation for national office, reversed himself and declared his support for same-sex marriage. According to Portman himself, two years ago, his son Will announced that he was gay. Not wanting to stand in the way of his son’s opportunity “to pursue happiness and fulfillment,” is, evidently, what led to Portman’s change of heart when it comes to the definition of marriage.

Writing for New York Magazine, Jonathan Chait (a supporter of same-sex marriage) described Portman’s decision as a “moral failure, one of which he appears unaware.” According to Chait, this “moral failure” is due to the fact that Portman “opposed gay marriage until he realized that opposition to gay marriage stands in the way of his own son’s happiness.”

Chait goes on, “Portman ought to be able to recognize that, even if he changed his mind on gay marriage owing to personal experience, the logic stands irrespective of it: Support for gay marriage would be right even if he didn’t have a gay son. There’s little sign that any such reasoning has crossed his mind.”

Notice that? Chait is appealing to a moral standard (one of which he appears unaware). Chait decries Portman’s “moral failure” while appealing to logic, reason, and what is “right.” What makes Portman’s seemingly self-serving conversion a “moral failure”?

After all, isn’t looking out for one’s children noble behavior? Why must Portman think of others (or, as Chait puts it, “consider issues from a societal perspective”) to be considered moral, himself? What standard is Chait using?

Of course, Chait is appealing to Natural Law (more on this later). He has rightly recognized Portman’s apparent hypocrisy. However, by appealing to what is “right” in one situation, but ignoring it in another, he is sawing off the limb upon which he is sitting. For millennia, guided by Natural Law, civilizations the world over have deemed homosexual behavior as immoral.

No less than the U.S. Supreme Court has said so. As recently as 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court declared, “Proscriptions against [homosexual] conduct have ancient roots. Sodomy was a criminal offense at common law and was forbidden by the laws of the original 13 States when they ratified the Bill of Rights. . . . In fact, until 1961, all 50 States outlawed sodomy, and today, 24 States and the District of Columbia continue to provide criminal penalties for sodomy performed in private and between consenting adults. Against this background, to claim that a right to engage in such conduct is ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition,’ or ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty’ is, at best, facetious [silly].”

Of course, the Court reversed itself in Lawrence vs. Texas in 2003, declaring that, “The petitioners [Lawrence and Garner] are entitled to respect for their private lives. The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime.”

In his dissent, Justice Scalia correctly concluded that, “Today’s opinion is the product of a Court, which is the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct…. [T]he Court has taken sides in the culture war, departing from its role of assuring, as neutral observer, that the democratic rules of engagement are observed.”

Unsurprisingly, after gaining the legal justification for homosexual sex, the next moral domino in the sights of the homosexual agenda has been marriage. On November 18, 2003, just four-and-a-half months after the Lawrence decision, the Judicial Supreme Court of Massachusetts ruled in favor of legalized same-sex marriage. Thus Massachusetts became the first state in the U.S. to grant marital rights to same-sex couples.

The Chief Justice of the Massachusetts court, Margaret Marshal, referenced Lawrence in the ruling: “Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code.”

But “mandating our own moral code” (“Do What Thou Wilt”) is exactly what supporters of the homosexual agenda seek to do. Again, what existing moral code are they using to justify homosexual behavior? They rarely, if ever, appeal to one. The argument is simply, there are some people who want (it makes them “happy”) to engage in homosexuality, thus “liberty of all” dictates that it should be allowed.

The majority in Lawrence also concluded that, “[Liberty] gives substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to sex.” Of course, no such conclusions have been reached when it comes to prostitution, or polygamy, or incest, or bestiality. In other words, liberals have decided that homosexuality deserves special privilege when it comes to the law and “private sexual conduct.”

And thus we see the real goal of the “so-called homosexual agenda:” the legal legitimization of homosexuality across all of America. After all, if it makes liberals “happy” then it shouldn’t be illegal. And if it’s not illegal, well then, it must be moral (or, in the words of Chait, “right”).

Of course, making things “right” means that there is a standard to which we all are (or should be) held. As I noted at the beginning of this piece, and despite frequent notions to the contrary, as we argue and debate the issues of our day, ultimately each of us relies on such a standard, or some notion of right and wrong, or fair play, or rules, or morality, or whatever you want to call it.

What’s more, the very foundation of our government depends upon such a notion. In fact, the foundation of any good government, culture, society, or virtually any situation where human beings interact with one another rests upon what used to be called Natural Law.

Our Founding Fathers understood this well. However, the idea that liberty, good government, and just laws have their roots in Natural Law, or “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God,” did not begin with the founding of America. For millennia many philosophers, politicians, priests, and lay people alike knew the role that Natural Law should play in the “Governments [that] are instituted among men.”

Jim Powell, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and an expert in the history of liberty, credits the Roman philosopher and statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 B.C. to 43 B.C.) with expressing the “principles that became the bedrock of liberty in the modern world.” Cicero was the leading lawyer of his time, and Thomas Jefferson credits him not only with influencing the Declaration of Independence, but also with informing the American understanding of “the common sense” basis for the right of revolution.

“True law,” as Cicero called it, is the “one eternal and unchangeable law [that] will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is God, over us all, for he is the author of this law…”

“[The] Law of Nature” wrote English philosopher John Locke (who also profoundly influenced our Founders), “stands as an eternal rule to all men, legislators as well as others. The rules that they make for other men’s actions must…be conformable to the Law of Nature, i.e. to the will of God…”

Blackstone declared in his presuppositional basis for law that, “These laws laid down by God are the eternal immutable laws of good and evil…This law of nature dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this…”

C.S. Lewis concludes that, “Natural Law or Traditional Morality [whatever one chooses to call it]…is not one among a series of possible systems of value. It is the sole source of all value judgments. If it is rejected, all value is rejected. If any value is retained, it is retained.”

Throughout the early colonies, the incorporation of Natural (or “Divine”) Law was prevalent. The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (the first constitution written in America), as well as similar documents in Rhode Island and New Haven, specifically mentioned that their civil law rested upon “the rule of the word of God,” or “all those perfect and most absolute laws of His.”

References to, not vague religious babble, but specific biblical texts, such as the Ten Commandments, can be found in the civil law of every original U.S. Colony. It is a fact of history that throughout our pre-Colonial, Colonial, Revolutionary period and beyond, America’s lawmakers and laws were steeped in Natural Law. Of course, this is why each of our original 13 colonies treated homosexuality as a crime.

Thus we can conclude that from the beginning our government has been “legislating morality.” All law is rooted in morality. “Laws without morals are in vain,” said Ben Franklin. Not only that, but as I implied above, every debate we have is rooted in morality.

It is absurd and ignorant to lament conservative Christian efforts when it comes to abortion, marriage, and so on as some attempt to “legislate morality.” The other side is attempting the very same thing! In fact, the lamenter (whatever his political persuasion) has also taken a moral stand. Thus, he is like the bank robber who calls the police because his get-away car gets stolen.

What’s more, those who attack Natural Law (because an attack on a position that stems from Natural Law is an attack on Natural Law) do so with arguments that are derived from Natural Law. It is a self-defeating effort.

As Lewis puts it, “The effort to refute [Natural Law] and raise a new system of value in its place is self-contradictory. There never has been, and never will be, a radically new judgment of value in the history of the world. What purport to be new systems or (as they now call them) ‘ideologies,’ all consist of fragments from [Natural Law] itself, arbitrarily wrenched from their context in the whole and then swollen to madness in their isolation, yet still owing to [Natural Law] and to it alone such validity as they possess.”

In other words, it is folly to make moral arguments in favor of sound fiscal policy (take note my Libertarian friends), same-sex marriage, a woman’s “right to choose,” and so on, all the while decrying the “legislation of morality.” Americans simply need to decide by whose morality they want to be governed.
__________________________________________________
Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com • email: tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World • Blog: Whose Slave Are You?
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23 Responses to Same-Sex Marriage, Paganism, the Founders, and Natural Law

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Until 20 or so years ago, marriage has always involved one (or more) men marrying one (or more) women. What we see today is a group of arrogant judges (and those who petition them) seeking to change this definition by fiat. This results primarily because of the importance of identity-group politics in modern liberalism, which means that each group (such as homosexuals) has its Cause that must be supported by the entire Party. But the strongest argument for the connection between social and fiscal conservatism would be the effect of increased illegitimacy on welfare spending.

  2. ronlsb says:

    Superbly stated, Trevor. Sadly, it’s the professing Christians in America who have allowed this sad state to come to be in our nation. Being by far the majority sect in our nation, Christians for decades now have had no compulsion about electing and supporting politicians (and the judges they nominate) that have led us to the debauched society in which we now live. Perhaps, by God’s grace, we might wake up before it’s too late. For surely the inevitable outcome of the homosexual agenda is clear–it will become a crime to declare the biblical position on such behavior. Now that is where the rubber will hit the road for all who profess to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ–am I loyal to my Savior or do I protect my own hide?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Sadly, it’s the professing Christians in America who have allowed this sad state to come to be in our nation. Being by far the majority sect in our nation, Christians for decades now have had no compulsion about electing and supporting politicians (and the judges they nominate) that have led us to the debauched society in which we now live.

      Very true. And you mentioned the “homosexual agenda.” No right-thinking person can separate this from the issue of gay marriage. One may be for gay marriage out of sense of sympathy, a Communist-infused sense of “fairness,” or (more likely) because it’s the fad of the moment — and in this superficial pop culture, the worse sin isn’t sodomy, it’s being on the wrong side — not of “history” — but of fad and fashion.

      But as I’ve stated, I could be for gay marriage if gay marriage was about gay marriage. But it is not. It’s about taking a wrecking ball to Western Civilization and advancing the power of the state into eventually a Communist-style dictatorship (at the calculating top level) and about simply insulting, shocking, and mortifying as many decent and traditional people as possible (at the nihilistic lower levels).

      What homosexuals don’t understand is that they are just pawns in a battle for control of all our lives by the Leftists/Communists. But they’ve sold their soul to the proverbial devil and will be shocked when the Left turns on them. Remember, gays, the Left is very very friendly with Islam (and who could be more anti-homosexual?) simply because Islam, too, is an enemy of normal, traditional America. There is therefore no principled pro-homosexual stand that supports you. Your are simply pawns, dupes in a larger game of control…a marriage of convenience, if you will.

      So if you are gay and strutting about with your new-found ability to “marry,” don’t say I didn’t tell you so when you find out the true price you have paid for this.

      (And, by the way, I will tell you so.)

      • steve lancaster says:

        Brad,
        “But as I’ve stated, I could be for gay marriage if gay marriage was about gay marriage”

        You once again have hit on the heart of the issue. As a libertarian I personally do not care who marries who. I do not care to see a heterosexual couple make out in public so I do not care to see gay couples flaunt themselves in public. We have gone too far in making the private public for political reasons.

        Too much of our private life is made public just to offend, disgust, or disgrace people who may, or may not disagree. My major complaint is that what should be private, sexual orientation, religion, financial transactions and family has become fodder for statists to justify increasing control of our lives. I am highly offended by anyone wanting into my private life, and I am morally and politically offended when the government seems to think it needs to do so.
        C U on the barricades.

      • faba calculo says:

        I do not doubt that some in the gay rights movement would like to also do a much larger makeover of western civilization, but that was likely true in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, as well. Separating the wheat (equal protection of the law) from the chaff (see above) is hardly a new requirement here.

        However, when you (at least seem to) indicate that there’s is no real gay marriage movement that is actually about gay marriage rather than some liberal desire to dismantle American, why do some 20% of those who describe themselves as conservative or extremely conservative for gay marriage?

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Because the homosexual militants combined with their allies in the synoptic media have persuaded some of them that it’s the current fad, and others have been persuaded by knowing personally someone who wants to have a homosexual marriage. It’s possible to support homosexual marriage without supporting the militant cause (as I suspect is the case with you), just as it’s possible to be pro-choice without genuinely favoring abortion. But the movements in both cases are indeed militant.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Up to now, the Democratic Party has been very effective at keeping its various special-interest groups from clashing. Sooner or later, their desire to combine Muslims with sexual libertines will come a-cropper. We can only hope America is still recoverable when that day comes.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Sadly, it’s the professing Christians in America who have allowed this sad state to come to be in our nation. Being by far the majority sect in our nation, Christians for decades now have had no compulsion about electing and supporting politicians (and the judges they nominate) that have led us to the debauched society in which we now live.

      I also wanted to say about this is that (for better or for worse) we live in a self-fulfillment culture rather than a self-denial one.

      In terms of self-denial, I’m not saying that the ideal is to be a Cistercian monk. America is indeed about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, broadly speaking. But “happiness” is an entirely different idea than either utopia or hedonism — the latter of which are America’s true pursuits today, even if few are bold enough to admit it.

      To understand what this means, it is more enlightening to understand what it doesn’t mean. It helps to understand what are the new “evils” of this utopian/hedonistic culture:

      + Doing without
      + Having to compete
      + Having to perservere
      + Having to accept and deal with our own flaws and limitations
      + Feeling inferior

      And another way to understand the above is to note that perhaps in Kindergarten it is best to downplay those above bullet points. Children need to be eased a bit into life, to be nurtured. But that is not the way of the Left (or liberal/Leftist so-called Christians) to see this is a phase fit for children. They instead view this as an overarching paradigm for adults as well. So let’s add another bullet point to the new “evils” of our hedonistic/utopian culture:

      + Having to grow up and act like an adult

      Sandra Fluke, who is famous for whining to Congress in a bid to get other people to pay for her birth control, is a great example of the forever-juvenile attitude: Whine and hope that mommy or daddy give into your tantrums. Of course, the realization of this aspect could be lost, disguised as it is by the oak panelling, gavels, and formal setting of a Congressional hearing. But it amounts to the same thing. It’s a child saying “I want!” to its parents. It was the main critique offered recently by Kevin Williamson of feminism in an article at NRO in which he equated feminism with simply “I want.”

      And, even so, we must nuance once again (as we forever must be committed to doing when dealing with the dastardly and deceitful Left) that there is nothing innately wrong with “I want.” But what the Left has done is disconnect it from “I earn.” They want what they want and they want someone else to pay for it.

      This shows how deeply the Communist mindset has infiltrated America, including a great deal of Christianity where this juvenile “I want” is cushioned, sanitized, and made to seem better by calling it “social justice.” Christians have definitely dropped the ball. And yet, are they really Christians? As Dennis Prager notes, most Jews, and quite a few Christians, have simply replaced their traditional values for Leftist ones. Yes, the scented candles and stained glass still remain. But it is the religion of Leftism that many worship, in practice, not Christianity.

      • steve lancaster says:

        Good points, it is statist theology that has replaced Christian values in Europe and has made great inroads in the US. That is the reason so many mainline denominations are failing. If, for example, you go to your local Presbyterian (PCUSA) church you will find mostly gray hairs and almost no young families. 40 years ago there were over 6 million Presbyterians in the US now there are less than 1.5 million, churches are closed, or have left the
        PCUSA for more evangelical denominations. The same grim statistics are present for all of the mainline churches, even I might add, the Southern Baptists in the South.

        The more progressive the denomination the fewer young families attend. The great awakening is happening but the mainline churches are still asleep.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          it is statist theology that has replaced Christian values in Europe and has made great inroads in the US.

          For whatever reason, I was thinking today about the Anglican church. From the preponderance of what I’ve read, the church functionaries and hierarchy itself doesn’t even believe in God. They’re just going through the motions, perhaps turning their infrastructure over to what is little more than a psychological “social service.”

          I don’t consider that a capital offense to be without belief, for neither am I sure about God (at least the kind of involved, loving God envisioned by Christianity). But neither am I a priest or bishop pretending to be something that I’m not.

          It’s a rather amazing phenomenon, really, to see Christianity eaten out from the inside by Leftism (Cultural Marxism or Communism, if you will). And, much like the destructive rules of engagement that Glenn is writing about today where “compassion” becomes destructive and is little more than a grievance turned inward in the guise of compassion, so this “social justice” faux-compassion is doing to the various churches.

          Christianity is full of this Marxist poison as many Christians are simply unable to make rational and reasonable moral judgments.

          Interestingly, when I was a kid, it was typically a Presbyterian church that I was forced to go to. I think my parents felt a right and proper obligation to do this. But that was truly a bad experience if only because it was so boring and nothing meant anything to me. But I doubt at the time that this was because the Presbyterian church had started to follow Marx, not Jesus, which is the case today, for all practical purposes.

          In Europe, from what I’ve heard, the churches are simply empty. A somewhat different phenomenon is occurring here. I don’t know the rate of church attendance, but instead of churches being emptied of people, they are being emptied of Christ and replaced with a bunch of politically correct or Cultural Marxist nonsense.

          And this is the truth. It wasn’t long ago that I overheard a Catholic lady comment to someone close to me that she had just moved to a new city and was looking for a new Church. And she literally said that what mattered to her was that she find the most liberal Church that she could. I therefore kind of wonder at people such as the liberal Tony Blair who converted a few years ago to Catholicism. Did he actual convert to Christianity or is he worshipping his own Leftism with simply the trappings of scented candles and stained glass to give what are actually his political views more oomph? I’ve often wondered about that.

          Another fellow I know (a relative) once told my older brother that the thing he liked best about his church was that its stressed “diversity.” One would suppose, offhand, that one would like one’s church because is stressed the teachings of Christ. But as we can see, it is surely true as Dennis Prager says that many people have abandoned their religion and are simply worshipping Leftism under the trappings of the church (or synagogue).

          I still find this amazing. Yes, it’s appalling. But there is a brute astonishment that rings from people acting like such utter fools and doing so in groups and thus thinking it is all just fine.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            “the Anglican church. From the preponderance of what I’ve read, the church functionaries and hierarchy itself doesn’t even believe in God. They’re just going through the motions, perhaps turning their infrastructure over to what is little more than a psychological “social service.”

            I believe a great number of these people are simply careerist bureaucrats similar to the types one finds in NGO’s, large charities/non-profits such as AARP and the Ford Foundation and of course in government.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              That seems to be a deep infection in our culture, Mr. Kung, the inability or unwillingness to believe in something (other than superficial Leftist, feel-good cliches). Don’t we see this same thing in regards to the problem with the Republican Establishment? The real issue is that these fellows don’t believe in anything with any kind of suitable conviction.

              So…just keep the bureaucracy warm where bureaucracy for bureaucracy’s sake is the driving force.

              (And, by the way, those who truly believe in their cause — whether it is Islam or Leftism — are kicking our butts.)

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I don’t know about the Anglicans (though I have my doubts), but I do know that the head of APEC did refer to Christians as “they” when she commented on Pope Benedict’s criticism of Islam a few years ago. But there are also many Episcopalians and Anglicans, even among the bishops, who retain their faith (especially in the African dioceses).

  3. Glenn Fairman says:

    a weighty piece that speaks for itself. I can offer no comment worthy of it.

  4. NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

    A weighty piece, as Glenn says, with much historical information, and at this late hour I hesitate to respond out of the fear that weariness will cloud my words. Certainly, Trevor is correct that the Left is making as much a moral issue of same-sex “marriage” as we are, and with considerably less honesty, for example pretending that marriage is somehow a private act concerning only two people when in fact it is a public and legal act binding and affecting all of society. SSM is very much an indirect attack on real marriage, for once all of us are forced to recognize it (which is what legalization means), real marriage will be cheapened and degraded at a time when this institution is already under serious attack.

    Trevor is also correct Constitutionally: the states could and did legislate against not only SSM but homosexual conduct going back to the colonial period, and if the police power extended to these cases under the Federal Constitution (that is, was not prohibited by it to the states), and I think it did, then Justice Scalia was certainly correct in his Lawrence dissent. However, we do run into a problem here: one of the great problems in our system of Federalism was that very little was prohibited by the Constitution to the states; their police power was essentially unlimited.

    The men who founded this country apparently were of two minds about this: some, like James Madison, wanted more restrictions on State power (Madison recommended several amendments along with what we now know as the Bill of Rights that did not pass the House), while others seemed to believe that the states were more trustworthy than the Federal Government, or perhaps more under the control of men determined to preserve their freedom. The second group prevailed, to the extent that there was any real struggle – but they were wrong.

    What I am getting at here is that the States possess many Constitutional powers that nonetheless violate the natural rights of Man, for example the power to fix prices (such as enacting minimum wage laws) or impose unjust and unfair taxation. If the proper purpose of the government is to protect individual rights, and this is close to being an accepted Conservative tenet, than it is impossible to justify laws restricting the private sexual conduct of adults, including sodomy, however personally disgusting we may find these practices. If we are ever going to enjoy a more perfect liberty in the United States, eventually State Constitutions are going to have to be amended to restrict State power, and that will have to include removing the power to regulate adult sexual conduct.

    None of this means we need to give one inch on SSM, or even accept the normalization of homosexuality (a secondary goal of SSM, by the way). On this latter score we should turn the Left’s insincere boast of being “scientific” against it: for those who are constantly regaling Conservatives with obnoxious, irrelevant questions about evolution, they apparently so little understand the subject themselves that they do not realize evolutionary biology provides an extremely powerful argument for the proposition that homosexuality is abnormal, since it imposes the severest possible evolutionary penalty (no descendants) upon its practitioners.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      In addition to those proposals that never made it into the Bill of Rights, there were 2 additional amendments, the original first (concerning congressional pay increases), which actually passed 20 or 29 years ago, and the original second (which concerned temporary appointments to the House), which has never passed.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      National Review Online has not completely gone over to the dark side.

      The below link is to an article regarding the present law passed in Arizona (awaiting the governors signature) giving religious freedom to opt out of taking part in homosexual marriages. They make points similar to those several of us have made on this blog. The SSM movement, and with them “the faggot gay boys” as I think Tim calls them, i.e. those Leftists radical deviants trying to push the whole homosexual agenda down our throats, must be fought on every level.

      http://www.nationalreview.com/article/371856/live-and-let-live-law-editors

      Hopefully our Libertarian friends will wake up and realize that SSM has little if nothing to do with freedom of choice, except as a way to limit the choice of those who don’t want to have anything to do with it.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        What can one say? Yes, it’s a very reasonable opinion. It’s certainly heartening that this editorial stands against liberal fascism even if it doesn’t call it by name.

        What the article lacked was a sense of outrage. The general public would have been better served if there was a direct acknowledgment of the gay lobby’s Gestapo-like intolerant tactics in the kind of detail and descriptions that would have an emotional impact.

        And mention should have been made regarding the many useful idiots who think they are the nicest, most tolerant people for accepting whatever the homosexual lobby says is “justice” with nary a thought to the harms or to their real agenda.

        NRO typically espouses a eunuch-like reasonableness when a full and frank discussion of the situation is required. And I wouldn’t mind knowing who these “editors” are. Wouldn’t it gall you, for instance, if one of “the editors” was Jonah Goldberg who wrote such a vapid and weak pro-gay-marriage article a while back? His article mentioned none of the realities of the SSM agenda. Jonah was, dare I say, a useful idiot. Did he help pen that article? If so, it would be nice to know.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          I’ll take “reasonable” in this case. You and I can rant, but opinions from editors are generally supposed to sound reasonable.

          If we keep ranting and more publications will publish “reasonable” opinion pieces, we might make some progress against the “fascist fagboys” and their dishonest supporters.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            The lesson from the left is that the culture is moved by grievance, tantrums, paranoia, bullying, and hatred. I’m not saying we have to reflect those same values. But without a little balls, we are lost. We will just keep incrementing ourselves to Communism while NRO and others can look in the mirror and admire themselves for their politeness and erudition.

  5. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    A federal judge has just ruled that the Texas law banning same sex marriage is unlawful. This is simply another case of the progressives and statists spitting on the will of the people. There is no outcry from the people for homosexual marriage or anything similar. This is an outrage being forced on the people by the Left and perhaps some fools who call themselves Libertarians.

    The founders were concerned with what they called the “tyranny of the majority”. For some years now, I have believed we have a “tyranny of the minority” in this country. Statist politicians, monied interests and unelected judges are stamping on popular rights.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I mention elsewhere my thoughts that it might be time for a little “sic semper tyrannis”. Nowhere is this truer than with the juristocracy.

  6. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Finally, a deviant who is honest about the intent of homosexual marriage.

    I agree that we should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it is a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist. . . . Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we’re going to do with marriage when we get there, because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie. The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change, and again, I don’t think it should exist.

    Thank you Ms. (I don’t really know how to address this creature) Gessen.

    With such arrangements, how many children do you think will end up as wards of, or being supported by the state? For a hint, read Theodore Dalrymple.

    These people are vandals, and that’s being unfair to the vandals.

    By the way, this is what the idiot Libertarians also support, consciously or not.

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