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Free and Strong America

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What's Up With Judith Maltby?

Judith Maltby's recent article in The Guardian leaves anyone from the average church goer to the bush league logician in puzzlement and wonder over how this could possibly NOT be inconsistent...

"So why does the liberty to introduce God into civil partnership ceremonies devalue marriage? It would appear that there just isn't enough of God to go around. One cannot, apparently, honour and bless one pattern of living a faithful and committed life, without somehow devaluing another. It is the theological equivalent of printing too much money."

If the foundational documents of a particular belief identify something as wrong, then why should it be 'celebrated'? That doesn't mean that the practicioners of a certain unhealthy lifestyle shouldn't be treated with respect, it's just that it is illogical to celebrate activities that a particular belief system's followers are asked to shun.

This segues neatly into the Obama administration's latest foray into their ongoing alienation of American public opinion. Chuck Colson informs us...

"The ground shook this week when Attorney General Holder announced the decision of the Administration not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. This was the law of the land, passed by both houses of Congress and signed by President Clinton. But The New York Times hailed this decision in a front-page story and in a lead editorial.

Justifying this extraordinary action, Holder says that in the congressional debate in the 90s there were “numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of gays and lesbians and their intimate family relationships.” He went on to describe this as “animus” (defined by Webster as "vehement enmity, hatred, ill will") and that that violates the Equal Protection Clause.
But wait a minute. Animus to defend a moral position based on 2,000 years of classical and Christian teaching rooted in scripture--or for Muslims to declare their opposition?

Holder has embraced the position of Federal Judge Vaughn Walker in California that opposing so-called gay marriage can be “harmful to gays and lesbians.” But that’s like claiming that opposition to polygamy is harmful to polygamists or that laws defining marriage as the union of two people harm those who prefer to live in what are called sexual “triads” or “quadrads.” Our historic marriage laws harm nobody; they serve husbands, wives, children, and the common good of society.

Not to be able to speak to these issues in great debates isn’t tolerance. It’s thought control and censorship. And if the expression of our deepest convictions is treated as animus, our religious liberty is in great peril. We cannot fail to speak the truth even if it is labeled hate speech. This is exactly why we wrote the Manhattan Declaration, pledging that we would under no circumstances render to Caesar what belongs to God."

Of course they can't permit rational discussion on the topic, even at the highest level of government. The opposition MUST be painted as hateful or else the whole system breaks down. The other side is 'bad'. We get to define what is bad. The ends justify the means. Free thought and dissent are not allowed.

"With regard to "gay civil rights," what makes them problematic is that there is an inherent clash with religion and the natural order. For example, "gay marriage" warps the very understanding of what marriage is in a way that polygamy cannot since marriage has always been a union between man and woman. This is a universal fact about marriage, as no civilization has defined marriage as simply a union between [nn>1] people. There are a number of sensible homosexuals who have realized that this is a problem, but unfortunately, they're politically irrelevant." Link


GentleSkeptic said...

Of course they can't permit rational discussion on the topic, even at the highest level of government.

I'm surprised at you, JD! I really thought you'd be celebrating this decision. You didn't really want Obama or his DOJ half-heartedly defending DOMA, did you? Now the ball is in Boehner's court, and the right-minded Rebublicans can appoint a real counsel and mount a real defense of the law…

Or can they? We'll know by Friday, apparently…

JD Curtis said...

You didn't really want Obama or his DOJ half-heartedly defending DOMA, did you?

It is the law of the land. Both parties voted on it and Clinton signed it into law.

Given the increasingly lawless state of the direction and mindset of this administration, I can't say that I'm suprised in the least bit.

Jquip said...

I think it's just as lawless as ever; just that it's increasingly open about it. If you take the Confucionist tack of order being paramount then the openness about Tyranny is worse than the Tyranny itself.

Aside from that: I'm not really concerned about painting the immorality of one side or the other in terms of animus, wrath, vengeance, sloth, or any of the other classical sins of Christianity. It's lightly amusing if nothing else.

What I do draw issue with is using morality as justification for legality. Which is not the case in a Constitutional Republic that firewalls government and religious sects from one another. Doubly so as an explanatory narrative for why one has made a decision not to treat a separate and co-equal branch of government as incapable of ruling on law unless schooled directly by one of its peers. Be that the Executive or the Congressional.

JD Curtis said...


R's (as opposed to D's) really don't have the better arguments in these types of discussions.

Whoever is striving to advocate conservatism or even libertarianism is probably on the right path toward truth in these troubled times IMO.

The Left? About 90% of their arguments fall completely flat so I largely ignore them.

Just sayin'

GentleSkeptic said...

For the record, the Executive swears an oath to uphold the Constitution, not the law, per se. In instances where there is a real or perceived conflict, a decision must be made.

Section 3 of DOMA has already been ruled unconstitutional by federal judges — twice — so Obama's DOJ abandonment of its defense of that section, but continuing its enforcement of the entire law in all other jurisdictions is hardly "lawless."

From Holder's letter: (emphasis mine)

Notwithstanding this determination, the President has informed me that Section 3 will continue to be enforced by the Executive Branch. To that end, the President has instructed Executive agencies to continue to comply with Section 3 of DOMA, consistent with the Executive’s obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, unless and until Congress repeals Section 3 or the judicial branch renders a definitive verdict against the law’s constitutionality. This course of action respects the actions of the prior Congress that enacted DOMA, and it recognizes the judiciary as the final arbiter of the constitutional claims raised.

Perhaps JD can explain how this specific course of action reflects "lawlessness" without, you know, just linking to Rush Limbaugh talking about something else entirely, in a way that actually suggests that Obama should stop enforcing DOMA. Limbaugh's own words, which JD linked to in support of his claim of lawlessness about Holder's DOMA action:

"What you see is a lawless, statist mentality, in this case unconstitutional behavior if the regime does not comply with the court, plain and simple. They cannot. This law has been voided. It has been ruled unconstitutional."

If DOMA has been voided — ruled unconstitutional — it sure sounds like Limbaugh thinks Obama should stand down completely.

Jquip said...

I hear ya. There's the covetous ones and those that a result of well-meaning ignorance. The latter isn't that bad when they've got an outside moral point. But when the State is their morality via law alone it gets pretty difficult to deal with.

GentleSkeptic said...

Hey: since you brought it up, this seems like a salient post. I know you think that ACA has been ruled unconstitutional, and it has, twice. It's also been upheld… three times. In spite of this, some people actually think it's already been repealed!

I'd also highly recommend the short paper you can download here.