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On Gay Marriage
First, A Little Background...And Shameless Promotion
Back in 2011, I was among the first Conservatives to speak out in favor of same-sex marriage. Of course I caught merry hell for it, but like I said back then: Sometimes ya gotta say what ya think and let the chips fall where they may.
Now first, let me refer you to two columns I did in July, 2011 for Yahoo Contributor Network:
From July 7th: A Conservative Argues the Case For Gay Marriage
Then July 11th: ...And The Argument Continues
And, most recently, April 9, 2013: ...And Still The Argument Continues.
Please, before you go any further read these three columns. Then, come on back here, and we'll talk about it.
Go ahead...it's okay, take your time, I'll wait on ya. I'm not in that big a hurry......
Let's Think About This....
Okay...Ya get all that? Did I make myself clear?
Whether you agree or disagree is immaterial at this point.
What is important is at this point is the discussion.
Societal changes (or, as Limbaugh puts it: societal evolution) only come about when a society is prepared to accept changes.
Change is accomplished beginning with debate: selling society on your side of a given issue through the exchange of ideas, arguing the pros and cons. Answering questions: How will this affect our society, how will it affect me? Just how much authority should we give our government over our private lives? Is this even any of government's business? Should our government, in debt for generations to come, be spending money it doesn't have and wasting energy needed elsewhere on this?
Most importantly: What does the Constitution say about this? What do we think, or how do we feel, about using a document intended to guarantee individual rights, freedoms and liberties to restrict, curtail or deny those rights, freedoms and liberties?
Now I don't know about you, but I ain't real comfortable with that. If we are willing use the Constitution to restrict or deny a certain person or group or class of people's rights, it's not such a stretch to understand that at some point my own rights will be restricted.
Hell, for that matter, one of them already is under the gun- so to speak (think gun control).
Not good. Not good on many levels.
Just How Much Should the Constitution Address?
Now, like many of you, I was brought up to believe God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. My personal beliefs still run along those lines in large part, but as I've said before: Ya got a thing called the Constitution.
Too many of my fellow Conservatives have gone off the end of the earth with this thing, arguing before the Supreme Court for the authority to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage.
The argument in a nutshell, is that marriage, by definition, is between a man and a woman and therefor same-sex couples have no constitutional right to marry.
Bullshit. Pure and simple. Sorry if my language offends you, but I'm pretty plain-spoken, political correctness be damned.
Fact is, the Constitution doesn't address the issue either way.
Of course, the Constitution doesn't address a lot of things...speed limits, for example, but that does not make speed limits unconstitutional.
So should the Constitution address the issue directly?
I don't think it has to.
Seems to me the Constitution addresses all the issues it was intended to address directly, the rest, like speed limits (yeah I know. It's the only analogy I can come up with on short notice...cut me some slack), are inferred or derived from the set-in-stone baseline.
This does not mean constitutional changes won't be necessary on occasion. They most certainly will be.
This ain't one of those occasions, folks.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident..."
"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 addresses the issue. Opening line, second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.
Anything else is the "Animal Farm" mentality.
Want more? The Bill of Rights- Articles 1 through 10 of the Constitution. Notice they're Articles, not Amendments.
Articles are set in stone. Irrevocable
Amendments are changes, or addendums to an Article.
There is no 2nd Amendment, but there is an Article 2. Get that part straight. Articles 1 through 10.
Going Off the Reservation And Currying Favor
The Enumerated Powers limits the power of the federal government. All other powers are reserved to the "several States" (18th Century for "individual States").
The ultimate authority to govern is derived from the governed.
The number 1, existential, absolute tenet of Conservatism is: Smaller, limited, less intrusive government.
Coming in at number 2: Individual rights, liberties and responsibility.
Yet, we have Conservatives currying favor from the Religious Right by advocating government intrusion and abridging civil liberties.
They've gone off the reservation. They've forgotten our very purpose as Conservatives.
They've forgotten that we stand for individual rights. We stand for Civil Liberties.
They've forgotten we are a Representative Republic, not a Theocracy.
I consider myself a Christian, that is the faith I grew up with, and it is that faith that has sustained me through the darkest days of my life.
But I will not advocate for, nor will I live in, a Theocracy. I will not have my government, or some coalition of churches tell me what my values will be or which way my moral compass will point. I have a perfectly good Bible for that, thank you very damn much.
Nor will I impose my values upon you.
I will however, as our government should, stand for and affirm your right to your own values, to set your own moral compass, to live your own life as you see fit so long as you do not interfere with the rights of others.
I ask no more and no less than that of you in return.
That is Conservatism and that is where Conservatives should stand on Gay Marriage, not currying favor from those who would impose their values on others.
Something You Can't Do...
This argument has gone on for years...to the point I'm getting sick of hearing it.
So, after hearing it all over the decades of my adult life, it should be clear by now that there are some things nobody's been able to do:
1...Show me how gay marriage will bring about the end of the greatest nation on earth.
2...Explain to me how this will destroy my marriage and my family.
3...Demonstrate how gay marriage will violate my rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
4...Tell me how it will violate my right to privacy.
5...Point out government's authority to decide who can marry whom.
In the thirty-six years of my adult life, nobody's been able to do any of the above.
If you ain't got 'er done in thirty-six years, you ain't gonna get 'er done now.
With terrorism, crime, illegal immigration, with nut jobs in Iran and North Korea trying to get nukes, and all the other challenges facing us, we don't have time for any further foolishness.
Let's get it decided and move on.