Huckabee and the Law

Standard

Huffington Post Headline: “Mike Huckabee On Kim Davis: Obey The Law Only ‘If It’s Right'”
(The GOP presidential hopeful wants citizens to disobey the Supreme Court ruling.)

Mike (God is my Vice President) Huckabee, already out of the running for president, except in the eyes of the most other-worldly Evangelicals), has now effectively trashed his credibility as a presidential candidate.

“Only if it’s right,” Huck? In whose eyes?

There are many thousands of American’s who still think that, in spite of existing laws, openly selling highly-addictive drugs to all who want them is ‘right.’ Should they just go ahead and do their thing? Go ahead and break the law because they don’t think it’s ‘RIGHT?’

Of course not; and I know Huck would agree with me on that because that could not, even in a Disney movie, be depicted as a victimless crime. But neither is the crime that Huck is so readily encouraging his minions to commit, a victimless crime; the crime of taking away the legal rights of tens-of-thousands of gay Americans because HE and his church disagree with their lifestyle.

For everyone, except those with their eyes firmly closed, it’s obvious that the “Free Exercise Clause” of the First Amendment was being misinterpreted as permission to mess with the lives and Constitutional rights of those who fall outside of “accepted religious belief and ritual.”

When Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion was written into law, the Supreme Court was recognizing and responding to the fact that the clear majority of states (37 out of 50) had already legalized gay marriage; but it’s pure folly to hope that the religious far Right will ever agree with the clear (and growing) majority on the subject of religion.

Speaking of the Religious Far Right: Justice Scalia, in the meantime, is bouncing off the walls. Scalia’s dissenting opinion is a scathing attack; surprisingly not attacking the majority opinion itself, but attacking the right of the Supreme Court to write that or any opinion into law.

Following is an excerpt from “The Big Think” titled: “Scalia’s Dissent in the Gay Marriage Ruling is a Dangerous Attack on American Democracy Itself:”

“(Scalia) is rejecting the very right of the Supreme Court on which he sits to adjudicate disputes where the answer requires interpretation of the Constitution, (which is of course precisely what the court did when it interpreted the Second Amendment to enshrine the personal right to own guns, an opinion Scalia wrote), a role that has proven to be a corner stone of American democracy. Because he is upset by this ruling (legalizing gay marriage), Justice Scalia directly rejects the authority of the court itself.”

This is the equivalent of a judicial nervous breakdown, as is illustrated by this excerpt directly from Scalia’s minority opinion:

“… the Federal Judiciary, which consists of only nine men and women, all of them successful lawyers, is hardly a cross-section of America. Take, for example, this court, which consist of only nine men and women, successful lawyers who studied at Harvard or Yale law school. Four of the nine are natives of New York City. Eight of them grew up in east- and west-coast States. Only one hails from the vast expanse in-between. Not a single Southwesterner or even, to tell the truth, a genuine Westerner. (California does not count.) Not a single Evangelical Christian (a group that comprises about one quarter of Americans) or even a Protestant of any denomination. … To allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation.”

How about that as an example of allowing personal opinion to trash the rights of others and even the right of the Supreme Court to exist.

That said, I can’t help but agree with his unstated accusations that 1) The concept of Supreme Court Justice For LIFE is one that needs a closer look and 2) The Supreme Court inserting itself into the question of marriage is ludicrous.

Garland Texas: Flipping Off a Bully

Standard

I am an avid defender of our First Amendment right to free speech but when that speech imperils public safety, as it did in Garland Texas this past week at the ‘draw a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed’ contest, I can’t help but feel that the wiser choice for the Garland ISD (the owners of the venue) and the City of Garland would have been to NOT allow the event to take place.

The school district and the city potentially placed the lives of many of the citizens of Garland at risk for what was, in the end, an insult not just to radical elements in Islam but to the many million Muslims who mean no harm to anyone.

Garland was very fortunate that the only challenge to their nonsensical cartoon contest that night was posed by two amateurs who literally only lasted fifteen seconds when opposed by a single Garland Traffic Enforcement Officer. Had radical Islamic elements sent in their “A” Team of trained jihadi warriors, not only the Curtis Culwell Center but much of the surrounding area may have been devastated by their bombs and bullets.

Yes Free Speech is and always will be an essential element of American life but too often people like Pamela Geller (and the better known Fred Phelps) use it to spread hate against people they personally detest; that IS still free, protected speech but, in my opinion, it is not what was intended by the First Amendment. The question being re-asked today is: ‘Is hate speech also protected by the First Amendment’ and the Supreme Court has already ruled that YES hate speech is also Constitutionally protected speech (see Snyder v. Phelps )

So, when the skinny kid in the schoolyard raises his middle finger in the face of the large, mean-tempered bully he doesn’t have to worry about a Federal Warrant being issued for his arrest, he just has to worry about being well enough to get to school the next day.

Free speech, like everything else in life, has consequences and when you use it, not to present or defend your own ideas but to tear down others you must be prepared to accept the possible consequences (and in this case, retribution of people who are not bound by our rules, laws or culture). Pamela Geller and the other attendees at the Garland Event were standing up for their Constitutional right to “flip off” the bullies in Islam (something most every American wants to do) but I seriously doubt they had thoughtfully considered the possible consequences. Nor did the City of Garland; to them this was possibly a display of patriotism but more likely it was just an opportunity to enjoy some positive media coverage.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of the citizens of Garland did not appreciate the thought that their city, or even their own neighborhood may have been turned into a war zone.

We are, without a doubt, at war with the radical elements of Islam but wars are meant to be fought by trained and equipped  soldiers, not the bakers, butchers and retailers in a small American city.

Ding Dong the DOMAs Dead!

Standard

DOMA
The BIG news today is, of course the Supreme Court’s ruling “overturning” DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act); it’s hard to understand legalese sometimes, but I think that means that they declared DOMA unconstitutional.

I don’t know how many times I’ve declared DOMA unconstitutional over the past years in this blog, but it feels good to be proved right.

The absolute foolishness of believing, as most anti-gay marriage activists apparently do, that a same-sex marriage in any way effects a traditional marriage, is mind boggling. Do they really think that every time a same-sex couple gets married, a heterosexual couple will get unmarried? Do they really believe that “straight” people will be lured into same-sex relationships simply by the legalization of same-sex marriage? If they do they are thinking stupid. Do they worry that their straight kids will all suddenly go against their natural attractions and suddenly become attracted to someone of the same sex? Apparently they do and that’s even worse than stupid, it’s illogical.

This whole anti-gay phenomenon is simply a reaction by people who have been raised with (and by)religion. The simple realization that all society is not ruled strictly by bible verse is driving them crazy. There are many wonderful lessons to be learned by the Bible but there are also many falsehoods (such as the basic falsehood, the inerrancy of the Bible) that have been taken for granted as true. To understand that the Bible was written by mortal men who inserted their own beliefs into what they felt to be “the word of God” is a very important understanding.

Back from the sublime: there will probably be more “Gay Pride” parades in the following days, with gay guys dancing around like a bunch of Disney fairies. News Flash! You have nothing to be proud of. You are what you are and antagonizing the rest of the population (the majority) will gain you nothing but more ridicule and more hate! Well deserved ridicule for acting like uncivilized children and understandable hate by people who refuse to believe that gay is NOT a choice — but a God-given (if you’ll allow me that phrase), inherent sexual preference.

References:

Politico: Justice Antonin Scalia brings drama to DOMA ruling

USA Today: How will same-sex marriage rulings affect children?

The Supreme Court vs. The Constitution

Standard


Opinion among many news commentators as well as actual news reporters is that the Supreme Court will once again try to avoid making the difficult decision, as it did with the “Obamacare” ruling, by finding a technicality that allows them to do nothing about Proposition 8 or DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act). As Sally Kohn, one of the FoxNews.com ‘opinionators’ admits: “The Supreme Court will either ride the wave or try to block it or dodge it, but ultimately it doesn’t really matter. The tide has irrevocably turned.” (NOTE: The headline (see “Reference”) for this Fox News Opinion piece, because Fox News vocally opposes same-sex marriage, made no attempt to be fair or balanced by unfairly implying that because Chief Justice Roberts has a cousin who is gay it will sway his opinion.)

Ms. Kohn is right that the tide has turned. The majority of the public now supports the right of same-sex couples to marry and obtain all the benefits and rights that go along with a legal marriage but, at the same time, Ms. Kohn is very wrong! It does matter a great deal what the Supreme Court says when they make their ruling. Even the most Conservative Justice will have a hard time dismissing the FACT that to deny legal marriage based on gender, race or sexual preference is clearly unconstitutional. Not only is it unconstitutional now, because public opinion has turned to favor same-sex marriage, the opposing view has always been unconstitutional.

The argument used to be that because the majority of the California voters voted for Proposition 8, those who opposed it will have to live with it and because other states have adopted DOMA or DOMA-like provisions into their state constitutions, it is legal in those states to refuse marriage to same sex couples. Those were false arguments! Public opinion on this issue does not matter nor do biblical admonitions!

The U.S. Constitution overrules state laws that are unconstitutional at the Federal level and if our Supreme Court Justices have the intestinal fortitude to interpret the Constitution correctly they can do nothing but overturn Proposition 8 and DOMA.

This is not, as most media outlets have described it, a “gay rights” issue; this is an issue of equal justice under the law for all American citizens, without regard to their sexual identity or their choice of a marriage partner.

REFERENCE:

FoxNews.com Opinion: Marriage equality, the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice’s cousin