Monday, September 2, 2013

Unjust Officials

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

(Declaration of Independence)


One of the things which trouble me about the recent laws, court rulings and actions of state and federal government officials is the disregard for the legal process -- particularly when it comes to laws concerning the protection of the traditional understanding of marriage.

The approach of these officials is essentially to ignore the laws passed when they disagree with the laws -- even if these laws were passed by the vote of citizens.

Are Laws Defending Traditional Marriage Based on Intolerance?

Now the argument used is to point to the racist laws of the past, claim that laws defending traditional marriage are also racist and therefore must be opposed.

But that's the point to be proven. We don't have laws that establishes separate drinking fountains for "heterosexual" and "homosexual." We don't have laws blocking where people with same sex attractions can live or if they can vote.

The link they try to make is that in the South they once banned interracial marriages due to intolerance. The traditional understanding of marriage assumes it can only be between a man a woman. Therefore this limitation is based on intolerance.

But the assumption that limitation must equal intolerance is the point to be proven. If one opposes so-called "same sex marriage" for reasons other than intolerance, then it is wrong to assume laws they pass in defense of traditional marriage is rooted in intolerance.

Actually the defense of traditional marriage is not based on intolerance but on the understanding of what marriage is for.

Reasons for Traditional Marriage

The traditional understanding of marriage is based on the recognition that marriage is an institution of family that generates and raises children passing down the values that sustain society from generation to generation.

So-called "gay marriage" simply cannot produce children and therefore cannot pass on to them the values that sustain society from generation to generation -- it is entirely outside of what is necessary for a society to survive. Producing children will continue to require heterosexual activity and the heterosexual family is needed to pass on the values -- including sexual morality -- to be a stable building block of society.

In contrast, so-called "gay marriage" cannot produce children.  Even when such pairings seek children it requires an outside sperm donor or surrogate mother or adoption.

Moreover, unless the homosexual pairings teach that these pairings are wrong, they must claim that reproduction and families are not an important value -- which hinders the sustainability of society that requires new generations.

In fact so-called "gay marriage" can only claim that marriage is nothing more than a sexual relationship, a view which means that the pleasure is given priority and reproduction of children is an inconvenience to be avoided.

Refusing to Consider All the Facts

So, one can see that valid reasons exist for protecting traditional marriage and the dilemma of "either gay marriage or intolerance" is a false dilemma because other reasons exist for defending traditional marriage which do not involve intolerance.

Thus, for people to continue to say it is intolerance must either be ignorant of these other reasons or they do know of the reasons and still disregard them.

So when Justice Kennedy says, "The avowed purpose and practical effect of the law here in question are to impose a disadvantage, a separate status, and so a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority of the States"


"DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state- sanctioned marriages and make them unequal. The principal purpose is to impose inequality, not for other reasons like governmental efficiency."

We are justified in saying he speaks falsely about the reasons these laws were made.

But where does that leave us? If he did not know of these other reasons for defending traditional marriage then he failed to do what justice required -- considering all the facts before making a decision.

If he did know of the other reasons but chose to reject them, then we really have no choice but to say he behaved unjustly, regardless of the motivation that led to his action. Remember, courts are supposed to provide justice within the scope of the law and they cannot do do if they are ignorant of the facts or choose to disregard them.


Now I would also be guilty of the false dilemma if I assumed Kennedy was either an idiot or corrupt. But since I have demonstrated that the reasons for defending traditional marriage was not based on intolerance of people with same sex attraction, it cannot be avoided that his reasoning and ruling was unjust. The question is whether his injustice was passive or active.

This question also applies to government officials who refuse to defend the laws defining marriage as between a man and a woman. It applies to district judges who arbitrarily declare laws defending traditional marriage as unconstitutional. It applies to the bureaucrats who suddenly decide to issue marriage licensees to people want their same sex relationship redefined as a marriage.

They all assume the defense of traditional marriage is based on intolerance and act on that assumption, either unaware or uncaring of the fact that the reasons for the defense are not based on intolerance.

Thus we have government officials acting unjustly, regardless of the reason for their injustice. They invent rights that circumvents the proper procedure for passing laws, imposing instead what they prefer.

Indeed, if Christians behaved in the way of these officials, I have no doubt they would howl in protest.

Thus we need to ensure that all officials are required to act impartially and with justice -- making sure they have all the facts and judging accordingly.

And if they will not do so, they need to face the consequences for their actions.

No comments:

Post a Comment