Friday, May 16, 2008

Oligarchy Part 3

"Marriage is an institution between one man and one woman. Well, that's the most often heard argument, one even codified in a recently passed U.S. federal law. Yet it is easily the weakest. Who says what marriage is and by whom it is to be defined? The married? The marriable? Isn't that kind of like allowing a banker to decide who is going to own the money in stored in his vaults? It seems to me that justice demands that if the straight community cannot show a compelling reason to deny the institution of marriage to gay people, it shouldn't be denied. And such simple, nebulous declarations, with no real moral argument behind them, are hardly compelling reasons. They're really more like an expression of prejudice than any kind of a real argument. The concept of not denying people their rights unless you can show a compelling reason to deny them is the very basis of the American ideal of human rights."


This paragraph is a great illustration where people who oppose the Christian faith or the Revelation of God in Scripture or nature must borrow from the Christian faith in order to make their position even be somewhat coherent. Notice he asks, "Who says"? To which he answers, "The married?", "seems to me...", "a compelling reason...". The most interesting word he uses in my opinion is "justice". What is his notion of justice based upon? A particular argument, compelling reason or himself, seems to be his answer. Yet to even begin to make this work, he offers no explanation or justification for why he is able to reason, offer a specific argument or making himself the measure of justice. He is not even able to justify the notion of morality. He writes,

"Gay relationships are immoral. Says who? The Bible? Somehow, I always thought that freedom of religion implied the right to freedom from religion as well. The Bible has absolutely no standing in American law, as was made clear by the intent of the First Amendment (and as was very explicitly stated by the founding fathers in their first treaty, the Treaty of Tripoli, in 1791) and because it doesn't, no one has the right to impose rules anyone else simply because of something they percieve to be a moral injunction mandated by the Bible. Not all world religions have a problem with homosexuality; many sects of Buddhism, for example, celebrate gay relationships freely and would like to have the authority to make them legal marriages. In that sense, their religious freedom is being infringed. If one believes in religious freedom, the recognition that opposition to gay marriage is based on religious arguments is reason enough to discount this argument."


So Bidstrup borrows from the Christian revelation that there is a right and wrong while claiming that we can't appeal to the only consistent justification for morality. How can we be free from God's revelation to man? If God is the Creator, He, by definition, is the source of knowledge, reason , laws of logic and morality. By denying religion, Bidstrup denies the foundation for even having a conversation at all.

So we are left with might makes right. In this case, 4 men dressed in black robes have forced an unjustifiable viewpoint on society. That in itself is immoral since our form of government doesn't allow tyranny. Therefore, these men have acted in a traitorous way and have violated the American way of life.

There are also historical arguments that would easily refute the statement that the First Amendment would keep the Bible out of American jurisprudence. I would recommend WallBuilders website as a resource. Here are some quotes of Justices from the founding era.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

No free government now exists in the world, unless where Christianity is acknowledged, and is the religion of the country.

(Source: Pennsylvania Supreme Court, 1824. Updegraph v. Commonwealth; 11 Serg. & R. 393, 406 (Sup.Ct. Penn. 1824).)


Joseph Story

Supreme Court Justice

Indeed, the right of a society or government to [participate] in matters of religion will hardly be contested by any persons who believe that piety, religion, and morality are intimately connected with the well being of the state and indispensable to the administrations of civil justice. The promulgation of the great doctrines of religion—the being, and attributes, and providence of one Almighty God; the responsibility to Him for all our actions, founded upon moral accountability; a future state of rewards and punishments; the cultivation of all the personal, social, and benevolent virtues—these never can be a matter of indifference in any well-ordered community. It is, indeed, difficult to conceive how any civilized society can well exist without them.

(Source: Joseph Story, A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1847), p. 260, §442.)


Daniel Webster

Early American Jurist and Senator

[I]f we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity.

(Source: Daniel Webster, The Writings and Speeches of Daniel Webster (Boston: Little, Brown, & Company, 1903), Vol. XIII, p. 492. From "The Dignity and Importance of History," February 23, 1852.)


Oliver Ellsworth

Chief-Justice of the Supreme Court

[T]he primary objects of government are the peace, order, and prosperity of society. . . . To the promotion of these objects, particularly in a republican government, good morals are essential. Institutions for the promotion of good morals are therefore objects of legislative provision and support: and among these . . . religious institutions are eminently useful and important. . . . [T]he legislature, charged with the great interests of the community, may, and ought to countenance, aid and protect religious institutions—institutions wisely calculated to direct men to the performance of all the duties arising from their connection with each other, and to prevent or repress those evils which flow from unrestrained passion.

(Source: Connecticut Courant, June 7, 1802, p. 3, Oliver Ellsworth, to the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut)


Fisher Ames

Framer of the First Amendment

Our liberty depends on our education, our laws, and habits . . . it is founded on morals and religion, whose authority reigns in the heart, and on the influence all these produce on public opinion before that opinion governs rulers.

(Source: Fisher Ames, An Oration on the Sublime Virtues of General George Washington (Boston: Young & Minns, 1800), p. 23.)


John Quincy Adams

Sixth President of the United States

The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code; it contained many statutes . . . of universal application-laws essential to the existence of men in society, and most of which have been enacted by every nation which ever professed any code of laws.

(Source: John Quincy Adams, Letters of John Quincy Adams, to His Son, on the Bible and Its Teachings (Auburn: James M. Alden, 1850), p. 61.)

There are three points of doctrine the belief of which forms the foundation of all morality. The first is the existence of God; the second is the immortality of the human soul; and the third is a future state of rewards and punishments. Suppose it possible for a man to disbelieve either of these three articles of faith and that man will have no conscience, he will have no other law than that of the tiger or the shark. The laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy.

(Source: John Quincy Adams, Letters of John Quincy Adams to His Son on the Bible and Its Teachings (Auburn: James M. Alden, 1850), pp. 22-23.)




If might makes right, I'll go with the framers.

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