Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Liberty Cuts Both Ways

Freedom is the ability of every person to exercise his own free will, rather than be subject to the will of someone else. Free will is the essence of humanity, and humanity is God's greatest gift.
When the government affirmatively takes away freedom, the government violates the natural law; it prevents us from having and utilizing the means to the truth.
Your moral ability to exercise your free will to seek the truth is your natural right, and the government may only morally interfere with the exercise of that right when you have used fraud or force to interfere with the exercise of someone else's natural rights. (Reason - Napolitano)
Gay Marriage

Political sports fans are watching the gay marriage issues before the Supreme Court and cheering on their team. I look at it from a constitutional libertarian perspective.  Here is a principled approach to the issue:
"Same-sex couples should not be denied the right to civil marriage; that is the immediate issue in the cases now before the Supreme Court. And when that right is secured, same-sex couples should not, without very good reason, be allowed to force dissenting religious organizations to recognize or facilitate their marriages." (CNN - Mark Stern)
I agree with that, and I am a Christian of the conservative variety. I do not want my church performing gay marriages, because it is against our beliefs. At the same time, I do not want the government discriminating against gay people, since that is a violation of their God-given rights that are protected by our constitution.

I still don't like calling gay relationships a marriage, since that is a fundamental redefinition of an ancient concept, but I concede that the train has left the station. And I also agree that heteros have done far more damage to the institution that gay people have.

So gay marriage is inevitable. Here is where our focus should be:
when government does recognize same-sex marriage, it creates a new set of problems for the liberties of religious believers. These extend well beyond the right of clergy or houses of worship not to perform or host same-sex ceremonies, or the right of religious institutions opposed to same-sex marriage to remain tax exempt.

Among other likely questions that will arise are these:

-- Must rabbis, priests and pastors provide religious marriage counseling to same-sex couples?

-- Must religious colleges provide married-student housing to same-sex couples?

-- Must churches and synagogues employ spouses who are in same-sex marriages, even though such employees would be persistently and publicly flouting the religious teachings they would be hired to promote?

-- Must religious social service agencies place children for adoption with same-sex couples? Already, Catholic Charities in Illinois, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia have closed their adoption units because of this issue.
(CNN - Mark Stern)
I'll add in a few more...

-- Can a baker who refuses to make a lesbian wedding cake escape investigation by the Gestapo?

-- Will schools drop gay propaganda and instead adopt an inoffensive "respect for all" curriculum?

-- Will religious speech be declared hate speech?

Conservatives are acceding to the pro-liberty gay rights argument, but every day in the news we see another example of how when a conservative door opens, a liberal mind closes tighter.

We conservatives are expanding.  The liberal mind is shriveling, the victim of speech codes and thought police, and rigor mortis is setting in.  In the tradition of Orwellian Newspeak, their vocabulary, and hence their thinking, is shrinking. 

This is where future battles lie. Brace yourselves.

See also:

Western Hero - Cheap Orwellian Tricks (The comment thread is awesome!)
Politics and the English Language, by George Orwell

No comments: