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July 14, 2004

Not a Surprise « Politics As Usual »

The SSM Ban Amendment didn't pass in the Senate.

The disappointing part was that it seems to be because Bill Frist failed to make Democrats stand up and be honest about their political commitment to or against this issue. In short, he failed to let the issue become a significant point upon which to discuss the futures of various legislators up for election this year.

But that's not surprising, either, as he was protecting moderate Republicans as much as liberal Democrats.

I'm still not convinced an amendment to the Constitution banning SSM is the best way to prevent judicial activism, anyway, but if it is, then I guess I gotta say it's best to push it through in an administration that has a recent mandate from the people to pursue a more conservative agenda. And if the GOP loses the election, it's not the proper time for an amendment anyway.

I'm not upset about this at all. The time hasn't come yet for this, if ever. Society might need to decline further before enough people recognize it enough to make some constructive changes back toward morality and maturity.

Posted by Nathan at 11:01 AM | Comments (5)

Get the government out of the marriage business altogether I say. Let people contract their unions however they like and stop wasting the taxpayers money on the issue.

Posted by: Jason Bontrager at July 14, 2004 02:00 PM

Since this is brain fertilizer with the obvious translation, put it that it recently doesn't make any difference what marriage means except to those who are involved in it. The state is the only important factor since it needs it for record keeping and to let the business world know that no one who claims to be the partner of another is ripping them off. The religious nonsense is just trappings. Marriage before a JP is more binding that marriage before a priest, especially if the couple doesn't file a marriage license.

Posted by: Chuck Rightmire at July 14, 2004 06:36 PM

I'll take care of the double post for you.

But I disagree with you both. I do think the government has a vested interest in encouraging behavior that helps build a stable society. The Soviet Union collapsed from economic instability, the Roman Empire collapsed from geographic instability (territory too large), but the United States could surely collapse from societal instability if the cost of dangerous behavior is too low and the price of stable/moral/mature behavior is too high.

Individual freedoms are important, yes, and I'm not denying that. But they still should largely be working toward the good of a safe, stable society that is cognizant and serious towards its responsibilities. The trick, I admit, is determining what is and isn't working toward societal good. Where to draw the line, and what is enough?

I know my answers; I'm sure you have yours, and we don't agree. But discussion with intent to persuade is still the best course. A Constitutional Amendment to ban SSM is one way of letting everyone discuss it. I wish the Massachussetts State Supreme Court hadn't pushed the issue so this could have more time to percolate through our society, but we'll see.

Posted by: Nathan at July 14, 2004 09:08 PM

I think the concern I have is that people are saying this is a decline in society. Historically, the forcing of one belief on society, no matter what that belief is, has consistently meant the decline of that society. For instance, in the 14th Century, Islam was essentially an open society with Christians and Jews treated fairly and allowed to live their own lives and the Islamic society flourished and kept alive the traditions of the Greeks and Romans and created some of the great science of the time, including arabic numerals which have enabled mathematics and science to flourish. At that time, the Christian repression of the Middle Ages was retarding, although not stopping, similar growth in Europe. When the enlightenment came about during the renaissance, some of the great artists are thought to have been gay but circumspect about it: Da Vinci and Michelangelo come to mind. But the fact of being gay is not what it's about. It's about the openness of society that encourages the flowering of thought and expression. When a particularly religion begins to enforce its beliefs with the sword, the society begins to die as thought, science and free expression begin to die. It is this form of religion, whether it be Christian, Islamic or Communism, that curdles a society. In other words, it is about control, not belief.

Posted by: Chuck rightmire at July 15, 2004 10:54 AM

That's a morally-relatavistic stance. After all, I could probably make a similar, if not stronger case that the push for SSM is forcing a belief on society.
The best thing about an amendment is that it has to be ratified by duly and popularly elected representatives of three quarters of the states. As opposed to a handful of appointed judges.
If the amendment could get enough votes to pass, then no force is involved. But look at California, where the people said they don't want to allow SSM, and San Francisco's Mayor said, "Screw you, you'll have SSM and like it!" Sort of.
It depends on your assumptions. SSM has never been a right in any society in history.

Posted by: Nathan at July 15, 2004 10:58 AM
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