Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Abortion Industry Reaches a New Low in Ethical Behavior

Certain institutions in our country have reached a new moral low in basic integrity. The recent revelation of the sale of baby body parts by Planned Parenthood is absolutely scathing to my conscience. I just cannot imagine how a mother can have her unborn baby dismembered, in the first place; but, then, extracting parts of the innocent baby’s body and selling them at the hands of profit-seeking intermediaries is the epitome of blatant evil! How much farther can human morals sink?

Two videos have been released of senior Planned Parenthood abortion executives explaining in lurid detail, while chomping on salad and wine, how Planned Parenthood abortionists “crush” babies, using a “less crunchy” method of abortion in order to avoid harming organs destined for sale.

It’s despicable.

Yet, in response to the natural backlash of the American people, Planned Parenthood – the largest abortion business in America – has happily admitted it conducts this gruesome, inhuman practice.  It claims it is following “the highest ethical and legal standards.”
Planned Parenthood claims that is does not “profit in any way” from this grotesque business practice.  In fact, Planned Parenthood’s first response to the videos was to assert, “There is no financial benefit for tissue donation for…Planned Parenthood.” Does anyone in their right mind believe that Planned Parenthood is transferring these body parts to researchers around the country out of the goodness of their hearts?

New undercover footage shows Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, describing how Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of aborted unborn children and apparently admitting she uses partial-birth abortions to supply intact body parts.

The footage shockingly depicts the top medical official at the Planned Parenthood corporation munching on her salad while she discusses the sale of body parts of unborn children victimized by abortions. She brazenly describes how the heads of unborn babies killed in abortions command top dollar. http://bit.ly/1VFG6Hm
For my readers in Colorado, Colorado Citizens For Life reported on July 15, 2015 that on January 10, 2013, Colorado State University purchased fetal body parts from Planned Parenthood's flagship abortion facility in San Jose, California via a company called StemExpress.  In total, nine specimens were harvested from eight different aborted babies killed in abortions at that Planned Parenthood clinic and the purchase order reveals CSU bought two body parts, including an aborted baby’s liver.

At the time, Stem Express paid Planned Parenthood $50 per specimen, which means that in one day they received $450. Additionally, StemExpress harvested body parts from Planned Parenthood facilities in Fresno, Sacramento, and Stockton. http://bit.ly/1Mt4nNK

Planned Parenthood performs about 40% of the abortions done in the United States annually. According to Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Mary Gatter, 60%-70% of the organization’s patients agree to have their babies’ body parts harvested. Dr. Deborah Nucatola estimates that the body parts sell for about $30-$100 each. Those figures indicate that Planned Parenthood probably brings in about $23 million/year selling baby body parts. http://bit.ly/1Mt4nNK
Dr. Nucatola, the first planned Parenthood doctor caught arranging for the sale of aborted baby body parts not only makes a big salary from the abortion corporation, a new report from the Daily Caller indicates she runs a consulting business on the side. Via that consulting firm, Dr. Nucatola http://bit.ly/1DnD2Er made another $207,000 in 2007, according to IRS records.

New information is coming to light about the amount of money Nucatola makes. As the Daily Caller reports, Nucatola makes a lucrative amount of money from the abortion giant via her salary (which is likely in the $150,000-$250,000 range), but also additional money from Planned Parenthood on the side as a consultant.

Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles paid Nucatola $203,180 as an independent contractor through Imagyn, according to its 2007 IRS 990 form. Nucatola’s LinkedIn profile indicates that she was medical director at Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo at the time.

In summary of this horrendous market for baby body parts, I quote the statement made by Brit Hume on FOX NEWS Special Report on 19 July 2015,

“Whatever comes of the revelations about Planned Parenthood and its participation in the traffic in fetal body parts, those revelations will have achieved one thing, they have parted the veil of antiseptic tidiness behind which the abortion industry has so long operated. The sight of the senior Planned Parenthood official and doctor, to boot, discussing the market for fetal body parts in between bites of salad and sips of wine was stomach turning. That’s because it laid bare the essential brutal nature of abortion. Let’s be blunt. Abortion involves the extraction and killing of a human life. Within a couple weeks of the beginning of a pregnancy, the baby has a beating heart. Five weeks in, its hands and legs begin to grow. It is these tiny creatures and ones that are far more developed that are pulled from a mother’s womb and crushed with forceps. Oh, but so carefully lest body parts, which can later be sold and preserved are not damaged. This gruesome procedure shows the extent to which we, as a people have been anesthetized by the estimated 55 million abortions since the Supreme Court discovered a constitutional right to that procedure 42 years ago.

“Will we, as a nation come to look upon that decision and what it has done to us, not to mention the 55 million dead with horror and regret. One can only hope we will.”

 

 

Monday, July 27, 2015

SCOTUS Rules the Country (from the Left)


The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has, in late decades grabbed so much power that it now seems to be the supreme ruler of the land. Unfortunately, it leans so far to the left that it threatens to turn our country into another socialist horror, the likes of which, are ruling the roosts of Europe. The court endorses and encourages the Progressive Left of America at every opportunity! Two examples have worked their way to the surface during the past several months:

The First is in the way the court has endorsed the ObamaCare law. Ever since the court found the right to abortion in the 14th Amendment in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the trend to the Progressive Left has been rapidly advancing. Now, with the left’s victory in King v. Burwell, there can be no longer any doubt about the way the Court is modeling our society in favor of European socialism. In that latter decision, the Court has decided that the written laws do not pertain any more. They have ruled that the thoughts and the intentions of the legislators who wrote the ObamaCare law, i.e., their original intent, has more credence and authority than what they actually wrote of their own free will. There could not have been any uncertainty about what their intention was when they wrote that “government subsidies are to be given only to applicants in states where the states do not set up their own insurance exchanges.” But…it could not be clearer that the Democrat steamroller that wrote that law meant the clause as a threat to the states to force them into establishing health insurance exchanges themselves. But the problem was that 26 states would not rise to the bait; and they refused to establish those state exchanges. When the ploy of the Democrats did not work, they tried to slither out of the condition they created on their own. Instead of allowing the Congress to change the situation to make ObamaCare work, the Supreme Court in its wisdom decided to take the situation into their own hands and endorse the “original intent” of the law they were sure the Democrats really wanted in the first place, by endorsing the bad arrangement and changing the law to the Progressive version. The IRS was emboldened to continue awarding the proposed subsidies to all comers to the law.

It is very interesting that the Supreme Court is quick to look at the “original intent” of the Democrats who wrote ObamaCare, while, at the same time, they are loathe to consider the “original intent” of the framers of the Constitution on numerous issues relating to interpretation of that document. For example, where did commerce clause of the Constitution ever get the interpretation that the government could claim almost total sovereignty over business in the United States?  And…where did the justices of the Court ever find the original intent of the constitutional authors, which would eventually allow the people the right to abortions? Other examples abound about the Court’s caprice in making expedient and unwise decisions.

The Second way the court has moved our country out of line with common sense and common decency is manifest in the decision  in favor of same-sex marriage. This decision is in obvious violation of centuries-old admonitions about homosexuality, found in Leviticus 18 and 19 and in Romans 1. The lack of observance of these clear guidelines from the Bible flies in the face of scientific social research which shows that same-sex marriage and the raising of children in same-sex households is bad for the country.

Many liberal thinkers have questioned the damage that is claimed for same-sex marriage by conservatives in our nation. They ask, “How can same-sex marriage possibly harm the heterosexual unions, which classically have been the norm in this country?” The answer is as follows: Same-sex marriages are notoriously prone to infidelity between the partners. This has been graphically shown in studies done in the Netherlands and confirmed elsewhere. Studies have shown that monogamy is not the practiced situation in those marriages. The most conservative data show that 50% of same-sex marriages contain multiple out-of-wedlock sexual partners. When same-sex marriages are given the status of legitimate marriage, their moral practices in those marriages will logically be transferred to the general society along with their marital legitimacy—this will damage the moral and practical behavior of all marriages, further damaging the whole institution of marriage.

Liberal thinkers also are under the impression that legitimization of same-sex marriages will also benefit the children being raised in same-sex homes. Extensive data is now available showing that that impression is false. Children in same-sex marriages have been shown to manifest a whole litany of undesirable characteristics, e.g., out of wedlock pregnancy, criminal behavior, school drop-out, welfare dependency, etc., etc.

Our country no longer can claim to be a land ruled by laws. Rather, we are a land ruled by political power. Common decency is now in abeyance.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Look in the Right Place for the Source of Islamic Violence


In the wake of the shootings in Chattanooga and other killings carried out by Muslims in the United States, we hear a lot about how the government is trying to blame domestic violence on ISIS, al Qaeda, and maybe other foreign field Islamic groups. The government and its endorsers are even stretching to blame “social media” for the problem. There may be some truth in some of that effort; but I would posit that the search for causes should start right here, at home. The root cause of this Islamic violence is found in the pages of the Qur’an, the Muslims’ guidebook.  

I have personally read the Qur’an carefully and completely. I have compiled a list of ayahs in the Qur’an calling down violence for various reasons. I have noted the references below; and I can attest to you that they are truly in that document. I did not get them from any secondary source. I would invite each of my readers to read the Qur’an carefully to check the references below. In the language of the Qur’an, the term “surah” means “chapter;” and the term “ayah” means “verse.” In other words, “Surah 2:54” means, “chapter 2, and verse 54.”

1.    Surah 2:54
2.    Surah 2:191
3.    Surah 2:216:218
4.    Surah 2:244 Fighting for Allah authorized.
5.    Surah 2:279
6.    Surah 3:142 Reward for fighting for Allah.
7.    Surah 3:152 Reward for annihilating the enemy.
8.    Surah 3:154 Encouragement to participate in slaughter.
9.    Surah 3:169 Those who fight for Allah live in heaven.
10.  Much of Surah 3 has to do with an encouragement to violence in the name of Allah. Rewards for faithfulness to the fighting cause of Allah is reiterated over and over.
11.  Surah 4:74 A promise of reward in bliss for those who fight and die in a struggle for Allah.
12.  Surah 4:77 Allah encouraging his followers to fight.
13.  Surah 4:89 A call to slay the hypocrites. 
14.  Surah 4:91 A call to slay your enemies.
15.  Surah 4:95; 57:10 A reward to those who strive and fight for Allah.
16.  Surah 4:104 Do not slack in following up the enemy.
17.  Surah 5:23
18.  Surah 5:33 Cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides is the punishment of infidel.
19.  Surah 5:38 Cut off the hands of thieves.
20.  Surah 5:45 The principle of eye for eye, etc.
21.  Surah 6:6 More violence endorsed.
22.  Surah 7:4 Recounting how followers of Allah have destroyed many towns on account of their sins.
23.  Surah 7:24 Allah threatening to cut of hand and foot on opposite sides and to crucify his enemies.
24.  Surah 8 This Surah is an account of the battle of Badr; and it is encouraging to those who would fight for Islam.
25.  Surah 8:12; 69:44, 46 Allah encouraging fighters and promising to cut off all the finger tips of the enemy.
26.  Surah 8:16 If followers of Allah back off the battle, they will go to hell.
27.  Surah 9:5 Muslims called to slaughter pagans.
28.  Surah 9:12-14 More call to fight and kill pagans who have broken covenant.
29.  Surah 9:20 Reward of salvation promised to those who strive with might and main and suffer exile for Allah.
30.  Surah 9:29 Fight against unbelievers until the pay the jizyah and feel subdued.
31.  Surah 9:36 Fight against the pagans.
32.  Surah 9:44 There is no exemption from fighting for Allah and giving goods and persons.
33.  Surah 9:86-89 Those who will fight are promised prosperity and eternal life.
34.  Surah 9:93-97 Rewards implied for those who go to war for Allah and do not stay behind. 
35.  Surah 9:111 Those who slay and are slain in the cause of Allah will receive paradise.
36.  Surah 9:123; 71:26 Fight the pagans.
37.  Surah 9:5 Admonition to slay, beleaguer, wait in ambush, and seize pagans.
38.  Surah 17:5 Allah and Muslims sent “terrible warfare” on their enemies.
39.  Surah 17:7 Enemies of Islam were injured by their enemies with the approval of Muslims.
40.  Surah 17:8; 61:4 Threats by Muslims to attack and injure nonbelievers.
41.  Surah 17:16 Muslims threaten to destroy an entire population of transgressors.
42.  Surah 17:58; 21:11; 21:95; 22:45; 22:48; A promise to destroy all populations or punish them by a dreadful punishment.
43.  Surah 17:68, 69 Allah will send a violent tornado with a shower of stones.
44.  Surah 17:75 Punishment meted out to people in this life; I cannot see why in the context.
45.  Surah 18:59; 19:74; 19:98 Populations of people destroyed because they committed iniquities.
46.  Surah 22:25; 69:30, 31 Unbelievers are to be punished.
47.  Surah 23:41 Allah sends a blast to destroy his enemies as rubbish.
48.  Surah 33:26,27 Muslims slaying and throwing terror into the hearts of people of the Book. Approved by Allah!
49.  Surah 38:3 Muslims destroying generations of people.
50.  Surah 47:4 Muslims called to fight and kill the enemies; eternal rewards will be for those who fight.
51.  Surah 48:25 Punishment threatened to unbelievers.
52.  Surah 48:29 Muslims are to be strong against unbelievers but compassionate to one another. The exact opposite of the Golden Rule!

Our government has its head buried in the sand; they do not recognize where the problem is coming from; and they even forbid their employees from using the term, “Islamic terrorism.”
In the Wall Street Journal article 7/18/15 “Chattanooga Shooting Suspect’s Trip to Jordan Scrutinized by Authorities,” indications emerged of some troubles at home, which probably contributed to the violent act of the shooter, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez.  His father, Youssuf Abdulazeez, was allegedly abusive toward his wife, Rasmia Abdulazeez, and their five children, according to a divorce complaint filed by the wife in February 2009 in Hamilton County chancery court in Tennessee. Ms. Abdulazeez accused her husband of repeatedly beating her and being “physically and verbally abusive towards the children,” according to the filing. She said he also sexually assaulted her and told her he intended to marry a second wife, “as permitted under certain circumstances under Islamic law,” the filing said. Later that month, however, Ms. Abdulazeez dismissed the divorce action, and the couple sought to reconcile, filing a postnuptial agreement with the court.

It is a fact that the Qur’an validates wife-beating, at times. Surah 4:34 reads in translation: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore, the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance): for Allah is most high, great (above you all).”

Muslim objections to my comments above may point to the fact that in the Old Testament of the Bible used by Christians and Jews, violence is not infrequently prescribed by God, e.g., against the Amalekites, the Amorites, and other Canaanite tribes. That is quite true; but the thing that the critics do not recognize is that under the new covenant of grace in the New Testament, all that violence of the Old Testament is abrogated and henceforth, a covenant of love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace predominates. You will not find any advocacy in the New Testament for violence, polygamy, wife beating, or child abuse. We do not need to have these values introduced into our culture.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

America Foolish to Trust and Deal with Iran

I have a great fear that the United States is making a huge mistake in reaching an agreement with Iran to limit nuclear arms development. Iran repeatedly claims that it is developing atomic energy capability only for peaceful reasons, but according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran is certainly on the way to developing a nuclear bomb.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is repeatedly making claims such as the one made by their Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, in February 2013 at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin. He said, “Iran’s main political priority is to seek peace.” At that time and even up to the present, Iran has been exporting arms and fighters into Syria, Yemen, and other places in order to foment war. Iran is considered to be the world’s foremost promoter and exporter of terrorism.

Although I have not read the agreement the United States and other powers have made with Iran, I hardly believe that it is necessary to do so. Iran is a dishonest and deceitful adversary. To deal with them believing that they will keep their words of peace is fanciful.

The whole deal signed in Vienna sounds very much like the deal Neville Chamberlain and the ministers of France signed with Hitler on 30 September 1938, which promised, as Chamberlain proudly claimed, “peace for our time.” After that deal, German tanks rolled into Poland less than one year later on 1 September 1939 and World War II was underway. Nazi Germany had been planning their conquest for several years before that.

The United States and our allies seem to be oblivious to the fact that playing cards with a dishonest dealer will never win a poker game.

It seems foolish to me to try to deal peacefully with a nation whose theme song is “Death to America and Israel.” Their intentions are not hard to understand.

For a better exposition of this problem, I would refer you to an editorial by Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post dated 7/16/15 “Worse than we could have imagined.” http://wapo.st/1Lpy3K0

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Same-sex marriage. Where are we on this issue?


(Following is a brief account of the Supreme Court findings on the same-sex marriage case [Obergefell v. Hodges] held recently. In the following account, the term “syllabus” refers to a Court summary of the issue, mostly from the point of view of the majority decision.)

The syllabus of this decision reports that the voters for the majority are KENNEDY, GINSBURG, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., who all joined in filing the majority opinion. The dissenters were ROBERTS, C. J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which SCALIA and THOMAS, JJ., joined. SCALIA, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which THOMAS, J., joined. THOMAS, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which SCALIA, J., joined. ALITO, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which SCALIA and THOMAS, JJ., joined. The final vote of the Court was 5 votes for the majority, 4 dissenting.

The syllabus reported that “Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The petitioners, 14 same-sex couples and two men whose same-sex partners are deceased, filed suits in Federal District Courts in their home States, claiming that respondent state officials violate the Fourteenth Amendment by denying them the right to marry or to have marriages lawfully performed in another State given full recognition. Each District Court ruled in petitioners’ favor, but the Sixth Circuit consolidated the cases and reversed.” (Syllabus Obergefell v. Hodges)

It is necessary in understanding the history of this same-sex marriage controversy to know that the Court invalidated DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) in 2013, saying that it impermissibly disparaged same-sex couples from expressing their commitment to one another. Since then, there have been many Appeals Court cases affirming the right of same-sex couples to marry. (E. Manring)

“The State laws challenged by the petitioners in these cases are held invalid to the extent they exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples.” (Syllabus Obergefell v. Hodges)

“Finally, the First Amendment ensures that religions, those who adhere to religious doctrines and others have protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths.” (Syllabus Obergefell v. Hodges)

“Since same-sex couples may now exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States, there is no lawful basis for a State to refuse to recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed in another State on the ground of its same-sex character.” (Syllabus Obergefell v. Hodges)

“The history of marriage is one of both continuity and change. Changes, such as the decline of arranged marriages and the abandonment of the law of coverture, have worked deep transformations in the structure of marriage, affecting aspects of marriage once viewed as essential. These new insights have strengthened, not weakened, the institution. Changed understandings of marriage are characteristic of a Nation where new dimensions of freedom become apparent to new generations.” (Syllabus Obergefell v. Hodges) It must be noted, however, that all the previous changes to the marriage union presupposed that the marrying partners were of opposite sex. (E. Manring)

“Applying these tenets, the Court has long held the right to marry is protected by the Constitution. For example, Loving v. Virginia, long ago, invalidated bans on interracial unions, and Turner v. Safley, held that prisoners could not be denied the right to marry. In Zablocki v. Redhail the Court invalidated a law barring fathers delinquent on child-support payments from marrying. To be sure, these cases all presumed a relationship involving opposite-sex partners; never before has the Court proclaimed that same-sex marriage was legal.” (Syllabus Obergefell v. Hodges)

“The first premise of this Court’s relevant precedents is that the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy. This principle should give conservatives some pause for thought. Belief on the conservative side of this debate is usually on the side of protecting personal freedoms—this point should be particularly acceptable to the Libertarian faction within America’s conservative movement.” (Kennedy’s majority opinion)

“A second principle in this Court’s jurisprudence is that the right to marry is fundamental because it supports a two-person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed individuals.” (Kennedy’s majority opinion)

“A third basis for protecting the right to marry is that it safeguards children and families and thus draws meaning from related rights of childrearing, procreation, and education.” (Kennedy’s majority opinion) This reason for same-sex marriage is in direct conflict with studies that show children raised in homosexual homes demonstrate unfavorable outcomes in the areas of dependence on public assistance, employment as young adults, mental health, sexual identity and practice, sexual health and safety, and the children’s own adult families. (Mark Regnerus at the University of Texas at Austin) (Kennedy also uses Brief for Scholars of the Constitutional Rights of Children and Brief for Gary J. Gates for justifying the raising of children in same-sex marriages; but the briefs only deal with the fact that children in same-sex marriages suffer from being stigmatized because they are in those homes. These studies do not address the ultimate outcome of children in same-sex unions. The Regnerus study looked at the outcomes of those children and found that the outcomes were unfavorable.)

Fourth and finally, this Court’s cases and the Nation’s traditions make clear that marriage is a keystone of our social order. Therefore, Justice Kennedy says that Americans should be married. He cites Alexis de Tocqueville’s comments that marriage is the cornerstone of American society. He neglects to mention that de Tocqueville was not considering same-sex marriages. (E. Manring)

The Court considers that the state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage as burdens on the liberty of same-sex couples and it sees these laws as abridgements on central precepts of equality. To support this view of the Court, the Court has invoked the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clauses of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. (E. Manring)

Finally, the First Amendment ensures that religions, those who adhere to religious doctrines, and others have protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths. Even at that, however, this decision of the Supreme Court does not address the grievances of florists and bakers who object to being drawn into cooperation with same-sex marriages to which they are morally opposed. (E. Manring)

“From their beginning to their most recent page, the annals of human history reveal the transcendent importance of marriage. The lifelong union of a man and a woman always has promised nobility and dignity to all persons, without regard to their station in life. Marriage is sacred to those who live by their religions and offers unique fulfillment to those who find meaning in the secular realm. Its dynamic allows two people to find a life that could not be found alone, for a marriage becomes greater than just the two persons. Rising from the most basic human needs, marriage is essential to our most profound hopes and aspirations. The centrality of marriage to the human condition makes it unsurprising that the institution has existed for millennia and across civilizations. Since the dawn of history, marriage has transformed strangers into relatives, binding families and societies together. Confucius taught that marriage lies at the foundation of government. This wisdom was echoed centuries later and half a world away by Cicero, who wrote, ‘The first bond of society is marriage; next, children; and then the family.’ There are untold references to the beauty of marriage in religious and philosophical texts spanning time, cultures, and faiths, as well as in art and literature in all their forms. It is fair and necessary to say these references were based on the understanding that marriage is a union between two persons of the opposite sex.” (From the majority opinion, written by Justice Kennedy. Of note, here, is the fact that Justice Kennedy did not quote the biblical admonitions against homosexuality, nor the biblical statements affirming that marriage is a covenant between the two different sexes. I suppose he thought that reference was insignificant. Justice Kennedy apparently thought that the authority of Confucius and Cicero were more important than the words of Moses, Jesus, and the Apostle Paul.)

“That history is the beginning of these cases. The respondents (i.e., the conservatives who oppose same-sex marriage) say it should be the end as well. To them, it would demean a timeless institution if the concept and lawful status of marriage were extended to two persons of the same sex. Marriage, in their view, is by its nature a gender-differentiated union of man and woman. This view long has been held—and continues to be held—in good faith by reasonable and sincere people here and throughout the world.” (Kennedy’s majority opinion)

“The petitioners acknowledge this history (of heterosexual marriage) but contend that these cases cannot end there. Were their intent to demean the revered idea and reality of marriage, the petitioners’ (those who want to institute same-sex marriage) claims would be of a different order. But that is neither their purpose nor their submission. To the contrary, it is the enduring importance of marriage that underlies the petitioners’ contentions. This, they say, is their whole point. Far from seeking to devalue marriage, the petitioners seek it for themselves because of their respect—and need—for its privileges and responsibilities. And their immutable nature dictates that same-sex marriage is their only real path to this profound commitment.” (Kennedy’s majority opinion)

“New insights have strengthened, not weakened, the institution of marriage. Indeed, changed understandings of marriage are characteristic of a Nation where new dimensions of freedom become apparent to new generations, often through perspectives that begin in pleas or protests and then are considered in the political sphere and the judicial process.” (Kennedy’s majority opinion)

“The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.” (Kennedy’s majority opinion) Note, here, the progressive possibilities inherent in this majority decision. It seems that unending changes are foreseen as society sees the need in years to come. (E. Manring)

For the Court’s purposes to define the Fourteenth Amendments scope, in interpretation concerning the interests, values, and liberties of citizens, especially in its view of the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Amendment, the Court has said that “history and tradition guide and discipline the inquiry but do not set its outer boundaries.” In other words, it seems to me that the Court has determined that new liberties may come up on an indefinite progression, as the culture desires. If this concept of open-ended non-limit to the principle of freedom is allowed to stand, the Constitution will continue to be vulnerable to all sorts of revisionist mischief. Almost any kind of behavioral change may be introduced into the document and considered to be acceptable as a new whim of concurrent social belief. This idea of open boundary on the idea of freedom nullifies the whole idea of permanence in our system of law. (E. Manring)

“The respondents have not shown a foundation for the conclusion that allowing same-sex marriage will cause the harmful outcomes they describe.” (Kennedy’s majority opinion) (See my statement below about the lack of monogamy, exclusivity, and permanency that is characteristic of same-sex marriages. E.Manring)

“Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons. In turn, those who believe allowing same-sex marriage is proper or indeed essential, whether as a matter of religious conviction or secular belief, may engage those who disagree with their view in an open and searching debate. The Constitution, however, does not permit the State to bar same-sex couples from marriage on the same terms as accorded to couples of the opposite sex.” (Kennedy’s majority opinion)

Dissenting Opinions
Petitioners make strong arguments rooted in social policy and considerations of fairness. This Court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be. (The Federalist No. 78, p. 465)

“Although the policy arguments for extending marriage to same-sex couples may be compelling, the legal arguments for requiring such an extension are not. The fundamental right to marry does not include a right to make a State change its definition of marriage. And a State’s decision to maintain the meaning of marriage that has persisted in every culture throughout human history can hardly be called irrational. In short, our Constitution does not enact any one theory of marriage. The people of a State are free to expand marriage to include same-sex couples, or to retain the historic definition.” (John Roberts, dissenting)

“Today, however, the Court takes the extraordinary step of ordering every State to license and recognize same-sex marriage. Many people will rejoice at this decision, and I begrudge none their celebration. But for those who believe in a government of laws, not of men, the majority’s approach is deeply disheartening. Supporters of same-sex marriage have achieved considerable success persuading their fellow citizens—through the democratic process—to adopt their view. That ends today. Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law. Stealing this issue from the people will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept.” (John Roberts, dissenting)

“The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent. The majority expressly disclaims judicial “caution” and omits even a pretense of humility, openly relying on its desire to remake society according to its own ‘new insight’ into the ‘nature of injustice.’ As a result, the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are?” (John Roberts, dissenting)

“Understand well what this dissent is about: It is not about whether, in my judgment, the institution of marriage should be changed to include same-sex couples. It is instead about whether, in our democratic republic, that decision should rest with the people acting through their elected representatives, or with five lawyers who happen to hold commissions authorizing them to resolve legal disputes according to law. The Constitution leaves no doubt about the answer.” (John Roberts, dissenting)

“This universal definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman is no historical coincidence. Marriage did not come about as a result of a political movement, discovery, disease, war, religious doctrine, or any other moving force of world history—and certainly not as a result of a prehistoric decision to exclude gays and lesbians. It arose in the nature of things (what the framers of the Declaration of Independence called “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”) to meet a vital need: ensuring that children are conceived by a mother and father committed to raising them in the stable conditions of a lifelong relationship. For since the reproductive instinct is by nature’s gift the common possession of all living creatures, the first bond of union is that between husband and wife; the next, that between parents and children; then we find one home, with everything in common.” (John Roberts, dissenting)

“The premises supporting this concept of marriage are so fundamental that they rarely require articulation. The human race must procreate to survive. Procreation occurs through sexual relations between a man and a woman. When sexual relations result in the conception of a child, that child’s prospects are generally better if the mother and father stay together rather than going their separate ways. Therefore, for the good of children and society, sexual relations that can lead to procreation should occur only between a man and a woman committed to a lasting bond.” (John Roberts, dissenting)

“Society has recognized that bond as marriage. And by bestowing a respected status and material benefits on married couples, society encourages men and women to conduct sexual relations within marriage rather than without. As one prominent scholar put it, ‘Marriage is a socially arranged solution for the problem of getting people to stay together and care for children that the mere desire for children, and the sex that makes children possible, does not solve.’” (J. Q. Wilson, The Marriage Problem 2002). (John Roberts, dissenting)

“The Constitution itself says nothing about marriage, and the Framers thereby entrusted the States with the whole subject of the domestic relations of husband and wife. There is no dispute that every State at the founding—and every State throughout our history until a dozen years ago—defined marriage in the traditional, biologically rooted way. The four States in these cases are typical. Their laws, before and after statehood, have treated marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Even when state laws did not specify this definition expressly, no one doubted what they meant. The meaning of ‘marriage’ went without saying.” (John Roberts, dissenting)

“Of course, many did say it. In his first American dictionary, Noah Webster defined marriage as ‘the legal union of a man and woman for life,’ which served the purposes of ‘preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, . . . promoting domestic felicity, and . . . securing the maintenance and education of children.’” (John Roberts, dissenting)

“This Court’s precedents have repeatedly described marriage in ways that are consistent only with its traditional meaning. Early cases on the subject referred to marriage as ‘the union for life of one man and one woman,’ Murphy v. Ramsey, 114 U. S. 15, 45 (1885), which forms ‘the foundation of the family and of society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress,’ Maynard v. Hill, 125 U. S. 190, 211 (1888). We later described marriage as ‘fundamental to our very existence and survival,’ an understanding that necessarily implies a procreative component. Loving v. Virginia, 388 U. S. 1, 12 (1967); see Skinner v. Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson, 316 U. S. 535, 541 (1942). More recent cases have directly connected the right to marry with the ‘right to procreate.’ Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U. S. 374, 386 (1978). (John Roberts, dissenting)

This whole issue of same-sex marriage is the great “bait and switch” of our time. The homosexual agenda baits the society with the claim that they want equal rights and privileges with the rest of society—they want to be recognized as just another part of free American society. Gullible Americans bite the bait—in the interest of fairness and “justice for all,” they grant the privilege of being called “married” to the gay community.  Then…the homosexuals switch to their real agenda, i.e., the destruction of marriage as mankind has known it for millennia. And how will same-sex marriage do that? (E.Manring)

Same-sex marriage has been around long enough for everyone to know and understand its characteristics: Same-sex marriage couples have a horrendously high divorce rate and those marriages are not often monogamous; there are lots of outside sex activity going on in those “marriages.” These facts have been well documented in the experience of the Netherlands. Their “marriages” do not have the qualities necessary for constructive and functional marriages. They lack the characteristics we have come to value in heterosexual marriages, i.e., exclusivity, monogamy, and permanence. (E. Manring)

When same-sex couples get “married,” they bring all the infidelity of their culture with them and transfer those qualities to our classic understanding of what a real marriage is. They do this in the hope of changing our classic and health-producing understanding of marriage. I am very fearful that that is exactly what will happen with a bunch of same-sex couples claiming the legal description of “married.” (E. Manring)

Those who will not cooperate in same-sex weddings are not homophobic, hate-filled people, or bigots. They are simply people who are obeying the precepts handed to them by God. (E. Manring)

“Today’s decision shows that decades of attempts to restrain this Court’s abuse of its authority have failed. A lesson that some will take from today’s decision is that preaching about the proper method of interpreting the Constitution or the virtues of judicial self-restraint and humility cannot compete with the temptation to achieve what is viewed as a noble end by any practicable means. I do not doubt that my colleagues in the majority sincerely see in the Constitution a vision of liberty that happens to coincide with their own. But this sincerity is cause for concern, not comfort. What it evidences is the deep and perhaps irremediable corruption of our legal culture’s conception of constitutional interpretation.” (Alito, dissenting)

“Most Americans—understandably—will cheer or lament today’s decision because of their views on the issue of same-sex marriage. But all Americans, whatever their thinking on that issue, should worry about what the majority’s claim of power portends.” (Alito dissenting)

Just because something bears the aspect of the inevitable one should not, therefore, go along willingly with it. Philip K. Dick

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Democrats Wrong in Opposing Trade Agreement

David Brooks has written an op-ed in the New York Times on 16 June 2015 about the bad judgment Democrats are exercising in voting to impair the President’s ability to coordinate international trade around the Pacific rim. He makes several cogent arguments:

1.  A trade agreement will raise the standard of living of the world’s poor. The economic effect on Mexico, for instance, was much improved by NAFTA; and that was done without much effect on the U.S. economy. The improved situation among Mexican workers has lessened their desire to immigrate to the United States illegally. I would add to Mr. Brooks’ comments that a rising standard of living among the poor of the Pacific Rim countries would allow them to buy more United States imports, and that would, therefore, translate into more income for us.

2.  The trade deal will not hurt the American economy. Eighty-three percent of the nation’s leading economists believe that a trade deal with the Pacific Rim will help our economy. The global poor will benefit the most, but most people in rich countries will benefit, too. Since World War II, reductions in U.S. tariffs have contributed 7.3% to American incomes.

3.  A trade deal will not stifle future innovation. Although some American jobs have been lost by past trade deals, most manufacturing job losses have been caused by technological improvements. Those manufacturing jobs aren’t coming back. The best way forward is to increase the number of high-quality jobs in the service sector. The Pacific trade deal would help. The treaty is not mostly about reducing tariffs on goods. That work has mostly been done. It’s about establishing rules for a postindustrial global economy, rules having to do with intellectual property, investment, antitrust and environmental protection. Service-sector industries like these are where America is strongest, where the opportunities for innovation are the most exciting and where wages are already 20 percent higher than in manufacturing.

4.  The trade deal will not imperil world peace. The Pacific region will either be organized by American rules or Chinese rules. By voting against the trade deal, Democrats went a long way toward guaranteeing that Chinese rules will dominate.

Rejecting the Trans-Pacific Partnership will hurt economies from the U.S. to Japan to Vietnam. It will send yet another signal that America can no longer be counted on as the world’s leading nation.
The best defense of free trade I have read is a book by William Easterly, The White Man’s Burden. Check it out.

 
 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Comments on my Last Blog Post

On 2 June 2015, I posted a blog advocating a change in the U.S. Constitution mediated by a rapidly growing organization in our country called the “Convention of States.” I did that because I sincerely believe that our Constitution is in grave danger of being usurped by politicians using it falsely to promote their own local and temporal felt needs and the political direction of the Progressive left. My readers can review my views in that blog post by going to http://manringen.blogspot.com (control+click).

It has been drawn to my attention that advocating a change in the Constitution, might be subject to abuse by such a convention; and the Convention might be drawn into a morass of contention by self-interested politicians. Nevertheless, I think that we, the people, should attempt such a change. The reason I think so is that the Constitution has been so manhandled by our leaders, especially in the administration, that it is necessary to modernize and update the features of the Constitution in order to keep it from being entirely ruined by Progressive legislators and executive administrators.

Critics of the Convention of States idea say that the only thing we need is for the leaders of this nation to begin to obey the Constitution in its specific features, its words, and its intention. Very well, I agree with that, of course; but…the problem is that legislators will continue to change the Constitution to their momentary liking. They will continue to “find things” in the Constitution that certainly are not there in the intent or the wording of the document. A perfect example of this is the right to abortion that they found in the Constitution in Roe v. Wade back in 1973. In that case, it was obvious that the word, “abortion,” does not exist in the document; and it is a certainty that the writers of the Constitution would never have used the Constitution to justify such a thing! However, the supreme court justified the law under the broad umbrella of privacy. Almost anything can be justified by claiming a right to privacy.

In proposing changes to our Constitution, it should be noted that the crafters of our Constitution made ample arrangements for modifications to the document in Article V of the Constitution. This article was used to ratify the first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights. We are in such a situation now that we need stronger clarification of our rights as citizens as were the people of the late 18th century.

In reference to changing the Constitution, Thomas Jefferson had this to say, “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”