4th of July


I know, it is only July 2, but I’ve been thinking about this and we will be busy on the 4th going to the local parade and then a bbq afterwards…

The 4th of July is a good time to think about what is happening in our country. 

People came to this country originally to escape religious persecution.  Some people still flee to this country to escape it.  However, once they got here, it was fairly common for these very same persecuted people to persecute others if they had a different belief.  The Catholics and the Anglicans are good examples of this.  They were both hated minorities in the early colonies and were often persecuted.

The persecuted becoming persecutors is no different today.  There are groups of people out there who have decided that gays and lesbians are second class citizens (or in come cases, not citizens at all but demons).  This is based on a religious belief.  People then use their religious beliefs to pass laws against gays and lesbians.  This is persecution and this is why we have a court system.  I find it interesting that those who do not like it when a judge makes a decision for gay and lesbian rights say this is a blow to democracy.  This is interesting because judges are part of the democratic process.  All you have to do is read the Constitution to see how this democratic government was put together.  The judicial branch is part of it and it was created, in part, to put a bit of restraint on the legislative and the executive branch.  Judges make sure that the laws that are passed are legal and fair.  Unfortunately for the anti-gay activists, their Prop. 22, which was passed by only 61% of the people who voted in 2000 and stated that marriage was between a man and a woman, was struck down.  They cried Foul! and called for the elimination of these judges.  They said that the will of the people had been thwarted by activist judges.  However, the will of the people, in this specific case, was ruled unconstitutional.  It doesn’t matter whether 100% of the people voted for it–it was illegal, for all the reasons put forth in the court’s findings. 

It won’t be over in November either if the anti-gay amendment revises the Constitution.  The State Supreme Court Justice has already said that this is a civil rights issue and that sexual orientation, in the law, must be looked at in the same way that race and religion (which is definitely a choice, by the way) is looked at.  I’m hoping that the tide is turning against these anti-gay activists.  If it does, you can bet it will be back, over and over again, just like it is in Arizona.  The people voted it down and through illegal means the legislature put it back on the ballot to be voted on yet again.  If it fails, it will be back until it passes.  Ultimately this will have to be decided on at the Supreme Court level.  This is the only way to stop these yearly attacks on gays and lesbians. 

Anyway, getting back to the 4th of July.  It is a celebration of our independence from a tyrant.  It is a celebration of the fight for our freedoms.  That fight still continues today against other tyrants, especially religious tyrants. 

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3 Responses to 4th of July

  1. Unknown says:

    Imagine, hypothetically, that the state and federal constitutions were changed to explicitly remove all civil rights.  Of course, I don\’t think this should be done; it is merely a thought exercise.  Now imagine that the anti-gay-marriage amendement proposition passes in California and is challenged in the courts.  Can the court strike it down as an unconstitutional for violating civil rights, even when civil rights don\’t exist in the constitution?  Can they strike-down the ammendment that removes civil rights from the constitution for violating civil rights?
    I\’m guessing, you would say yes.  If you were the judge, and it were your legal decision that you were asked to justify, you might resort to what amounts to a "higher authority" argument.  There are certain basic rights that the court must uphold whether written down in the constitution or not, even if the majority of people don\’t want those rights upheld.
    You can apply this thought experiment to other "issues" besides gay rights, and trap almost anyone into this conundrum.  If slavery were legal and constitutional in the US (like it was), would as a jurer vote to return an escaped slave to his master.  Another absurd example: If the first ammendement were repealed, would you as a judge uphold a law that established a national church.
    What this is really saying, is that none of us "really" wants a democracy.  At least — we don\’t want "any old democracy".  We want a democracy made-up of voters who agree with us.
    It IS undemocratic for an activist judge to strike down as unconstitutional an ammendement to the contitution, just like it is undemocratic to free a slave when the law considers slaves property, or to strike-down a national church law even after the first ammendment has been repealed, but that doesn\’t necessarily mean that it is morally wrong.
    Judges routinely rule based on what they believe to be "higher moral principles".
    Interestingly, this is exactly what those right-wing fanatics are trying to do as well.  They just disagree with you over exactly what those "higher moral principles" are.

  2. Justin says:

    The one major thing I see that has been forgotten and trashed because of legalism took hold is, the framers of the the Constitution said it best before any civil rights amendments were added.  Perhaps the juriost would look to this as a hgher power.
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
    Just a thought.

  3. Lawrence says:

    I support this blogger and how his page opposes the intolerance, bigotry, of the neo-fascist "American Family Association, "the umbrella group for the Christian right-wing lunatic fringe which wraps itself in the American flag and promotes fear and loathing for any person or corporation that fails to measure up to its notion of truth and righteousness. I am not gay nor do I fear those who are. I support and try to promote respect and tolerance for all people regardless of their religious belief or non-belief, the racial origin or sexual orientation. I hope I didn\’t leave anybody out! 🙂

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