Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Bonfire of the Vanities

Private morality does not seem to me to be the state’s business unless it compromises the public welfare.

-Bishop Shelby Spong-


It's not the sort of thing that demands a reasoned response, but a local Catholic priest has been buying a lot of ad space in the local papers to excoriate Humanists, Atheists and free thinkers for being the main reason for the world's wars, persecutions and acts of genocide. Heretics and unbelievers you see are attacking "freedom of religion."

I used to say the ability to feel shame was the first victim of  authoritarianism but the ability to see irony obviously rides the adjacent horse. Religious freedom is under attack from those who would extend it to all, he says, quoting the party line. Why put forth such fraudulent history and demented reasoning, why demand that we persecute good people for their thoughts and beliefs by stripping them of their guaranteed rights and protection under the law? Why now?

The Beast is running scared now that 36 states recognize the right to marry whomever we wish and the fear is that freedom of  worship will be broadened to protect those with any beliefs at all, including the belief in reason alone or a belief in the dignity and freedom of mankind.   It takes a certain kind of mind to see freedom as the enemy of freedom, but as I said, shame and irony, those two things that can lead one towards legitimate morality have left the building -- or left the Church if you prefer.

But here I am, leading up to the obviously useless argument from reason and fact.  As any  historian should know, it takes violence and threats of violence to convert us, there being no valid arguments for what they've been selling for so long. The appeal to the ignorant and tribal mob, to the tinhorn crusaders against the fulfillment of the promise of liberty is of course an attempt to bypass the Supreme Court, which is scheduled today to hear a case that could result in a decision to extend marriage rights to all, regardless of  one's State of residence. I can smell the desperation and fear and it smells like burning witches.

The argument that the Federal Government does not have the right to overturn state restrictions on personal choices would seem to have been rendered moot or at least Stare Decisis after the 1967 Loving V. Virginia ruling but the persistence of ugly, irrational and often vicious tyranny is the nature of churches as Thomas Jefferson and his friends often and emphatically noted. They will not give up if they have to cut a swath through the law and decency itself to get at the devils they see everywhere and the demand that states be able to nullify Federal Law ad libidum  or according to their Bibles will not disappear any time soon.

Religious leaders are urging "liberal" members of the court to recuse themselves from hearing today's arguments in a move that seems unique to me. Asking a judge to refrain from using the law as a basis for decision is arguably bizarre if not shameful and ironic, Demanding that the courts not be able to allow sin and heresy is illegal, shameful and ironic, but as I said. . .

The Restrain the Judges on Marriage Act of 2015 -- The Protect Marriage from the Courts Act: bills to forbid "Liberal" judges from ruling on cases that might lead to decisions unfavorable to the dictates of  certain Christian churches have been introduced in the Senate and the House by the usual religious wackadoodles like Ted Cruz.  Evidently it isn't only the job of President they wish to take over by fiat.

No, I'm not trying to argue with madness, it would be madness again to do so. I'm only begging you to write your senators and congressmen and demand they respect the letter and spirit of the US constitution and vote against turning over the reins of government to would-be tyrants, waving flags, carrying Gospels and shitting on Liberty.

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