Now for another point of view that the media are ignoring

Since the vast majority of the mainstream media ignored any principled opposition to the Supreme Court’s ruling making gay marriage an inalienable right, I reached out to get some comments to balance the scale of journalistic coverage.

The Nevada Concerned Citizens — whose director is Richard Ziser, the man who spearheaded the petition drive that led to the voters amending the state Constitution to prohibit gay marriage — released this statement:

As Christians, we are committed to Biblical faith and ethics. As a result, this body of believers stands on the authority of Scripture and God’s Truth as central to our lives.

What the Bible says about marriage is clear, definitive and unchanging. We affirm biblical, traditional, natural marriage as the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. The Scriptures’ teaching on marriage is not negotiable. We stake our lives upon the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

Consequently, we will not accept, nor adhere to, the legal redefinition of marriage issued by the United States Supreme Court. We will not recognize same-sex “marriages;” our churches will not host same-sex ceremonies, and we will not perform such ceremonies.

While we affirm our love for all people, including those struggling with same-sex attractions or confused about their biological identity as male or female, we cannot and will not affirm the moral acceptability of homosexual behavior or any other behavior that deviates from God’s design for males and females made in His image, including His plan for marriage.

We believe religious freedom is at stake with this Supreme Court decision. Consequently, we join together to support those who stand for natural marriage in the corporate world, the marketplace, education, entertainment, media and elsewhere with our prayers, influence, and resources.

Our first duty is to love and obey God, not man. Therefore, we strongly encourage all pastors, leaders, educators, and churches to openly reject this court mandated legal redefinition of marriage and to use their influence to affirm God’s design.

“The Lord Jesus affirmed that design by quoting Genesis: “[F]rom the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘ For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:6-9). Jesus later said: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Mark 13:31). We stake our very lives and future on the Truth of God’s Word.”

Ziser released this statement on his own behalf:

Religious Freedom as we know it in this country is in jeopardy.  Our conservative and libertarian friends should be afraid, very afraid of what the Court has done to our constitution and the institution of marriage.  We now are fully entrenched in a post-modern era … where relativism reigns. Tolerance of the Biblical view of marriage will no longer be tolerated.

That was the view taken by Kelly Shackelford and Ken Blackwell in an op-ed in Investor’s Business Daily. They noted that bakers and florist of faith who decline to provide services for gay marriages already face potential bankruptcy and loss of their homes.

“Their legal rights are no different from Hobby Lobby’s to refuse to cover abortion under ObamaCare,” they write. “Whether from a state or federal RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) or the Constitution’s First Amendment, all Americans have the right to believe what their faith teaches and live according to those beliefs. This freedom is for Christians, Jews and peaceful adherents of all faiths.”

Now, return to the mainstream media for the paeans of praise for the five high-minded justices.

Deuling editorials: Right thing to do, wrong way to do it

The New York Times editorial said the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling “fits comfortably within the arc of American legal history.”

The editorial continued, “As Justice Kennedy explained, the Constitution’s power and endurance rest in the Constitution’s ability to evolve along with the nation’s consciousness. In that service, the court itself ‘has recognized that new insights and societal understandings can reveal unjustified inequality within our most fundamental institutions that once passed unnoticed and unchallenged.’”

The decision may fit in the arc of changes in attitudes and politics, but it grasped never intended power for five of nine unelected justices.

Justice Atonin Scaliea called it a putsch.

The editorialists at The Wall Street Journal put it this way: “The revolution in mores about gay and lesbian participation in the institution of marriage is among the most dramatic cultural shifts in U.S. history. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges is a declaration of social inclusion whose outcome is welcomed by ever-more Americans. The complication is that the Constitution is silent about marriage and social-policy preferences, which are supposed to be settled by the people and the political branches.”

Nevada voters approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage by a voted of 69.6 percent in 2000 and 67.1 percent in 2002. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2014 struck the amendment as unconstitutional. It is questionable whether it would pass today, if it were on the ballot.

The Washington Post editorial also mentioned changes in attitudes. “Yet the fact that it’s foreseeable to Mr. (Justice John) Roberts that same-sex marriage bans would fall, state by state, to popular pressure shows how far the country has come, and quickly. In states where lower courts had already ordered same-sex marriages to commence, the transition has been generally calm. We expect to see the same maturity and acceptance across the country now.”

The editorialists at Investor’s Business Daily also questioned the power of the court to do what it did. “Do five men and women believe they can rewrite traditions dating back thousands of years with a few strokes of their mighty pens?” they wrote.

“Apparently so. So much for our democracy.”

As I noted before in comments, the ruling opens a new chapter in the interpretation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. WSJ also noted as much: “A better response — as practical politics and for civic comity — would be to support laws that protect the conscience rights of religious believers and faith-based institutions that do not honor same-sex marriages. The unfortunate truth is that the political left is rarely magnanimous in victory, and its activists may not be satisfied until the force of government stamps out private values and practices they find deplorable.”

Likewise IBD: “Justice Samuel Alito made plain that the decision ‘will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.’ Those who continue to believe gay marriage is wrong, he added, ‘will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers and schools.'”

The five justices have opened a can of worms.

It will be interesting to see how the once libertarian-leaning Las Vegas newspaper opines on this topic, if it does.


Time to get your head right or else?

The pendulum always swings, doesn’t it?

After years of government-sanctioned and even government-ordered racial discrimination, the pendulum swung and we got affirmative action.

So, now that the courts have overruled the voters in nearly half the states on the matter of gay marriage, the pendulum swings to discrimination cases against bakers and farm owners for declining to provide their “public accommodation” services to gay couples.

Now, as a closet libertarian I have no problem with couples of just about any ilk forming unions under civil law — though I do have some problem with government discriminating against people for the purpose of taxes and benefits based on contractual living arrangements and have misgivings about changing the definition of words at the drop of a bouquet and wonder how this will bode for the “right” to plural and/or other forms of “marriage.”

What I do have a problem with is the sudden pendulum swing by liberals to vilification of people who in good faith or conscience do not wish to participate commercially or privately in a superficial ceremony.

One local columnist called on the Nevada federal judge who upheld the state gay marriage ban to resign because he recused himself — without stating why — when the case was remanded by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. “If pang of conscience prevents him from living up to that oath, or carrying out the duties imposed on him by law, the proper remedy isn’t to simply slink away on one case. It’s to resign,” wrote the self-righteous columnist who has been known to rail against his own newspaper’s editorial stances rather than resign.

The headline on the Fox News story about the baker fined for refusing to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding said he was required to undergo sensitivity training, though the story actually said he and his staff had to submit to “comprehensive training on Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws.”

In either case it sounds like getting your head straight.

You can’t found a country on liberty and free speech and then demand uniformity of thought and conscience. And conscience without the freedom to act is not liberty.

The concept of live and let live means government should not dictate behavior to either gay couples or bakers any more than the law should demand that doctors provide abortions or churches provide marriage services to all comers.

Freedom of speech requires freedom of thought and belief.

Colorado cake shop owner Jack Phillips decorates a cake. (AP photo)

Harry and Barry: Another coincidental change in positions

I didn’t get the memo. Did you? You know, the talking points memo for Democratic leadership.

In May 2012, within days of each other Barack Obama and Harry Reid changed their respective tunes on gay marriage.

A younger Obama smokes or tokes?

Reid, D-White House, told reporters he would vote to legalize same-sex marriage if it were put on the ballot in Nevada, though a decade ago he voted for a constitutional amendment in Nevada to ban gay marriage.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, “Reid says he personally believes marriage is between a man and a woman. But like President Barack Obama, who announced Wednesday he supported gay marriage, Reid indicated this week the time may be right for society to reflect a view he said probably ‘will carry the future.'”

Now, within days of each other, Harry and Barry have come out for softer punishment for marijuana users.

In an interview with the Las Vegas Sun, Reid said the current prosecuting and sentencing for marijuana use was flawed. “I guarantee you one thing,” Reid said. “We waste a lot of time and law enforcement going after these guys that are smoking marijuana.”

Now, in an article in The New Yorker posted online, Obama says, “(W)e should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing.”

While Harry denied ever trying pot, Obama admitted he was one of those “folks.”

Obama and the press: Coincidence or coordination?

On May 9, Obama announced on ABC News his support for gay marriage, though he did not actually do anything about it.

“At a certain point, I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama said.

Two days later, The Washington Post published a long-researched, front-page piece on Mitt Romney’s behavior in high school toward a presumably gay classmate, quoting another student describing Romney “marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut (John) Lauber’s hair” and how the bleached-blond, long-haired, tearful Lauber was pinned to the ground while “Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.”

Coincidence or coordination?

Jeffrey Isidoro, 10, at a school in Matamoros, Mexico. (Shaul Schwarz photo/NYT)

This past Friday, Obama made his grand pronouncement that certain illegal immigrants would be exempted by executive fiat from deportation under the immigration laws — those who came to this country when they were younger than 16, have a relatively clean criminal record and are still under 30. (Sounds downright arbitrary and capricious, but that’s another topic.)

Three days later, The New York Times published a long-researched, front-page article about young people raised in the United States who are now living in Mexico because their parents were deported or chose to return home for various reasons.

The story ledes with fifth-grader Jeffrey Isidoro, whose father was deported, being teased by his classmates in a Matamoros school to speak English when answering a teacher’s question.

It contains the typical sociologist hand-wringing: “These kinds of changes are really traumatic for kids. It’s going to stick with them.”

One paragraph of the story observes, “Houston — that is where Jeffrey’s thoughts typically drift. There, he had friends, McDonald’s, the zoo. It is where he lingered at the library at Gleason Elementary to catch up on his favorite series of books, ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid.’ There, his school had a playground; here, there is just a concrete slab. There, computers were common; here, there are none.”

Coincidence or coordination?