Immutable Law and Marriage

Human life is only possible within the context of enduring moral laws and principles that liberate all human beings to their true humanity. Constantly  and inescapably constrained and limited by immutable Law, same-sex marriage and all human imaginations and desires to the contrary will always fail to bring true freedom. True freedom is only found within the bounds of God’s intention.

 

    Why does same-sex marriage make sense to so many people? The momentum toward the full legalization of same-sex marriage seems to intensify with every passing month — or even faster. The moral divide in this nation is now seen most clearly in the distance between those for whom marriage is exclusively heterosexual and thus a settled issue and, on the other hand, those who honestly see the legalization of same-sex marriage as a moral mandate required by justice.

    Given the venerable status of marriage and its universally established heterosexual character — at least until very recently — the burden of argument falls on the need to explain how such a movement for a moral revolution gained credibility, cultural mass, and momentum. How did this happen?

    A culture does not consist only of ideas and ideologies, but no culture exists without them. Given the complexity of any culture, a comprehensive map of these ideas, moral intuitions, and philosophies is impossible to create. Nevertheless, some patterns are clear enough. We can trace the acceptance of same-sex marriage to at least three major ideas that have been shaping the modern mind for some time — and are held to some extent by both social liberals and conservatives.

A Progressivist Understanding of History

    One of the ideological engines of our social revolution is the idea that history reveals a progressive liberation of peoples who have suffered oppression. In this view of history, one prejudice after another has fallen as we have come to terms with the demands of justice. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

    In other words, history reveals an inevitable, though tortuously long, arc toward justice and fairness. Over the course of history, innumerable superstitions and prejudices have been discarded. Slavery, once considered a social and economic necessity on both sides of the Atlantic, was overcome in Western democracies. Women demanded and were granted the right to vote. The world of Jim Crow gave way to the world of racial integration and civil rights. The mentally disabled are no longer put away in asylums. The Irish and Italians, once oppressed as the unwashed and unwanted immigrants of the Gilded Age, have risen to prominence in every arena of American life. America has elected its first African-American President. History marches on.

    For obvious reasons, the movement to normalize homosexuality attached itself to this idea of historical progress. This was a natural and inevitable development, and those who formed the strategy for this movement used the most powerful tools at their disposal. The progressivist vision of history was there for the taking, and the gay rights movement took it up with enthusiasm.

    Americans are naturally drawn to this understanding of history. It plays to our belief that our generation is in some way morally superior to the generations who preceded us. Liberals feast on this understanding of history and make it their main argument in any number of debates. But conservatives are shaped by this narrative, as well. Conservatives accept the undeniable fact that history, both long and short, tells a story that we should celebrate at countless turns.

    But the problem with the progressivist understanding of history is that it cannot stand alone. It cannot be the only narrative. There has to become means of identifying what is truly a manifestation of oppression and what is a structure necessary for human flourishing. If the only story we have is the narrative of liberation from oppression, then, as Karl Marx understood, all that remains is an unstoppable revolution that dissolves all bonds of relationship, kinship, tradition, and moral order. Should children be liberated from the authority of their parents? Should all prisoners be liberated from their cells? Should human beings be liberated from the obligations of family and kinship?

    The progressivist understanding of history must be checked by a recognition that liberation from oppression is not the only true and compelling narrative. The affirmation and preservation of moral obligations and commitments must be the companion narrative. But, in order to understand why so many among us see something as morally revolutionary and socially subversive as same-sex marriage to be something to demand and champion, consider the fact that many of our friends and neighbors see same-sex marriage as only the next logical step in overcoming prejudice and discrimination. It is the only story they know, and it is powerful.

A Radical Individualism

    Paired with the progressivist understanding of history is a vision of individualism that is virtually unprecedented in human experience. An affirmation of the importance of the individual is written into the fabric of modern thought. Our understanding of human rights, of individual liberty, and of personal responsibility are central to the American self-consciousness. Add to this the fact that the rise of the therapeutic worldview has recast human experience as a continuous project of individual self-discovery and self-definition.

    But, if individualism was central to the American experience from the beginning, the current form of this idea is far more radical than previous generations could imagine. The current form of individualism includes the claim that we can define ourselves even in terms of gender and sex. This individualism is titanic in its reach, producing what psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton once described as the “Protean Man.” We demand the total right to define ourselves.

    Once again, we must recognize that the opponents of same-sex marriage have also been drinking heavily at the springs that feed this powerful idea. Many conservatives have bought into their own form of expressive individualism, taking refuge in the structures of social order only when convenient, bending moral codes to our own individualistic demands, forfeiting moral obligations when they conflict with our favorite project — ourselves.

    The control on the destructive force of expressive individualism is the reality of moral obligation and the goodness of true self-knowledge. As Christians know — and must always remember — we are known before we ever emerge to know. Our Creator knew us before we even came to be, and he established our identity before we came to know ourselves. True happiness can come only by embracing with gratitude the identity we are given by the Creator. This idea — now reaching even to sex and gender — is anathema to the modern mind.

The Claim of Moral Autonomy

    Throughout most of human history, moral principles were considered to be objectively true and inviolate. The universe was understood to be ruled by a moral law established by a divine Lawgiver and Judge. That understanding has given way to the belief that most, if not all, moral principles are the products of social construction — we make them up as we go along.

    While most criticisms of moral relativism are directed at individual conduct, on the larger scale, the entire society is increasingly convinced that moral principles must give way to new understandings, findings, and insights. When this idea is added to the progressivist understanding of history and the radical form of modern individualism, we have a recipe for moral revolution.

    And, as with the other ideological factors we have considered, this one is also affirmed, to some degree, by both liberals and conservatives. There can be no doubt that some understandings of moral principle were indeed shaped by prejudice and ignorance, leading to great human suffering. Laws against interracial marriage were prime examples of this prejudice, and there are many others. Fear of minorities, including homosexuals, has led to scapegoating and hatred, cloaked in the language of moral rectitude. These things must give way to moral progress and be denounced with moral fervor.

    But, once again, not all moral principles are examples of oppression. To the contrary, human life is only possible within the context of enduring moral laws and principles that liberate all human beings to their true humanity. This is where those who support same-sex marriage and those who oppose it face each other across a huge gulf of understanding. One side sees a moral mandate to liberate marriage from its heterosexual limitation. The other side sees natural marriage as a liberating, God-given institution for human flourishing. There is precious little shared ground in this debate.

    Same-sex marriage is not an idea that emerged from a vacuum. The project of normalizing homosexuality has deep roots and ideological momentum. The elites, the entertainment culture, the news media, and the educational establishment celebrate all three of these ideas as central to the modern experience and as ideological propulsion into a better future.

    So, when we wonder how it came to be that so many among us now favor same-sex marriage, we must remember that, to some extent or another, virtually all of us have embraced the ideas that make such a moral revolution thinkable. And ideas, as Richard Weaver famously reminded us, have consequences.

    Unfortunately, constantly  and inescapably constrained and limited by immutable Law, same-sex marriage and all human imaginations and desires to the contrary will always fail to bring true freedom. True freedom is only found within the bounds of God’s intention. CftC

 

Legalized Drugs: Dumber Than You May Think

Legalized Drugs: Dumber Than You May Think

May 2, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 32 • By JOHN P. WALTERS

Even smart people make mistakes​—​sometimes surprisingly large ones. A current example is drug legalization, which way too many smart people consider a good idea. They offer three bad arguments.

First, they contend, “the drug war has failed”​—​despite years of effort we have been unable to reduce the drug problem. Actually, as imperfect as surveys may be, they present overwhelming evidence that the drug problem is growing smaller and has fallen in response to known, effective measures. Americans use illegal drugs at substantially lower rates than when systematic measurement began in 1979​—​down almost 40 percent. Marijuana use is down by almost half since its peak in the late 1970s, and cocaine use is down by 80 percent since its peak in the mid-1980s. Serious challenges with crack, meth, and prescription drug abuse have not changed the broad overall trend: Drug use has declined for the last 40 years, as has drug crime.

The decades of decline coincide with tougher laws, popular disapproval of drug use, and powerful demand reduction measures such as drug treatment in the criminal justice system and drug testing. The drop also tracks successful attacks on supply​—​as in the reduction of cocaine production in Colombia and the successful attack on meth production in the United States. Compared with most areas of public policy, drug control measures are quite effective when properly designed and sustained.

Drug enforcement keeps the price of illegal drugs at hundreds of times the simple cost of producing them. To destroy the criminal market, legalization would have to include a massive price cut, dramatically stimulating use and addiction. Legalization advocates typically ignore the science. Risk varies a bit, but all of us and a variety of other living things​—​monkeys, rats, and mice​—​can become addicted if exposed to addictive substances in sufficient concentrations, frequently enough, and over a sufficient amount of time. It is beyond question that more people using drugs, more frequently, will result in more addiction.

About a third of illegal drug users are thought to be addicted (or close enough to it to need treatment), and the actual number is probably higher. There are now at least 21 million drug users, and at least 7 million need treatment. How much could that rise? Well, there are now almost 60 million cigarette smokers and over 130 million who use alcohol each month. It is irrational to believe that legalization would not increase addiction by millions.

We can learn from experience. Legalization has been tried in various forms, and every nation that has tried it has reversed course sooner or later. America’s first cocaine epidemic occurred in the late 19th century, when there were no laws restricting the sale or use of the drug. That epidemic led to some of the first drug laws, and the epidemic subsided. Over a decade ago the Netherlands was the model for legalization. However, the Dutch have reversed course, as have Sweden and Britain (twice). The newest example for legalization advocates is Portugal, but as time passes the evidence there grows of rising crime, blood-borne disease, and drug usage.

The lessons of history are the lessons of the street. Sections of our cities have tolerated or accepted the sale and use of drugs. We can see for ourselves that life is not the same or better in these places, it is much worse. If they can, people move away and stay away. Every instance of legalization confirms that once you increase the number of drug users and the addicted, it is difficult to undo your mistake.

The most recent form of legalization​—​pretending smoked marijuana is medicine​—​is following precisely the pattern of past failure. The majority of the states and localities that have tried it are moving to correct their mistake, from California to Michigan. Unfortunately, Washington, D.C., is about to start down this path​s. It will end badly.

The second false argument for legalization is that drug laws have filled our prisons with low-level, non-violent offenders. The prison population has increased substantially over the past 30 years, but the population on probation is much larger and has grown almost as fast. The portion of the prison population associated with drug offenses has been declining, not growing. The number of diversion programs for substance abusers who commit crimes has grown to such an extent that the criminal justice system is now the single largest reason Americans enter drug treatment.

Despite constant misrepresentation of who is in prison and why, the criminal justice system has steadily and effectively focused on violent and repeat offenders. The unfortunate fact is that there are too many people in prison because there are too many criminals. With the rare exceptions that can be expected from human institutions, the criminal justice system is not convicting the innocent.

Most recently, crime and violence in Central America and Mexico have become the third bad reason to legalize drugs. Even some foreign leaders have joined in claiming that violent groups in Latin America would be substantially weakened or eliminated if drugs were legal.

Many factors have driven this misguided argument. First, while President Álvaro Uribe in Colombia and President Felipe Calderón in Mexico demonstrated brave and consequential leadership against crime and terror, such leadership is rare. For both the less competent and the corrupt, the classic response in politics is to blame someone else for your failure.

The real challenge is to establish the rule of law in places that have weak, corrupt, or utterly inadequate institutions of justice. Yes, the cartels and violent gangs gain money from the drug trade, but they engage in the full range of criminal activities​—​murder for hire, human trafficking, bank robbery, protection rackets, car theft, and kidnapping, among others. They seek to control areas and rule with organized criminal force. This is not a new phenomenon, and legalizing drugs will not stop it. In fact, U.S. drug laws are a powerful means of working with foreign partners to attack violent groups and bring their leaders to justice.

Legalization advocates usually claim that alcohol prohibition caused organized crime in the United States and its repeal ended the threat. This is widely believed and utterly false. Criminal organizations existed before and after prohibition. Violent criminal organizations exist until they are destroyed by institutions of justice, by each other, or by authoritarian measures fueled by popular fear. No honest criminal justice official or family in this hemisphere will be safer tomorrow if drugs are legalized​—​and the serious among them know it.

Are the calls for legalization merely superficial​—​silly background noise in the context of more fundamental problems? Does this talk make any difference? Well, suppose someone you know said, “Crack and heroin and meth are great, and I am going to give them to my brothers and sisters, my children and my grandchildren.” If you find that statement absurd, irresponsible, or obscene, then at some level you appreciate that drugs cannot be accepted in civilized society. Those who talk of legalization do not speak about giving drugs to their families, of course; they seem to expect drugs to victimize someone else’s family.

Irresponsible talk of legalization weakens public resolve against use and addiction. It attacks the moral clarity that supports responsible behavior and the strength of key institutions. Talk of legalization today has a real cost to our families and families in other places. The best remedy would be some thoughtful reflection on the drug problem and what we say about it.

Treason

 

What would you say if you learned that a member of the highest court in the land has spent the last 30 years openly advocating for the destruction of the U.S. Constitution and even went so far as to accept $20 million from Shariah Law proponents to accomplish her goal?That Supreme Court Justice is Elena Kagan.The year after Ronald Reagan entered the Oval Office with the goal of restoring America to greatness; Elena Kagan penned a telling and disturbing senior thesis titled “To the Final Conflict: Socialism in New York City, 1900-1933.” In that body of work, Kagan lamented that “a coherent socialist movement is nowhere to be found in the United States”; and that,” no “radical party” had yet “attained the status of a major political force.” Kagan went on to sound a rally cry for “those who, more than half a century after socialism’s decline, still wish to change America.”

 
Apparently, this was no mere college dalliance, as the Elena Kagan has spent the rest of her career working to remove the underpinnings of freedom and destroy the American Constitution from within. And Kagan’s grand plan has worked very well indeed.
 
After graduate school Kagan went on to become Dean of Harvard Law, where she removed Constitutional Law classes from the curriculum, and replaced those necessary and time honored classes with required studies of international law. And in what appears to be a game of using a mutual enemy’s resources to accomplish ones’ true objective, Kagan also accepted a $20 million grant from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal – a noted Shariah Law proponent – to implement an “Islamic Studies” program.
 
Lest we think Kagan’s intentions are ancient history, take a look at her line of questioning when hearing the ObamaCare case last week.
Rather than question the thinly veiled socialist Trojan horse as an affront to our Constitution, Kagan almost seemed willing to defend ObamaCare and salvage the master plan to fundamentally change America into a new Euro-socialist model.By definition, our Supreme Court is charged with upholding, defending and preserving the United States Constitution. The Judges on the Supreme Court are meant to protect our freedom, not destroy it. To do otherwise is nothing short of treason.Oran’s Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as an attempt to ‘overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation].'”

Destruction of the Constitution is an attempt to overthrow and seriously injure America. Elena Kagan’s lifetime of actions lay bare a clear intention to subvert our Constitution and its founding principles, thereby rendering her UNFIT FOR DUTY as a Supreme Court Justice.

ObamaCare is not the end of the line. The Supreme Court will continue to weigh the constitutionality of numerous cases. The fact is that Elena Kagan is an activist judge with hatred toward the very document she is sworn to protect. As such, Elena Kagan must immediately be removed from the bench if our Constitution and America is to survive.

 
TELL CONGRESS TO REMOVE KAGAN NOW!
 
Defend America,
Alan M. Gottlieb
Chairman, AmeriPAC