October 23, 2014

Same-Sex Marriage: A Conversation with Fr. Josiah Trenham and Abp. Salvatore Cordileone, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco [Audio/Video]

same-sex-marriageFather Josiah interviews Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, one of America’s most articulate champions of marriage and most persuasive opponent of so-called “Same-Sex Marriage.” In this 30+ minute interview Archbishop Cordileone thoroughly goes on the record to explain the genesis of the movement for “Same-Sex Marriage” and exposes why the quest for redefining marriage is so destructive to the health and well-being of marriage and American society.

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Comments

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    Rostislav says:

    “Same-sex” marriage is a violation of the Equal Protection clause, for it gives rights to a minority group above and beyond those accorded all citizens. To wit, they have the SAME rights we do at the outset. Validating samesex marriage accords them rights above and beyond the rights of all Americans. It thus undoes the Rule of Law and creates a priveledged, state sponsored class of a sexual minority at the expense of the liberty and moral cohesion of society. It promotes the rights of a sexual minority not on equal footing but above and beyond those of the majority.

    While it does so imposing a moral standard at odds with the majority of Christian America, this state intrusion violates the “free exercise” clause and assaults religious liberty. When one on grounds of conscience can be denied work or fired, expelled from university, prosecuted for a “hate crime” or forced to perform/acknowledge “samesex” lifestyles and marriage, one is being religiously persecuted. When the state promulgates a morality of “sexual inclusiveness” on the Judeo-Christian majority, that constitutes state sponsored persecution and could be seen as the state establishing religious precepts which clearly violate the First Amendment.

    Thus, it is a violation of liberty and an intrusion of the state imposing an immoral standard upon society and law. It is unconstitutional.

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      Pere LaChaise says:

      I don’t think the Supreme Court will adjudge it unconstitutional or see civil unions of same-sex partners as privileging a minority. Nor do oI see anything like what you are claiming to the effect of imposition of a minority view on a majority. Same sex couple ought to have the same protection as far as laws are concerned – things like insurance, property, the assumed advised consent of legal partners in running a household. These legal matters do not touch on religion per se, in the eyes of the law.

      While I agree that proponents of ‘marriage equality’ as they term it pursue the total social normalization of their aberrance, and eventually that will lead toward marginalization of our traditional views of family and sexuality, It will never be legally imposed in our churches, not under the laws of this country, because membership in a religion organization remains voluntary and such organizations maintain the right to define their own internal coherence. The state does not mandate that we ordain women priests any more than it dictates how we define ‘church marriage’, as the state is legally barred from making distinctions and judgements about the relative merits of religious beliefs within the context of churches’ own internal organization.

      What may obtain though, is the civil religion thoroughly embracing a homosexual agenda of moral equivalence. In many aspects this is already happening. And in a society gone queer, traditional morality will be seen as quaint. In some places where Protestant tradition seems to hold sway, I could expect a backlash against the old moral order. But in cosmopolitan cities we already see accommodation of diverse viewpoints. You don’t see the Supreme Court telling Lubavitchers in LA and Brooklyn that they must ordain lady rabbis or marry homosexuals in their synagogues. The courts do not force Muslim women here to take off their veils.

      The main problem facing Orthodox Christians is that unlike Muslims and Lubavitchers, we are fairly assimilated, moreso than even sectarians like Jehovah’s Witnesses or Seventh Day Adventists, who prosecute many strictures among their adherents – veganism, ban on celebration of Christmas and birthdays or saying the Pledge of Allegiance – that we do not. Orthodox Christians are an invisible minority who largely want to be part of the mainstream of American life. Weak leadership that does not address moral issues like the normalization of homosexuality, dissolution of stable families, institutional economic injustice, a culture of permanent war and widespread violence, waste, pollution and conspicuous consumption – all these societal ills sweep up Orthodox people as much as they do the general populace.

      We have to educate ourselves and support a more truly Christian mindset and lifestyle if we are to survive, much less prosper and grow as the people of God.

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        Rostislav says:

        Firstly and foremost, it isn’t the role of the state to advocate a sexual minority, especially one whose amorality contradicts the moral precepts of the majority of the society in which one lives or of the traditional history and morality of that state. That is considered a violation of the social contract and a direct religious imposition of the state upon the people.

        There is no way around it: the state is not only mandating acceptance of sexual minorites, deemed by the religious majority to be immoral, it is granting them protections which include prosecution for dissenters of “hate crime” and “violation of civil rights laws”, where in courts religious institutions and believers can be sued for not recognizing the legitimacy of the “lifestyle choices” of these individuals. For instance, if a religious organization, which may be operating a business, refuses to employ open homosexuals, it may be sued. If a religiously run apartment complex refuses to rent an apartment to samesex couples, it may be sued. If a religiously run hospital refuses to artificially inseminate a lesbian couple, it may be sued. If a religiously run orphanage refuses to adopt to homosexual partners, it may be sued. If a religiously run university refuses to recognize a GLBT “club”, it may be sued. Today, in secular universities, if one speaks against homosexuality, one is almost certain to be expelled and there is a possibility one may be charged with a hate crime and incarcerated, whether or not one is wearing a collar. Today, the mandates of Obamacare call for religious institutions to provide abortion and birth control services. Thus, this is the very real reality of state protections for sexual minorities. It ends up being religious persecution. Today.

        Moreover, let us consider what rights homosexuals had prior to the gay agenda being forced upon Western society: every right the majority has under the same auspices. Yet now you argue the state has to broaden rights for this sexual minority which not too long ago this same state for centuries saw as immoral (As it sees other behavioural illnesses and abberations such as pedophilia, incest and polygamy) and unfit for this society? You advance the notion that it is the role of the state to suppress the moral teachings and understandings of the majority and impose a new amorality upon the people who constitute the state as its sovereigns for the expressed purpose of what? Equality. They have equality right now and had it before, prior to any state intervention. No, for the expressed purpose of establishing rights over and above the majority. To give the illness of homosexuality legitimacy and status. The state is interceding to dictate acceptance for abnormal sexuality and the subculture surrounding it. BY WHAT RIGHT?! That is a violation of equal protection, and it constitutes the state subjugating the majority into advancing the special rights and priveledge of an immoral minority. That is classically understood as tyranny.

        It would seem there would be no place for an Orthodox Christian (or Papal Catholic) to advance the special status of homosexuality. Homosexuality and a moral society are mutually exclusive. Homosexuality and Orthodoxy are at odds. In the Orthodox Church (and in the Roman church), homosexuality is understood as a “sin that cries to heaven”. That is to not argue that homosexuals are excluded from Orthodox churches. No, in regard to their sin of homosexuality Orthodox churches act as spiritual hospitals to treat this sickness and grievous vice and cure those afflicted.

        No one denies that people should be treated with equality and charity. That is the basis of my argument. My qualification establishes itself by stating that an immoral minority does not have a right to impose its status and special rights upon the majority and have the state advocate a new morality for the majority which constitutes base immorality in the majority’s eyes. If one is to argue a secular state cannot “legislate morality” as the LEFT often does, then one is left with the understanding that the state has no role in advancing the gay agenda. If one is to argue that church and state are separate, then one must accept that the state’s dictating of immoral norms which contradict the teaching of the religious majority of a nation is in effect the espousal of religious doctrine encased in anti religious agitation and a direct intrusion into the separation of church and state.

        These arguments, then, contradict your very notion that “civil unions” and “marriage” and “gay rights” merit state protections. The very fact you insist on their being “gay” anything at the outset colors anything you further write with the understanding that you are advancing special rights for a minority over a majority and are oblivious to the religious imposition and persecution your advocacy has as its end. The imposition of gay rights means the diminishing of the religious rights and culture of the majority with state coercion. That is persecution.

        In fair consideration – how do “civil unions” empower the majority? How do they reflect its needs and its traditional, religious morality? Likewise, gay marriage… how does it benefit the needs of the majority of society… how does it advance society for ALL? It doesn’t. It creates a priveledged and amoral caste and sets the precedent that the state will impose a new morality upon the majority and subjugate and persecute the religious conscience of the people.

        No, secularization is the great evil assaulting Orthodoxy in North America. It is what is nominalizing worship, emptying churches, having people receive formations which indicate to them some sort of moral and accepted status for immorality and state sponsorship of it. It is precisely why the Orthodox have an “invisible presence” in North America, because nominalism and secularization have them not really being Orthodox and thus not witnessing their Faith. Atheist secular humanism is the religious crisis of our time in the West. A crisis as salient as the open religious persecution of Communism.

        It is the role of the Church in a secular state to freely be able to form a moral citizenry with a morality which reflects Judeo-Christian teaching. Acceptance of homosexuality and even the intrusion and quiet persecution of secularism is a direct assault against religious liberty then. Much more immediate than militant Islam.

        Lastly, I think you are tasked to respect the views of the traditional majority and not make assumptions that they must “conform” to some sort of template which overthrows their moral teaching and religious doctrine in order to be “faithful” and “fair” citizens. That type of attitude in the twentieth century had men “just following orders” leading millions to the gas chambers and filling mass graves in genocides in places like Cambodia’s killing fields. This attitude is almost a pastiche in how it so well describes the inherent totalitarian immorality of the secular atheist LEFT.

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    macedoniandeacon says:

    Let’s see if the Supreme Court thinks so.

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      Rostislav says:

      What if it doesn’t? What if the Court, as now constituted, rules in favor of “samesex” marriage just as the Berger court ruled in favor of abortion as an extension of Fourth Amendment rights and protections? Does that make the argument any less valid? Especially since the Church seems to think so…

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        Michael Bauman says:

        Rostislav: If the court validates the fornication “rights” of homosexuals they will ultimately have to validate the fornication “rights” of those who want plural marriages, incestuous marriages (as long as adults are involved for now), marriages to animals, etc. as far as our perverse sexual imagination can go. There is even someone out there who married himself (does that give him the tax break?).

        Homosexual fornication “rights” have no basis in law (Constitutional or natural), morality, commonsense or decency, which is exactly why they will be guaranteed and those who object on moral or religious grounds will be considered bigots, hate-mongers and unsuited to hold public office or any position of public trust or any high profile employment such as entertainer or pro-athlete.

        Tax exemptions for churches who refuse to follow the law will be revoked (ala Bob Jones University for rejection of marriages between blacks and whites). The demonic fury of those who are pressing the homosexual agenda will not be sated until all who oppose them are publically humiliated and brought low driven from the public square everywhere and treated as the lowest of the low. All Christian organizations and communions who do not submit will be placed on lists of “hate groups” and possibly terrorist watch lists: our bank accounts and buildings confiscated; our people subject to indefinite detention without cause or representation–disappeared. The recreation of the Soviet union or rather a more perfected fascist state.

        Whether that will happen or not, I do not know, but it is the logical extension of the “social justice”, egalitarian and “green” policies of the Obama Administration and others of the far left.

        Welcome to the age of those who preach tolerance, understanding and compassion.

        Yet:

        If the people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. II Chronicles 7:14

        Then we might become a Christian nation.

        In the meantime we should learn to praise God for all things, “trusting not in men and the princes of men.” As the law in the United States has ceased being an instrument for the promotion and protection of virtue, but an instrument for the destruction of virtue, sacredness and the holy.

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          Rostislav says:

          I totally agree with you. The state has no right to dictate any type of sexuality, much less one the religious majority and history of its civilization see as immoral.

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          Larry says:

          in terms of validation of incestuous relations. Much to my horror in States like New York, California, and Maine (subject to genetic testing) you are able to legally marry your first cousin . . . I imagine the next step after this will be a push within the cousin love community to press for this as well.

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            Rostislav says:

            In England, it is becoming less of a taboo already, where BBC documentaries have tried to portray it as a valid and “loving” lifestyle choice…

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    Michael Bauman says:

    Rostislav…see any “moral equivalency” in that?

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    Michael Bauman says:

    Pere says:

    While I agree that proponents of ‘marriage equality’ as they term it pursue the total social normalization of their aberrance, and eventually that will lead toward marginalization of our traditional views of family and sexuality, It will never be legally imposed in our churches, not under the laws of this country, because membership in a religion organization remains voluntary and such organizations maintain the right to define their own internal coherence. The state does not mandate that we ordain women priests any more than it dictates how we define ‘church marriage’, as the state is legally barred from making distinctions and judgements (sic) about the relative merits of religious beliefs within the context of churches’ own internal organization.

    For awhile, you may be correct, but we will not be able to preach as we wish and retain our tax exempt status (the first step). The First Amendment may provide some protection for our preaching and our publishing for awhile, but I do not expect that to hold forever. There will be all kinds of posturing about “freedom of belief”, just don’t try for freedom of practice outside the church buildings.

    The biggest problem will be the Sergianists and appeasers in our midst who will insist that they, not we are the true Orthodox as they commune unrepentant homosexual fornicators and bishops “come out”. Blessing of coupled, fornicating homosexuals will follow (and may be here in places already) and the female priesthood will follow that (the two are linked).

    Catacomb Church anyone?

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      Rostislav says:

      Obamacare is a clear sign that the LEFT will provide no First Amendment protections to the religious majority. While the very fact that the LEFT uses state coercion to impose special status for this immorality with accompanying penalties for outspoken dissent already constitutes religious persecution. Do you know that in states like New Jersey “corrective therapy” to cure and treat homosexuality is illegal, is a crime. Thus a Priest counseling and treating a homosexual parishoner could become a criminal for providing him/her with the ministrations of the Church and her teaching and sacramental life?!

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    James Bradshaw says:

    “Tax exemptions for churches who refuse to follow the law will be revoked (ala Bob Jones University for rejection of marriages between blacks and whites).”

    This was brought up before on this blog. Man, life’s rough when the government has its hand in your pockets just because you’re trying to maintain a “racially pure” university, isn’t it?

    BJU was not a church.

    Despite the laws that make it legal for interfaith couples to marry (as well as heterosexuals getting married ten times in the course of one’s life), churches have been and will continue to be free to reject any marriage that doesn’t fit their standard, as it should be. You’re fretting over nothing.

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      Rostislav says:

      So you contend that religious institutions, other than churches, have no right to tax exemption if they refuse to accept the state’s mandated amoral mandates, that they must change their moral and religious positions in order to maintain their protected status?

      So much for separation of church and state and the establishment clause… Big deal, huh?!

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        James Bradshaw says:

        Rostislav: Explain to me how being required to admit blacks or interracial couples to an institution of learning is an infringement of anyone’s religious liberties. What are they being forced to do? What moral evil are they complicit in (even if we assume that there is something unholy about interracial couplings)? Can I really make up any old bit of nonsense out of thin air, wrap it in religious garb and claim exemption from any and all laws?

        No. What you want is not only the permission of the state to do as you will without legal repercussions, you want to be placed in a sphere above every other legal entity by avoiding having to pay a cent in taxes for the profits you take in … even as you reject the laws of the same authority you claim is “God ordained”. That’s quite a demand.

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          Rostislav says:

          It isn’t mine or the government’s business to dictate to someone (or an institution) its religious or moral sensibilities. It is clear this institution and its bylaws and religious views and positions are something which for decades merited tax exempt status and the priviledges accorded religious institutions. Then it refused to modify those views due to a government fiat.

          Just because YOU don’t like the religious and/or moral views of SOMEONE ELSE doesn’t give you (or the state) the right to infringe their Constitutional liberty and protections. WHEN YOU DO, you engage in religious persecution.

          You (or the state) doesn’t have the right to dictate morality or religion to someone else. That is beyond your paygrade in a free country.

          So I don’t have a comment about Bob Jones’ admissions policies. They are immaterial to me. I do not go there, and I would not go there. But that does not give me the right to tell them what those policies should be. Nor should the government.

          You and the government would be the first to criticize myself or Bob Jones University for trying to close down a gay club or organization/press and campaign to have the 501c3 tax exemption removed from their non profits. Seems they have a right to count their money and live by their moral code as they see fit without government or your sanction. So this seems so very inconsistent and very intolerant on the part of yourself and the state. As a matter of fact, if someone were to take up this banner, they would be called bigoted, intolerant, homophobic, fundamentalist and undemocratic. Wouldn’t they?!

          I feel it rather odd that you in the name of pluralism lambaste a religious institution which holds to a different religious view than your own and comment that it is somehow “contrived” and “abuse of the Gospel”. That is not for you to judge, especially since you are basing your position on the dictum of “tolerance”. How “tolerant” are you when you refuse to allow someone else to be religiously incorporated (and have been recognized as such) since their foundation because YOU disagree with them and their views, enough to dare to ridicule them?! That is the bigotry YOU are baiting. I hope you understand that. So much for “multiculturalism”, “diversity” and “political correctness”.

          By the way, Bob Jones’ University admissions policy is not what that institution is founded to promote. They are a Fundamentalist Evangelical Protestant institution, and that is why they received their tax exempt status in the first place. Something you curiously fail to mention.

          So let’s get this straight now, it is your contention that if the moral views of a religious institution contradict YOUR or the STATE’s dictated morality, the state then has a right to infringe the “FREE EXERCISE CLAUSE” because that institution’s views in YOUR mind or the STATE’s are “unpopular”, “contrived” and/or “contrary to the Gospel”. So the post Christian secular humanist state now has “magisterium” in administering the First Amendment in regard to freedom of religion?! You do this waving the banner of gay rights?!

          Where does that end?! Does it end when someone like yourself removes protections and tax exemptions from traditional Christian institutions like the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Missouri Synod or the Southern Baptist Conference and requires them to “meet state mandates” in regard to abortion, birth control, gay rights, adoption, marriage, etc.?! After all, your future counterpart could just as easily say that the views of these institutions are “fringe”, “intolerant”, “extreme”, “political”, “contrived”, “opposed to the Scriptures and Christian humanism”.

          But let’s make this plain for you and the state you defend: your actions are actually those of intolerance and infringement of religious rights and constitute religious persecution.

          You have made my point that the state’s promotion of gay rights can and will constitute religious persecution.

          Because you don’t like someone, neither gives you nor the state the right to infringe their religious liberty. Your argument constitutes a justification for religious persecution. There is no time when Constitutional liberty may be denied by the state to the lawful citizenry, for the citizenry are the sovereigns of the state which is their subject. They affirm or deny the state its role and they enforce the state’s limitations.

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            James Bradshaw says:

            Does the expression of one’s religious faith have no limitations? If not, why not legalize polygamy? After all, the only ones clamoring for it are Mormon fundamentalists. Isn’t denying them the ability to marry multiple partners a restriction of their freedoms? Such an expression is relatively innocuous: having multiple spouses doesn’t harm or have a measurable impact on those outside the relationship. There are denominations that support gay marriage. Isn’t denying the legal construct of a civil marriage an infringement on their rights?

            I don’t think religious freedom is an absolute. One must weigh the right to free expression with the impact that expression will have on others. I don’t think persons should be forced to engage in positive actions where those actions will conflict with their deeply held beliefs: for example, people should be free to opt out of certain kinds of military service, should not be forced to perform abortions or provide contraception to others, etc. I don’t see this being the same as being required to admit members of another race to one’s place of business if one wishes to retain a legal designation provided by the very governing body that is responsible for protecting the rights of everyone. Do you see the difference? Am I being inconsistent here?

            I am always willing to revise my thinking if someone can point out where my thinking is flawed. However, it seems you’re saying that … actually, I’m not sure what you’re suggesting.

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              Rostislav says:

              Let’s consider this from the First Amendment of the US Constitution:

              …Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

              Now the Courts maintained in the nineteenth century that while the state could not interfere with belief, it could interfere with “practice”. This was in regard to polygamy or in cases of ritual sacrifice.

              But since the Court has ruled that traditional marriage “favors one class over another” it would be rather hypocritical of you to now insist that the state has a right to outlaw polygamy.

              Now the distinction here that you seem to be missing is that a religious group is free to believe as it does without state interference while its practices, if they are extreme (human sacrifice or polygamy in the nineteenth century) could meet with state interference, BUT there is no precedent for the state establishing religious or moral teaching, which is expressly prohibited.

              Again, Bob Jones University enjoyed tax exemption and religious protections FOR DECADES PURSUING ITS ESTABLISHED PRACTICES and maintaining its moral and religious teachings until the state decided to insist on a new morality and then sanction it for not conforming to this morality. This then was not the state interceding to interfere with extreme practices, but the state imposing a moral and religious standard on a religious institution. It does not have this right, for it does not have the right to establish religious teaching or interfere in its interpretation or to sanction for non conformity to its moral or religious views! This constitutes establishment of religion and violation of the First Amendment rights of that institution. Punishing a group for its moral or religious practices is not the state’s business.

              You would be the first to argue that the state intervening to deprive 401c3 status from homosexual groups or racially motivated community organizer (the racism you have no qualms with) groups on moral or religious grounds would be a “violation of the separation of church and state” and the right of free assembly of these groups, that the state was “legislating morality” and violating the First Amendment.

              You can’t have it both ways.

              Your standard weighted LEFT quickly turns religious rights into “The right of the people to hold religious belief is guaranteed. The right of the state to engage in anti religious propaganda is established”. We know this standard very well and the twentieth century witnessed its injustices, persecutions and martyrdoms in all their bloody atrocities. Such a standard is unworthy of a free people and an assault upon liberty.

              Your argument that “Constitutional rights are not absolute” is in and of itself an appeal to tyranny and a statement that those who share your point of view will force the gay agenda down religious America’s throat and use this standard to justify religious persecution, for you will contend that “fringe and outmoded practices are extreme and not constitutionally protected, religious or not”, that the state has a right to intervene and mandate their amendment, to even outlaw them outside of the Constitutional process. “Evolve” according to an atheist, secular humanist template or else. This was the battle cry of the League of Militant Godless in Soviet Russia when they were destroying churches and imprisoning believers in gulags and/or summarily executing clergy and believers. To read justification of such views and practices on an Orthodox blog is truly appalling.

              The state doesn’t have this right to infringe or punish Constitutional liberties and even the nineteenth century precedent you allude to said as much. The muster of liberty is that a lawful citizenry is free to exercise it without violation of natural law and the social contract, ie the Constitution. That is the limitation the Court set in the nineteenth century. Today this state is not concerned with that and is choosing to enforce a morality it deemed as immoral at the time of the Constitution’s writing. That in and of itself disqualifies such a state’s intervention. Radically altering standards to such a degree to deprive others of liberty is nothing but tyranny. It is unjust and a violation of the social contract and the rule of law, for such a state and its courts are artificially rewriting equal protections to exclude groups on the basis of moral and religious teachings which they wish to sanction and deprive of freedom. That is called “discrimination” in the language of the Civil Rights Act.

              What that means is a state in its evolution doesn’t have the right to rewrite the Constitution and the law to punish people who are following the law of that state and enjoying its protections up until an aberration occurs and declare them “lawless” and “fringe” so that the state may then punish them and deprive them of civil liberties. If such a process is not religious persecution, then there is no such thing any longer.

              There is a practice for the limitation of rights and change of the Constitution. It is called the amendment process. No Court has a right to unilaterally amend the Constitution. YOU certainly don’t have the right to infringe someone’s liberty because you are baiting some people you politically disagree with as racists. People don’t have to conform to your standards or that of your political orientation in a free society.

              Thus, the wisdom of Constitutional interpretation (strict constructionist judicial review)has been to err on the side of liberty and defer to the Constitutional process to promote change, not by judicial activism, what the DOMA decision embodied. Anytime any court or state or person says that liberty is a vice, that person, court or state is seeking to curtail it and impose their will on the population. Constitutional rule and the Rule of Law are only administered this way in Banana Republics by dictators who write civil rights they never intend to enforce. These rights become hollow and tyranny ensues. The slippery slope to dictatorship and totalitarianism from such a “standard” has been witnessed all too often in human history. The ancient Greeks were wise in maintaining that such demagoguery quickly leads to tyranny.

              The moment anyone begins to speak of suspending habaeus corpus because it is “too extreme” is the moment liberty calls the citizenry to arms to be secured.

              I answer to such a mentality of totalitarian aggression, “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue”.

              Ultimately, the state is the subject of the sovereign citizenry, and that is why the courts interpret the laws that the representatives of the people write while not writing them themselves. Thus the Constitutional role of the courts is to preserve the sovereign will of the people. There is a difference between liberty and license, and that distinction is not made at the caprice of depraved modernity but by the established moral order and tradition of a state and its citizenry. Liberty in a free country is absolutized in theory and given a structure in law while license is curtailed, but, no, rights expressed in liberty by the Constitution are absolute to the limit they do not violate the social contract and render natural law and constitutional government meaningless.

              While IT IS NEVER THE BUSINESS OF GOVERNMENT to enforce moral and religious teachings upon the citizenry or their negation. That is totalitarianism. Lawful citizens are not its subjects: they are its sovereigns. When such a state or its courts so acts, it engages in religious persecution,. Any voice, under the pretext of religious rights “not being absolute” then acts to curtail those rights and harm others, acts to advance religious persecution, and does so in direct defiance of the First Amendment in support of totalitarian overthrow of Constitutional government.

              Repression, oppression, persecution, subjugation, martyrdom ensues.

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              Rostislav says:

              In other words, your standard for infringing religious liberty and imposing your secular amorality with state sanction and persecution is discrimination. How “liberal” of you…

              Anyone who doesn’t agree with the LEFT, the atheist, secular humanist, post Christian order?!

              And you were baiting Bob Jones for “racism”?! You combat your perception of Bob Jones perceived “discrimination” by advocating that the government discriminate against them and punish them for not conforming to your and the state’s moral/religious views and what you deem is inappropriate.

              You argue that it is appropriate for the state to persecute Bob Jones because it won’t marry people you feel that it should and you expect us to believe that you and that same state won’t apply that same standard to gay marriage?!

              We are supposed to believe those who hold your views won’t impose them on the Orthodox and other traditional Christians who, in your mind, “don’t have absolute religious rights” and may do or teach things your ideological fellow travelers will denounce as extreme and bigoted?! No, never!

              But I believe you have betrayed your intentions. I think we should all start reading Fr. Arseny, Bonhoeffer and reflecting on the Soviet persecutions. A sage voice a little over thirty years ago warned us, “Today in Russia, tomorrow in America”.

              Fellow Orthodox Christians, it is later than you think.

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                James Bradshaw says:

                Rostislav, what you appear to be arguing for is a form of anarchy, where each person has no constraints imposed upon them so long as their actions fall under the rubric of “religious freedom”. Of course, whether such actions are really based on religious sentiment or something else is impossible to judge, isn’t it? Anyone can claim a sudden onset of religion if they wish to sanctify their actions, no matter how nefarious.

                Is that really what you’re suggesting?

                If Christian Science parents who do not believe in the use of medicine refuse treatment for their child with a treatable bacterial infection and the child dies as a result of their lack of care, should they be charged with neglect or not? Do Muslim men in America have the “freedom” to beat their wives into submission?

                This is a simple concept (even if not perfectly simple in its implementation): your rights to religious freedom end where my natural rights begin. You do not have the “freedom” to stone an unbeliever to death in the streets.

                Further, you need to rethink your idea of what constitutes “persecution”. Being taxed on your profits can hardly be put in the same category as being dragged to death behind a pickup truck because someone doesn’t like the color of your skin.

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                  Rostislav says:

                  Actually, I am echoing James Madison and Thomas Jefferson who wrote the Constitution. Constitutional government, American style, not Soviet Bolshevism or rabidly atheist and depraved European social democracy. You might want to try a read of the Federalist Papers.

                  I am advocating liberty with unequivocal rejection of atheist, secular humanist statism and the society it is trying to create and resistance to the injustices it perpetrates. I am advocating the restitution of a Judeo Christian culture and state sensibility.

                  You not so subtly advocate religious persecution on the basis of secularly, amorally grounded discrimination to advance your ideological vision upon the nation and its religious groups. Your arguments against religious liberty are consistently grounded in ideologically driven value judgements of the beliefs of others, advocating state and court suppression of them. Your views are discriminatory, advancing bigotry and calling for the machinery of state to ideologically assault Constitutional freedoms, all on the basis that the groups you mention don’t pass your Leftist ideological litmus tests. Orthodoxy and other traditional religions will not pass these tests either and thus we will face the jackboot with which you now would kick the groups you mention. That is unacceptable. It is theomachy, subdued Bolshevism.

                  This is the standard I have written:

                  …Ultimately, the state is the subject of the sovereign citizenry, and that is why the courts interpret the laws that the representatives of the people write while not writing them themselves. Thus the Constitutional role of the courts is to preserve the sovereign will of the people. There is a difference between liberty and license, and that distinction is not made at the caprice of depraved modernity but by the established moral order and tradition of a state and its citizenry.

                  With special emphasis placed here:

                  Liberty in a free country is absolutized in theory and given a structure in law while license is curtailed, but, no, rights expressed in liberty by the Constitution are absolute to the limit they do not violate the social contract and render natural law and constitutional government meaningless.

                  While IT IS NEVER THE BUSINESS OF GOVERNMENT to enforce moral and religious teachings upon the citizenry or their negation. That is totalitarianism. Lawful citizens are not its subjects: they are its sovereigns. When such a state or its courts so acts, it engages in religious persecution,. Any voice, under the pretext of religious rights “not being absolute” then acts to curtail those rights and harm others, acts to advance religious persecution, and does so in direct defiance of the First Amendment in support of totalitarian overthrow of Constitutional government.

                  Repression, oppression, persecution, subjugation, martyrdom ensues. …

                  You never seem to have a problem with the “profits” of homosexual or community organizer or other left of center not for profits nor do you have any qualms about their risky health practices and extremist violence and criminal activities. Never. Their status to the avowed Leftist is sacrosanct.

                  I have echoed the Founders’ standard for the limit to Constitutional liberty: to that point which does not violate the natural law nor threaten and/or violate the social contract, the Constitution. In my presentation, I am clear to indicate the equality of all groups before the law and implicitly state that my rights and sensibilities end at the end of another person’s nose and certainly do not merit the state openly discriminating and persecuting to establish my ideological views, nor the courts radically revising social conventions and contriving new interpretations of rights and status to promote an ideological orientation and force it upon the citizenry to the point of state structured discrimination and persecution. That is the banner you are waving.

                  But thank you for continuing to state the intentions of your ideological orientation which call for religious discrimination and persecution. At least you are unintentionally shedding the masks of “tolerance” and open about your bigotry.

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                    Rostislav says:

                    The Anti Federalist Papers are excellent reading as well…

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                    James Bradshaw says:

                    “Nor do you have any qualms about their risky health practices and extremist violence ”

                    Find one quote from me here or anywhere where I have advocated or approved of violence or irresponsible and risky sexual behavior. It doesn’t exist, I assure you.

                    “I am clear to indicate the equality of all groups before the law and implicitly state that my rights and sensibilities end at the end of another person’s nose”

                    So we agree. That’s all I’ve been trying to say as well. Your religious freedoms end when they start to inflict damage on others. I’m at least trying to define what constitutes “harm”. You’ve made no such attempt. So clarify.

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                      Rostislav says:

                      Every time you write something, you are discriminating against another religious group and calling for the government to sanction them in your bigotry.

                      The very politics you support engages in violence as a means to political power. You advocate religious persecution. What could be more violent?! While homosexuality is the last “lifestyle choice” which could ever be considered “healthy”.

                      So, no, we agree in nothing. I support religious liberty and oppose religious persecution. You advocate religious persecution and seek to curtail religious liberty to the point of where you believe the state should be used to support your discrimination and bigotry. You support religious persecution. I have detailed how above.

                      If I had to make a prediction, I would guess this will go from attacking Bob Jones University, Mormons, Christian Scientists and Jehovah’s Witnesses to insulting me personally.

                      But that is of no matter. Your stated intent is to silence and punish people you disagree with and have even the government help you if you can’t.

                      So there isn’t anything more to discuss. What you advocate will result in the persecution of Orthodoxy and other traditional Christian groups. You have as much as admitted it. Thank you for the advance warning.

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    Rostislav says:

    Bob Jones University is a religious institution. It lost its tax exempt status for holding to its religious beliefs. That is religious persecution. That is quite something.

    Even if heterosexual couples were married a million times, that is quite different than even one homosexual marriage. Heterosexual relations are morally and scientifically normal. Homosexual relations are abnormal. There is no moral equivalence. To maintain there is is to maintain that the abnormal must be accepted and given legal status.

    This is not exercise of liberty. This is exercise of license. Liberty results in freedom and the uplifting of the human condition. License in its depravity and debasement.

    What really may be termed “perverse” now? What is perversion at this hour? How can we understand the archetype of the pervert?

    To profane marriage as an anything goes between anyone is essentially rendering it meaningless. It morphs into a means of greater taxation and state control in litigation solely. That is utter debasement of marriage. It is the advent of a debased and immoral society. What follows then are quite disturbing models of family, of social normalcy, of the ugliness of a neo pagan, depraved culture and amorality. That is quite something, and on an Orthodox blog, one should be more careful in dismissing this.

    By the Court’s decision, plural marriage, polygamy, incestuous marriage, bestial marriage, every disturbed and pathologically sick type of relationship now has government protection and sanction while speaking out against it is now a matter for state persecution. The lunatics now run the asylum.

    Homosexuality, because it is abnormal, is depravity, is either a matter of perverse and sick sexual choice or the result of in utero abnormal fetal development, is a condition which should be treated. Some argue and maintain homosexuality is normal, is just a natural condition and as such should be respected. Let us challenge that. What if a homosexual decided to clone himself/herself and the clone, due to normal gestation, developed as a heterosexual and in normal development to adulthood clearly emerged as heterosexual and rejected homosexuality. How normal would homosexuality be then?

    By the definition of this new society and those who champion homosexuality, this clone would be the “sick” one, the “pervert”, the person who “needed treatment” for “abandoning his normal homosexuality”. That is what this depraved, neo pagan morality has as its logical standard.

    I posit that a fetus undergoing normal gestation and normal child development being posed with heterosexual types in adolescence will emerge as heterosexual even if that fetus is the direct clone of a homosexual. Since that is my contention, I dismiss the state’s sanction for this illness/pathological condition and reject a society that uses the unfortunate for political ends which result in the rejection of traditional morality and lead to religious persecution.

    How can we deny sick people treatment? How can we celebrate the abnormal, the circus, the zoological transformation of humanity and its debasement into subhumanity? This must be met with resistance and stopped.

    Unfortunately, the greatest consequence of this all is the future. For it is by definition now doomed to be structured in an abnormal culture, a depraved society. Moral equivalence is now the relativistic rule imposed by state coercion on us all. Its degrees will only accelerate, and as they do religious persecution will only become much more apparent and much more brutal. The triumph of Leftist depravity is the harbinger of the end of our civilization, but in its demise, it will claim many a victim. Nero will be burning Rome.

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