Friday, January 22, 2010

Quick, feisty thoughts

Bear with me, but there are about a million thoughts running through my mind re: the latest with the Prop. 8 trial, the current attack on religious freedom, and the vitality of the traditional family - but, alas, the last couple weeks have been crazy busy. I'll try to expound on these over the weekend, but for now, here's a rapid-fire, stream-of-consciousness take on what's been in my heart and mind lately re: the marriage fight:

First off, do people not see the massive ramifications that would come with stripping the LDS Church and other religions of their tax-exempt status because they supported Prop. 8? Let's remember that, for one thing, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did not donate money. Individual LDS people did - people who are citizens of this amazing country and who have every right to support their beliefs with their wallets and their vote. Punishing an organization for (strongly) urging its members to be politically active in support of their beliefs is downright unAmerican (and, also, let's acknowledge the double standard - it's fine for Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the like to preach politics from the pulpit, so long as it fits the Leftist/Progressive agenda?). Holy crepe, if we move that way, it'll never stop!!! Do we really want to live in a society that promotes thought control by punishing dissenting voices? Where do you draw the line? It is a MASSIVE Pandora's box.

(In my opinion, too many of the issues with which we battle and struggle as a nation today started out as programs by "well-meaning" Progressives that spun out of control in the effect of a Pandora's box - government-funded aid for the poor, banking regulations, etc. If only we could go back to how the country ran 100 years ago... but that's a rant for another day...)

We HAVE to stand up for religious rights. We simply have to. Religion does not breed discrimination and hatred, despite what many a headline proclaimed this morning. Religion provides a tether to a moral foundation that's vital for our country to function. Remember what John Adams said: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” It's the truth. And as we strip religion from the heart and soul of America, we will feel the effect of that vacuum. I don't want to see that happen.

And don't even get me started on the whole separation of church and state issue. Just reread what I penned about it in November 2008. (No, really, reread it. Totally merits it. Of course, I'm biased... but whatever.)

Okay, changing gears... The family is how we, as human beings, first come to figure out the world and our place therein. I've spent a lot of time pondering how crucial this is in the last week or two, and there's a lot I'd like to share - again, hopefully that'll come this weekend. But, for now, let it suffice to say that gender roles are a critical component of that learning. Our fathers shape our definitions of manhood from our earliest moments; our mothers do the same for our understanding of womenhood. Ideally, every baby would be born into a home where both parents take their God-given parental role seriously and provide love and security for that new life. Sadly, that scenario is becoming increasingly rare... but just because it's more the exception than the rule these days doesn't mean that we should lower our expectations and move away from that ideal. Let it be something for which we reach - not something we mock or tear down because it makes us feel better about our own failings.

Which could put me on another tangent about how our society is seriously lacking in work ethic and the understanding of how wonderful and soul-stretching hard work is... but, again, that's a thought for another day.

In closing, if you want some great day-by-day Prop. 8 coverage, check out what the great thinkers at The Opine Editorials are blogging. Great job, friends. Keep fighting the good fight, all, and please, please, please, pray that Prop. 8 will stick. I really think this issue will divide our country in ways we haven't yet seen... but I know that God's hand is still in this great nation of ours, so long as there are good men and women willing to stand up for truth and righteousness. I'm honored to have you standing beside me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sup Ct Rules Against Prop. 8 Trial Broadcast

Good news, Prop. 8 proponents! The Supreme Court ruled today that the Prop. 8 trial will not be broadcast. The Wall Street Journal reports:

The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday afternoon ruled 5-4 that San Francisco federal judge Vaughn Walker, currently presiding over the Prop. 8 trial concerning same-sex marriage, erred in ruling that a video feed of the trial could be broadcast in a handful of other federal courts. In other words, the trial will not be televised. Click here for the per curiam decision.

The 5-4 vote was straight down those oh-so-familiar lines. The “conservatives,” Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito and Roberts, signed onto the opinion. Justice Breyer wrote a dissent, joined by Justices Stevens, Breyer, Ginsburg and Sotomayor.

The signers to the per curiam decision ruled that Judge Walker failed to follow proper procedures in amending a local rule stating that proceedings should not be broadcast beyond “the courtroom or its environs.” ...

The dissenters saw it differently, however, finding that “Certainly the parties themselves had more than adequate notice and opportunity to comment before the Rule was changed.”
For more details, check out the WSJ coverage on their law blog. Sorry this is a quickie, but it's been quite the long day. More analysis/commentary on the week's proceedings to come over the weekend. Until then, keep fighting the good fight (and praying for the upholding of Prop. 8), my friends!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Perry v. Schwarzenegger: Day One Recap

Yesterday marked the first day of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the lawsuit in which a lesbian couple is suing the state of California over their inability to marry after Prop. 8's passage.

The case is anticipated to be the watershed decision that will more or less set the precedent for gay marriage - it will likely hit the Supreme Court eventually, meaning its decision will have nationwide ramifications. If you want background on it, hop over to - they've got a bunch of valuable information, and they'll be updating their site more frequently and in depth than I'll be able to here (I'll do what I can, though). You can also follow them on Twitter at @protectmarriage.

Yesterday began with a victory for the Yes on 8 side: the United States Supreme Court stayed the order of Judge Vaughn Walker that would have allowed for streaming video of the courtroom proceedings. The stay is in effect until tomorrow (Wednesday) at 4 p.m. Eastern / 1 p.m. Pacific, at which time a decision on whether or not to broadcast the trial via YouTube is expected.

Although I'm all for transparency, after seeing the retaliation that hit so many Yes on 8 supporters during and after the campaign, I think televising the proceedings is a horrible idea. Justice won't be blind; people won't be able to be completely honest for fear of what will follow their truthful testimony. I understand how the No on 8 side wants their emotional appeal to pull weight... but, again, justice is supposed to be blind. After all, didn't Aristotle say "The law is reason, free from passion"? The court's role is not to made emotionally based decisions. They are to look at a scenario and decide how it fits into the laws of the land, whether or not it is permissible according to the framework of the Constitution. Granted, with judicial review, court cases have come to supplant the laws of the land via precedents... but that's a post for another day. (Er, rather, one I already wrote...)

Suffice it to say, I really, really can't stand activist judges. I don't care what you think is best - I care that you use your experience in interpreting the Constitution. Ugh. When I was a journalist, believe you me, I had opinions aplenty about the goings-on of the communities I covered, but I had the self-restraint to leave my ideas out and simply report on what the decision-makers had to say because I knew people didn't care what I had to say. It wasn't my job! If only judges (and the mainstream media) could exercise such restraint...

*Stepping off soapbox*

Okay, so, back to Perry v. Schwarzenegger. The Wall Street Journal's law blog had an excellent post recapping the day's events. The trial kicked off with three testimonies from the No on 8 camp - two lesbian women and a gay man - that reflected their legal team's strategy: place the case on par with the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. Their lawyer Ted Olson called marriage a "basic civil right" that Prop. 8 sought to take away.

(No matter that gay marriage was only legal in California because the courts improperly overturned the people's vote from Prop. 22... just sayin'...)

Then the Yes on 8 side got its turn, with the legal team arguing that marriage rights for same-sex couples undermines the "pro-child institution" aspect of marriage, redefining marriage's very nature to be a private relationship between two adults that's based on love. This chips away at the parent-child bond and will likely lead to an upswing in divorce rates.

Not surprisingly, most of the media coverage focuses on the No on 8 side. If you want to hear more on the strategy and perspective of the Yes on 8 legal team, General Counsel Andy Pugno is blogging - click here to read his post from Day One.

This is going to be an interesting ride, my friends. Let's just hope and pray that right will prevail - and even if it doesn't, well, let us at least leave a record of where we stood. I don't care if the Sean Penns of the world think we're on the wrong side of history. It's not their opinion that matters. The family is a critical institution established by God. It's the bedrock of every society - not to mention of the eternities. We must defend it with all we've got, because if it crumbles, so too will our society.