I really respect Clayton Cramer – most of the time. His tireless defense of the Second Amendment, his exhaustive research into the history of the right to arms awes me, some times. But he has a serious bug up his ass where it comes to homosexuality, and this post is really over the top. Let me fisk:
There Are Days That I Despair for America
Me too, Clayton, but usually only when some Darwin Award candidate ends up in public office.
Along with the absurd “historical” arguments based on Puritans being gay-friendly, one of the other arguments for overturning the Texas sodomy statute was that sodomy laws were originally part of a larger system of traditional, religious sexual morality laws–the rest of which no longer exist. Texas, for example, had repealed its bestiality statute in 1973, when the legislature wrote the dearly departed homosexual sodomy law. What were they thinking? Did bestiality have so much support in Texas in 1973 that the legislature felt like legalizing it?
I don’t know. I hear a lot of Texan jokes…
Most Americans purport to be Christians–a sizeable fraction identifying themselves as evangelical or fundamentalist Christians. Yet American life is built increasingly around the unlimited pursuit of sex: premarital, extramarital, and postmarital. A lot of Americans have taken marriage vows that they asserted were permanent–and yet in the last 20 years, I have seen divorce become the norm–even among regular churchgoers.
Which pretty much puts to lie the assertion that these people really are Christians, doesn’t it? There certainly seems to be a large quantity of church-going seculars in this country.
Unfortunately, America is a fundamentally hypocritical and depraved nation. There are some who see the Lawrence decision as the beginning of the end of America. They are wrong. It is really just the final blow. There will be some more shocking decisions of the courts, and I’m sure that there will be considerable popular outrage when the Court rules that states must offer gay marriage. There will be even more outrage when the Court rules that age of consent laws violate the Constitutional rights of children to express their sexuality, and bestiality and incest statutes have no rational basis. I’m not sure that the Court will ever rule that child molesters have a right to rape, but in practice, it will become so common and so lightly punished that it won’t much matter that it is still illegal. There’s an interesting article here about how the courts are scrapping the last vestiges of decency from heterosexual marriage, by removing any incentive to fidelity.
The die is now cast. The only way that America can reverse course on these matters is for Americans as a whole to give up on depravity and selfishness. That will take a horrific wake-up call. It seemed for a while as though 9/11 would be that wake-up call. For a few weeks, I saw clear evidence of a nation waking up to the very real danger that every day could be your last, and the need to live based on that. But Americans have returned to their old ways–the desire to let the news/entertainment media tell them what to think, and what to feel takes precedence over anything deeper.
The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
America is populated by human beings – and human beings have: committed genocide, practiced human sacrifice and cannibalism, slaughtered millions in the name of religion, engaged in orgies and done other things as bad or worse throughout history. Human beings have also created beauty, expanded freedoms, increased our life expectancy and quality of life, conquered diseases, travelled to the moon and other things unmatched in history.
The fact that America no longer views homosexuality as a sin worth stoning someone to death over is not a sign of the apocalypse.
I, for one, am all for replacing Christian morality with objective reasoning when it comes to American jurisprudence. “Homosexuality is wrong because God says it is” isn’t good enough for me. The seculars are the majority, no matter how much and how many of them claim to be “Christians.”
John Adams wrote “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” I think he was wrong. I think it requires a moral people, but not necessarily a religious people. It’s quite possible to be moral in his meaning without being religious, but impossible to be religious in his meaning without also being moral. What Clayton protests is a change in morals from those dictated by the various Christian sects. And yes, there is immorality – there always has been. Yes, immorality is attractive to people who can’t or won’t think logically. But Clayton asserts that the majority of America is “fundamentally hypocritical and depraved.” Well perhaps by his morality, but not by mine. There are a lot of people capable of logical thought who have decided that – prior to and regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision – what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms isn’t the government’s business. Our morality, based on logic not on religious decree, says so. And you know what? The rights of the individual are more important than the will of any majority. That’s the basis of this country, not the Ten Commandments.
Cox and Forkum have an interesting cartoon up on their site, and a copy of a letter to the editor of the New York Sun from a Dr. Harry Binswanger. Dr. Binswager says this about the recent Supreme Court decision that has Clayton’s underwear in a wad:
“Scalia in his dissent on the sodomy decision writes: ‘It is the premise of our system that those judgments are to be made by the people, and not imposed by a governing caste.’
“Sounds like he’s trying to keep meddlesome government out of people’s lives doesn’t it? But look at the switch he has pulled: the ‘judgments’ he wishes to protect are the laws passed by the Texas legislature — laws arresting individuals for behavior that, whatever one thinks of it, is clearly within their rights. The meddlesome ‘governing caste’ is the Texas legislature, which the Supreme Court properly told: stop arresting individuals for private, peaceful, consensual activity.
“Yes, I’m sure the Texas law does reflect the will of the majority of Texans. So what? Slavery represented the will of the majority in the ante-bellum South. Hitler’s Reich reflected the will of the majority of Germans in the Nazi era.
“Unlimited majority rule is a form of statism, not Americanism. Our system, contrary to Scalia’s notion, holds individual rights above the power of any majority to infringe, ‘and among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.’ A right is the individual’s protection against the will of any collective, whether that collective is called ‘the State,’ ‘the people,’ or ‘Das Volk.'”
This is no longer a Christian nation. That, in my opinion, does not foreshadow the coming of the Four Horsemen, no matter how much Pat Robertson beseeches God-uh.