Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Wrong far different than illegal

Wrong far different than illegal

(My Clovis News Journal column for January 10, 2014)

A constitutional amendment defining marriage, in any way, would be wrong; an egregious example of government overreach. It would be the moral equivalent of Sharia Law; just because it happens to support your religious ideals doesn't change that fact. Once you claim it is right to base laws on your religion, and apply those laws to people of different beliefs just because their behavior offends you, you are opening the door for those who have different, or even adversarial, beliefs to do the same to you. Is that really a door you wish to open even wider?

Constitutions should only exist to prevent governments from infringing on individual liberty by limiting what government employees, rules, and laws are permitted to do, not to give them more latitude to violate some minority. To use the constitution to make a political statement or to express your solidarity with religious beliefs is to abuse it.

Nowhere does the Constitution give government the authority to define, ration, or regulate marriage. This is another example of the overwhelming number of things which are not within governmental authority. No one's marriage needs the state as the third, and superior, spouse.

The lack of such an amendment isn't forcing anyone to do anything, which would be wrong, but passing that amendment would result in forbidding others from doing something that doesn't involve you; something purely voluntary and none of your business. Which is also wrong.

It doesn't matter if you write a constitutional amendment to legalize the violation or marginalization of some individuals and their consensual relationships, it will still be wrong. Chattel slavery used to be "legal", too, as were FDR's Japanese Internment Camps.

No law can make right something which is wrong- which, ironically, is the same argument the opponents of the new laws granting marriage freedom seem to be using. This should make it obvious that right and wrong are completely separate from legal and illegal. Aggressive violence and theft are the proper purview of laws; absolutely nothing else is or can ever be. Even if you consider something a sin you have no authority to outlaw it as long as it doesn't violate the person or property of a third person- vices can never legitimately be crimes.

I find it very sad that the idea of writing a new rule defining marriage in the state constitution is so popular around the region. What ever happened to being neighborly and keeping your nose out of other people's business? I guess only radicals such as myself still believe in that virtue.

Evil is additive

Most individuals are decent. I have rarely been violated by individuals acting independently.  Sure, it has happened, but it is a rare thing.

On the other hand, almost every time I have been violated in some way, it is by individuals who have joined some group which they believe gives them justification for their antisocial behavior. 

Groups are much more likely to cause evil behavior in the individuals who identify with the group. And, it seems evil is much more likely to be additive.

Would you kick in your neighbor's door in the middle of the night, shoot his dogs, stomp the kitten, slap his wife, hold his kids at gun point, and kidnap him- or murder him if he resists- over a plant?  What about if you join a group that preaches that this is part of "doing your job"?

Doing the exact same thing, with the exact same results, depends on your membership in a cult. As an independent individual you are called a criminal- but as part of the group, you are called a "hero". About the only thing that can overcome the "hero" status is if you happen to be opposed by a more popular violent cult.

You have absorbed and added to the cumulative evil of your gang.