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Saturday, April 13, 2013

How the Founders Would View Same-Sex Marriage

In the ongoing debate on the definition of marriage, I have made it clear more than once that both sides are making a moral argument, and it is futile for anyone to decry the “legislating of morality.” I have also made it clear that, whether the issue is marriage or homosexuality, and whether one appeals to Scripture, Natural Law, or science, the morally superior position lies with the conservative Christian views on these matters.

When I ask a liberal upon what moral authority he relies when he reaches his pro-homosexual/same-sex marriage conclusions, inevitably the answer is the U.S. Constitution. No doubt, throughout our history, in order to further the pagan liberal agenda, liberal jurists have “interpreted” the U.S. Constitution nearly beyond recognition.

Thus, displays of the Ten Commandments on public property are ruled to violate the Constitution, while businesses peddling pornography are seen to be protected by it. When ruling on a matter pertaining to the Constitution, courts ultimately will rely on the words and deeds (though often rather selectively) of our Founders as evidence to the correct interpretation of the words of the Constitution.

One would have to have been raised by squirrels (or be a cast member of an MTV reality program) to be an adult in the U.S. and not at least have heard of the “Separation of Church and State.” In declaring government religious (mainly Christian) expression unconstitutional, the courts refer to the First Amendment, and they interpret that amendment through the words of Thomas Jefferson in a letter that he penned to the Danbury Baptists, which declared “a wall of separation between Church and State.”

For over 70 years, time and again U.S. courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have referenced Jefferson’s “Wall” in order to restrict religious (almost exclusively Christian) expression in America. Thus, as we weigh and debate marriage in the U.S., it would be an ironic travesty not to consider the words and deeds of our Founders as we draw our legal conclusions.

I submit (with sad and stunning trepidation that such a submission is even necessary) that not one single Founder would give the notion that marriage is anything other than the union of one man and one woman more than a half-second’s thought before (rightly) concluding that such an idea is either a terrible joke or spoken by a lunatic.

First of all, forget marriage; the idea that homosexuality should be considered normal and acceptable behavior would be deemed a wicked and ridiculous conclusion by our Founders. Under British law, sodomy was a capital crime. Sir William Blackstone, as I noted recently, was a favorite English jurist of our Founders, and his Commentaries on the Laws of England served as the basis of legal jurisprudence in America.

As David Barton remarks, “In addressing sodomy (homosexuality), [Blackstone] found the subject so reprehensible that he was ashamed even to discuss it.” Nevertheless, Blackstone declared:

“What has been here observed…the infamous crime against nature committed either with man or beast. A crime which ought to be strictly and impartially proved and then as strictly and impartially punished….I will not act so disagreeable part to my readers as well as myself as to dwell any longer upon a subject the very mention of which is a disgrace to human nature [sodomy]…A taciturnity observed likewise by the edict of Constantius and Constans: …(where that crime is found, which is unfit even to know, we command the law to arise armed with an avenging sword that the infamous men who are, or shall in future be guilty of it, may undergo the most severe punishments).

“THIS the voice of nature and of reason, and the express law of God, determine to be capital. Of which we have a signal instance, long before the Jewish dispensation, by the destruction of two cities by fire from heaven: so that this is an universal, not merely a provincial, precept.”

Following the same moral precepts, each of the original 13 colonies treated homosexuality as a serious criminal offense. Jefferson himself authored such a law for the state of Virginia, prescribing that the punishment for sodomy was to be castration. (You think modern courts will look to this for guidance?)

New York’s law read, “That the detestable and abominable vice of buggery [sodomy] . . . shall be from henceforth adjudged felony . . . and that every person being thereof convicted by verdict, confession, or outlawry [unlawful flight to avoid prosecution], shall be hanged by the neck until he or she shall be dead.”

Connecticut’s law read, “That if any man shall lie with mankind as he lieth with womankind, both of them have committed abomination; they both shall be put to death.” Georgia’s law (surprisingly—at least for today’s liberals) did not call for the death penalty, but stated, “Sodomy . . . shall be punished by imprisonment at hard labour in the penitentiary during the natural life or lives of the person or persons convicted of th[is] detestable crime.”

General George Washington dealt, at least once, directly with the issue of homosexual behavior in the Continental Army. A lieutenant Enslin was tried and convicted of attempting to commit sodomy with John Monhort, a soldier. The ruling declares, “His Excellency the Commander in Chief approves the sentence and with abhorrence and detestation of such infamous crimes orders Lieutt. Enslin to be drummed out of camp tomorrow morning by all the drummers and fifers in the Army never to return.”

Liberals should not bother with the “but the Founders supported slavery” argument. First of all, many Founders did not support slavery, and it was hotly debated at our founding and beyond. (Also, it should be noted that it was Bible-believing Christians who led the abolition movement.) This is certainly not the case when it comes to homosexual behavior. Secondly, one can’t appeal to the Founders only when it is convenient.

It is also noteworthy that the due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments (the Fourteenth Amendment being ratified in 1868) did nothing to prevent all 50 U.S. states, including each state that entered the union after 1868, from enacting laws against homosexual behavior. As recently as 1962, sodomy was a felony in every state in the U.S.

In other words, for nearly 200 years and without any Constitutional conflictions or any serious debate, homosexual behavior in America was seen as immoral and therefore illegal. Thus, we see that the Founders do nothing but support the traditional (biblical) view of marriage.
(See this column on American Thinker.)

Copyright 2013, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Pagan Roots of Same-Sex Marriage (Yesterday's Pagans are Today's Liberals!)

In order to understand properly how we’ve gotten where we are when it comes to marriage and the homosexual agenda, one must first understand that this drastic change from long-held attitudes towards sexuality and family is not as sudden as it appears. Our obsession with sex and the attacks on the City of God (as Augustine put it) did not begin with the 1960s sexual revolution in America.

For millennia human beings have sought to shed the tenets of our Creator and go our own way. This is especially true when it comes to our sexuality. Much of the history of ancient Israel, as described by the Old Testament, included the struggle of the Jewish people with idolatry, false gods, and sexual immorality. Chief among these false gods which often drew Israel away from the God of Abraham was Baal.

Baal was the proper name for the most significant god in the Canaanite pantheon. When the judges ruled Israel, there were altars to Baal in Palestine. During the notorious reign of Ahab and Jezebel the worship of Baal was prolific. In spite of the warnings from the prophets (including the dramatic demonstration on Mt. Carmel by Elijah), the struggle between Baalism and the worship of God continued for centuries.

The worship of Baal included offering of incense and sacrifice—including human sacrifice. However, Baal worship was chiefly marked by fertility rites. It was believed that Baal made the land, animals, and humans fertile. In other words, Baal was seen as the god of “sacred sexuality.” To encourage the god to carry out these functions, worshippers would perform lewd sexual acts. Baal temples were filled with male and female prostitutes for such purposes.

The female consort to Baal was Ashtoreth. This goddess was also associated with sexuality and fertility. The worship of Ashtoreth also included obscene sex acts. Israel forsook the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and served “Baal and the Ashtoreths.” (Judges 2:11-23).

A third rival to the one true God was Molech (or Molek), the god of the Ammonites. The worship of Molech included the fire sacrifice of infant children. Ashtoreth is also seen as the female consort to Molech. Dr. Jeffrey Satinover describes the relationship between the “virgin-whore who copulates and conceives, but does not give birth (Ashtoreth) [and] the god to whom the unwanted offspring of these practices were sacrificed (Molech).”

In the Old Testament, 2 Kings records Josiah, the king of Israel, ordering the destruction of “all the articles made for Baal and Asherah (Ashtoreth)…He also tore down the quarters of the male shrine prostitutes…[and] the quarters where women did weaving for Asherah.” Josiah also “desecrated Topheth…so no one could use it to sacrifice their son or daughter in the fire to Molek.”

With the rise of abortion (in lieu of sacrificing unwanted children at the altar of a heathen god, we do it in the hygienic atmosphere of a clinic), adultery, divorce, fornication, homosexuality, pornography, prostitution (especially the child sex trade), and so on, modern American culture makes the misled ancient Israelites look rather righteous. The same philosophy that led Israel astray is well at work in the U.S.: paganism.

Occultist, bisexual, and habitual drug user Aleister Crowley described the creed of paganism well: “Do What Thou Wilt.” As Satinover notes, whether expressed openly or tacitly working behind the scenes (with many individuals completely unaware of the philosophy to which they’ve surrendered), pagan principles are quickly coming to dominate our public morality.

The great lure of paganism is that the moral demands are few. Such demands are decided by each individual, and thus we have the chaos that stems from moral relativism. What was once deemed immoral, shameful, and even illegal is now a matter of “civil rights.” Abortion is declared a “right;” marriage is a “right” and thus is defined however it suits an individual; pornography is a matter of “rights,” and on and on.

And once a moral standard is successfully moved away from the truth, the next group that finds itself outside of the standard will look again to move it. Thus we get abortion apologists, such as Planned Parenthood official Alisa Snow who recently testified before the Florida legislature, who can’t even bring themselves to defend an infant born alive as the result of a botched abortion.

Such conclusions are unsurprising, when, as I noted last year, prestigious publications such as the Journal of Medical Ethics, give extreme pagan thought credibility by running articles like “After-birth abortion: Why should the baby live?” which tragically argues that newborn babies are not “actual persons” and do not have a “moral right to life.”

Such fluid morality is also how we go from the decriminalization of sodomy to demands for same-sex marriage. Summing up the pagan position in the current debate over marriage, writing for the Huffington Post, Max Londberg of the University of Oregon asks, “[I]f you love someone enough to tie the knot, then who the expletive is to say you can't do so?”

Also, in 2011 Andrew Viveros was hailed (by the Mainstream Media) as the “first transgender student in the United States to be crowned prom queen at a public school.” Despite being born a boy and having male reproductive organs, Viveros wants to be a girl. Full of pagan pride, and perfectly articulating the pagan creed, Viveros boldly declared, “It's OK to be who you are, it's OK to do what you want to do.”

In other words, the modern pagan has changed little in over 3,000 years. As the book of Judges also records about the ancient Israelites, “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

Copyright 2013, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Monday, April 1, 2013

BET is Part of the Problem

Black Entertainment Television (BET) founder Bob Johnson recently angrily lamented the black unemployment rate in the U.S. “This country would never tolerate white unemployment at 14 and 15 percent… somebody’s going to have to pay— 34 million African-Americans are not going to leave this country…Somebody’s going to have to pay for them. Somebody’s going to have to take care of them, and if somebody’s going to have to take care of them that money’s got to come from somebody. And whoever’s paying for it is going to be upset about it, and they’re going to start looking for somebody to blame,” said Johnson.

Johnson recently (late February) commissioned a poll of just over one-thousand black Americans. In spite of lingering high black unemployment, blacks have an overwhelmingly (91%) favorable opinion of President Obama. Though the poll does not ask about democrats in general, blacks, as they have now for decades, continue to vote almost exclusively for democrats.

In other words, in spite of constantly trailing other groups in virtually every economic metric, blacks continue to support a political party and its liberal policies that have significantly contributed to perpetuating poverty within the black community and across the U.S. in general.

The poll also revealed that half of black Americans blamed high black unemployment on the failures of the American education system. While it is good to see blacks acknowledging the failures of America’s public school system, it seems that too many—Bob Johnson included—are blind to the most significant problem within black America: the breakdown of the family.

Today an obscene number—72%—of black children are born to unwed mothers. “The single biggest predictor of poverty is family structure,” wrote Gary Palmer of the Alabama Policy Institute. According to Census data, marriage drops the probability of child poverty by 82%.

Yet what does Bob Johnson’s network glorify and promote? (Though no longer owner or CEO of BET, Johnson is heavily responsible for making BET what it is today.) BET’s programming is replete with sexual, profane, and violent content. BET music videos are especially degrading to women. What’s worse, much of this content is aimed at children and teenagers. Bombarded with such imagery, what are many young black men going to replicate as they mature into adulthood? This is especially true if they don’t have a father in the home to teach (and model for) them the truth.

BET could help fill this void, or, even better, help reduce it. Instead, they are part of the problem.

(See this column on American Thinker.)

Copyright 2013, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com