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Constitutional Amendent, Part Two

Interesting discussion over at Drezner’s place. [1]

I joined in with a response I’ve been pondering for some time, and thought I’d post here some of my comments in that thread. They’ll appear a little disjointed here, but you’ll get the idea.

A trend seems brewing in this discussion; Blame religion and it’s teachings for the movement for this amendment.

One point that seems to be going missing here is the role of culture, of which religion is only a part.

I’ve pointed out here in the past that only around 50% of Americans consider themselves religious. Yet the polls seem to suggest numbers of people against “gay marriage” to be around 75-80% in some polls and never below 70%.

Seems clear there’s more than just religion at work here.

By the same token, however, there’s more than mere law at work here, as well. Consider; if we read the constitution the way the four idiots in Mass. did, there’s no legal reason to keep a man from marrying his daughter, or his son, for that matter. We’ve not seen any challanges along this line yet, but we know it’d be coming should this ruling stand. Further, we’ve already seen challanges to anti-poligamy statutes, based on grounds not all that dissimilar to the case brought in Mass.

And finally, it should be noted that the Mass case was, in fact activist judges.. one of which called marriage a ‘stain on our legal system, which needs to be eradicated’.


At it’s most basic, this is a question of what role government has to play in the protection of the culture.

I have always held that politics,and government are (in their best and and original use) a tool toward the end of giving the existing dominant culture a mechanism in which to work it’s collective will. Stated differently, the primary purpose of any government that wants to survive for long, is to support the culture that gave it life.

Think; Was culture and invention of government, or was government an invention of culture? Clearly, the latter. If so, then it follows that culture raised up government for the above stated purpose.. as a mechenism to support the culture. Thereby, I submit that supporting the culture is a valid role for government.

Now, I certainly admit, in fact I’ll loudly point out, that this original goal/purpose of government goal can be and is preverted by using the power of government toward other goals. Hitler is an example of this, as are Soviets and American liberals.

All of these use(d) government not to reinforce the culture as was the original purpose of government, but by means of government might, changing the existing culture.

Such governmentally imposed changes never last long. The governments collapse, else the government *and* the culture collapses. Either way, the government that does not fufil it’s primary purpose doesn’t long survive.

What needs to be guaraded against then, in our case, is that the government not be used against the dominant culture, and it’s values, lest we cease to exist as a culture, and as a people, as so many cultures have done before us, at the hands of governments who were supposed to uphold them. I submit that has been occurring all too often in the last 60 years or so, here in the US…. and that applies rather well to this case in Mass, and to the SF situation, as well.

I know folks may be a little uncomfortable with that, but please consider;

If our legal and moral rights, as I suggest, decend from the culture, and it’s values, it’s morality, then what guarantee of our rights do
we have, if that culture ceases to exist, by means of either government fiat, or inattention?

This is, it seems to me what those who use the power of government in an attempt to alter the values of the culture, as in this case, do not reckon with. Libertarians also seem to fail to reckon with this point.

Or, perhaps some of them do, and those rights disappearing is a goal for them. There’s a lot of evidence for the latter. (Such as for example, the Judge in the mass case suggesting that Marrige needed to be destroyed as an institution.)