One Year After Obergefell

At the end of another disastrous Supreme Court term, one in which the judicial giant, Antonin Scalia, was lost, the Court handed down a terrible decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy that overturned Texas’ law that put abortion clinics under the same sort of regulations that other surgical clinics have to abide by. This sets back the cause of saving live of babies yet again and puts even more women at risk of another Kermit Gosnell mass murder situation.

It’s been a year since the end of the previous Supreme Court term, in which they disastrously created a constitutional right to marry someone of the same sex and so I wanted to revisit some of my thoughts from then to show how terrible the current bench is and why it’s so important we get better justices.

"In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were." – Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing in the majority opinion of the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.

Yes, that's called "children". The whole point of the State protecting and promoting marriage was to protect and promote children, which are vital to the continuation of the State. But ever since we legalized contraception, divorce, and abortion, we've eroded the reason and meaning of civil marriage. So now we come to this: Marriage now exists to magnify the most important thing of all: The All-Glorious Me! And children, for many people–heterosexual and homosexual alike–exist for the same reason: to reflect on Me! and how they make Me! feel.

The State will soon issue each of us a reflecting pool in which we can gaze at ourselves to our heart's content while everything crumbles around us, unheeded.

(Yes, infertile unions are still valid civil marriages because they bear the potential and the meaning of childbearing. It's a complicated philosophical thought. Just turn on MSNBC and don't worry about it.)

Let’s also heap scorn on Justice Kennedy's purple prose at the end of his majority opinion: "Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness." Yep, that's right. Suddenly the US Constitution's job is to ensure that people aren't lonely.

It's not the Nanny State. It's the Yenta State, validating your love and making sure you aren't lonely.

By the way, I wonder how all those happily single people feel about being "condemned to live in loneliness."

Finally, a few quick thoughts:

  1. It’s time for the Church to get out of the civil marriage business. See the Justice of the Peace to get the legal document, then go to the church for the sacrament.
  2. Homosexuals make up less than 3% of the population of the US. It’s not going to be a large number of marriages. But be prepared for advertisers and Hollywood to have them show up everywhere.
  3. We lost this battle when no-fault divorce was legalized and with the acceptance “sweet mystery of life” clause (so-dubbed by Justice Antonin Scalia) in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, not coincidentally also written by Kennedy: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” By that way of thinking, anything at all is permissible.

End the Divide

Andrew Langer gets to the heart of my post last week about the increasing inability in our nation for people to disagree and remain civil and friendly.

I read, and one thing became abundantly clear: the 24-hour social media cycle has caused the various factions to become even more entrenched, their immediate reactions betraying a driving need to balkanize people still more. No breathing room. No time to process events. No time to allow people to show their humanity to one another.

In the public policy world, we are in the business of solving problems. Solving those problems has become more difficult as the chasm between political viewpoints has virtually exploded — both in width and depth — and that balkanization makes it impossible for people to find common ground.

This is more dangerous to the future of our nation than any of the other issues being debated, more than guns, more than even terrorism, because if we can’t even talk to one another, how will we stand together against a common enemy?

Filling the Leadership Gap

Some are saying that House Speaker Paul Ryan is getting ready to endorse Donald Trump despite his previous … reluctance, shall we say. But this new video from Ryan’s office doesn’t suggest that.

What it does suggest is that Ryan sees a leadership gap in our country, a possibility where we may end up with a president that a majority really wants (even more than the current one). Perhaps leadership doesn’t need to come from the White House. Maybe if we have a buffoon Republican in the Oval Office, we can have real leadership from the Speaker’s rostrum in the House. It’s a nice idea.

It will be interesting to follow this #ConfidentAmerica initiative to see where it goes.

The New Foundation of Society

From Rod Dreher today on Obama’s transgender bathroom policy:

Think about it: we already expect so much of our public schools, and now … this? Is it really so important to force schools to let boys play on girl teams, and vice versa, and so forth? Progress, I guess. …

Whenever liberals accuse conservatives of waging culture war, I think of things like this and wonder what kind of world they live in inside their heads. Was this a pressing need right now? Did the federal government have to nationalize bathroom, locker room, and athletic team policy, to enforce a highly controversial point of view onto a diverse nation that was never consulted?

This tracks with so much else of the liberal SJW agenda. Schools have been tasked with so much more than teaching reading, writing, math, social studies. Now they must “teach ‘life skills,’ nutrition and a school-board approved simulacrum of morality while simultaneously functioning as essentially medium-security prisons for fear of threats both internal and external,” according to an article by Chris Stirewalt, linked by Rod.

The school has become the preferred institution of Big Government to replace the family and the church as the foundations of society. Obviously, it’s because the schools are controlled by the bureaucrats, sometimes directly, but often indirectly through massive federal and state funding that all comes with strings attached. They strip parents of their right and duty to raise and form their children according to their own principles and values and they do so because parents won’t raise their children according to the new SJW ideologies. And churches must be pre-empted as well because the pesky constitution puts them outside the control of those same bureaucrats and because they stand for those values that the SJWs don’t want parents instilling in their kids.

Obama and his allies know that imposing Gay/Straight Alliances and transgender bathroom policies on children in schools is important because they know the way to change American to their warped thinking is through indoctrination of children. You don’t have to believe me. They say it themselves.

Yet another reason we homeschool our children. I wonder how long before that becomes illegal.

Breitbart’s Catholic school problem

I don’t think I’ve read a more pedantic and deeply flawed piece of reasoning in a non-liberal publication in some time. Breitbart writer Julia Hahn takes House Speaker Paul Ryan to task for his comments that restricting Muslim immigration is un-American by calling him a hypocrite for sending his kids to a Catholic parochial school. What?!

For some context, it’s important to note that Breitbart has become a shill for the Donald Trump campaign and Ryan has withheld his endorsement of Trump. And Ryan’s comments on Muslim immigration can be seen as a rebuke to Trump’s inane comments (is there any other kind) on the subject.

So Hahn’s thesis is that because Paul Ryan sends his kids to a parish-connected Catholic school, and because the school asks “perspective” (sic) students about their religious background, and because the school gives a tuition discount to parishioners, and because parishioners are therefore Catholic and not Muslim, and because charging higher tuition must be the same as refusing them admittance to the United States, then Paul Ryan is a hypocrite on Muslim immigration.

Yeah, it doesn’t make any sense to me either. And you can be sure Julia Hahn doesn’t believe the crap she’s peddling either. Instead, it’s just a ham-fisted attempt to attack Paul Ryan for failing to pay obeisance before The Donald.

In other words, we can expect the same irrational fawning we saw from Slate and HuffPost and MSNBC for Barack Obama over the past eight years from Breitbart and Sean Hannity and other Trump water-carriers over hypothetical presidency.

Oh joy.

The Restroom Problem: I’m Coming In, Too

When I’m out with my two oldest daughters, 10 and 8, but without Melanie, when it comes time for them to use the bathroom, I let them go into the ladies’ room alone (unless there’s a family/single-use restroom available). What else can I do? They’re too old for me to take into the men’s room and I can’t go into the ladies’ room with them.

Until now, I guess. As the guy in the video shows, Target’s new restroom policy means any man–no matter how he’s dressed or whether he’s surgically mutilated himself–can now use the ladies’ room.

In the past, I thought my girls would be safe in there with other women. But now that any pervert has access, I’m not so sure anymore. So now, ladies, I’ll be exercising my new right to enter your bathroom and stand guard over my daughters’ bathroom stall while they use it. And you’re welcome to come into the men’s room to do the same for your boys.

Of course, we could just avoid patronizing Target, which we might do. But once this policy spreads to every business–as is the Social Justice Warriors’ intent–that won’t be a real option. So get used to men like me in your bathrooms, ladies. You can thank the tiny handful of trans-activists and their SJW allies for that. Sorry.

Spoken Like a Man Who Doesn’t Own a Smartphone

‘It’s fetishizing our phones above every other value’

So said President Obama in an interview at South by Southwest today when asked about our ability to encrypt our smartphones in such a way that national security and law enforcement agencies may be unable to decrypt them. And it’s the sort of thing a man who doesn’t own a smartphone would say. I mean, the man’s the president of the United States, of course he doesn’t.

But those of who do know what it’s like to have a smartphone know that it’s more than just a gadget or tool. It often contains our most personal information, our financial information, health and medical information, personal journals, and more. It’s become an extension of our own brains. Having the encryption that safeguards them from the prying eyes of criminals, of foreign nations, of our own government isn’t mere fetishization. It’s the very heart of privacy.

This isn’t a Democrat/Republican issue nor is it a conservative/liberal issue.

Obama said, “The question we now have to ask is if technologically it is possible to make an impenetrable device or system where the encryption is so strong there’s no key, there’s no door at all, then how do we apprehend the child pornographer? How do we disrupt a terrorist plot?”

With police work. With good intelligence. With hard work. Because not once, ever, has everything depended on something inside the locked box. Because every sicko porn freak and every hell-bent terrorist has been a human being working with other human beings and they don’t work exclusively through digital encryption, but also through human interaction and that’s where the police work comes in. Sure, it’d be easier to hack the phones, but at what price?

Should we compromise the liberty of every American to capture hypothetical terrorists? Should we give up our liberty and privacy for the sake of some hypothetical security? Because if we do, we’ll just end up with neither.

Understanding The Man in the High Castle: How to Resist Ideology with Myth

Understanding The Man in the High Castle: How to Resist Ideology with Myth | Intercollegiate Review:

“The USSR consisted of a massive framework of interconnected groups and individuals that, by consciously or unconsciously acquiescing to the ideology, gave it power. Havel pointed to the greengrocer who quietly put a sign ‘Workers of the World, Unite!’ in his window every morning. It seemed like a small thing, but whether or not he meant it, his acquiescence empowered the state. The ideology of the regime was embedded into civil society to the degree than every individual who did not actively resist it, tacitly strengthened and became its instrument.”

It’s an interesting idea and not one I necessarily agree with yet. I need to think about it more because it has some serious implications. If true, it means that people like me can’t just look at the decline of our nation, the utter destruction of the foundations of civilization, and the loss of a sense of the dignity of the human person and say I will just hunker down and wait it out. I get the sense that this Man in the High Castle notion is opposite of the Benedict Option, nurturing the flame of civilization and all that is good in our hearts while the barbarians rage outside.

I’m almost done with the first season of “Man in the High Castle“, a very good Amazon Prime streaming series based on a Philip K. Dick novel that posits a look at 1962 if Nazi Germany and Japan had won World War II and divided the United States between them. It’s not pretty, but it’s a sobering look at fascism and is even pro-life and pro-faith, in its way, mostly by showing the consequences of anti-life and anti-faith ideologies taking over.

We’ve had a massive decline in gun violence in the United States. Here’s why.

We’ve had a massive decline in gun violence in the United States. Here’s why. – The Washington Post:

“In 1993, there were seven homicides by firearm for every 100,000 Americans, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By 2013, that figure had fallen by nearly half, to 3.6 — a total of 11,208 firearm homicides. “

The article goes on to say that there’s some evidence that gun violence in prior decades was even worse, but the actual data is incomplete. And yet every time there’s a high-profile shooting the immediate call is for gun control when there’s no evidence that gun control laws have anything to do with the decline. But the reason the first response is gun control is because there’s no other place to look to assign blame for most of these politicians and left-wing pundits. When we’ve rejected man’s fallen nature and capacity for sin and need for a Savior, then all we can do is shrug and blame the tool used to commit the crime. If man is essentially immutable, then it makes no sense to focus any efforts of understanding or change in that direction.

Meanwhile, the New York Times published an article by an editor at that noted right-wing rag Mother Jones that shows that the current media narrative of 355 mass shootings in the US in 2015 is a bunch of baloney and that the real number, if you use the real definition is 4. Why make the distinction if they both involve guns?

While all the victims are important, conflating those many other crimes with indiscriminate slaughter in public venues obscures our understanding of this complicated and growing problem. Everyone is desperate to know why these attacks happen and how we might stop them — and we can’t know, unless we collect and focus on useful data that filter out the noise.

Plus, I’d rather accept my definition and count of violent crimes from the FBI and not some Reddit vigilantes with an axe to grind.


p style=”font-style: italic;font-size: 8px;”>Photo: Brandon Anderson/Flickr. CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0

Iraqi nun looks at Syria refugee battle through lens of own past

Gelzinis: Iraqi nun looks at Syria refugee battle through lens of own past | Boston Herald:

“‘To react to ISIS, to the horror they have caused,’ Mother Olga said, ‘is to close the door on all the people whose lives have already been shattered, who’ve lost parents and children and everything they have in this world.

‘While I understand why people would want to react this way out of fear for what they have seen,’ she said, ‘but by closing our doors to all the victims of ISIS, we are only giving ISIS even more power. In a very real sense, they have succeeded in terrorizing us.

‘Beyond making them stronger, this reaction removes the hope of those refugees who’ve been trapped by this poison, this evil, and are desperately seeking a way to sustain their lives.’”

Mother Olga speaks with moral authority because she’s been there. She was a refugee like the Syrian refugees of today.

Photo: George Martell/BCDS CC-BY-ND-2.0

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