Penumbras and emanations

Penumbras and emanations

James Taranto in today’s Wall Street Journal traces the lineage of the current spate of same-sex marriage rulings by activist judges all the way back to the US Supreme Court’s ruling in 1965 that overturned laws against contraceptives. It’s nothing new to most informed Catholics, but it’s a good primer for those who aren’t familiar with it.

Basically, that case, Griswold v. Connecticut, created the idea of a constitutional right to privacy that doesn’t actually existed in the words of the US Constitution. That was the creation of the idea of marital privacy. The right to use contraceptives was extended to unmarried couples in 1972’s Eisenstadt v. Baird, creating a right to reproductive privacy, which was of course used in 1973’s Roe v. Wade. In 1992, the court set the groundwork for the next phase of expansion with what I think could be the most open-ended and dangerous piece of jurisprudence in the court’s history (in my admittedly limited layman’s opinion), the phrase Justice Antonin Scalia calls “the famed sweet-mystery-of-life passage.”

“Intimate and personal choices,” the justices wrote, are “central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. 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.”

  • It is a felony  in Massachusetts to distribute contraception, except by a licensed pharmacist to a married couple with a doctor’s prescription. 

    Of course, this is just another state law which will not be enforced by Massachusetts police.  Why?  Because the police departments now all have lawyers who determine, every day, what the de facto law of the land is.  Perhaps the governor or police chiefs could override these findings.  But then who would the police obey?  Legitimate public authority or the courts and lawyers who have usurped it?  It will be FASCInating to find out, with a capital FASCIst, because when the course of government is determined by the police, we have a de facto police state.  That describes our present state as well as any future crises, for the police have chosen for now to back the courts and the silently assenting Governor over the Legislature.

    In the meantime, the elected Legislature is still passing laws, but they have confined themselves to the mundane, the trivial, and the absurd.   

    We live in times so awful, we would think it a parody if we watched it on television.  Our scientists get licenses to cannibalize babies, sodomy is a marital right, the greatest national security threat we face is our own refusal to reproduce, and in spite of all this, most of our clergy refuse to preach the Bible because it’s “out of date”!  And most people are too busy sinning to notice. 

  • At a garage sale several years ago, I acquired a booklet from the 1930s published by a pro-contraceptive group.

    It stated that the use of contraceptives would end poverty, strengthen marriages, and bring an end to prostitution.

    Given the rising divorce rates over the past several decades, the growing divide between the haves and have nots, and the sexual exploitation of women &children;, those promises turn to be dark falsehoods.