Editorial, The Week in Review – Vote X

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

09.26.2020

Vote X

There are thirty-eight days to go until the votes begin to be counted.

There are thirty-eight left on the calendar for us to take decisive action in determining the fate of our republic.

Stay vigilant in these remaining weeks and days.

Vote early, vote in person if you can. Check your ballot and ensure that all of the procedures outlined by your state have been followed, if you are mailing it in.

Vote the orange menace out!

The tyrant is losing and he knows it, he is getting increasingly desperate. He will employ more absurd and violent rhetoric, he engage increasingly dangerous activities, he will encourage his supporters, both in government and on the street to break the law and put our fellow American’s at risk to stir up chaos and generate the fog of war.

Look at what the governor of Florida has just done, with cases of COVID-19 rising across his state he has ordered that all businesses, restaurants and bars fully open. With thirty-eight days before the election the impact of this order will be felt on or about election day, it is a travesty.

Listen!

Forget about his Supreme Court pick, they are going to appoint her and she will be sworn in. Their hypocrisy notwithstanding, they have the political power to do it and they will. We can deal with that and deal with the abuse that the republicans have done to the federal courts after the election, first we must win, and win big.

Your voice is important, more now than ever, keep the conversation focused on Trump’s horrific failures, his inability to protect the American people from this virus, or even to understand the scope of the threat.

The economy in tatters, ten million unemployed, the rich getting richer, the poor being thrown of their homes, off of the insurance roles, American service men and women attacked and killed by the Russians.

Remind your friends and family of that, focus on the concrete examples of his criminality and negligence.

Vote!

 

Vote IX, Vote for the Notorious RBG – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

09.19.2020

Vote IX, Vote for the Notorious RBG

What a sad turn of events for our beloved champion Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I am sad that she did not have the satisfaction of living long enough to see her place on the Supreme court filled by one of her protégés, or a jurist of like mind.

I am sad because it is known that she had some anxiety about this, and would likely have retired sooner if she had known that her replacement would have a similar philosophy and temperament to her own.

Alas, we are not the authors of our own fate, not the in the ultimate sense.

I will not take the time to lionize her, there is enough of that going on. But I will take the time to note this, her life is an example of a life well lived and of the American dream fulfilled.

As people who care about her legacy how do we respond to this, what action can we take and should we take in our public life.

Give no ground…that is what we should do.

Here is the truth, if the Republicans in the senate are unified there is nothing that can be done about Trump filling her seat.

They have the votes.

Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and all of their ilk are raging hypocrites, we know it…Keep a spot light on it, but lets not waste time bemoaning the facts as they are.

As Nancy Pelosi says, we don’t agonize, we organize.

We have always known that this election would be about filling RBG’s seat on the Supreme Court.

If you were paying attention you would have known that the election in 2016 was about the same thing, and so here we are, the things that hang in the balance are: voting rights, police reform, a woman’s right to self-determination, who gets counted in the census, equal treatment under the law regardless of race, gender and sexual orientation, the Affordable Care Act, the question of whether corporations are to be treated like human beings, and whether are not the chief executive has the right to ignore the will of congress.

We have to use every tool at our disposal to challenge this, leave nothing on the table. We have to turn out the vote, win the presidency, win the senate, keep control of the house, control redistricting, and protect the American people from the worst most dishonest among us.

We have to promise our Republican neighbors that we will stack the courts, and impeach any justice that has lied before congress in their confirmation hearings, from the Supreme Court on down.

We have to take away the filibuster and seize firm control of the levers of power, we have to run those reprobates out of town.

Vote!

Truth – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

06.01.2019

Truth

All politicians lie. Even my favorite ones.

They lie about their intentions, they lie about their motivations, they skew the data to support their position, the promise what they know they cannot deliver.

Such is the nature of politics.

We lie to ourselves when we give credence to them, when we take the hand that we are offered as they lead us down the primrose bath. We slip on the shaded lenses, focus on the technicolor dream, narrow our criticism while they slip on the blinders. We are willing accomplices in all this.

Have we entered a new era? It seems that we have.

Truth itself is under attack, our ability to understand it to predicate policy on it, to cleave to its norms, those things too have seemingly been swept away.

We used to be able to acknowledge and appreciate a difference between the elected (political) leadership in government, and those career bureaucrats who keep the institutions running, year after year, through all of the ups-and-downs in the political fortunes of either party.

The safeguards that protected those structures have been undone.

We are in a dangerous place.

I listened to Mitch McConnell coyly suggest that if a vacancy in the Supreme Court were to appear in the presidential election year he would seek to fill the seat, he laughed as he said it, remembering how he refused to have hearings on President Obama’s last nominee on the grounds that it was a presidential election year, and the voters should decide.

He was lying about his motives then, he gave a deceptive rationale. He overturned constitutional norms to have his way, and now he would gleefully go back on himself.

President Trump nominated men to the highest court who told bald faced lies to the Senate in their confirmation hearings, perjuring themselves before the bar of justice, so that they could ascend to the highest place.

They had no regard for the truth.

The truth is under constant assault.

All politicians lie, but none have ever lied as much as Donald Trump, or dragged so many with them into the morass of lies as he has, just because they fear for their political life, or things they might enrich themselves from the little crumbs that he might drop from the table.

How did we get to this place where a bankrupt TV star, the World’s biggest loser, one Donald J. Trump, conspired with our adversaries, the Russians to get himself elected President of the United States, and nearly half the country does not care.

He get up on TV and lies to the American people everyday, and they do not protest.

They repeat his lies when he says that Mexico will pay for his wall, that China is paying for his tariffs, that he cut taxes for the average people,

They accept his love affair with the leader of North Korea, and the unreciprocated bro-mance he has going with Vladimir Putin.

What has happened here?

Where are the patriots among the republican electorate?

Why don’t they abandon him?

The republican party is anathema to America. They do not want a constitutional government, they are not worthy of the name republican. They do not want to live in a representative democracy, they are afraid of the people and an informed electorate.

They lie, cheat, and steal, because they hate America.

Election Post Facto – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
11.10.2018

Election Post Facto
Hope.

The electoral response to T-Rump was fantastic. We voted and T-Rump vision for America was checked.

It was checked, and that is hopeful.

There is hope, but the struggle is far from over.

The Democratic Party lost a couple of races that we had hoped would win. We lost them narrowly. We can take heart in the fact that the race for the Senate in Texas was as close as it was, even though Beto went down.

The same is true of the Governor’s race in Georgia, though we are still counting votes, and there is a sliver of a chance that when the votes are done being counted, it will result in a run-off election on December 4th. We have to keep our energy up, and be prepared to turn out for that race, if it should occur.

The race for Governor and Senate in Florida is still being counted as well, we cannot allow these races to be concluded until every vote that has been cast has been counted. We cannot allow Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion to stand, that the right to vote does not guarantee the right to have your vote counted.

The Democratic Party won big, but we need to keep on winning. We cannot rest and we must take stock of the campaigns that ran successfully, in Texas and Florida and Georgia, even if the candidates ultimately lost or loose.

I have always been a proponent of supporting the moderate middle, not because I am a moderate at heart, but because I believe that politics is about the art of compromise.

However, we were shown something, and I have learned something, that the right candidate can carry a progressive message, and drive it straight into the heart of conservative Texas, and Georgia, even congressional districts in Oklahoma, the right candidate can take the message home, and turn out people who have never voted before.

The Democratic Party has to learn its lesson from this, we have to field progressives in every district where the contrast and distinction of the platform will stir the people up, and get them to take a chance on changing direction.

I still believe in compromise, but I also believe in the necessity of reclaiming the starting point on where the negotiation must begin, and plant that flag far to the left, and reclaim the middle for fairness, equality, and common sense.

There is hope, yes, but there is also cause for grave concern.

T-Rump is afraid, and he is stirring up his base. They are coming out to support him with guns and bombs, literally, his people are willing to kill to defend his fake presidency, his criminal regime.

There is hope, yes but there is a certain need to stay mobilized and keep the pressure up.

Tens of millions of people came out in support of the Republican agenda, of Donald T-rump and the sycophants in Congress that do obeisance to him. The fake president still have control oft the executive branch, Mitch McConnell will remain the senate majority leader (unless a couple of conscientious Senators decide to go independent and caucus with the Democrats), and so-called conservatives still hold out of nine seats on the Supreme Court.

The country showed more of who we truly are last Tuesday, both the good and the regrettable, we came out in large numbers, and we have to keep up the struggle and push our majority through the year 2020, and the redistricting of congressional districts that will take place then.

Power – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
10.06.2018
Power
Frank Herbert said: Power does not corrupt, it merely attracts the corruptible.

He wrote many insightful things about the human condition in his great collection of Science Fiction, the Dune books, and others. The first time I read those words they resonated with me, and I knew he was right.

Like moths to the flame, the corruptible are attracted to power, it is lamentable that like moths, they do not burn up when the fly to close to it.

Frank Herbert also said this:

Most people never participate. They get by on little more than dumb persistence, reacting with anger and even violence, at anything that might come along to disrupt their resentment filled lives of mediocrity.

Look at the American electorate, look at crowds of people who gather to listen to the orange villain speak, listen to him channel their anger, watch it grow in response to him, in its vile, vituperative, vicious feedback-loop.

T-Rump in the exemplar, sine qua non, he is the unparalleled archetype of the first piece of wisdom offered by the sage, Frank Herbert.

This ridiculous buffoon shot from his mother’s womb like a steaming pile of corrupt filth, demonstrating throughout his life his obsessive need for congratulation, and adulation and the love of the crowd that you have to wonder if he was ever loved at all.

I think his mother must have seen what he would become and rejected him from the start, without realizing how her own neglect would shape him into the monster that he has become.

Did you read the report in the New York Times on the lifetime of corruption and fraud he and his family have pursued, and lied about, the hundreds of millions of dollars he squandered of his father’s fortune, finally, robbing his father of it when he was disabled with dementia, by forcing him to sign a codicil to his will.

We have a fixed number of constitutionally appointed officers and office holder outlined in our constitution. We have three branches of government and their roles are fixed.

These are the bright flames of power, that attract the corrupt people like T-Rump, yes, his corruption is obvious, you can see it dripping from him as he salivates when he throws his tantrums on the stage.

Let’s talk about the corruption of people like Susan Collins the Senator from Maine. She got in front of the camera yesterday and gave a speech about the nominee for the Supreme Court, in which she pretended to be reasonable in her acceptance of all the lies that the nominee told the senate, both this year, and in past years when he had previously sought confirmation for a judicial appointment, to the federal bench, and to the court of appeals.

The man told bold face lies; about his role in the Bush administration in drafting the legal rationale for torture, about his receipt and use of e-mails that had been stolen from the opposition party in the senate, about his knowledge of the sexual harassment and inappropriateness of a judge he clerked for, who resigned his post over his behavior; he lied about his own habits, his drinking in high school and in college, about the parties he attended, about the meaning of passages written in his yearbook, about his nickname Bart, about his own sexual conduct and misbehavior. He lied about when he knew about the allegations that came from his second accuser, Debby Ramirez, telling the Judiciary Committee that he learned about it when the story appeared in the paper, while at the same time his former classmates were coming forward with texts messages from him and he PR team, weeks before, pushing them to adopt a narrative to refute Debby Ramirez’ claims.

He lied, he ranted, he raved, he treated his nomination like it was an entitlement, rather than the honor and the privilege it is.

Susan Collins got up and in her speech, whitewashed the entire record. She asked the American people to believe that she does not know when she is being lied to, and to in turn accept her lies in asking us to believe it.

She did what the rest of the Republicans in the Senate did, their colleagues in the house, the President and all their supporters did; they foisted a con on the American people, a scam, they screamed and whined, and they told us the most obvious lies, all of it pouring out of their mouth like vomit, from the corrupt place inside of them where all of their self-loathing lies.

They did not do this for love of country. They did not do this because they think this will make America a better country to live in, a more descent country to live in, a more hopeful country to live in, or more just.

They did it because they think and believe in their collective rotten-heart that this vote today, this vote for Kavanaugh, is the path for them to retain the power that they covet.
On the campaign trail, the MAGA voter, the T-Rump sycophants, they eat it up, proving the latter thesis offered by the wise Frank Herbert.

They give no thought to what it means to let such a man onto the highest court in the land; a political partisan, an ideologue, a hack; a man who perjured himself to get confirmed, a man who once assaulted a fifteen year-old girl, and who could not find it in his hear to apologize, seek forgiveness and move on.

The MAGA voter only wants to see their Dear Leader win, to experience his victory vicariously, even while he pushes them down, stands on their backs, to bask in their applause.

T-Rump has taken to vilifying the survivors of sexual assault, of rape, to mock them and ridicule while his crowds cheer. He has brought the country low, and he seeks to bring it lower still, counting on the anger of his followers, their rage and their violence to keep it there.

We must resist

It is one month until the election, we must resist.

Is it Too Much to Ask? – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
09.29.2018

Is it Too Much to Ask?
I think the entire country was tuned into the Senate judiciary hearings last Thursday?

Dr. Ford came to tell her story, she was hectored by a career prosecutors over trivial details like who paid for the polygraph she submitted to, the answer was that her lawyers paid for it, and she in turn will pay her lawyers, making it so that she will pay for it in the end, though some of the monies may come from a fundraising website the GoFundME.

The republicans on the judiciary committee were afraid to appear on camera asking her any questions at all, that is why they used a woman, a Republican District Attorney, from the most conservative county in Arizona to do their work for her.

When Dr. Ford was finished testifying they all expressed their belief that they found her credible and honest, while insisting that the whole endeavor was an orchestrated smear campaign, engineered to discredit Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

It strains credulity to imagine how both things can be true. Dr. Ford began talking about the assault she endured at Brett Kavanaugh’s hands five – six years ago in therapy, she told her husband at that time as well, and she tried to get the information out, while remaining anonymous, to Trump’s selection committee even before he emerged as the nominee.

None of that mattered to Republicans, it is too much to ask them to handle the coordination of some very simple facts.

When it was Kavanaugh’s turn to sit in the hot seat, he opened his time with a blistering partisan attack on the process, claiming he was being railroaded for the sake of revenge, because the Democrats were outraged over having lost the 2016 presidential election, and on behalf of the Clinton’s.

He yelled at the committee, he frothed at the mouth, he cried.

He was mistreated he said, his name had been ruined, and his reputation and his life. It was too much to ask of him, to stand up to the scrutiny of a simple hearing. To answer questions about his past.

The prosecutor from Arizona opened with a simple question about some dates on his personal calendar he had presented as evidence, but rather than exculpate him, his entries seemed to implicate him in his crimes against Dr. Ford thirty-five years ago, crimes he is intent on denying, perjuring himself before the Senate, committing a felony while applying for a chair on the highest court in the land.

It is too much to ask him to be honest.

The Republicans ask the professional they had brought in to leave, after her first question.

They yelled and condemned the process, they vilified the democrats, who while being in the majority are practically powerless.

Kavanaugh yelled, and berated the democrats, and evaded their questions, and told more lies.

It was disgusting,

When it was all said in and done, the Republicans, most of them (not all) were patting themselves on the back. They were proud of their aggression, the fierce denial of the facts.

That guy, judge Kavanaugh revealed himself to be nothing more than a toady, a political hack, with no regard for the law, or for justice.

Thank God for that.

Destroying the Truth – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
09.12.2018

Destroying the Truth

Twenty years ago the Republicans in the House, many of them, like South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, still serving in congress, impeached President Bill Clinton, for the crime of perjury.

They impeached him for lying under oath. They failed to convict him in the Senate, but all of the republicans in the Senate at the time voted to convict, many of them are still there now, like the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, the Senator from Iowa.

These hypocrites pretended that fidelity to the truth was so important that they would throw the duly elected President out of office, because he lied to federal investigators, under oath, in the context of a hyper partisan investigation that began by looking at some real estate deals and ended up focusing on a consensual sexual relationship between him a white house intern

The Republicans in the Senate do not care for the truth, not one jot, the truth is a thing to be parsed for political advantage, they themselves are sworn to uphold the law and to protect and preserve the Constitution of the United Sates of America, now they are willing to turn a blind while Judge Brett Kavanaugh, lies to their face, not once or twice, but repeatedly.

My opinion is not the judgment of a court of law, I do not have hold back from expressing it until I wait for evidence to be presented that convinces me beyond a reasonable doubt.

I am just a private citizen, and I have seen enough from this guy and his apologists in the Republican Party, the President and the Senate, the members of the house and all of their paid pundits, to know that this man lied in his testimony before the senate.

He lied in these hearings related to his candidacy to sit on the Supreme Court, and he lied in his testimony when he was first made a federal judge.

He lied.

He lied about his activities in the Office of Legal Council for President George W. Bush.

He lied about his receipt and use of stolen e-mails from the Democratic members of congress.

He lied about his connections to the law firm of the current President of the United States.

Now he is lying about his sexual assault of a fifteen year old girl when he was in high school.

Everyone knows he has lied about these things and is lying. The President knows, the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky knows, every member of the Judiciary Committee knows.

Everyone in the world who has paid any attention to his nomination hearings knows that he is willing to commit the crime of perjury, the crime they impeached Bill Clinton for, he is willing to commit that crime over and over again, just so that he can get a life time appointment to the Supreme Court.

He knows he is a lying liar, and he just does not care. For him, and everyone who is supporting him, the adherence to the truth is a matter of convenience.

They are like the old man in Tom Wolf’s novel, Bonfire of the Vanities, who tells his son, “If the truth won’t set you free…then lie.”

I prefer the wisdom of Merlin, who tells King Arthur when he asked what the greatest quality of knighthood is, Truth he says, it is Truth, “because when you lie, you murder a part of the world.”

Step back for a moment and have some perspective. I know we are not going to stop the lying liars from lying, and every politician lies, republicans have not cornered the market on it, and the democrats in office, even the most virtuous of them prevaricate.

This is different, there are nine members of the Supreme Court, the sit there for life, they have the power to interpret law in such as way as to make sweeping changes in our culture. They are no elected, they are nominate and then confirmed by the Senate.

This conservative Republican Party can find someone else to take the seat on the highest court. They can and they should find someone who does not have to lie to get past his hearings, who isn’t guilty of the things he is guilty of, and he is guilty of them.

He is guilty of sexually assaulting that girl when he was in high school, and he is guilty of lying about it now.

And that is where we are.

Regrets – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
06.30.2018

Regrets

 

I spent the last half of this week listening to the leaders and spokespeople for the Democratic Party talk at length about their plans to try and stop the appointment of the next Supreme Court Justice by Donald Trump.

It is nauseating.

The prospect of this illegitimate president appointment a second justice is nauseating.

The lack of unity on the left is even more nauseating.

This, and all of the rest of the social and political travesties that have been perpetrated on the American people are what happens when liberals and progressives fall apart and fall away from each other because the favorite causes of one group are at odds with the favorite causes of another group and any talk of compromise is treated as a betrayal of a person’s core values.

The Supreme Court was on the ballot in 2016, but Bernie Sanders’s and his supporters would not relent. Even after Bernie endorsed the Clinton candidacy a good number of his supporters, ran into the trap that had been laid out for them by Vladimir Putin’s puppet leftist, Jill Stein.

It was sickening.

The Supreme Court was on the Ballot then. The republican majority in the senate were refusing to even give President Obama’s pick to fill the vacancy a hearing, let alone take a vote, and they got away with it.

The senate denied President Obama’s candidate. Trump got elected, he appointed an arch-conservative to the court, and he is about to do it again.

It is nauseating, to listen to pundits on the left, office holders and activists pretend like the standard which the Republican majority leader in the Senate, Mitch Mc Connell, used to justify his refusal to give President Obama’s candidate a vote, to pretend that they should be able to hold Mitch Mc Connell to that standard now; no appoints to the Supreme Court in an election year.

I have some news for them, they should shut their mouths.

Mitch Mc Connell has zero credibility, no intellectual honesty, we cannot expect fairness or consistency from him on anything. The only principle he will adhere to is the principle of doing the bidding of his masters. It is the only reason he holds the position he holds.

Mitch Mc Connell hates the American people, hates our democratic institutions, hates America, he is a feckless villain, who has ceded the power of his office and the authority of the Senate to a man who is willing to destroy the country for the satisfaction of his vanity, and his all-cosuming greed.

To all my liberal friends who are crying now, if you are in that group that only ever offered tepid support to Hillary Clinton. If you cried and whined, about having to compromise your values at the voting booth. If you pushed stories from Russian Bots and Trolls against her candidacy. If you did not vote at all, or if you voted for Stein, then I am sad for you in this moment, because I am sad for what this moment means to our country…but really, this is your nightmare.

Do not tell me that Hillary lost because she ran a terrible campaign…I do not want to hear that. She did, so what. She is a terrible campaigner, but she was a good policy wonk, her candidacy was never about her personality, it was based on her ability to be an effective administrator…and oh, by the way, she won the popular vote, she won more votes than any other candidate in history.

Take a look at the Republicans and the right wing of the American electorate. They are in the minority, there are fewer of them than there are of us, by they are unified, they march in lock step, and that is why they win.

If we cannot learn from that, organize and get out the vote, compromise and push our agenda forward, then we get what we get: a criminal regime, the destruction of the international order, the ruination of the country and the degradation of the constitution.

On the Freedom to Marry – Collected Parts

It is wrong to deny women and men the freedom to be married.

It is wrong and Un-American.

It is inhuman, against humanity.

There is a continuing struggle over civil liberties and human rights in our culture, and around the world. It is a struggle that divides Americans at every level; in our governments, in our churches, even friends and families.

This debate must be conducted on clear terms, and while it is true that the American people have found justice in the struggle for marriage equality, the risk is still great that this justice is merely a temporary reprieve.

Rights that are acknowledged in one decade, can be rescinded in the next.

We must be diligent, we must jealously defend the rights of all Americans, take up the cause on the world stage, albeit as late comers, but nevertheless as champions of human dignity for the remainder of the world whose cultures are still struggling with these basic rights.

This discussion surrounding marriage equality needs clarity, because it is all too often confused by a whirlwind of emotions, rhetoric and religious fervor; it is obfuscated by legal jargon, pseudo history and dubious theology.

As a Christian theologian and historian who believes firmly in the separation of church and state, as a person from a multi-racial family with a lifelong interest in civil rights and the full enfranchisement of all citizens, as a veteran who served this country out of a firm belief in American values and the guarantee of freedom for every individual, as a heterosexual male raised in one of the largest homosexual communities in America, as a person who has worked and played with, befriended, worshipped beside and loved gay men and women, all of my life; as an American, I feel a calling to raise my own voice in the face of the storm, to still the whirlwinds of protest and oppose those people who would like to put, my friends and family, my neighbors, my fellow Americans back on the outside.

In 2012, we reached a turning point in our culture.

For the first time ever, the freedom to marry was granted to same sex couples, not through the courts, not through the legislature, but directly, by the voters themselves in three states; Maine, Maryland, and Washington. By the process of voter referendum, same-sex couples were granted the right to marry.

At the same time voters in Minnesota rejected a voter referendum that would have enshrined Minnesota’s opposition to same-sex marriage (already denied by state law), in its constitution.

A watershed moment had come.

In June of 2015, in a five to four ruling, the United State Supreme Court determined that same-sex couple nationwide had the right to marry.

This is now the law of the land, but the struggle for marriage equality is not over.

Since the Supreme Court ruling, there have been numerous challenges to the rights of American citizens. Clerks in government offices have refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, bakers, and caterers and wedding planners have refused to serve same-sex couples, citing their freedom of religion and their moral objection to same-sex marriage as the grounds for their refusal.

There are tens of millions of Americans living in every state of the union, holding positions in government, on our courts and everywhere that we can think of who would if they could see these rights overturned.

The struggle for equality, for these basic human rights, goes beyond our borders, all people of good will must keep up the fight for these and every other protection to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that are under threat by institutional bigotry, racism, and hatred, by the spirit of injustice everywhere.

Let me be clear and let me reiterate. To deny women and men the freedom to marry the person of their choice is Un-American.

It is wrong in many ways.

It is wrong because it is an affront to the basic values and beliefs of American culture, tenets which we hold to be both true, and self-evident, principles that are enshrined in the charter documents that served as the justification for the foundation of our nation.

These principles must guide us. If we are not led by them, we will never be able to exercise leadership in the world.

The Declaration of Independence (adopted in Congress on 4 July, 1776) states, that all people are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, such as: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The Declaration states in its preamble that the purpose of the American legal code is to form “a more perfect union…to establish justice…and to ensure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

The perfection of our union demands, that the establishment of justice be moved to extend the full franchise of citizenship to all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation, or whatever it is about them that the majority does not like.

The perfection of justice demand that all of our fellow citizens be free, and be able to live out their lives in pursuit of their happiness.

To take up the pen and fight for these truths, to fight for the recognition of truth, and the equal application of these principles in the lives of all people, is the essence of what it means to be an American, or a citizen of good conscience of any nation, anywhere in the world.

To place limits on who is protected by the Constitution, to curtail the rights of individual citizens or groups, to deprive them of life or the richness of married life, to rob them of their liberty-the liberty to choose their own spouse, to censure their happiness by denying them the right of self determination, simply because they have a different sexual orientation than those in the majority, that is to argue for the establish a classist society, of the type that we Americans rejected long ago, which we rejected in principle when our founders wrote those charter documents.

I was raised in an inter-racial family.

My European-American mother was born in 1940 and spent part of her youth in the segregated South.
She remembers the era of Jim Crow, which both shames me and pains me to imagine.

In America, not very long ago, my European-American mother and my African-American stepfather would have been denied the freedom to marry one another due to the fact that they are not of the same “race” (an arbitrary classification).

If that had been the case, my younger brother would not have had the benefit of growing up in a household with married parents. I would not have had the benefit of seeing my mother’s relationship with my stepfather legitimized by society. A marriage license would not have been granted to them. Even if they could have found a minister, a rabbi, a pastor or a priest to perform a wedding service, their union would not have been recognized by the state.

That would have been reprehensible, morally objectionable, and a crime against humanity.

The act of denying a woman or a man the freedom to marry the person of their choice is just as wrong as it would be to force someone to marry against their will, which is still commonly done, and is in fact the tradition, in many parts of the world.

To deny a woman or man the freedom to marry a person of their own sex is just as wrong as denying two people from two different ethnic backgrounds the freedom to marry one another: a person of European descent the freedom to marry a person of African descent, Asian descent or Native American descent.

It is wrong.

At an earlier moment of our history, in different places of our country, this kind of discrimination was legal. We permitted our prejudices and fears to overwhelm our sense of justice and thereby denied women and men the right of self-determination.

We moved past this because it was wrong, because it is Un-American, because it strikes against the basic notion that all people are created equal, equally loved by their creator, equal in dignity and equally entitled to make free choices regarding how they worship, and where; regarding who they associate with and love.

In America, according to our best traditions, our way life changed and our laws eventually caught up with our conscience. We overcame this form of bigotry, this fear of mixing the “races,” this racism and racial discrimination, but we have not overcome bigotry all-together. We still fear, hate and discriminate against our neighbors. We tolerate it when it is directed toward our friends and family when the issue is human sexuality.

It is one thing to discriminate against people in your private life. As Americans, we have the freedom to assemble with people of our own choosing. No one can force us to befriend people we do not want to befriend.

It is sad to live in fear; I think it is, sad to watch someone who nurtures hate, intolerance and bigotry. However, I am moved by more than sorrow when those people seek to enshrine their fear and bigotry in the laws of the United States.

I am moved by anger when I see injustice, and moved by pride in my American heritage to fight against it.

I am moved by the ideals of the founders, moved out of desire not to be shamed by the generations of Americans who went before me, who gave their lives in the struggle to guarantee freedom and equality for all citizens, for all people

I am moved out of a desire not to be shamed by those Americans who are fighting and dying still, for the protection of those same rights, especially those Americans serving in the armed, defending the nation even though many would have us return to treating them like second class citizens.

The shameful truth is this. We live in a classist society now.

Women and men in same-sex relationships have been granted the freedom to marry, but those freedoms are under assault. They are being challenged in the courts, in state legislatures, by private citizens, at every level in our society.

If those retrogressive forces get their way, they would deprive homosexual couples the assurance that all heterosexual couples enjoy, and expect, simply because they are married. At the most critical moments of their lives, when they are sick or dying, or when tragedy suddenly strikes, they would deprive American citizens of the right to visit their loved ones in hospital rooms, protection in court, and the right to make decisions on behalf of their spouse.

We live in a classist society right now.

It is shameful.

The division between classes is different than that which was between the patrician and plebian, the commoner and lord, the freeperson and the slave. The markers of classism in our society are less obvious than they once were. We do not mark our class by the color of our clothes, by who is entitled to wear purple or don the top hat, by who is allowed to learn to read and write, or vote. The markers of classism in our society today are different, but no less distinct, and no less defiant of reason to uphold it.

Classism in our society is not codified in law, it is upheld by cultural norms, and goes beyond the present discussion on the freedom to marry. Classism in American is promoted by the ever shrinking European American majority as means of dividing and oppressing any group of citizens in the minority; by religion, by language, by ethnicity, by the color of their skin and by their sexuality.

As Americans, it is our duty to resist the temptation toward these old habits of bigotry. Whatever troubles the institution of marriage is having among heterosexual couples; whether it is a rising divorce rate, marital infidelity, the increasingly public exposure of spousal abuse, or simply the fact that fewer opposite-sex couples are entering into marriage; whatever social forces caused these troubles, the existence of these troubles is no reason to fear the marriage of same-sex couples.

Same-sex couples around the world who are seeking the right to marry, do so because they ardently believe that the institution of marriage is a good in and of itself. In America they fervently strive to preserve this right for themselves, a right that all of their heterosexual peers posses, and give no thought at all to whether they might be allowed to be married, or not. For same-sex couples in America, it may prove to be merely a privilege, one that can be granted or revoked at the will of a simple majority on the Supreme Court of the United States

Because I do not fear the marriage of same-sex couples, it is difficult for me to comprehend the fear that other people have regarding it.

Fear itself is irrational.

Many people fear the unknown, fear change, fear what is different.

I have heard it said by the opponents of same-sex marriage, that same-sex unions; threaten, undermine, weaken the institution of marriage among opposite-sex couples.

I have seen no evidence for this, and though evidence for this has been asked for in court, none has been presented that the courts have taken seriously.

Nevertheless, opponents of same-sex marriage feel that this is true.

They believe it.

The D.O.M.A. law (Defense of Marriage Act), which has been declared unconstitutional, illustrates this point.

Opponents of same sex-marriage believe that the institution of marriage is under assault, that they have lost a major battle, and that the war against the freedom to marry is not over.

They believe that their own marriages are threatened by the marriage of same-sex couples. As a result, they believe that their traditional way of life must be defended.

Until the twenty-first century, in America, there had not been a tradition allowing same-sex couples to marry. However, in America, traditions change, grow, and become more inclusive.

Right now, in America, we are doing something different. This does not happen by fiat, there is no automatic process at work. Changes in traditional ways of life, traditional points of view, traditional beliefs, do not come without struggle. There is always a push and pull, and then a watershed. America is changing, even as one group of Americans grow more and more accepting of same-sex relationships, another group becomes more recalcitrant. One group of Americans seeks to use the powers of government, and law to narrow the franchise of citizenship, while another group struggles to expand it.

This is a tug of war, and the rights of every citizen hang in the balance.

When we are faced with something new, something like same-sex marriage, if your imagination fails you and you cannot find a provision in your tradition that allows a woman to marry a woman or a man to marry a man. The solution to such a failure can often be found in creative thinking, with dialogue, by sitting down at the table and talking to one another.

In America, right now, in 2017, just two years after United States Supreme Court established marriage equality as the law of the land. Our current President is talking with his most ardent supporters about stacking the courts at every level, with justice who will work to overturn that ruling.

Law suits are being filed, laws are being passed in the states and ruled on by lower court justices, in a way that creates constitutional conflict, guaranteeing them a path to a new decision by the Supreme Court.

The battle is not over.

Rights once granted, must be fought for in order to be preserved.

These people who enact new laws, that forbid men and women from marrying the people they love, the people they choose, forbid them because they are different, curtail their freedom even though they are American citizens, because their sexuality, sexual preference, gender identity differs from the majority.

It is because we focus more on our differences from our brothers and sisters, than on our sameness as Americans, as human beings and as children of God that we create and foster this utterly bigoted, immoral, unconscionable and Un-American classism.

Not only does this classism harm the individuals who are targeted by these laws, it harms their extended families, their children included.

These prejudices, and prejudice of any kind harms all future generations of Americans.

It harms our posterity.

It may come as a surprise to some, but gay people have children.
They have children of their own. They have their own progeny. Gay people procreate.
The children of gay Americans are American children.
Sometimes their children are born from relationships that did not work.
Sometimes same-sex couples, like opposite-sex couples, engage surrogates and sperm donors to facilitate their procreation.
Gay people have children.
Sometimes they adopt children who are orphaned, unwanted, or not able to be cared for by their birth-parents. They foster children under the aegis of the state, or as a service to members of their own family.
The children of people in same-sex relationships should be able to witness and experience the relationships that their parents are in, and behold them as fully legitimate.
Like me, and like my younger brother, they should be able to say; “my parents are married.”
The act of denying women and men the freedom to marry the person they choose, according to their own desire; has harmful consequences that reach far beyond those relationships, that reach into the lives of the generations that follow them.
Stigmatizing the relationships that their parents are in through classism, and legalized discrimination, can only serve to undermine respect for the institution of marriage, an institution that is at the heart of the American social order and the foundation of our society.
The sad irony is this, fighting against the freedom of same-sex couples to marry, far from defending the institution, actually delegitimizes it, undermines it, generates resentment for it.
Americans are intuitively distrustful of privilege, and unconsciously gravitate toward the “underdog.” If we were to bring this classism back and preserve marriage as a benefit for opposite-sex couples only, fewer and fewer heterosexual boys and girls will want to participate in it themselves.
When I was eighteen years old I rented a room in a house that I shared with a lesbian couple. Twenty-nine years later those two women are still together as a couple. They are the primary caregivers to a pair of their grandchildren.

Imagine explaining to those children why these two women should not be able to have their relationship fully endorsed by the state.

Imagine telling them why their two grandmothers should not be married.

Imagine it.

Tell me about the harm that is done to the institution of marriage, not your narrowly defined traditions, but to the institution of marriage, by allowing these two women to be married, to have their license and be wed; tell me how they would not be harmed if we were to return them to the status of second class citizens,

Tell me that, and I will tell you of harm done to their grandchildren by seeing them so mistreated, then you will have to tell me how this is justified in order to preserve a traditional model of marriage.

Tell me of what that reasoning is and I will show you how you are confused.

This is not a game with a zero-sum outcome.

We are talking about the rights of citizens, and the building blocks of family life.

If you take the position that same-sex marriage undermines opposite-sex marriage, you are casting the issue in zero-sum, terms.

The suggestion is:

To grant our homosexual citizens the same rights of any other citizen, the right to be married and to have their marriage contract honored wherever they go, to expand the franchise of citizenship in this way, encroaches on the rights of heterosexuals.

However, there is no such proposition. No one is saying that we should grant same-sex couples the right to marry, while restricting the rights of opposite-sex couples.

If these rights are rescinded by the courts, same-sex couples would be denied their actual rights, their standing in court, recourse to the law.

When the Supreme Court affirmed the rights of same-sex couples to be married, the opponents of same sex-marriage lost nothing, nothing substantial, nothing except a social (and legal) affirmation of their traditional values

This is what is good:

It is good to have our friends and neighbors, our brothers and sisters; and yes, even our mother and fathers, be who they are, living as they are, as fully enfranchised members of our society, without fear, or shame, or stigma.
When I was fifteen years old I had a girlfriend with a gay father.

She loved her dad and was proud of him, and though she did not shy away from the struggle of telling people her father was gay, it was nevertheless a struggle that she should not have had to face.

Her father took good care of her. Her father was in a steady relationship. If society could have recognized that relationship as legitimate, allowed him to marry his partner, made the issue of his sexuality into something that was not an issue at all, his burden would not have been her burden. In fact, his sexuality would not have been a burden to anyone at all.

It would have been good to spare them that angst.

I am not saying that granting same-sex couples the right to be married would resolve all the social stigmas that are attached to homosexuality in an instant, but it would address those stigmas and set them on their way toward resolution and healing.

The fact that my European-American mother was able to marry my African-American stepfather did not resolve the issues of bigotry and racism that lingered around my family, but had they not been able to be legally wed, that older generation of my family, which was resentful of their union, would have felt comfortable stewing in their fear that much more.

Granting legitimacy to same-sex couples, through the institution of marriage will carry them on their way toward healing as well, like the sutures that close an open wound and knit common flesh together, telling gay Americans that they are honored, valued and loved will go a long way toward ending a large array of discrimination that these citizens face.

Marriage is essentially a contract between two people. The act of denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry is only one dimension of this bigotry, the harm that it does to their children and families is another dimension, but there are more. Codifying this classist structure in law, as D.O.M.A. did, had the effect of preventing hundreds of thousands of adult women and men from making the most formal and solemn commitment to one another.

That law was passed in order “to define and protect the institution of marriage.”

I argue that this D.O.M.A. harmed the institution of marriage and our society, it has not helped either. Not only did that law codify a narrow definition of marriage that privileges (only) heterosexuals by defining marriage as meaning “…a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ [as] refer[ing] only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.’’ The harm it dis through this narrow definition was substantial, because it limited the number of people who were willing to participate in the institution, to support it and promote it as a good, but who could not, because their relationship did not meet the statutory criteria.

The harm D.O.M.A. did to individual people is one thing, but it also harmed the United States Constitution. The passage of this law restricted the power of Article 1, Section 10 without having gone through the process of a constitutional amendment.

The Defense of Marriage Act states:

No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship.

More than simply preventing same-sex couples from having the benefits, the legal privileges, rights of inheritance and tax benefits that heterosexual couples can enjoy (or abuse) without anyone standing in their way; this unconstitutional denial of rights, this classism, if it were to return, would rob American girls, it steal from American boys a future in which they can look forward to having their relationships with whatever partner they choose, acknowledged, valued and accepted by their contemporaries.

It would take from them the hope of being able to celebrate their love for their future husband, or future wife in the same way that every other American is able to do.

It would inform them, wrongly, that they are less American, less human, less deserving of the good stuff in life.

It would tell these girls and boys, who, though gay, are still American, but who, as members of a persecuted minority, that because they are different from ninety percent of their peers, that they are less deserving, and less good.

These are the messages we used to send, and we cannot return to a place where we are sending these messages again.

Imagine an American girl, your daughter or niece, your granddaughter or cousin, your sister; imagine her, and imagine that it is you yourself telling her that her hopes for a wedding, her dream of wearing a beautiful dress, a wedding-gown, of being led down the aisle toward the one person with whom she wants to spend the rest of her life; imagine telling her that her dream is nonsense, that it is never going to happen, that it should never happen-not in this country, not according to your tradition.

People are not encouraged to enter marriage blindly, quite the contrary.

People are encouraged to enter into marriage from relationships that are already established, already tested, with people upon whom they already rely, already trust, and already know.

The time for marriage comes when the couple has discerned, through experience, that this one person is the person who completes them, who understands the other, who is best able to support their partner, in and through all the unknowns that will be coming ahead them; through the good times and the bad, whether there is sickness or health, whether poverty or wealth.

The time for marriage comes when the couple has discerned that their partner is the one person who they want by their side for the rest of their lives; to have, and to hold, to love and to cherish.

Imagine telling this American girl, or this American boy, these American children who dreams of wedding rings and spoken vows, of sharp suits and flowing gowns, of tuxedos with tails, and family gathered together to hear her and him say that they have found the person they love above all others and they ready to settle down, make a home, and provide for them, with them, together; imagine telling that girl and that boy that this dream for a future of happiness, of security, a dream which we encourage all girls and boys to dream, is a dream they should stop dreaming because the framework of your tradition is not expansive enough to include them.

Imagine telling these children, these hundreds of thousands of American children that this dream is not for them because they are different, because the person they love, or will come to love is the same gender as they.

Imagine telling them this and try to make sense out of why their gender matters, in light of all those other considerations.

Imagine telling them this, and know; that in all of our stories, in all of our great literature, in all of our epics, in our poetry, it is invariably the villain who stands in the way of love.

In an argument made before the Supreme Court of Iowa, the people and organizations that were defending Iowa state law (at that time), prohibiting same sex couples from being married, in keeping with the federal Defense of Marriage Act (then the law of the of the land), allowed Iowa to not acknowledge the marriages of same sex couples legally entered into in other states; the proponents of that unjust law cited these basic interests:

The first three interests are broadly related to the advancement
of child rearing. Specifically, the objectives centered on promoting
procreation, promoting child rearing by a mother and a father within a
marriage, and promoting stability in an opposite-sex relationship to raise
and nurture children. The fourth interest raised by the County addressed
the conservation of state resources, while the final reason concerned the
governmental interest in promoting the concept and integrity of the
traditional notion of marriage.

The essence of these arguments amounts to a request that the tradition of heterosexual marriage and heterosexual marriage only, be preserved, over and against any other form of marriage. However, these arguments failed to address what compelling interest the state had in denying the freedom to marry, to same-sex couples.

The arguments were merely a plea to the court, a plea to allow the State of Iowa to continue the systematic disenfranchisement of a group of its citizens, to continue the practice of telling gay women and gay men that they are not, in fact, full citizens, and that their hopes for themselves, the hope to be married, their hopes to raise their families in the state of wedlock should never be realized.

The Supreme Court of Iowa ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, twelve people who had the courage to challenge Iowa’s discriminatory laws. The ruling cited other famous cases in which the issue of equal protection before the law was the central issue, cases like: Dread Scott v. Sanford, and Brown v. Board of Education.

On the issue of equal protection the court found that:

With respect to the subject and purposes of Iowa’s marriage laws, we find that the plaintiffs are similarly situated compared to heterosexual persons. Plaintiffs are in committed and loving relationships, many raising families, just like heterosexual couples. Moreover, official recognition of their status provides an institutional basis for defining their fundamental relational rights and responsibilities, just as it does for heterosexual couples. Society benefits, for example, from providing samesex couples a stable framework within which to raise their children and the
power to make health care and end-of-life decisions for loved ones, just as it does when that framework is provided for opposite-sex couples. In short, for purposes of Iowa’s marriage laws, which are designed to bring a sense of order to the legal relationships of committed couples and their families in myriad ways, plaintiffs are similarly situated in every important respect, but for their sexual orientation.

In the opinion of most people, including myself; the Supreme Court of Iowa is not a radical court.

Iowa is not a radical state.

To use a generic term; Iowa is “America’s heartland,” is a truism, Iowa is both geographically and politically central to the nation.

Neither the “left wing” of the American electorate, nor the “right wing” dominates this state. In consideration of the fact that the Supreme Court in Iowa rejected the arguments of those who sought to continue a tradition of discrimination, imagine yourself explaining those arguments, imagine yourself justifying a right to discriminate, to the American girl, or the American boy in another state; why the justice that was found in Iowa should not be had in California or Maine or any other territory, protectorate, or sovereign land where the United States Constitution is the law.

The Iowa Supreme Court found correctly, that allowing same-sex couples the freedom to marry constitutes a public good.

It strengthens families.

It promotes marriage.

It empowers people who are partners in same-sex relationships to care for their loved ones at the end of life.

They also found that, while the state of marriage is essentially contractual, being married is more than just being in a contract with another person. It is a change in social status, a status to which same-sex couples cannot obtain if they are legally prevented from being married.

What the court has arrived at through this insight is the fact that denying these rights to same-sex couples perpetuates an unjust and classist society in which social advancement is available to some but not to others.

The court found that:

“The benefit denied by the marriage statute—the status of civil marriage for same-sex couples (prohibiting same-sex couples from being married)—is so “closely correlated with being homosexual” as to make it apparent the law is targeted at gay and lesbian people as a class.”

In Iowa it was found to be wrong, un-just, and I will say Un-American, to deny women and men the freedom to marry, to deny girls and boys the freedom to hope that they could be married, because to deny people these freedoms perpetuates a classist society and the struggle against classism, the struggle for civil rights, for equality and equal protection under the law speaks to the heart of the American experience.

As I have stated earlier, this is our best tradition.

In 2015, in Obergefell v. Hodges, the United States Supreme Court, in a 6 – 3 decision, with an opinion written by Justice Kennedy, held the same things, that “the right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person.”

To be remain true to this decision and forge ahead with a new American tradition we must stay engage. The struggle for freedom must continue; in the streets, through the press, by influencing law-makers, and finally, if those efforts fail, we are must continue to defend these rights in court.

We must remain diligent, because those who are opposed to these freedoms are, are they are possessed with a religious zeal to see their fellow Americans disenfranchised, cut off, ostracized at every level of our society.

In 2009, when the Iowa Supreme Court made this decision they recognized that tide was turning away from gay people. State legislatures across the country had moved to write laws that discriminated against gay people.

The Iowa Supreme Court said that “it cannot allow discrimination to become acceptable as tradition;” that “some underlying reason other than the preservation of tradition must be identified,” if we are going to limit a minority segment of the population from having access to the same rights and privileges as the majority.

After rejecting the arguments from tradition, the Iowa Supreme went on to look into the other issues that were raised by the State of Iowa in defending its statute: issues such as whether it is best, or optimal to raise children in dual gender households; whether marriage is meant to serve the function of procreation.

The Iowa Supreme Court found the arguments in support of those ideas to be unconvincing. There is no data supporting the notion that opposite-sex couples raise children better than same-sex couples. Furthermore, opposite-sex couples are not required to procreate as a condition of their marriage.

The United States Supreme Court agreed.

To promote classism by denying rights to a whole segment of citizens is wrong.

It is unjust to deny to the right of marriage to American citizens.

American citizens, those Americans that are homosexual, make up a vital part of our population. The United States Census taken in 2010, tells us that same-sex couples makes up 0.5 percent of all households in America.

Prior to The Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, in most states they were denied the right to marry, and the marriages that were entered into legally, in the few places where it was legal, did not have to be recognized.

This group of people, American citizens, numbering over 1,200,000; were kept in the status of second class citizens. A return to those shameful circumstance threatens the unity of the nation.

Americans cannot allow for the passage of laws that restrict the franchise of citizenship to over 1,000,000 Americans, we cannot allow that to define our nation; dis-united.

We cannot return to a place where such restrictive laws set this whole group apart and deny them the basic liberties that every other citizen may enjoy.

One million people is three times the population of the city where I live; Minneapolis, Minnesota.

There are twelve states, including the District of Columbia whose entire population is less than the number this number.

There are nearly one and a half million American citizens who are paying taxes, contributing to our economy, working as doctors and lawyers, working as mechanics and carpenters, as scientists and clergy who are being threatened with being disenfranchised, denied the right of self-determination, the ability to pursue their own happiness. just because they are different, not different in the quality of the contribution they make to our culture, not different in regard to their being more [or less] law abiding, but different in regard to who they love.

Gay women and gay men will always exist as a part of our population. They will be with us in roughly the same proportion to the rest of the population as they are today, but the number of actual human beings will continue to grow as our population grows.

Imagine for a moment all of these people, these million people and add to that number all of the others who are like them, gay, but who have not submitted to being counted. Imagine them filling every football and basketball arena, every baseball field, every hockey stadium and every civic center in the country, and now imagine how it is that we can deny this great assemblage of citizens the rights of full citizenship.

How do we explain that? What basis exits for shutting them out?

As I mentioned at the outset, the 2012 election marked a turning point in the struggle for freedom and basic rights for an oppressed and marginalized group of our fellow citizens. Ballot initiatives in three states granted the right for same-sex couples to marry, and in one state, while in Minnesota, a measure to amend its constitution, that would have restricted the freedom to marry, failed.

In 2014 the United States Supreme Court of the United States took up several issues pertaining to the freedom to marry. In 2015, in Obergefell v. Hodges, in a 6 – 3 decision, the Supreme Court lifted all restrictions on the rights of same-sex to marry.

Resistance to same-sex marriage did not go away.

In Alabama, State Supreme Court Chief Justice, Roy Moore, ordered the courts of his state to refuse to acknowledge this decision.

Many other assaults on this ruling have been launched from multiple states, and from multiple industries.

The Trump administration is seeking to undermine the rights of Americans, who happen to be homosexual in many ways, beyond the issue of marriage. It is reported that they are looking for ways to make sexual preference a fireable offence.

If conservatives of that ilk get their way, there will be no equal protection for this class of American citizens.

Do not hesitate, the time is now.

Protect the institution of marriage and the rights of al Americans.

Defending the traditions of a by-gone American culture, is not a defense of marriage, it is a perpetuation of injustice, and immorality. If you think otherwise, remember this:

People who are divorced may re-marry, even if their divorce was brought about by infidelity, through the commission of adultery, by spousal abuse or other miss-deeds.

A person who murders their wife, their husband or their children, a person who murders their whole family may re-marry, even while they are in prison on death row, but if the forces of conservatism, and so-called “traditionalism” are free to discriminate against a whole class of Americans, then a woman who loves a woman or a man who loves a man may not have that love celebrated and recognized as a legitimate.

When the legal analysis failed, and court after court has rejected the arguments for discriminating against gay people. When the social analysis has been brought in and we are forced to think objectively about the vast numbers of actual people who would be disenfranchised if these discriminatory laws were to return, the real motivation behind the desire to exclude same-sex couples from participating in the institution of marriage is exposed and it is not tradition, but religion.

The Iowa Supreme Court acknowledged as much:

Now that we have addressed and rejected each specific interest advanced by the County to justify the classification drawn under the statute, we consider the reason for the exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from civil marriage left unspoken by the County: religious opposition to same-sex marriage. The County’s silence reflects, we believe, its understanding this reason cannot, under our Iowa Constitution, be used to justify a ban on same-sex marriage. While unexpressed, religious sentiment most likely motivates many, if not most, opponents of same-sex civil marriage and perhaps even shapes the views of those people who may accept gay and lesbian unions but find the notion of same-sex marriage unsettling. Consequently, we address the religious undercurrent propelling the same-sex marriage debate as a means to fully explain our rationale for rejecting the dual-gender requirement of the marriage statute.

The religious beliefs of a person or group of people, no matter how influential they are or how large that group is, cannot be the basis of law in Iowa or anywhere else in the United States.

We believe in a separation between Church and State, this is an American ideal, it is our tradition and as an American I hold the conviction that Congress should not pass any law respecting the establishment of religion. Neither can we leave the word religion out of our legislation and put in its place the term tradition; we cannot do this if our goal is to preserve a secular culture that is free from religious persecution and tyranny.

I hold a Masters of Arts in theology, which I earned at a Catholic school, St. John’s University, in Collegeville, Minnesota.

Even though I am a Christian, and Catholic, I do not believe that my values should be used as the basis of laws that govern Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Wiccans, Animists or Atheists.

Furthermore, because I believe in the separation of Church and State, I also believe that religious institutions and their ministers; which are given the authority by States to perform marriages, should not be dictated to by the State regarding who they are allowed to a marry.

If a particular church does not want to marry same-sex couples, they should not be forced to, and if another church wants to marry same-sex couples, they should not be prohibited.

The matter should concern only the individual, and their church.

The State should not interfere.

As a Christian theologian and historian, I can tell you that the scriptures do not contain very much reference material on homosexuality. There are a few mentions of it, and I grant that the references which are there, do condemn homosexuality. However, it should be noted that the scriptures condemn all sexuality outside of wedlock and are suspicious of sexuality within wedlock as well.

According to the Judeo-Christian tradition sex in general is something to be avoided.

Note well, sexual mores did not find their way into the Ten Commandments, other than to condemn adultery.

Jesus did not talk about homosexuality at all.

St. Paul mentions homosexuality in his letter to the Romans 1:26 where he says that it is unnatural and an abomination.

The same word, abomination is also used in the scriptures to describe the act of eating shellfish.

Abomination is a strong term, but one that is used often to describe any activity that is prohibited by the laws that are written in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

Note well, St. Paul condemns homosexuality, and he would also prefer that every person be celibate. He thought that the best situation for all Christians would be for men to live in communities with men, and women to live in communities with women, and that everyone should be celibate while awaiting the return of Christ.

Of course, he knew that this situation would not obtain. Nevertheless, for St. Paul this was the ideal. As far as Christian idealism goes, it is impracticable, we cannot follow St. Paul.

The human race would be no-where if we did.

We may conclude this, the Judeo-Christian theology does not speak realistically or convincingly on issue of human sexuality.

Jesus was concerned with is justice, not sexuality, but justice, that we have ethical relationships with one another, that we respect each other’s personhood, and treat one another as we would like to be treated ourselves.

When Jesus commented on the law he always turned to this point; love one another as God has loved you. This, to Jesus is the whole of the law and the entire teaching of the prophets, which is something we cannot fulfill if we are busy trying to exclude our neighbors from the full franchise of citizenship.

The issues presented in the struggle for marriage equality is one of Justice.

Moreover, the freedom to marry is about more than marriage equality, it is about equality per se.

It is about justice, and the rights of citizenship.

It is about a recognition of the principles that are at the foundation of our social order, the truths that we hold to be self-evident, that all people are created equal and endowed by their creator with rights that are inalienable, and that among those rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

There can be no traditions in America that are not in the service of this tradition.

To deny American women and men the right to marry the person of their choice, or to deny to American girls and boys the hope of future happiness, the right to determine the course of their own life, to deny them their liberty, is a gross violation of the American way.
Works Cited

The Declaration of Independence, http://www.constitution.org/usdeclar.pdf

United States Constitution, http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Preamble

The Defense of Marriage Act, PUBLIC LAW 104–199—SEPT. 21, 1996, http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi- bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=104_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ199.104.pdf

In the Supreme Court of Iowa, No. 07–1499, filed April 3, 2009, http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/us/20090403iowa-text.pdf

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, No. 14–556. Argued April 28, 2015—Decided June 26, 2015*

OBERGEFELL ET AL. v. HODGES, DIRECTOR, OHIO
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, ET AL.

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT

United States Census, http://factfinder.census.gov/home/saff/main.html?_lang=en&_ts=

New America Bible, Romans, http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/romans/romans1.htm

Mitch McConnell

Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

04.08.2017

 

 

The Senate Majority Leader is a guy named Mitch McConnell. He is from Kentucky. He has been the leader of the Republicans in the senate, as the minority leader from 2007, and as the majority leader since 2015. His career in the senate began in 1984, and he is his State’s longest serving Senator.

 

I think he hates the institution.

 

His wife Elaine Chou has served is currently serving as Secretary of Transportation in the fake president’s administration. She served as Secretary of Labor for George W. Bush.

 

I think he hates the Senate, and all of the institutions of good government, as do the rest of his republican croonies on the hill, because he has once again moved to undermine them and make them less relevant.

 

His tenure as the Republican leader has been a total disaster for the institution he serves in, and now he has taken the Supreme Court of the United States with him.

 

This is a man who cannot see what is good for the country, beyond what is good for his ideological agenda, and his ideology is simple. It is not liberal or conservative, it is partisan, and its aim has one purpose; the concentration of power.

 

Mitch McConnell does not love his country, and neither do the rest of the Republican shills who he convinced to vote to eliminate the filibuster, and forever wipe away the power of the minority to influence the legislative process.

 

A precious few of colleagues have criticized him for this, lamented it in public, Like Senator John McCain of Arizona, but that old fool voted for with his party anyway.

 

I am glad he never became president.

 

On the evening of Barrack Obama’s first inauguration. Mitch McConnell met with his Republican team, and stated that the primary goal of their party was to limit President Obama to one term.

 

The country was in a deep, economic crises. The “Great Recession” was in full effect, and they were not focused on legislating to fix our problems, they were concentrating on obstruction.

 

As the Minority Leader McConnell used the power of the filibuster to block, or slow down every major piece of legislation put forward by the Democrats. He used it to block or slow down every appointment that required Senate confirmation. He did it for years until finally the Democrats used their Majority power to modify the rules on some appointments. Mitch McConnell condemned them for this, and then…in 2015 the republicans took control and he became the Majority Leader. He continued his pogrom of obstruction, refusing to allow any legislation to come forward that would be politically beneficial to the Democratic Party, regardless of whether the country would benefit from it, or the people in his home state.

 

He was determined that the Democrats have no victories.

 

Fourteen months ago Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died. President Obama nominated a man that most court watchers agreed, was a down the middle centrist. Mitch McConnell refused to allow that nominee to even have a hearing. He used his power as the Majority Leader t launch an two pronged attack on both executive power and the structure of the Supreme Court, and he won.

 

Then T-Rump took office. He nominated a man who many people believe is a judicial ideologue, a man who pretends to be some kind of a constitutional originalist, or textualist or some such lie, but who also believe that corporations are people and have a right to influence our elections with unlimited anonymous dollars.

 

Democratic senators, in minority, promised to filibuster the nomination, demanding a more centrist nominee. Mitch McConnell and his Republican ilk, eliminated the filibuster rule, and made the senate into a place where the majority rules, and rules absolutely. This is completely contrary to the intentions of the framers of the constitution.

 

McConnell did this gleefully, literally expressing glee that he had taken these steps. “A great day,” he called it. As the Senate voted to confirm a man to the Supreme Court who plagiarized his doctoral thesis, and his books in print.

 

These Republicans do not care what they destroy to achieve their ends and serve their masters, they are barbarians, they are the Hun. They will burn the whole thing down, stand in the ashes and call it victory.

 

That is what passes for leadership in the Senate today.

 

I am glad the Democrats forced the issue. They are dealing with people who will not compromise. There was some suggestion that they should wait to pick their battle at another time, as if the Republicans would ever become more reasonable.

 

I think it is more important to pull the mask off and reveal them all for the frauds they are, fake leaders, managing phony institutions, for a fake president.

 

God bless America.