About the Rulings

So, I figured I’d write a quick post.  The Supreme Court rulings went the way I pretty much expected them to.  I knew there wouldn’t be a seeping ruling, declaring same-sex marriage legal for all 50 states.  It’ll be legal in California in a short period of time again.  Also, Section iii of DOMA was overturned, which is to be expected.  The narrow 5-4 rulings were also expected.  It’s not everything that needed to be done, but it is progress.

Although it’s not great, I am happy that the Supreme Court punted Prop 8 because the proponents didn’t have standing.  It basically tells groups like NOM and FRC that the Supreme Court doesn’t buy their shit about being “victims.”  Now, when NOM shoots out another “story” for their silly little “Anti-Defamation Alliance”, people can respond by saying, “You’re full of shit, and the Supreme Court thinks so, too.”  Prop 8 was punted because the proponents of it couldn’t show any demonstrable harm that rescinding Prop 8 would cause them.  We all knew they had nothing, and now it is recognized in the highest court of law.  Another advantage of this ruling is that other states could possibly overturn their ballot measures and cite this case as precedent.  Perhaps, marriage equality could come to more states more quickly.  So, the ruling is certainly something we can work with.

However, I am not happy about the Supreme Court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act.  It shames me to realize that I haven’t followed this as much as I should have.  Although we may have made progress on racial prejudice since the 1965, it is undeniable that racism and white privilege still exist in this country.  I believe the protections need to still be in place and it is a shame that they won’t be.  It is a tragic injustice, which should be given as much coverage as the Prop 8 and DOMA rulings.

“If you won’t listen to reason, there’s always…Towanda.”

DOMA and Prop 8 Rulings this Week

So, I started a thread about my feelings about marriage equality when I learned of the Supreme Court rulings that would be made about DOMA and Prop 8.  So, it’s finally the week when they’re supposed to come out.  A lot of people are sitting on the edge of their seats about what the Supreme Court is going to do (and, frankly, I’m curious, too) and what the outcomes will mean for marriage equality going forward.  A lot of the attitudes I have seen concerning this issue range from people wanting the Supreme Court to uphold “traditional values”, whatever those are, and there are others who want the Supreme Court to show how progressive it is to uphold marriage equality.  Both sides seem to view this as a controversial and complicated issue.  I don’t.

My feelings about both of the rulings are that they could have been settled in 20 minutes at the maximum.  It takes nothing more than a fifth grade knowledge of United States government and civics to realize that Section iii of DOMA and Prop 8 are both unconstitutional.  While other people may be begging and pleading for the Supreme Court to rule their way, I’m screaming “Just overturn them, already!  Come on!  This isn’t hard!  Let’s talk about something else!”

There are other things to talk about, especially concerning LGBT issues, that are more urgent than marriage equality, yet get no media time.  Marriage equality gets all of the air time because it’s easy.  People are the most able to comprehend this issue, versus other issues, such as the rate of gay homelessness, trans* issues, non-binary gender identities, and the many issues that gay minorities face.

In short, I’m hoping the Supreme Court rules the way it’s supposed to.  DOMA will be gone, Prop 8 will be gone, and marriage equality will be legal in all jurisdictions of the United States.  Then, since we will have this simple issue out of the way, we can finally talk about important, tougher issues.

“If you won’t listen to reason, there’s always…Towanda.”

No, America was not Founded on “Judeo-Christian Values”

I’m sure most people who would actually come to this blog are already aware of this fact.  Anyway, I am writing because many people who argues about how America is not a Christian nation will rely on the Letter to the Danbury Baptists or the Treaty of Tripoli as their main sources for their argument.  I am not saying those two example don’t provide concrete evidence of the intentions of the Founding Fathers; they certainly do.  What I am saying, however, is that there is a much simpler and even more concrete piece of evidence which completely nullifies any assertion that America was founded on “Judeo-Christian principles.”

It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out why these people’s assertions are false; all you have to do is read the First Commandment in the Bible and compare it to the First Amendment of the Constitution.  You first find the Ten Commandments written in the Book of Exodus, Chapter 20 (and then again in the book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 5).  In the King James Version of the Bible, the first commandment reads as: “I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.  Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”  (Exodus 20:2-3)  The first amendment reads as: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  Let’s first break down the first commandment:  God starts off by saying he is the lord, signifying that he is the only deity in existence.  In verse 3, God is saying that he is the deity that must be worshiped before anything else.  In this context, “other gods” means anything that is not him that people make into gods or other gods that were purported to exist during the time the Bible was written.  Overall, God is expecting compulsory worship of him and him only from all of the inhabitants of the world.

Now, let’s go to the first amendment.  For our purposes, we will just be looking at the first part of the amendment.  For congress to make no law respecting an establishment of a religion, it cannot hold one religious system in higher regard than any other religious system.  Therefore, Congress can not establish a law which gives preference specifically towards the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam).  In order to ensure that the tenets of the First Amendment are met, Congress must remain neutral when it comes to any faith. For the sake of our argument, the second half of the first part of the amendment is the most important part of the text.  It guarantees United States citizens the ability to worship in any way they see fit.  The ability for citizens to worship in any way they see fit goes in direct opposition to the god of the Abrahamic faiths, who compelled people to worship him.  The god of the Abrahamic faiths does not allow for religious freedom, and it is seen in some of the most frequently cited text within the entire Bible.  On the other hand, the guarantee of religious freedom in the United States comes from some of the most frequently cited text within the entire United States Constitution and its Amendments.  These two statements are not compatible with each other.  One directly and blatantly contradicts the other.

Many may say that I am only talking about two specific statements.  However, there is no way to deny the importance of the First Commandment and its centrality to the Abrahamic faiths.  Nor can anyone deny the importance of the First Amendment and its centrality of the United States Constitution and in our daily lives.  Others may find quotes that some of the Founding Fathers have said expressing their belief in the God of the Abrahamic faiths.  Although many are documented to have been said by some of the Founding Fathers, they are only quotes.  Yes, some of the Founding Fathers were Christians, but that is irrelevant.  What is relevant are the laws they wrote.  If we want to study the religiosity, or lack thereof, of the laws of the United States, the laws written will provide solid evidence for how religious a nation the United States is.  However, as I have already shown, you don’t have to dig too deep to find out how religiously based the United States’ laws and founding documents are.

“If you won’t listen to reason, there’s always…Towanda.”