On January 23rd, Bill O’Reilly had two nice young men address the latest controversy about gay marriages, this time involving a judge in Maryland ruling that gay marriages were permissible, despite a Maryland state statute specifically determining that marriage is between one man and one woman. What ensued prompts this commentary.
On January 23rd, Bill O’Reilly had two nice young men address the latest controversy about gay marriages, this time involving a judge in Maryland ruling that gay marriages were permissible, despite a Maryland state statute specifically determining that marriage is between one man and one woman. Both spokesmen spoke respectfully, did not interrupt, and tried hard to present rational arguments – a nice change from most public policy debates.
The young man defending the judge’s ruling, representing an organization supporting gay rights, was asked by O’Reilly a couple of questions at different points doing the debate, and his answers to both questions revealed a profound and troubling ignorance. The shallowness of thinking on the Left which his responses reflect are almost unbelievable.
O’Reilly asked the gay rights representative if he would favor having the issue of gay marriages placed as a referendum for the people of Maryland to vote up or vote down. The response, and I am paraphrasing, was this: “No, because the people should not be allowed to vote on fundamental rights.”
But the Constitution itself, the document upon which these so-called “fundamental rights” are based, was adopted by vote of state legislatures, the very bodies whose statute the Maryland judge struck down. The Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment were also adopting by the state legislatures, not the state (much less federal) judiciary.
Moreover, prior to the very late invention by the Supreme Court of “incorporating” the Bill of Rights into the Fourteenth Amendment, the vast majority of “fundamental rights” that Americans had came from state constitutions, not the federal constitutions, and not only do many states allow voters to amend the state constitution on their own, but even require that before the state constitution is amended the people must vote.
The people and state legislatures were the first and most adamant protectors of fundamental rights in America. It was by resolution of the legislatures of Virginia and Kentucky determined that the enacted of the Alien and Sedition acts by Congress and their enforcement by the Supreme Court, were unconstitutional. Clearly sovereignty rests ultimately with the people in any democracy.
O’Reilly then said this ruling would open the door to marriage including more than just two people, and the nice Leftist said, again I paraphrase: “Marriage has traditionally been considered just between two people.” Oh really?
How absurd! Today, the second largest religion on the planet as an article of faith accepts the validity of polygamy, with a man entitled to have up to four wives. In some parts of the Rocky Mountains, Mormons, whose faith originally entitled men to have multiple wives, are prosecuted as criminals (where is the ACLU on that violation of fundamental rights?)
Even in the Judeo-Christian tradition, patriarchs and kings had multiple wives and had concubines as well. The origin of our modern notion of monogamous male and female marriage is primarily a Judeo-Christian construction. Both faiths ended polygamy in the Middle Ages as a practical matter, although Christ never banned multiple marriages and some Orthodox Jews today believe that polygamy is legal.
While marriage has always been considered between a man and a woman in every major human civilization, monogamous heterosexual marriage, as a matter of law and as a matter of tradition, has almost never been obligatory and polygamy almost universally accepted as lawful.
How could such a nice, well spoken young man make two such egregiously dumb statements? The Left is increasingly simply the negation of thought. Phantasms like the illusion that constitutional rights do not come from the sovereign people but from a sovereign judiciary, indicate the celebration of nonsense. The very Preamble to the Constitution begins “We, the People of the United States.”
Absurd statements professing that marriage has traditionally been between only two people, when polygamy still flourishes around the world and is common in the holy scriptures of Christianity, Judaism and Islam is the deliberate contortion of reality to fit wishes. The people, rightly, have chosen to limit marriage to two people because it promotes happier, healthier homes (just as the people, rightly, have chosen to ban homosexual or sibling marriage for the same reasons.)
But Leftists have minds incapable of considering anything which conflicts with the reality de jour. And that reality, today, is that judges, not people, are sovereign in democracies and that polygamy, which exists in much of the world today is not traditional, while homosexual marriage, which has never been accepted, can be considered a form of marriage.
Bruce Walker has been a published author in print and in electronic media since 1990. He is a regular contributor to WebCommentary, Conservative Truth, American Daily, Enter Stage Right, Intellectual Conservative, NewsByUs and MenÕs News Daily. His first book, Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie by Outskirts Press was published in January 2006.