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Legalizing homosexual marriage impairs unalienable right

When it comes to gay marriage and abortion rights, Laura Bush says she and former President George W. Bush have simply agreed to disagree. She’s for both, he’s against them.

The former first lady said on “Larry King Live” Tuesday she “totally” understands “what George thinks and what other people think about marriage being between a man and a woman. . . . But I also know that, you know when couples are committed to each other and love each other that they ought to have, I think, the same sort of rights that everyone has.” “You think [legalization of same sex marriage] is coming?” King asked.

Citing a “generational” shift in opinion on the issue, she replied, “Yeah, that will come, I think.”

The Republican Party reaps political benefits from its reputation as the political home for Americans who demand that government fulfill its obligation to secure unalienable rights, beginning with the right to life and including the rights of the natural family. Of course such Americans include a large number of women, found in the ranks of such organizations as Concerned Women for America and Eagle Forum. But as I noted in a recent post, Laura Bush’s remarks during an appearance on the Larry King show last week focused renewed attention on the fact that, starting with Pat Nixon, none of the recent Republican First Ladies has been among them.

This illustrates the great divide between the grassroots voters the GOP relies on for electoral success and a prominent element of the Party’s most influential elite. Beyond this, Mrs. Bush’s remarks are also a fairly representative expression of the logic many people rely on to justify their support for legalizing homosexual marriage.

At first blush, it sounds plausible enough. After all, isn’t love the foundation of marriage? Why should some loving couples enjoy legal recognition and privileges that are denied to others?

But the plausible conviction that loving homosexual couples “ought to have…the same sort of rights that everyone has” immediately runs afoul of the simple fact that homosexuals are not the only loving couples without the legal right to marry. Parents and their children don’t have it. Siblings don’t have it. Children not yet of legal age don’t have it; and so on. In principle, all such people are capable of forming loving, committed relationships. By the logic Mrs. Bush relies on, “they ought to have… the same sort of rights that everyone has.”

Why are parents and their children forbidden to marry one another? Cut to the chase and the answer is simple. The right to marry includes legal recognition (legitimization) of the married couple’s right to have sexual relations with one another. But it is wrong for parents to have sexual relations with their children. It’s wrong for siblings to have sexual relations with each other. It’s wrong for adults to have sexual relations with underage children. Obviously, unless Mrs. Bush means to argue that these restrictions are unjustified, a committed loving relationship is not enough to establish that people “ought to have” the right to marry.

Mrs. Bush’s use of the word “ought” deserves further attention. The difference between what people do and what people ought to do is a matter of moral judgment. The word “ought” implies the application of a moral standard, a rule or principle that distinguishes right from wrong. People ought to do what is right. They ought not to do what is wrong. When people do what is right, they have the right to act (i.e., have right on their side as they act.) But can the same be said of those who do what is wrong?

In everyday parlance these days, we use the term “right” as though it is synonymous with the freedom to act as we choose. But if the choice is wrong, it makes no sense to assert that the chooser has the right  to act on it  (i.e., has right on his side as he does so.) What someone can do (has the physical capacity or opportunity to do) differs from what they ought to do. This is in fact the rationale for all criminal laws. It’s what allows us to recognize that simply having the opportunity and power to take someone’s life or goods does not grant the right to do so, does not make it right.

Does this mean that it’s simply illogical to suggest, as Mrs. Bush does in her comments, that each individual “ought to have… the same sort of rights that everyone has?” Not necessarily. But to make sense of it we have to realize that every time we assert a right, we are making a statement about what is right. This is, in fact, the reason the homosexual lobby is pushing so hard for the right to marry. Implicit in the legalization of homosexual marriage is the legitimization of homosexual “sexual” relations; the public declaration that they are right. This is why the political campaign for legalization goes hand in hand with the effort to stigmatize and forbid the public expression of religious convictions that declare homosexual activity sinful and wrong.

But if there are certain actions that all human beings are obliged by lawful authority to undertake, then as all are under the same obligation all may invoke the authority of that obligation to justify their action, to prove that it is right. With all justly claiming the same authority to act, all have the right to do so. The “rights that everyone has” are therefore connected with the duties and obligations imposed upon them by the law to which they are all subjected.

But is there one lawful authority to which all human beings are subject? If there is, then it makes sense to say that there are certain rights all people “ought to have.” If there is not, then it makes no sense, except as an arbitrary assertion by one person or group. Such an assertion establishes no right beyond what their power can sustain, and therefore represents no standard but that of power. Might makes right.

Like Laura Bush, many Americans are used to talking about rights. But many also fail seriously to consider the logical prerequisites of what they say. Given well known history of the United States, however, this lack of reflection is easily remedied. The act by which the United States appeared in the world as a free and independent state was accompanied by a Declaration that succinctly summarized the understanding on which the idea of equal rights for all depends. Relying on the authority of the Creator God, it reasoned from the self-evident truths of human equality and unalienable rights, to the conclusion that lawful government comes not by power but by the righteous consent of the governed. (Their aim when they institute government is to secure their unalienable rights. In this regard their consent is guided by the standard of right, and is therefore righteous.)

Procreation is one of the natural obligations of humanity. Just as individuals cannot survive without doing what is necessary to eat, drink and protect themselves from hostile conditions, humanity as such cannot survive without procreation. In this respect, procreation is the paradigm of the natural obligation all individuals have to the human community. This natural obligation gives rise to the natural rights associated with family life, including the parental rights grounded in the parents’ obligation to care for their children. Like all natural rights, these natural family rights are antecedent to all civil government. They are among the unalienable rights governments are instituted to secure.

As a matter of civil law, marriage exists as the institutional expression of every government’s obligation to respect these rights. This also involves respecting the underlying natural obligation from which they arise. Everyone acting on the obligation ought to have the rights. But in what sense do the people involved in homosexual relations act from obligation? Even if one does not agree with the historically common view that such relations are contrary to nature, in what sense is their pursuit of mutual fulfillment and satisfaction connected in principle with the individual’s obligation to perpetuate the species as a whole? If everyone were to act as they do (which is the logical implication of an obligation imposed on all) would it contribute to or defeat the purpose?

Not all loving human relationships ought to be the subjects of legislation. Indeed, the purest expressions of human friendship have usually been regarded as matters best left free of the implicit coercion associated with every use of government power. From this perspective, the demand for so-called homosexual marriage does more to threaten than advance the human freedom of those it supposedly benefits. Moreover it encourages people like Laura Bush to speak of a “right to marry” that has no natural basis as if it is the same as the unalienable right rooted in natural obligation. This in turn prepares people to accept the pernicious notion that our claim to rights arises from the fiat of government rather than the will of the Creator God.

Not all of those who promote or accept legalized homosexual marriage realize that it involves this transformation in our concept of basic rights. But for those who do, the demand for homosexual marriage is but another aspect of their effort to transform America from a society based on unalienable right to one based on the alien concept of government domination. Is this the fate the good-hearted Former First Lady wants for her posterity? I seriously doubt it.

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{ 56 comments… add one }
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  • Kim Martin May 28, 2010, 9:25 pm

    Dr. Keyes,

    It’s ironic that “Google Ads” promotes homosexual sin (www.gaypalmspringsca.com) on a site that persuasively and articulately defends the Constitution, Declaration, and the God that gave us life and liberty!

    Perhaps the Google ads should be removed?

    • Alex June 3, 2010, 5:58 pm

      Traveling to palm springs is sin?

  • Kai_Jones May 27, 2010, 2:35 am

    Yes, I do believe that you will in fact have an easier time trying to explain the color purple to one blind from birth than to get me to support your inaccurate portrayal of science. Your last post confirms what I have long thought- you have not had much exposure to the scientific reasoning used to understand our world.

    You start from the position of religion, or at least from creationism (and ask Behe how well that turned out- his own department releases statements saying they disagree with him and that one should not judge the quality of the academic institution by Behe’s views) and end up confirming that which you want to believe. Your morality is codified in the Declaration of Independence by your view of God, and therefore, homosexual unions fly in the face of everything ‘natural law’ dictates. At no point is the basis for your argument a secular document, it is the implication of the God expressed within that document.

    Again, I appreciate the time you’ve taken to try and explain your views. However, no matter how many times you express your reasoning through different examples or through different phrases it amounts to the same argument- my idea of God (or natural law) doesn’t approve of this thing other people do.

    It is the misappropriation of science, the pseudo-rationalizations of the ignorant that are likely to lead to evil. Science grants understanding, and this understanding can be perverted for the personal gains of a few. Luckily, there are safeguards in place which prevent most of that occurring- the fostering of debate, the continual re-evaluation of your hypothesis, the repeatability of experiments, the burden of proof instead of accepting on faith.

    Few organized religions share these practices and I don’t find it surprising the amount of corruption, greed, gluttony, pride, envy, and wrath that have fostered within the ranks. Forgive me if this is harsh, but the reality of the situation is that science is an equalizer- religion (with its high frequency of failure) is not. If you would like to disagree with that sentiment, I’d suggest looking at how frequently religion (and not science) has caused, “People [to] lie, cheat, steal, kill, rape and destroy.”

    Thanks again for the discussion. Neither one of us may be walking away with differing opinions, but I’m glad to say I have at least gained some insight into your positions.

  • IONU May 20, 2010, 11:28 pm

    Alex, you want answers to your questions? I’ll answer. You have taken what I said and rationalized it to suit your desired outcome. Your opinions and feelings about the issue are irrelevant to the discussion, the only relevant fact here is that in the animal kingdom one male and one female are required for procreation, unless you are talking about asexual reproduction in simpler organisms.

    My comments were meant not to dismiss same sex marriage (on an empirical basis that is a fait accompli) but to examine the true reasons behind its advocacy.

    (1) How do gay couples marrying destroy families by building families?
    – The foundation of a family is a married man and woman, and by God’s Design (or natural law if you prefer) a man and a woman are the only human couple capable of procreation. Do not change the subject with adoption, male homosexual couples using female surrogates, lesbians using sperm donors. There is no wiggle room here. Start from scratch: imagine there are only two people left on Earth. Try to build something with “blocks” that don’t join together. So please tell me again how a gay “married” couple builds a family.

    (2) How do gay couples marrying destroy religion when many who marry are religious?
    – Religion can be anything you want it to be (look at our self-proclaimed “preacher” in another post). What I meant by destroying “religion” was that socialist and communist dictatorships thrive only in secular societies, where people are taught to obey man’s laws rather than God’s Laws and then when atheism gains a foothold organized religion is banned.

    (3) How do gay couples marrying destroy education or fine arts, when gays are generally more educated and into arts then the average person?
    – Same principle as #2. As I stated in an earlier post, “the strategies in the socialists’ playbook remain constant: to poison and destroy family, religion, education, fine arts – just about every aspect of civilized human endeavor.” Yes, gays as a group may have higher incomes, have more formal education and more leisure time to enjoy the cultural arts than the average heterosexual couple, but you are referring to lifestyle, I am referring to the systematic and intentional poisoning and destruction of the free press and any other form of expression we now freely enjoy, including speech, electronic media, theater, arts, dance, music, literature. Eventually everything becomes state controlled.

    How does your argument make any sense?
    – Is that a rhetorical question? I would like to ask you, how does my argument NOT make sense? We are already wading in the dark treacherous waters of socialism. Learn how to swim before you get into deeper water.

    • Alex May 21, 2010, 12:34 am

      I don’t believe I mentioned my opinions or feelings, I did mention motives when you said you believed you knew what re true motives were.

      (1) from what you have cited, you are saying that gay people cannot create families, but not that they destroy families. Gay people and couples do not destroy nor prevent existing or coming heterosexual families, from what you have said, so I can see no logic in which they destroy anything. You seemed to hve not answered the question, likely because you cannot. How do marriages, as compared to unmarried gays, destroy families?

      (2) So gay couples marrying don’t destroy religion, but you are saying a secular government could possibly go communist or socialist and destroy religion. You aren’t advocating a theocracy, our you? Our Constitution demands a secular government and not a theocracy, which is why we have had a secular government from the start of the US. And religion still exists. And it has nothing to do with gay marriage.

      (3) So this, again, has nothing to do with gay marriages. You seem to be saying that since socialists would approve of gay marriage, that any idea socialsts would approve of, means that gay marriage must lead to 100% socialism. But that’s not true, as gay marriage does not affect the freedom of the press or turn everythig state controlled. You are presenting an illogical argument, ridden with the slippery slope fallacy.

      I guess we can agree then that none of these complaints you have are directly related to gay marriage at all, from your explanations.

      I see why your argument doesn’t make sense, because you were avoiding discussing the issue itself, and instead talking about extreme socialism. Which isn’t of itself related to the issue of marriage at all! Because people for gay marriage do not want all of this socialism you accuse them of wanting or leading to.

      Thanks for explaining.

      • IONU May 21, 2010, 8:10 am

        Alex, you are focused so much on one tree that you don’t see the forest. I am not commenting on the behavior of homosexuals. You have probably surmised that I do not approve of it but my feelings on that subject are not germane to my argument. I am talking about its effect on our Republic. I am pointing out to you, whether you care to believe it or not, that the “gay movement” and their political and social activism is contributing to the moral degradation of society and its institutions, and the openly stated goal of communists is to destroy free societies. It’s comparable to the “hippie movement” of the 60’s and 70’s. Who do you think was behind that? Or control of the media, or legislative and judicial activism that coddles one religion and its followers but no-holds-barred on desecrating and denigrating the beliefs and practices of the majority of Americans.

        Please, Alex, don’t be so naive. Did you really mean to say “people for gay marriage do not want all of this socialism?” No, of course they don’t Alex, who in their right mind living in a free society wants to see it destroyed?

        Now who do you think is avoiding the issue?

        When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do. – William Blake

        • Alex May 21, 2010, 12:56 pm

          So you admit your rant was not about the “one tree,” gay marriage, that you claimed it was originally… but it is about socialism in general?

          You should be aware, then, that gay marriage is a tree that can and does exist in many forests.

          It seems since your posts make less and less mention of gay marriage, and specific consequences of gay married couples versus unmarried gay couples, that I can accurately surmise that your issue isn’t with gay marriage at all. I have asked you specifically what the direct effects of gay marriage are, and you didn’t mention anything like your original claims that the direct effects of gay marriage is destruction.

          In order to assure a free society, we should continue to expand rights and freedoms to all of our citizens that don’t infringe upon another’s rights and freedoms. And I support more and more the conservatives, libertarians, and democrats all shifting towards equality of marriage – because marriage won’t lead to socialism or destruction, it will lead to liberty, equality and stabilization.

          I don’t know why you seem to think I’m avoiding the issue by sticking to gay marriage, what has always been the discussion of this page.

          • IONU May 21, 2010, 2:32 pm


            You wrote: “I have asked you specifically what the direct effects of gay marriage are”

            and I have told you repeatedly, but you choose to ignore it. I will say it one last time: homosexual marriage does not exist ; it is a fabrication.

          • Alex May 21, 2010, 4:40 pm

            Ionu, You haven’t told me anything about gay marriage repeatedly; as I pointed out, your direct effects were more about socialism.

            When asked how do gay couples marrying destroy families, you cited not one thing they did, aside from that they cannot procreate. That doesn’t destroy families, as nobody’s marriage gay or straight affects anyone else’s family.

            When asked how do gay marriage destroys religion, you didn’t mention “gay” nor “marriage” and started talking about dictatorships, and the direct effects of dictatorship.

            When asked about how gay marriage destroys fine arts, you started talking about socialism instead, claiming that their stated agenda is to destroy fine arts.

            You know this. I haven’t ignored anything, as you should know since I’ve replied to all your statements. I’ve analyzed what you have said, and it is non sequitur. Please do not lie. Marriages between same sex couples exist in many states and countries, and is as much of a fabrication as straight marriage is.

          • Chiu Chun-Ling May 21, 2010, 5:57 pm

            Please note my post, immediately below. It was written prior to yours, but does address the basic issue very nicely.

  • Chiu Chun-Ling May 20, 2010, 3:12 pm

    Freedom requires three elements. First, an free agent is able to choose among multiple alternatives. Second, those alternatives have significantly different consequences for the agent making the choice. Third, the agent is able to have some knowledge of which alternative is connected with which consequences.

    Consider if you are presented with two doors. Behind one door, your heart’s desire (formerly a beautiful woman, but we are being broad-minded here). Behind the other door, a horror beyond words (formerly a tiger, but I’m leaning towards bottomless cess-pit in honor of how broad-minded we all are). You are allowed to go through either door, but they are contrived such that they are one-way doors and it is impossible to tell anything about what is one the other side until you have gone all the way through (like airlocks without windows, perhaps). Obviously, if only one door would actually open for you, or if both doors lead to the same place, you are not making a free choice.

    But even if you have a choice of which door to enter, and the doors lead to the different outcomes described, without any knowledge of which door leads to which fate, you are not really free.

    This simple explication of the three necessary elements of freedom often focuses on the importance of truth in relation to freedom. When we speak of any subject, we must get past deceptions and vague generalizations to discuss the facts of the matter. When the subject is homosexuality, this is rather unpleasant for sane individuals. The facts of the matter indicate that homosexual behavior is inherently…unhealthy and abnormal. Attempts to disguise these basic facts with talk of “marriage rights” and “equality” are deceptive and make us less free.

    Calling two men (or two women) “married” does not make them man and wife. There are facts, very pertinent facts, and ignoring them doesn’t make anyone more free. Particularly when you threaten to use the power of law to punish anyone who insists on noticing those facts. Marriage under the law is a recognition of certain well-known facts, among them that a man and a woman who engage in a sexual relationship may produce children, and that they will be responsible for the care and upbringing of any such children.

    To apply the legal status of “marriage” to couples not consisting of a man and a woman lawfully entering into a sexual relationship is exactly as sensible as allowing us to apply the legal status of “convicted murderer” to a person who has not been accused of killing anyone and has never stood trial for such a crime. Does such a legal innovation make any sense? It might, if you dislike someone enough and wouldn’t otherwise be legally able to have them locked up or executed.

    • Alex May 21, 2010, 6:13 pm

      Homosexual orientation is statistically abnormal, that is true. But there is nothing wrong with that. Just like there is nothing wrong with being left-handedness, a red-head, in an interracial relationship, or being intersexed. It’s not statistically normal, and nobody is trying to disguise this fact.

      When you mention homosexual behavior, I think I should correct you in that all sexual behavior carries risks. All sexual behavior is inherently unhealthy, and nobody that I am aware of is ever disguising these facts. Different sexual acts carry different risks, and obviously if your partner has an STD that carries risk too.

      Marriage and equality have nothing to do with the risks of sex to heterosexual, homosexual, interracial or same race couples. Please do not attempt to say that they do, that is disingenuous and makes no sense.

      Calling two men married would make them husband and husband, of course.

      Marriage under the law is a legal commitment between to parties to each other, about sharing their lives, property, and building a family (whether they choose to or not, through procreation or not). And this is consistent to gay couples who have children, foster or adopt and raise the children too. As it is consistent to infertile couples as well. Once a couple goes through a marriage ceremony and applies for a license, that’s when we apply the legal status of “marriage…” just like when someone kills, that’s when we apply “convicted murderer.” We don’t allow certain individuals to never be convicted for killing people of a certain race or gender, and we shouldn’t do similar for marriage.

      • Chiu Chun-Ling May 22, 2010, 5:04 am

        See…”All sexual behavior is inherently unhealthy, and nobody that I am aware of is ever disguising these facts. ”

        That’s where the homo-marriage argument leads. You can’t disguise the well-established fact that homosexuality (particularly for males) is about as healthy as…well, letting people take dumps in your drinking water. So you claim that all sex is just as bad.

        But it’s not.

        • IONU May 22, 2010, 11:18 am

          Q.E.D., Alex. Now stop wasting our time.

        • Alex May 23, 2010, 12:59 am

          As I said, ALL sexual behavior – heterosexual and homosexual – is inherently unhealthy. Different sex acts have different dangers, but the same sex act is no more dangerous for gays than for straights participating it. Diseases and uncleanliness don’t innately recognize that the partner is of the same sex or the opposite sex and decide to behave different.

          So if the marriage argument leads to sex, then you should be asking about the sex practices of EVERY married couple. And you should be taking note of the high number of STDs in black communities, and condemn their marriages too.

          But what you’re really trying to do is demonize gays where it’s not needed. Especially when it comes to marriage. Marriage is about love, not sex, and you aren’t preventing anyone from having sex by preventing their marriages. You are just showing your bias.

          And fortunately, the legal system is smarter and knows marriage doesn’t require sex, doesn’t require judgement of people’s sex lifes, and that equality is required. Which is why it’s coming, even when people try to steer the argument off of marriage like you.

          • Chiu Chun-Ling May 27, 2010, 2:51 pm

            Love doesn’t beget children. Sex (between a man and a woman) does.

            It is true that there are significant aspects of the marriage relationship between men and woman that is non-sexual and still of vital importance in protecting the rights of women in society. Certain kinds of marriage laws invite men to treat women as commodities rather than people, and the disparagement of the idea that men need to be responsible for their role in procreation at all. But this argument only emphasizes the terrible harm of “marriages” which structurally encourage the perception that responsibility for children is not implicit in the reproductive act.

          • Anonymous May 28, 2010, 3:55 am

            I never said love begets children, so not sure why you’re bringing that up. It’s true, of course.

            And yes, historically marriage laws were as you say, to treat women as commodities rather than equal adults in a social institution. And I’m not really sure about the rest of your point, I believe our legal system puts responsibility for raising children on both biological parents. I’m fairly certain everyone who has sex, if they weren’t purposefully withheld the birds and the bees talk, knows reproduction is a possibility. That really doesn’t have anything to do with marriages specifically.

  • Kai_Jones May 20, 2010, 1:28 am

    I am very pleased that you are willing to discuss these ideas. While you do not always provide answers to the questions I raise, each new post shows that you are at least fleshing out the skeleton of the argument you made in the article. Though, I would greatly appreciate it if you would specifically answer the next question:

    Is there an unalienable right to romantic love?

    I, too, believe in self-evident truths. You are correct that those of sane mind would choose equality; well, not to romanticize a concept but who would consent to live life without romantic love?

    I believe that homosexuals are capable of romantic love, thus, I believe not allowing homosexual marriage impairs unalienable right. I believe that denying a homosexual the chance to love and to express that love, serves only as an attempt to remove their unalienable rights. Even in the famous Prop 8 trial it was proclaimed by a supporter of Prop 8 (David Blankenhorn) that, “We would be more American on the day we permit same-sex marriage, than the day before.” If those staking their careers against allowing homosexual marriage make this claim, how can you claim the opposite especially when both of your convictions are derived from natural law?

    I’ve read your arguments about natural law, and the natural rights stemming from obligation. The point of my previous comment was to state that it is possible your application of these laws may not be accurate. If you can allow exemptions for barren couples, isn’t it just a whim that you are preventing homosexuals?

    I mean no offense, but I believe you are hiding behind the amorphous and abstract concepts of ‘rights’ and ‘liberty’ in order to push your particular belief system. No two marriages are the same, so in the billion marriages that have been performed between heterosexuals, are you stating- categorically – that no homosexual union has ever rivaled one of these heterosexual unions in terms of romantic love?

    Do you believe that there are certain acceptable practices for one gender and not the other?

    I keep moving this conversation into special cases, because as any scientist will tell you, the rule is completed by the exception. If you can’t state in an objective fashion why the differences between two situations will always occur, then your rule is not yet complete. Since others claim legalizing homosexual marriage makes us ‘more American’ have you explained the exception?

    I appreciate you taking the time to respond to these posts, but I still feel that you have not provided a concrete reason why legalizing gay marriage takes away the liberty of others. We have both agreed that the application of ‘truths’ can be incorrect- so how can you know, definitively, that homosexual unions defy natural law. Why is this the final barrier between a reasonable and unreasonable claim to natural law?

    I can tell you, even though gay marriage has been legalized in many places, I still believe there are self-evident truths. I still believe in equality, the rejection of servile inequities, and the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. I believe, just like the Prop 8 supporter, that “We would be more American on the day we permit same-sex marriage, than the day before” because it proves our commitment to the ideals on which our country has been founded.


    • loyaltoliberty May 20, 2010, 2:52 am

      The relation between legalizing homosexual marriage and unalienable rights has nothing to do with sexual practices. That’s a red herring.
      Romantic love is by its very nature rooted in freedom, not in obligation, and therefore cannot give rise to a right. People often fall in love without making or intending to make any commitment to procreation. Many shy away from such a commitment precisely because it is freighted with duty and obligation and they fear impairing the romantic relationship. It is therefore a tendentious fallacy to pretend that the inability to marry somehow interferes with romantic love.

      Nothing I say involves taking anything from anyone. One can’t lose what he cannot possess. As natural rights arise from natural obligations, the understanding of right is in the first instance not a matter of being free but of being bound by the nature to a certain course of action. Legal marriage, is society’s institutionalization of the what is needed to secure the unalienable rights connected with the natural obligation. It is therefore not in principle about arbitrary freedom, but about the commitment to undertake the course of action required by the natural law. The whole point of the article is that the confusion of natural right with arbitrary freedom vitiates the concept of natural right.

      Finally, the discussion is not about what you or I believe, but about the understanding required to preserve the form of government that respects the right of the people to govern themselves, and limits the use and abuse of government power in order to secure their unalienable rights. People may or may not accept that understanding. If they do, and act accordingly, government of, by and for the people may survive. If they don’t the form of government consistent with the understanding they accept will prevail. In this case, the move is to government fabricated rights. Because they arise from and depend on government fiat, they may be restricted or revoked by the government at will.

      Legalizing same sex marriage has nothing whatsoever to do with the ideas on which the U.S. was founded. People can love one another without the government’s permission. In fact, submitting to and accepting government fabricated rights will lead inevitably to servile inequities, including the usurpation of child rearing by the state. (This follows from the fact that in the context of government fabricated rights the family has no antecedent claims that government must respect. Parental authority therefore is no longer rooted in natural right. Unconstrained by respect for such right, the government’s claim lawfully to dictate the nature and terms of family life is unlimited.) This is not speculation, but was the factual transformation that took place in the states (e.g., the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, etc.) where such government fiat “rights” were the rule.

      Finally, I want to thank you. My purpose on this blog is to develop a useful record of thought on subjects like this. Your comments and questions helped to assure that’s being done.

      • Kai_Jones May 21, 2010, 6:44 am

        Why is there a natural law to procreate? Is it a simple worry about the propagation of the species (or of your particular ideals)? Why, specifically, does natural law call for procreation over something like guardianship of the next generation?

        I will not accept the extreme arguments of, ‘well if no one reproduced, there would be no next generation!’ simply because while it provides an interesting thought it has no basis in reality and must therefore be rejected. After all, if everyone were male that would me reproduction is no longer possible- does that make being male bad? Of course not- that is a stance we recognize after we compare it to our existence.

        Thus, we are then led to a variation on a question raised earlier- how can you definitively state that homosexuality uniquely impairs unalienable right and be certain that you aren’t misappropriating ‘natural law’ to subjugate a particular class or idea?

        As I’m sure you know, claims of natural law have been used to deny women’s suffrage, to deny racial equality, and to deny interracial unions. At each point during these abhorrent movements inequity was sought to be preserved because of ‘natural law.’ If history shows us that we can be wrong about natural law- have you no modicum of doubt in your positions? Also, if these are indeed unalienable rights, why did they have to be recognized by law, before they were accepted as such? Doesn’t that refute the concept that our government allows people to govern themselves?

        I believe that we are getting to a more interesting aspect of your argument. So I would ask your thoughts on this hypothetical: Suppose Jim Crow laws have just been repealed, and all other man-made obstructions have been removed. Does the black community have a greater obligation to vote? To offset being voiceless and revel in the freedoms they fought hard to have recognized?

        If you agree then I have a question about your statement, “Legal marriage, is society’s institutionalization of the what is needed to secure the unalienable rights connected with the natural obligation.” So, by natural law, a couple that gets married has the obligation to procreate by your earlier arguments. If this perfectly healthy couple simply refuses to procreate aren’t they also thumbing their nose in the eyes of natural law?

        Also, hasn’t the government already ‘usurped’ childcare with the development of state orphanages, foster care systems, adoption systems? All of these groups determine the quality of the parent before they consent to allowing children to be raised. Are you advocating the dissolution of these practices?


        • loyaltoliberty May 21, 2010, 12:29 pm

          In order to do justice to your thoughtful response, we must first go more deeply into what we mean by the natural law. The French philosopher Montesquieu provides an appropriate starting point, since the American founders often developed their arguments with his conceptual aid. In the first chapter of his most famous work, De L’esprit Des Lois (On the Spirit of the Laws) he wrote:

          “Laws, in the most general sense of the word, are necessary relationships derived from the nature of things: and, in this sense, all beings have their laws; Divinity has its laws; the material world has its laws; more than human intelligences have their laws; beasts have their laws; humankind has its laws….God has a relationship with the universe, as creator and conservator: the laws according to which he created are those according to which he conserves.”

          The natural law as to procreation exactly corresponds to this understanding. The Creator’s will for the preservation of each created being is implied in the very fact of its creation. As I said in the article, this applies to the preservation of every individual human being. But as such, humanity is not just this or that individual, but the whole comprised of all possible human individuals preserved in accordance with the infinite will of God for their existence.
          In light of this understanding, your dismissal of the relationship between particular acts of procreation and the preservation in general of humanity makes no sense. The whole cannot exist without the elements that comprise it. Those elements cannot exist as particulars of a certain kind except in relation to the concept of the whole. Except for the particular conception of each human being, humanity will not exist. Except for the general concept of humanity, no particular human can be known as such (i.e., as human.) This is not a statement about some arbitrarily chosen concern dependent on our willful understanding. It is a statement about the necessary relationship between particular beings and the intelligent determination of the Creator through which they are known as what they are. At its root, this is what we mean by the natural law.
          In the first instance, natural right refers to any activity of a particular being that is necessary for it to continue its existence as a particular instance of the general being it is supposed (initially by God, but for intelligent beings, subsequently also by their own understanding) to be. If some differentiation of being (such as the difference between male and female humans) is necessary in order to propagate the particular appearance (species) of being in general, respect for that difference (that is, acting in a way that takes account of it) doesn’t “subjugate a particular class or idea”, it expresses the particular class or idea of the species. (Note that word species and the word respect share the same etymological root, which refers to the faculty of seeing or looking at something. Both require that we think about the activity of being required for a particular being to look the way its supposed to. We realize the full implication of this when we remember that we see not only with our eyes, but with our intellect.)
          Further along in his discussion Montesquieu makes it clear that “the intelligent world falls well short of being as well governed as the physical world. For though the former also has laws that are by nature invariable, it does not follow them as consistently as the physical world follows its laws. This is because particular intelligent beings are limited by their nature, and in consequence subject to error; and, from another perspective, it is their nature to act of themselves. They do not consistently follow their primitive laws (or as we might say these days, their original programming); or even always follow the laws they devise for themselves.”
          Thus you correctly point out the fallibility that leads human beings to draw and apply erroneous conclusions about the natural law. Yet if such errors simply discredit the use of reason with respect to the natural law, law as such is also discredited, and we must simply accept that the human condition is worse than that of the beasts.
          Your suggestion that the willingness to persist in reasonable efforts to refine and perfect our understanding of the natural law somehow implies some unwillingness to doubt any given conclusion doesn’t make sense. We’re having this discussion precisely because every conclusion is subject to doubt. But we can’t resolve the doubt by forgetting what Montesquieu calls the “primitive laws”, which is to say the simple first premises of our existence.
          This is exactly relevant to our discussion. The male-female distinction precisely corresponds to one of those “primitive laws.” Concepts of race or other fabrications of human understanding do not. Progress toward greater justice in the treatment of human beings came about in America precisely because at its beginning the founders sought to have recourse to the original laws, or first principles, that apply to all human beings as they are made by the Creator. The errors you allude to came about precisely because people substituted categories of their own making for the simple premises of humanity.
          The very idea of homosexual relations arise from such a substitution. I often think of this when people refer to homosexuals’ physical relations with one another as sex or sexual relations. The sex of any particular human being is known only by and through the characteristics that distinguish that individual from one of the opposite sex. Whatever two people of the same sex are doing with one another, their activity does not involve exploring or making known to one another the meaning of the sexual distinction. They are not having sex. Indeed, in the proper sense of the term, their activity is sexless or asexual.
          Your reference to orphanages and foster care again attempts to equate human actions that result from incidents of life with human activities essential in order to perpetuate life as such. The systems you refer to care for the lives of particular human beings. The procreational family also cares for the existence of the species as such.
          Finally people who decide to marry but not have children take advantage of the Procrustean character of human law I spoke of in a previous reply. Because they have the specific characteristics essential to fulfill the obligation to the species, they cannot be excluded from the marriageable class. They will not do what they can. Whereas a homosexual couple cannot by itself fulfill the specific obligation, even if the individuals involved have the will. However, in this respect the important thing to remember about natural law is that, in principle, it is a matter of God’s will not our own. Human law can and should go only so far. The rest we must leave to judgments that can only be made, as we are made ourselves, in the secret precinct of God’s absolute creative power.

          • Kai_Jones May 25, 2010, 5:26 am

            Wow, I must apologize for the delays in my response- lab has been quite busy lately. Shall we begin?

            I’ll start with this quote, “The Creator’s will for the preservation of each created being is implied in the very fact of its creation.”

            This is why I don’t believe the ‘obligation’ of procreation stems from natural law. If we assume the Creator’s will for preservation, why then, have there been at least five mass extinctions? Some of these extinctions have wiped out more than 90% of all species during the cataclysmic event. Where is the Creator’s will in preserving those species that were designed?

            Why do some species simply fail to succeed and end up getting wiped out by a more successful species? The point I’m getting at- if there was a will for preservation, why would we have extinctions (both of ideas and species)? Either there is a selective will for the preservation of species or no will for the preservation of species and the fact of being born doesn’t mean an obligation to produce more.

            Your other statement, “But as such, humanity is not just this or that individual, but the whole comprised of all possible human individuals preserved in accordance with the infinite will of God for their existence.”

            If we comprise the thoughts and actions of all humans (and all possible humans) what we end up with is a mass of contradictions. The net sum will likely even out to zero (as humans are nearly always in opposition). Thus, humanity becomes a concept so abstract as to lose all meaning. This problem is compounded by very nature of humanity changing from culture to culture.

            For instance, the Japanese performed atrocious acts on the Chinese in Nanking from raping children to horrible medical experiments. The Japanese rationalization was that because China refused to fight to the death they were seen as less than human; they were viewed as unworthy of life. They were wiped (at least in the minds of the Japanese) from the human race. I mention this because it shows the malleability of the concept of humanity. I, for one, certainly don’t feel the kinship of shared trials and tribulations with the ancient Sumerian people. We are both human but the societies in which we interact have little to no comparison.

            As a physical scientist I have had an opportunity to intimately experience and study the natural laws of the universe. I can wax philosophic about the beauty of the water molecule, the intricacies of carbon self-catalysis (which is why life must be carbon based)- I’ve had a chance to try and understand the complexity of the universe.

            So when Descartes sat, isolated as he pondered his “Meditations” I think he was missing the fundamental aspect of taking part- both in humanity and the natural world. Yes, the Wax Experiment shows that senses can’t be trusted alone, but with the addition of reason, the conclusions of the Wax Experiment no longer apply. Senses gather data but our mind forms that data into reason.

            What I’m trying to say, is that the argument you lay out, is valid- but it is not sound. When we apply the filter of human experience, the argument you base upon ‘natural law’ devolves into the reasoning of one man. As you stated eloquently: “The whole cannot exist without the elements that comprise it.” Well, without objective evidence your argument is at most, just a part of the whole. So we agree about the inherent doubt in conclusions lacking objective evidence.

            I’m not sure we can resolve the differences between our disparate methods of analysis. Starting from the same points we reach entirely different conclusions. Since I can produce objective evidence that homosexual unions cause no harm, that homosexuals are capable of love (and expressing that love), that homosexually is a naturally occurring variant of sexual orientation, and that stable homosexual unions strengthen communities and economies- your argument that homosexual marriage impairs unalienable right may be valid, but it is not sound.


          • loyaltoliberty May 25, 2010, 12:04 pm

            “The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21)

            Life is the way our freedom appears to us at any given moment.
            Death, or the extinction of life, is the way God’s freedom appears to us when the given moment is taken away.
            Both are natural.
            But in neither do we understand freedom as God understands it, for God’s understanding is not limited to the moment. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Both are determinations of His being, which is nonetheless limited (bound) by neither, for it is before, during and after the one and the other.
            Montesquieu alludes to this when he points out that “particular intelligent beings are limited by their nature, and in consequence subject to error”.
            Is the distinction you make between what is valid and what is sound such an error? Or is the error in my failure to make sense of it?
            You say that your observation of objective facts, e.g., the extinction of species, empirically contradicts the notion that God wills the preservation of the species. Therefore, the account I give of the “natural law” is just a subjective conclusion (“the reasoning of one man.”) But which species distinguishes itself by subjectively recognizing the objective possibility of extinction? Only the species for which subjectivity is an aspect of consciousness. (The species that is aware of being a species and can therefore grasp the concept of its being as such.)
            The ability to give a subjective account of the existence of the whole is precisely what constitutes human nature. You are right to acknowledge that the scientific point of view cannot determine the validity of that account. But this simply means that the scientific method of analysis cannot adequately account for human nature. Here again Montesquieu appears to be correct when he says “the material world has its laws;…humankind has its laws…” which are not of the same nature.
            We die, but we are not made for death. If this is a thought in the mind of only one individual, why are all naturally inclined to react the same way when someone offers to kill them? (The biological scientist might say they react “instinctively.” But “instinct” is just a term used to refer to the cause of what appear to be intelligently purposive effects that science observes but cannot further explain.) The preference for life is objectively verified by each individual’s natural inclination to reject the offer. This is an empirical fact, which can be scientifically observed. But in this case, the scientific method of analysis cannot account for the facts, because observation of the outward appearances, however meticulous, produces no explanation of the subjective determination that causes them. It can see reason in them, but no reason for them. Unlike the material world, the intelligent world (as Montesquieu terms it) has a corresponding inward existence that cannot be objectively observed in operation, only in consequence.
            We can only take account of this inward existence by taking testimony from the individuals who comprise the human species. If we simply dismiss as unsound all reasons that science cannot account for, then we set aide that testimony, treating the specific attribute that constitutes the distinguishing feature of human nature as being of no account. But this means that the scientific method of analysis must dehumanize each individual it observes.
            So you are wrong to say that we are “starting from the same points.” You start from a perspective that objectively takes no account of our humanity. I start from the perspective that takes seriously the subjective account that humanity makes possible. But as we are dealing with matters that pertain to human affairs, is it sound judgment to employ a method of analysis that takes no account of their specifically human nature? Is this the error that explains why ideologies that emulate scientific materialism in their thinking have produced human governments willing to emulate in human terms the mass extinctions the scientist sees in natural history?
            Your final paragraph addresses arguments with respect to homosexuality that I have not relied upon. The impairment of unalienable right refers to a conceptual effect of legalizing homosexual marriage, not the origin or effects of homosexual activity. There are many varieties of human relationships, each may have this or that desirable or undesirable consequence associated with it. But only one involves the specific difference indispensable for the perpetuation of the species, and the legal institution established to recognize and respect the unalienable rights associated with that purpose.
            This is important to those whose subjective inclination to perpetuate life includes living in a society in which the concept of right is not produced by government fiat, but in which instead it justly limits and constrains the scope of its powers.

          • Kai_Jones May 26, 2010, 10:18 pm

            As I mentioned previously scientists are trained to spot the exceptions to the rule. If you can find an exception your reasoning is not correct. So immediately I reject the ‘instinctual’ response to choose life.

            In most cases I would agree, that sane people would choose to not be killed, however, many exceptions do exist. Police-assisted suicide, euthanasia, suicide in general. Instinct is inversely correlated to intelligence. Intelligence allows experience to be understood- when an experience is understood, we no longer act on instinct.

            The issue is that if you’re claiming that homosexual unions somehow impair your unalienable rights, you have to provide proof. I brought up the Wax Experiment last time, because you are making the same mistake Descartes did. Our reason is comprised of the relationship between experience and our ability to interpret that experience. You are dissociating experience from your reason, as such, your arguments will not be sound when we apply them to a society.

            We both agree that there is doubt in your conclusion- it’s inherent in providing no data. We can post back and forth arguing why one interpretation of natural law is more correct than the other, but you’re essentially devolving this discussion into an argument of, ‘I refuse to examine the impact of homosexual unions on society and refuse to offer data on how homosexual marriage infringes on the unalienable rights of others. It doesn’t matter what data tells us about these things, because natural law says it can’t fulfill all obligations of a marriage. Therefore, I will cite philosophers who support this point of view because they are clearly correct as they agree with me. ‘

            So then, as I assume you will refute my points on suicide by stating intelligent beings are simply erring from those ‘primitive truths’ you mentioned- why does homosexuality violate those primitive truths? It’s accepted that homosexuality is more nature than nurture. This is proven in the fact that more evolutionarily-complicated non-human organisms engage in homosexual unions regardless of having free will. It’s also proven in the sense that gender dimorphic brain structures exist; one of the multitude of biological studies that showcase a clear biological factor in homosexuality.

            How can this all be true, if we don’t accept the fact that homosexuality has biological inclinations? If we accept that homosexuality has biological inclinations then how can nature produce something against natural law? Recall of course, that homosexuality has about as much impact on your health as that of eye color or height; making those arguments about not all biological inclinations being healthy. (Which has nothing to do with natural law, but I’m just trying to preempt any specious arguments.)

            It boils down to this: if you are discussing natural law, then the only true way to codify natural law is to observe nature. That is why science is more appropriate at determining unalienable right (stemming from natural law, at least).

            Also, noting the increasing frequency of religious references in your responses, I have a feeling that we’re getting to the real heart of your opposition to gay unions. I have kept an open mind throughout these posts, I’ve taken the time to read and reflect on your words, but it keeps coming back to you providing examples that (you feel) support your position, and my providing counter examples. That one counter example means your reasoning cannot be correct as it cannot explain all the facets of the issue.

            So I appreciate your time in responding to posts, and I promise an open mind. If you can provide objective proof of your position, I will take your claims far more seriously. Until then, as we know homosexuality is naturally occurring, it is not a disease (causes no harm), that gay marriage strengthens communities and families- why does your claiming natural law override the data collected?

            If you’d like, I will claim natural law states not allowing gay marriage impairs unalienable right. I can even cite quite a few philosophers that would agree- thus assuring the validity of my natural law argument.


          • loyaltoliberty May 27, 2010, 1:36 am

            Humanity nature is, by definition, the realm in which exceptions prove the rule. This is the significance of human freedom. Where human beings are concerned any law that ceases to exist in the presence of disobedience is no law at all.
            Your entire response affirms the fact that your method of analysis takes no account of the distinction between human and non-human things. You simply go on insisting that objective observation as you understand it is the sine qua non of truth, even when the object in question is a subject whose quintessential activity (self-determination) cannot, as it happens, be observed in this way. This activity isn’t dissociated from reason, it is the very being of reason as it informs our humanity. Yet we can observe it in action only after it has determined itself, so the nature of that activity remains beyond our observation. That’s why human justice is not based on looking at what people do. People lie, cheat, steal, kill, rape and destroy. They devise and do all manner of evil continually. This is why the scientific method applied to human affairs is more likely to produce the rule of evil than the rule of law. The truth required for human law is that which is evident in the way people take exception to the rule of evil when they themselves are its subjects. This produces the self-evident truths from which the American Declaration of Independence takes as it starting point.
            I have made clear throughout this exchange, as I always do, that I take as my starting point the doctrine of unalienable rights articulated in the Declaration. The Declaration begins from the premise of intelligent creation. Take this as a religious reference if you will. The aim of my writing and thinking is not theoretical but practical. As the blog’s subtitle declares, I seek to give reason for citizen action. The citizens I especially address are those who live, and mean to continue living, in the democratic, constitutional republic from which their citizenship takes its meaning. One of my aims is to help free them from the tyranny of those who insist that scientific truth (which precludes the very idea of freedom) can somehow displace the self-evident truths that are the basis for that republic. I think our exchange may have contributed to that end, and for this I am grateful to you. But it’s clear that I will sooner explain the color purple to one blind from birth than get you to admit the essential difference between the nature of the stones and the nature of the scientist who studies them. And for that a finite being like myself has not world enough or time. I will pray for it, though, to the Being who has all the time in the world.

          • Chiu Chun-Ling May 25, 2010, 5:01 pm

            Kai Jones has discovered how to prove negative conclusions. Today is indeed a great day for the advance of reason.

  • IONU May 19, 2010, 8:23 pm

    Dr. Keyes,

    I am no philosopher, just an observer. Here is my comment.

    “Homosexual marriage” is a non sequitur. This contrived issue is just another strategy in the socialists’ playbook to poison and destroy family, religion, education, fine arts – uh, you know, just about every aspect of civilized human endeavor. These elite socialist pseudointellectuals ironically inhabit their utopian dreamworlds thanks to the very precepts they despise.

    • Alex May 19, 2010, 10:39 pm

      How do gay couples marrying destroy families by building families?

      How do gay couples marrying destroy religion when many who marry are religious?

      How do gay couples marrying destroy education or fine arts, when gays are generally more educated and into arts then the average person?

      How does your argument make any sense?

      It doesn’t, it’s just fear mongering. Please do not make non sequitur accusations of what marriage leads to.

      • IONU May 20, 2010, 6:16 pm

        Alex said: “Please do not make non sequitur accusations of what marriage leads to.”

        What is your purpose in redefining marriage? A legally binding contract to guarantee certain privileges and benefits? You want to change societal norms, to achieve outward acceptance and approval as well as tolerance? Is it a vehicle to push a political agenda?

        It’s more than just rationalizing. It’s not about “expressing love” or doing what “feels good.” It’s about gaining power, establishing a new class of citizen, seeking entitlements and victim status. It’s not about equality, it’s about egalitarianism, comparable to socialism’s goal of destroying the middle class.

        It is absurd to compare a person’s God-given unalienable rights to a person’s wants.

      • Alex May 20, 2010, 8:02 pm

        So I guess by not answering, you agree that we should dismiss your previous comments.

        The purpose I believe in redefining legal marriage is to extend rights, liberty, and equality to all citizens regardless of their gender, to be consistent with the principles of this nation to expand freedoms and guarantee equality for all. I would also be okay with everything being called civil unions, for straight and gay couples.

        I do not wish to change statistical norms, and I don’t see how that could happen, the norm will still be heterosexual marriage, and there will be some homosexual too. Just like when we changed the law to allow interracial marriages, same-race marriages were still the norm. It’s about achieving equality, not acceptance- just as people don’t all today accept interracial couples and they don’t need to.

        Equality isn’t a vehicle to push a political agenda, it is the civil rights agenda.

        Married couples aren’t a new class of citizen, they’ve been around for ages. There are some entitlements for heterosexuals only, and those should be equal.

        It’s not about power, or victimhood, or superiority, or egalitarianism, nor about destruction, and I really am hard pressed to see why you would say that (unless it is propaganda for your agenda), when it makes a lot more sense to truly be about equality.

        I wish that children born to gay couples could do so in wedlock, to bring equal biological and social status.

        • Chiu Chun-Ling May 20, 2010, 11:46 pm

          “I wish that children born to gay couples could do so in wedlock, to bring equal biological and social status.”

          See, this is why it isn’t good to indulge this kind of deception. Is the person who said this really so stupid as to not understand it to be a biological impossibility? Or is the implication that we are presumed to be so stupid as to not notice the idiocy of such an idea?

          • Alex May 21, 2010, 11:40 am

            “Is the person who said this really so stupid as to not understand it to be a biological impossibility?”

            I think you misunderstand, it’s a biological impossibility for a child to be related to both parents, but not for the child to truly be born to a gay couple, and for them to be married at the same time. Just as it is true for infertile couples who get sperm or egg donation, or who use a surrogate mother. These children are still born, and born to the married couple.

            Perhaps you believe it’s stupid because you are unaware that the scenario I described already exists in many heterosexual couples through surrogacy, and sperm and egg donation. You can believe that people who thought up that idea were idiots, but the fact is that many do take advantage of that situation today.

    • IONU May 19, 2010, 11:25 pm

      Dr. Keyes,

      I delight in reading your posts. When I post comments or responses I sometimes rush to submit and do not express myself clearly. Please allow this edit of the closing sentence of my last post:

      “As for elite pseudointellectual proponents of socialism, it’s ironic that they have enjoyed the uninhibited freedom and luxury of leisure to inhabit their utopian dreamworlds thanks to the very precepts they despise.”

  • American Patriot May 19, 2010, 6:46 pm

    Roger wrote:

    “What I really want to know is how did you derive laws from god.
    I mean did god whisper his laws into your ears, carve a tablet on top of a mountain with lightning, send an angel down or are they just the result of you going with what “feels” right and attributing it to god? Before you say anything about me personally I would like you to know I’m a guy with a girlfriend and a certification saying I’m qualified to preach as a reverend.

    To answer Roger’s first question, he need look no further than the holy scriptures. I have found no evidence that the Almighty has ever sanctioned gay marriage. In fact, quite on the contrary, Jesus Christ endorsed the traditional union of marriage between man and woman to the point of being sacred in the New Testament. Obviously, Roger has never read scripture.

    Second, our founding fathers used God as the source of our constitutional liberties. This is well documented in our Declaration of Independence. Obviously, Roger has never read our Constitution.

    Roger’s sarcasm and ignorance reveal that he is no reverend….anyone can go on the Internet these days and download “certification” after joining any one of several bogus “religions.”

  • Russell May 19, 2010, 12:41 pm

    It amazes me how people can convince themselves that denying gay couples marriage is the pro-liberty position. Of course, when social conservative defended the Confederacy, they also wrote in terms of freedom. I guess “freedom” and “liberty” can mean anything at all.

    • loyaltoliberty May 19, 2010, 12:52 pm

      I ascribe no meaning to freedom and liberty except what is derived from and consistent with the principles on which the American people base their understanding of the first and their claim to the second. It is the advocates of homosexual marriage who now wish to redefine the terms without regard to those principles. They are precisely taking the view that “freedom” and “liberty” mean whatever they want them to mean.
      Amazement is often the first response to sound reasoning, especially from those not accustomed to it. It is not however a reasoned response. Do you have one? If so I will enjoy reading and responding to it.

  • Chiu Chun-Ling May 19, 2010, 11:55 am

    Because the dead cannot be enslaved, it is morally incumbent on those who oppose slavery to end all life.

    Eh? What’s a “false dilemma”?

    I have in the past argued for the utility of devising an argument for just laws that didn’t rely on accepting particular beliefs about God and His will. That was simply because I know that there is insufficient agreement about God’s will to sustain a peaceful restoration of American freedoms and principles.

    I still believe that a logically compelling argument from secular principles can be constructed in favor of Constitutional government. But I no longer assert that such an argument can have any utility in convincing those who reject sound doctrine. Sound doctrine, after all, is fundamentally consistent with high-level cybernetic reasoning. Logic is one of the foremost tools in countering rejection of basic truths about God and His nature. Therefore, where a person does not accept (or cannot understand) logical doctrines, they are unlikely to be persuaded by logic which addresses only the temporal aspects of human misbehavior.

    Homosexuality is wrong. We can assert this as a doctrine, or we can assemble the evidence of how destructive it is to the individual and to society. But those who defend homosexuality are more interested in homosexuality itself than whether it (or anything else) is a good thing. Their criteria are fundamentally different, anything that supports homosexuality is “sound”, anything that constrains it is “unsound”. Health, security, prosperity…they are only good because they can enhance homosexuality. There is no point in discussing how much greater the health, security, and prosperity of individuals and nations would be in the absence of homosexuality, as the only point in having those things is to serve homosexuality. It is the cart, they are the horses.

    Of course, the tables are often turned. Very few of those who argue in favor of homosexuality really regard homosexuality as being the vital first principle. Insofar as the homosexual agenda adheres to “Progressive” notions of moving towards a sciencistic totalitarian government, it becomes a horse for the cart of the original Nazis (let us not forget who first authored the ideas of Hitler). The same is sometimes seen with the sort of “feminists” more interested in abolishing all specifically masculine elements than in exploring and promoting what it means to be a woman.

    I still do not understand the human tendency to devote themselves to some principle or entity outside of themselves and become enemies of everything that opposes it. I am myself, friend to all who love me, enemy to all that hate me. As God loves me, I will befriend Him. As His enemies hate me, I will disdain them. Homosexuality would degrade and defame me, therefore I reject it. Totalitarianism would abolish or cripple me, therefore I reject it. “Feminism” would neuter me, therefore I reject it.

    Why does anything need to be more complicated?

  • Roger May 19, 2010, 8:25 am

    I’m still searching through your article to see what unalienable (I think you meant inalienable) right are you talking about that’s being threatened or how they are being threatened.

    I won’t go into how marriage predates civilization itself or how it was used as a form of slavery for women (which I’m sure you oppose), and if you do read the marriage license (contract) you signed it has your signature, your spouse’s signature and the county clerk but there isn’t god’s signature on it.

    What I really want to know is how did you derive laws from god.
    I mean did god whisper his laws into your ears, carve a tablet on top of a mountain with lightning, send an angel down or are they just the result of you going with what “feels” right and attributing it to god?
    Before you say anything about me personally I would like you to know I’m a guy with a girlfriend and a certification saying I’m qualified to preach as a reverend.

    While you talk about incest and pedophilia being wrong and I wholeheartedly agree with you and all but you never really talk about how giving two adults th right to marriage regardless of gender ties into that or how infertile couples should be denied access to state or governmental marriage rights as they also do not procreate, in which case I must conclude from your piece above that unless you’re advocating a procreation requirement to marriage I do not see the merit of your arguments.

    While you do not address this issue, I would like to ask what would happen to the kids that are adopted by same sex couples if they are denied marriage or even adoption rights, would they be better off in foster care without any parents or educational support at all?

    The way I see it it’s outright sexism to give men and women unequal marriage rights, I’m not as much for giving same sex couples the right to marry each others as much as giving men the same marriage rights and options as women and vice versa in which case I’m in support of expanding your rights even if you won’t use those rights.

    • loyaltoliberty May 19, 2010, 10:30 am

      Please take a look at my replies to Kai_Jones and Roger.

  • Randy May 19, 2010, 8:23 am

    People ought to have the right to divorce, whether you or I think it’s a morally correct thing to do. People ought to have the right to express opinions based purely on religious dogma, too, even though I don’t think that’s a morally correct thing to do. People ought to have the right to marry someone of the same sex, even though you may not think it’s a morally correct thing to do.

    You frame this in terms of family values; that’s exactly what gay people want: the ability to start a family, have that family be recognized as a family both legally and socially, and have all of the legal protections that family members deserve. That is why marriage equality is a fundamentally different situation than what you describe with familial love.

    Finally, show me where it says that our rights come from a “Creator God”. Is this the “all men are created equal” line that the religious folk are so keen to use? Notice that that line uses passive voice, very deliberately. I assume you understand that people who don’t believe in a Creator God do believe that men are created still, right? We just happen to believe that men are created by biological processes. My apologies if you have some actual evidence that the founding fathers had a “Creator God” in mind, but I seriously doubt that you do.

    • loyaltoliberty May 19, 2010, 10:29 am

      I frame the argument in terms of the self-evident truths set forth in the Declaration of Independence as the basis for the American people’s right to establish a government based on the consent of the governed.
      I make no mention of what you call “family values.” I spoke of the natural rights that arise in connection with the natural obligation of humanity to perpetuate the species. Inability suspends obligation, which is precisely why homosexual couples cannot claim the rights associated with procreation, except by relying on human contrivances. But such contrivances a)necessarily infringe or ignore the natural obligations of a third party (the person of the opposite sex whose property is expropriated to conceive a child), and therefore his or her rights, as well as the rights of the child to know and have the care of both of its parents; b)require the intervention of the government, by law or court decision, to support this expropriation; c)consequently transform the rights of family from natural rights based on obligations and claims antecedent to the institution of government, to government created rights subject without limit to government fiat, restriction and termination.
      Finally, you confuse “creation” with “production.” A mindless production process does not involve or manifest the exercise of any authority. It can be the basis for no moral obligations or claims of right and justice. Authority requires the exercise of intelligent will in conjunction with sovereign power. “Biological processes” don’t qualify unless they are manifestations of such an intelligent, sovereign will.
      Have you read the American Declaration of Independence? Just before the famous and oft quoted words holding that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,…” the text alludes to the necessity for the American people “to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them…” “Nature’s God” refers exactly to the being possessed of intelligent will in conjunction with sovereign power over the activities that constitute the form and substance of Nature, the one who therefore has the qualities required authoritatively to promulgate the Laws of Nature. (It always helps to look at the available evidence before speaking as if it doesn’t exist.)

      • Alex May 19, 2010, 5:54 pm

        It seems from this argument it isn’t just about gay marriage but also about adoption and marriage of infertile individuals who choose surrogacy or sperm/egg donation, because that a)necessarily infringe or ignore the natural obligations of a third party (the person of the opposite sex whose property is expropriated to conceive a child), and therefore his or her rights, as well as the rights of the child to know and have the care of both of its parents; b) require the intervention of the government, by law or court decision, to support this expropriation; c) consequently transform the rights of family from natural rights based on obligations and claims antecedent to the institution of government, to government created rights subject without limit to government fiat, restriction and termination.

        Would you amend your post to include that adoption, surrogacy, and infertile marriages also impair unalienable rights?

        • loyaltoliberty May 19, 2010, 8:43 pm

          The objection is fallacious. It may be the case that by law only people with a certain level of vision may obtain a driver’s license. Someone irreparably blind can therefore never be issued a license to drive. But if a taxi driver is temporarily blinded in an accident, this does not result in permanent loss of the license to drive. There’s a difference between circumstantial inability and inability in principle. Homosexual couples as such cannot naturally procreate. They are unable, in principle to do so. Therefore it cannot be said that they have the same right to marry as heterosexual couples, because on account of their inability they cannot base their claim of right on any natural obligation.
          Infertile heterosexual couples (like Abraham and Sara in the Bible) have the formal capacity to procreate. Their incapacity is incidental. By its very nature human law is Procrustean- it cannot take account of every possible circumstance. It must deal with people and things as classes, formed by general characteristics. In consequence, it must respect formal claims even when, in a particular instance, the substantive capacity usually associated with the form is absent. Only in this way can the law’s respect for natural rights be formally extended to all.
          The laws as to adoption have always had to deal carefully with the claims of the natural parent or parents, and the subsequent claims of their children. This care is required precisely in order to take account of and try to reduce any difficulties arising from natural rights and obligations. The fact that the effort has to be made, both when legislating about adoption and in the administrative actions that result, confirms the very real possibility of impairing unalienable rights in ways that can not only lead to emotional hardship, but to conflict and even violence. But no one denies that the rights of adoptive parents are a function of positive human law. They are not natural rights. In this respect they are similar to the citizen rights of naturalized citizens- identical in their exercise but not in their source.
          With respect to the institution of marriage, legalizing homosexual marriage would be like declaring that two people of foreign birth who are unable even to visit the United States, can on their own lay claim by right to offspring who are natural born citizens of the United States. The law that allowed this would destroy the meaning of natural born citizenship.

          • Alex May 19, 2010, 10:36 pm

            “There’s a difference between circumstantial inability and inability in principle. Homosexual couples as such cannot naturally procreate. They are unable, in principle to do so.”

            So are you saying it’s not about any of the three principles you previously claimed, because you aren’t fine when gay couples do it, but you are okay when straight couples do it? Then why did you say that was your issue?

            So you are saying it’s okay for straight couples to necessarily infringe or ignore the natural obligations of the person who helped conceive a child, and therefore his or her rights, as well as the rights of the child to know and have the care of both of its parents; b) require the intervention of the government, by law or court decision, to support this expropriation; c) consequently transform the rights of family from natural rights based on obligations and claims antecedent to the institution of government, to government created rights subject without limit to government fiat, restriction and termination?

            Why is it okay for straight people to do that?

            “The laws as to adoption have always had to deal carefully with the claims of the natural parent or parents, and the subsequent claims of their children.”

            So you are saying the laws are equipped to handle parents who adopt, gay or straight? Then why complain?

            “With respect to the institution of marriage, legalizing homosexual marriage would be like declaring that two people of foreign birth who are unable even to visit the United States, can on their own lay claim by right to offspring who are natural born citizens of the United States. The law that allowed this would destroy the meaning of natural born citizenship.”

            Then from your perspective the same is true of legalizing heterosexual marriage of those who adopt.

    • Peter December 5, 2013, 11:09 am

      You want marriage and a family… marry a member of the opposite sex. ALL of us are equal under traditional marriage law. One man one woman marriage is available to everyone who choose not to be a sexual pervert. There is NOTHING (except mental illness) that would make you have to choose a same-sex partner. Remember, all behavior is choice! And the simple fact is no one has to tolerate or accept same-sex marriage. No matter how much you whine about it.

      You stated “People ought to have the right to marry someone of the same sex, even though you may not think it’s a morally correct thing to do.” REALLY?? So if a NAMBLA member wants to marry his juvenile love interest then it’s okay, because after all who are we to make a moral judgement on it. We all a right of conscience whether you like it or not and we don’t have to allow sexual perverts to be part of society. And for the record, there are NO “gay” people, there are people with homosexuality and homosexuals. We know you homosexuals like to use the made up word “gay” to try and make people think you are homosexual because of genetics, and that is patently false. There is no scientific proof that homosexuals are born homosexual. So get help for your affliction and stop trying to con people with your deceptions. Most people will never be fooled by it and will never accept same-sex marriage. God ordained marriage to be between one man & one woman only, and it will always be the only true marriage.

  • Kai_Jones May 19, 2010, 2:10 am

    I read through your needlessly long post to come to the realization that there is no reason to back up your ridiculous claim- that ‘legalizing homosexual marriage impairs unalienable right.’

    Because I doubt you’ll take the time to read this I will keep my comment short. In all of the relationships that you suggest Mrs. Bush must have foolishly forgotten (or not even thought about, as per your implications) you forget one simple fact: consensual homosexual sex is legal.

    So, if you’d like to make the claim that marriage means ‘legitimization’ of a relationship’s sexual nature, I ask you simply, what human laws do two women sleeping together break? If their sexual unions don’t break any laws, aren’t they already legitimate by our nation’s laws?

    The relationships between parents and their children, between siblings, and relationships involving underage children- I will say this plainly- ALL of these sexual relations are illegal. Thus, logically (a word I feel you either need more practice with, or an accurate definition of) there is a disparity between your implications that two women together is the legal equivalent of a father-daughter relationship.

    Unless you can tell me what federal or state laws consensual homosexual sex violates, I too will agree with Mrs. Bush’s original assertion regarding the legal relations of homosexuals.


    • loyaltoliberty May 19, 2010, 3:28 am

      In the paragraph you refer to, the issue is not what is legal according to positive (i.e., man-made) law but what is, according to nature, right. Slavery was once legal in the U.S. It was never right because it violated the laws of nature and of nature’s God. What is right is not always humanly lawful (as when human laws forbid the preaching of the Gospel). And what is wrong is not always unlawful (as when human laws permitted aristocrats to rape, abuse and murder their “inferiors” with impunity.) Natural rights are not determined by human law. They come from the Creator God. In fact, human laws are to be judged (as just or unjust) in light of their respect for, or violation of the God ordained right (i.e., natural law or justice) from which rights are derived.
      Your point about legality is thus irrelevant to the discussion of the meaning of unalienable rights, and also has no relevance to the argument I make in this post.
      Of course, the aim of some of those who are promoting homosexual marriage is to get people to accept the mistake you make as a correct understanding of rights. Then all rights will depend on what the powers that be determine to be lawful at any given moment. The claim of rights will then no longer limit the use (and abuse) of government power and the liberty we have enjoyed in the U.S. will be gone.

      • Kai_Jones May 19, 2010, 4:01 am

        Hello again,
        I am quite surprised, both in seeing my comment and a response. However, I’m not quite sure what you mean- can you please provide me a list of things that are rights only by natural law? Are you arguing a case for the existence of universal morality?

        If you are, then I hope you could answer a couple of simple questions in order to allow me to understand your position. Assuming you take either the Kantian, Aristotelian, or the Judeo-Christian commandments as a determination for what is a natural law (if you use some other system I’d be pleased to learn of it) what is your stance on murder?

        All three models I alluded to would reject any concept of killing. Does this mean you are a strict pacifist that doesn’t believe in war or in protecting his body or family in self-defense through lethal means?

        What about your code on stealing, or lying? Again, in all models mentioned these actions would never be acceptable. After all, Kant believed that if you were hiding Jews on your property from the Gestapo, and the secret police knocked on your door asking if you were protecting Jews- Kant actually believed you were morally obligated to tell the truth. Does this mean you would hand over innocent people of God, knowing they would be slaughtered?

        The biggest concern I had in your post is that you don’t mention what constitutes an ‘unalienable right’ or a ‘natural right’ other than some vague concept of nature’s God.

        Forgive me, but I would be worried of hubris if I was arrogant enough to claim I understood what nature’s God had deemed appropriate. That must be the case for you, unless you can provide me with a way to determine what is a natural law and what is not. Then it’s a simple case of using a mechanism for us to determine the morality of an action.

        After all, you claim that man’s law cannot be trusted as man is infallible, right? Then please, could you provide an explanation for why you are so quick to believe human ‘reason’ even though it is just as infallible as man’s law?

        Thank-you for responding, I hope to hear more of your thoughts-

        • loyaltoliberty May 19, 2010, 9:53 am

          1) a)An example of a right strictly derived from the natural law: the right of the people to secure their unalienable rights by means of government based on the consent of the governed. Prior to the institution of government they are obviously subject to no human lawgiver. b) I “argue the case” as you put it based on the self-evident truths on which the United States of America declared their independence; on which the framers of the U.S. Constitution based the institutions of government established by its provisions; and for which many generations of Americans risked and gave their lives throughout the history of our country. c)The principles of the Declaration of Independence explicitly apply to all human beings, and therefore represent a “universal morality.” Moral relativism (the idea that there is no universal morality) is popular amongst the elites these days precisely because it provides no rational basis for law and government except superior power.

          2) a)The Declaration’s principles do not require or imply pacifism. (Neither do any of the “models” you allude to, but they are not the explicit basis for America’s democratic, republican, constitutional form of government.) I would be pleased if you took the time to familiarize yourself with those principles. b) Your attempt to take the discussion down the tortuous paths of situational ethics is irrelevant. The issue I am dealing with has to do with the compatibility between legalized homosexual marriage and the understanding of unalienable rights on which America’s liberty is based. If you reject the Declaration’s understanding of rights in favor of some more trendy and elitist doctrine, so be it. I simply aim to make sure as many people as I can reach clearly understand that the acceptance of homosexual marriage means giving up the Declaration’s principles. I am reasonably sure the decisive majority of Americans have no wish to do so, though some (like Laura Bush?) may not yet fully understand this is implied in the push for homosexual marriage.
          3)I took care in the article to illustrate the derivation of unalienable rights from natural obligation (i.e., the requirements of the natural law) in the relevant case of the natural obligation and rights connected with the perpetuation of the species. Before concluding that I don’t mention something, it helps to take the time to think through what I do mention. (You complained about the length of the article. Unfortunately no article is long enough for those who read without thinking.)

          • Kai_Jones May 19, 2010, 5:14 pm

            I would like to thank you again for taking the time to reply to my post. Though, you seem to be basing your entire argument off of positive (i.e., man-made) law. That was the point I was trying to get you to realize- if your mechanisms for deriving natural rights are based off of human documents (like the Declaration of Independence) then we are constrained by the laws of the society. After all, does China recognize our Declaration of Independence extends rights to Chinese citizens?

            Thus again, with homosexual unions breaking no laws nor denying any of the proscriptions of the Declaration of Independence, I will again assert you to be misguided and your ‘logic’ flawed. I would be pleased to hear arguments saying otherwise.

            As for the claim that you don’t mention the derivation of natural law, I meant a detailed claim- (forgive my excruciating lack of detail; I will no longer rely on implications) one that allowed me to see your ‘reasoning.’ But of course, since you’re simply basing your argument off of man-made documents then I think you are the one that needs more time to think through his positions.

            As a clarification. all the models I point to do support pacifism. Heh, but I guess the unalienable rights to life and liberty (as explicitly stated in the Declaration of Independence) are not based on natural law, right?

            Finally, just to let you know that your science is as flawed as your logic, homosexuals can reproduce. So you can rest assured, if all heterosexuals were to die tomorrow (or be raptured) homosexuals both have been producing children for a long time, and would continue to do so.

            Thank you again for responding to my post- I am very interested to hear how you defend the Declaration of Independence in no way supports pacifism while somehow showing that this same document says that sex between two women will never be seen as correct.


          • loyaltoliberty May 19, 2010, 6:21 pm

            The Declaration is not man made law. It is a statement of the natural law justification for one human action (asserting independence from Great Britain) made possible by another human action (coming together in agreement on the authority of “the Laws of nature and of Nature’s God.”) In the latter sense it is a covenant document, producing and arising from the community of shared allegiance to the self-evident truths it articulates. The document that articulates the truths is man-made, but the truths are not. The fact, for example, that the law of thermodynamics is presented in a man-made textbook does mean that what it conveys is man-made. That suggestion is pure sophistry.
            My argument doesn’t need to be detailed- it only needs to be correct. I have stated it simply. Natural rights are a function of natural obligation. There is a natural obligation to procreate. Consequently, when individuals act to fulfill that obligation they may justly (i.e., backed by the authority of the natural law) claim to have the right to do so. Inability suspends obligation. Homosexual couples, as such, cannot procreate without human contrivance. (Note the reference is to couples individuals.) Therefore they cannot claim the natural rights that arise from doing so. (Your objection to this misstated it. I did not assert that homosexuals can’t reproduce. I said that homosexual couples cannot do so without using what belongs to someone else.)
            You say “all the models I point to do support pacifism.” The question was about what they require, not what they support.
            I nowhere suggest that the Declaration prohibits homosexual activity. I refer to it as the foundational document for the understanding of unalienable rights that American liberty is based upon. The article isn’t about the effect of homosexual conduct, but the effect that legalizing homosexual marriage must have on the concept of rights.
            If the misstatements and substitutions you use in your argument are unintentional, I would only suggest that you read and handle concepts more carefully. If they are purposeful I would simply observe that sleight of hand only goes unremarked when it is very skillfully done.

          • Kai_Jones May 19, 2010, 10:03 pm

            I think you raise a very good point about the re- statement of thermodynamic law in textbooks. I appreciate when arguments try their hand at involving scientific theory in comparisons. Simply, because your statement is incorrect- the statement of thermodynamic law in a textbook MAKES it man-made law. The obvious reason being that it has been determined to be law through human reason and understanding. The laws of thermodynamics certainly exist independently of humans, but they may not be as humans have claimed in that textbook.

            Unless you believe we have perfect understanding of thermodynamic law (as a chemist I can tell you we do not) we have to acknowledge that anything passing through the human mind must be interpreted at some point. For this debate to have any relevance we must assume that you’re trying to base these unalienable rights off of secular statements and ideals.

            The problem with this is that anything stated as a truth or even stated about truth comes from a human; a being which has the potential to misstate or misunderstand. This is the fundamental problem with the concept of natural law- I can find two different philosophers both claiming natural law, yet they end up at different theories. The idea that you are the sole arbiter of natural law is the real issue at hand. Either you’re making your argument from secular sources (which can be wrong) or you’re claiming divine knowledge (which is both arrogant and excludes secular law).

            Different societies arrive at different standards of beauty, different standards of morality, and different laws to legislate that morality. While the concept of natural law is appealing we always have to place restrictions upon it.

            The crux of your argument against homosexual unions can be summarized as, “Natural rights are a function of natural obligation. There is a natural obligation to procreate. …Inability suspends obligation.” Alright, but even statements as simple as this must have restrictions.

            Let’s say that a man and woman are both descended from families that had natural multiple births. We claim there is an obligation to procreate, alright, but…how many children should they have? Suppose the couple gets married at 16 and has twins every year until they’re both 30. Is it fulfilling their natural obligation that they have 30 children if they can’t afford that many?

            Or what if a genetically healthy, heterosexual couple has a child that, unexpectedly, dies from SIDS- has this fulfilled their obligation to procreate? If not, why hasn’t it?

            No matter how simple the claim of a natural law, we have to determine how that ‘natural law’ functions in reality. Not every parent is a good parent nor does every healthy heterosexual couple capable of reproduction, reproduce.

            What is the familial ideal according to natural law? Are homosexual unions inherently defiant of natural law (just as healthy heterosexual couples refusing to reproduce) must be?

            As a closing point, I would like to take one more quote from you, “I refer to [the Declaration] as the foundation document for the UNDERSTANDING of unalienable rights that American liberty is based upon.” (emphasis added) This is the a major problem in my supporting your argument. It always comes down to human interpretation, which history has shown to be a fickle mechanism for the determination of rights.


          • loyaltoliberty May 20, 2010, 12:29 am

            As Aristotle pointed out long ago absolute certain and precision are not possible with respect to reasoning about these political matters, and therefore not required. In this you are correct. The point I make in the piece does not require any such assertion of absolute truths. The Declaration sets out self-evident truths”, those to which, once they are stated, human beings are naturally inclined to give their assent. Who would rather be regarded as inferior than equal? Who would rather be the servile subject of superior power than free to make their own responsible choice?
            If Americans wish to retain their liberty, they can either respect its premises or depart from them. Prior to the articulation of the understanding of rights on which it is based, no such liberty had ever before been enjoyed by any people to the extent that it has in the United States. Even in the much touted Athenian republican, slavery was taken for granted. My argument has to do with a practical choice. If Americans wish to retain their liberty, they would be ill advised to give up the understanding that makes their claim to unalienable rights reasonable. Legalizing homosexual marriage involves surrender that understanding. Deprived of the confidence that common sense derives from reasoned conviction, they will once again be prey to the tyranny over the mind that is the true foundation of all despotism.
            I am simply trying to make sure people aren’t misled by the careless use of terms (like “rights”) into surrendering their unique opportunity for self-government. The move from natural, unalienable rights to government fabricated rights that have no basis except human will enforced with power, entails the return to a world in which power not only oppresses, but claims the right to oppress and calls it law. Along with many other Americans, I will resist the return to that pernicious state of affairs.
            My aim therefore is not to establish with certainty what is absolutely true, but rather to reintroduce people to the logic that establishes the reasonable claim of the people to self-government, limited by respect for unalienable rights. It will still be for them to decide whether they want to live in liberty, or exercise their freedom to choose against the understanding that makes it possible (on whatever grounds) and by doing so return to the condition of subjection to elite power characteristic of the large majority of the human race in the ages before the United States proved that government of, by and for the people could not only endure but greatly prosper.
            Of course, my own motive for working so hard on behalf of the self-evident truths the Declaration sets forth does involve the harmony between those premises and the knowledge acquired by faith from God’s word. But my argument is not based on my personal faith, but on the creed that, as a matter of fact, formed the basis for America’s successful progress in liberty. I do not believe it a coincidence that the nation’s now dangerous decline coincides with the American elite’s self-serving abandonment of that creed.

    • IONU May 19, 2010, 7:24 am

      Hello Kai,

      I read through your needlessly irrelevant post attempting to defend the indefensible. Retrace your words: who is making ridiculous claims? I’m sure Dr. Keyes has better things to do than reply to posts based on your emotionally skewed form of “logic.”

      Truth always wins an argument. Please have a dictionary handy whenever you post. Start with the word unalienable.

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