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SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Don't Discount the "Slippery Slope"
Opinion Journal "Best of the Web" ("Slippery Slate") ^ | May 21, 2004 | James Taranto

Posted on 05/25/2004 1:48:02 PM PDT by L.N. Smithee

These comments drew howls from gay-rights advocates, most of whom, we suspect, were objecting to the implication that homosexuality was comparable to practices like incest and bestiality, which most everyone still agrees are deviant. But Lithwick thinks the slippery-slope argument itself is fundamentally flawed: "The problem with the slippery slope argument is that it depends on inexact, and sometimes hysterical, comparisons," she writes. Also: "Slippery slopes are only metaphors. They are not intrinsic principles of law."

Yet the way American constitutional law works, slippery slopes are almost inevitable--a point that is more easily understood if we think of same-sex marriage as coming at the end of such a slope rather than the beginning.

(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; US: California; US: Massachusetts; US: New York; US: Texas; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: 14thamendment; adultincest; ageofconsentlaws; beastiality; beastialityislegal; consentingadults; culturewar; deviantsex; homosexualagenda; jamesdobson; jamestaranto; marriage; marriagelaws; moraljudgements; permissivesociety; polygamy; prisoners; promiscuity; prostitution; samesexmarriage; slipperyslope; sodomites
It is my firm belief that should people of the same sex be Constitutionally authorized to wed, there will eventually be contractual or tax sanctions enforced against religious organizations who will refuse to accept legalized same-sex marriages as legitimate.

To all the "gay marriage" advocates who laugh at that speculation, I say, "If you think that can't possibly happen, then promise me that if it ever does, you will denounce such an institutionalized intolerance, and will stand in opposition to it."

1 posted on 05/25/2004 1:48:04 PM PDT by L.N. Smithee
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To: L.N. Smithee

People who ridicule the slippery slope argument do so because they fail to understand that going from 'point A' to 'point Z' is a hell of a lot more unlikely than going from 'point A' to 'point B.'


2 posted on 05/25/2004 1:53:46 PM PDT by Lunatic Fringe (John F-ing Kerry??? NO... F-ING... WAY!!!)
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To: L.N. Smithee
The reason that the slippery slope argument by those opposing same sex marriage is legitimate is the same sex marriage proponents own arguments. They are arguing on the equal protection clause. Fine. If equal protection allows for gay marriage then it is not deniable that equal protection would also require the allowance of multiple partner marriage and other forms of "marriage." For to not do so, would violate their "equal protection."
3 posted on 05/25/2004 1:59:45 PM PDT by Phantom Lord (Distributor of Pain, Your Loss Becomes My Gain)
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To: little jeremiah; L.N. Smithee
BTTT


What We Can Do To Help Defeat the "Gay" Agenda


Homosexual Agenda: Categorical Index of Links (Version 1.1)


Myth and Reality about Homosexuality--Sexual Orientation Section, Guide to Family Issues"

4 posted on 05/25/2004 2:03:10 PM PDT by EdReform (Support Free Republic - All donations are greatly appreciated. Thank you for your support!)
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To: L.N. Smithee

Interesting observation. I had been thinking of the "slippery slope" as involving more and more combinations that are unacceptable to anybody in their right mind, to the point that "marriage" is rendered a meaningless concept. However, it is very possible that this will be used to attack Christians and Jews who refuse to slide down the slope.


5 posted on 05/25/2004 2:05:27 PM PDT by livius
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To: L.N. Smithee

I challenge gay activists to argue where and why the slippery slope ends. Why are polygamists not 'entitled' to the same 'equal protection' as you?


6 posted on 05/25/2004 2:09:25 PM PDT by blanknoone (I voted for before I voted against it, didn't show up for the vote except once, but left too early)
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To: Phantom Lord

Equal protection and due process, according to the liberal perverts, excuse every kind of sexual behavior any person might choose to do. What I don't get is how they can say with a straight face that we cannot clutter up the Constitution with Amendments dealing with marriage, yet they can find Amendments dealing with whatever new "right" that happen to want at any given moment in history. Who is cluttering up the constitution?


7 posted on 05/25/2004 2:20:01 PM PDT by The Ghost of FReepers Past (Legislatures are so outdated. If you want real political victory, take your issue to court.)
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To: L.N. Smithee
If "due process" and "equal protection" become legitimate arguments for the institution of same sex marriage, I just want to know one thing:

Where the hell is my welfare check? How can the state discriminate against me and deny me free money based solely on some subjective notion of personal income. Some SOB is getting my check simply because he fits some arbitrary set of rules. Rules that exclude me.

I want that money, I'm entitled to that money, I deserve that money. I've been denied due process and equal protection.

I'm sure the Constitution will see it my way.
8 posted on 05/25/2004 2:21:04 PM PDT by telebob
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To: blanknoone
I challenge gay activists to argue where and why the slippery slope ends.

Why, right on the other side of them, of course. You see, they're not 'perverted' like those practicing bestiality or whatever. They're 'normal' - different from the mainstream (at least, so far) but 'normal.'

And that is a very, very important point to them. They have to feel validated by the mainstream so that everyone agrees that they're not perverted. It's not enough to be 'tolerated' in their private behavior. They have to be positively affirmed by society. Why? Because, in their hearts, they know they're wrong. Their guilt and shame demand the good opinion (at least officially) of others since they do not have a good opinion of themselves.

But that will come. The proof is in the statement of the article:

a point that is more easily understood if we think of same-sex marriage as coming at the end of such a slope rather than the beginning.

What are the points higher up on the slope? All those things that break down the sanctity of marriage - including the special value it held as the one arrangement that provided sexual fulfilment. 'Free-sex', divorce and remarriage, co-habitation, children out of wedlock - all are heterosexual violations of the sanctity of marriage, and were at one point considered as immoral as homosexuality. When the mainstream said sex outside of marriage was 'okay' - when they could feel good about themselves because their choices such as divorce or 'affairs' were validated by society - then the next step on the slope was ready to be taken. Children out of wedlock became common, and are now the norm (70% of black children are born out of wedlock). Where can the line be drawn? The slide down the slope has started - and there is no logical place to draw another line.

Think that's wrong? How many people feel that divorce is immoral any more? How many people boycott movie stars who brazenly celebrate a promiscuous lifestyle, or cohabitation, or having children without marriage? We think that's all 'okay' and 'draw the line' just downslope from ourselves, turning our noses up at the homosexuals just as they turn their noses up at the bestialists, who no doubt turn their noses up at someone they consider further down the slope - probably those dull, rigid, puritans who reject the joy of sex altogether. Now that's really sick, right?
9 posted on 05/25/2004 2:57:49 PM PDT by Gorjus
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To: L.N. Smithee

I totally agree with the slippery slope idea. I remember in the early 70's when I was in college and the abortion debate going full bore. The pro-life arguments often included the slippery slope argument. Most abortion proponents were advocating abortion in the first trimester.

Now we are debating partial birth abortion. The "slippery slope" arguments turns out to be totally acurate in retrospect.

This always comes to my mind when people put down the slippery slope argument. I think many people are using the slippery slope as a strategic tool -- they are counting on it. My $.02.


10 posted on 05/25/2004 2:57:59 PM PDT by Constitutional_Republican
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To: L.N. Smithee

Unfortunately, the WSJ's vision is nearsighted.

Gay marriage is NOT the end of the slippery slope.

The legal rape of children is what is at the bottom of that slope.


11 posted on 05/25/2004 4:02:23 PM PDT by thoughtomator (Any "church" that can't figure out abortion and homosexuality isn't worthy of the appellation)
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To: Phantom Lord
"They are arguing on the equal protection clause."

I do not think that is accurate statement.

Lawrence v Texas was not decided citing the 14th amendment (equal protection clause) as the constitutional basis for overturning sodomy laws enacted in the several states but it was the 9th amendment that was cited as the constitutional basis for the decision.

Amendment IX

"The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

How can it be argued that we the people do not have the retained right to have a sexual relationship with the adult of our choice, consentually, without interference from the state?

Isn't that what free people do?

Is all sexual behavior moral? No.

Is morality and moral behavior so fragile that without sanction by the state, massive amounts of the people would begin to act in an immoral manner and all morality will fall by the wayside?

If that is true, than churches and religions are virtually useless.

Yes, it takes moral people to live peacefully in a constitutional republic. But the state is not responsible for the people to be moral.

12 posted on 05/25/2004 5:02:00 PM PDT by tahiti
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To: tahiti

Oh, but consider what will happen in the schools and to the children.

Books will no longer be able to picture marriage as just between a man an woman. Teachers will be forced to teach positively about homosexual marriage.

What will Christian teachers have to do. My wife has already stated that she will have to quit before teaching that homosexual behavior is acceptable.

Churches alone cannot maintain the moral fabric of a nation. Homosexual marriage is one of the most heinous aberrations that can be foisted upon society.

We must fight it with all our might.


13 posted on 05/25/2004 7:31:20 PM PDT by arjay ("I don't do bumper stickers." Donald Rumsfeld)
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To: *Homosexual Agenda; EdReform; scripter; GrandMoM; backhoe; Yehuda; Clint N. Suhks; saradippity; ...

Homosexual Agenda Ping - back on the job, I'm gone for a few hours and look what happens!

I'll read them all later tonight -

Open for comments!

Let me know if anyone wants on/off this pinglist


14 posted on 05/25/2004 8:13:35 PM PDT by little jeremiah ("Gay Marriage" - a Weapon of Mass. Destruction!)
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: telebob
Where the hell is my welfare check? How can the state discriminate against me and deny me free money based solely on some subjective notion of personal income. Some SOB is getting my check simply because he fits some arbitrary set of rules. Rules that exclude me.

Actually, I've read some sound arguments suggesting that the tax and welfare systems would both be much more effective at achieving their claimed objectives if the personal tax exemption and welfare means testing were both eliminated and replaced with a fixed personal credit. If someone earns enough that their taxes exceed the credit, they pay the difference to the government; otherwise the government pays the difference to the individual.

Having a welfare system that punishes people for employment and thrift is not likely to encourage people to work or save money. By contrast, if someone on welfare knows that every $1 he earns will mean he has $0.75 more in his pocket, and every $1 he saves will mean he has $1 more in his pocket, such a person is apt to decide he likes being able to put more money in his pocket.

16 posted on 05/25/2004 10:57:51 PM PDT by supercat (Why is it that the more "gun safety" laws are passed, the less safe my guns seem?)
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To: The Ghost of FReepers Past
They claim that the Constitution is a "living document". It is in part, when we ammend it, but the interpretation of what is written should not be fluctuating.

Those who oppose ammending the Constitution do so because they know that without an Ammendment, they can eventually get a Supreme Court decision that establishes Constitutional protection. The Supreme Court is not supposed to create law, however. That is the role of the Legislative Branch, not Judicial.

17 posted on 05/25/2004 11:59:24 PM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS. CNN ignored torture & murder in Saddam's Iraq to keep their Baghdad Bureau.)
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To: Gorjus

While I agree that in the moral sense, this is indeed a slope that is part of a whole mountain range of slopes. Even down to your handle...what is the point of implying that you are physically appealing? (That is not an attack...I just cannot imagine Martha Washington choosing a handle like Gorjus...it is a sign of the times)

But I think legally there is a specific point at which the slope starts. Yes, the redefinition of marriage is part of a bigger picture, both legally and morally, but it is also somthing very narrow and specific. We had a man and woman definition defined by our judeo-christian religious heritage. We have abondoned that...for what? Our religious roots no longer provide the line...what does now? And I think that is a question that those removing the old line have to answer. A quick survey will show that on a global basis polygamy is far more accepted than homosexuality (think Muslim world), why aren't polygamists entitled to the same 'equal protection' as gays?


18 posted on 05/26/2004 3:32:37 AM PDT by blanknoone (I voted for before I voted against it, didn't show up for the vote except once, but left too early)
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To: Gorjus
'Free-sex', divorce and remarriage, co-habitation, children out of wedlock - all are heterosexual violations of the sanctity of marriage, and were at one point considered as immoral as homosexuality.

What's this "at one point" noise. They are still immoral.

Think that's wrong? How many people feel that divorce is immoral any more? How many people boycott movie stars who brazenly celebrate a promiscuous lifestyle, or cohabitation, or having children without marriage?

To the best of my ability, I do.

19 posted on 05/26/2004 5:01:24 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: tahiti
Yes, it takes moral people to live peacefully in a constitutional republic. But the state is not responsible for the people to be moral.

Disagree strongly. It is one function of government to assure a moral citizenry. EVERY law we have is designed to enforce moral behavior

Murder is illegal because it is immoral. Theft is illegal because it is immoral. Rape is illegal because it is immoral.

When the government (as a part of the society) stops enforcing morality the society falls. Soon we'll see rape legalized because there's no reason for it not to be. If the immoral behavior known as homosexuality is now legal why should any other immoral behavior be illegal? And why should the government try to enforce that morality?

Without government enforcment of morality you have chaos and anarchy. Truly a liberal's wet dream

20 posted on 05/26/2004 5:08:57 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: L.N. Smithee

I Love my Airedale Terrier.


21 posted on 05/26/2004 5:13:37 AM PDT by Imagine
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To: John O
were at one point considered as immoral as homosexuality.

What's this "at one point" noise. They are still immoral.

I should have said, 'considered by the majority in our society as immoral . . ' of course. On the scale I use (the Bible) they are indeed and always will be immoral.
22 posted on 05/26/2004 5:29:03 AM PDT by Gorjus
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To: tahiti
Is morality and moral behavior so fragile that without sanction by the state, massive amounts of the people would begin to act in an immoral manner and all morality will fall by the wayside?

We have laws against theft. If not for the consequences of the law, theft would probably be rampant. Just because the law prevents a rampant behavior does not mean the behavior should be made legal.
23 posted on 05/26/2004 1:34:11 PM PDT by dan1123
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To: tahiti
Is morality and moral behavior so fragile that without sanction by the state, massive amounts of the people would begin to act in an immoral manner and all morality will fall by the wayside? If that is true, than churches and religions are virtually useless.

Really. Tell me, tahiti; what, in your opinion, are churches and religions for?

24 posted on 05/26/2004 3:19:35 PM PDT by L.N. Smithee (Just because I don't think like you doesn't mean I don't think for myself)
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To: blanknoone
what is the point of implying that you are physically appealing?

Actually, it's a lot more convoluted than that. I set up this account for my wife - and I do indeed consider her physically appealing. She posts sometimes, but I started posting using her 'handle' just for convenience. Now, looking back, it's clear I've posted more than she has - yet if I changed to a more correct screen name, I'd face the 'joined on 5/26/04' attack. And frankly, regardless of the screen name, I'm not ashamed of what I've posted and don't see any need to disclaim it.

All of which is yet another example of a 'slippery slope.'

Oh, by the way, I would not claim that I am physically appealing - not even to my blushing bride. Thankfully she's not all that worried about the way I look.
25 posted on 05/27/2004 5:56:59 AM PDT by Gorjus
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To: John O
It is one function of government to assure a moral citizenry. EVERY law we have is designed to enforce moral behavior

I disagree strongly. The purpose of government is not to enforce moral behavior. The purpose of government is to protect the rights of citizens. All of the examples you cited are violations of rights (and also immoral). But that is why things like...say coveting your neighbors wife (and I'm talking in the mental, not physical way) is immoral, but not illegal....thinking about someone is not a violation of their rights. It is not the government's role to use their monopoly on force to compel morality, nor even punish immorality. It is its purpose to protect citizens' rights. Those areas partially overlap (the examples you cited) but are NOT the same.

26 posted on 05/28/2004 2:46:12 AM PDT by blanknoone (I voted for before I voted against it, didn't show up for the vote except once, but left too early)
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To: John O
"It is one function of government to assure a moral citizenry. EVERY law we have is designed to enforce moral behavior"

Where morality is present, laws are unnecessary. Without morality, laws are unenforceable.

27 posted on 06/09/2004 6:34:00 PM PDT by tahiti
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To: John O

Add me on that boycott list...
Here's what I would like to know. What is going to happen when one of those male/male couples wed in Massachusetts shows up in your community wanting to adopt a young boy?


28 posted on 06/09/2004 7:01:51 PM PDT by shagbark
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To: blanknoone
(sorry for the late reply. Missed your comment somehow)

The purpose of government is not to enforce moral behavior. The purpose of government is to protect the rights of citizens. All of the examples you cited are violations of rights (and also immoral). But that is why things like...say coveting your neighbors wife (and I'm talking in the mental, not physical way) is immoral, but not illegal....thinking about someone is not a violation of their rights.

But is thought actually immoral? thought eventually leads to action if dwelled upon but what if that thought is just a passing temptation. An example of governments role in enforcing morality is the ban on child pornography. Since viewers of child pornography have been shown to eventually act out their fantasies at a high enough rate per capita to be a risk the entire class of pornography is banned. Almost worldwide. Government enforcing morality to protect the rights of citizens. As every just law does

It is not the government's role to use their monopoly on force to compel morality, nor even punish immorality. It is its purpose to protect citizens' rights. Those areas partially overlap (the examples you cited) but are NOT the same.

Without morality there are no rights. (or at least no defendable rights). Without a moral code everything decays to "might makes right". Government enforces the moral code. The only problem is when we let the immoral run the government. Then we end up with gay marriage etc

29 posted on 06/10/2004 5:22:26 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: tahiti
Where morality is present, laws are unnecessary. Without morality, laws are unenforceable.

And without societal enforcement of the moral code, morality decays to anarchy.

Look at the 60s. Previous to that we enforced the moral code. Promiscuous women were ridiculed. Sodomites were shunned. Out of wedlock births were rightfully called bastards and the mother (and father if known) were ostracised. Divorce was mostly unheard of. Then we had the sexual revolution and stopped enforcing the code.

Now most in this country have no sexual morals whatever. If it feels good do it (or him or her or the child or dog or sheep whatever). Divorce is running out of control due to no-fault divorce laws. out of wedlock births are routine. We've sown the wind by not enforcing morality and we are reaping the whirlwind in illegitimate children, crime, STDs and the collapse of society.

Normally the way society enforces the moral code is through the law. It is government's function to enforce morality

Now can we recover from our lapse in the 60's? These morals may already be dead unless a major event happens. We failed to enforce the moral code and now we have to live with the consequences.

30 posted on 06/10/2004 5:29:56 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: shagbark
What is going to happen when one of those male/male couples wed in Massachusetts shows up in your community wanting to adopt a young boy?

Fortunately I live in a pretty Christian small town. However there are still children in other towns that need to be protected.

Part of my heart says that the 'couple' should be executed before they infect anyone else. The other part says that they should be prevented from adopting but that they still have value as human beings and need to be reached.

God is greater than I so I merely pray: "God, save them and change them, but if they refuse to be changed, kill them before they drag others into hell with them".

31 posted on 06/10/2004 5:34:53 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: John O
Child pornography is illegal because those children's rights have been violated, not because people who view it will 'eventually' become pedophiles. You missed the distinction I made between criminal and immoral. Criminal things are immoral, but immoral things are not necessarily criminal. You keep trying to blur that distinction. Just laws are only to protect the rights of others, not to enforce all of morality.

Thought can absolutely be immoral. It cannot be criminal. A thought cannot violate someone else's rights.

Without morality there are no rights. (or at least no defendable rights). Without a moral code everything decays to "might makes right". Government enforces the moral code. The only problem is when we let the immoral run the government. Then we end up with gay marriage etc

I would say that philisophically rights actually precede morality, but that is not an arguement worth having. I assume from your post that you are religious and derive your morality from your religion. And you want to use the power of government to enforce the whole of that morality on others, including those that do not share your religion. I have a big problem with that. Where violations of rights occur, government protection is appropriate. Where their is no violation of rights, Laissez faire.

Without a moral code

Note that you require a single moral code. There can be no cooperation with those whom you agree about major issues (violations of others' rights) but disagree about individual morality questions.

32 posted on 06/10/2004 5:42:38 AM PDT by blanknoone (Nothing is so dear as self respect which has been earned. John Kerry is a very poor rich man.)
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To: blanknoone
Child pornography is illegal because those children's rights have been violated, not because people who view it will 'eventually' become pedophiles.

The "childrens rights have been violated" According to whose moral code? In some places this may be established and accepted behavior. But our government enforces our moral code and according to our moral code child pornography is bad.

Criminal things are immoral, but immoral things are not necessarily criminal. You keep trying to blur that distinction. Just laws are only to protect the rights of others, not to enforce all of morality.

I didn't try to blur anything. Law enforces morality. Every law enforces some moral precept. Now that precept may be illogical or even immoral according to another moral code but every law enforces morality.

Thought can absolutely be immoral.

You miss the distinction between habitual pattern of thought and simple one time temptation. One is no problem, the other is serious trouble on the horizon

I would say that philisophically rights actually precede morality, but that is not an arguement worth having.

Whether they do or not is really immaterial. If you have rights and morality and I have bigger guns and no morality you don't have rights. Only morality keeps things from decaying to "might makes right"

I assume from your post that you are religious and derive your morality from your religion.... Where violations of rights occur, government protection is appropriate. Where their is no violation of rights, Laissez faire.

I am a Christian. I tend to be somewhat libertarian in my regard of rights. The question is whose morality decides when those rights are violated and how far do you go to see the affects.

As an example. If sodomites kept their behavior to themselves, stricly private in their own abodes, if they never tried to recruit or influence anyone else, then I'd have no problem with them. However, by being public about it they corrupt our society and destroy our future and the future of our children. I now have to worry about the safety of my children from sexual perverts. They violate my rights of liberty and pursuit of happiness by attacking my way of life. (increased medical costs, increased crime and a host of other negative impacts associated with sodmite behavior)

Note that you require a single moral code.

There's only one that really works to bring the greatest freedom to all people.

There can be no cooperation with those whom you agree about major issues (violations of others' rights) but disagree about individual morality questions.

There is no individual morality question that does not affect greater society. Every breach of morals violates someone's rights.

33 posted on 06/10/2004 11:47:45 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: John O

You are an aspiring Christian supposedly libertarian dictator. Brief answers: Child's pornagraphy is wrong according to our agreed societal morals, not necessarily any particular groups. As I said, law enforces SOME morality, not all. For example, coveting your neighbor's wife is immoral, but not illegal. As I pointed out, and you ignored, all (appropriately) illegal acts are immoral, not all immoral acts is illegal. Illegal is a smaller circle inside a larger circle of immoral. You use them interchangably. Regarding habitual patterns etc, yes I miss your point. Please enlighten me because I didn't even see you make one. Acts can violate rights, thoughts cannot. About your supposedly bigger guns, that potentially enables you to violate my rights, but it does not remove my rights. I'd say your take on gays is quite distorted, but I doubt it is even worth discussing a specific case until your more fundamental errors in principle are dealt with. Your 'only one' is hopelessly arrogant. Even among those who derive their morality from Chrisitianity there are wide differences, for example, the Episcopals being far more accepting of homosexuality than you. Every breach of morality does not violate someone's rights. The circles are different sizes. For example, murder is both immoral and illegal, because the victims rights are violated. Scoping out your neighbors wife is immoral, but her rights were not violated by your thought.


34 posted on 06/10/2004 12:28:08 PM PDT by blanknoone (Nothing is so dear as self respect which has been earned. John Kerry is a very poor rich man.)
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