Skip to comments.Columnist David Limbaugh Says Sodomy Ruling is a "Gold Mine" for Liberals
Posted on 07/07/2003 1:06:01 PM PDT by Theodore R.
Sodomy Ruling Part II: A Liberal Gold Mine by David Limbaugh Posted Jul 7, 2003
Our Rulers, The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court's ruling in Lawrence v. Texas (the sodomy case) is a veritable gold mine for liberals and the shifting values they hold dear.
Not many conservatives I know have any desire to see the sodomy laws of any state enforced against homosexual behavior within the confines of one's private residence. But the Supreme Court's opinion had little to do with protecting that kind of privacy and much more to do with legitimizing homosexuality, moral relativism and the concept of the Constitution as an evolving document. And for good measure, the Court also took a gratuitous swipe at American sovereignty in the process.
Sure, Justice Anthony Kennedy talked about privacy, and his reasoning could have disastrous consequences if applied to its logical conclusion, as Senator Rick Santorum correctly warned. But "privacy" is hardly what was motivating the majority. The Court was determined to make a statement endorsing homosexuality as a status, not just homosexual behavior. This is profound and far ranging, but part of a continuing progression of cases sanctioning homosexuals as a protected class. The Court in Romer v. Evans (1996), for example, struck down a Colorado statute that prohibited granting special protection to homosexuals under state antidiscrimination laws.
In his majority opinion, Justice Kennedy criticized (before overruling) the 1986 Supreme Court case of Bowers v. Hardwick, in which the Court validated a state sodomy law, for demeaning the homosexual relationship. "To say that the issue in Bowers was simply the right to engage in certain sexual conduct demeans the claim the individual put forward, just as it would demean a married couple were it to be said marriage is simply about the right to have sexual intercourse." And, "(The) continuance (of the Bowers case) as precedent demeans the lives of homosexual persons."
I am not disputing that a criminal statute outlawing sodomy between homosexuals demeans the homosexual relationship -- of course it does, and it's intended to. Until relatively recently our society openly disapproved of such relationships. But it is equally true that the Court's language legitimizes such relationships -- and is intended to. Had the Court merely intended to protect the homosexual act within the home it wouldn't have addressed the "demeaning of the homosexual relationship." The Court also acknowledged the "dignity" of homosexuals "as free persons."
And where this Court is concerned, forget any affinity for the Constitution's original intent, much less its reliance on absolute truths. Kennedy continued, "(The drafters of the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments) knew times can blind us to certain truths, and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress." Are we to infer from this that the writers of the Bible were blind to certain truths and that we can now safely discard them as outmoded, prejudicial and homophobic? This concept might be news to King Solomon, who told us "there is nothing new under the sun."
Justice Kennedy's endorsement of postmodern moral relativism and humanism is hardly new. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1996), he and his robed colleagues wrote, "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State."
Oh well, we might as well throw out American sovereignty along with moral absolutes while we're at it. I'm not exaggerating. The Court virtually incorporated into the Constitution the ever-changing values of other nations -- "a wider civilization." "The right the petitioners seek in this case has been accepted as an integral part of human freedom in many other countries," said the Court. "There has been no showing that in this country the governmental interest in circumscribing personal choice is somehow more legitimate or urgent (than that of other nations)."
Swell. Now we not only have to contend with the erosion of traditional values from the aggressive moral relativism in our own country, but that of other even more "progressive" nations. What possible justification is there to consider, let alone adopt, as constitutional principles the values of other nations? The last time I checked, we didn't have an international constitution.
President Bush has provided badly needed moral leadership in our War on Terror. But while we're paying scant attention, our moral foundations are continuing to crumble from within. The president should use his bully pulpit to challenge this court publicly. Done effectively, it could lead to the filibuster-proof majority he needs to bring sanity to the judiciary.
Mr. Limbaugh is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Absolute Power.
What is most interesting about this quote is that it marked the "official" end of the U.S. Supreme Court as a relevant body in my own life. This idiotic, empty, silly statement just about summarizes the entire institution and what it has become.
At least I can comfort myself in knowing that Justice Kennedy fully supports my right to define my own existence as one that owes not a shred of respect to any U.S. Supreme Court decisions anymore.
Yes. The Biblical endorsements of slavery are a notable example.
While the Biblical endorsement of slavery has been misused throughout the centuries, it is not an example of how men's understanding changed the truths of the Bible.
This is not a Bible study forum, but I would suggest that you study this subject much more carefully. You should focus on 1) the notion of slavery discussed in the Bible and 2) the status of all human beings from a spiritual point of view.
I wish I'd thought of saying this so clearly and succinctly. Then again, that's probably why I'm not a syndicated writer.
We need to maintain laws against homosexual behavior to continue to demean those who engage in it, whether we ever enforce such laws in the bedroom or not.
Please provide references to these endorsements.
I'm not so sure. This decision might only move the issue from the courts into the political arena. Gays constitute a much smaller minority than did African Americans, and their position generates far less sympathy from the majority. The GOP is in a good position to capitalize from this, and the Democrats are firmly tied to the homosex lobby, a group with many many problems.
It will take time to play out, but time and human nature are with us here (as they were with race relations, which the GOP was on the right side of from the beginning).
The Bible tolerates and provides civil laws for several things, including slavery, divorce, and polygamy. But that shouldn't be viewed as an endorsement of such.
Divorce was allowed by Moses and laws were established because of the "hardness of men's hearts". Polygamy was allowed also allowed, despite that Genesis chapter 2 says man would cling to the woman (singular) and the TWO shall become one flesh. Slavery is just another example of a common practice which the Bible made allowance for. However it did write laws for protection of the slave and for the slave to gain freedom in many instances.
The following is from this link.
The slavery tolerated by the Scriptures must be understood in its historical context. Old Testament laws regulating slavery are troublesome by modern standards, but in their historical context they provided a degree of social recognition and legal protection to slaves that was advanced for its time (Exodus 21:20-27; Leviticus 25:44-46).
In ancient times, slavery existed in every part of the world. Slaves had no legal status or rights, and they were treated as the property of their owners. Even Plato and Aristotle looked upon slaves as inferior beings. As inhumane as such slavery was, we must keep in mind that on occasion it was an alternative to the massacre of enemy populations in wartime and the starvation of the poor during famine. It was to the people of this harsh age that the Bible was first written.
In New Testament times, slave labor was foundational to the economy of the Roman empire. About a third of the population was comprised of slaves. If the writers of the New Testament had attacked the institution of slavery directly, the gospel would have been identified with a radical political cause at a time when the abolition of slavery was unthinkable. To directly appeal for the freeing of slaves would have been inflammatory and a direct threat to the social order. 1 Consequently, the New Testament acknowledged slaverys existence, instructing both Christian masters and slaves in the way they should behave (Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:2; 4:1; 1 Timothy 6:2; Philemon 1:10-21). At the same time, it openly declared the spiritual equality of all people (Galatians 3:28; 1 Corinthians 7:20-24; Colossians 3:11). 2
The gospel first had the practical effect of doing away with slavery within the community of the early church. 3 It also carried within it the seeds of the eventual complete abolition of slavery in the Western world.
The fact that the Bible never expressly condemned the institution of slavery has been wrongfully used as a rationale for its continuance. In the American South prior to the Civil War, many nominal Christians wrongly interpreted the Bibles approach to slavery and used their misunderstanding to justify economic interests. The terrible use of African slave labor continued in spite of those who argued from the Scriptures for the equality of all races. 4
Only under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln did an American government bring an end to the nightmare of slavery that had long blighted the American conscience. The cost was incalculable. Nowhere in the world has more brothers blood been shed over the issue of slavery than in America. (Over 600,000 soldiers were killed in the Civil War.) As President Lincoln said:
Fondly do we hopefervently do we praythat this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled up by the bond-mans two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
The writer of the Battle Hymn Of The Republic, popularized during the Civil War, expressed the views of millions who participated in the suffering of that era when she wrote:
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, He has trampled out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored, He has loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible, swift sword, His truth is marching on.
Today the Christian message of the spiritual equality of all men under God has spread throughout the world, and it is rapidly becoming the standard by which the human values of all nations are measured.
Written by: Dan Vander Lugt
The slavery tolerated by the Scriptures must be understood in its historical context.
Are we to infer that Biblical "truths" are dependent on historical context?
No that would be a wrong inference. What you are to infer is that the Bible makes allowances for man's fallen condition. God hates divorce but nevertheless included laws to govern divorce.
Polygamy was not the model that God set up in Genesis chapter 2, but nevertheless, the Bible include laws on how to treat your wives if you have two and you love one but hate the other. Should we infer from that, that God endorses hating one of your wives? Of course not! That would be contradictory to everything else the bible is about.
Same thing with slavery. The Bible commands you to love others. Yet it has laws to govern slavery, because God knows the heart of man, and man's heart is not righteous.
Actually, while that phrase is sheer idiocy, it is calculated. It is the eternal humanistic demand to be able to define one's past, present, and eternity without filtering one's existence through the prism of Almighty God. The Justice is this case is asserting a right to define your own existence, as if any human being can do that apart from God.
The battle continues.
Today, anyone can be a Christian, and we never know when that person might receieve the Gospel and enter into the family of God. That is why slavery today is abhorrent.
I don't agree with everything he says, but Gary North does an excellent treatment of this in one of his books - I think the Economic Commentary of Leviticus. He discusses JEsus as being the literal embodiment of the OT "Jubilee Year" in which slaves were set free.
write to these representatives and let them know to push
the FMA its HJ 56.
Time for people of conscience to ACT. Lets stop this
opinion from going any farther than the bedroom door.
Hmmm.. Fair enough. Are we then to infer the Biblical "truths" are dependent upon cultural context? Or, as the author of this link prefers, upon socio-economic-religious context?
Well I think the first problem is in labeling these Old Testament laws as Biblical "Truths". When I think of "truths", I don't think of commandments that are specific to a place or time or specific people. I think of things that either describe the unchangeable nature of God, including his desires for us.
Therefore, a truth is something like "What does the Lord require of you but to love your neighbor as yourself and walk humbly before your God?". That doesn't change, it's valid for all people for all time.
Many of these Old Testament laws were given specifically to Israel, and only to Israel. Reasons were given in scripture for dietary laws which were to set Israel apart from other nations. So the dietary laws are "truths" in the sense that God did say that to Israel, but they aren't not "truths" in that you can lift a verse out and apply it to all man for all time, those are situation specific.
Similarly with the divorce, polygamy and slavery laws. They are "truth" in that God gave those laws to Israel for that time, but they are not "truths" in the sense that if you step back and look at the bigger picture they are not and never were the "ideal" that God would have us follow.
So the Bible is a combination of spiritual "truths" and historical recordings which would include these laws. Spiritual truths are not cultural and socio-economic-religious context dependent.
Historical recordings, such as the laws given to Israel can be dependent on the culture or other situation. They need to be evaluated in the greater context of scripture. You need to be careful to ensure that any spiritual truths you may derive from those are consistent with the other spiritual truths of the Bible. And when you look at the other spiritual truths in the bible, it becomes clear that laws given to Israel regarding slavery should not infer endorsement of slavery.
More to your point, while it's quite clear that near every society - including Western Christendom - regarded homoeroticism as a more or less universal impulse until rather recent times, there were some distinctions made that clearly implied 'innate' tendencies from whatever source (usually divine selection). The difference being that these rested not on a modern dichotomy between choices of sexual partners but rather on a distinction between masculinity & effeminacy. The basis innovation of modern Western society in this respect has involved the conflation of homosexuality & effeminacy in a manner which would've been quite alien to most other societies, including Western society, during the greater part of their history.
Whatever the case, individuals whom we would now term "transgendered" (or psychotic, as the case may be..) were acknowledged and commented upon within virtually any society where records survive. Their status varied dramatically from one society to the next, and tended to range higher in societies descended from settled lowland cultivators than those descended from nomadic highland warriors/herders. Their status was notably low in the Greco-Roman world - where they were regarded with contempt - but much higher in Near Eastern societies where they usually ended up in sacral temple roles (the Hebrews were a most notable exception). Other societies were ambivalent or unresolved (the Chinese by example), preferring to avoid or dismiss inquiry into the nature of such individuals.
To make the long story short, most societies have left record of these and their character traits were generally regarded as inborn (especially the Native American berdache, the Arabian khadith, the Indian hijra, and the Japanese noh). Another interesting feature of modern Western society (for those interested in such things) is that homosexual behavior has been so effectively restricted to a slim minority that this minority now includes a much, much greater share of gender ambiguous individuals, therefore reinforcing the modern conflation between the two behaviors. It's also intriguing that many modern commentators (especially on the conservative side of the spectrum) speak as if homosexuality is a paramount enticement with even the slightest exposure, while then condemning the behavior as one of the more contemptible and abhorrent activities one may engage with.
Anyhow, there's a lot of cognitive dissonance throughout history on the subject, and none of that is likely to change anytime soon.
Although the sharply limited evidence leaves the matter inconclusive, it's generally thought that the Hebrews would periodically pick up the practice from their Levantine neighbors.
It does seem like adultery would be relegated to the realm of contract law.
Prostitution could be regulated as commerce, but not banned on moral grounds.
Polygamy is fair game, which ought to spell the death knell for the definition of group insurance as we know it.
Beastiality will probably fall to animal rights groups to oppose, if they will.
Hmmm.. A proper reply to this requires a fairly complex review of the context & structure of both marital relations & homoerotic constructs in the respective cultural spheres (which I could provide in brief, if you're actually interested).
Whatever the case, strictly speaking, three societies have "condoned and protected" marriages between men: several ancient Greek city states (most notoriously with the Theban Sacred Band, but also recorded for the Phocians and Elians); the Fujianese of China from the Five Dynasties era through at least the early Qing Dynasty - this in the form of an "adoptive older brother" qixiong exchanging vows with an "adoptive younger brother" qidi; and appearing once in a while within Western Christendom, in its most developed form evidenced by 11 modern nations (formal marriage in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Canada; civil unions in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland; registered partnerships in Germany, Luxembourg, and France) as well as civil unions in the U.S. state of Vermont. From a sociological perspective, these are all same-sex marriages.
Further, several societies have featured generally uncondoned but nonetheless tolerated same-sex marriages (Rome during the late Principate era; 17th Century marital contracts in the Low Countries of Europe), inconclusive evidence of formal marital arrangements (the Hittite law code; medieval Catholic/Orthodox adelphopoiïa rites), or marriage between a transgendered male & a normative 'masculine' man (Native American berdache marriages; formal marriage rituals in which one male adopts the female role in a few East African tribes; Javanese gemblakan marriages; Siberian shaman 'wives'). These latter societies would not have tolerated marriages between two 'masculine' men (or at least we have no evidence that they would have, and no record of the issue having been an issue). There's also limited anecdotal evidence of same-sex marriage in 17th Century Siam.
So, there's your answer.
After having reflected on the comments posted in reply, I think 'endorsement' was not an accurate description of the relevant Biblical passages. On its face, the Scriptures do appear to take a neutral stance - neither condemnatory nor approving.