Thursday, February 16, 2012

Moral Confusion Abounds: Ninth Circuit Panel Rules Traditional Marriage Unconstitutional

You know a culture is morally confused when the head of a Christian-affiliated high school can’t see the problem posed by a religion course that features the film “Pulp Fiction” within its curriculum.

Add to that graphic visual violence and vulgarity a novel (“Song of Kali”) whose principal images consist of dead or decomposing bodies and in which ritual human sacrifices are vividly depicted—along with a few sexual encounters.

Cap off these curricular elements with an explicitly anti-Christian work of science fiction (“Stranger in a Strange Land”) that revolves around a cult whose largely Nietzschean beliefs are expressed through the mouth of an alien hero who has intercourse with various group members—male and female.

The response I observed almost a decade ago within a supposedly Christian institution was a product of either indifference, ignorance, or lack of spine. Two years later the Massachusetts Supreme Court displayed a similar media-induced myopia when it declared illegal the limitation of marriage to persons of the opposite sex.

Last week that Bay State ruling was temporarily expanded by two of the three members of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals who ruled that California’s Proposition 8 violates the United States Constitution.

According to Justice Stephen Reinhardt (whose wife, Ramona Ripston, recently retired as executive director for the ACLU of Southern California—an organization adamantly opposed to Prop 8):

“Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently. There was no such reason that Proposition 8 could have been enacted… Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite sex couples.”

It requires an exquisite combination of smoke-and-mirrors legal rationalizing alongside a profound sense of ideological arrogance to arrive at the supposedly “narrow” legal basis on which Justices Reinhardt and Hawkins overturned a purely definitional law passed by California voters in 2008.

The nominal right this duo claims was taken away from a “class of people” was itself granted by judicial fiat—a brazen act that dismissed as irrational the moral views and practices of every major civilization and religion from time immemorial. Among these supposedly irrational beliefs is the conviction that children benefit from having both a male and a female parent.

Unfortunately, when moral compasses get wildly out of whack, they tend to point in any direction elites deem desirable.

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