Friday, June 26, 2015

God save this dishonorable court

The whole world knows, or will soon enough, that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, today, by a bare 5-4 majority, that the U.S. Constitution compels every state to redefine marriage to include so-called "same-sex marriage."

A lot of folks are saying anodyne things like this from Sen. Lindsey Graham:

I am a proud defender of traditional marriage and believe the people of each state should have the right to determine their marriage laws. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional, and I will respect the Court’s decision.

Well, I for one do not respect this decision.

I read it, and the dissents, and it is an embarrassing mess. I'm not a constitutional lawyer, but based on this monstrosity, constitutional lawyers are way overrated. I first labeled this ruling "trash," but went back and recast that sentence. Trash denotes a lack of worth, which is what I meant; but trash often is found to have value nonetheless; and if not, is mainly noxious, but otherwise, not all that harmful. This decision will cause terrible harm.

No, I do not respect this ruling. It is completely and utterly undeserving of respect.

Will I obey it? Well, let's see...

-- I can assure you that I will never officiate at any marriage that is not fully in accord with the Catholic Faith. No same-sex marriages from me, anytime.

-- The State of Ohio will now be coerced into recognizing "same sex marriage," and inasmuch as I am a citizen of Ohio, I'm being dragooned into that. Now and always, I withhold my approval to that lie. The State of Ohio, however unwillingly it cooperates with this, does not speak for me.

-- If someone rushes up to tell me that he or she is "married," and points to a spouse of the same sex, I think being polite and friendly is a good policy; but if you press me to find out if I agree, don't be surprised by my candor.

-- And if anyone tries to get me to tip my hat, rhetorically, to the grandeur of the law, or the dignity of the courts, or some such blather, I will try to avoid laughing in your face, but I may fail to restrain myself.

This is, in the words of a Supreme Court justice of an another era, "an exercise of raw judicial power." It will create great mischief. Future generations will be embarrassed by it.

Update, 2 pm, 6/26/15...

A commenter on Father Z's blog posted this from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith:

In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection. (Emphasis added.)

34 comments:

rcg said...

The problem will come as the next shoe drops: will there be laws against your candor?

Fr Martin Fox said...

RCG:

We'll see. FWIW, I had several expressions of "candor" in my head as I wrote out this post, that better judgment caused me to keep to myself. I will leave it to the readers' imagination to fill in what those might have been.

Jennifer said...

Constitutional law is inherently fraudulent. The Constitution says what it says...no more and no less. When I went to law school, I was shocked by how many of the professors and students were total frauds, all with their own strange agendas, unique to their psychological problems.

Anyway, everyone knows that gay sex is sterile. We know that it's not lovely. No amount of rainbows and parades can hide the true horror of gay men's sex lives. The CDC publishes reports, but even they are not really open with the public about the true health risks.

No matter what anyone says in public, people do not want their children to be gay. Celebrities like Barbra Streisand, Cher, and Warren Beatty may claim to be liberals, but not when it comes to their own children's sexual choices. Then they are saddened and feel the real loss of having a sexually diverse child. But for everyone else's kids, I guess it's okay for the liberals.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Meade:

You've been told twice you aren't welcome here. Of course, you are welcome to apologize for the bad behavior that excludes you from my blog. Till then, please show some shred of good manners don't storm in uninvited.

Meade said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Marc Puckett said...

This terrible nonsense doesn't affect me directly (I'm not feeling obliged to add a link to the Catechism to everybody's post on Facebook that is being celebratory)-- not yet. We were assured in Lawrence that this wasn't going to happen, and yet it has: I don't think its going to be another twenty years before the state further restricts the public activity of the Church and faithful: how can Catholic psychologists perform their professional responsibilities conscientiously if they must allow 'marriage' to mean what the state says it does? how do Catholic magistrates and judges think they can continue in their local public offices? The wholesale closing of Catholic hospitals, schools, and colleges can't be that far away, with the great losses of human and financial capital that will entail etc etc. A sad day for the United States's experiment with republican government accountable to the people.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this, Fr. Fox.

FWIW, the U. S. Bishops posted a surprisingly strong statement summarizing the Catholic position on this ruling:

http://usccb.org/news/2015/15-103.cfm

I have nothing but contempt for the politicians who are "personally opposed but accept the 'law of the land.'" Would they have said the same thinga bout Dred Scott?

-Cincinnati Priest

Anonymous said...

Dred Scott v. Sandford = Obergfell v. Hodges?

Court holds that Americans who are same sex oriented, whether enslaved or free, can not be fully American citizens with rights equal to opposite sex oriented citizens and therefore Obergfell has no standing to sue in federal court, and that the federal government has no power to regulate marriage in the federal territories acquired after the creation of the United States.

Anonymous said...

Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons. In turn, those who believe allowing same-sex marriage is proper or indeed essential, whether as a matter of religious conviction or secular belief, may engage those who disagree with their view in an open and searching debate. The Constitution, however, does not permit the State to bar same-sex couples from marriage on the same terms as accorded to couples of the opposite sex.

Fr Martin Fox said...

"The Constitution, however, does not permit the State to bar same-sex couples from marriage on the same terms as accorded to couples of the opposite sex."

Where?

Anonymous said...

Where? indeed is the question. Where in the Constitution does the state get its power to treat same-sex couples differently than it does opposite-sex couples? The Court was not able to find that place in the Constitution. Perhaps you can?

northernhermit said...

Good post, and I do agree with what you said. There is nothing supreme about a court abuses its power to endorse the politicized position of such a heavily lobbied topic. I wonder if court members were selected specifically for gaining votes on one or two decisions?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Anonymous:

I asked you a question. If you won't answer it, why should I feel bound to answer yours?

Scott W. said...

I am reminded of a discussion about the Lisa Miller/Isabella case. Lisa was a lesbian who got one of those legal rubberstamp fictions called "marriage" in Vermont. Lisa had a child via IVF. Lisa repented of her error and became Christian. Well, if we know one thing about the "Born this Way" crowd, it's that they don't tolerate no backsliding and thus began a highly vindictive legal campaign by Lisa's creepy ex-"spouse" in which the judge astonishingly awarded custody of Isabella to the unrepentant lesbian who had zero biological connection to the daughter. Well, Lisa fled VT's jurisdiction to Virginia with Nazgul hot on her heels. She eventually had to flee the country and remains a fugitive.

Anyway, in the discussion there was the usual chucklehead crying "criminal!" "Kidnapper!", so a hypothetical question was posed to him: Suppose in the name of "family diversity" a law was passed requiring heterosexual couples to give up children to homosexual couples. Would he comply with this law? After lots of ducking the question and hemming and hawing he eventually admitted he would. The interesting thing is that on the way to admitting it, he also admitted he would have returned a slave to his master under the Fugitive Slave Act; saying that he would accept the lesser injustice to avoid the greater. Now, just how returning a slave to his master is the lesser injustice isn't apparent at all, but the legalism to the point of moral insanity was. Let no one defy a court order even should the world burn! It showed two things. Self-styled Social Justice Warriors have no god but Caesar, and that the only image they have for those that disagree is a boot stomping a human face...forever.

Anonymous said...

Fr Martin Fox said...
Anonymous:

I asked you a question. If you won't answer it, why should I feel bound to answer yours?
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You should not feel bound in any way to answer any question you choose not to answer, Father Fox. I was simply trying to point out that the way our constitution works, the burden is on the government to find an enumerated, limited power. The people have endowed rights that can't be taken away from them whether the government recognizes those rights or not. They are rights against the powers of government. That's why it's the people of the states who have the rights, not the governments of states. The governments of the states only have powers, not rights. And all the people have rights against the limited and enumerated powers of the federal government.

So the question is (and no one is compelled to answer it): Where in the Constitution does the state get its power to treat same-sex couples differently than it does opposite-sex couples?

Jenny said...

Hmmm, actually an interesting question posed here. Might generate interesting discussion and we'd learn something, even if it is nauseating.
Good post, Father--thanks! I do think Marc Puckett makes excellent predictive points. Just a matter of time...
For an excellent quick review of how we got here see: http://catholicexchange.com/marriage-has-been-redefined-now-what

Jenny said...

And BTW, Lindsey Graham is a consummate politician. He is on the right side of many issues, so conservatives here in the south love him, but he is as slippery as Hillary and just as practiced with it. I'll continue to vote for him as long as his voting record continues as is (believe me, I watch it!), but I would never be personal friends!

Anonymous said...

Father Fox, I understand now that when you asked "Where?" you wanted to know where the Court found the right of the people, not the enumerated power of the government.

The Court found the right in the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees equal protection and due process under the law.

Sorry. Hope that helps.

Fr Martin Fox said...

So the question is (and no one is compelled to answer it): Where in the Constitution does the state get its power to treat same-sex couples differently than it does opposite-sex couples?

The Constitution doesn't address it. But common sense says you can treat different things differently.

A legal "union" between two people of the same sex is not the same as a one-flesh union between two people of the opposite sex. Tab A fits into slot B.

As to the 14th Amendment -- as Justice Scalia pointed out in his dissent, all the states that ratified the 14th Amendment had laws defining marriage as man+woman. That settles the question of what the framers of the 14th Amendment intended. Certainly the text of the 14th Amendment says absolutely nothing about regulating marriage, or equating a pseudo-marriage with a natural marriage.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Anonymous:

I might add that the Constitution doesn't "give" power to the states; you have it exactly backwards. The states had the power, and they gave some of it to the federal government. It was the states that created the constitution, not the other way around.

But in any case, you might consult the ninth and tenth amendments about powers reserved both to the states, and to the people.

States had the power to regulate marriage before the constitution existed; no one, and absolutely no one, ever argued that either the constitution itself, or any of its amendments, infringed on the ability of the states to continue regulating marriage.

Anonymous said...

Check the Supremacy Clause in Article VI, Father Fox.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Anonymous:

Are you the same anonymous as before? I ask that if you wish to be anonymous, at least add some name -- it can be made up -- at the end of your post, so I know whether I'm talking to one, or several, anonymous posters.

Are you claiming the supremacy clause destroys all legislative and regulatory powers of the state? Please explain your meaning.

Anonymous said...

"States had the power to regulate marriage before the constitution existed"

They also had the power to regulate slavery before the constitution existed. But obviously, they lost that power. The hard way.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about that, Father. I believe, after "Cincinnati Priest" at June 26, 2015 at 10:00 PM, I have been the only "anonymous" posting. From now on, I will sign off as

-Publius

Fr Martin Fox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fr Martin Fox said...

Publius:

They lost the power to regulate slavery through the 13th Amendment. How does this point bear on whether they have the power to regulate marriage?

rcg said...

Th Constituion was originally intended to regulate as little as possible and allow the states to regulate themselves. That is why so much is "missing" from it. The argument could be made that the absence of homosexual unions from the Constitution would allow for them, but that would still be the individual state's choice. This ruling assumes that the absence allows the Federal Government to make the law and presumes a role the Constituion actually gives to the states. The Commerce Clause gives the Federal Government the role of mediating issues between states that could be construed to the legal contract that is a marriage. But that was not the question before the Court. It also seems that they ruled based on a sentimental view of love and affection. They have not ruled on the bond of affection between parents and children so what, other than libido, drove this ruling? Caligula's horse at least had the advantage being unable to speak or write.

Anonymous said...

A legal "union" between two people of the same sex is not the same as a one-flesh union between two people of the opposite sex. Tab A fits into slot B.
___________________________________________________________________

Of course its not the same. No 2 marriages are the same. No 2 people are the same. The point is at looking at couples, the court found that when they look at the way married gay couples live and love and act and parent on a day to day basis as compared to the way straight married couples live and love and act and parent on a day to day basis, the 2 were remarkably similar and there was no material reason in the law to treat these unions differently, let alone as "less than." If your whole argument boils down to the vulgarity of inspecting tabs and slots, then its no surprise that you missed what the Court said about the dignity of the human person.

-Pat

Anonymous said...

"equating a pseudo-marriage with a natural marriage."
_____________________________________________________
That's a hostile comment, meant to offend people. It doesn't advance an argument.

There is no "natural marriage." Marriage doesn't just arise from nature. It doesn't occur in nature. It takes intellect, will and consent. that's it. It doesnt require that the couple be young or fertile, or of the same race, or that the couple want children. we dont even require that the union be permanent. Legally, you don't even have to be in love. And that's a good thing b/c we want our government to require very LITTLE of us to exercise this fundamental right and enter into the marriage of our choice.

And if your point is that our marriage laws should be limited to opposite sex couples because of your understanding of Catholic natural law theory or Thomist natural law theory or Islamic natural law theory or Lockian natural law theory, or any of the others, then you need to be reminded that our laws reject those theories as a basis for regulating our families and our intimate choices.

-Pat

Fr Martin Fox said...

"equating a pseudo-marriage with a natural marriage."
_____________________________________________________
That's a hostile comment, meant to offend people. It doesn't advance an argument.

Fertilizer.

It's a statement of what I believe. If you don't like reading my beliefs, there is an easy solution. I have less than zero tolerance for attempts at censorship.

Anonymous said...

Fr., I enjoy reading your beliefs. And I enjoy challenging them with reasoned debate.

Also, I would never censor you. In fact, I can't. I have no power to stop you from speaking. I'm not your bishop.

I can only try to teach you.

-Pat

rcocean said...

The problem is that the SCOTUS overstepped its bounds years ago and hasn't been reined in by the other branches of Government. Where is abortion in the constitution? Where did the Warren court get the authority to tell the states how to elect State Senators? Who ever voted for busing? The Constitution long ago became whatever 5 Judges said it was.

The sad truth is that people don't seem to have the courage to disobey the SCOTUS or the will to get their legislators to confine their rulings to the constitution.
I hope the Church doesn't allow its right to religious freedom hampered by this ruling but I'm not positive it will fight back.

rcocean said...

Anon. shows the problem with "Constitutional Law" - basically the SCOTUS over the last 40-50 years simply ignored what the original intent was and what other SCOTUS judges had ruled and just made up crap to justify whatever it wanted to do.

The current case on Gay marriage is a perfect example. The judges simply pluck a couple phrases from the constitution and then based on that, and ignoring everything else, justify whatever they want. Establishment of a religion = prayer after a football game, right to due process = the right to an abortion or for gays to marry. Cruel and unusual punishment = death penalty (despite it being in the constitution).

It took the SCOTUS 40 years to discover the bill of rights applied to the states under the 14th amendment. And another 50 years to discover the right to an abortion. And some point, any intellectual honest person has to stop believing the rulings have anything to do with the actual constitution - its just silly putty to shaped into whatever the judges wish.

Scott W. said...

Here's an article on Scalia's dissent that is so delicious I wonder if the defenders of the indefensible are going to try to cobble together a treason charge: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/06/26/12-must-read-quotes-from-scalias-blistering-same-sex-marriage-dissent/