California’s high-profile federal lawsuit against Proposition 8, which begins in court on January 11, appears to be about creating a federal case for same sex marriage. But in fact, much more is at stake. Lurking in the shadows of this case is a breathtaking expansion of judicial interference with perfectly valid elections. Whatever your views about Proposition 8, we surely should be able to agree that special interest groups can’t go into court to overturn elections they don’t like.
Ted Olsen and David Boies want to convince the court that the alleged anti-gay bias of Proposition 8 supporters should invalidate the election. But first, they have to find some such bias. This is why Olsen and Boies sought the trial court’s permission to demand confidential campaign documents. They want free reign to rummage around through the Prop 8 campaign’s computers and filing cabinets, looking for evidence of this supposed meanness. The trial judge had ruled that Prop 8 proponents had no First Amendment privilege, and therefore had to hand over all communications among members of the campaign and their contractors.
[…]The motives of the seven million Californians who voted Yes on 8 are irrelevant. The election was about adding 14 words to the California Constitution. The entire state of California knew perfectly well what those words were. The point of the campaign was to discuss the likely impact of those words. Olsen and Boies don’t like what the voters decided. Sorry. Self-government is about abiding by the results of lawful elections, whether you like the outcome or not.
Most troubling, Judge Walker has also ruled that the trial will investigate the Proposition 8 sponsors’ personal beliefs regarding marriage and sexuality. No doubt, the plaintiffs will aggressively exploit this opportunity to assert that the sponsors exhibited bigotry toward homosexuals, or that religious views motivated the adoption of Proposition 8. They’ll argue that prohibiting gay marriage is akin to racial discrimination.
To top it all off, Judge Walker has determined that this case will be the first in the Ninth Circuit to allow cameras in the courtroom, with the proceedings posted on YouTube. This will expose supporters of Proposition 8 who appear in the courtroom to the type of vandalism, harassment and bullying attacks already used by some of those who oppose the proposition.
The tolerance of the secular left. I hope some of my readers who believe in marriage are going to law school – and I want straight As on your transcripts, but keep a low profile! I recommend writing under a pseudonym, because the other side will go after anything you write to discredit you. Think about it.
Supporters of Proposition 8 in California have been subjected to harassment, intimidation, vandalism, racial scapegoating, blacklisting, loss of employment, economic hardships, angry protests, violence, at least one death threat, and gross expressions of anti-religious bigotry. Arguments for same-sex marriage are based fundamentally on the idea that limiting marriage to the union of husband and wife is a form of bigotry, irrational prejudice, and even hatred against homosexual persons. As this ideology seeps into the culture more generally, individuals and institutions that support marriage as the union of husband and wife risk paying a price for that belief in many legal, social, economic, and cultural contexts.
Wow, looks like Rebekah stayed up most of Tuesday night summarizing the sessions at a Canadian conference on social conservatism. Her dispatches give insight into the struggles of social conservatives in a country where objective moral values and duties are pretty much dead, thanks to secularism.
She has a summary of each of the sessions: (click the links to go read her summaries)
Running Right: Lessons from the Hillier Campaign Tristan Emmanuel
The recently concluded campaign for the leadership of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party featured the emergence of Randy Hillier as a leading voice for conservatism in Canada. Listen to Hillier Campaign Manager Tristan Emmanuel as he shares the highs and lows of the campaign and discusses what comes next.
In Search of Unity: Fiscal Conservatives & Social Conservatives – Myths & Facts Joseph C. Ben-Ami
The media and academic elites like to portray the Conservative Movement as being divided between Social Conservatives and Fiscal Conservatives, each with their own agenda that is incompatible with that of the other. Joseph C. Ben-Ami shows that this is wrong and self-serving and explains how both branches of conservatism can and must work together to achieve their shared goals.
Reaching the Young Faytene Kryskow
It’s taken for granted by pundits and pollsters that Canada’s youth have no interest in conservative causes. Faytene Kryskow has spent the past few years proving them wrong. As Director of My Canada, Faytene has been mobilizing young Canadians, teaching them about the democratic process and encouraging them to get involved. Learn about this exciting movement and how the energy and enthusiasm of young Canadians can be harnessed to bring about positive change.
Communication Essentials for Social Conservatives Joseph C. Ben-Ami
You’ve heard about it time and time again: the liberal bias of the main stream media. How real is it and how should conservatives deal with it? What are the tools and techniques that make for effective communications? How do you motivate and inspire?
The Power of One: How to be a Catalyst for Change Tristan Emmanuel
One of greatest impediments to change is the belief that one person cannot make a difference. As former head of the influential ECP Centre, Tristan Emmanuel spent his days proving how mistaken this belief is. Learn how one motivated individual can lead meaningful change in their communities and inspire others to do so in theirs.
How Ideas become Public Policy Joseph C. Ben-Ami
Whether you’re a grassroots organizer or an elected official, nothing is more important to effective advocacy than understanding how ideas become policy and laws are made. Get to know the basics of the legislative and regulatory process and learn where and when to have the maximum impact on its outcome.
Winning as a Pro-Life Candidate Rod Bruinooge, MP
One of the most strongly held views in Canadian politics today is that it’s impossible to win an election as an explicitly pro-life candidate or party. Is this true? Learn from the experience of Rod Bruinooge, a Conservative MP from Winnipeg and Chair of the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus.
Here are some of the parts of her posts that I liked best:
Even many religious conservatives are shilling for liberal-socialism.
I think this was a great point, because many Christians in Canada advocate for socialist policies such as single-payer health care quite earnestly. Government redistributing wealth and equalizing outcomes is considered “good for the poor”. They do not understand that free market capitalism is the ground of liberty – and they are surprised when the socialism they advocate results in taxpayer subsidies for abortions, drug needles, and even sex-changes. When health care is rationed in single-payer systems using waiting lists, the secular worldview of the government administrators determines who is treated and who is not.
Our common goal is to restrain government. While we have different concerns this is our point of intersection. Socons are concerned with the moral conscience of a nation. They may be susceptible to believing that the state should be proactive in this role but thoughtful conservatives believe that the moral conscience of the nation should be church and family. The state should be limited so that it doesn’t encroach. We shouldn’t change the government so much as limit it so it doesn’t limit us.
Socons should be more interested in fiscal conservativism because a big government is related to having money to spend.
Fiscal conservatives should be interested in socon because the erosion of the natural family is related to issues like demographics which has an impact on social programs. Conservatives should be interested in matters of healthcare and social security. The purely economic consequences of the breakdown of the family is incalculable.
The character of the nation is formed in the family which has an impact on economics because that is where they learn things about hard work and money sense.
We have a symbiotic relationship so we should cooperate instead of snipping at each other.
To summarize, there is much room for diversity within the conservative movement. But within that diversity there is much philosophical unity. Belief in small government, low taxes, personal accountability, liberty. Liberty is not an American copyright. The American revolution was a revolution because they didn’t have their rights as Englishmen, which is our common heritage.
(from part two)
Well, this is half of my case here on the Wintery Knight blog, (the other half is defending Christianity). I had butterflies in my stomach when I read this.
Another problem is that we tend to evaluate things by intention, not results, because we believe that everything is just going to get worse. If our heart is in the right place we can be unprofessional and ineffective but it doesn’t matter. Intentions are good, but in business they are irrelevant, unless you are the Toronto Maple Leafs. How often have we given organizations a passing grade when they fail because they have a good heart? How everything falls out is God’s business, we just need to engage.
Well, this is another major roadblock with social conservatism, that leads to their being tempted to sympathize with “compassion” big-government socialism. Remember Jay Richards and his lecture on the eight myths Christians believe about economics? Pretty much every one of the myths can be reduced to Christians being lazy, ignorant and cowardly about understanding the actual effects of the nice-sounding policies of the left. Things like rent control and higher minimum wage sounds so good to Christians. But a little training in economics from Thomas Sowell will quickly cure that misunderstanding.
You can learn more about the synergy between fiscal conservatism and social conservatism from these resources:
Here’s another point from part five that needs emphasis:
Second point, we are puritanical in our ideas. We believe in all or nothing. I am not calling people to violate their consciences, but in this fallible world where our ideals will never be fully realized it is important that we not be petulant. The pro-life movement has not been able to get one piece of legislation through. Is this perhaps because our all or nothing attitude too often gets us nothing?
Wow. I have friends in the pro-life movement and this all-or-nothing mindset is a serious problem. We need to look for incremental victories. We can start with preventing sex-selection abortions, mandatory ultrasounds, requiring parental consent, born-alive protections, unborn victims of violence, etc.
Why are the liberal/atheist/pro-homosexual people who run the HRCs and other liberal organizations and agencies so supportive of ideologies and groups (like Muslims) who are really even more antithetical to their positions then Christians are?
I think Rebekah would benefit from watching the Evan Sayet speeches about how progressives think. The Left has to prop up Muslims because they get such a bad reputation for the things they do, like suicide bombings, honor killings, etc. And the Left has to squash down Christians for being good. That way, everyone will be equal and no one will fight about anything any more.
Here’s a part of her post I thought was interesting:
You know the more I hear about Bishop Nazir-Ali the more I like. He is one of Britain’s last Anglican bishops that understands, well, that he is supposed to be a Christian. However did he get appointed? Related: Your majesty, we thank you (associated press, Telegraph)
Here is an excerpt from the second post:
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Dr Nazir-Ali said: “We want to uphold the traditional teaching of the Bible. We believe that God has revealed his purpose about how we are made.
“People who depart from this don’t share the same faith. They are acting in a way that is not normative according to what God has revealed in the Bible.
“The Bible’s teaching shows that marriage is between a man and a woman. That is the way to express our sexual nature.
“We welcome homosexuals, we don’t want to exclude people, but we want them to repent and be changed.”
The bishop added that it is not just homosexuals who need to repent, but all who have strayed from the Bible’s teaching.
He said: “We want to hold on to the traditional teaching of the Church. We don’t want to be rolled over by culture and trends in the Church. We want a movement for renewal. We need a reformation of the Church and the life of the Communion.”
Wow, remember the days when Christians actually cared about morality? I know, it’s so far off – now we just want to be liked by everybody (except Jesus). So when this conservative Anglican asks sinful people to repent, everyone gets so angry about it. Even Christians! Let me just say that I don’t want anyone to be upset with me, but I may disagree with some of you about moral things, and that’s OK. We can still be friends!
Here’s another one I liked about the new Conservative government in Saskatchewan. See, while Rick Warren is busy neglecting to support traditional marriage, real Christians in places where it has already been made legal are dodging charges just for being consistent Christians.
The Saskatchewan government intends to introduce legislation allowing provincial marriage commissioners to refuse to perform same-sex “marriages” for religious reasons.
…In 2008, the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal fined Regina marriage commissioner Orville Nichols $2,500 for refusing to “marry” two homosexual men who approached him for the ceremony in 2005.
And Rebekah isn’t ignorant of fiscal/freedom issues, either:
Just imagine the repercussions if people discovered that we didn’t really need oh so many government workers after all. (shotgun blog)
Yeah, Catholics really need to embrace fiscal conservatism, drop the socialism, and stop voting 50% for Democrats.
Excerpt of some of Benedict’s positions:
Labor must be safeguarded after years of rampant market forces leaving citizens powerless in the face of “new and old risks” and without effective trade union protections.
Elimination of world hunger is essential for “safeguarding the peace and stability of the planet,” and the problem is not resources but their inequitable distribution.
This Pope, awesome as he is, is definitely wrong on some economic issues. (I assume he supports foreign aid, not foreign investment)
There is no support for government-controlled redistribution of wealth in the Bible. If you are worried about the poor, give to charity. I’m mailing out 2 donations this week for Greg Koukl and Jennifer Roback Morse. You don’t need the government to do good things. And it’s wrong to covet and steal the wealth of others, anyway.
Rebekah listens to podcasts while doing work around the house:
Scott Klusendorf is an awesome pro-lifer who does a lot of campus debates. Jose Ruba in Canada also does a good job in campus debates. I’ve got both of them linked in my blogroll if you want to check them out (Pro-Life Training and Unmasking Choice).
Spotted this video over at Hot Air, posted by AllahPundit, who is an atheist. He is beginning to question whether atheism leads to great heights of moral behavior. You’ll recall that this is one of the factors that convinced A.N. Wilson, as well as the Wintery Knight himself.
Atheism maintains that the universe is an accident, that there is no objective moral standard, no free will, no accountability when you die, no ultimate significance to our actions, no after-life, and no one to whom moral duty is owed. Bill Maher is a committed atheist. Let’s see what counts as morality on atheism.
And here is an excerpt from AllahPundit’s comments:
A quickie from last night’s show displaying all the charm and subtlety we’ve come to expect, and surely the first time in his life that he’s had an unkind word to say about breast implants. There’s something cosmically apt about him attacking her: No one in American media better embodies the lefty paradox of libertinism paired with judgmentalism, therefore no one’s better qualified to prosecute her for the left’s capital crime of hypocrisy.
Why are atheists making moral judgments in an accidental universe, where their moral standards are just their own personal preferences, or at best the arbitrary conventions of their society? Why even attribute blame to Carrie Prejean if she doesn’t even have free will, which is an impossibility on atheism, since we are just mindless matter?
There are some things that other people do that I don’t like based on personal preferences. For example, I do not like people who spend a lot of time following sports or watching popular movies in the theater. But I don’t insult them for not complying with my preferences. And that’s all morality is, on atheism. Individual preferences and cultural conventions.
You can only judge others if there is an objective standard that is binding on this other person. What sense does it make to mock and deride people who have different preferences than you do? It seems as if atheists do believe in objective morality, however inconsistently. But only when judging others, never when judging themselves.