It's January 7th, 2009 and already were talking about Chrisitan Conservatives needing to re-energize their base. The argument is going to come this November that legalizing same sex marriage will violate the constitutional right of religious freedom to those whom are religious.
First of all it needs to be realized that "We The People" means justly that WE THE PEOPLE. It does not state "We the Religious People", or "We The Christians", or "We The Jews".
Some of the people in OUR UNION are black, short, tall, straight, gay, white, male, female, or both and all of the above. The gay mariage issue is to me a complete NON ISSUE. On several grounds legally because this is what all this about, not entirely faith it just appears that way. Let me explain the legal argument and the religious argument.
Normally, I would start off the with US Constitution but this issue stems back further than that, it goes back to upon what this nation is "presumed" to be founded on, namely Christianity. This is complete and utter bullshit and ignorance of both history and the laws of the United States. Here is what the founding father's had to say about "Christianity" specifically. The entire notion that the United States of America was founded upon Christianity is a complete and utter MYTH. Yeah, that's right MYTH. Make believe, not real, bullshit, imaginary. Anyone of these would suffice.
"There is not one redeeming feature in our superstition of Christianity. It has made one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites"--(Politics and Religious Illiteracy", Truth Seeker, Vol. 121, No. 3, p. 33)
"The Christian God can be easily pictured as virtually the same as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, evil and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed, beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of the people who say they serve him. The are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites".--Thomas Jefferson
"Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man" -- Thomas Jefferson
"Religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions. I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise therof", thus building a wall of separation between Church and State."-- Thomas Jefferson
Even Jefferson explains what "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise therof" actually means. The guy who just happen to write the US Constitution was his ally and friend James Madison who was its primary author. It would stand to logic that he would know what his best friend was thinking at the time of its commission. But let's see what his pal James had to say on this subject...
I shall start with Madison's view of the first amendment...
"Congress should not establish a religion and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contary to their conscience, or that one sect might obtain a pre-eminence, or two combined together, and establish a religion to which they would compel others to conform". --(Annals of Congress, Sat Aug 15th, 1789 pages 730 - 731).
"The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity" --(Letter to F.L. Schaeffer, Dec 3, 1821)
"Notwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, and the full establishment of it in some parts of our country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Government and Religion neither can be duly supported. Such, indeed, is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded against. And in a Government of opinion like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject. Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together. It was the belief of all sects at one time that the establishment of Religion by law was right and necessary; that the true religion ought to be established in exclusion of every other; and that the only question to be decided was, which was the true religion. The example of Holland proved that a toleration of sects dissenting from the established sect was safe, and even useful. The example of the colonies, now States, which rejected religious establishments altogether, proved that all sects might be safely and even advantageously put on a footing of equal and entire freedom; and a continuance of their example since the Declaration of Independence has shown that its success in Colonies was not to be ascribed to their connection with the parent country. if a further confirmation of the truth could be wanted, it is to be found in the examples furnished by the States which had abolished their religious establishments. I cannot speak particularly of any of the cases excepting that of Virginia, where it is impossible to deny that religion prevails with more zeal and a more exemplary priesthood than it ever did when established and patronized by public authority. We are teaching the world the great truth, that Governments do better without kings and nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson: the Religion flourishes in greater purity without, than with the aid of Government" --(Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822).
"The settled opinion here is, that religion is essentially distinct from civil Government, and exempt from its cognizance; that a connection between them is injurious to both; that there are causes in the human breast which ensure the perpetuity of religion without the aid of the law; that rival sects, with equal rights, exercise mutual censorships in favor of good morals; that if new sects arise with absurd opinions or over-heated imaginations, the proper remedies lie in time, forbearance, and example; that a legal establishment of religion without a toleration could not be thought of, and with a toleration, is no security for and animosity; and, finally, that these opinions are supported by experience, which has shewn that every relaxation of the alliance between law and religion, from the partial example of Holland to the consummation in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, &c., has been found as safe in practice as it is sound in theory. Prior to the Revolution, the Episcopal Church was established by law in this State. On the Declaration of Independence it was left, with all other sects, to a self-support. And no doubt exists that there is much more of religion among us now than there ever was before the change, and particularly in the sect which enjoyed the legal patronage. This proves rather more than that the law is not necessary to the support of religion" --(Letter to Edward Everett, Montpellier, March 18, 1823).
The problem that most Christians whom hold this view are confusing the fact that yes Christians did come to America however, that does not mean America was founded upon Christianity. Big damn difference.
Christianity tends to be a the very forefront of the separation of Church and State with regard to same sex marriage. It's perfectly legal for people of faith such as ministers, priests, choosing not to marry same sex couples as to assert their religious beliefs. But that has nothing to do with public state officials. There is a reason why state officials the job title itself, the job function is to be done in secular capacity. I could care less if two men, two women, or one man and 5 women get married.
It's nothing more than a contract and mathematical divisions of property. However, this is a necessary protection because...What if you had a Muslim justice of the peace and they refused to marry Christians? Reason being conflicts with their religious beliefs. That would piss alot of people off without question. And you would get mass demonstrations against the state for abusing their power.
Now must gays would contend they cannot force a religious person to marry them or to even allow them to use their church or chapel. Which for constitutional reasons would be and is protected, that is the refusal of the religious to be able to exercise their religion. But this is about the government and or state officials acting in governmental capacity not as citizens whether or not they can refuse to marry someone(s) based on sexual orientation.
It is the same case with pharmacists refusing to dispense medication on moral grounds. There is nothing wrong with exercising moral conviction publically but not when you do so in a statley capacity such as a pharmacist since they are regulated by states because they need state licenses tp practice and work. And when do such the requirement is in your official job duties is to be secular like it or not, it's tough shit on that one.
Marriage is defined as the following;
1.) the state of being married
2.) a wedding ceremony and attendant festivities
3.) a close union
To marry someone is defined to;
1.) join as husband and wife according to law or custom
2.) to take as a husband or wife
3.) to enter in a close union
Most of these constitutional state amendments as to whether or not same sex couples can be married is constitutional at the state level, simply because of Amendment X at the federal level. Marriage is not specifically stated in the first nine amendments so those powers being left not specifically mentioned are reserved to the states or to the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
To pass federal level legislation denying same sex couples the ability to marry or rather the legal status that marriage is given at each state level within the 50 states and or US territories is constitutionally unanswered officially. Which is why you have so many states adopting man woman marriage protection clauses or anti gay marriage clauses depending on your viewpoint.
But people should realize no law is written in stone. With time laws change, social attituides change. Need any proof, just look at slavery and civil rights legislation we've come a good ways in dealing with racial attitudes but have alot more work to be done. And with regard to homophobia, we've yet to even open that floor to discussion in many homes in America.
Officially, the US Constitution is mum on marriage, for both sides. Which is why back in 1996 President Clinton a Democrat, I might add signed the Defense of Marriage Act Pub. L. No. 104-199, 110 Stat. 2419 (Sept. 21, 1996) and codified at 1 U.S.C. § 7 and 28 U.S.C. § 1738C. Eventhough many Republicans said there were going to come up with a federal Constitutional amendment against gay marriage which federally constitutionally is impossible legally. The law Clinton signed has two effects.
1. No state (or other political subdivision within the United States) need recognize a marriage between persons of the same sex, even if the marriage was concluded or recognized in another state.
2. The Federal Government may not recognize same-sex or polygamous marriages for any purpose, even if concluded or recognized by one of the states.
The bill was passed by Congress by a vote of 85-14 in the Senate and a vote of 342-67 in the House of Representatives, and was signed by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996.
Now I mentioned earlier the definitions of marriage because this for what it is worth is a trick in English language. The term "civil unions" are not mentioned nor covered by the Defense of Marriage Act. Now as to whether or not the DOMA is unconstitutional has never been officialy answered by the Supreme Court of the United States. They have refused to review the cases and claims. Personally, I cannot blame them. But as judges and adminsters of law they should have been settled this question long ago right after this was signed into the law. Some claim that the DOMA violates the Constitution by violating the Full Faith Credit Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, and the Due Process Clause.
Full Faith Credit clause (Article IV, Section I):
"Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof".
Now marriage is not mentioned at ALL, this clause can certainly be interpreted to mean that Congress can regulate who gets married and whom does not. The clause was primarily intended to provide for comity between states and enforcement across state lines of non-federal laws, civil claims and court rulings. Without this clause, enforcement of state to state extradition, portability of court orders, nationwide recognition of legal status, out-of-state taxation, spousal and child support, and the collection of fees and fines would all be impossible without separate federal action, or a similar action by the other states.
Scalia, yes Scalia...even believes that this clause should not be used in negating same sex marriage. Reason being in Lawrence V Texas, "the structure . . . that has permitted a distinction to be made between heterosexual and homosexual unions". If Scalia's dissenting opinion held true, the majority ruling could potentially negate the DOMA and create a legal loophole allowing same-sex marriages and obliging all other states to recognize them. For those whom dont know the importance of Lawrence v Texas,
Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case. In the 6-3 ruling, the justices struck down the criminal prohibition of homosexual sodomy in Texas. The court had previously addressed the same issue in 1986 in Bowers v. Hardwick, but had upheld the challenged Georgia statute, not finding a constitutional protection of sexual privacy.
Lawrence explicitly overruled Bowers, holding that it had viewed the liberty interest too narrowly. The Lawrence court held that intimate consensual sexual conduct was part of the liberty protected by substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Lawrence has the effect of invalidating similar laws throughout the United States that attempt to criminalize homosexual activity between consenting adults acting in private. Another words what two or more people do in a bedroom is their business.
Does the DOMA violate the Equal Protection Clause? Taken from the XIV amendment..."no state shall… deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws".
Marrige is not a right. Its not guaranteed by the US Constitution because as I said before it does not speak specficially on the subject of marriage for either sexual orientations. The equal protection clause is only meant to guarantee the constitutional rights of an individual. Marriage is not one of them.
The correct legal decision would be to declare all marriages regulated by the states invalid as married couples went from the state they got married in to the next so if you're married in NY your only married when in NY, wink wink.(I hear married men praising me, and married women hissing).
But in relation to the DOMA under this heading it does not violate the Equal Protection Clause since marriage is not specifically talked about in the US Constitution and marriage is a state issue, and therefore the DOMA is in actual violation of state's rights when it comes to this issue or Amendment X.
The supremacy clause (Article VI) is not in play at all here, because marriage is not a constitutionally protected right. It's a choice, people should enjoy the freedom of that choice, but it is not a constitutional right to get married and since it is not a right at the federal level all marriages from another state as matter of law should be regarded as invalid or illegal.
But if you go back to to the full faith credit clause things like driver licenses, and of course marriage certifications are valid from one state to the next. So ergo, if two men get married in Massachusetts they are to legally be considered married in New York, Virgina, or any other US state or territory. So the DOMA is in violation of the full faith credit clause not the equal protection clause.
With regard to due process of law, is the principle that the government must respect all of a person's legal rights instead of just some or most of those legal rights when the government deprives a person of life, liberty, or property. Once again marriage is not metioned specifically so in that regard since marriage is not a right that has been established by the federal government, states have carte blanche in deciding these matters of matrimony. It is not the men and women have a "right to be married" there is just no law forbadding them from being married to one another. The case homosexuals should make in my legal opinion is that heterorsexual couples have no legal right to marrige constitutionally, which would hold up in federal court...as well in state since many states only state what a legal marriage consists of, but not if they can enter into such an agreement because there is NO "right to marriage".
To further prove that the USA was not founded upon Christianity is to read the Treaty of Tripoli...
The Treaty of Tripoli (the Treaty of Peace and Friendship) was a 1796 peace treaty between the United States and Tripoli. It was signed at Tripoli on November 4, 1796 and at Algiers (for a third-party guarantee) on January 3, 1797 by Joel Barlow, the American consul to the Barbary states of Algiers, Tripoli and Tunis. It was ratified by the United States on June 10, 1797.
"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries".
Of course even if you wish to state that international treaties do not count as a matter to US laws. Fine. Just find me one federal statute that states Christianity or any other religion is the official religion of the United States of America. There are other pieces of evidence to prove my point, not claim.
Francis Bellamy (1855 - 1931), a Baptist minister, wrote the original Pledge in August 1892. Just so happend to be Baptist. But even he did not include the words "under God".
The Pledge was published in the September 8th issue of The Youth's Companion, the leading family magazine and the Reader's Digest of its day. Its owner and editor, Daniel Ford, had hired Francis in 1891 as his assistant when Francis was pressured into leaving his baptist church in Boston because of his socialist sermons. As a member of his congregation, Ford had enjoyed Francis's sermons. Ford later founded the liberal and often controversial Ford Hall Forum, located in downtown Boston.
In 1892 Francis Bellamy was also a chairman of a committee of state superintendents of education in the National Education Association. As its chairman, he prepared the program for the public schools' quadricentennial celebration for Columbus Day in 1892. He structured this public school program around a flag raising ceremony and a flag salute his "Pledge of Allegiance".
His original Pledge read as follows: "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all".
He considered placing the word, "equality", in his Pledge, but knew that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans. [ * 'to' added in October, 1892. ]
In 1923 and 1924 the National Flag Conference, under the leadership of the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution, changed the Pledge's words, "my Flag", to "the Flag of the United States of America". Bellamy disliked this change, but his protest was ignored.
In 1954, Congress after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, added the words, "under God", to the Pledge. The Pledge was now both a patriotic oath and a public prayer.
Bellamy's granddaughter said he also would have resented this second change. He had been pressured into leaving his church in 1891 because of his socialist sermons. In his retirement in Florida, he stopped attending church because he disliked the racial bigotry he found there.
What follows is Bellamy's own account of some of the thoughts that went through his mind in August, 1892, as he picked the words of his Pledge:
It began as an intensive communing with salient points of our national history, from the Declaration of Independence onwards; with the makings of the Constitution...with the meaning of the Civil War; with the aspiration of the people...
The true reason for allegiance to the Flag is the "republic for which it stands". ...And what does that vast thing, the Republic mean? It is the concise political word for the Nation, the One Nation which the Civil War was fought to prove. To make that One Nation idea clear, we must specify that it is indivisible, as Webster and Lincoln used to repeat in their great speeches. And its future?
Just here arose the temptation of the historic slogan of the French Revolution which meant so much to Jefferson and his friends, "Liberty, equality, fraternity". No, that would be too fanciful, too many thousands of years off in realization. But we as a nation do stand square on the doctrine of liberty and justice for all...
Baer, John. The Pledge of Allegiance, A Centennial History, 1892 - 1992, Annapolis, Md. Free State Press, Inc., 1992.
Miller, Margarette S. Twenty-Three Words, Portsmouth, Va. Printcraft Press, 1976.
What about the In God We Trust slogan being on the money?
The motto IN GOD WE TRUST was placed on United States coins largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase received many appeals from devout persons throughout the country, urging that the United States recognize the Deity on United States coins. From Treasury Department records, it appears that the first such appeal came in a letter dated November 13, 1861. It was written to Secretary Chase by Rev. M. R. Watkinson, Minister of the Gospel from Ridleyville, Pennsylvania, and read:
You are about to submit your annual report to the Congress respecting the affairs of the national finances.
One fact touching our currency has hitherto been seriously overlooked. I mean the recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our coins.
You are probably a Christian. What if our Republic were not shattered beyond reconstruction? Would not the antiquaries of succeeding centuries rightly reason from our past that we were a heathen nation? What I propose is that instead of the goddess of liberty we shall have next inside the 13 stars a ring inscribed with the words PERPETUAL UNION; within the ring the allseeing eye, crowned with a halo; beneath this eye the American flag, bearing in its field stars equal to the number of the States united; in the folds of the bars the words GOD, LIBERTY, LAW.
This would make a beautiful coin, to which no possible citizen could object. This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism. This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed. From my hearth I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters.
To you first I address a subject that must be agitated.
As a result, Secretary Chase instructed James Pollock, Director of the Mint at Philadelphia, to prepare a motto, in a letter dated November 20, 1861:
No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins.
You will cause a device to be prepared without unnecessary delay with a motto expressing in the fewest and tersest words possible this national recognition.
It was found that the Act of Congress dated January 18, 1837, prescribed the mottoes and devices that should be placed upon the coins of the United States. This meant that the mint could make no changes without the enactment of additional legislation by the Congress. In December 1863, the Director of the Mint submitted designs for new one cent coin, two cent coin, and three cent coin to Secretary Chase for approval. He proposed that upon the designs either OUR COUNTRY; OUR GOD or GOD, OUR TRUST should appear as a motto on the coins. In a letter to the Mint Director on December 9, 1863, Secretary Chase stated:
I approve your mottoes, only suggesting that on that with the Washington obverse the motto should begin with the word OUR, so as to read OUR GOD AND OUR COUNTRY. And on that with the shield, it should be changed so as to read: IN GOD WE TRUST.
The Congress passed the Act of April 22, 1864. This legislation changed the composition of the one cent coin and authorized the minting of the two cent coin. The Mint Director was directed to develop the designs for these coins for final approval of the Secretary. IN GOD WE TRUST first appeared on the 1864 two cent coin.
Another Act of Congress passed on March 3, 1865. It allowed the Mint Director, with the Secretary's approval, to place the motto on all gold and silver coins that "shall admit the inscription thereon". Under the Act, the motto was placed on the gold double eagle coin, the gold eagle coin, and the gold half-eagle coin. It was also placed on the silver dollar coin, the half dollar coin and the quarter dollar coin, and on the nickel three cent coin beginning in 1866. Later, Congress passed the Coinage Act of February 12, 1873. It also said that the Secretary "may cause the motto IN GOD WE TRUST to be inscribed on such coins as shall admit of such motto".
The use of IN GOD WE TRUST has not been uninterrupted. The motto disappeared from the five cent coin in 1883, and did not reappear until production of the Jefferson nickel began in 1938. Since 1938, all United States coins bear the inscription. Later, the motto was found missing from the new design of the double eagle gold coin and the eagle gold coin shortly after they appeared in 1907.
In response to a general demand, Congress ordered it restored, and the Act of May 18, 1908, made it mandatory on all coins upon which it had previously appeared. IN GOD WE TRUST was not mandatory on the one cent coin and five cent coin. It could be placed on them by the Secretary or the Mint Director with the Secretary's approval.
The motto has been in continuous use on the one cent coin since 1909, and on the ten cent coin since 1916. It also has appeared on all gold coins and silver dollar coins, half dollar coins, and quarter dollar coins struck since July 1, 1908.
A law passed by the 84th Congress (P.L. 84-140) and approved by the President on July 30, 1956, the President approved a Joint Resolution of the 84th Congress, declaring IN GOD WE TRUST the national motto of the United States.
IN GOD WE TRUST was first used on paper money in 1957, when it appeared on the one dollar silver certificate. The first paper currency bearing the motto entered circulation on October 1, 1957. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) was converting to the dry intaglio printing process. During this conversion, it gradually included IN GOD WE TRUST in the back design of all classes and denominations of currency.
As a part of a comprehensive modernization program the BEP successfully developed and installed new high-speed rotary intaglio printing presses in 1957. These allowed BEP to print currency by the dry intaglio process, 32 notes to the sheet. One dollar silver certificates were the first denomination printed on the new high speed presses. They included IN GOD WE TRUST as part of the reverse design as BEP adopted new dies according to the law. The motto also appeared on one dollar silver certificates of the 1957A and 1957B series.
BEP prints United States paper currency by an intaglio process from engraved plates. It was necessary, therefore, to engrave the motto into the printing plates as a part of the basic engraved design to give it the prominence it deserved.
One dollar silver certificates series 1935, 1935A, 1935B, 1935C, 1935D, 1935E, 1935F, 1935G, and 1935H were all printed on the older flat-bed presses by the wet intaglio process. P.L. 84-140 recognized that an enormous expense would be associated with immediately replacing the costly printing plates.
The law allowed BEP to gradually convert to the inclusion of IN GOD WE TRUST on the currency. Accordingly, the motto is not found on series 1935E and 1935F one dollar notes. By September 1961, IN GOD WE TRUST had been added to the back design of the Series 1935G notes. Some early printings of this series do not bear the motto. IN GOD WE TRUST appears on all series 1935H one dollar silver certificates.
Below is a listing by denomination of the first production and delivery dates for currency bearing IN GOD WE TRUST:
DENOMINATION PRODUCTION DELIVERY
$1 Federal Reserve Note February 12, 1964 March 11, 1964
$5 United States Note January 23, 1964 March 2, 1964
$5 Federal Reserve Note July 31, 1964 September 16, 1964
$10 Federal Reserve Note February 24, 1964 April 24, 1964
$20 Federal Reserve Note October 7, 1964 October 7, 1964
$50 Federal Reserve Note August 24, 1966 September 28, 1966
$100 Federal Reserve Note August 18, 1966 September 27, 1966
So IN GOD WE TRUST was not something that the founding father's enacted or even thought about, rather one ordinary citizen whom was also ignorant to the fact that the USA was not founded as a Christian nation. Nevertheless it stuck, personally the words being on the money means nothing as to one's true morality as opposed to what it is spent on which is the more telling. And evenso morality is subjective, ergo there is no such thing as common morality.