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Ozarks 2020

Throwing off

Throwing off "The Last Frontier of Bigotry"


 


The California legislature's destruction of traditional marriage is hailed as an act of virtue


 


            The California legislators, tripping over themselves to make history, became the first state legislative body in the country to legalize homosexual marriage this week.  They must be proud. 


 


            One Assemblyman, in a striking show of intolerance, labeled traditional marriage "the last frontier of bigotry and discrimination."  Indeed.  Apparently all we need to do to change any law or traditional restraint is to say often enough and loud enough that it constitutes "bigotry" or "discrimination," and soon those in charge will actually feel good about destroying it.


 


            But ever since Pythagoras first posited that man is the measure of all things, man has been learning the hard way that he is not.  The French Revolution may be the most poignant example of this wayward philosophical hubris.  Under the banner of "the rights of man," the revolutionary leaders systematically executed first their enemies, then their friends, and finally themselves.  It was perhaps the bloodiest exercise in "freedom" the world has ever seen. 


 


            Edmund Burke, the great English statesman and champion of the American Revolution, opposed the godless French Revolution with every fiber of his being.  He noted that the breadth of the empty phrase of the rebels left nothing outside their reach:  "Against these there can be no prescription; against these no argument is binding: these admit no temperament and no compromise: anything withheld from their full demand is so much of fraud and injustice." 


 


            "The rights of man" was no less than a new religion, Burke rightly charged, which removed all restraints holding in check "the defects of our naked shivering nature."  "The rights of man" provided an excuse for every form of prejudice and tyranny.  Tragically but inevitably, that philosophical root doomed the resultant tree. 


 


            The same poisonous philosophy undergirds the blind zeal to legalize homosexual marriage, and its effect here will be no less lethal than it was in France. 


 


            Supporters shroud their cause in high-sounding rhetoric of equal rights, justice, and progress.  But their cause is as devoid of substance as was the French Revolution, and will in the end result in at least as much senseless death and destruction, and perhaps far more. 


 


            The arrogance of the California legislature is astounding.  They thumb their noses at their constituents, who voted against homosexual marriage in overwhelming numbers less than five years ago.  Worse, they purport, by the stroke of a pen, to redefine what millennia of mankind have known intuitively to be the essence of marriage. 


 


            Having now broken through that considerable barrier, what will be next?  In the name of beating back "bigotry" and "discrimination," will a man soon be granted the legal right to marry his neighbor's 12-year-old daughter?  Why not his own daughter?  Or his pet dog?  And why should we be limited by antiquated notions of only one spouse -- why not legalize marriage between three individuals, or five, or twenty?  After all, if they "love" one another, who are we to stand between them?


 


            And while they are at it, why not ask the California trendsetters to redefine gravity, too?  I'm tired of being limited to walking, one step after another, everywhere I go.  What bigotry, what prejudice!  How dare they arbitrarily deny me the right to fly!  I want to form a new civil rights group, Persons for the Equal Opportunity of Pedestrians to Lift from Earth, or "PEOPLE."  Our slogan will be, "PEOPLE's RIGHTS!"


 


            The California legislature's pretense of power to alter the fundamental essence of marriage is no less absurd than this plea for the right to fly.  Man is not the measure of all things.  And no matter how badly we want to be the center of the universe, and no matter how much high-sounding speeches we make, we cannot change this truth. 


 


            Contrary to popular belief, we cannot simply click our heels together three times and utter warm, fuzzy phrases and change our reality.  The laws that govern our universe are not subject to change at our whim.  Marriage, as my colleague Brian Fahling observed, is our cultural DNA.  Altering the definition of marriage will produce cultural mutations of the gravest sort. 


 


            It is incumbent on the people of California to once again let their voices be heard in response to this latest outrage of their elected representatives.  They should not wait for Governor Schwarzenegger and his promised veto.  Government by ballot initiative may be slow and cumbersome, but it may be the only sane alternative left in the land of fruits and nuts.


 


Steve Crampton serves as Chief Counsel of the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy (CLP), a public interest-type law firm. The CLP=s web site is www.afa.net/clp. Mr. Crampton=s daily radio show, AWe Hold These Truths,@ can be heard on almost 200 radio stations nationwide.  He can be reached at [email protected].