Okay, from time to time recent events have certainly called for me to clarify my position on national political topics. This time, it’s on the issue of gay marriage.

My personal political philosophy is one of strict equality under the law, and law based on the idea that force is immoral. Now I know you cannot have government without  some force, so the hard part is defining that little bit in between anarchy and totalitarianism.

Let’s first take a look at the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

‎”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The bold part of the 1st Amendment has been under much scrutiny in recent months, and this week especially given the administration’s current back and forth about gay marriage. Quite simply, laws protecting religious institutions are against the constitution the way I read it. You can read it however you want, I’m reading it as I believe it was intended to read.  I won’t get into semantics about the history or societal evolution of marriage as a religious institution and quelling the claims that the status quo is the right way to do things. I’m not much of a fan of the status quo, generally, so not much sympathy here.

Here’s the way I see it:

Anything predating the Constitution is irrelevant to the execution of the law as written. I honestly believe that the Constitution should be interpreted as articulated by the Federalist Papers. There was a point in judicial history where the Federalist Papers were the basis for Supreme Court arguments, a time we couldn’t return to sooner in my opinion.

Marriage is no longer a religious institution, anyone purporting so has pulled the wool over their own eyes for their own personal convictions. Marriage as it stands in the United States is a product of the government, and extends government power to religious and secular entities alike.  Marriage today is a legal agreement between a man and a woman with contractual obligations regarding property and children; it is merely dressed with the trappings of religion as that is the society which we exemplify. Anyone can go to the court-house and have a non-religious marriage conducted by a judge any day of the week. I don’t see the religious zealots yammering about the non-religious contractual ceremonies held on a daily basis all across the country.

The other notion I’d like to address is this demagoguery over the break down of the family provided we allowed same-sex couples to marry.  I’ve got news for you: They’re living together, grocery shopping, taking their kids to the mall, and sleeping in the same beds regardless of whether or not the state or church approves of their unity.  What is going to change if they get married? Is the church of England or the Vatican going to crumble beneath the earth? Will children cease to be born, crops cease to grow, or economies cease to churn?

I believe, simply, that all people should be treated equally under the law. That is all law be it economic, social, or otherwise. Discrimination is not a legitimate function of the government; discriminating against a person for making a higher income is no different to me than discriminating against someone for being homosexual.

Do we stop private entities from committing to private contracts? Again, my general political philosophy follows the general tenet that force is immoral, as little force is necessary to protect the general liberties of the individual is the role of the government, and that use of force should be applied equally to all individuals. So long as I do no harm to you I should be able to conduct myself at my own will. The government has zero legitimate role in enforcing anything but legal contracts as a means to uphold the preeminence of contractual agreements.

The history of marriage has nothing to do with the Constitution. The Constitution has everything to do with the Constitution. Precedence is also a double-edged sword; it’s great when it agrees with you, but just because slavery was okay for several millennia doesn’t mean it’s okay.

Lastly, we are a republic, not a democracy. Republican governance falls under the large umbrella of government which contains many forms of participatory government. Just because the dictionary says: ‎”We’re a democracy” does not make it so. We live in a Republic, first and foremost. Just because Merriam/Webster blankets us with the international definition of “Democracy” doesn’t mean we are. I’ve only spent the last 3 years studying government, interviewing local, state, and federal elected officials. We are a republic. No other country has a system of federalism, a separation of powers, or a purposefully clunky policy making process for the sole purpose of protecting minorities; something democracies like those found in the U.K., France, Canada, etc don’t have. Parliamentary systems can safely ignore everyone who is not part of the major coalition, where in the U.S. minorities can be a major pain in the side of the majority faction.

We are, in a very broad context; maybe you should read Alexis De Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.  When I first picked up this book, the title made me very frustrated. Though once you read the text you’ll quickly realize Tocqueville is very cognizant of the fact that the American democracy is not a democracy at all, it is in fact unlike any other government ever created in human history – and even unlike any other government today. Scholars the world over thought creating “republics within a republic” as the craftsmen of the Constitution did, would never work. Simply, our republic falls under the very large umbrella of democracy.

Technically speaking, Iran, France, Germany, the U.K., Switzerland, India, and China are democracies too. Do you think they are all the same with regard to participatory engagement and the limits on those powers?

The majority and minority need protection from all factions, socialists, republicans, religious zealots, fascists, Nazis, democrats, Zionists, all of them. A republic is designed to protect minorities, not enable them to plunder the other factions.

Now, tell me where in the Federal Constitution, any of the 50 State constitutions, or in the Federalist papers even that the United States is referred to as a democracy.

The Founders actually made this quite clear in Article 4, Section 4:

“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

The word democracy is awfully flexible as it is easier to refer to modern industrialized republics/theocracies/parliamentary systems as democracies simply. I even refer to America as a democracy in several of the long papers I’ve written for the purely simple notion that it is commonly accepted in the international arena to define a modern form of participatory government.

Do we believe in the rule of law? Or the rule of history?

Do we believe the majority or the minority should have a say in the lives, actions, and initiation of force against the others?

What do you believe?

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