Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”     Samuel Adams

August 29, 2007

Did Larry Craig Really Commit A Crime ?

by Doug Mataconis

Notwithstanding the media circus over what Idaho Senator Larry Craig may or may not have done in a bathroom at the Minneapolis Airport, the question that remains is whether he actually committed a crime:

Why was Sen. Craig arrested? Is it really illegal to try to find a sexual partner in a public bathroom using code? How would that be any different than looking for a sexual partner at a dance club, be it using code, pick-up lines, or any thing else in your singles arsenal?

I suppose you could argue that most people don’t expect to be propositioned in a bathroom, and could be offended or humiliated should it inadvertently happen to them. But then, those people wouldn’t be privy to any foot-tapping codes, so it seems to me there’d be little risk of someone being accidentally propositioned.

Admittedly, Craig’s defense that this was all some mistake is utter nonsense. But, the fact of the matter remains, he didn’t actually have sex in public. He merely engaged in what one police officer interpreted as an invitation to further conduct. If that’s a crime, then either the criminal statutes of Minnesota need to be re-written, or the Senator’s decision to plead guilty was far too hasty.

TrackBack URI: http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2007/08/29/did-larry-craig-really-commit-a-crime/trackback/
Read more posts from
• • •

64 Comments

  1. I don’t care what kind of sex this guy has or wants to have. I don’t believe in criminalizing sexuality. But yeah, to me he committed a crime, albeit a metaphorical one. He spent years being a loud, very public homophobe, when in fact he is either gay or bi. His crime is hypocrisy. And hate-mongering with his puritanical bulls**t. And, just to round things out, his crime is self-hatred, if in fact he believes all the anti-gay crap that he spews in public. This guy needs some serious therapy.

    Comment by nas — August 29, 2007 @ 10:19 am
  2. Balko is omitting facts right and left.

    –Like how Craig peered into the stall through the door crack to the point where the sargeant could see that he had blue eyes.

    –Like how Craig intentionally touched the sargeant’s foot. In another context that could be called “battery.”

    –Like how Craig reached into the sargeant’s stall with his hand, to the point where he could see Craig’s wedding ring.

    –Like how there is no duty for someone in a toilet stall to indicate non-consent. I should not have to say to a pervert, “Go away.”

    –Like how the “interference with privacy” charge was not “thrown own” but was dismissed as part of the plea bargain.

    Bottom line: Craig was not “arrested for foot-tapping.” It’s inaccurate and disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

    If the purest expression of libertarianism is the “right to be let alone,” then surely that includes “while in a toilet stall.” And if there is such a right, then there is at least some police power to guard that right.

    Where libertarians are spot on is in asking why the airport can’t just hire a porter/steward to monitor the restrooms. Why a sting operation, even given the apparent history of lewd conduct there? In that I think we are all in agreement.

    Comment by KipEsquire — August 29, 2007 @ 10:37 am
  3. If the purest expression of libertarianism is the “right to be let alone,” then surely that includes “while in a toilet stall.”

    Your premise is wrong. The purest expression of libertarianism is free will, not isolationism. Craig has the right to search for consensual relationships in whatever way he sees fit, so long as he doesn’t impose on the free will of others.

    This wasn’t a case of him harassing a disinterested party. He cast a line and received a nibble, so he kept reeling. Isn’t that how all relationships begin?

    Comment by Jeff Molby — August 29, 2007 @ 11:34 am
  4. He spent years being a loud, very public homophobe, when in fact he is either gay or bi. His crime is hypocrisy.

    Hypocrisy is not and cannot be a crime. I certainly wouldn’t let him represent me, but then again, he’s not the kind of guy I would support in the first place.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — August 29, 2007 @ 11:36 am
  5. Kip,

    If the police officer had at some point clearly indicated that he wasn’t interested, told him to stop, and Craig had persisted, I’d say you’re right. But since it wasn’t at all clear that this happened, I have to side with Jeff. The only point at which Craig clearly crossed a line, in my opinion, was peering through the crack of the door without being invited. I think that would probably qualify as a crime since I think there is an expectation to privacy inside a bathroom stall…but it’s still a gray area and the officer didn’t arrest him after that point, so I think Jeff is still right.

    And you’re right that a washroom attendent would probably stop this. So why didn’t they hire one? Probably because it’s a public airport and customer service isn’t the government’s strong suit.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 29, 2007 @ 12:10 pm
  6. If you have a reasonable expectation of privacy inside a bathroom stall, then why do bathroom stalls have cracks? It’s fairly easy to make a door that’s nearly flush when you close it.

    Also, if we’re concerned with privacy, why have urinals?

    Just some points to ponder …

    Comment by Bret — August 29, 2007 @ 9:08 pm
  7. I think the question of whether or not he committed a crime is completely irrelevant, to be honest. He is a hypocrite and a liar and should not be serving as a “representative” of the people in the Senate. He does not deserve to be called Senator and if it were viable (though I know it isn’t), I’d say he deserves to be replaced immediately.

    This has increasingly become a huge problem with the Republican party. They’re shooting themselves in the foot. They continue to make religious and anti-homosexual (or “pro-family” as they would say) policies as one of the basic pillars of the party, yet more and more Republicans are coming out of the woodworks as sexual deviants. This is a big problem.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with Senator Craig being gay and the GOP used to defend his right to be so. But not anymore. They seriously need to consider reverting to the GOP of old, before they literally collapse on themselves and leave us with nothing to choose from but Democrats. I know I for one refuse to support the Republican party anymore. Ron Paul is literally the only reason I have anything to do with them at this point in time. It’s just sickening.

    Comment by Brad R — August 29, 2007 @ 11:48 pm
  8. Brad,

    There is no “right” to be gay and it is absolutely wrong behavior. But let me also point out that there is no “right” to commit adultery, or any other host of sins. The GOP of old did not support a right to be gay.

    If one can’t get their house in order, if they can’t meet a set of moral standards, they don’t need to aspire to being a Republican. I’m not saying we don’t screw up as human beings. However, if you’re in the public light espousing a set of principles, the minimum expectation is that you at least adhere to the standard or put someone else in who can. Of course, we could always lower the standards.

    I think what should be more problematic to you is the fact that Craig appears to have tried to cover this up and sweep it under the rug. Right?

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — August 30, 2007 @ 10:11 am
  9. There is no “right” to be gay and it is absolutely wrong behavior.

    Actually…

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    It’s the 9th Amendment. In layman’s terms, it means “just becase a certain right isn’t mentioned specifically in the constitution, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.”

    Couple that with the 10th amendment…

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved for the States respectively, or to the people.

    …which limits the government to a narrow set of duties and voila! You have the right do damn near anything that doesn’t infringe upon the rights of other people, including the right to have all sorts of “deviant” consensual sex.

    Adultery is a different matter because it involves the a violation of the marriage contract.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — August 30, 2007 @ 11:15 am
  10. Chris,

    The Constitution doesn’t spell out a right to be an ignorant religious bigot who thinks that the world should be forced to adhere to his views on good and evil, and yet no one’s talking about throwing you in jail or removing your right to peaceably contract. Frankly, bigotry and hypocrisy are far worse “moral” lapses than homosexuality, in my opinion. None of them is a crime until you force somebody else to comply with them.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 30, 2007 @ 11:33 am
  11. Jeff,

    Although in adultery, the only party who’s done anything legally wrong is the one who signed and then violated the marriage contract. Same as with any other contract.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 30, 2007 @ 11:35 am
  12. Chris,

    I think you’re wrong there. Our constitution is supposed to protect our rights to do, say, or be whatever we want. To say anything else is unconstitutional. And the GOP of old did defend these rights. Also, might I remind you of one of Barry Goldwater’s quotes:

    “You don’t have to be straight to be in the military. You just have to shoot straight.”

    And regardless of whether or not homosexuality is “wrong”, as long as you aren’t doing it, what are you so worried about?

    Comment by Brad R — August 30, 2007 @ 11:46 am
  13. I’m going to make two posts. I’ll start with Craig first because it’s relevant to what Doug posted. I found the ABC transcript at http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=3543062&page=1. It shows what defense attorneys have to deal with every day. When one reads it, you’ll note the cops attitude and the cop’s own brief uncertainty. I think Craig is innocent of these charges. Whether he’s gay is irrelevant to this post. I’ll address your responses in another post shortly. Here is what I believe are the relevant exchanges. (Note, I changed the initials to make it easier to read:

    ****
    COP: I saw your left hand and I could see the gold wedding ring when it when it went across. I could see that. On your left hand, I could see that.

    SEN: Wait a moment, my left hand was over here.

    COP: I saw there’s a…

    SEN: My right hand was next to you.

    COP: I could tell it with my ah, I could tell it was your left hand because your thumb was positioned in a faceward motion. Your thumb was on this side, not on this side.

    SEN: Well, we can dispute that. I’m not going to fight you in court and I, I reached down with my right hand to pick up the paper.

    [deleted other portions]

    SEN: But I didn’t use my left hand.

    COP: I thought that you…

    SEN: I reached down with my right hand like this to pick up a piece of paper.

    COP: Was your gold ring on your right hand at anytime today?

    SEN: Of course not, try to get it off, look at it.

    COP: Okay. Then it was your left hand, I saw it with my own eyes.

    COP: All right, you saw something that didn’t happen.

    ******

    I think it’s rather clear. The cop became uncertain about what he saw. I wonder how many arrests he made that night. He probably got confused. What I am shocked about is that they actually taped this interview and released it. There’d be no such luck in Virginia and Craig would have this stigma against him for a long time.

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — August 30, 2007 @ 8:23 pm
  14. POST #2:

    Response to Jeff:

    You copy my sentence saying that there is no right to be gay. You then state, “actually”, refer to the 9th Amendment and then “couple it” (bad word choice) with the 10th Amendment.

    That doesn’t prove a right exists. You then state, “You have the right do damn near anything that doesn’t infringe upon the rights of other people, including the right to have all sorts of “deviant” consensual sex.”

    Neither of the amendments explicitly tell us that you have the right to do damn near anything that doesn’t infringe upon the rights of other people. Where does the Constitution say you can’t infringe on the rights of other people? Why not animals too?

    One other thing, adultery is also defined as sex between unmarried persons.

    CRAWFORD:

    If I misread your post, I apologize in advance. I sense a presumption on your part that I’m a religious biggot. I intend only reason and logic here.

    Your position is, I take it, that no one can impose their view of morality on others? I of course agree that the Constitution doesn’t spell out rights. I just want to know your foundation for forcing your views on others about what rights exist and don’t exist. Isn’t that a moral determination on your part?

    For hundreds of years, the common law outlawed immoral activities. For instance, we still prosecute people for “common law” murder. It is defined as a “willful and wanton” killing with “malice aforethought” and having a “depraved heart” (moral corruption). It is not defined as taking away someone’s right to live. BTW, this also included suicide aka self murder. Without a written statute, what makes murder wrong and who says so? To boot, the common law also prosecuted homosexuality as a crime against nature that violates the laws of nature and of nature’s god. Furthermore, it outlawed bestiality. There has never been a Western legal tradition of common law that was devoid of a universal moral law applicable at all times and all places. That government chooses not to punish certain conduct does not make it any less evil. After all, the government could choose not to punish murder. It doesn’t mean that murder is right. My point is that one cannot claim a right that doesn’t exist. A right can only exist by majority rule (which is, might makes right) or adherence to a universal moral law set forth by a supreme Creator. If you think I’m wrong, tell me the sources of our rights and liberties?

    BRAD:

    Goldwater isn’t the beginning of the GOP. And I dare say, he’s not a good example. He turned left at the end of his days if you recall and advocated passing federal laws that were clearly not within Art. I, Sec. 8.

    Our constitution does not protect rights but rather limits or enumerates what the federal government can or can’t do. Very few places limit what the states can do. (The Bill of Rights was for a long time universally held NOT to fully apply against state governments until the advent of modern legal jurisprudence.) As you know, it doesn’t restrict individuals at all except for legitimate exercises of power by the federal or state government.

    I’m not worried about homosexuals in the military any more than I am worried about drunks, drug users, fornicators, pedophiles, liars, or any other sort. If there’s a campaign to go after gays in the military because of disruptive lifestyle, I’m against it unless the campaign seeks to clean up every other bit of immoral conduct. Everyone is to be treated equally. I was in the military and I did know of gays. They didn’t bother me and I didn’t bother them. We engaged in conversations about religion and morality as intelligent beings. Those that I knew were not disruptive and they didn’t bring their lifestyle to my presence but admitted they were gay.

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — August 30, 2007 @ 9:07 pm
  15. I posted a first post that apparently didn’t go through for some reason. In any event, it is worth reading the transcript of the police interview of Craig.

    After reading that transcript, it is clear that there is no probable cause to believe that Craig has committed a crime. See http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=3543062&page=1

    I am at least satisfied that law enforcement is being seen for what it has become–far too aggressive and without logic as what constitutes probable cause. It’s a good thing for Craig that the cops taped this interview. Without it, the cops word would have been taken for granted. He ought to seek a pardon and the media ought to speak up.

    Unfortunately, there’s a side of me that is glad this has happened because I do not support Romney and this is a good example of how Romney will act in power. (Too bad for Craig.) Romney, a Harvard lawyer, throws his supporter under the bus apparently without reading the transcript so as to distance himself from Craig. If he did read the transcript, his distancing himself is even more egregious.

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — August 30, 2007 @ 9:16 pm
  16. Neither of the amendments explicitly tell us that you have the right to do damn near anything that doesn’t infringe upon the rights of other people.

    Wow, I was almost done writing several paragraphs explaining how the constitution doesn’t grant us rights when I saw that you said the same thing to Brad. I’m baffled at how you can understand that and still take the position you’ve chosen.

    P.S. Animals, like children, have a very limited ability to consent to sexual activity. That is why such laws are justified. Reasonably intelligent adults, OTOH, are quite capable of consenting to such activity, therefore any laws restricting their voluntary choices are unjust.

    I just want to know your foundation for forcing your views on others about what rights exist and don’t exist. Isn’t that a moral determination on your part?

    No, you keep assuming that somewhere there is some list of rights that we know imperfectly, but that’s not how it works. It’s this simple:

    We are all equals. As such, I can do anything that I want, with one exception. Since we are equals, I have to respect your rights. I don’t have the right to violate your rights. Therefore, I can do anything that doesn’t violate your rights.

    This isn’t a question of moral values or what’s best for society. It’s the fundamental rule, the golden rule, without which society could not function.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — August 30, 2007 @ 11:03 pm
  17. Jeff,

    You need not be baffled. I believe rights exist outside the Constitution. I don’t believe the ones you claim to exist outside the Constitution are actually rights. You haven’t answered my question of where the right to be a homosexual (or anything else) comes from. To that end, let’s try to flesh this out.

    1. We are all equals? Where do you get that rule? Who gave you that authority? Is that by consensus of like minded folks? Does it only apply here in the U.S.? What if I disagree and believe that equality is overrated?

    I’ll answer this in part so you don’t think I’m attacking you. I do think you’ll agree that we are all equals with respect to dominion over each other. We are not equal with respect to resources or talents. We can see that demonstrated time and time again.

    However, I do not trust that equality arises from the nature of things. There is no equality in nature. There is no equality among men. Some of us desire it and believe in it. Some of us do not believe in it and in fact think nothing of killing because others are “unequal”. This, too, is demonstrated time and time again. So I cannot accept that it is true that my rights come from a consensus of people or that our nature makes it so.

    Sad it would be that a people would believe in, no, put their faith in a definition of equality solely because a majority of people think so. And so, I would rather depend solely upon deductive (as opposed to inductive) logic before I put my absolute faith in something such as that a homosexual right exists. An instance of deductive logic would be:

    MAJOR PREMISE: All men are mortal and will die one day.

    FACT: Chris and Jeff are men.

    CONCLUSION: Therefore, Chris and Jeff are mortal and both will die.

    The conclusion is inescapable but it depends on whether the major premise is TRUE and whether one believes in truth. (Some people don’t believe things are true and false.) Change the major premise to something inductive: “I think all men are mortal but I don’t know if that’s true because I haven’t seen them all die.” This conclusion now depends on subjective whims. (It’s why Justice Holmes’ got it wrong when he said the life of the law is experience and not logic.)

    2. So this brings us to the rights question. Where do you get that rule that you can do anything you want with one exception? Who How does it exist? Why do you believe it exists?

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — August 30, 2007 @ 11:58 pm
  18. Chris,

    When you make a case for basing the legality of homosexuality on a non-existent universal morality, you are not making an appeal to reason and logic and your position is not compatible with the ideals of a free society. There is nothing logical or reasonable about demonizing and declaring a substantial portion of the population immoral and advocating that we should legislate against them simply because they engage freely in a consensual activity that they are not forcing anyone else to participate in, especially since the only grounds for your position appears to be personal distaste. Whether or not common law regulated or banned homosexuality in the past is irrelevant, common law was wrong for interfering with the rights of individuals to freely associate with each other in consensual, non-violent activities.

    The difference between your position and my position is you’re advocating that your vision of morality (specifically your dislike of homosexuals) should be pushed on everyone by force, through the rule of law. Whereas my position is that although my personal morality finds your bigotry and ignorance distasteful, I wouldn’t try to do the same to you because in a free society people have the right to be ignorant, irrational bigots who can freely associate with anyone they choose as long as whatever activity they engage in is consensual and non-violent. I’m not trying to force you to change your personal morality or become a better person, I’m just telling that you have no right to force your preference on anyone else through coercive means (in this, anti-homosexual laws).

    Comment by UCrawford — August 31, 2007 @ 12:26 am
  19. Chris,

    The right to be a homosexual comes from the same place that your right to be a moron does. Individuals have a right to do whatever they want as long as their activity is non-violent and consensual.

    You’re not by chance affiliated with Fred Phelps, are you? Because you sound just like one of his cult loons.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 31, 2007 @ 12:31 am
  20. Unless of course you happen to be the same Chris Kachouroff who graduated from Regent University. You can always count on a grad from Pat Robertson’s sham legal school to have a stupid opinion.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 31, 2007 @ 12:41 am
  21. Crawford,

    Prove to me a universal morality does not exist. My argument is an appeal to reason and logic. It is compatible with the ideals of a free society. Nothing I have said demonizes anyone. Homosexuals are not a substantial part of the population.
    What makes you think a ground for my position is “personal distaste.” Go back and reread my posts.
    Then post where I said, inferred, or claimed I dislike homosexuals. I can admit mistakes and lack of knowledge where appropriate. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of them.

    By the way, there is no difference between your position and my position. You would have to use force and you would force your morality on me in order to maintain the order of your system. You are, therefore, exactly the same.

    Just in case you can’t see it, your moral position is on the use of force vis-a-vis the principle of consent. You do fine until you use the word, UNLESS. Everything after that word is FORCE when one rejects your imposition of morality. You believe this is a moral principle and a good one. Admit that you would impose your morality upon me at some point. Hypocrisy only goes so far.

    Also, you claim that my views are those of a biggot, ignorant, and irrational and that you find this distasteful. I can’t respond to this other than to say, I’m sorry that you’ve misread my posts and have a taste of something not pleasant. I can say that you’ve assumed these things without merit and your “distaste” arises from a failure to carefully read my posts. You don’t know my position and I’ve intentionally not stated it.

    I’ll try to get you to answer the question posed to Jeff that you apparently won’t answer. His post at least attempts to argue by showing something of support. You say, “Your right comes from the same place that your right to be a moron does.” That is both vapid and unpersuasive.

    1. Where is that place?

    2. How does it get to the status of a right?

    3. Who told you it was a right?
    Phelps? Can’t say I know him. Sorry.

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — August 31, 2007 @ 1:25 am
  22. Crawford,

    I did graduate from Regent University. Now that you know, I went ahead and put the snakes away so that I’m not tempted to handle them in front of you before I bow to Mecca at Sunrise. I also graduated from Georgetown University School of Law. I am overeducated and have a lot of debt. Whoopdeedoo. I didn’t hide this from you.

    BTW, as you can see, I’m also not frightened to post my real name, who I am, or what my position is. I have nothing to hide because I do nothing wrong. If you want to know it, you need only ask. I won’t mistreat you in a post and I’ll always try to give respect to your opinions though I may disagree with them. I’ll also try not to Lord over you with my education, source material you quote that I’ve probably read, or any other arrogance.

    So, to conclude this argument right away, it ends with a conclusion that you are an immoral constitutionalist and I am a moral constitutionalist. That’s what it must logically boil down to. We probably wouldn’t argue about anything else other than this topic and we’d find agreement if you believe the Constitution as it’s written..

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — August 31, 2007 @ 1:58 am
  23. 2. So this brings us to the rights question. Where do you get that rule that you can do anything you want with one exception? Who How does it exist? Why do you believe it exists?

    Honestly, I don’t know. I’m not even close to being a scholar of philosphy. I simply accept “equality of dominion” as my “major premise”.

    The rights I assert and defend follow clearly and necessarily from that premise. Do you actually disagree with my premise or was that just a hypothetical?

    P.S. Please do not cloud the issue by talking about “equality with respect to resources or talents”. No one here is foolish to assert such a thing and it wouldn’t be relevant to this conversation anyways.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — August 31, 2007 @ 5:28 am
  24. Chris,

    I accept the premise that people should be inherently equal under the law, that rights and freedoms are something that exist beyond the law, that they apply universally to all people, and that the only actions that should be considered “immoral” are those that depend on violence and coercion (which would not apply to consensual homosexual acts). Laws that ban consensual, non-violent activities would be considered “immoral” since laws are by their nature carried out using violence or the threat of violence and banning consensual, non-violent activities by rule of law is little more than one group of people attempting to force other groups to bend to their will on the basis of personal preference.

    Your position, like mine, also supposes that morality exists outside the law. Where we diverge is that you believe that there exists some set of specific laws laid out for you by a higher power (your God, whichever sect it is you follow) in which your free choices are moral and everyone else’s free choices are immoral when they disagree with their own, which means that you and people like you have the right to force them (using coercion, through the rule of law) to inhibit their freedom. People who believe in individual freedom (like myself), on the other hand, believe that there exists no right for one individual to force his personal preferences on another. Simply put, to you the law is meant as a tool to be used to manipulate other people’s behavior to fit your own vision of morality…even if that behavior is peaceful and non-coercive. To me the law is a tool meant to insure that only behaviors based on coercion and violence are eliminated…and beyond that people are free to do and believe as they choose, even if I think their beliefs are utterly stupid and disgusting.

    My beliefs are based on what our Constitution actually represents…individual freedom to peaceably do and believe as you see fit without the interference of government. Yours are based on what you wish our Constitution represented…a theocratic state in which freedom is only granted to those who adhere to your own morality and religion. So while you might dismiss my opinions as being “immorally” Constitutionalist, I’ll just take this opportunity to point out that your views aren’t Constitutionalist at all, “moral” or otherwise. Judging from the problems at the DOJ, this isn’t an uncommon belief system among people who’ve come out of Regents. I suspect that’s part of why it’s a second-tier law school.

    And you want people to “prove to you that a universal morality does not exist”, when you’ve never proven that this “universal morality” you refer to does exist. Seriously…even a guy who never went to law school (like me) can easily recognize the logical fallacy in that statement (Argumentum ad ignorantiam – argument to ignorance). The question is, why don’t you recognize it?

    Comment by UCrawford — August 31, 2007 @ 10:00 am
  25. Chris,

    And if you’re merely tossing out that homosexuals have no right to be homosexual simply as a means to cause an emotional backlash, I’ll just point it that it’s in poor taste, it’s a ridiculous opinion with no basis in fact, and it’s a troll tactic that deserved to be put down. When you choose to play the devil’s advocate, it shouldn’t be surprising when people treat you like you’re the devil.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 31, 2007 @ 10:08 am
  26. And if your other beliefs are based on the premise that individuals shouldn’t be bothered by the state as long as they’re acting peaceably and non-violently, then you’re right…we probably wouldn’t disagree on much.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 31, 2007 @ 10:11 am
  27. CRAWFORD AND JEFF

    I appreciate the time you’ve taken to respond. Unfortunately, I have to be pragmatic and do some work or I’m in hot water. I’m not dodging the conversation. I’ll try and come back tomorrow and address some more things. I don’t have time at the moment.

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — August 31, 2007 @ 6:02 pm
  28. JEFF – If you want me to respond, let me know. Crawford is overloading me.

    CRAWFORD -

    At the outset, if you’re going to state a fact, get it right. Regent isn’t a second tier school, it’s a fourth tier skool in U.S. Views and World Distort magazine and I’m rather proud of it. Usually it’s almost dead last. Sometimes we get beaten for that honor.

    You said, “I accept the premise that . . . rights and freedoms are something that exist beyond the law, that they apply universally to all people, and that the only actions that should be considered “immoral” are those that depend on violence and coercion (which would not apply to consensual homosexual acts).”

    [MY RESPONSE] What is law? Is it a written statute? Is it unwritten? I ask this because you cannot have liberty and freedom without law. The absence of law is anarchy. Are you an anarchist?

    You make moral statements. I don’t understand why I must be forced to accept them. You say, “I’m not forcing you. You just can’t use force on someone else to accept your opinions. If you do, we’ll use force on you.” It’s absurd–YOU’RE USING FORCE TO ENFORCE YOUR MORALITY ON OTHERS. You’re ignoring my voluntary vote to have something different. How do you know that the standard I propose isn’t right?

    “Laws that ban consensual, non-violent activities would be considered “immoral” since laws are by their nature carried out using violence or the threat of violence and banning consensual, non-violent activities by rule of law is little more than one group of people attempting to force other groups to bend to their will on the basis of personal preference.”

    [MY RESPONSE] That’s my point to all of this. You are trying to impose your standard of morality on me. I ask you for a source. We know the source: the greatest number of people who can agree to what you want will equal the law. In other words, might makes right.

    You said, “Your position, like mine, also supposes that morality exists outside the law.”

    [MY RESPONSE] Sure we do. Doing 60 in a 55 is breaking the law but not necessarily immoral.

    “Where we diverge is that you believe that there exists some set of specific laws laid out for you by a higher power (your God, whichever sect it is you follow) in which your free choices are moral and everyone else’s free choices are immoral when they disagree with their own, which means that you and people like you have the right to force them (using coercion, through the rule of law) to inhibit their freedom.”

    [MY RESPONSE] No. The universal law exists not just for me but for you. It’s why virtually ever society in the world has its own 10 commandments. Since you have an affinity for Latin, the rule here that you refuse to recognize is ignorantia legis neminem excusat or ignorance of the law is no excuse. You are not excuses from knowing the moral law.

    For e.g., Whether you like it, whether I like it, whether anyone in the world cares to agree or disagree, murder is wrong. You may pretend that there is no law against murder. You may have the government pass a law abolishing the concept of murder–it still exists. It’s the common law maxim that tells us what has been written on every man’s heart since conception. It has no application whatsoever to the written law.

    You state, “People who believe in individual freedom (like myself), on the other hand, believe that there exists no right for one individual to force his personal preferences on another.”

    [MY RESPONSE] As shown above, you do force your personal preferences on me when I reject yours and try to put up a standard. Ergo, you have a double standard.

    You said, “Simply put, to you the law is meant as a tool to be used to manipulate other people’s behavior to fit your own vision of morality…even if that behavior is peaceful and non-coercive. To me the law is a tool meant to insure that only behaviors based on coercion and violence are eliminated…and beyond that people are free to do and believe as they choose, even if I think their beliefs are utterly stupid and disgusting.”

    [MY RESPONSE] Yes the law is a tool and to you it is a tool as well. The law is also a declarative means of helping people know right from wrong, good from evil, ignorance from stupidity, and etc.

    You said, “My beliefs are based on what our Constitution actually represents…”

    [MY RESPONSE] WHO WROTE THE CONSTITUTION? Tell me where in that person’s or persons opinion do you find the same opinion or belief system as you. You’ll need to supply quotes.

    You said, “So while you might dismiss my opinions as being “immorally” Constitutionalist, I’ll just take this opportunity to point out that your views aren’t Constitutionalist at all, “moral” or otherwise. Judging from the problems at the DOJ, this isn’t an uncommon belief system among people who’ve come out of Regents. I suspect that’s part of why it’s a second-tier law school.”

    [MY RESPONSE] Again, it’s a fourth tier. Get it right. If you’re referring to DOJ, what is the belief you have a problem with?

    Okay….let’s see…how do I prove that I’m a constitutionalist….In terms of being a Constitutionalist, I have sworn an oath to uphold it and I pretty well have it memorized. (If you stop by my office, I can recite it for you.) I can tell you such things as why Bush v. Gore was wrongly decided, why the Slaughter House cases were good decisions, why Dred Scott was correctly decided but badly written to include unwarranted racist remarks, who each of the signers were to both the Constitution and the Declaration, what Congress’ powers are under the 14th amendment, the difference between the federal and proposed confederate constitutions, to the general backdrop of each of the amendments (to include Lincoln’s pro-slavery amendment that he signed), have read all of John Marshall’s cases, all of Joseph Story’s cases, most every commentary on the constitution from Upshur to Holmes, most every background source material for the constitutional signers and what they read, such as Jean Jacques Burlamaqui, Sir Edward Coke and his nasty institutes, Blackstone’s Commentaries, and yes the Bible, Vattel, Grotius the child prodigy of Europe, the atheist Gibbon (the entire set) …. seriously, need I go on? That era is well known to me. Does that at least qualify me to claim until otherwise proven that I’m a self-professed constitutionalist?

    You further said, “And you want people to “prove to you that a universal morality does not exist”, when you’ve never proven that this “universal morality” you refer to does exist. Seriously…even a guy who never went to law school (like me) can easily recognize the logical fallacy in that statement (Argumentum ad ignorantiam – argument to ignorance). The question is, why don’t you recognize it?”

    My response is that the phrase “argumentum ad ignorantiam” is not a logical fallacy but rather an objection based on an ad hominem attack, meaning you attack me personally in order to discredit my argument. If you think I’m fibbing, look it up. You’ve done this very thing to me several times now and I’ve done my best to be a gentleman and treat you with respect. I don’t expect that you will continue to do that.

    In terms of proving a universal morality, I was pointing out that you could not claim it didn’t exist simply because you refused to recognize it. I would offer to you that virtually every nation around the world has a form of the 10 commandments which seems to indicate that people the world over agree on a core set of moral laws to live by.

    But I know that won’t suffice for you. So tell me if you believe that you need a law to punish those who steal from you?

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — September 1, 2007 @ 9:16 pm
  29. Chris,

    (sigh) Yes, you need a law to punish those who steal from you, or those who murder people because murder and theft are crimes of violence against individuals and crimes against property, respectively. Homosexuality is neither. And I’ve never stated that laws were unnecessary, only that rights do not derive from the law, thus the right to be homosexual exists in our country despite the fact that it’s not explicitly stated in the Constitution.

    Your argument about my views being as coercive as your own are incorrect. I’m not sure if you realize why they’re incorrect but I’ll try to explain:

    Law by it’s nature is based on violence. Only by violence or the threat of violence can people be persuaded to adhere to the law, otherwise the law has no force, people have no incentive to follow it, and the law is useless. The more laws that are passed, the more authority we give the state to use violence against us when it deems fit. You asked if I am an anarchist, and the answer is not really, not because I believe anarchy (specifically anarcho-capitalism) is a bad thing, but only because I believe that it isn’t viable because I don’t believe it’s possible for humans to overwhelmingly forego violence on their own as individuals. So I believe a state is necessary to some degree as are laws. I’m what would technically be called a minarchist, one who believes that government should be the only one given the authority to use violence against individuals through the rule of law, but that the state’s discretion to intervene should be strictly limited (which was the purpose of our Constitution) and that the only actions which the federal government can limit without actually crushing freedom are those that happen through violence or the threat of violence (“threat of violence” being what I mean when I say “coercion”).

    When you say there is no right to homosexuality, you’re implying that the rights derive from the state, and that only if an action is given the explicit blessing of the state may that action be undertaken without fear of prosecution. As Jeff pointed out, the 9th Amendment says that this isn’t so and the 10th Amendment states that any powers not explicitly granted to the federal government are reserved for the states. So unless a Constitutional amendment is passed that changes this, the federal government has no power to outlaw or regulate against activities by homosexuals strictly on the basis that they’re homosexual. Granted, that this is a moot point with Craig’s case, since he was arrested by a Minneapolis police officer under Minnesota law, but the point of our argument was whether there was a right to be homosexual and as far as federal law goes, yes there is. And I suspect that the reason Craig was arrested in Minnesota was not because he was gay, but because of the venue where he was pursuing sex (somewhat aggresively). The “right” to be gay doesn’t actually enter into Craig’s case, it’s about whether or not he was forcing his preferences on others by pursuing sex in a bathroom (which, if he was peering into other people’s stalls uninvited, he probably was).

    Where your position is coercive on the issue of rights for homosexuals (or, frankly, anyone else) and mine is not is in the matter of how our positions apply to other individuals. By stating that individuals have no right to engage in a consensual, non-violent activity unless the state (and/or whatever other moral code you’re referring to) spells it out you are in essence denying individuals freedom to act by the rule of law (which, as I’ve pointed out, is based on the threat of violence) and are therefore forcing them to comply with your own moral code (in this case, a dislike of homosexuals). My position is that unless the Constitution specifically states that you have no right to engage in a consensual, non-violent activity, the right to engage in that activity exists until the activity becomes non-consensual or violent. My position does not strip any freedom from you or anyone else, it does not depend upon the creation of new laws (thus, no threat of violence), nor does it force you to participate in any activity (in this case, homosexuality) against your will. It simply keeps you from using the threat of violence (through the rule of law or your ambiguous “moral code”) against people who aren’t causing any harm to you. Thus your position is coercive and mine is not. Plus, mine is backed by the Constitution, whereas yours is not.

    Comment by UCrawford — September 1, 2007 @ 10:48 pm
  30. JEFF – If you want me to respond, let me know.

    I’ll be around. Get to it if you can.

    I ask this because you cannot have liberty and freedom without law.

    I disagree with that assertion.

    In the history of the world, there have been very few laws that protect or increase personal freedom. In virtually all other cases, law is the antithesis of freedom.

    WHO WROTE THE CONSTITUTION? Tell me where in that person’s or persons opinion do you find the same opinion or belief system as you. You’ll need to supply quotes.

    I’ll get that party started. Jefferson co-wrote the following in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen:

    Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be determined by law.

    I would offer to you that virtually every nation around the world has a form of the 10 commandments which seems to indicate that people the world over agree on a core set of moral laws to live by.

    Ok, but let’s look at those moral values that are universal. I challenge you to find me one that isn’t also covered by “I the right to do anything that doesn’t conflict with the rights of someone else.”

    Comment by Jeff Molby — September 1, 2007 @ 10:54 pm
  31. Crawford (and Jeff)

    If you two live in the Northern Virginia area, we can meet up to discuss this. I’ll take time out. It’s one of my favorite topics.

    Now Jeff, you quote TJ’s document to the French. It also says, “Law can only prohibit such actions as are hurtful to society. Nothing may be prevented which is not forbidden by law, and no one may be forced to do anything not provided for by law.”

    So if the limits can be determined by law, what you’ve cited doesn’t tell us much. After all, I can state that sexual conduct may be limited by law and that deviant sexual conduct is hurtful to society. But since you start with Jefferson, let’s quote him some more:

    “The moral law of our nature… [is] the moral law to which man has been subjected by his Creator, and of which his feelings or conscience, as it is sometimes called, are the evidence with which his Creator has furnished him.” See TJ Opinion on French Treaties (1793)

    And how about this one:

    “Peace, prosperity, liberty and morals have an intimate connection.” TJ Letter to George Logan (1812)

    Or, this one:

    “How necessary was the care of the Creator in making the moral principle so much a part of our constitution as that no errors of reasoning or of speculation might lead us astray from its observance in practice.” TJ Letter to Thomas Law (1814)

    “Man was destined for society. His morality, therefore, was to be formed to this object. He was endowed with a sense of right and wrong merely relative to this. This sense is as much a part of his nature, as the sense of hearing, seeing, feeling; it is the true foundation of morality… The moral sense, or conscience, is as much a part of man as his leg or arm. It is given to all human beings in a stronger or weaker degree, as force of members is given them in a greater or less degree.” TJ Letter to Peter Carr (1787).

    I’m curious why you cited the French declaration that Jefferson wrote as opposed to the Declaration of Independence. It tells us that our right to exist as a nation, a people, and individually, is predicated upon “the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle” us.

    And it doesn’t stop there: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, . . .”

    You guys must now distance yourself from Jefferson here as to the source of morality and rights. What does it mean that men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights? You have to reject this. Otherwise, once you admit that the Creator has endowed us with rights, then you will have to admit the possibility that the “Right to Homosexuality” is a non sequitur.

    Look, both of you have claimed to have the view on the Constitution. I do not know of one legal historian who is familiar with the founding era who would claim that your point of view is the constitutional view. I guarantee that a majority of scholars would tell you after reading our arguments, “Yep, Chris is right that this is the way the Constitution was read and the way rights were understood in 1800. All that crap about universal moral laws? We don’t do it that way anymore an we now read the constitution differently. Chris is stuck back in 1800. We believe if there ain’t a law on the books, you’re free to be stupid.”

    Now having said that, if you want to claim that what you’ve shared with me is your philosophy on the Constitution as opposed to the framers, that you don’t accept it as it was written and intended in 1789, I’m not going to argue against your position. However, I will defend historical fact and the text. I’ll stop here for now.

    JEFF: To answer the last question: Do not commit adultery. Do not lie. Do not bear false witness. Do not covet. Honor your father and mother. Don’t make foolish decisions. Don’t murder yourself…..how’s that for a quick start….BTW Jeff, I’m not disagreeing with your rule. I’m just saying that it’s not the end all and be all.

    CK

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — September 2, 2007 @ 1:52 am
  32. Chris,

    Ah, but then it goes right back to the Ninth Amendment, doesn’t it. If Thomas Jefferson was so opposed to homosexuality (which is far from a modern phenomena) and considered it immoral enough to legislate against, why wasn’t it mentioned? Hmmm? At all? Or if you’re so convinced that the “Creator” to which the Constitution refers is your specific god, why then does it not spell that out, or why does the 1st Amendment, prohibiting the establishment of a federal religion, exist? Probably because the Founding Fathers, to include Jefferson, weren’t fundamentalist Christians, and they didn’t found the United States as a Christian nation.

    Here’s a link for you http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/farrell_till/myth.html

    As for your comments that homosexuality and “deviant” behavior harms society, I’ll call your bluff. Prove it…how do private consensual sex acts between willing partners negatively affect me, a heterosexual with no proclivity towards homosexuality, in a free society?

    Comment by UCrawford — September 2, 2007 @ 10:16 am
  33. Ah, but then it goes right back to the Ninth Amendment, doesn’t it.

    Yes and no. In regards to Chris’s assertion that “[t]here is no ‘right’ to be gay”, he is clearly wrong. The 9th and 10th combine to create such implicit rights.

    However, it may be that homosexuality (and/or behavior relating to it) falls in the category of rights that can be abridged for the good of society as determined by states and municipalities. I’m not convinced, but many states and municipalities have such laws so clearly there’s a strong sentiment there.

    One other thing, adultery is also defined as sex between unmarried persons.

    I have checked several locations and could not find such a definition. Here are two of them.

    http://dictionary.law.com/default2.asp?typed=adultery&type=1&submit1.x=0&submit1.y=0&submit1=Look+up
    http://www.webster.com/dictionary/adultery

    Do not commit adultery.

    So that brings us back to adultery being a contract violation, which would fall squarely under my rule.

    Don’t make foolish decisions.

    I don’t see a connection with morality on that one. Making foolish decisions wouldn’t be immoral, it would just be… foolish.

    Don’t murder yourself

    Can you “murder” yourself? Some definitions don’t specify if the killer can also be the victim, but most state that they cannot. Anyways, there are many societies that recognize some suicides as honorable. Also, see my next response. (Dead people don’t make for a very productive working class.)

    Honor your father and mother.

    Do not lie.

    Do not bear false witness.

    Do not covet.

    Hmm…
    - Respect authority.
    - Don’t hide anything from us.
    - Be happy with what you have.

    I can definitely think of reasons why rulers would independently issue such laws and they have nothing to do with morality.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — September 2, 2007 @ 8:49 pm
  34. Jeff,

    I agree that states have abridged such rights and that the Constitution appears to allow them to (although I suppose that’s subject to debate as well, since the federal government intervened in the states’ actions on segregation…that’s probably another debate though). Chris’ comment, however, was that there exists no “right” to be homosexual and at the federal level, according to our Constitution, there is. But I agree with everything you’ve said and I think your point about the states is valid.

    -UC

    Comment by UCrawford — September 2, 2007 @ 9:51 pm
  35. Jeff, UC

    Don’t waste your time, man. Chris is pulling the typical neocon republican bait and switch–arguments toward ignorance, picking at nits rather than addressing the overall logic in your argument (which is obviously sound). The whole universal morality/law scam (similarly put forth by C.S. Lewis in “Mere Christianity,”)which puts the onus on you to disprove what isn’t there a’la creationism as science. The fact is Chris is obviously a homophobic, christian neocon who seeks to impose his world view on others and because his impetus is toward control he is incapable of seeing a system governance that uses non-violent and non-coercive reasoning as valid–his mythology has programmed his brain in such a way that he is incapable of doing so. I have dealt with such folks many times. He is obviously indoctrinated . The light just hasn’t gone on in his brain yet. Leave him to his ignorance.

    Comment by doc — September 4, 2007 @ 11:49 am
  36. Sorry for the delay fellas. I’ve been quite busy. I’ll try to address what I perceive to be the major points. If miss something…I’m not intentionally ignoring it. Bring it up to me.

    DOC

    That’s the first time that I’ve been referred to as a “typical neocon republican”… You’ve got my argument wrong and obviously not read it.

    Whether I agree or disagree with the founding documents is irrelevant. I am simply arguing what is the foundation of the Constitutional perspective. If you disagree, put your money where your mouth is and tell us where. If you can’t argue the position, then don’t post because it’s not helpful to obtain the truth.

    In fact, I can cite to you book, chapter, and verse on what the founders set up, and the fact that I vehemently disagree with that structure. One of those would be the definition of Religion in the 1st Amendment. The founders believed that the freedom of religion was defined as the freedom to practice the Christian religion. They viewed all others as false beliefs. Personally, it’s a slight to Christianity. In the market place of ideas, Christianity needs no help. It can survive on its own without help. Every page is supposed to speak to its voluntary nature. At the same time, I can understand WHY they did it but not agree with it. I’m being intellectually honest, see?

    The problem with folks like you is that you refuse, I mean outright refuse to accept the truth no matter what is put before you. At least keep your intellectual integrity and state something like, “I agree that’s the way it was but I’m not buying it.” I can respect you and your opinion at that point. Otherwise, you end up being just another Sean Hannity and Mark Levin. If you have reason and logic use it.

    Here’s one way to respond to what you wrote to me:

    You’re asking me to prove the existence of a right that is nowhere to be found in the text. Likewise, you assert the existence of a right not to be found in the text. I took the opposite position. I said prove to me that the right exists. Does it come from nature? Does it come from mass consent? What about the majority?

    I then posited that the moral law was a source of duties that we all had. Why? Well, the duty not to steal presupposes a right of property.

    What seems to be happening here is that a lot of folks, you included, appear to be imposing your own meaning on the constitutional words rather than what was intended by the author. Of course, I can also tell that you’ve not had the experience you claim with folks like me because you wouldn’t make the derogatory statements about me personally. I’ve not been disrespectful to you in the least bit. What have I done to deserve this from you? Answer: Nothing. You accuse me unjustly and much the same way as the proceedings before the Star Chamber.

    So that you have a fair start here, my whole argument boils down to this. The Declaration of Independence tells us of these things called inalienable rights. I argued that these rights must come from somewhere and that these things are part and parcel a set of rights. I argued that there must be a moral law in place because it gives us the ability to choose between, “might makes right” and something that has existed time immemorial, the concept of God given rights.

    So you tell me, sir, where do the rights come from?

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — September 4, 2007 @ 4:58 pm
  37. I then posited that the moral law was a source of duties that we all had. Why? Well, the duty not to steal presupposes a right of property.

    Yes, presupposes. Insofar as the “moral law” derives from our natural rights, I agree with you completely. When you start inventing moral values because of their supposed benefits to society, I must disagree sharply.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — September 4, 2007 @ 5:28 pm
  38. CRAWFORD,

    You said, “If Thomas Jefferson was so opposed to homosexuality (which is far from a modern phenomena) and considered it immoral enough to legislate against, why wasn’t it mentioned?”

    First, Jefferson was opposed to it and attempted enact a criminal code in Virginia for that and other sexual offenses. The year was 1777. See Julian P. Boyd, ed., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. 2, (Princeton:Princeton University, 1950) at 325.

    Second, it wasn’t mentioned in the federal constitution because it has no place in that document. The morals, safety, and health of a citizen are constitutionally before a state and not the federal government. Recall that those powers not granted are herein reserved to the states or the people respectively? The only time the states are mentioned in the Constitution is to preclude the exercise of state power.

    This is why the Bill of Rights confuses a great many folks. It is not something that was intended to apply against the states. It is why the 1st amendment states, “Congress shall make no law….” In Virginia, for example, the Episcopal church was the state church. In other words, the state was not prohibited from restraining the free exercise of religion. So that no one gets confused, I’m not advocating that this is the right position. No one before the 14th Amendment was ratified would have argued that the Bill of Rights applied to the states.

    It’s called the incorporation doctrine, a topic that is way off from the source of what our rights are.

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — September 4, 2007 @ 5:35 pm
  39. JEFF,

    I simply can’t answer everything. You have raised some valid objections where I see I was not careful such as the definition of adultery. I meant fornication of which adultery would have been considered a subset. Also, how do you quote things in squares…that would be most helpful.

    I’m also not suggesting that moral law derives from natural rights. In other words, what is “natural”? What animals do in nature are different from what humans do. The chief argument I’m putting forth, perhaps inartfully, is that the founders thought it self-evident that inalienable rights were God given. They wouldn’t have included homosexuality because God actually prescribed against it. They also wouldn’t have said you have a right to lie either (though plenty of cops think it okay to do so.)

    BTW, I’m also not inventing moral values because of perceived benefits to society. In fact, it’s just the opposite. I do not care about consequences. That’s not the job of a lawyer or a judge.

    For e.g., the Constitution says that no state shall make anything legal tender in payment of debts save gold and silver coin. If I were a judge, and the proper case came before me, I’d have no choice but to over turn the modern monetary system or resign from the bench. There is no choice in the matter regardless of the consequences to society if all judges do it. If all judges did it, there’d be people taking wheel barrows full of paper to the bakery to buy bread. Mataconis would think I’ve lost my rocker.

    Now I’ve just given you my belief above regarding a judge’s duties. It doesn’t matter what consequences attach but rather, as John Marshall put it, it matters that a court expounds the law. That is, it is the duty and province of a judge to declare what the law is. That’s quite an important distinction.

    Now in terms of morality, there are plenty of laws that are not moral, such as “Thou shalt not drive faster than 55.” Clearly not moral.

    But there are laws that have proscribe murder because murder is wrong. The common law divided it into two classes:

    MALUM IN SE – literally, the act is evil in and of itself without a law prohibiting it.
    MALA PROHIBITUM – wrong because prescribed by the legislature.

    In terms of suicide, it was the position here in the West that it was “self” murder. It seems absurd to us but that’s how they looked at it. In order to stop this “crime”, the common law punished the family of the person who committed suicide by essentially not allowing anyone’s property to pass to the heirs. So you all will know my personal position, I think it is wrong to commit suicide but the way that it was “regulated” if you will by the common law was egregious. Do I think it should be regulated this way today? No. But I’d be hard pressed to see any “right” to kill yourself anymore than I have a “right” to lie here in this forum. I can do it but it’s not necessarily good conduct that I can enforce a claim to.

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — September 4, 2007 @ 6:00 pm
  40. Chris,

    And yet Jefferson and the Founding Fathers did not legislate against homosexuality in the Constitution or create an anti-homosexuality clause to the 9th and 10th Amendments…therefore the right exists under our Constitution.

    Your argument for Christianity as being the state religion is historically revisionist and ignores the obvious. Whether or not the Founders felt all other religions were false is beside the point…they still wrote the First Amendment to bar the establishment of a religion by the federal government. It did not specify non-Christian religions as the only ones barred, it barred the government from establishing any religion. We may have been a nation founded by Christians…but we are not a Christian nation. In any case, the Constitution is also a contract, and unclear language in a contract goes against the drafter…and the 9th and 10th Amendments still create a right to homosexuality no matter what the Founders’ preferences.

    Plus, you’ve yet to demonstrate the “harm” of homosexuality or “deviant” sex acts to society. Again, how do consensual sexual activities cause harm to members of society who don’t take part, aside from annoyance to the people who feel an obsessive need to micromanage other peoples’ sex lives?

    Comment by UCrawford — September 4, 2007 @ 7:20 pm
  41. how do you quote things in squares…that would be most helpful.

    <blockquote>how do you quote things in squares…that would be most helpful.</blockquote>
    It’s just basic HTML. Not all blogs support it, but most do.

    I’m also not suggesting that moral law derives from natural rights. In other words, what is “natural”?

    I find it very unlikely that you made it through school without gaining at least a cursory understanding of the philosophies of “natural rights”. Since my understand of them is, at best, cursory, I will simply advise you to make liberal use of Google in your continuing research.

    the founders thought it self-evident that inalienable rights were God given. They wouldn’t have included homosexuality because God actually prescribed against it.

    To the extent that “God” was assumed to be the source of “nature”, you’re correct.

    However, as UC correctly points out, the Founders were aware of, and even practiced to some degree, religions that acknowledged god(s) other than the Christian God. Yet they still declined to insert the word “Christian” in either the Declaration or the Constitution.

    The name eludes me at the moment, but surely you are aware of the legal principle that holds that you must assume that any omitted language was omitted intentionally unless there is compelling reason to believe otherwise.

    No doubt, you have memorized a list of quotes that purport to provide such a compelling reason. Save your time. What you won’t have is an authoritative court opinion that reaches your conclusion. I lack the requisite education to go toe-to-toe with you at that level, so I will defer to all of the legal scholars of the past couple centuries that have declined to agree with you.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — September 4, 2007 @ 11:32 pm
  42. CRAWFORD

    And yet Jefferson and the Founding Fathers did not legislate against homosexuality in the Constitution or create an anti-homosexuality clause to the 9th and 10th Amendments…therefore the right exists under our Constitution.

    A year before the Constitution was written, Jefferson (through Madison who wrote the Constitution) introduced a “Sabbath” law imposing a fine on those attending the church of St. Mattress. They didn’t list rights the way you ask me to prove for the simple fact that the document would look like an encyclopedia.

    To boot, if what you say is true about rights generally, then there exists a major problem. There is no right a federal court can’t touch. The states are now reduced to mere counties and we only have one real national government. If there are so many federal rights that the Constitution protects, then there is nothing for a state to do. What “rights” or powers do the states have? Where is the Republic now?

    As I queried a number of posts ago…I think it was last week sometime…we have to ask the source of our rights in order to resolve this issue. I mentioned “inalienable” rights versus a right to do something. I can’t give away my right of being alive–in other words, I can’t alienate it because it’s inalienable…I’ve never discussed this before and admittedly, I’m still fleshing it out a bit. If I had the answers, believe me, I’d be hammering you on it. If you had the answers, I’d concede immediately.

    Your argument for Christianity as being the state religion is historically revisionist and ignores the obvious.

    As I pointed out earlier, Jefferson passed the Sabbath law. He also passed a law protecting the property of the Episcopal church as a state church. I’m on pretty safe ground here. It’s what it was but I’m not for a moment saying it’s right. To paraphrase Jefferson, “Every page of our Holy religion speaks to its voluntary nature.” And yet, he often did the opposite. I can explain why but that is not the topic here.

    Whether or not the Founders felt all other religions were false is beside the point…they still wrote the First Amendment to bar the establishment of a religion by the federal government. It did not specify non-Christian religions as the only ones barred, it barred the government from establishing any religion.

    I brought that up to show you that I can state what is the truth about the Constitutional meaning of “religion” and then tell you I disagree with it. Beliefs that were false weren’t termed “religion” as we use that term today. Were I judge compelled to interpret that provision, I’d have to resign because I wouldn’t enforce it–the oath of office requires me to enforce the document.

    And, let me go to the absurd. Suppose I claim a right to my religion. And that religion is sacrificing babies on a hot alter. Are you telling me that you’re not going to define that as not being a “true” religion?

    You also concede my point here. It is the federal government who is barred–not the states. Ergo, the states are not barred from setting up a state church, right?

    We may have been a nation founded by Christians…but we are not a Christian nation. In any case, the Constitution is also a contract, and unclear language in a contract goes against the drafter…and the 9th and 10th Amendments still create a right to homosexuality no matter what the Founders’ preferences.

    I agree with the first sentence to the extent you are describing a legal sense. The Constitution doesn’t establish a “Christian nation” anymore than it establishes a “Libertarian nation”. A majority of Americans still consider this country to be Christian and therefore it would be, by majority vote, a Christian nation.

    In terms of the “social” contract…no real beef with that although I think it’s more than just a legal contract. It has to be. I’m not a voluntary signer to that contract and because I’m born here it’s imposed on me.

    But your last statement that there is a right to something is what I have a problem with. As I raised earlier, if I claim I have a right to sacrificing babies in the name of religion, how do we address that? By saying that we’re harming another’s right to live? But then you have to define religion. None of this is in the Constitution. We have to interpret and construe it by rules of construction to arrive at a true result. If the Framers intended a meaning but that meaning is not in the Constitution, their attempt to get it in comes too late.

    Plus, you’ve yet to demonstrate the “harm” of homosexuality or “deviant” sex acts to society. Again, how do consensual sexual activities cause harm to members of society who don’t take part, aside from annoyance to the people who feel an obsessive need to micromanage other peoples’ sex lives?

    I’m not arguing that point. When we argue the Constitution, there’s only two questions:

    1. The question of right and wrong…e.g., Is homosexuality wrong conduct.
    2. Who has the power to decide question 1.

    If we answer question 1, then you and I can discuss the evil vs. non-evil of homosexuality. Whether it is ill to society is of no great moment to me. If the right exists, then government can’t touch it regardless of whether its good or bad for society.

    I am more concerned that the Constitution be read correctly. I will go so far as to say that at this time, I cannot see how it is a federal issue, a federal right that is enforceable in federal court.

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — September 5, 2007 @ 6:28 pm
  43. JEFF

    Many, many thanks for the html lesson. I didn’t know it was so easy.

    I find it very unlikely that you made it through school without gaining at least a cursory understanding of the philosophies of “natural rights”.

    Believe it or not, all I have is a cursory understanding and most of what I know come from my own readings, much of which is source material the Framers had access to. If I knew the exact answers, believe me I’d be hammering away at you and UC. It’s not odd that this stuff wasn’t explained in the founding era. I can pull together pieces here and there but all I can deduce is that they took this stuff for granted. No one questioned it.

    However, as UC correctly points out, the Founders were aware of, and even practiced to some degree, religions that acknowledged god(s) other than the Christian God.

    None practiced anything other than Christianity. The only person you could cite would be the atheist Thomas Paine but he was a blip on the screen, didn’t have an impact, and isn’t considered a founding father. Others have pointed to Ben Franklin as being a “deist” or someone who believed that God created the world then abandoned it. It doesn’t square with his attendance at church and leading of prayers at townhalls. After all, it would be futile to attend church and pray if God didn’t get involved. If a “deist” means someone who believes that the knowledge of God can comes through reason, then I am somewhat of a deist.

    Yet they still declined to insert the word “Christian” in either the Declaration or the Constitution.

    I have never argued in any of my posts that Christianity defines the Constitution or the Declaration. I have argued, at least by implication, that God does. There’s a difference. I believe I can prove the existence of a God through reason but not Jesus Christ. (I can only try and persuade you why Christ, as opposed to Buddah or Mohammed is the better choice.) If there is a God, then we can go farther at least in terms of determining what rights are inalienable versus whether I have a right to do something. Were I to sit at the Constitutional convention, I would have argued AGAINST the insertion of the word Christianity.

    The name eludes me at the moment, but surely you are aware of the legal principle that holds that you must assume that any omitted language was omitted intentionally unless there is compelling reason to believe otherwise.

    You probably are thinking of the maxim: “expressio unius est exclusio alterius uno.” It means the statment of one thing is the exclusion of another thing. Is that it? I try to stay away from these maxims because most people don’t, including lawyers like myself, know how to use them..hold on..let me find a list online…

    http://www.lawfulpath.com/ref/bouvier/maxims.shtml

    If I have correctly identified the one you’ve stated, it does apply to Art. I, Sec. 8, the enumerate powers. The statement of what Congress may do implies that they cannot do what is not stated. It’s an enumeration. An enumeration is not stated in the ninth amendment. It’s the opposite. It tries to avoid construing it as enumeration. I also wonder whether it is valid to state that only the rights that existed as of the amendment were “retained” by the people….

    This is also why I pointed out earlier (or at least implied) that the Bill of Rights was a bad idea. I used to think it was necessary but it’s been used as a source of federal power. Without it, all we’d have to do is point to the enumerated powers and tell Congress with even more force, to stop it.

    No doubt, you have memorized a list of quotes that purport to provide such a compelling reason. Save your time. What you won’t have is an authoritative court opinion that reaches your conclusion.

    No no no. No Christianity in the Constitution. Don’t mistake me here. I can, however, point to several opinions detailing natural law rights but they were written before the advent of the modern legal era. They were written by “authoritative” individuals like Chief Justice John Marshall and Joseph Story. They reasoned what rights could exist by virtue of a God–not Christianity. The closest the Constitution comes to mentioning Christianity is the word “religion”. As Joseph Story put it, the purpose of that amendment was not to level the playing field or prostrate Christianity to the level of Judiasm or Islam. It was to level the playing field among the Christian sects. That is all.

    I lack the requisite education to go toe-to-toe with you at that level, so I will defer to all of the legal scholars of the past couple centuries that have declined to agree with you.

    I don’t care about your education. If I did, I wouldn’t take as much time as I have to post to you. You have reason and logic. My only purpose here is two-fold: 1) Get to the Truth; and 2) Iron sharpens iron. If we walk away from this with another tool of persuasion to argue with the moderate republicans and democrats to persuade them to vote for a candidate such as Ron Paul, then it was worth it in my book.

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — September 5, 2007 @ 7:20 pm
  44. Chris,

    1) Rationalize all you want. The language isn’t in the Constitution barring homosexuality, therefore the right exists under our Constitution because the 9th and 10th Amendment allow it, regardless of the Founders’ personal opinions on homosexuality. And, as Jeff points out, you’ve got no authoritative court opinion saying otherwise.

    2) Yet the Sabbath law wasn’t included in the Constitution either, nor was any language establishing Christianity as our official religion, so that point is also irrelevant.

    3) Western civilization fully recognized Islam as a religion at the time, and even if we accepted your revisionism as fact, the 1st Amendment still specifically prohibits the establishment of a national religion. So if Founding Fathers did believe in Christianity as the only religion, they apparently didn’t want that religion to have anything to do with national government because they drafted the Bill of Rights to say so specifically. You’ve got no legitimate argument here.

    4) The abortion issue and how rights are applied hinges on where life actually begins. If you believe in individual rights and believe that life begins at conception, you must be pro-life. If you believe in individual rights and belief life begins at birth, you must be pro-choice. Since there is no consensus on the starting point for life, there will never be a consensus for how human rights can be applied…and (I believe) it therefore becomes an issue of community morality. One that should be left to the states to decide, not the federal government.

    5) You’re right, the Constitution did not define the U.S. as a “libertarian” nation. So what? Libertarianism’s not a religion, unlike Christianity, so it’s got nothing to do with your pro-Christianity argument. Libertarianism is, however, a political system based on a respect for individual rights, which the Bill of Rights specifically honors. That’s probably why libertarians tend to be better Constitutionalists than anti-separation Christians…the Constitution is a secular political document and our belief system is actually relevant to it.

    6) The Constitution is a legal contract because our system of law derives from it…and that’s all it is. It was written by men, to govern a society of men. It wasn’t written by divine mandate from God and it’s not holy writ. It’s just a legal document that defines the laws of this particular country (although I personally think it was a work of genius), it wasn’t written to force you to abandon your religious beliefs, it just keeps you from violently forcing your religious beliefs on me. If you’re unhappy with it and think it so unfair, I suppose you’re always free to leave. That’s the great part of living in a free society, you’re not forced to convert and the borders are more or less open. And if secular government is so unappealing to you, I know of several societies on the other side of the world that reject the separation of God and government, which I’d be happy to recommend. I’m sure you’d find them appropriately pious, assuming that you’re not turned off by being forced to convert to Islam.

    7) Lastly, homosexuality and the Constitution. If an activity is non-violent and consensual and isn’t causing harm to your life or liberty, it isn’t a crime, therefore under our Constitution it isn’t wrong. So unless you can demonstrate that consensual homosexuality has in some way caused such damage to you, you’ve got no beef except for those based solely on your religion and continuing this discussion is pointless because I don’t care to waste my time debating biblical ghost stories.

    Comment by UCrawford — September 5, 2007 @ 7:26 pm
  45. CRAWFORD

    1) Rationalize all you want. The language isn’t in the Constitution barring homosexuality, therefore the right exists under our Constitution because the 9th and 10th Amendment allow it, regardless of the Founders’ personal opinions on homosexuality. And, as Jeff points out, you’ve got no authoritative court opinion saying otherwise.

    I have a right to define whatever I want a right to be because the Constitution says nothing about it? That’s novel. Rather than us pick and choose decisions, examine your logic for a moment.

    So if we amend article 9 (itself not anything other than a rule of construction), then you’ll say what? Then you’d agree that there’s no more right to be a homosexual?

    But why stop there. You now have a MAJOR problem. What about the 10th Amendment, the powers reserved to the states? If they punished homosexuality before, do they still have the power to punish it since the powers are reserved? Where is the state limitation? The Constitution doesn’t say anything about that. Now you really do have a problem. Let me clarify, the Constitution doesn’t set straight whether the state has the power under the 9th or 10th amendment to punish homosexuality. The only point you must agree on is that it doesn’t give the federal government the right to legislate on that topic.

    Want more? Take a look at 70 Am. Jur. 2d Sodomy § 2 for a list of states that call the conduct depraved, vile, immoral, a crime of moral terpitude, against the laws of nature….etc. I can pull up hundreds–no probably a thousand decisions–over the past 200 years enforcing the criminal code against homosexuality and other deviant behaviors.

    So if all these states, since the founding era, no, since the time of Justinian’s Institutes circa 540 a.d., no, the Code of Hammurabi, no, the Jewish book of Leviticus, no, since time immemorial, make the homosexual act immoral and punishable, how is that you, you UC, portend to have all of a sudden come up with a way to call it a right under the Constitution? Where are your decisions? How is that no other jurist reaches to the Constitution the way you do?

    2) Yet the Sabbath law wasn’t included in the Constitution either, nor was any language establishing Christianity as our official religion, so that point is also irrelevant.

    Again, I never argued that. You’ve already admitted that the first amendment is only a prohibition against Congress. After all, it is “Congress [who] shall make no law…” Ergo, my post stands.

    3) Western civilization fully recognized Islam as a religion at the time, and even if we accepted your revisionism as fact, the 1st Amendment still specifically prohibits the establishment of a national religion. So if Founding Fathers did believe in Christianity as the only religion, they apparently didn’t want that religion to have anything to do with national government because they drafted the Bill of Rights to say so specifically. You’ve got no legitimate argument here.

    Fully recognized? Ah, try again.

    In 1786 Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, both US Ambassadors, reported to the US Congress on the reasons for the Muslims’ hostility towards America, a nation with which they had no previous contacts:

    ” . . .that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman [Muslim] who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

    They knew people engaged in it but they didn’t believe it was a “true” religion. In fact, as John Qunicy Adams said regarding Islam:

    “Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood, that he was himself his prophet and apostle.”

    I also never said that the Founders didn’t see Islam as a “religious belief” but for the LEGAL purposes of the First Amendment, they WOULD NOT have included that as a definition of the word religion because it wasn’t widely accepted. If you include it in the First Amendment word “religion” you validate Islam as a religion and that’s something the framer’s wouldn’t have done. To wit, the backdrop of the First Amendment is adequately described by Sir William Blackstone, a favorite of the founders, who said:

    “By establishment of religion is meant the setting up or recognition of a state church, or at least the conferring upon one church of special favors and advantages which are denied to others.”

    This predates the First Amendment and was the understanding of the time. Ergo, “establishment” means, recognition of or conferring of special favor and advantages. “Religion” means an officially recognized national church.

    But don’t take my word for it. James Madison’s original draft for the First Amendment was “The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed.”

    According to Madison, freedom of conscience was, the “freedom to embrace, to profess, and to observe the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin,” while refraining from denying “an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us”. “The Religion” didn’t include Islam or Hindu or any other system.

    This clearly shows that “establishment of religion” was more narrowly defined as installing a national church–not a temple and not a mosque.

    There’s a difference between common usage and legal meaning.

    And so that we are perfectly clear, Christianity, as a religion, IS NOT PART of the federal government. On the other hand, given that we are based on the laws of nature and nature’s God, it would rather foolish to cast aside any notion that God is separated from the state anymore than the folly that God is separated from Religion. There is a difference between God and religion, the latter being the discharge of duties to the former. Government has no place in the discharge of religious duties. It does have a duty to declare what is right and what is wrong. Otherwise, murder is wrong only because a large group of people say so. Of course, a large group might disagree, too.

    4) The abortion issue and how rights are applied hinges on where life actually begins. If you believe in individual rights and believe that life begins at conception, you must be pro-life. If you believe in individual rights and belief life begins at birth, you must be pro-choice. Since there is no consensus on the starting point for life, there will never be a consensus for how human rights can be applied…and (I believe) it therefore becomes an issue of community morality. One that should be left to the states to decide, not the federal government.

    Consensus is not the standard for whether something is right or wrong.

    In terms of the abortion issue not being federal, you still have to then manage the 14th Amendment statement where it says that “no state shall deprive any person…” of life. So until you resolve that, I can’t see how it is just a state issue. (Of note, the 14th gives Congress–not the Courts–the remedy for violations of that amendment.)

    5) You’re right, the Constitution did not define the U.S. as a “libertarian” nation. So what? Libertarianism’s not a religion, unlike Christianity, so it’s got nothing to do with your pro-Christianity argument.

    How many times must I say this? This IS NOT a pro-Christianity argument. And to the extent you place faith in a libertarian belief, it is religious though not religion. Of course, if the source of that belief is a group of people agreeing then I suppose man is the god of libertarianism much like any other ism.

    Libertarianism is, however, a political system based on a respect for individual rights, which the Bill of Rights specifically honors. That’s probably why libertarians tend to be better Constitutionalists than anti-separation Christians…the Constitution is a secular political document and our belief system is actually relevant to it.

    I have always said that I get along far better with you libertarians than any other group. You are definitely closer to the Constitution. It’s why I told you at the outset our argument boils down to you being an immoral Constitutionalist and me a moral Constitutionalist.

    The only time I can argue with you is morality.

    6) The Constitution is a legal contract because our system of law derives from it…and that’s all it is. It was written by men, to govern a society of men. It wasn’t written by divine mandate from God and it’s not holy writ. It’s just a legal document that defines the laws of this particular country (although I personally think it was a work of genius), it wasn’t written to force you to abandon your religious beliefs, it just keeps you from violently forcing your religious beliefs on me. If you’re unhappy with it and think it so unfair, I suppose you’re always free to leave. That’s the great part of living in a free society, you’re not forced to convert and the borders are more or less open. And if secular government is so unappealing to you, I know of several societies on the other side of the world that reject the separation of God and government, which I’d be happy to recommend. I’m sure you’d find them appropriately pious, assuming that you’re not turned off by being forced to convert to Islam.

    You keep trying to convince yourself that I want to force anything on you related to religion. I don’t. I agree with much of what you’ve written here save for the issue of you forcing your morality on me and my children.

    I’ll just add, it should be the best part of a Christian society that you aren’t compelled in the least bit to believe but come to it through your own reason and belief….

    7) Lastly, homosexuality and the Constitution. If an activity is non-violent and consensual and isn’t causing harm to your life or liberty, it isn’t a crime, therefore under our Constitution it isn’t wrong. So unless you can demonstrate that consensual homosexuality has in some way caused such damage to you, you’ve got no beef except for those based solely on your religion and continuing this discussion is pointless because I don’t care to waste my time debating biblical ghost stories.

    It isn’t a crime under our Constitution. I agree with that statement. But it isn’t a right either. And it is the right of the state to regulate bad conduct. Simply because something doesn’t affect you immediately doesn’t mean it’s okay. I believe homosexuality, like bestiality, like any other bad behavior, is wrong and does affect society. In terms of it being violent, it is a violent act. That particular orifice isn’t intended for things to go into it, only out of it. That is a violent act. If you want me to argue that point, I’ll do it.

    And I don’t want you waste your time on “biblical ghost stories,” my friend. Every man ponders his own mortality and the existence of an afterlife. It seems we’re here on this earth just long enough to make that decision and then life is done. I’ve not asked you to do anything of the sort.

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — September 5, 2007 @ 9:51 pm
  46. Chris,

    Things going into your ass are wrong? That’s your rationalization for why homosexuality is immoral and harmful to society? Does that also apply to suppositories? Or colonoscopy tubes? Or enemas used as first-aid (heat and cold injuries)? How about surgery for colo-rectal cancer? They’ll occasionally put tool through your ass for that. All of those are immoral too? Or violent? Unless, of course, you’re saying that things going in your ass are moral as long as you don’t enjoy it. Or that it’s moral as long as a male’s not administering the surgery/suppository/enema. In any case, what business is it of anyone as long as it’s not their ass in question? Congratulations, though, you’ve officially brought forth the dumbest argument I’ve ever heard used to oppose homosexuality.

    Comment by UCrawford — September 6, 2007 @ 1:16 am
  47. But at least you were willing to concede that homosexuality’s not a crime under our Constitution. Of course, since it’s not a crime, that basically means that gay people have a right to engage in it, which pretty much sinks your entire argument. So thanks for finally agreeing with my position.

    Comment by UCrawford — September 6, 2007 @ 1:22 am
  48. Crawford,

    You do not in dispute that the rectum is designed for things to come out and not to go in.

    We can determine whether something is bad or good when it goes up your rectal orifice by reference to its purpose. The purpose of suppositories, colonoscopy tubes, enemas, surgery is to heal or save your ass. The effects of such procedures are intended to bring the ass back to normalcy.

    So, what is the purpose of homosexual penetration into your ass? Obviously you would hope to claim some sort of pleasure. So what are the hundred-fold increased risks–the effects–of you being homosexual who engages in anal penetration:

    squamous-cell anal cancer
    anal warts
    various infection(s) (to include HIV/AIDS)
    tumors within the colon
    anal-sphincter dysfunction
    fissures throughout the colon
    contusions
    thrombosed hemorrhoids
    lacerations with bleeding
    unnatural pain

    So the next time something is stuck in your rectal orifice, you should determine what it is, its purpose there, and what effects it may have in you.

    The design of your ass is not to have a penis in continuous motion in and out of it. It seems your ass can bear a great deal but I don’t believe you will suffer the health risks articulated above if you have to do suppositories, suffer an colonoscopy tube here and there, bear the enemas, and undergo surgery. Those things don’t usually require a thick forceful penetration into your ass.

    In addition, a penis in your ass doesn’t help you procreate. This is because the sperm ejaculate that comes out of the penis has no business, dare I say it, NO PURPOSE in your ass, not to mention that you do not have a uterus. In fact, no literate, sane, intelligent, logical and rational person would argue otherwise.

    So that we are crystal clear, stealing from you is not a crime under our Constitution either. But you wouldn’t for a moment argue that I have a right to steal under our Constitution now would you? Of course not. It would be insanity. And that, Crawford, is my point about your argument. To claim a right to anything as you have done not only is a MISREADING of the 9th Amend, but a failure to understand what the 9th Amendment really is – a rule of construction.

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — September 7, 2007 @ 8:59 pm
  49. Until 1965, the Ninth Amendment was generally construed properly. In 1965, it took on the meaning you ascribe to it.

    The 1965 judges got a hold of it and convinced the unwary that it meant a veritable free for all. Before that time, it was understood not to contain within itself any guarantee of a right or a proscription of an infringement.

    You may not be as libertarian as you think but closer to Hillary than you realize.

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — September 7, 2007 @ 9:09 pm
  50. Chris,

    So what you’re saying is that every sperm is sacred? Every sperm is great? When a sperm gets wasted, does God get quite irate?

    Dude, you have no point here and I no longer care. Your religion might hate recreational sex and consider it wrong, and that’s fine if you want to believe in that, but I don’t care about it and in a free society as long as I’m not causing demonstrable harm to someone else your personal moral preference has no authority over me or anyone else who doesn’t want to play along.

    Closer to Hillary? Please. Religion is about control, fear, the rejection of reason, and forced obedience to an allegedly infallible master. So are the philosophies of Hillary, Bush or any other statist you might care to name and I don’t buy into any of that crap. Go peddle that faulty analogy to someone who doesn’t recognize slavery when they see it.

    Comment by UCrawford — September 7, 2007 @ 9:41 pm
  51. Crawford,

    I said sperm has no place in your rectum any more than your morality can be forced on my family.

    I can’t let you force your morality on me or my community. Whether you think homosexuality is good or bad conduct is irrelevant to me.

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — September 8, 2007 @ 5:40 am
  52. Chris,

    See, that’s the thing…no one’s forcing their morality on you or anyone else by allowing other people to engage in whatever consensual activities they choose, because you’re not being forced to participate in those acts. If you’re trying to claim that consensual homosexuality isn’t legal and other people have no right to engage in it even though they’re not forcing you (or anyone else) to join in, then you are attempting forcing your morality on them. I’m not sure if this position (homosexuality should be defined as illegal behavior) has been what you’re saying, because you’ve never explicitly said you want laws banning homosexuals, but that’s the gist of the argument I get from you. Laws are violent by their nature and those that are designed to manage behavior are coercive. The absence of laws is not coercive, nor is telling other people to mind their own business when it comes to consensual activities that don’t harm them or anyone else.

    Comment by UCrawford — September 8, 2007 @ 9:52 am
  53. Sorry, I haven’t had much time lately. Looks like I didn’t miss anything meaningful.

    You probably are thinking of the maxim: “expressio unius est exclusio alterius uno.”

    No, I was referring to a precedent-setting quote of an early SCOTUS opinion.

    I have a right to define whatever I want a right to be because the Constitution says nothing about it?

    No, you have a right to anything that doesn’t infringe upon anyone else’s rights. This is basic 18th century philosophy we’re talking here.

    Now, not all rights are equal. Some are held to be inalienable and some are alienable. Feel free to argue that it is an alienable right. Many will disagree with you, but you have a lot of legal precedent on your side. To say it isn’t a right at all, however, is ridiculous.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — September 8, 2007 @ 10:03 am
  54. Jeff,

    You missed my Monty Python reference, which apparently flew right over Chris’ head :)

    Comment by UCrawford — September 8, 2007 @ 10:13 am
  55. Sorry, I only read enough of the conversation to realize it was no longer a productive discussion.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — September 8, 2007 @ 10:38 am
  56. CRAWFORD

    Damn, damn! I knew I recognized the language. That truly sucks to be smoked that bad. (I say “sucks” in the non-homosexual sense.) I still disagree with your modern views but have no choice but to concede a loss here just for missing that one.

    JEFF

    You’d better stay away from 18th century philosophy. You’ll not find a writer in that era to declare Homosexuality to be good wholesome conduct let alone a right. That ought to be a clue that you should reevaluate your position.

    I just don’t understand why you boys don’t see a problem putting rules and words into the constitution where they don’t exist. Why doesn’t the constitution tell us that this rule you’ve posited is the one we’re supposed to use?

    I am patently ridiculous. Homosexuality is no more a right that me having a right to type on a keyboard or a right to touch the door of a business establishment. Not one 18th century philosopher would tell you it’s a right. And this is simply another reason.

    CRAWFORD & JEFF

    Are you both VA residents working on a RP campaign?

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — September 8, 2007 @ 11:59 am
  57. Chris,

    Your responses indicate that you don’t understand my position. I don’t care if you agree or not, but I take precious time to choose my words carefully. If you’re not going to read them and understand them exactly as they are, you’re wasting my time.

    - The very core of “freedom” and the 18th century philosophy that studied it was essentially “live and let live”
    - Those ideas played a central role in the American Revolution
    - The constitution does not grant any rights to us as individuals.
    - The constitution does not in any way limit sexual behavior
    - The constitution permits the state governments to legislate things the national government cannot.

    Thus there is a natural right to engage in homosexual behavior (just like you have the right to type on a keyboard assuming it’s your keyboard), so long as it is entirely consensual, but it is a right that has been generally considered alienable.

    Are you both VA residents

    Nope.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — September 8, 2007 @ 4:02 pm
  58. Jeff,

    Well put. I disagree personally with the idea that homosexuality (or any other non-violent consensual activity) should be an alienable right but I can’t really argue with the fact that many states treat it this way and the Constitution appears to allow them to do so.

    Chris,

    Nope, nor do I work for Ron Paul (although I’m voting for him).

    Comment by UCrawford — September 8, 2007 @ 7:26 pm
  59. If you all intend to vote for him, what states do you live in? I ask this because the primaries are fast approaching and much is to be done to get his name on the ballot. Every hand is needed. I can find out who in your area is on task or perhaps get you all on task.

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — September 8, 2007 @ 7:30 pm
  60. He’s on the ballot in my area. My support will be limited to my vote. I checked out the Ron Paul groups in my area and there were far too many “truthers” and people with anti-Semitic and anti-capitalist leanings in leadership positions in those groups for me to be interested in working with them. If they want to believe that crap, that’s their right, but I’ve no interest in affiliating with them apart from voting for Ron Paul.

    Comment by UCrawford — September 8, 2007 @ 8:42 pm
  61. there were far too many “truthers” and people with anti-Semitic and anti-capitalist leanings in leadership positions in those groups for me to be interested in working with them.

    That’s unfortunate. Would you be willing to lend some of your time and expertise if I can find you a group that better matches your beliefs?

    I’m in Michigan, Chris.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — September 8, 2007 @ 10:12 pm
  62. Jeff,

    If you can find a group, I’ll check it out. I’m in Wichita, KS.

    Comment by UCrawford — September 9, 2007 @ 9:13 am
  63. What skills and/or connections do you have?

    Go to my website and shoot me an email, so I don’t have to keep searching for this thread.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — September 9, 2007 @ 7:36 pm
  64. Jeff,

    I emailed you.

    Crawford,

    The crazies are a small percentage….or maybe I’m one of them and don’t know it.

    Comment by Chris — September 11, 2007 @ 6:25 pm

Comments RSS

Subscribe without commenting

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by: WordPress • Template by: Eric • Banner #1, #3, #4 by Stephen Macklin • Banner #2 by Mark RaynerXML