Founding Father’s Quote Friday II

Moral Authority

Moral Authority

Recently as a participant in a conversation that was addressing the notion of marriage, its history, and the participants thereto, the following question was posed: “Who are we to state that same-sex marriage is not right?”

And after some critical thinking I responded: In order to comprehend that question is to understand the morality of the society we live in. Obviously the notion of the ‘rightness or wrongness’ of same-sex marriage lately has answered this question by means of the ballot box, and the people openly stating their position.

Well one would assume that this answer would suffice, but no way.  The same individual began an entirely new topic by stating: We do not live in a pure democracy; therefore, we must never forget that the reason we don’t live in a pure democracy is to STOP the tyranny of the majority!”

Hearing this statement raised the blood pressure levels of every single same-sex marriage supporter in the room. Yet for some reason evidence to cease this argument came from Thomas Jefferson as eloquently done through the 10th amendment:

“I consider the foundation of the Constitution laid on this ground: That ‘all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people.’ [1]

For some reason the notion of religion and ‘same-sex marriage’ are connected as well they should be. It is quite apparent that those supporters of such are quick to try and decouple the issues with their own rhetoric rather than the truth. How often we hear; ‘America is not a Christian nation’ or you will not find a reference to ‘God anywhere in the U.S. Constitution.’ 

Moreover, this idiosyncratic posturing has been the culprit of more misunderstanding regarding the role of the U.S. Constitution, its claims on religion, and through some very crafty language, this entire matter becomes constitutional or unconstitutional when most folks espousing such language couldn’t tell the difference between the two.

And this could continue to go on ad infinitum, until someone tries to clarify what is stated, why it’s stated, and then clear up all of the misunderstandings that occur.

In colonial America it would be quite reasonable to understand that each of the thirteen colonies had their own religion’s. Massachusetts was primarily settled by Puritans; Connecticut settled by Congregationalists, Maryland of course was the haven and asylum for Catholics.

The framers therefore, respecting this fact and not believing that the federal government should have an influence in these matters simply wrote:

“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a [national] religion; plain and simple with this one folks; moreover, they respected religion and wanted nothing to do with intervening on the free exercise of [praise or worshipping]in the manner the state deemed appropriate.

If we take down our guards for a second and realize that those particular conventions were deemed State responsibilities, insofar as the federal government wanted nothing to do with intervening on ‘states rights.’ (See the 10th Amendment.)

Now then, before anyone begins the argument of….’well it is up to the states,’ which is true; nonetheless, one must be responsible enough to understand the content in the actual context with which it was written. It is therefore incumbent upon all of us to realize what the Founders were saying and why they held fast with their religious beliefs.

Therefore making sense of the recent Proposition 8 initiative on the California ballot is a matter that belongs to each one of the ‘several states’ pursuant to that State’s Constitution, thus disavowing any claim to “tyranny of the majority.”  

The people of California have spoken

[1] Excerpt from Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Church.

About J.Paul

Academia, Constitution, Musicianship, all around Caucasian male, straight, and professes Jesus Christ as the Lord of my life. Guitars -- Classical, Acoustic, A/E, Strat, a real bassist at heart, Les Paul Standard bass.
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2 Responses to Founding Father’s Quote Friday II

  1. “For some reason the notion of religion and ’same-sex marriage’ are connected.”

    And it should be. Because as we have discovered in this month’s theme, the only reliable foundation for morals is in religion, or specifically, in Christianity.

    I think you make a good case, that this particular issue ought to rest with state legislation. The federal government does not have this role according to the Constitution.

    Well, I got my FFQF post up, albeit a bit late on Friday.
    http://meetthefounders.blogspot.com/2008/12/ffqf-john-adams-on-moral-authority.html

    Please feel free to read it and give me your thoughts!

    God bless your weekend.

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    • Jon-Paul says:

      Herky,

      I am in total agreement with your response and have since word-smithed my post accordingly. In addition I wasn’t satisified with two issues and therefore brought them more to the forefront.

      As far as your post…I’d already be in the process of copyrighting it insomuch as it is really quite a treatise.

      With enormous compliments

      jp

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