gay rights

Despite economic struggles, Democrats place emphasis on social issues

DNC debt cartoon

Over the last couple of years, libertarians have complained about the emphasis conservatives, particularly the Rick Santorums and Mike Huckabees their movement, have placed on social issues. We’ve noted that conservatives should focus their message on issues where they can attract agreement — such as repealing ObamaCare, lessening regulation on businesses, cutting spending, and reducing taxes.

While I support same-sex marriage and have grown increasingly pro-choice within reason, the Republican National Convention was a largely a breath of fresh air from this perspective . That’s not to say that I agree with everything said on the budget, economy or foreign policy, but the discussion of social issues was relatively mild with Republicans choosing instead to place a heavy focus on the economic record of President Barack Obama.

But watching the Democratic National Convention off-and-on for a couple of days, one can’t help but notice the heavy emphasis on social issues. There is certainly a discussion and defense of President Obama’s economic record, but abortion, same-sex marriage, and labor unions been featured heavily.

Of course, this is really isn’t surprising. Democrats have tried to change the narrative at several points since the beginning of the year; usually by complaining that there is some supposed “war” being waged against a segment of the American public.

Left taking issue with Dems on civil liberties

civil liberties

Most people seem to come to libertarianism from the right.  It honestly makes sense when you think about it.  The right tends to be a place of minimal government and typically argues for more freedom.  The problems kick in on some specific issues.  Many libertarians came to libertarianism after searching for a more consistent ideology.

Me?  I’m a bit of an oddball.  I came from the left.  I came from a place of seeking more consistency on the issue of civil liberties that I was getting from the Democrats.  There have been times when I wondered if there was ever being a small “L” libertarian in the Democratic Party.  Based on what’s being reported over the party’s new platform, I can see that is a resounding “no.”

The piece points out several issues where the Democratic Party has decided to back away from their stances on civil liberties just four years ago.  Issues like indefinite detention, closing Gitmo, illegal wiretaps, and racial profiling all pretty much continue without any modification from President Bush’s era.  Even torture, for which many wanted heads on the proverbial pikes, has reportedly continued despite an executive order ending the practice.

So which conservative or libertarian publication makes such remarkes about President Obama and the Democratic Party?  Townhall?  Nope. Red State? Not even close.

The Weekly Standard? No. The National Review? Hardly. Reason? Wrong again. Try the left leaning Mother Jones.

Many on the left are less than pleased that Obama has done so poorly on civil liberties.  That says nothing over any meaningful move on gay rights (besides the appeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”) or a host of other issues.

Another shooting, another political blame game

Family Research Council shooting

It is a sad trend that after every shooting in this country, there is a group of people who, without fail, rush to use it to make some political point.  There’s always the perfunctory debate about gun control, with advocates stating that somehow gun sellers should predict when someone will use the weapon for evil.  And when the target is political in any way, one side always uses it to make the case that the other side is “encouraging hate” and thus somehow to blame for the shooter’s actions.

We saw this clearly in the Gabby Giffords shooting, when those on the left tried to tie Jared Loughner’s actions to Tea Party rhetoric and even absurdly to Sarah Palin by posting pictures of a “target map” she had created, clearly referring to taking POLITICAL action against certain incumbents, not violence.  Yet this did not stop liberals like Paul Krugman from plainly implying that she and other conservatives were partly to blame for their so-called “incendiary rhetoric”. This is not to say that the language of Palin and Bachmann is not often excessive and overheated, but it is plainly not encouraging violence.

Fast forward to this week, when a gunman decided to take out his disagreement with the Family Research Council by opening fire, wounding a security guard before being wrestled to the ground.  Now, it should be known that I vehemently disagree with basically everything the FRC stands for.  But never in a million years would I or any other sane person think this warranted violence.  It’s clear that the main issue here was a severely imbalanced person who decided that the way to express his feelings was firing a gun at innocent people.

Marriage and Limited Government

Fifteen years ago today, I married my high school sweetheart. Since the topic of marriage is at the front of my mind, I thought I’d write about an issue of double standards that surrounds the whole marriage argument. The issue of marriage is, to say the least, a very sensitive topic, and this post might end up being one of my posts that steps on some toes. You’ve been warned.

My wife and I were married in a small church in Warner Robins, Georgia. Our wedding was a ceremony committing our lives to each other before God and our friends. We had a state-issued marriage license, but Georgia’s stance on our marital stance was (and is) inconsequential. If Georgia were to revoke our marriage license and declare us single, we would still be married in the eyes of our church because our union is a religious union.

As with most things, the problem with marriage comes when government gets too involved. Since marriage is a religious partnership, the government has no place defining – or redefining – what marriage is. That is the role of the religious institution that administers the wedding; it is not the role of government.

To take it a step further, government has no right to dictate to a church who it will or will not allow to be married. It’s very similar to the issue of a church’s qualifications for pastors or priests. Some churches forbid women pastors while some allow women to serve in that capacity. Some require celibacy, while that’s not an issue for other churches. Each church enforces the qualifications according to its own doctrine, and the government – state or federal – has absolutely no business dictating behavior to a church.

Gay marriage opponents plan to use race card

With public acceptance of gay marriage at an all time high, social conservatives are feeling the pressure and are getting desperate. They are now planning to use race to their advantage, as an internal memo from the National Organization for Marriage reveals:

“The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies,” read the memo, which outlined a plan to recruit African-American spokesmen to speak out against gay marriage, then organize a media campaign around their objections.

“Provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots,” the memo read. “No politician wants to take up and push an issue that splits the base of the party.”

Apparently NOM’s opposition to social progression doesn’t stop at marriage. Merely a few decades past the civil rights movement for black Americans, they are content to hark back to an era of racial division in an effort to provide a lifeline to their dying, antiquated philosophy of government-sanctioned social inequality.

Using the government to enforce your views onto others is anathema to the principle of liberty, but dividing a people by race to do so is a new level of disgusting.

Chris Christie, NOOOOO!

Fudgeknuckles. You can never be happy with politicians as a libertarian—just when they look like they’re on the path to true limited government, free markets, and individual liberty, they come out with something stupid like this:

“I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman,” Christie said. “I wouldn’t sign a bill like the one that was in New York.”

That sound you are hearing is my head slamming into my desk at Warp Six.

I admit, I was becoming a fan of Chris Christie. The way he was socking it to the parasitical public unions in New Jersey was inspiring. Sure, he was not perfect—he probably could have cut back more in some areas—but considering political inertia, he was doing a tremendous job.

Naturally, while I’m feeling really great about this guy, he throws a social conservative curveball just to keep me a grumbling libertarian.

The article does state that he will push for civil unions in New Jersey, as if, “Well, he’s not so bad.” But it is, in fact, horrific: what Christie is saying is that he supports discrimination based on sexual orientation, a boundary that says “You are not like us, you cannot be like us, you cannot have the same rights and privileges as us.” That’s a very disturbing thought. What I don’t understand is how it meshes with the small government ethos of most conservatives. Let’s end regulation and meddling in the economy, let’s make government smaller, cheaper, and more efficient—but then try and wedge it into the bedroom?

Government to Christians: You’re Not Welcome Here

Church and State

Perhaps at no other time in America’s history has religious freedom suffered under such a sustained assault as today. And by “religious freedom,” I mean Christianity. This assertion may seem a bit dramatic to many without sufficient historical knowledge of this nation’s Christian heritage, or when compared to the persecutions suffered by Christians in other nations, but a brief perusal of recent occurrences should elicit no small amount of concern for those who, like George Washington considered “religion and morality” to be the “indispensable supports” anchoring the American republic.

Thanks to decades of public “education” which has stripped all evidence of the Judeo-Christian principles that form the deep foundation of our form of government, many Americans have bought into this fallacious notion of “separation of church and state,” a phrase and concept appearing nowhere in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. It is ignorance of our religious heritage which I believe has led us to a point where religion is under attack in America, and many Christians feel it improper to defend against.

Americans face persecution by anti-Christian organizations seeking to force Christians to keep their faith only within the walls of their own home (and sometimes not even there).

Consider the following examples:

Supreme Court defaults to liberty and federalism on marriage

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In the 15 months since the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in United States v. Windsor in June 2013, which invalidated the strict federal definition of marriage from the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, seven other cases were appealed to the Court, all of which last ruled at the Circuit-level that the state same-sex marriage bans in question were unconstitutional.

In a stunning decision Monday, the Court denied the appeals of all seven cases, meaning the Circuit decisions unanimously striking down those bans are upheld and same-sex couples will soon have equal marriage rights in all states under those Circuits’ jurisdiction.

Nearly everyone expected the Roberts court to grant certiori to the cases and bundle them together to issue a final sweeping ruling on the issue at the end of its next term in mid-2015, so the blanket denial shocked the legal and political communities. It only takes four of the nine justices to grant certiori, so in effect, this was at minimum a 6-3 default ruling in favor of marriage equality.

Hillary Clinton has beclowned herself once again: She flip-flopped on another big issue in hilariously disastrous fashion

In 1996, Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages and allowed to states to do the same. The First Lady supported the policy at the time.

As recently as the 2008 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton is on the record saying marriage should be for opposite-sex couples, though others can have (separate but) equal rights in civil unions.

Then, just last year, one year after President Obama (who also famously “evolved” on the issue), she announced her full support for same-sex marriage. Seems pretty clear that she changed her mind on the issue, right?

HELL NO! And you are a terrible person for thinking so. At least according to an interview Secretary Clinton did with an NPR affiliate Thursday. Host Terry Gross questions Clinton for more than 7 minutes trying to get her to say if she changed her mind on the issue or just finally announced what her position had been all along. Neither one, apparently.

Several minutes into the process, Clinton actually scoffs and accuses Gross of attempting to entrap her into one of the two positions. Because NPR hosts are so fond of gotcha journalism, especially with Democrats, right?

The whole thing is a master class in political paranoia, cynicism, and double speak. It really is quite something.

Today in Liberty: Arizona governor vetoes SB 1062, GOP targets violent video games

“Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.” — Calvin Coolidge

— Arizona governor vetoes religious liberty bill: Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) vetoed the controversial SB 1062, a measure that would have allowed religious business owners to refuse to serve gay customers. “To the supporters of the legislation, I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before. Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes,” Brewer said. “However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want.” Brewer also said that she had “not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.” Measures similar to Arizona’s SB 1062 are currently being debated in several states, including Georgia, Kansas, and Missouri.


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