The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The next chapter on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

The Federal judge who ruled against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, has now let the other shoe drop: she has issued an injunction barring its enforcement. And I am certain that the homophobes of this country will gnash their teeth and bewail "judicial activism." But the judge knows what she is doing. This policy certainly interferes with freedom of speech, because any gay serviceman or -woman saying anything that gave away his/her sexual orientation would be expelled, while a straight person doing the same is just fine. What I'm curious about is whether the Obama administration will appeal, as they in theory have the right to do, or will immediately comply, which would be more in conformity with the pro-gay-rights rhetoric that seems to be characteristic of liberal Democrats. (It's interesting, but it took a suit by a Republican group to get this ruling!)

Anti-gay-rights bigots have said repeatedly that they are willing to grant "equal rights," but not "special rights," but this is a bit of a red herring. Suppose that a Christian homophobe was told that, in Saudi Arabia, he had the same right to worship Allah as all Muslims have; he just is barred from offering Christian prayers. Would he consider that to be "equal rights"? (I think not!) Or suppose that he found himself in the pre-1989 Soviet Union, where he had the same right to be an atheist as anyone else? Or, skipping religion, suppose some homophobe were to be told he would be given the right only to marry a same sex person, and this would be the same right that gay people would have?

No, let it be absolutely clear: What they want is the special right: to impose their views of morality on others.

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