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.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Gregory Kane, gay marriage, and religious freedom

A column appeared by Gregory Kane in today's Washington Examiner entitled “No reason to trust Maryland liberals on marriage.” In it, Kane seems to think that even though Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has promised clergymen who would not preside over same-sex weddings that they would not have to, they will have to in the end. He says:

I have the sneaking suspicion that the forces hankering to legalize same-sex marriage won't rest until pastors like Hickman and Coates are compelled, by law, to perform same-sex marriages in their churches. Here's the plan I see developing.

The CMPA passes. Within a year, maybe two, maybe three, a same-sex couple or couples challenges that portion of the law that lets pastors like Hickman and Coates decide if they want to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies or not. That part of the law will be challenged because it's "unconstitutional."

The lawsuit winds its way through Maryland's courts, where it would take only one activist judge to rule for the plaintiffs, nullify the clause protecting churches that choose not to perform same-sex marriages and thus compel them to do so.

And yes, call me a cynic, but I do believe that the same-sex couple or couples who will make the challenge have already been selected.

But Kane is having unnecessary nightmares. There are clergymen now, this very day, who will not conduct certain kinds of marriages sanctioned by law: rabbis who will not conduct a marriage between a Jew and a non-Jew, Catholic priests who will not officiate at a marriage where one of the parties involved is divorced, etc. And if Kane has one example he can demonstrate that a clergyman has been forced by a court to conduct a marriage that he will not sanction for religious reasons, I will accept his argument. But I believe I am safe in saying that this has never happened — in Maryland or any other State. So why is Gregory Kane worried?

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