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.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The right to marry advances

Six days ago, a Federal court forced the state of Utah to legalize same-sex marriage, a day after another court decidid the same issue for New Mexico. There are now eighteen states, more than a third of the fifty total, with legal same-sex marriage.

Utah is a major surprise. It is a very conservative state, heavily Mormon, and the Mormon church has strongly opposed the right to marry for same-sex couples. A poll in 2011 found Utah citizens strongly opposed to same-sex marriage. If a judge can legalize same-sex marriage in Utah, it may well be the case that nationwide recognition of same-sex marriage will follow sooner than I would have thought.

The division among the people will still persist, and this may well become as divisive an issue as abortion has become since Roe v. Wade. Yet there is really less reason for that. In the case of Roe, I can really understand some people's conviction that a fetus is a person and abortion is murder — I can understand it, though I think they are totally wrong! But I do not understand how allowing John and Joe (or Jane and Joan) to marry affects anyone else's marriage. No clergyman is forced to perform a same-sex marriage, any more than a rabbi who will not perform an interreligious one is forced to, and if a florist or a baker is made to provide his product for use at such a marriage, he is not being called to recognize such a marriage as a marriage,: he is only selling a bouquet or a cake to some people having a party. I can't see how his religious freedom is being impacted, as some conservative columnists have intimated.

But things are moving faster than 'd expected!

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