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.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Virginia gay-marriage decision

Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen issued an opinion voiding Virginia's ban on gay marriage. And while I approve of the decision, I wonder how ignorant a judge can be of our Constitution, as in her decision she stated that “Our Constitution declares that ‘all men’ are created equal.” Surely it would be incumbent on a Federal judge to know that those words are nowhere to be found in the Constitution, but come from the Declaration of Independence, a document written by a prominent Virginian, Thomas Jefferson.

In fact, Judge Allen issued a revision of her opinion correcting this mistake afterward, but only after the error was pointed out to her by commentators. The basic idea of the opinion is right, of course. And it's fitting that the decision be made in Virginia, the state whose ban on interracial marriage was overridden by the Supreme Court in the Loving v. Virginia case. And in fact, Judge Allen began her decision with a quote from Mildred Loving, the wife in the marriage that was upheld in Loving v. Virginia. This, of course, is not a Supreme Court decision, but hopefully it will lead to one.

So, I view the decision favorably, but it gives me great pause that the judge that issued it could make such an egregious error as to the contents of our Constitution, which governs our laws.

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