February 24, 2011

Weighing in a bit on politics

I don't usually blog about politics because I don't consider myself very knowledgable on the subject. I am principly a theologian, and my understanding of politics is more theorhetical than practical.

However, I have found some of the discussion surrounding President Barak Obama lately interesting. President Obama, in my opinion, is someone who doesn't seem to understand that people disagree with him. He seems to view any detractor as a fringe subversive, rather than as a respected opponent. This has caused him to act in rather uncooth ways in regards to how he pushes his agenda.

Two recent events I think have really clarified this. First of all, there is the entire affair regarding the Honorable Judge Vinson. Vinson declares Obama's healthcare to be unconstitutional, yet Obama continued to enforce it. Techiniquely, as I understand it, the bill is in limbo until it is heard by the Supreme Court. Thus Obama has no actual authority to enforce anything, yet he still attempted to.

A second thing is the recent attack on DOMA, which I think it his attempt to say "Look I really am for the constitution" in a way that still is consistant with his overall agenda. However, ironically, DOMA doesn't really go against the constitution at all. It merely says that the federal government isn't allowed to use the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution to get around state decisions on gay marriage. There are really only two sections to DOMA, considering the section 1 is just naming the thing: Article 2 which is making something official which was already true; that no state is under the obligation to hold up another states law if it contradicts its only public policy. Article 3, which is a bit more contraversial, is defining the terms marriage and spouse only in regards to how they are used within federal documents and agencies (a fact that seems to be routinely ignored). So I don't really see how this is supporting the Constitution.

I have always heald that I don't particularly care about gay marriage: I only care that it remains under the juridiction of the states to decide policy on the matter. I still stand by that, and it seems to me that Obama is trying to get around that. He seems to continuely undermine state authority. I don't like the consolidation of federal power, and it has increasely come to my attention that this is precisely what the current president's agenda is.

7 comments:

Mason said...

Of course, I can't think of a president in my lifetime who wasn't for the consolidation of Federal power - once they got into office and the campaign sound bites stopped.

Christopher Bastedo - A Biblical Conservative said...

First off, I would say that the "Full Faith and Credit" Clause has zero to do with gay marriage. The primary argument brought up by most in this issue is the 14th Amendment (equal protection for all under the law) coupled with Brown v. the Board of Education (separate is not equal). I'm not sure how "full faith and credit" has anything to do with marriage in any form, since it is a financial clause.

Secondly, and more importantly, I have always stated that I am fine with a union amongst same gender couples with idential legal rights to marriage under a different name. I grant you, many people pull out Brown v. Board on me with "separate but equal is unconstitutional." Yet there is a tremendous difference between segregating people of races and naming a different thing a different thing.

Lets use segregated bathrooms as an example. A black man and a white man are, in fact, both MEN. Thus it is absolutely wrong to exclude them from using the same "MENS ROOM." Yet we see absolutely nothing wrong with separate Men's and Women's Rooms, and also that these two do not have identical facilities. Mens rooms have urinals but usually fewer stalls. Ladies Rooms have more stalls but no urinals. They often have a sofa (given the longer wait).

Nobody believes these facilities fail Brown v. Board. Neither does anyone argue that it is unconstitutional to require a different driver's license to operate a standard car, a school bus, and a motorcycle. Because these are different things.

The word marriage has a meaning. It means one man and one woman. This is what the word means. No matter how often you lable a union of two men or two women as "marriage" it does not fulfil the definition. Neither does calling a bowl of sliced strawberries a "fruit salad" meet the definition of that dish.

Fruit salad, by definition, includes multiple types of fruit. Marriage, by definition, means one man and one woman.

Furthermore, gay marriage is not, nor has it ever been, about equal rights. If you think it is, give the precise argument I have just given to someone who staunchly favors gay marriage (especially if that person is gay themselves) and you will hear a complete outcry of how unfair it is...primarily because gay marriage ISN'T about equal rights, it is about making an alternate lifestyle seem mainstream.

Jc_Freak: said...

Mason:

I know. It seems the primary difference between a lot of the presidents has been where they do it. Reagan I think was the last president that wasn't really consolidating power, but I don't entirely count him and George H. Bush to be in my lifetime since I was still a kid and had no clue what was going on then.

Christopher Bastedo - A Biblical Conservative said...

Mason -

Previous Presidents bad behavior doesn't excuse that a) it's still unconstitutional (see the 10th amendment) and b) that Obama's been FAR, FAR worse than his predecessors!

Jc_Freak: said...

Chris,

Do you remember that trick that Patterson tried to pull in New York where he would recognize marriages done in other states? That is apparently where the Full Faith and Credit Clause comes in. With what I read on DOMA, which wasn't much, the intention of Section 2 was intended to block that kind of use of the Full Faith and Credit Clause.

Also, I don't see how the Full Faith and Credit Clause is financially. It seems to be primarily judicial, where the rulings and records of one state are to be upheld by the other states. That's why you don't have to apply for a new marriage license when you change states. However, the Supreme Court has said that there exists a public policy exception, as I stated in post, which actually makes DOMA redundant. But then redundant acts are often necessary since those in congress often don't know judicial precedent.

As for what you said on unions: amen, amen, amen. We've talked about this several times before, and I still back your stance 100%.

Christopher Bastedo - A Biblical Conservative said...

Mason: Were you alive between 1981-89? Reagan was very much in favor, although the democrat congress (who controlled the purse strings) spent $1.80 for every $1 in tax revenue Reagan brought in with his economic policies (doubling tax revenue for the record).

Christopher Bastedo - A Biblical Conservative said...

Martin -

We were talking about a different clause as the "full faith and credit clause." I thought you meant the Commerce Clause (Article I Section VIII). You are right on the clause you mentioned.

DOMA wasn't redundant, it was official clarification on a particular issue, explaining why marriage was a legit exception.

Thirdly, I know you know my position on civil unions etc. The rest of your readers (the ones you don't actually know personally and hang out with regularly) do not, which was why I put in that explanation!