States’ rights and gay marriage

A judge has ruled that when states legalize gay marriage, that takes priority over the federal Defense of Marriage Act, with its definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.  Conservatives tend to push states’ rights, while liberals tend to believe federal law should trump state law.   Reactions to this ruling, though, go against those tendencies.  Interestingly, “tea partiers” are being consistent, praising the ruling as a victory for states’ rights.  Here are some details:

A judge’s decision on Thursday declaring that a state law allowing same-sex marriage in Massachusetts should take precedence over a federal definition of marriage has exposed the fractures and fault lines among groups working to bolster states’ rights.

The decision, by Judge Joseph L. Tauro of United States District Court in Boston, supports and echoes a central tenet of the Tea Party, 9/12 and Tenth Amendment movements, all of which argue that the authority of the states should trump Washington in most matters not explicitly assigned by the Constitution to the federal government.

Congress, the judge said, had infringed on a question that was the province of local voters and legislators.

But in using the argument to support gay marriage in Massachusetts, where the case arose, the judge created an awkward new debating point within the less-government movement about where social goals and government policy intersect, or perhaps collide.

Some people involved in the campaigns to limit Washington’s reach cheered what they said was a states’ rights victory.

“The Constitution isn’t about political ideology,” said Michael Boldin, the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center, a group based in Los Angeles. “It’s about liberty, and limiting the government to certain divisive issues — I applaud what I consider a very rare ruling from the judiciary.” . . .

A spokeswoman for one of the biggest Tea Party umbrella organizations, Tea Party Patriots, said that social questions were not part of their mission.

“As far as an assertion of states’ rights goes, I believe it’s a good thing,” said Shelby Blakely, executive director of The New Patriot Journal, the group’s online publication. “The Constitution does not allow federal regulation of gay marriage just as it doesn’t allow for federal regulation of health care.”

via News Analysis – Basis of Ruling on Gay Unions Stirs Debate – NYTimes.com.

So, is the outcome the only thing that matters to you, or is it important to follow the principle, even though the outcome might not be what you want?

Land of the Freon

Although I had a good time in France and Germany and came to appreciate their people, their culture, and their history, I have to say that the experience also helped me to appreciate even more what America stands for and what makes America great. And what America stands for and what makes America great, among other things, is air-conditioning!

They just don’t have air-conditioning much in Europe. The stores don’t. The restaurants don’t (which explains the sidewalk cafes). The houses and apartments don’t. At one point, I splurged on a rather nice hotel in Germany, and it didn’t have air-conditioning either. Maybe the Europeans are hardier than us Yanks, or at least closer to nature. But it sure got hot.

An enterprising salesman who could sell refrigerators to the Eskimos could surely sell air-conditioning units to the Europeans and make a fortune. In fact, air-conditioning Europe could solve our balance of trade problem, as well as helping with unemployment and getting the U.S. economy going again.

Also, screens. You open the window and you experience the outside directly. I heard an Eric Hoffer interview in which he said that nature is harsher in the New World than in the Old. They don’t seem to have so many mosquitos and other things you would want to screen out.

Then again, Europeans have things that Americans don’t. Two-hour lunch breaks, in France; castles; gothic cathedrals.

While I’m away. . .

I’ll be in Europe for the next couple of weeks, lecturing at John Warwick Montgomery’s apologetics institute in Strasburg, France, and then sightseeing in Germany. Some of you suggested that I get a guest blogger to cover for me while I’m away. What I’m asking is for YOU to be my guest blogger. I will set up some categories and ask you to fill them in with your comments–noting items of interest, putting up links, stating your opinion, and discussing what other people have posted. OK? Will you do that for me? Thanks.

Current events

If something of interest happens when I’m gone–and we know it will–please tell about it (ideally with a link to a news story) and talk about it here.

Theology

Post a question; someone will answer it. Someone else will argue with you. You can also post about insights you’ve had, fruits of your Bible reading or sermons you’ve heard, speculations you are losing yourself in, religious travesties that are making you indignant, theological developments in the news, or you name it.

Politics

Talk politics and get into big political arguments here.


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