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I'm now a 52-year-old American male raised as an Episcopalian, veteran of submarines, Peace Corps, and State Department. I like teaching people about what they can do with computers and have gotten by as an independent Microsoft trainer teaching networking, but I really hope to someday find a way to make a living traveling on my motorcycle, camping, and writing about places and people I meet along the way.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Homophobia and Activist Judges

The word "homophobia" is in the dictionary. So is phobia. The reason the use of the word creates arguments is that the judgement of what is rational caution and what is irrational fear is subjective. Moreover, it is very difficult to know when ones own feelings are irrational as we each see things from different perspectives. Much progress in civilization depends upon building relationshihps--working relationships--between people with different perspectives. Such efforts are seldom easy even when topics do not have to do with sexuality.

We Americans can look at the tyranny that Chinese people live under in China. The phobias of Chinese leaders for peaceful spiritual practices seems irrational. We can bet that, in China, there are many people throughout the social structure who are comforted by their leaders cracking down on expressions of diversity that they find threatening. Otherwise, leaders would not be empowered by decisions that affect that minority.

I would suggest that the persecution of those who are different is a common social phenomena that becomes more acceptable as population density increases. Aldous Huxley, in "Brave New World Revisited," argues that such persecution becomes central to the law.

In previous times, social differences have been seen as primarily religous or political. When scientists first appeared presenting different ways of examining the world, they were seen as contrary to religous political structures. The homosexual agenda is seen, largely, in a similar light. The way people are treated and regarded by those who are empowered by mainstreem beliefs and institutional structures seems very similar.

When our political institutions become involved there is friction because the political institution has slightly different values to traditional religous institutions. For example, the religous institutions do not present much in the way of a "Bill of Rights." The ten commandments order followers to honor our parents, but say nothing about parents not abusing children.

The American approach to government, and the value we place upon individual human rights comes from centuries of human experience of institutions with unchecked power over individual perogative.

In some ways, the homosexual agenda threatens the tenants of religous institutions that many find sacred. The religous institutions are the source of values that constrain the estates of homosexuals. The state is in the position of having to balance between the will of the majority and rights of a minority. Politically, this is difficult because there are many religous people who are uncertain as to the basis for homosexual prohibitions having current authority while there are many people of the state who are uncertain as to whether same sex relationships can be permitted without undermining disciplines central to civilization. As even the wise cannot see all ends to such questions, I would not label either position as irrational. Certainly, there may be far reaching consequences to incorrect decisions (in either regard) in a complex socieity, hence the Chinese preference for homogenity & status quo.

Generally, in America, we have an interest in a liberal interpretation of the Bill of Rights due to our memory and hatred for tyrants. The judicial approach to the Bill of Rights is informed by this philosophy and I think this is a conservative agenda--one of great interests to farmers and free-thinking citizens in states with thinner populations--rather than something liberal. The liberal leveraging of taxes drawn from a few rich people to benefit many less wealthy is seen by many conservatives to be contrary to this principle. The courts, in deciding between the perogotives of the majority and the protection of individual rights, must generally be the protector of the minority party. This isn't because they are liberal activists, it is because those who have fought to create, protect, and advance this country and its interest--those to whom we are most indebted--did so primarily to create a world of justice and liberty that would stand against those who they saw as abusers of power.

It is for this reason that this country will only remain the "land of the free" so long as it is also the "home of the brave." The homosexual agenda is increasingly successful in its arguments (there would be less consternation if this were not the case) because an educated court that approaches this issue informed by its own sacred responsibility to find justice will have to consider between the position of what I'll call "those who are religous traditionalists" and "those who would free themselves of the constraint formerly imposed upon them by their traditionalist brethern" wherein consequences facing each party should their arguments not prevail in the court are, to the first party, almost entirely unrealized risks; while, to the second party, they are pervasive limits of perogative often with significant financial consequences.

It is unlikely that the courts of a brave nation will be persuaded to guide the future of its people according to the fears of an uncertain number of citizens anymore than a court should be persuaded simply by those who argue the most loudly.

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