Category Archives: Conservatives

Sunday Devotional: A rebellious people

With America increasingly beset by cultural rot and political corruption, faithful Christians can’t help but be distressed. 

In that context, I am struck by the common thread running through this Sunday’s readings — that humankind, being a fallen creation, have always been so, a rebellious people.

Hardly a consolation for us, but a reminder of sober reality.

Michelangelo's Temptation and Fall

Ezekiel 2:2-5

As the Lord spoke to me, the spirit entered into me
and set me on my feet,
and I heard the one who was speaking say to me:
Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites,
rebels who have rebelled against me;
they and their ancestors have revolted against me to this very day.
Hard of face and obstinate of heart
are they to whom I am sending you.
But you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord God!
And whether they heed or resist—for they are a rebellious house—
they shall know that a prophet has been among them.

Mark 6:1-6

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples.
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astonished.
They said, “Where did this man get all this?
What kind of wisdom has been given him?
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary…?”
And they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them,
“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and among his own kin and in his own house.”
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.

supplication

Psalm 123:3-4

Have pity on us, O Lord, have pity on us,
for we are more than sated with contempt;
our souls are more than sated
with the mockery of the arrogant,
with the contempt of the proud.

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ, our Lord, be with you.

~Éowyn

Remembering that first 4th of July

Today, July 4, 2014, is the 238th anniversary of America’s Declaration of Independence.

Most of us have the day off from work, and we’ll be celebrating with a barbecue or picnic.

But the best way to celebrate the day is by remembering that first Fourth of July in 1776, when 56 men convened in a hot stuffy room in Philadelphia to deliberate on and sign the Declaration of Independence.

There are 3 parts to this post:

  1. An evocative narrative of that day in 1776
  2. The Declaration of Independence
  3. What happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration

It was a glorious morning. The sun was shining and the wind was from the southeast. Up especially early, a tall bony, redheaded young Virginian found time to buy a new thermometer, for which he paid three pounds, fifteen shillings. He also bought gloves for Martha, his wife, who was ill at home.

Thomas Jefferson arrived early at the statehouse. The temperature was 72.5 degrees and the horseflies weren’t nearly so bad at that hour. It was a lovely room, very large, with gleaming white walls. The chairs were comfortable. Facing the single door were two brass fireplaces, but they would not be used today.

The moment the door was shut, and it was always kept locked, the room became an oven. The tall windows were shut, so that loud quarreling voices could not be heard by passersby. Small openings atop the windows allowed a slight stir of air, and also a large number of horseflies. Jefferson records that “the horseflies were dexterous in finding necks, and the silk of stockings was nothing to them.” All discussing was punctuated by the slap of hands on necks.

On the wall at the back, facing the president’s desk, was a panoply — consisting of a drum, swords, and banners seized from Fort Ticonderoga the previous year. Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold had captured the place, shouting that they were taking it “in the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!”

Now Congress got to work, promptly taking up an emergency measure about which there was discussion but no dissension. “Resolved: That an application be made to the Committee of Safety of Pennsylvania for a supply of flints for the troops at New York.”

Then Congress transformed itself into a committee of the whole. The Declaration of Independence was read aloud once more, and debate resumed. Though Jefferson was the best writer of all of them, he had been somewhat verbose. Congress hacked the excess away. They did a good job, as a side-by-side comparison of the rough draft and the final text shows. They cut the phrase “by a self-assumed power.” “Climb” was replaced by “must read,” then “must” was eliminated, then the whole sentence, and soon the whole paragraph was cut. Jefferson groaned as they continued what he later called “their depredations.” “Inherent and inalienable rights” came out “certain unalienable rights,” and to this day no one knows who suggested the elegant change.

A total of 86 alterations were made. Almost 500 words were eliminated, leaving 1,337. At last, after three days of wrangling, the document was put to a vote.

Here in this hall Patrick Henry had once thundered: “I am no longer a Virginian, sir, but an American.” But today the loud, sometimes bitter argument stilled, and without fanfare the vote was taken from north to south by colonies, as was the custom. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

[Source: “The Americans Who Risked Everything,” by Rush H. Limbaugh, Jr. – father of talk radio titan Rush Limbaugh, III]

+++

The Declaration of Independence

The Want, Will and Hopes of the People

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

+++

The Fate of the Signers

Even before the list was published, the British marked down every member of Congress suspected of having put his name to treason. All of them became the objects of vicious manhunts. Some were taken. Some, like Jefferson, had narrow escapes. All who had property or families near British strongholds suffered.

Of those 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, in each case with brutal treatment. Several lost wives, sons or entire families. One lost his 13 children. Two wives were brutally treated. All were at one time or another the victims of manhunts and driven from their homes. Twelve signers had their homes completely burned. Seventeen lost everything they owned. Yet not one defected or went back on his pledged word. Their honor, and the nation they sacrificed so much to create is still intact. [from “The Americans Who Risked Everything“]

+++

Friends and patriots, on this Independence Day, never forget the sacrifices so willingly undertaken by these 56 bravehearts. Let us take up the challenge and make sure that the dream they began 238 years ago be never extinguished. 

God Bless America!

~Éowyn

Racist Democrats: Get blacks to vote with watermelons; call Justice Clarence Thomas “Oreo cookie”

The WND reports, June 3, 2015, that an independent undercover journalist has secretly filmed Democrats being racist about blacks.

The undercover video, dated May 2, 2015, is posted at Barbwire.com. It captures Democrats and homosexual activists calling conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas an “Oreo cookie” (black on the outside, white on the inside) or race traitor, who doesn’t know he’s black.

Barney Frank's husband James Ready

The video also shows retired Democratic Congressman Barney Frank’s “husband,” James Ready, suggesting that Democrats give blacks watermelons to keep their votes. The video also shows Frank’s husband accepting what appear to be marijuana joints and stuffing them into his pocket.

The video was posted by Ryan Sorba, chairman of the Young Conservatives of California and author of the forthcoming book, The ‘Born Gay’ Hoax. Going undercover, Sorba pretended to be a Democrat homosexual activist.

The film shows Sorba engaged in the following exchange:

Sorba: “I think we need to keep the, you know, the food stamps and the welfare running strong because it keeps the blacks in our camp. I mean, it does.”

Ready (laughing): “And menthol cigarettes.”

Sorba: “And menthol cigarettes and EBT cards, you know what I’m saying?”

Ready (laughing): “And watermelon!”

Sorba: “You’ve got a lot of these black Baptist churches that vote right wing.”

Ready: “Oh my God, yeah. And they vote against themselves, really.”

Sorba: “Yeah.”

Ready: “I know, dude. I just can’t even deal sometimes with how ridiculous, like, our species is, how we can be so incredibly smart and then so incredibly ignorant.”

The film cuts to Ready and Barney Frank.

Ready: “We’re gonna go over a …”

Frank: “We’re gonna go to the marijuana thing.”

Sorba: “You’re going to go the marijuana thing?”

Frank nods in agreement and gives Sorba a “high” five.

Later in the clip, Sorba restates Ready’s comments and says, “Gotta give watermelon to get the blacks to vote for us [gays]. Don’t you think?”

Ready, laughing, responds, “Shhhhh!”

Sorba replies, “You can’t say that.”

Ready says, “No, I know, not out loud.”

Sorba continues to interview various homosexual activists in the film.

Kevin de Leon

Kevin de Leon

He turns to California State Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon and asks: “On the question of the marriage issue, if we use watermelon, can we get Thomas to side with us on one case?”

De Leon laughs hysterically and turns to another man: “Hey, John, he’s got a good question right here!”

Sorba then encounters Greg Rodriguez, a homosexual activist and who is considering running for the 42nd state Assembly District in 2016.

Sorba asks, “What’s your take on Clarence Thomas, then?”

Rodriguez replies, “He’s married to a white woman. So I don’t, just, I don’t get it.”

The film cuts to an interview with a San Francisco State University professor emeritus, who says, “Does that count when you don’t know you’re black? I don’t think he knows he’s black. … Yeah, no, really, really, because he divorced his black wife, married, married a white gal, which is fine, ya know, married, ya know. And he lives in an all-white suburb. I mean, you start adding these things together and you go (shrugs) …”

The interviews continue with pro-gay activist Richard McIntyre calling Clarence Thomas “an Oreo cookie from the word go.”

Then Rep. Barney Frank – when the issue of Clarence Thomas arises – says, “Gotta wait for him to die.”

Then the clip shows several homosexual activists admitting that they’ve chosen to be gay, they were not born that way and they claim they were because it’s “the party line.”

On Barbwire.com, Sorba explains, “Last month, I went undercover and discovered that many homosexuals attribute their orientations to molestation or other traumatic life experiences. While I was investigating, I heard quite a few racist comments.”

Sorba said he then began exploring the issue of homosexuality and race: “What I found once again was shocking. Although the homosexual movement has attempted to link itself to the black civil rights movement, racism still runs rampant in a community that supposedly espouses equal treatment.

Here’s the video.

When Sorba asked to have a picture taken with Barney Frank, Frank touched Sorba’s butt (2:42 mark). A female bystander lasciviously said, “What a lucky guy!”

Sorba has created a GoFundMe account to raise $95,000 because he wants to “use my skills as an undercover journalist to fight for socially conservative public policy for one year by exposing the chicanery and lies of the left.” To contribute to Sorba’s campaign, go here.

~Éowyn

Young people not aware of the massive mansions Hillary can afford

With a State Run Media that covers for Hillary, is there any reason to doubt that young people aren’t aware of what kind of money Hillary “for the middle class” Clinton can spend on mansions?

I’ll bet these young people believe that Mitt Romney never paid taxes and are aware of Rubio’s “luxury speedboat“.

DCG

How the Left shut down debates and how Conservatives can fight back

Censorship2

Fox News contributor Guy Benson is the co-author of the new book End of Discussion.

The Daily Signal interviewed Benson about how the left uses topics like race and bigotry to silence conservatives in debates.

You can watch the full 10-minute interview or see Benson’s answers to each question by going to the times in the video listed below. His answers constitute a list of the tactics used by the Left to silence us:

  • Race baiting “dog whistles” to stymie political debate (2:12 mark)
  • Accusation that the purpose of voter ID laws is racist because they limit minority voters (4:04 mark)
  • How the Right can combat the Left’s claim that voter ID laws are racist (6:12 mark)
  • Opponents of same-sex marriage are bigots (7:48 mark). Interestingly, Benson is a homosexual, but he defends those who oppose same-sex marriage even though he doesn’t agree with their viewpoint.

In short, the Left shut down debates by playing the perennial cards of Racism and Bigotry.

racism is the Left's defense mechanism

How do we fight against their tactics?

  1. Don’t take their bait.
  2. Let their accusations of “Racist! Bigot!” roll off like water off a duck’s back. In fact, my standard response to trolls calling us racist is with a bored Y-A-W-N. yawn
  3. Calmly, confidently, and serenely point out their hysteria and irrationality.
  4. Turn their accusations against them, as shown in the examples below:

racist2Racismblacks are not racistpeanutsBooker T. Washington

H/t Robert K. Wilcox

~Éowyn

Do Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly

Micah-6-8

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8

We have been subjected to a lot of apocalyptic talk in recent days.

One of my family members came back from a big Christian music event, and told me he doesn’t intend to go there again. He said that on the way home, the others in the car with him were talking about how all Christians will soon be rounded up and killed, due to the recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. He said he has had it with all the fear talk. One of the geniuses in the car even said there are only about 15,000 real Christians in the country. (I would love to see how he gets his statistics.)

My advice was to remind him of some things that have not changed:

  • Gays are a tiny minority in this country, and the radical ones who want to cause trouble are a tiny minority of the gays. That’s a small number.
  • Christians in America are a majority, which is why each of the elections since Obama was elected have seen landslides for conservatives.The Christians in America are not pacifists. We will fight.
  • God hasn’t abandoned us.
  • The war between good and evil has been going on since Cain killed Abel. People thought the world was ending when Hitler took over.
  • This is not the final round. We don’t stop fighting. We need to be like Rocky Balboa, and get back in the ring. Make the enemy wish they had never started the fight.

Whether the Lord returns today, or 30,000 years from now, whether we leave this earth in the rapture or when our death comes, God’s desire is that we…

Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God

Let’s be sure that we are found doing good, instead of wasting time speculating on the timing of of things the Father is keeping secret.


Judicial Tyranny: Dissenting opinions on Supreme Court’s ruling on homosexual marriage

Supreme Court 2015

Yesterday, by a razor-thin margin of one, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 5-4 in favor of the absurd notion of same-sex marriage. Henceforth, homosexual couples must be allowed to marry in every state of the disunion.

The five (names in pink above) are Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor — 3 Jews (Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan) and 2 liberal Catholics (Kennedy, Sotomayor). The four dissenters (names in blue) are John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas — all Catholics.

But the 5-4 vote actually should be 3-4 because two justices who voted in favor of same-sex marriage, Ginsberg and Kagan, should have recused themselves (or removed by Chief Justice John Roberts) due to conflict of interest, both having performed homosexual marriages. Title 28, Part I, Chapter 21, Section 455 of the U.S. Code reads (source):

“Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority’s opinion (source):

“The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality. This is true for all persons, whatever their sexual orientation…. No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were,” Kennedy wrote. “It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. … They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

“”It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it”?

Homosexual British actors Derek Jacobi and Ian McKellen, who star as swishy bitchy gay lovers in the British sitcom Vicious and are the grand marshals of this Sunday’s Gay Pride March in Manhattan, immediately put a mockery to that.

McKellen (l) and Jacobi (r)

McKellen (l) and Jacobi (r)

In a Vine posted to BuzzFeed’s accounts, the two celebrated the court ruling with a mock marriage proposal from Jacobi to McKellen, although Jacobi already has a “husband,” Richard Clifford, with whom Jacobi registered their civil partnership in March 2006, four months after civil partnerships were introduced in the United Kingdom.

The four dissenting justices’ minority opinions deserve to be known. Here are excerpts (source).

From the dissenting opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by Justices Scalia and Thomas:

[T[his Court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be….

Although the policy arguments for extending marriage to same-sex couples may be compelling, the legal arguments for requiring such an extension are not. The fundamental right to marry does not include a right to make a State change its definition of marriage. And a State’s decision to maintain the meaning of marriage that has persisted in every culture throughout human history can hardly be called irrational. In short, our Constitution does not enact any one theory of marriage. The people of a State are free to expand marriage to include same-sex couples, or to retain the historic definition. Today, however, the Court takes the extraordinary step of ordering every State to license and recognize same-sex marriage. Many people will rejoice at this decision, and I begrudge none their celebration. But for those who believe in a government of laws, not of men, the majority’s approach is deeply disheartening. Supporters of same-sex marriage have achieved considerable success persuading their fellow citizens—through the democratic process—to adopt their view. That ends today. Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law. Stealing this issue from the people will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept.

The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent. The majority expressly disclaims judicial “caution” and omits even a pretense of humility, openly relying on its desire to remake society according to its own “new insight” into the “nature of injustice.” Ante, at 11, 23. As a result, the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are? …

Understand well what this dissent is about: It is not about whether, in my judgment, the institution of marriage should be changed to include same-sex couples. It is instead about whether, in our democratic republic, that decision should rest with the people acting through their elected representatives, or with five lawyers who happen to hold commissions authorizing them to resolve legal disputes according to law. The Constitution leaves no doubt about the answer….

The Constitution itself says nothing about marriage, and the Framers thereby entrusted the States with “[t]he whole subject of the domestic relations of husband and wife.” … There is no dispute that every State at the founding—and every State throughout our history until a dozen years ago—defined marriage in the traditional, biologically rooted way. The four States in these cases are typical. Their laws, before and after statehood, have treated marriage as the union of a man and a woman….

This Court’s precedents have repeatedly described marriage in ways that are consistent only with its traditional meaning…. Allowing unelected federal judges to select which unenumerated rights rank as “fundamental”—and to strike down state laws on the basis of that determination—raises obvious concerns about the judicial role….

The majority’s driving themes are that marriage is desirable and petitioners desire it. The opinion describes the “transcendent importance” of marriage and repeatedly insists that petitioners do not seek to “demean,” “devalue,” “denigrate,” or “disrespect” the institution. Ante, at 3, 4, 6, 28. Nobody disputes those points…. As a matter of constitutional law, however, the sincerity of petitioners’ wishes is not relevant.

When the majority turns to the law, it relies primarily on precedents discussing the fundamental “right to marry.” … None of the laws at issue in those cases purported to change the core definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman…. These precedents say nothing at all about a right to make a State change its definition of marriage, which is the right petitioners actually seek here…. Neither petitioners nor the majority cites a single case or other legal source providing any basis for such a constitutional right. None exists, and that is enough to foreclose their claim….

Same-sex couples remain free to live together, to engage in intimate conduct, and to raise their families as they see fit. No one is “condemned to live in loneliness” by the laws challenged in these cases—no one. Ante, at 28. At the same time, the laws in no way interfere with the “right to be let alone.” …

In sum, the privacy cases provide no support for the majority’s position, because petitioners do not seek privacy. Quite the opposite, they seek public recognition of their relationships, along with corresponding government benefits. Our cases have consistently refused to allow litigants to convert the shield provided by constitutional liberties into a sword to demand positive entitlements from the State…. Thus, although the right to privacy recognized by our precedents certainly plays a role in protecting the intimate conduct of same-sex couples, it provides no affirmative right to redefine marriage and no basis for striking down the laws at issue here….

It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage. If “[t]here is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices,” ante, at 13, why would there be any less dignity in the bond between three people who, in exercising their autonomy, seek to make the profound choice to marry? If a same-sex couple has the constitutional right to marry because their children would otherwise “suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser,” ante, at 15, why wouldn’t the same reasoning apply to a family of three or more persons raising children? If not having the opportunity to marry “serves to disrespect and subordinate” gay and lesbian couples, why wouldn’t the same “imposition of this disability,” ante, at 22, serve to disrespect and subordinate people who find fulfillment in polyamorous relationships?…

The majority’s understanding of due process lays out a tantalizing vision of the future for Members of this Court: If an unvarying social institution enduring over all of recorded history cannot inhibit judicial policymaking, what can? But this approach is dangerous for the rule of law. The purpose of insisting that implied fundamental rights have roots in the history and tradition of our people is to ensure that when unelected judges strike down democratically enacted laws, they do so based on something more than their own beliefs. The Court today not only overlooks our country’s entire history and tradition but actively repudiates it, preferring to live only in the heady days of the here and now….

The legitimacy of this Court ultimately rests “upon the respect accorded to its judgments.” … That respect flows from the perception—and reality—that we exercise humility and restraint in deciding cases according to the Constitution and law. The role of the Court envisioned by the majority today, however, is anything but humble or restrained. Over and over, the majority exalts the role of the judiciary in delivering social change….

Nowhere is the majority’s extravagant conception of judicial supremacy more evident than in its description— and dismissal—of the public debate regarding same-sex marriage…. What would be the point of allowing the democratic process to go on?

Those who founded our country would not recognize the majority’s conception of the judicial role. They after all risked their lives and fortunes for the precious right to govern themselves. They would never have imagined yielding that right on a question of social policy to unaccountable and unelected judges….

The Court’s accumulation of power does not occur in a vacuum. It comes at the expense of the people. And they know it…. When decisions are reached through democratic means, some people will inevitably be disappointed with the results. But those whose views do not prevail at least know that they have had their say, and accordingly are—in the tradition of our political culture—reconciled to the result of a fair and honest debate. In addition, they can gear up to raise the issue later, hoping to persuade enough on the winning side to think again. “That is exactly how our system of government is supposed to work.” …

But today the Court puts a stop to all that. By deciding this question under the Constitution, the Court removes it from the realm of democratic decision. There will be consequences to shutting down the political process on an issue of such profound public significance. Closing debate tends to close minds. People denied a voice are less likely to accept the ruling of a court on an issue that does not seem to be the sort of thing courts usually decide…. Indeed, however heartened the proponents of same-sex marriage might be on this day, it is worth acknowledging what they have lost, and lost forever: the opportunity to win the true acceptance that comes from persuading their fellow citizens of the justice of their cause….

Today’s decision…creates serious questions about religious liberty. Many good and decent people oppose same-sex marriage as a tenet of faith, and their freedom to exercise religion is—unlike the right imagined by the majority— actually spelled out in the Constitution. Amdt. 1….

Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage…. Indeed, the Solicitor General candidly acknowledged that the tax exemptions of some religious institutions would be in question if they opposed same-sex marriage…. There is little doubt that these and similar questions will soon be before this Court. Unfortunately, people of faith can take no comfort in the treatment they receive from the majority today.

Perhaps the most discouraging aspect of today’s decision is the extent to which the majority feels compelled to sully those on the other side of the debate…. By the majority’s account, Americans who did nothing more than follow the understanding of marriage that has existed for our entire history—in particular, the tens of millions of people who voted to reaffirm their States’ enduring definition of marriage—have acted to “lock . . . out,” “disparage,” “disrespect and subordinate,” and inflict “[d]ignitary wounds” upon their gay and lesbian neighbors…. These apparent assaults on the character of fairminded people will have an effect, in society and in court.… Moreover, they are entirely gratuitous. It is one thing for the majority to conclude that the Constitution protects a right to same-sex marriage; it is something else to portray everyone who does not share the majority’s “better informed understanding” as bigoted….

If you are among the many Americans—of whatever sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it. I respectfully dissent.

From the dissenting opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia, joined by Justice Thomas:

I join THE CHIEF JUSTICE’s opinion in full. I write separately to call attention to this Court’s threat to American democracy….

Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact— and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court’s claimed power to create “liberties” that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.

Until the courts put a stop to it, public debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at its best. Individuals on both sides of the issue passionately, but respectfully, attempted to persuade their fellow citizens to accept their views. Americans considered the arguments and put the question to a vote. The electorates of 11 States, either directly or through their representatives, chose to expand the traditional definition of marriage. Many more decided not to. Win or lose, advocates for both sides continued pressing their cases, secure in the knowledge that an electoral loss can be negated by a later electoral win. That is exactly how our system of government is supposed to work….

When the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868, every State limited marriage to one man and one woman, and no one doubted the constitutionality of doing so….

But the Court ends this debate, in an opinion lacking even a thin veneer of law. Buried beneath the mummeries and straining-to-be-memorable passages of the opinion is a candid and startling assertion: No matter what it was the People ratified, the Fourteenth Amendment protects those rights that the Judiciary, in its “reasoned judgment,” thinks the Fourteenth Amendment ought to protect….

Thus, rather than focusing on the People’s understanding of “liberty”—at the time of ratification or even today—the majority focuses on four “principles and traditions” that, in the majority’s view, prohibit States from defining marriage as an institution consisting of one man and one woman. This is a naked judicial claim to legislative—indeed, super-legislative—power; a claim fundamentally at odds with our system of government. Except as limited by a constitutional prohibition agreed to by the People, the States are free to adopt whatever laws they like, even those that offend the esteemed Justices’ “reasoned judgment.” A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy….

[T]his Court, which consists of only nine men and women, all of them successful lawyers who studied at Harvard or Yale Law School. Four of the nine are natives of New York City. Eight of them grew up in east- and west-coast States. Only one hails from the vast expanse in-between. Not a single Southwesterner or even, to tell the truth, a genuine Westerner (California does not count). Not a single evangelical Christian (a group that comprises about one quarter of Americans19), or even a Protestant of any denomination…. And to allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation.

But what really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial Putsch. The five Justices who compose today’s majority are entirely comfortable concluding that every State violated the Constitution for all of the 135 years between the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification and Massachusetts’ permitting of same-sex marriages in 2003. They have discovered in the Fourteenth Amendment a “fundamental right” overlooked by every person alive at the time of ratification, and almost everyone else in the time since….  They are certain that the People ratified the Fourteenth Amendment to bestow on them the power to remove questions from the democratic process when that is called for by their “reasoned judgment.” These Justices know that limiting marriage to one man and one woman is contrary to reason; they know that an institution as old as government itself, and accepted by every nation in history until 15 years ago, cannot possibly be supported by anything other than ignorance or bigotry. And they are willing to say that any citizen who does not agree with that, who adheres to what was, until 15 years ago, the unanimous judgment of all generations and all societies, stands against the Constitution.

The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic…. Of course the opinion’s showy profundities are often profoundly incoherent. “The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality.”23 (Really? Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie. Expression, sure enough, is a freedom, but anyone in a long-lasting marriage will attest that that happy state constricts, rather than expands, what one can prudently say.) Rights, we are told, can “rise . . . from a better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives define a liberty that remains urgent in our own era.”24 (Huh? How can a better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives [whatever that means] define [whatever that means] an urgent liberty [never mind], give birth to a right?) … I could go on. The world does not expect logic and precision in poetry or inspirational pop philosophy; it demands them in the law. The stuff contained in today’s opinion has to diminish this Court’s reputation for clear thinking and sober analysis.

From the dissenting opinion by Justice Thomas, joined by Justice Scalia:

The Court’s decision today is at odds not only with the Constitution, but with the principles upon which our Nation was built. Since well before 1787, liberty has been understood as freedom from government action, not entitlement to government benefits. The Framers created our Constitution to preserve that understanding of liberty. Yet the majority invokes our Constitution in the name of a “liberty” that the Framers would not have recognized, to the detriment of the liberty they sought to protect. Along the way, it rejects the idea—captured in our Declaration of Independence—that human dignity is innate and suggests instead that it comes from the Government. This distortion of our Constitution not only ignores the text, it inverts the relationship between the individual and the state in our Republic. I cannot agree with it.

The majority’s decision today will require States to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to recognize same-sex marriages entered in other States largely based on a constitutional provision guaranteeing “due process” before a person is deprived of his “life, liberty, or property.” I have elsewhere explained the dangerous fiction of treating the Due Process Clause as a font of substantive rights. McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U. S. 742, 811–812 (2010) (THOMAS, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment). It distorts the constitutional text, which guarantees only whatever “process” is “due” before a person is deprived of life, liberty, and property. U. S. Const., Amdt. 14, §1. Worse, it invites judges to do exactly what the majority has done here—“‘roa[m] at large in the constitutional field’ guided only by their personal views” as to the “‘fundamental rights’” protected by that document….

By straying from the text of the Constitution, substantive due process exalts judges at the expense of the People from whom they derive their authority. Petitioners…ask nine judges on this Court to enshrine their definition of marriage in the Federal Constitution and thus put it beyond the reach of the normal democratic process for the entire Nation. That a “bare majority” of this Court…is able to grant this wish, wiping out with a stroke of the keyboard the results of the political process in over 30 States, based on a provision that guarantees only “due process” is but further evidence of the danger of substantive due process….

The majority claims these state laws deprive petitioners of “liberty,” but the concept of “liberty” it conjures up bears no resemblance to any plausible meaning of that word as it is used in the Due Process Clauses….

Even assuming that the “liberty” in those Clauses encompasses something more than freedom from physical restraint, it would not include the types of rights claimed by the majority. In the American legal tradition, liberty has long been understood as individual freedom from governmental action, not as a right to a particular governmental entitlement….

Whether we define “liberty” as locomotion or freedom from governmental action more broadly, petitioners have in no way been deprived of it. Petitioners cannot claim, under the most plausible definition of “liberty,” that they have been imprisoned or physically restrained by the States for participating in same-sex relationships. To the contrary, they have been able to cohabitate and raise their children in peace. They have been able to hold civil marriage ceremonies in States that recognize same-sex marriages and private religious ceremonies in all States. They have been able to travel freely around the country, making their homes where they please. Far from being incarcerated or physically restrained, petitioners have been left alone to order their lives as they see fit….

Instead, the States have refused to grant them governmental entitlements. Petitioners claim that as a matter of “liberty,” they are entitled to access privileges and benefits that exist solely because of the government. They want, for example, to receive the State’s imprimatur on their marriages—on state issued marriage licenses, death certificates, or other official forms. And they want to receive various monetary benefits, including reduced inheritance taxes upon the death of a spouse, compensation if a spouse dies as a result of a work-related injury, or loss of consortium damages in tort suits. But receiving governmental recognition and benefits has nothing to do with any understanding of “liberty” that the Framers would have recognized….

In a concession to petitioners’ misconception of liberty, the majority characterizes petitioners’ suit as a quest to “find . . . liberty by marrying someone of the same sex and having their marriages deemed lawful on the same terms and conditions as marriages between persons of the opposite sex.” … But “liberty” is not lost, nor can it be found in the way petitioners seek. As a philosophical matter, liberty is only freedom from governmental action, not an entitlement to governmental benefits. And as a constitutional matter, it is likely even narrower than that, encompassing only freedom from physical restraint and imprisonment….

The majority’s inversion of the original meaning of liberty will likely cause collateral damage to other aspects of our constitutional order that protect liberty.

The majority apparently disregards the political process as a protection for liberty…. In our country, that process is primarily representative government at the state level, with the Federal Constitution serving as a backstop for that process. As a general matter, when the States act through their representative governments or by popular vote, the liberty of their residents is fully vindicated…. What matters is that the process established by those who created the society has been honored…. The definition of marriage has been the subject of heated debate in the States. Legislatures have repeatedly taken up the matter on behalf of the People, and 35 States have put the question to the People themselves. In 32 of those 35 States, the People have opted to retain the traditional definition of marriage…. That petitioners disagree with the result of that process does not make it any less legitimate. Their civil liberty has been vindicated.

Aside from undermining the political processes that protect our liberty, the majority’s decision threatens the religious liberty our Nation has long sought to protect…. In our society, marriage is not simply a governmental institution; it is a religious institution as well. Id., at 7. Today’s decision might change the former, but it cannot change the latter. It appears all but inevitable that the two will come into conflict, particularly as individuals and churches are confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples. The majority appears unmoved by that inevitability….

Had the majority allowed the definition of marriage to be left to the political process—as the Constitution requires—the People could have considered the religious liberty implications of deviating from the traditional definition as part of their deliberative process. Instead, the majority’s decision short-circuits that process, with potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty.

Perhaps recognizing that these cases do not actually involve liberty as it has been understood, the majority goes to great lengths to assert that its decision will advance the “dignity” of same-sex couples…. The flaw in that reasoning, of course, is that the Constitution contains no “dignity” Clause, and even if it did, the government would be incapable of bestowing dignity. Human dignity has long been understood in this country to be innate. When the Framers proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” they referred to a vision of mankind in which all humans are created in the image of God and therefore of inherent worth. That vision is the foundation upon which this Nation was built. The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away….

Our Constitution—like the Declaration of Independence before it—was predicated on a simple truth: One’s liberty, not to mention one’s dignity, was something to be shielded from—not provided by—the State. Today’s decision casts that truth aside. In its haste to reach a desired result, the majority misapplies a clause focused on “due process” to afford substantive rights, disregards the most plausible understanding of the “liberty” protected by that clause, and distorts the principles on which this Nation was founded. Its decision will have inestimable consequences for our Constitution and our society. I respectfully dissent.

Statue of Liberty in tears

H/t FOTM’s MomOfIV

In sorrow,

Éowyn