Sunday Devotional: A Prayer for Exorcism

Book of Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24

God did not make death,
nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.
For he fashioned all things that they might have being;
and the creatures of the world are wholesome,
and there is not a destructive drug among them
nor any domain of the netherworld on earth,
for justice is undying.
For God formed man to be imperishable;
the image of his own nature he made him.
But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world,
and they who belong to his company experience it.

The Lord's Prayer

Please prepare yourself for the prayer of exorcism by repenting of all your sins and asking God for His forgiveness.

An Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. But most of all because I have offended you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.

With a sincere and contrite heart, and having fasted (abstained from food), please say this prayer for America.

baby praying

A Prayer of Exorcism and for Deliverance

(Source: Of Exorcisms and Certain Supplications)

O Lord, hear my prayer
And let my cry come unto Thee

God of heaven, God of earth,
God of Angels, God of Archangels,
God of Patriarchs, God of Prophets,
God of Apostles, God of Martyrs,
God of Confessors, God of Virgins,
God who has power
to give life after death and rest after work:
because there is no other God than Thee
and there can be no other,
for Thou art the Creator of all things,
visible and invisible,
of Whose reign there shall be no end,
we humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy glorious Majesty
and we beseech Thee to deliver us by Thy power
from all the tyranny of the infernal spirits,
from their snares, their lies and their furious wickedness.
Deign, O Lord,
to grant us Thy powerful protection
and to keep us safe and sound.
We beseech Thee
through Jesus Christ Our Lord.
Amen.

From the snares of the devil,
Deliver us, O Lord.
We beseech Thee to hear us.

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

~Éowyn

Know where to spend your money: Companies celebrate U.S. Supreme Court ruling to legalize homosexual marriage

Daily Mail: Companies have thrown their support behind the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize homosexual marriage nationwide by announcing a host of commemorative products and gimmicks. Several businesses marked the landmark decision to allow homosexual marriage in all 50 states across America with tweets of support, snazzy marketing gimmicks and new products.

Among the most creative ideas was Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, which announced it would temporarily rename its chocolate chip cookie dough to ‘I Dough, I Dough.’ The ice cream flavor will be available in a commemorative pint sleeve at participate ice cream shops for a limited time.

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Another high profile firm – Google – changed the logo on its building in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan to one that featured a rainbow flag. The company’s office is the second-largest after the company’s headquarters in Mountain View.

Meanwhile, Facebook commemorated the big day by allowing its social media users to put a rainbow overlay on their profile picture by clicking on a link, according to ABC News. CEO Mark Zukerberg led the way by changing his profile page to one that featured the bright colors.

Passengers who used car-service Uber took screen shots of the moving icons of vehicles in the app as they had rainbow flags trailing behind them.

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The Maytag Man’s official Twitter account displayed two Maytag men as matching washer and dryer appliances. The slogan ‘perfect together’ was splashed across the image. And the tweet read: ‘Here’s to finding the one who completes you. #SCOTUSMarriage.’

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American Airlines tweeted an image of a plane’s television screens decked out in the colors of the rainbow. It tweeted the message: ‘We’re on board. Diversity strengthens us all & today we celebrate #Marriage equality & the landmark #SCOTUSMarriage decision.

Twitter users like Airbnb used the hashtag ‘#LoveWins’ and tweeted ‘Dear Supreme Court, We hope it’s not too soon to ask, but will you marry us? Love Airbnb

Hoards of official Twitter accounts including American Airlines, The White House and Hillary Clinton changed their profile images to include rainbow colors.  Snapchat users were offered two filters with rainbow themes to celebrate the historic ruling.

The Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the U.S. Constitution provides homosexual couples the right to marry, handing a historic triumph to the American homosexual rights movement.

The court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that states cannot ban homosexual marriages. With the landmark ruling, homosexual marriage becomes legal in all 50 states.

As for me? I celebrated homosexual marriage by going to Chick-fil-A for dinner Saturday night!

See also:

DCG

What makes me proud to be an American: The men and women of our uniformed services

faith of our fathers

Fox News: A recent survey of U.S. Army members shows almost 50 percent of soldiers are unhappy in their service and more than half are pessimistic about the future of the military. Such news quickly brings the “bad old days” of post-Vietnam America to mind.

Our fighting forces returned from Southeast Asia—many battling wounds of body, mind or both—to be greeted with jeers and name-calling. They risked their lives for us; we spit at them. Not our best moment.

One of us is a Vietnam veteran. One of us has the privilege of making and acting in films in a country where free expression is a sacred right, a right defended for us for more than 200 years.

Both of us are proud to be Americans, and we want those in uniform to know these are not the “bad old days.” You make us proud.

The men and women in our uniformed services—and let us include first responders among those—quite simply are the best in the world at what they do. And each of us benefits from their excellence. Theirs are professions full of risks—life-and-death risks—which they brave daily.

Why? For you and me.

There are more than a million men and women in the armed forces. More than a million police officers in our country. More than a million firefighters. Every one of them is a volunteer. (More than 780,000 firefighters are unpaid volunteers.) Every one of them has chosen to selflessly serve to protect us, to protect our property, to defend our rights.

The pay is not great. The hours are worse. The “thanks?”

Well, have you been watching the news? It’s enough to make you mad. But let’s not get mad. Let’s get proud.

We’ve made a film — “Faith of Our Fathers” — about two very different young men, enemies at first, coming together as they discover the bond their very different fathers forged under fire in Vietnam.

You see, we believe it’s possible for differences to meet hardship and emerge united . . . and stronger. We are, after all, the United States. We are, after all, united as Americans. And we are proud of it.

You don’t have to throw your chest out and beat it to show pride. You don’t have to get loud or teary-eyed. What you can do is quietly say, “Thanks,” to next person you see in uniform.

They makes us proud to be Americans. Let’s let them know.

Si Robertson, “Uncle Si” on A&E’s “Duck Dynasty,” is a Vietnam veteran and featured performer in the new film “Faith of Our Fathers,” premiering on July 1st. Kevin Downes is an actor and filmmaker starring in “Faith of Our Fathers.”

From the movie web site:

“With the Vietnam War raging in 1969, two young fathers report for duty. A man of great faith and a doubtful cynic. A quarter-century later, their sons, Wayne and John Paul, meet as strangers.

Guided by handwritten letters from their fathers from the battlefield, they embark on an unforgettable journey to The Wall—the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Along the way, they discover the devastation of war cannot break the love of a father for his son. FAITH OF OUR FATHERS: a story of fatherhood; a journey of brotherhood.

Starring Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Downes, David A.R. White, Rebecca St. James, with Si Robertson and Candace Cameron Bure, FAITH OF OUR FATHERS opens in theaters Wednesday, July 1.”

Sounds like a movie I’ll definitely go see.

DCG

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

The Days of Elijah

For our brothers and sisters in Charleston SC

Robin Mark – Days Of Elijah Lyrics


Charleston police officer fired for posting pic of himself on Facebook wearing Confederate flag boxer shorts

The American Civil War ended 150 years ago, in 1865, but you wouldn’t know it with the current frenzy whipped against the Confederate flag and all things Confederate. (See “War against the Confederacy: Did Obama sign an executive order outlawing confederate flag?“)

The latest: A police officer of North Charleston, SC, was fired for posting a picture of himself on his personal Facebook page, wearing a pair of Confederate flag boxer shorts.

Shannon Dildine

Shannon Dildine

Elaine O’Flynn reports for the Daily Mail, June 26, 2015, that Shannon Dildine posted the photo on Facebook a few days ago. The pic went viral and was spotted by his bosses at North Charleston police department, who fired him the next day.

Charleston, in South Carolina, is still reeling from the murders of nine black people in a church last week by alleged white supremacist gunman Dylann Roof.

North Charleston mayor Keith Summey and police chief Eddie Driggers

Police Chief Eddie Driggers sent Dildane a letter saying the Facebook photograph meant he was associated with a symbol of ‘hate and oppression’ and made it impossible for him to be an officer in Charleston,The Post and Courier reported. Driggers’ letter says:

“On Tuesday … the City learned that you posted on Facebook a photograph in which you were wearing only a pair of boxer shorts emblazoned with the image of the Confederate flag. Your posting in this manner led to you being publicly identified as a North Charleston Police officer and associated both you and the Department with an image that symbolizes hate and oppression to a significant portion of the citizens we are sworn to serve.”

Dildine can appeal the decision within ten days.

Earlier this week a firefighter in Texas was sacked from his volunteer job after he wrote on Facebook that Roof “needs to be praised for what he has done.”

News of the police officer’s dismissal comes as a monument to Confederacy President Jefferson Davis in Richmond was vandalized. “Black Lives Matter” was spray-painted on the side of the memorial in Monument Avenue, Richmond, as part of a sweeping movement across the US against structures celebrating the Confederacy.

Several retailers, including Walmart and Amazon, have banned products displaying the Confederate flag, although Nazi symbols, and the flags of dictatorships like Cuba and Iran are sold. Graffiti has also been daubed on three statues of Confederate leaders at the University of Texas’ Austin campus, on a memorial in St Louis, Missouri, and in Charleston.

~Éowyn

Pot calls kettle black: Pope Francis chastises pastors for talking too much

Ever since Argentinian archbishop Jorge Bergoglio was elected by the Papal Enclave to be head of the Catholic Church 2 years 3 months ago, the new Pope Francis hasn’t stopped talking and talking and talking . . . about not just church doctrine, but everything under and not under the sun.

Those talks pour out as a random stream of consciousness or verbal diarrhea, seemingly without much forethought or planning, including:

  • Contradictions, such as while affirming the church’s long-held stance that homosexual behavior is a disorder, Pope Francis nevertheless demurred with false humility, saying “Who am I to judge them,” as if Jesus means us not to discern between right and wrong, moral and immoral, good and evil. At the same time, Francis regularly “judges” all kinds of people, as you’ll see in the examples to follow.
  • Being rude and insulting: About a woman who was pregnant again after having seven children, all delivered by Caesarean section, Francis derided the idea that “in order to be good Catholics we have to be [breed] like rabbits” and produce litters of kids.
  • Endorsing tyranny by calling for a new supra-national global authority to combat climate change.
  • Being hypocritical, calling gunmakers false Christians while the Vatican’s own Swiss Guards and Pontifical Gendarmerie are armed with state-of-the-art firearms.
  • Being communist by endorsing a redistribution of wealth by the state in his 2015 speech to the United Nations.

Here’s the latest of Pope Francis’ “judging” and hypocrisy.

Pope Francis

On Thursday, June 25, 2015, at Santa Marta in the Vatican, this pope who has a penchant to talk way too much without forethought or discretion delivered another long rambling homily in which he admonished pastors for talking too much and called them “pseudo Christians” and “pseudo pastors.”

Here are the talkative pope’s words (source: Vatican Radio):

“When Jesus warns people to beware of ‘false prophets’, he says: ‘By their fruits ye shall know them’. And here, by their attitude: so many words, they speak, they do wonders, do great things but they do not have an open heart to hear the Word of God; they are afraid of the silence of the word of God and these are the ‘pseudo Christians’, the ‘pseudo pastors ‘. It’s true, they do good things, it is true, but they lack the rock. ”

What such people are lacking, the Pope continued, is “the rock of the love of God, the rock of the Word of God.” And without this rock, he warned, “they can’t preach, they cannot build: they pretend [and] in the end everything collapses.”

These are the  “pseudo pastors,” the “worldly pastors…or Christians also, who talk too much,” the Pope added.  “They are afraid of silence;  maybe they do too much.” And, the Pope insisted,  they are not capable of embracing what they’ve heard – [they like the sound of their own voices] – and this does not come from God.”

Highlighting the words, “doing, listening, speaking,” the Pope said, “one who only speaks and does, is not a true prophet, not a true Christian, and in the end everything will collapse: it is not on the rock of God’s love – [it] is not as firm as a rock. One who knows how to listen and [takes action on what he’s heard] , with the strength of the word of another, not his own:  that is balance. Even though he is a humble person, that does not seem important – but how many of these great ones are there in the Church! How many great bishops,  how many great priests, how many great faithful who listen and do from listening!”

Please, God.

Please save us from this pope who is puffed up with false humility, who lacks critical self-reflection, unable to see himself in those whom he chastises and derides.

~Éowyn