Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $38,328 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

playing around

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 04, 2008

"I am not in favor of gay marriage," Senator Barack Obama told an MTV audience on November 2. "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman."

Good. So you'd support Proposition 8 in California, which defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman; right?

Wrong. "I think it's  unnecessary," said the Democratic contender.

That's just demonstrably wrong. It is necessary to define marriage, because people disagree about the meaning of the word. A Harvard Law Review editor should understand that the meaning of terms matters. The real question is how marriage should be defined. And Obama tacitly conceded that in his MTV appearance.He explained that "when you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that's not what America's about." OK, let's unpack that statement.

First, Proposition 8 does not prohibit anyone from caring about anyone else. You can care about your mother, father, spouse, brother, sister, paramour, or family pet as much as your heart allows, before or after the passage of this voter initiative. The question is whether you can identify your love as marital, and claim the legal privileges pertaining thereto.

But the more important point involves "playing around with constitutions." Until this year, all but a few Californians would have agreed (if they had ever thought about it) that their state recognized marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. Then suddenly a bare majority of the state's supreme-court justices discovered in the state's constitution-- not in the text, mind you, but in the ether wafting over the paper-- a new definition of marriage. If anyone was "playing around" with the constitution, it was those judges. The majority of Californians appear to disagree with the judges' findings. Do they have any access to redress? Should they?

Suppose, a few months from now, the same inventive California justices discovered a new principle embedded in their state constitution: a right for any homeless citizen to take up residence in a spare bedroom of the White House. Suppose further that a group of California citizens promoted a petition to overturn that foolish ruling. Which side of that political battle do you suppose would be favored by the occupant of the White House, and which would be accused of "playing around with constitutions?"

 

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($125,706 to go):
$150,000.00 $24,293.70
84% 16%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal 18 hours ago
Has the Vatican finally discovered how to avoid inaccurate English translations? 22 hours ago
The Synod: It's a Wrap! October 21
A chaotic synod? Not in its results October 21
Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat October 21

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6