Robert Knight: Will ‘marriage’ backers charge sedition?
In light of federal Judge Vaughn R. Walker’s ruling on Aug. 4 striking down California’s marriage law, let’s imagine a worst-case scenario.
It goes to the U.S. Supreme Court, where, flanked by leftist newcomers Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, Anthony Kennedy takes his latest plunge into existential mystery and manufactures a constitutional “right” to force Americans to recognize same-sex “marriage.” I’m not saying they are going to do this, but what if?
What should right-thinking Americans do?
First, they should announce loudly and clearly that they won’t go along with this abuse-of-language ruse. Does a federal judge have the right to change the meaning of a word?
For example, if a law gave special recognition to dogs (a dog license), could Judge Walker, a cat lover, arbitrarily decree that cats are dogs? Clearly, he could not, any more than decreeing the absurdity of brideless or groomless “marriage” into the law immediately transforms it into the real thing. Creating counterfeits and then forcing them down people’s throats is straight out of George Orwell’s Newspeak in “1984.”
To enforce this direct assault on common sense and God’s building block of civilization will require all sorts of tyranny. Dissent will be crushed. Institutions will be denied funds. Firings will occur. Academics will face star chambers (that is, more star chambers). Governments at all levels will turn into battering rams against pastors, churchgoers, observant Jews and others who value truth above political correctness. In Boston and the District of Columbia, “gay marriage” drove Catholic Charities, the largest provider of homes for orphans, out of the adoption business. Massachusetts schools now teach kindergarteners through picture books that two men constitute a marriage. A father who objected was jailed. Orphans, kindergarteners and protective fathers, it seems, are just collateral damage to social engineers.
It wouldn’t be the first time America’s government turned on its own people. In 1798, the Federalist-dominated Congress enacted the Alien and Sedition Acts, which collectively consolidated national power. The Sedition Act was a hate-crimes law that punished dissent against national lawmakers. Here’s a portion of the text:
“If any person shall write, print, utter or publish, or shall cause or procure to be written, printed, uttered or published, or shall knowingly and willingly assist or aid in writing, printing, uttering or publishing any false, scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States, or either house of the Congress of the United States, or the President of the United States, with intent to defame the said government, or either house of the said Congress, or the said President, or to bring them, or either of them, into contempt or disrepute; or to excite against them, or either or any of them, the hatred of the good people of the United States. …”
Nobody can justify “false” or “malicious” speech unprotected under the First Amendment, such as falsely crying “Fire!” in a crowded theater. The problem is that the Sedition Act’s broad language easily could be construed against political opponents. In fact, it was, and a few folks went to jail for speaking their mind.
In response to this trespass on the First Amendment, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, which said that the Sedition Act held no authority in those states. Jefferson then ran for president partly on this issue and won. By the way, the Federalists made sure that the Sedition Act expired on March 3, 1801, the day after the John Adams administration left office. The timing speaks for itself.
The point here is that Americans cherish First Amendment rights. Despotic laws threaten those liberties, and Americans are wired to resist them.
No government has the right to use the law to impose falsehoods on its citizens. Our most liberty-loving Founders would instantly recognize that as – tyranny.