Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Focus on a Moron

First, read this asinine commentary on the proposed anti-gay marriage amendment penned by Mr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, and posted on today.

Then, read my response:

James Dobson is obviously not a lawyer (or if he is, he's forgotten what he learned in law school). His "media bias" comments notwithstanding, the last time I checked, it took a supermajority in the Senate AND 3/4 of the states to enact a constitutional amendment. He cites 20 states as having voted "defense of marriage" amendments to their state constitutions. 20 is, of course, less than HALF the number of states in this union- thus VERY, VERY far from the 3/4 number necessary to pass an amendment. Perhaps the reason for the media's "negligence" is that members of the media can count; they realized that 20 states is nowhere near the amount needed- and they had other, more important news to cover (the Iraq war and various crucial domestic issues come to mind).

As for the courts- Dobson can name-call all he wants, but "liberal judge activism" equates in all cases to decisions logically made based on precedent and the Constitution OR the constitutions of the several states (he should review the Massachusetts case- that was decided based on STATE constitutional equal protection- differing from the federal). He whines that "activist" judges were appointed by Clinton and Carter- these were popularly elected Presidents, thus Mr. Dobson would be hard pressed to argue that the judicial appointments made during their tenure were somehow against the will of the electorate.

Finally, the argument put forth by Sen. McCain and others is perfectly logical. Marriage CAN be defined by the states. Perhaps Mr. Dobson should turn his attention to the Defense of Marriage Act, which nullifies the Full Faith and Credit Clause with regard to gay marriage. His main argument against state definition of marriage is that it might be "confusing" to have differing definitions of marriage in different states, but surely the intelligent American public can handle it, as we tend to be able to do when confronted with varying state laws generally.

Mr. Dobson should also glance at the 10th Amendment. It stresses that the federal government is a government of limited and enumerated powers, and leaves the balance of governing to the states. It delineates, in other words, a concept called Federalism- one that Conservatives are happy to get behind unless the topic debated falls within the nebulous rubric of Christian morality- then the federal government should by all means tell us what we can and cannot do.

This hypocrisy is, frankly, getting old.

As a post-script, I would add that I have no problem with CNN running conservative commentary; I do have a problem, however, with rhetoric that is an illogical, thinly-veiled appeal to base emotion- that is exactly what Mr. Dobson's commentary amounts to. He should choose his arguments more carefully or get off his soap box once and for all.

Thank you for your time.

Los Angeles, CA

UPDATE: My dearest Andrew Sullivan responds to Dobson:

"Many of Dobson's fundamentalist preachers were as certain then that black-white marriages were as alien to God's will as they believe same-sex marriage is today. There was no "utter chaos." Moreover, the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and all constitutional precedent prevent the imposition of one state's civil marriages on any other state. These facts are not in dispute. James Dobson is an intelligent man; and he's engaged in deliberate deception."

Whether he's deliberately deluding others or is just plain deluded, James Dobson needs to SHUT THE HELL UP.

Read the rest of Sullivan's comments- they're well thought out and more articulate than mine...


At 3:09 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Great response! I am tired of listening to this shop-worn tripe about defending traditional marriage, especially given the fact that the Constitution is conspicuously silent on the subject.

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Brilliant post!

Frankly, a party who won't raise the minimum wage or support health care isn't interested in preserving families. They're selling their retro-beliefs and only because those beliefs are about subjugation by the wealthy, powerful and greedy.


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