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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Case For Morality

By William K. Vogeler, Esq.

Marriage is between a man and a woman.

It is such a simple declaration, but seemingly necessary as a matter of law today. Gay rights advocates rage that it is bigoted; activist courts claim it is discriminatory. But it is neither. It is, rather, an indication of moral confusion. Joyce Kilmer, a soldier and poet, stated the problem in the contradictions of his time. He recognized the greatness of God and the smallness of man. "Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree."

We as human beings have made many marvels, but we will never create better than God has created. Or if your god is Nature, you will never do better than evolution. Whatever our philosophical persuasion, we know this is true: we cannot create a universe, a planet or a person. And we cannot survive as a species without heterosexual relations.

The principle --- the supremacy of God or Nature --- underlies all human endeavors. We can change, even improve, the human condition. But ultimately we must recognize our very being depends on certain, self-evident truths.

One saving truth is that we are still moral beings. It defines and guides our conduct as individuals and as a society. If we deny our morality, we deny our humanity. In the realm of government, morality is center stage. But she has become more like a dreary background than a leading lady. Because of our limited ability to appreciate the real drama of life, we have lost sight of the fact that life is a morality play.

So the same-sex marriage issue --- without morality at its center ---has divided good people, independent states and a great country. The United States have defined marriage as between a man and a woman many times. But courts increasingly have overturned these laws, focusing on
notions of equal protection over democratic processes.

A handful of judges have called traditional marriage laws unconstitutional. At the same time, these non-elected jurists have frustrated millions of voters and fueled hate across the country. The arguments have pitted heterosexual rights against homosexual rights, civil rights against children's rights, and set in conflict many other public policies. And in the crossfire of this battleground issue, morality has been dismissed.

But morality cannot be ignored in this debate. Same-sex marriage laws raise the same moral questions as laws against bigamy, incest, prostitution, bestiality and pedophilia. As a country and as people, we have consistently outlawed these behaviors on moral grounds. We justify them to preserve families, protect children, promote health and otherwise bring order to society. But we do so ultimately because we know it is right.

For those of us who chose divine intelligence, we act on faith. For those who prefer human intelligence, we act on reason. In either case, we make a choice consistent with our belief about what is right. That is the essence of morality. This dynamic is more than a philosophical perspective. It is the engine of human progress. It is natural selection and faith in action --- opposite sides of the same coin.

So it is time for Americans to make another decision based on a moral conviction. We must hold this truth to be self-evident: Marriage is between a man and a woman.

Like our Founding Fathers, we must enact a national constitutional amendment to ward off an encroaching aristocracy --- those courts that have overruled the will of the people. As Thomas Jefferson wrote, enumerating certain inalienable rights endowed by our Creator:

"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."

In so doing, we will regain our democratic right to govern ourselves. We will assert our sovereign power to act according to the dictates of our conscience and our moral choices. In the words of Abraham Lincoln:

"That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."


Prop 8 Umbrellas

Public Forum Letter
From the Salt Lake Tribune
D. James Croft
Great Falls, VA

"There has been substantial coverage of the protests against the involvement of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with a coalition of Catholics and Evangelicals that supported California's Proposition 8. Much of the coverage has focused on protests at LDS temples in California and New York.

But a recent demonstration at the Washington, D.C., LDS Temple produced interesting results. A small group of protesters gathered outside the temple grounds. They displayed their signs but did not block traffic. They did not deface any property or engage in any intimidating conduct.

When a rainstorm came up, sister missionaries working at the temple's visitor center ran out with umbrellas, which they gave to the demonstrating group.

Participants on both sides of this emotional issue can learn from all those involved in this episode."