Dispatches from the Creation Wars

These Are a Few of my Favorite Blogs

I’ve been rather lax lately about reading other blogs and linking to articles that my readers might enjoy. To my delight, lots of other people have continued to write thoughtful stuff even while I wasn’t there to read it (perhaps this suggests an answer to that “if a tree falls in the forest” question). So here is a roundup of some of the more interestin posts on some of my favorite blogs recently. I urge you all to follow the links and see what we’ve both been missing.

Steve Sanders at Reason and Liberty has this post about the now often heard claim that gay rights advocates have pushed too hard and too fast for change. He rightly points out that groups like the black ministers who have spoken out against gay marriage and the Catholics who have done likewise are being hypocritical when they complain about gay rights groups seeking protection from courts against democratic majorities who seek to take their rights away. Both of those groups have long histories of asking courts to protect their rights against majoritarianism, and the fact that they may be in the majority now doesn’t help their case any. Also see this post with a great quote from Michael Kinsley on the absurdity of conservative complaints about judicial activism, and this post about the study I mentioned the other day that shows that children of lesbian parents are no different than others.

Timothy Sandefur has this interesting post about libertarianism and classical liberalism, and this one, about the expansion of police powers and how the police use loopholes in the law to conduct unwarranted searches.

Jason Kuznicki at Positive Liberty has two great posts up, in addition to his novel writing. The first one is about jurisdiction stripping, whereby Congress strips the courts of their jurisdiction to hear certain types of cases. There is a bill in Congress right now to do so in the case of official acknowledgments of God as the source of everything good in the world. Can they do that? The answer is maybe. But it’s an extraordinarily bad idea and one we should all actively fight against. It’s an attempt by the know-nothings in Congress to pander to the know-even-lessers in their constituencies and stir them up with idiotic talk of “unelected judges” taking away their right. One thing that we have done a very poor job of in this country is teaching people that democracy and liberty are not only not synonymous, they are often in conflict. The founding fathers knew this well. Indeed, the entire purpose of the bill of rights was to protect liberty from democracy, that is to protect the rights of the individual against the whims of the majority who would seek to deny those rights.

He also has this post about a church in the south standing up to the anti-gay bigotry of the lunatic Fred Phelps. The Washington Post did a story about a gay teenager in Oklahoma and, predictably, Fred Phelps and the rest of the fucking morons (sorry to be so understated, but I can’t think of a stronger or more accurate term) in his family cult showed up to protest and doom the lad to hell. The young man’s church rallied around him and his pastor, while Phelps’ crew of dullards protested outside, gave a sermon that made the point that God loves all of us. And after the protestors left, a bunch of people from the community showed and, in silence, swept the sidewalk on which they were protesting. What a great story.

Comments

  1. #1 Jim Anderson
    November 19, 2004

    Ed,

    Thanks for encouraging my descent into otiosity. Not only will I fail to complete my non-blog real-world work, but I’ll fail to link to all those cool articles you just linked to–because all I have to do, now, is link to yours.

  2. #2 Lynn
    November 19, 2004

    A lovely story honey.
    I am so grateful Jason posted it especially during this holiday season. The world needs more love shown, that’s for sure.

  3. #3 Flatlander100
    November 19, 2004

    Ed:
    That phrasing… “the entire purpose of the Bill of Rights was to protect liberty from democracy” … that your phrasing? It’s a made to order exam question for an American Revolution course and I intend to use it. Is it yours or did you get the phrasing from someplace else?

  4. #4 raj
    November 20, 2004

    Jason Kuznicki at Positive Liberty has two great posts up, in addition to his novel writing. The first one is about jurisdiction stripping, whereby Congress strips the courts of their jurisdiction to hear certain types of cases. There is a bill in Congress right now to do so in the case of official acknowledgments of God as the source of everything good in the world. Can they do that? The answer is maybe.

    It strikes me that a law like that would run afoul of the 1st amendment’s establishment clause. Assuming, arguendo, that Article III does give Congress the right to remove certain issues from the jurisdiction of the federal courts, it strikes me that a law like this would be a law respecting an establishment of religion. And, since the 1st amendment was ratified after the ratification of the Constitution, it would take precedence over Article III.

  5. #5 Ed Brayton
    November 20, 2004

    flatlander-

    I’m hardly the first one to express the idea, but so far as I know, that particular wording is mine. You are welcome to use it.

  6. #6 Jason Kuznicki
    November 20, 2004

    Raj,

    You’re entirely right. As it is sometimes interpreted, jurisdiction-stripping could be used to negate the courts’ competence on any matter whatsoever. This is surely not what the founders intended, and even if it is what they intended, we still ought not to follow it.

  7. #7 raj
    November 20, 2004

    Jason, don’t misinterpret what I said. What I said was that the 1st amendment’s prohibition on Congress’s passing a law respecting an establishment of religion, was itself a limitation on Congress’s power to limit the jurisdiction of the federal courts, in regards establishments of religion. That should be obvious. Regardless of what the “founders” intended in regards the original “unamended” Constitution.

  8. #8 Jason Kuznicki
    November 21, 2004

    Raj, I do not believe that I was misinterpreting you. I’m just pointing out what the advocates of jurisdiction-stripping claim. I’ve never seen your particular argument against them, and I do not know how it would play in court. I’m really not an expert here.

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