Category Archives: SCOTUS

The Eighth Amendment—SCOTUS says: It Allows for Adaptation Based on "Evolving Standards of Decency''

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

The Associated Press has reported that the Connecticut Supreme Court has decided the death penalty “no longer meets society’s evolving standards of decency. My brain locked up as I found myself stuck on the word “decency”. Decency, decency, decency—a smack in the head from my own hand jumped the needle to ‘evolving standards’. Sorry, all the words together were “evolving standards of decency”.

Smarty pants that I am I googled “evolving standards of decency”. I expected a ‘nothing available’ response. Ta-da–not so.  A bunch of stuff popped up. It seems that the “evolving standards of decency” is part of the Eighth Amendment .  I had no idea. It seems that the Supreme Court had declared our Constitution  a “living” document in 1958.  That is when the Constitution became  subject to change as society developed further from whence it came. Oh me, oh my–egg was on my face.

If I was still back in 1965 I would not have paused for a moment giving those words a second thought. Back then, there existed an accepted ‘mode of decency’. Lucy and Ricky Ricardo and Jim and Margaret Anderson did not even share a TV bed. They slept in twin beds. I’m not sure if Ozzie and Harriet ever allowed us into their bedroom. Men gave up their seats to women and held doors open for them. The words; “excuse me”, “thank you”, “may I”, and “please” were used commonly. But that was 1965 and now it is 2015. What has fifty years of  “evolving standards of decency” in our civilized, sophisticated world, a world that includes such TV shows as “Naked & Afraid”, brought us? Just think about it.

One thing I have never been able to wrap my head around is the right to “Freedom of Expression”. If you want to burn and stomp on the American Flag go ahead, burn and stomp away. According to the SCOTUS,  that is a “right” under the Constitution. But show me where ‘Freedom of Expression’ is written into the U.S. Constiution? It is not in the Constitution. Freedom of Speech is. That means we are free to speak (you know, use words that come from our mouths as we so choose.) Back in the day, when “decency” was the norm, we did not use every conceivable expletive known to mankind in public, over the airwaves, and especially on the ‘big screen’ at will. We had this strange notion that we needed to set a good example for our children. We had a modicum of civility and respect toward each other, even when we were ‘offended’.

Since the SCOTUS approved this concept of ‘evolving standards of decency’ it holds true that (IMHO), based on personal opinion and outside political pressure, The Constitution, a document written and designed to give rights to the people before any government, has been forever weakened and can never be the protective document it was meant to be. And  We, the People, did it to ourselves. How? We are the ones who vote and it all starts there.

                                              ©Larry Peterson 2015 All Rights Reserved

And What About the Children?

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

The headline of the Tampa Tribune this morning (Saturday, June 27) was emblazoned with huge, bold letters that read,  “Pride & Joy”.  The Tampa Bay Times shouted, “A Right For All”.   The Supremes have spoken and their decision is in the books. According to the headlines, the world is rejoicing. I just wish someone could tell me about the children. What about the children?

We all have an inherent need to know our background and where we came from. How often do we hear and/or participate in conversations about our grandparents and great-great grandparents and so forth. We will delight in talking about accomplishments of our dads and our moms. We revel in tales  about uncles and aunts and grandparents and their grandparents and where they came from and their achievements.

War heroes, professional baseball players, movie actors, surgeons, jet fighter pilots, musicians, and a myriad list of very different people proudly (and sometimes not) fill the family lore of millions of families. Even adopted children have a need to know their roots. As they get older this need blossoms and they invariably begin a quest to find their birth-parents. It is all about “WHO I AM”. And–they have an absolute right to know. They need to be “complete”. Knowing their own family blood-line can fulfill that completion. That is just the way it is. It is an instinct, it is natural, it is GOOD. None of us came from a “cabbage-patch”.

So, I ask again, what about the children? Yes, now that The SCOTUS has legalized the three parent family in the United States of America, what about the children that will be brought into families with same-sex parents? No matter what rule five empowered lawyers pass they cannot ever change the fact that a child must be the result of the procreation of a man and a woman. An infant may be brought home to two “married men” or two “married women” as their own child but is it really?   There is a third parent out there somewhere.

Heterosexual couples who adopt become a mom and a dad.  How does it work in a same-sex environment? Is the man who provides the sperm considered the father? Does the woman who provides the uterus for the sperm become the mother? When the child arrives at an age where they ask, “what can you tell me about my birth-mom or birth-dad”, how is that handled? Will the sperm donor from 20 years ago be willing to  come forward? What happens when two married women break up? Who gets custody? Do they keep accurate records of all donors?

Will a new “cottage industry” pop up for supplying sperm and eggs to people who might have a disease and cannot get approval to acquire sperm? What if one of the “marrieds” decides that maybe they are not homosexual and want to take up with the opposite sex? And let us not forget genetic predisposition. Will the children of these “marriages” have their actual blood line available so they might be able to use genetic markers to see if they are predisposed to diabetes, breast cancer, heart disease, and even autism or mental illness? It reverts back to the question; what about the children? What does this do to the children?

There is an  irrefutable fact of life and this is it. From the beginning of time, man and woman knew that marriage was peculiar to male and female. It is as natural as the rising and setting of the sun. We, as a species, have a need to survive. Continuing the human race is part of that survival instinct. Individual men and women are naturally attracted to each other and when they are they join together to form a family that reproduces and continues the species. It is the way of things and has been so for millennia. A ruling by five people cannot ever change natural law.

Children have “rights” too. And it seems to me that one of these basic rights is to be raised by a female mom and a male dad who have willingly joined together and started a family. Only as  unique human beings of the opposite sex can this be done. I wish no malice to gay people. I do not hate gay people. I wish them all the best. If they choose to have a life together, so be it. But, in my opinion, this gay marriage revolution has forgotten about the children. They are an after-thought. Gay marriage is all about secularism’s  mantra of self-gratification. But what about the children?

                                 ©Larry Peterson 2015  All Rights Reserved

The Supreme Court on Stage: The Fate of the American Family Waits in the Wings

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

G. K. Chesterton said, “This triangle of truisms, of father, mother and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.”

June is upon us and so is the decision by the United States Supreme Court as to whether or not “same-sex marriage” is  allowed under the U.S Constitution. Proponents have argued that “same-sex marriage” is guaranteed under the 14th Amendment. How the subject of  marriage came to be a topic for the SCOTUS is beyond me. There is NOT one word in the Constitution about ‘marriage’.

A word not being used in the case before the SCOTUS or in the entire conversation is matrimony. The civil and  religious connections between marriage and matrimony are obviously in great disharmony within the secular world. Secular-World wants it all, including validation and approval by the Catholic Church. That will never happen. Now what?

How about the 10th Amendment which was added to assure the people that the Federal Government would not  step outside the boundaries as set forth in the Constitution. This amendment states that if some power or authority is not specifically given to the Feds it is left up to either the state(s) or the people. When did marriage become a federal issue? What does marriage have to do with the equality and freedoms afforded the slaves by the 14th Amendment?

Can two men or two women EVER be equal to a man and a woman? The answer is NO! There are those who  (using the “equality card”) call banning same-sex marriage, racism. How are two men or two women the same as a bi-racial man and woman? That is preposterous. But I am not an ivy-league academician puffed up with an all consuming sense of self (forgive me for being a tad sarcastic but, right now, I do not care). Bottom line–I believe this subject should have been left to the states and the people. (The links have been inserted above so you can read the two amendments yourself.)

With the proliferation of the “gay agenda” or “LGBT agenda” it seems that the nation has as many gay people as straight people. But if you take a look at the numbers they tell a different story. The total LGBT population in the USA is 3.8% with the gay population at 1.6%. I took these numbers from the link inserted in the previous sentence. If those numbers are accurate why in heaven’s name does the print and broadcast media and the Hollywood elite and so many politicians make it sound as if the world has transformed? Why are we watching the destruction of the traditional family? Why are people who simply DISAGREE with this lifestyle called intolerant, racist, or homophobes?  

Marriage between a man and a woman is a beautiful thing–if it is entered into for the right reason. I did not say reasons but rather REASON. For there is one primary reason to enter into this sacrament. The reason is to GIVE–give of yourself to your spouse. Marriage is the ultimate commitment to GIVING. Within that paradigm a family flourishes, thrives and grows.

Children are the result of the love shared between the husband and wife, shared willingly and joyfully, never under duress or out of a sense of obligation. In  a family built on self-sacrifice to each other these children can grow up to be productive worthwhile citizens continuing the human race as God intended. I may sound like a “pollyanna” and, if I do, so be it.

Ah, but the human equation brings self gratification into the mix. Many times that does not matter because the truly committed manage to overcome their self wants for each other. But oftentimes, the outside world gets into the lives of a couple and manages to create doubts and anxiety and suggest to one or the other that they are not being “treated fair”. Sadly, today’s divorce rate is at 50%. These people never entered into a marriage intending for it to end in divorce. At least I hope not.

So, what happened? The outside world got into their world and they fell into the trap of “meism”. And today, that outside world, overwhelmingly secular in nature, is everywhere. Armed  with its electronic friends and fueling the fires of secularism, our society is crumbling before our very eyes.

In less than 30 days the future of our society may well be determined by nine people. The words of Chesterton should become ingrained in our psyche: “This triangle of truisms, of father, mother and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.”


                              ©Larry Peterson 2015 All Rights Reserved

Will Legalizing "Same-Sex Marriage" Legalize the "Three-Parent Family?

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

The Republic of Ireland, once a bastion of Catholicism, now has embraced the distinction of being the first country in the world to approve a constitutional amendment approving of  “same-sex marriage”. I wrap the phrase in quotation marks because this whole concept is still an illusion. No matter how you spin, present, defend, and embrace the doctrine of  “same-sex marriage” there is always going to be this tiny, little problem. It is called procreation. That is simply because within a “same-sex marriage” procreation  can never happen without the involvement of a third person, that person being of the opposite sex. “Same-sex marriage” spawns the “three-parent family”.

Already the Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, has already said that Catholic Schools will be required to teach “same-sex marriage” as part of the curriculum. How can they do that? That violates Church teaching. Have we arrived at an international secular tipping point where Church teachings are subject to the whims and mores of the present culture? Apparently we have. What about the children?

Even the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuld Martin, simply voted “no” because of his OWN belief  and did not defend the church he represents.The Archbishop said  that “those days are gone” referring to a time when the Church hierarchy would  instruct Catholics how they should vote. How courageously pathetic is that? And what about the children?

Apparently this new law confers an automatic right on “same-sex couple” to procreate. But they CANNOT DO IT. You need a person of the OPPOSITE SEX to do it. So are we now to have a whole new industry arise whose purpose will be to provide wombs and sperm depending on the “same-sex” gender of the wannabe parents? And what about the children?

The Supreme Court of The United States of America will pronounce their ruling on the constitutionality of “same-sex marriage” toward the end of June. I believe that decision has already been reached and is in the “can” ready to be read. I also believe that the Court will go 5 to 4 in favor of “same-sex marriage”. I hope I am wrong because the ramifications of such a decision will be (in my opinion) catastrophic for the nation.

The law will require Catholic/Christian schools to teach the secular dogma of this law. If they do not  abide by this law will they have to forfeit any tax credits or exemptions, ie: their 501(c)3? Will hefty fines be imposed? Can they be closed down by federal mandate? Catholic hospitals will be told to violate their faith bound principles and they will not be able to. Will they then be forced to close because of the sudden absence of Medicare and Medicaid funds? What about the children?

Bottom line–this is a disaster. No one is trying to deprive “same-sex couples” of any civil or legal rights.  What we are watching here is the attempted destruction of the First Amendment to our Constitution. Once the law of the land can tell the religions of the land what they must think and do–it is the end of our Republic as we know it. And when the children of these three parent families grow up and want to find out who their REAL mom or dad was, how does that work? Do you call Ancestry.com?
                                 
                               ©Larry Peterson 2015 All Rights Reserved