Our rights do not originate with government, but they are to be "secured" by government.
Formerly: Libertarian Party of Citrus county

Friday, July 23, 2010

Response to "10th amendment victory!”

In response to my “10th amendment victory!” article I received the following letter. It was addressed to JJ McCurry, Chairman of the LPF. JJ did not write the short article, so it is not his opinion, but mine.. Below are both Zack’s letter and my response.

From: Zack ****** [mailto:********@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 7:24 AM
To: info@lpf.org
Subject: [From the LPF website] On DOMA and the 10th Amendment

Mr. McCurry,

As a young man becoming more involved in politics, my open and rational mind eventually led me to become very attracted with the Libertarian party's stances on many issues. As a Floridian, my desire to help like-minded state candidates led me to this website.

However, on the main page, you have an article entitled "10th amendment victory!" While I agree with the judges' ruling on the case that the issue should not be taken up by the federal government because of what the Constitution says, I do not think that even a state government should have the ability to dictate the definition of marriage through sheer, democratic fiat. My train of thought is in accordance with the Libertarian Party's platform, section 1.3.

In the article, you understand that we live in a republic and are subject to the rule of law, not mob rule (democracy) yet you assert that as a "Christian Libertarian, I firmly believe that marriage should be protected." How can you reconcile that statement with actual Libertarian social thought? You have every right to be a Christian and, for example, go to church, as a homosexual has the right to solidify a relationship through marriage. If the bill was to be introduced here in Florida, you are implying you would support it, and because there are many Christians here, the bill would likely pass, and the rights and liberties of homosexual couples in Florida would be entirely infringed by the majority.

Any clarification on this issue would be great.

Thank you,

Zack ******* from Jacksonville
Here is my response to Zack.

Hi Zack,

Thank you for your reply. JJ didn’t write “10th Amendment Victory!” article, I did, my name is Tom Rhodes and I am editor of the LPF newsletter, Vice-Chair of the Libertarian Party of Citrus County, and editor of the lpcitrus.blogspot.com blog. Thank you for your response. I believe that your assertion that “a homosexual has the right to solidify a relationship through marriage” not logical if you believe that rights are unalienable, and not granted by government or society. Exactly where does this right come from? It is not based upon any traditional or natural right.

We live in a constitutional republic not a democracy; as such both the federal and state governments are limited by their constitutions. Please re-read the preamble to our constitution. You will note that the constitution is established to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity” not just to secure those blessings for the current generation. Establishing in the first sentance of our constitution the protection of children. Both thousands of years of tradition and research have shown that the best environment to raise children and pass down family and societal values is through an intact family unit consisting of a married man and woman and their children. I agree with the national platform that “Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the rights of individuals by government”. I also agree that the Federal government is limited and “does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships.” Based on the writings of our founding fathers our rights are based on “natural” law, which are basically the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The pursuit of happiness (in some documents just termed property), is generally be considered a combination of life and liberty, meaning you have the right to the fruit of your labor (property), and the right to use and protect that property as you see fit so long as you don’t infringe upon the rights of another.

The special purpose of marriage for thousands of years has been to create a family to protect the upbringing of children, holding the woman and man who enter into this covenantal contract accountable to the family. A marriage is based on people agreeing to sacrifice their rights for the good of a family and progeny not to "solidify a loving relationship." Since you own your own body, and a spouse owns their own body, a marriage traditionally blurs this distinction to create a single entity, a family. Children are physically and emotionally part of that couples body, and traditionally treated somewhat like property until they reach the age where they can be considered an independent person, at such time their parents are no longer responsible for the actions of their child nor providing for the child’s welfare (this age has varied in societies over the ages but the principle has remained for thousands of years). As such parents are both responsible for the upbringing and at liberty to determine what values and property are passed on to their “posterity,” not the state. A states interest in marriage is both financial and moral; traditional marriage has proven to be the best way to secure the blessings of liberty for our posterity, and traditional families have proven to be more financially stable and hence less burden on the state, and a better source of taxes.

I disagree with the portion of section 1.3 of the LP platform which states that “marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws” are rights.

Marriage is not a right, it is a covenantal contract sanctioned by both the church and the state for the expressed protection of passing down both property and values to future generations. This has proven over thousands of years to be what’s best for society. There are individual cases where this is not the case, but overall nothing has proven better. We do not have to accept the perversion of the meaning of marriage because a very small group of society wants to force its values upon the rest of society. Consenting adults should be free to engage in any behaviors they wish so long as they don’t infringe upon the rights of another. This does not give them the right to force others to accept their behavior as normal, acceptable, desired, or moral. Nobody has the right to feel good about their behavior, nor to silence others who criticize their behavior, nor to restrict the rights of another for how they feel or what they say about a specific behavior. Hence Christians have no right to stop homosexuals from engaging in and enjoying whatever consensual acts they choose, and homosexuals have no right to silence Christians when they declare that homosexuality is an abomination, deviant, immoral and socially unacceptable. Marriage laws do not violate anybody’s rights; they do promote a behavior that has been considered desirable for thousands of years, through legal protection and tax incentives without punishing other behavior. But on U.S. constitutional grounds that authority is reserved to the states or the people, not the federal government.

Ask yourself, does the state or do parents own children? Is the state or are parents responsible for children? Marriage laws place a moral and legal obligation on parents to children. Child custody and adoption are an extension of property rights, and nobody has the right to any specific property that they don’t own, conditions of acquiring property are subject to the whims of the current owner. Both child custody and adoption are contractual agreements for one party to assume the responsibility and benefits of rearing a child as if they were that child’s natural parents. There is no natural, moral, or traditional right to have a child you didn’t create yourself. Therefore whomever has the custodial rights to a child can and should have the right to determine the contractual obligations and conditions of transferring that custodial right.

I agree that immigration should have no limits, but practicality it must remain limited and controlled so long as there is a welfare state, the libertarian idea of open borders is both foolish and unwise without first ending all state sponsored charity (this includes social security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment benefits, etc.) Until state charity is ended, a secure border and limited immigration policy is a must or our country and liberties will be destroyed.

Military service is not a right, it is a contract; all those who choose to enter the military do so voluntarily, and as such agree to all the limitations and contractual obligations in exchange for the training and pay received. Since nobody is forced to join, free people are at liberty to join or not join and accept the terms of the contract. There is no right to be in the military and not meet your contractual obligations because you don’t like the terms of the contract. You are free not to join if you don’t like the terms, just as you are free not to accept a job that requires you to wear a chicken suit and pass out flyers if you don’t like those terms. Our military has proven that an all volunteer force is superior to any conscripted force; as such no leaders in our military want anything to do with the draft.

I believe the portion of LP Platform 1.3 which considers marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service as “rights” is mis-guided and not founded on either true libertarian principles nor natural law, nor the foundational documents and writings of this country, it is not logical for us to “create” these as rights any more than it is logical to “create” a right to a good job, or a right to health care. Unlike the Republican and Democrat parties the LP is clearly open to all liberty loving individuals; as such atheists, anarchists, and many extremists have found a home in the LP. They are all welcome, but so are Christians and traditional lovers of liberty. There are some in the LP who do not like nor accept Christians and their ideology, they fail to realize that it is Christianity and Christian ideology that are the basis for libertarian thought. Only ignorance of history, theology, and philosophy can lead a person to the idea that libertarian ideology is not based on solid Christian doctrine and principles. Please read http://tinyurl.com/25wmsoy.

Tom Rhodes

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