Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Supreme Court and the war on equal rights

There certainly is a lot of "celebration" going on in liberal ranks, and deep consternation (if not outright howling in agony) from many conservatives regarding the recent Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions.

From where I sit, I'm certainly happy about the same-sex marriage decision.  Despite the narrowness of the margin, it was the right decision.  Although the Affordable Healthcare Act is not what I prefer to see (i.e., the single-payer option), it confirms what the program was intended to do: make affordable healthcare possible for millions of Americans who otherwise had no healthcare support.

But what this blog is about is not the rulings, per se, but rather concerns my puzzlement over why it was necessary for the SCOTUS to rule on same-sex marriage.  In my view, this is already covered by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution:

Four principles were asserted in the text of the 14th amendment. They were:
  1. State and federal citizenship for all persons regardless of race both born or naturalized in the United States was reaffirmed.
  2. No state would be allowed to abridge the "privileges and immunities" of citizens.
  3. No person was allowed to be deprived of life, liberty, or property without "due process of law."
  4. No person could be denied "equal protection of the laws."
Source:  here

It seems to me that it would take some pretty severe distortion of these principles to suggest that it would be legal in the US for anyone to deny anyone else equal treatment under the law, regardless of who they are (i.e., race, gender, religion, sexual identity, or anything else).  In fact, a lot of things are going on right now where some Constitutional rights have been wrongly taken away in the name of a bunch of conservative talking points.  The Constitution is being invalidated routinely these days by the same SCOTUS that has enjoyed the approval of the very people currently upset with the SCOTUS' recent rulings.  Constitutional rights are being abridged with impunity, everywhere.  Evidence of that abounds on social media.  Absurd cyrpto-fascist notions are being bandied about by some of the religious reich, such as abolishing the Supreme Court or intentionally violating the SCOTUS rulings.  These are clearly unconstitutional ideas and border on being sedition.  Interesting that such notions emanate from that very segment of our population which claims to represent law and order, and family values.  They're hypocritical frauds.

The divisions are deep and ugly these days in American society, and the rather odd, mixed collection of rulings by the SCOTUS over the past few years has not healed those divisions but, rather, has deepened them.  It seems we must make up a complete list of every possible human trait and state specifically that we shouldn't discriminate against that group, and then ram that through the SCOTUS before they can be afforded equal protection of the law.  Does a reasonable interpretation of the words above not automatically include everyone?  What part of "no person" do you not understand?  Evidently, I have to be realistic enough to know that many people have unreasonable interpretations of the Constitution, and they won't give those up, regardless of battle defeats.

Regardless of the battles won (on both sides) by particular SCOTUS rulings, when they go against the religious reich, the victories are always local.  The war will never be won against the religious reich, until they die out completely.  The problem is clearly that logic and evidence mean nothing to an irrational belief system.  They'll never give up so long as they assume their version of religious belief trumps our secular government's mandate (see the 1st Amendment) to run the nation with church and state clearly and totally separated.  When religion is allowed to push its beliefs and principles into everyone's public life, democracy is transformed to theocracy - a fascist form of dictatorship - for examples, review the Middle Eastern muslim theocracies.  Like the muslim zealots, the christian fanatics are under the belief they're doing their deity's will, and that's impossible for logic and evidence to overcome.

Nice to win battles from time to time, but the war goes on unabated.  Social progressives must be prepared for the war to go on for a long time.


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