With respect to adoption, it is a matter of opinion what the motives of same-sex couples might be.

aton607lLike many people these days, I participate in email political discussions.  Sometimes they get rather brutal.  Even when I do not bring up religion, I get accused of religious bigotry in my opinions.  Fortunately, I find this more ironic than hurtful. Why will become clear.

What was the subject of my latest email discussion?  It happens that our courtrooms are highly secularized institutions these days.  So whenever some group wants to march into a new era of civil rights, that is where they go.  The rage these days is for homosexual rights.  Hence the courts in Florida are trying to overturn that state’s ban on same-sex adoption (see here).  The court’s effective rationale is that discrimination against homosexuals is religious bigotry.

Religion is often treated as a matter of “faith” and therefore not logical.  In past times, very logical people would have thought that belief quite odd.  We have a problem.  We have to find some basis for appropriate behavior.  What basis do we use? Any logical structure must rest on some axioms or postulates.

Whether they realize or admit it, almost all the people in our nation use Christian ethics as their point of reference.  Christianity either was or is the religion of our parents and grandparents, and it provided the basis from which we learn right from wrong.  What we value today, we value because of our Christian heritage.  This is true even of those who level the charges of religious bigotry.

Consider our legal system.  We have these things we call rights.   We presume that everyone has rights.  Why?  When we consider our ancestors in eras past, did not the rights of the sovereign surmount all other rights. What rights did a peasant have?  Where have all the slaves gone?  What makes us different?   It seems that we have this notion that people are endowed by God with certain inalienable rights.   Does that not mean we begin with a religious basis to justify our rights?  We use a belief about God to provide a foundation for our nation’s laws, an axiom from which we form almost every other logical construct in our legal system.

Nevertheless, we speak of our government as secular.  We do not permit our government to establish a particular religion and impose that religion upon others.  However, even freedom of religion, the choice to believe what we wish about God, is Christian concept.

Our nation’s founders approached religion from different points of view.  They admired the Roman republic and many of them emulated the gentlemen of that time.   Yet when they began the revolution upon which the staked their lives and fortunes, they justified their right to do so in God’s name.  The vast majority of these men married Christian women, attended Christian churches, and received Christian funernals at the end of their lives.

So when we talk about homosexuals raising children, about what do we debate?  The problem is perplexing.  We must weigh our responsibility to protect each others God-given rights.   What rights do children have to a decent home and upbringing?  What criteria should we use when considering adoption?

When the subject is ethics and our nation was founded on Christian religious beliefs, why should any consider it strange that Christians refer to the Bible?  Don’t we have the right to do so?  What else should a Christian use?  Science provides only disputable facts.  Science provides no basis for right and wrong.

Consider how one might approach this problem based upon science.  Would not the secularists would consider the following as given?

  • We evolved.
  • Homosexuality is a genetic aberration, that is, a dead-end mutation.

Don’t we know for a reproducible fact that it takes both a man and a woman to produce a child?  After birth, it is now medically demonstrated that women should breastfeed their infants.  Until recent times fathers protected and cared for mother and child.  Otherwise the child would most likely die.  Even in our era, unmarried women with children tend to be the most impoverished.

Where do same-sex couples either fit into that arrangement or how could they improve upon it?  Which of two men will breastfeed a child?  When so much of our behavior is learned, is it logical to say a child misses nothing important when it does not have both a mother and a father?  Don’t we expect children to learn from their role models?

What if we believe there is no God?  Then there is only what little we know of the natural order of things.  In fact, without God, our knowledge of the natural order must of necessity become our bible.  In the natural order of things, what place does homosexuality have?  Didn’t the Nazis begin from this belief to justify exterminating homosexuals (see here)?

Without the Bible, God’s Word, and the belief in a Divine Creator, we can and would justify much brutality, and it would take very little proof.

Currently, same-sex marriage is legally meaningless.  How much will that change if it is legalized?

cgon82l1What makes marriage significance is the difference.



Almost all participate in factional politics.


This is the fourth part of a six-part essay.  Here are the six parts.

What Is The Problem With Collectives?

This post will not likely tell you anything you did not already know.  That is not the point.  The object here is to look again something you have already seen from a different perspective.

What is a collective?

First let us define our terms.  Here is one definition a collective.

     adj 1: done by or characteristic of individuals acting together; "a
            joint identity"; "the collective mind"; "the corporate
            good" [syn: corporate]
     2: forming a whole or aggregate [ant: distributive]
     3: set up on the principle of collectivism or ownership and
        production by the workers involved usually under the
        supervision of a government; "collective farms"
     n : members of a cooperative enterprise

We form collectives to pool our talents to produce results that we cannot achieve alone.  In fact, we like to organize into groups, and so there are many kinds of collectives.  There are social clubs, churches, governments, schools, corporations, confederations, labor unions, orchestras, partnerships, nations, cities, states, counties, tribes, clans, families, mobs, cooperatives, charities, political parties, fan clubs, and so forth.  People have discovered a multitude of ways to organize for a multitude of purposes.

Collectives do that which pure individual private enterprises can not do.  When economies of scale are needed, collectives allow large numbers of people to raise the needed capital and to work together.   When leverage is needed with a large employer, workers organized to form unions.  Whenever people with common interests see an advantage in coordinating their activities, they will form a collective.

So What Is The Problem With Collectives?

Like anything else, a collective can be used for a good or a bad end.  Churches can be used to preach love or hatred.  Schools can use to teach children to think for themselves or to indoctrinate them into an unholy cause.   Corporations can be used to provide inexpensive food, clothing, and shelter; or as the basis for a monopoly that forces customers to pay excessively high prices.   Labor unions can be used represent workers so that they will be fairly compensated or to monopolize labor and bleed corporations dry.  We can use collectives to build a society up or destroy it from within.

Collectives cannot exist apart from a society; collectives must operate within a society.  Collectives are molded by and in return shape the society in which they function.  For example, families, churches, schools, colleges, and universities exist to raise, educate, and mold the character of our people.  As the result of what these institutions have taught us, we live and govern ourselves in certain ways.  At the same time other collectives mold and shape the character of families, churches, schools, colleges, and universities.  Some companies and corporations provide food, clothing and shelter while others provide entertainment and manufactured goods.   What some companies do strengthen families; others undermine families and distort their churches.  Schools, colleges, and universities are funded by all levels of government.  Rival political parties and interest groups constantly battle over educational methods and content.  Thus the mission of schools, colleges, and universities slowly changes over time, and the nature of families shifts in its character.

Whether a collective does ill or good depends upon the character of the collective.  A collective can too easily become a dangerous liability.  Consider these examples.

  • In 1911, because it had become such a large and dangerous monopoly, Standard Oil had to be broken up (See here).
  • Because the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, a union, exercised a labor monopoly, Ronald Reagan had to break this union in 1981 (See here).
  • Our recent fiscal woes began with the bankruptcy of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (See here.).  These are government sponsored agencies that some idiots (you, I, and all our fellow citizens) allowed to operate in the private market place.  These outfits encouraged lenders to make bad loans.
  • The big three automakers (GM, Ford, and Chrysler) and their parasite union, the United Auto Workers, have received a bailout from the taxpayers (see here).  There is no telling how much this bailout will cost or what out bailouts it will lead to.  Supposedly, the automakers are just another collective that is too big to fail.  Note what the Heritage Foundation has to say about UAW wages and benefits (See here.).
  • The National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) are powerful lobbies as well as labor unions.  These organizations block any attempt to institute market competition in education (See here.).  Because of these organizations, parents cannot educate their children the way they would wish.  Instead of parents, the teacher’s unions help to ensure that politicians, the most trusted souls in our nation, decide what children should learn.

When collectives conspire for their own wants and desires above all else, instead of supporting a society, they grasp, tear, and pull it apart.  From the perspective of the collective and its members, this may seem like rational behavior.  However, from the perspective of society, the collective that contains all the other collectives, this behavior is self-destructive factionalism.

What Is The Solution To The Problem With Collectives?

How collectives function and whether a collective does good or ill is ultimately determined by the character of  its members and customers.   With respect to the collectives with which we participate, we each can be a supporter, a customer or a parasite.

  • A supporter may be, for example, a worker within a corporation.  A supporter is concerned that his corporation produce the best product possible.  He see much of his own success in his company’s success.
  • A customer receives the services or product of a collective.  In return for those services or products, a customer willingly pays a fair price.
  • A parasite seeks to tap the resources of a collective solely for his own benefit.   If a collective has enough parasite members or customers, it dies.

If most of the members of a collective want to serve their society, that collective will be of benefit to society.  If most of the members of a collective believe in paying a fair price for the services rendered to them, that collective will fairly compensate other collectives for services and products rendered.

The solution is in us.  With a little effort, we can choose to be hardworking supporters and fairminded customers.  Or we can be enthusiastic and diligent parasites.  What matters are the values we choose to adopt and practice.

Continued — When Is Socialism the Best Moral Choice?

Sometimes we are at cross-purposes with one another and grasping.


What helps is to remember the difference between what belongs to us and what belongs to someone else.



We have always had those noble souls who earnestly concern themselves with the affairs of others.


The victory of President-elect Barack Obama just about assures that judges will institute same-sex marriage in this nation.  It is just a matter of time.  This will occur in spite of the fact the majority opposes same-sex marriage.  Why?  How come the opinion of the majority does not count?

The Argument For Same-Sex Marriage

Let’s consider the argument for same-sex marriage.

  • Marriage is defined as a sexual relationship between two adults who love each other.
  • Marriage is a civil right.
  • Denying same-sex couples the “right” to marry denies them their civil rights and the benefits of marriage.

With these arguments we also get a lot of sob stories and the complaint that same-sex couples should be able to have families just like heterosexual couples.

Even though these arguments are foolish, to some they make sense.   Some people think government is about giving us what we want.  Because a bunch of politicians have discriminated in favor of people who are married and raising children, we are suppose to fix that wrong with another wrong.  We are suppose to redefine marriage and families.

Marriage currently exists both as a religious ceremony and as the government’s recognition of the union of a man and woman.  The vast majority (I hope.) still concedes that what churches do about marriage is their own business.  What the government does about marriage should involve protecting the rights of children, the only parties to a heterosexual union who need such special protection.  That makes the government’s motivation for marriage about responsibility, not rights.  Since same-sex partners cannot have children, there is no requirement for government to recognize or endorse such sexual relationships.

Of course, the subject of children leads to adoption and artificial insemination.  However, what bringing up adoption and artificial insemination actually demonstrates is how far same-sex “marriage” advocates have to go to “prove”  their argument.  It underlines the simple fact the interests of a child are best served when that child has both a father and a mother.  It underlines the fact that same-sex “marriage” does not protect anybody’s rights.  Instead, what it shows it that our nation needs families with responsible fathers and mothers.  Unfortunately, responsibility gets much less airplay than rights.

Most realize sexual confusion is not a right.  Most understand that sexual confusion is simply a condition which makes marriage improbable.   Nonetheless, the arguments for same-sex “marriage” are slowly working.  Even though redefining marriage makes about as much sense as the way some people have redefined the word “gay,” the arguments for same-sex “marriage” are slowly carrying the day.   Even though two wrongs do not make a right and most people understand sexual confusion is not a right, enough people have accepted the arguments for same-sex “marriage.”  Enough people voted for Obama and a majority Democratic Party Congress.  So homosexual rights activists will get their judges.

The Problem Of Busybodies

How did we get into this mess?  Too few people understand the concept of civil rights.  A wise and productive person generally wants the right to be left in peace.  Such a person wants to go about his business without unnecessary interference.  It is enough work to get anything useful done without a bunch of busybodies (see Busybodyism) trying to tell you what to do.  Unfortunately, we have become a nation of busybodies.

The United States?  A nation of busybodies.  Sounds like a joke, right?   Look what has happened in the last year.   We reached a new threshold.  We started spending hundreds of billions to bail out failing banks and business enterprises.  We have millions of people making their failures the responsibility and business of others.  How did that happen?   We are being lead by political opportunists.

Because busybodies delight in self-righteously meddling in the affairs of others, political opportunists need busybodies.  Busybodies empower political opportunists.  In return for political donations, political opportunists provide elaborate explanations of how this or that is unfair and not right.  A political opportunist will happily concoct a grand scheme that “fixes” some perceived unfairness.

With the support of busybodies, political opportunists promote empowered politicians, more laws, more bureaucrats, more law suits, more red tape, more wasted money, more poverty, and more problems.  More problems lead, of course, to more political donations and more grand schemes.  If you are a political opportunist, you cannot succeed without busybodies.  Anybody except a busybody will be more concerned about the conduct of their own affairs.

Supposedly, we do not have government just to make busybodies and political opportunists happy.  We have government and laws to protect our rights.  Unfortunately, most of us now vote for what we can get out our government, and we have made government a booming growth industry.  Our own greed and nosiness condemn us.  Our own greed and nosiness permits scalawags and carpetbaggers to buy our votes with whatever grand schemes they can dream up.  In time, our own greed and nosiness will make us all poor and the slaves of scalawags and carpetbaggers.

So What Do We Do?

As should be apparent by now, this post is not just about same-sex “marriage.”  Some make a great deal about the evils of same-sex “marriage.”  How evil same-sex “marriage” is I do not know.  I know same-sex “marriage” is not marriage, but I doubt that by itself same-sex “marriage” will be the downfall of our society.  What I fear is our inability to restrain even such obvious silliness.

Most of us never give much thought to the ethics of government.  Instead we become enthralled by less important matters such as what the sexually confused are doing in their bedrooms.  We do complain about corrupt politicians, yet few of us notices that it is our ethics that our leaders practice.   It is our demands that our leaders carry out.

Instead of complaining, we need to ask a fundamental question.  Where does government get the power to tax?  Where does the majority get the right to demand that those who do not wish to pay taxes pay taxes?  How do we morally justify throwing someone in jail for refusing to pay taxes?  Imagine the citizen who complains:  “I do not want to pay taxes so you can “invest” in X, Y, or Z.”   Do you have the right to throw that citizen in jail just because he is uninterested in financing a mass transit system he will never use?

Can you even claim the “right” of the majority?  Because we all want some goody from government, political opportunists do not need majority support; they just need majority indifference.  Look again at the bailouts.  Even when the majority disapproves, we are spending hundreds of billions of dollars.  When so much of this money goes to fund pork and to line the pockets of the corrupt, how can the political opportunists who lead us be so confident of their power?

How?  They understand our greed.  When government becomes about giving us things — Christmas presents from Uncle Sam — instead of protecting each citizen’s right to be left in peace, they know we have lost control.  The political opportunist knows that in return for getting our goodies we will ignore every other porky purchase he makes with our money.  So that the old can collect Social Security and Medicare, homeowners can write off their mortgage interest, and parents can get an exemption for each child, a developer will get an Interstate highway interchange, a corporation will get a special tax break, a snooty society matron will get her opera on PBS and NPR, rich homosexual rights activists will get their judges, and so forth.

Before we can reform our government, we each must reform ourselves.  In some Christian traditions, there are four cardinal virtues (see here):

  • Prudence – able to judge between actions with regard to appropriate actions at a given time
  • Justice – proper moderation between the self-interest and the rights and needs of others
  • Restraint or Temperance – practicing self-control, abstention, and moderation
  • Courage or Fortitude – forbearance, endurance, and ability to confront fear and uncertainty, or intimidation

When we demand favors from our government, goodies and special rights, we steal from our neighbors and we burden our children with debt.  When we engage in such behavior, we violate every cardinal virtue and risk destroying both ourselves and our nation.  If we care for our children, we must stop.

We have also always had those people who sincerely believe their problem is your problem.


We have always had those who want ….




Cartoon from here.

The news media is always finding some excuse to bring the issue of homosexual rights into the news.  The latest is President-elect  Barack Obama’s choice of Pastor Rick Warren to pray at his inauguration.

Gay-rights advocates were enraged that Obama had given the evangelical clergyman a prominent role at the Jan. 20 inauguration. Obama said he wanted the event to reflect diverse views and insisted he remains a “fierce advocate” of equal rights for gays.

Warren had backed Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in his home state of California, where he founded Saddleback. He had recently said that he opposed any redefinition of marriage, including a brother marrying a sister, or an adult marrying a child.  (from here)

Some homosexual rights advocates do find the selection of Warren discomfiting.

I suspect what Warren really fears is that the public will recognize him for what he is: an old-time religionist with old-time beliefs about issues on which American attitudes have, so to speak, evolved. In recent days Warren has said: “I have many gay friends. I’ve eaten dinner in gay homes. No church has probably done more for people with AIDS than Saddleback Church,” referring to his mega-church and the many efforts it has made to aid HIV suffers in Africa.

How is that different from saying, “I have a few black friends, but I still believe in segregation”? (from here)

Given that it would be difficult to prove homosexuals are suffering any economic discrimination whatsoever, comparing Warren’s disapproval of homosexuality with racism seems ridiculous.   Yet that is what many do.  I suspect the problem is that some people do not understand that each of us actually is entitled to our own opinion.  That being so, perhaps we should consider the difference between tolerance and forbearance.

Tolerance involves putting up with something difficult.  Such a thing can be cold or hot weather, the pain of a wound,  wet diapers, or any number of discomforts.  We tolerate the discomfort because it is less trouble than the effort involved in removing the discomfort.  Often we do not even have any way to remove the discomfort.

On the other hand, forbearance implies a moral judgment.  Forbearance involves a specific type of toleration.  When we exercise forbearance, we tolerate morally disagreeable behavior.  Forbearance does not give approval to the disagreeable behavior; forbearance merely means we disapprove the behavior and accept the fact it will occur even if we have every right to stop it.  We forbear out of kindness.

Because racial discrimination is based upon one’s appearance due to race, and not behavior, our government decided to force everyone to stop discriminating based upon race.   That is, our government forced Whites to tolerate Blacks.

Frankly, I think the use of government force to end race discrimination vastly overdone.  If a private employer only wants to hire full-blooded Apache Indians in war paint, his hiring practices should only become an issue when and if his employees start scalping people.

The root cause of the “success” of race discrimination was the abuse of government power.  The idea that we needed to bus children to integrate schools was poppycock.  Without the explicit sanction and intervention of government, race discrimination cannot long exist.  Without government support, there is no economic benefit for anyone.

Nonetheless, government enforced racial tolerance has for the most part worked.  Because there is no demonstrable behavioral difference between Blacks and Whites, racial tolerance makes sense even if our mechanism for enforcing it does not.  No one can logically argue there is a moral reason not to accept a person of another race.

On the other hand, homosexuality is behaviorally defined, and many people believe that same-sex sexual relationships are immoral.   Those people who disapprove of homosexuality may forbear the behavior of homosexuals, but they do not approve or condone same-sex behavior.   Nor does anyone have the right to demand that they do so.   Thus we can expect it will be much more difficult to force everyone to tolerate homosexuals as we do people of other races.

In a free country, liberty means something.  Liberty means we get to make our own choices.  When people make their own choices, they sometimes make good choices and they sometimes bad choices.  In a free country, individuals receive the rewards and the consequences of their own decisions.  When that happens, individuals tend not to make the same bad decisions over and over again.  Otherwise, it becomes apparent their sanity is questionable.  Of course, since the sanity of most human beings is questionable, some people do repeatedly make the same bad decisions.

That being the case, there will always be homosexuals, and there will always be those who reject same-sex relationships as immoral.  When those who reject same-sex relationships are willing to forbear, homosexuals might be wise to reciprocate.  While same-sex relationships may be fashionable for the time being, that will almost certainly change, and when that happens, homosexuals will benefit least of all if the government has excessive power and control.

wass23tuescartoonCartoon from here.