Jon Husted standing up to strawmen

Jon Husted is running for Ohio’s Secretary of State office. In the first TV commercial I’ve seen, he hits the usual conservative talking points even if he has to use strawmen to do it.

Husted is currently a State Senator for the 6th District.

Jon Husted campaign commercial

First of all Husted didn’t “stand up to liberal ACORN to prevent election fraud” since there was no proof or charges of fraud perpetrated by ACORN in Ohio in any election.

Rights are not given to us by God. They are written into the US Constitution.

I am still not sure what “immoral government debt” I need to be worried about or it will hurt my children.

It is obvious that Husted is not a fan of the separation of church and state – see the example about the prayer in the state house – but he also supported exemption for priests involved in pedophilia back in 2007 under Senate Bill 17.

This is just the beginning and it already seems Husted is wrong for the job.

So when are we suppose to be protected from the tyranny of the majority?

The California State Supreme Court ruled today that Prop 8, which made gay marriage illegal, was a valid voter directed exception to their state’s equal protection law. It said it wasn’t rulling on whether the change was good for the people of the state but just if all the i’s were dotted and t’s were crossed legally. They said it had. So I guess as long as a majority follow the proper rules and processes they can decide what rights other minority groups have. Why does that seem wrong to me?

The ruling today sets out two items that caught my eye:

The 136-page majority opinion notes at the outset that the court’s role is not to determine whether Proposition 8 “is wise or sound as a matter of policy or whether we, as individuals believe it should be a part of the California Constitution,” but rather “is limited to interpreting and applying the principles and rules embodied in the California Constitution, setting aside our own personal beliefs and values.” 

The opinion further emphasizes that the principal legal issue in this case is entirely distinct from the issue that was presented in the court’s decision last year in In re Marriage Cases (2008) 43 Cal.4th 757. There, the court was called upon to determine “the validity (or invalidity) of a statutory provision limiting marriage to a union between a man and a woman under state constitutional provisions that do not expressly permit or prescribe such a limitation.” In the present case, by contrast, the principal issue “concerns the scope of the right of the people, under the provisions of the California Constitution, to change or alter the state Constitution itself through the initiative process so as to incorporate such a limitation as an explicit section of the state Constitution.”

From the Judicial Council

What that means is the court only looked at the technical aspects of the Proposition, was the various rules and processes followed for the initiative.

Then court then rules:

The majority opinion next addresses and rejects the Attorney General’s claim that because article I, section 1 of the California Constitution characterizes certain rights including the right of privacy as “inalienable,” Proposition 8 is invalid because it abrogates such rights without a compelling interest. 

The opinion explains that not only does Proposition 8 not “abrogate” the aspect of the right of privacy discussed in the majority opinion in the Marriage Cases, but that the identification of a right as “inalienable” has never been understood to mean that such right is exempt from any limitation or to preclude the adoption of a constitutional amendment that restricts the scope of such a right. The opinion emphasizes that there is no authority to support the Attorney General’s theory.

So basically in California, if you can get enough people to agree with you, you could stop women from voting, blacks from living anywhere they choose, atheists from holding elected office, or allowing a newspaper to publish what it wants to.

One could say the majority couldn’t do those things and that probably is correct since many of things are protected rights under Federal law, but it highlights what can happen for those actions dimished by majority view that aren’t protected under Federal law like same-sex marriage. How about if there is a state law prohibiting red hair color, left hand users, or limits computer usage?

So why isn’t same-sex marriage protected from the tyranny of the majority? The California court said it is no different than heterosexual marriage only due to Prop 8 you can’t call it marriage.

How stupid is that? The court upholds the law to ban gay relationships from being called marriage yet says they still have the same rights as marriage and the ones that took place before November when the law passed are still valid.

That’s why I prefer the way the US Constitution is amended. The process can be complecated and hard but is less subject to knee-jerk reaction like the zelots who needed to impose their religion on others by not allowing other people to call their committed relationship – marriage.

Heritage Christian principal tricks student into dancing

A student going to a private Christian school in Findlay was suspended after attending the Prom of the local public high school. It seems Heritage Christian School has a rule against rock music and dancing and it seems it applies even off campus during a student’s private time. In an ironic twist, the Principal of Heritage had to sign a form allowing the student to attend the event, then when the student did, the student was punished.

“Our stand on this issue should be of no surprise to the student or his parents,” Principal Tim England said in a statement. “For the parents to claim any injustice regarding this issue is at best forgetful and at worst disingenuous. It is our hope that the student and his parents will abide by the policies they have already agreed to.”

England said he has never known a Heritage Christian student to attend Findlay’s prom. He has been principal for 13 years.

Findlay High School requires students attending prom from other schools to get a signature from their principal.

England signed the form for Frost, but told him there would be “consequences” if he attended the dance, Frost said.

“I expected a short lecture about making the right decisions and not doing something stupid,” Frost said. “I thought I would get his signature and that would be the end.”

Instead, England took the issue to the School Committee, made up of church members, where they decided to suspend Frost.

“In life, we constantly make decisions whether we are going to please self or please God. (Frost) chose one path, and the School Committee chose the other,” England said.

Don’t go to prom, school tells teen published in the Findlay Courier 05/08/2009

No one said England had to sign the form especially if you didn’t want the student to go. But because he signed the form, he and the school gave up their authority to punish the student.

What kind of message is the principal sending the student by tricking him to violate the rules? I thought only the devil could tempt us mere mortals to sin.

Prayer protest in Columbus on May 4th

A friend of mine passed along the following note concerning the so-called National Day of Prayer. The info concerns a protest to held in Columbus on 5/4/2006. If you would like to participate feel free, if you want more info his contact info is at the end of the post.

On Thursday, May 4, 2006 – many Americans will be observing a National Day of Prayer. This is an annual event that is observed on the first Thursday of every May and has been endorsed by many goverenment officials from President Bush on down.

A National Day of Prayer rally is scheduled to be held (for the 16th year in a row) on the west (High St.) side of the Ohio Statehouse from 11:30am until 1pm.

I plan to be there with a sign and literature, protesting this terrible breach in the wall of separation between church and state.

I am doing this not as a member of any organization but as an American citizen who is fed up with the drift towards theocracy in this country.

I am also fed up with the way prayer, faith, and religion seem to be increasingly eclipsing reason and science.

If you share my concerns and would like to join me, please let me know. I plan on having some extra, professionally made signs available as well as flyers and hand-outs.

I’ve already cleared my plans with both Statehouse and Columbus officials and can share the rules and regulations that govern protests like this to anyone who might be interested.

My protest has to some extent been inspired by the National Day of Reason that the American Humanist Association and other groups have been promoting as an alternative to the National Day of Prayer. You can learn more about the thinking behind the Day of Reason by going here:

Why a National Day of Prayer is wrong

Americans United for Separation of Church and State thinks the National Day of Prayer is wrong

On another page

Official Day of Prayer web site

Day of Prayer rally at the Ohio Statehouse

Questions? Contact Dan Birtcher (614) 865-9146