Green Room

Reason Magazine: Have Republicans Made Peace with Sodomy?

posted at 8:43 pm on July 5, 2010 by

Why didn’t GOP senators, self-described opponents of judicial activism, ask Elena Kagan about the 2003 Lawrence vs. Texas decision which struck down state sodomy laws?  According to Matt Chapman of Reason:

The decision bore the telltale signs of liberal activism: It did not rest on any clear provision of the Constitution. It did not match up with the laws in effect at the time of the nation’s founding. It discarded well-established precedents. And it created a social policy strongly favored by liberals.

Given the tenacious, decades-long debate other “bench legislation” has inspired, why the disinclination to address this case unless

…the GOP has “made peace with sodomy?”

Certainly there have been challenges to the decision, even recently.  As Chapman explains, the current Texas GOP platform includes an appeal to Congress to restrain the Judiciary from interfering in state sodomy cases, while both the Oklahoma and Montana GOP platforms affirm prohibition of homosexual acts as the will of the people.  Yet there has been a curious reluctance to raise the issue or resurrect the Lawrence vs. Texas case nationally (except, perhaps, in Hot Air threads we’ve all suffered battle wounds from).

Could it be that minds are changing?

Chapman concludes with three possible explanations:

Maybe Republicans think sodomy laws are impossible to justify and secretly don’t mind that the court struck them down. But that amounts to favoring judicial activism if you like the results, which is exactly what they lambaste liberals for doing.

Or maybe it’s because, though they would prefer for the court to uphold sodomy laws, they fear the political consequences of saying so. But that suggests that when the court’s activists imposed their moral preferences, they were also “imposing” those of the American people.

Or maybe it’s because they realize that laws trampling liberties most people take for granted can’t be squared with the spirit of freedom and equality that defines the Constitution—even if the letter of the Constitution has nothing obvious to say on the particular matter at hand.

Or maybe they have more important matters to deal with than the private sexual acts of consenting adults.  Or maybe they’ve had a change of heart.

Let the healing begin.

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Free Constitution on July 6, 2010 at 9:16 AM

The “gay agenda” is a phrase they use to refer to some imaginary gay new world order trying to build a giant laser to make everyone in the world gay, or something.

It’s actually just an excuse for them to justify their hatred of homosexuality because they think it’s icky and want to pretend it doesn’t exist.

MadisonConservative on July 6, 2010 at 10:28 AM

Theologian Wayne Grudem rightly thinks it is necessary for Christians to be involved politically and to oppose the gay rights agenda specifically. A distinction needs to be made that was missed above, and this is the State ought not become an advocate for the normalization of homosexuality while not putting people in jail who are homosexual. It makes no sense to promote a sexual behavior that is prone to HIV and AIDS, gay men are 44 times more likely to contract the virus than other men. The GOP can be silent about the repeal of sodomy laws but they better not role over for the normalization of the behavior.

Blue Collar Todd on July 6, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Blue Collar Todd on July 6, 2010 at 10:30 AM

By your logic…

African Americans

In addition to disparities by risk group, there are also severe racial/ethnic disparities in the U.S. HIV epidemic, with blacks bearing the heaviest burden. While prevention efforts have helped maintain stability in the level of HIV infection among blacks overall since the early 1990s,13 the ongoing toll in many black communities across the nation is staggering:

* While blacks represent 12 percent of the U.S. population, they account for nearly half (45%) of new HIV infections.13

…it makes no sense to promote sexual activity between African Americans.

MadisonConservative on July 6, 2010 at 10:38 AM

…it makes no sense to promote sexual activity between African Americans.

MadisonConservative on July 6, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Stop making sense in my thread. ;)

Bee on July 6, 2010 at 10:42 AM

While blacks represent 12 percent of the U.S. population, they account for nearly half (45%) of new HIV infections.13

…it makes no sense to promote sexual activity between African Americans.

MadisonConservative on July 6, 2010 at 10:38 AM

You ignore probably the critical part right after that:

Among African Americans, black MSM are the hardest-hit subpopulation.39 Studies have found that almost 50 percent of black MSM are infected in some cities.40

Unsafe behavior is just that. If one engages in it he or she ought to expect consequences. Homosexuality is uniquely unhealthy and even in the African American community constitutes they highest rate of infection. There are natural law or biblical reasons to resist the normalization of homosexuality, while the fate of humanity depends on propagating the species through marriage and reproduction. Your analogy fails.

Blue Collar Todd on July 6, 2010 at 11:13 AM

My analogy is solid. You ignored:

# Heterosexual transmission also accounts for a substantial proportion of the black HIV epidemic, with black women most affected. Black heterosexual women represent 14 percent of all new HIV infections in the United States, and black heterosexual men account for 6 percent.39

# Black women, the majority of whom are infected through heterosexual sex, have an HIV infection rate that is nearly 15 times as high as that of white women.39

Again, by your logic, the State should avoid promoting sex with black women. Your reasoning is either moot, or it applies to all demographics that have a higher HIV infection rate. Which is it?

MadisonConservative on July 6, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Um, the majority of new HIV infections, particularly in teenagers, are in women. http://aids.about.com/od/womensresources/a/womenimpact.htm

Since lesbian sex doesn’t present any risk of HIV transmission, I think your theory fails under its own weight.

alwaysfiredup on July 6, 2010 at 12:04 PM

No. What they’ve ‘made peace’ with is the fact that they’re losing the social war.

Dark-Star on July 6, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Unsafe behavior is just that. If one engages in it he or she ought to expect consequences. Homosexuality is uniquely unhealthy and even in the African American community constitutes they highest rate of infection.

Uniquely unhealthy? Are teenagers ‘uniquely fertile’, explaining the high rate of teen pregnancy or do people just need to learn to protect themselves better?

… while the fate of humanity depends on propagating the species through marriage and reproduction.

Blue Collar Todd on July 6, 2010 at 11:13 AM

This might be a concern if there were only 1 million people spread across the planet with bad living conditions and poor life expectancy and a third of them were homosexual. I also don’t think we’re in too much danger of underpopulation in today’s world.

There are natural law or biblical reasons to resist the normalization of homosexuality,

I’ve been curious for quite awhile about the biblical reasons. I’m not exactly a stranger to the bible … where does it say God wants his followers to disapprove (at the mildest) of gay people and to stop the much dreaded “Gay Agenda”? Was it the whole Sodom and Gamorra thing?

The “gay agenda” is a phrase they use to refer to some imaginary gay new world order trying to build a giant laser to make everyone in the world gay, or something.

MadisonConservative on July 6, 2010 at 10:28 AM

Oh … you laugh now.

Heralder on July 6, 2010 at 1:15 PM

I’ve been curious for quite awhile about the biblical reasons. I’m not exactly a stranger to the bible … where does it say God wants his followers to disapprove (at the mildest) of gay people and to stop the much dreaded “Gay Agenda”? Was it the whole Sodom and Gamorra thing?

Presupposing God’s existence, and that he created us and ordered the universe (as is evidenced in the natural world-general revelation, and in the bible-specific revelation) our biology attests to its purposes.

The OT condemns it, while the NT contains but a few:
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
1 Timothy 1:10
Romans 1:24-27

Most of these are alongside a plethora of other sins I’m guilty of times a million.

Oh … you laugh now.

Heralder on July 6, 2010 at 1:15 PM

I get the best education at Hot Air. :)

Bee on July 6, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Bee on July 6, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Thanks Bee for the references. I’ll look those up to flesh out my understanding of the Christian side of the issue.

Heralder on July 6, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Heralder on July 6, 2010 at 1:38 PM

It varies. Most Christians will tell you its a sin. Most consistent Christians will tell you its a sin not unlike what they do, what they struggle with daily. I don’t believe anyone but God can effect change. Laws certainly can’t. While we need some law to govern behavior, most of that should be contractual or involving property (including crimes against innocent people/children, obviously). Most laws are moral positions, however I differ from so cons on imposing specifically biblical or moral preferences on the population. More freedom, not less. Let God do what He will.
(How all that intersects with states’ rights/judicial activism is what we’re debating here.)
So, that’s my “Christian” perspective, for what it’s worth. :D

Bee on July 6, 2010 at 1:51 PM

This is a moral issue in what the State ought to promote as normative. Do you think the GOP should drop all opposition to it regardless of any consequences? So would you then support the GOP promoting teen sex? All the counter examples raised here seem to support the idea that sex ought be within the confines of a heterosexual monogamous relationship: marriage.

Wayne Grudem a major theological figure understands the need for the normalization of homosexuality to be resisted. The GOP will be in for a big shock if it roles over on this. I suspect many Christians like myself would not turn out for them. Even secular Conservatives should realize the danger of acquiescing to this agenda. It is bad enough that Christians have to oppose this coming from the Obama Administration, and this was evident even before he took office.

How can Christians, as well as other persons who share similar values, vote for a candidate who wants to persecute them for their views and to compel them, against their consciences and subject to civil penalties, to be indoctrinated and participate in the affirmation of immoral practices? In short, how can Christians vote for someone who will insure society’s regard for them as bigots?

Now we have to worry about this from the GOP? That is a sure way to kill the chances of getting and keeping control of Congress and the White House.

Blue Collar Todd on July 6, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Blue Collar Todd on July 6, 2010 at 2:41 PM

I own Grudem’s Systematic Theology book (am reformed, myself) and regularly use it. However, he isn’t faultless.

Would you not say that given the state of man and the state of the world, the best system of government is more freedom, not less? I’m not advocating for believers to privatize their faith at all or grow silent, but what are you suggesting be done?

Bee on July 6, 2010 at 2:54 PM

Blue Collar Todd on July 6, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Still no response about the high incidence of AIDS in black women, and whether your same logic that you apply to homosexuals because you don’t like them should apply to black women?

MadisonConservative on July 6, 2010 at 3:45 PM

This is a moral issue in what the State ought to promote as normative. Do you think the GOP should drop all opposition to it regardless of any consequences? So would you then support the GOP promoting teen sex? All the counter examples raised here seem to support the idea that sex ought be within the confines of a heterosexual monogamous relationship: marriage
Blue Collar Todd on July 6, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Why use the government to decide on and promote cultural norms? Shouldn’t the theologians and ministers be doing this on their own?

The problem evangelicals create when they ask the government to weigh in on private morality is that they may not like how the other party uses the levers of power once they win an election. Better to keep the government limited, altogether.

A great deal of sex (perhaps a majority) happens outside the confines of marriage. It has become the cultural norm. It seems unrealistic for the government to address this, especially when it can’t get its core responsibilities accomplished within a reasonable budget.

dedalus on July 6, 2010 at 3:58 PM

So, that’s my “Christian” perspective, for what it’s worth.

Bee on July 6, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Thanks! It’s worth alot. :)

So would you then support the GOP promoting teen sex?

Blue Collar Todd on July 6, 2010 at 2:41 PM

So we went from not supporting a law that symbolically bans something to outright promoting it?

Heralder on July 6, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Unsafe behavior is just that. If one engages in it he or she ought to expect consequences…There are natural law or biblical reasons to resist the normalization of homosexuality, while the fate of humanity depends on propagating the species through marriage and reproduction….

Blue Collar Todd on July 6, 2010 at 11:13 AM

There are certainly “natural law” or “biblical reasons” to resist the practice of drinking and getting rowdy in a rural cowboy bar on weeknights as well. Not to mention, the “fate of humanity” depends on the rural blue-collar man keeping his visits to said rural cowboy bar to a bare minimum. And of course, one should expect consequences when said rural redneck gets too liquored up and throws common courtesy in the trash.

So why aren’t we concerned about the scourge of drunk redneckism?

BradSchwartze on July 6, 2010 at 4:45 PM

So why aren’t we concerned about the scourge of drunk redneckism?

BradSchwartze on July 6, 2010 at 4:45 PM

That was called prohibition. :)

Bee on July 6, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Bee on July 6, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Which, of course, was only passed after Carry Nation ceased being more of a match for the drunk rednecks.(Make sure to avoid the town of Medicine Lodge, KS. Those hicks memorialize that terrorist.) But we’re talking about today’s need for a societal devil, here.

BradSchwartze on July 6, 2010 at 4:54 PM

So, I guess along with slavery we can beat up on the founding fathers for not pushing harder for gay sex? How about bestiality?

Let’s get the ball rolling on freedom!

jamarkennedy on July 6, 2010 at 4:56 PM

BradSchwartze on July 6, 2010 at 4:54 PM

Right. I’ll keep that in mind when I travel through KS.

How about soda? Salt? Weed’s already been done (reefer madness).

Bee on July 6, 2010 at 5:02 PM

So, I guess along with slavery we can beat up on the founding fathers for not pushing harder for gay sex? How about bestiality?

Let’s get the ball rolling on freedom!

jamarkennedy on July 6, 2010 at 4:56 PM

Good Lord.

Actually, I can’t believe this thread has gone on this far without someone evoking bestiality.

Bee on July 6, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Good Lord.

Actually, I can’t believe this thread has gone on this far without someone evoking bestiality.

Bee on July 6, 2010 at 5:05 PM

The other perversions kinda got lonely.

jamarkennedy on July 6, 2010 at 5:07 PM

When is Texas going to impose a law banning sex outside of marriage? I mean, if we’re going to base our laws on things that are “detrimental to the moral fiber of society” why not run the full gamut?

Why don’t more states model their behavioral laws around those imposed by Iran and other puritanical societies? Certainly, the consequences wouldn’t be lashings, but I think every time we fined a woman for wearing a skirt above her knees or putting on makeup or perfume (When men think about sex, or women in general, it only leads to the destruction of the entire world as we know it) we could solve this whole budget crisis right now.

/hopefully not obligatory at all sarcasm tag

jimmy the notable on July 6, 2010 at 5:18 PM

I own Grudem’s Systematic Theology book (am reformed, myself) and regularly use it. However, he isn’t faultless.

Would you not say that given the state of man and the state of the world, the best system of government is more freedom, not less? I’m not advocating for believers to privatize their faith at all or grow silent, but what are you suggesting be done?

Bee on July 6, 2010 at 2:54 PM

The practical consequences of embracing or acquiescing to the gay rights agenda, which means making it an unquestionable public right would be that faith becomes private. This is happening in the UK already with preachers suffering consequences for saying it is a sin. My main concern is for the Church broadly speaking, Christians in this country. Why support those who will put you into a cultural ghetto? I see removing all restraint on one’s desire as something to be avoided. Jesus said out of the heart flows constant evil, I do not want to tell people “if it feels good, do it”. What ever happened to the virtue of self restraint?

Blue Collar Todd on July 6, 2010 at 5:38 PM

So we went from not supporting a law that symbolically bans something to outright promoting it?

Heralder on July 6, 2010 at 4:23 PM

It is still unclear what is being advocated here. Have the GOP give up on the issue of gay marriage and gay rights?

Blue Collar Todd on July 6, 2010 at 6:11 PM

Still no response about the high incidence of AIDS in black women, and whether your same logic that you apply to homosexuals because you don’t like them should apply to black women?

MadisonConservative on July 6, 2010 at 3:45 PM

I never said I do not like homosexuals I think the sin of homosexuality ought not become normalized. The issue is promoting an inherently unhealthy sexual activity, which is the same as promiscuous sex among teenagers of African Americans. That is like telling kids to play with guns as long as they wear protection. There is a certain way the sexes match up via maleness and femaleness and homosexuality violates that. The pieces do not match and there are certain functions and reasons things are where they are on the human body. Seems pretty heartless to endorse, accept, promote a behavior that leads to one’s suffering.

Blue Collar Todd on July 6, 2010 at 6:18 PM

The practical consequences of embracing or acquiescing to the gay rights agenda, which means making it an unquestionable public right would be that faith becomes private.

I understand the fear that acceptance means hostility toward the church or anyone who disagrees with the behavior. But, don’t pin your hopes on this one issue. Our persecution will and SHOULD come because we glory in Christ, not because of any specific sin we’re against.

Remember, the church flourished under one of the most corrupt, hostile regimes imaginable (Rome). The bible said to pay one’s taxes. Speak, yes, but live among them peacefully, even as we disagree with ____fill in the blank___ .

This is happening in the UK already with preachers suffering consequences for saying it is a sin. My main concern is for the Church broadly speaking, Christians in this country.

My main concern is more freedom for all. I’m more libertarian than social concervative, by a long shot. My concern for the church is a comprehensive worldview and doctrinal soundness.

Why support those who will put you into a cultural ghetto?

I support freedom to engage in consensual behavior between adults behind closed doors without the state intruding.

I see removing all restraint on one’s desire as something to be avoided. Jesus said out of the heart flows constant evil, I do not want to tell people “if it feels good, do it”. What ever happened to the virtue of self restraint?

Blue Collar Todd on July 6, 2010 at 5:38 PM

Right. I “restrain” more than you will ever, ever, ever, ever know. Goodness. I’m a bad woman, I tell you. :) But that’s an issue between God and myself. While the State should restrict some behavior, at what point does it cease from being free and more theocratic (as in, anti-biblical)? Again, what are you suggesting we do, practically? Aside from personally “opposing the nefarious agenda of gay sin” how do you suggest we enforce this?

Bee on July 6, 2010 at 6:19 PM

The issue is promoting an inherently unhealthy sexual activity, which is the same as promiscuous sex among teenagers of African Americans.

Wait…why just African American teenagers? Promiscuous sex is unhealthy whether you’re white, black, latino, gay, straight, male, female, or whatever. You seem to only focus on gay promiscuous sex…why?

Seems pretty heartless to endorse, accept, promote a behavior that leads to one’s suffering.

Blue Collar Todd on July 6, 2010 at 6:18 PM

Abstinence can also lead to suffering. It’s called blue balls.

MadisonConservative on July 6, 2010 at 6:30 PM

Abstinence can also lead to suffering. It’s called blue balls.

MadisonConservative on July 6, 2010 at 6:30 PM

eww. :)

How are you doing, btw? Good vacation?

Bee on July 6, 2010 at 6:36 PM

I understand the fear that acceptance means hostility toward the church or anyone who disagrees with the behavior. But, don’t pin your hopes on this one issue. Our persecution will and SHOULD come because we glory in Christ, not because of any specific sin we’re against.

Remember, the church flourished under one of the most corrupt, hostile regimes imaginable (Rome). The bible said to pay one’s taxes. Speak, yes, but live among them peacefully, even as we disagree with ____fill in the blank___ .

Agreed. And standing for righteousness by preaching the Gospel against a sin that has become socially and politically accepted will lead to this. I am thinking that persecution will actually produce a realization about compromising to the values of the world.

I support freedom to engage in consensual behavior between adults behind closed doors without the state intruding.

The problem is that this is not the case with the gay rights agenda. It is an attempt to make one’s sexual choice accepted by the public. This goes hand in hand with indoctrinating our youth to accept it, that is not keeping it behind closed doors. Remember Gateway Pundit’s expose on Kevin Jennings?

While the State should restrict some behavior, at what point does it cease from being free and more theocratic (as in, anti-biblical)? Again, what are you suggesting we do, practically? Aside from personally “opposing the nefarious agenda of gay sin” how do you suggest we enforce this?

We need to be concerned about a Liberal Theocracy just as much. If there was no gay rights agenda pushing the acceptance and normalization of this there would not be an issue. Imagine a rights group for adultery or any other sexual sin? Driving all this is the absurd notion that people are born gay. If sexual activity is not a choice then none of it is, homosexuality cannot be the only behavior to qualify. I am opposed to the State taking a proactive role in pushing this, it should be neutral if anything, but the activists are not making that a possibility, therefore we have a duty to resist it.

Was the point in this post to say that the GOP ought to forget about the issue and let the Democrats force it on our children and into our churches?

Blue Collar Todd on July 6, 2010 at 6:48 PM

Was the point in this post to say that the GOP ought to forget about the issue and let the Democrats force it on our children and into our churches?

Blue Collar Todd on July 6, 2010 at 6:48 PM

I think the GOP needs to focus on reducing the size of government. Firm believer in federalism regarding social issues. The goal of this post was to provoke conversation and I think it’s done that

Not sure how to answer the rest. I’m simply not as concerned about individual sins as you seem to be. No, I want no other influence on my children other than myself, but, I assume that fighting for liberty on all fronts will ensure said liberty as much as we can hope for in this world.

Bee on July 6, 2010 at 7:07 PM

It is still unclear what is being advocated here. Have the GOP give up on the issue of gay marriage and gay rights?

Blue Collar Todd on July 6, 2010 at 6:11 PM

Sorry about that, absolutely atrocious wording on my part. I was speaking of sodomy; to not want a symbolic ban on it means supporting it, or am I re-framing your argument?

Heralder on July 6, 2010 at 9:18 PM

Sorry about that, absolutely atrocious wording on my part. I was speaking of sodomy; to not want a symbolic ban on it means supporting it, or am I re-framing your argument?

Heralder on July 6, 2010 at 9:18 PM

Important distinction.

Yeah, it’s about sodomy itself, not homosexuality (the conversation trends that way whenever this topic comes up). Most states reference it as homosexual behavior although it’s practiced across the entire sexual spectrum.

Bee on July 6, 2010 at 9:25 PM

Bee on July 6, 2010 at 9:25 PM

Yes, the argument seems to have moved straight into homosexuality and promoting or normalizing homosexual behavior from that baseline.

While several other have already stated this argument better, if we can move back to what this topic is about: Sodomy Laws, then I say there’s no place for one, even symbolically and it is a private issue as long as it’s consenting adults.

I don’t see the GOP supporting (or not caring if) the law being struck down as embracing some nefarious “gay agenda” or that it is somehow being forced into our schools and churches.

I can’t comment much further as I’ll be out of town for the next few days. Take care everyone.

Heralder on July 6, 2010 at 10:12 PM

I can’t comment much further as I’ll be out of town for the next few days. Take care everyone.

Heralder on July 6, 2010 at 10:12 PM

Have a safe trip! :)

Bee on July 6, 2010 at 10:31 PM

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