Pages

Sunday, September 18, 2005




A Few Facts About the Constitution

by The Windjammer

September 17, marks the anniversary of the final draft of the United States Constitution which was framed and adopted by the Constitutional Convention consisting of delegates from twelve of the thirteen original states. Rhode Island was the only state which did not send a delegate to the convention.

The convention, headed by George Washington, started its task in May of 1787 and worked on the document until September 17, 1787. It contained seven articles in addition to the preamble. When I was just a tad, every boy and girl had to learn the preamble before moving on to the fifth grade. "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

It was required to be ratified by nine of the thirteen states to become effective. The dates of ratification by the states were: (1) Delaware, Dec. 7, 1787; (2) Pennsylvania, Dec. 12, 1787; (3)New Jersey, Dec. 18, 1787; (4) Georgia, Jan. 2, 1788; (5) Connecticut, Jan. 9, 1788; (6) Massachusetts, Feb. 6, 1788; (7) Maryland, Apr. 28, 1788; (8) South Carolina, May 23, 1788; (9) New Hampshire, June 21, 1788; (10) Virginia, June 25, 1788; (11) New York, July 26, 1788: (12) North Carolina, Nov. 21, 1789; (13) Rhode Island, May 29, 1790.

The Constitution went into effect on March 4, 1789 (the first Wednesday in March). It is the law by which we live. It is the oldest federal constitution in existence.

Article I establishes the Legislative Branch as a bicameral Congress and outlines the general powers of those bodies as well as the requirements for the Representatives who comprise the House of Representatives or "Lower House" and the Senators who make up the Senate or the "Upper House." It also imposes limitations on the powers of the member states

Article II establishes the Executive Branch and outlines the electoral process for choosing the chief executive as well as the duties and qualifications of the President

Article III establishes the Judicial Branch and defines the various levels of courts in the federal system. (Section 2 of this article outlining the jurisdiction of courts was later amended by the 11th Amendment)

Article IV guarantees a Republican form of government (not the Republican Party) as well as assuring that new states may be admitted. It also provides for certain interstate relations

Article V provides for amendments to be added to the original document

Article VI provides for the payment of debts of the confederation prior to the adoption of the Constitution. It also states that the Constitution shall be the supreme law of the land and that all states shall be bound by it. It further prescribes that elected or appointed officials shall take a constitutional oath, but no religious test shall be required

Article VII provides for the adoption of the Constitution upon ratification by nine states

The first ten amendments, known in the aggregate as the Bill of Rights, were proposed by the First Congress to address certain rights such as the right to free speech and the right to keep and bear arms and to confirm the powers of the states and the people in matters not covered by the Constitution.

There have been an additional seventeen amendments, one of which negates another.The last amendment, Amendment XXVII, was ratified on May 7, 1992.There have been a number of attempts through the years to make other amendments which failed to acquire the necessary support

I hope this little bit of information will pique your interest enough to cause you to get a copy of the Constitution and to read and digest it..


Technorati Tags: , , ,

17 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dream Builder said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
James Howard Shott said...

It certainly can't hurt for people to read the Constitution. However, if one reads it without a sense of what the Framers had in mind, as happens so frequently in our federal courts, they won't learn much.

i eat puppies said...

Sounds like you have an ESP connection that allows you to read the minds of dead men.

Pretty neat.

James Howard Shott said...

Fortunately, we speak roughly the same language as the Framers, so it isn't so difficult to understand what they meant. If there is a question, for example we don't understand what "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" means, we can also refer to the documents of the day, such as the Federalist Papers, and other writings where philosphy was discussed.

Reading the Constitution literally, with a little help from other expressions of intent from the times, makes it pretty easy to know what the Constitution is supposed to mean. The problem is, that a fair number of Americans find that meaning inconvenient, so they choose to twist the meaning to fit whatever societal fad they prefer at the moment.

i eat puppies said...

I don't think the founding fathers could have had any idea how our world would change as technologies. I don't for a minute believe that their intent was to treat every situation as if it weere 1776, regardless of how the world progressed.

Of course, a fair number of Americans find that inconvenient, so they don't allow room for interpretation if the latest societal fad is something they don't like.

James Howard Shott said...

The Founders might not have been able to predict how things would change in the future, but they certainly knew things would change. That's why they took such care to say just what they meant to say.

I think the idea that a general set of rules protecting freedom would need to be changed simply because time has passed is dangerous and foolish. There were concerns at the time that the Constitution was written that is was not specific enough on certain issues, and those issues were solidified in the first 10 Amendments. Somehow that doesn't help to persuade me that the Framers expected the document to be changed on a whim.

If the Constitution was supposed to be a "living document," intended from the start to be changed whenever society decided to change it, I believe the Framers would have said so. They did include a mechanism for amending the document, but you'll notice that it isn't easy to do so. That, I believe, was also specifically designed to prevent mischievous tinkering. More to the point, if the Constitution was supposed to be flexible, and be altered based upon passing fancies, why bother writing it at all? A set of rules that is explicitly designed to be changed at the drop of a hat is useless.

Imagine rules for baseball, for example, that could be changed to favor pitchers or hitters or fielders when one or the other of those factions was more powerful than the others. The game would fall apart, or be so one-sided as to be farcical.

If the latest societal fad is something a lot of people don't like, they have the rock solid language and intent of our Constitution on their side to prevent our foundations from being whittled away by opportunistic social engineers.

If our nation is to survive the changing philosophies that are inherent in a society, it must have a solid foundation that remains in tact through thick and thin. We have one, and if we as a people are smart, and there is scant evidence that we are, we'll leave it pretty much alone.

i eat puppies said...

I don't buy that these changes come about as a whim, or at the drop of a hat. I think that language is just convenient to your argument.
The whole ammending process puts the lie to your asserions. It is a living document, that grows and evolves with society. How many ammandements were there originally? And how many do we have now?

Please, indulege me and name some changes that have been made whimsically.

James Howard Shott said...

The Constitution is not a living document that evolves with society, it is the rock upon which society depends for stability.

Looked at on the broad scale of hundreds or years, social preferences will ebb and flow. So, when you back away from the here and now and adopt the wider perspcetive, these things that a few think are so tremendously important are indeed whims.

The Constitution was not designed to be changed every 20 years, or even every hundred years, based upon "hot items" that command only a relative few years of attention. It was designed for the long haul.

Therefore, to try to adapt the Constitution to suit the wants of a minority faction whose social preferences will last a generation or less would be folly of the grandest design, because you'd just have to change it again when the next wave of social discord arose. And so on, and so on, and so on, ad infinitum.

Instead of having a government structured to endure, and that would consistently protect important principles, you would have some undefinable mish-mash that bobs and weaves, and zig-zags through time, leaving chaos in its wake.

RE: Whims

Liberal judges redefined the Constitution's silence on abortion to mean "abortion is a precious constitutional right." That was on a whim, centering on the desire of women (and men) to have sex without the responsibility for what we have known for centuries results from having sex. It's part of the "I want my cake and eat it, too" syndrome, a predominent feature of the self-indulgent Left that puts personal gratification ahead of the social good.

Another is the effort of the anti-gun crowd to disarm law abiding citizens, depriving them of the ability to defend themselves from criminals, because the Lefties are unwilling to fight criminal behavior, and prefer to try to "understand" criminals instead of punish them. If these people had had their way just before the American Revolution, there would have been no American Revolution. This arises from the monumentally stupid concept that "guns kill people."

Yet another is the drive to equate man/man and woman/woman relationships with traditional marriage and family building. "If it feels good, do it." Yet studies conclusively show that "families" that are not traditional families suffer far more poverty and dysfunction than traditional families. This, too, is a whim that will pass when it becomes obvious (as it is now beginning to) that dismantling the traditional roles of mom and dad, and giving social approval to all manner of perverse relationships creates misery and instability in society.

God help us if these loony ideas ever become part of the Constitution. It is bad enough that social policies like these are forced upon Americans by judges who can't read plain English, or believe they know better what is good for us than we do, and think their ideas are superior to what the Framers put forth 220 years ago.

i eat puppies said...

Interesting points.

"The Constitution is not a living document that evolves with society, it is the rock upon which society depends for stability"

Women's suffrage (19th ammendment), civil rights (14th amnedment), etc. It is a living document. It evolves with society.

Re: Abortion. First, I think it should be left to the states. But the history of abortion laws in the US dates back to 1820. It was hardly changed on a whim, but on over 100 years of history. Who knows, it may change again.

The anti-gun movement likewise is built on years and years of history. You say people need guns to protect them from criminals, but if you own a gun, it's more likely to be useed against you or your family than a criminal. And the pro-gun movement seeks unrestricted access to all types of guns, thereby making it more likely a criminal will get their hands on a high powered weapon (and of course the "average" homeowner will then engage in the game of one-upmanship).

Re: gay-marriage, where in the Constitution is this not allowed?
The 14th amendment says
"Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

No mention on whether sexual orientation negates an American's entitlement to protection under the law to "life, LIBERTY, or property." On the other hand, it's the right who wants to change the constitution on a whim and outlaw marriage between two people who love each other.

I'm pretty sure your assertion that studies prove "conclusively" that traditional marriage is better is misleading and not entirely accurate.

1) The only two studies I have heard of (touted by the right as their end-all, be-all) were done in Scandinavia and involed statistically insignificant populations of gay-men. If you know of other studies that deal directly with the estability of same-sex relationships, I'd be happy to take a look.

2) I'm fairly certain that the studies you talk about that show traditional marriage is better were focused on two- vs. single parent households, one parent in jail, type factors. And that these studies' definitions of traditional marriage does not take into account gay-marriages. Again, if this is not the case, please correct me and provide the sources. But if you're not talking about studies whose focus is gay- vs. straight-marrigae, then they are irrelevant to the argument.

The reason I doubt they are focused on this is b/c gay-marriage has only been in the US spotlight for the past few years.

And if traditional marriages are so superior, would you support a constitutional amendment banning divorce in marriages with children?

One of the anti-gay right's arguments is that gay relationships are promiscuis and spread disease. What better way to stem that then to provide an incentive for gays to be monogomous, and to make them feel as part of socitey, and not outcasts.

What this really comes down to is mid-westerners don't like to feel icky.

James Howard Shott said...

Women's suffrage (19th ammendment), civil rights (14th amnedment), etc. It is a living document. It evolves with society.

Where in the Constitution are women denied the right to vote, or people denied due process or equal protection? As these things were not proscribed in the Constitution, there was no need to amend it. Legislative action would have been sufficient to accomplish the goals of ensuring equality among women and men with regard to voting, and to assure due process and equal protection. Therefore to cite these as evidence of an evolving need to change the Constitution is off the mark.

Re: Abortion. First, I think it should be left to the states. But the history of abortion laws in the US dates back to 1820. It was hardly changed on a whim, but on over 100 years of history. Who knows, it may change again.

Yes, the people of each state should, indeed, decide through the democratic legislative process whether or not to allow abortions. But you’ll notice that it wasn’t left to the states. Instead the federal judiciary – not the federal legislature, which passes laws – decided without a popular vote to impose abortion on every person in every state, even those states where the people had expressed themselves to the contrary.The fact that "it may change again" underscores my point.

The anti-gun movement likewise is built on years and years of history. You say people need guns to protect them from criminals, but if you own a gun, it's more likely to be useed against you or your family than a criminal. And the pro-gun movement seeks unrestricted access to all types of guns, thereby making it more likely a criminal will get their hands on a high powered weapon (and of course the "average" homeowner will then engage in the game of one-upmanship).

Guns are used three times more often to stop crimes than to commit them, and research by Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck, has shown that firearms are used for protection as many as 2.5 million times annually. There is no reason why a law-abiding citizen ought not to have whatever type of gun and however many of them he pleases, and in fact has the right to do so. Criminals most often get their guns by stealing them, or buying stolen guns on the street.

Re: gay-marriage, where in the Constitution is this not allowed?

The Constitution is as silent on gay marriage as it is on abortion. As such, we are left to decide for ourselves whether we want more or less of it. Tradition and nature tell us something is wrong with homosexuality, and to approve of it only encourages more of an unnatural activity. Furthermore, homosexuals, especially gay men, have a far higher incidence of STDs (including HIV/AIDS) than heterosexuals, so perhaps it’s a public health issue, as well. In any case, it’s another matter for states to decide. Most have not decided to approve it. This sentiment reflects the majority of Americans, I believe.

I'm pretty sure your assertion that studies prove "conclusively" that traditional marriage is better is misleading and not entirely accurate.

Look it up. Broken households, or fatherless families have a far higher incidence of poverty and other social problems than traditional families. It’s the truth.

Children living with a single mother are six times more likely to live in poverty than are children whose parents are married.

Of families with children in the lowest quintile of earnings, 73 percent are headed by single parents; 95 percent in the top quintile are headed by married couples.

Three-quarters of all women applying for welfare benefits do so because of a disrupted marriage or live-in relationship. Those who leave the welfare system when they get married are the least likely to return.


And if traditional marriages are so superior, would you support a constitutional amendment banning divorce in marriages with children?

Of course not. That would be doing precisely what I have said shouldn’t be done: Making changes to the Constitution to combat some recent social ill, or to enable some recent social desire.

One of the anti-gay right's arguments is that gay relationships are promiscuis and spread disease.

Yes, and it’s true: A 2004 study by a group of University of Chicago researchers reveals a high level of promiscuity and unhealthy behavior among that city's homosexual male population.

According to the researchers, 42.9 percent of homosexual men in Chicago's Shoreland area have had more than 60 sexual partners, while an additional 18.4 percent have had between 31 and 60 partners. All total, 61.3 percent of the area's homosexual men have had more than 30 partners, and 87.8 percent have had more than 15, the research found.

As a result, 55.1 percent of homosexual males in Shoreland -- known as Chicago's "gay center" -- have at least one sexually transmitted disease, researchers said.


What this really comes down to is mid-westerners don't like to feel icky.

What does any of this have to do with mid-westerners?

i eat puppies said...

Where to start

"Where in the Constitution are women denied the right to vote, or people denied due process or equal protection? As these things were not proscribed in the Constitution, there was no need to amend it."

They're not. But they weren't guarateed it either, so many states took this as a pass to proscribe it, which is why the Constitution had to be ammended to guarantee it. Same with the 14th. I mean, by your logic, there is nothing in the Constitution that proscribes the right to bear arm, so why add the amendment to guarantee it?

"the federal judiciary – not the federal legislature, which passes laws – decided without a popular vote to impose abortion on every person in every state, even those states where the people had expressed themselves to the contrary."

The federal judiciary interepreted the Constitution, which is their job. And they didn't impose abortion on every person in every state. It only gave those people the right to it, if they feel they need it. I don't know if my neighbor had an abortion, or a miscarriage. The abortion is not imposed on me. It's the hard-core pro-lifers (the ones that hang out at planned parenthood) who want to impose their opinions on every person in every state. You see, it's the difference between the protection of minority rights and the imposition of majority preferences.

And my point was, the effort to legaglize abortion did not come across on a whim, as you say, but has a long history. So the system worked (what did Lincoln say about pleasing people?) But I don't think you're convinced.
I don't see how the fact that it might change again underscores your point, other than activist conservative judges may reverse Wade on a whim (30 years is a whim, 150 is not).

"There is no reason why a law-abiding citizen ought not to have whatever type of gun and however many of them he pleases, and in fact has the right to do so. Criminals most often get their guns by stealing them, or buying stolen guns on the street."

So why don't we allow any law-abiding citizen to own grenades, also? Or a tank? They're arms.
Personally, I have no problem with law-abiding citizens owning any gun they want, if they're part of a "well regulated militia" as is suggested by the 2nd amendment. This, I believe, would include background checks on anyone buying a gun, even if we don't require them to officially be a part of a militia in the colonial sense.
I don't see how regulating firearms infringes on the right to bear them. Even if you wait 30 days, you still get it. The 2nd amendment does not say every person has the right to instant gratification through the purchase of a gun.

"Tradition and nature tell us something is wrong with homosexuality"
Speak for youself. You have nothing to back this up, other than your opinion, and the fact that gays have been discriminated against throughout history (I guess Jews are wrong also).

"Furthermore, homosexuals, especially gay men, have a far higher incidence of STDs (including HIV/AIDS) than heterosexuals, so perhaps it’s a public health issue, as well."

Exactly. B/c of their promiscuity. And what better way to curb that than to allow them a deeper, monogomous commitment to their partner? I'm not saying it will help, but it very well could, and it certainly won't hurt.


Re; your marriage stats, none of them has anything to do with gay marriage, which was exactly my point when I said your claim that traditional marriage is better was misleading and not accurate. Your definition of traditional marriage and the marriage suggested by those studies are not the same. Those stats do not say that households with a mother and father are better than one with two mothers, only that one with 2 parents is better than a marriage with only one. And I agree.

"what I have said shouldn’t be done: Making changes to the Constitution to combat some recent social ill, or to enable some recent social desire."
So I assume you are against a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a woman and man?
Of course, w/out that amendment, the 14th takes precedence, making state banning of gay-marriage unconstitutional (remeber, the 14th makes no distinction based on sexual orientation).

Regarding you're STD stats, you're right, and I agree. As I said above, I just think that allowing them to make a deeper commitment to each other would cut down the promiscutiy rate and the ills associated with it.

The mid-westerners comment was two-fold. 1) It was pretty disgusting to see the Republicans gay-baiting to win an election. They haven't done anything on the issue since November...
And 2) anti-gays have been using unrelated statistics (like STD rates and marriage statistics that have no relation to gay marriage) to "prove" that gay-marriage detrimental to society, when what's really at play is they feel squeamish when they see two men (or women) holding hands in public.

Finally, while I'm not prepared to come out against gay adoption, I believe you have a much better case there- especially when you cite your "traditional family" stats. Please explain to me why, if no kids are involved, allowing two people of the same sex to marry should make one bit a difference to you, and opinions based on religous belief don't count?

Personally, I believe in innocent until proven guilty. And in this case, where you are attempting to discriminate against a group of people, I believe the onus is on the state to prove why it's not ok, not on that group to prove why it is ok.

James Howard Shott said...

They're not. But they weren't guarateed it either, … which is why the Constitution had to be ammended to guarantee it.

My point was that amending the Constitution is not the only way, nor necessarily the best way, and possibly not a good way to accomplish some things.

The federal judiciary interepreted the Constitution, which is their job. And they didn't impose abortion on every person in every state.

When the federal government overturns an otherwise legal standard enacted by a state, like a law against abortion, the federal government is truly imposing its will on the people. In this case, legalizing abortions when the people of that state have said through their legislature that they don’t want them is plainly imposing abortion on those people.

Furthermore, it’s a huge stretch to read into a (shaky) right to privacy that there is within that concept a right to end a pregnancy for any reason, or for no particularly good reason. However, there is no language in the Constitution providing for even a general right to privacy. A general right to privacy would protect the activities of the marital bedroom as well as criminal conduct behind closed doors at the same time. Both are “private” acts. That is why, according to legal authorities, the Framers did not enumerate a specific right to privacy. So, the Supreme Court, because enough of the Justices wanted to, decided to “find” a right to privacy where none existed.

Now, I’m not arguing that Americans should not have certain types of privacy, only that it is not explicitly provided for in the Constitution. This is why original intent is so important. Because the Framers envisioned a government that was small, limited in scope, and was designed to protect freedom, it must be presumed to protect individual freedom, including privacy in certain matters. However, to assume that privacy includes a right to abort a fetus is activism of the most radical sort.

And my point was, the effort to legaglize abortion did not come across on a whim, as you say, but has a long history. So the system worked (what did Lincoln say about pleasing people?) But I don't think you're convinced.
I don't see how the fact that it might change again underscores your point, other than activist conservative judges may reverse Wade on a whim (30 years is a whim, 150 is not).


There are no “activist conservative judges.” The terms “activist” and “conservative judge” are mutually exclusive. The concept of “activism” is at odds with conservative philosophy. Accusing so-called “conservative judges” of “activism” is a slight-of-hand maneuver by the Left to try to redefine the term “activist.” So-called “conservative” judges – that term is a misnomer – are actually “originalists,” judges who look to the text of the Constitution and the intent of the framers when deciding a constitutional question. “Activists,” by contrast, look at the Constitution in broad, “liberal” terms and even ignore it when it interferes with a desired outcome. With such indiscriminate rule making (and, by the way, the judiciary is not a rule making branch of government), all standards are at risk. There is no foundation upon which society can stand. Given the reality of who is “activist” and who is not, the Roe ruling and the right to privacy ruling were constructed by judges, not the framers, and not by lawmakers. And, yes, relatively speaking, it was precisely a whim. The fact that the feelings of some portion of society might change, and therefore the whole justice system ought to change with it is insane.

So why don't we allow any law-abiding citizen to own grenades, also? Or a tank?

Fair question: Why, indeed? Given that law-abiding citizens do not break laws, and therefore would not misuse a tank or grenade, why not?

The 2nd amendment does not say every person has the right to instant gratification through the purchase of a gun.

Well, if it’s okay for the judiciary to legislate “instant gratification” for pregnant women who’d rather not be, and for homosexuals, why not for gun owners?

Speak for youself. You have nothing to back this up, other than your opinion, and the fact that gays have been discriminated against throughout history (I guess Jews are wrong also).

Surely you are not going to press the point that homosexuality is natural? Heterosexual relationships have been the standard in every society since man first walked the Earth.

Exactly. B/c of their promiscuity. And what better way to curb that than to allow them a deeper, monogomous commitment to their partner? I'm not saying it will help, but it very well could, and it certainly won't hurt.

There is nothing to stop homosexuals from establishing monogamous relationships as things are now, and have been for decades in this country. When I was growing up in the late 40s, 50s and early 60s, there was a gay/homosexual couple that lived just a few doors away. Unlike the majority of gay men, they were monogamous, and they got along just fine with their fellow citizens.

Re; your marriage stats, none of them has anything to do with gay marriage, which was exactly my point when I said your claim that traditional marriage is better was misleading and not accurate.

Those stats were not meant to relate to my comments regarding homosexuals, except that approval of homosexual unions takes a toll on traditional marriages. I was making a case in favor of traditional marriage.

So I assume you are against a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a woman and man?

Of course. I am opposed to amending the Constitution for all but the most serious circumstances that are relevant to the Constitution itself, and to our government.

Of course, w/out that amendment, the 14th takes precedence, making state banning of gay-marriage unconstitutional (remeber, the 14th makes no distinction based on sexual orientation).

Except for the 10th Amendment, which reserves most issues (originally) for the states to decide.

Regarding you're STD stats, you're right, and I agree. As I said above, I just think that allowing them to make a deeper commitment to each other would cut down the promiscutiy rate and the ills associated with it.

The data just don’t support that contention.

Please explain to me why, if no kids are involved, allowing two people of the same sex to marry should make one bit a difference to you, and opinions based on religous belief don't count?

I disapprove of calling homosexual unions “marriage,” because marriage has for centuries been between a man and a woman, is the basis of the family, and the family is the basis of our society. I disapprove of homosexual relationships, because I believe they are unnatural, and I also think they are chosen, not dictated, at least in most cases. What two adults do in private is their business. I have no personal animosity toward homosexuals individually, or in mass. However, I do not favor any action that shows approval, or attempts to have those relationships regarded as normal and acceptable.

And in this case, where you are attempting to discriminate against a group of people, I believe the onus is on the state to prove why it's not ok, not on that group to prove why it is ok.

I think it is a stretch to call maintaining a centuries-long social stricture against homosexuality “discrimination” (as that term is generally understood today), particularly when there is a reason for the stricture. Homosexuality has been taboo in every civilized society in history. There have always been homosexuals (I would imagine), but that relationship has always been regarded as unnatural and socially unacceptable.

i eat puppies said...

"Homosexuality has been taboo in every civilized society in history."

I believe the Romans were very OK w/ homosexuality.

And with that, I must declare this conversation over. I believe we've reached an impass as we both are convinced we are right. Good debate though, on to the next one.

I'd be interested in your thoughts on the Iraq war- specifically why we went, whether aside from BushCos bungling it was a good idea, etc.

I predict we'll find we have a lot more in common on this issue (unless you're one of those Sheehan lovin peace-niks).

Until then, i eat puppies

James Howard Shott said...

I believe the Romans were very OK w/ homosexuality.

Both the Roman and the Greeks were significantly supportive of homosexuality. But even so, you must ask yourself why only two societies throughout history have tolerated or supported homosexuality, and why so many others have held it as an abomination. The fall of the Roman Empire is generally accepted to be partly because of a decline in moral values, and a part of that was the relatively high incidence of homosexuality.

It’s because, like homosexuality itself, these cultures were aberrations. Homosexuality is an aberration among humans; societies that accept homosexuality are aberrations in history. Most humans – by a nine-to-one, or eight-to-two ratio – are opposed to homosexuality. The fact that many are inclined to “tolerate” it is not the same as saying that they approve of it.

Sorry to see you’re bailing on me, pup. But thanks for a stimulating discussion.