Saturday, April 12, 2014

Media Still in Denial on Mob Attack

I understand the reluctance of many Detroiters to admit that racism in the black community exists at levels that could explain the monstrous attempted murder of Steve Utash last week.  Even as sensible a commentator as Frank Beckmann hit the guard rail pretty hard on Friday when he wrote this about the mob attack on Utash:

All the evidence — including the eyewitness account of the story’s heroine, retired nurse Deborah Hughes — indicates that the brutal assault on Utash was not based on his race. Though one juvenile has been charged by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy with a hate crime.  (“Detroit must learn to respect itself”).

Oh, sure, except for that. But to reach that hate-crime charge required evidence, such as this kid telling police he attacked Utash based on his race – why isn’t Beckmann counting that in his tally of “all the evidence”? 

As for Deborah Hughes’s “eyewitness account” of what she saw while occupied trying to save Utash’s life, she says she didn’t hear anything, but everyone was yelling at once.  But what does evidence of racial animus look like?  Pointy hoods?  

My interest in all this is not to see hate-crime prosecutions. I don’t even support hate-crime laws.  If there’s any good to be found in the horror the Utash family is going through, it’s that there’s now a bright light shining on the hidden and deadly pathology of racism in the black community – too bright a light even for the media’s bushel baskets to cover.

Not that they won’t keep trying.

###

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Do-Nothing Congress Does Something

Here’s some cheering news.  From the New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Friday said it would bar an Iranian diplomat nominated as United Nations ambassador from entering the country, in a rebuke to Iran at a time when the United States is engaged in delicate negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear program.  (“White House Says No Visa for Iran’s U.N. Envoy”)

The Times being what they are, (no pun intended), they’re trying to make this the president’s idea, but it was almost all Congress’s doing.  The original bill was sponsored by Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, and Representative Doug Lamborn, a Colorado Republican.”

The main thing is, Iran’s gesture of contempt in trying to send one of the original 1979 embassy hostage-takers to the United States to show they can insult us on our own soil has been stopped.

###

Thursday, April 10, 2014

‘It Was Vigilantes!, Slow Response Times!’ Take 2

In an astounding piece of delusional journalism, Brian Dickerson at the Detroit Free Press is rehabilitating the savages who attempted to murder Steve Utash as “vigilantes.”

People don’t feel the need to take the law into their own hands when they can count on police to enforce it, and even those predisposed toward criminal behavior are less likely to assault or steal from their neighbors if they know they’re certain to be apprehended and punished . . .

. . . It’s hardly rocket science to understand that citizens who have been urged to take up arms may come to see themselves as the city’s de facto first responders. What happened to Utash suggests that too much is left to chance when citizen-soldiers supplant trained police officers on the front lines.  (“Detroit - where vigilantes are the face of the law”).

Is that what this mob of 12 to 30 assailants were? “citizen-soldiers” who saw themselves as first responders enforcing the law by punching and kicking a lone, unarmed white motorist nearly to death?

Dickerson has no right to this level of muddled thinking. When Detroit Police Chief James Craig has, on numerous occasions, recommended that citizens arm themselves, it was against the threat of armed or otherwise violent home invaders, carjackers, or other violent criminals – NOT passing motorists involved in a traffic accident who immediately pull over and check on the injured person.

What foolishness.

What amazing, blind, and inexcusable self-deception.

###

Cool! Is That for Strangling Babies?

rosary 2

I guess they just mean to kill us with irony.

Reportedly, at the high-level gift exchange at the Vatican between Pope Francis and President Obama, the president received a copy of the Holy Father’s Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, and a rosary that the Pope had blessed.

pelosifingerWe don’t know yet how Obama got rid of the Pope’s book, but he thought it was fitting to pass on the rosary to the most ardent Catholic he could think of – Nancy Pelosi. Paul Kengor at The American Spectator thinks he knows why:

Pelosi, after all, fancies herself an authoritative Catholic, and hasn’t hesitated to so represent herself to Obama and to the nation at large. She considers herself an expert on matters like ensoulment; that is, when life begins. In an August 2008 interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, she was asked by Tom Brokaw “When does life begin?” Pelosi proceeded to speak for her Church’s Magisterium: “I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition. And Senator — Saint Augustine said at three months. We don’t know. The point is that it shouldn’t have an impact on a woman’s right to choose.”

It certainly doesn’t impact that “right” in the eyes of this particular Catholic. Pelosi has a unique sense of the sacred when it comes to abortion, which she describes as “sacred ground” to her. Asked last summer why she refused to support a bill banning late-term abortions, Pelosi said: “As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me.” (“Nancy Pelosi Accepts Margaret Sanger Award …And then calls Catholics like the Pope “dumb.”).

Pelosi recently proved what a “respectful Catholic” she is when she used an appearance at Planned Parenthood to insult pro-lifers – of whom the most visible earthly proponent for 40 years has been the current occupant of the Holy See: “When you see how closed their minds are, or oblivious, or whatever it is — dumb — then you know what the fight is about.”

As Kengor writes,

Planned Parenthood rewarded Pelosi for her ardor and sense of the sacred by bestowing upon her “its highest honor, its esteemed Margaret Sanger Award. Pelosi, of course, was thrilled, and Obama was no doubt thrilled for her (as he surely was for Hillary Clinton when she won the award in 2009).”

Neither Pelosi nor Obama in their grateful words to Planned Parenthood commented on the full breadth of Sanger’s “remarkable” work, such as her 1926 speech to a KKK rally in Silverlake, New Jersey or her penchant for “race improvement,” the driving motivation for her championing of birth control. The Planned Parenthood matron wanted to advance what she called “racial health,” and lamented America’s “race of degenerates.” This meant purging the landscape of its “human weeds” and “the dead weight of human waste.” For Sanger, this included a special “Negro Project” that the racial eugenicist had in mind for a particular group of Americans.

The Negro Project was dear to Sanger’s heart, as shown by an odd December 1939 letter she wrote to Dr. Clarence Gamble of Milton, Massachusetts. The Planned Parenthood foundress alerted the doctor: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”

The secret is still safe, which is how Planned Parenthood has successfully

annihilated countless millions of unborn babies, particularly (and disproportionately) African-American babies. In that, it is truly extraordinary. And it all began with Margaret Sanger. She is a progressive icon to liberals, a saint in the feminist church. They revere her.

Lessons from history don’t impress progressives much, as history makes them impatient; that’s why they’re always champing to get to the far side of it – well clear of the “wrong side of history” – where everyone is still, as Pelosi would phrase it, “dumb.”  But never looking back (except to fumble out the occasional bit of obscure commentary from Senator Augustine) doesn’t protect progressives from being hypocritical and obtuse; it only protects them from knowing they’re that way.

Perhaps Pope Francis, well aware that the progressive aversion to the past, and lack of insight into the future, blinds them to everything but the present moment, selected his gifts to the President of the United States accordingly. I can’t say I exactly see the significance in giving a rosary to a president who is ostensibly protestant – but I do know the rosary is linked in Church tradition to the triumph of St. Dominic over the Albigensians, a dualistic religion teaching “principles that led directly to the very extinction of the human race.” That obscure history hardly recommends itself to the modern progressive mind. No intellectuals call themselves Albigensian any more. On the other hand, the occasional advocate for the extinction of the human race may still be found in a college classroom, at the EPA, or implementing the Affordable Care Act.

More directly significant, Pope Francis’s other gift, the Evangelii Gaudium, contains language that’s meant to reach the progressive mind, such as:

“It is not ‘progressive’ to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life.” (214).

Not that I expect Obama to read that, or even hang onto the book.

As for the Pope’s rosary, I don’t think Obama had returned to the United States with it before Pelosi’s appearance before Planned Parenthood. Too bad. She could have showed it off to her Planned Parenthood friends, a dismal number of whom are Catholics every bit as ardent and informed as herself. Then again, the sight of a rosary is bound to be offensive to Planned Parenthood members, isn’t it? It’s too closely associated with the army of pro-life Catholics who have deployed rosaries outside clinics in their “closed-minded” and “dumb” efforts to interfere with the onward progress of Mother Margaret Sanger’s blessed work.

“It is not ‘progressive’ to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life.”

One of my old bosses, a Catholic, returned from a family vacation to Rome a few years back with a gift for me of a rosary blessed by John Paul II during a general audience.  I won’t say I’ve prayed it much, but I’ve kept it in its case, right in my study, and wouldn’t think of giving it away. It’s been in the hands of a man I admired very much, and who may be a saint someday. I wonder where Obama’s rosary is right now?

###

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Heard From: Detroit’s Scribes, Pharisees, and Hypocrites

Race is not important, a Chicago newspaper editor assures us. That denies the obvious: America is the most race conscience society in the world. We learn that fact every day from black caucuses, black unions, black ministers, black teachers, black music, black art, black poets, black salon owners, black public employees, black names, black police officers, and black media. We learn it in stories written by members of the National Association of Black Journalists.

We talk about everything black except black mob violence and lawlessness. That is taboo.

-- Colin Flaherty,White Girl Bleed a Lot

Within hours of last Wednesday’s brutal mob attack on Steve Utash, Detroit’s scribes, Pharisee, and hypocrites were at work explaining away the attack’s reasonably inferrable racial motivation as anything but racial. As we described the other day at American Thinker, police, city officials, and the media all sang off the same hymn sheet that what happened was a “vigilante style attack.” (“Justice, Detroit Style”).  It was not a vigilante attack, unless the crime being avenged was “driving while white.”

Detroit News columnist Laura Berman explains away race as a motive in favor of frustration at slow police response times.  Sounds plausible: who hasn’t stopped for a minor traffic accident, waited around forever for the cops to show up,  and finally just tried to beat the driver to death?  At least race-baiting Darrell Dawsey sees racism all over this story --just not in any of the thugs who broke Utash's head.   He says, “The real motivation may not have been that Utash is white, just that he was there.” True, Utash was there, unfortunately for him and his family – and so were at least 30 other people,*-- and none of them are in a coma.  Now, I wonder what made Utash different . . . . ? As far as Dee-Dee’s concerned, blaming this on angry blacks can be tossed as a “fictional narrative.”

One media bright spot is that Rochelle Riley, a black columnist for the Detroit Free Press, and as reliably orthodox a liberal as ever knee-jerked her way through the issues of the day, surprised us all on Sunday by featuring in her column the comments of Jerry Carr, a 58-year-old black man who used to live in Detroit, and now lives in Grosse Pointe Woods, telling the truth about the Utash attack. Says Carr:

“Was this a hate crime? One of my friends said, ‘You’re doggone straight it’s a hate crime. That’s a no-brainer.’ If a black motorist was in Clinton Township and hit a little white boy and a crowd of white people beat him into a coma, they would have had to bring in the National Guard.”

Riley continues:

Carr said Detroit needs a dialogue, not between black people and white people, but between black people and black people. He said his oldest son earned a perfect math score on the SAT, attended University Liggett in Grosse Pointe Woods, Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills and MIT in Cambridge, Mass., but the only place he was called the n-word was at a school in Detroit.

Is an admission like this in the Free Press a revolutionary event? No more so than the invention of the wheel. Now maybe things can get moving again.

Author Colin Flaherty says that we talk about everything black except “black mob violence and lawlessness,” which is taboo. I’m going one step farther and saying the mob violence and lawlessness are emblems of black racism, the mention of which is the real taboo.

Jerry Carr is right that the dialogue that’s really needed is the ones blacks need to have among themselves, not that I expect it’s close to being started. For one thing, it’s going to require black leaders with the moral authority to attempt it, and owning a bullhorn isn’t enough to qualify. If the the black community’s liberal majority have anyone suitable, none of the rest of us know who they are.

For a half century black leaders have been telling their constituents, and lecturing the rest of us, that no attention need be paid to concerns about black racism, because in comparison to white racism it barely exists, or because the concept of black racism is a categorical impossibility. To enforce the taboo, whites who call attention to black racism are condemned as -- racists. When an instance of black racism becomes unmistakably apparent, as it did last week in Detroit, it’s denied. According to Colin Flaherty, who wrote an entire book on the unreported instances of racist black violence against white victims, ‘Deniers always say the same thing: One, it does not exist. Two, here is why it does exist.”

When they’re finally caught and identified, I expect most of the men and boys who mobbed Steve Utash will turn out to be semi-literate, astoundingly ignorant of the universe beyond the ghetto, and utterly disconnected from community concerns that deniers like Laura Berman want to think are the sources of their frustration.

But even if they’re ignorant, they’re not stupid, or at least not completely stupid. What little they know, they know. And what they know is what they’ve heard hollered by the loudest and most insistent voices in their world.  This mob’s “senseless” behavior isn’t senseless at all unless we agree to discount all that’s been repeated to them their whole lives by, if I can borrow from Colin Flaherty’s list, a social collective of indignant black ministers, teachers, rappers, public officials, matriarchs, grandmatriarchs, and neighborhood elders who never stop talking about the community’s unquenchable grievances against the majority race.

Factor that in, and there’s an evil straight-line logic to an attack like this. That’s why recognizing the attack as a hate crime, as Jerry Carr’s friend did, is a “no-brainer”; it’s why thousands of metro Detroiters also understood what happened last Wednesday the first moment they heard about it, while two days later the cops, the press, and the mayor were still frantically playing Hide the Race-Card.

And what Detroit’s young black males have been told, and who’s been telling them, is what makes it repulsive when certain of Detroit’s black clergy amble up, sheep-suits zipped tight, pretending to speak for the harmony of the races, and expecting us to believe that all their past hollering about justice has ever been anything but color-blind.

Take the Rev. Horace Sheffield III (please) who “issued a statement Saturday, urging Detroiters to take to the streets of the neighborhood to search for those who beat Utash.”

Sheffield’s far from Detroit’s worst when it comes to keeping racial resentment stoked, but he does his part. If Sheffield thinks there’s an advantage in it, he’ll enthusiastically kiss up to the hate-mongering racist Louis Farrakhan. When asked once how he could be so supportive at a public event where Farrakhan was laying down his usual anti-Semitic hate, Sheffield, (who, bear in mind, is a Baptist pastor), explained himself this way: “We need someone to give us direction. I believe we have a leader here that can organize us.” Farrakhan? The day Baptists need to get direction from a Jew-hating Black Muslim is the day you know Jesus has left the building.

But it’s not just Sheffield who does this.  Detroit’s black clergy are nearly universal in deferring to “Minister Farrakhan” as the black community’s counterpart to the Apostle Paul.

Like Sheffield, the Rev. David Bullock of Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church also imagines he can combine the Christian gospel with black nationalist race-war theory. He can’t; no one can. Trying only leads to him babbling things like, “for many, it wasn’t until the killing of Trayvon Martin that the racial war actually hit home,” or dropping the usual dark hints about “the truth of the experience of the masses of Black Americans in America” (guess what? If you’re black, the “truth of the experience” is really going to piss you off!). Naturally, Bullock condemns criticism of Obama’s incompetence in office as racist, because

[t]he collective memory of slavery, segregation and degradation at the hands of a perverse and pervasive racist culture provides a tool for translating these innocent words into deep racially charged generalizations the majority culture has long attributed to African Americans.

Embrace Bullock’s racist gospel if you want, but then please don’t tell us it’s meant to lead to racial peace and understanding. One Bullock media project takes a look at the “STATE OF NIGGADOM” in America. A sample:

In this Mini - DocU Series, we confront regular Black American's confronting the reality of failed Black Bourgeoisie solutions to the race problem and demanding - We Gotta Do Something!

Invariably, exactly what blacks “gotta do” is left to the resentful imaginations of the hearers, a brotherhood that enfolds members of Utash’s would-be executioners; sure, maybe they’ve gone astray, but they’re still fellow victims of the depredations of the “majority race.”  And didn’t they take to the streets? Didn’t they do something?

Bullock, in the wake of the attack, in order “to mend any bruised racial feelings” – (and to camouflage his race-obsessed opportunism) – announced that he was starting “a benevolent fund for Utash’s family and would ask other local pastors to join him.”

Struggling to keep up with Bullock’s showing off, Rev. Sheffield said the community needs to do more to track down those responsible -- as if there weren’t already too many people on the streets around Morang and Balfour looking to settle scores. But it’s what Sheffield said next that simply must be preserved forever in the International Hall of Irony:

Consequently, I am calling on all activists, march organizers, protest promoters, representatives of the people, speech makers, candidates for public office, ancestral worshippers, talk show hosts, and protectors and defenders of Detroit to prove that we equally deplore injustice and unbridled brutality no matter what color the victim is or of the one committing it.

Is it just me, or does that same list keep popping up?   The only category in Sheffield’s list that I don’t recognize as significant contributors to black racism are the “ancestral worshippers.”   And that’s only because I can’t figure out who the hell Sheffield’s talking about.

###

*According to the earliest, less filtered reports in the Detroit News last Friday, from 20-30 people were in the crowd surrounding Utash as he was beaten – a number that has since vanished and been replaced by numbers of a dozen or fewer.   Colin Flaherty describes a similar occasion in his book where a mob of twenty black people stole a white person’s bike, but only four persons actually put their hands on him.  Consequently, “the local newspaper said only four people were involved.  This kind of math happens a lot.”

Saturday, April 05, 2014

“And They Cast Him Out”

America has exchanged a toothless regime disapproving of sodomy in the privacy of one’s own bedroom for an iron-gloved tyranny forbidding disapproving of sodomy in the privacy of one’s own mind.unmutual

I think that’s what they mean by a “bad bargain.”

Friday’s NRO has a fine analysis of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich’s being hounded out of his employment as an Unmutual:

The various tendencies that operate under the general heading of “gay rights” have had an extraordinary run of it in the past several years, in both the political and the cultural theaters. We now have a constitutional right to commit homosexual acts (Lawrence v. Texas), while Facebook offers at last count 56 different gender options to its users (trans with or without asterisk, genderqueer, neutrois, and two-spirit among them). Having won the battle in California, the sore winners are roaming the battlefield with bayonets and taking no prisoners. Mr. Eich’s donation had been a matter of public record for some years, but Eros is a jealous god, and he will have blood from time to time. Mr. Eich’s elevation to the chief executive’s position provided occasion for critics within his firm and without to make an example of him.

This is, of course, pure poison. This is not a matter of law but one of culture, and not a question of means but of ends. . . .

. . . .The nation’s full-time gay-rights professionals simply will not rest until a homogeneous and stultifying monoculture is settled upon the land, and if that means deploying a ridiculous lynch mob to pronounce anathema upon a California technology executive for private views acted on in his private life, then so be it. The gay agenda of the moment is, ironically enough, to force nonconformists into the metaphorical closet. If through the miracle of modern medicine you end up with five sets of mixed genitals, you’ll get your own section in the California civil-rights statutes; cling to nearly universal views about marriage for a few months after it’s become unfashionable, and you’re an untouchable.

Please read the rest here.

It now occurs to me that last Sunday’s Gospel (John 9) also was about someone expelled by corrupt moral authorities for a thought crime.  The Pharisees hated Jesus and were determined to get a man born blind, whom Jesus had healed, to agree with them that “this man is a sinner.”  When the man refused to do it, they expelled him from the synagogue – after first scolding him for daring to teach them anything. 

Good lesson there. 

###

Friday, April 04, 2014

Dearborn 7-Year Old Worried About Church-State Interference

At one point we wondered if Majed Moughni was for real, but now it appears he’s just interested in self-promotion. That, and burnishing his Muslim props as one way to drive up business for his personal injury law firm.

Nothing else explains his dangling this absolute non-story in front of the Islamic Affairs desk of the Free Press just to get his picture in the paper.

A flyer headlined “Eggstravaganza!” was given to students this week at three elementary schools in the Dearborn Public Schools district, which has a substantial number of Muslim students. The flyer described an April 12 event at Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church in Dearborn featuring an egg hunt, relay race, and egg toss. It asked students to RSVP “to secure your free spot” and included images of eggs and a bunny.  (“Muslim parents upset over school flyer promoting church's Easter egg hunt”).

“Some Muslim parents,” Free Press readers are told, think this is a violation of the separation between church and state.

“It really bothered my two kids,” said parent Majed Moughni, who is Muslim and has two children, ages 7 and 9, in Dearborn elementary schools. “My son was like, ‘Dad, I really don’t feel comfortable getting these flyers, telling me to go to church. I thought churches are not supposed to mix with schools.’ ”

Well, that kid’s quotation sure sounds authentic. And I’m sure it was merely Niraj Warikoo’s oversight not to mention, along with Moughni being a parent and a Muslim, that he’s a lawyer and a controversy-loving figure in Dearborn. And even if Moughni’s 9-year-old actually does use expressions like “I really don’t feel comfortable,” and has a well-formed theory on church-state relations, I don’t see why Moughni’s first fatherly response was to call the media. Why not just explain to the little tykes that getting a festive-colored flyer at school isn’t the same thing as being “told” to go to church, and that Easter egg hunts have nothing to do with the Christian religion – regardless of where they’re held. (Believe me -- if they did, Obama would damned sure never tolerate them at the White House).

If I were Moughni, I’d be more concerned that my kids are so easily upset by flyers with eggs and bunnies on them and why, considering they’re only second- and third-graders, they’re so obsessed that Dearborn schools remain secular.

I’m not going to revive the tiresome topic of Dearborn schools’ countless accommodations of Islam – many of which could be reasonably viewed as instances of the very “mixing” of religion and public schools that Moughni says he finds so alarming. Aside from all that, no one in his right mind imagines that Dearborn schools are proselytizing for Christianity.

In other words, this whole thing is pure nonsense. And I suppose we can hope that Warikoo first got this assignment on April Fool’s Day.

But you, Majed?

Why you’re just a big, old phony.

###

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Justified

On the more-guns, less-crime front, metro Detroit continues to disprove the myth that armed citizens cause more harm than good and are a poor defense against violent crime. Since last Saturday:

In Redford 

A Jet’s Pizza delivery driver fired shots at two men who attempted to rob him Saturday night when they posed as customers, Redford police said.

The driver was making a delivery to a residence in the 9900 block of Grayfield when one of the males grabbed him and the other produced a handgun and demanded his money. Police said the driver, who lawfully possesses a firearm, shot at the suspects, then fled the area and called 911. (“Cops: Pizza driver fires shots at Redford 'customers' who tried to rob him”).

In Detroit on Tuesday,

[A] man in his early 50s who repairs buses for the city, is the latest in a string of cases where Detroit residents have resorted to using weapons to fend off intruders. . . .the man heard a noise by a side window of his house and went to check about 10 a.m. He saw two men trying to break in and confronted them. A fight ensued and the man, who has a concealed-pistol license, pulled out a handgun and shot the other two men dead. (“Another Detroit crime victim uses deadly force to protect home”).

Also on Tuesday,

A customer with a handgun stopped a shoplifting suspect from slashing a security officer with a contaminated needle and syringe outside a Home Depot store in Roseville, police said. . . . [The] customer with a concealed pistol license saw the fight, pulled out his handgun and told [the suspect] to drop the syringe and get on the ground. [The suspect] stopped fighting and sat down in the parking lot, police said, but jumped up and ran when he heard approaching police sirens. (“Customer with gun stops man stabbing security officer at Home Depot, Roseville police say”).

In response to the Detroit shooting, the Detroit Free Press reports

If prosecutors decide that Tuesday’s killings on Dexter were justified, it would bring the number of justifiable homicides in Detroit to 10 cases so far this year.

A Detroit police spokesman said residents have a right to defend themselves.

Chief (James) Craig and the Detroit Police Department, along with the citizens of Detroit, are fed up. “We are sick and tired of being victimized by the criminal element in this city,” said Sgt. Michael Woody. “The citizens are protecting their homes and their property and their families, and they are well within their rights to do that.”

Ten justifiable homicides in Detroit alone since January 1.

Do you still think this never happens?

###

Isn’t That Your House On Fire?

According to an editorial in Thursday’s Detroit News, “[g]ay marriage is coming to Michigan” whether we like it or not. (“Michigan gay marriage landscape is changing”).   The writer credits this to a swelling “national tide for extending marital rights,”  a metaphor suggesting that social progress is arriving by angelaway of a natural catastrophe.   I suspect this editorial was written by Nolan Finley, who dislikes moral absolutes, and thinks the Republicans would be much better off abandoning the social issues.

Whoever wrote it, it includes this particularly irritating passage:

Those who protest that marriage as properly defined is between one man and one woman are correct — in the eyes of most religious faiths.

But for the interests of the state, marriage is not a religious institution. It is a civil contract. Denying the right of two people of the same sex to enter such a contract is difficult to legally defend without identifying a specific harm to the state.

To start with, this wildly overstates the distinctions between religious marriage and civil marriage,  suggesting they’re all but mutually exclusive, which they hardly are.  The truth is that in our society both religious and civil marriages have existed side-by-side for generations, and both forms of marriage have been universally understood to be binding agreements between two persons qualified to marry and of the opposite sex. For most folks the only real difference between a religious marriage and a civil one is that one couple has a “church wedding” and the other couple ties the knot at city hall. Both religious and nonreligious have taken for granted the validity of one another’s marriages all along – at least for the purpose raised here – that of being a binding contract between a man and a woman, and establishing the founding partnership of a family. Never, until about five minutes ago, (historically speaking) has civil marriage connoted the two persons being joined might be just as likely to both show up with campy veils and penises.

By trivializing the preference for traditional marriage as merely a credulous religious opinion, the News begs the question that there’s no more basis for limiting marriage to heterosexual couples than some arbitrary rule handed down by a capricious – and almost certainly non-existent – god. Because your belief in marriage as a union of a man and a woman is merely an article of your creed, you’ve no better chance of proving it empirically than you do the existence of the Archangel Gabriel or of the great fish that swallowed Jonah.   Looked at in that way, what right have you got to force your religion on the rest of us?

The same sorry reasoning is used by abortion advocates to deny the natural fact that life begins at conception as merely a religious opinion: the implication is that without all that religious mumbo-jumbo, modern scientific humanity is securely agnostic about when life begins – at least as long as we don’t consult biology, embryology, obstetrics, and a raft of other life sciences, not to mention every woman who ever came home from her doctor and told her husband, “We’re going to have a baby.”

What ought to be more obvious is that if the only impediment to same-sex marriage were religious scruples, then the practice would have been adopted long before now. Secular, and even atheist states are well known in our recent history. Yet none of them, even after either neutralizing religion or driving it underground, ever reverted back to the (we’re now told) perfectly obvious idea of starting families with couples of the same sex.

As the Detroit News sees it,

Denying the right of two people of the same sex to enter such a contract is difficult to legally defend without identifying a specific harm to the state. That harm has been elusive to identify.

The harm, which has been identified over and over again, is that it will destroy marriage, in which the state has always had an interest.  As for the harm being elusive to identify, you may as well say it would be elusive to identify what I will miss most if my house were to burn down. 

This is for certain: changing the definition of marriage means changing marriage; re-defining marriage by eliminating its central opposite-sex component means undefining it. Discarding the limiting terms of marriage with the idea of “opening it up”  is no more going to lead to a stronger and happier institution of marriage than having its walls fall down flat resulted in a stronger and happier Jericho.

When the editorialist talks about the unquestioned “right of two people of the same sex to enter such a contract,” he envisions a civil contract with no limiting principles whatever – not just those of sex.   All you need are two people (or more) and an agreement – no predetermined definitions of the nature of the contract permitted. 

When I say this is crazy I’m not making a slippery-slope argument – I’m making a bottom-of-the slope argument. On this logic, alone, there is no defense against agreements by any two “people” to make a contract and call it marriage.

Even mothers and sons?

Even the Koch brothers?

And just why not?

###

News from the Vatican

Obama admitted that ObamaCare did arise in his meeting with the pope's secretary of state, but said he reassured Cardinal Pietro Parolin that religious conscience was not affected by his namesake legislation.

It went unreported by U.S. media, but at that precise moment a bolt of lightning narrowly missed the American. Just kidding.  (“Who are you going to believe, Obama or the Pope?”)

-- Andrew Malcolm at Investors Business Daily.