Sunday, June 28, 2015

Alito’s Criticism of Supreme Court Decision Queering Marriage Evokes Totalitarian Terror of Yore


Justice Samuel Alito (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

By Nicholas Stix

A tip ‘o the hate to my Oak Park, IL writer friend, Jim Bowman, at Blithe Spirit blog, the author of both corporate histories and works on religion, most recently the memoir, Company Man: My Jesuit Life, 1950-1968.

Alito’s language reminds me of what Timothy Garton Ash wrote in the late 1980s, in essays later collected in The Uses of Adversity, about the Communist East Bloc: There were two sorts of opinion, “public” and “private.” “Public opinion” were the lies one had to say out of the house, or in the company of people one could not trust. “Private” opinion concerned one’s real beliefs, as well as true statements of fact, both of which one could only say behind closed doors, to trusted intimates.

In Red China, things may have been even worse. In elementary school, we learned about how Chinese children were trained in school to betray their parents to the state, for unacceptable opinions they had voiced in the privacy of their own home.

The elimination of privacy is characteristic of totalitarianism. Thus, we had Germans publicly denounced and destroyed, even murdered, for private opinions under Nazism. The same is true of Islam, and contemporary American totalitarianism. Modern feminism, founded by communist Betty Friedan, popularized the totalitarian slogan, “The personal is the political.”

Of course, the politics of personal destruction waged against anyone who dissents from the racial socialist dogma du jour has been going on for 50 years, since the black attacks on Daniel Patrick Moynihan for the report he wrote for President Johnson on the negro family. In recent years, however, the attacks have gone from occurring years apart to days and even hours apart.

Alito Warns: Defenders of Traditional Marriage Now Risk Being Treated as Bigots by Governments, Employers, Schools
By Terence P. Jeffrey
June 26, 2015 | 1:53 P.M. EDT
CNS News

( - In his dissent from the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which declared that same-sex marriage is a right, Justice Samuel Alito said the court had falsely likened opposition to same-sex marriage to racism and that its decision “will be used to vilify Americans unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.”

Alito warned that in the wake of the court’s ruling, Americans who dare to publicly express views in favor the traditional understanding that marriage is between a man and a woman will risk recrimination.

“I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools,” Alito wrote.

“By imposing its own views on the entire country,” he said, “the majority facilitates the marginalization of the many Americans who have traditional ideas.”

Here is a key excerpt from Alito’s dissent:

[Alito’s complete dissenting opinion can be read in this pdf file, starting on page 96.]

Today’s decision usurps the constitutional right of the people to decide whether to keep or alter the traditional understanding of marriage. The decision will also have other important consequences. It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. E.g., ante, at 11–13. The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.

Perhaps recognizing how its reasoning may be used, the majority attempts, toward the end of its opinion, to reas¬sure those who oppose same-sex marriage that their rights of conscience will be protected. Ante, at 26–27. We will soon see whether this proves to be true. I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.

The system of federalism established by our Constitu¬tion provides a way for people with different beliefs to live together in a single nation. If the issue of same-sex mar¬riage had been left to the people of the States, it is likely that some States would recognize same-sex marriage and others would not. It is also possible that some States would tie recognition to protection for conscience rights. The majority today makes that impossible. By imposing its own views on the entire country, the majority facili¬tates the marginalization of the many Americans who have traditional ideas. Recalling the harsh treatment of gays and lesbians in the past, some may think that turn-about is fair play. But if that sentiment prevails, the Nation will experience bitter and lasting wounds.


Anonymous said...

I talked to some people about this and said "if a conservative Republican gets in next election we may see this get overturned"?
I was given two words which I d heard before...stare decisis, the idea that Supreme Court rulings are left alone-never to be reversed...which according to pro gay marriage people means this law stands forever.
There are however plenty of cases where stare decisis was not enough of a reason to keep a previous ruling intact.One was in 1986 in the Hardwick Sodomy case.It was ruled then that sodomy was illegal, only to have that reversed in 2003 with Kennedy (again) as the main culprit in furthering the decriminialization of perverted behavior.The minority opinion simply stated stare decisis as the reason to keep the ruling as it was .The conservative court of 1986 gave way to the liberal court of 2003 and sodomy was given a"thumbs up".
But it IS possible that a more conservative court could change this courts ruling.The odds are slim, but unless a Republican gets in next time---the odds will be none.

Nicholas said...

Funny, how "stare decisis" only goes one way. Now, it's "settled law"... except that it ain't, and never will be.