Chuck Baldwin: A Solution for the Same-Sex Marriage Problem

Chuck Baldwin was the Constitution Party’s 2008 presidential nominee.  The following was posted at his website Chuck Baldwin Live.

Right now, the liberty movement is divided almost in half between those favoring the SCOTUS ruling legalizing same-sex marriage and those opposed (count me in the opposed camp). So, right now, the liberty movement is completely stymied over this issue. The only ones who win in such a case are big-government Orwellians.

To be sure, the SCOTUS decision to legalize same-sex “marriage” was the result of decades of relentless propaganda from the national news media, liberal politicians, and college professors throughout America.

Think about it: what do Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor know that John Locke, Thomas More, Emer de Vattel, Algernon Sidney, William Rawle, Hugo Grotius, William Blackstone, William Penn, James Wilson, John Marshall, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, John Adams, John Jay, Daniel Webster, Francis Scott Key, Hugo Black, Rutherford B. Hayes, and William O. Douglas didn’t know?

In other words, just as in the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion-on-demand, the Obergefell decision legalizing same-sex “marriage” was judicial activism pure and simple. There were no precedents for either decision. Think of the brilliant minds in law, philosophy, and religion over two thousand years of Western Civilization that somehow missed the “right” of homosexuals to “marry.”

What I’m saying is, I realize that militant homosexuals, ultra-leftists, and judicial activists have been waging war on America’s historic Christian values for decades–and they won a huge victory with the Obergefell decision. I also understand that these people will never be satisfied until they have totally and thoroughly expunged these values from America’s public life. There is no question they will resort to any tactic–no matter how morally unjust or constitutionally corrupt–to achieve their radical, amoral agenda. Kim Davis will not be the last Christian to be persecuted for her faith in this country.

That said, the Obergefell decision has successfully divided the liberty movement almost in half, between those who agree with the decision (on whatever grounds) and those who disagree. But, instead of arguing over the SCOTUS decision, here is what ALL OF US in the liberty movement should be doing: we should be using whatever influence we have to promote the idea of taking marriage OUT OF THE HANDS OF THE STATE ALTOGETHER.

Most of us realize that marriage is sacred; that it’s much more than just a civil contract. (Only the state itself reinvented marriage as being merely a civil contract.) One doesn’t have to be a Christian to acknowledge this distinction. Throughout the history of Western Civilization, the state seldom had authority over marriage. Think of it: for over 1,800 years of Western Civilization, the state had little–if anything–to do with marriage. (In America, only the colony of Massachusetts is recorded as requiring State marriage licenses before the mid-nineteenth century.)

So, why do we even look to the state for a license to marry? The fact is, WE SHOULDN’T. All of the bickering over Obergefell only serves to ensconce the notion that the state has legitimate authority over marriage. IT DOESN’T.

In Pilgrim America and in Colonial America–and until only recently in modern America–Common Law (Natural Law) marriage was universally recognized as being, not only lawful, but sacrosanct. The idea of asking the state for permission to marry was as absurd as asking the state for permission to take communion or to be baptized.

For example, the State of Pennsylvania didn’t outlaw Common Law marriage until 2005. And the only reason the vast majority of states do not recognize Common Law marriage today is because the Church has completely surrendered the Scriptural teaching on the subject and has willingly (even happily) turned what is uniquely a divine institution over to the state.

In other words, ladies and gentlemen, the only one to blame for the decision of the Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage is THE CHURCH. The ultra-leftists and militant homosexuals would have had NO CHANCE of achieving victory at the Supreme Court had the churches of America been doing their job over the last half-century or more to educate people on the historic Natural Law principles governing marriage and the state. (Virtually ALL of the major problems we are dealing with today are the result of the absence of sound instruction from the pulpits of America.)

But since the Church’s surrender of the sanctity of marriage, here is the current reality: 40 states do not legally recognize Common Law marriage. That means, those 40 states see only the state as having authority over marriage. But the state has NO AUTHORITY over marriage and cannot legally sanction ANY marriage. I remind you Jesus said, “What therefore God hath joined together . . . .” Only GOD can join couples in marriage.

The best that I can determine, these are the 10 states that still recognize Common Law marriage: Alabama, Colorado, Kansas, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Iowa, Montana, Texas, Utah, and Oklahoma. And Utah only seems to recognize Common Law marriage after the fact. In addition, Oklahoma is currently in the process of banning all State marriage licenses. This is exactly what all 50 states should do. (New Hampshire recognizes Common Law marriage for inheritance purposes only; so it should not be included as a Common Law State.)

So, including Utah, the people in ten states are free to marry WITHOUT a State license. And that’s exactly what every freedomist in those states should start promoting–and promoting LOUDLY. And freedomists in the other 40 states should start demanding that their State legislatures once again recognize Common Law marriage. Maybe people in those states should even consider civil disobedience and marry outside the licensing authority of the State. After all, if God has joined a man and woman together, what difference does it make if the State–or anyone else–recognizes it or not? If enough pastors and churches would do this, it wouldn’t take long for State legislatures to enact appropriate legislation.

Let the state recognize or not recognize to its heart’s content; let it embrace all of the perversion it wants. You can bet polygamy will be legalized next. And then what? Pedophilia? Bestiality? At some point, the sacred institutions of marriage and the Church will be forced to separate themselves from a suicidal society just as they did when the Roman Empire was collapsing. In Rome–as in oppressed nations today–Christians and churches mostly took their worship and sacred ceremonies underground. And, if history teaches anything, it teaches us that no civilization has long survived after socially embracing aberrant sexual behaviors. And America won’t either.

Let’s face it: the federal government in D.C. is leading America over an economic, political, moral, and cultural cliff. So, why do we keep looking to D.C. to fix the problem? THEY WON’T DO IT. As Ronald Reagan famously said, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government IS the problem.”

And the two institutions we should IMMEDIATELY extract from government–the two institutions that should have NEVER been allowed to be placed under the authority of government to begin with–are the institutions of marriage and the Church.

How in the name of common sense can pastors and churches take a Scriptural stand on the sanctity of marriage when they have allowed the Church itself to be bastardized by accepting the 501c3 tax-exempt organization status from Washington, D.C., and incorporation status from the states?

Think of it: our spiritual “leaders” have allowed the two most sacred institutions on earth (marriage and the Church) to be prostituted on the altar of state recognition. Think of it another way: our 501c3 pastors have become little more than pimps for the IRS and, now, a radical, activist Supreme Court. Do pastors really want Caesar’s blessing that badly?

Regarding marriage: we should marry under Natural Law (Common Law) ONLY.

Regarding the Church: it should be removed from 501c3 non-profit organization and State incorporation status–and if the pastor and church refuse to extract themselves, we should extract ourselves from THEM.

We either “come out” from this leviathan or we will be swallowed by it.

Yes, the radical left and militant homosexuals will continue to press their anti-Christian agenda with every means possible. Yes, those of us who have Christian, traditional and moralist convictions are going to be forced to defend these historic principles tooth and nail. But there can be no victory whatsoever by willfully surrendering the Natural Law principles upon which our convictions are predicated. Neither can there be victory by pretending that Caesar’s law is Supreme Law, because it’s not! There is a Court above the court. There is a King above kings. There is a Law above law.

Our founders gave their lives in order to bequeath to us a country in which we didn’t have to decide between obeying God and obeying government, as this constitutional republic was designed to protect our duty to God. Current national leaders–facilitated by America’s spiritual leaders–are taking that wonderful bequeathment away from us.

Therefore, say it anyway you want, “Don’t tread on me,” or “We must obey God rather than men,” but say it we must. And if Christian men and women cannot say it in defense of the sanctity and autonomy of marriage and the Church, they cannot say it at all.

P.S. I have a four-message DVD that I believe is absolutely essential for Christian people–and others who believe in our founding principles–to help them understand Natural Law. The title of the DVD series is “Liberty And Law.” Here are the message titles:

*Biblical Evidence for Natural Law (I show you the Scriptural evidence for Natural Law in this message.)

*Christ’s Law of The Sword (This message explains what Christ meant when He told Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” (Matt. 26:52, KJV) Believe me, He did NOT mean that Christians are supposed to lay down their means of self-defense and never use the sword. I show from the Scriptures exactly what Jesus was saying to Peter. And, trust me, it will probably surprise you, as I doubt you have been taught this truth in church. And it will also help you to better understand a whole host of other scriptural principles as a result.)

*The Law of Necessity (This is a basic Natural Law principle that was demonstrated repeatedly throughout the Bible, including by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.)

*Liberty in Law (There is true liberty only in Law; but this Law does not ALWAYS mean the laws of men.)

This is one of the most important message-series I have ever delivered. And its truths are needed as much NOW as they were when our pastors thundered them forth in the churches of Colonial America–maybe more so.

To order my DVD, “Liberty And Law,” go here:

Liberty And Law

© Chuck Baldwin

138 thoughts on “Chuck Baldwin: A Solution for the Same-Sex Marriage Problem

  1. Thomas L. Knapp

    Hmmm … well, I obviously have significant disagreements with Pastor Baldwin, starting with the title.

    There is no more “same-sex marriage problem.” That particular problem — the particular ARRANGEMENT of state involvement in marriage in the form of an apartheid system in which only marriages at least roughly conforming to Pastor Baldwin’s religious beliefs could be “licensed” and others were illegalized, up to and including jail time for clergy performing the religious rites — was a problem, but a secondary one. That secondary problem has been remedied by taking away the state’s prerogative of feeling up would-be married couples to ensure that the configuration of their genitalia met Pastor Baldwin’s specifications.

    There are two PRIMARY problems — a “marriage and state problem” and a “church and state problem.” Those two problems are somewhat mingled, but Pastor Baldwin does seem to be thinking toward good solutions to them, i.e. getting the state out of marriage and getting the churches out of the state.

    Since moving to Gainesville, I have attended two churches and am starting to settle on the second one as my “home congregation.” The first one was a Presbyterian church; that denomination recently decided to recognize same-sex marriage. The church I’m attending now is a Metropolitan Community Church. That denomination has always been inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities. My recollection is that they performed “commitment ceremonies” back when it was illegal to acknowledge that the people involved were actually getting married; I assume that they perform same-sex marriages now that they’re not persecuted for doing so. And of course the church I’m ordained as a minister in, the Universal Life Church, recognizes same-sex marriage too.

  2. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    “How in the name of common sense can pastors and churches take a Scriptural stand on the sanctity of marriage when they have allowed the Church itself to be bastardized by accepting the 501c3 tax-exempt organization status from Washington, D.C., and incorporation status from the states?”

    Good question. But this will lead us into the uncomfortable terrain of investigating the historic relationship between mainstream religion and state power.

  3. Richard Winger

    It is factually wrong for Chuck Baldwin to say there are no precedents supporting the Obergefell opinion. The US Supreme Court had previously ruled that prisoners serving life terms must still be allowed to marry; and had previously ruled that states can’t ban interracial marriages.

  4. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    If you mean that Baldwin’s “solution” to the end of marriage apartheid is a “solution” in search of a problem, I agree. The Obergefell ruling was objectively pro-freedom in that it reduced/constrained an unconstitutionally usurped state power to violate a right (an unenumerated right but one implicit in the 9th amendment) by “licensing” a form of association, by forbidding it to deny “licenses” to people whose combined genital composition don’t match Chuck Baldwin’s religious specifications.

    But there are real underlying problems, which Baldwin does at least allude to and does make some reasonable suggestions on.

    One of those underlying problems is the entanglement of marriage and state.

    Another is the entanglement of church and state.

    I would love to see churches rejecting the state’s “non-profit” deal, where they agree not to say things the state doesn’t want them to say in return for exclusion from the state’s extortion rackets.

    And I would love to see churches, and other social institutions, rejecting the state’s attempts to “license” marriage and to use that “licensing” power to regulate an institution that has undergone continuous organic social redefinition for tens of thousands of years and can keep evolving on its own just fine without any help from the state.

  5. Andy

    Thomas Knapp: “One of those underlying problems is the entanglement of marriage and state.”

    This is the underlying problem that made all of this a political issue, which it never should have been.

  6. Thomas L. Knapp

    It is ONE of the underlying problems that made all of this a political issue. As I pointed out, there was at least one other underlying problem that enabled, and was enabled by, that one.

  7. Andy

    Just to be clear on my position on this issue, if the government is going to be in the marriage licensing game, and if they are going to attach so called “benefits” to said licenses, then the licenses ought to be available to everyone, including gays.

    The bigger issue here is that the government should not be involved in the issue of marriage.

  8. Joe

    There is no problem Chuck. The only problem is YOUR interoperation of God. Now you change that Jesus, the man who taught peace and love wanted a war. Can’t you see that you are creating God in your image. Stay home and pray for forgiveness Chuck.

  9. jim

    Having read over 1000 Supreme Court decisions (and probably 10,000 Federal Appeals court decisions), I can say that the Obergefell decision is probably one of the worst 10 I have ever seen. Had it been much better, it would have defended the idea that the 14th was intended by its ratifiers to confer power to the Federal government to legislate marriage. It never did. To be sure, other errors of this nature have occurred in the past. About 1892 the Supreme Court ruled in a case, “George Romney” (presumably, not the George Romney who was governor of Michigan in the 1970’s!!!) that since Utah was an American territory, the US government was entitled to enforce its will on it. The obvious flaw with that is that the Supreme Court didn’t justify enforcing this specific prohibition, based on the actual content of the US Constitution. It also ignored the 9th and 10th Amendment. But that was simply the exercise of 19th-century ethics and morality.

    Another major problem with Obergefell is that generally laws and the Constitution are interpreted so that if there are multiple ways to interpret, and one raises serious questions of propriety and precedent, another does not, generally the latter interpretation wins. Consider one interpretation would be that gay men have always had the ability to marry any woman they want, and likewise any gay woman has the ability to marry any man they want. Naturally, this position (while quite true) would be attacked as not what they want, those are indeed plausible interpretations of the applicability of the 14th amendment. (And, would have been the only plausible interpretation prior to 1990, or indeed before 2000).

    Keep in mind that prior to 2000, it would have been plausible for a state to prohibit the marriage of gay men with women. NOTE! I said, “plausible”, NOT “wise” nor “appropriate”, nor “good”. Had a state attempted to do so, that would (and should) have been attacked in court by the argument that the 14th amendment should guarantee the right of a gay man to marry a woman, just as law allows straight men to marry women. And presumably, that argument would have won.
    Gays object to such an argument simply because it is contradictory to what they want, not because they think it violates some longstanding legal principle of interpretation. And, of course, most of them haven’t spent 10,000 hours in a law library, as I have.
    So, 5 persons on the SC simply decided what outcome they wanted, and fabricated a very poor decision to accomplish that. Anybody who views the Obergefell decision as being a “victory” should be ashamed.

  10. jim

    Andy: You said, “Just to be clear on my position on this issue, if the government is going to be in the marriage licensing game, and if they are going to attach so called “benefits” to said licenses, then the licenses ought to be available to everyone, including gays.”

    Are any other limits still okay? Hypothetical example: I believe distribution of marital assets by divorce is not taxable under American law. Suppose a billionaire wants to give his son at least half of his assets, tax free. He can marry his son, divorce after a suitable interval, and that avoids the inheritance tax for another 30 years or so.

    Don’t say, “They still can’t marry people closely related!!!” If you dare say that, I will point out that this restriction made perfect sense if all marriages were man/woman, and thus might result in children with an increase in birth defects. The marriage of a man with a man (his son) can’t result in any gene-mixing offspring (at least not yet) so there is simply no basis for denying a man and his son the opportunity to marry. Any such restriction can therefore be called “arbitrary and capricious”.

    One problem with the same-sex-marriage argument is that those in favor of it seemed (and still seem) ready and willing to accept all other arbitrary and capricious restrictions on it.
    Not-so-old saying: “If you can change marriage to be anything YOU want, why can’t I change marriage to be anything _I_ want?”

    For the record, I think government shouldn’t be involved in marriage at all.

  11. Robert Capozzi

    Jim, interesting hypothetical. My Inner Rothbard would say that such a father/son marriage would be aOK, commendable, even, as it denies The State of revenues. Indeed, my IR would say that an incestuous marriage is OK, too, as it involves no coercion, no initiation of force. However, should a child be born of a, say, father/daughter union, it could sue them for reckless endangerment.

    Thankfully, my IR is largely dormant. It strikes me as reasonable that marriage among blood relatives are disallowed. At the moment, father/son unions would also be disallowed, despite the fact that such a pairing could not result in offspring.

    I’d certainly spend no effort to make an exception for same-gender blood relative marriage. I doubt such a move would attract much support, as it’s kinda icky, if you ask me.

    Would it be “moral” from a strict NAP perspective? Probably. But, then, I’ve been liberated from such a strict NAPsolutistic perspective.

    Feels good!

  12. Thomas L. Knapp

    I agree that the LOGIC of the Obergefell ruling was very defective. I wish SCOTUS had used less arguable and contentious grounds than substantive due process, and they had several firm grounds available (Full Faith and Credit, Equal Protection and the 1st and 9th Amendments).

    Nonetheless the ACTUAL result (as opposed to potential negative side consequences) was good. The state governments are now partially restrained and deprived of discretion in their violations of rights. Not completely, just partially.

    But partially is better than not at all. As recently as a few months ago, clergy could be fined and jailed in some states for performing the “wrong” religious rites vis a vis marriage, a clear violation of the 1st Amendment. I’m glad that got fixed.

  13. Floyd Whitley

    “an institution that has undergone continuous organic social redefinition for tens of thousands of years and can keep evolving on its own…”

    It is a bit too rich to use the term “evolving” when referring to homosexual so-called marriage.

    Presuming Darwinism, that is a discontinuity of logic to say the least. Hypocrisy certainly.

    As for redefining and evolving (both cliches used to justify the behavior), I take Ecclesiastes. Nothing new under the sun.

    And to prove that point, explain Sporus and Nero.

    http://www.cpidaho.org/archives/call-me-sporus/

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Presuming Darwinism”

    Well, I don’t necessarily do that … but if I did, the discontinuity of logic would be yours, not mine.

    Homosexuality has been a persistent phenomenon across many species for as long as humans have been observing and probably far long.

    IF we presume Darwinism, then, logic tells us that, if there is a genetic component to homosexuality, that component is either beneficial from a survival/reproduction standpoint or, at worst, not so harmful from a survival/reproduction standpoint as to have been weeded out of those numerous species by millions of years of natural selection.

    You are, of course, entitled to your superstitions, as I am to mine. Neither of us is entitled to have the state impose our superstitions on everyone else, as your cult did with little contest or controversy in the US for a couple of hundred years. So sorry it bugs you that you no longer get to run everyone else’s life.

  15. Floyd Whitley

    “IF we presume Darwinism, then, logic tells us that, if there is a genetic component to homosexuality…”

    I readily concede that this is most definitely the “holy grail” for homosexuals. It has been chased since the 1970s.

    Logic would dictate that, had it been found, it would be waved like Martin Luther King’s bloody shirt in Memphis. It has not bee for lack of trying, or lack of investment.

    So, that apparently is an unfounded superstition as well. We will call it a new-aged parochialism in time.

    You avoided the question about Sporus and Nero. Nero’s efforts and attempts and claims are all remarkably similar to those being foisted today.

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I readily concede that [a genetic component to homosexuality] is most definitely the ‘holy grail’ for homosexuals. It has been chased since the 1970s.”

    You might want to watch your tendency toward collectivist thinking. I know homosexuals who believe they were “born this way,” and homosexuals who believe that their environment shaped their sexual orientation.

    From what I’ve read, some scientists believe they’ve identified a correlation between variations in one region of the maternally-donated X chromosome and homosexuality in males, but have not yet identified the specific gene. I don’t find it particularly surprising that that’s as far as they’ve gotten. There are a lot of other attributes for which a genetic basis is not yet known.

    I didn’t “avoid the question” about Sporus and Nero. You didn’t ask a question. You demanded that I explain something, and further seemed to be demanding that my explanation rely on a page of irrationalist vomit from a “Constitution” [sic] Party source. Not interested — if you want to break butterflies upon wheels, do it yourself.

  17. Jill Pyeatt

    When I was watching the debate Wednesday night, I suddenly became outraged at the individuals on the stage falling all over themselves to tell the country how they plan to tell people how to live their lives. The particular context was about drugs, and particularly the continued nonsense about that “gateway drug”, marijuana. Why do they think they have the right to impose their “morality”, “ignorance”, “nonsense”–whatever you want to call it–on everyone else? I feel the same way about the issue of same-gender marriage. Why does this continue to be such an issue? Our country should be sooooo over this by now.

    It really is as simple ias: If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get one.

    Otherwise, Mind Your Own Business.

  18. Floyd Whitley

    Whatever.

    When you say this: “Homosexuality has been a persistent phenomenon across many species”…you suggest that mankind is no more than an animal. Mankind is reduced to the level of big horn sheep.

    You thus imprison the human spirit under your thesis. By it, it necessarily follows that mankind can do no more than resort to barbaric animalism, is imprisoned to lust, lacks free will, and so forth. I merely point out that that is hardly evolutionary thinking.

    Under your capricious thesis, the rise of human beings could never occur.

    Again, to claim evolution in one place, and then when that thesis does not work attempt to defend debased behavior by alluding to homosexual behavior as would be found in sheep, means that proponents of the particular perversion are hypocrites.

    I submit that the human being is more than merely an animal. You suggest that the human is only that.

  19. Jed Ziggler

    Humans are animals, we are gifted by evolution with a logical, reasoning mind. It is illogical and defies reason to believe that everyone is going to love the same way you do. I avoid the word homosexuality because we’re talking about far more than animalistic sex and lust. We’re talking about love, attraction, deep personal connections that go far beyond base instincts that social conservatives are so obsessed with. I feel those connections with other men, I feel no such connection with women. To rob me of such love, commitment, and all that goes with it, or to devalue it in any way, stikes me as exceptionally cruel and cold hearted.

    You live your life, I’ll live mine.

  20. Floyd Whitley

    “Why do they think they have the right to impose…”

    This is no longer the Paleolithic.

    When humans organize into social constructs, certain restrictions necessarily must apply…or it would be impossible for civilization to exist.

    Behavior can indeed be constrained in that social construct. Quarantine is one example. But so to is prohibition against lying under oath, public drunkenness, theft, adultery, bestiality, and so on.

    This is true because the society itself also has rights. Using property merely as the example, there are actually three sets of rights…individual rights, sovereign rights and common rights.

    “Imposition” occurs whenever these encroach. But for social order, and to make civilization even possible, that must be true. That is called “law” in one sense, and “morality” in another…both of which were, and are, necessary for human kind to advance.

  21. Thomas L. Knapp

    “it would be impossible for civilization to exist.”

    You might want to look up the meaning of that word instead of just assuming that your claim, even were it true, describes a bad thing.

  22. Jill Pyeatt

    FW said: “When humans organize into social constructs, certain restrictions necessarily must apply”

    Oh, well there you go. I never signed onto your social construct.

  23. Floyd Whitley

    As to “love”..using a “logical, reasoning mind” here and under the same premise…then nothing can be taboo. Pedophilia must be allowed, so too first-order incest, bestiality, polygamy…

    Why should these now have any restrictions placed upon them?

    If “consent” is the only barrier, then why would sadism and masochism and suicide not be also be condoned by society?

  24. paulie

    I don’t think it should be any of the governments business if blood relatives, gay or straight, want to get married. It’s true there’s an increased risk of birth defects, but that risk is only slightly higher in one generation, and it would still be a social taboo even if it wasn’t a government law – nor does the government law prevent incest from actually happening, and sometimes leading to children of incestuous couples from being born. And aside from gay couples, what business does the government have in preventing, say, an 80 year old brother from marrying his 78 year old sister? We already know they won’t have children. How about couples who are infertile, or have had their tubes tied, etc? Really I don’t see it as government business at all, social taboos can take care of this sort of thing a lot more effectively, to the extent it can be dealt with at all.

  25. Jill Pyeatt

    The ultimate of ignorance is putting homosexuality in with pedophilia. You just lost any credibility you had left, Floyd.

    Pedophilia involves coercion with someone too young to make appropriate choices.

  26. Floyd Whitley

    “You might want to look up the meaning of that word instead of just assuming that your claim, even were it true, describes a bad thing.”

    Your nonsensical statement is so disassociated, I have no idea what you even attempt to say by it. Nor do I think that you do either.

  27. Jed Ziggler

    “The ultimate of ignorance is putting homosexuality in with pedophilia. You just lost any credibility you had left, Floyd.

    Pedophilia involves coercion with someone too young to make appropriate choices.”

    Indeed, he’s too wrapped up in his ideology to even consider that he might be wrong, and to consider or even care that his words might be hurtful.

    “Squeamish much?”

    Not in the least, it’s not that I’m “squeamish” about sexuality, it’s that I’m offended by the right’s insistence that being gay is only a matter of sexuality.

  28. paulie

    “IF we presume Darwinism, then, logic tells us that, if there is a genetic component to homosexuality…”

    I readily concede that this is most definitely the “holy grail” for homosexuals. It has been chased since the 1970s.

    Logic would dictate that, had it been found, it would be waved like Martin Luther King’s bloody shirt in Memphis. It has not bee for lack of trying, or lack of investment.

    You mean like this?

    http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/10443/20141118/homosexuality-genetic-strongest-evidence.htm

  29. Floyd Whitley

    “Pedophilia involves coercion”…no it does not in all situations.

    In fact, NAMBLA is making this very case in the halls of Congress as we speak…and has been for more than a decade now.

    Their arguments are focused on “consent”…simply because that was used successfully by homosexuals.

    We are now told that kids as early as kindergarten can be segregated out as “being” homosexuals. They are indeed being indoctrinated even at this young age.

    In grade school, bathrooms are now set aside for inclusion of homosexuals and so-called transgenders.

    Keep in mind, these are all minors.

    So, what coercion are you talking about? Evidently, adults who seek social “revisions” manipulate via desensitization programming. They then grossly stand by as voyeurs (educators they claim themselves to be) in their “experiment” of advocating homosexual behavior…in minors.

    So long as the minors keep it among themselves, apparently that’s okay, healthy, acceptable?

    But somehow, if that behavior transgresses the artificial barrier to include an adult in that otherwise acceptable behavior, it then becomes taboo? How is that line drawn? How is that line now justified? “Consent” is the panacea here, is it not?

    NAMBLA has a legal case…if “consent” is assumed to be the determinate, does it not?

  30. paulie

    When I was watching the debate Wednesday night, I suddenly became outraged at the individuals on the stage falling all over themselves to tell the country how they plan to tell people how have to live their lives.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-mullen/the-real-reason-rand-paul_b_8141032.html
    The Real Reason Rand Paul is Losing to Trump and Carson: Republican Voters Want Bigger Government

    The particular context was about drugs, and particularly the continued nonsense about that “gateway drug”, marijuana. Why do they think they have the right to impose their “morality”, “ignorance”, “nonsense”–whatever you want to call it–on everyone else? I feel the same way about the issue of same-gender marriage. Why does this continue to be such an issue? Our country should be sooooo over this by now.

    Indeed!

    null

    It really is as simple ias: If you don’t like gay marriage, don’;t get one.

    Otherwise, Mind Your Own Business.

    Like, duh!

    🙂

  31. Floyd Whitley

    @ paulie

    Yet, several Australian studies of identical twins, one homosexual the other not, suggest otherwise.

    Which obviously could not occur…if genetics were the reason.

  32. paulie

    As to “love”..using a “logical, reasoning mind” here and under the same premise…then nothing can be taboo. Pedophilia must be allowed, so too first-order incest, bestiality, polygamy…

    Why should these now have any restrictions placed upon them?

    If “consent” is the only barrier, then why would sadism and masochism and suicide not be also be condoned by society?

    Consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want, as long as it doesn’t involve anyone or anything that is not a consenting adult human or legitimate individual property. Therefore, consenting S & M, polygamy, and incest among adults would be OK, which does not mean that you or society at large has to approve of them… just not use force to intervene. Boycotts, preaching, persuasion of any sort…by all means.

    Anything can be taboo; enforcing taboos should be the job of churches, families, and other voluntary associations in society, not government.

    Pedophilia – particularly with pre-pubescent children, and arguably with teenagers – would not be legal, because they are too young to give informed consent. The same would be true of someone who is not awake, is too intoxicated to meaningfully consent, is too mentally incapacitated to meaningfully consent and so on. I believe the same standard would apply to non-human animals; arousal isn’t necessarily consent, and the fact that non-human animals have sex with each other does not necessarily mean it’s OK for humans to have sex with them, just as the fact that some kids have sex with each other does not necessarily mean it is OK for adults to have sex with them.

    Suicide is an individual choice, and government has absolutely no business there.

  33. paulie

    In fact, NAMBLA is making this very case in the halls of Congress as we speak…and has been for more than a decade now.

    Their case is faulty. While there is legitimate room for debate over the exact age of consent, it’s a concept that applies not just to sex but to legal contracts of all sorts, the ability to make adult choices regarding employment and living arrangements,
    rights and responsibilities such as driving, etc. While there can be some argument that teens should have these rights if and when they also take on the accompanying responsibilities, it’s ridiculous to argue that small children can make these decisions in the same way an adult can – and equally ridiculous to argue that adult homosexuals are any less capable of doing so than adult heterosexuals.

  34. paulie

    We are now told that kids as early as kindergarten can be segregated out as “being” homosexuals.

    Kids can also be heterosexuals at that age. I remember doing things like dropping pencils to look under girls’ skirts, kissing them, etc. That doesn’t mean it would have been OK for an adult woman, or an adult man, to molest me. I did however get “molested” by some women in their 20s when I was in my teens, and don’t regret it at all.

    So, what coercion are you talking about?

    I don’t understand your question. Just because some kids identify as straight, bi, gay, transgender or cisgender it’s OK for adults to molest them? How so? Kids have medical procedures too, but they can’t consent to them on their own. Some kids work for a living (child actors for example, and others – I’ve been working for a living since age 11, for example) but we still have some rules about hiring kids. We can absolutely say those laws are overapplied, and I think they in fact are, but that doesn’t mean there should be none at all.

    So long as the minors keep it among themselves, apparently that’s okay, healthy, acceptable?

    Equally so if they are gay, bi or straight.

    But somehow, if that behavior transgresses the artificial barrier to include an adult in that otherwise acceptable behavior, it then becomes taboo? How is that line drawn? How is that line now justified?

    The same as with legal contracting, employment, housing, medical procedures, etc.

    “Consent” is the panacea here, is it not?

    Not.

    NAMBLA has a legal case…if “consent” is assumed to be the determinate, does it not?

    Not.

  35. Floyd Whitley

    Who says so? Tradition? The law? “Inappropriateness”?

    If homosexual behavior is condoned, having perverted tradition, law and appropriateness, why not pedophilia, polygamy, bestiality as well?

    That does not sound very libertarian of you.

  36. paulie

    But perhaps I am not being objective here, since I wrote it. Is anyone besides Mr. Whitley having trouble following my logic here?

  37. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Which obviously could not occur…if genetics were the reason.”

    The problem with obvious things is that what’s obvious is not always true.

    For one thing, “identical twins” aren’t genetically identical (their DNA differs at the mitochondrial level).

    For another, “a genetic component” is not the same thing as “a solely genetic cause.”

    “That does not sound very libertarian of you.”

    You seem to be about as well-versed in libertarianism as you are in the US Constitution, in scripture and in logic.

  38. Floyd Whitley

    As to societal controls on behavior, government does have an interest here, despite what the selective libertarians may say.

    Sexually transmitted diseases are skyrocketing in these United States. This is a direct cause/effect on the lack of moral bearing, uncontrolled promiscuity and drug abuse..

    The vast majority of syphilis, for example, is found in homosexual men. This behavior is a danger to society at large. It (primary and secondary) is increasing at a rate of 10%. Congenital syphilis, is expanding at 4%. So much for care for the future.

    Because homosexuals are more likely to abuse substances, like crystal meth which has is own open sores issues all by itself, HIV has an open door, and it is opened, enabled and encouraged under the refusal to control the very behavior which is causing this deadly wildfire.

    The costs to society for the 20 some million cases of new STDs diagnosed is $16 billion each year. This is direct cause and effect. The cause…immorality. The effect…society pays for the “libertarian” view on ignoring morals. Why should society be forced to subsidize the effects of immorality? Why should the innocent be placed at an ever increasing risk by a “politically correct” refusal to address the source of the threat?

    My original comment was aimed at the false claim that homosexual behavior is now an “evolved” marriage. I remain opposed to that claim. Using “evolved” with “homosexual” is an oxymoron…so much so that it broaches being propagandist and indoctrinaire…the very thing libertarians accuse the Constitution Party of being.

    The only thing that has “evolved” is the presence of resistant syphilis, the majority of which is gotten and spread by homosexual males through their “inappropriate” behavior. Nothing new under the sun there.

    It is the same old destructive perversion that it has always been, albeit repackaged now under libertarian “New! Improved!” advertisements.

  39. Floyd Whitley

    “For one thing, “identical twins” aren’t genetically identical ” I KNEW that would be pulled out. In fact, I am surprised it took so long.

    Too clever by half.

  40. Floyd Whitley

    “You seem to be about as well-versed in libertarianism as you are in the US Constitution, in scripture and in logic.”

    I must have missed the part about sodomy being in the Constitution. Can you point that out?..anywhere other than that routinely abused contorted and obsolete amendment which supposedly grants carte blanche to everything these days?

    Whereas, I can point out where the Constitution says that civil and religious liberty are the basis of all laws, constitutions and governments.

    And where it says that religion, moral and knowledge are necessary for good government and the happiness of mankind.

    Can you?

  41. Floyd Whitley

    Misdirection? How so?

    Collectivist blame? Why level that charge? It is a fact that homosexual males are RESPONSIBLE for the dramatic increases in a number of STDs. The CDC says this. ARe you saying that the CDC is laying down “collectivist blame”? Or are they reporting facts? And here I thought that that would have been called “science” by libertarian behavioral apologists.

    Solutions? Aye to that. So, by my count, you’ve gotten one out of three correct. I am guilty of providing them.

    BTW Have you found that stuff in the Constitution yet?

  42. paulie

    Have you found the definition of collectiv(ist)? I have spent too much time on this nonsense you keep coming up with already. Your “solutions” don’t solve anything.

  43. Thomas L. Knapp

    “My original comment was aimed at the false claim that homosexual behavior is now an ‘evolved’ marriage.”

    No it wasn’t, for the simple reason that no one made any such claim for you to “aim” at.

    The “evolution” is not in the fact that same-sex marriage exists — it and its opposite-sex counterpart have been around for as long as humans have. Neither is the “evolution” some kind of straight-line development from “lower” to “higher” or “worse” to “better.”

    Society “evolves” in ebbs and tides.

    Right now your particular sectarian religious schemes for running everyone else’s lives are ebbing after surging for 150 years or so.

    You don’t have to like that, and I understand why you don’t. But that’s how it is whether you like it or not.

  44. Andy Craig

    All of the other problems with Baldwin’s argument have been touched on at length, but I did want to mention a couple of points.

    Anti-gay SoCons, particularly those looking for a libertarian-ish or constitutional-ish patina, will often talk about “returning marriage to the churches.” Setting aside those who have no desire to marry in a church, they talk as though such a thing would have the effect of resurrecting the ban on same-sex marriage, because they strongly imply no church (even “THE CHURCH” as Baldwin would have it), would allow same-sex marriages.

    But of course that isn’t true- some of the largest and oldest mainline Protest denominations in the country will quite happily solemnize a same-sex wedding and accept the couple as members. Nor is there anything stopping anybody from creating their own church, with its own rules, out of thin air. For all his posturing about “defending religious liberty” – Chuck Baldwin couldn’t care less about those churches and their freedom to practice their religion. For him religious liberty means his religion, the “true” religion, only. Like the rest of the Con. Party, he isn’t a constitutionalist, and certainly isn’t a libertarian, he’s just an outright theocrat who would more readily abolish the 1st Amendment than defend it.

    He also talks about “common law marriage” without knowing much about how CLM actually works (CLM is still defined by law, including laws restricting it). Common law vs. civil marriage is totally irrelevant to the marriage equality decisions. A state that went 100% CLM and still banned same-sex marriage (as every state that has some limited form of CLM did), would still have that ban struck down.

  45. jim

    Chuck Baldwin said:
    “How in the name of common sense can pastors and churches take a Scriptural stand on the sanctity of marriage when they have allowed the Church itself to be bastardized by accepting the 501c3 tax-exempt organization status from Washington, D.C., and incorporation status from the states?”

    The First Amendment prohibits the Federal government (and state governments) from:
    ” Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

    So, having a provision to immunize churches from taxation is not merely an option, it is absolutely mandatory to comply with this provision of the 1st Amendment.

  46. Jill Pyeatt

    As far as Floyd insisting that tests of the sexuality of twins indicates it is not genetic, this presents a question.

    My family knows of two sets of identical twins whose sexual identity differ from each other. One is a pair of ladies, who are now mid-thirtyish. One is straight, the other is gay. My son has friends who are female identical twins, where one is heterosexual, and the other is trans-gender. In both cases, the twins were raised together, in the same home, with the same parents, same school, and so on. So, where would nurture cause them to be so different from each other?

    I don’t know. I understand that there is a large spectrum of sexuality. Some people live to have sex. Some don’t care so much. Some people usually like the opposite sex, but enjoy their same gender sometimes. Some people consider themselves asexual.

    Some of us enjoy more than one partner at a time. Why should this concern someone else?

    Homosexuality happens. Get over it.

  47. Jed Ziggler

    I see Mr. Whitley using the tired “Where is ______ in the constitution” line. In this case it’s so-called sodomy, but really you can plug any word in there and it would be an equal misunderstanding of what the constitution is. The constitution very clearly defines what the government’s specific powers are, so unless it’s mentioned in the constitution, government has no authority over it. Therefore, specifically BECA– USE “sodomy” is not mentioned in the constitution, that prohibits the government from enacting laws against it.

  48. Steve M

    There is an area of families that society needs to at least codify. That is that if you believe that an agreement exists between two individuals resulting in some sort of partnership in which property is jointly owned and children are produced then what happens if the “partnership” disolves and their agreement hadn’t stipulated the terms of such a division. Family law becomes the back up to defect or incomplete contracts.

    There are other examples such as what hapens if one member of the partnership becomes so disabled that they can no longer make decisions for themselves? does their partner get that authority or does it pass back to some other relative?

  49. Thomas L. Knapp

    “It is a fact that homosexual males are RESPONSIBLE for the dramatic increases in a number of STDs. The CDC says this.”

    Really? Where?

    “ARe you saying that the CDC is laying down ‘collectivist blame?’ Or are they reporting facts? And here I thought that that would have been called ‘science’ by libertarian behavioral apologists.”

    Any time you claim that you “thought,” prior experience moves me to skepticism.

    The sum total of experience and knowledge vis a vis CDC and STDs is somewhat old — I wrote the data review for one of their HIV surveillance reports a long time ago. That report concentrated on injectin drug use, and even at that time I understood Stephen Milloy’s first two rules of junk science:

    1) Statistics is not science.
    2) Epidemiology is statistics.

  50. paulie

    The First Amendment prohibits the Federal government (and state governments) from:
    ” Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

    So, having a provision to immunize churches from taxation is not merely an option, it is absolutely mandatory to comply with this provision of the 1st Amendment.

    Non-sequitur. Taxation neither prohibits nor establishes religion.

  51. langa

    It’s always good for a laugh to hear “conservatives” (more accurately, right-wing authoritarians) like Mr. Whitley talking about “morality” as the basis for law. Interestingly, their conception of “morality” always seems to involve the majority shoving their personal preferences down the throats of anyone who dares to disagree, usually at gunpoint. In other words, might makes right, plain and simple. So much for morality, right?

  52. langa

    Is anyone besides Mr. Whitley having trouble following my logic here?

    Well, since you asked, I agree with everything you’ve said on this thread, except the part about bestiality. Notions like “rights” and “consent” make no sense in the context of non-human organisms. Attempting to apply them to such organisms opens a Pandora’s box of intractable situations, making libertarianism completely incoherent, and thus, worthless.

  53. paulie

    I asked whether you could follow my logic, not whether you agree with every single opinion I hold, which would be a ridiculous standard.

  54. Robert Capozzi

    L: In other words, might makes right, plain and simple. So much for morality, right?

    me: Therein lies the limitation of “morality.” It’s an opinion. Not everyone agrees as to what is moral and what is not.

    Then what?

  55. Robert Capozzi

    Morality means a whole heckuva lot to the individual. We should respect that.

    When we leave the Nonarchy Pod and enter civil society, we should notice that not everyone agrees what is moral and what isn’t. A rule of law evolves that reflects — sometimes more, sometimes less — a prevailing sense of what is both moral and practical in terms of establishing and maintaining a semblance of domestic tranquility.

  56. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Domestic tranquility” translates to me as the vague answer to the question “can we all get along?”

    The specific answer to that question is “yes — provided that we either widely agree to respect, or that an agreeing minority can enforce respect for, non-aggression as the maximal social stricture which may be coercively enforced.”

    Anything beyond that will always tend toward disintegration of “domestic tranquility.”

  57. Robert Capozzi

    tk, yes, DT is imprecise, certainly.

    Achieving wide agreement on the NAP’s universal morality seems like quite the challenge, especially given all the unworkable aspects of the NAP.

    Whether DT always disintegrates, I would say we’ve certainly seen periods where it improved. Contrast 1850 vs 1880, for ex.

  58. langa

    I asked whether you could follow my logic, not whether you agree with every single opinion I hold, which would be a ridiculous standard.

    Well, I don’t really “follow” your logic on the subject of bestiality, mainly because I don’t think there is any logical way whatsoever to apply the NAP to non-human organisms.

  59. langa

    Therein lies the limitation of “morality.” It’s an opinion. Not everyone agrees as to what is moral and what is not.

    Sure, people can have different moral codes. (Personally, I’m a big fan of the Golden Rule.)

    But regardless, any “moral code” that relies on the constant threat (and frequently, the actual use) of aggression is unworthy of the name.

  60. Robert Capozzi

    pf: “Might makes right” doesn’t require a sense of morality, only superior strength, numbers and/or firepower.

    me: Pithy.

    However, near as I can tell, even the baddest of actors feels justified in his or her act. Pol Pot thought he was doing the right thing. In the moment of decision any act is considered “moral” by the doer.

    What’s the alternative?

  61. Robert Capozzi

    L: But regardless, any “moral code” that relies on the constant threat (and frequently, the actual use) of aggression is unworthy of the name.

    me: Also pithy.

    You realize that you are in effect just saying, “Anyone who is not an anarchist has a moral code that is unworthy.”

    As a theoretical asymptotic anarchist/applied lessarchist, do I get into Heaven, Langa? 😉

  62. paulie

    However, near as I can tell, even the baddest of actors feels justified in his or her act. Pol Pot thought he was doing the right thing. In the moment of decision any act is considered “moral” by the doer.

    What’s the alternative?

    There’s a difference between saying that the ability to do something justifies that thing being done, and saying that somethings are wrong even if you can get away with them.

  63. paulie

    I don’t think there is any logical way whatsoever to apply the NAP to non-human organisms.

    I’m willing to posit that animal cruelty laws are part of something else than the NAP. But then I’ve already said that the NAP doesn’t define my position on everything, that I have other values that inform my policy views as well.

  64. Robert Capozzi

    pf: There’s a difference between saying that the ability to do something justifies that thing being done, and saying that somethings are wrong even if you can get away with them.

    me: Sorry, I’m making a different point. My sense is that the Pots, Hitlers, and Stalins believed they were doing the right thing AND had the power to do so. So did Madoff and Ebbers. So do we all when we make mistakes.

  65. paulie

    My sense is that they just felt they could do whatever they wanted, and that was good enough. Also, that whatever they want was good because they want it. I’m familiar with that mindset; I’ve experienced it myself, so I know what it is. Maybe you’ve never been there yourself, although I’m tempted to believe everyone has to some extent at some time, but I know what it feels like to not give a shit what is right or wrong, where the only thing that matters is … acquisition, for lack of a better word.

  66. Robert Capozzi

    PF, whatever the rationale, they thought it was “good” or “right” or whatever. In the moment of decision, and perhaps long after, they felt it was appropriate. I would say that they gave all indications of being insane, and were I advising them, I’d advise against so much of their behavior.

    Yes, perhaps they didn’t give a shit about who they hurt, but even then, they must have thought it was correct on some level.

    Thankfully, I’ve never been that wrong-minded.

  67. jim

    Paulie, you said: “Non-sequitur. Taxation neither prohibits nor establishes religion.”

    I’m sorry, you’re wrong about this. “The power to tax involves the power to destroy”.
    http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,863135,00.html
    (Frequently misquoted as “the power to tax IS the power to destroy”); Stated by Chief Justice John Marshall in 1819.)

    If the government is prohibited from “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, then it is also prohibited from taxing that establishment of religion.

    I’m very surprised that you don’t see that. If a government were to decide to apply a 100% tax on a given church, you apparently don’t think the 1st Amendment would be violated.

    Extended quote from: http://www.latimes.com/la-oew-lynn-stanley23-2008sep23-story.html

    “Today’s question: Why should churches be tax exempt in the first place? Wouldn’t it be a better approach to deny the tax exemption to all churches? Previously, Stanley and Lynn debated whether federal tax law chills free speech in churches.”

    Hands off our churches, IRSPoint: Erik Stanley

    “There is said to be an old Arabian proverb: “If the camel once gets his nose in the tent, his body will soon follow.” This expression is especially pertinent in the tax exemption context. Churches are tax exempt under the principle that there is no surer way to destroy the free exercise of religion than to tax it. If the government is allowed to tax churches (or to condition a tax exemption on a church refraining from the free exercise of religion), the camel’s nose is under the tent, and its body is sure to follow. But that’s not just my opinion; it’s the understanding of the U.S. Supreme Court.”

    “In its 1970 opinion in Walz vs. Tax Commission of the City of New York, the high court stated that a tax exemption for churches “creates only a minimal and remote involvement between church and state and far less than taxation of churches. [An exemption] restricts the fiscal relationship between church and state, and tends to complement and reinforce the desired separation insulating each from the other.” The Supreme Court also said that “the power to tax involves the power to destroy.” Taxing churches breaks down the healthy separation of church and state and leads to the destruction of the free exercise of religion.”

    “Barry, as someone who claims to be devoted to the separation of church and state, surely you can agree that exempting churches from taxes is a better way to separate state and church than taxing them. I agree with the Supreme Court that an exemption for churches from taxes tends to reinforce a very healthy separation between church and state.”

    “That’s why your opposition to the Pulpit Initiative doesn’t square with your approach to church-state relations. Let’s look at the facts: The 1954 federal Johnson Amendment prohibits a pastor from talking about candidates from the pulpit in light of Scripture. Thus, based on what a pastor says about an election from the pulpit, the tax code allows the government to tax a church. Consider that in light of the Internal Revenue Service’s increasingly vague regulations, and you have a recipe for the censorship of religion. The IRS, through those vague regulations, reserves for itself tremendous discretion and power to decide which churches to punish for violations of the Johnson Amendment and which not to punish. Barry, I know you’ve seen this because you report a lot of churches to the IRS for alleged violations, but the IRS only acts on a minuscule portion of your complaints. What standard does it use? Who knows why it chooses to go after some churches and not others? When does a pastor’s sermon somehow cross the line?”
    [end of quote]

  68. paulie

    RC

    whatever the rationale, they thought it was “good” or “right” or whatever. In the moment of decision, and perhaps long after, they felt it was appropriate. I would say that they gave all indications of being insane, and were I advising them, I’d advise against so much of their behavior.

    Yes, perhaps they didn’t give a shit about who they hurt, but even then, they must have thought it was correct on some level.

    Thankfully, I’ve never been that wrong-minded.

    They may be deluded that the ends justify the means. Or they may know they are wrong, but enjoy it too much to stop. Or they may rationalize that it doesn’t matter, because they can get away with it. In extreme cases they come to identify themselves as godlike, so whatever they want becomes good because they want it.

    Jim, regarding a punitive 100% tax on churches, or any punitive tax, you would be correct. But if they just pay the same tax as everyone else it does not deny them the freedom to exercise their religion. On the other side of the ledger, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Perpetual_Exemption

    RC:

    We moderators moderate moderately, in moderation.

  69. jim

    You said, If they just pay the same tax as everyone”, you are just proving you aren’t thinking. Does a church make a “profit”? Corporations are taxes on their “profits”, people on their “Income”. Which is it?
    And you also demonstrate you’re nuts to refer to “any punitive tax”. What taxes are “punitive” are in the eye of the beholder. You obviously write before you think.
    I get the same disgust when somebody refers to a “fair share” of taxes. We can all agree that people should pay “their fair share” of taxes. But only because my definition of “fair share” is 0%. Yours may be different. His is different still
    What is the point of agreeing with “fair share” if each of us has a DIFFERENT definition of “fair share”?

  70. paulie

    Punitive taxes are those that are targeted to punish specific behavior. IE, if you have a tax on, say, liquor or cigarettes or porn or gambling or whatever else that is higher than the taxes on other products or services that tax can be said to be punitive. The same principle would apply to churches or any other religions.

    And if you assume all religions are non-profit, see prior link, and links therein.

    The other questions you are not asking is what control governments get over religion by granting religions tax-exemption, with the power to take it away if those religious groups run afoul of government in certain ways.

  71. jim

    If, as you say, “Punitive taxes are those that are targeted to punish specific behavior. “, then you would presumably agree that a 40% marginal income tax is intended to “punish” people who make a lot of money. But you ignored my point: Who decides what is a “punitive” tax, anyway? But again, you haven’t established that “punitive” taxes are prohibited, while “non-punitive” taxes on churches are okay. Did you just make that up, or do many others agree?

    How do you compute if a church is making a “profit”?

  72. wolfefan

    Churches certainly have income, and often have a “profit” of some sort. Many have endowments that generate income as well. The most valuable thing that most churches have is land; the one that I serve is very, very small in numbers but is on a parcel that would be worth millions if sold.

  73. jim

    wolfefan: You too fail to define “profit” in regard to churches. “income in excess of current expenditures” might apply, but why should any portion of this go to the government to pay “taxes”. I view this as a violation of the 1st Amendment.
    BTW, an “endowment” is a GIFT. Gifts are not taxable under American law, I believe.

  74. paulie

    But you ignored my point: Who decides what is a “punitive” tax, anyway?

    I didn’t ignore it, I addressed it. Is it uniform across products and/or services?

    But again, you haven’t established that “punitive” taxes are prohibited, while “non-punitive” taxes on churches are okay. Did you just make that up, or do many others agree?

    I didn’t make anything up. If a tax isn’t punitive it isn’t prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

    How do you compute if a church is making a “profit”?

    How would you compute it if you didn’t call it a church?

  75. Thomas L. Knapp

    The term “non-profit” or “not-for-profit” is confusing to some people.

    It doesn’t mean “this entity doesn’t take in more than it spends.”

    It just means “revenues in excess of expenses are reinvested in the enterprise itself rather than being distributed to owners or stockholders.” And there’s a lot of wiggle room in there. Salaries for employees are “reinvestment in the enterprise.” That’s why the CEO of “non-profit” planned parenthood can knock down half a million a year and numerous other Planned Parenthood employees make six figures (that’s not the highest in the “non-profit” world — some “non-profit” CEOs have made seven figures per year in salary and bonuses).

    As far as tax treatment is concerned, I’d rather see everyone get the same tax exemptions as “non-profits” than take away the tax exemptions of e.g. churches. Taxation, in my opinion, is INHERENTLY punitive and should be ended.

    BUT … let’s not kid ourselves. Tax exemptions at one end usually amount to social engineering at the other. It’s a way of government making it more attractive to do things the state considers “good” for this reason or that (often because privileged interests lobby legislators, as with the home mortgage interest deduction) more attractive than doing things the state considers “bad” or just doesn’t care about.

    As far as what taxes “churches” would pay if they weren’t exempted, well, they usually own land or other “real” property that they don’t have to pay property taxes on. And they generally don’t have to pay sales tax for “church” supplies and so forth. Not that I think they SHOULD have to. But I don’t see why I should have to either.

  76. paulie

    TLK, mostly agreed.

    let’s not kid ourselves. Tax exemptions at one end usually amount to social engineering at the other.

    I think that was Baldwin’s original point and how we got into this tangent.

    Taxation, in my opinion, is INHERENTLY punitive and should be ended.

    Certainly it should be ended. As for punitive, perhaps I am using the wrong word?

    What I mean by punitive is taxes the goal of which is to suppress behavior rather than to collect loot. For example, the marijuana tax stamp was punitive; the tax rate was set so high that no one seriously expected anyone to pay it, so the goal was to suppress the behavior, not to collect revenue. On the other end of the scale are taxes which have as their goal to support the tax-collecting entity. But if those taxes become punitive, that goal won’t be served, because no tax would be collected since the behavior would be ended by excessive taxation. For example, if every single person going down a certain street was mugged, pretty soon no one would go there, and the muggers would not bring in any money off that street.

  77. langa

    I’m willing to posit that animal cruelty laws are part of something else than the NAP. But then I’ve already said that the NAP doesn’t define my position on everything, that I have other values that inform my policy views as well.

    Fair enough.

  78. langa

    You realize that you are in effect just saying, “Anyone who is not an anarchist has a moral code that is unworthy.”

    Well, as I said, when it comes to moral codes, I’m partial to the Golden Rule, and anarchism is the only political system that is 100% compatible with it. In fact, the state is literally defined by its claim to have the right to do things to others that they are not allowed to do to it (e.g. taxing them, arresting them, etc.). Thus, the very existence of the state, by definition, violates the GR.

  79. wolfefan

    Hi jim –

    I wasn’t trying to define profits for churches – that’s why I put it in quotes and said “of some sort.” There are lots of different ways to define profit. I don’t know that the government *should* receive any of that money and I didn’t say they should, although I am sympathetic to the view that those who seek or receive government benefits (such as tax free status) have to accept the government strings that come attached to those benefits. As to endowments, the income from an endowment can be taxable. The gift that established the endowment may be taxable if it wasn’t set up properly by someone who knows how to navigate those waters. All of these things are situation specific.

  80. jim

    Paulie, you didn’t merely use the wrong word, you used the wrong Constitution (none at all) and you’ve used the wrong logic. (also, none at all.) I asked you if anybody else shared your nutty philosophy, and you didn’t have anything to say to support it.
    I am quite confident that the large percentage of THINKING people realize that the 1st amendment was and is intended to prohibit the taxation of churches, WHETHER OR NOT you would deem to call that taxation “punitive” or not. The people who wrote the Constitution knew very well what majority-religions did to minority-religions, and the result was not good. Inventing a silly trick, like saying “non-punitive taxation is okay, only punitive taxation is bad” is too close to “Everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others.”

  81. Robert Capozzi

    L: In fact, the state is literally defined by its claim to have the right to do things to others that they are not allowed to do to it (e.g. taxing them, arresting them, etc.). Thus, the very existence of the state, by definition, violates the GR.

    me: Let’s unpack this, shall we?

    I’m unaware of states “claiming” anything. A state is not a discrete person, place or thing. It seems that a state is a set of rules established by a set of people, generally enforced by another set of people.

    At least in the US, I don’t know of the state claiming it has “the right to do things to others.” The Constitution’s preamble doesn’t read to me like such a claim.

    100% agreement with you on the wisdom of the GR. I can’t think of better counsel for individuals as a way to go about one’s daily life. It does, however, put the wisdom of actions on the individual, to be applied situationally, NOT universally. IOW, the GR is not the Ten Commandments. It’s not a listing of verboten behaviors.

    It seems highly tortured to apply the GR to a state, which is NOT an individual. The state we live in is supposed to be a more-perfect institution of justice and domestic tranquility.

    The GR is all about this moment. In this moment, in interacting with another, what should one do? One should do what one would want done if the situation were reversed, to walk a mile in another’s shoes, kinda thing. The GR is silent on the establishment of peacekeeping institutions. It’s non-specific.

    So, let’s give some examples. If one were an IRS agent, does that mean that one should not enforce the tax laws, per the GR? That seems silly to me. That’s the job, after all. If one believes that taxation is theft, then that person should not be an IRS agent! If one is a county clerk and the new law says that same-gender couples can now marry, but the clerk finds such unions to be abominations, should that clerk take it upon herself to deny the couple a license? I would say No. She should either do her job or quit her job.

    For the rare person such as yourself who believes that anything and everything the state does is a violation of the GR, rights, and all manner of common decency, I do feel your pain. I can imagine that yours is one of toughest miles to walk, seeing evil everywhere one looks. In applying the GR, I felt inspired to advocate Nonarchy Pods to help ease your pain. You should be able to secede onto your own property to be left alone entirely, where your interpretation of the GR cannot be challenged.

  82. paulie

    Paulie, you didn’t merely use the wrong word, you used the wrong Constitution (none at all)

    Au contraire. I’ve already explained why you are stretching the clause you cited out of recognition. I provided ample evidence that churches can be very much for profit. I gave you examples of people who disagree with your nutty philosophy that anyone claiming to be a religion should be treated differently from anyone else, including the author of the article we are commenting on. Knapp, as I understand it, agreed with me, as is the thrust of the point of John Oliver’s HBO segments which I linked the wikipedia article about. Since my ideas don’t depend on popularity contests, if you are obsessed with finding out how many other people agree with me, do your own search engine work; it’s not of primary concern to me.

    I am quite confident

    I’ve noticed that. Very often for no good reason.

    THINKING people realize

    Yes, the only “thinking” people are the ones that agree with you.

    you would deem to call that taxation “punitive” or not.

    This is getting ridiculous. I think I’ve explained what I mean by punitive clearly enough now. It has nothing to do with my opinion.

    The people who wrote the Constitution knew very well what majority-religions did to minority-religions, and the result was not good. Inventing a silly trick, like saying “non-punitive taxation is okay, only punitive taxation is bad” is too close to “Everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others.”

    Non-punitive taxation would be applied to majority as well as minority religions, as well as to non-religious entities. Since the regime wants these entities to keep operating so it can keep extracting its loot, the levels would be set such that it would not grind business (or religion) to a halt, and thus not be prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

  83. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Knapp, as I understand it, agreed with me”

    Partially. I’d rather see the tax exemption for churches extended to everyone/everything else than see it eliminated, but I do recognize that the exemption as it is (limited to certain things) does in fact constitute a form of social engineer.

    One thing I disagree with you on is the notion that equal taxation cannot be “punitive.” An easy analogy would be to corporate taxes.

    If Congress announced tomorrow that it was — just for example — levying a one-time, $100,000 tax on all retail establishments, Wal-Mart would probably lobby (at least behind the scenes) for it, and happily cough up. Yes, Wal-Mart would be out $100k for each of its stores … and many, probably even MOST, of its smaller competitors would be out of business. But hey, everyone got charged the same amount, right?

  84. paulie

    Partially. I’d rather see the tax exemption for churches extended to everyone/everything else than see it eliminated,

    So would I.

    but I do recognize that the exemption as it is (limited to certain things) does in fact constitute a form of social engineer.

    My point exactly, and Baldwin’s.

  85. Andy Craig

    With some fuzzy complications, in general now a secular non-profit can claim tax-exemption the same as a religious non-profit. And to the degree they exist (they do!), religious for-profits are taxed the same as secular for-profits.

    The fuzzy complication, is that it isn’t relatively difficult to write an objective set of rules as to what qualifies as a secular non-profit. But part of the service being provided to the public by a religious non-profit, is the religious services for the faithful, not just their general charity. So then it’s up to the IRS to decide whether they are providing non-profit religious services or for-profit religious services. They aren’t deciding if they are religious or not, it’s for-profit vs non-profit. That’s what Scientology’s crazy war on the IRS was about. But because it’s so entangled, and so much more subjective, you get a big ugly mess where it looks like tax bureaucrats are deciding what is or isn’t a real religion. So the upshot now is that the IRS generally grants it to anybody who says they’re a church without looking too much into it, as John Oliver highlighted. At the other end of the scale, there is Ian Freeman’s battle with the local zoning board in Keene, NH to recognize his self-proclaimed church as tax-exempt, with them flatly refusing and not really offering much explanation besides the obvious animus they have for him and his efforts.

    This isn’t just a problem of the income tax and the IRS, either. Making churches tax-exempt (and disputes over the scope of that exemption and what strings attach to it) goes back pretty much as long as we’ve had taxes. Local property taxes, sales tax exemptions, corporate tax exemptions, etc. Some of the laws on the books even still refer to exclusively Christian terms, like “preachers of the Gospel” etc., from back in the day when nobody thought much of that. But they’ve long been construed to apply to any religion, of course.

    No matter which way you slice it, people aren’t fond of the idea that their donation to the Salvation Army or the $20 they put in the offering plate is going to be taxed the same as if they were buying a 12-pack. While exemption from generally-applicable taxes might not be constitutionally mandatory for religious non-profits, as a practical political reality it isn’t going away. The best we can really hope for, is that the same definition and standards of “non-profit” apply across the board. We’re already mostly there, I think that’s eventually what will happen explicitly, and the vast majority of religious institutions would have no problem qualifying under that standard. Churches get their tax exemption, secular groups get their equal treatment under the law.

    One huge problem that has reared its head and needs to be fixed, is the rule that political advocacy is per se ineligible to be non-profit. In other words, the government is holding your donation to your church hostage unless the pastor doesn’t criticize politicians from the pulpit. That’s a lot more real and worrisome than the hyperbolic fears of the government trying to interfere in the actual content of religious rituals or matters of theology and dogma. It is also a rule that is impossible to enforce and has seen only sporadic efforts to really do so. But that’s also a simpler problem, of repealing that particular rule that makes political advocacy grounds for revocation of non-profit status.

  86. paulie

    I would like to personally be recognized as my own religion. Also, it’s against my religion to pay taxes, and I believe in the prosperity gospel.

  87. jim

    Paulie: My comments interspersed.
    “Au contraire. I’ve already explained why you are stretching the clause you cited out of recognition.”

    I’ve asked you whether you can cite other people with the same odd opinion as yourself, the idea that taxation of churches is constitutional under the 1st Amendment. You try to change the subject to “punitive/non-punitive taxation”, and you do a very poor job distinguishing. For example, you say that churches should pay the same taxes as everyone else. But I then pointed out that a donation to a church is a GIFT, and people generally don’t pay taxes for gifts, whether or not made to a church. Indeed, a person can make an unlimited amount of about $14,000 (changes each year with inflation) without paying a “gift tax”.

    ” I provided ample evidence that churches can be very much for profit.”

    You never defined “profit” in the context of churches.

    ” I gave you examples of people who disagree with your nutty philosophy that anyone claiming to be a religion should be treated differently from anyone else,”

    And you erroneously clung to your belief that gifts to churches should be taxed, when you have to admit most gifts aren’t taxed. Does this reveal a hidden anti-church. bias. (Full disclosure: I have always been an atheist; so were my parents, and most of my grandparents. So I’m not defending churches, per se, merely prohibitions against taxation in the Constitution.)

    “”The people who wrote the Constitution knew very well what majority-religions did to minority-religions, and the result was not good. Inventing a silly trick, like saying “non-punitive taxation is okay, only punitive taxation is bad” is too close to “Everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others.”””

    “Non-punitive taxation would be applied to majority as well as minority religions, as well as to non-religious entities. Since the regime wants these entities to keep operating so it can keep extracting its loot, the levels would be set such that it would not grind business (or religion) to a halt, and thus not be prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

    And the tax collectors would simply never show up at the majority-religion churches, and always show up at the minority-religion churches.

    The situation has apparently gotten so bad that some people think that churches should be PUNISHED for having beliefs that they consider wrong. See http://fusion.net/story/158096/does-your-church-ban-gay-marriage-then-it-should-start-paying-taxes/

    Notice the problem, Paulie? Your ‘trick’ is that you think that ‘punitive’ taxation isn’t wrong. But read the above article, and they are actually ADVOCATING punitive taxation, and declaring it to be right!

    Nuts should at least get their stories straight!

  88. jim

    Paulie:
    One example of the nutty opinions in http://fusion.net/story/158096/does-your-church-ban-gay-marriage-then-it-should-start-paying-taxes/ is:

    “Taxation is a purely secular affair, and by default it applies to everybody equally, whether they’re a religious institution or not. It would be unconstitutional to single out religious institutions to make them pay more tax than anybody else, but the government has every right to stop giving them special tax-free privileges.”

    In other words, this crazy person starts out with a seemingly reasonable premise, “Taxation is a purely secular affair, and by default it applies to everybody equally, whether they’re a religious institution or not.” (I call this “seemingly reasonable”, or at least it would be if the 1st Amendment were ignored.)

    But he then destroys it by continuing: “It would be unconstitutional to single out religious institutions to make them pay more tax than anybody else, but the government has every right to stop giving them special tax-free privileges.” But the First Amendment, even if seen as a “special tax-free privilege”, is something that our country decided to adopt in 1791. It’s a done deal. It was decided nearly 225 years ago. And it can’t be changed without a Constitutional amendment.

    This nut went on to say, “The same argument can and should be applied to gay marriage. If your organization does not support the right of gay men and women to marry, then the government should be very clear that you’re in the wrong. And it should certainly not bend over backwards to give you the privilege of tax exemption.”

    The first Amendment isn’t a mere “privilege”, it is clearly a RIGHT.

    Remember the word, “Discrimination”? He is advocating DISCRIMINATION between different churches, based on whether they agree with his positions or not. Don’t you think that’s PRECISELY what the Founding Fathers were trying to avoid?
    Now he’s a nut. And presumably you, Paulie, would have no problem calling him that. But as far as I can see, you two are BOTH nuts in a very similar way. And malicious. The difference is that the author of this article has not attempted at all to conceal that malice. You have, with your silly “punitive taxation/non-punitive taxation” schtick.

  89. Thomas L. Knapp

    “It was decided nearly 225 years ago. And it can’t be changed without a Constitutional amendment.”

    Um, no. Churches became tax-exempt at the federal level more than 100 years after the US Constitution was ratified, under the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act of 1894. If no constitutional amendment was required to stop treating churches like everyone else and give them special tax considerations, why would a constitutional amendment be required to stop giving them special tax considerations and start treating them like everyone else again?

  90. jim

    Thomas L Knapp said:
    “Um, no. Churches became tax-exempt at the federal level more than 100 years after the US Constitution was ratified, under the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act of 1894. If no constitutional amendment was required to stop treating churches like everyone else and them special tax considerations, why would a constitutional amendment be required to stop giving them special tax considerations and start treating them like everyone else again?”

    What you said sounds odd. You said, “to stop treating churches like everyone else…”. But the Federal Income tax hardly existed prior to the ratification (to the extent that actually occured; there are good reasons to believe it didn’t actually get ratified) of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. Such an income tax was repeatedly attempted, yet repeatedly struck down by the Supreme Court. And in the early days of the Federal Income tax (after 1913) it generally applied only to the richest people.
    While you do say “Churches became tax-exempt…”, you do not explicitly state that they were actually taxed prior to 1894, you merely imply this by saying “became tax-exempt”. And you said, “to stop treating churches like everyone else…”
    Also, I found this from:
    “Originally passed in 1894, the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act was the first law to exempt “any corporation or association organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, or educational purposes, no part of the net income of which inures to the benefit of any private stockholder or individual.” ”

    Perhaps there is a difference between “was the first law to exempt…” and actual taxation of churches prior to 1894. I can well imagine that prior to 1894, ‘everybody knew that churches were exempt from taxation’ and so no law was explicitly necessary to state this.

    I suggest you supply some sort of proof that churches were indeed taxed prior to 1894.

  91. Thomas L. Knapp

    Let me see if I have this right: You “can imagine” X, so I should “supply some proof” of not-X?

    Sorry, disproving your imaginings isn’t my job. Proving them is yours.

  92. jim

    No, Thomas, it is you who have made the error. You said ” Churches BECAME tax-exempt at the federal level more than 100 years after the US Constitution was ratified, under the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act of 1894.”
    That wording clearly indicates that they WEREN’T tax-exempt at the federal level prior to 1894. You didn’t establish that this was true. http://churcholigarchy.com/tag/wilson-gorman-tariff-act/ was presumably correct when it said “Originally passed in 1894, the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act was the first law to exempt “any corporation or association organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, or educational purposes, no part of the net income of which inures to the benefit of any private stockholder or individual.” But that site’s wording might have been precisely correct, yet it would not support your conclusion.

    Well, it may have been “the first law”, but that doesn’t mean that churches were actually taxed at the Federal level prior to 1894. You can’t and won’t challenge this, because unless you find out that they were indeed taxed at the Federal level, churches didn’t _BECOME_ TAX-EXEMPT in 1894: It was merely held that they WERE Federally tax exempt in 1894.

    Are you old enough to remember Emily Litella, from Saturday Night Live. When she screwed up, she said, “NEVERMIND!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjYoNL4g5Vg

    From: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/news/2002/may17.html?start=2

    “The Constitution solved this problem by abolishing European-style church establishment, but it hardly ended the accordance of benefits to churches, particularly in the area of taxation. Virginia exempted churches from paying property taxes in 1777, followed by New York in 1799 and the city of Washington in 1802. The Seventh Congress also passed a property tax exemption in 1802. Nobody viewed these laws as contravention of the establishment clause—which, after all, states that “Congress shall make no law … prohibiting the free exercise” of religion. European rulers had used taxes to prohibit the free exercise of religion before, and Americans didn’t want it to happen here. (Instead, America limits the free exercise of religion with zoning regulations, privacy law, education policy, restrictions on government grants … but that’s a different story.)”

    “Property tax exemptions for parsonages are currently in force in all 50 states. Due to concerns about the Warren case, the exemptions have been reaffirmed unanimously by both houses of Congress as well. Apparently, treating churches more like schools than like factories still makes sense to lawmakers. What makes no sense is the connection critics wish to draw between subsidized housing for pastors and the medieval or early modern parish system—the only form of establishment the framers of the Constitution knew well enough to try to avoid.”

    Read it and weep, Thomas. You still haven’t shown that churches were EVER taxed, at the Federal level, prior to 1894.
    From: http://churchesandtaxes.procon.org/

    “US churches* received an official federal income tax exemption in 1894, and they have been unofficially tax-exempt since the country’s founding. All 50 US states and the District of Columbia exempt churches from paying property tax. Donations to churches are tax-deductible. The debate continues over whether or not these tax benefits should be retained.”
    [end of quote]

    Hint: “unofficially tax exempt” means I am right, here. Whether “official” or “unofficial”, if they have been subject to a tax-exemption, that means THEY HAVEN’T BEEN TAXED!!!!

  93. jim

    Thomas L. Knapp:
    You said, “See, Jim? How hard was it to prove your assertion instead of demanding that I prove it because you imagined it? Doesn’t look like it was very hard at all!”

    However, you’re the one who made the error, suggesting that churches were taxed prior to 1894. Do you just make this stuff up? It was you who said:

    “Jim, regarding a punitive 100% tax on churches, or any punitive tax, you would be correct. But if they just pay the same tax as everyone else it does not deny them the freedom to exercise their religion. On the other side of the ledger, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Perpetual_Exemption

    Evidently, the Supreme Court believes that an exemption for taxes for churches is at least compatible with the 1st Amendment.

  94. Thomas L. Knapp

    Jim,

    Your reading comprehension deficit is not something I intend to allow to be my problem, either with respect to your fantasies as to what I may have “suggested,” when I “suggested” nothing but rather made a very specific claim, or to your seeming inability to grok that with respect to the positions being argued, I’m at least nominally on the same side as you are.

    Feel free to dance around screeching “I’m right, see, I’m RIGHT because I say so!” all you like. That doesn’t bother me. Just don’t try to drag me out on the dance floor with you. My white polyester disco suit is at the cleaners.

  95. Floyd Whitley

    @ Thomas L. Knapp September 18, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    “It is a fact that homosexual males are RESPONSIBLE for the dramatic increases in a number of STDs. The CDC says this.”

    Really? Where?”

    Yeah, right. There must be a conspiracy afoot. It’s politically incorrect to say homosexuals should be held responsible.

    Therefore, homosexuals contracting syphilis at an alarming rate and spreading it cannot be at fault for actions of their own doing, cannot be called to modify their perverse behavior… because they “have no choice”.

    That sounds completely non-libertarian to me, but hey.

    Presumably, under your selective pretzel logic, the rapid increase of STDs within the CULT of homosexual males must somehow be caused by others?…the dastardly George W. Bush perhaps?

    As for your “Really? Where?”…what was that you said above? Oh, yeah:

    “Not interested — if you want to break butterflies upon wheels, do it yourself.”

  96. langa

    I’m unaware of states “claiming” anything. A state is not a discrete person, place or thing. It seems that a state is a set of rules established by a set of people, generally enforced by another set of people.

    It is widely accepted by virtually all political scientists that not only do all states claim to have a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force, but also that this claim is literally the defining characteristic of the state.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly_on_violence

  97. Robert Capozzi

    Langa, interestingly, your cite doesn’t say that states claim anything. It does say that the administrative staff claims a monopoly on force. But there are no direct cites of staff doing so.

    It may well be that it is commonly and implicitly assumed that states have monopoly powers. If it is EXPLICITLY CLAIMED, though, I definitely don’t recall such a claim. I can work with “defining characteristic,” too.

    Here is a case where I become very literalistic. If a state “claims” something, I want to see some examples of a state doing so. Otherwise, we are talking about a polisci characterization, which is not the same as an actual claim.

  98. Thomas L. Knapp

    In other words, your claims about STD rates among homosexuals fall into one of two categories:

    1) Stuff you heard “somewhere” and are passing on without bothering to verify the truth or ascertain the falsehood of; or

    2) Stuff you just made up because it sounded like it could be true based on your other beliefs.

  99. paulie

    Apparently Floyd did not look up collective/collectivist. Let me see if we can help him here.

    Do all gay men (and lesbians?) have syphillis? Do any heterosexuals have syphillis? What business does the regime have treating individuals differently because some other people having something or another in common with those people did or do something? Would it be OK for the regime to treat all African-American males between say the age of 15 and 45 as criminals? Can it just assume that all American Indians are alcoholics? I believe the answer is no, and that therefore the regime has no legitimate business interfering with anyone based on group characteristics rather than individual actions. Do you believe otherwise?

  100. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    Well said.

    Nonetheless, I am interested in the specifics.

    Whitley doesn’t just claim that homosexuals are responsible for the bulk of STDs.

    He claims that the US Centers for Disease Control claims that homosexuals are responsible for the bulk of STDs.

    I’m interested in whether he just made that up, or just heard it somewhere, or actually got it from CDC.

    By the way, he is right that the CDC does claim that “[m]en account for the most cases of syphilis, with the vast majority of those cases occurring among men who have sex with men.”

    As to other STDs that are far more common than syphilis — gonorrhea and chlamydia — the largest infection pool seems, on a quick look at the CDC stats, to be heterosexual women. So I look forward to his condemnation of heterosexuality.

  101. paulie

    Jim

    seemingly reasonable premise, “Taxation is a purely secular affair, and by default it applies to everybody equally, whether they’re a religious institution or not.” (I call this “seemingly reasonable”, or at least it would be if the 1st Amendment were ignored.)

    Assumes your interpretation of “free exercise”

    But he then destroys it by continuing: “It would be unconstitutional to single out religious institutions to make them pay more tax than anybody else, but the government has every right to stop giving them special tax-free privileges.”

    Sounds like a reasonable interpretation of “free exercise.”

    But the First Amendment, even if seen as a “special tax-free privilege”, is something that our country decided to adopt in 1791. It’s a done deal. It was decided nearly 225 years ago. And it can’t be changed without a Constitutional amendment.

    And it says nothing about an exemption from taxes, only not prohibiting free exercise of religion, for example by singling them out to pay more taxes than anyone else.

    Remember the word, “Discrimination”? He is advocating DISCRIMINATION between different churches, based on whether they agree with his positions or not.

    Which is exactly what the special religious exemption granted by government opens the door to (what government gives it can take away, creating a position of subservience or dependency on the good graces of government on the part of religious groups). The other alternative is just giving an exemption to any group that claims to be a religion with no examination of the merits of such a claim (see references to John Oliver above). I’m quite serious about filing myself as a religion. Would you like to help me with that? This is not a rhetorical flourish here. I need some help with the paperwork.

    Now he’s a nut. And presumably you, Paulie, would have no problem calling him that.

    I can disagree with all kinds of people without calling them nuts – you, Floyd Whitley, the guy you are quoting, etc.

    But as far as I can see, you two are BOTH nuts in a very similar way.

    Then why are you talking to me? You can’t reason with a crazy person. You are attempting to reason with someone you think is crazy. That in itself is crazy.

    And malicious.

    You have a basis for believing I am malicious just because I, along with Pastor Baldwin and many others, don’t agree with you on a point of interpretation of the First Amendment?

  102. Robert Capozzi

    pf, yes, there’s A monopoly…the post office. And perhaps another with arms trading with belligerents.

    Recall, Langa said: “It is widely accepted by virtually all political scientists that not only do all states claim to have a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force, but also that this claim is literally the defining characteristic of the state.”

    You PF cite instances, not Langa’s broad “monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force….”

    Where I come from, exceptions don’t prove rules.

  103. paulie

    I’ve asked you whether you can cite other people with the same odd opinion as yourself, the idea that taxation of churches is constitutional under the 1st Amendment.

    Nothing odd about it and I did.

    You never defined “profit” in the context of churches.

    That’s simple enough. If you did not call it a church would whatever they are doing be defined as a profit?

    And you erroneously clung to your belief that gifts to churches should be taxed,

    Actually, it would be close to the truth to say I don’t believe religious groups should file paperwork to be recognized as such by the regime, thus even in theory giving the regime the power to control whether they remain defined that way in the future. But, so long as they are doing so, I would like to get in on the action.

    Does this reveal a hidden anti-church. bias.

    You’re way, way, way off course.

    Full disclosure: I have always been an atheist

    Full disclosure: I have never been an atheist, and am not one now.

    “Non-punitive taxation would be applied to majority as well as minority religions, as well as to non-religious entities. Since the regime wants these entities to keep operating so it can keep extracting its loot, the levels would be set such that it would not grind business (or religion) to a halt, and thus not be prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

    And the tax collectors would simply never show up at the majority-religion churches, and always show up at the minority-religion churches.

    Yes, that would be a first amendment violation in its application, not in the law as written.

    The situation has apparently gotten so bad that some people think that churches should be PUNISHED for having beliefs that they consider wrong. See http://fusion.net/story/158096/does-your-church-ban-gay-marriage-then-it-should-start-paying-taxes/

    Notice the problem, Paulie? Your ‘trick’ is that you think that ‘punitive’ taxation isn’t wrong. But read the above article, and they are actually ADVOCATING punitive taxation, and declaring it to be right!

    Which is exactly why I contend that it’s a bad idea to allow the regime to define who is and who is not a religion (other than me; they should definitely define me as a religion).

  104. Jill Pyeatt

    I look forward to the time a few years from now when everyone has gotten over this gay marriage thing. There will always be people who think it’s wrong, but hopefully millenials will be more open and tolerant of people who are a bit different from others. That certainly is the trend so far from that generation.

    Also, maybe someday in the future, churches will be cherry-picking some other Scriptures. They might even pay attention to the Scriptures instructing Jesus’ followers not to judge, and to care for one another.

  105. Thomas L. Knapp

    Jill,

    Many churches already do. The “Constitution” Party is about as representative of “Christians” as Tiny Tim was of “musicians.” That is to say, he was one, but he wasn’t like most of them.

  106. langa

    RC, you are nitpicking. How about finding me one single instance of any nation-state admitting that it does not have a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force within the territory that it claims to rule?

    I am so confident that you can’t find such an example, that if you do, I will admit that your understanding of libertarianism (and of politics in general) is greater than mine.

  107. Robert Capozzi

    L, I don’t see it that way, but thanks for the feedback.

    Your request is easily answered: Here in the US, for ex., self defense is not disallowed. I believe that addresses your request.

    However, you need not “admit” anything on my account. I make no claim to understanding L-ism or politics more (or less) than others. At this point in my particular in my insubstantial pageant, I’m pleased to say that such competitions are not something I’m interested in.

    I would like to think I ask some pretty insightful questions now and then, radical ones that get to the bottom of things, for me, at least. I also enjoy sharing perspectives.

  108. langa

    Your request is easily answered: Here in the US, for ex., self defense is not disallowed. I believe that addresses your request.

    Actually, as mentioned in the link I posted above, the point of the “monopoly on violence” argument is not that the state claims that no one else is ever justified in using physical force, but rather, that in each case where physical force is utilized, the state claims the sole right to determine whether such use of force was, in fact, justified. To quote the wikipedia article:

    By the same token, the “monopoly” does not mean that only the government may use physical force, but that the state is the only source of legitimacy for all physical coercion or adjudication of coercion. For example, the law might permit individuals to use force in defense of self or property, but this right derives from the state’s authority.

    Again, such a claim is a clear violation of the GR (as well as the NAP, which can be directly deduced from the GR).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *