portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements united states

gender & sexuality | government | human & civil rights | police / legal

Sen. Santorum Or What The Hell Is Going On?

A little note about what do to about bad people...
This is just a reminder that the everyday Joe (Jenny) can actually do something. And by something I'm suggesting that people write/call Sen. Smith and Wyden about Sen. Rick Santorum's (R-Penn) remarks about homosexuality. It is important that you let our representatives know that the people of Oregon do not agree with such hate.
For those of you not aware of what happened:
In an AP interview, Santorum was asked about the case before the Texas Supreme Court about thet states Sodomy Laws. Under these laws, two consenting adult males (read: Gay couple) cannot have sex. Inside their own home no less. Santorum said that if the court allowed such behavior, it would also have to allow bigamy, incest, adultery, polygamy, and beastiality. He then went on to say that the average citizen has no right to privacy at all. To finish off his little speach, Santorum said, "I have no problem with homosexuals, I have a problem with homosexual acts (Granted this isn't word for word)." This blatant non-logic and thinly veiled hate can't be tolerated (haha, thats kinda funny, in a tragic sense).
All i'm asking if for you to take the few minutes to make the call or write the email.
A much more literate response to Santorum's remarks (and even a simple way to contact your senators) can be found at:  http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=10279

Thank You
Or better yet 12.May.2003 00:59

James

If you happen to be a registered Republican, as I recently was, or have given money to the GOP, GOP candidates, or traditionally-conservative organizations, as I have, then your call might be better placed to the GOP.

The morning after I read about Mr. Santorum's comments, I called the GOP National Committee. I gave my name, told them I had recently been a registered Republican, that I had donated money to Republican candidates in the past. And I told them that I certainly would not support any Republican candidate while Santorum held a leadership post. After all, the party can't force him to resign - he was elected. But they certainly can show their disapproval by removing him from the Senate's #3 spot.

I also wrote Mr. Santorum to tell him exactly how I feel.

But there are many bigger, important issues at work in this mini-scandal.

First, liberals should think seriously about their tactics in this and the Lott scandal, and decide if they're really helping themselves, or are unwittingly kicking the ball in the wrong goal. Are liberals being outwitted by a rag-tag group of political newcomers, the likes of Karl Rove, in the White House?

Lott was a compromising man. He was arguably the worst type of Southern Republican. But he was willing to go head-to-head with the White House and compromise with Senate Democrats when necessary.

He was not your father's racist. We can't know what the man truly held in his heart, but I for one believe him when he says he does not harbor racist thoughts. The media spent much effort trying to dig up racist comments he may or may not have said in the past. But all they could come up with were basically the same words said 20 years prior, and a vote against Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a federal holiday (Conservative policy is against adding any new Federal holidays, so this is not surprising).

Your father's Southern racist were preventing African Americans from voting in the South. They were resisting integration. And there were many more violent hate-crimes against blacks.

This does not describe Lott.

As I see things, Lott's comments were almost certainly not meant to be racist. #1 - He was trying to make a 100 year old man feel good on his centennial. The comment was made in jest, as almost all of the Senators (Democrat and Republican alike) seemed to notice when they cheered and laughed uproarously at the comment.

Lott was probably speaking about state's rights, which was the larger concern of the Dixiecrats. (And in my opinion, a legitimate concern).

Where am I going with this? President Bush did NOT get rid of Lott because he thought Lott was a racist. He didn't get rid of him because he thought he was hurting the party. He got rid of him for one reason, and one reason only: Because Lott compromised with Senate Democrats and in doing so didn't make many friends in the Bush Administration.

Senate Democrats and the liberal press did for Bush was Bush and Rove could not do for themselves: They offered-up Lott's head on a silver platter. When Bush realized it was truly happening, he snapped up the offer and delivered the death blow himself.

What does this have to do with Santorum? Santorum works with the Bush Administration. He's a team player. So when Santorum made comments much, much more divisive and hurtful and wrong and of worse public-policy, did Bush criticize him? Did he even stay quiet? No, after judging the situation for a day, he came to Santorum's aid and praised his work in the Senate and told America he fully supports him.

Bush could care less about who's racist and who's a bigot. All Bush cares about is the amount of power he wields. And in bringing down Lott, the left through Bush a welcome replacement Senate Majority Leader, the de facto choice of the White House.

That is all not to say Santorum was not right when it comes to the law - It is certainly true that there is no such Right to Privacy under the law, at the Federal level at least.

All it takes is a quick perusal of the U.S. Constitution to realize it's simply not there. It's judicial fiction, plucked out of the dusty air surrounding the incorrect but official copy of the Constitituon, by which we judge all laws.

It's part of a Federal power grab which has been going on since the 1940's, when the Supreme Court opened the flood gates upon deciding Wickard v. Filburn.

This far-right leaning libertarian is among the most socially liberal you'll come across. I'm strongly supportive of a woman's right to choose, I'm against parental-notification in abortion cases, etc. In fact, my mother worked many years for Planned Parenthood.

But in as much as it pains me to speak or say, I think we should reverse Roe v. Wade. NOT because I think abortion should be illegal. But because I think the decision is illegal under the rule of law. The Supreme Court had no basis to make that opinion. It's so obvious: just read the constitution. For those that don't know, Roe v. Wade is based upon the notion that in order for the state to enforce a law against abortion, the state would have no choice but to invade the privacy between doctor and patient. Now, there is juris prudence and some common law which gives certain value to the argument. But it's certainly not a right granted to the people by the U.S. Constitution.

That doesn't mean the right doesn't exist. What it means is this: The Federal Government has no authority whatsoever to say one thing or the other about the issue. Because ALL rights granted to the Federal Government MUST be enumerated specifically in the constitution. It means an individual state can, at it's discretion, TAKE AWAY the right of privacy of its citizens. If the state does not take away that right, then it is reserved to the people.

So, under the constitution, an individual state DOES have the right to make abortion illegal.

I see abortion and privacy as two fundamental human rights, equally as important as other rights such as Free Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom to Assemble, etc. So I think we should AMEND THE CONSTITUTION to create both a right to privacy and a guaranteed right to choice.

At some point in the United States, we forgot that we can change the Constitution.

The Constitution was never meant to by a changing document, to be interpreted "in the times," as many liberals now profess we should. It was always meant to be a static document, to be interpreted strictly and literally. We should never search for deeper meanings in the clear and concise words of men hundreds of years ago. The Constitution is the ultimate law of the land and it was written so that any layman could understand its meaning without attending law school. There are no hidden meanings, no deeper thoughts. There is no room for interpretation. And this is the problem with courts today. How can we allow non-elected officials in the judiciary to create law which never was? We have no recourse. We cannot simply remove them come next election. At the Federal level, these men and women receive life appointments.

If the times have changed and the Constitution must change with them, we need not interpret the Constitution differently. We simply must amend it.

The last amendment to the U.S. Constitution was in 1992 - But it was originally proposed by Congress in the late 1700's. Before the '92 amendment, there have been no amendments since the Civil Rights Movement.

When Congress decided, "for the good of society", that they would ban alcohol, it was not quite as simple as passing a law outlawing it. Because the Constitution granted Congress no such authority, Congress had to propose a constitutional amendment, and the amendment had to be ratified by 3/4ths of the states.

After prohibition gave rise to the Al Capone in Chicago, and organized crime across the country. After it created a thriving black market and created only more problems than alcohol originally had, Congress had to pass another constitutional amendment, to repeal the last.

Fast forward 40 years to 1970. The Supreme Court has just struck down the Catch-22 Marijuana Stamp Act, and Congress passes the Drug Enforcement Act in response. The law is even more broadly-sweeping than alcohol prohibition. It seeks even more power than alcohol prohibition did. Yet this time, Congress sees no need to pass a constitutional amendment. It just passes a law, and suddenly the whole of U.S. society is forced to give up the voluntary consumption of drugs, on the whims of 536 men, thousands of miles away.

And the public was silent.

Almost everything Congress does today is illegal. Thomas Jefferson noted in the Kentucky Resolutions, "Resolved, That the Constitution of the United States, having delegated to Congress a power to punish treason, counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States, piracies, and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations, and no other crimes, whatsoever."

Could the author of the Declaration of Independence have been more clear? Congress has no right to condemn men for any crimes but those set out specifically in the Constitution. But today a million rot in Federal prisons. Presumably, they're not all there for counterfeiting, piracy and treason.

What does this have to do with Santorum? Well, nothing, except that Santorum seems giddy that no such right exists. I'll admit, he's right: But why is he dancing in the street over it? Why is this man happy that the government can tell me who, what, where, when and why I should fuck?

Which brings me to the next point: How in the world does polygamy - or even incest and beastiality - harm society? And who the fuck is Mr. Santorum to tell me how to live my life?

Mr. Santorum holds the opinion that homosexuality and the above mentioned behaviors harm the "strength of the traditional family." Well, of course - because they're not 'traditional,' as he calls it. But how does it harm society? If I want to fuck my buddy Bob, does it really hurt Mr. Santorum? Or my neighbors? Even if it's done in the privacy of my own home? After all, the case in texas involved two men having sex /in their bedrooms/.

And I would ask the same questions of polygamy: If 10 women all want to live on a farm with a single man and collectively raise his many children, tutor the children themselves and live an agrarian lifestyle - well isn't that what America was based on? The freedom to live how we choose, with whom we choose? Of course it is. The government has no basis telling me how I should live my life.

I realize polygamy is illegal because of contract law. But I still maintain that that is wrong.

Even incest and beastiality - which could conceivably harm society (incest, by producing children with birth defects, and beastiality by causing harm to an unwilling animal), do not necessarily, in my opinion, pass the test of harming society to the extent requiting state intervention.

But Mr. Santorum would have us all live in a Christian state. He would pass laws in this land punishing us for disobeying God's laws, "for the good of society," so we might secure our place in God's Kingdom to come.

But not only is this immoral, unamerican and wrong - it goes directly against the teachings of Christ, since Christ taught that only the Father shall judge such things.

I don't think I go too far when I say Mr. Santorum is an evil man. He does not care for the laws and the values held by the majority of this country. He cares only about the values held by a small, vocal minority of religious zealots and fundamentalists. Those who love to proclaim their own moral superiority at every chance, by proclaiming their lives to be moral and all others to be immoral.

In the Catholic religion, what the Pope says on Earth shall be held true in heaven. But why do I have the feeling that if the Pope were to embrace homosexuals, Mr. Santorum still would not?

Don't let this issue die, Santorum must not be re-elected.