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'Pro-family': A brazen movement seeking control of our lives

by Jeremy Hooper

Seeing themselves as having earned anti-gay capital in the election, our "pro-family" opposition is getting quite full of themselves. They are emboldened by their success in once again using the tyranny of a majority to inject ugliness into early 21st century American history, and they are even more  Good As You Images 200807181555-1arrogantly than ever using their "victory" to paint the judiciary as a rag tag ban of black robed who know less about the constitution than do religiously motivated people of faith. Take, for example, comments like the following from Focus on the Family's Bruce Hausknecht:

Alexander Hamilton envisioned the judiciary as "the least dangerous branch" of government because it could exercise "neither force nor will" — meaning it had no authority to create law or rights.

The Founders had it right: The people govern. Thirty marriage amendments later, we're still trying to teach the courts their proper role.

Oh, the ol' Alexander Hamilton line. It's a favorite of social conservatives. Seriously, Google it and you will find everyone from The Alliance Defense Fund to Renew America to BYU Law referencing the "least dangerous branch" in their arguments against marriage equality. You will also find several more instances where Focus on the Family has used the lines. Only problem for the far-right legal beagles who rely on such a terse presentation of Federalist No. 78? IT'S COMPLETELY ANTI-INTELLECTUAL TO ANYONE WHO ACTUALLY READS ALL OF WHAT ALEXANDER HAMILTON HAD TO SAY!!! We won't bore you with all the details and nuances regarding "the effects of occasional ill humors in the society," "the injury of the private rights of particular classes of citizens, by unjust and partial laws," and judges who "do their duty as faithful guardians of the Constitution, where legislative invasions of it had been instigated by the major voice of the community." But if you want to actually, oh, I don't know -- LOOK AT A 220 YEAR OLD DOCUMENT WITH A CRITICAL, COMPLEX EYE THAT CAN'T BE BOILED DOWN TO A SIMPLE SOUND BITE! -- then you can go read it for yourself.

Mr. Hausknecht might think he and his fellows are "teaching" the courts about their roles. The truth, however, is that they are misleading the public about minority rights and deserved protections. They are overlooking that civil rights history has long been decided in the courts, where reasoned justices have have the foresight to see beyond the public opinion of the day. They are taking the fantastic, thoroughly American concept of "the will of the people" and extending it to mean that "the people" are free to impose their faith-based will in ways that stifle others' civil liberties. And, perhaps most egregiously, they are acting as if justices who grant marriage equality are "creating" laws, when in reality these learned robed beings are simply correcting shortsighted roadblocks that, in an unbiased society, would have never been in place.

It's up for debate whether the anti-gay sides' typically flawed attacks on the judiciary are due to (a) views that they've genuinely formed through their own study, or (b) their choice to sign up for a movement that relies on duplicity and deception at virtually every turn. But no matter the reason, the reality is that it's folks like Bruce Hausknecht who truly need to be taught a thing or two about the judiciary and its crucial role in leading gays to their fair and equal day. The intensely frustrating thing about that fact? "Pro-family" law is an absurdist art form that relies almost exclusively on aggressive mouths, not a reasoned system of collective knowledge that places high value on receptive ears!

After 30 Marriage Amendments, Will Judges Get the Message? [FOF CitizenLink]

**SEE ALSO: Back in 2005, The Rude Pundit also took on the far-right's shortsighted usage of Federalist #78.

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Your thoughts

Keep smiling Bruce. It won't be long before the courts teach you your place.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | Nov 9, 2008 11:37:23 PM

Alexander Hamilton was a douche bag and Aaron Burr did the country a great service.

Posted by: John Ozed | Nov 10, 2008 9:27:19 AM

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