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Posts for June, 2011

Paging George Orwell

Rob Tisinai

June 15th, 2011

Sometimes I’m just staggered by the sophistry coming from our opponents. Take these statements from New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan:

Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America – not in China or North Korea.  In those countries, government presumes daily to “redefine” rights, relationships, values, and natural law.  There, communiqués from the government can dictate the size of families, who lives and who dies, and what the very definition of “family” and “marriage” means.

Exactly!  Except…the archbishop misses his own point. Those communiqués in North Korea limit the choices made by its citizens, narrowing down what people are allowed to do with their own lives. And now, here, in America, which side is trying to do that? The side trying to ban same-sex marriage.

Dolan continues:

But, please, not here!  Our country’s founding principles speak of rights given by God, not invented by government, and certain noble values – life, home, family, marriage, children, faith – that are protected, not re-defined, by a state presuming omnipotence.

Actually, our founding principles speak of citizens who are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights — not by any specific sectarian God. Further, thank the Creator that the government has redefined marriage in the past, unless you believe we were better off when wives could not own property, when they could be legally beaten (gently) and raped (but only if they were uncooperative) by their husbands.

And as for the “omnipotent state”? Seriously? Which government is claiming more power? One that lets people marry adults of either gender, or one that issues a communiqué dictating that only opposite-sex marriages are allowed.

Dolan goes on:

Please, not here!  We cherish true freedom, not as the license to do whatever we want, but the liberty to do what we ought; we acknowledge that not every desire, urge, want, or chic cause is automatically a “right.”  And, what about other rights, like that of a child to be raised in a family with a mom and a dad?

This is truly chilling. True freedom is the liberty to do what you ought? Every tyranny in history could call itself a free country by that definition. Even North Korea can say it gives its citizens the liberty to do what they ought.

I’ll skip past his insult that my desire to build a committed life with my partner is nothing more than a random urge. Instead I’ll marvel at this irony: a man who speaks of the right of a child to be raised in a family with a mom and dad represents a church whose adoption agencies would rather leave kids with no parents at all than place them with a same-sex couple.

Can we sum up this Orwellian manifesto?

  • The more a government restricts your choices, the more freedom it gives you.
  • A government that offers you more control over your personal life is presuming its own omnipotence.
  • True freedom lies in the liberty to do what the government believes you ought to do, and nothing more.
  • A child’s right to a mother and father means some should grow up with neither a mother or a father.

Yeah. Just like war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.

And, apparently, 1984 is 2011.