So Obama has signed the legislation his henchmen pushed through the lame-duck session of Congress, intended to force personnel serving in the United States military to accept homosexual activity as lawful and legitimate conduct. Would this legislation have passed without the support of Republican congressmen like Ron Paul and senators like Scott Brown of Massachusetts? Of course, Paul is the guru of some who claim to be staunch advocates of liberty; and without the votes and financial support of grass-roots conservatives throughout the country, Brown would never have won election. He obtained that support because the specious “money not morals” criteria allowed Republican media hacks (at Fox News and elsewhere) to identify him as a “conservative” who would oppose the Obama faction’s socialist agenda.

Now, the prime source of visceral conservative opposition to socialism is its proven propensity to expand the sphere of government coercion and control. But no form of coercion is more deeply offensive to human dignity and self-respect than the coercion of conscience. When the force of law is abused to compel people to perform or tolerate actions they conscientiously believe to be intrinsically immoral, this usually announces the penultimate stage of tyrannical oppression.

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was intended to circumvent state sovereignty to force all Americans to cooperate in the enforcement of slavery. The angry moral revulsion of anti-slavery citizens in the free states led to actions that matured into the kind of open, organized resistance that announced the onset of the American Civil War. Forced to choose between obeying God’s law and submitting to human legislation that violated it, many chose to follow the dictates of natural conscience. In this they acted in the spirit of the American founders, who defied the dictates of the British monarch rather than accept impositions levied without regard for the requirements of God-ordained natural justice.

Proponents of the move to force military personnel to accept homosexuality seek to forestall the moral reaction against it with the argument that they are defending the rights of homosexuals just as Union forces defended the unalienable rights of people enslaved in the Southern States; or the U.S. government the civil rights of black Americans subjected to racial segregation and discrimination. According to America’s founding principles, the security of their rights is the overall purpose for which people establish institutions of government. Therefore, they argue, coercion that serves this purpose does not destroy liberty. It preserves it.

But by invoking the doctrine of unalienable rights, the proponents of coerced tolerance for homosexuality are assuming that homosexual conduct fits the paradigm for right action that alone makes sense of the notion that justice requires respect for unalienable rights. In everyday parlance these days, we use the term “right” as though it is synonymous with the freedom to act as we choose. But if the choice is wrong, it makes no sense to assert that the chooser has the right to act on it (i.e., has right on his side as he does so.) What someone can do (has the physical capacity or opportunity to do) logically differs from what they ought to do. This is in fact the rationale for all criminal laws. It’s what allows us to recognize that simply because an armed assailant has the opportunity and power to take someone’s life or goods that does not grant the right to do so. It doesn’t make it right.

Every time we assert a right, we are making a statement about what is right. Implicit, therefore, in the enforced legitimization of so-called sexual relations between people of the same sex is the institution of marriage between homosexuals a matter of right. This is, in fact, the reason the homosexual lobby pushed so hard for the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The tacit, de facto tolerance of homosexual conduct was not enough. It had to be recognized as a matter of enforceable right. Only as such did it constitute the basis for the next logical step, which is to demand equal protection of that right under the law. Enforced acceptance of homosexual conduct must lead, as a matter of logical necessity to enforced provision for homosexual marriage. Since military chaplains are permitted by law to marry heterosexual couples, homosexual couples will demand the same privilege. The campaign to legitimize homosexual conduct in the military is thus a strategic maneuver intended to place the U.S. government in a position under federal law that directly opposes and supersedes strong opposition to homosexual marriage among the various states. The military services thus become national agencies for fundamental social change, metastasizing homosexual marriage throughout the body politic.

When Republicans like Scott Brown voted to support the movement to coerce our military personnel to accept homosexuality, did they consciously cooperate in this strategy, or was it the result of thoughtless incompetence? If done with due deliberation, such a vote gives the lie to the specious advocacy of states’ rights those like Ron Paul use to cloak their refusal to defend the authority and rights of the natural family. It reveals them as fellow travelers in the movement intended to redefine the doctrine of rights in a way that promotes the pernicious notion that they are invented by government rather than authorized by the Creator God. Their action is not some minor disagreement with right-wing religious zealots. It is a decisive break with the understanding of right that is the basis for the U.S. Constitution, and the idea of limited government it implements. Is that conservative? Is it American? Is it even remotely consistent with the self-evident truths America’s claim to freedom was justly founded upon?

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