"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State." – Joseph Goebbels
It seems crazy to think that in this day and age, with the Internet, social media and so many disparate news outlets that any lie could be maintained for any length of time. It chills me to the bone to think that my fellow travelers in this republic could fall into the trap of believing the lies we are told, but I see it every day.
I have several examples of lies that are generally accepted, but wish to address just two. I am willing to bet that most people who read this post believe at least one of these lies.
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Robin Hood robbed from the rich. We all know the refrain from the Disney movie that in the story of Robin Hood, he robbed from the rich to give to the poor. Think for a moment about his goals. Many years before Disney told the story, Robin Hood was played by Errol Flynn in a Hollywood telling of the imagined life of a knight of the Round Table. His actual existence is unknowable, but generally accepted to be true, or at least based on a compilation of characters.
Historically, Robin Hood fights with the sheriff of Nottingham, an overzealous tax collector whose efforts are driving the commoners into poverty. Errol Flynn is portrayed as the knight loyal to King Richard the Lion Heart whose brother, Prince John, assumes the throne due to his extended absence. Prince John then begins raising taxes as a way to enrich himself and build his power. By fighting the sheriff, Robin Hood becomes a tax protester. In few, if any versions of the story, is Robin Hood known to be a violent socialist redistributionist, "robbing from the rich to give to the poor." That version appears to have been imagined out of whole cloth by the Disney corporation. Yet as generations enjoy the magical treatment reinforced with a clever jingle, Robin Hood slides from limited government patriot, to radical socialist.
Another disturbing contemporary lie is that most states ban gay marriage.
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We hear the words, or hear that a judge "lifted a ban on gay marriage," and we assume there are laws all across the land banning gay marriage.
This is far from the truth.
Ask yourself, when was the last time you saw a gay couple in handcuffs hauled to the pokey for violating that "ban"?
The lie of a "gay marriage ban" has been told so often that it has become an axiomatic truth. The truth is very far from that lie.
Most states have laws banning polygamy, or marriage under a certain age, or even bans on people marrying animals. But few, if any states, make it a crime for two people of the same gender to engage in a ceremony in a church.
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What proponents are calling "state bans on gay marriage" are actually various forms of refusal of states to convey state recognition to gay marriages. Marriage, after all, is the domain of the church. The state only enters in by conveying certain laws and privileges, and those were created in the modern era as policymakers recognized the important value and stabilizing force to society of married couples raising children. Care of orphans carries large costs, so providing small tax deductions is logical. In time, it became necessary to enact divorce laws.
It is not that these 50 states were dominated by religious zealots who created criminal codes making the act of being gay and getting married a crime. If two homosexuals want to find a willing church and get married, they are almost universally free to do so. If next they want to walk in the courthouse and demand access to legal status provided by generations of their elected representatives that were written to build the stabilizing force of married families with children, they will meet resistance.
I hear some pundits who say "the government has no business in marriage," and I just chuckle at the ignorance. It is part of the clever lie that government establishes the marriage covenant, and writes the terms. It does not, and anyone with a basic knowledge of the Constitution and legal history should know better.
Certainly, the act of marriage is a covenant created by God and remains a private affair in which lawmakers have very little say. It is a private matter and a church matter. But to say government has no say is to say that no citizen has a vested interest in the stabilizing force of married couples raising children, and should vote out any lawmaker who supports tax deductibility for married couples filing jointly.
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There are few things state governments can do that have a better effect on making a state great than recognizing the critical role of married couples and families, providing tax deductions and, unfortunately, rules for the dissolution of far too many.
Perhaps no one is as irritated by the drive to "lift the ban" on gay marriages as gay people. Many prominent gays, most notably Tammy Bruce, are happy with their current state of affairs. They are totally free to marry whomever they like and have zero interest in pulling the state into the equation. The irony here is that the "gay marriage" proponents are actually government expansion proponents (or statists) who seek to empower government to encompass something it never envisioned, and in which it has little interest in an objective sense. Do gays raise children? Sometimes. Do they get divorced? Sure. As a percentage of society, gay couples with children are a tiny fraction.
There is a growing lie that in order to establish freedoms gay people already have, we must upend heterosexual marriage laws.
This is the politically correct movement, and it is all to please a vocal minority of statist activists, followed by a growing chorus of polygamists and polyamorists. Voters in few states have chosen to do exactly that.
In expanding government's role in marriage (gay or otherwise), these statists have essentially accomplished removing rights from people, not granting them.
In their zeal to wrestle the 50 states into gay marriages, the powerful, well-funded "gay rights" lobby has used some stunning tactics that belie the inference that the issue is about gentle, loving gay couples who just want to be free to be married.
They use the courts at every turn and in almost every sector. The courts were used to get state recognition that lawmakers would not pass (even left-leaning Hawaii originally rejected), then used one state's approval to force approval in another. They were happy to bypass the will of their neighbors as expressed by state lawmakers and promote judge-made laws. This is always a precedent fraught with pitfalls.
As states sought protection from judges to protect their laws, Congress responded and President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act. Clinton now has taken the cowardly tack and condemned the law he was for, before he was against it. (I guess it all depends on what the definition of was, was.) The homosexual lobby is on full offensive, and no example was clearer than their recent full-scale war on Arizona.
Activists in their neighboring New Mexico had successfully sued a Christian photographer because she turned down their request to memorialize their wedding. I thought New Mexico "banned" gay marriage. Why would anyone move so aggressively to document their crime? Are there so few people in New Mexico who know how to use a camera? No gay photographer out there?
In Oregon, the target of the activists was a baker who preferred they hire someone else to make a gay couple's wedding cake. When did it become important to people to eat food made by someone they don't like? Who wants a photographer who does not share the passion for the occasion?
The answer is that these issues were not about the underlying services, but part of a concerted effort by a radical lobby to force others to not merely tolerate, but accept government involvement in an issue that should be private. That is not how people should treat each other in civil societies. What ever happened to live and let live?
Arizona residents faced similar lawsuits and opted to proactively pass SB 1062, an expansion of their Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The aim of the bill was to extend a legal defense opportunity to businesses that currently only protects religious institutions and individuals.
Why should an unregistered photographer be protected, but the accomplished professional woman who formalized her business be thrown to the wolves?
The bill made no mention of gay people at all, or any other protected class. That didn't stop the savage mischaracterization that it would somehow give businesses (even restaurants) reason to refuse to serve people based on their sexual orientation. In the name of political correctness, Google Corporation, the State Chamber of Commerce and the Super Bowl committee all got on the bandwagon promoting this lie about the law, and Gov. Brewer caved.
Attorney General Eric Holder called on the 50 attorneys general from across the nation to follow his lead and selectively defend laws based on personal preference. Imagine any other attorney general sworn to uphold the laws of his or her respective state or nation making such a statement about any other law. Such is the power of this lobby pressing the ban on gay-marriage lie.
Let's not forget the felonious attack on presidential candidate Mitt Romney by the Obama administration's IRS. While donor data to certain tax-exempt organizations is strictly private, the IRS demanded extensive donor data to the National Organization for Marriage only to have an agent release the data to a homosexual activist organization during the middle of the Romney campaign cycle. Naturally, Attorney General Holder saw no reason to prosecute anyone for that felony data release. That makes it all the more pathetic that even Romney weighed in to support his opponents' view against the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It is safer to be on the bandwagon with his business peers.
Government-expansion proponents have so successfully demonized the traditional marriage side that they have clearly become the intolerant haters, all in the name of "love."
This simple question lays out the pro-marriage view in a nutshell.
Imagine a dark, stormy night and you discover a bridge is washed out but approaching drivers who cannot see it are plunging to their deaths. Who is more moral, the one who steps out in the dark and into the exposure to stop the cars, or those who find better things to do?
Metaphorically, to cower to this lie is to subvert the very freedom (to be left alone, without government intrusion) that most gay people would want if they understood how they were being used by the government expansionists. To embrace these lies is to place a green light at the entrance to the bridge directing drivers to the abyss.
Observant Christians and Jews are often accused of bigotry for this view, but I don't know of any Jewish or Christian activist groups pushing for state laws to ban gay marriage.
On the other hand, demanding that religious people endorse gay marriage or even state recognition of civil unions is revocation of their First Amendment rights. It is wholly uncivil to ask people to do that. Yet that is precisely the demand of the radical lobby. The "gay marriage ban" lie and "homophobe" epithet are the favorite weapons they wield to shred anyone who dares to ask a question.
America was founded on the bedrock principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those who would lie about the ban on gay marriage cleverly claim they want government out of our bedrooms, while trying to force government into gay bedrooms at the same time. The most amazing irony is the degree to which their litigation across the country would force unwilling religious people into gay bedrooms. Goebbels would be blushing.