The Czar has been away from both the dacha and the Castle lately, taking a bit of time off with the family to engage in some vacation up in the woods of south central Wisconsin. Indeed, the Czar normally deplores his beard lice, but was surprised when they organized a stiff and successful resistence to a wood tick the Czar unknowingly picked up while gathering poison ivy for a table display. The poor bastard had no clue what hit him. The Czar may not like his lice much, but they do meet his expectations for armed resistence.
In that time, we also picked up a couple of emails from creatures most unlike wood ticks. First up, JAB writes in from the Doublewide.
|Dear Your Czarness,
This has been a week full of some much-needed educatin’ of yours truly, and I thought it only fitting that I share my newly-enlightenedness with you Castle-dwellers.
Going forth with my new-found enlightenedness, I think I have a game plan. First, I need to come… out…of…the…closet. [No, no, not the “gay closet.” Bubba and I have been married, mostly happily, going on 30 years, and I have adhered to the vows I spoke in church.] I am coming out as member of an unpopular minority, and pleading that Anthony Kennedy et al. will see it within their beneficence to grant me equal dignity to the current majority. Here goes…I believe that marriage is…limited to one man and one woman. Period. Children cannot result from homosexual unions, as Mr. Puter correctly observed earlier. You have to rent a womb, buy sperm or otherwise use medical technology to mix ovum & sperm. Deal with it, Clay Aiken and Elton John. I’m OUT and PROUD. [Please, please, please, somebody celebrate me. I know, I need to design a colorful banner, get some cool dance tracks and some clever bumper-stickers, but this is only my 1st day OUT.]
As a member of a tiny group that refuses to bow down to societal or government-mandated cultural and/or religious diktats, I do have historical precedent to guide me on my path. The early Christian church had to contend with actual persecution from the Romans, yet the faithful multiplied despite the very real threat of ghastly tortures. The Romans were really creative that way, weren’t they? As a spiritual, if not actual, descendent of those who were martyred and/or enslaved by the Romans, I feel I need a safe space. You don’t want the sight of a toga to trigger a mass-murder, now do you? So, I want the togas edited out of Animal House. And if current, living American citizens can call for the removal of names and statues of anyone who owned slaves, why limit it just to American slaveowners? Lets get rid of all monuments everywhere that might involve a person who owned or exploited a slave. You want George Washington and Thomas Jefferson edited out? Well, I think the Colosseum in Rome needs to be leveled lest it be seen to honor those who sent my Christian ancestors to the lions. Besides the Romans were way big into enslaving defeated populations, regardless of faith, so how about we blow up the remains of the aqueducts that brought water into Rome? No water, no Rome, no Empire, no slaves. And why stop there? Slavery was evil in America, so it was evil in ancient Rome, and so it was evil in ancient Egypt. Bye-bye Pyramids, which were built with slave labor, after all.
Maybe Anthony Kennedy will take pity on me and people like me, right?
Yours from the Doublewide,
The Czar is a bit confused as to the Supreme Court’s decision, but reminds himself that in order for an issue gets to the Supreme Court, the other branches of government must have surely failed on their own.
Frankly, the Czar is quite specific that government needs to get out of marriage entirely, and let religion handle that. The state can deal with civil unions on a state level, and for the SCOTUS to tackle this issue is like them weighing in on drivers’ licenses.
Of course, now that we have the requirement that states obey other states’ rights with total reciprocity, the Czar is going to assume Constitutional Carry is now legal in all 50 states and will be packing an AR-15 for the rest of the week.
Yeah, liberals, you just celebrated our right to that. Unintended consequences are the biggest bitch.
Operative B writes in with a great conversation that shows how unintended consequences can bite well-meaning but shallow-thinking people right where the tick got the Czar. Check this out, and be entertained:
A friend and I were discussing Obergefell v. Hodges, and how the new “law of the land” could affect the business climate in the United States. I said that it would stifle business and possibly lead toward increased anger and dissent, and he said that it would actually calm things down considerably because now everyone would be treated equally.
During our friendly conversation, I asked whether bakers, florists, and venues would be able to continue using their deeply-felt religious convictions against gay “marriage” as justification to refuse to provide products or services to single-sex “couples”. He said that the law no longer allows corporations to violate the rights of homosexuals and must therefore provide those products or services whether they want to or not.
I asked him to “define corporation”. He told me that it was any business selling a product or service. I asked him whether that included both for-profit and non-profit businesses, and he said “yes”. I then asked him whether that included both incorporated and unincorporated businesses (no, I was not about to tell him that an unincorporated business was not a corporation). Again, he said “yes, that includes every business”. Sole proprietorships as well? “Yes”.
Then, I asked him if the businesses needed to sell a product, or whether it could only provide a service. He said that it doesn’t matter, because the business was open to the public and that meant everyone.
I then asked him whether that included a couple who operated a small local bakery and baked custom-decorated cakes, or local florists who created custom arrangements. “Absolutely.”
Then, I asked him whether a single mother, working out of her home as a janitor, could refuse to provide services to a venue where a gay wedding was held because she opposed gay relationships on religious grounds.
He paused a moment. Then I asked, “Would you really be willing to force this single mother, against her will and against her religious convictions, to clean up the trash after a reception for a gay wedding?” He paused again, looked like he was going to say something, and said nothing.
Then, “How small does a business have to be before the business may refuse to provide a product or service due to religious grounds? Or are you claiming that nobody may use any reason to refuse business?”
He got very angry at me and began to rant about “That’s not what I meant!”
I said (in mostly the same words), “The minute you force one person to work for another, whether they want to or not, and whether they are paid or not, you are guilty of putting that person into slavery. One person is the slippery slope. And the minute you begin to use the power of The State to force someone to work against their will, that’s the end of ‘pursuit of happiness’. Are you really going to empower The State to choose who’s happiness is more important? What if you don’t agree with the choice?”
He stared at me with a blank expression on his face. I’m not sure whether he was angry, confused, or shocked. But the conversation ended there: because I want to keep him as a friend, I used Dennis Miller’s famous line, “F*ck it, who wants pie?” We both laughed – and I’m sure his was a laugh of relief that he didn’t have to answer my last questions.
Your Majesty, are we indeed already sliding down the slippery slope toward Marxism and communism, where religious conviction will be made illegal by The State, and where individuals will be forced by The State into serving others without being able to say “no”? If the coercive power of The State is used to force individuals to perform tasks that they would otherwise not perform, are we not violating the core tenets of the Founders: a country founded on the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?
And that’s it, right? As soon as you grant a freedom to one person, you grant a freedom to all. But as soon as you make a restriction on one type of person, you kind open the door for all to be restricted. Great conversation, and great management of the topic. Commendations from the Czar.