Protect and Defend

Welcome to my blog, Protect and Defend. You don’t have to understand me. You only have to agree with me. I can live with losing the good fight, but I can not live with not fighting that good fight at all. - Publius

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Protect the Institute of Marriage

This is a two-part statement. It is an update of the Senate’s vote on gay marriage today and a plea for the institute itself.
We all know that half of all marriage ends in divorce these days and many of these divorces come from some of America’s most famous couples. How often to do we hear or read that two famous people are divorcing because of irreconcilable differences? Marriage is a joke in Hollywood and I think this is influencing how people across the country view marriage as well. No one is my family who was married in the Catholic Church has ever gotten a divorce, and we believe that once you marry you agree to be with that person until death. Marriage is a sacred institution and too many people enter into as a temporary solution or as an excuse for a party and gifts. Think of some of the famous marriages that only lasted for 24 hours, or two weeks, or only a few months. When getting a divorce and getting married is easier than getting a driver’s license, people don’t take it seriously. When I get married, God willing and barring any early death, it will be one time and for the rest of my life. But, that is not the prevailing belief anymore.
Now, to turn the attention to the Senate’s vote on gay marriage.
The following story was reported by the Associated Press (June 7, 2006).

The Senate on Wednesday rejected a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, dealing a defeat to President Bush and Republicans who hope to use the measure to energize conservative voters on Election Day.
Supporters knew they wouldn't achieve the two-thirds vote needed to approve a constitutional amendment, but they had predicted a majority of votes. Instead, they fell one short, 49-48.
That was one vote more than they got last time the Senate voted on the matter, in 2004. Later that year, Republicans gained four seats in the Senate.
"We were hoping to get over 50 percent, but that didn't happen today," said Sen. David Vitter, R-La., one of the amendment's supporters. "Eventually, Congress is going to have to catch up to the wisdom of the American people or the American people will change Congress for the better."
"We're not going to stop until marriage between a man and a woman is protected," said Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.
Wednesday's vote fell 11 short of the 60 required to send the matter for an up-or-down tally in the Senate. The 2004 vote was 48-50.
White House spokesman Tony Snow said Bush sees the issue in the long view.
"The defeat does not mean that he is despondent or he gives up on it," Snow said. "He knows that it's a long fight."
Supporters lost three key "yes" votes. Two Republicans changed their votes from yes in 2004 to no this time: Sens. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. And Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., did not vote this time because he was traveling with Bush.
All told, seven Republicans voted to kill the amendment. The four others were Sens. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona, Olympia Snowe of Maine and John Sununu of New Hampshire.
Gregg said that in 2004, he believed the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in that state would undermine the prerogatives of other states, like his, to prohibit such unions…
A majority of Americans define marriage as a union of a man and a woman, as the proposed amendment does, according to a poll out this week by ABC News. But an equal majority opposes amending the Constitution on this issue, the poll found….
Republicans had hoped for a better showing given their four-seat gain in the Senate after the 2004 election, with supporters predicting more than 50 votes in favor of sending the measure for an up-or-down vote, called cloture…
"I do not believe the sponsors are going to fall back and cry about it," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. "I think they are going to keep bringing it up."
The House plans a redux next month, said Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.
"This is an issue that is of significant importance to many Americans," Boehner told reporters. "We have significant numbers of our members who want a vote on this, so we are going to have a vote."
The defeat came despite daily appeals for passage from Bush, whose standing is troubled by sagging poll numbers and a dissatisfied conservative base…
Democrats said the debate was a divisive political ploy.
"The Republican leadership is asking us to spend time writing bigotry into the Constitution," said Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, which legalized gay marriage in 2003. "A vote for it is a vote against civil unions, against domestic partnership, against all other efforts for states to treat gays and lesbians fairly under the law."
In response, Hatch fumed: "Does he really want to suggest that over half of the United States Senate is a crew of bigots?"…
Ben Nelson of Nebraska, the only Democratic senator who supports the amendment, voted "yes." The only other Democrat to vote in favor of moving forward with an up-or-down vote Wednesday, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, opposes the amendment itself.
Three senators did not vote: Democrats Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and John Rockefeller of West Virginia, and Republican Chuck Hagel of Nebraska.


Just so I get this straight, McCain voted for S. 2611 and against a Gay Marriage Amendment? If McCain wants to be a Democrat so badly why doesn’t he just switch parties? At this point, he could decide to move to Lynchburg, VA and become President of Liberty University and he is still not going to get the Republican Nomination. And Specter who voted against the Amendment was also the one who added the provision to S. 2611 to request the Mexican government’s permission to build any additional security fencing along the border; as you can guess, he is not up for reelection this year. With the exceptions of McCain and Specter those Republicans who voted no all came from New England: Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Senators Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Susan Collins of Maine, Olympia Snowe of Maine and John Sununu of New Hampshire.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Alec said...

To be honest, McCain probably needs the religious right to win the primary, or at least support from some of them (I do not know that he would need the leadership), but in the general election, McCain would not even need the South. Senator McCain is a rare candidate (or would be one) who could probably win over the bulk of the Great Lakes region and most Western states, perhaps New York and probably Florida. Unfortunately for McCain, he needs the far right to win the GOP primary...but I find it odd you would mock his visit to Liberty University, as it was as symbolic of his non-support for social conservatism as the vote was.

Thu Jun 08, 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger betmo said...

i personally think hollywood has less to do with the divorce rate than the churches. there are less people attending church regularly in this country than ever before. many people profess to be christian but only attend holidays, etc. that probably has more to do with divorce than anything. that and people pick the wrong people for the wrong reasons. marriage is not threatened by gay folks but the constitution is threatened by people in office wanting really badly to tinker with it. not sure why.

anyhoo- if people didn't feel desparate to marry for economic, biological clock, lonly reasons- and actually put some thought into things before marriage- there wouldn't be a high divorce rate. that's what talking about life issues before getting married is for. gee and i told tp i wasn't going to comment on this stuff.

Thu Jun 08, 08:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Ron said...

This move by the senate was a total waste of time. It needed a 2/3 majority and they knew it was not there. I do not mind pandering to the base (on either side) but at least try something that has a snow balls' chance in hell of passing.

Thu Jun 08, 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

I think McCain voted against the act not necessarily because he believes in the right of homosexuals to receive every benefit that heterosexuals do, as I believe, but rather that he knows that this Amendment has no place in our Constitution. It is a state's issue - if it's an issue at all.

Thu Jun 08, 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger Publius said...

Betmo, you are blaming high divorce rates on the decline of Christianity? Wasn’t the first post of yours that I read and attack on Christianity? I guess as it turns out maybe us Christian folk aren’t so bad after all?
Alec, I am not a right-winger or a religious nut, but I am a conservative, and McCain has gotten too cozy with anything and everything that Teddy Kennedy wants to get my vote. Sure, Rudy might be worse, but at least I know with Rudy he will crack down on crime and terrorists.
Ron, the Senate knew it wasn’t going to pass but with only one Democrat who was in favor of the Amendment, the Republican Party can paint the Democrats as anti-marriage, anti-Christian, and pro-homosexual. Sure, its not like we didn’t know that already, but this was just a reminder.
Pat, it is an issue, but it is a state’s rights issue. Each state should determine if they will recognize gay marriage, and as long as one state does not have to accept another state’s definition of marriage, I think everyone gets what they want here.

Thu Jun 08, 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

It should be noted that Christians who consider themselves conservative have the highest divorce rates in the country.

Catholics and atheists/non-theists have the lowest divorce rates.

Also, the states with the highest divorce rates are "red" states. The lowest is the bluest of the blue, Massachusetts.

So saying that religion or conservative beliefs lead to less divorce is a crock.

Thu Jun 08, 11:36:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

Sarah, I have never said I speak for all or anyone really other than myself, not that I don’t think it would be better if I did speak for all. But, I am a Catholic and not a Protestant. And I would have to see those facts about where there is more divorce than in other states. But, if I take your facts at face value as correct, Massachusetts and especially Boston, has a very high Catholic population whereas the South is more dominated by Protestant religions.

Fri Jun 09, 12:15:00 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

See, it says a lot about Catholicism too. It's been noted by all these studies that divorce rates seems to be lower with these factors:

1) People who marry at a later age
2) People with good incomes
3) Catholicism - A religion that doesn't allow divorce

My stats came from:
http://www.adherents.com/
http://www.barna.org/
http://www.ncpa.org/pd/social/pd111999g.html

I've always had a soft spot for Catholicism : )

Fri Jun 09, 04:50:00 AM  
Blogger Publius said...

Sarah, I guess I might be a little naive about it all. We seem to think that what we experience regularly is the norm. If I grew up in a broken home, I might think that was the norm. If I grew up surrounded by crime, I might think that was the norm. That I grew up in a Catholic family where divorce was not the norm, I have seen that money and education are not factors in divorce, but that religion was the most important factor. I do think the country would be better off if we were more religious, of course I say this from a Catholic perspective though.
I will have to check out those sites and learn more.

Fri Jun 09, 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Our country IS religious - we are the most religious country in the free world! How much more religious can we get?

By the way, I come from a perspective of conservative parents who have been married for 36 years and are not overtly religious. Believe me, I have never been the norm.

Fri Jun 09, 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

Sarah the prospect of taking Under God out of the Pledge of Allegiance, calling trees with decorations put up in December “Holiday Trees,” telling employees not to say Merry Christmas, not allowing children or teachers to wear religious symbols in schools, the media attacks on the Christian Right, declining church attendance, and laws that strike down Christian beliefs, makes me think that we are not as religious as we were and that that is not a good thing.

Fri Jun 09, 11:36:00 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Well, I am definitely going to take issue with your post.

We are a nation of Christians - we are NOT a Christian nation. Our government was meant to be secular and not to meddle with the beliefs of others.

We don't need "Christian" laws because they are unconstitution. The First Amendment specifically forbids Congress to pass laws that establish a religion - the Supreme Court has agreed on this issue time and time again.

The incidents you bring up are very isolated and are not representative of the population as a whole.

God hasn't been taken out of the Pledge - even though the original Pledge made no mention of a deity and the insertion of God was strictly a Christian response to communism.

I don't know anybody who has changed the name of a Christmas tree or had been told NOT to say Merry Christmas. This is just another attempt for the religious nuts of the right to stir up trouble. The same goes for not wearing religious symbols in school - I don't know of ONE incident, unless you are talking about French public schools.

The religious right deserves to be "attacked" because they are constantly trying to tear down a secular democracy and our Constitution to preserve their own beliefs.

Plus, you do not need to attend church to be religious. That is most ridiculous thing I've heard all day.

As far as I'm concerned, declining religious belief is good. We're the only country in the world that wants to teach "creationism" and "intelligent design" as scientific fact. Our tax dollar go to religious organzations we may not support. Gays and lesbians are constantly being attacked for trying to obtain simple civil rights. Atheists have been rated the most hated minority in the United States - even though they outnumber the Jewish and African-American population.

Christian belief should have nothing to do with our laws. Nor should Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, or any other religious belief. We need to honor the Constitution and establish laws that represent ALL of the community, not just the chosen few in the religious right.

Sat Jun 10, 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Plus, I am not interested in seeing the United States become like a country in the Middle East. I'm not interested in a Christian theocracy. It could happen, and the Bush administration is just a small sample of what could be.

What is the point of setting up a secular democracy in Iraq if we can't even do it here?

Sat Jun 10, 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

Sarah, Christianity is not a religion. You can not set up a Christian Theocracy in the U.S. because there is no Christian religion, and there is no way that all the Christians are going to all agree to one religion, say Baptist or Mormon. That is the same reason why you wont have a theocracy in Iraq either because Iraq is made up of Sunni and Shiite Muslims and Kurds.
Our government was never meant to be secular, it was only meant to not set up a state religion like the Anglican Church in England. That is the separation of church and state, it is not the divorce of Church and State that one can not exist with the other.
The city of Boston, one of the most Catholic cities in America, renamed their tree a Holiday Tree to not upset non-Christians in Boston even though they still put the tree up. The city of Denver was prohibited this year from putting up a nativity scene. Yes, these might be “isolated” incidents, but when they involve millions they are not small incidents.
You are right, as of no God has not been taken out of the Pledge but there are groups trying to get it taken out of the Pledge or make the Pledge all together unconstitutional.
And I will believe this country was intended to be secular if you can find the word in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, because I know where you can find the word God in the Declaration of Independence.
No, you don’t have to go to church regularly to be religious, but how can you be religious if you never go to church and never learn the teachings. Church services are more than “putting in your time,” they are also about being reminded the teachings of God.
Declining religious belief is not a good thing when those beliefs teach us to be better people. And that some want to teach creationism in science classes does not mean that everyone wants it. The same is true with taking “Under God” out of the Pledge; just because some people want it doesn’t mean they all want it. But, 12% of the population of this country is black and about 3% is Jewish, so there is no way that more than 15% of the country is atheist.
And if the “religious right” is Christian, and if more than 80% of the people in this country consider themselves Christian, who are these “chosen few.”

Sun Jun 11, 09:41:00 PM  

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