A friend of mine posted a response about how I do not understand liberty on a separate article I has posted earlier. For whatever reason I thought that he was referring to this article, and so I wrote a response about how liberty and the defense of morals are intertwined. In so doing I also made my personal, definitive reason as to why I oppose gay marriage. Take a read.
So, as long as you choose to live the way the 'unwritten rule' demands, you can be free. But choose something other than what the 'unwritten rules' state and the rules will then be written.
You're free to choose, as long as you choose what we want you to choose. But if you don't, we'll have to take away your right to choose... ??? Scratching my head here.
"Liberty to live as we choose" I do not think it means what you think it means.
My Response:I appreciate that you feel the churches opposition against the amoral lifestyles of many in the world today is a direct violation of their freedom to live. Many of my friends have stated this sentiment to me before. To the contrary, they do not seek to impose or enact laws that prevent them from living in a way that they see fit, in so far as what the individual does will not impact the lives of their neighbors or future neighbors negatively.
That being said, I do very much understand what "Liberty to live as we choose" means, and it is not the sophistry that the world subscribes to. Liberty is not a "do what you want without consequences" ideology, but is rather a "do what you may and enjoy the consequences" ideology. There is a great lie in the secular world being purported by many that actions should not have consequences, and that one's actions do not indirectly affect another. Liberty is the quality individuals have to control their own actions. Note the operative word "control".
In light of this definition, the unwritten rules of which I speak are morals and ethics. It is impossible and, indeed, oppressive to lay down a set of laws that strive to enforce any set of morals and ethics. However, it is the responsibility of peoples, rulers, and nations to try as best they can to uphold these virtues. Law, then, has the responsibility to teach and to prevent intrusions into these morals as much as reasonably possible.
The morals upon which this country was founded are based upon Judeo-Christian morals, though it has shifted towards more secular reasoning in the past fifty years or so. Nevertheless, it is a fruitless task to try and account for all codes and creeds available today as there are too many to count, each varying from another in some degree. The best we can do is find commonality amongst the various philosophies and work from there.
The real problem, then, is deciding what code of morals we live by. Clearly the time-honored virtues outlined in the Declaration are to be utilized, and for the most part are adhered to in a great number of moral codes. Further insights can be derived from the constitution and present-day laws. Even further direction can be derived from coming to understand the effects such laws have had on peoples and societies and acting accordingly.
Whatever morals we do end up using, the fact is that liberty is founded and maintained upon the principles of whatever morals we decide to live by as a people. Since we are all at liberty to live as we choose, it then becomes necessary to follow these unwritten rules so as to ensure a workable and thriving society, governed by law and not the passions and whims of some faction here or there.
In any case, the current establishment, or the status quo, shouldn't be shaken up unless there is a significant and compelling enough case to argue for change. Even after the significant and compelling case is made, it still needs to have proof that it is better than the current establishment in order for it to enact the change it seeks.
With all these things in mind, the article clearly does not speak on limiting anyone's liberty to act, but rather is instructive on how liberty is to be maintained. We do not know the risk involved with allowing homosexual marriage, we do not have a good reason to allow it, and yet the country is all up in arms for change without bringing forth sufficient proof that this change is indeed needed.
Liberty is wasted upon those who seek to change the establishment for their own ends. Liberty is greatest for those who seek to change the establishment for the good of all. That is basically the founding principle of the US constitution. Read the Federalist papers that are the undergirding of the document for further evidence of that.