Justice Scalia’s morality issue
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a controversial figure. But on Monday, while speaking at Princeton University, he made some comments which exposed an incredible bias just as the supreme court prepares to hear some monumental gay rights cases.
When asked about his writings on homosexuality and his perceived anti-gay stance, Scalia said, “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?”
Scalia went on to say that he wasn’t trying to equate sodomy to murder, so at least there’s that, but his statement is incredibly fundamentally flawed, even beyond its shocking fundamentalism.
Scalia also framed his response by indicating that this was a reductio ad absurdum argument. Essentially – if we can’t create laws based on moral outrage over homosexuality, then how can we create laws due to the moral outrage over murder.
The obvious problem with this statement is that it assumes that homosexuality is an issue of morality. A perpetrator of homosexual acts must then be either moral or immoral based upon our collective societal beliefs.
But homosexuality, and even the Mormon Church has come around to this, is a natural state of being. There is no morality assigned to it. There is no right or wrong, there only is. But that can be hard for people to understand, even smart people. It’s an abstract concept. But let me try anyway.
I’m a straight, right-handed, male. I throw with my right arm. I write with my right hand. I have “relations”, as Bill Clinton would say, with my wife. She’s a woman.
See, I don’t understand how a left-handed person operates. I just don’t get it. Well, I get it. I mean, they’re just doing what I do, but with their left hand. But I can’t do it. How do they hold a hockey stick like that? How do they throw like that. It feels awkward when I try. It just feels really unnatural to me.
At the same time, I don’t understand being gay. I just don’t get it. Well, I get it. I mean, they’re just doing what I do, but with another guy (or woman, or whatever their preference). But I can’t do it. How do they deal with no boobs? Boobs are great. How do they deal with body hair and all that stuff. I can’t even make myself try. It just feels unnatural to me.
And here’s the last interesting part:
Back in what I’m sure were the good old days for Antonin Scalia, being left-handed was a bad thing. Left-handed children were forced to learn to write with their right hands. Being left-handed was immoral. It was a moral issue. That’s right, as a society, we assigned morality to the hand you used to feed yourself. Some societies still do. But we’re supposed to be an advanced western liberal democracy, right? We have advanced past punishing people who are left-handed, right?
If not, get out the stocks. I have a left-handed older sister and this is grounds for years of revenge.
Oh, and Obama’s left-handed so we finally have that loophole for the birthers to jump through. Morality. We can use it to falsely define pretty much anything we want.