Monday, June 30, 2003

Why does Bill Frist hate the U.S. Bill of Rights?

Bill Frist, the Senate Majority Leader, thinks last week's landmark Supreme Court decision in the Lawrence v. Texas sodomy case threatens to make private homes a bastion of criminality. He said, on ABC's "This Week"
I have this fear that this zone of privacy that we all want protected in our own homes is gradually — or I'm concerned about the potential for it gradually being encroached upon, where criminal activity within the home would in some way be condoned.
Never mind that the whole point of the decision was to remove the concept of criminality from private, intimate activity that stays within the home.

Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo, is the principal sponsor of a proposed amendment to the Constitution which, as referred to the House Judiciary Committee, reads:
Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any state under state or federal law shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.
What Frist says about the Lawrence decision, and the proposed amendment, gives the game away -
I very much feel that marriage is a sacrament, and that sacrament should extend and can extend to that legal entity of a union between — what is traditionally in our Western values has been defined — as between a man and a woman. So I would support the amendment.
Note the use of "sacrament." The American Heritage Dictionary defines "sacrament" this way

  1. Christianity. A rite believed to be a means of or visible form of grace, especially:
    1. In the Eastern, Roman Catholic, and some other Western Christian churches, any of the traditional seven rites that were instituted by Jesus and recorded in the New Testament and that confer sanctifying grace.
    2. In most other Western Christian churches, the two rites, Baptism and the Eucharist, that were instituted by Jesus to confer sanctifying grace.
  2. A religious rite similar to a Christian sacrament, as in character or meaning.
  3. often Sacrament
    1. The Eucharist.
    2. The consecrated elements of the Eucharist, especially the bread or host.

As Frist apparently sees this, it's an explicitly religious issue. Frist seems to have forgotten about the Bill of Rights, specifically the 1st amendment - "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." I guess Senator Frist, who swore to uphold it, doesn't really believe in that part of the Constitution.

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