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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Dents in the Carpet Parts I and II


Dents in the Carpet

The Power of Status Quo and The Burden of Proof

On occasion it’s helpful to know a dead language, and most of us know a little Latin whether we think so or not. We all use the term status quo, which basically means “the way things are,” but it‘s often used negatively by advocates of change to mean “the way things have been for too long.”

I’ll begin with a simple example. How often do you rearrange the furniture in your most static room? [Static is a form of the word status and, in this usage, means the room that changes the least in your house, not the room with the most static electricity.] If you consider why you set that room up the way it is in the first place, you may find the reasons remain compelling through time. If you try to change things around, you may end up putting things right back where they were. (which is easy to do because of the dents in the carpet).

This is not always true, sometimes you can rearrange things in a room, step back, and really like it. The difference between men and women when it comes to rearranging furniture, is that (typically) men can live with the status quo of any room. They set up a TV room, for instance, and it can stay that way for all eternity. There is a reason for this (beyond the fact that he thought it through the first time): By age forty, the typical man has helped friends move in and out of apartments and homes so often that they forever hate to pick up the phone for fear it's a friend whose wife just bought a piano. Men loath the thought of moving furniture—even if it's within the same room.

This is less true for the ladies, who by the age of forty, have watched guys heft sleeper-sofas up and down flights of stairs, wrestle them through narrow doorways, and levitate them in mid-air while the supervising female decides where it goes. I know I have just offended the many ladies who, like my wife, have done more than their fair share of grunt work when it comes to such things. But I still contend that women get the urge to rearrange rooms more often than do men.

Before getting off the couch to move it, men are far more likely to challenge the idea, because they understand that, while change is not wrong, the burden of proof rests firmly on those who which to change the status quo. Not only do women sometimes forget CHANGE bears the burden of proof, they seem to forget the fundamental rules of furniture inertia: the heavier the piece, the more indelible the dents, the less often it should be moved. Or as the Romans said in Latin, Quieta non movere, meaning "Do not move settled things."

In other words, it is safe to assume that there is a reason for the status quoand CHANGE has the burden of proof that it will indeed be better, if implemented, than the way things are. Some changes are good and long overdue, but this merely eases the burden of proof; it does not eliminate it.

This topic is far more important that this furniture example suggests. It becomes strategic in matters of law, morality, and politics, all of which come into play in the issue of same-sex marriage now “boiling over” in California. This battle in the culture war was created by the liberal courts who, as if by fiat, changed the status quo (and the definition of marriage), thereby shifting the burden of proof, resulting in the current upheaval of the success of Proposition 8, which reclaimed the status quo that was in place for all time until four months ago.


"Dents in the Carpet" Part II

Prop 8 not "Hate" Reclaims Status Quo in California
This “Dents in the Carpet” series will be a recurring feature here atpatronus incognitus. The title is not meant to suggest that CHANGE should never take place; it is to remind Americans that the “burden of proof” always rests on those who would CHANGE the way things are (status quo).

There is usually good reason why things are as they have been. Beforeupsetting the fruit basket, we need to ask questions like: Is the CHANGE truly an improvement over thestatus quo or is it just different? Who will pay for the CHANGE and is the cost justifiable? What are the unintended consequences of the CHANGE? What moral implications, if any, accompany the CHANGE? And so on.

The relationship betweenstatus quo and burden of proof is perhaps best understood in the statement: “A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.” The status quo is the individual's presumed innocence, making it the prosecutor’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

“Dents in the Carpet” are reminders that the time to undo wrongly imposed CHANGE is sooner rather than later--before we forget how to put things back in their rightful place. Since president-elect Obama has promised head-spinning CHANGE in the months to come, there's no telling how many parts in this series lie ahead, but lets begin with the most recent example of undoing CHANGE: the successful passage ofProposition 8 to constitutionally define marriage as between a man and a woman in California’s November 4, 2008, ballot initiative.

Before we proceed with this important discussion, let's take a look at a news story from a couple nights ago. Regardless of what side you may take on this issue. There are two undeniable facts: Prop 8 passed fair and square and the 47% who voted against it need to accept that fact just as those who did not vote for Obama accepted their loss on the same night. Second, please study the use of the word hate as this and other protest stories unfold. Ask yourself who is full of hate as you watch this old lady being assaulted (last part beginning at 2:30).

Elderly Woman Assaulted by Angry Mob

Prop 8 was put on the ballot to correct an improper shift in the burden of proof that happened a short time ago. Throughout recorded time, virtually all reproducing civilizations have operated on the same presumptive status quo: marriage is union between a man and a woman. It's a “water is wet” truism behind centuries of undisputed legislation and case law.
Even in liberal California, the traditional definition of marriage was included in the “Family Code” enacted in 1977, and to make sure there was no confusion, the words "between a man and a woman” were added to the California Civil Code in 1994. To further solidify the matter, four years later, Prop 22 added that the union of a man and a woman is the only valid or recognizable form of marriage in the state. Prop. 22 passed 61.4 % to 38 % on March 7, 2000. So by nearly a 2 to 1 margin, the voters of California upheld the long-standing definition of marriage. (Nationally, the figure is 68%.)
The vote was legal. The vote was clear. So what happened?

In the past four years in California, the state legislature twice ignored the will of the people and tried to pass a bill extending the term marriage to same-sex unions already allowed by the state. Twice the Governor vetoed the bill on the basis of Prop 22’s clear outcome.

In fall 2007, ProtectMarriage.com initiated a proposition that would amend the California State Constitution to include, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." A few months later in May of 2008, the State Supreme Court narrowly voted (4-3) to overturn Prop 22's ban on same-sex marriage. Thus legislating from the bench against the will of the people in an effort to change both public opinion and the burden of proof.

To further entrench the social coup, 18,000 gay couples “got married” in California last summer, and the liberal legislature changed the wording of Prop 8 from a neutral-sounding "Limit on Marriage Act" to “Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry Act.” So you see the difference? The latter elevates "marriage" to a right and claims a "YES" vote will take it away. No one wants to take away someone's rights so surely the "NO" votes would win. Right? Wrong, because this vote was not about a "right;" it was about a "rite," and let's not forget whose "rite" it rightfully is.

This battle is over a word, a word established and defined not by the state but by scripture and all the churches that follow it: MARRIAGE. This is not a case of the Church (or churches or the Mormons, or the “Religious Right”) trying to impose its will on those who don’t care about traditional religious values; it’s a case of activist homosexual groups trying to claim asacrament of the church that has been so commonly accepted as morally right and good and “ideal” that virtually all Western civil law shared it for centuries.

Marriage was not a secular term adopted by the church, it was church-sanctioned ritual borrowed by (and sometimes performed by) the State for the good of society. That “good” being the assumption that marriage is the best beginning for the most important institution on earth, the family. Every person reading this article is the product of a union between a man and a woman, while that union may or may not have been in the bonds of marriage, most would agree that traditional family order (man and wife who become husband and wife who become father and mother) is still most ideal for the order and perpetuation of society.
It is only when the God-ordained purpose of marriage is abandoned that the term gets thrown up for grabs like beads at Mardi Gras.
After the vote, singer Elton John confirmed my point and said that fighting over the word marriage was a critical mistake. "I don't want to be married. I'm very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership," said John. "The wordmarriage, I think, puts a lot of people off. You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships." I think he is right. The vast majority of voters--including those who have Biblical issues against homosexuality--consider monogamous, long-term commitment healthier than promiscuity, and it's reasonable that all people in such relationships should be granted some privileges (e.g. hospital visiting, joint ownership, etc.).
On November 4, 2008, against all odds (and with the help of 70% of the black vote--though the protestors will likely spare those churches from their attacks), Prop 8 passed as decisively as Obama's winning popular vote.
Unless all principles of common sense and democracy or ignored, California will now join the other 29 states that have a constitutional “one man one woman” definition of marriage. Those who voted "YES" are not filled with hate--they did not mean to upset the fruit basket. They simply held their ground and used the dents in the carpet to set things straight. . . . For how long nobody knows.

Update November 19, 2008: If eight homosexuals met on a corner in a straight part of town, would all the non-homosexuals be allowed to violently march them out of town? Hardly. And yet a small group of Christians gathered to pray in San Fancisco's Castro District, and had to be escorted away by police--not because they were gathering unlawfully but because their lives were in danger from the "straightophobes."

TOLERANCE Has Become a One-way Street

It seems that this street mob seems to be advocating the colonization of homosexuals, a world in which they get to live freely in certain cities or neighborhoods, doing as they please with whomever they please. Non-homosexuals stay out of their neighborhood and they'll stay out of "straight" neighborhoods. Sure. That'll work. The courts will support that. Not on your life! The one-way tolerance street will simply grow and spread as the "straightophobes" keep insisting they're victims of intolerance.
Six days after this post, as protests and mob reactions like that seen in the video above continued across the country, the California Supreme Court agreed to hear three cases testing the constitutionality of Prop 8. Will that left-coast bench have the courage to say, "No rights have been deprived of any group. This is about the meaning of a word that has been in tact for thousands of years. That definition does not fit your chosen relationship. Get over it"? I wouldn't count on it. And if Prop 8 is deemed "wrong" in California, what will become of all 30 states with a constituional one-man-one-woman definition of marriage?
And so begins the "San Francisconization" of the nation, just part of the coming CHANGE we can look forward to.

Links to further articles on this subject:
Two weeks later, the Califonia vote continues to spark nation-wide protests, as the homosexual marchers continue to interpret this issue as an attack on them when it is actually a vote in favor of the status quo definition of marriage as "one man one woman." How long before Obama appeases them?Gay activitist disrupt church service in Lansing, MI.Additional defense of traditional marriage in Michigan
Whether or not you agree with this group...interesting reading
Why the same-sex marriage mob wants to call it hate. 
Here's a quote from a book I may have to read: "The Marketing of Evil reveals how much of what Americans once almost universally abhorred has been packaged, perfumed, gift-wrapped and sold to them as though it had great value. Highly skilled marketers, playing on our deeply felt national values of fairness, generosity and tolerance, have persuaded us to embrace as enlightened and noble that which all previous generations since America’s founding regarded as grossly self-destructive..."
Even though Elton John suggested "...If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership," many of the protestors sided againsttheir knighted advocate.]


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