Cal  Thomas

While the war overseas continues, so does another war at home.

The latest battle in the culture war was fought Wednesday (March 26) on Supreme Court turf. At issue is a Texas "homosexual conduct law" that forbids sodomy.

Before the Supreme Court rules that the Founders had the right to practice sodomy in mind when they wrote the Constitution, we should ask where the chipping away at law and morality is leading us.

Once sodomy is made legal, what's next? How about polygamy? As we have been reminded in the case of Utah's Elizabeth Smart and her abduction by a practicing polygamist, there are people who believe they have a right to that sexual and relational preference. If sodomy is legalized, can polygamists then ask the Supreme Court to end the prohibition against their "right" to engage in sex with and "marry" multiple partners? If not, on what legal grounds will they be refused? To listen to the attorneys for the Texas men seeking redress of their sexual grievances, a decision to strike down the Texas anti-sodomy law should be based on "changing times" and public opinion polls.

Pedophiles who wish to have sex with children assert they should not be prohibited from doing so as long as the child "consents." There is a movement within psychiatry to have pedophilia removed from the shrinking list of "deviant" behaviors, as was done with homosexual practice. What is to prohibit them from doing so if pedophiles testify their fulfillment is being denied, and they feel discriminated against for practicing what, to them, is normal? Since truth is now in the mind and genitalia of the beholder, how can anyone with a different mindset (or different genitalia) tell anyone else how and when to engage in any sexual act in which he or she might wish to indulge?

Former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal on March 26 in which he argued in favor of the "gay rights" position opposing the Texas law. Simpson said "the proper Republican vision of equality" is "live and let live." Simpson thinks that laws against homosexual practice "are contrary to American values protecting personal liberty .."

What Simpson argues for is not liberty but license. There is a profound difference between the traditional understanding and definition of liberty and that of license. Liberty is presumed to depend on personal responsibility. I like one of the Webster definitions of liberty: "permission to go freely within specified limits." In contrast, "license" can mean "disregard for rules of personal conduct: licentiousness."

Cal Thomas

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Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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