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The Silver Lining in Lawrence v. Texas
by Steve Pudlo
7 July 2003

Any decision that boots the government out of our houses does have some good, solid positives about it.

The Silver Lining



The Supremes are at it again. Seems like they have been bending over lately to anger conservatives, people of faith, and those who have standards of justice more in tune to the founding fathers, than the tortured pretzel of what passes for justice these days.

No, I am not complaining about the University of Michigan decision. That was days ago. Old hat by today's standards of instant justification and snap decisions. I am referring to the decision to strike down Texas' anti-sodomy law. Whilst I am loathe to side with the homosexual agenda, there IS something good and defensible about this decision.

Apparently, the court decision stems from an arrest of two gay men in Texas doing in their own home what gay men do about as often as straight couples, I would guess. And while I reiterate that I abhor the gay  agenda (which seems to be primarily aimed at children), I do think that any decision that boots the government out of our houses does have some good, solid positives about it.

First of all, we need to put our blinders on about the emotional reactions to this decision as a "gay rights" issue. If we look at the underlying concept of government interference into the private life of its citizens, we need to remind ourselves that privacy is a two way street. If we don't want the government to interfere with the way we raise our children, or the magazines we read, or the shows we watch, than we need to realize that there may be some parts of the concept of personal privacy that we may not personally agree with. How can we demand freedom from the government when we visit conservative web sites, then demand that the government disregard the freedom of others when they do something private that we disagree with?

That makes us no better that the politician who imposed upon us the 1.5 gallon flush toilets, then had millions of gallons of water spilled from a dam to float his canoe for a photo op.  The blatant hypocrisy of telling us peons that water is a scarce resource when we need to flush out toilets, but no problem when HE needs a photo op is really the same when we demand that the government stop telling us what to do in our own homes, yet we demand the right to tell other people what they can do in their own homes.

When you look at the decision less as a gay issue and more in the light of a person's right to be secure from government intrusion in their own homes, then there is indeed a silver lining on the cloud. I mean, who really wants to empower the government to snoop into our private lives any more than they do now? I think that the government, with its inexhaustible resources, usurped from the working class, wields these resources like an old spinster snooping on families up and down the block needs to be slapped down every now and again. When they spend our money on electronic snooping of every email we send/receive and web site we visit, isn't that too much? I mean, aren't we supposed to be a free society?

Let's look at the primary reason the government gives for such unprecedented surveillance of innocent citizens going about their daily lives: to look for terrorists. Right. What that does that really mean? It's code speech for "somebody needs to be caught because they MIGHT do something." And people wonder if we are descending into a police state. It's too late to wonder - we're already there.

So in light of the potential for this decision to set a new precedent of reaffirming the right of the citizenry to be secure from unwarranted government intrusion in their own homes, who can argue that the decision is 100% "bad?" I think that seen in this light, the decision is GOOD for conservatives - it reestablishes the concept that there are certain private arenas in which the government has no business.

So where do we go from here? If we have a right to privacy in our homes for sexual acts, don't we also have a right to keep the government from telling us not to smoke in our own homes? Or how about telling us that we need to build our homes to ADA standards. And now we have a privacy precedent that what we do or say in our own homes is none of the government's business? I don't know about you, but I see more to be thankful for in this decision than to rage about. When taken further, this decision really gives people the right to tell the government to buzz off. Is this a bad thing?

So twice this week the Supreme Court has passed down decisions that are anti-conservative on their surface, yet really pro-freedom when you really look at them. Whilst some things this decision allows are repugnant to me, the basic concept of being free in my own home from all kinds of government interference is appealing to me.


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