Karl H. Timmerman M.A.J.D. © 2002
All Rights Reserved
A MISSOURI LAWYER'S
FRIDAY NIGHT RAMBLINGS
MoBar Solo and Small Firm Internet Group
August 8, 2003
Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of August 8, 2003. One of the greatest values of this group, this "family", is the ability to share views .... experience .... and perhaps with gentle prodding ... cause some brothers and sisters to take a moment .... and think about things other than making this month's "overhead". These Ramblings will offend the 16 or so folks that read them, I guess. Not my intent. There really is more to life than paying your "WestLaw" bill. Been thinking about "same sex" marriages since our President and some of our elected representatives are proposing a Constitutional Amendment, banning them. Read the "Marriage" posts with great interest. I think Mark Reiter was correct, when he said: "I have no problem debating/discussing the issue of same sex marriage, but please do not think that you can separate moral/religious/social considerations from the discussion when such considerations are inseparable from nearly all of the other laws on the books today." Valid point. From a philosophical standpoint, guess the question is: should our elected representatives, (those elected by 51% of us), impose their moral/religious/social values on the other 49% of us? Our Bill of Rights precludes them from doing so even though, as Paul Ivy pointed out: "Since the "LEGAL bases" of our laws stem from our Constitution, if "the whole" determines that only different-sex marriages are allowed under the laws of the State of Missouri, the Missouri Constitution itself gives a "LEGAL bases" for legal recognition of only opposite-gender marriage." suggests they can. Lawrence v. Texas, http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/02-102.ZS.html laid that argument to rest. Put another way, guess 6 out of 10 folks in a room don't get to decide what values the other 4 have to live by. Somehow, to me, that is not a bad thing.
In the 70's, 80's and 90's ... there was a big push to be gender blind. We should be. After all, shouldn't a person be judged by the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin, their religious beliefs or whether they have an "innee" or an "outee"? Haven't we evolved, intellectually, beyond our plumbing?, ( I know ..... I know .. persons with "innee" plumbing did not get the right to vote until the 19th Amendment in 1920 ...... geez .... that's only 83 years ago!!). Is a "soul" male or female? For that matter, is God "male" or "female"? Maybe "God" just "IS". Assuming a "soul" is neither male nor female ..... assuming God doesn't have an "innee" or "outee" .... but is that, "than which nothing greater can be conceived to exist" ... why would our gender matter? It doesn't. What does gender have to do with marriage? What is the purpose of marriage? Historically, "marriage" has been the socially and religiously sanctioned framework, in which a man and a woman commit to each other to have and raise children, (remember "arranged" marriages?). Marriage was child centered and the parties had traditional legally defined roles:
"...the husband had a duty to provide a safe house, pay for necessities such as food and clothing, and live in the house. The wife's obligations were maintaining a home, living in the home, having sexual relations with her husband, and rearing the couple's children." http://www.law.cornell.edu/topics/marriage.html
That is not the way the majority of Americans view "marriage" today, (see "The State of our Unions 2003",
http://marriage.rutgers.edu/Publications/SOOU/SOOU2003.pdf). "People now expect their marriages to be a spiritualized union of souls ...... An astonishing, 94 percent of single men and women, ages twenty to twenty-nine agree with the statement that "when you marry, you want your spouse to be your soul mate, first and foremost"". Marriage is now viewed by most, as adult centered. We marry later in life, 25 for women and 27 for men. A marriage celebrated today has a 50% chance of failing, (guess finding the right soul mate is not as easy as dropping your Levi's and ...er .... boinking). Divorce/Dissolution is now "no fault" and easier than ever before: the net result, ONLY 69% of our children grow up with their biological parents, (down from 89% in 1980). Now, marriage is viewed as a union of "souls"? Reread Leviticus ..... taken literally, we would have to kill gay folks and our mouthy teenagers, some of the sheep herders in Wyoming and the sheep, we would have to kill a bunch of folks in Arkansas, our diet would be curtailed, our slaves would suffer and PETA would make sense to me, (killing all those animals as a sacrifice seems somehow wrong). I'm not a biblical scholar ... so share with me where in the New Testament, you get to choose which of the laws in the Old Testament continue to apply? I can not find a cite in the "New Testament" that says the "Old Law" does not apply. In Mark 12: 28-31, Jesus says that the most important Commandments are (paraphrased), Love God above all else and love your neighbor as you would yourself. (Also see John 13:34-35; John 14:21; John 15:12 and John 15:17). I'm assuming the "love" referred to is not sexual ...... hehehe .... have no desire to be loved by a gay guy, the way he would like to be loved. So share with me ... if a "soul" is neither male nor female ... why would the civil recognition of two "souls", (in same sex bodies), joining as one, committing civilly to each other, in order to have the right to inherit, social security benefits, the right to take against a will, to have health insurance for partners, automatic inheritance rights, decision making for an incapacitated partner, hospital visitation rights, joint credit and property rights ..... be so repugnant? Would it make a difference if we called it a "Relationship Contract", instead of "Marriage"? Don't know. But do know this: I know gay couples that love, cherish and care for each other every bit as much as Susan and I. It is wrong to deny them the legal benefits Susan and I enjoy because of their plumbing. I can not and will not believe, my God, who is the God of Love, of Compassion, of Forgiveness and who, according to every Christian theology, sent his only begotten Son to preach, first, "Love God" and second, "Love One Another", would condemn these couples to hell because these souls love each other but have the wrong plumbing. 'Nuff said.
To my "right to life" or "freedom of choice" brothers and sisters: when does a soul come into fruition? If not at the moment of conception, when? Roe v. Wade, http://members.aol.com/abtrbng/410us113.htm tried to balance the rights of the respective souls, to no ones satisfaction: the right of a soul which can not survive in this reality, in the first or second trimester of their corporal being, (at the time of the rendering of the opinion) and the right of a soul to decide what and how her corporal person is used. Slavery is abhorrent to any honorable person. An on going debate, in which, honorable persons can disagree. I believe abortion is morally wrong. I also believe a soul has an absolute right to decide how her/his corporal person will be used. I do not have a solution. Interesting how, when you remove "gender" or "blame" out of an equation ...... things look different ... the analysis shifts. Interesting how "procreation" and "sex" no longer mean the same thing. Interesting how easy it is to "judge" when you do not have to live with the consequences of your judgment.
Had lunch with my dear friend Lyle Gregory http://www.karltimmerman.com/sfigg-h.html on Thursday. A young lawyer, with a family, (and one beautiful little girl ...... who knows, her daddy is a "hero" .... <smiling> ...... made my heart sing to listen to him sharing how much he loved her ..... how much he loved and respected her mother). He mentioned, that he was doing more and more civil rights litigation. Thought to myself, at the time, how many "silk stocking" lawyers do that? He opined how difficult it was to keep a cash flow while standing up for the civil liberties most of us take for granted. He is a charter member of the BDT. Had lunch with Pat Reynolds, David Lurie and Bill Cownie today. Pat, David and Bill also do pro bono work. I'm an old lawyer .... have a few years left ... hopefully .... and must admit ... when the "changing of the guard occurs" ..... our profession, (if Lyle or my dear friends Pat, David and Bill are examples) ....... our profession, our America, is in good hands. "Lyle, Pat, David, Bill, I dip my FIN to you!". A Warm Brotherly Hug. You make me proud to be a member of this "family" of lawyers. 'Nuff said.
Finally dumped AOL. Monitored http://sfig.mobarlist.org/ and discovered I was not receiving a quarter of the emails posted to the list. After visiting with Wayne Greer, (MIS Director, MoBar, firstname.lastname@example.org ... and one cool guy to chat with), I decided to dump AOL, (after receiving no response from AOL about the problem). Tough decision for me ... I have been with AOL since 1987. AOL remains the most elegant email solution ... love just highlighting some text in an email and hitting "reply", (although, I must admit, I didn't like all them emails telling me I have a small penis or telling me to refinance my home mortgage .. and they have a solution) ..... and having the text, with who sent it. Outlook, on the other hand has the ability to send email to folders, like SFIG and SFIG NLS .... <sigh> ..... guess life remains a trade off. AOL has gotten so big, little guys like me, no longer matter. Also dumped my AOL stock today. I can not see AOL surviving when they don't give a damn about their subscribers.
The ends do not justify the means. Period. Saddam is gone, almost. No doubt a good thing. I want to see the WMD, (Weapons of Mass Destruction) that justified our going into Iraq. There is no taking the "moral high ground" when the moral high ground is based on a lie. I will continue to wait patiently ..... keep watching the Democratic Party try to come up with a presidential candidate ..... <shaking his head> ........ that looks like something other than Robert Redford in "The Candidate" ...... is viable ........ there is an election coming up :)
Sitting here at Ft Timmerman looking at a pile of tomatoes and cucumbers, editing these Ramblings, sipping on some BBB ..... and thinking about how I put over 500 miles on Zelda this week and how grateful I am to live in a country that allows me to express myself, enjoy the company of good friends and share my life with the most beautiful Lady I know. As I drift off to sleep tonight, I will say a prayer for those souls that love, whether they have an "innee" or an "outee", whatever their religious conviction or lack thereof, for Susan and I and our men and women in uniform, (please God, let them all come safely and soon), and for you. Be and sleep well, knowing the best there is, is on watch. If my post offends, I apologize ... that is not my intent.
Karl (the dumb ole country lawyer from Holden, Missouri)