Posts tagged Alas A Blog

Ask an Anarchist! — How would anarchists prevent the rise of tyrants?

This is actually a re-post, from quite some time ago, from a long, sometimes productive, sometimes tiresome comment thread at Alas, A Blog back around 2006. A conversation about political libertarianism became — as I hope they always will — a conversation about anarchism, and a commenter named Charles (no relation) came around to asking:

I was once an anarchist, but I’m finding myself in complete agreement with nobody.really. Anarchist principles are good cautionary principles to use as limitations on statist power, and they are good guidelines for running small to middling groups, but there are too many questions concerning the structuring of larger groups that they can’t meaningfully answer, or that they answer incorrectly.

Nobody.really pointed out that there are always people who behave badly in the absence of government force, some of whom form the worst sort of tyrannical mini-governments. This doesn’t require any sort of innate predisposition to do so or anything along those lines, it merely requires a recognition that no community is ever successfully at completely inculcating all of its members with its beliefs and principles. People are capable of coming up with a very wide variety of ways of acting, and behaving horribly and seizing other people’s stuff can be an effective method of surviving. People who come up with it are able to make a mess of the lives of everyone around them, and are often enough able to push the culture over into one in which their behavior is acceptable. So, what do you do to stop that?

. . . Creating a permanent structure for how to handle violence, who gets to handle the violence, etc, produces a more stable situation, where when my neighbor decides to take my stuff, I know who to turn to, and I know with reasonable certainty that the powers that be will side with the one who has the legitimate right to the stuff.

Obviously, the powers that be often end up being tyrants, but the question of how to prevent them from becoming tyrants (or how to stop them from being tyrants once they become them) is not really answered by saying let their never be powers that be in the first place.

How, under anarchist principles, do you prevent the rise of tyrants?

–Charles, in comments on Libertarian Follies
Alas, A Blog (March 22, 2006).

To which I replied . . .

Shoot them. Jesus.

If your objection to anarchism is that it does not provide magic wands for resisting evil, then anarchism stands guilty as charged. But so does statism: magic wands like that don’t exist, and given the abattoir that was the 20th century, I hardly think that the State has a very good historical record of providing people with the means to stop relentless tyrants.

* * *

. . . As a further note on my brusque earlier reply.

Many of the common lines of criticism against anarchist theories succeed only by holding anarchy and anarchists to higher standards than the State or statists are held to. The line of how anarchists intend to stop tyrants (petty or grand) is one of them. Nobody in the world, anarchist or statist, has a perfect theory of how to resist oppression; democratic states, republican states, aristocratic states, constitutional monarchies, absolute monarchies, grand empires, humble city-states, stateless societies (medieval Iceland, medieval Ireland),[1] etc. have all, at some time or another, fallen into tyranny or into civil war; have been conquered in war; have systematized and ritualized forms of violent oppression by one class or caste or sex over another. Revolutions fail; societies decay; things fall apart. Judging from the results of the late unlamented century, most of the powers that be don’t even have a good theory of how to stop that: hundreds of millions of people were murdered because major powers engaged in tyranny and imperial warfare, civil war, terror famines, and genocide, and because even when they were not actively doing these things themselves, they were either powerless or unwilling to do anything to stop the others. So while these are reasonable questions to ask of any theory of social life, a bit of recognition that the topic is hard and that it’s unfair to hold any theory to the standard of needing a complete solution to the problem of evil, would go a long way.

That said, here are some things that anarchists typically stress.

(1) For just about any form of successful oppression, it’s hard to see how introducing the State will dampen the problem rather than amplifying it. If there is a discernible ruling class then it’s a matter of course that they’ll have disproportionate power over the apparatus of the State; if you have a centralized Leviathan that is able to assert and enforce its claims to sole authority then that means a corresponding increase in the capacity of oppressors to violently enforce their will over the oppressed. Without a central state, there is no guarantee that the oppressed will be able to successfully resist the aggression of oppressors, but when a central state with unchallenged police power, military power, intelligence capabilities, etc. is systematically turned against them, the prospects are correspondingly much bleaker. You might say, “But look, what that means is that the oppressed should have access to state power so that they can defend themselves. Wouldn’t that be great?” But then you need to (1) figure out how they are going to get it (magic won’t do) and (2) how whatever means help them to get it (organizing, moral agitation, cultural change, nonviolent resistance, etc.) wouldn’t work just as well, or better, if it were focused on direct action rather than on trying to influence or take control of government decision-making bodies.

(2) As a strategy for resisting potential new forms of oppression, a Leviathan state also seems like a risky strategy at the very best. Tyrants very often solidify their tyranny by taking over centralized structures of power that were already in place; it’s much harder to build an effective tyranny from scratch than it is to consolidate power over existing police, intelligence, military, etc. forces and then to turn them to your ends. In anarchy, any projects or organizations for self-defense are voluntary, decentralized, and don’t claim a monopoly on legitimate authority; that means that if a tyrant tries to subvert the existing structures there aren’t institutional barriers to withdrawing from them and setting up new ones that aren’t subject to her or his will. Under territorial states, no such option is available: there’s only one target that needs to be seized, and once it’s seized, the subjects of the state can’t do much of anything about it. The “stability” of an organized power structure is only a virtue if that power structure is, on the whole, benevolent; if it’s malevolent then the last thing you want is for its hegemony to be stable and unchallenged. The problem is how to protect yourself from the malefactors once you’ve already ceded your ability to resist back when times were allegedly good. Actually existing states don’t have a very good record on this count.

(3) To be quite frank, nearly no State in all of recorded history (certainly not the United States, for one) could seriously be claimed to be a bunch of ordinary people banding together to protect themselves from marauders. The band of slavers and genocidaires who founded the U.S. government, to take one example, were pretty explicit that they aimed for the federal government to protect and systematize their own marauding against innocent Africans, African-Americans, and Indians not taxed. It’s not much different elsewhere — the people who oversee the formation of states are typically powerful and concentrated interests who hope to, and do, turn the newly-formed State to the pursuit of their own interests at the expense of the less powerful. The popular liberal myth of government by compact wouldn’t morally justify the State, even if it were true of actually existing governments; but it’s not true. The only “compacts” made have been pirate’s codes, and nothing more.

(4) The strategic question of how to create, sustain, and defend anarchy is an important one to ask, and a difficult one to answer. But it ought to be understood that it is not, actually, the primary issue involved in whether or not anarchism is true. The primary arguments for anarchism are not strategic arguments, but moral ones; it’s not that anarchy is valued because it’s useful to attaining some other goods, but rather because violent coercion is wrong, whatever its effects may be, and the princes, potentates, and presidents of the world make claims of authority over other people that can only be, and are, backed up by violent coercion. So demonstrating that there are tricky problems for anarchists to solve doesn’t mean that anarchy isn’t the right thing to aim for; it just means that what you ought to aim for might be tricky to hit. But nobody said that the right thing has to be easy, or that achieving it has to be effortless. The emancipation of women, civil rights, the abolition of slavery, religious toleration, democracy, etc. have all been difficult propositions, tricky to achieve and difficult to sustain in the face of coordinated and unrelenting resistance. That raises questions about strategy and tactics, but it doesn’t provide any reason for thinking that the goal itself ought to be abandoned.

Also.

  1. [1][This is really an oversimplification. For example legal enforcement in medieval Iceland was provided by stateless and competitive exchange relationships, but medieval Iceland had a legislative and judicial branch of government, and it legally privileged some enforcers over others. See Long (1994). –C.J. 2013.]

Without her consent

Observed in the midst of Jeff Fecke’s post at Alas, A Blog, which is otherwise mostly quite good, on media responses to the recent arrest of child rapist film director Roman Polanski:

Many, many articles cited the fact that the victim, now grown up and 45 years old, has said she wants the case to be let go, because each time it gets dredged up it brings up painful memories of her being raped. I choose the Telegraph because its headline puts the word victim in scare quotes, because…something:

In January, [the victim]1 filed a legal declaration in Los Angeles formally requesting that the outstanding charges against Polanski be withdrawn.

She said Los Angeles prosecutors’ insistence that Polanski must return to the United States before dismissal of the case could be considered as a “cruel joke being played on me”.

She also voiced anger that authorities had detailed her grand jury testimony in related hearings to the case.

“True as they may be, the continued publication of those details causes harm to me, my beloved husband, my three children and my mother,” she said, adding that it was time for closure.

“I have survived, indeed prevailed, against whatever harm Mr Polanski may have caused me as a child,” she said. Polanski had taken flight, she said, “because the judicial system did not work.”

— Jeff Fecke, Alas, A Blog (2009-09-28): Rape Apologists: Roman Polanski’s Rape of a Child Not That Bad

Jeff’s reply:

I understand the victim’s feelings on this. And I sympathize, I do. But for good or ill, the justice system doesn’t work on behalf of victims; it works on behalf of justice. …

— Jeff Fecke, Alas, A Blog (2009-09-28): Rape Apologists: Roman Polanski’s Rape of a Child Not That Bad

No doubt.

And that’s exactly why 90% of rapes still go unreported.

Because the government court systems which rape survivors are expected to go through, if they report the crimes committed against them, are deliberately unresponsive to women’s wishes, take control out of women’s hands, and do it all because they believe that there is some kind of justice that can be gained independently of, or even in direct violation of, the wishes of the victim for safety and restitution for past wrongs. That, in the alleged interests of society (which, typically, means the interests of the state, or, even more typically, the ambitions of the prosecutor), are willing to go on with the prosecution of a woman’s rape, whether or not she wants them to, and even if she publicly states that the government’s prosecution is proceeding against her will, out of her control, and it will hurt her for it to continue.

When the justice system doesn’t work on behalf of victims, the justice system is an asshole.

Steal This Cartoon

Over at Austro-Athenian Empire, Roderick recently mentioned a couple particularly bizarre attempts to use Intellectual Protectionism in the service of chickenshit (parrot-shit?) speech-control. I have a story about that, too, actually.

A few days ago over at Alas, A Blog, Jeff Fecke and Mandolin each put up a couple of posts featuring images of a couple racist-ass cartoons by Donna Barstow (1, 2). Specifically, these:

Here's another cartoon with a map of Mexico with a list reading "Drug cartels, kidnappings, unemployment, poverty, gangs, guns, NEW -- swine flu" and inscribed "Like a bad neighbor, Mexico is (still) there."

Hey everybody! The entire country of Mexico is dirty, dangerous, and poor! Also, they give us deadly plagues!

A cartoon of Barack Obama with wavy, kinky hair standing on end, inscribed "The President Elect Chia Pet"

Hey everybody! … Um. Wait. Somebody remind me what the hell the point of this cartoon is, again?

The reason I’m using the image of these cartoons here is for the purpose of commenting on them. Specifically, for the purpose of demonstrating the fact that both cartoons are crudely racist; they also just are terrible cartoons. The first one — which is just a bullet list of standard Anglo disdain for Mexico as poor and dirty and dangerous, with a bit of topical scapegoating and racist-ass panic over the flu tossed in for good measure, all of it awkwardly shoe-horned into a joke through an awkward pastiche of insurance advertising slogans — isn’t especially funny. The second one is not merely unfunny, but, as far as I can make out, in fact is so pointless as to defy classification as even attempted humor. O.K.; yes; I understand that Barack Obama is black, and that, like many black people, he has hair that tends to be more kinky than the kind of hair stereotypical of white people. Is there a punchline here? (Really, seriously, if anyone can figure out what the point of it is, let me know. I’m seriously tempted to view it as avant-garde commentary by the deed, bringing Dada to the world of editorial cartooning in order to undermine the bourgeois affectation that cartoons need to have points or make sense.)

I’m also reposting these here because shortly after the posts went online, Donna Barstow showed up in the comments to invoke copyright law, accuse Alas of thieving, and to threaten the folks at Alas with complaints to their web host or legal action in an attempt to intimidate them into taking down the posts. As it happens, I also got a nasty-gram from Ms. Barstow, because Alas is one of the blogs syndicated at Feminist Blogs, and so the posts with the images appeared there too. So I received the following demand and threat from Ms. Barstow last Thursday:

From: Donna Barstow Cartoons <donnabarstow@sbcglobal.net>
To: Feminist Blogs Web Admin
Subject: take my copyrighted cartoon off your site immediately
Date: 4/30/2009 12:53 AM

Dear Feminist Blogs,

I’m a feminist. I’ve written 2 cartoon books for women. I am one of only 3 women out of 60 editorial cartoonists. However, I do not STEAL from other people, and I hope you don’t either. http://www.amptoons.com/blog/archives/2009/04/29/another-racist-cartoon-by-editorial-cartoonist-donna-barstow/ And frankly, I’m shocked that a FEMINIST blog would simply take for granted that anything published by the amptoons crazies would have any truth at all!!! You did no research or even ask me, and you assume it’s all right to call a person (in this case a woman) a racist and ruin her reputation???? This is a hate crime on your part, and you will not be happy if I have to contact your server.

I own all rights to the cartoon and the idea. I have already contacted amptoons server to have it taken down tomorrow, and they will get a warning.

Please refer to DMCA copyright infringement requirements at http://www.softlayer.com/legal.html before you willfully abuse copyrighted work, defame and harass innocent people. Please remove my cartoon immediately. Thank you.

Kind Regards,
Donna Barstow
And look for me all week in Slate! (all Editorial cartoons)
Why I Did It (some Editorial cartoons)
Donna Barstow Cartoons (no Editorial cartoons, but still good)

Barry Deutsch, who runs Alas, will have to choose his own course. As for Feminist Blogs, though, the answer is: Absolutely not. I will do no such thing.

As it happens, I don’t think Ms. Bartsow has a legal leg to stand on — the use of the cartoons for the purpose of commentary, especially for non-commercial educational purposes, is well within the realm of fair use. But more to the point, even if she did have a legal leg to stand on, that would only be an indictment of such a ridiculous, tyrannical and dialogue-stifling law. Barstow is not losing one penny from the reprinting of cartoons in the context of a commentary on their contents; the cartoons were and are being given away for free on the Internet to anyone who wanted to look at them. Nobody is trying to appropriate credit for the cartoons or trying to pass off her racist-ass cartoons as their own; the whole point of the posts is to point out that they were drawn by somebody else, and that that somebody else is expressing some crude racism. Barstow’s only complaint here, the only thing this stealing amounts to, is the fact that the cartoons are being used for a purpose that Barstow doesn’t like — specifically, that they are being used as visible evidence in an effort to criticize her work and to support claims about the character of her work which Barstow disagrees with, and finds insulting. Her threats are an explicit attempt to use Intellectual Protectionism as a tool of censorship, to attack those who disagree with her as thieves, and to coercively silence criticism of her work. That is nothing more than thuggery in a three-piece suit, and Ms. Barstow ought to be ashamed of herself.

I am also posting all this, not only to talk about the story itself, but to encourage you to talk about it, too. If silencing critics is what she wants to achieve, I would like Donna Barstow to find out that it will not work. I encourage anyone and everyone who supports free speech, and who believes that people who draw racist-ass cartoons oughtn’t to be able to go around threatening their critics into silence, to repost this post, or to write a post of your own that uses Donna Barstow’s racist-ass comics as evidence in the course of a critical commentary on the content of those comics, and that discusses her attempts to use Intellectual Protectionism laws as a tool to censor the critics of her work.

Consider it a form of direct action against law-waving bullies and for vigorous, open debate. People who act like this need to know that their would-be victims will not be silenced. And the more that they become convinced that these attempts to stifle criticism will reliably produce exactly the opposite of their desired outcome, with so many people reposting the criticism that any attempt to shut it down will be swamped by sheer numbers, the less likely they are to imagine that it could possibly be a good idea.

Radical healthcare reform

There is no free market for healthcare in the United States.

Every aspect of medicine is tightly controlled by the federal government, and shot through with systematic subsidy and intervention. Federal, state, and local governments restrict who can practice medicine. They restrict where and how medicine can be practiced. They throw people in jail or hit them with massive fines for using the wrong label or practicing alternative forms of medicine or safely performing medical procedures which are considered above their government-licensed station. They tightly regulate which drugs can be produced and where you can get them and whether or not you can import them from somewhere else. They do this partly on the excuse that they know better than you and your doctor do what drugs you should be taking, and partly because they are engaged in a deliberate effort to enforce monopoly pricing for new drugs. The federal government created the circumstances that have forced most American workers either to live with no health insurance at all, or else to depend on their bosses for health insurance; the federal government created and actively subsidized HMOs in order to move more medical care over to a rationing (managed care) model; the federal government provides tax-funded subsidies for healthcare to select patients through Medicare, Medicaid, and S-CHIP; some state governments are now moving to force everyone to participate in a captive market for medical insurance, with more tax-funded subsidies to those who cannot afford it. The health insurance market is in turn heavily regulated by the government and wrapped up as tightly as you can imagine in government-imposed red tape, which systematically constrains choices and suppresses competition. The whole damned thing is run by government bureaucrats, government-insulated corporate bureaucrats, and government-anointed experts.

Yet whenever state Leftists and Progressives call for expanding programs such as S-CHIP, or for thoroughgoing nationalization of healthcare, this is what almost invariably happens: they pick out some horrible thing that has happened, or very nearly happened, to somebody under the present state-corporatist system of healthcare, compare it to what would have happened under a more state-socialist system of healthcare, and then say that this proves that getting healthcare through a state-socialist system is better than getting healthcare on the free market. Since we don’t have a free market in healthcare, and the horrible things that happen, or very nearly happen, in the U.S. medical system aren’t happening in a free market, this is simply a red herring.

Thus, I completely agree with Myca at Alas, A Blog when she says that we need radical healthcare reform and that our current system is abso-fucking lutely sadistic and nonsensical. But I don’t know what any of that has to do with the free market. As I said over there:

Myca: If you oppose universal health care and you do not explain clearly by what mechanism you will give medical care to poor people, you will be banned.

Well, I will give medical care to poor people (other than myself) by continuing to do what I already do. I scrape by on about US $13,000 a year and I give about 1/3 of that to groups that provide direct economic and medical aid to other poor people (Direct Relief, abortion funds, Planned Parenthood, battered women’s shelters, rape crisis counselors, etc.). I’m able to give that much partly because I don’t have any children to care for and partly because I have wealthier family members that I know I could ask for help in an emergency. But even without those advantages, I’d be able to give this kind of money more comfortably if it weren’t for the government’s constant draining of my resources through taxes to pay for red tape, corporate welfare and armed thugs. In any case I do think that I, at least, am doing something more to own my beliefs than just waving my hands around. As for explanation and defense:

Myca: I’ve heard over and over again that our current system is not a free market, and that’s cool, but then it’s incumbent on the person claiming that a free market would provide healthcare to those without money to show precisely how that would happen, because I don’t see it.

OK, but that’s not what’s been argued so far. What keeps happening is a comparison between something horrible that happens, or almost happened, under the U.S. state-corporatist system, and what would happen under some other state-socialist system of healthcare. But comparing the characteristics of one tightly-controlled government-regimented system of healthcare to those of another tightly-controlled government-regimented system of healthcare illuminates very little about how a free market would work, because neither of the options under comparison has very much to do with free markets. If you want to argue that state-socialism is better than state-corporatism, fine, but you should leave the free market out of it. If you want to argue that a free market in healthcare would still have features that make it worse than state-socialist healthcare, that’s fine too, but it requires some further argument that hasn’t yet been given in any detail.

As for the beginnings of an argument that you give in this comment:

Myca: Roughly, because the free market has no mechanism in place to provide health care to people who are unable to pay for it.

I’m not convinced. Because, well, of course it does. The mechanism is the same mechanism that exists in state-corporatist or state-socialist healthcare systems: people who are unable to pay for healthcare themselves can get it by getting other people to pay for part of it or all of it. The question is what means of getting other people to pay for it are available–and whether these means are voluntary or coercive.

Any State-run system of medical care that you happen to like could, in principle, be provided by voluntary mutual aid on a free market. The State has no special ability to make medical care free, or to summon up money from nowhere to pay for it; for the State to cover the medical costs it has to get money, labor, or supplies from somebody else, and whatever the State takes could be given voluntarily. Suppose that you like the way that money is collected and distributed in the French medical system; then on a free market, nobody is going to stop you from creating a nonprofit French Mutual Society for Medicine that uses the same bureaucratic mechanisms to collect, allocate, and pay out money. The only limitation is that, whatever system you cook up, you cannot force people to pay in, and you can’t force people to use your system for their own healthcare costs.

You might claim that unless everybody is forced to pay in, there wouldn’t be enough money to go around. But consider the billions of dollars that are voluntarily pissed away every two years trying to elect a slightly more progressive gang of weak-kneed establishment politicians, and what might happen if those resources were redirected towards direct action rather than electioneering and lobbying. Let alone the amount of money that might go to healing people rather than killing them if individual people, rather than belligerent governments, had control over the dollars currently seized in taxes.

You might instead claim that even if there is enough money to go around, this kind of model puts poor people at the mercy of donors for their healthcare. But I could just as easily respond that using the State to cover healthcare costs puts poor people’s at the mercy of the political process, which certainly offers no guarantees that the least powerful and least connected people in a society are going to get what they need, or even get decent human respect. In either case, people who aren’t very powerful need to organize and struggle to protect their interests from people who are more powerful than they are. The question, again, is what means of struggle are (1) morally preferable, and (2) strategically effective.

I don’t think it’s crazy to see voluntary, bottom-up mutual aid as both morally and strategically preferable to top-down political regimentation. Voluntary mutual aid may not actually produce a healthcare system that looks much like the nationalized healthcare systems common in western social democracies, but I think that the differences would largely be for the better: less bureaucracy, more alternatives, and more control in the hands of the patients themselves. Unlike the corporatist system in place today, medical costs would be drastically lower, thanks to the removal of the government-created monopolies and cartels that currently control every aspect of the insurance, medical, and pharmaceutical industries. And unlike the corporatist system in place today, medical costs might be covered not only by charities or churches or bosses (gag), but also through grassroots associations such as mutual aid societies and labor unions. (There is some actual history here; lodge practice medical arrangements in the U.S., U.K., and Australia used to provide healthcare to working-class folks at a rate of about one day’s wages for one year of healthcare, before the growing trend was halted and obliterated by the politically-connected medical establishment, with the backing of the State.)

Hope this helps.

I’d also like to add that, in principle, I actually reject the claim that it’s incumbent on the person claiming that a free market would provide healthcare to those without money to show precisely how that would happen, because I don’t see it. I’ve said something about details here because I know something about the issue that might be illuminating, but generally speaking, part of the point of advocating a free market across the board is that in a free society you do not need to be an expert in everything. No individual person and no committee of people needs to plan out precisely how any social system will work–which is a good thing, because nobody has comprehensive knowledge and organizational skill and entrepreneurial creativity in every field of human endeavor. Advocating free markets for shoes or bread does not make it incumbent on you to spell out all the details of how enough of these will go around to keep people from going around shoeless or from starving in the streets, because that is really a matter that can be left up to the cobbler and the shoe-wearer, or to the baker and the eater–who can be expected to know a lot more than some policy wonk about how to handle their own business and meet their own needs.

Further reading:

Civic religion

(Link thanks to bean at Alas, a Blog 2004/10/15)

I don’t care about winning same-sex marriage privileges (for feminist reasons that I’ve laid out in comments and in my essay, The Cake is Rotten). But that doesn’t mean that I’m indifferent to electoral fights such as Oregon’s Measure 36, one of the latest rounds in the Religious Right campaign to write homophobia into federal and state constitutions. So I’m pleased as punch to have found (thanks to Alas, a Blog) the four arguments that M. Dennis Moore has managed to get published in the official Oregon voters’ pamphlet–in favor of the measure to ban same-sex marriage.

Yeah, you heard me. In favor. All of them are great, but my favorite by far is his fourth argument, Let’s Vote:

LET’S VOTE!

The recent OCA signature drive for the Divine Sovereignty Life Amendment, if successful, would have given Oregonians the extraordinary opportunity to vote on the existence of God, yes or no. Religious dogma would have been decided democratically by popular vote — essentially creating an official state religion with GOD ALMIGHTY enshrined in the Constitution as

Oregon State Deity!

Although this initiative drive failed, the Christian Coalition has now created a Commandment Amendment to the Constitution! Measure 36 ordains us to

VOTE ON THE THEOLOGICAL BELIEF

of whether churches, synagogues, and temples shalt not be permitted to marry gays and lesbians.

And this election thus establishes the glorious precedent for democratic electioneering on ALL of the

Official Oregon State Dogma!

COMING SOON
TO A THEOLOGY BALLOT NEAR YOU:

  • Shall churches, synagogues, and temples be permitted to marry divorced persons (Luke 16:18)? Let’s vote!
  • Shall baptism be by sprinkling, pouring, or dipping? Let’s vote!
  • Shall the Lord’s Prayer be translated forgive us our debts or forgive us our trespasses? Let’s vote!
  • Shall adulterers be stoned to death(Leviticus 20:10)? Let’s vote!
  • Shall obnoxious religious-right hypocrites be allowed to marry? Hell no! Let’s vote!
  • How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Hey, let’s just vote!

This is democracy! Religious beliefs belong on the ballot, and winning beliefs become public policy in the Constitutional Catechism! Minority adherents, straight and gay, should have the statesmanship to accept that religious freedom does not protect losing beliefs in a theological election.

Your special right to practice your moral beliefs (including marriage) is subject to the whims of popular vote!

It’s not discrimination, it’s electoral theology.

In Oregon, democratic dogma is inspired by initiative and referendum — in the

Holy Marriage
of the
One Official Oregon Church and State!

VOTE FOR OREGON:
State beaches, the bottle bill, land-use planning, and now
THE OREGON DOGMA!

(This information furnished by M. Dennis Moore, God for Oregon Deity-PAC [GOD-PAC], Family Alliance of God.)

Yes, that really will be going out on state letterhead to every voter in Oregon; you can confirm it at the Secretary of State’s website (the arguments he submitted are the first three arguments in favor and the next to last).

Electoral theology! Mmm, sacrelicious.

Further reading: