Who woulda thunk it? A wise Texan — and one with a law degree, no less. Commenting on
yesterday’s item, Blood Money, a former federal assistant prosecutor
from Houston writes:
“I’m not certain I agree with your characterization of ‘The Passion of the Christ.’ I must
confess that I have not seen the film, nor do I intend to. But based upon the legitimate reviews, I
think it sounds like nothing more or less than another gratuitously violent Mel Gibson film. (As I
recall, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John tell the story in a more balanced manner and without the
“I don’t believe we should dignify a crass, commercial offering by making some sort of
cultural event out of it. As with most films, people will read into this film whatever they want.
Remember your Marshall McLuhan.
“Likewise, I don’t think ‘Passion’ signifies some sort of apocalypse. It’s just a movie, and
apparently a one-dimensional movie that deals exclusively with the torture and murder of Jesus
Christ. No context, no explanation, no motivation. As others have said Gibson seems to be
fascinated with torture and suffering (remember ‘Braveheart’?). Wouldn’t a balanced examination
of the life of Jesus Christ deal even in passing with issues like peace and love?
“Enough on that.
“On the issue of ‘gay marriage’ — and I hate to even use the qualified term — I hardly know
where to begin. All of what I’m about to say is obvious and should be beyond debate. But bear
“There is either marriage or there is not. The marriage relationship carries with it benefits and
advantages to those so united. It is quite simply unconstitutional to deny those advantages and
benefits to people because of their sexual orientation. The notion that we can address this
fundamental inequality by creating something called a ‘civil union’ is disingenuous at best. The
minute we create two separate classes of people, we invite discrimination. Did we learn nothing
from the ‘separate but equal’ laws regarding racial discrimination? Remember ‘Brown v. Board of
Education?’ Separate is never equal.
“Preaching from the Religious Right regarding the sanctity of marriage makes me want to
puke. It is simply a straw-man argument. Sanctification, whatever that means, can only exist in a
relationship between two committed individuals. When an 18-year-old stripper marries a wealthy
man in his 90s so she can inherit upon his death, is that ‘sanctified’? When Larry King or Liz
Taylor marry over and over and over again, is that ‘sanctified’? Why then is a union between two
committed people, who have lived together as help mates for many years, and who happen to be
of the same sex, not ‘sanctified’?
“I have heard people complain that we simply cannot recognize marriage between same sex
individuals because their sexual practices are ‘disgusting.’ I would observe that, unless the parties
are movie stars in a very carefully staged environment, sex acts, in general, are pretty disgusting.
With all due respect, would you want to watch the president and the first lady engaging in
intimate relations? For that matter, who would want to watch Mr. and Mrs. Herman, or me and
my wife? Is that any reason to refuse to recognize our marriages?
“The fact is that marriage is a creature of statute with enormous economic and social
ramifications. The government has no business defining marriage as ‘sanctified’ only when it exists
between members of one class as opposed to another. We as individuals are free to read into
marriage whatever religious or ‘sanctification’ implications we wish. The union itself, however,
must be made available to all, regardless of race, religion or sexual preference.
“The larger, more interesting question is simply: ‘Why?’ Why would Bush disparage the
actions of a judge in striking down a clearly unconstitutional law by referring to the judge as an
‘activist judge,’ whatever that means? If he would have someone read the Constitution to him, Mr.
Bush would find that Article III of the Constitution created a separate judicial branch to act as a
check on the power of the Executive and Legislative Branches. Marbury v. Madison and virtually
every Supreme Court case since has affirmed the right and obligation of the judicial branch to
protect the Constitution by striking down laws inconsistent with its requirements.
“Opinion poll after opinion poll shows that the majority of the American people do not favor
a Constitutional Amendment to prohibit same sex marriages. Why then does Bush force the
“The answer is that the man is simply a whore. He is pushing an amendment he knows won’t
pass, at what expense we can only guess, in order to mobilize the right wing loonies who
constitute his political base. This is simply one more action of a desperate man who cannot run on
his record. In this regard at least, I’m personally encouraged.”