Constitutionally Gay: Why It’s Okay to Be a Homosexual But Not a Pedophile

The Constitution of the United States is perhaps the single greatest document ever conceived of in the history of human existence.  Specifically it is the Bill of Rights, the amendments added to the constitution before it was ratified, that Americans fight so readily to protect, and what makes the Constitution supreme over all other forms of governing artifact.  Almost the entire document, which spells out the basic human rights that the Declaration of Independence holds to be “self-evident,” can be summed up thusly:  you have the right to think, say, believe and do whatever the hell you want, as long as you don’t infringe on the rights of anyone else.

As an example we’ll start with a longtime favorite:  the right to bear arms.  You can own a gun.  You can own several guns.  You can have in your home your very own arsenal, comprised of varying types of firearms in any different number of sizes, calibers, colors, and designed for any range of purposes.

But what you can’t do is rummage through your gun collection, pick up your favorite nine millimeter, and go pop a cap into the first random blonde you see filling out her Powerball ticket at the Seven Eleven’s lotto counter.  To do so would be a violation of the blonde’s inalienable right to life.  So, while you do have the right to own a gun, you do not have the right to shoot people with said gun.  Unless another person has broken into your home, or in some other way is directly threatening your life, to shoot another person is infringing on their rights, therefore making the act criminal, and unconstitutional at its essence.

For the past many years, there has been a strong push in the United States to criminalize homosexuality.  Most of this push has been made on moral grounds, rooted in claims found in religious texts; statistically, we can assume that the majority of the morally-based push to criminalize homosexuality has come from claims found in the Christian bible, since most of the US population identifies with a Christian sect of some kind.

On the other hand, some of this push has been made purely on a level of discomfort; if homosexuality is illegal then it will stop, and the discomfort I am feeling will go away.  No matter what the reason, the movement exists to make two men smoochin’ a crime.  But the fact of the matter is, there is nothing unconstitutional about being a homosexual or practicing homosexuality, and therefore it is impossible to criminalize it.

It is important to understand that laws are not based on morality.  (If that were the case, most tax law would have to be eliminated.)  So, for the sake of this argument, let us assume that practicing homosexuality is a choice of moral disgrace – that it is irrefutably immoral to be a homosexual or engage in any homosexual act of any kind.  We are going to take off the table the idea that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle.  Since this is going to be purely an argument of legality, and not one of virtue, let’s just default the moral stance to “shame on you.”

If two men or two women choose to engage in sexual acts together, the result of those actions is that those individuals will be sent directly to hell after an untimely death.  Ten points to God.  However, they still cannot be accused of doing anything unconstitutional.

As explored before, the Constitution of the United States protects the freedoms of Americans, and Americans are free to do whatever they please as long as they are not infringing on the rights of anyone else.  Americans are free to engage in any immoral act they want without fear of reprise from their government.

An American may take the Lord’s name in vain right in front of the chief of police, and not a thing can be done about it.  An American may worship false idols on his own front lawn – he may even teach his children to do the same thing, and his vote will still count in every election.  We can lie to our mothers.  We can call out sick from work and go to Six Flags instead.  We can eat cheeseburgers – oh yes, milk and meat at once.  We have the freedom to make these choices, regardless of whether they are cosmically good for our souls or bad.

What is important in this scenario is the right of the homosexual American.  When a woman meets another woman and they decide to start a lesbian relationship, they are entering this relationship as two consenting adults.  These people are protected, under the rights of the Constitution, to make the choice to do that, even if it is morally wrong and even if upon their deaths they will burn in hell for all eternity.

If their friends and neighbors are concerned for the well being of their everlasting souls, they can send them copies of Watchtower, but they cannot make a law criminalizing their choices.  That would be a violation of their constitutional rights since their choice to be in a relationship together does not violate the rights of anyone else.  And if seeing those women sucking face on the corner of 21st and Broad streets in bright daylight makes you uncomfortable, well, sorry to say but you will just have to look the other way; comfort is not covered by the constitution as a basic human right.

The major way that the American people are attempting to make criminal homosexual relationships is by banning marriages between same-sex couples.  The first thing that is important to note is that legal marriages in the United States are performed either by a Justice of the Peace (you know, a judge) or through a religious institution.

The first amendment protects freedom of religion, so even when same-sex marriage is legal in every state, any and every religious institution has the right to deny performing same-sex marriages in their own institution.  It is their right, as expressed by the constitution, to practice their religion freely, and not be forced to sanctify an unholy union.

(On the other hand, if any church engaged in human sacrifice, we would surely bring charges against that.  I’m just sayin’.)

The status of “married” effects so many aspects of our lives, in meaningful and practical ways:  the way a person will file his taxes and the exemptions he qualifies for, accessibility to health insurance, the rates of his car insurance, the names and accessibility of his bank accounts, changes in credit scores, availability of loan monies – the list goes on and on and on.  To deny a person of access to those privileges by denying them the ability to marry is a form of oppression, and therefore directly infringing on his constitutional rights.

So while a religious institution is free to deny the joining of two same-sex souls in the name of God, the governing forces of the United States of America are not permitted to do so, because doing so would be equivalent to denying these Americans with privileges arbitrarily open to those who choose to marry a person of another sex.

As part of the argument to make homosexuality unlawful, frequently the contention is made, “if homosexuality is okay then what is next?  It’ll be all right to be a pedophile?”  Many people seem to be afraid that granting (though it would be more accurate to say maintaining) the rights of homosexuals would be the first step in a landfall of legalizing would-be criminal sex practices.

So, again, for the sake of this argument let us assume that homosexuality and pedophilia are all on the same spectrum of moral deplorability.  We will assume the circle of hell that is reserved for same-sex partners is also the afterlife home to the depraved individuals who prey on children for their sexual satisfaction.

Providing that be the case, there is still a very specific reason why homosexuality is protected by the Constitution and pedophilia is not.

What is the argument that has been made again and again thus far?  The Constitution protects the freedoms of the American people to think, say, believe or do anything, as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others.

When homosexuals choose to enter into a relationship, as stated above, they do so as two consenting adults.  Their choice to engage in homosexual activity together is voluntary, and since they are both adults, they are able to make that choice without restraint.  Therefore, their actions are protected as freedoms.

The actions of a pedophile, however, would never be protected because a sexual relationship between a child and adult is lacking the major component of consent.

A child is restricted in many areas of life, even in regards to a law.  The most significant component of the law regarding children is called “age of majority.”  This is because it is recognized that children are not physically or emotionally mature enough to handle the responsibility that comes with these freedoms, which are inherently types of legal functions.

For example, it was decided that it was unconstitutional to make alcoholic beverages illegal.  Now we can drink.  (Woo hoo!)  Children, however, cannot.  Young children’s bodies are not yet physically developed enough to process the effects of alcohol.  Adolescents’ bodies may be physically able to process the toxins, however their brains have not matured enough to process the complex scenarios which are a part of deciding whether to drink, what the repercussions might be if one does choose to drink, and especially controlling how much to drink once one starts.

Therefore, while a child constitutionally has the right to consume alcoholic beverages, the ability to exercise that right is put on legal hold until the child reaches an age of majority, which is decided by each state individually.  (In most states it’s 21 years old, just a little FYI.)  There are ages of majority limits for innumerable activities, not the least of which are sex acts.

Generally the age of majority for sexual relationships is 18 years old, the same age that a child is legally turned into an adult and can do almost anything else that was previously out of his legal reach.  Sometimes there is an addendum which says something to the effect of children the age of 16 may engage in sexual relationships with other minors of the same age until age 18.  Either way, no one over the age of 18 is allowed to engage in a sexual act of any nature with a person under the age of 18.

We can plainly see that sexual activity is one of the exploits that is legally removed from the spectrum of activities available to children because they haven’t grown enough to make decisions about it; their bodies aren’t physically mature enough, their brains aren’t physically mature enough, and their neurological processes for handling those types of emotions haven’t been made yet.

Ergo, it is impossible for a child to enter into a sexual relationship consensually.  To do so, then, is a violation of the child’s constitutional right to safety, and as such pedophilic practices can never be made legal.  It would be unconstitutional.

From birth, every American is considered a fully-formed human being and is granted every constitutional right we have.  So, while the immoral homosexuals may engage in their deplorable acts of sexual indecency and be protected by the constitution, a pedophile is halted in his sexual practices by the very same constitution, because it is protecting the rights of the child, and the child has a right to safety and a right to be free from threat and coercion.

Even the Amish Have Visa

Driving home the other day I was behind a van, permanently adhered to which was a bright yellow bumper sticker that read, “I will keep my freedom, guns and money, you can keep the change.”  I read this bumper sticker, then three things happened.

One, I said “Okay, clearly that guy is a Republican.”  Out loud.  In my car.  To no one.

Two, I passed the guy; bright yellow bumper stickers are kind of distracting, and I have a hard enough time driving while also listening to the radio, dictating to my smartphone, and thinking all the brilliant thoughts that will eventually make it into my blog.

Three, I mourned whatever educational system had failed this man, because clearly he doesn’t understand entropy.

I get that the bumper sticker was a response to Barack Obama’s “Change” campaign.  Ten points for the clever word play.  But know, Driver/Van-Owner/Bumper-Sticker-Adherer, that I award these imaginary points begrudgingly.  No amount of clever word play can make up for this futile, eyes-shut, fingers-in-your-ears resistance to change.  Why?  Because everything changes all the time.

On a cellular level, everything is always changing.  Even you, Driver/Van-Owner/Bumper-Sticker-Adherer, are not the same person you were an hour ago, a day ago, a year ago.  When I passed you, I noticed your long (and somewhat obnoxious) beard.  (I’m just sayin’.)  You didn’t have that when you were ten.  I know this because ten year old boys do not possess the necessary levels of testosterone it takes to grow a beard.  That is change.

I am willing to bet that is not the only thing that has changed since you were ten.  When I was ten I was in love with a New Kid On The Block and refused to wear clothes that weren’t dyed fluorescent any color.  Perhaps you had similar misconceptions that are general to any ten-year-old mind?  Did you think you would be an astronaut?  Did you think you could live your life on pixie sticks and roller skates?  No matter what, I’m fairly certain you didn’t imagine yourself driving up and down the turnpike with an old minivan touting political views on bumper stickers.  That’s a reality reserved for twelve year olds, at least.

People change because as they experience things, their perception of life changes.  That is why your sixteen year old self is so much more morose than your nine year old self.  Why your thirty-five year old self would willingly slap your twenty year old self if given the chance.  Why your eighty year old self wishes your fifty year old self had been so different.

This isn’t just true for individuals, it’s true for culture as well.  No culture, society or politic can remain static, because none of the people or peoples within it remain static.  It is impossible to “keep the change”; even if you don’t change, change will still happen to you.  Even if, for the rest of your life, you cast your Republican vote, and every year for the rest of your life Republicans win every election, things will still change.

There is a sociological term called “social entropy.”  Entropy itself is a physics term, describing how within a thermodynamic system some amount of energy will always be lost.  But entropy is so cool on a conceptual level that pretty much every other branch of study has stolen it for their own purposes.  Sociologists have used it to describe what I just described – the inevitable change in culture, resulting in the decay of particulars within that culture, and eventually the culture itself.

Take the Amish for example.  The Amish are an American Christian culture who do not use electricity.  Anything that connects them with the world outside of their own culture is more or less forbidden, because it would disrupt their relationship with God.  They are perhaps the most determinedly resistant people to change because their relationship with the Almighty depends on it.

And yet, even these guys have Visa cards.  Why?  Because that it how people pay for shit in 2013.  Their horse-drawn buggies have battery-operated headlights and taillights.  Why?  Because in Pennsylvania it is illegal to operate a vehicle on the road at night without two working headlights and two working taillights, even if said vehicle is literally horse-powered.  Many Amish women have their babies in hospitals.  Why?  Because this baby is breech and I really, really need a cesarean.  Because I have preeclampsia and will die if I do not get modern medical help.  Cause why contract in pain for forty-seven hours when you can go to Lancaster General and get an epidural?

Yes, the Amish still plough their land with wooden, ox-drawn cart.  Yes, they still churn their butter by hand.  Yes, they still hand-stitch their quilts, hand-milk their cows, hand-wash their clothes, hand-paint their fences, hand-make their fine, maple furniture.  (What can I say – the Amish perform a lot of hand jobs.)  Yet even these guys will accept a ride in one of them new-fangled automobiles if they have to walk to town in the rain.

The entropy of the Amish culture is succumbing to the progressions of the culture around it – the rest of America.  Our entropy is, in most ways, yet to be seen.  But, if we’re looking to delay the brand of deadly entropy that is the eventual end to all cultures, we can learn from history.  The fall of the Roman Empire is a prototype for what the US has to face in the face of entropy.  So perhaps we can learn from history and stand the test of time by learning these three lessons:  One, don’t get smallpox; Two, keep the water clean; and, Three, don’t be resistant to change.  Because you will start with something little like, say, persecution and genocide of a targeted religious group, just to convert to said group a couple hundred years later.

The Neanderthal

Because you’re smart, you would tell me that a Neanderthal is an extinct species of the genus “homo,” and an ancestor of modern humans.  You would tell me that Neanderthals lived in the Pleistocene period of history, and fossils have been found in Europe and Asia.  You would also tell me that the Neanderthal’s brains were the same size as modern humans, sometimes even larger.

Then, because I’m smarter, I would tell you that it’s actually pronounced “NeanderTal.”

After this you would grumble the word “shithead” under your breath and walk away.

You’re smart.  I’m smart.  There are a lot of smart people in the world.  And the thing about being smart is that it is painful – like, actually, physically painful – to be around when not-so-smart things are being said around you.

Like when you’re talking to your coworker, who “doesn’t believe in dinosaurs.  It’s not a religious thing.  They’re just too big.”  Pain will actually start radiating through your chest while witnessing this.

Or when you’re at a party and you overhear the girl at the fat-free dip table saying, “I’m Chilean.  I mean, I was born in America, and both my parents are American, but I lived for six years in Chile.  That makes me Chilean.”  You may need a Tylenol.  Make it a Tylenol-3.

Or maybe you’re meeting your best friend’s new boyfriend who at one point asks, “is there a difference between irony and sarcasm?” and you are fairly certain that beating yourself over the head with an iron skillet would actually make you feel better.

What do you do?  The long and tried tradition of the highly intelligent (and learned in particulars and useless materials) is to correct those who assail the sanctity of knowledge and fact.

“Actually, the blue whale is the largest animal that we know of to have been on the planet.  And they still exist.  Here is a photograph I just pulled up on my iphone.  See how it’s next to a scale depiction of a brachiosaurus?  Clearly much bigger.”

Or, “Actually, living five or more consecutive years in Chile only makes you a candidate for Chilean citizenship.  To suggest that you are ‘Chilean’ implies that you are of Chilean decent, which would make you a Latina.  Which, clearly from your blonde hair and blue eyes, you are not.  It’s kind of a semantics thing.  See, you can say you’re ‘American’ and it might not have any racial implications because the US is a melting pot, and that’s accepted worldwide.  But with  pretty much any other country, regardless of your citizenship there, to say ‘I am this’ you’re making a claim to that country’s ethnicity.  Or whatever.”

And, “Actually, it’s ironic that you ask that.  See – that was sarcasm.”

People say dumb things.  And you give smart responses.  But then the question becomes – now who’s being the NeanderTal?

I once heard a man say that he didn’t bother turning off his lights because the energy it took to turn the bulb on was more than it took to run it.  That dude was clearly wrong, and yes, it was painful to hear.  But…so what?  Yeah, he’s an asshole for saying it.  But if I correct him – “Actually, your monthly electric bill is calculated by how many kilowatt hours you use.  So if you run a 60 watt light bulb for 60 hours, you pay for every hour that it is on” –  all I’m doing is taking over the role as asshole, right as I may be.

The hardest lesson a smart person has to learn is that correcting these kinds of mistakes is more of a detriment to yourself than a help to anyone else.  We all think, “everyone hates me because I’m smart.”  While it is true that, no matter what, a certain amount of resentment will arise at points of your life just on the basis of your, um, cranial integrity, to go around correcting these useless, albeit painful, mistakes in the end just makes enemies.

Before correcting another mistake, try asking yourself a question:  what is to be gained by me exposing this mistake?  Will it stop this person from being hit by a bus?  Will it prevent civil or international war?  Will it solve a currently unsolved crime?

Because while some misconceptions are definitely worth your conjecture:

“No, sir, raping a virgin will not cure your HIV.”

“No, ma’am, cola is not a working substitute for baby formula.”

“No, sir, releasing your pet alligator into the sewer will not recreate an environment like the Everglades, and no, your tiger would not like to go with him.”

Most of the time, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if we’re Neanderthals or NeanderTals – it’s important to know that we’re all wrong about something, sometimes.  Why go out of our way to piss other people off unnecessarily?