By Scott Tibbs, May 03, 2003
If the Democratic Party and homosexual-rights groups have their way, conservative Christian viewpoints will be shoved out of national discourse on policy by a campaign of personal smear tactics. The treatment of Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) by the Left for his remarks on homosexuality is absolutely shameful.
Santorum, in an interview with the Associated Press, said about the case pending before Supreme Court regarding the "homosexual conduct" law in Texas: "And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything."
Legally, Santorum's analysis may be correct, because if we create a "right" to engage in sex acts other than vaginal intercourse from our "living" Constitution then that "right" could be expanded into many other areas. (Whether or not the Texas law violates the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause is another matter.) Syndicated columnist Bill Press argues that laws make distinctions all the time on behavior, so a decision striking down the Texas law is not necessarily the "slippery slope" that Santorum fears it could be. But Santorum and others are right to point out that once you establish a precedent for a constitutional "right" to sodomy, that precedent can be used to argue that other "rights" exist in the Constitution.
While I believe Santorum and other conservatives are wrong on the merits of Texas' sodomy law, I recognize that many problems could be created as the federal government infringes upon rights given to states in the 10th Amendment.
Separate from the issue of whether Santorum's analysis of the law was valid or not is the shrill reaction of the Democratic Party and Leftist special interest groups. They have demanded Santorum resign from his position in the U.S. Senate or that the GOP remove him.
The GOP must soundly and without reservation repudiate both Democrats and homosexual-rights groups on this demand. Homosexuality is far from a settled moral issue in America. Millions of Americans believe that homosexual acts are either immoral or violates religious principles, or both. Santorum's opposition to homosexuality is shared by millions of Christians who believe the Bible condemns same-gender sexual relations in places like Romans 1:26-27, I Corinthians 6:9-10 (NIV), and Leviticus 18:22.
Would Democrats say that Christians who hold to the Bible's condemnation of homosexuality are unfit for public office, or at least leadership positions in the U.S. Senate? Or would the Democrats say that conservative Christians are allowed to serve in public office, as long as they don't express their views?
Unfortunately, Democrats aren't the only ones criticizing Santorum. Leftist Republican Senator Olympia Snowe said, "Discrimination and bigotry have no place in our society, and I believe Senator (Rick) Santorum's unfortunate remarks undermine Republican principles of inclusion and opportunity." Hopefully Senator Snowe is not suggesting that "inclusion and opportunity" means the exclusion of conservative Christian viewpoints.
Republicans would be politically smart to aggressively repudiate Democrats for using these tactics and to go on the offensive against them in response. When the GOP capitulated on the Lott matter, it emboldened Democrats as well as Leftist special interest groups to attack Republicans for any sign of "bigotry." Caving in again would not placate Leftists; it will only encourage the Left to continue its smear campaign against Republican leadership. Appeasement of the Left will have the same effect that appeasement of Hitler did. Furthermore, capitulation to the Left will turn off the social conservatives that make up the backbone of GOP votes.
It is ironic that homosexual rights groups and the Democratic Party, supposedly champions of inclusion and "diversity", seek to squash dissent on a controversial moral issue. It is especially ironic that many on the Left use the slogan "dissent is patriotic" when expressing opposition to war in Iraq, and complain about conservatives questioning their patriotism. Apparently respect for diversity only goes one way.