Ian Pike 2 p.m., Dec. 10
On the Benefits of Recreational Summertime Walking through Death Valley
I assume delusion is in the eye of the beholder.
Now, I am not so deluded as to think that natural marriages between one man and one woman are the same practical thing as an artificial marriage between two men, or between two women, or between any other combination of people that is not a natural marriage as it has been defined for dozens of centuries of Western European and then American history and jurisprudential tradition.
I will grant that legally, the various forms of marriage may be equated with respect to the legal rights of parties in artificial marriages, but in this case, as in many others, the law is merely being ignorant of reality in order to satisfy the term-of-art technical aspects of courtroom argumentation and opinion.
I also assume that most people arguing in support of artificial marriage being legally equal to natural marriage have not actually studied law with any diligence, especially that area of law dealing with legal and constitutional construction. From Marbury v. Madison onward, various learned opinions have been made in construing legal writings that suggest the semantic ambiguity of terms in the law may lead to rather ridiculous legal interpretations when pushed to extremes, where judges and justices do admonish themselves to avoid interpretations that cause the public to hold our court system in utter contempt.
The contemplation of such contempt leads me to a discussion of the recreational benefits of taking long walks in the summertime through Death Valley. At the same time, I'll put that on pause for the moment.
If we allow that we can push legalisms to extremes, then I offer an extreme opinion of my own. I declare that the actions of the Governor and Attorney General of California, taken in support of allowing artificial marriages to resume once again in the State of California as if they be natural marriages, are actions that amount to a state-sanctioned religious persecution of people who believe that natural marriage is only that between one man and one woman, and the legalistic lumping of all forms of natural and artificial marriage together is nothing short of a prophetic abomination. Perhaps there are some, many, or even the vast majority of us for whom this is not all that extreme.
I have no problem with the rights of any group of people who want to establish civil unions with appropriate full civil rights as long as those civil unions are not classified as the same as natural marriages. As for those people who seek to equate natural marriages with artificial marriages in all aspects, I suppose that the law allows deluded persons to roam about freely as long as they cause no harm to themselves and others. As for the state to seek such an equation, well, excuse me for being sensitive, but I feel religiously persecuted in a way that involves some reasonable interpretation of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.
Now, as part of my personal Christian ethic, I ought to be a peacemaker. At least, if I am not a peacemaker, then I have turned my back on the one thing that Jesus said would distinguish the followers of Christ from all others. I certainly advocate no violence toward the artificially married, whether they try to equate themselves with naturally married couples or not. Instead, I look at what society in general seems to be telling me, and telling anyone whose views on being a Christian with a personal Christian ethic that correspond to my own, that it is time to shake the dust loose and get walking to some other place that isn't right here, right now.
It would not be an easy thing to turn my back on America and walk away. I was born at the beginning of the Space Race in 1958 as an American citizen, the first child of a natural marriage of the two American citizens that are my natural parents, and I am a Regular Army disabled veteran from three decades ago. With that kind of baggage, I doubt there is any nation on this rock that would want to have me. For this reason, I have a great interest in the recreational benefits of taking long walks in the summertime through Death Valley.
The geography of Death Valley is amazing. Apparently many centuries ago, Death Valley was actually the top of a mountain range that collapsed into the widening rift between two adjacent tectonic plate formations that are still spreading apart, such that while the floor of Death Valley is the lowest point on the North American continent, there are still miles of sediment to go through before reaching the bedrock that was once the tops of those early mountains. The mountain ranges between Death Valley and the Pacific Ocean insure that most of the rain that could have reached Death Valley was lost long before it could reach Death Valley, helping to maintain the fertility of California's Central Valley agricultural regions to the west. Whatever rain that does reach Death Valley creates a slick mud surface that allows high winds to push boulders along the desert floor until that mud dries up a few hours later.
The combination of geological evolution and arid weather means that whatever dies in Death Valley stays in Death Valley, even if it gets moved around and eaten by those flying things looking for recently deceased things on the ground. Anything that remains should get swallowed up by the terrain shortly, as if it had never existed in the first place.
Because I am unable to do anything to prevent what I see as a state-sanctioned religious persecution against me and everyone like me, I am pretty much comfortable with being as if I had never existed in the first place, as a reasonable alternative to turning my back on a Christian ethic of trying to be a peacemaker in a matter where there is no peace to be found, only abomination in the sight of God.
For those choosing to remain after I am gone, there are things to ponder that relate to the homeland security of the United States of America. An all-hazard approach to comprehensive emergency management by objectives suggests that all hazards be looked at, even if the hazard happens to be in the acts of the American federal court system.
People who have not been keeping up with current events should be aware that Iran and a number of other nations with “Death to America” on their breath will be, can be, or are already in possession of nuclear devices. Coincidentally, none of those countries is so enlightened as to sanction homosexual conduct let alone artificial marriages, and the fact that the American federal court system seems poised to formally separate us from them suggests that, given their behavior prior to, on and after September 11, 2001, any one of them would be proud to claim globally that they actually used a nuclear weapon in a one-way mailing to the continental United States through the Port of Long Beach. In fact, the sincere widespread religious beliefs in at least one of those countries would allow its people to consider national martyrdom, through a protracted nuclear exchange between them and America as their Great Satan, to be proof positive of their adherence to God's law as they believe it to be.
I am not prepared to give a reliable risk assessment of that sort of hazard of national significance, but with prior training in military staff procedures, I dare to imagine that the President of the United States has had flash orders for appropriate strike packages prepared by the Joint Chiefs in response.
If nobody hears from me from now on, it's quite possible that I'll be pointing my hiking boots east along Old Highway 80 for awhile, then north to the lowest place in North America. It wouldn't be the first time in biblical or other recorded history that somebody (or an entire nation of people set apart by God) wandered off into the desert wilderness to clear his head or avoid incoming fire from above.