Pubdate: Tue, 01 Jul 2003
Source: Orlando Sentinel (FL)
Copyright: 2003 Orlando Sentinel
Author: Jack A. Chambless


My Word

As a married, Christian, heterosexual with three children, I read with
great interest about the Supreme Court decision that effectively
legalized the sexual activity of homosexuals in the privacy of their
own homes. Actually, I am more thrilled than I was interested in this
decision, and I am now waiting for the court to extend its reading of
the Constitution to other areas such as prostitution and drug use.

I know a lot of people who are also married, Christian and
heterosexual. I know that many, if not most of them, are extremely
disturbed that the nation's highest court has extended rights to gays,
who are morally offensive to so many Americans, and would recoil at
the thought of prostitution and drugs being legalized. This reaction
tells me two things. First, it indicates that many Americans have a
fundamental disrespect for -- or worse -- little knowledge of the U.S.
Constitution. Second, it seems to suggest that many Christians don't
know much about Christianity.

If we take a look at the intentions of our Founding Fathers, we see
that they implicitly acknowledged the rights of homosexuals to engage
in sexual activity in private. In fact, the Constitution explicitly
states that all citizens are to have our life, liberty and property
protected. This was intended to be the sole function of government.
The 14th Amendment goes so far as to say that the government cannot
"deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of
the laws."

This means that, as Americans, we have always had the right to do
anything in our homes that does not kill someone else, take away the
property of someone else or the liberty of someone else. Liberty, in
essence, means our right to do anything that is peaceful.

While I am not surprised that many Americans do not want to extend
liberty to people who offend them, I am stunned that Christians don't
get this idea. Forgetting about the Constitution for a moment, we can
read in 1 Corinthians 10:23 that "everything is permissible -- but not
everything is beneficial." Christians should have been taught that it
is not for us to judge the peaceful actions of others. If someone is
doing something peaceful (like wearing a blouse you might find
immoral), it is not our responsibility to use the voting process or
the arm of the law to legislate morality. If homosexuality is immoral,
Christians should pray for gay people, leave them alone and understand
that God will sort it all out in the end.

Which brings me to what I want to see next.

If it is OK to have sex with the consenting adult mate of your choice,
why then is prostitution still illegal? If person A wants to give
person B money for an act that is legal when money does not change
hands, then A nor B should go to jail when money is exchanged.

Moreover, if the Supreme Court contends that the Constitution is best
served by allowing us to do peaceful things in private, why can't
people who want to use drugs in a peaceful manner, do so?

I don't visit prostitutes or do drugs, but, as an American Christian,
I embrace your right to do so in order to preserve the liberty that
our Founders and God gave us.

Jack A. Chambless is an economics professor at Valencia Community
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