It cannot be supposed that they should intend, had they a power so to do, to give to any one, or more, an absolute arbitrary power over their persons and estates, and put a force into the magistrate's hand to execute his unlimited will arbitrarily upon them. This were to put themselves into a worse condition than the state of nature, wherein they had a liberty to defend their right against the injuries of others, and were upon equal terms of force to maintain it, whether invaded by a single man, or many in combination. Whereas by supposing they have given up themselves to the absolute arbitrary power and will of a legislator, they have disarmed themselves, and armed him, to make a prey of them when he pleases; he being in a much worse condition, who is exposed to the arbitrary power of one man, who has the command of 100,000, than he that is exposed to the arbitrary power of 100,000 single men; no body being secure, that his will, who has such a command, is better than that of other men, though his force be 100,000 times stronger.
John Locke
(1632-1704) English philosopher and political theorist
Second Treatise of Civil Government [1690]
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Reader comments about this quote:
I have said this many times but not so eloquently - if only the 100,000 would relieve themselves of their apathy and lethargy. Perhaps would could change the current 99 percent rule....
 -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
    Wow! Describes perfectly the corruption of the 'justice system.' SCOTUS has become a power unto itself making decisions based on politics rather than law.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    We hold this truth to be self evident ! ! ! Inalienable rights have been abolished and given way to an absoulute arbitrary power over persons and estates by an occupying statist theocracy infesting this land. A national establishment of religion, being now legislated certain by the statist theocracy's supreme court (legislating child sacrifices, welfare slavery to the god state, religious sacraments, etc., etc. etc.) has put a force into the magistrate's hand to execute his unlimited will arbitrarily upon a once body politic of We The People. Such theocracy of men (as is averse to a government at natural law) has outlawed liberty, justice, freedom of religion, state of nature's secular administrations and the inalienable rights of man.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Mike, What?
     -- jc, Waukon, IA     
    Well, at least yesterday, they did the right thing (at least five of them) - Kennedy, you are a hero....
     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
    Robert, you are a good socialist slave. You gloating that your religion has become the national establishment of religion in the totalitarian statist theocracy is a celebration heard from all those that abhor liberty, law and justice. Marriage is a religious sacrament outside the purview of secular representation. If the supreme court had refrained from legislating, "mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie", (Justice Clarence Thomas) and relied on law, the court would have established that all legislation (even from the judiciary) concerning religious sacraments or any addressing of religious ordinances by any branch of secular representation would be / is outside secular government's purview. Then, anyone that wanted to get married (gay, straight or otherwise) could do so without government (an omnipotent third hand) interference. Now there is simply one religious belief being benefited over other religions' demise. It is understood why you did not rate this with any stars, your here statement is diametrically opposed to Locke's statement of liberty.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    jc, (-: I smile ;-), at times i do ramble on and am a bit verbose without explaining the foundation of my comment (getting right to the end point). What of my comment did you not understand? My comment to Robert is somewhat of an ongoing conversation we have had over the years.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Mike, you are a good person but alas a slave to the system - free yourself and see the great freedom beyond the words and actions of those you follow - be yourself...Marriage IS NOT the dominion of religion; marriage has long be used as the uniting of consensual entities (basically a contract): Figurative use (non-theological) "intimate union, a joining as if by marriage" is from early 15c. Why is it that most religious people think they are the only people that have morals "family values" - these elements, including marriage, have been in existence long before the Abrahamic religions reared their separatist and sad history upon humanity. ANYTHING that effects the well being of the citizens of America is NOT outside the purview of the nations highest court. Nothing is off the cards when the well-being of all it's citizens are concerned. Christianity has proven totally irresponsible when it comes to the well being of ALL. Christianity is a singularly part of a community and as such has no right to determine ethical and moral dictates. Yes, indeed, read the quote again and you will realize I am the one agreeing with him - Liberty is for all, not just a section of the community, regardless whether it be religious or not. Furthermore, if it wasn't for the First Council of Nicaea and the death Arianism, we wouldn't be having this conversation. Unfortunately, it was politically prudent for Constantine to make it an imperial religion (Catholicism), cementing the faction that were rising against him. He created what is today Christianity (at the cost of thousands of lives, horrifically put to death). Mike, with regard to your comment - as always, well written, it misses the core argument of compassion and kindness towards all beings, and that liberty and freedom, belongs to all people, not just a selected few. The LAW is the LAW and it is the responsibility of the people to change the LAW if they believe it to be egregious and unlawful to ALL people, not just those who disagree with the current legal status of a nation. We cannot choose what the highest Court in the Land has determined to be law. Their biggest judicial tyranny was when they put Bush into Power - what they did then was unconstitutional, as the state of Florida highest court had already made a decision - constitutionally that should have been final. Yet, most on this auspicious blog didn't say a thing. And now, the US SC decision to allow marriage of consenting adults regardless of sexual orientation there is a sudden outcry. Sorry, but in my eyes, this doesn't wash.... I'm sorry, but many of this blog are not true Libertarians - they are libertarian theocratic. Like many who confuse the word Liberal.
    Sorry for the long reply. Take care and be well, Robert
     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
  • 1
    Mike, by the way, I did give this quote five stars....
     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
    Humans, governments, and corporations are so blind to the happiness and love thats in the Universe; instead they make war and fill our hearts with hate, anger, prejudice, and selfishness. Humans are so selfish and vain to believe they are truly happy, free, and contented. Face life as a flower, never grasping its beauty or clinging to its existence let the petals fall and know you were a part of its life.
     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
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    Robert, thanks for the reply - but - you finitely proved my point. I have defined ultimate religion numerous times from numerous sources. As long as you keep trying to make organizations calling themselves Christian vs. all else the focus, while ignoring what "religion" in and of itself, is, you miss the point entirely. Buddhism and humanism, for an extremely terse example, are both no god religions outside Christianity that have marriage rituals. You stated: "ANYTHING that effects the well being of the citizens of America is NOT outside the purview of the nations highest court." That may be true in France, Europe or elsewhere while, in the de jure States united, the Constitution was to limit what the executive, legislative and judicial could address and, marriage was not one of those things given specific authority to address (for another extremely terse example see the 9th and 10th Amendments) If the court had the power you give it and it was not the totalitarian despot that it is, it would have said that marriage is outside governmental purview and up to individual sovereign's inalienable right to act in any religious order they choose. I absolutely agree with you that "liberty" is for all, not just a section of the community. That is why all government licensing is unlawful, unjust, immoral and discriminating. Legislating marriage from the bench or anywhere else is discriminatory, infringing on interested parties coming to a personal understanding, to stay together in marital (non-marital) type vows, a pact of friends or otherwise. Liberty does not come from a carnal god's edict (a theocracy of choice) but rather, is an inalienable expression of right endowed as a faculty of birth. Your reference to "LAW" comes under a philosophical application of - legal positivism. The de jure jurisprudence of the U.S.A. was premised as the laws of nature and of nature's God. A biblical version of - natural law. A primary difference between the 2 interactions of law is that natural law exists naturally (gravity, physics, fiscal law etc.) Man (you and I) are to discover those laws and use tools to define them (codes, ordinances, regulations, rules, statutes, etc.). The closer man's tools are to the law, exponentially the greater the Freedom, prosperity, order, justice, charity, happiness, etc. As man can not legislate all law (gravity, physics, etc. - it just is what it is) so, the founders of the States united found that limiting the subject matter that could be addressed gave greater chance to ensuring liberty. Legal positivism commences with corporeal man is as a god with ability to create law. Gravity enforces itself while god/man must enforce his own law (law enforcement at natural law is an oxymoron) At legal positivism, man's law is supreme - that being according to your statements. A visual perception between a government of law (natural law) vs. a government of men (legal positivism) is that carnal gods (legal positivism) have the authority and power to rule over 2 individuals most intimate agreements and understandings while, a government of law (natural law) individuals are private and free.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Well said, Robert and Mike. My apologies for the long post.

    The distinctions that Mike makes point to what he considers to be the origin of life, law, nature -- the universe itself. He considers 'law' to already be -- preceding humankind -- in fact the basis of Nature itself. Robert makes the point that the Christian religion is a creation of man used by emperors and kings to subject a people and proclaim themselves and their dominion as sanctioned by God. While both Mike and Robert have referred to organized religions as theocracies, the difference lies in where they consider 'the right to power' to be.

    If the church is but a theocracy, with whom lies the authority to dictate or to demand anything from anybody? Do we as individuals wish to direct our own actions, or do we want others to tell us what to do? When in need of guidance, to whom does one go? When one needs aid, who will help? Those that believe in the power of the church will turn there, those that believe in the power of the state will turn there, and those that believe in the laws of nature will turn to that which Nature provides. Whatever path is chosen, someone will have to act.

    With respect to marriage, who is marrying whom? Is the couple marrying themselves or are they being married by some authority? Let's say yesterday the couple was not married, then some event happened and now today they are married -- what happened? Are they married because they made the commitment or because they had a ceremony? Or is it because a minister has performed a ritual? Even if married in a church, the couple also signs some forms without which the marriage would not be recognized by the state -- is the signing of these papers the 'marriage'? Then there is the 'common law' marriage which represents a couple living together for more than a year. All these designations only have meaning in relation to the state.

    So what is the issue? First it should be acknowledged that even today in some states there are statutes on the books that declare homosexual sex illegal. Various cultures throughout history have had different attitudes towards homosexuality from acceptance to extreme intolerance. No matter how oppressive the state may be towards homosexuality, it has never eradicated the practice. Suffice it to say that there will always be some homosexuals in the world (homosexuality is found in other primates and mammals, too). It is found in every culture throughout history.

    The issue of gay marriage then is the culmination of a long battle for acceptance of homosexuality in American culture and protection in American law.

    However, the issue of gay marriage brings to light the issue of marriage in general. A lot of heterosexual couples do not opt for a church or state marriage -- especially those that do not consider either church or state their authority on the matter. For what purpose do I need a marriage license?! What is being licensed?

    When Mike refers to the 'statist theocracy infesting this land' he speaks of the substitution of the state for the church. That is to say, that one's faith is in the power of the government.

    Those that believe that Nature's God provides do not look to church or government for that Providence -- that is not to say that charity and goodwill do not come from church or state, but that compassion is representative of the persons within whom it resides -- there is no state compassion. In other words, good people can be found in church and state, but it is their own goodness that makes the state/church good, not the other way around.

    And that is the crux. Those that seek the benefits of either church or state want access to those benefits. IMHO a true Libertarian would seek neither. A gay couple does not need a marriage license unless they want something from church or state. The same is true for a heterosexual couple. The fact is that the state marriage license is a commercial contract binding the parties under the laws of the state. The majority of those pushing for gay marriage are those seeking commercial benefits offered to married persons -- benefits for insurance, taxes, loans, pensions, etc.. Many employers have begun offering benefits to their non-married employees who live together -- it can be an aunt and niece too -- allowing them to designate another person to extend benefits so that unmarried folks can also share their benefits. Laws that redefine marriage are unnecessary -- only the terms of benefits need be changed.

    There are however those that wish to force churches to perform marriage ceremonies for gay couples. Here's the rub: the state has no authority over religious doctrine, and as religion is specifically protected under the Constitution, the government has no power or authority to dictate to churches how they may conduct their practices -- otherwise there is NO difference between the Council of Nicea and the dictates of the state on forcing churches to marry homosexuals.

    And this is the point Mike is making. Robert rejects the authority of the church for many good reasons; however, instead of returning the power of the church back to the individual, Robert wishes to empower the state with that authority instead -- the individual again consigned to subservient status.

    Robert appeals to our compassion -- I find it not lacking in either Mike or Robert nor even the millions upon millions who extend that charity and compassion daily for whatever personal reasons. The issue is trying to legislate compassion which can no more be done than to legislate morality. The 'homosexual lobby' seeks the power of government (just like every other special interest group) to FORCE others to offer special dispensations to homosexuals -- for the same reasons affirmative action was adopted.

    As a non-statist and non-religionist, I trust in the process of life from beginning to end. I seek to understand the world, not to repeat the party line. I am married to someone that I love -- we held our own ceremony among family and friends where we publically declared our vows to each other. I seek no government privileges or benefits, nor do I attempt to use my marriage as a commercial negotiating tactic. In my town, homosexuality is for the most part a non-issue -- in fact marriage in general is a non-issue.

    The only thing I can recommend is to stop giving away your power to arbitrary authority. Gays could always marry! What they want is something more ...

    I believe Robert is a loving person, but being gay must not have been easy growing up -- now what laws are going to change that!? My feeling is that Robert wants not just to be vindicated but to be LOVED in all his glory. ;-) The problem is that the 'law' cannot solve that for anyone. All these gay wedding cake stunts is an in-your-face "I'm gay and you better love it or else I will ruin you." It's stunts like this that expose today's 'liberals' as mere fascists. Who is hating whom here? What is the end game? Will we be more free or further down pressed?

    The issue is the same for all those that have been liberated from oppression -- will they in turn persecute others as they had been persecuted? (i.e. Christians, Jews, Muslims, blacks, gays) If history is any guide the answer is an overwhelming 'YES.'

    Robert calls upon us to be compassionate, Mike calls upon us to be loving and charitable, and I do answer the call. ;-) But my love and compassion is extended towards people not fictional constructs of the state or church -- neither the president nor God needs my tribute or my unquestioning servitude -- that is a corruption and an abuse of power. I reject all middle men to Nature's God. ;-)

    I respect marriage no matter the sexual practices of the couple. Consensual sex of ANY kind between adults should be protected. I offer an amendment to the Bill of Rights:

    "Congress shall make no law prohibiting sexual acts between consenting adults." ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Mike, sorry for the late reply, had been away for a few days. Anyway, Ill do my best to answer some of your questions. First let me start with one of my own: What is perceived as natural law? Your argument, with regard to natural law, is highly limited to the order of the day, as it can change pending who is in control of the history books. As God is a myth (not proven in the eyes of billions), and the bible, just a collection of past mythical beliefs rewritten under the power of the latest tyrannical belief, and a conglomeration of de jure community ideology Its professed laws are a mute point. Natural law is the law of nature and not subject to human intervention it is what it is.
    Lastly, a government of law, which you define as natural law, would create chaos throughout the realm unless that law had the power to enforce its laws; and, whom, but some form of governance would be responsible for law and order. Leaving to a community its own governance, that has no interference from the outside, would be a different matter but thats not reality. In an ideal world you are correct - however, we do not exist in an ideal world; plus, in my opinion it could never exist. Government of law and natural law is an oxymoron (as you alluded to above) God has nothing to do with natural law, it is what it is, as you quite rightly provide examples. Governance and enforcement means an interpretation of those laws AND, NO ONE IS PRIVATE AND FREE. Mike, your comments above seems to be predicated on our existence without order. On closing, I congratulate you on sticking to your guns.. P.s. I think the crux of this argument is that you believe in a higher power and I dont - we are all what we are! Americans, in the constitution, were provided freedom of religion and not any power to use their religion in the political affairs and governance of the America people.

     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
    Archer, First, I apologize for my late reply. Even though I comment so infrequently, when I do, I enjoy our chats on Liberty Quotes. I love your second paragraph someone will have to act indeed! Under what authority does that person act?
    Paragraph 5: Not just acceptance of homosexuality, but also equal benefits as married couples. I must emphasize that Gays do not want special treatment, we just want equal treatment; we want to visit our love ones in hospital, we want the same legal rights, we want all the rights that a marriage license entails. By the way, do you have a marriage license? From what you tell me, your life-style is totally independent of the legal system. Its really not a matter of Gays having a marriage license, its a matter of two individuals who love each other and are willing to commit themselves to each other and having this recognized by the state, and consequently giving them equal rights. Recognition is good for many reasons, all of which encompass, home and work life, spiritual, religion, and for many legal and economical ramifications. This is not including the general acceptance of homosexuality which is vital for young people because it really hurts teenagers (many of which commit suicide) and young people starting out in life. I think for heterosexual marriages, the legal ramifications are not as important as they are for Gays, because of the hostility and homophobia that still exists, especially in the south and mid-west. Taking individual beliefs aside, I honestly dont see the argument against homosexuals have the SAME rights as heterosexuals. What is wonderful is that a majority of those polled in America on the subject did not show any negativity and were in agreement for gays to have equal rights. The Supreme Court (for a change) just confirmed public opinion and followed it.
    Para 7: What church is Mike referring too? church of Satin or the church of whatever? The state is simply substituted for VERY obvious reasons we cannot have all the different communities determining what is good and what is right even in communities you recognize and give authority to a group or individual to make decision on your behalf so pray, tell me the difference between that and having a larger entity, say a county, and then a state, and then the country as a whole. It all boils down to passing on authority and responsibility for your governance. Your religious faith or non-faith is not in the power of the government, which is an argument religion uses, though it has no validity.
    What is infesting the land is bigotry and towards our fellow human beings especially those who are different statist theocracy is an oxymoron.
    Para 8: didnt see the point you were making, please explain.
    Para 9: I think you are incorrect re; co-habits, as employers and government have recognized civil partnerships for some time now in the UK it used to be proof of living together for more than 12 months, plus bank accounts and utility bills (which I found really stupid). Heterosexual couples can meet one day and get married the next and receive ALL the benefits of marriage. Para 10: this is BS as Churches are not force to marry gay couples: Not only that, why would Gay couple want to get married in a church that demeans them really, that argument doesnt wash it is just fear mongering.
    Para 10: I believe the vast majority of religious people are consigned to and subservient to their church and ministry please tell me the difference. Special dispensation, like affirmative action Archer, you must be failing in your ability to continue this dialogue the very last thing Homosexuals are request is special dispensation even under the new law Gays will face must stricter confirmation of their marriage vows than heterosexuals. Bi-national couples face a barrage of bureaucracy when they wish to bring the gay husband back to America. So, please do not share this incorrect information about special interests. The Christian lobbyists have been infiltrating government for years and this should stop. America should also take away the tax free status as they are involved heavily in funding politics. Tell me what more they want other than equal rights please add what more Gays want other than equal rights before answering this questions I am very interest as I do not know of any Now affirmative action (making up for past grievances) is a total different ball game; it bears NO similarity to Gays having equal rights, whatsoever. In actual fact, heteros have had affirmative action for hundreds of years, if not thousands of years look it up in the dictionary. They have had a right to marriage which has given them an advantage over gay people for thousands of years!!
    Para 11: I presume your community does not issue marriage licenses? Is that so???
    Para12: what they want is a license dont you get it!!!
    Para13: again, you make statements that are totally unsubstantiated, how has Gay marriage suppressed your freedom? And, as for your derogatory statement Im Gay and you better love it or else I will ruin you for heaven sake where did you get that from I would like to know? I find it very offensive. Gay wedding cakes in your face, really Archer, I thought higher of you than that. Liberals are not the fascists here, it is the faux libertarians who have become theocratic (Christain) fascists masquerading as libertarians, true libertarians would give a &$*@ about gay marriage, thats the last thing they would care about, in actual fact they would enjoy seeing them get their rights.
    Para 14: Im afraid you need a history lesson with regard to those who have become tyrants after being oppressed you have temerity to add gays and blacks amongst Christians and Muslim tyrants of the past and today. That was a totally unnecessary comment, one that furthers division and hate.
    Para 15: Gays are people not constructs, really. As this statement refers to God, which I do not recognize, it is not possible for me to discuss this anecdotal comment.
    Para 16 and 17: I agree with wholeheartedly and I second the motion.
    Lastly, I thank you for taking the time and fortitude to respond to my comment I think the issue here is that one is religious and the other is not. Perhaps in future discussion we should leave God out of the discussion and we will arrive at equality for all. Thank goodness gay people do not have to care anymore what other people think as equality is finally the law of the land!
    Take care and be well, Robert

     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
    Robert, thanks for the thoughtful response. Natural law is NOT! ! ! highly limited to the order of the day, as it does not / can not change - no matter who is in control of the history books. It is legal positivism that is extremely susceptible to victors and related social engineers writing history. Natural law (Biblical vs Greek) is that of absolutes - not varying with time. For example: gravity, physics and fiscal law. Man's understandings and dealing with such may change from day to day and from society to society but, the law remains the same. Law enforcement is an oxymoron. Can man enforce gravity, physics or fiscal law? NO! ! ! they just are. It is up to man to keep pursuing more and more accurate definitions of the law by certain available tools (codes, ordinances, regulations, rules, statutes, etc.) Any reference to a God specifically is immaterial, a major distraction, an intellectually dishonest misdirection and off point. The phrase "laws of nature and of nature's God", was the catch-all phrase meaning law is eternal and outside man's ability to create. There are laws which demonstrate an immediate effect (gravity, some physics, etc.) and some laws that have a delayed consequences (fiscal law, murder, theft, etc.) It is, those laws with delayed consequences that become relevant to man's discovery, adjustment and dealing with. By way of example: 'murder'. In societies recognizing murder as an unlawful act, man's tools will be used to define such; - 1st degree, 2nd degree, manslaughter, etc. The closer man's tools are to the natural law (the laws of nature and of nature's God) the greater the possibility of justice, liberty and prosperity.

    After studying the societies of the Bible, understanding many of their idiosyncrasies and reviewing Hebrew and Greek translations, many of today's preaching are not necessarily accurate. Most of what is refereed to as the "Law of Moses" was in fact, not of God, or for the non-believers perspective - not natural law. Most of the Laws of Moses were to socially engineer an ever expanding family experience. Moses was called the law giver because he not only presented the laws that could be legitimately and lawfully administered in public (murder, theft, lying) but also, laws that were personal, beyond public scrutiny (love God, parents, etc.)

    What you are calling law enforcement is in actuality and in fact, an administration of justice, outside the purview of law. That which is contrary to natural law, by definition, is in chaos. To confuse what "IS" law (natural law), order and justice is to manufacture an unlawful and unjust circumstance.

    For brevity's sake: Religion is: a sacrosanct object of conscience (an ethic(s), a moral(s), a value (system) or an orientation of correctness / enlightenment) believed sufficiently conventional as to enable an attributable action(s). Religions initiating elements of conscience, through fruition of action, encompasses self obligated pursuits, imperative practices and devoted interests. Any moral imperative, duty, should do, must do, etc. is a realm of religion. The original jurisprudence of the de jure States united was to be a secular administration of natural law while in no way, entering the domain that is religion.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Robert, you need to stand back and look at the subject matter objectively instead of parroting all the gay think groups media bites. Reading your response to Archer makes me say a new, you prove our point. Those arguments and thoughts are doing nothing more than increasing the equality of an oppressive slavery. Last weeks Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage simply (among a myriad of unlawful implications) changed a multi-millennial definition of marriage and didn't expand any rights but rather, fully entrenched the State's property into a more oppressive slavery by enlarging the list of who can perform illegal acts.

    I am aware of a couple of cases where people were married by the State (see Archers comments - by the way Archer, thank you, accurate), filed for divorce from the State and were granted their petition. The individuals remained married to each other. Gays should be fighting for equal rights, an order at law, and to become equal before the law not equal in enslavement. I for one, would love to see each and every, any and all be able to execute their natural law - individual sovereign, inalienable rights My marriage is a sacred covenant between my wife and me, with no temporal government of church being a third party. I get that people want licenses because, it is their god's outside approval of their acts - they get to perform illegal acts with impunity. Robert, your writings say that you do not recognize a god then, your actions and reasoning state that the state is your god - the giver and protector of law, order, justice, morals, ethics and rights. There is no quantitative or qualitative difference in the Christian God's love for gays or straights. Neither is there a difference before the law. If you wish to drop the concept of a god out of the equation, fine, the outcome is still exactly the same

    Now that the national establishment of religion has established one of its ecumenical standards to be gay marriage is a dominate doctrine, the current gay actors that are going after, what they perceive to be competing religions, will begin to enjoy more and more success. If what was trying to be sought was liberty and truly all are equal before the law, the focus would on being getting rid of compelled compliance, licenses, victimless crimes, an order that supported an equal application of rights and an end to the statist theocray. [Robert, if a "statist theocracy" is an oxymoron, how would you define the Catholic Church?]

     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Great discussion, guys. We are in the process of developing a 'dialogue' section in which people can discuss subjects like statism vs individualism. In the mean time feel free to continue.

    Thanks for keeping the dialogue respectful even when expressing your disagreement with others. Readers of this blog enjoy intelligent debate (as do I). Cheers.
     -- Editor, Liberty Quotes     
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