"There are…certain freedoms that are like circuses.
Their very existence, so long as they are individual
and enjoyed chiefly individually as by spectators,
diverts men’s mind from the loss of other, more fundamental,
social and economic and political rights."
Robert Nisbet
(1913-1996) American sociologist, author
Twilight of Authority, 1975
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Reader comments about this quote:
So true! For example: gay-marriage is not a right, it is an oxymoron - it is a contradiction in terms while the vast majority suffers under the slave master's implemented compelled compliance, license, victimless crimes, larceny (by way of funny money, theft of the labor's fruits, etc.), torture for information, etc., etc., etc.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    O yes, bring on the Gladiators and let the games begin. Mike where the hell do you come from saying gays have no rights - its talk like that which brings about division and hatred. In a civilized world (which we are not in) gays have the same rights as anyone else including marriage. Time will prove me right - unfortunately many will suffer while they wait for their to be acknowledged. The circus did indeed divert our attention from the true issues.
     -- RBESRQ     
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    Robert, most simply, gays have the same rights as everybody else. Marriage is a religious ordinance defining the familiar relationship between a man and a woman. Government perverted itself when leaving the purely secular, entering religion (as an establishment of religion, a theocracy), when it set forth that marriage was no longer a right or legal but a privilege to be granted only by government (who uniquely holds that right in toto, aloof from the people) The religious marriage was to define the progression of the specie. Homosexuals can not reproduce (in their specific curable - physiological malady) thus by definition, homosexuals are unable to and incapable of participating in marriage. To redefine the meaning, ordinance, and religious orientation of marriage is to begin liberty and the freedom of religion's elimination in this nation. By way of example: once Massachusetts' supreme court ruled on such religious issue, the Catholic church was attacked and had to close the oldest adoption agency in the Western Hemisphere (digression of society). In California, domestic terrorism has taken its toll on Mormon members and facilities as well as other religious groups while the government turns a blind eye to the supporters of its new religious dogmas. I, nor the government that supposedly represents me, has right to tell the Catholics or Mormons who can hold their respective priesthoods in their churches (to perform marriages and other ordinances) and the government doesn't have the right to tell religious organizations how they must believe. In California, gays have every right that straight people have. Marriage is a religious ordinance that should not be addressed by the government at all. Child abuse in public schools, is only one of the issues of gay marriage that are to expansive for this blog. Robert, history has already proven you wrong.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Trading our rights for government privileges is a temptation too many Americans cannot resist. As for diversions such as marriage amendments, flag amendments, health and medical amendments, etc., the rulers get us fighting amongst ourselves as to who will have what share of the spoils. As far as I can tell, no one needs anyone to 'marry' them, neither church nor state. Both church and state wish to be the gatekeepers to every body and orifice -- to control the propagation of the classes, to count among us one of their own to put on their balance sheet, to lay claim to our labors, our wages, our industry. I think any two people who wish to enter into an agreement whereby they share joint ownership of property, there is nothing to prevent that. And if they want that agreement certified and notarized for legal purposes, they can. But when it comes to getting corporate or government benefits or insurance or adoption services, there is no 'right' to these things. I am afraid when we have shifted to voting for money, we had to fool ourselves into thinking government benefits are 'rights.' Gays have the right to be gay, and being gay or a minority does not entitle one to special privileges. Insurance is a privilege, corporate benefit packages are privileges, government subsidies are privileges. But all have a price to someone.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 6
    Objectively, that to which Mr. Nisbet refers is the distinction that exists between Liberty and license.

    Freedom, as it is construed to be by those whose value systems have been inverted by their libertinism, is license, a burlesque of Liberty.

    Most sublimely, Freedom, which is a concomitant of Love, when and where it is rightly experienced and rightly exercised, necessarily is, with Love, a Medium of the perfection of the Dignity of Man.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
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    E Archer is right. The politicians have us fighting in the living room while they're in the kitchen stealing the silverware.
     -- jim k, Austin     
  • 3
    Robert, a license is: “A right given by some competent authority to do an act, which without such authority would be illegal” (Bouvier’s Law Dictionary) “A personal privilege to do some particular act or series of acts ⋯ The permission by competent authority to do an act which, without such permission would be illegal, a trespass, a tort, or otherwise not allowable.” (Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Edition) “The permission, by competent authority to do an act which without permission, would be illegal, a trespass, or a tort.” (People vs. Henderson, 218 NW.2d 2, 4). Marriage, for millennia has been a religious sacrament that individuals at liberty have had a right to enter into. “No state shall convert a liberty into a license, and charge a fee therefore.” (Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105). When the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land redefines the religious sacrament of marriage and then, makes the sacrament illegal without its paid for privilege (promise not to prosecute, government being a member of the marriage while claiming special immunity against prosecution) creates a society of criminals (marriage being now an illegal act, authorized by a carnal god’s (competent authority) paid privilege – promise not to prosecute while performing such illegalities. I could go on, and on, and on – etc., etc., etc why government licenses are antithetical to the laws of nature and of nature’s God, natural law, de jure Constitutional law, premised common law, liberty, freedom, inalienable right, justice and otherwise but, needless to say, gay marriage is an oxymoron, unlawful, and contrary to historical definition. If gays wish to solemnize their relationship by an official ordinance and promise, they may do so in a “civil union” a “secular injunction” or even forming their own religion with self defined qualification(s) for ceremony. In any case, a marriage license is absolutely adverse and hostile to the right to participate in the religious sacrament – marriage.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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