Have sodomites exiled the Declaration too?

A few days ago, I wrote a long post about the movement to insinuate anti-homosexual prejudice into the Constitution (and the American founding) by interpreting the Declaration's "laws of nature and of nature's God" phrase as being a Declaration Against Sodomy which controls and supersedes anything in the Constitution.

Now (from Eugene Volokh, via Glenn Reynolds) I've read about a movement (er, well, allegations by Professor Cass Sunstein of a movement) to restore a "Constitution in Exile" even though few or no conservatives use that term.

Why does it matter, you wonder? After all, some on the right do want the Supreme Court to bolster some constitutional doctrines that the Court deeemphasized in the post-New Deal era. Critics could decide that they think this agenda should be described as amounting to a wish to restore the Constitution in Exile. But if I understand it correctly, Sunstein's claim is different: the claim is that conservatives themselves use the phrase — "right-wing activists . . . talk about restoration of the 'Constitution in Exile'." The difference matters, I think, because describing something as being "in exile" suggests recognition of a revolutionary agenda. If a government is overthrown and the old leaders flee but remain intact, referring to the old leaders as "the government in exile" suggests that the old government is just biding its time before it can launch a counterrevolution. The rhetorical power of Sunstein's claim lies in its suggestion that conservatives see their own goals as truly revolutionary. If the phrase is not actually used by conservatives, but rather is a characterization by their critics, I think that makes a notable difference.
Well, I'm glad the term isn't in wide use!

Because, considering how the human mind works, the next thing would be for the "laws of nature and of nature's God" people to declare that the anti-homosexual prejudice (written into the Constitution by means of the Declaration) is a major reason for the Constitution's "exile"! Hey, it might even sound credible enough to help their cause, and get the homo haters to send in that much-needed money.

Once these things get into play, and are asserted enough times repeatedly, people start to believe them.

Professor Bainbridge explains why he doesn't use the phrase:

In my experience, conservatives much more often invoke Scalia's distinction between the "living constitution" advocated by liberals (like Sunstein) and the "dead constitution" advocated by conservatives (like Scalia .. or me, for whatever it's worth). Note that this dichotomy also some rhetorical power. One imagines Dr. Frankenstein (i.e., the Supreme Court) standing above the dead Constitution sprawled out on slab. Throw the switch in time that saved nine, and "It's Alive!" So we spin the "living Constitution" as "Frankenstein's Monster." Heh.
Don't expect me to defend the "living, breathing Constitution." I liked it fine the way it was originally written.

(Not the way it's being interpreted, whether by leftist living breathers or rightists who think it's undeclarational.)

UPDATE: Not that anyone asked me, but if I had to pick a phrase, I much prefer Restoring the Lost Constitution. (I also prefer the author's approach to original meaning.)

posted by Eric on 01.03.05 at 08:55 PM


Gotta hate it when someone manages to twist the constitution to a point where they deem parts of it unconstitutional.

mdmhvonpa   ·  January 3, 2005 10:04 PM

How crazy. The laws of nature and nature's God are not the laws of Yaweh! While there is much overlap between the two, they are NOT the same. Which is preceisly why Jefferson didn't use God or Jesus in the declaration, but Nature. To paraphrase Jefferson, Nature's God grants you the right to worship him or not to worship him.

That being said, I think it's time to get real here. Much, if not most, of the fight to destroy our important societal institutions, like the Family, the Military, the Church, the Constitution itself, is being led by radical homosexuals. One only need see GayDC.net's glee over the salvation army (an institution btw, that has done far more good for humanity in ONE DAY than any of these selfish people do in a lifetime) getting kicked out of target to see that's true.

I really woudl like to believe that a majority of homosexuals aren't a bunch of radical marxists. If that's true then they need to speak out now

Joćo   ·  January 3, 2005 10:21 PM

I agree. Homosexuals must break with the Left, with its false and debilitating premises of progressivism, secularism, egalitarianism, relativism, that can only lead to slavery. An increasing number of homosexual men and women are so doing, such as Eric Scheie (who wrote this excellent post and is the boss here in Classical Values), Jeff Soyer at Alphecca, Ingrid E. Barnes, and the Gay Patriot.

Extremely interesting once again. I love that phrase, "Constitution in exile". The _style_ of it. Counter-revolutionary. Restore "Throne and Altar"?....

I find fags disgusting, im also no threat to them, in fact if they care about freedom, im their ally.

Im really fond of the writing and the ideas here, the freedom-forward agenda speaks to my heart.

The right seem to have gone thru a change of their own havent they? enough of them, me, those I know, see defending the freedom of "others" is the same as defending our own.

This new, more liberatarian mindset in the right has ramifications.

Its not just sodomy laws that are no longer seen as having any support on principle, but others like the drug laws as well.

Perhaps thats why Gays have come to feel more welcome in the right.

Perhaps its because the right, are beginning to communicate, that for many of us, where freedom and the right to live how you want free of interference, on those principles, Gays have won the argument.

The drug laws too, for more and more of us, those pushing for the abolishment of pot laws, are winning the argument.

Lefties have long dispensed with any hold onto logic and reason, the right still value some intelectual honesty.

I think its proper to note that something is happening, or rather has happened, it seems a done deal to me.

Raymond   ·  January 4, 2005 5:05 AM


That is one of the most honest and principled statements I have ever seen. Thank you.

Raymond: Amen brother! Tolerance != approval. You want to do some buttfuckery, go ahead. This is america. Just don't expect me to bend over backwards to accomodate you.

Steven: I don't like the term counter-revolutionary. Constitutional-Restorationist is better!

I think we should shift the focus away from what people do with their gentials (homosexuals are what, 1% of the population anyway? Who gives a shit!), than what those people are doing to our constitution. It's a distraction. Frankly I'm more concerned with losing my real freedoms.

The city of San Fransisco is seriosuly considering banning all handguns. How insane is that? They say it's to 'do something about crime.' Yet when a sanfran cop was gunned down by some scumbag criminal, these same people declined to seek the death penalty. What do you suppose will have a worse effect on the crime rate?

The irony is of course, if every homo had a sawed-off hidden under his dress, your typical fag-hating redneck would think twice before curbing one of them.

We're on the verge of losing our way of life here. We need to stand up and stand together right now and put a stop to it, before we lose our liberty forever.

Joćo   ·  January 4, 2005 9:02 PM

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