Friday, July 19, 2013

The Republican Party Hates My Bookstore

We live, these days, in a smallish town.  Small enough, at any rate, that it has only one bookstore, a place which sells used paperbacks. It's called BJ's, a name which has inspired quite a bit of sophomoric humor around the rectory.  ("Honey, come here.  I've finally found a store that specializes in the two greatest things in the world," and so forth.  Have we mentioned that Father A. is a pig?)

Anyway, the Republican candidate for governor of our new home state, Ken Cuccinelli, has declared war on our little town's used bookstore.  At least that's what we think it means, when he declares that if he is elected, "BJs will be made illegal."

Actually, he may be thinking of something else.  After all, politicians don't care about books; politicians care about sex.  Because that's what we elect them for, right?

Cuccinelli has, in fact, declared that as governor he would attempt to reinstate Virginia Code 1950, 18.2-361, a statute which, in its first paragraph, makes both oral and anal sex illegal -- even when performed between consenting adults, including married couples.

Incidentally, the Supreme Court has found laws like this to be unconstitutional.

Cuccinelli claims that his real interest in in the succeeding paragraphs, which deal with child abuse and incest.  But it happens that, when the Virginia legislature considered striking the first paragraph, which includes consenting adults, it was Cuccinelli himself who helped kill the move.  Here's how he explained it a few years later:
My view is that homosexual acts, not homosexuality, but homosexual acts are wrong. They’re intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law based country it’s appropriate to have policies that reflect that. ... They don’t comport with natural law. I happen to think that it represents (to put it politely; I need my thesaurus to be polite) behavior that is not healthy to an individual and in aggregate is not healthy to society.
So, no matter what the Supreme Court says, Cuccinelli supports anti-sodomy laws.

To call the US a "natural-law based country" is tendentious at best.  Natural law, like common law, plays a role in our complex legal theory.  But final authority, it seems to us at the Egg, rests with the consent of the governed.  And in the US, the governed have been notoriously reluctant to cede control of their private lives -- not leas their love and sex lives -- to the government.

Tip o' the biretta to Father Nedward, and the fine writeup at AlterNet.

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