Not so private privacy

By Steve Farrell
web posted January 24, 2000

Nowadays, to justify every ‘new' sin under the sun, the approach is elementary, one must only yap about the right to privacy or some other right -- then sit down, relax, and smile, while detractors, who dare to attempt to dam this or that sacred stream in the river of liberty, run and hide.

But there really is no reason why any of us should run and hide just because an individual or group couch their cause in the language of liberty. Go figure -- everybody's doing it. Everyone always has.

What political leader has ever won a host of converts by championing anarchy, poverty, injustice, and slavery? The strategy that wins the masses has always involved the promise of a new order or a return to the old order, with a forecast of more money, more justice, more security, and more liberty.

It's that simple.

Therefore, everyone make claims, and if they are good salespeople, the claims always sound good. The duty of the citizen vanguard, however, is not to determine if claims sound good, but if claims are good. Are stated objectives honest, or is there a hidden element? Will the proposed law fit within the parameters of the existing constitution? If not, will it fine tune -- or inflict mischief upon -- the Constitution? Is there a wiser, safer alternative?

The bottom line, citizens have the right and the duty to ask reasonable, even probing questions of each and every challenge to the existing order, lest we carelessly set aside ageless laws founded in wisdom and truth. We should not be intimidated by vague broadsides, but turn the tables and place the burden of proof upon the claimant. It is they, not us, who had better run and hide, is they have nothing better to say then “I have the right to privacy!”

“Privacy,” said Justice Black in the 1965 landmark case Griswold v. Connecticut, “is a broad, abstract and ambiguous concept which can easily be shrunken in meaning but which can also, on the other hand, easily be interpreted as a constitutional ban against many things.”

Building on a sentiment of the Founding Fathers, he insisted that our “First Amendment freedoms, for example, have suffered from a failure of the courts to stick to the simple language of the First Amendment in construing it.”

This is problem one with gay advocacy, it hides behind a right that is dangerously vague.

Eight years later, Roe v. Wade revealed that privacy was dangerous indeed, when this new found right translated into the right for a mother to slay her child, to usurp his or her right to life, to receive tax money to pay for abortion, to terminate the free speech and right to assembly of those who protest abortion, and to set a legal precedent via RICO to infringe upon the religious liberty of hundreds of millions of Americans, supposedly because doctrinal opposition to killing millions of babies, “caused” the murder of a few abortionists.

This is problem two with privacy advocacy; it has led to public consequences, some of which disturb the life, liberty, and property of others.

Is gay advocacy guilty of this, or is it solely a campaign, as they often claim, to keep Big Brother out of private bedrooms?

The definition of the word “advocacy” provides a clue. Advocacy means “active espousal,” or “to recommend publicly.” This is precisely what gay advocacy groups are doing, they are recommending to the public -- no demanding -- endorsement, protection, and privilege for homosexuals.

Consider the goal of the ACLU's Lesbian and Gay Rights Project: “Equal treatment and equal dignity for lesbians, gay men and bisexuals. That means even-handed treatment by the government, protection from discrimination in jobs, housing, hotels, restaurants and other public places, and fair and equal treatment for lesbian and gay couples and families.”

Does this objective limit itself to privacy in the bedroom?

Clearly not. Frankly, its vision is so broad that it entails the creation of laws which have the potential to govern social, legal, and educational requirements in public and in private places; in the classroom and in the work force, in the community and in the world economy. With attempts underway to insure “equal dignity,” for instance, to curb the high youth suicide rate among homosexuals (6 times higher), again churches run the risk of being blamed for suicides and murders under RICO laws, for teaching that homosexuality is sin, and thus inspiring guilt in homosexuals and hatred in normal folk.

Gay Advocacy, then, as is the case with abortion, is not about keeping the government eye out of the bedroom, but rather about bringing gay sexuality out of the bedroom -- and into the public's eye. It is about persuading Big Brother to get into the home, the work place, the free market, and as the Boy Scouts of America found out in New Jersey, it is about undermining the mission of private organizations which teach “duty to God" and the value of being “morally straight” and “clean.” Which leads observers to conclude, that if this is the right to privacy, then privacy is not private, nor worthy of public praise.

Steve Farrell is former Managing Editor of Right Magazine, and a widely published research writer who serves on the staffs of Liberty Caucus, Enter Stage Right, and Ether Zone. His projects include his upcoming book, “Democrats In Drag: Another Look at the Republican Party.

Please send your comments and/or media requests to Steve at

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