Wednesday, November 27, 2013

History of Proposed Amendment

The amendment was first proposed publicly as a four-part comment to the January 4, 2013, article "In Illinois, Redefining Marriage Threatens Marriage and Religious Freedom" posted in THE FOUNDRY part of The Heritage Foundation website at:

Part 1 of 3
It is time to engage the fight with new thinking. What follows is long in explanation, but it solves the problem simply and completely — and in a way that should offend no one, including God. Please read what I have written. Thank you.

Ephesians 3:14-15 (NRSV) states: "For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name." Bible commentary adds regarding verse 15: "The Greek term for "family" is derived from the word "father" (text note: Gk fatherhood)."

Ephesians 3:15 matters because it is the only verse in the New Testament in which the word "family" is used, according to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of The Bible (King James Version).

Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (Copyright 1976) defines "family" as: "1 : FELLOWSHIP 2 a : a group of persons of common ancestry : CLAN b : a people or group of peoples regarded as deriving from a common stock : RACE 3 : a group of individuals living under one roof and usu. under one head : HOUSEHOLD ... 5 : the basic unit in society having as its nucleus two or more adults living together and cooperating in the care and rearing of their own or adopted children ... " That dictionary definition is based on Webster's Third New International Dictionary and follows the practice of ordering definitions "where the earliest ascertainable meaning is placed first and later meanings are arranged in the order shown to be most probable by dated citations and semantic development." Furthermore, the "family" definition "is the product of the only organization specializing completely in dictionary making with more than 100 years of continuous experience in this field (Copyright 1976)," so make that now "more than 136 years."

In 1976, same-sex marriage was unthinkable in America. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of sodomy laws in Bowers v. Hardwick in 1986, and did not reverse that decision until its 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas. In 1976, Webster’s defined "marriage" as: "1 a : the state of being married b : the mutual relation of husband and wife : WEDLOCK c : the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family 2 : an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected; esp : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities 3 : an intimate or close union." None of that definition opened any doors to same-sex marriage; indeed, the term "same-sex" is antithetical to the term "marriage" according to the entire history of the English language as recorded by the world's preeminent English language dictionary. And yet, here we are in January 2013: teetering at a tipping point.

I am opposed to same-sex marriage and have stated so in comments to this Heritage website. Read my comments at:

None of my thinking regarding same-sex marriage has diminished in the last two years. If anything, my thinking has only intensified. Some might characterize my intensified thinking as bullheadedness, but they would be wrong. Intensified thinking (by definition: thinking that is deepening, strengthening, and sharpening while being made markedly more acute in keen discernment and intellectual perception of subtle distinctions in the midst of conflicting emotions) is thinking that can sometimes achieve breakthroughs, so it is the sort of thinking that should be encouraged and constructively challenged whenever possible.

I care about my fellow American citizens who identify themselves as homosexuals, and I insist that they be treated fairly in the law and in the doings of our society. But I also insist with equal fervor that wrongs should be righted with quiet grace and calm intelligence, not with uproar and hostility. Raw emotions driving reckless ambitions should never be the stuff of law making. Better solutions are now being ignored in America’s same-sex marriage debate, because those solutions have no voice in the yelling match that now only acknowledges two bad choices as the available alternatives.

In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: "For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:20 NRSV)

Any God-fearing, Bible believing, conservative Republican who cares at all about doing the right thing — that is: being righteous in God's sight — must regularly ponder the Sermon on the Mount. Reading Matthew chapters 5 through 7 is sobering and humbling, especially because "the scribes and Pharisees" were the political conservatives in the Holy Land when Jesus spoke his warning.

Steven A. Sylwester

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Part 2 of 3
To make ready, one must keep modern computer technologies fully in mind, because the better solutions I will here propose are made simple by those technologies. Furthermore, one must keep the needs and the potential efficiencies of government and society fully in mind, because meeting those needs and accomplishing those potential efficiencies are my aims.

I propose the following as an amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

Legal Identity of Citizens in the Law

Section 1. A natural born citizen’s fundamental right to know his/her true biological identity shall supersede the right to privacy of all other citizens.

The government shall issue a birth certificate to every citizen born in the United States. The birth certificate shall note the date, time, and place of birth; shall identify both the biological father and the biological mother by full legal name and DNA profile; shall identify the newborn citizen by full legal name, genital and chromosomal sex, and DNA profile; and shall be variously filed in government records, including separately according to the Social Security Number of each biological parent. Only verified biological parents shall be named as parents on the birth certificate. The government shall reissue a birth certificate to a citizen upon request.

A citizen shall be entitled to know the whereabouts of his/her biological parents who are fellow citizens. The government shall help a citizen locate his/her living biological parents upon request.

In a conception, the biological father shall be the man who produces the sperm and the biological mother shall be the woman who produces the egg. It shall be a felony crime to withhold the name of a biological father or a biological mother, or to in any way aid and abet an anonymous sperm or egg donor in a conception that results in a live birth. A surrogate who has another woman’s egg implanted in her womb shall not be the biological mother when she gives birth to a newborn citizen.

If the biological parents are not married, the biological father shall have no right to compel the birth of his child, but shall have the right to parent his child if he chooses, even if the biological mother forfeits her parental rights.

A minor citizen shall have biological birthrights that cannot be removed, disinherited, disowned, disallowed, withdrawn, or in any way waived by adoption, abandonment, or any legal means, including the birthrights to Social Security survivor benefits and a biological child’s fair share to an estate and its privileges.

A minor citizen shall have the right to sue his/her biological parents for direct child support.

Section 2. Henceforth, the government shall not identify its citizens by religion, heritage, ethnicity, and/or race, except regarding the existing historical record. Henceforth, the government shall not question its citizens regarding religion, heritage, ethnicity, and/or race, except to ask Yes or No: Are you a citizen of the United States of America?

A citizen shall be known as an American.

Section 3. The government shall recognize three legal status categories that citizens can use to join with other citizens in beneficial ways: 1) legal co-equal, 2) marriage, and 3) family. Each category shall have its rights and privileges legislated by Congress.

An adult citizen shall have the right to designate one other adult citizen as his/her legal co-equal. Each adult citizen can designate only one legal co-equal, but any adult citizen might be the designated legal co-equal for many other adult citizens (example: three unmarried adult siblings might each designate their widowed mother as their legal co-equal, and the widowed mother might designate her married sister as her legal co-equal, and the married sister might designate her husband as her legal co-equal, and the married husband might designate his best friend living in another state as his legal co-equal, and so forth in any strange way). All adult citizens shall be encouraged to designate a legal co-equal.

Marriage shall legally join one man to one woman in an exclusive conjugal union that assumes regular sexual intercourse and the possibility of procreation. Marriage shall exist in the law as a biological distinction, because it is the only pairing of two adults that is capable of producing children without using other people.

Family shall legally acknowledge and benefit any grouping of two or more citizens in which at least one of the citizens is an adult. The term “family” shall be used as both a noun and a verb in the law.

The rights and privileges of the three legal status categories shall largely and significantly overlap in ways that are identical. However, Congress shall have the right to legislate distinctions that might benefit each category in different ways and might benefit any one category exclusively.

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Steven A. Sylwester 

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Part 3 of 3
COMMENTARY: In my proposed amendment, I have reframed the argument in the same-sex marriage debate. Now who matters most in the debate is each and every newborn citizen, not any one adult citizen who is in love with another adult citizen. The lawmakers and the courts need to focus on those who matter most. In doing so, what results is what I have proposed above, which is thinking that paves the road to better solutions that are not now being considered.

If one looks to find a parallel to the human breeding that is now happening among same-sex couples throughout America, the only parallel to be found is the selective breeding that occurred in the Lebensborn program in Nazi Germany. It is horrifying to make such a claim, but it is true.

Consider the following equivalent. I was born without a left hand because a physician prescribed a drug to my mother during her pregnancy with me. That physician made an unintentional mistake out of ignorance. However, if he had willfully and intentionally caused me to be born without a hand, that would have been criminal and manifestly evil by any measure, for no one has the right to permanently disable a child by purposeful actions of any sort, no matter how well intentioned those actions might be. Yet, it is legal in America today to purposely breed a child using an anonymous sperm donor and/or an anonymous egg donor, which is no different than purposely causing a child to be born without a hand, for to be forced by others without your prior consent to live your life without knowing one or both of your biological parents is to be permanently disabled by the evil premeditated acts of others. That is the truth. That is the undeniable truth.

Same-sex marriage proponents allow themselves to perpetrate an evil that they have tried to masquerade as a good, because they imagine the selfish ends they might accomplish justify whatever horrible means they might employ. It is evil to ever rob a child of his/her “fundamental right to know his/her true biological identity,” but to somehow succeed in doing that evil legally is a basic strategy of the same-sex marriage movement. They speak of creating children out of love through artificial means, but all they accomplish in the end are the outcomes of Lebensborn — children who have been permanently disabled by the evil selfish acts of others. Such things should be criminal in America.

Even so, the U.S. Constitution should recognize the legal status category of family, and that category should not be defined by the definition of marriage, for it is plainly the case that a single parent raising a biological child should rightly constitute a family, as should a same-sex couple raising an adopted child. Family should be defined in the law as “any grouping of two or more citizens in which at least one of the citizens is an adult” — and that without exception.

Again, Ephesians 3:14-15 (NRSV) states: "For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name." God be praised. Amen

Steven A. Sylwester

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Addendum to my three previous posts: 1 of 3; 2 of 3; and 3 of 3

The news supports my concerns:

Steven A. Sylwester 

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