‘First They Came For Us…’

This past Tuesday, the California Supreme Court instituted mob rule. In their 6-1 ruling to uphold Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage, they set a dangerous precedent. It is unclear that the people of America yet understand how dangerous it is.

What the ruling does, in effect, is surrender the rights of the minority to the mob. They think they’ve only put gays and lesbians in their place. But what they have actually done is enable any minority’s rights to be taken away by the majority. Theoretically, the majority of voters in California can decide, at any time, to deprive the members of any minority of their rights.

Which of our rights are expendable, according to majority opinion? Which of their own rights would they regard as expendable? Will they draw the line (at least for others) at all — and if so, where? First they came for us. For whom will they come next?

There’s an old parable that goes something like this: “First they came for the Jews. Nobody else protested, because they weren’t Jews. Then they came for those with dark skin, and others said nothing because their skin was white. Next they came for those who spoke foreign languages, and no one objected because they spoke the native tongue. Then finally they came for me, and there was no one left to protect me because they had all been taken away.”

Many people know this parable. Very few ever seem to learn from it.

Is there a way to take away the rights of anyone without taking them away from everyone?

Californians intend to find out. And as we all know, they are the nation’s trendsetters. Let’s all watch very closely to see how this turns out.