Tom Van Dyke and the SCOTUS Amen Corner...

Tom Van Dyke admonishes us not to criticize or work against whatever happens to be the latest, faddish pronouncement of the U.S. Supreme Court. He writes:

“For the record, the 2003 Supreme Court case

declared that bans on sodomy are unconstitutional.  That decision will not be reversed, and no new legislation could pass constitutional muster.  

That issue is over.”

Imagine if prior generations had shared his fatalism and capitulation to the Supreme Court of the United States' (SCOTUS) exercise of raw judicial power.  

  • For the record, the 1857 Supreme Court case Dred Scott v. Sanford declared that persons of African descent had no right to freedom and citizenship. That decision will not be reversed. That issue is over.
  • For the record, the 1896 Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson declared that racial segregation was constitutional. That decision will not be reversed. That issue is over.
  • For the record, the 1927 Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell declared that “three generations of imbeciles are enough” and compulsory sterilization of the socially unfit and retarded is constitutional. That decision will not be reversed. That issue is over.
  • For the record, the 1944 Supreme Court case Korematsu v. U.S. declared that U.S. citizens of Japanese descent could be excluded from West Coast military zones. It left untouched the President’s executive order confining Japanese-Americans in internment camps. That decision will not be reversed. That issue is over.
  • For the record, the 1942 Supreme Court case Wickard v. Filburn declared that a law banning farmers from feeding their own livestock with crops grown on their own farms is constitutional. That decision will not be reversed. That issue is over.
  • For the record, the 2000 Supreme Court case Stenberg v. Carhart declared that laws banning the partial delivery of a child and killing it before completing delivery is unconstitutional. That decision will not be reversed. That issue is over.

Like many Reformed men, Tom Van Dyke has joined the SCOTUS amen corner and this awful cloud of witnesses includes slaveholders, segregationists, eugenicists, usurpers, and grisly abortion profiteers. The common denominator in all these cases is the power of the oppressor to bend the Supreme Court to his will. The latest advance in oppression is nationalized healthcare and its takeover of 1/5 of the U.S. economy. But again, they tell us if the Supreme Court says something's constitutional, that settles it.

In each of these decisions we find some combination of fashionable opinion and pockets of popular support have arrayed themselves against the weak. Fashion is vaporous whether it emanates from American law schools and a Supreme Court opinion or struts down a Parisian catwalk.

The majority in Lawrence v. Texas passed off the following whimsical fabrications as bedrock constitutional principle:

  • “Freedom extends beyond spatial bounds. Liberty presumes an autonomy of self that includes freedom of thought, belief, expression, and certain intimate conduct. The instant case involves liberty of the person both in its spatial and in its more transcendent dimensions.” (Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558, 562  (2003).)
  • “When sexuality finds overt expression in intimate conduct with another person, the conduct can be but one element in a personal bond that is more enduring. The liberty protected by the Constitution allows homosexual persons the right to make this choice.” (Id. at 567.)
  • “‘These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.’” (Id. at 574 (quoting Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 851 (1992).) 

The august Supreme Court proclaims the “transcendent” liberty of sodomy. But it’s only one element of a “personal bond” that is more enduring. The sexually immoral are free at last to “define the attributes of personhood” and their own “concept of the universe.” Sexual perversion, the slave master of immortal souls, was elevated to a cosmic constitutional right. 

It’s clear to anyone who hasn’t served time in the suffocating straightjacket of university conformity that the Supreme Court perpetrated a gigantic fraud on the Constitution. Only an (anti-)intellectual could be taken in by such grandiloquent, vacuous rhetoric interspersed among strings of Supreme Court Case citations and the evil examples of other nations. The majority made no attempt to construe the U.S. Constitution and apply it to sodomy laws.

But there's more...

It is often said that bad facts make bad law. In Lawrence v. Texas, it turns out, fraudulent facts made fraudulent law.  After the opinion was handed down (of course), researchers and journalists discovered that the two autonomous selves in Lawrence v. Texas had NOT engaged in “intimate conduct” with each other—spatially or transcendently. The case was altogether fictional from beginning to end, both the law and the facts.

The New Yorker describes how the lawyer-pioneers of the right to sodomy concocted the case:

“The legal opportunity depended, however, upon persuading the defendants to go along with an unusual strategy. High-powered lawyers would represent Lawrence and Garner, as long as they agreed to stop saying they weren’t guilty and instead entered a ‘no contest’ plea. By doing so, the two were promised relative personal privacy, and given a chance to become a part of gay-civil-rights history. The cause was greater than the facts themselves. Lawrence and Garner understood that they were being asked to keep the dirty secret that there was no dirty secret.

   That’s the punch line: the case that affirmed the right of gay couples to have consensual sex in private spaces seems to have involved two men who were neither a couple nor having sex. In order to appeal to the conservative Justices on the high court, the story of a booze-soaked quarrel was repackaged as a love story. Nobody had to know that the gay-rights case of the century was actually about three or four men getting drunk in front of a television in a Harris County apartment decorated with bad James Dean erotica.” 


“Carpenter’s painstaking interviews establish that Garner and Lawrence not only weren’t having sex but were clothed (Lawrence was in his underwear, preparing for bed) and in separate rooms. . . . The litigation strategy, as the case made its way up through the trial courts and appeals courts, was deliberately framed to highlight the need to decriminalize homosexual conduct as a means of recognizing and legitimatizing same-sex ‘relationships’ and ‘families.’ In short, the legal issue was not that free societies must let drunken gay Texans have sex; it was that gay families around the country, in the words of one of the lawyers in the case, ‘are essentially just like everybody else.’” Dahlia Lithwick, Extreme Makeover: The Story Behind the Story of Lawrence v. Texas, The New Yorker, Mar. 12, 2012.

You can probably imagine that when I shared this article with Pastor Bayly a few months ago, he wasn’t surprised in the least. Well, actually, it was the other way around: he shared the article with me. It is just one more aspect of his work: calling souls to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ; exhorting civil magistrates in his church to be faithful to their God-delegated responsibility to punish the evil and reward the good; exposing the unfruitful deeds of darkness; and loving and rescuing the lost. He’s done his homework in this area and then some—not to score points on constitutional interpretation, but to warn souls to flee the wrath to come, in words strong and clear enough to rouse comatose consciences.

Tom Van Dyke deems the pastoral work here “carp[ing]” and a failure to demonstrate “some level of submission to laws you cannot change.” To the contrary, I say as an experienced attorney and civil magistrate that, if the New Yorker may expose Lawrence v. Texas as an utter sham, why ridicule Baylyblog for doing the same? In this work Baylyblog is submitting to the U.S. Constitution; but far more importantly, to Scripture. The Supreme Court used the Constitution as a cloak to issue its Lawrence v. Texas fiat and win encomia from The New York Times. The perversion activists and elites, in turn, have used Lawrence v. Texas to justify their rebellion against God’s created order and to gag pastors. Why?

So sodomites can destroy each other physically and spiritually in the bathhouses of New York and San Francisco.

And there are all these Reformed men who are cool with it.












What galvanized Lincoln and others to form a new party opposed, initially, to the extension of slavery, but looking to its at least eventual eradication, was the Kansas-Nebraska Act, hatched from the busy mind of Stephen A. Douglas. this repeat of the Missouri Compromise opened a vast new territory to slavery & horrified many in the North who had been "moderates" on this issue. Lincoln remarked that the law must be obeyed--and repealed. SCOTUS has, on each of the occasions noted, settled what we may and may not do for the moment. It certainly has not settled what we may attempt to make possible or impossible in the future.

In fact, nobody ever really believes that a Supreme Court decision settles anything he personally cares about. Mayor Bloomberg doesn't think District of Columbia v. Heller settled the current meaning of the II Amendment. 

That's a dishonest characterization of my position, Ezra.  I'm disappointed it appears on the front page here.

What I said was that sodom laws are a stupid political hill to die on.  you're going to need a constitutional amendment to bring them back, and that's simply not going to happen.

And anyone who expends any political capital on them at this point just makes their allies among social conservatives look like idiots.

As for slavery, I explicitly noted that 

actually slavery was never a settled issue from the very beginning of America, neither was its successor Jim Crow.  It was good to keep fighting, and indeed Roe v. Wade is constantly getting whittled down at the late term end.  Save your ammo for where it counts.

To which I added the sage Mt 10:13

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

So stop acting like stupid and destructive idiots and clean up your act.

Tom Van Dyke deems the pastoral work here “carp[ing]” 

What I wrote was "Perhaps you got me wrong, Brothers Bayly.  My critiques are more of your tactics, which are counterproductive."

And further:

Look, as a pastor, nobody can tell you what to preach.  Do what you feel you must.  I think the best route to celibacy for SSA persons is per John 8 above and people like Eve Tushnet and Melinda Selmys.  And if you feel it's God's will to participate in politics throwing around bombs like "sodomite' and Hitler," then I feel called politically as someone on the same "side" to ask you to reconsider your tactics.  As a practical matter, social-conservative politics would be better off if you took the R2K advice and saved that stuff for inside the church.  And I hate agreeing with them on anything.

Clearly we disagree on these things.  But in future, I insist you state my position honestly.

Respectfully submitted.


Dear Tom,

He did state your position honestly and that's why we posted the piece. The distinction you missed is between using Dred Scott as one in a list of examples of SCOTUS decisions which fly in the face of your counsel concerning Lawrence v. Texas and saying you support slavery or approve of Dred Scott and wish it had never been reversed.

Finally, if you're going to keep carping about our use of the word 'sodomy,' would you please do what we've asked before and engage our arguments rather than being so very repetitious? Everyone reading your comments knows what you think about it and you continue not to know what your hosts think about it. Either that or you think you don't need to respond to your hosts. I've given you the links and asked you to read them. For the second or third time, please do so.


Tim, I shouldn't need to repeat myself.  No, my position was not stated honestly.  Now the record has been corrected--in my own words, not Ezra Hale's.  Further, in fairness the full discussion should have been linked by Ezra so our readers can read my original comments in full and judge for themselves.

I do have nothing further to add.  Well, actually, I do--but for the moment, I must rest my case.  I think you owed me at least this much rebuttal if you're to drag my name onto your front page.

[And of course I read your links on why you use "sodomite," Tim.  I do not think you're being as wise as a serpent or harmless as a dove there, sorry.]

Peace.  I hope you'll consider it.

Respectfully submitted.

Tom Van Dyke wrote: "And anyone who expends any political capital on them at this point just makes their allies among social conservatives look like idiots." (italics mine)

Now we're getting somewhere. It would never do to look like an idiot when you know stuff, live in a mini-estate high on a hill above L.A., writing on matters of Great Importance. ( No, that would never do.

"For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Tom Van Dyke wrote:

"For the record, the 2003 Supreme Court case declared that bans on sodomy are unconstitutional. That decision will not be reversed, and no new legislation could pass constitutional muster.

That issue is over. To carp on it any longer makes you look bad, esp since it makes it look like you don't appreciate the legal reality of the situation."

The above post was in response to this comment by Tom.


TVD: And the rest of what I wrote was this...

No, no Tom. You've written much, much more than that. If you're going to try to state your own position, please try to do so honestly...which is to say, comprehensively. No one will know what you mean unless you say ALL of it and not just piecemeal.

But seriously...

I think what you mean is that we should only give up on what we can't change...then when we can no longer change what we can change now...then give up...and then when we can no longer change what's left...shrug.

Tactics for success. 

Craig, I hope I'm wrong but I believe my last reply disappeared! 

Tim's comment above is comment #34772

Mine was comment #34773, which has now vanished from this site.

Abraham Hess's is #34774, Marjorie's is #34775, Yours is

So there you have it, Craig.  No further comment is necessary or possible at this moment.  I'll save a copy of this just in case there's another computer malfunction at this site.  Peace.

Dear Tom,

I won't have a man who professes living faith using profanity on my blog. It's a demonstration of all that's wrong with your outlook that you spew "damn" without fear of God, but refuse others the right to say "sodomite." You're a fool, brother. Wake up.

Love in Christ,


You can say "sodomite" all you want, I can't stop you.  The question is whether you're using it as part of a public political argument.  If so, in the lingua franca, the "s" word is far more offensive --and counterproductive--than the "d" word.

For which I sincerely apologize using on your blog, David.  I certainly respect and abide by the rules of any house.

As for using "sodomite" as part of your pastorship, we're in an in-between place here at your public blog, which is closer to the public square than to the confines of your own church.  If you do not permit theological disagreement--and again this is over tactics and approach more than any disagreement on Biblical morality--then you should announce somewhere that theological disagreement is discouraged, if not banned here.

I have come to visit to assess how y'all do business:  I'm a strong defender in principle of many of the <i>very</i> religiously/conservative types here in our country like yourselves, whom I believe are often unfairly slandered by the secular/progressive elite.  As you are anti-2Kers who believe that your religion should be fully and proudly out in the public square, I thought I should know what I'm defending, and perhaps understand the enmity you engender, whether it's resistance to the Word of God or a visceral repugnance at what they perceive to be cementheaded self-righteousness and a scorn, not a love, for the sinner, for their fellow man.

Dear Tom, 

My frustration with you shouldn't be construed as a lack of respect. It may appear so, but it's not. The problem as I see it is tied to fear of God. I urge you to consider that this is what lies behind what you can't accept in us and that the audience we have in view is the most profound distinction between us.

Love in Christ,


I'm listening, David.  One of the first things I ever wrote here is that I have a deep respect for those who live their faith.  I share your antipathy for the mealy-mouths!

As to who your intended audience is, I'm not yet sure.  As to who my own might be, I'm not sure about that either.  I stopped by to kick it around with you.  If I'm not welcome, then as they say, brother, I've been thrown out of better joints than this!


As to the discussion itself, in my deleted comment I answered directly that unlike the anti-sodomy laws overturned in Lawrence--which even the Scalia and Thomas dissents defended only on technical grounds--my original comment never hinted that Dred Scott was to be accepted as the final word on the issue, just as I/we do not accept Roe v. Wade as the final word on abortion.  Therefore, Ezra's rebuttal of me here--and this entire post--is based on a faulty premise.

"If you do not permit theological disagreement--and again this is over tactics and approach more than any disagreement on Biblical morality--then you should announce somewhere that theological disagreement is discouraged, if not banned here."

Tom, I don't know if I'm missing something, but did you just accuse the Baylys of not permitting theological disagreement on their blog?

Jason, I was trying to guess why my previous comment [#34773] was deleted by the Baylys. David wrote it was because I used "give a damn," but as you see in

*****[Moderators note]*****

Tom never used the words "give a damn" in his comment, as he claims. 

*****[end note]*****

The invisible woman... by David and Tim Bayly on December 31, 2009

the Baylys wrote

"But who really gives a damn about the impact on our homes, marriages, and children of economics and public policy?"

I expect this comment to be deleted too, and I believe I've been blocked from the site since I needed a proxy server to write this. But for the record, I thought you should know. Something's a little strange here.

Tom, if we wanted to ban you, we'd do it and a proxy server wouldn't help. Go back and look over all your comments disagreeing with us. Maybe we should compile them placing them here in one humongous comment under your whining about how we don't allow anyone to disagree.

There's no end to people disagreeing with Baylyblog posts and we've never banned anyone for it.

Dear Tom, 

Nobody needs you spreading your comment all over the place. People who are looking for it can find it just fine. All the links on the site are working properly. If you don't like the way Google works, you can take it up with them. Please don't contaminate other posts with off-topic comments.


Dear Tom,

You are telling lies, and it will not be tolerated. If you tell another lie in a comment, you will be banned. 


<i> If you don't like the way Google works, you can take it up with them.</i>

I don't know what you mean by "the way Google works," Joe.  When you banned Erik Charter recently, he wrote on the Old Life blog that you had banned him, and further, that he was no longer even able to access the website.

I thought this strange, if not technologically impossible.  But <i>danged</i> if the same thing didn't happen to me today.

Every other site worked fine, except this one!  Instead of going to this site, I was directed to a blank search page.  Then, when I used a proxy server, all of a sudden I could access the Baylyblog website.  I was even able to comment a couple times--until then, a comment instantly disappeared without being published!

Now if you want to affirm that neither you or Tim or David or anyone associated with the website did anything to inhibit my access, I will certainly take you at your word, and I'm sure everyone else will too.

[I've received several private emails asking for an explanation of the events here today.  I'll forward copies of this reply around just in case.]

Tom, you're wasting our time. Stop complaining. In the past three weeks dealing with the R2K debate, we've banned one man who in private e-mails we exchanged with him was nasty and refused to abide by the rules we'd explained. He was not banned for disagreeing and when he was banned we announced it immediately here on Baylyblog.

Doesn't it occur to you that, right now as you say you're banned, everyone is watching you comment again and again and again about how you're banned and can't comment? And then having complained, you go and comment again proving for all to see that you're not banned!

As for how our software handles IP addresses, we've been surprised to discover some things about our blogging software and IP addresses this past week or two. We're sorry this has caused you some trouble but it hasn't stopped you from reading and commenting.

So now we're done with this discussion. If you whine about being banned one more time here in Baylyblog comments, we're going to delete your comment and remove your commenting privileges permanently. And if we do so, we'll immediately tell everyone why we did it as we told everyone when and why we banned the other man.


I wrote: "If you whine about being banned one more time here in Baylyblog comments, we're going to delete your comment and remove your commenting privileges permanently."

Tom whined about being banned one more time, his comment was deleted, and his commenting privileges were removed.

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