Friday, November 27, 2009

Is Palin’s lead a pitfall for the pro-life cause?

I was not at all surprised to hear that Rudy Giuliani has lately expressed views that welcome the rising prominence of Sarah Palin in the GOP. Giuliani is the archetype of the politicians who wear the Republican label but staunchly support the pro-abortion agenda. Of course, he imitates the pro-abortion Democrats by using the "pro-choice" label to dress his position in deceptively American garb. The use of that term is one of the most clever rhetorical ploys in the history of American politics. If the slaveholders had thought of it, people like me might still be doing stoop labor for no wages. After all, what could be more American than choice? Isn't that what freedom is all about?

Actually, no; not in the sense of the political liberty the American people have up to now enjoyed. Our liberty is based on the idea of unalienable rights articulated to justify our nation's assertion of independence from Great Britain. "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Unalienable rights give rise to opportunities for choice, but in a context that first takes account of the standard of justice from which the claim of right derives. Human life involves certain actions and inclinations that, as a rule, tend to support and preserve it, both for individuals and for the species as a whole. This rule is the result of determinations made by their Creator, whose will thus constitutes the standard for their actions. As they accept the gift of life and perform the actions necessary to sustain it, their respect for the Creator's rule sets the standard for their action. Right action preserves and perpetuates human life. Wrong action damages and destroys it. People are in the right when they act rightly. Should others, without cause or provocation, seek to interfere with their action, they have the right to resist and to defend themselves against that interference.

The concept of unalienable rights thus arises from respect for the rule of the Creator. People acting rightly (i.e., in conformity with the rule) act on the Creator's authority. They may use in defense of their actions whatever powers they possess in consequence of that authority. Their physical, mental and emotional capacities may all be brought to bear to enforce (that is continue with) their right action. These capacities include the ability to discern and choose among different courses of action that achieve the desired result. As they do so, they have a right connected with and arising from their respect for the Creator's rule.

In and of itself, therefore, choice is not a "right". Rather it is a consequence of the conformity to right. Yet the capacity for choice is part of human nature, which is to say the way human beings have been fashioned by the Creator. People have the capacity for choice. But they only have the right to do as they choose when they have used that capacity in accordance with the Creator's rule. Put simply, their choice does not involve a right when what they choose to do is fundamentally wrong.

Government exists because God made humanity with the capacity to do wrong, i.e., envisage and set our sights on a different course than the one that is, on the whole, compatible with the possibility of human existence. In light of this capacity, the purpose of government is to limit and/ or repulse the effective action of wrongdoers, thereby securing the rights (i.e., right courses of action) of those who respect the Creator's will.

This logic is the basis in principle for the pro-life rejection of the superficially potent argument that a woman may do as she chooses when it comes to taking the life of the child in her womb. Her freedom to choose does not extend to violating the Creator's demand of respect for the child's unalienable right to life. God's demand of justice limits individual choice. But it also limits how those entrusted with the powers of government may legitimately (i.e., lawfully) employ them. This is the substantive basis for the concept of limited government. The limitation does not arise from ideological whim, or from social or historical circumstances. It arises from the same determination of the Creator's will that sets the stars on fire and the courses in which planets revolve around them.

Just as the individual's choice is limited by the Creator's determination of what harmonizes with the possibility of human existence, so the use of the powers of government is limited to actions compatible with the aim of securing the unalienable rights of human nature (i.e., those connected with actions and inclinations compatible with the decisions of the Creator that make our existence possible.) No government (including the State governments of the United States) may, in law or action, justly depart from this aim by violating or tolerating the violation of the unalienable rights of anyone subject to its jurisdiction.

Sarah Palin appears to be pro-choice for State governments. (I invite readers to review the arguments I have made in this regard in Sarah Palin: Already Compromised? and Palin's Choice: an Afterword) Yet just as the principle of unalienable right places a limit on the individual choice of the mother it also limits the choice of the community of individuals (civil society) acting by means of the State governments. Except for the just demands of that principle, the intimate, personal consequences of the decision about pregnancy would favor giving moral priority to the mother's choice, not that of State legislators otherwise unaffected by its result. Herein lies the grave danger connected with identifying 'pro-choice for States' politicians as acceptable champions of the pro-life cause. They step away from the solid ground of principle provided by the Declaration of Independence reliance upon unalienable rights. By doing so, they set the stage for the ultimate defeat of the pro-life position. Sadly this also undermines the argument that the consent of the governed is the sine qua non of governmental legitimacy (lawfulness). For unless it respects requirements of right action, government based upon consent contradicts the Creator's rule, and so cuts the ground out from under the just demand it claims to represent.

24 comments:

nail-in-the-wall said...

"Unalienable rights give rise to opportunities for choice, but in a context that first takes account of the standard of justice from which the claim of right derives. Human life involves certain actions and inclinations that, as a rule, tend to support and preserve it, both for individuals and for the species as a whole. This rule is the result of determinations made by their Creator, whose will thus constitutes the standard for their actions. As they accept the gift of life and perform the actions necessary to sustain it, their respect for the Creator's rule sets the standard for their action. Right action preserves and perpetuates human life. Wrong action damages and destroys it. People are in the right when they act rightly. Should others, without cause or provocation, seek to interfere with their action, they have the right to resist and to defend themselves against that interference." From WND article- Alan Keyes

Dr. Keyes;

I Wonder what Fulton J. Sheen would say, as he quotes T.S. Elliot and R. H. Tawney. about your article,..(pg 125) but you have already referenced in your Nexus, and further examination at "The Political and Economic Moral Challenge-Part 1" - at @ AIPnews.com

I will give you the foot notes,.. now.

"And if the Church, which is a Christian Society, is to exist, its mind and will must be set upon that type of conduct which is specifically Christian. Hence the acceptance by its members of a rule of life is involved in the very essence of the Church. They will normally fail, of course, to live up to it. But when it ceases altogether to attract them, when they think it, not the truest wisdom, but impracticable folly, when they believe that the acceptance of Christianity is compatible with any rule of life whatsoever, or with no rule of life at all, they have ceased, in so far as their own choice can affect the matter, to be members of the ‘Church militant here on earth.’ ” R. H. Tawney, The acquisitive Society.

[Is not it amazing Dr. Keyes, how man repeats himself through out, and in time. -Me]

“We must abandon the notion that the Christian should be content with freedom of cultus, and with suffering no worldly disabilities on account of his faith. However bigoted the announcement may sound, the Christian can be satisfied with nothing less than a Christian organization of Society—which is not the same thing as a society consisting exclusively of devout Christians. It would be a society in which the natural end of man—virtue (justice) and well-being in the community—is acknowledged for all, and the supernatural end—beatitude—for those who have the eyes to see it.” T.S.Elliot, Idea of Christian Society

Till next time Alan Keyes.

“God Love You!”


PS.Is there a "Pro-Life Economic Agenda"?

http://just3rdway.blogspot.com/

Rosie said...

why do you act like if Sarah Palin is problem?
Sarah Palin and Me
The joy of a child with Down syndrome
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704779704574551772105223840.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

indybox2006-lynmorris said...

At the time Sarah Palin made that 'state's decision' comment, Huckabee, and I believe Romney were making the same argument. For years, I rather believed this to be an argument against Roe v Wade, thinking getting changes made at the state/local level was certainly easier than getting any changes done at the federal level. But, something has been bothering me these last few momths about that stance, and nagging me with Sarah Palin. I really like her but....until I re-read Alan's articles of her Gibson comments and this latest, I realized what the nagging feeling/thoughts were: she is a compromiser in her principles, which makes her just as PC as the rest of the political aspirants. Thank you Alan. I finally get it!

Lyn Morris
Indianapolis

chiu_chunling said...

I still do not see the logic of equating a position which unambiguously calls for the direct reversal of Roe v. Wade with being support for abortion.

Obfuscating that position by calling it "pro-choice for States" seems...manifestly dishonest at best.

We are going down this road with Obamacare, driven by the argument that, because the function of the Federal government is to protect human rights, any power which could be used to protect any right is thereby granted to the Federal government.

Yes, it is the natural right of children not to be murdered by their parents. But this does not mean that the Federal government automatically is granted every authority which might be used to prevent such in every case. Having cameras placed in every room of every house might be useful in deterring or even directly preventing lethal child abuse, but that doesn't mean the Federal government has that power.

If you would prevent human evil, the first thing to understand is the nature of the problem. The founders of the American republic understood that men do not cease to be human simply because they are granted great authority over other men. Indeed, the consolidation of such power is one of the surest ways to consolidate evil. The more incontestable power one grants to any government, the more likely it is that such power will be abused.

Well, I say this knowing that the destruction of America's national government is already a foregone conclusion. But my main concern is that you not make yourselves allies to evil. It is the nature of evil to claim that unrighteous actions can be used to combat wickedness. But make no mistake, you'll sell your soul for naught. Once you put your hands on the tools of oppression, you'll find yourself the slave of the power you've grasped.

They sold America on abortion in just this way, do you not remember? Promises that this 'lesser' evil would undo so much harm in the world, assurances that it would only be used when truly 'necessary'...all lies. More women are victimized and murdered now than ever happened before abortion became 'safe, legal, and rare'. Do you really think that fewer children will die when you relinquish the authority to fight this to the state?

It is hard to argue the point fully when the national government you would grant such a role will soon be destroyed anyway. I am also at a loss to imagine how you propose to get that government to utterly reverse its present trend of promulgating abortion. But however foolish and pointless this line of argument may be, it is not thus without consequence for yourselves. Think on it.

Terry Morris said...

Chiu Chunling wrote:

I still do not see the logic of equating a position which unambiguously calls for the direct reversal of Roe v. Wade with being support for abortion.

Don't feel like the Lone Ranger, because I don't get it either.

Tom Hoefling said...

It's really not that complicated:

The Fourteenth Amendment:

"No state shall...deprive ANY PERSON of life...without due process of law; nor deny to ANY PERSON within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Sarah Palin's position is clearly illogical, nonsensical, immoral, and unconstitutional.

It is the moral equivilent of Stephen A. Douglas' position vis a vis slavery in the 1850s.

Much more destructive though.

Terry Morris said...

Tom,

That's all well and good. And I don't disagree with your interpretation of those clauses you quote from the fourteenth amendment. But you know as well as I do that it is, in actuality, a tad more complicated than that.

If a majority of our federal masters in the legislature and the courts agreed with the idea that life begins at conception, then yes, it wouldn't be that complicated. Since that's not the case (and since it's not likely to be the case in the forseeable future for a variety of reasons we can't really go into here), then, simple to you and I or not, we're stuck with what we have unless and until we move to return that power back to the states. In that event several states (mine included) would almost immediately ban the practice of abortion within their borders. Which is better than what we have now.

But ... I ain't a big fan of the fourteenth amendment in any event. No single provision in the constitution has been abused as much in my opinion.

Tom Hoefling said...

I'll ask you what I've asked a thousand people who take the "let the states decide" position:

Other than the God-given, unalienable right to live, which is the supreme right, what other unalienable rights do you want to "let the states decide"?

The right to keep and bear arms?

Free speech?

Free press?

Right of peaceful assembly?

The right to petition government for redress of grievances?

The right to trial by a jury of your peers?

Parental rights?

What?

This Gerald R. Ford, Ron Paul, Sarah Palin, John McCain, pro-choice for states position is the abandonment of the foundational principles upon which our republic and our liberty are premised.

And unless we return to those principles, it is impossible that this country can be saved from destruction.

chiu_chunling said...

No, Tom is right. It is that simple.

"No State shall...deprive any person of life...without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

However, not only is the definition of 'person' in dispute here (which is a real concern) but the ideas of due process and equal protection need to be considered as well. For instance, we recognize that an 18 year old is under legal requirements which do not apply to minors. Does this abrogate the equal protection clause? What about the fact of people with differing medical requirements? If medical care to enable the survival of a child with a severe medical defect is simply unavailable (and this does happen) such that the child dies, has a crime been committed? Sometimes 'simply unavailable' means 'not invented yet' or possibly 'not medically possible'.

The Constitution is simple. It is intended to be simple. But when you undertake to interpret it in a certain light for a given situation the responsibility falls on you to explain how your interpretation makes any sense for all other situations to which it applies.

Distinctions based on age are either compatible with the equal protection clause or they are not. Distinctions based on medical need are likewise either Constitutional or not. Now, as it so happens, we currently tend to answer both those questions in a way that leaves legal abortion not unequivocally unconstitutional. If you want to repair that, you need to create a plausible mechanism for interpreting all the laws without destroying society.

And to accomplish that, you need two things. First, you need time. Time to figure out how to remove the one class of distinction from the law and to bolster the other, time to change attitudes in society, time to prove that this can work. The other thing you need is freedom. You need to get the sticky fingers of the Federal government off this issue before you can remotely hope to accomplish anything. You must kick the national politicians and advocacy groups out of the driver's seat when it comes to abortion (and a lot of other things).

Impatience is understandable...but it is how you got into this mess in the first place. It won't get you out. As for this eagerness to seize the very same power which was invented in the first place to enslave and murder you...I cannot say I fully understand it. But whether or not I understand your temptation, I must warn you that the function of the consolidation of unlimited power in the central government will always trend to the same effect for which it was created. Lay your hand to it, legitimize it as a tool for your own purpose, and you will only cover your hands with the blood in which it will ever be drenched.

Well, with luck we will destroy the thing before you can lay hold on it. But I would rather that you not trust to luck, but restrain yourselves from this tool of evil.

Pedro said...

Alan, just found out about your site - actually, about you - while reading at www.olavodecarvalho.org/.

As I see it, the thing is both simple and "heroic": we - christians - need to honour our champions - the saints, lay and clerical - as we used to do.

Years ago we talked about the saints to our children and to our friends, and their lifes were exemples, the practical and close realization of our only model, Christ, Our King. That was christian tradition lived in the family, ecclesia domestica ideed. Truly, then, just as as now, everyone had the fundamental freedom that make each one of us a human person - the feedom to embrace God's Love - and also its fundamental risk - the risk of rejecting Him. But then, differently from now, the exemplary emulation of Christ - God's Love made flesh - was an everyday subject in a christian family talk. Today, christian families' daily talk honour subjects such as cartoon heroes, rock or movie stars, beautiful people, politicians, millionaires and so-called intellectuals - and their lives are usualy very far from the lives of saints. Culturaly, in that past, we were much better prepared for the fight.

We - the christian families - need to rebuild our christian tradition, our heritage. The young christian couples that are now geting married must be encouraged to learn and to savour two fundamental facts of christian life which they must, in turn, pass on to their children: that the saints are the acknowleged champions of christianity, and that we, the chistians, are : " 'a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of His own, so that [we] may announce the praises' of Him who called [us] out of darkness into His wonderful light".
Some years ago those who endlessly fight against Our King got stronger and moved the cultural tide agains His Wife and Our Mother, the Church Universal - Catholica et Apostolica. It is up to us, the christian families - the domestic church - to close ranks with the hierachy and turn back the tide of the battle. It is up to us for we are the Church Militant, and to stand for our King is not only our duty: it is our honour and ou joy!
Yours, Pedro Maranhão. (Rio de Janeiro. Brasil.)

Dawg_em said...

There's an op-ed in a recent local paper that is blasphemous in that the writer basicly says Jesus would be embarrassed by some Catholic Bishops because they oppose national health care that contains provisions for abortion. As soon as I'm done fuming I believe I'll write a rebuttal.

But my first inclination was to suggest substituting the words slavery or ethnic cleansing for abortion. Then re-read the article. Much like the point Dr. Keyes makes, it is completely without sense and logic to say such things are more properly determined within the limits of the individual states and not at the federal level. The decision to engage in wholesale slaughter is a non sequitur. To say such a decision is more properly made at this level but not that, is asinine on its face.

Is abortion the deliberate destruction of an innocent, defenseless and distinct human being? Yes. Period.

Is that a decision for the federal or state governments, or individuals, to make? No. Period.

It's the same for the "exceptions" of rape, incest or handicap. If all human life is precious, and it is, then you are merely talking out of both sides of your mouth to use the pro-life label while promoting the pro-choice position.

Thinking people don't buy it. Common sense tells you such a person cannot be taken seriously. It's one reason why this nation is doomed; politicans use this reasoning.

We need Statesmen. God-fearing, non-compromising men and women who don't know the meaning of retreat.

Yes, it really is that simple. Not easy. But simple.

chiu_chunling said...

Currently, I'd rather see any and all of those issues decided by the states than by the Federal government.

Your argument is like saying that parents who don't submit their children to institutionalized day care from birth are somehow 'abandoning' them.

Actually, I've seen that precise argument made, but not yet by anyone who really cared for human dignity or freedom.

Think.

Dawg_em said...

chiu chunling,

I am at a loss to understand your comment, "As for this eagerness to seize the very same power which was invented in the first place to enslave and murder you...I cannot say I fully understand it."

Please explain how our representative republic was established to enslave and murder us. Granted, it is fragile in that it is wholly unsustainable for anything but a righteous and religious people. Government was established by God for right order. Because it is misused and abused does not negate the need for its proper implementation. The power of the sword (through force of law) is not always a detriment.

It matters who is given the authority.

Terry Morris said...

Tom,

I think your rebuttal proceeds from at least two false assumptions:

(1) That the central government is currently, and will continue in future, protecting our second amendment right to keep and bear arms (et al) - which the federal constitution declares in no uncertain terms, shall not be infringed. The central government doesn't even pretend to be following the clear, unambiguous meaning of the language in that particular article. And,

(2) that the States would, on reestablishment of their pre-fourteenth amendment, ninth and tenth amendment prerogatives, seek to overthrow the provisions contained in the Bill of Rights. There is no basis for you to make this assumption in the first place, and in the second there's no basis for you to assume that the people would allow this to happen at all.

As it is now the People are effectively rendered powerless to restrain the all-powerful central government. The founders (or framers) understood that this would be the result of a consolidation of all power in a single governing entity such as the central government. Which is why they divided the power between the various branches and spheres per Federal Representative Republicanism. So that it would be more manageable.

Besides, the States have a reciprocal responsibility to protect their citizens and inhabitants against federal usurpation of power.

Terry Morris said...

Please explain how our representative republic was established to enslave and murder us.

That's not what he's saying.

He's saying that the consolidation of unlimited power in the central government (which is essentially what we have now, though the feds occasionally throw us a few bones to keep us on our chains) is destructive of life, liberty and property; that to attempt to wield this arrangement for your own purposes does nothing to solve the problem inherent to this oppressive arrangement.

Chiu, true story:

Several years ago I was visiting relatives back home. My dad, a couple of my sisters and I decided to go to the H.S. football game that Friday night which was to be played on the home field. As we were walking through the campus parking lot toward the football field I noticed a new building on the school campus which wasn't there on my last visit. The front of the building read "Early Childhood Development Center," which I read aloud in an inquisitive tone asking what it was for. My sister (who had two small children at the time) replied that it was for three and four year old pre-K children. I said "Hmm., and here I'd been thinking all along that the "early childhood development center" was in the home." Her reply?: "What do I care?, it's a free baby sitter."

And this is buckle of the Bible-belt we're talking about.

Of course that was by no means the end of the conversation, but that's beside the point...

I think the attitude you're describing sort of starts out that way, then over time it just becomes part of the "normal" procedure whereby anyone who breaks with this pocedure, or challenges it, is considered a wild-eyed nut of some kind.

Tom Hoefling said...

The problem is not a "federal usurpation of power." It is the alienation of individual unalienable rights.

The confusion created by the conflation in people's minds of enumerated governmental powers and unalienable individual rights, is rampant. It always comes to the surface whenever the discussion of this horrid pro-choice for states position is begun.

What is always neglected by those who defend that awful position is the sworn duty of every officer of government to protect innocent human life. Every officer. At every level. In every branch.

And they always have to pretend that the Fourteenth Amendment's explicit provisions for the state's responsibilities to protect the life of all innocent persons and to provide for the equal protection of the laws don't even exist.

chiu_chunling said...

Ah, I forgot that the current posting scheme renders it necessary to specify the address of particular responses. But hopefully the content is clear enough.

I would not have thought it needful, but for everyone who refers to the Founding Fathers design of the American republic...a return to that is exactly what is encompassed by invoking the Tenth amendment.

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Both implicitly and explicitly, this capstone of the Bill of Rights recognizes the states as the source of the powers which are granted to the Federal government, and the people as the source of the powers of the States. The express and very explicit intention of the Founding Fathers was that the Federal government should have only such authority as was specified in the Constitution. Read it carefully, there is nowhere in it any mandate for the Federal government to define or punish murder (nor abortion) except in the case of war crimes.

I have mentioned this before, but if abortion is going to be considered murder than the definition of the crime and the standard of punishment are to be left to the States, as is the case for other murders (excluding acts of war). This is the specific language and intention of the "foundational principles" of the American republic.

The destruction of America's Constitution will not, cannot serve the cause of good. It can only lead to evil, as it has already extensively proven. If you take the road of trying to force authority to define and punish the practice of abortion into the Federal charter, contrary to the express language and intention of the Founding Fathers, you will bring ruin and death upon your cause.

True, it is most likely that this ruin and death will mostly consist of simple failure to accomplish anything in your fight against abortion. Accomplishing nothing in the cause of protecting millions of innocent lives is still quite a lot of ruin and death compared to accomplishing even a little. And direct reversal of Roe v. Wade is apt to accomplish more than a little, if you ask me.

But even should you succeed....

Consider the Stupak amendment to Obamacare. What does it matter that abortions will not be covered, if the bureaucracy has the power to deny coverage for hospital-based prenatal care in the case of 'socially undesirable' pregnancies while prohibiting lower cost alternatives? You may say "at least we aren't paying for the abortion."

No, but you'll be paying for the entire system which denies young mothers other 'choices'. An expensive salve for your guilt, I must say. Whatever form your attempt to Federally regulate abortion eventually takes, I guarantee you it will be fatally flawed.

If you would really protect the essential liberties which the architects of your republic held sacred, you would do well to study and heed their designs.

Terry Morris said...

No!; We don't pretend that they don't exist. We assert that they're both illegitimate and ineffectual, as our history has thoroughly inidicated. If you can't come to understand that, you're lost; thoroughly lost.

chiu_chunling said...

The fourteenth amendment says nothing whatsoever about "innocent" life.

The fundamental problem is that humans are naturally disposed to abuse whatever power they gain over others. The greater the concentration of power, the greater the temptation to abuse it. The Founding Fathers understood this, and that is why, in their attempt to protect the God-given rights of the individual, they focused on limiting the concentration of power in the central government (and also sought to place limits on the State governments as well).

There is no way to prevent the abuse of power, once it is concentrated in an unopposed entity. It doesn't matter what you thought was the purpose of concentrating that power, the actual effect will be corruption and abuse. Look at the rhetoric justifying the Holocaust, and you'll find many fine-sounding sentiments about securing the blessings of prosperity for the future and the moral character of youth and how righteous and grand all the aims of the project were.

The supposed justifications do not prevent the abuse. They never do, they never have, they never will.

Audacity17 said...

How is Sarah Palin, or any "republican leader" supposed to not only overturn Roe V Wade, but FORCE the court to rule that abortion is illegal under our constitution??

The only workable strategy is to make our case for overturning Roe, while working for a constitutional amendment making abortion illegal.

Only an amendment will overrule the men in black.

Dawg_em said...

OK. Some very good points have been made. I believe the bottom line is this: a morally bankrupt, constitutionally illiterate electorate being responsible for this mess.

Recall it was the Supreme Court who struck down "state" laws forbidding abortion. As John Lofton says, "The Supreme Court doesn't make law." But they sure did strike down constitutionally valid laws. And we have gone along with it. We have ignored their usurpation. (Much like their abuse of Eminent Domain.)Perhaps that's why emphasis has been placed on the federal level.

Certainly, in a legalistic sense (no small matter), the issue belongs to the respective states. Unfortunately, those of us experienced with the nuance of politicians, we've come to expect a shifting of responsibilities. A soft approach. Rhetoric is not followed by action.

Again, I harken back to slavery. From a States Rights perspective, the Constitution doesn't give the Federal government any say on the issue, one way or the other. Should the states have the right to decide for themselves? Or through their belligerence, will it not necessitate action at a level that can ensure protection for those who can't protect themselves?

I understand the need to keep power from a centralized entity. But again, it's also an issue of rhetoric. Can something so heinous truly belong to the province of a lesser authority? Instead of making it an issue for the states, how about focusing the talking points on the matter at hand - the babies.

Chiu said...

"Only an amendment will overrule the men in black."

I would replace "only" with "not even". But the passing of time and a series of Presidents sufficiently convinced of the need to limit Judicial overreach can change the court, one Justice at a time (with the 'advice and consent' of the Senate). That's a significant part of why the understanding of the Constitution that any potential candidate for President (or Senator) brings to the office does matter.

I agree with that interpretation which attempts to restrict the national government to actions of a Federal nature, that is, the regulation of what the states may do with respect to each other, other nations, and "the people" (understood as a sovereign entity composed of individual human beings). And I believe that interpretation consistent with an effort to undo most of the disastrous abrogations of the Constitution which have brought America to its untenable situation.

It is well and good to get people worked up about protecting innocent life. But, inevitably, protecting the innocent is accomplished by finding and restraining the guilty. Essentially, this is the best that even a perfect government can ever be expected to do. So, the particulars of how you determine guilt, and this certainly includes the matter of exactly who does the actual determining, is not a trivial point.

The American founders believed, and I agree, that human beings are best qualified to carry out this function in relation to members of their own community. History tends to bear out this view...but whether or not it did, to dispense with this view is to part all company with the entire design of the Constitution. If you honestly believe that the Constitution is fundamentally unsound in its most basic premise, then we have nothing more to discuss, because I am solemnly sworn to defend what you are philosophically determined to overthrow.

However, I profoundly doubt that this is the case. I think that it is more likely that the pro-abortion movement has been profoundly successful in their efforts to convince everyone that opposition to abortion is innately tyrannical. You have merely been deluded into believing that you face a choice between embracing tyranny and tolerating gross evil. I say that it is tyranny which has been used in support of the evil, and opposition to that tyranny is therefor opposition to the evil it supports.

But whichever you believe, when the question does turn to 'belligerence', be sure that you act in defense. This does matter. Aggression is fine in sports and courts, but when lives are at stake it is the defender who is granted clemency before the Judgment bar of Almighty God. Well, I hardly claim to be worthy of such a thing myself, but you might want to look into it.

Dawg_em said...

The belligerence referrenced was in the context of the Southern States' desire to hold fast to that wicked institution. In no way was I suggesting all out war. Afterall, the attack on Ft. Sumpter precipitated that great carnage. The law (legislation) and reason, in time, would have resolved the issue. For those who were not suffering, time was on their side.

Additionally, the founders also believed in the primacy of God. These communities must be subservient to the laws of Nature and of nature's God; else we end up on our present path.

One other clarification: I am not determined to overthrow the system of governance sometimes referred to as our Representative Republic. On the contrary, I wish to see a return to the original principles and its practice as originally envisaged. It is good to see you, too, have sworn a solemn oath in defense of that beloved document. While my oath was taken over 30 years ago, I still consider it valid and necessary. You seem to be in an "active" state pursuant to yours.

You appear to revere constitutional law, irrespective of aforementioned differences in its practical application. Would you mind telling us whether or not you are a member of "Oathkeepers"? It might help in determining what "laws" you are eager to defend, and perhaps give a clue as to whether you would "follow orders". Afterall, both North and South had their eager acolytes.

Chiu said...

Well, currently I don't take orders so much as suggestions (I'm still working on understanding the distinction). In that sense my oath to defend the Constitution is almost a private...eccentricity. Since I don't put much trust in the suggestions of those who don't respect the Constitution, and do not regard as valid any laws imposed or enforced contrary to it, the issue doesn't come up much anymore.

I believe the Constitution to be worthy of special respect because it was framed and ratified with the literal assistance of God ('Providence', 'Divine Law', or whatever you wish to call it). As an evil and degenerate aesthete, I adore God more for His surpassing and infinite power, glory, and beauty than for His goodness, but adoration it still is. As much as any scripture, the Constitution reveals those supernal characteristics of Deity in its original author.

I do not deny by this that the importunities of men have marred the transmission of God's pure intention, this happens with all scripture when humans undertake to record in their own imperfect idiom what has been revealed to them. Contrary to what Islam claims, God's will cannot be perfectly expressed in any mortal tongue. But I do not use the presence of flaws to deny the provenance.

Well, as for the principle of acting in defense rather than offense, it is attested in the Constitution as well as other scriptures and in the implicit revelation of natural law. I'm innately predatory (as well as evil), so perhaps I cannot serve as a perfect example of obedience in this (or much else, really). Still, I think it worth mentioning as the conflict escalates towards its logical conclusion. Prepare to defend yourselves, associate together and gather your common resources. This is prudent and just. But do not be the first to resort to violence.

If someone punches you in the face, punch him (gendered pronoun used intentionally) back (even if you're much stronger and were prudently wearing a helmet). Some might claim that God does not justify this, but He is clearly willing to at least forgive it. The case of those who attack first without explicit provocation is far less certain. That someone is prepared to survive and respond to an attack is not only no justification, but I rather think it adds the sin of willful stupidity to the balance of guilt.

Of course, men will argue endlessly over who really struck the first blow. But it is better to have the facts on your side, particularly when it's time to face the ultimate judge.

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