Saturday, July 27, 2013

Playing Solomon

The recent Supreme Court decision striking down the heart of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)was received like virtually all other decisions they make which is without real objection. Why should we ? Just that pesky Constitution having its way…right ?

I am reminded of a quote from Professor Frankfurter in a letter to President Roosevelt, who would later appoint him a Supreme Court Justice. “People have been taught to believe that when the Supreme Court speaks it is not they who speak but the Constitution, whereas, of course it is they who speak and not the Constitution.”

Are they in fact following the Constitution or are they simply playing Solomon?

In the DOMA decision the majority opinion stated clearly that supporters of conjugal marriage are motivated by bigotry or hatred — a sheer desire to “harm,” “demean,” or “humiliate” others. Justice Kennedy referenced thirteen times “dignity” as in loss of for proponents of homosexual marriage. Are these legal arguments rooted in the Constitution ?

Justice Alito in dissent stated correctly “The Constitution does not guarantee the right to enter into a same-sex marriage. Indeed, no provision of the Constitution speaks to the issue.” Where are they getting this then ? They took the Fifth Amendment’s clause that says “No person shall… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

What does this “due process” mean ? It is rooted in the ancient Magna Charta and means that a person’s Life, Liberty or Property can’t be taken away from him except by the judgment of his peers via a fair trial. People could not be punished except by the judgment of their peers after a fair trial where they could appear, cross-examine witnesses and put up a defense. Due process of law refers only to trials - to judicial proceedings in courts of law. It does not involve judicial power to override Acts of Congress!

This was not a legal judgment---it was a moral judgment. This was not a dispassionate rendering of our great Constitution but five individuals usurping the legitimate role of what should be left to the representatives of the people. This win for a particular political objective is only a loss for our Republic. Solomon in his wisdom managed to give a disputed baby to the correct mother.The Supreme Court instead of giving the baby to the proper mother has only succeeded in cutting in half something precious—our Constitution.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby received temporary relief (via the Judiciary) from the enormous fines imposed by the Obama Administration yesterday for its refusal to violate their conscience with the morning after pill requirement.

This requirement of Obamacare has been relentlessly pursued by Obama with retreats only when faced with considerable opposition. Obama however has not retreated from requiring privately held companies like Hobby Lobby to violate their conscience. With the Executive Branch determined to violate the First Amendment the last line of defense (in our governmental system at least) is the Judicial Branch. How sure a line of defense would that be ?

Not very.

Due to the number of cases in the system and potential split opinions by the Circuit Courts of Appeal this stands a good chance of going to the Supreme Court.

With this issue and other issues there is increasing pressure on that Court to at some point decide if the First Amendment's Freedom of Religion is to go the way of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause which is to say bye bye.

Step by step, year by year the erosion of constitutionally protected religious freedom continues.

At what point will Christians find themselves in a land truly hostile to our faith?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fight or Flight

In 1631, John Winthrop, an early Pilgrim who would become many times Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony gave multiple reasons why He would leave his homeland and lead the first large wave of immigrants to the New World. Interestingly, religious freedom was not one of them.

Listen to some of his reasons—
--This Land grows weary of her Inhabitants, so as man, who is the most precious of all creatures, is here more vile & base than the earth we tread upon, & of less price among us then a horse or a sheep.
--All other churches of Europe are brought to desolation, & sins
---All arts & trades are carried in that deceitful & unrighteous course, as it is almost impossible for a good & upright man, to maintain his charge & live comfortably in any of them.
-- The fountains of Learning & Religion are so corrupted as most children (even the best wits & of fairest hopes) are perverted, corrupted, & utterly overthrown by the multitude of evil examples & the licentious government.

Winthrop’s response was not to fight the culture he found himself in, nor strive to change his country but instead to “fly into the wilderness” as he said.

So they flew.

Reading today Winthrop’s reasons I cannot help but see parallels with our own day. There are differences certainly but one stands out to me. Where could we fly if one day we felt the need to do so as He did ? The earth is filled and if you look carefully across the globe (I confess I have) you will see no such option available.

What then ? I think back and remember that one flag early American patriots used picked up again by some in our own day—the Gadsden Flag. The coiled snake that Franklin said about it “She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders”

We must fight.

The “city on a hill” that Winthrop envisioned is now the fort under assault.

Pick up the sword, it is time.