Saturday, November 26, 2011

Truth has Died and Politics Reigns as King

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche declared the death of God, and when God died, so also did truth. At least, it seems that way. Truth has now become merely what you feel or prefer. It’s your political preferences, your likes and dislikes.

This becomes tragic when brought into government – a body that depends on its legitimacy in the eyes of the governed. Judges must judge according to unchanging principles of truth and justice. Politicians must conduct themselves according to moral principles broadly regarded as truth. They must not steal and sell their favors. They must not use their power for obtain sexual favors. When they fail to conduct themselves according to truth, cynicism and general deterioration occur. When they fail to represent the people but instead the narrow interests of their own political party, the nation suffers. Proverbs remind us that,

• Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. (Proverbs 14:34)

On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States of America (Roe v. Wade) overturned the laws of all 50 fifty states which either prohibited or restricted abortion, thereby allowing women to abort until the point of “viability.”

How did the Court justify taking such a radical move? The Court claimed that abortion violated the Fourteenth Amendment:

• Nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.

The Court claimed that this Amendment safeguarded a woman’s “right to privacy.” However, the Amendment doesn’t guarantee the right to privacy. Nor was there any legal precedent to regard abortion as a matter of privacy. Besides, when the Fourteenth Amendment was passed in 1868, 36 States and territories had laws against abortion. The Amendment didn’t do anything to undermine these laws, nor was it ever intended to do so. Instead, its purpose was to guarantee that the newly released slaves wouldn’t be deprived of their liberties. However, it’s always possible to find something in the Constitution to support one’s sentiments!

Today, politics trumps everything else – truth, fairness, the will of the majority and even the Constitution. In 1987, Ronald Reagan nominated Robert Bork to the US Supreme Court. According to Wayne Grudem, “he had been called the most able constitutional scholar in the United States,” but his nomination was opposed because,

• They [those Senators in favor of abortion on demand] realized that if Bork’s nomination were confirmed, a majority on the Supreme Court would oppose and probably overturn the Roe v. Wade decision regarding abortion. (Politics According to the Bible, 146)

Three years after his failed nomination, Bork wrote,

• In the past few decades American institutions have struggled with the temptations of politics. Professions and academic disciplines that once possessed a life of their own have steadily succumbed, in some cases almost entirely, to the belief that nothing matters beyond politically desirable results, however achieved. In this quest, politics invariably tried to dominate another discipline, to capture and use it for politics’ own purposes…It is coming to be denied that anything counts, not logic, not objectivity, not even intellectual honesty, that stands in the way of the “correct” political outcome.

Politics and its short-sighted gains trump everything else. Bork continues:

• In law, the moment of temptation is the moment of choice, when a judge realizes that in the case before him his strongly held view of justice, his political and moral imperative, is not embodied in a statute or in any provision of the Constitution. He must then choose between his version of justice and abiding by the American form of government…To give in to temptation, this one time, solves an urgent human problem, and a faint crack appears in the American foundation. A judge [who is supposed to interpret the law, not legislate it] has begun to rule where a legislator should. (The Tempting of America: The Political Seduction of the Law)

This may not seem like a big deal, but it is monumental. By using elastic principles of interpretation of the law, it is possible for judges to find just about any justification to suit their own tastes. These “interpretations” then become law. Actually, they are little different from new legislation and not strict legal interpretations, and these have the power to invalidate the popular vote as “unconstitutional.”

A good example of this is Proposition 8, limiting marriage to one male and one female. Twice, it was passed by popular vote, and twice it was declared “unconstitutional. The lawyer who challenged Prop 8 erroneously argued that “the Establishment Clause [that a State religion mustn’t be established]…says that a majority is not entitled to impose its religious beliefs on a minority.”

However, the Constitution and every state constitution say nothing about the right of same-sex marriage. It’s merely an invention! Yet, the courts have declared this prohibition “unconstitutional,” even against public opinion. Where then do they derive the justification for their actions? Again, politics triumphs over truth.

Judge Richard Posner of the US Court of Appeals sums up the injustice of one judge deciding for everyone else this way:

• Nothing in the Constitution or its history suggests a constitutional right to homosexual marriage. If there is such a right, it will have to be manufactured by the justices out of whole cloth. The exercise of so freewheeling a judicial discretion in the face of adamantly opposed public opinion would be seriously undemocratic. It would be a matter of us judges, us enlightened ones, forcing our sophisticated views on a deeply unwilling population. (Quoted from Grudem’s Politics According to the Bible, 229)

Why isn’t the media screaming out against such violations? Grudem argues that,

• There is a strong media bias in favor of more liberal policies and in favor of Democratic policies and candidates…This means that the “watchdog” function that should be played by a free press is largely missing from the national media. (586)

Truth and integrity fall before politics and self-interest.

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