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Posted on 07/22/2019 1:29:46 AM PDT by Jacquerie
When I was a teenager I remember what passed for wisdom from the older college kids: Hey man, everyone knows you cant legislate morality. I wasnt comfortable with that and eventually learned why. Law reflects the morality of the lawgiver. It can't be any other way. A self-governing people cant avoid imprinting the law with the essence of their beliefs and traditions.
In contrast, lawgivers disconnected from the people cannot act in the peoples interest. In 2016, one of John Podesta's emails released by WikiLeaks exposed how progressive elites intended, after Clinton won, to exploit the people. The email features one of Podesta's colleagues from the Center for American Progress admitting that the institutional left "conspire(d) to produce an unaware and compliant citizenry," to impose their radical agenda without much resistance. This exposes what weve known all along. The Deep State, and not the people through Congress, are Americas lawgivers. Their morality extends no further than avarice and ambition, money and power.
While a Biblically based morality figured large to the Framing generation, they left religion (other than a prohibition of religious tests for office) out of their Constitution. Nor did their design offer a federal means to suppress Christian traditions and morality in and outside the law. The people and states were free to exercise and promote Christianity. Nothing in the Constitution then or today prohibits the free exercise of religion within public institutions.
This perspective shifted in the late 19th century with Woodrow Wilson, a really bright guy who didnt think very well of Americas foundations in religious and civil liberty. To Wilson and his fellow Progressives, government was a living and breathing organism. He thought an administrative government of really bright guys like himself the dispenser of secular morals independent of religion, traditions, the people and states.
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It is in part (though not entirely) a semantic debate, but nevertheless, while I agree with the overall intent of the article, I have long taken exception to the phraseology.
I dispute that one can legislate morality. True morality is an inner state of being. Yes, it is intrinsically related to external behavior, but it is not the same thing.
If you are going to cite Christianity, then so am I: The Bible makes it clear that, although we can and must at times judge (evaluate) another’s actions, and perhaps even judge (punish) anther’s actions, only God truly sees and judges the heart.
What is truly conservative is to legislate objective - external, measurable - behavior. Asserting that we must legislate morality actually opens the pathway to thought policing, which is subjective and leftist.
In other words, legislating behavior of citizens according to specific moral precepts is not the same thing as legislating personal morality in the motivational sense.
The left now condemns all sorts of perfectly legal behavior as being immoral: racist, privileged, elitist. They purport to be judging the subjective morality (motivation), not the objective morality (legality), of those they hate.
Conversely, leftists assert that ersatz homoerotic marriage is in fact moral because it is motivated by subjective love. The objective, equal opportunity of heterosexual marriage afforded to all - to a person of the opposite sex, of legal age, and of not too close a blood relation - no longer interests them.
We must always emphasize that our laws are behaviorally oriented: moral behavior, not merely morality, must be the standard.
Two people can act the same lawful, legal, moral way out of different motives: one motive may be good, the other may be bad. As a citizen, I am not interested in the the motive, and am not equipped to determine it. I am only concerned that both citizens acted behaviorally in a correct manner.
As a Christian, I am interested in the motive, but that is ecclesiastical, not governmental.
The elimination of Judeo-Christian morality from this country has meant the end of the concept of Natural Law, which was the basis for the Constitution and its idea of human nature and the God-given rights pertaining to human beings. We now have a state based on positive law, that is, man-made law created to express and enforce the objectives of a power-hungry political elite.
I think we are in a mixed state situation.
Much of our law is based on natural law, but much has been degraded and amplified as positive law, as you say.
The whole concept of the ethnic melting pot was predicated on the assumption of a commonly-agreed-upon set of moral imperatives.
If we could agree on basic “Thou shalts” and “Thou shalt nots” we could assimilate— E pluribus unum.
The left has upended that. Right and wrong are now determined by group identity.
We can no longer apply “Thou shalt not steal” to everyone objectively.
Anyone who is successful & rich is now guilty of theft, while a burglar who breaks in and steals your stuff is just getting reparations because: not having stuff= racism.
Yes, republican government requires a common tradition.
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