Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Upholding "Emphatic Notions" of Right and Wrong

Interesting how on June 29th, this was my morning devotional and found it came at just the perfect opportunity I had to share it. I hope it speaks to the heart of the issue we are having to face in light of the Supreme Court's decision not only on same sex marriage but recent rulings from them in the past.

"Through the law we become conscious of sin." ~ Romans 3:20.

"In Georgia a controversy raged over whether the August National Golf Club should be forced to accept women members; editorials denounced the club's insistence on the right of free association.

In Colorado the wife of a shop owner handed a brochure to an employee describing religious programs that help homosexuals leave the gay lifestyle. For this expression of her religious beliefs, the woman was forced, under local gay-rights laws, to undergo "counseling."

It seems that when it comes to sexual privacy, no one is allowed to pass judgment on others. It's a different story when it comes to other kinds of privacy rights - like the right of freedom of association or religious expression.

Moral philosopher Hadley Arkes says this state of affairs came about through the loss of understanding of natural law and thus, of natural rights.

In Natural Rights and the Right to Choose, Arkes notes that natural rights are the rights that are the same in all places and at all times. America's founders referred to natural rights as "self-evident truths." They knew that laws that ignored natural rights were unjust.

Today, secular scholars are hostile toward any notion of moral truths that are binding on all people. Instead, they suggest that we have nothing more than opinions about right and wrong. Humans have no fixed nature, they claim, and thus settled rights cannot arise from that nature.

The founders argued that the purpose of government is to secure the rights we already possess by nature and that God has give to us. Today, writes Arkes, secular scholars insist that we would be better off if politicians abandoned "fables about our natures, and such emphatic notions of right and wrong."

But if the Constitution really is based on truth, then we can't some how "advance" beyond it. Attempts to do so will inevitably lead to tyranny. For example, in 1973, the Supreme Court discovered a Constitutional "right to privacy." This "right" has enabled judges to overturn laws in the name of a whole new array of rights - including the right to partial-birth abortion.

But without a transcendent standard, there is no consistency. Private corporations and clubs are attacked for daring to define their own character. But in the name of an alleged right to sexual privacy, the law is used as a sledghammer to punish people who criticize the sexual behavior of others.

Christians must understand how the denial of logic of natural rights threatens not only our rights to free speech and religious practice but the right to life itself.

We must ask ourselves, as well, if we are ever tempted to ignore God's law when we disagree with it - as many judges do - or worse, privately exchange God's commands for our own." (Charles Colson, pg 360, One Year Devotional).

Lord, open my eyes to the arguments of many - including some who write or interpret our laws - that have already begun to lead us down the path to tyranny. Put in my heart a love of your laws and a fervent willingness to obey every one of them. ~ In Jesus Name, AMEN!!!

1 comment:

David C Brown said...

Oh how I love thy law!Psalm 119: 97. Natural law takes us so far,but God's law is for ever.