The Day Before Thanksgiving: Are There Still Self Evident Truths and Unalienable Rights?
puts the police power behind the intentional taking of her/his life?
What makes this even more profane is that the ground for such a violation of fundamental human rights comes from Supreme Court opinions which manufactured out of whole cloth some alleged "right" to commit a heinous crime, claiming to find it within a so called "liberty interest" of the U.S. Constitution.
At the core of the American founder's vision of a "good" society, one where all men and women could pursue happiness, was a bedrock belief in the need for a common morality upon which this virtuous and free society could be built. After all, the classical vision of happiness was a reference to the moral life where human persons flourished by living virtuously.
While the founders embraced a freedom of religion, they did not ascribe to an enforced secularism, a freedom FROM religion, where the influence of religious principles or the leavening role of religious institutions was viewed as some kind of threat to true liberty. Yet, we face the awful threat of the HHS mandate through which the Affordable care Act which seeks to compel Christians to violate their conscience.
If we had the ear of the founders today, would anyone really argue that they would have viewed marriage and family as expendable, capable of being redefined by judicial fiat or a feat of legislative alchemy?
The two parent, man/woman, marriage bound family was viewed as the first government, first school, first economy, first church, and first mediating institution. Yet, we walk under the ominous cloud of a libertine counterfeit of marriage and family being forced upon us all by the police power of the State.
A question asked by Thomas Jefferson cries out for an answer on this day before Thanksgiving: "Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?"
The entire infrastructure of human rights and freedoms is at risk when we fail to recognize the preeminent Right to Life. Liberty is at risk when there exists in our positive law a so called "right" to kill the human person required to receive them or to exercise them.
Blessed John Paul II wrote the "Gospel of Life" in 1995. He warned of what he called a "remarkable contradiction" which has been unleashed in our current age, precisely at the "level of politics and government. He cautioned of the emergence of a "tyrant State" and the "death of true freedom":
"The process which once led to discovering the idea of "human rights"-rights inherent in every person and prior to any Constitution and State legislation-is today marked by a surprising contradiction. Precisely in an age when the inviolable rights of the person are solemnly proclaimed and the value of life is publicly affirmed, the very right to life is being denied or trampled upon, especially at the more significant moments of existence: the moment of birth and the moment of death - the original and inalienable right to life is questioned or denied on the basis of a parliamentary vote or the will of one part of the people-even if it is the majority."
"This is the sinister result of a relativism which reigns unopposed: the "right" ceases to be such, because it is no longer firmly founded on the inviolable dignity of the person, but is made subject to the will of the stronger part. In this way democracy, contradicting its own principles, effectively moves towards a form of totalitarianism.
"The State is no longer the "common home" where all can live together on the basis of principles of fundamental equality, but is transformed into a tyrant State, which arrogates to itself the right to dispose of the life of the weakest and most defenseless members, from the unborn child to the elderly, in the name of a public interest which is really nothing but the interest of one part".
No matter how diverse the American founders were in their religious convictions, or even lack thereof, they all affirmed the self evident truths the Declaration proclaimed and recognized that the unalienable rights which flowed from them were given not by civil government but endowed by the Creator. The implication is obvious; they could not be taken away by civil government either.
On April 18, 2005, in a homily preceding his selection as the Successor of Peter, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger asked a probing question and shared a prophetic insight: "How many winds of doctrine have we known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking?"
"The small boat of the thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves - flung from one extreme to another: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism and so forth. Every day new ...
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Thanksgiving, American founding, Declaration of Independence, Charles Carroll, Inalienable Rights, Religious liberty, marriage, family, Right to life, Self Evident Truths, Deacon Keith Fournier
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