Late on Dec. 31, 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court “issued an order…stopping the Obama administration from forcing a group of Catholic nuns to obey the HHS mandate that compels them to pay for abortion causing drugs and birth control.” A LifeNews.com story reported that, around the same time, “in a huge victory for Priests for Life, a pro-life organization, a Federal appeals court issued a ruling saying it doesn’t have to pay massive fines to the federal government for not obeying the HHS mandate…”.
For the moment, these judicial decisions understandably give hope to people of Christian conscience in the United States. Thanks to Obamacare’s pro-abortion mandates such people face a vicious choice. If they refuse to comply with the mandates, they face fines and legal costs that will severely damage or destroy their good works in the health sector. If they comply, good conscience will reproach them for cowardice, on account of their objective complicity in evil.
The hope raise by these decisions may be smashed to pieces. however, when it runs up against the specious jurisprudence of factitious rights developed in the Supreme Court’s pro-abortion decisions. This jurisprudence abandons the rule of reason. As America’s founders recognized in the American Declaration of Independence, that rule asserts itself in and through “the laws of nature and of nature’s God”. When, in disregard of this rule, courts demand respect for factitious “rights”, they practice the worst kind of tyranny.
As they do so, their so-called jurisprudence becomes nothing but a specious apology for unreasoning force, unleashed in order to allow iniquitous people to impose their personal and/or factional will upon the whole community. Unless the conqueror’s axiom— “might makes right”—, has become an accepted principle of American justice, this specious jurisprudence is not lawful or prudent.
Far from giving the Justices the right to fabricate rights, the U.S. Constitution makes it clear that “the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” As I pointed out earlier this year, this means that there can be no Constitutional grounds for claiming that unalienable rights Americans were acknowledged to possess before the U.S. government came into being must now give way to factitious rights conjured up from nothing by the Federal judges and Justices.
It’s obviously impossible for people to retain what they do not possess in the first place. Therefore, the rights alluded to in the 9th Amendment have to be rights recognizably in their possession before and apart from the Constitution’s provisions. The only species of antecedent right held by all Americans to be in the possession of all, are certain God-endowed unalienable rights acknowledged in the Declaration of Independence. It was for the sake of these rights, and the claim of self-government they logically entail, that Americans made their Declaration of Independence. For their sake they endured the arduous conflict that vindicated the Declaration. These antecedent, unalienable rights cannot reasonably be overruled by factitious rights, subsequently fabricated by Federal judges and Justice.
For the Constitutional authority of the judges and justices derives from the sovereign authority of the people. And the people derive their authority, in turn, from “the laws of nature and of nature’s God”. Those laws emanate, by way of reason, from the self-same Creator who endows all the people with their unalienable rights. This is the logic of America’s foundation. It has exerted an important influence throughout America’s history.
As the Civil War approached its end, for example, this logic contributed to President Lincoln’s concern “that the Emancipation Proclamation might be reversed or found invalid after the war….” So he made passage of the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, his priority. The war itself was occasioned, in part, by Americans who conscientiously refused to become unwilling collaborators with slavery. Thus the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision stirred some to take actions that fanned smoldering divisions over slavery into open rehearsals for the warfare to come.
Even when it came to the vital business of the nation’s defense, Americans recognized the right of conscientious objection, especially when it derived from the serious practice of well-established religious precepts. Because, within reason, it is right for people to honor God in their own way, it was a matter of prudence as well as right to avoid forcing people to choose between obeying God and obeying manmade law.
Mindful of the terrible religious wars that had ravaged Europe, America’s founding generation understood that using the power of the government to force people to choose against God was tantamount to an act of war. Will the U.S. Supreme Court continue down the road of juristic imprudence that ignores this grave consideration? Even when it comes in consequence of a stand for justice, the decision to risk spurring a nation toward war is difficult to justify.
But when the power to do justice is willfully abused in order to force people of good conscience to aid, abet and with their living remunerate what they have the antecedent, God-endowed, constitutionally shielded right to regard as evil; such abuse is worse than folly. It is worse than madness. It is damnable wickedness.
“Woe unto the world because of offences! For it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” (Matthew 18:7)