Judas…drew near to Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus said to him, “Judas would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss? (Luke 22:48)
I read an article some months ago entitled “Marco Rubio: a politician of principle.” Its author quoted from a speech Rubio gave to the 2012 Susan B. Anthony list Gala in which he gave the impression of being someone driven to stand firm in defense of innocent life by a sense of gratitude for what God had done in his life. All too many conservative folks hear touching speeches like that and form political allegiances accordingly. They stop listening. They stop thinking. And they get railroaded by elitist faction GOP politicians who have mastered the art of using good sounding words to mask their betrayal of the truth the words are meant to convey.
In his 2012 Gala speech Rubio conveyed the impression of reverence and respect for God. But Christ said “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” True reverence for God must include respect for God’s authority, e.g., for the will of God as the Creator, the author of all things. I continue to have hope for the United States of America, despite all the grave ills that now beset us, because it was born with a Declaration that defined justice in terms of respect for God’s authority; and that established government with a view to securing unalienable rights, as endowed (i.e., substantiated and conveyed in our nature) by God. For someone involved in America’s political life, a good test of respect for God is the faithfulness with which they remember and apply the self-evident truth upheld in the American Declaration of Independence.
Now I’m reading reports that Senator Rubio spoke out strongly “for life and marriage at CPAC 2013.” Speaking of marriage he declared “Just because I believe that states should have the right to define marriage in the traditional way does not make me a bigot.” That sounds like a ringing defense of so-called traditional marriage. But is it something we should expect from an American “politician of principle”? Or is it intended to shift the gay marriage debate onto ground that destroys the God-ordained natural family? As stated in the document that summarizes America’s founding principles (the Declaration of Independence), the purpose of government is to secure unalienable rights. Endowed (furnished, as with some talent faculty or quality) by God, these rights arise from God’s determination of the way that we are made (our nature), which includes His provision for activities that sustain our humanity, as individuals and as a whole. Procreation is one of those activities which, through the union of male and female perpetuates the species as a whole and provides for the care of individual children.
Human procreation and family life, therefore, involve God endowed human natural rights (i.e., activities natural and right on account of God’s will for the preservation and perpetuation of humanity.) Since the aim of government is to secure these rights, all governments, at every level, exist to assure that people who exercise the natural rights of family can do so securely, i.e., without damaging interference or hindrance. Government is obliged to respect and support the reciprocal bonds of obligation and authority that bind parents and children. Governments may not, without warrant of dereliction (i.e., the failure of individuals to fulfill the obligations their natural right entails), disregard or arbitrarily interfere with the exercise of these rights; nor can they allow others to do so. This duty to protect family life from infringement is as clear and plain as the duty to protect property against theft or human life against murder.
By this logic, derived from the principle of God endowed unalienable right, Senator Rubio’s contention that “states should have the right to define marriage” makes no sense. Marriage, as an exercise of unalienable right, is endowed by the Creator. The meaning of marriage is therefore an aspect of human nature defined by the authority of the Creator. Governments must recognize and respect what God endows. They do not define it.
Because the Creator’s authority is the basis for right, it supersedes that of any and all governments based solely on human authority. This is the origin of the constraints, in principle, that distinguish just from unjust government, and so give rise to the concept of limited government, i.e., government that is confined, in the exercise of its power, within boundaries prescribed by justice.
These days, politicians who want to appear to be “conservatives” often cite “limited government” as one of the principles in which they believe. Like the silly mantra of “change” abused by the Obama faction, by itself this use of the term “limited government” begs the question: Limited by what or in what way? Some will say, “Limited in its powers.” But a government that is in principle limited only by way of power must give way to other government the moment it has to deal with superior power. Used in this way, the term “limited government” refers at best to a balance of power in which government is constituted by the prevalent vector of competing powers, without reference to right or justice.
The Declaration of Independence holds that governments are instituted to secure God endowed unalienable rights. Reflecting the prevalent view of America’s founders, James Madison observed that “Justice is the end of government.” (Federalist #51) How can an understanding of government that sees only a balance of power, without reference to right or justice, “conserve” a constitutional republic explicitly based on securing God endowed right, and pursuing justice in accordance with the provisions of that endowment?
I call myself a conservative because I am bound in conscience and by sworn duty to conserve America’s constitutional republic. This duty goes beyond preserving the façade of self-government, or giving lip service to liberty with words bereft of their true meaning. Others may call Senator Rubio a conservative if they please, but in terms of conserving the constitutional republic he is dangerously mistaken when he says that “states should have the right to define marriage.” If his statement is the result of thoughtful consideration, it means that he has abandoned the principles of America’s constitutional republic. According to those principles God, the Creator, determines the meaning of unalienable right. Since marriage is a fundamental instance of such right, its meaning, like that of all unalienable rights, is determined by God, not by government.
Why does someone who professes to reverence God neglect to invoke the Declaration principle that respects God’s authority? Why does he take the position that government (albeit at the State level) should usurp God’s authority when it comes to marriage or any other unalienable right? Like Rand Paul, Sarah Palin and others who have adopted the “states’ rights” position on unalienable rights, Rubio professes to be conservative. However in his speech he discards the premise of God-endowed right and justice that Americans have worked, fought and died to conserve since the nation was founded. In this respect, how does Senator Rubio differ from Obama and the rest of the self-worshiping elitist faction, whose goal is to change the premise of America’s politics in a way that restores the age-old, self-evident lie that justice is whatever they dictate who possess, however long or briefly, the superior power to enforce their will? In politics as in war, that may be human victory, but against the exercise of right endowed by our Creator, it will never be justice for humankind.
Caveat Elector- STOP! LOOK! LISTEN!