by David Fritsche Th. D.
REUTERS Daniel Wallis writes:
County clerks in Texas who object to gay marriage can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite last week’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring states to allow same-sex marriage, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said on Sunday.
The nation’s top court said on Friday that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to wed, handing a victory to the American gay rights movement.
Paxton said in a statement that hundreds of public officials in Texas were seeking guidance on how to implement what he called a lawless and flawed decision by an “activist” court.
The state’s attorney general said that while the Supreme Court justices had “fabricated” a new constitutional right, they did not diminish, overrule, or call into question the First Amendment rights to free exercise of religion.
“County clerks and their employees retain religious freedoms that may allow accommodation of their religious objections to issuing same-sex marriage licenses,” Paxton wrote, adding that the strength of any such claim would depend on the facts of each case.
“Justices of the peace and judges similarly retain religious freedoms and may claim that the government cannot force them to conduct same-sex wedding ceremonies over their religious objections,” Paxton wrote.
He noted that officials who refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay couples could expect to be sued, but he said they would have ample legal support.
“Numerous lawyers stand ready to assist clerks defending their religious beliefs, in many cases on a pro-bono basis, and I will do everything I can from this office to be a public voice for those standing in defense of their rights,” Paxton wrote.
The reaction to this rejection of the court’s order is predictable. The court will have to inforce its order by requiring compliance by those in the chain of licensure and process. They will have to require compliance to the order and then it is an all-out war between the state and the church and individual conscience. If religious freedom is tolerated, then there will be no compliance.
Behind the issues of this conflict is a greater conflict that is rocking the foundations of this nation. It is the philosophical underpinnings of major world views. The momentum is currently to the left and sooner or later the full force of the ramifications of these shift values will tear us apart. The clash of world views will resolve but it may be the major conflict of our age.
Let me work backwards through the maze of thought here to discover the hinge-pin of the issues. Let us say, for the sake of argument that there is a God. The majority of people in our culture believe this but they may not understand the full ramification of it.
Let us also say that creation as we experience it, is the determined act of God who did so without counselors, constitution, supreme courts or any influencing factors or forces. Let us further assume that this God created the universe with some semblance of order, logic and principle and that it was all designed to work by the laws of this God we are presuming to exist.
This being so, then can we also assume that, if our assumptions are correct, that the nature of God is expressed in the laws of the nature He created? I know, this is pretty simple logic, but stay with me here. This is the basis of the Judeo-Christian world view. God created. He did so in an orderly manner. Nature operates within the laws of nature, which are simply the expression of the nature of God. Those laws are not suggestions or arguments, they are absolute and true. They are, as theologians say, immutable. They do not change. They do not grow old and out of date. They are as sure and certain as is the spinning of the earth on its axis.
This is the world view expressed by the philosophers of the enlightenment – Hobbes, Burke, Locke, Bastiat, and others. These were the men who studied the “laws of nature and of nature’s God.” This phrase is not just a passing idle icon, but is the core concept of a world view; one that was accepted and believed by the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. Our form of government and the principles on which it is founded are not considered by those who espouse this world view, as optional but as eternal truths, that are the expressions of the Creator Himself.
This is our starting point as a nation and a brief description of our world view.
But this is not the end of the story. For there is another basic world view that came about that is diametrically opposed to this Judeo-Christian view of reality. This world view rejects the basic tenants of the Judeo-Christian view of reality, supposing that there is no meaning, no order, of ethics, no values and as a continuum of that thought, no God. This is called Nihilism.
Nihilism also has a roll call of heroes, who argue for their view of reality, or non-reality, if you will. It includes Jacobi, Kierkegaard, and is often associated with Nietzsche and his statement that “God is dead.” That statement was Nietzsche’s characterization of the nihilistic philosophy that preceded him not his own view of reality. He usually argued against the disorder and decadence of nihilism.
Following this period of philosophical attack on the Judeo-Christian view of reality, came the political philosophers and pundits such as Lenin, Marx, Stalin, Hitler and a host of others who rejected the value of the individual and the principles of a God centered social system, and proposed that humanity had the right and the responsibility to reject the assumed certainty of the past and to set about to engineer social systems out of nothing, with no values and no morals and no social criteria. The popular notion of their assumptions was that we could somehow, by rejecting the God of nature and His orderliness, conduct social engineering and experimentation in contrast to those former norms and come up with a better plan.
So far so good. The Nazi’s have a stellar record of how good man can become without principles as do the USSR, Communist China, and you can name a ton of other similar nihilist social constructs that have resulted in the murder of their opponents by the millions and the sacrifice of individual rights in the name of the common good. (Sarcasm intended).
Let’s look at another assumption here. Let us assume that nihilism is right, which is of course an oxymoron to start with, since it rejects the concept of right and wrong. But, for the sake of argument, let’s make that assumption. There is no God, which is a required assumption if you are going to be a nihilist without order and morals and values and… So absent any absolutes there arises a popular figure named, shall we call him Charles Manson. Hitler has already lived out his insanity, so let’s not pick on him at this point. And let us say that he proposes that murder is not immoral, unethical and is a simple relative matter related to the common good and that murder is simply an ancient concept of old religious white men and should be rejected. Let us further assume that he is so popular that he is elected President of our nation. Of course you are objecting now because we already know the end result of his insanity, but let’s back up for there is a lesson here to explain.
So President Manson challenges the prevailing law of the land and after appointing a few Supreme Court Justices, gets his world view affirmed by the highest court. Now here is the question: Is murder morally correct, even if it is legal? OK, you agree with me on this point don’t you? Murder is wrong you say, but I ask why? If there is no moral imperative and no unchangeable principle, then is anything sacred? The communist regimes slaughter of millions in its quest for power and nihilistic experimentation seems to speak volumes as to the possibility that murder can be legal if it is for “the common good.” Right?
Yet every sane person when presented with this dilemma will recoil at the possibility usually arguing that murder is wrong and it is always wrong and it has always been considered wrong universally by sane societies. And there is the hinge-pin. If it is morally wrong then we are appealing back to a system of right and wrong that has at its core the unshakable principals of the Judeo-Christian ethic.
You cannot have the absence of moral imperatives and expect a moral outcome. You cannot reject a world view of principle and order and then set arbitrary values out of nothing. You have to vote for order or chaos. There are no alternatives.
Now the next consideration is the issue of freedom. We hold freedom and liberty as our highest value in our nation. And many argue that the view of our Founding Fathers restricts freedom. Nihilism is the path to freedom. It is assumed that those with a Judeo-Christian world view are restrictive, controlling and against freedom. But the outgrowth of this philosophy is quite the opposite. The freedom of the American people to create, dream, act, grow and become has produced the greatest nation in history scientifically, economically, and in progress in all arena of our life. By contrast, the controls of socialism and its nihilistic world view produces poverty, confusion and the need for controls by those who must maintain power to support their views.
It is not just in social contrasts that freedom is enhanced by our system of government. It is in the valuing of life and the individual. Nihilism leaves the individual adrift in a sea of uncertainty and in need of a nanny state to nurse it along without ever reaching a point of being mature enough to stop nursing at the socialist breast. It removes individual motivation by removing the right to have and hold private property. It ends up supporting all the most demeaning things of acceptance of moral decay in a vacuum of human value.
The laws of nature do not change just because we decide to reject them They are not in place to keep us from having fun but to protect us from working contrary to the nature of things. They save us from ourselves if we but listen to them. The laws of nature and of nature’s God are there telling us how it works and to protect us from self-destruction. If we reject them, then we keep putting our head into the cement mixer under the premise of being free. Freedom is not the right to self-destruction, but the freedom to work and live and pursue our happiness within the order of the universe and how it works. It is descriptive not restrictive. That is, it describes how the world works. But the nihilist rejects the very suggestion of any absolutes order in the universe, and when we do, we pay dearly for it. Why do we want to reject the lessons of the ages and resort to the arrogance of nihilism? Why indeed!
We are making that choice right now in our nation and in our world. We are deciding whether to follow the God of creation or the philosophers of chaos. The end result will be determined by our decision.
God does not send judgment as an arbitrary whim. The evil that seeks to destroy is out there ready to exact its ultimate reward on those who walk outside of the time honored principles of creation. Be warned. The end of self-absorbed ignoring of principle will destroy you with glee.
Hilaire Belloc writes:
“We sit by and watch the barbarian. We tolerate him in the long stretches of peace, we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence; his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creed refreshes us; we laugh.
“But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond, and on these faces there are no smiles.”
Evil never comes with black costumes of hidious proportions, carrying the beheading axe. It comes disguised as everything pleasant and desirable – but it comes to destroy, for that is its nature.