VOL. 16, NO. 4
July 21, 2014
Back to the Basics:
Straightening Up America, XII
America’s Marriage Miasma, Part 5.C.
By Virginia Armstrong, Ph.D., National Chairman
Has America bent over so far backwards in our spiritual, moral, and constitutional life that we are in danger of “breaking”? This question is central to our current series of Court Watch Briefings. The question has been precipitated by America’s Culture War and echoes the anguished cry of the Father in the famous musical production, “Fiddler on the Roof,” who felt that revolutionary changes in his world were pushing him to the “breaking point.”
We are proving that America is indeed in the “danger zone” and is in dire need of a massive “straightening up process.” Nothing more clearly demonstrates this fact than the recent same-sex marriage decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court – Perry v. Hollingsworth and Windsor v. U.S. To understand more fully these egregious decisions, we are examining the various court opinions in these cases, employing the unique and powerful analytical tools crafted for us by the preeminent Christian apologist, Francis Schaeffer. A major theme of Schaeffer’s paradigm was to find, and respond properly to, the tension between the real world and the illogical positions of unrealistic philosophies. Thus, we are currently comparing the Judeo-Christian worldview of law and culture (which is consistent with reality) to the Humanistic worldview (which is incongruent with reality). Six crucial components constitute a worldview’s theories of law, and we shall continue to consider in this Briefing the third of these components – epistemology. We include in italics the relevant characteristic of the Western legal tradition which Professor Harold Berman has declared that the West, including America, is losing.
3. EPISTEMOLOGY: The nature, meaning, and knowledge of legal norms and standards. Are these norms and standards absolute or relative? Must they be logical? How are they discovered, determined, articulated, interpreted, created, etc. Is there “true truth” which law must embody?
At the heart of God’s Higher Law are norms and standards that manifest absolute truth and meaning. They are expressed in both natural law and revealed law (the Scripture) but most perfectly in revealed law, and are inherently logical. Man is endowed by God with powers of reason and logic and is to exercise these powers (though they are flawed by the Fall) to apprehend that law which God reveals to him. Civil (human) law should thus reflect God’s Higher Law, and man is held accountable for conforming civil law to Higher Law.
The first three epistemological flaws of Perry/Windsor are their hypocritical ABSOLUTISM, their inherent AMBIGUITY, and the adjudicative ANARCHY they are generating. We now considerthe fourth intractable epistemological problem – their unbridled ARBITRARINESS. That is, Perry/Windsor are textbook examples of a staggeringly irrational refusal of Reconstructionist judges to “give judicial notice” to unassailable facts about the harmful effects of homosexual conduct. This judicial defiance of true facts is even more pernicious when coupled with the phenomena we have already discussed – judicial reliance on propositions/information which are unassailably “non-facts” – merely value judgments of the judges.
Governments, especially state governments, have always been assigned the constitutional responsibility of protecting and promoting the “public health, safety, welfare, and morality,” (the state “police powers”). Pro-homosexual Reconstructionists blatantly abdicate this responsibility in their decisions. Consider just a few facts revealing the harmful effects of homosexual conduct, which is, of course, central to the “homosexual right to marriage” for which Humanistic advocates and their judicial allies passionately argue. The statistics are found in the lasting postings of the national government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the ultimate authority of so much data utilized by so many sources in so many venues. (See http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/)
These statistics bring into bolder relief than ever the fatal flaws of Perry/Windsor. HIV and AIDS is a pandemic, far worse than other such health threats which have sent governments and media around the world into a veritable apoplexy, accompanied by demands for the most severe action possible to stem those threats. Yet, federal (and, now, state) judges are demanding constitutional protections for the conduct which is most responsible for the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Furthermore, Judge Vaughn Walker’s “Finding of Fact” that religious opposition to homosexual conduct “harms gays and lesbians” and is constitutionally protected is so incongruent with reality as to be laughable, if it were possible to laugh about such an adjudicative disaster. The reality, of course, is that the exact opposite is true – homosexual conduct is what is harmful to gays and lesbians to the degree that governments are not only constitutionally allowed, but constitutionally required, to fight such conduct in every legitimate way possible. This example alone illustrates how upside down is Walker’s blast that “harm to homosexuals” results from religious opposition. This falsehood converts a particularly pernicious value judgment into an adjudicative fact given great weight in pro-homosexual court decisions. One of the worst blows to reason, morality, and the Judeo-Christian worldview is the speed with which the Perry/Windsor poison has poured through America’s legal veins. So much legal activity has occurred since those decisions were handed down that up-to-the-minute statistics are sometimes hard to calculate. But before the decisions, four-fifths of America’s states had same sex-marriage bans. Today, half the states now have legalized same sex-marriage (mostly through judicial decisions). And at least half a dozen additional states are still locked in a bitter battle over their bans. All the northeastern states have lost their bans, and laws in Pennsylvania and Oregon were struck down in just two consecutive days this past May.
This epistemological flaw in Perry/Windsor clearly affords particularly compelling examples of the powerful effectiveness of Schaefferian apologetics in analyzing and combatting judicial/jurisprudential/constitutional attacks on our Constitution and culture. Here we see clearly the clash of worldviews (Schaeffer’s “worldview/cultural apologetics” approach), the baldly false presuppositions from which Reconstructionists function (Schaeffer’s emphasis on presuppositions), the accuracy of Schaeffer’s “upper/lower story” (i.e., “fact/value”) split or dichotomy, and the accuracy of Schaeffer’s “tension-point evangelism.” This last Schaefferian tool unmasks the polemic distance between reality as proven by true scientific facts gathered by the U.S. government (often an ally of homosexual activists) and the totally anti-factual arguments made by pro-homosexual Reconstructionists passionately fighting for “homosexual rights and marriage.”
Judge Walker approvingly quotes “expert testimony” justifying the overturning of same sex-marriage bans: “Laws are perhaps the strongest of social structures that uphold and enforce stigma [toward homosexuals].” But pro-homosexual forces have viciously stigmatized the Judeo-Christian worldview for its support of Biblical marriage/family. Thus, Walker and friends are now wielding the full weight of our immensely powerful government/civil laws to stigmatize Christians. Even mere silence in the wake of the Perry/Windsor debacle speaks loudly. As journalist Leopold Tyrmand observed decades ago, “. . . a modern mass diffusion of images and ideas [such as the explosion of support for same sex-marriage among elites in our society] results in promoting anything, even evil, if it is not explicitly denounced as evil.” Advocates of the Judeo-Christian worldview must speak more loudly and effectively now than ever before, to express and promote the real facts about these constitutional and cultural disasters. We at Court Watch and the Blackstone Institute will continue to speak out, and urge all patriotic, moral Americans to join us!!!!!!
To be continued . . . . . . . . . .