During a recent appearance at Harvard Law School, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy was asked by a student to comment on the extent to which public officials have a constitutional right to personally refuse the implementation of laws that conflict with their religious convictions; e.g., such as those concerning abortion and so-called “gay marriage.”
As reported by LifeSiteNews, Justice Kennedy, a self-described Roman Catholic who is widely credited with casting the “swing vote” in the Court’s recent same sex marriage ruling, responded by saying that while such persons face “difficult moral questions,” they do not have the right to refuse to comply with the law.
“The rule of law is that, as a public official, in performing your legal duties, you are bound to enforce the law,” he said. As such, he concluded, those who have a moral objection to certain laws have a choice to make; to either follow the law or to quit public service.
As an example, he cited those judges who resigned under the Third Reich, saying, “Great respect, it seems to me, has to be given to people who resign rather than do something they view as morally wrong, in order to make a point.”
According to Fr. Mark Hodges (a priest of the schismatic Orthodox Church in America) writing for LifeSiteNews:
Responses from Christian leaders noted the irony of saying that for public employees, the moral thing to do is follow immorality. Kennedy made no mention of religious convictions as actual, universal truths.
There’s a reason Justice Kennedy, in answer to an American legal question, made no mention of “religious conviction as actual, universal truths;” the U.S. Constitution makes no such mention!
Look, I’m not here to defend Anthony Kennedy, but the hue and cry over his comments are a perfect example of shooting the messenger.
The fact of the matter is folks, the United States of America is not, and never was, a Christian nation.
So often ones hears Protestant patriots making claims to the contrary, but who exactly are they – a people who reject the one true Church established by Christ, the authority of His Vicar, the hyperdulia due to His Most Blessed Mother, His Real Presence in the Most Holy Eucharist, and on and on the list could go – to tell anyone what “Christian” actually means?
More troubling still are those Catholic voices raised in pseudo-righteous anger about the opinions of Justice Kennedy while simultaneously expressing veneration for the U.S. Constitution; as if it was engraved in stone by the finger of Almighty God Himself.
What such persons fail to realize is that the United States of America was ever destined to become a moral cesspool thanks to the very principles upon which it was founded.
At this, a brief civics lesson is (once again) apparently in order.
Let us begin with a look at the opening paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
When read by one with sensus Catholicus; that is to say, through the lens of immutable truth, a number of dangers become readily evident; specifically:
To assume among the powers of the earth … a decent respect to the opinions of mankind … deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
And all of this in an effort to secure such rights as:
Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The problems should be evident. “Just powers” or “Governments” that wield power on earth do not derive their authority from “the consent of the governed,” but rather from God:
No society can hold together unless some one be over all, directing all to strive earnestly for the common good, every body politic must have a ruling authority, and this authority, no less than society itself, has its source in nature, and has, consequently, God for its Author. Hence, it follows that all public power must proceed from God. For God alone is the true and supreme Lord of the world. Everything, without exception, must be subject to Him, and must serve him, so that whosoever holds the right to govern holds it from one sole and single source, namely, God, the sovereign Ruler of all. There is no power but from God. (cf Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei – 3)
When a majority of citizens, such as in Maryland where I live, can go to the polls and vote in favor of redefining marriage to include “spouses” of the same sex, the inherent danger posed by a State ordered upon the fallacy of just powers derived from the consent of the governed, should be entirely obvious.
Let’s be honest, an authentic American view of this regrettable situation (as opposed to a Catholic view) is that the one people have simply gone about asserting their collective right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness as defined by the prevailing opinions of mankind.
Those who as yet remain poisoned with an Americanist (aka conciliarist) view, by contrast, will most certainly object:
But the Declaration clearly states that the people’s rights are ‘endowed by their Creator,’ and it even claims recourse to ‘the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.’
An excellent point; one that invites an obvious question:
Which “Creator God” are we talking about here; is it the “God” of devout Muslims who carry out the command to make jihad in his name, is it the “God” of the Methodists who thank him for abortion providers, or is it perhaps the “God” of the Declaration’s Deist authors who reject Divine Revelation?
The answer, in a sense, is that it is either none, or all, of these; which brings me to the U.S. Constitution, beginning with the Preamble:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
At first blush, this lofty goal of building a nation ordered upon justice and peace may appear quite laudable to the Catholic; that is, until such time as one comes to grip with what follows in the Bill of Rights:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Please allow me to translate:
In these United States, the legitimate civil authority is strictly forbidden by law to officially recognize Christ the King and His Sovereign authority over “all things in Heaven and on earth” (cf Matthew 28:18), which includes the singular authority to define what is just, and what is moral, and what is not.
The government of this nation is likewise forbidden to proclaim the immutable truth that the Holy Catholic Church was established by Christ the King to speak in His name in such way that “He who hears the Church hears Christ, and he who rejects the Church rejects Christ and likewise rejects the ‘Creator God’ who sent Him” (cf Luke 10:16).
The Constitution requires, by contrast, that the legitimate civil authority treat the aforementioned false gods and false religions (Islam, Methodism, Deism), as well as others far too numerous to number, as if all are mere equals; with no one religion, its tenets, and its “god,” to be held above any other.
In other words, the duty to govern according to that which comes from God through His Holy Catholic Church is rejected.
And yet, in spite of this constitutionally mandated rejection of the Just Judge and Prince of Peace, Christ the King, and the Holy Catholic Church that speaks in His name, the collective We the People think it is possible to form a Union of Justice and Tranquility?
The founding documents of the United States of America and the lofty goals articulated therein – again, when viewed by one who possesses even a modicum of sensus Catholicus – is enough to make the aims of those who built the Tower of Babel seem reasonable.
Here, by contrast, is the truth:
The Catholic Church is the kingdom of Christ on earth … she is destined to be spread among all men and all nations … her Author and Founder, Jesus Christ, is King and Lord, and King of Kings. It would be a grave error to say that Christ has no authority whatever in civil affairs … The empire of our Redeemer embraces all men, including not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ. There is no difference in this matter between the individual and the family or the State; for all men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ. (cf Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas)
If that’s not uncomfortable enough for the Protestant patriot (and the Americanist Catholic) to ponder, how about this directly related truth:
Any nation that is ordered upon the false notion that all religions have a right to be treated equally in the ordering of its civil affairs, without any distinction whatsoever between truth and error, and even goes so far as to forbid by force of law any official recognition of the Sovereign Rights of Christ the King and the one true religion that He established, is utterly destined to fail.
While it is well in vogue nowadays to argue that a “level playing field,” wherein the Catholic Church is supposedly free to compete in the marketplace of religious ideas for the hearts and minds of individual men, is all that is necessary since the truth will undoubtedly prevail; it simply isn’t true.
One of the reasons that immorality has become the law of the land in the U.S. is due to the fact that “it is easier to do evil than good, it is more in conformity with the disorder in human nature” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Against the Heresies).
As such, presuming to deny the Source of all authority – Christ who is King who reigns “as man in the strict and proper sense” (cf Quas Primas) – by asserting instead that the power to govern comes from the consent of the governed, the U.S. Constitution was always a recipe for precisely the sort of moral degradation that we are witnessing today.
As Justice Kennedy describes it, as reported by The Harvard Law Record:
“We are bound by the Constitution, with both a large C and a small c,” said Kennedy, explaining that the “Constitution” was the governing document of our country, while the “constitution”—in the sense used by Aristotle, Locke, Hobbes, and others—was the mores, customs, behaviors, and values that define a people. Our “duty,” according to Kennedy, is “to make the big C mirror the small c.”
You see, the U.S. in our day looks depraved for the simple reason that it mirrors, not Almighty God in whom we supposedly trust, but the people and their deplorable mores, customs, behaviors, and values.
So why, one might ask, was the United States so much more virtuous, relatively speaking, in previous generations?
The answer, in part, has to do with the fact that up until the time of the Second Vatican Council, the popes and the bishops in union with him were not afraid to proclaim the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ and the duty of all men, societies and States to honor and reverence Him.
As it is, the Council effectively adopted the religious pluralism enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. In so doing, the voice of immutable truth that once rang out above the din of fallen men who espouse a false notion of liberty in service to their disordered desires was made to appear as but one opinion among many.
Under such conditions as this, the choice, as Archbishop Lefebvre so rightly pointed out, was easy for the people.
All of this being the case, go ahead and shoot the messenger, Anthony Kennedy, if you must, but for the love of God, don’t stop there; rather, take aim at those things that made the current state of affairs nothing short of inevitable.