by Thomas Lee Abshier, ND
A Blow to the Rule of Law
New York Times: March 22, 2005
“If you are in a “persistent vegetative state” and there is a dispute about whether to keep you alive, your case will probably go no further than state court – unless you are Terri Schiavo. President Bush signed legislation yesterday giving Ms. Schiavo’s parents a personal right to sue in federal court. The new law tramples on the principle that this is “a nation of laws, not of men,” and it guts the power of the states. When the commotion over this one tragic woman is over, Congress and the president will have done real damage to the founders’ careful plan for American democracy.”
This narrow focus is offensive. The founders believed in a nation in which, as Justice Robert Jackson once wrote, we would “submit ourselves to rulers only if under rules.” The Bush administration and the current Congressional leadership like to wax eloquent about states’ rights. But they dropped those principles in their rush to stampede over the Florida courts and Legislature. The new law doesn’t miss a chance to trample on the state’s autonomy and dignity. Republicans have traditionally championed respect for the delicate balance the founders created. But in the Schiavo case, and in the battle to stop the Democratic filibusters of judicial nominations, President Bush and his Congressional allies have begun to enunciate a new principle: the rules of government are worth respecting only if they produce the result we want. It may be a formula for short-term political success, but it is no way to preserve and protect a great republic.
Dear Governor Bush, The rule of law is worthy of enforcement only if the law, and its interpretation, rests on the foundation of Godliness. A judge that pronounces judgment unrighteously should, by the fundamental principles and purposes of law, be overturned by executive order and/or legislative relief. The true blow to the rule of law occurs when unGodliness influences the minds and hearts of the judiciary. It is the responsibility of the people to judge the judges; our black-robed priests of the law are not gods, they are human, fallible, and subject to the same corruption of the heart that can beset any man. It is their duty to serve as the final point of interpretation of God’s will in the matters of men. Such a lofty post can only be fulfilled by emptying one’s self of human passion and serving as a vessel of the Most High; only such servants of the Law deserve the title, “Your Honor”.The fundamental assumption of the Constitution making it worthy of resting the entirety of our nation’s laws on its precepts is that it reflects the principles of Life as established by the Almighty. Legislation should in turn comply with those underlying Godly principles. And finally, those who judge violations of law should see the underlying Godly principles underlying each case and administer Truth and Godly wisdom.
But, when a nation uses man’s law and the rulings of unrighteous judges as the standard of truth, that nation will eventually widely suffer the agonies of slavery and death. God’s Law does not depend on belief; it functions automatically to enforce itself in the affairs of men without the intervention of human hands, the agreement of human hearts, or the knowledge of human minds. God’s Truth is not relative to the situation; God’s Truth has a unique application in every situation. And, the perfection of the judgment must be accessed in every moment by consulting with the Holy Spirit, God’s always-present representative within.
A nation and a judiciary that has deified man’s wisdom will find itself running afoul of the hidden truth of God. God’s Law is self-validating, and every act of obedience and disobedience, whether conscious or unconscious, testifies to His true Lordship. As co-rulers with God, as His proxies on this earth, we are His agents of action and judgment. To the extent we submit to, and reinforce His will, we reap a harvest of joy and abundance. Any deviation from perfection produces a lessening of the bounty that could proceed. We find ourselves seduced by the short-term profits of sin, and our blindness to the consequence of error allows us to ignore God’s sovereignty. When men ignore the facts of a circumstance, and ignore the counsel of the Holy Spirit, man’s wisdom will produce injustice and a serious blow to the rule of law.We see in the Terri Schaivo case a Judiciary committed to a foreordained, fore-ruled conclusion. The reviews and appeals are pro forma without a sincere openness to revisiting and evaluating the underlying truth embedded in the situation. The NYT article below condemns the intervention of the legislature and executive branch on behalf of a single person. But if in fact, the judicial system has ruled improperly, the other branches of government are required to intervene to prevent injustice from standing. The fallibility of man is precisely the reason why the Founders established 3 branches of government; with each one given the authority to override the other after enrolling sufficient agreement. No law can capture all possibilities and dictate proper action in all circumstances, no executive order can be insured of directing perfect protocol, and no court or judge can declare unequivocal Truth. Nevertheless, our system of law depends on a commitment to Truth, and every person in every station of government must take that charge seriously. No one has the privilege of standing by idly when he sees injustice. Yes we are a nation of laws, but the law must be judged just as we judge the facts, motives, and applicability of law to each case. Blind obedience to the law is wrong when circumstances make the law inapplicable. Silent acquiescence by the legislature and executive branch to the authority of the judiciary when they have wrongly judged leaves us at the mercy of an all-powerful tribunal.
Justice only comes when those sworn to uphold the law have taken the issue before the Lord and compared His Law with the circumstances. If prior case law is inapplicable or in error, the court should issue a ruling that notes the circumstances. The court should render its opinion and justify their decision based upon the relevant law, and note the relevant principles of Godliness that modify the provisions of legislated law.Until the underlying moral system espoused and embraced by the judiciary, legislature, and executive branches of government is consistent with the Absolute Laws of Godliness, there will be horrors of tyranny, injustice, and capricious acts committed upon the people in the name of the law. We will only be at peace when all men have bowed their knees to the Lord and His Way. Until then, even if the nation is ruled by Godly man, the unGodly will plead their case for unGodly action and justify their protest using exalted principles such as: Separation of Church and State, States Rights, Freedom of Speech, choice, privacy, tolerance, and equality. The unGodly use an alternate hierarchy of principles to justify their actions and legislative initiatives. Minor principles of Godliness are elevated to preeminence and the appearance of Godliness seduces the naïve away from Truth. These erroneous foundational assumptions lead to establishing a government of man and the exaltation of principles of another God. These alternative views of government and righteousness may be well intentioned, but God’s perfect law and the administration of justice are not modified by misdirected sincerity. His unseen hand moves inexorably to deliver justice and consequence in response to every violation of His Law. Intent and plausible justification are insufficient defenses to prevent the automatic reaction to violating God’s Law.
Currently, we have a nation divided into those who view the Constitution as a document based on the principles and foundation of Godly Law, and those committed to interpreting the Constitution as a “living” document whose intended meaning is reflective of man’s ever changing realities and perspectives. The courts increasingly look to the Secular Humanist’s morality to interpret the intent of the Constitutional mandates. In turn this new humanist based Constitution has become the moral-legal foundation our courts have used to justify the judicial declaration of new rights such as the “right to abortion”, the “right to homosexual sodomy”, and “the right to die.” In addition, the judicial branch has solidified their place as the final word in the execution of law by rejecting with defiant bravado all legislative and executive challenges to their authority. The world would joyously embrace such men if they embraced a Godly moral code. Sadly, they do not.
The ideal legal system should judge based on truth and Godly Law; it should sentence to produce restitution and rehabilitation. But the “right to non-self incrimination” has become the shield by which defense attorneys and criminals hide truth. The system has become a mockery of justice as attorneys bend evidence to seek exculpation on procedure, minor points of law, and irrelevant detail. Justice should follow from the process of examining the evidence and testimony. Ideally the offender should simply confess the truth of his motivation and actions. The violation should then receive appropriate judgment; the offender should repent of his error and make restitution for his crime, with the ultimate goal of rehabilitation and the return to productive participation in society. The “penitentiary” was once such a place of penitence. Now, we have a judicial system that has become a job-security scheme for the legal-industry as they recycle offenders. It’s time to restore this noble institution to its God ordained purpose of reforming wayward souls.The unHoly Spirit has succeeded in hijacking our judicial system to advance his evil purposes. We now judge law using high sounding phrases such as “non-interference in family matters” and “respecting a person’s wishes”. But, these seemingly noble concepts can be tools of evil, and used to justify thwarting Godliness. We can only pray for a return of the people to the Lord. When we see the Constitution as a reflection of the Law of God and the people submit to his will, the government will rule according to Godliness in every matter of State. Until then, we must each listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and use the force at our disposal to resist the imposition of unrighteousness in our individual domains of authority.
Thomas Lee Abshier, ND