by: Thomas Lee Abshier, ND
Right to Privacy – Society has recently elevated the right to privacy to being one of the cardinal social/moral virtues. Select behavior once considered taboo, typically around sexual behaviors or drug use, are now off limits for prosecution or societal censure because of this overarching right. Respect of privacy now trumps the Judeo-Christian moral condemnation of homosexual sodomy and abortion. This “right” has now found a new application as a justification for refusing to show identification to the airlines before traveling. This story illustrates how society has lost its grounding in righteous discrimination. When we dethrone God, remove the Bible from its foundation as the moral principle for law and societal ethics, and replace timeless Godly instruction with human concepts of proper morality, we will reap unexpected (bad) consequences. The general principle involves the elevation of minor rights and virtues above Godliness. The degradation of society has become so great that the content and existence of Godliness has come into question. Man has made himself the measure of all things, and man’s wisdom has been exalted above the wisdom and ways of God.
Grounded: Millionaire John Gilmore stays close to home while making a point about privacy. He’s unable to travel because he refuses to present a government-approved ID
http://www.postgazette.com/pg/05058/462446.stmSunday, February 27, 2005By Dennis Roddy, Pittsburgh Post-GazetteSAN FRANCISCO — John Gilmore’s splendid isolation began July 4, 2002, when, with defiance aforethought, he strolled to the Southwest Airlines counter at Oakland Airport and presented his ticket. The gate agent asked for his ID. Gilmore asked her why. It is the law, she said. Gilmore asked to see the law. Nobody could produce a copy. To date, nobody has. The regulation that mandates ID at airports is “Sensitive Security Information.” The law, as it turns out, is unavailable for inspection. What started out as a weekend trip to Washington became a crawl through the courts in search of an answer to Gilmore’s question: Why?
Summary of Article: The Silicon Valley millionaire, John Gilmore, has refused to comply with the airline industry’s requirement to show his ID prior to traveling, calling it an invasion of his “Right to Privacy”. On top of that, he has not been allowed to even see the rules that require and authorize the airlines to check every passenger’s identity. His protest calls attention to a government that he believes has trampled on the rights of its citizens in the pursuit of security.
Commentary on the Right to PrivacyBy: Thomas Lee Abshier, ND03/02/2005
In response to the accusation of a Gestapo-like persecution of private citizens who were not obeying a private, unpublished law, I can think of no ordinary peacetime situation where a law should be kept secret. But, in times of war, simply letting the enemy know the considerations and guidelines by which he is being restricted, detected, and defended against, is to give him tools by which to evade those defenses. Those who protest against such laws do so according to the moral theory that privacy is a right, as is full disclosure of all information. And while such a society is desirable, it can only exist when the government and people are guided by God’s mind, and live His principles in their private and public lives.
The world changed on 9/11; America was again warned that Militant Islam wants to destroy us. Increasing security throughout the society was an obvious response to the threats of a sworn enemy. But, the nation is divided; some people believe that no mobilization of intelligence gathering, or restrictions of movement of any sort was merited. This contingent uses many different explanations to justify their resistance, but among the popular theories, we hear talk of a government conspiracy that allowed the attacks so that the public would embrace a reduction of our rights and freedoms. The cynics (e.g. www.democracynow.org etc.) believe that the Administration has no real commitment to security, the Muslim threat is not serious, the War in Iraq was for oil only, and that only power and profits drive our foreign and domestic policy.
Underneath this cacophony of accusations and counteraccusations, I believe we find a desire on both sides to legislate their morality. And since only one side is right (i.e. in concert with God’s will and way), and both sides believe they are Right, the battle is fierce and the stakes are high. The Democrats (the “out of power” party before the 2006 election) are attributing evil motives to their opposition in an attempt to sway opinion and votes. They attribute a lust for power and profits to the Republicans and offer examples such as Halliburton, no found WMDs, thousands of dead Iraqi civilians, Enron, the Oil Cartel, etc. to provide an air of validation to their claims of naked avarice and power-hunger.
I believe the Democratic Party who is shouting about the “right to privacy” is using this issue as a tool to advance its own anti-Christ agenda and to distract attention from the real battle. In this country we are facing a spiritual fight between Godliness and rebellion against submission to His Will and Way. The Democrats have largely positioned themselves in alliance with the ACLU/humanist agenda, while the Republicans have to a greater extent allied with Christian principles. (Although we can assume there are those with pure and impure hearts, right and wrong platform stands, and deceitful and truthful lips in both parties. Still, on the issues of Traditional Marriage and Abortion, the Republicans have attempted to submit their platform to a Christian worldview. The Democrats as a platform, and many of them as individuals, have flagrantly supported the right to kill unborn children and disabled adults, and normalize homosexual “marriage”.)
Thus, because of our deference to those among us with a humanist philosophy and worldview, our nation cannot declare a war on Militant Islam. We must instead pretend no religion is evil and declare war on their tactic so as to not offend the humanist’s politically correct sensibilities. But we cannot afford to capitulate to the mandates of the PC book of etiquette. Our very survival as a nation of people who live under the liberty of Christ is at stake. No other philosophy, religion, or worldview affords the fullness of liberty given to a nation and people who have bowed their knees to the will and Way of the Lord.
There are spiritual forces operating to distract us from naming, recognizing, and fighting evil. In this particular day, we face the evil of Militant Islam attempting to do damage to our infrastructure, to weaken us, to bring down our economic might. We face the threat of Islam infiltrating our society by conversion, immigration, and conception. Given enough time, and a sufficient growth rate, within the next century or two, the Islamic population could attain a voting majority and legislate an Islamic state in America.
But, a more insidious threat is operating within the homeland. The educated intellectual aristocracy, the city-bound metro-culture, the peace religionists, the pagan and atheistic humanists, the homosexual-adulterer-feminists, and the hip self-validated evolutionist relativist philosophers are banding together to remove every vestige of Christianity from our society. This group believes in the supreme wisdom of humanity, nature, and intuition. They believe the rules of behavior are not absolute, but relative to the circumstance and one’s own sense of truth. This human centered religion has created a loose alliance with almost anyone of an anti-Christian or non-Christian worldview, and they have penetrated every social institution. They are using the tools and tactics of public persuasion to legislate and judge the law according to humanistic principles, while they proselytize captive converts in the schools and media. They are driven by their god, the unHoly Spirit, who seeks to throw off the restrictive bonds of Judeo-Christian morality that reminds them of their error and coming judgment.
The humanist’s pantheon of virtues includes: choice, tolerance, equality, privacy, and the specious concept of Separation of Church and State. By framing these principles as absolute virtues, the humanists on the Supreme Court have ruled that unGodly behaviors are protected under the color of Constitutional law. Abortion and homosexual sodomy are two of the notable examples of private behaviors that are now “Constitutionally” protected as per the Supreme Court’s judgment. In particular, the “right to privacy” as referenced in the 14th Amendment was cited in the landmark Roe v. Wade, and Lawrence v. Texas cases, which then served as legal precedent to legitimize these practices.
14th Amendment: Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
A quick perusal of the 14th Amendment reveals no overt reference to a “right to privacy”, just as it does not mention a right to die, a right control one’s own body absolutely, the right to perform every sexual act, or any of a number of other modern day notions of ad hoc “rights” the court has invented to justify every form of personal and social moral degradation. The Court has inferred a right to privacy from the phrases, “Nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” and “No state shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”
The 14th Amendment clearly does not overtly state that “privacy” is a right. So, for the courts to give privacy the status of a “right”, the concept must be inferred as a constituent privilege within the principles of life, liberty, or property.
But privileges are only given to those who have demonstrated worthiness. And, if privacy is a privilege, then it is given only because the person engaging in the private behavior can be trusted to follow Godly principles even when outside of the eyes of those who would hold him accountable to his obligation to Godliness.
Privacy can be reasonably taken as a constituent principle within the more general rubrics of life, liberty and property. Liberty is only given to those who follow the laws of civil society. Property is only given to those who have worked and paid for that property. Likewise, privacy is given to those who honor the boundaries of right behavior in that privileged space where no one is watching or enforcing the rules of right behavior.
Privacy is a right only to the extent that one’s private actions are of the highest moral caliber. Those who have proven themselves to have righteous character should be given the privilege of privacy. The child who steals, uses drugs and pornography, and engages in fornication deserves no privacy; he has no yet shown himself able to self discipline his human appetites. The lawbreaker loses the privilege of privacy, while the law abiding child and citizen can be trusted to follow the rules of God and man without enforcement.
Thus, privacy is not an absolute right, only a privilege based upon the conditions of being trusted to engage in lawful behavior. The politically correct dogma of the current age lumps privacy together with the other new rights of choice, equality, and the obligation for universal tolerance. But, in actuality, each of these slogans and imputed “rights” are actually masks used to plausibly validate sinful behavior under the guise of being justified because it falls within the domain of a higher general moral principle.
Each of the virtues have their own time an place for must be exercised in proper balance and hierarchy with the other principles that are applicable to a given circumstance. Each of virtues such as kindness, justice, temperance, patience, loving neighbor as self, and loving the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul have their own domain of applicability. But, regardless of the virtue under consideration or the circumstance, Godliness is always the preeminent standard by which we as individuals and as a society should govern our thoughts, speech and actions.
Sodomy and abortion are not addressed in the Constitution in a sufficiently specific manner to assert that the Framers intended to place these acts within the set of inalienable human rights. Thus, the modern legal advocates of such rights have done so on the basis of a personal worldview of moral-social conduct. The Founders, and subsequent legislators, used terse verbiage to codify the underlying social moral code in the Constitution. The Supreme Court (1892) and Congressional Committees (1864) examined the culture, history, and laws of the nation, and declared, “We are a Christian Nation.” Thus we can properly deduce that the intended underlying moral code of the majority of our Founders and forefathers for a significant portion of our history was Biblical. And, the fact that our culture based its Constitutional foundation on Biblical principles implies that we in later day America should likewise judge the Constitutionality of our various laws and rulings on this same basis. Until We the People have rejected the God of Abraham from our hearts, bowed to another god, and rewritten or amended our Constitution, we should continue to base our moral foundation upon the intent of the Founders, and base our legislation and legal judgments on Biblical Godliness. See Founders’ quotes.
When the modern Supreme Court judged blatantly anti-Biblical behaviors such as Abortion and Homosexual Sodomy as protected “Rights”, they failed in their mandate to properly judge Constitutionality. They have followed the modern mantra of “separating church and state,” and refused to consider Biblical reference and parable in their judgment of the Constitutionality of legislation and rulings. They have instead given priority to humanistic, multicultural, and globalist principles in judging the propriety of laws.
Certainly it is possible to extrapolate that the 14th Amendment implies that we should give people the privilage of privacy, since that is one of the honors given to a person worthy of liberty. But, privacy as a universal right creates a cartoon-like world where murder is protected because it is a private act. The human soul has an innate for privacy as evidenced by the desire for privacy around sexual issues and elimination functions. The word “vulgar” means “common” in Latin; and it is the public display and speech about such functions that we instinctively declare as vulgar. God has placed the desire for modesty as one of the drives and desires of the soul.
The right to privacy has a natural resonance in our hearts, but the God-embedded desire for the modest expression of our sexuality has been applied to our desire to cover our shameful private acts such as abortion and sodomy. The Supreme Court has appealed to this natural desire to honor the private intimate nature of the sexual encounter and blended it with the modern day appeal for tolerance of all perversions. From this confusion of natural function and wrong judgment of values, the Supremes have attributed Constitutional imprimatur to private shameful acts. Thus, under the guise of properly judging the implicit intent of the Constitutional Founders, the modern day anti-Christ Judiciary has ruled that the repugnant and disgraceful acts of homosexual sodomy and abortion are protected by our Constitution.
The desire for privacy is a God-given aspect of the psyche, and the exercise of private action is a privilege of life given to those who can be trusted with independent action to follow God’s rules of personal and interpersonal behavior. Privacy cannot be taken as an absolute right, applicable in all circumstances and actions, nor the supreme consideration under which all others must submit. The well-ordered society will (at its extreme) break down into an animalistic survival of the fittest anarchy when the Godly patterns of behavior that allow personal liberty are replaced by an entitlement to license. There is a time for privacy, and there is a time to rend the veils of privacy and expose shameful and unGodly private acts. If privacy is the highest principle in the hierarchy of human relationship, then all acts of murder, rape, theft, and abuse are protected under this supposed supreme covering of “The Right to Privacy”.
The common man knows that such an extension of logic is absurd, but the arcane world of judicial rulings is far removed from the ability of the citizenry to comment or combat it effectively. The Judiciary has simply chosen to elevate the principle of privacy to the highest level to forward the cause of instituting sexual immorality as a right, which will have the ultimate effect of degrading the social moral code and putting our society on a track toward collapse. Still, there is a place for privacy and it should be protected for those working under cover to exposing the private communications and planning activities of terrorist religions.
If a Christian judge were to righteously and proactively legislate morality based on Christian principles, the Left would mobilize the political-media establishment to oppose what they would call social engineering to promote a Church-State agenda. We see evidence of this by way the Democrats in the US Senate have prohibited any fully qualified candidate from serving on the Federal bench if they embrace Christian values. We see evidence of the Left’s agenda as they attempt to legislate their own humanistic morality, and pretend that there is no Church-State violation in so doing. The behavior of the humanist in their legislation of morality is hypocritical. When Christians use moral principles to justify a law, the Left objects. In its place the humanist legislates or rules based on his humanistic principles and hides under the appearance of following a religion-free, totally God-neutral secularism. In fact, no such values-free ruling can be made; someone’s values will prevail in the governance of every culture and nation.
The highest execution of governmental organization is the ordering of society based on the Judeo-Christian ethic. Under this system, the virtues of privacy, choice, life, tolerance, equality, etc. are all balanced properly under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and consistent with the principles elaborated in Holy Scripture. But, the proper ordering of each virtue based upon its appropriate weight in each circumstance can only by implemented in a society where the individuals are informed, open, and Holy Spirit-led life.
The government’s job is to legislate and enforce laws that establish the broad structures of God-ordained principles into the rules of the land. And within that framework, the people are able to make proper judgments about commerce, justice, and right relationship. Such a system of macro and micro-righteousness, according to God’s Laws, produces a prosperous, happy, healthy, and ecologically sustainable culture whose fruit is life and liberty.
There are many social/moral philosophies and theories by which to order society. But, none except the God-directed, Kingdom of Heaven on Earth system, could produce the integrated perfection of life valuation where all virtues are given their appropriate weight in every social and interpersonal situation. Such is the goal of every social and moral theory, but unless the perfection of the Kingdom is the goal, all such effort toward perfection will produce suboptimal results.
The current effort to shape society into a utopia by the current media-education-government establishment is being done by legislating societal and individual behavior based on the principles and values underlying the secular humanist philosophy and vision. But, the humanist system has no life internal to its principles other than man’s spirit. Men see each situation dimly, illuminated by their desires, worldly perspective, and theories of what how a utopian world would appear. Men wish to please their flesh, and as a result legislate to satisfy their desires. Social and personal rules rising from such a foundation result in producing laws and social norms with conflicting standards that ultimately result in slavery and death.
For instance the current effort to normalize homosexuality could easily result in the persecution and possibly even the execution of Christians. Christians hold the Bible as the Word of God, and it unequivocally declares that homosexuality is an abomination in God’s eyes. The secular humanist that seeks to embed his worldview into the heart of a society must suppress and eliminate all those who express a dissenting view against his principles, which include universal tolerance (except tolerance for those who do not tolerate unrighteous/unGodly behavior). Thus, depending on the level of fervor stirred in the hearts of those who wish to purify the society to be a beacon of manifested secular humanist values, the society could simply criminalize Christianity and prosecute – persecute Christians, or it could manifest in a more virulent form and chose to execute Christians for holding their beliefs.
The secular humanist vision of society will not usher in a Golden Age; but the adoption of a Christian foundation to our society will. Thus, the solution to optimizing our nation’s economy, execution of justice, and personal happiness and liberty is to acknowledge our heritage as a Christian Nation. We will perpetuate that blessing only as we teach our children to likewise honor and live by this same faith and by these same principles. Having established ourselves as a Christian nation, using the teachings of the Bible as the cornerstone of all examinations, we can engage in a discussion of all philosophies, perspectives, and religions, and look for solutions that produce the optimum Godly pattern of short term and long term outcome.
The word most often used in justifying an involvement by the state in private affairs is the principle of a “compelling interest.” And to be sure, there are private human activities where the state has no compelling interest in monitoring. The general welfare of the state is strengthened, not threatened, when husband and wife engage in Godly intimate activities. But, the humanists are seeking to find a plausible rationalization to criminalize procreative sexuality on ecological grounds.
According to Scripture, prostitution, adultery, homosexuality, and abortion threaten our survival as a culture. Biblical text reports the judgment God passed on Jerusalem when they turned to other gods, sacrificed their children, and when the society had degraded to the point where it was common for men to lay with men. Such behavior was sufficiently rebellious and separating against a real loving and respectful relationship with God, that He allowed their enemies to breach their walled cities and take His people into captivity. In effect, God wants relationship with His people; and given that we cannot see God, the way that we engage relationship with Him is by listening to His voice. He is always speaking to us through the Holy Spirit. To reject His voice, and to violate His leading, is to lose relationship. In turn, God moves in the hearts of a man’s enemies, and the proud man is cast low. God will not be mocked, His judgment cannot be avoided, and the unrighteous will fall.
A casual examination of one’s own experience of life reveals privacy as a need of the psyche, a commonly felt desire embedded deep within our human nature. We innately experience shame or embarrassment when engaging in public intimate behavior, and we likewise experience shame as we violate God’s laws. We each know that privacy has an important place in our lives, and as a nation, we must pass laws to protect the privilege of the good and Godly to private sacred practice. Likewise we must pass laws that properly judge and expose the shameful.
The Libertarian Godless Left has taken our sense of God-given modesty about sexual behavior as a validation of the right to privately engage in any cause de jour sexual behavior. The reasoning turns Godly morality on its head, justifying homosexual sodomy because it is private. As a nation we should instead recognize the shameful nature of homosexual acts, and use our justice system to provide help and alternatives to the people who are possessed by this spirit.
Justifying homosexual sodomy in Lawrence v. Texas was merely the most recent example of wrongly using a privilege of Godliness to justify the violation of Godliness. If the pattern holds, there will soon be claims of “Rights” violation by polygamists, pedophiles, and prostitutes. People are naturally driven to perform shameful deeds in private. The Left has taken this illicit desire for privacy, ignored the shameful deed, and mandated that acts done in private be protected. The appropriateness of privacy being the primary principle in some situations need not be debated, just as the principles of choice, tolerance, and equality are likewise the primary virtue in some circumstances. But, none of these principles are supreme virtues to be applied to all arenas of life. Placing privacy on the altar as the highest of all sacred rights allows one to justify every immoral act, as long as it is done in secret. But, murder, rape, and theft committed in private do not become justifiable because of their secret commission.
In short, privacy is an important human privilege to be exercised by those who are Godly and trusted to follow His ways. There is an inherent standard of judgment against which we must compare all principles involved in any given situation. The problem is that Privacy has been used as a Trojan horse to bring ungodliness into our society under the guise of honoring the intended Constitutional protections of every citizen. In fact, the unHoly Spirit is using this pretense as a tool to fool the naïve. The real battle is for the hearts of God’s people and the possession of His nations. We were established as a Christian Nation, and that Righteous heritage is being stolen piece by piece. In its place we are building a nation based on tertiary virtues, disregarding our obligation to judge everything in society by its conformity to Godliness. Such wrongheaded legal precedent will serve as the legal precursor to slavery. As a nation that has turned from Godliness, and worshipped the idols of choice, tolerance, equality, and privacy, we deserve the coming chastening in exile.
John Gilmore is confronting two issues: 1) He is challenging the underlying right of anyone to require identity disclosure prior to traveling, and 2) He is challenging the existence of secret laws, in particular the undisclosed law that requires airlines to validate identity.
As mentioned above, the right to privacy extends only to the sacred. Privacy cannot be exalted to the status of a supreme right. The assumption that all people will behave rightly in their private affairs is blatantly false. As a result, we cannot absolutely remove the government’s right examine and judge the private acts of the citizenry. The government is God’s surrogate agent on earth.
Ideally America would be totally free in all its aspects such as the information transmission system, the transportation system, and the financial system. A society of total Godliness in all its citizens would require no examination or restrictions on travel, banking, or relationships. This will be appropriate when everyone is trustworthy and deserves such unrestricted freedom. The problem is that untrustworthy, unrighteous, and unGodly people have invaded us. They hate the True God, and they are trying to kill people who want to live Righteous lives according to His principles. And yes, it’s awful that the rebels, renegades, and degenerates are spoiling the beautiful trusting society that is the promise of a nation organized under the rule and reign of Christ.
Our nation has established rules because of citizens who break God’s Law. Human laws would be necessary only as guidelines informing us of our heritage and social conventions if we were each faithful to the Laws of Life written on our hearts. But, as we incorporate laws that justify ungodliness on the basis of a human conception of virtue, we move farther from freedom, and closer to totalitarian regulation.
There are those are transforming society by using the principle of “privacy” to justify their “Freedom” to commit sin without human reprisal. They have justified their “right” to perversion of every form because of the implied Constitutional protections of privacy. But, such naiveté will someday produce the bitter fruit that rebellion against God always reaps.
Freedom comes only as a reward for the very difficult task of creating a society of near uniform Godliness. To oppose the enforcement of a law that facilitates the identification of violators puts us in a place of blindness. Future problems will arise as a result of suppressing symptoms that indicate the presence of deeper problems. Removing the laws, and the associated discomfort with compliance and punishment, does not remove the violation, it only removes our indicators of error. God’s standard still remains supreme and the consequences of violating His law remain in effect.
When Godless people roam the airways, highways, and byways of America with the intent to wreck havoc and kill innocents, we have a deep societal problem. And the problem is the presence of evil people. We once were a nation which declared itself to be a Christian nation, but because we now hold tolerance and privacy at a greater value than life, we a now afraid to pass laws that profile likely violators.
It is difficult to stop all terror-related activity them by monitoring the movement of every person in the world; such a solution is inconvenient, expensive, and only somewhat effective. But, giving up, and enforcing everyone’s “Right” to travel freely in the country without any restriction is to ignore the fact that Freedom is the fruit of Righteousness. As long as we have violators in the country, a government of righteous men will establish barriers that attempt to defend against evil, restrict the access of the violent to the weak, and in general provide for the general welfare of the citizenry.
As a people, the government will impose laws restricting various “Rights” because of the fraction of the population who violate the rights of others. The result is collateral damage to the freedoms of those who are non-violators. Such is the nature of law. We could protest against every law passed by every legislature and court on this same basis. But the fact is that until man turns his heart over in submission to the perfect leading of the Holy Spirit, we will continue to impose law and enforcement upon ourselves in an effort to subdue those who threaten life, limb, and property. Solving the problem entails changing men’s hearts to follow Godliness. Such action will do more good than protesting against laws that contribute to the detection of violators.
When the Court adjudicates in favor of unGodly conduct, they put the nation in jeopardy of God’s judgment. As long as we judge ourselves rightly, God will not judge us in eternity. The motivation of those who judge wrongly may be in rebellion against the God, may be worshiping another god, or may simply misunderstand the proper priorities of life. But regardless, God will not bless the land while wrong principles govern its people, and they worship false gods.