What We Ought To Do / A Call To Action
“I say again, fellow-citizens, Oh, for a Supreme Court which shall be as true, as vigilant, as active and exacting in maintaining laws enacted for the protection of human rights, as in other days was that court for the destruction of human rights!”
Frederick Douglass, from an address at Lincoln Hall
included in his Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, p.467
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has upon a number of occasions, both instructed the American populace on the basic formulae for decision making as a Supreme Court justice, and also asked and challenged us citizens with a poignant question as to our duties as Americans.
Should the judiciary branch of government be the interpreter and final arbiter of the Constitution? In a nation that espouses a pledge of allegiance placing itself as one nation under God, what role, if any, do the words found in Judeo-Christian scripture find as a leverage constraining the judiciary in its interpretation and final decision-making? It appears that the role of Godly principles is related to the personal faith of each Justice, and in that regard, the Word of God assumes an unofficial, secondary, and obtuse presence in the Supreme Court, wholly dependent upon the personal regard of the Supreme Court Justices. Understandably, the separation of church and state clears the decks of any semblance of religiosity in our government, even as our Constitution, namely, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, was founded upon the Christian spirit of the defense of life and liberty, that therein there be justice for all. If “justice is the end of government” (Hamilton, Madison, Federalist №51), from where does the ordination of these professionally judicial men and women emanate? Is it of themselves? By what authority do these select mortals decide the constitutionality of such national issues as the timing of when conferring human rights upon Americans? In other words, there is at present time in the year 2020, and since 1973, a legal clause that omits the protection of life to humanity in the womb, and instead, interprets that singular life as the same life of the mother, altogether being treated as bodily matter and not itself a second, distinct human in formation.
What is to stop so-called pro life political human rights action from inculcating generations of young Americans with the express directive of eventual Supreme Court Justice being placed in the top judiciary court, and therein, because of their personal viewpoints on life, overturn the infamous Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized the abortion of the child in the womb? Is this not what the abortion political lobby did since before 1920? Did not the Rockefeller family fund the leading abortion company, place a spokeswoman as its head (Margaret Sanger) and help orchestrate a cultural shift through the advent of giving rise to an entertainment, music, and media that would be benefited according to its alignment to a favoring of abortion?
Justice Thomas asks the United States of America what is supposed to inform and guide Supreme Court Justices on the broad provisions of the constitution. What restrains them from imposing their views and policy preferences? Undoubtedly, it is a rhetorical question; a quiet alarm directed to all American citizens. He invokes the legacy of President John F. Kennedy, cajoling Americans to assume greater responsibility of civic duty. He is calling for an increase of critical thinkers. Surely, the merits, experience, and judicial track record of each judge is scrutinized as to their possible nomination to the Supreme Court, and through this study process, it is not beyond common sense to find that certain views on key issues can be inferred through the written opinions of these judges in each of their rulings.
What are we left with then? The nine mortals that interpret our constitution and have the power to rule in favor or against cases that bring our Constitutional ideals front and center are obviously professionals, yet they are very human. Many of the original framers of the Constitution did not intend to include women or Americans of black skin color when they proclaimed the defense of life and liberty. The ‘spirit’ of our Constitution was of John Adams (and Abigail Adams), yet it was written by an eloquent slave holder (Thomas Jefferson). What these founding idealists intended and what some of them practiced may seem contradictory, and it is. But we have had men and women across the history of our great nation who have endeavored to establish a more perfect union. These sentinels of life and liberty are John and Abigail Adams, their son John Quincy Adams, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, the early work of Thurgood Marshall as an Attorney, Martin Luther King, and President Ronald Reagan to name a few. They all shared in common the unequivocal normalization of respecting the human rights for all American citizens. Our American system of government, is, as it was in the time of the slave era, managed by people, each of these having their own personal view points and vested interests, but within government, to a large degree, having their ambitions constrained by the separation of powers. Said as much, in his diary, John Quincy Adams recognized that with all the checks and balances of our American government, the slave trade grew without hindrance from the time of the 1776 revolution until the Emancipation Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. We have had Presidents in line with slavery, and great swaths of our Congress and Supreme Court in line with the oppression of Americans of black skin color. It was not until the team work of abolitionists outside of government, coupled with the work of key Congressional leaders and even Supreme Court Justices, and finally, Abraham Lincoln, that slavery was defeated. America was shaken to its core because of the blight of slavery. Can Americans, should Americans simply accept the opinions of the Supreme Court as they continue to put off the question of the humanity in the womb? The abortion lobby sais that question has been long settled and should not be overturned, but such a perspective is not agreed to by all. We are talking about the value of human life and if the opinions of nine Supreme Court Justices should be the final interpretation and arbitration of what America we will have. In the balance there are about 100,000 official abortions every month. The humanity in the womb is killed with saline burns and forcep-cutting dismemberment while alive. That is a hard death. There is no ‘burial’ later. There are confirmed reports that human organs and body parts have been sold from abortion facilities also as a side-business.
In a government that has more and more been moved to separate itself from God and his Word as the supreme interpreter and final arbiter, yet still invokes His name in the pledge of allegiance, still finds within its personnel representatives who are for the complete defense of the liberty of all human life, the notion that American citizens should become passive spectators to the processes of government machinations is anathema to the work of those Americans who have walked into the breach in their efforts to defend life. Such a work of defense requires no gun, but a sharp mind and a tender heart. Passion is required, along with a sense of duty towards the American community. A community brought together because of shared ideas of what we are supposed to be as a civilized people. We can do better than proverbially sit back. We must reshape our educational standards to create a people that are more brothers and sisters keepers. Our educational system has to bring about a society that can devote time towards keeping this duty of defending the best of our ideals; life and liberty, so that there is that justice for all. Duty to one’s country can be better understood as responsibility for the care taking of our local and national community. Reshaping our educational end goals to allow, nay, empower Americans to have the time to create the financial resources to be able to be a true check on the decision-making power of our government calls into play the intellectual and heart strength of the people to be players in the moral direction of our country, is of the utmost importance.
It may be that such a practice of empowerment for the people would be the target of powerful individuals with vested interests. In fact, that will most likely be a surety to guard against. Nehemiah directed the Israelis to build the walls of Jerusalem while keeping on guard with their weapons near. Our educational goals must be such that our young Americans also be on guard, maintaining intellectual alertness, and trained in the rigors of understanding how to be critical thinkers without vested interests. (That is hard to do, but not impossible.) A Supreme Court Justice has calmly sounded the alarm for the need of duty towards defending the spirit of the original intention of our Constitution. How does academia respond? How do parents and communities respond? Do we see what advantage we can exact or do we raise up altruistic critical thinkers who understand that they must play a role in the defense of what society we want to have? A loving, kind and empathic land requires a steadfast commitment to liberty, not blind patriotism, but the defense of life and liberty with the end goal that justice be served. A loving, kind, and empathic society that values human life; that trains up its children onto that end. A country not lost in the nostalgia of what it has not been, but an awakened and alert people. This is the work of parents, of Educators, and it is the duty of our government to serve this cause.