Thursday, October 29, 2009

Principles of Liberty Part 1

1. ‘The Only Reliable Basis for Sound Government and Just Human Relations is Natural Law.'

W. Cleon Skousen wrote a book a few years back "The Five Thousand Year Leap". It is one of about 30 that he authored in his lifetime, and I believe was the last before his death. It contains profound insight into the minds of the founders of the Republic known as the United States of America.

It chronicles 28 Principles on which the USA was created, and attempts to stand. What is evident is that America was created very much by the grace of God, and its founders operated in Godly wisdom. One could also conclude that the Founders are rolling in their graves at the mess that is being made of their Republic by those who treat it as a garbage pail. The same can be said for the Fathers of Confederation, the rolling bit, as they see the Canada that they dreamt of and strove to create is torn apart by imbecilic behaviour on the part of those chosen to protect it.

As Skousen said in his book:
Natural law is God's law. There are certain laws which govern the entire universe, and just as Thomas Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence, there are laws which govern in the affairs of men which are "the laws of nature and of nature's God."
It was interesting to read over at the David Horowitz Newsreel, in a discussion series on the book, but in particular a discussion on Natural Law, that the author of the piece and his commenters mostly were lost about how to describe Natural Law, though some gave it a good college try and the odd one had a decent handle on it.

Skousen talked in his book about Cicero and his concepts for building society on the basis of Natural Law. But, Skousen described it as follows:
The Law of Nature or Nature’s God is eternal in its basic goodness; it is universal in its application. It is a code of “right reason” from the Creator himself. It cannot be altered. It cannot be repealed. It cannot be abandoned by legislators or the people themselves, even though they may pretend to do so. In Natural Law we are dealing with factors of absolute reality. It is basic in its principles, comprehensible to the human mind, and totally correct and morally right in its general operation.
The author of the piece over at Horowitz, David Swindle was honest in saying that he never really liked or even fully understood the concept of "Natural Law." Even more profound was Skousen's commentary on Cicero, tying it to the Declaration of Independence:
A fundamental presupposition of Natural Law is that man’s reasoning power is a special dispensation of the Creator and is closely akin to the rational or reasoning power of the Creator himself. In other words, man shares with his Creator this quality of utilizing a rational approach to solving problems, and the reasoning of the mind will generally lead to common-sense conclusions based on what Jefferson called “the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” (The Declaration of Independence).
Most of those who commented on Swindle's article and on the Principle itself missed the boat, but one commenter Bobbi had the best kick at it of those offered:

Over time, I’ve come to the idea that natural law refers to the inevitable consequences of human behavior. The problem David outlines, that reasonable people can differ greatly in their interpretation of right and wrong, stems from a culture that has attempted through misguided “empathy” to separate man from the natural consequences of his thoughts and actions. Cas points out man’s right to self-defense, which today has become so warped that we regularly question the rights of Americans and Israelis to protect themselves from attack. In our litigious society one scarcely dares to confront a burglar in one’s own home.

However, I think the problem David articulates goes further. For the most blatant and easily reasoned example: The natural consequences of promiscuous sex include the spread of disease, unwanted pregnancies, single parenthood as well as the psychological/physiological coarsening of the self and ultimately the coarsening of civil society. Yet we celebrate promiscuous sex in our culture and then charge medical science and government to devise the means to avoid the consequences. Because this is “natural” law, we cannot in reality avoid the consequences and the more we attempt to do so, the worse things get.

By the same token, one can look to the Ten Commandments, and other precepts of major religions and find they all ban the same behaviors or types of behaviors, varying mostly in the type and severity of punishment for engaging in them. Why?

Religion and Law are entwined in that both attempt to govern individual behavior in such a way as to, in a sense, preempt natural consequences in order to create a civil society. Think about it: sloth, greed, gluttony, adultery, the killing of innocents, not “honoring” our fathers and mothers, not “honoring” others, theft, coveting, etc. all carry natural consequences beyond law or religious dictates. Yet today, we excuse all of these things out of a foolish sense of “empathy” for the “sinner.” We make it a case of supporting the “sinner” or the “victim” and forget the natural consequences of the “sin.” (one can even make the case for not worshiping any other Gods, but Beck is on in a few minutes)

Today we’ve twisted everything in such a way as to present right as wrong and wrong as right to such an extent that David and most of us are rightly confused. Natural law gets all mixed up with the notion of the Noble Savage and our inner desire to express our own Will. And so we have a whole segment of society that believes Man is evil and a pox on the earth. When in reality, Man has both an animal and god-like nature. The evils we perpetrate are most often the result of giving in to our animal nature and forgetting to be god-like and denying the responsibilities entailed.

Our founders understood this in ways I am continually discovering …

But, St. Thomas Aquinas put it best of all theses offered on what is Natural Law. He said quite simply:

Good is to be done, and evil avoided.

Juxtaposing that into Skousen's 1st Principles then gives you this:

The Only Reliable Basis for Sound Government and Just Human Relations is to do good and to avoid evil.

Now, put that up against what Bobbi above tells us is going on in America with similar goings on here in Canada, which of course is only the tip of the iceberg, and tell me if either of our two once great countries are paying any heed to Skousen's 1st Principle. Then, think about whether it matters, or whether you believe that this is a free for all.

If Skousen's 1st Principle makes sense to you, then I urge you to think about it deeper, and see if you have ideas about how we can make it work here at home.

We have all been given the intelligence to use right reason in self determination, and in how we choose to allow our countries to be governed. It is high time that we activated our brains, did enough mental push ups and brain stretches to get the juices flowing and then built up our consciences to the point where we decide that Natural Law is too logical and true to be pushed aside by invented human rights and laws that prevent the people of our nations from growing into the real human beings that we all were created to be.

Are we sheep, or are we human beings endowed by our Creator with wisdom and intelligence to see our way through this miasma of perfidy.

2 comments:

Joshua S. said...

Michael:

This is inspiring stuff, but unfortunately we seem to be at a crossroads in terms of who is paying attention to what. Too many Americans - and Canadians, i might add - are busy attending the new Churck of Obama, whom I have heard referred to as the "new jesus of HopeyChange". That label is startlingly accurate when you consider it within the context of "idolatry".

How can one reach "stray sheep" if they've already left the building and are busily engaged in some pagan ritual?

Or maybe I'm just having a bad day...

mbrandon8026 said...

Dear Friend:

You have touched on the sadness that I feel at this moment.

Obama might be the "new jesus of HopeyChange". I note that you have spelled this jesus without capitalizing, so that the real JESUS is easily identifiable from him.

I believe that we can rely on the words of Gamaliel in Acts 5:34-42, where he said that if it was not of God it would not stand.

That, of course does not mean that it will not have its season, but we must continue to speak against the lies and deceptions that come to our attention, and must also keep our hearts and minds open to God's will in our own lives, so as to be a beacon when the "stray sheep" want to return. Calling out to the "stray sheep" even when they put us down works too.

We have no choice but to persist in seeking the truth.

We are alive, and God is good. It is a Good Day, just a little dark out.