In a recent article in THE GEM STATE PATRIOT, the Rev. Phil DiGregorio presented an excellent discussion about “Natural Law” and its fundamental relationship to our founding principles. Early theological discussions about “Natural Law” can be found not only in the ancient Judeo Christian papyrus-for Christians most notably the New and Old Testaments, but concepts of the Natural Law were discussed by the ancient Greeks. For humanists and agnostics or atheists the Natural Law as defined by different writers generally refers to a moral order inscribed in the world that especially applies to human nature and is made known to all people through faculties of reason.
For those who are Christians a definition provided by St. Thomas Aquinas though similar is very different for self-evident reasons. St. Thomas defined THE NATURAL as a code imprinted in the hearts of all men made known through the faculties of reason, revelation, conscience and faith. The NATURAL LAW according to St. Thomas was constant, never changing and applied to the physical and spiritual world as well as to the world of human social experience.
A recently published book called STRANGE RITES by Tara Isabella Burton hypothesizes-and I think rightly so, that the world we are living in today is becoming progressively more secularized. But just as importantly many of the formerly religious replace institutional religious dogma with intuitional spirituality. What feels good must be right. Concepts of “freewill”, accountability and responsibility for ourselves and others is missing. A smorgasbord approach to faith and the ability to mix and match moral options leads to “ersatz piety and self-veneration”.
Think of Nancy Pelosi taking Biblical verses out of context while consistently voting for the killing of innocent baby boys and girl’s abortion, and then calling herself Catholic. I am not certainly one to judge but I can opine! What about a BLM activist ordering a young women to get on her knees and renounce her “whiteness”? I kneel only to God how about you? Or what about a US Congresswomen demanding collective reparations for the collective sins of slavery? The transaction for forgiveness of sins is personal and is only between God and the sinner. Does that Congresswomen think she is God?
Strictly speaking, there are no such things as good and bad impulses. Think of a piano. It has not got two kinds of notes on it, the ‘right’ notes and the ‘wrong’ ones. Every single note is right at one time and wrong at another. The Moral Law is not any one instinct or set of instincts: it is something which makes a kind of tune (the tune we call goodness or right conduct) by directing the instincts. C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
It was St. Thomas who made the connection between Natural Law and manmade law. Any mora argument had to be grounded in “1st instances” underlying principles. If not appropriately grounded, the subsequent application of law would be invalid. Rev. DiGregorio made this very point in his article.
Our Founding was grounded in the Principles of Natural Law and it is recognized in or funding documents “The Laws of Nature and Natures God” is a direct reference by Jefferson in our Declaration of St. Thomas’s concept of THE NATURAL LAW.
Customized spirituality and ritual, replacing God as the lawgiver for oneself is a direct refutation of the 1st Commandment—”No other Gods (including yourself) before me”. And what 1st principles are the ANTIFA and BLM activists following? Rage, hate, and envy are emotions not moral principles. These are what define and motivate these types of anarchical movements. The difference between the American Revolution and subsequent Founding based on moral Christian, Natural Law 1st principles, and the French and Bolshevik Revolutions and what is going on in our streets today is exactly the same. There is no liberty without morality. There is no civilization, no road to economic prosperity, no opportunity for upward advancement and mobility without moral underpinnings.
How many innocent people died in the years after the French Revolution millions? After the Russian Revolution? 80 million after the 1st World War then 200 million after the second Stalin. And what about Mao’s Great Leap Forward? 50million or more. And what about Hitler? 80 million or Polpott-10 million. All Godless totalitarian regimes based on personality and emotions exploiting and leveraging the imaginations of the marginalized with the promise of utopia. Sound familiar?
What makes our country “Exceptional” is the fact that we were founded by a Godly people, whose leaders understood the necessary relationship between THE NATURAL LAW and a civil society and civil law. If we ever forget to understand that simple fact, and we fail to embrace our unique great Christian American heritage, we are doomed.