In a February 2015 CNN interview, a startling exchange took place between Chris Cuomo and Judge Roy Moore of Alabama. For those of you that may be unfamiliar with the subject matter, it was over the same-sex marriage issue. Roy Moore is the Supreme Court Justice for the State of Alabama, and had issued an order for probate judges in the State to ignore a Federal Judge’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. Chris Cuomo argued that Judge Moore was substituting his own value judgement overruling the Federal Court. If Chris Cuomo’s name sounds familiar, —— it should. He is the son of the late Governor of New York, Mario Cuomo. The point being, that both men are highly educated with experience in the public sector. Here is the exchange that stood out in the interview.
MOORE: I believe that’s a matter of law because our rights contained in the Bill of Rights do not come from the Constitution, they come from God. It’s clearly stated –
CUOMO: Our laws do not come from God, your honor, and you know that. They come from man.
MOORE: Let me ask you one question. Let me ask you one question, Chris. Is the Declaration of Independence law?
CUOMO: You would call it organic law as a basis for future laws off of it?
MOORE: I would call it the organic law because the United States code calls it organic law. It is organic law because the law of this country calls it the organic law of the country means [sic] where our rights come from. And if they come from there, men can’t take it away.
CUOMO: Our rights do not come from God. That’s your faith. That’s my faith, but not our country. Our laws come from the collective agreement and compromise.
MOORE: It’s not a matter of faith, sir. It’s a matter of organic law, which states, ‘We hold these truths to be held equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ And the only role of government is stated in the next sentence is to secure those rights for us. The government starts taking those rights away from us, then it’s not securing and it is defiling the whole purpose of government.
The contradiction is obvious. Here we have two men, —— both educated in the same country, —— discussing the nature of “Law”. One making the point that our rights come from God, and —— because they come from God, they can’t be taken away. The other claiming that our laws come from “the collective” agreement and compromise. Notice that Chris Cuomo points out that Judge Moore’s argument comes from a position of his faith, then points out that he (Chris Cuomo) has the same faith, —— “but”! The exchange begs the question, “How can two men educated in the same country, of the same faith, have such diametrically opposing views of the law and where it comes from?” Who is right? Do our rights come from God, thus protected from the whims of man, or —— do they come from the collective, thus transient and ever changing?
These questions are of paramount importance. What we have in this exchange is a clash in “world views”. We have all had conversations with friends and acquaintances where our frustration grows as we try to reach them. As we attempt to make our point from the position of eternal truths and moral absolutes, conversations degenerate into, —— “well you have your truth, and I have mine”. There it is! Like a slap in the face. Postmodern thinking and moral relativism. In other words, “You will never change my mind, because I do not view the world the same way you do. Man is basically good. The decisions of the collective are good, and the law is whatever the majority says it should be.” From a follow-the-herd mentality, this may sound quite democratic, but is certainly a long way from where our Founding Fathers intended.
It was interesting to read how disparate the headlines were following this exchange. Here are two examples. 1) “Alabama Judge Roy Moore Stymies CNN’s Cuomo” at www.christenexaminer.com, and 2) “CNN’s Chris Cuomo Eviscerates Alabama Judge Roy Moore” at www.bilerico.com. As you can see, who won the argument depended on who did the reporting, and their “world view”. If you search the web for comments on this exchange, you will find them deeply divided and polarized. From what I have read and observed, I do not believe the other side is going to back down without a fight.
Where we find ourselves is in a battle, and the battlefield is the mind, —— fighting for the minds of those around us. We must make the arguments as Judge Moore did in the exchange above. The arguments for Constitutional Governance and this Representative Republic must be uncompromising, and give no ground. We cannot flinch. Our purpose is to make the other side doubt, and to win the minds of the undecided. To do that, we will have to persuade our fellow citizens that it is better to be governed by the “Rule of Law” that is unwavering, —— where our rights are given by God, and cannot be removed by men, —— as opposed to being ruled by the “collective”, —— where our rights can be removed and changed by the fickle nature of man. History is replete with examples of the rule of men and the destruction they brought upon their own people: Stalin; Mao Zedong; Pol Pot; Hitler; and Domitian; are just a few. So, let history be our shield, and the spoken and written word our sword in the battle for what is right and true.