Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Madison v. Chaos

So.  What is "law"?  We know that it must rest on religion; so various Blackrobe-types have simply expanded the definition of 'religion' to fit almost anything.

As Justice Scalia has remarked, we are at the risk of backing into a system in which “each conscience is a law unto itself.” The laws on conscientious objection were once aligned with the God of Christians and Jews. But that gave way over time to the test of “belief in a Supreme Being,” and even that had to give way. The Supreme Court eventually came to uphold the claims of young men who were professed atheists, but held to political or ethical beliefs that the judges were willing to treat as the equivalent of a “religious” conviction.

With this dispensation, we could imagine a state of affairs in which the laws forbid abortion once again, but a band of practitioners assert their claims of “conscience” to perform abortions as a matter of their own firm beliefs. They would assert the religion of irreligion....

Originalism would help.

The law had a firmer clarity when it could simply take its bearings from James Madison’s understanding of religion:  “the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it.” That Creator was of course the God of Israel, and the duties were bound up with the Laws that sprang from that Lawgiver.

For some, however, chaos is preferable.  One of the advocates of chaos happens to be in the White House (his advocacy is not limited to fiscal chaos; fiscal and legal chaos require each other.)

And the Bench has more than its share of the Cult of Chaos, too.

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