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It’s all connected…

April 20, 2009
Do you ever get the feeling that a common theme is running through all that you are learning and reading about? I had that epiphany last week. Here’s what I’ve been reading lately:

The Existence of Natural Law, written in the hearts of man:

“True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions…It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to repeal any part of it, and it is impossible to abolish it entirely. We cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people, and we need not look outside oursleves for an expounder or interpreter of it. And there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one internal and unchangeable law will be valued for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is God, over us all, for He is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge…”-Cicero, Roman political thinker (106-43 B.C.)

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Romans 1:18-21

“for not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending themselves,” Romans 2:13-15

“But the most foolish notion of all is the belief that everything is just which is found in the customs or laws of nations…For if ignorant and unskillful men have prescribed deadly poisons instead of healing drugs, these cannot possibly be called physicians’ presciptions; neither in a nation can a statute of any sort be called a law, even though the nation, in spite of being a ruinous regulation has accepted it.” -Cicero

“…freedom negates and destroys itself, and becomes a factor leading to the destruction of others, when it no longer recognizes and respects its essential link with the truth. When freedom, out of a desire to emancipate itself from all forms of tradition and authority, shuts out even the most obvious evidence of an objective and universal truth, which is the foundation of personal and social life, then the person ends up by no longer taking as the sole and indisputable point of reference for his own choices the truth about good and evil, but only his subjective and changeable opinion or, indeed, his selfish interest and whim.” -Pope John Paul II

“But if the principles of Justice were founded on the decrees of peoples, the edicts of princes, or the decisions of judges, then Justice would sanction robbery and adultery and forgery of wills, in case these acts were approved by the votes of decrees of the populace…” -Cicero

“This is what is happening also at the level of politics and government: the original and inalienable right to life is questioned or denied on the basis of a parliamentary vote or the will of one part of the people—even if it is the majority.” – Pope John Paul II

“[Through the influence of relativism] democracy, contradicting its own principles, effectively moves towards a form of totalitarianism. The State is no longer the “common home” where all can live together on the basis of principles of fundamental equality, but is transformed into a tyrant State, which arrogates to itself the right to dispose of the life of the weakest and most defenseless members, from the unborn child to the elderly, in the name of a public interest which is really nothing but the interest of one part.” -Pope John Paul II

“But in our time the separation of church and state has come to mean the separation of the state from God. It is one thing to say the state is not accountable to the church, it’s another thing to say the state is not accountable to God. And when the state assumes its autonomy and declares its independence from Almighty God it is not just the right but the duty of the church to call the state to task: Not to ask the state to be the church, but to tell the state to be the state under God.”-Theologian, Dr. R.C. Sproul

“To claim the right to abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, and to recognize that right in law, means to attribute to human freedom a perverse and evil significance: that of an absolute power over others and against others.” -Pope John Paul II

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it…” – Declaration of Independence

Yes, It’s becoming clear.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. John Lindblom permalink
    April 21, 2010 6:38 am

    Awesome article, Terra. You’re definitely ready to check out St. Thomas Aquinas, if you haven’t done so already!

    • April 21, 2010 7:41 am

      Funny you should mention that…I’m using Aquinas in my next post. All truth meets at the top!

  2. Joe Hargrave permalink
    August 3, 2010 1:16 am

    This is very interesting.

    The only complaint I would issue is that “democracy” didn’t give us the culture of death – the Supreme Court did, prompted by cadres of counter-cultural radicals whose values were at odds with those of the vast majority of Americans.

    Of course JP II is right in the abstract to warn of the excesses of democracy. But in the United States, where Christianity – at least in a nominal and cultural sense – still holds a tenuous upper-hand in terms numbers and therefore voters, especially within certain states, democracy is our friend.

    When you have a secularized culture, as in Europe, and in parts of the US, then yes, the people will override natural law and any other philosophical principle in favor of their own fetishes – hedonism, egalitarianism, or whatever. But in the United States, these things have come about mostly through subversion, of the culture and of the political process.

    To me this shows that in the end, political systems are means to ends, not ends in themselves.

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