America’s Mental Illness

As we the people of the United States anxiously await yet another historic, momentous, far-reaching, and quite possibly unprecedented Supreme Court decision–this time regarding whether or not homosexual couples possess an inherent constitutional “right” to see their sinful relationships legally recognized as “marriages” throughout the country–it’s a good time to pause and reflect on what is really happening to our nation as it continues to drift away from its traditional Judeo-Christian cultural and social moorings, and, ultimately, away from God and reality.

Under the poisonous influence of a radically secularist ideology, vocal homosexual activists are insistently pressuring the High Court to redefine marriage as the union of any two (or more) consenting adults regardless of sex or biological compatibility. Not content to offend their Creator by engaging in gravely immoral behavior in the privacy of their own homes, these shrill extremists are now demanding that their deviant lifestyles be publicly recognized by the federal government of the United States—whose official national motto is still “In God We Trust”—as the equivalent of the Creator’s own sacred institution of marriage that has formed the connective tissue of every flourishing human society from the dawn of civilization throughout history and right up to this moment. In other words, these outspoken sodomites want the High Court to manufacture for them out of whole cloth a brand-new “right” to enjoy all the privileges of marriage in their own irregular relationships. Such legal recognition of morally disordered homosexual unions on a par with normal marital unions would be a slap in the Creator’s face, would contravene His natural law, and would constitute a blanket rejection of the collective wisdom of the ages, also known as tradition and precedent. Furthermore, it would evince a pathetically naïve misunderstanding of the nature of marriage as well as a foolish disregard for the negative social consequences of legitimizing homosexual activity on a national scale. Finally, such a radical High Court decision would insult common sense and flaunt the will of the American people, who in the last twelve years have approved laws in more than thirty states upholding the traditional definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Should the Supreme Court cave in to these radical homosexual lobbyists and venture to issue such a stupid and misguided decision, it won’t be the first time that several unelected activist justices have waved their magic wand to create a previously nonexistent human “right” out of thin air. Forty-two years ago in Roe v. Wade, seven such justices arbitrarily reinterpreted the Constitution’s due process clause to include the supposed “right” of a woman to kill her unborn child for any reason whatsoever. But no human being ever has any right to violate God’s natural moral law, whether by killing an unborn child in a so-called “health clinic” or by engaging in homosexual activity behind closed doors. Regardless of the circumstances involved, no violation of the natural law can ever properly be called a human “right.” Authentic human rights are not invented and declared by two consenting adults or an immoral lobby group or a court decision or a majority vote; on the contrary, they are given to us by our Creator and must be exercised responsibly in accordance with His laws.

Unfortunately, thanks to the increasingly pervasive influence of America’s radically secularist internal enemies, who are hell-bent on constructing a new America without God and without moral absolutes, the fundamental concepts of inalienable rights, natural law, and ordered liberty that originally formed the basis of American society and the Judeo-Christian cultural tradition within which they developed are rapidly becoming obsolete. America’s Founders believed that human beings are endowed by their Creator with certain inherent rights such as life and liberty that cannot be taken away—basic rights that government must protect. They acknowledged the existence of the Creator’s absolute and unchanging natural law, consisting of basic principles of right and wrong implicitly engraved in the human heart and explicitly encoded in the Ten Commandments. And they understood freedom as the fundamental right to act in accordance with the natural law—i.e., the right to do the right thing. As wise, brilliant, and courageous men of deep Christian faith, unshakable trust in Divine Providence, and sound reason, the Founders grasped the reality and inner logic of these three interrelated fundamental concepts and dared to build a new nation upon their firm foundation. Thus constructed on solid rock, America rose to become the greatest nation in the history of the world.

Now, almost two and a half centuries after her founding, America is in deep trouble because these fundamental philosophical concepts and the Judeo-Christian tradition that gave birth to them no longer form the basis of her society and culture, and thus of her political and legal systems. In place of inalienable rights, we have a relativized, ever-changing list of so-called “rights” based exclusively on whim and convenience, invented and declared on the spur of the moment. In place of natural law, we have moral relativism, the idea that right and wrong are determined solely by individual preference. In place of ordered liberty, we have the strange idea that freedom is the absolute right of each and every individual to do whatever he or she wants to do. And in place of the Judeo-Christian tradition, we now have the novelty of an aggressive and intolerant radically secularist ideology that is determined to completely rob modern America of her traditional Christian identity.

The fundamental concepts on which America was built are being lost today because we the people are losing faith and trust in God the Creator, Who is Ultimate Reality and the source of all other realities (except evil). As we become increasingly estranged from our infinitely good, wise and loving Creator, we naturally become suspicious of His moral order that governs the universe He created. Falling into the original sin of pride, we dare to exalt ourselves above the Creator and His eternal law, rejecting transcendent truth and taking it upon ourselves to arbitrarily decide what is right and wrong. Instead of humbly accepting the divinely revealed objective realities of inalienable rights and natural law and ordering our lives accordingly, we prefer to construct our own subjective virtual reality and live according to our own wishes, either denying that God exists or simply ignoring His existence as irrelevant to our own.

This is the dangerous building project in which the radically secularist elites are currently engaged: they are hacking vigorously at America’s Judeo-Christian bedrock and demolishing her philosophical foundations laid upon that bedrock in order to construct a new nation on the shifting sands of moral relativism and atheism. Experience offers abundant warning of the end results of such a project: consider the French Revolution, Italian Fascism, German Nazism, Russian Communism and all the bloodshed and human misery spawned by these infamous totalitarian regimes before they were washed into the ocean of history. Attempting to build a nation without God always leads to social chaos and totalitarianism, resulting in the loss of human rights and freedom. It should also be pointed out that a nation’s loss of faith is inevitably followed by a loss of reason, because without faith in the realities of God and His natural law, the world no longer makes sense.

Under the poisonous influence of radical secularism, America is losing touch with God and thus also losing touch with reality. Polls now indicate that a majority of Americans favor legally equating the moral abomination of a homosexual union with the sacred institution of marriage. This demonstrates just how far our society and culture have drifted from the religious and moral values of America’s founding generation. We don’t even understand what marriage is anymore. Marriage is the Creator’s own institution, the perfectly designed union of a man and a woman for the good of the spouses, the procreation of children, the good of the children and society, and the growth and continuation of the human race. If we had sufficient common sense, we would simply recognize this fact as self-evident as our ancestors did, respecting and protecting and promoting heterosexual marriage as the lifeblood of a healthy and flourishing society. Our laws and policies would naturally favor and strengthen marriage and nuclear family life. The facts that some people now seriously claim a “right” to have an immoral relationship endowed with the title and privileges of marriage, that we are actually discussing and debating and defining and redefining what marriage is, and that those of us who still cling tenaciously to the age-old definition of marriage must now battle strenuously to preserve and hand it on, all indicate that we as a nation are going insane because we no longer recognize and accept the objective truths of the natural law, natural rights, and ordered liberty. And we no longer recognize and accept these truths because we no longer believe in God Who is Truth itself.

The influence of radical secularism in our culture has become so pervasive that it is now affecting the thinking even of some good and well-respected Catholics. Last year, for example, based on a misguided tolerance and an inordinate desire not to offend homosexual lobbyists, Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York both wrongly approved of admitting them into the 2015 Saint Patrick’s Day parade, a Catholic religious and cultural event. Given that their radical agenda is to celebrate their sinful relationships and have them legally recognized as “marriages,” such approval was entirely inappropriate. Apparently Donohue felt that agreeing to homosexual activists’ participation in the event was a useful bargaining chip for getting pro-life activists into the march. And apparently Cardinal Dolan felt that allowing such immoral extremists into this event was an act of Christian charity that could draw them closer to the Church. But the end does not automatically justify the means. It is forbidden to compromise with evil in order to obtain a good. And there can be no moral comparison or equivalence between those who promote a grave moral evil that violates God’s law and wreaks social havoc, and those who defend the inalienable right to life of the innocent unborn, which currently is not protected by law in the United States.

In another example of how radically secularist thought can affect Catholic reasoning, attorney Kyle Duncan of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty recently remarked in an interview on The World Over Live with Raymond Arroyo that a certain state has the right to broaden the definition of marriage to include same-sex relationships if it so chooses. Such a remark betrays the often subtle and subconscious influence of the radically secularist ideology and the insidious moral relativism and atheism on which it is based. The truth is that the states, the courts, the federal government, and the people have no right to decide to legally alter the Creator’s timeless definition of marriage. On the contrary, it’s the business of the states, the courts, the federal government, and the people to properly understand and accept marriage for what it is and to have their laws reflect that proper understanding and acceptance. As a firm believer in democracy, I do acknowledge and treasure the ancient democratic principle vox populi vox Dei, “the voice of the people is the voice of God.” However, the will of the people is to be respected and carried out only insofar as it accords with the objective truths of the natural law and promotes the true good of society. Thus, laws that acknowledge and reflect the Creator’s definition of marriage and protect the sanctity of the nuclear family should be consistently upheld, while those that attempt to change that definition and assault the sanctity of the nuclear family should be struck down and overturned.

Faced with growing attacks on marriage and religious liberty, taxpayer-funded abortions, the HHS anti-life mandate, ballooning national debt, and increasingly corrupt career politicians, many well-intentioned religious and patriotic Americans of good will are now scrambling to bolster the political and legal defenses against our radically secularist internal enemies, with efforts ranging from the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act to state versions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to court injunctions to a Balanced Budget Amendment to term limits for senators and representatives. Catholic and Christian lawyers are claiming that individual states have the right to decide for themselves what marriage is without interference from the courts. Although many of these efforts are laudable and deserving of support, the main problem with this whole approach is that it merely treats the political and legal symptoms of a much deeper cultural and social disease infecting our nation. Our current political and legal systems are simply the products of our contemporary culture and society, which has turned virulently anti-Christian in recent years. If our American culture and society are indeed so profoundly afflicted by the mental illness of radical secularism, then we cannot logically expect our federal government and courts to hold out long as bastions of sanity and justice. Not even the Constitution can guarantee protection of our inalienable rights when it is reinterpreted to mean whatever this or that radical lobby group or alliance of activist justices arbitrarily decides it should mean. Any government or court system is only as good as the people who run it. When our politicians and judges are godless, immoral, unjust, and biased, how can we expect them to issue godly, moral, just, and unbiased laws and rulings? Since they are living in a self-constructed fantasy world, how can we expect them to govern and interpret the real world in a sensible and rational manner? As the Supreme Court prepares to issue a landmark decision on whether homosexual relationships should be legally recognized as “marriages,” can we reasonably expect a simple majority of the justices, let alone all nine of them, to make the right decision based on common sense and the Creator’s natural law?

If America is to be rescued from the brink of final and ultimate disaster toward which she is now obliviously hurtling, a profound change of mentality must take place in our culture. We the people need to break out of our beloved self-constructed virtual-reality bubbles and get back in touch with reality. We need to rediscover the fundamental concepts of inalienable rights, natural law, and ordered liberty as the irreplaceable foundations of a great nation. We need to rediscover marriage and the nuclear family as indispensable elements of a healthy society. We need to rediscover and reconnect with our priceless Judeo-Christian cultural heritage. And, most importantly, we need to reaffirm our faith and trust in Almighty God, our infinitely wise and loving Creator, humbly begging His forgiveness on our waywardness and imploring His providential assistance in rebuilding our crumbling nation. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Ps. 33:12).

Copyright © 2015 Justin D. Soutar. All rights reserved.

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