The State of the Union: America in the Twilight of Truth
By Virginia Armstrong, Ph.D., National Chairman, Eagle Forum’s Court Watch President, Blackstone Institute
Has the United States of America irrevocably fallen away from its Judeo-Christian founding principles, and if so, why?
One need only to trace the history of our culture and its laws to see the rise of a Humanistic worldview that has trampled centuries of the most basic truths surrounding personhood, life, liberty, and law. The individual human being is no longer valued as having God-given rights. Ruling elites decide which lives are worth protecting, and freedom from religion is preferred to freedom of religion. Lawlessness has trumped the rule of law so that morality means nothing; core principles have been stripped of their ultimate human protections, and the key qualities of certainty, consistency, and continuity in the legal system are routinely abandoned at the whim of unelected judicial officers.
This shift in national focus and ideology has produced dangerous results for our society. It is time for the Judeo-Christian and Constitutionalist communities to stop the slide into darkness and reclaim the Truth that has made this nation a guiding light for the world.
Cliff Note: Pat Daugherty, Ed.D., Co-Editor, Trumpet of Truth, Christians Confronting the Culture Initiative
“America has become tolerant of tolerance but not of truth,” said Dr. Erwin Lutzer, long-time pastor of the Moody Church in Chicago, after attending a Parliament of the World’s Religions twenty years ago. This perceptive observation is even more compelling today. “Tolerance for tolerance but not for truth” is so pervasive that we Constitutionalists could and should deliver our own “State of the Union” address. This we do below in a piece entitled, “America in the Twilight of Truth
A pernicious Humanistic worldview has viciously and relentlessly attacked the centuries-old Judeo-Christian worldview foundations of Western civilization, and darkness has replaced the light of truth. The “truth” has become less visible and less influential in our cultural and constitutional life and is being eclipsed in the four public policy areas fundamental to our national life: (1) religious liberties (especially for Biblical believers), (2) evolutionism v. creationism, (3) abortion and life issues, and (4) homosexual rights or “marriage.”
This trampling of truth is rooted in the nation’s Culture War and results from Humanistic attacks on the core principles that are basic to American life. These principles, expressed in the U. S. Constitution in Amendments One, Five, and Fourteen, are: (1) “personhood,” (2) “life,” (3) “liberty,” and (4) “law.” As we stand on the cusp of a new era in American law and politics following the 2016 election, we must ask three crucial questions:
- (1) WHAT is happening?
- (2) WHO is responsible?
- (3) HOW must we Constitutionalists respond?
1. WHAT is happening?
WHAT is happening can be seen in bold relief when we state the truths of America’s Judeo-Christian core principles and then view the Humanistic principles plunging our first principles into the twilight.
The dignity of the person – the individual human being – has been denigrated to reduce humans to mere animals.
The sanctity of human life has been transmogrified into the
Humanistic concept of “quality of life” – but “quality” is defined by the ruling elites in a way that makes them gods over the “life” rights of the rest of society.
Ripping it from its Judeo-Christian anchor, Humanists are trying to redefine “liberty.” “Religious liberty” has been changed from the right to acknowledge an almighty God of the Scriptures to the right to abandon and even attack God – or the right to idolatry. “Morality” has been twisted grotesquely into the right to licentiousness (as in same-sex marriage policy and the new nonsense of “transgender restrooms”).
The “rule of law” has been bulldozed by the “rule of lawlessness.” Without the rule of law, all the other core principles are stripped of their ultimate human protection, standing naked before the onslaught of Humanism. To demonstrate the twilight of the rule of law in America, let us turn to the “Father of Analytical Jurisprudence,” H.L.A. Hart, who explained the differences between primitive and mature legal systems – the former characterizing a society in which there is the “rule of lawlessness,” and the latter characterizing a system in which there is the “rule of law.” Hart said that for a legal system to survive and embody the rule of law, it must manifest the qualities of certainty, consistency, and continuity – the “three Cs.”
Standards and norms worthy of being designated as “laws” must (1) be clearly and objectively understood by the “average man” possessing adequate knowledge of the rule – certainty; (2) be joined with other rules in a body where there are no contradictions between the various rules or between legal rules and society standards - consistency; (3) reflect a steady development over time which is logical and realistic. “Laws” retain their quality as “laws” unless there is a compelling reason for changing a “law”; and the changes are generated by fair and proper procedures - continuity.
If a legal system does not retain the “three Cs,” then it loses its right to be called “law.” American law is no longer manifesting the three Cs and the “rule of law,” but has fallen captive in the twilight of truth to the “rule of lawlessness.” Our legal system is characterized by chaos not certainty, contradiction not consistency, and convolution not continuity.
2. WHO is responsible?
So WHO is responsible for our loss of the light of truth? In 1977, Dean William Ray Forrester of Cornell Law School aptly described the U. S Supreme Court:
“[The U.S. Supreme Court] is even more unique and unprecedented than commonly supposed. Indeed, the institution can no longer be described with any accuracy as a court, in the customary sense. Unlike a court, its primary function is not judicial but legislative. It is a governing body in the sense that it makes the basic policy decisions of the nation, selects among the competing values of our society, and administers and executes the directions it chooses in political, social and ethical matters. It has become the major societal agency for reform.”
A simple majority of five on the Supreme Court has become the nation’s chief legislator and executive as well as an activist judiciary. Separation of powers, division of powers, popular sovereignty, and the entire gamut of Judeo-Christian truths has fallen before the radical sword wielded by Humanistic justices rendering decisions. This judiocracy is primarily responsible for the rapidly encroaching darkness driving us farther from our history. In today’s “state of the union,” the courts are in chaos, the Constitution is in crisis, and the culture is in collapse.
In such dire straits, is there any hope for rescuing America from this miasmic twilight of truth and moving our beloved nation forward into the light again? The answer is a most emphatic “Yes”!
HOW must we Constitutionalists respond?
HOW can America’s Judeo-Christian/Constitutionalist community return our republic to the light of truth? The Constitution provides that the people ultimately exercise control over the political and legal system through these methods:
( a ) Designation
We, the people, DESIGNATE those who are our leaders. “Political” officials (i.e., generally that means legislative and executive agents) are elected. Judges are also elected in many states. Federal judges are appointed by the President, “with the advice and consent of the Senate.” Obviously, this judicial selection process is front and center on the national scene now, as we anticipate how our new President will appoint judges, especially to the Supreme Court, who should adhere to the Judeo-Christian foundations of the Constitution. Nothing the new President will do will be any more important than, or perhaps as important as, his choice of these immensely powerful jurists.
( b ) Legislation
We, the people, also retain the POWER TO INFLUENCE our legislators and executives after they take office. Lobbying is one of the most important of our popular controls and must be exercised wisely, consistently, and effectively if we are to dispel the shadows engulfing America, and return our nation to the full light of truth.
( c ) Constitutionalization
This term refers to the people’s power to AMEND THE CONSTITUTION under Article V of the document. The bulk of the amending power is in the hands of the people and states. This power should be used with great restraint and as a last resort against a long-line of court decisions unswervingly committed to anti-constitutional positions concerning the fundamental policy areas and core principles discussed above. Amending efforts must also be planned and conducted with the greatest care and precision. Conventions proposed by the current “Article V/Convention of the States” movement inherently fall short of the “care and precision” requirement.
In the battles ahead, we Judeo-Christian advocates will charge forward on behalf of the cause of Truth in America today. Our objective will always be to “educate for action.” During the campaign season, we heard many times, “May God bless America!” But in the future, we must surely add, “May America bless God!”
Copyright © 2017 by V. C. Armstrong