Thursday, March 31, 2005

Hedgehogemony Continues

Doug TenNapel engages in a most enjoyable debate with me (or am I engaging him?) on the rule of law and what that has to do with God. Here's how the exchange has played out:

First, I said this:

Meanwhile, Doug TenNapel (why can't I have a cool surname like that?) has an excellent and fiery post on both Schiavo and judicial moral hegemony generally. I can't tell if Doug agrees with my post below about the rule of law or not. If what he's saying is that thereare just some days when anarchy looks pretty good, then I agree with him. But we must resist that impulse, my brother! So when do we cross the line where we need to resort to Boston Tea Party-type action? Heck , I don't know, but I think we're pretty far from that point right now. I hope so, anyway; God gave us the Constitution; let's use it. Our task is to convince people of the correctness of our positions; if we can't do that we're lost anyway.

Then Doug said this:

I believe he's one of the good ones, but I can't agree that God gave us the Constitution. I'm sure he means it as a turn of phrase or we'd have to add a book to our canon...the book of Constitution. But it would make sense why many of us righties mistakenly hold our law as a First Thing. The law is a Second Thing to God's law which is the presupposed First Thing.

Well, yes, it's really a turn of phrase. I don't think we disagree at all. I do believe the U.S. Constitution was divinely inspired, and that's what I meant when I said "God gave" it to us. The Declaration and the Constitution are simply expressing the "unalienable rights" God has given all men and women.

My real point (not as well made as I had hoped) was that if we cannot effectively exercise those God-given rights to persuade others to choose good, we are sunk. No law will save us; neither will any army. An old adage states: "America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great." In my opinion, we need to sustain, honor, and obey the law of the land so that we can preserve a framework in which we are free to attempt to convince our fellow citizens of that. The law exists to serve goodness and virtue; goodness and virtue do not exist to serve the law.

I'm glad I could clear that up. Or maybe sort of clear it up.


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