What is the truth? Reply


As seen in the Des Moines Register April 18, 2010

Is truth absolute or relative?

Americans disagree.  The question needs a healthy airing in light of an upcoming nomination battle this summer to select a new member of the Supreme Court.  After all, our Justices have to determine what is the truth from a legal point of view.  Their decisions have had a profound affect on the fabric of our nation.

The most obvious example: before 1973, forty-six states said it was illegal to kill a baby in the womb.  After 1973, those laws were considered to be wrong.  The underlying principal, that the baby in the womb was a person with rights, was “untrue” according to the Justices.

Moral Relativism has emerged as a powerful force in America.  It animates the political Left, and it is the political Left that currently dominates Washington.  They will select the next Justice.

Moral Relativists view truth as an oozing, fluid idea.  What was true yesterday may not be true tomorrow.  Feelings determine morality.  Truth is an evolving entity, much like the Constitution of the United States in their eyes.

The self-esteem movement is a reflection of the impact moral relativism has had on our culture.  Moral absolutism produces guilt when we do something wrong.  Guilt is bad.  On the other hand, moral relativism allows us to rationalize away such unpleasantness, which makes us happy.  Happiness is good.

Therefore, feelings ultimately define morality for the Relativist.  Self-esteem is the name of the game.

For moral absolutists, it is just the opposite.  Moral actions define feelings.  Self-respect is the name of the game.  They believe truth is timeless and universal.

Moral Relativists point out that truth can’t be absolute, because different cultures have embraced such different values.  Who is to say our values, whatever they may be, are superior to theirs’?  Values and truth are relative.  Right?  The mantra for the Relativist goes something like this:  “Although I’m personally opposed to [fill in the blank], I certainly can’t tell another culture or person that it is wrong if that is their own truth.”

But if that were really true, we’d be forced to accept Nazi genocide of the Jews as an acceptable German value, and who are we to impose our values on others? In fact, we so adamantly rejected them that we went to war over them.

This points out an unspoken flaw with Relativism.  Cultures are actually more alike than dissimilar.  We are bound together by transcendent truth.

Courage and compassion are revered in every culture in the world today and yesterday.  Even in Nazi Germany, they were on display by brave Germans hiding their Jewish friends from the Nazis. Wisdom, hope, and honesty are universally venerated.  They are ingrained in humanity, imprinted on our soul, so to speak.

There has never been a culture that celebrates lying, betrayal, addiction, cowardice, and selfishness.  How can this be if values are relative?

The great moral influencers of the world include Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, and Mohammed.  Their moral philosophies were more alike than dissimilar.

So when the Congressional Judicial Committee sits down with the next Supreme Court nominee to determine their worthiness for the bench, it would be instructive to ask him or her these questions:

Do we have a fundamental right to life?

Do we have a fundamental right to liberty?

Do we have a fundamental right to a pursuit of happiness?  What does happiness mean from a legal viewpoint?

If yes, from whom (or Whom) do these rights flow?

Is truth absolute or relative?

THE NATIONAL CREED IS UNDER ATTACK 2


What is the glue that holds this great nation together?

Think about it.  The foundation of any family or nation is its shared value system.

America has stood united throughout its history because, despite differences in political beliefs, race and religion, we have a shared set of values.  The belief system was stated beautifully by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence in what became known as the “National Creed.”  It states what America stands for, that each person enjoys God-given rights.  These rights include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The National Creed is the bedrock of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  And yet today, the Democratic Party adamantly rejects, in their rhetoric and their legislative initiatives, each component of the Creed as envisioned by our Founding Fathers.

There is no middle ground in this clash of values.  America is at war with itself.

Were the Founding Fathers right?

Do all have a right to life?

Democratic legislators, by their actions, say “No”. They have paved the way for tax-funded abortions in their health care initiatives. They seek to revoke conscious-protection provisions that would require doctors and hospitals to perform abortions even if they have moral objections.

This is a big deal.  One in eight hospitals are affiliated with the pro-life Catholic Church. These hospitals employ 750,000 workers.  Do rank and file Democrats really want to force these institutions to make this choice:  perform abortions, which they consider to be murder, or shut their doors?

What about liberty?

Today’s Democratic Party is not concerned with liberty as much as it is with equality, even if it is at the expense of someone else’s civil liberties.

Nowhere was this more evident than with the President’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court last year.  Judge Sotomayor sat on a circuit court panel that struck a blow against liberty by ruling against Frank Ricci.

Mr. Ricci was a poor student, impaired by learning disabilities.  He became a firefighter in Connecticut.  His department announced an opportunity for promotion, which he wanted.  Unfortunately, it required him to pass a test that he was ill-prepared to handle.

Undeterred, he quit his second job and invested over a thousand dollars in books.  Because of dyslexia, he hired someone to read to him.  He studied eight to thirteen hours a day.  His hard work paid off.  He finished sixth on the exam, which qualified him for promotion.  But the city threw out the results because no African-American fighters scored high enough to be promoted.

Ricci and nineteen others sued, charging they were discriminated against on the basis of race.  Judge Sotomayor said tough luck.  She embraces the philosophy of the Democratic Party that promotes identity politics.  Liberty can always be sacrificed in the name of equality.

What about the pursuit of happiness?

George Mason, who is considered the father of the Bill of Rights, said that “all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights … namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property…”

The Founders considered the right to property to be fundamental. In today’s Democratic Party, the pursuit of happiness has become all about lifestyle choices that are at odds with our core values. Property is something to be redistributed at the whim of the state in the name of equality.

Do fundamental rights come from God?

Finally, do these inalienable rights flow from our Creator? Democrats and their pressure groups, such as the ACLU, have successfully expunged most public references to a Creator.  And the attacks on God continue.  Just this week, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb, appointed to the court by President Carter in 1979, ruled that a National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional.

Keep in mind that when Congress set a day aside for prayer in 1952, they didn’t tell you to Whom you had to pray.  It could be Jesus, Allah, or Mother Earth.

Keep in mind, a national day of prayer is an idea that’s been around since President John Adams.  He called for “a day of solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer,” during which citizens of all faiths were asked to pray “that our country may be protected from all the dangers which threaten it”.

Keep in mind, if you don’t want to pray, you don’t have to!

Our Founding Fathers had it right.  America’s greatness and unity reside in its values.  To my many Democratic friends: call your party to accountability.  They have drifted too far from what this country is all about.