Rand Paul: Civil Rights Gaffe or Fact?

I felt compelled to write about Rand Paul’s supposed “gaffe” on the Rachel Maddow show.  For those who aren’t familiar with the “gaffe,” Mr. Paul said that he supported the original intent of the Civil Rights Act, which was to accord to blacks equal dignity as befits their status as living, breathing human beings.  He did not, however, support the provision in the Civil Rights Act that banned businesses from discriminating.

It would first behoove us to discuss what the Civil Rights Act essentially does.  Before this act, if a crime was committed against a black person, it was swept under the rug.  Black people basically had no legal recourse if a crime was committed against them.  This law gave them that recourse.  However, those who drafted the act wrongly thought that a white person refusing to do business with a black person was a crime.  It is not a crime to refuse to do business with anybody, no matter what your motivation may be for such a refusal to do business.  Like Rand Paul said, it is a bad business model, as such a discriminatory business practice likely will backfire and cause his business to suffer.

But if that person wishes to risk his business in such a fashion, Rand Paul essentially asks one simple question, who is the government to stop them?  If a person wishes to risk his business on a bad discriminatory practice, that is his right.  The free market will eventually squeeze him out as more and more people simply refuse in like fashion to do business with a racist.  So in his comments on the Civil Rights Act, Rand Paul is correct.  Refusing to do business with someone based on a person’s skin color is wrong, and not only that constitutes a bad business model as well, but the business owner does have that right.  We do not have an unalienable right to a business owner’s good’s and services.  A business owner has the right to refuse to do business with someone.  That is what Rand Paul basically stated.  But because the words he chose to describe his stance were perhaps ill-chosen, he is vilified by the liberal left.

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Abortion, Contraception, and Social Security

I’ve heard a lot in the news recently about all kinds of budget shortfalls.  The most notable of these shortfalls is Social Security.  To be sure, a large part of our deficits stem from out of control spending and the belief that we as  a nation can borrow our way out of this mess.

But for this blog I intend to talk about Social Security and the effect that pushing abortion, contraception, and by extension the devaluing of the institution that gives new life back to society because of the participation in this institution of men and women who wish to commit themselves to each other.  That institution is the natural law institution of marriage.

People are under the erroneous impression that they pay into the Social Security system for themselves, and liberals have done absolutely nothing to discourage this impression they have of Social Security.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The SS system is set up so that members of the workforce pay into the system for the people going into retirement ahead of them.  So we are paying for others’ retirement and others are paying for our own retirement under this system.  Aside from the affront to liberty regarding our own monetary affairs that this system represents, there is only one way that this system could work out mathematically: the government must value human life and dignity above all else and it must value marriage as the life-giving institution that it is.  If the government ceases to do this, which it has, you wind up with more people entering retirement than there are people in the workforce to support their SS checks.

Back in the early days of SS, it did work out mathematically.  People entering into retirement had at least a good 3  or 4 people paying into the SS system for them.  This was because back then people never would’ve thought to kill their own child at any otherwise viable stage of human development or to glorify the devaluing of the sexual act as a mere tool to be used only for the satisfaction of base and carnal desires through the pushing of contraceptive use.  But then people began to push for these things in the name of so-called “choice and freedom.”  We bear stark witness today to the horrible and rotten fruits of this terrible push for the “right” to kill your own child and the “right” to devalue our greatest and most powerful gift, the gift that allows us to give to society in the form of new life.

Because of these things, the devaluing of human life as a blight upon “Mother Earth” rather than the gift to the world human life is, and of the sexual act that leads to new life, our population is aging.  Whereas in the early days there were fewer people retiring than were people in the workforce, today there are more people retiring than there are people in the workforce to support them through SS.  The fruits of this secular humanistic approach that the liberals are so fond of has wrought terrible fruits indeed, not only politically and socially but now economically.  The system is collapsing not just because of out-of-control government spending, but by the simple mathematical fact that there are fewer people in the workforce than there are people retiring.  The foundation of support for the elderly through social security, workers, is collapsing as a result of the push for those immoral things.

So because of the glorification by the left of the immorality of lifestyles that dissociate the unitive act from the procreative act and of lifestyles that are by nature closed to the gift of new life (seeking a moral equivalency between the homosexual lifestyle and the special and unique life-giving love that can only exist between a man and a woman), we witness today the severe economic repercussions of such glorification.  All of these have led to a vacuum that people wrongly look to unconstitutional expansion of government to fill, when the proper solution is to restore life and liberty and the natural law that gave us these things to their rightful place in our Republic.

As for the homosexual lifestyle, I would like to add that liberals will, and have, lied about the nature of this lifestyle in order to make people who live with this unnatural lifestyle feel good about their sinful behavior by calling it love.  That is patently incorrect, for the love that can only exist between a man and a woman naturally is our greatest act of charity as human beings.  In this act man and woman give themselves totally to each other, and through their selfless act of commitment to each other give back to society in the form of the most wondrous gift of new human life.  The homosexual lifestyle is rightfully known as unnatural and carnal precisely because by its very nature the homosexual lifestyle dissociates the unitive act from the procreative act of our sexual gifts by being intrinsically closed to this gift of new human life.

True Charity and Catholicism

Ah, charity, that greatest of cardinal virtues.  It is by this virtue that a bond is formed between all members of the human society.  This virtue enables us to love one another as God so loves us.  As an expression of this love we dutifully help our fellow man with basic necessities.  We do this because we love our fellow man as members of human society and so we want to do this.

As I have stated in previous blogs, true charity is not found in the mandates of government welfare programs.  The very nature of these programs forces them to obtain funding through taxation.  And so because funding for these programs is forced through taxation, people are helping their fellow man not out of charity and love, but because they are forced to through government mandates.

And thus it is with great sadness that I see an increasing number of my fellow Catholics who have forsaken or who simply have not been taught in the first place the most basic principles of charity, and its relationship to the principle of subsidiarity.  By voting for drastic increases in government welfare spending such as those found in the health care bill, such Catholics are displaying a growing and open defiance of these basic principles.

The principle of subsidiarity, as set forth in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, states:

“A community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of  society, always with a view of the common good.” – Paragraph 1883 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

With government welfare programs, the government (the community of higher order) is directly interfering in the internal affairs of the individual (the community of lower order) by robbing him of the freedom to choose whether or not to help someone and interfering in the individual’s monetary affairs.  This is in direct opposition to what the role of government should be, which is an authority that facilitates and co-ordinates commerce with respect to the common good and to freedom.  In the case of help for the poor, the government instead should seek to not put out welfare programs funded through taxation, but instead should facilitate charity through the private non-profit entities whose business it is to help those who are in need of help.  This prohibition against the “nanny state” and activities by the government that lead up to it (the gradual but steady expansion of government welfare spending) is given in paragraph 1885 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states:

“The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism.  It sets limits for state intervention.  It aims at harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies.  It tends toward the establishment of true international order.”

Thus do Catholics who vote for people who seek only to expand the welfare state, including this health care bill, do so in direct opposition to Church teaching.  Church teaching in this matter is very clear that because of the principle of subsidiarity, charity must be a free will gift from the heart of one’s own time, talent, and/or treasure and should be geared towards helping the needy become self-sufficient and productive  members of society.  And such a free will gift is not found in government mandates through welfare programs funded through taxation.

Immigration and the Arizona Law

“The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin.  Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.  Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.” – Paragraph 2241 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

It is important to note the first and foremost key phrase, as it sets up the rest of the passage from this book: “to the extent they are able.”  This means that the Catholic Church recognizes the common sense fact that no nation’s resources are infinite and therefore no nation, no matter how prosperous, can absorb an infinite number of immigrants.  That sets up the next part that says that the people charged with the common good, duly elected government officials, have the right to, by using their prudential judgment, craft a fair and just set of immigration laws which are used to control the flow of people seeking entry into said nation.  First and foremost amongst these “juridical conditions” would therefore be an acknowledgement of the fact that no nation’s resources are infinite by basically the government stating “we will take as many of you at one time as our resources will allow.”  And so first and foremost they would have to examine the possible cost of an immigrant (and his family if he has one) on the nation’s resources.  And if there simply aren’t enough resources to support said immigrant (and family) then the government has the right to say “we cannot take you in at this time as our resources are maxed out but you do have the option to wait until enough resources are free and we’ll look at your application again at that point in time.”

As for the rest of the passage, it states that immigrants must respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the nation that adopts them and to obey its laws and assist in carrying civic burdens.  This simply means that immigrants must respect our sovereign laws as long as they aren’t contrary to the dignity of persons and the natural law.  This would include those laws that are designed to control the flow of immigration.  Our nation has (or is supposed to have) a heritage rich in the liberty given by natural law and purchased for us by the blood of our ancestors who fought the yoke of British tyranny.  It is a heritage that is both material and spiritual.  This heritage gives us all the freedom and opportunity we could ever ask for provided that we abide by the natural law that must necessarily constrain us as we are imperfect beings and so thus need common sense restraint in the form of fair and just laws given by the light of this natural law.  And our heritage also punishes those who transgress our laws in proportion to the severity of the crime.  This means that immigrants who are caught breaking other laws while residing here in willful defiance of our fair and just immigration laws are punished with deportation.  Say what you will but this is infinitely more fair and humane than the way most 3rd world countries have treated their illegal immigrants.  Their treatment of them tends to include numerous violations of the natural dignity of the human person and the natural law.  By simply saying “go to the end of the line and wait to gain entry legally,” we preserve the dignity of the human person in our punishment of the person transgressing immigration law.

Now, on to this new law Signed by Gov. Brewer in Arizona.  Border security is supposed to be a federal issue.  However if the federal government is derelict in this duty it should by necessity fall upon the States to pick up the slack.  All this law does is give law enforcement officials in Arizona the authority to enforce federal immigration law during lawful stops and arrests.  Those charged with State, county, and local law enforcement must be able to enforce the law in its entirety, this would necessarily include immigration laws.  If law enforcement is prohibited from enforcing any one part of the law, then law enforcement is being prevented from doing its job, to enforce the law.  Why have laws in the first place if you’re going to remove the enforcement power of those charged with protecting the public through law enforcement?  What good is law enforcement if law enforcement cannot do its legal duty by the citizens they are charged with protecting.

So to reiterate, all this law does is first of all expand one’s identity to include citizenship status (which is in essence one’s identity as a citizen or legal resident or lack thereof) and gives law enforcement the power to check for this ID when making a lawful stop and/or arrest.  And if the person is found to be an illegal alien, then said person is deported.  This sounds fair enough to me and does not sound like a violation of the principles set forth in the Catechism, because this law also essentially says that if law enforcement at any time violates the dignity of the human person of whoever they lawfully stop or arrest, then said officers are penalized under the code of conduct that governs law enforcement officers.

I would also like to add that if government officials don’t shape up and start enforcing our border security and related immigration laws, then a grave injustice shall continue to be done unto the ranks of American citizenry and legal residents as the flow of illegal immigration continues unchecked and consumes resources at an ever-increasing rate.

National Day of Prayer

I felt compelled to write about something that’s been in the news for quite awhile now: the National Day of Prayer.  Some say it’s just what we need.  Other people say it’s unconstitutional, that it violates the establishment clause.

First, let’s examine this clause.  It states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”  From what I have seen, this National Day of prayer does not violate the establishment clause.  This national holiday doe snot establish any specific way of praying, nor does it force you to pray at all.  It doesn’t say anything to the effect of “people not praying at all will be imprisoned” nor does it say “people not praying in accordance with the Christian faith will be imprisoned.”

This is simply a holiday that honors our first and greatest right enumerated in the Bill of Rights: the freedom of religious speech and expression.  This right grants people of all faiths the right to speak in the public square without fear or ridicule (or at least it’s supposed to anyway).  This is a simple holiday meant to honor the fact that it was members of various religious denominations, those that the world today seeks to demonize, that were instrumental in forming the documents by which our nation was to be led in liberty for all time: the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America).

This does not constitute a violation of the establishment clause.  In order for it to be a violation of the establishment clause it would have to force people to pray and/or do so in a particular way by way of threatening punishment of some nasty and undesirable kind if one does not comply.  The National Day of Prayer does not do this.  It does not seek to establish a state church.  It just seeks to give special notice to our first and greatest civil liberty: freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion as some might have you believe.  A very basic principle which essentially means that government stays out of religious affairs, but that the people of many and varied faiths have the right to have their voice heard.