Liberals, Law, and the Notion of “Progress”

by walterm on December 3, 2016

It is interesting me how liberal progressive almost to a person say that Christians, a) have no right to impose their views on others, and b) have no right to express their views in the public square. If they do believe Christians have the right to be heard in the public square, they feel any views that have a religious component still should have no say in matters of law or culture. Their views, however, since they are not religious, should be accepted in matters of law and culture. And note that this typically only applies to Christianity. I have often wondered how they can defend this view, knowing that the First Amendment of our Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Note there is no “separation of church and state” in the words above, which is the typical argument liberal progressives proffer as the reason under the law that Christian views have no place in civil society. The reading, however, is clear.  In the first clause, Congress, as in the federal government, shall make no law that establishes a religion. That does not apply, however, at the state level. States can have official religions, but not even one has adopted the practice. In the second clause, the First Amendment is perspicuous in that the free exercise of religion by citizens shall not be prohibited. Therefore, the Christian, Muslim, Jew, or person of any other faith has the full right to exercise their freedom of speech which includes advocating for policies that they hold dear in government.

So, why does the liberal progressive believe his views are the only legitimate views that apply when it comes to law and government? From discussions with various progressives, and hearing views of prominent progressives on radio and television, their belief is that religious views are, first, false views. Second, they believe religious views are antiquated since they’re based on texts that were written thousands of years ago. People knew far less back then, and didn’t have access to the technology that we have now, so anyone that espouses those views is necessarily backwards and bigoted. Therefore, since religion (in particular, Christianity) is patently false, and even worse, wholly bigoted, religious views have no place in the public square. The only views worth anything are those that have come about as the result of an ever-advancing culture. These views represent cultural “progress” and thus trump “backwards” religious views.

Now the notion of cultural progress today is nothing new, having received great recognition in the publishing of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1959. In this seminal book that has literally changed the world over the past 150 years, Darwin made his argument that history has been about steady evolutionary progress, with the development from lower to higher forms in the history of the universe culminating (at least for now) with man. He marveled at the industriousness and progress of Victorian England at the time, which he used to demonstrate the notion of steady progression towards perfection. It chagrined Darwin, however, that man began interfering by establishing institutions that took care of those who whom he deemed as unfit (i.e., the weak, the sick, or the malformed). Regardless, the notion took and those that accepted an evolutionary view see nothing as transcendent and objective, but everything as fully immanent and subjective.  And thus, morality and law are entirely culturally bound.

I believe it is a demonstrably bad argument to say people hundreds or even thousands of years ago are somehow not as enlightened as we are now. When you look at the rich writings of antiquity, such as those of Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Pliny, Augustine, and Aquinas, how many liberal progressives of today will you find that can match their level of scholarship? Or look at the great scientists such as Ptolemy, Eratosthenes, Kepler, Galileo, Copernicus, and Newton. How many people, with the technology of today, can match their genius? Few, if any. My point is that brilliance and wisdom are timeless, and while every human is a product of their time, people five hundred years hence will look back on the ignorance and backwardness of our eras even though they will still find a few whose brilliance continues to shine, just as people of today look back on the brilliance of those I mentioned above. Progressives of today would do well to learn from and not denounce those who value the wisdom of antiquity. As the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” That is wisdom of the ages.

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On Wednesday, the following week after Donald Trump was elected as President, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel delivered a speech where he reassured illegal immigrants that Chicago will continue to be a sanctuary city even in the wake of a Trump presidency. He said undocumented immigrants would continue to have access to public services, including education and city-funded healthcare. If anyone was ever in doubt of his priorities, it’s clear that people here illegally, and hardly deserving of taxpayer funded public services, are far more important to him than his fellow Americans. Ten percent of the city’s population, or about 274,000, live in deep poverty, which disproportionately affects black American neighborhoods. Crime is also disproportionately rampant in these poverty-stricken neighborhoods. In a city with almost 4,000 shootings and over 675 murders thus far in 2016, sanctuary for illegal immigrants should be the least of his worries.

We often hear that illegal immigration doesn’t hurt American workers, since illegal immigrants “take the jobs that Americans won’t do.” There may be some truth to this, but illegal immigration has been unchecked and unabated for decades with deportations now at a ten-year low under the Obama administration. Since there has always been a steady flow of illegal workers, businesses have not had to pay fair market wages to make lower skilled jobs more attractive to native-born Americans and legal immigrants. And when you look at cities such as Chicago with high poverty, high crime, a high murder rate, one must wonder why it would be prideful of willfully and wantonly violating federal law leaving so many poor black Americans with little economic opportunity in favor of illegal workers.

A problem few recognize with illegal immigration is that it enables Mexico and Central American countries, which have high degrees of corruption, to benefit economically through remittances from illegal immigrants to their families in their home countries. Illegal immigration operates as an escape valve allowing corruption to continue to thrive since enough pressure doesn’t build up among the people to overthrow these corrupt governments.  Also, drug cartels benefit through the trafficking of illegal immigrants, often using them as mules to transport drugs in exchange for safe passage into the United States. So sanctuary cities do nothing more than encourage legal and criminal behavior and even obfuscate it from full view of the law.

Instead of placing focus on poverty, poor schools, unemployment, crime, and murder in the urban areas of Chicago, Emanuel has chosen to pander to Hispanics since the Hispanic voting block is, presumably, his highest priority. He makes the presumption that Hispanics don’t believe in law and order, and the only way to appease them is to provide sanctuary for illegal immigrants, including those with felony records that fall under sanctuary city status. If he truly cared about his own citizens, he would at least cooperate with federal immigration laws when it comes to criminal illegal aliens. Again, this demonstrates his priority is not the safety and well-being of citizens of Chicago, and as the mayor there should be no greater priority than this.

Of course, Emanuel is not alone. He is joined by mayors of other liberal progressive cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, and Philadelphia. These cities have also failed low-skilled black Americans due to their outsize attention to the growing Hispanic populations and illegal immigrants they hope will be future American citizens. American voters have sent a message that they want a President who is committed to law and order and who will protect the sovereignty of our country. We should determine who we want to allow to cross our borders, and not allow others to decide for us. My hope is that President-elect Trump will do as he has promised to deport criminal illegal aliens, fortify our border, crack down on those who overstay their visas, and instead of deporting illegal immigrants that have committed no other crimes, provide them with work permits with no possibility of citizenship as a condition of legal status.

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The Mars National Geographic Series and Something I See Missing

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I have been watching the “preview” of the Mars series coming to National Geographic on November 14 (now streaming on their site). Ron Howard, Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson and other big names were involved in making the series. Since a little kid I have always been fascinated with space and space travel, and there […]

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Understanding Liberal Argumentation: Jehmu Greene vs. John Stossel

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This past week I watched an episode of John Stossel where he clearly and persuasively debunked the phony “war on women” liberals fomented in 2012 out of thin air, a problem that of course only Democrats in government can solve. In a segment on Obamacare, one of his guests was Obama apologist extraordinaire Jehmu Greene, […]

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Liberals and the “Discrimination” Ruse

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This weekend I was listening to a talk radio show discussing the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where the subject of “women’s rights” came up. Sirius XM radio host David Webb had a liberal and a conservative guest providing opposing perspectives on the purported pay disparity between men and women. While it has been conclusively […]

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