Several days back, I came across some incredible quotes from Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. that started me thinking on several topics. I beg your attention as we discuss the fundamental truths of the following two quotes:
“The law is the witness and external deposit of our moral life. Its history is the history of the moral development of the race.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
“The ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas [and] the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
I am not here to debate the law. However, in discussing these two quotes, predominantly since they originate from a Supreme Court Justice of the United States of America, we will discuss aspects of the law. The same goes for religion and philosophy; it is necessary to discuss aspects of both religion and philosophy to discuss the law. However, I am not here to debate either religion or philosophy.
The Law and Social Morals
2015, in a decision that shocked the American Nation, the Supreme Court decided Obergefell v. Hodges and same-sex marriage stopped being a state right’s issue and became a Federal issue, even though the Federal Government does not issue marriage licenses. Using the two quotes above, we find the truth of both in the actions of the court. The court decided that the Federal Government needed to “step into” a state’s right issue to prevent a kaleidoscope of legal decisions across the entire 50- and American Territories.
What is wrong with 50-different states exerting their rights? The SCOTUS decision states the following, “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.” Apparently, SCOTUS forgot to read and understand decisions from previous justices who faced a similar moral issue.
“I have no respect for the passion of equality, which seems to me merely idealizing envy – I don’t disparage envy, but I don’t accept it as legitimately my master.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Same-sex marriage was all about envy, not rights, not liberties, not freedoms, envy! Envy couched in the language of “equality.” Love, devotion, sacrifice, family, all of it was smoke-screens and mirrors to hide envy. Those who engage in bedroom practices that were not in the mainstream wanted their relationship to be a “marriage.” With all the state and civil granted benefits involved. The simple solution to this moral dilemma was to remove the government’s self-appointed authority to regulate marriage. The day the state and local governments decided to regulate marriage was when citizens lost fundamental rights to keep the government out of their business. One of the most significant privacy abuses in the world occurs every time the government forces a couple to register (license) a marriage.
Worse, the government forces you to pay a tax to get married. By paying a licensing fee, the government taxes marriages, invades your privacy, and in doing so, provides you the ability to pay for the privilege of inviting the government into your bedroom. The moral development of the law to govern society hinges upon justices not legislating from the bench, judges who refuse judicial activism because the elected representatives of the government are moving too slow on an issue, and judges who remain dedicated to the limits of the law. Yet, the exact opposite has been allowed to occur by the elected representatives who abdicate their roles to the judicial branch, who refuse their duties as a co-equal branch of the government, and people who use the law for selfish ends and means.
What is more precious to you, government benefits, granted by the courts and purchased from taxpayers in another area, or privacy, freedom, and liberty? How you answer this question should be revealing to you and a reminder of your obligations as a legal citizen of these United States of America, a free Republic (if we can keep it). Freedom has a cost; the cost involves being involved in elections, voting smarter, watching and scrutinizing those elected, and monitoring the actions of judges and lawyers.
Privacy and Freedom – The Law and Ideas
From the US Bill of Rights and US Constitution as amended, we find that America’s founding fathers wanted an individual’s privacy held sacrosanct in American Law. Unfortunately, what do we see in the laws of America the exact opposite?
- Amendment I
(Privacy of Beliefs)
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 petition the government for a redress of grievances.
- Amendment III
(Privacy of the Home)
No Soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
- Amendment IV
(Privacy of the Person and Possessions)
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
- Amendment IX
(More General Protection for Privacy?)
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
- Liberty Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
- Amendment I
One might ask, where is the marketplace for ideas. The answer begins inside the walls of your own home. Except, if you enter your thoughts on social media, the Department of Internal Revenue Service has empowered your employer to withhold employment to express your thoughts inside your own home or on your social media accounts. Worse, the government calls this a privilege of employment and a cost of doing business in a technological age. Hence the first two places where ideas are testing truth, and competing for market share, are social media and your home.
Where else would one expect to have the freedom to share ideas? Employment and religion are two other places where the government regulates and restricts ideas. How many churches faced IRS sanctions for allowing political speech inside their walls, every single one! What about employers; they limit the sharing of ideas on a host of topics under the language of diversity, inclusion, and risk. Due to fear from the potential of people to become violent, the insurance companies and IRS allow your liberties, privacy, and constitutional rights to be curtailed, culled, and clipped as an excuse to protect your safety at work.
As a final thought, consider the following:
“For my part, I think it is a less evil that some criminals should escape than that the government should play an ignoble part.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Playing an ignoble part in the confiscation, curtail, and culling of rights, liberties, and freedoms, has been the improper role of government since President Wilson (D). He was allowed to do what he did by a complicit Congress and the K-12 educations of the populace. The reason functional illiteracy is so rampant, the government in the 1860s approved Dewey’s ideas to make students dumber, purposefully, to ensure the government could steal power unconstitutionally. By the end of the 1940s, the coup was complete, and you became the property of government to be used and abused as the government desired. Some Sunday thoughts to begin your next week with; unfortunately, the ideas must lead to action if America is to be saved!
© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.
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