Sunday, July 12, 2015

Judge Thomas on the Declaration of Independence

Whether or not you agree with Justice Thomas's opinion in the same sex marriage case, his opinion is worth reading. This is important because at a time when not only autocracy but an inhuman carnage and ethnic cleaning are being not only practiced but promoted in world affairs, the United States has had trouble conveying our own values in a battle of Ideas.

Library of Law and Liberty - Ken Magugi
Confederate flag waving at the Supreme Court

“Human dignity has long been understood in this country to be innate. When the Framers proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence that ‘all men are created equal’ and ‘endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,’ they referred to a vision of mankind in which all humans are created in the image of God and therefore of inherent worth. That vision is the foundation upon which this Nation was built. The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.”

Real Clear Politics -- Rich Lowry
What Clarence Thomas Can (Still) Teach George “Sulu” Takei

As Thomas writes, “Our Constitution — like the Declaration of Independence before it — was predicated on a simple truth: One’s liberty, not to mention one’s dignity, was something to be shielded from — not provided by — the State.”