America under Attack

Thursday, July 4, 2019
By Paul Martin

By Jeffrey Folks
July 4, 2019

America is a providential nation, chosen by God always to be a beacon of freedom and hope. In the freedom and opportunity it offers its citizens and in the example it offers to other nations, America is that “city upon a hill” envisioned by John Winthrop, first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. By that, he meant that the pilgrim colony in New England, standing proudly as if on a hill, would be a model of goodness and right living for all to see.

America is still that city upon a hill, but our future is less certain. Will we remain a nation in which our basic freedoms are guaranteed? We face a progressive movement that is willing to sacrifice our liberty in exchange for what it calls social justice. That fact has been apparent for over 40 years, what with President Carter’s universalist idea of America as merely one nation among others, one that showed everywhere a face of weakness and compromise, and certainly since Sandra Day O’Connor’s ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) that schools had the right to employ race as a factor in determining admissions. O’Connor as much as admitted that her ruling was unconstitutional — that is, it violated the equal protection clause by admitting students with inferior qualifications ahead of others more qualified — but she argued that the “compelling interest” of diversity overrode constitutional liberty. In the years since Grutter, most colleges and universities have institutionalized roundabout racial quotas condoned by the Court.

O’Connor’s ruling in Grutter was one more brick in the wall of the progressive assault on liberty. Justice Thomas, in a dissert joined by Justice Scalia, wrote that with Grutter, the Court “has placed its imprimatur on a practice that can only weaken the principle of equality embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Equal Protection Clause.” On this Fourth of July, Americans should consider Justice Thomas’s words and resolve to restore the full measure of liberty that our Founders intended.

America cannot be the home of “partial liberty.” Any violation of any of our constitutional liberties must be offensive to all Americans. Those who are willing to cede the rights of others, thinking it will not impact them, are sadly mistaken. This is especially true at a time when assaults on Second Amendment rights of gun ownership and First Amendment rights of religious expression and free speech are under widespread attack by progressives. The attempt to force Christians to spend tax dollars funding abortions is an egregious example.

The problem with O’Connor’s principle of “compelling interest,” aside from that it is a direct violation of the Constitution, is that it can come to mean anything. If society has a compelling interest in admitting a “critical mass” of minority students to elite institutions, it can also be said to have a compelling interest in restraining population growth through abortion or sterilization, or in eliminating or jailing certain groups judged to be offensive. If Justice Ginsberg’s concept of a “living Constitution” prevails, none of our liberties is safe. We could be imprisoned for speaking the name of Christ, and our right to free and fair elections can be stolen by the IRS, the FBI, the Justice Department, and the federal courts themselves. If society is willing to violate the original text of the Constitution, then it is left with no yardstick for measuring right and wrong. To ignore the Constitution in the interest of social justice is to open the door to the worst sort of tyranny.

The Left’s idea of social justice is not what America’s founders, either those in Virginia or those who later arrived in New England, had in mind. Nor is it what God had in mind for America. Our true identity is that of a democratic and faithful people who shrive within a capitalist economy.

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