The Courts and the Culture War, IV.: Globalism
By Virginia Armstrong, Ph.D., National Chairman
The current debates in America over immigration, a “North American Union," etc. must be understood as battlefields in America’s Culture War—the worldview war between Judeo-Christianity and Humanism. Humanism’s globalist fever has been obvious for decades to all who would see: “We deplore the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds. We have reached a turning point in human history where the best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty and to move toward the building of a world community . . .” (Humanist Manifesto II, 1973).
Because Humanistic globalism is such a significant tenet of the Humanistic worldview, it is imperative that we advocates of the Judeo-Christian/Constitutionalist worldview understand the entire worldview picture of which globalism is a portion. Accordingly, in this Briefing and Commentary, we continue to examine the law-related ingredients of a worldview, as revealed in the following diagram.
In our last Briefing and Commentary, we considered the first three Essential Elements of Level #2B, the jurisprudential positions of Judeo-Christianity and Humanism. Today we consider the last three jurisprudential positions.
- LAW AND SOCIETAL INSTITUTIONS what are they, what is their source, and how do they relate to one another?
- Judeo-Christian philosophy contends that civil law/government is one societal institution ordained by God and is to function in balance with other God-ordained institutes (i.e., family and church). A pluralism of societal institutions and of agencies within the institution of civil law/government is necessary.
Illustration: Law scholar Harold J. Berman states this point most forcefully in his award-winning book Law and Revolution (1983). Berman asserts correctly that the entire Western legal tradition, not just American jurisprudence, has as “[p]erhaps [its] most distinctive characteristic . . . the plurality of jurisdictions and legal systems.” This feature has numerous consequences, one of the most fundamental being that it militates against globalism.
- Humanism elevates civil law/government to the position of supremacy over other societal institutions. If any other institutions retain any legitimacy or authority, they are subordinate to civil law/government.
Illustration: When it legalized same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court acknowledged that it was making “a change in the history of our marriage law . . . as it has been inherited from the common law, and understood by many societies for centuries.” How? By redefining the common-law definition of civil marriage to mean "the voluntary union of two persons as spouses, to the exclusion of all others” (Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health). The institution of civil law trumped God’s institution of marriage. Berman’s “plurality of institutions and jurisdictions” disappears here under a tidal wave of judicial supremacy.
- THE PURPOSES OF CIVIL LAW what are they, and who determines them?
- Judeo-Christian theory asserts that the primary purposes of civil law, specified by God, are to maintain peace and order, punish wrongdoing, and uphold standards of right conduct throughout the society for the common good. National interests are paramount to global interests.
Illustration: American law has no loftier purpose than to promote “the rule of law.” From both legal and philosophical dictionaries we learn that “the rule of law” requires conformity to justice (meaning “rectitude” or “rightness”) and requires prohibitions on arbitrary actions by government and laws that are general, prospective, clear, and consistent.
- Humanism argues that civil law should ultimately promote “personhood” and the “realization of man’s potential and value” as defined by each individual for himself/herself (but within the parameters set by the judicial elite). Global interests and world law and government are to be pursued.
Illustration: In the Humanist Manifesto II, our Culture War opponents declare, “We deplore the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds. . . . [we must] move forward toward the building of a world community in which all sectors of the human family can participate. Thus we look to the development of a system of world law and world order based upon transnational federal government [italics added].” Humanism blatantly declares that “law” must be transformed into an international instrument whose purpose is to promote globalism.
- THE PRINCIPLES OF CIVIL LAW what are the essential values which law must embody? Even when both worldviews espouse the same value, the meanings of these values are poles apart. Let’s consider “liberty” in our “illustration” of the worldview differences.
- Judeo-Christian thought maintains that civil law must manifest the Higher Law principles of justice and jurisdiction as revealed in Scripture, particularly the Ten Commandments.
Illustration: Thomas Jefferson, whose personal spiritual condition is still hotly debated, nevertheless offered us a classic Judeo-Christian view of “liberty”:
"God who gave us life gave us liberty. . . . And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God that is just; that [H]is justice cannot sleep for ever. [sic] . . ."
- Humanism pretends to place preeminent importance on radical “individualism” and “egalitarianism,” as defined now primarily by judges.
Illustration: Humanism’s definition of “liberty” is typified by the eminent Humanistic scholar Ronald Dworkin: “The institution of rights against the government is not a gift of God . . . [but] a complex and troublesome practice that makes the Government’s job of securing the general benefit more difficult and more expensive. . . .” Is this genuine commitment to freedom?
The polemic, non-negotiable jurisprudential positions of Humanism and Judeo-Christianity are of infinitely more concern than simply a scholarly exercise. Rather, this irreconcilable conflict reflects a “crisis [in] the Western legal tradition [which] is not merely a crisis in legal philosophy but also a crisis in law itself,” declares Prof. Berman. His conclusion? “Thus the historical soil of the Western [including American] legal tradition is being washed away in the twentieth century, and the tradition itself is threatened with collapse.” As we Constitutionalists face specific challenges such as immigration and the NAU, our response will affect not only these problems but the entire legal fabric of our society. We must empower ourselves with knowledge in order to fight effectively in this Culture War.