Have you ever heard of “a living constitution?” This is a philosophy based on a “revolving door” definition of truth.
Truth As Defined by Our Founders
When our Founders wrote the US Constitution, “truth” was defined as absolute and unchanging. For example, you’ve often heard me mention “The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” from our Declaration of Independence. An alternate view of truth was introduced as early as our country’s founding through philosophers like Rousseau, Hegel, Wilhelm, Comte, and others. Gradually, over time, the idea that “truth” could evolve as man evolves began to infiltrate Europe and the United States.
Changing Truth vs. Unchanging Truth
Then, there became an alternate theory of law called “Legal Positivism.” This was in direct contrast to our Declaration’s Natural Law (unchanging truth). This new theory introduced at Harvard Law School in the 1870s held that:
-the law has no Divine absolutes; it is whatever the state says it is
-the law evolves as man evolves; again, no absolutes (kind of like yesteryear’s criminal behavior is today’s acceptable form of protest)
-no longer a biblical foundation to the law as in Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy
-case law (judges’ decisions) becomes the standard
Some may be thinking, so what? Over time, the result is that some (NOT all) judges consider themselves no longer bound to the original intent of the Framers in the US Constitution. Instead, they perceive the Constitution to be “living” or changing as those judges see fit. They can give rights to whom they please and take rights away from others. Do you see this happening today? Is “murder” still the taking of a life? Or is murder not murder depending on circumstances?
Here’s the problem: None of us can be assured that the culture will drift into better behavior. None of us can be sure that all judges will be fair or more enlightened. That is why the original intent of the Framers is essential. The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God are absolute and unchanging. Now, there’s a level playing field we can build upon to obtain “equal justice under the law.”
Therefore, I do not believe in the “living Constitution approach,” nor do I teach it as fair and equal in my classes.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. 🇺🇸
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