Friday, January 27, 2012

The Nine

The following article is the first article ever to appear on the Above the Norm Revolution Blog that is written by a guest writer. I would just like to say that I am incredibly proud of this author, and I believe what she says has great weight and is definitely worth hearing.

With that, I introduce to you my beloved sister in Christ:

Nine brave characters volunteered for a suicide mission to destroy the Ring. Nine Nazgul chased them across Middle Earth. Nine West makes wonderful shoes. Nine years until the year 2021. And nine Justices currently serve on the Supreme Court, tasked with interpreting the Constitution of the United States, the highest law in the land. Nine unelected men and women appointed for life. Nine with the weight of responsibility resting heavily on their shoulders.

Now, let’s backtrack more than two hundred years. The year: 1776. The day: July 2nd. Our young country has been at war with Great Britain for more than a year now and our leaders have decided that it’s time to make our intentions clear. Obviously, since Mother England and her children are busy slaughtering each other, the time for a separation has come. So the thirteen colonies run away from home. Two days later, July 4th 1776, comes the announcement: “The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America.” (Yes, we are thinking of the same document; “the Declaration of Independence” is just our nickname for it. It would take Nicholas Cage way to long to say “I’m going to steal the Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America.) Thirteen colonies became thirteen states, a small number soon to grow.

Most memorable among the many words of this timeless document are these: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” First graders memorize these words in English; high-schoolers sometimes memorize them in French; politicians yell them to frenzied crowds; and every American lives in the safe luxury provided by the nation this Unanimous Declaration presented to the world. Well, almost all lives.

Skip forward to the year 1787. The war ended with the baby nation victorious. However, the Articles of Confederation failed to hold the states together, causing them to look more like the thirteen colonies they had been. Our leaders called together the Philadelphia Convention, put their heads together, and emerged many months later with the Constitution of the United States. A fierce battle of Federalists, Anti-Federalists, and individual states ratification conventions ensued, finally ending in the ratification and signing of the Constitution in 1789.

In the years following, the Constitution was amended (beginning with our beloved Bill of Rights) as was the intent of its writers. The Fourteenth Amendment, in Section 1 says “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without the due process of law,” reinforcing the motivational words of the Declaration.

So why am I telling you all this? Let me take you one more time jump forward: January 22, 1973: Roe vs. Wade. During the proceedings of the case, which lasted for three years, ancient practices, the Hippocratic Oath, English common law, English statutory law, American Law, and the American Medical Association were all consulted or discussed. Each had a different definition for when ‘life’ began, if they came up with any definition at all. “For the stage prior to approximately the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision and its effectuation must be left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman’s attending physician...It is so ordered.” So began the legal slaughter of the innocents.

The reason Roe vs Wade was able to make such a statement, such an order, is because of two things. One, the Supreme Court (let me remind you who they are: nine unelected men and women serving for life) was allowed to effectually make laws by interpreting the Constitution. Two, because the Constitution was interpreted by the preconceptions of the justices instead of by original intent. The best way to know how our founding fathers wanted the Constitution to be interpreted is through documents they wrote: the Declaration of Independence is one of them.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Our founding fathers were not by any means perfect men, but they knew, they told us, exactly when life started: the minute the Creator God creates it. If Roe vs Wade had been decided according to the original intent of our Constitution, according to the very values upon which America was built, imagine how different life would be today. Imagine how many more countrymen we would have, how many fewer broken women, broken marriages, broken lives would scatter these amber waves of grain. We know when life begins. And we’ve legalized ending it just months, weeks, days, or minutes later.

(Writer’s inspiration and education for this article goes to Michael Farris and his book Constitutional Law for Enlightened Citizens.)

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