MLK beautifully writes of Aquinas’ view of human law: “An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality.”
To my fellow American Catholics and Christians, I ask you to ponder Aquinas’ view of human law. Then I ask you to ponder if laws that involve building walls, propagate homophobia, harm our planet’s environment, and ban people of a certain religion from entering this country, pass Aquinas’ test of human law: does it follow the divinely gifted natural law and uplift the human personality?
The Bill of Rights were born out of the natural law. We have a right to them. And indeed our Founders believed natural law came from God, just as Aquinas did. John Quincy Adams writes:
The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.
Jesus, Aquinas, and The Founders sought not to divide us into factions; instead they sought to unite us under God’s Natural Law. Trump and his supporters iniquitously seek to divide us according to skin color in The United States, and to divide the world into the Muslim World and the West. It is a complete deviation of Catholicism, Christianity, and American Principles. I am offended and incensed at the folks who voted for Trump and those who support such a deviation from our national principles, especially when so many have fought and died for those principles.
Two wars are often cited when one speaks of men and women making the ultimate sacrifice for our natural rights bequeathed by God: The Revolutionary War and in World War II. And then there are folks, who blasphemously wrap themselves in the American flag while harboring the most hateful, racist beliefs. They have not the faintest notion of what that flag represents.
They voted for a man who is antonymic to the principles that those Americans died protecting. The only solace of those who made the ultimate sacrifice was that these great, sacred, and undeniable American values would be eternal, and that generations of Americans would be blessed to live in a country promulgated with a belief in God’s Natural Rights. The Preamble to the Constitution states:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL men are created equal. That they were endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. – Thomas Jefferson
Already Trump has clearly extolled his disbelief that all men are created equal; his ubiquitous racist and sexist remarks prove that. Tax breaks to the wealthy and a vindictive drive to destroy the American Affordable Heath Care Act (Obamacare) means more to him than the lives of thousands of Americans.
Obamacare has saved the 50,000 American lives (retrieved from https://www.ahrq.gov/sites/default/files/wysiwyg/professionals/quality-patient-safety/pfp/interimhacrate2013.pdf on 3 August 2017) Even if you question the methods of the cited article, it is accurate to say that many Americans diagnosed with cancer would have went bankrupt, lost their homes, and their possessions. But because of Obamacare, they’re able to stay in their homes, keep their possessions, and focus on getting treatment, without worrying about where they would find the money to stay alive.
And this is what Trump is lobbying Congress to repeal. The Consitution guarentees the right to life; nowhere does it say that you have an undeniable right to life, only if you have a pre-existing condition–only if you have Blue Cross. His tax breaks and bloated military budget take from the “least of these” and give to those who have plenty.
The most egregious form of Trump’s trampling over our natural rights enshrined in our Constitution is his colluding with the dictator of a belligerent, completely self-interested enemy of The United States–treachery not experienced since Benedict Arnold.
And then there are Trump’s treacherous lies. He lost by 3 million votes, and overwhelming evidence proves that he is lying to the American people when he claims that millions of illegals voted–another testament to his lack of moral fabric, lack of character, lack of honesty and overall unfitness to lead anything, especially this great country–a country whose greatness lies in its values and not in a hateful demagogue who has no respect for life.
The most egregious of Trump’s treachery is his collusion with the Russian government to damage his opponent. This makes his election illegitimate. He is a pretender who has committed treason. He has demonstrated his scorn for the sacred right that is an essential component of any healthy democracy. It is our natural right and the people’s sovereign power to elect their leader without undue, outside influence.
The United States has an important role to play in international relations. Yes, we have done terrible things throughout history, both internationally and domestically. No institution, church, or society is without sin, and that’s because we are human. We an only hope to keep progressing and learn from our mistakes We are not a completely self-serving country. Right now in Venezuela, where a brutal civil war rages, we have enacted sanctions to stop the pernicious Nicolas Maduro–who has already torn the Venezuelan Constitution to shreds–from becoming dictator,.
Our most powerful tool in international relations is our soft power: the ability to influence the behavior of other international actors (other countries) by the appeal of our values and by our benignant actions.
We are losing our soft power. The world does not want to revert to tribalism and fight a clash of civilizations. Even our Western Allies are beginning to abandon us. The people of the world, including most Americans, want to progress towards a world that follows the standard set by Aquinas, Jesus, and The Founders. Does American Law follow God’s natural law and uplift the human spirit?
Every president should respect and revere God’s Natural Law set forth in both the Constitution and Christianity. Donald Trump, who constantly attacks the way people look, whose vindictiveness and hatred lead to vitriolic rhetoric; who espouses racist beliefs; whose treacherous use of Russian intelligence to influence the election (he actually asked for Russian assistance during a debate), was nothing short of a coup. He is antonymic to God’s Natural Law, The Constitution, and Christianity.
Paul Adams Jr.