You Can’t Legislate Morality?

Are you tired of the left’s assertion that “You Can’t Legislate Morality” like they are afraid that some of the Biblical views of right and wrong may rub off on them?  Okay, if you can’t legislate morality – what is the alternative?  Immorality!

The left argues that civil law should be morally neutral.  That is not possible –  All law is moral in nature.  Every law that is thought up and foisted upon us started out as someone’s idea of how to make things better or how to make people act the right way.  Every law written tells us what we can or can not or should or should not do.   Think gay marriage legalization for instance, touted as the key to creating a more tolerant, fair, loving society, or some such nonsense.  What they were really saying was you can’t legislate morality unless it is the left’s version of morality.

Laws have a purpose. Some are better conceived than others and many fail entirely to achieve their purpose.  But that they have a purpose, and that the purpose includes at least an implicit moral element, is incontrovertible. One only needs to ask of any law or action of government, “What is the law for?”  The answer usually includes some aspect of it’s for the “good” of the community or society as a whole, implying a moral purpose.

It is an irony that any attempt to sever the connection between law and morality only highlights the link between them.  Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in his 1897 address, “The Path of the Law,” given during a graduation of Boston University Law School students,  argued that high minded moral concepts only detract from a clear understanding of what law is and what it should do.  “For my own part,” he said, “I often doubt whether it would not be a gain if every word of moral significance could be banished from the law altogether, and other words adopted which should convey legal ideas uncolored by anything outside the law.”   In order for this to happen, Holmes said we had to adopt a point of view of a “bad man” trying to avoid getting into trouble rather than start off with idealistic concepts of moral improvement and the good life.

Unfortunately, Holmes’ denial of the link between law and morality can only be made by invoking the language of morals and law.  How are we to truly understand what it means to be “bad” or “good” if we exempt morality? The real question is not whether the political community will legislate morality; the question is – which morality will be enforced and by what sort of government.

Law is nothing other than the codification of someone’s morality.   Traditional marriage is the morality of the right –  Same-Sex Marriage is the morality of the left.  Pro-life is the morality of the right –  Abortion on demand is the morality of the left.  Free enterprise and personal responsibility  is the morality of the right – ObamaCare is the morality of the left.  Obedience to God and protection of our Constitution is the morality of the right – Removing God from the public sphere and trampling freedom  is the morality of the left.

 “We have not government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion  Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  John Adams

 

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