Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rand Paul's Ignorance of Natural Law

Rand Paul’s Ignorance of Natural Law

Rand Paul is in trouble, politically, because his libertarian political philosophy is divorced from natural law.

Paul has said, on national television, he supports the rights of business owners over business customers regarding the issue of racial segregation. Paul’s libertarianism has led him to say that, while on the one hand he would have supported Dr. King’s civil rights movement, on the other hand he would not have supported the provision within the 1964 Civil Rights Act which required business owners to desegregate their businesses.

Paul’s libertarianism places private property rights over the People’s rights—equal treatment under the law—while the Declaration of Independence supports both.

Paul’s ignorance of the Declaration’s natural law basis is appalling, as is his ignorance of the natural law basis of Dr. King’s civil rights movement.

The Declaration of Independence says:

“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.”

This reveals the natural law basis of the Declaration.

Dr. King said:

“A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: 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 distort the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority.”

This reveals the natural law basis of Dr. King’s civil rights movement.

In fact, Dr. King was holding America’s feet to the fires of its natural law basis, found in the Declaration, when he said:

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

What Rand Paul fails to realize is that America is founded upon natural law and natural law acknowledges the equality and dignity inherent in all peoples.

When certain states allowed the oppression of certain citizens because of their race, the federal government was right to demand that these states uphold the natural law-based equality that is found in the Declaration of Independence.

Paul’s libertarianism, divorced as it is from natural law, allows business owners to oppress people, legally. This is similar to the philosophy of Ayn Rand (another “Rand”) whose capitalist libertarian philosophy, Objectivism, is best described, in her own words, as “the virtue of selfishness”.

The virtue of selfishness?

This is an oxymoronic statement; a contradiction in terms.

The opposite of selfishness is compassion. Compassion is a virtue, a virtue that Christ lived-out and a virtue that Christ called his followers to live-out as well.

Selfishness, especially corporate greed, is hardly a virtue—it is, rather, a vice.

Rand Paul’s libertarianism, shorn of natural law, is the problem; not the solution. We have quite enough corporate greed in America these days Dr. Paul, we really don’t need you making matters worse than they already are.

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