And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges,
Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment. Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.
– II Chronicles 19: 5- 7
1. VOLTAIRE STIRS A “LAUGHING” NIGHTMARE IN FRANCE…
In 1776, one hundred thousand people attended the funeral of the once most powerful man in France… the author and satirist, Voltaire. “To name Voltaire”, said Victor Hugo, “is to characterize the entire 18th century”. His was the voice of Revolution which finally exploded upon the ancient regime in the guillotines and other genocidal horrors of the French Revolution of 1789. Voltaire taught an entire generation there would be no end to the injustices and corruptions of government unless the people acted.
The populace learned never to expect relief in courts which took bribes and perverted justice to accommodate the political aspirations of French rulers. Unfortunately, the corruption of the French judges and courts was proverbial, though French propagandists like Marat focused on the King and Queen, epitomizing them for all that was wrong with France.
“If we judge of men by what they have done”, wrote Lamartine, “then Voltaire is incontestably the greatest writer of modern Europe… Destiny gave him eight-three years of existence that he might slowly decompose the decayed age. He had the time to combat time, and when he fell he was the conqueror.”
Above all else, Voltaire learned to subject his enemies – the Bourbon King and Queen, royalty, bureaucracy, judges, and clergy – to public ridicule. Get people laughing at those who rule was his aim. Nietzsche would later take his cue from Voltaire when he wrote “Laughing lions must come.” Voltaire came, and “annihilated with laughter.”
Voltaire was “…unprepossessing, ugly, vain, flippant, obscene, unscrupulous, and dishonest” (as one famous historian characterized him) . But, above all, he was “sheer intelligence transmuting anger into fun, fire into light.” He coached actress Mlle. Dumesnil that she must “have the very devil” in her to simulate the passion of the character he created in his play, Mérope. “You must have the devil in you to succeed in any of the arts”, he quipped. Napoleon once remarked “The Bourbons might have preserved themselves if they had controlled writing materials…”
Why such venom in Voltaire?
In 1789, Parisian crowds stormed the Bastille. This was the Fortress-Prison in which Voltaire had been unjustly incarcerated by French aristocrat, the Chevalier de Rohan-Chabot, merely for an insult made toward him at an opera (December, 1725). Voltaire would go on to epitomize the Bastille as the very Symbol of Social Injustice and bureaucratic misrule for the next half century.
The crowds took “justice” into the streets and, in storming the Bastille, began to shed rivers of blood that would destroy hundreds of thousands of lives. Hell had been unleashed by Voltaire long after he was gone. Almost all of it was due to the perception that justice was defrauded in the courts for nobility and royalty.
2. NOTE: CROWDS TOOK TO THE STREETS FOR THE INJUSTICES OF THE COURTS.
What Voltaire did was two-fold: He mocked rulers for the great injustices of society and made the masses aware of their options. In essence, he taught them, you can depend upon the courts to stuff their own pockets and uphold “law” in favor of the upper crust of society. In the courts you find no justice, he argued. The Storming of the Bastille and subsequent rivers of bloodshed throughout France was their response.
So, the genocide that became the French Revolution… the Bolshevik Revolution under Lenin… the Chinese Revolution under Mao, the Nazi and Fascist Revolutions under Hitler and Mussolini… were ignited by people who believed they could not expect to have their offenses settled justly in the courts of their respective societies. All these revolutions looked back on the French Revolution as their Model.
Our Lord said, “It is necessary that offenses come…” (Matt. 18: 7). The Bible warns us in Proverbs 12: 15 – “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” People naturally gravitate to their own sense of justice and prefer to “take matters into their own hands” thereby guaranteeing for themselves their own desired goals. Given the existence of Laws of human action, we can coin this, what we may call, “Theorem of Justice (1)”: “Given the reality of offences, if people perceive – right or wrong – that they cannot expect justice in the courts, they will be sorely tempted to take their differences into the streets.”
Judges hold within their grasp the very life of a society. In the passage above, Jehoshaphat called for judges that would never accept bribes (gifts), which is a major cause of corruption in judges tempted to pervert justice. Put simply: All societies in a fallen world must handle strife among individuals, factions, sects, institutions, and countries. Differences must be contained – confined to the forums of the courts – or man will take those offenses into the streets. The resultant bloodshed brings chaos to society… and that usually results in tyranny as people weary of chaos and call for order (martial law).
That is exactly what philosopher Voltaire understood, attacking all aspects of injustice through satire, mockery, laughter, and scorn:
"To hold a pen is to be at war!" – Voltaire to Mme. d’ Angenthal, October 4, 1748
The courts are the final SAFE place to argue “injustices” done. Courts are the forums for settling adversarial contests. Failing to expect justice due to the antics of corrupt judges, people will take their fight elsewhere … revenge, murder, thefts, radicalism, activism, bloodshed, avarice, deceit and shameless dishonesty.
In advanced societies such corruption takes time to erode the confidence of the people. Former Judge Andrew J. Napolitano describes how the Supreme Court of the United States began to erode confidence in commercial affairs with its sudden change in direction in the case of Home Building & Loan Association vs. Blaisdell (1934). This FDR New Deal era decision broke from past precedents in which the Supreme Court and state courts took a “hands off” attitude to statist control of commerce. Judge Napolitano explains:
Under the Contracts Clause, the states are prohibited from interfering with obligations under private contracts. But the Supreme Court has never faithfully interpreted the clause…Despite the majority’s approval of … interference with free contracts and undue regulation of commerce, the dissenting justices remained true to the text and the spirit of the Constitution, including its prohibition on interference with contracts. In his dissent, Justice Sutherland wrote:
Whether the legislation under review is wise or unwise as a matter with which we have nothing to do. Whether it is likely to work well or work ill presents a question entirely irrelevant to the issue. The only legitimate inquiry we can make is whether it is constitutional. If it is not, its virtues, if it has any, cannot save it; if it is, its faults cannot be invoked to accomplish its destruction. If the provisions of the Constitution be not upheld when they pinch as well as when they comfort, they may as well be abandoned (emphasis added).
Judge Napolitano went on to quote Justice Sutherland further:
|Justice Sutherland wrote that the “effect of the Minnesota legislation, though serious enough in itself, is of trivial significance compared with the far more serious and dangerous inroads by the limitations of the Constitution.”
Results of this decision were staggering, as Justice Sutherland predicted:
1. The US Supreme Court allowed Minnesota banks to foreclose mortgages that were in default when in fact, there were CONTRACTUAL protections – provisions within the contracts themselves – agreed upon and designed for the protection of homeowners (as opposed to STATIST RESTRICTIONS allegedly protecting homeowners).
2. This decision was in essence, a repudiation of the Contracts Clause. The Court was no longer concerned about keeping markets open and free. It was no longer concerned with keeping the government small. It was no longer concerned with enforcing really consented to agreements. Its new priority was “the common good” and making sure government would provide for it.
3. Businesses could no longer trust the courts to protect their contracts due to this decision. When the courts do not protect business contracts, business investment “dries up” as owners and investors flee the public market to protect themselves from the unpredictability of the “justice system”. In other words, the courts send a signal to the economy and many investors refuse to further invest scarce economic capital into the economy. Jobs dry up. Products and services diminish. Bread lines form. Infrastructure of the economy withers. It should be noted here that the economy does not diminish due to some strange phenomenon hovering over “capitalism”. What occurs is simple: the judges make justice unpredictable.
Who wants to put scarce economic resources into society in which the rule of law becomes flimsy, unpredictable, and worse – corrupt?
Given the fact there are laws of human action, we can proffer this Theorem of Justice (2): “When justice fails, or is perceived to be headed toward failure, people will not invest in business creation and development. The economy falters or actually fails, due to political and judicial injustices.”
Ah… and FDR and his Congress couldn’t figure out why they couldn’t jumpstart the economy of the Depression. They made it such a mystery. “The failure of Capitalism”, they mused. So they continued to stack more and more taxes upon the beleaguered shoulders of businesses already overwhelmed by costs and shrinking markets. They further exasperated the business sector with regulatory bureaucracies, red tape and draconian penalties adding EXTREME RISK to an already debilitated economic environment. And FDR and his handwringing Congress couldn’t figure out why the economy “remained depressed”. Must’ve been something in the water.
Of course, the “interpreting” function of the courts was supposed to “kick in” here and say, “Stop! This is Unconstitutional!” No… sad to say, they went right along with most of it.
And behold the wonder of it all. The Resident of the White House just can’t figure out why the job market is shrinking (Remember, government jobs are NOT reflective of any PERMANENT economic infrastructural growth, since they are politically arranged positions, and temporary. They were not brought about by the laws of human action normally referenced as “demand” and “supply”.). The Resident and his version of a handwringing Congress find it an “inscrutable mystery” as to why jobs are shrinking, and few are being added… especially when the business sector perceives an ENORMOUS TAXING AUTHORITY imposing ENORMOUS HEALTH CARE COSTS on the beleaguered shoulders of businesses already overwhelmed by costs and shrinking markets (Ah… but I repeat myself from the FDR era).
In other words, the economy took repeated hits because the politics of the courts were unjust. Not the kind of business environment that would ATTRACT investors.
The creation of new businesses, inventions, innovative and useful products and services, IS the most important area of economic development. It is, by far, the most important area of INVESTMENTS…. as opposed to the media’s propagandized misuse of the term “investment”. Media and public education have trained people to think that stocks, bonds, derivatives, commodities, real estate and the like constitute “investments”. But the reality is, businesses – particularly small businesses – are the backbone of a healthy economy and are the major, most vital investment our economy can receive.
In 1890, the road was paved for the 1934 Blaisdell decision by the Supreme Court in which the Court suggested it would allow the state to interfere with a private contract by invoking a “valid police purpose”. In this case, the Court dismissed the Founders’ clearly stated intent in the Contracts Clause as being irrelevant. Chief Justice Hughes wrote.
"It is no answer…To insist that the provision of the Constitution meant to the vision of that day, it must mean to the vision of our time."
Again, as Judge Napolitano points out, “This is the strongest statement of its kind ever made in constitutional history” because the “Court explicitly held that the Founders intent is irrelevant in the interpretation of constitutional language and thus the meaning of the fundamental law of the land changes with each generation.”
Just as staggering, was a 1920 Supreme Court decision which has set precedent down to the current court. In a comparatively trivial issue involving some environmental issues, that Court, in its decision Missouri vs. Holland, set the precedent that all treaties with foreign nations supersede federal and state law, in essence, putting them on a par with the Constitution. The decision circumvented the more difficult Amendment Process outlined in the Constitution, allowing treaties with foreigners-who – have – no – care – nor –stake in our constitutional heritage, to practically amend our Constitution out from under us! And the Court called that “the original intent” of our Founders.
Hypothetically then, after fighting a war with Great Britain in 1776, our Founders could’ve made a treaty with their enemy Great Britain. That done, had they been guided by the rational accorded them by the 1920 Supreme Court, our Founders would happily have set such a treaty side-by-side with the Constitution they labored to produce as a fruit of their independence from Great Britain.
Actually, that is precisely what the 1920 Supreme Court did. The treaty was with Great Britain and that treaty has allowed, quite literally, the rewriting and overhauling of federal and state law since that time. An additional problem here rears its ugly head by the fact that, with the signing of a Treaty, only the Senate and the President need pass on it. The House of Representatives is left out of the Treaty passing process. In some respects therefore, it is much easier to sign a Treaty with a foreign body, then it is to get a bill through BOTH Houses of Congress! It is CERTAINLY now much easier to get a Treaty through the Senate AND make it the supreme law of the land than it is to have a bill go through Congress AND make it an Amendment to the Constitution.
That’s what happens when Lawyer – Justices manipulate laws out of ambition, greed, or stupidity (or worse). As an important side note, the United States is signatory to the United Nations. And in the spring of this year 2013, that same United Nations passed a gun bill. So, are you comfortable with how well protected your Second Amendment really is today, as provided by the Supreme Court?
If you’re wondering that the lessons of the “Theorems of Justice” herein stated, are lost to the thinking of our rulers, the powers that be have purchased enormous stocks of ammunition. Do you wonder what they’re afraid of? And if they suspect that many people would (God forbid!) “Take it to the streets”, why aren’t they doing something to rectify the problems being created by both bureaucracy and courts? Ignorance and stupidity are no longer proper tags put on our rulers. They are “in sin” WITH KNOWLEDGE. That is called in the Bible “hardness of heart”.
In contrast, up until the late 19th century, American courts relied upon a Christian ethic to guide them. This statement is one of the most famous in all judicial history. It is an observation made by Alexis de Tocqueville, a European who visited America and noted the tremendous impact Christianity made upon all aspects of our culture. He wrote:
|While I was in America, a witness called at the assizes of the County of Chester (state of New York) declared that he did not believe in the existence of God or in the immortality of the soul. The judge refused to allow him to be sworn in, on the ground that the witness had destroyed beforehand all possible confidence in his testimony.
God warns us several times in His Word that the office of a “judge” (judicial branch of civil government) is one which Represents Him directly. It is an office that carries so much weight, has so much authority, and issues forth with such impact on society that He warns judges (in the passage cited above) “…ye judge not for man, but for the Lord who is with you in judgment.” Elsewhere He says,
|Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.
Given laws of human action, we can coin this Theorem of Justice (3): “Justice is impossible unless God is represented by Judges who are expected to be just, upright and courageous against evil; their power to judge is taken by Him as a direct reflection of His Character.”
Judges have the fearsome power of “interpretation” and thus, “adjudication” of the laws. It is that interpretation that either nullifies or guarantees application of any legislation purportedly designed for the well-being of a people. He who interprets thereby holds the power of society’s preservation, peace and safety in his hands. Voltaire subjected everything about the ancient regime to ridicule thereby providing real interpretation and subjecting the antics, corruptions, and authorities to man’s scorn. No one believed in the rule of law or expected to find justice in the courts of France. Voltaire interpreted for an entire generation. But he could only assume the mantle of that authority due to the self-defrocking of judges who were no longer trusted to interpret justly.
We can thereby coin yet another Theorem of Justice (4): “He who interprets, holds the ultimate standard for application.”
Every pastor knows he holds the fearsome power to interpret when he ascends the pulpit. It is that power that governs the applications made by so many people. However, as powerful as that is, pastors do not hold the fearsome power of the civil sword. Judges do. They adjudicate between parties and put down one party, upholding another. This twofold action – upholding one, discounting the other – is called Judgment in the Bible.
Judges are called by God to make certain that “justice” is rooted in the land. Thus, God specifically identifies the role of the Judge as that which REPRESENTS Him in Judgment! Failure to bring “just Judgment” into society is to put society in jeopardy of its very life as a society.
Thus we have this Theorem of Justice (5): “Judges cannot allow the courts to fail of justice due to corruption or ineptitude. They must be Masters of Law, uprooting the unjust party and upholding the just party in any action of court. Judgment is this two-fold action.”
Our Supreme Court has created a great turmoil in society with the Obama Health care ruling. New York Times writer Adam Liptik wrote at the time concerning the cynicism of Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy “… who had been thought to be the [Obama] Administration’s best hope to provide a fifth vote to uphold the law, joined three more conservative members in an unusual jointly written dissent that said the court should have struck down the entire law. The majority’s approach, he said from the bench, “amounts to a vast judicial overreaching.”
Worse, Chief Justice Roberts treated the penalties of the law as if the law were written as a tax and voted for the law, swinging the Court to a 5 – 4 decision to uphold it. Amazingly, while voting for its “constitutionality” on the basis that it was a tax, Article I, section 7 of the Constitution says that all bills that raise revenue (taxes) must originate in the House of Representatives. This one didn’t. As a Health Care Tax it originated in the Senate.
How? Let me explain how some lawyers, politicians and prosti… uh, that’s enough… think.
As an original “shell bill”, it was a tax concerning the military. As such, it wasn’t Obama’s “O-Care” bill that originated in the House; it was a military tax bill. As a bill before the House, it was given a number.
In other words, another tax bill of a completely different kind, began in the House and it concerned the military. But Senate Leader Harry Reid’s sleight of hand adopted the bill’s NUMBER, erased the language of that bill and “penciled in” O-Care. That’s why it’s called a “shell bill” (Note the nickname here given it in the records of… CONGRESS!). What he did would be like taking this Position Paper – erasing in its entirety – but because it was already proffered as a Position Paper (given a number) but not yet made public, a whole new Position Paper is written in its place, say… one entitled: “Judges Get –A – Bye – On – Being – Good".
Now you know why I don’t number these Position Papers.
Of course, in their infernal wisdom, many lawyers invariably play legal games, toying with law and its interpretation. Law is sacred, according to the Bible. ALL law is sacred because it is called forth to represent God as a grant of authority from Him (Romans 13:1ff). But, such lawyers and politicians too often feel smug about the “legalities” they’ve creatively finagled. However, they miss the much more important lesson …“if people perceive – right or wrong – that they cannot expect justice in the courts, they will be sorely tempted to take their differences to the streets.” (Again, I repeat myself). Such lawyers trade public confidence for personal ambition and legalese, putting society in harm’s way. This is the reason Scripture calls such men “bloody men”.
So, do you think the people will RESPECT law as sacred when such “games” are played? Does such a “shell bill” give the impression that the Constitution is an inviolable Covenant and their individual oaths to uphold its spirit and letter means anything to these legislators? Theorem of Justice (6): “Oath-bound judges and rulers are called to keep the spirit of the Law as well as the ‘letter of the law’”.
For those of you who may be tempted to believe that Jesus somehow put aside “oath-taking” (See Matthew 5: 33-37), let’s see what He said:
|Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
Christ “upped the ante” by INCREASING the oath bound authority of our words: Our speech is to be certain. Our speech is our oath. But, in a forum like a court, where witnesses swear to the Truth of their testimony, the Scriptures tell us that to perjure themselves is to bring severe penalty upon themselves.
|And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you. And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you. – Deut. 19:19
Theorem of Justice (7): “Oaths were not designed by God to increase the “truth-value” of a statement. Oaths are designed to increase the SANCTIONS for false testimony so that society can more readily depend upon the word of any witness.”
3. TAKE HEED … FOR YOU JUDGE NOT FOR MAN, BUT FOR THE LORD WHO IS WITH YOU IN THE JUDGMENT.”
Judgment is God’s. He gives a grant of authority to mankind. Government, being a gift of God, is designed to REPRESENT GOD in its Goodness, Mercy, and Redemptive Love. The Second Commandment warns all people that God is to be Represented Correctly at all times, in His Character – including Justice, Righteousness, and Truth (not just in worship!). The fact that very few individuals believe government to be a gift of God testifies to the knowledge that the courts and more generally “government” plays fast and loose with its control over the persons and resources of those under its sway.
Since there is no kindness or carefulness, it loses its divine sanction. It becomes the mere toy of men. People lose respect for such “law” which becomes more like an abusive parent than servant of the people. So, for loss of justice, people feel a deep bitterness and singular distrust. Therefore the Presence of the Laws of Human Action embedded with the Image of God within us understand justice defrauded and goodness thwarted:
|For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law, are a law unto themselves.
The role of the judge in the courts is one of the most frightening of powers, if misused. People understand the propensity toward the truth of this precept of Scripture: “Every man did what was right in his own eyes …”
The injustices of a court, its playful misuse of law, sends a message to the heart of man, “There is no justice. Life is a grab-bag. Take all you want.”
– Respectfully submitted, Wayne C. Sedlak, ICHR for Vision Viewpoint
DOWNLOAD THE POSITION PAPER "JUSTICE OR BLOOD IN THE STREETS" HERE