Supreme Court Decisions Not Sacred
The Supreme Court's decisions at the end of June 2012, regarding health care and stolen valor, illustrate what happens when Secular Authority and Sacred Authority are not kept separate, equal, and mutually supporting each other -- as our Founders intended. We need to realize that those who wrote the Declaration of Independence would be confused, and shocked, by these decisions, since the decisions so contradict the Founders' thinking.
The Founders wrote the Constitution to state their views on Secular Authority (rules, regulations, and laws of government plus the processes and procedures to enforce them). For them, the content of the Constitution, and what was constitutional, was to be determined by the sovereign -- i.e. the citizens, through their representatives. The Supreme Court was responsible for judicial power -- i.e., to determine legality of specific actions. It was to be the weakest of the three branches. Yet through the unchallenged claim of the Supreme Court as the final authority on constitutionality, that same Court has, over the years, taken on power equal to the divine right of kings -- which our Founders wanted to avoid.
However, it is clear that the Founders thought the republic they wanted to establish could survive only if Sacred Authority and Secular Authority, as specified in the Constitution, checked and balanced each other. This view is expressed in their claim that all citizens of the USA are endowed with unalienable rights, and that government derives its powers from the consent of the governed. In other words, there must be reliance on the inner compass of individual citizens.
Sacred Authority is that which cannot be violated or ignored. It shapes the inner compass of individuals so they can make judgments between right and wrong, good and evil. It is expressed in beliefs based on moral, ethical, philosophic, and religious convictions.
If Sacred Authority had checked and balanced Secular Authority, the heath care and stolen valor issues would never have been elevated to the Supreme Court for decisions. They would have been resolved at much lower levels -- in many different ways. Those citizens who share views on such matters would have determined what they considered right and proper through consensus.
It is only because our political elite has turned all such matters over to the legal system that our country ends up with the Supreme Court as the final decision-maker -- replacing the citizens as sovereign. The political elite in many different countries has found that the Hegelian dialectic increases their influence, power, and wealth through a legal system that resolves issues through debates over thesis versus antithesis to be resolved at a higher level through a synthesis.
In many ways, the decision on the Stolen Valor Act is an even greater tragedy than what happened on heath care. Attitudes that do not recognize the importance of duty, honor, country, and valor have been associated with the decline of all great nations in the past.
The Stolen Valor Act had nothing to do with freedom of speech or the making of money, but it is at the heart of success or failure in combat to protect the nation. However, Secular Authority does not recognize such things -- they are in the realm of Sacred Authority.
But will Americans today see this as our Founders did? Or will they continue to frame everything in legal terms? Since the legal mindset, the adversarial approach to decision-making, and the centralization of power have been so firmly established by the political elite -- in order to advance their own interests -- it is doubtful that things will change. Americans will probably continue to ask, Is it legal? rather than asking, Is it right?
Perhaps one of these days the advantages of stability through equilibrium, decentralization, and individual citizens being the sovereign will again be recognized. But there are very few examples in history of this being done. Usually the political elite continues to centralize power through government until the decay and decline cause a complete fall; only then is it possible for a new cycle to begin.