— Will you vote liberty at the ballot box?
In the Public Eye published March 18, columnists Ken de la Bastide and Scott Smith wrote about a freedom-of-the-press issue that arose in St. Joseph County. In their column, Messrs. de la Bastide and Smith informed us “the courts, since the time of Blackstone codified English common law, have held that by definition, ‘freedom of the press’ is simply freedom from prior restraint.”
I consider it impressive that our columnists make a reference to Sir William Blackstone. I wonder, though, how many readers have any idea of whom they are talking about. Unfortunately, Blackstone is a figure virtually unknown to Americans today. Why is that, and why does it matter?
Blackstone was perhaps the most significant figure in English law in the 1700s. His most influential work, “Commentaries on the Laws of England,” sold more copies in America than in England. Our Founders quoted Blackstone extensively and relied upon his legal work in the development of the U.S. Constitution and subsequent applications.
Why, then, are Americans so unfamiliar with this significant historical figure? Because modern humanists, who crow proudly, loudly and often about their open-minded tolerance, suppress and work to eliminate any and all references in public education to our Judeo-Christian heritage. Blackstone did not develop and forward his great works in a vacuum. He did not make it up and never claimed that he did. He freely, openly and proudly gave credit to the author of his work: “Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator, for he is entirely a dependent being ... And, consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his Maker’s will ... this will of his Maker is called the law of nature.” The full extent of Blackstone’s expressions of the presuppositional basis of law cannot be contained within the constraints of a mere letter to the editor. However, they are easily available to anyone willing to do a little personal research.
What do you suppose happens to a society that removes the entire foundational basis for the rule of law it practices? For Americans, it means that our “certain unalienable Rights” are replaced with the whims of whoever happens to be in a position of power. In other words, we replace the liberty bestowed upon us by our Creator with a totalitarianism imposed upon us by man. Is this what you seek? I hope not, but given the direction that America is hurtling, it would appear so. I invite you to think long and hard each and every time you approach the ballot box whether your choices will help ensure that we have a ballot box in the future or whether they will result in the removal of ballot boxes altogether.
Charles A. Layne
Godly person’s death is like bright sunset
The Indianapolis Star recently published a small front-page picture of the devastation from the southern Indiana tornadoes. In the picture was a tree reduced to sticks for branches, and in the remains of the tree someone had placed a piece of plywood on which they had written “God is still good”!
Isn’t that the very heart of faith for believers, in a circumstance like that where everything is taken from them – except their faith? It is when believers are at their weakest when they are at their strongest.
At the start of a recent “American Idol” show, the man coaching the singers made a statement in which he said God mass produces billions and billions of people, kind of like a non-stop assembly line. But every once in a while, he stops and makes one of us by hand.
He was referring to Whitney Houston, whose songs were being sung that night. Do you know a person like that too?
The death of a godly person is like a bright sunset over the waters. After the sun has gone, the sky continues to glow with its aura – for the people watching on the shore.