Alan Keyes
February 7, 2017
LGBTQ vs. unalienable rights: Can Trump have it both ways?
By Alan Keyes

    I was deeply saddened to hear the new administration say something along the lines of upholding the rights of the LBGTQ community. It was my relearning of the lesson about not putting your trust in princes....

    I have to say, I voted for Mr. Trump, because I could not vote for a candidate and party who think it's OK to murder babies and also endorse euthanasia. They literally try to get you coming and going.

    I have read countless articles about all the Catholics on the Trump team. However, I wonder if that really matters. I say this after receiving a text from the USCCB [United States Conference of Catholic Bishops] stating they are declaring their solidarity with Muslims.

    It seems to me that once again, the Protestant form of la cart religion is dooming us to failure. So here is my new question, what are faithful Catholics to do?
    (Email from a Catholic acquaintance.)
I was already well advanced in writing this article when I read the email quoted above. Though my own situation is not simply the same as that of the reader who sent it, I deeply share the sadness it expresses, and the sense of being at a loss. I also share the sense that "a la carte religion" is dooming us to failure. However, I think that it's not a matter of Protestant vs. Catholic. Protestants and Catholics alike have succumbed to the belief that because Christianity is ultimately a matter of the heart, it is therefore simply a matter of sentiment and feeling. Yet Christ emphasizes again and again that it is a matter of doing God's will for God's sake. God becomes the standard for living, with Christ's indwelling presence providing, as it were, the personal trainer who calls upon our spirit to exercise our will to live up to that standard.

Since our knowledge of who Christ is comes to us through Scripture, those Christians (Protestants and Catholics alike) are right who emphasize the importance of delving into Scripture. God's Word is the venue for habitually exercising our faith – which is to say, our trust in His wise and benevolent will. It is, as it were, the gymnasium or fitness center of faith, replete with equipment God has devised and calibrated to work our understanding (which latter encompasses body, mind, and heart) the way the exercise equipment in a gym works our bodies. But just as athletic performance ultimately depends on how our hearts answer to the spirit in actual competition, so the exercise of faith depends on how we allow the spirit in our hearts to rise to the challenge of Christ's calling, as our life runs its course in the world in which we live.

In this respect, Christian living may be like a relay race in which team members run the course side by side (instead of seriatim), passing the baton from one to another and back again. The goal is to cross the finish line without losing a soul, and without leaving behind anyone willing to join the team and run in good faith. Just as faith in God is a matter of trust, so good faith toward one another is a matter of trustworthiness, such that no one falls prey to the delusion that crossing the finish line first is worth luring faithful souls to stumble and be left behind.

Like you, I could not vote for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party under any circumstances. I also could not bring myself to support Donald Trump, for reasons I explained at length in many articles. In the end, the whole record of his life suggested to me that, if he is running the course as a Christian Republican, he is not doing so in good faith with others. This is not so much a matter of sinning as it is a matter of being careful not to reap advantage by causing others to stumble into sin. A man may refrain from drink and so never fall into the sin of drunkenness, but if he makes his living from business meticulously designed to lure others to drink to excess, then as a Christian he does not act in good faith.

Now, the fact that people spend their lives advancing themselves by various forms of this scandalizing iniquity does not mean that they are beyond redemption. But it does mean that, when they approach us with grand promises based on their commitment to help redeem our nation, their good will must be put to the test and verified before we can be justified in trusting their promises. In terms of the example of Christ, the test is to do God's will in God's way. It means honoring His truth with no admixture of false promises, in speech or appearance, even though this gives alluring comfort to those who style their lives upon this or that notion, false to God's written and Incarnate Word.

During his campaign, and now in his conduct as president, Mr. Trump is simply not honoring God in this way. His promise to protect the "rights" of LGBTQ people is a case in point. It is entirely right and appropriate for him to assure all Americans that he will protect their rights as people, pursuing right as God has, as it were, programmed it into our nature as human beings. But such rights do not simply arise from this or that human choice, made without humanity in view. They arise from the will of the Creator, with the good nature of all humanity in view. Choices that bring pleasure, comfort, and satisfaction to individuals, without regard to preserving the good nature of all, are not unalienable rights endowed by our Creator, for the good of all those His subjects.

The existential perpetuation of humanity depends upon procreation. The relations between man and woman, with a view to human procreation, toward which they are naturally impelled, therefore involve unalienable right. By preserving the good nature of each and all persons, they serve humanity's common good, our res publica. The Constitution makes it the business of the United States to guarantee the form of government suited to this purpose in all the United States.

Is this constitutional purpose consistent with using government power to enforce respect for the activities of individuals who are impelled by their own will and preference toward lifestyles that have no special regard for the common good? Confined to the private sphere, and pursued in ways that do not call upon or burden the communities in which they live, it may be prudentially sensible to tolerate their pursuits. Reasonably deliberate thought requires freedom of speech (even speech that many reject as filled with errors), so that good arguments many prove themselves in debate. Similarly, reasonably deliberate moral judgment may require freedom of action – up to a point – so that responsibility, for good or ill, may be ascertained.

But reasonable common sense, and the Ninth Amendment to our Constitution, agree that this freedom can never be allowed to deny or disparage activities that, by securing the good of humanity (individually and on the whole), have the special (i.e., related to the good of the species) quality of exercising an unalienable right, endowed by God. Why is it that we are these days stumbling into the error of believing that freedom, without regard for unalienable right, trumps liberty, which is freedom rightly exercised in respect of unalienable right? Isn't it because we have falsely equated right and freedom, discarding the firm reliance upon God's Providence with which our nation began? Isn't it because we have, for example, accepted the self-annihilating notion of "abortion rights," whereby, with the lives of our posterity, we extinguish the unalienable right to life for all humanity?

Or have we been encouraged to accept such self-annihilating lies in order to bring our whole society into complicity with the self-conceited elitist lie that no law rooted in God's will informs the good nature of humankind? Either way, it's clear that the false notion of right involved in abortion and the enforcement of respect for so-called LGBTQ rights involves just such a self-corrupting rejection of God-endowed unalienable right, the exercise of which is the basis of true liberty. As this is so, what are we to make of an administration of government that proclaims its commitment to fight that false notion when it comes to abortion, but embraces it when it comes to enforcing demands that deny, disparage, and pervert the God-endowed natural right of procreation?

If the bonds by which God forms and perpetuates the nature of all do not take precedence over whimsical freedoms, recognized and enforced by merely human will and power, what becomes of the people's claim to do justice, against those armed with the power to subdue them, but with no God-endowed right to do so? What becomes of the republic derived from that claim? Its liberty depends on the premise of God's rule. As Catholics, as Protestants, and simply as Americans, we must insist upon that premise, in all our reasoning, in all our actions, and in all our stands in public life. Even if we do, we may fail. But if we do not insist on that premise, the decent, God-honoring liberty of the good people of the United States will surely fail, taking with it many souls God is otherwise willing to save.

To see more articles by Dr. Keyes, visit his blog at LoyalToLiberty.com and his commentary at WND.com and BarbWire.com.

© Alan Keyes

 

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Alan Keyes

Dr. Keyes holds the distinction of being the only person ever to run against Barack Obama in a truly contested election — one featuring authentic moral conservatism vs. progressive liberalism — when they challenged each other for the open U.S. Senate seat from Illinois in 2004... (more)

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