July 04, 2014

Justice vs. Personal Preference

A question that has been slowly forming over the past few years crystalized in my consciousness with the ‘Hobby Lobby decision’ from the Supreme Court. Is it just me and my imagination... or does it appear to anyone else that the ‘law’ as managed by our legal system is looking more and more like the personal preferences of whoever happens to be in the judge’s seat? For some naïve reason, I thought that the law represented something higher than personal bias. I thought it had something to do with universal good, and whether you liked a particular law or not was irrelevant because it stood for what was intrinsically right, fair, and just. It symbolized a higher consciousness that would guide us in daily life. However, there have been a series of legal decisions and their reversals that have made it look like the law is not really law. It looks more and more like a system based on some other guy’s beliefs. If a law is nothing more than that guy’s belief, what makes his beliefs any more of a law than my own? That might sound like playing with anarchy, but if we are going to have a nation based on the rule of law, that law better damn well be something that stands up under rigorous tests of consciousness – not conscience – since the whole idea of conscience is much too tangled with religious biases. This latest entanglement seems to be a blatant violation of the ‘separation of church and state’ principles that our country was founded upon. People fled Europe in the Middle Ages because of cruel and unreasonable persecutions based on religious bias. It looks to me that Hobby Lobby and a huge number of other corporations are leading us right back down the primrose path to the divisiveness, greed, and distrust fostered by religion.