About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

The right to dignity

To find a right to abortion in the Constitution, the Supreme Court justices in Roe v. Wade construed from the text a “right to privacy.”  To find a right to gay marriage in the Constitution, Justice Kennedy, with the concurrence of the majority, has construed a “right to dignity.”

Law professor Jonathan Turley, who supports gay marriage, said that the judges could very well have ruled to that effect by invoking the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, as lower courts have done.  But instead it invokes the section on “due process” and asserts this new right to “dignity.”  Prof. Turley, who shows how Justice Kennedy has been building up to this notion in a number of his other rulings, is worried about this new legal doctrine, saying that it opens up all kinds of legal and civil liberty cans of worms. [Read more...]

The Declaration of Independence and natural law

Legal scholar Randy Barnett offer a fascinating section by section reading of the Declaration of Independence, which he says succinctly states the political theory of the American founding.  He summarizes it this way:

  • The rights of individuals do not originate with any government, but pre-exist its formation.
  • The protection of these rights is both the purpose and first duty of government.
  • Even after government is formed, these rights provide a standard by which its performance is measured and, in extreme cases, its systemic failure to protect rights—or its systematic violation of rights—can justify its alteration or abolition.
  • At least some of these rights are so fundamental that they are “inalienable,” meaning they are so intimately connected to one’s nature as a human being that they cannot be transferred to another even if one consents to do so.

But I’d like to draw your attention to his exposition of the first paragraph and his explanation of “The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”  In quoting a clergyman of the time, he gives a helpful explanation of what we mean by that much-misunderstood concept of “natural law,” as well as showing how that was a fundamental assumption of the American founders. [Read more...]

Greeks vote “No”

Greeks voted “no” on a referendum on whether they should let their economy get bailed out at the price of austerity measures.  Now we’ll see what this will do to the Greek economy, to the Euro, and to the European Union.   (Not to mention the rest of the world’s economy, including that of the U.S.A.)  The Greeks started what would become Europe.  Now they just might take it out. [Read more...]

Celebrating America, in light of everything

People on the left often have problems being patriotic on the 4th of July, since they consider the nation whose birthday is celebrated to have been built on slavery, imperialism, and a predatory capitalism.  But now conservatives, usually the big flag wavers on Independence Day, might also feel disillusioned with the USA.

We live in a country that seems to stand for license without freedom.  We are ruled by trends instead of by law.  We are radical individualists and, at the same time, conformists.   We have a good constitution, but no one follows it much anymore, and our Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches all seem out of whack.  To be sure, America should not be confused with its government, but even worse than our government and the source of its errors is our culture.  Oblivious to our history and traditions, today’s culture seems shallow, materialistic, irrational, and immoral.  America may have been a good idea back in 1776, but the reality is not measuring up.  Or so we might think in 2015.

I think even those who think that way–or the way the Left thinks–should celebrate on July 4.  I’ll explain why after the jump. [Read more...]

“There are not two sides.”

As the nation’s media openly joined in the celebrations of the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage, some are saying, as we blogged about, that they will not cover opposition to the issue anymore.  Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed, said this:

“We firmly believe that for a number of issues, including civil rights, women’s rights, anti-racism, and LGBT equality, there are not two sides.”

You have GOT to read Federalist editor Mollie Hemingway’s evisceration of this attitude, linked after the jump. [Read more...]

The euro and the fall of Greece

The people of Greece will vote Sunday on a referendum on whether or not to accept the austerity measures that would accompany a bailout from the rest of the Eurozone.  The Greek government is recommending voting “no” and just letting the economy collapse.  Catherine Rampell explains how Greece–and Europe–got into this mess, making use of the predictions of the late free-market economist Milton Friedman, who is being proven right, as usual. [Read more...]


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