I listened to the Personhood Townhall Forum last night on my friend Steve Deace’s national radio program and was very encouraged that 4 of the signers of the USA Personhood Pledge appeared on the show to answer questions from Steve and Personhood USA President, Keith Mason.
While I am skeptical of the varying levels of understanding and commitment to the the Pledge, I am greatly encouraged by the fact that 4 leading presidential candidates actually signed on to the Personhood Pledge which essentially states that all human life from fertilization to natural death are fully human persons who possess a God given right to their own lives which may never be violated by any individual state without exception.
But as encouraging as these developments are, it is clear to me that most of the GOP candidates (to varying degrees) sadly don’t understand the basics of the law, why civil government primarily exists, what the primary duty of the president of the United States is, and what presidents are obligated to do when courts issue unconstitutional opinions.
For example, Steve asked each one of the candidates as president what they would do if Personhood legislation were passed and the Supreme Court attempted to “strike it down.” None of the candidates were able to provide the correct answer. Bachmann said she would “re-draft” and introduce new legislation. Gingrich to his credit, came the closest, saying he would limit the court’s jurisdictional authority to review the legislation. But they all missed an even more simple solution which is that a president is obligated to ignore any unconstitutional court ruling and call for the impeachment of the judges who issued the opinion.
In an effort to help focus the discussion for the future, I have listed some vital questions that I believe should be asked of all the candidates in regard to law, life and a president’s primary function and constitutional authority as well as suggested answers which I believe to be in accord with the Declaration’s “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” upon which the Supreme Law of our land, the Constitution, is founded.
If we are going to have presidents who are going to abide by their oaths, I believe we need to spell out for them what is expected of them. (Sad that we have to do that. But that is unfortunately where we are at in this country.) I don’t want to hear another candidate say that as their first official act as president they will “defund Planned Parenthood.” While they should be defunded, the first thing a president is constitutionally obligated to do is to criminalize murder of pre-born babies when individual states fail to do so. How I long to hear even one candidate say so!
So, here are the questions and answers I believe every presidential candidate should easily be able to articulate when asked.
What is the law? Any custom, standard or rule of conduct in accordance with God’s Divinely Inspired Word or the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God.” As Aquinas said, “any law contrary to God’s Law is no law at all.”
What is the primary purpose of civil government? To protect inalienable (i.e. God given) rights, chief among them, according to Jefferson and the Founders, the right to life for all innocent persons.
When does human life begin? God’s Word says that life begins in the womb when the baby is first conceived and science confirms that at the very moment the male sperm inseminates the female egg a new human person is created with 46 chromosomes and a totally unique set of DNA from any other human being that he or she will have for the rest of their lives. Fully human and fully living.
Are pre-born babies persons? Yes, from the very beginning of physical development (at fertilization) the pre-born baby is a living human person made in the very image of God.
Does the 14th Amendment apply to pre-born babies? Yes. This is a self-evident truth. Pre-born babies are living human persons and are therefore entitled to the same “due process of law” and “equal protection under the laws” as are all other innocent human persons regardless of their size, skin color, or age.
Do individual states have an obligation to enforce the 14th Amendment? Yes, they have the obligation to enforce all Constitutional Law especially the God given right to life.
What is the Constitutional duty of the president when individual states fail to enforce the 14th Amendment? As the Chief Law Enforcement Officer, the president is obligated to enforce the 14th amendment when individual states fail to do so.
As president, would you abide by your oath and enforce the inalienable right to life for all innocent persons when individual states fail to do so? Yes
How would you do it? As my first official act as president, I would call on the states to enforce the 14th amendment and end all abortions in their states. If they failed to do so within 24 hours I would issue an executive order closing down all abortion clinics and prosecuting any murders of any innocent pre-born babies in any state where the state governments allowed the murders to take place. No state possesses the right to alienate inalienable rights, especially the right to life!
So is Personhood legislation not necessary? I believe the Declaration, Preamble to the Constitution and 5th and 14th Amendments already guarantee the inalienable right to life for all human persons which obviously include babies in the womb who are, as we have already acknowledged, fully human living persons and that a president needs no additional laws to protect and defend their lives. But I would welcome any legislation that would further codify into statutory and Constitutional law that all pre-born babies from beginning of physical development at fertilization are persons who possess the God given right to their own lives. In the meantime, I would abide by my oath to enforce the inalienable right to life for all innocent human persons from fertilization to natural death.
What if the courts attempted to “strike down” or “overturn” your Personhood legislation? I would ignore any judicial opinions not in accord with the Supreme Law of the Land and the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” as I am obligated to do as president and as all elected officials are obligated to do in every branch and at every level of government. Adams, Jackson, and Lincoln all ignored unconstitutional rulings and so would I. I would tell them, “thanks for your opinion. How do you plan on enforcing it?” The president’s main duty is to enforce the Supreme Law of the Land, not unconstitutional court opinions.