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 Copyright © December 2005 2005

'Stare Decisis' in the

Judiciary and Judeo-Christianity...

Do Recent Interpretations Trump the Original Intents of the Author?....

~written from the common sense perspective of The Winds of the Soul~

by Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.)

 
to the book

In a world now becoming emotionally ruled by the notions of narcissistic self-entitlement, whatever was originally intended as principle and law, manner and virtue, is now forever and anon open to elitist interpretation that serves first ones own need for self-embellishment and adornment, and everything else second.

I'm not sure if anybody has noted it, but there are obvious parallels that are occurring within the debate over the authorities of stare decisis in the Senate over Supreme Court nominees, and similarly within the Judeo-Christian Community where the original intent of the Scriptures has been undergoing considerable change by those that are led more by social convenience than the sacred integrity of Scriptures. 

How we should value the wisdom of our forefathers, and for that matter God Himself, has been an ongoing quiet debate amongst us for quite a while, but is one finally becoming talked about more openly throughout our culture.  But these are arguments that have been forever obscured by the rude demands of narcissism.

In a world now becoming emotionally ruled by the notions of narcissistic self-entitlement, whatever was originally intended as principle and law, manner and virtue, is now forever and anon open to elitist interpretation that serves first ones own need for self-embellishment and adornment, and everything else second.

Of course, not only is this self-serving attitude prevalent in the legal and legislative world, but also runs parallel throughout liberal academia as well, tainting in like kind scientific enquiry and method, subverting intellectual thought, and obscuring the truth while growing ever more destructive and misleading. 

Copyright © 2005 Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.).  All Rights Reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, including but not limited to all forms of media print, audio, electronic and video reproduction, without the prior express and specific written content of the author, except in cases of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. 

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Historically, this definition, as applied judicially and constitutionally, has come with an important caveat: meaning, that past precedence was only authoritative and informing when past decisions helped to specifically illuminate, reinforce, and uphold the original intent of the Constitution----that meaning intended by the Framers of the Constitution.  Without that specific radii or tie-in to the central and original meaning of the Constitution, no judicial opinion could hardly be considered authoritative or correctly circumscribed.  At least that was once the judicial and legislative dictum. 

It seems that everything around us is open for the brush of egocentric revision in a heartbeat, especially if the heartbeat is a liberally owned one.  This is not a new phenomena by any means, but an old one that seems to reinvent itself and become more pervasive with each succeeding generation.

In other words, the refashioning of everything in ones own image and damn the consequences sort of thing, is gaining more and more traction as "rational thought" in today's openly self-absorbed world.  Subsequently, yesterday's clear and sound direction becomes increasingly lost to the obscurity of puerile self-interests.

And this narcissistic momentum and revisionism has not just confined itself to matters of the world of late, as it has forever been insinuating itself into matters of our faith.  

But let's first examine the debate in the legal clime, as such an investigation will then make our subsequent analysis of similar liberal tendencies within the religious world more salient and meaningful:

 

As defined by the Oxford Dictionary, the Latin term "stare decisis" is "the legal principle of determining points in litigation according to precedent."  It literally means to stand by things or uphold that which was previously decided. 

Historically, this definition, as applied judicially and constitutionally, has come with an important caveat: meaning, that past precedence was only authoritative and informing when past decisions helped to specifically illuminate, reinforce, and uphold the original intent of the Constitution----that meaning intended by the Framers of the Constitution.  Without that specific radii or tie-in to the central and original meaning of the Constitution, no judicial opinion could hardly be considered authoritative or correctly circumscribed.  At least that was once the judicial and legislative dictum.    

Unfortunately today, Liberals have turned this underlying assumption upside down on its head

Obviously, there is no concern in the mind of Liberals that current matters of judicial interpretation of the Constitution may have no bearing to the Framer's clear and original intent, since they consider the Constitution itself to be an "evolving document." 

Now if turnabout is fair play, then here's a thought:  Doesn't the Liberal notion that the Constitution is "evolving" imply that its prone to  "change"..., and if something is prone to change doesn't that in turn make it by definition "unsettled," which in turn then precipitously makes the Constitution into "unsettled law?"  It does, especially when it flies in the face of Liberal philosophy! 

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Thus, according to Liberal fiat, old rulings that actually safeguard the Constitution receive no judicial intellectual regard and are summarily and incredulously dismissed as not qualifying for stare decisis, while relatively new and liberal misinterpretations of the Constitution, as in Roe v. Wade, assume an ascended saintly air. 

Redefining the Constitution as "unsettled law" is a form of oxymoronic rendering of unconscionable size.  It's one that should be written up in the Guinness Book of World Records! 

Since advocating this insurrection, the selective perceptions of Liberal opinion has made stare decisis a perversion, a euphemism, to mean that only the willful evolving standards of Liberal past precedent should be considered "settled law."  From their jaundiced perspective, there are no other more pressing factors to be considered except those of previous Liberal opinion. 

 Quite tellingly, it appears that the once critical expression of stare decisis being intimately tied to the Founders' intention and design is the very thing that Liberal advocates now forbid! 

"Settled law" is then redefined to mean only that law which agrees with the Liberal agenda, not the tried and true conservative opinions of the Founders, as Liberals cobble together new constitutional rights by cherry-picking nuances and innuendo from their most recent precedent-busting rulings. 

In fact, under this willful refashioning of stare decisis, an activist Liberal judge who disregards a precedent he dislikes may freely trump original Constitutional intent, and by judicial fiat invent a new right or declare originalist's settled laws unconstitutional, and still not be in violation of the Liberal's definition of Constitutional doctrine.   Again, yet another indication of narcissistic entitlement.

Having arrogantly dismissed and removed the essential connection to preserve the original intent of the Constitution, Liberals have now imagined a canvas on which they can paint anything their dysfunctional hearts desire, moving us just one step closer to anarchy.

Thus, according to Liberal fiat, old rulings that actually safeguard the Constitution receive no judicial intellectual regard and are summarily and incredulously dismissed as not qualifying for stare decisis, while relatively new and liberal misinterpretations of the Constitution, as in Roe v. Wade, assume an ascended saintly air. 

Indeed, the butchering of stare decisis has resulted in its becoming nothing more than a masked pretext for the execution of the most recent Liberal judicial whims instead of serving the Constitution it was originally meant to protect.  Shameful!

I believe that this same debate over the concerns of past precedent and how they apply to current doctrinal matters have been ongoing within the Judeo-Christian Community for years, specifically in regards to denominational theologies and the interpretation of the Scriptures.

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Although the Word is indeed "living" it is not changeable, as the Liberal bent would have us believe.  Indeed, witnessing the slippery slope we are on today, there is ever more reason to cling to the original intent of the Scriptures than in inventing new loopholes through which slipping social standards evolve and find authoritative place and practice in new religious doctrines.

Just as in the Liberal constitutional camp, there are those in the religious world that would rather give authority to the more recent espoused interpretations than what the original text actually states.  The same tensions found in the debate and misinterpretation over Constitutional stare decisis is found ongoing and dangerously unresolved in our nation's churches and synagogues, making them into similar bastions of narcissistic conflict.

Although the Word is indeed "living" it is not changeable, as the Liberal bent would have us believe.  Indeed, witnessing the slippery slope we are on today, there is ever more reason to cling to the original intent of the Scriptures than in inventing new loopholes through which slipping social standards evolve and find authoritative place and practice in new religious doctrines.

A case in point being that homosexuality is now regarded as an acceptable, sinless, and innocent lifestyle in many so-called Christian denominations, to the extent that it is now horrendously been inculcated into leadership positions of the American Episcopal Church. 

Are we then not asked to follow the misguided instructions of the egocentric piously gay that Christ embraced homosexuality, as they wrongly claim that he never specifically spoke against it?  To be sure, that kind of slight of hand reminds me of the three card dodge scam played on the street by hustlers.   

On another level, with the same sense of impunity and entitlement of Liberal jurists, some of today's Christian leaders often change the rules of the game according to who are the noteworthy paying customers in the congregation, flattering those that would pay them more money.  As in the legal field, money can do a great deal in changing the outcome of a case, and moreover, can do a lot to change the rules by which a case may be tried and judged. 

It seems that all sorts of plenary indulgences, a practice of narcissistic penance first introduced during the Roman Catholic Church Crusades whereby salvation is promised to the tithed recipient (i.e., pay your way into heaven kind of thing) have found their way into many denominations today. 

 

“As soon as the coin in the coffers rings,

the soul from purgatory springs”

Dominican J. Tetzel (1517)

 

No matter what it is called now or how it's dressed-up, these narcissistic indulgences, or the under-the-table act of buying merits of grace, remain a favored source of income for many churches today, twistingly proffering an assurance of salvation that is not in the least Biblical.

Previously, I have written that other alarming man-made changes in the fundamentals of the Gospel have taken place as well, and most recently how the principles of Repentance and Forgiveness and others have been rewritten and diluted to suit the prevailing needs of society, establishing liberal "precedents" of "instant Forgiveness" that have no Biblical standing. 

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We must remember that akin to the purpose of education, our faith's end is not to simply socially graduate a person by giving them an unearned diploma while they remain illiterate.  That may work for some, making everyone feel warm and fuzzy and all, but it sure gets in the way of learning and does nothing for the individual.  Indeed, the purpose of education is to actually raise and exercise the measure of intellect and spirit to a new and better standard.  Should we ask less of our faith?

Jews and Christians both, speak about the evolutionary needs of the church, serving the evolving desires of its congregations.  Obviously, that in itself is not wrong, as long as the needs being served are legitimate.  But when such is used as reason to change the intention of the Creator, or change His very Words, so as to lower the bar for others that feel uncomfortable or uneasy in embracing the Gospel tradition because their love of sin remains in the way, then something has gone seriously awry. 

We must remember that akin to the purpose of education, our faith's end is not to simply socially graduate a person by giving them an unearned diploma while they remain illiterate.  That may work for some, making everyone feel warm and fuzzy and all, but it sure gets in the way of learning and does nothing for the individual.  Indeed, the purpose of education is to actually raise and exercise the measure of intellect and spirit to a new and better standard.  Should we ask less of our faith?

Even though we needfully rely upon the Atonement of Christ to bring us into the presence of His Spirit, are we not by necessity changed and improved by His Merit on the condition of our repentance?  When lowering the bar for others by instructing them that they don't really have to repent, do we not then simply interfere with, and even stop, His Work within them?   

Similarly, when we invoke the absurdity that all we have to do is to profess His Name as Lord and Savior, while never disciplining ourselves to follow His Commandments thereafter, least wise understand them, don't we mislead others into variant paths of self-deception?

If in our zealousness to modernize the Church and make it more applicable to today's societies, we actually destroy the timeless foundations of the Gospel, gutting it of what the Creator originally intended, who do we really end up serving?

Whenever we lower the standards of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we thereby change the original intent of the design and obscure the possibility of it being able to fulfill the promises that are respectfully made. 

Willful manipulation of the pattern, for whatever reason, ends up only hurting ourselves.  The more we stray from His original message, the more certain we are to become lost, and yet blind to our predicament.

I think the critically essential caveat of stare decisis would equally apply here, as it does in interpreting the Constitution.  Accordingly, it seems to me that any interpretation of God's Word must, if it is to be considered in the least correct, specifically illuminate, reinforce, and uphold the original intent of His Word----that meaning specifically intended by the Lord originally. 

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Yet, no deep concern appears over the matter of phony legitimacies and improper authorities being exercised and expressed.  Changing a Scriptural verse here and there in order to be more Politically Correct doesn't seem to raise anyone's suspicion that something ugly is afoot, or that we are placing future generations in jeopardy by changing, rewriting, and removing the Lord's Word out of place.

Again, without that specific radii or tie-in to the central and original meaning of the Word, no Scriptural or religious opinion could hardly be considered authoritative or correctly circumscribed. 

If it can't pass this test, then surely such an interpretation is not from Him.  Taking liberty with this measure would surely lead us astray, and indeed has done just that.  To date, many liberties have been taken.  And in the process, many plain and simple things have been stripped from the Gospel's fair proportions in order to serve other interests---other self-serving interests.  In consequence, much understanding has been changed and diluted. 

Just as Liberal judicial activism has influenced our society for the worse, reducing our personal liberties and threatening the very fabric of our families, so has the growing Liberal inflexion within the Judeo-Christian community caused us great harm to our nation's faith.   

Not the least of which includes the Bible having gone through more re-translations and revisions in the last 50 years than it has in the past 2000 years; some good, most bad----making way for more Liberal misinterpretations, which in turn then become a precedent via Liberally redefined stare decisis for more Liberal activity and cherry picking of the Scriptures to support their own narcissistic end. 

Although, it is perhaps laudable and well meaning to render the Scriptures more readable and less cryptic, if such efforts actually change the meaning and direction that the sacred text gives, as many revisions now have, then more damage than good has been done in the process. 

Yet, no deep concern appears over the matter of phony legitimacies and improper authorities being exercised and expressed.  Changing a Scriptural verse here and there in order to be more Politically Correct doesn't seem to raise anyone's suspicion that something ugly is afoot, or that we are placing future generations in jeopardy by changing, rewriting, and removing the Lord's Word out of place.

Having continually obscured the original intent of the Scriptures, having diluted the Word if not misrepresented it, the canvas is then prepared and re-prepared for what ever paint is willfully and selectively applied, again and again, just like that which is happening in the legal arena.  Although the cover of the book looks the same, the pages it contains have been changed. 

No more salient example of this Liberal strategy of misrepresentation and disinformation is found but in the attempts to normalize homosexuality in the Church under the guise of Christian inclusion and acceptance, giving into the conspiracies of socio-political pressures of our culture to make a "comfortable " place for the gay presence. 

Are these socio-political movements then, suddenly becoming the new authors and authorities of the Word?  Have they received authoritative revelation and wisdom from the Lord to make such bold changes?   

 But should we be so surprised?  Is this not simply more evidence of an ongoing full frontal cultural assault from the Liberal Left?  Of course it is.

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What these Revisionists willfully disregard is the fact that the success rate of any congregation is not to be measured by the numbers participating, but rather in the sincerity and quality of the conversions, whether hearts have truly repented, changed, and found peace in the Lord's Name.  Practically, "numbers" should always be the least of our worries, if measured at all.

Within the Judeo-Christian community, Liberal Revisionism has argued to become the preferred means to invite a more liberally diverse audience into our synagogues and churches.  It's rationalized that by reducing the standards of play, more people can then participate.  And shared-equity on the playing field is all that matters to the Liberal mind----more so than using the field correctly for which it was originally intended. 

This may seem practical to some goal-oriented marketing firm, where numbers are the defining criteria of success, but I have yet seen this strategy pointed out to me in the Scriptures.  Who are they really catering to?

What these Revisionists willfully disregard is the fact that the success rate of any congregation is not to be measured by the numbers participating, but rather in the sincerity and quality of the conversions, whether hearts have truly repented, changed, and found peace in the Lord's Name.  Practically, "numbers" should always be the least of our worries, if measured at all.

The "end game" in our faith is the Lord's Salvation, and enduring unto the end once we entered the path, not in whether or not a sufficient number turned out for our Politically Correct church picnic on the field.

But the most insidious result of the cancer of Liberalism infecting Judeo-Christian thought today is not only that it has sought to change the rules of the "game at play" (meaning no disrespect), but it seeks to remove the most important parts of ourselves from the "game" itself, even from the necessary elements of our Salvation that enable us to receive of His Grace.

That is to say, it removes the most critical aspects of ourselves from the path to Salvation, prematurely retiring us from the field of play by misdirecting, indeed preventing, us from becoming reconciled to His Spirit through the "children we used to be," i.e., the child that we are commanded to become again in order to enter His Kingdom. 

If we are fooled into negating the experiences of our past by making them remote, diminishing unpleasant memories and the like to become just "noise in the system," we down-play the need for our  personal and sincere involvement in the very process He has commanded us, namely repentance and taking upon ourselves His Name unto Salvation.  The Path that He lays before us intimately deals with the personal responsibility of us sorting through the entire history of our lives under the auspices, guidance, and tutelage of the Holy Spirit.   Indeed, it involves us taking responsibility for all of our "baggage," including the memories of our life experiences and the understanding of our deepest psychologies.   

When we dishonestly deny the totality of our life's experiences by our attempts to sweep them under the carpet, and forget and disregard those things thereafter, we do ourselves a great disservice.  For we then unwittingly strip ourselves of the very elements that will allow us to be reconciled by His Atonement.

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About the Author:  Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.) is a Clinical Psychologist and Neuroscientist and having been educated abroad where he completed his postgraduate studies at King’s College, the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and then graduated and received his Doctorate from the University of Oxford, Oxford, England. He has been in private clinical practice and medical research for over 25 years, being active as an author, popular radio and TV personality, public speaker, and biomedical researcher. He is the author of The Winds of the Soul~Heaven’s First Voice To Us books  &  The Winds of Forgiveness~Heaven's Healing Promises, as well as numerous other scholarly papers and works.

 

 

 

 

By refusing to daily retrospect and introspect about these things in our prayers as the Holy Ghost prompts us, then our prayers remain like empty fodder, yielding nothing by which our spirit may be nurtured. 

Furthermore, by isolating ourselves from those parts of ourselves that we have wanted to forget, making no effort to look for and restore all our "missing pieces," our hearts become hardened and cankered, our pride grows, and our spirit darkens in the process thereafter. 

We were not meant to live without His Light.  But when we deny those patterns of the children we used to be within us, we then in turn sever the connection and deny the association that they were originally endowed with His Spirit, with the Light itself, and the subsequent blessings that are so enabled by His Grace.  Without our own missing children restored to us, we cannot live within His Light, which is His Kingdom.  That's why these connections are so very sacred to us, and why He has commanded us all to become again like a little child, that we may enter the Kingdom of Heaven and His Rest. 

The God of the Universe seeks to reconcile ourselves to Him...., not just part of ourselves, but all parts of ourselves.  The Atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ enabled and brought the reality of this sacred process to our very doors.  Though all are invited, the doors will only open to those who are willing participants and know how to correctly knock..., i.e., those that are willing to face their pasts, pick up their crosses, and follow after Him.  There are no short-cuts.... 

Unfortunately, by dumbing down the criteria that God Himself has established, and refashioning the path of the Gospel into some inane facsimile, we allow different Liberal vanities, interpretations, and precedents to be set in our way as stumbling blocks.  We then miss the intended opportunities presented to us, and opt out for the bargain-basement special of Circus-Tent-style salvation----which dribble literally saves no one..., but does pay the rent for the Circus Tent....

If we fool ourselves into believing that the vain Circus Tent experience of Christianity is the path to Him, and succumb to believe that in simply uttering His Name on our lips in a moment of emotional despair is all that we need to profess, then surely, as Isaiah has prophesized, we shall only lay down in sorrow. 

The Church of late has been remiss in reminding us of this critical part of the Gospel walk, liberally misinstructing us that we needn't be so involved, flattering and enticing us to belief that the freedom of Salvation now means the freedom from personal responsibility.  This is what happens when we allow ourselves to stray far from His original intent, even from the Word itself confirmed within the Holy Writ. 

It seems that the processes of interpreting the Constitution and the Holy Scriptures have much in common.  When we lose the Author's intent, substituting and sowing in its place the vanities of our own willfulness, we are sure to lose our way, both judicially and religiously.  Perhaps in this common-sense manner we may find peace between Church and State without the one ever offending the other....

 

 

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