Paging Tomi Lahren: ‘Morality’ Does Play a Big Part in Legislation

This week hasn’t been good for the conservative bona fides of Tomi Lahren, the 25-year-old Fox News contributor and former The View co-host.

Of the rhetorical battle surrounding Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court and what his appointment might mean for Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision on abortion, Tomi said:
“Implying that we’re sending a Supreme Court justice to the bench to carry out religious judicial activism is a mistake and unconstitutional. It’s not what conservatives stand for.”

I don’t recall any prominent conservative calling to pack the Court with judicial activists. Tomi’s position was swiftly and rightfully shot down by a gaggle of Twittercizers, including Ben Shapiro. The
decision of Roe v. Wade – murdering a baby is legal on the premise of an unknown right to privacy – remains one of the most illogical decisions by the high court; legal scholars for and against abortion agree on this point.

But it’s what Lahren said earlier this week that caught my attention, and it’s what I want to focus on today.
End of the day I don’t think government legislates morality well. If you do, great.

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Can, should, and do laws legislate morality? I’ll rephrase in a statement you might have heard: You can’t legislate a moral decision.

Can’t you? As you can see, our Founding Fathers were neck deep in framing our laws based on morality. – influenced by Plato and Cicero:

Jim Powell, senior fellow at the Cato Institute and an expert in the history of liberty, credits the Roman philosopher and statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 B.C. to 43 B.C.) with expressing the “principles that became the bedrock of liberty in the modern world.” Cicero was the leading lawyer of his time, and Thomas Jefferson credits him not only with influencing the Declaration of Independence, but also with informing the American understanding of “the common sense” basis for the right of revolution.
“True law,” as Cicero called it, is the “one eternal and unchangeable law [that] will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is God, over us all, for he is the author of this law[.]”

Jump to modern times and look behind every law at the local, state, and federal level. What do you see?
• Murder
• Stealing
• Perjury
• Lying to a federal officer
• Speeding
• Poaching animals
• Operating a business without a permit
• Vandalism
• Tax evasion
• Running a red light
• Parking too long or in the wrong spot
• Watering your lawn on the wrong days

There is always an externality or consequence to your actions, some wide reaching, some that don’t go beyond the perimeter of your house. You can argue whether the moral decision behind a law is clear and just, but you can’t argue it isn’t there.

There are dry counties across parts of the southern US because people hold a moral opposition to alcohol. Most of America prohibits recreational use of marijuana based largely on virtue. You may have strong arguments in favor of pot legalization, but you can’t say there isn’t a moral backing to laws opposing it.

If we don’t base our laws on morality, on what will we base them? Our Founding Fathers were not atheists. With the possible exception of Thomas Paine, they weren’t even deists. They believed in God, and knew a country which was to begin with the inherent rights of the individual had to have a set of laws based on nature and nature’s God. What is that but morality?

While laws cannot make the immoral moral, you cannot say morality doesn’t form the framework of every law, for what’s the purpose of a law if not to maintain a civil society based on moral order?

photo credit: Excerpted from: Gage Skidmore Tomi Lahren via photopin (license)

Michael Cummings
Michael A. Cummings has a Bachelors in Business Management from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, and a Masters in Rhetoric & Composition from Northern Arizona University. He has worked as a department store Loss Prevention Officer, bank auditor, textbook store manager, Chinese food delivery man, and technology salesman. Cummings wrote position pieces for the 2010 Trevor Drown for US Senate (AR) and 2012 Joe Coors for Congress (CO) campaigns.

 

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